Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 63

Fri, 23 Mar 2007

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 23:09:04 +0200
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Kitnyos

I find it a bit hard to believe that *all* kitniyot oil, or even most,
is produced
without the kitniyot coming into contact with water.>>

According to Rav Kook and I also believe R. Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor only those
kitniyot oils made without water are kosher for Pesach (for ashkenazim).
I am not saying anything about any specific modern day oils

RMF  distinguishes between soybean which is an actual bean and so
essentially the same as other beans and similarly corn which is grain-like from
peanuts which is botanically kitniyot but is not the same to most layman.
Eli Turkel

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: "Daniel Israel" <dmi1@hushmail.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 15:11:21 -0600
Re: [Avodah] matzot baked by a goy

On Thu, 22 Mar 2007 14:34:15 -0600 Zev Sero <zev@sero.name> wrote:
>Another point: since the issue is kavanah, it's not clear why the
>person's technical yichus matters so much.  Does anyone really 
>imagine that this woman's kavanah depends on whether her mother's 
>mother was Jewish?  She has the same level of kavanah or lack 
>whether she's technically Jewish or not.

Do you have a source for this?  I would have assumed that kevanah 
l'halacha requires the person to be Jewish.  That is, kevanah is 
not just a mental process.  Further, isn't lishma usually connected 
to the person being chayiv in that mitzvah?  So she could have the 
same mental focus as the Jewish workers, but would that constitute 

Daniel M. Israel

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 23:14:47 -0000
[Avodah] Amen

RYL writes:
> I am posting this to Avodah in response to 
> Michael Poppers' request that I do this. 


And then posts an excerpt of what I gather is Rav Kook entitled the
"Silent Amen" which includes the following:

> And we respond with Amen. "We will exalt His Name 
> together." We exalt God's Name, with inner 
> recognition, above and beyond all language. 
> Unlike the blessing, expressed openly in speech, 
> Amen belongs inside the mind. The blessing is the means, and 
> Amen is the goal.

I confess that I am rather surprised by this.

While it is true that the halacha is that one should not answer amen
louder than the original blessing (Orech Chaim siman 124 si'if 12), it
is also the halacha that one should not answer an amen which is
"chatufa" (missing the aleph) or "katufa" (missing the nun) - see s'if
10 there. These latter halachas would seem to emphasise that it is
important the the amen is articulated clearly, and therefore is by no
means silent.

If anything, one could read the requirement that the amen be no louder
than the original bracha as devolving a responsibility on the one making
the bracha to make it sufficiently loudly so that those answering amen
should not be forced to choose between this halacha and these others
thereby running the risk of articulating less than clearly.

Note also that whoever composed the Vidui Hagadol for the Edot Hamizrach
would seem to have felt that the prohibition on answering an amen
chatufa or katufa, along with yitoma (see also in si'if 10) entails more
grievous sins than answering more loudly than the mevarech, as he
included these three in the list of al chets, but did not include the al
chet of answering more loudly.  (For those Ashkenazim who have never
seen the Vidui of the Edot Hamitzrach, it is a fascinating read  - it is
much much longer than our version, and includes a significant focus on
specifics of halacha - saying several al chets for the various ways we
have failed to say Amen correctly is a classic example, in contrast to
the much more general moral failings of the Ashkenazi version).

Shabbat Shalom


Go to top.

Message: 4
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 23:40:56 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Halachic who is right from "The Lost Scotch"

RMK writes, responding to RMS:

 As for as 
> Midas Chasidus is concerned (which I think you mistakenly 
> called Darchei Shalom), I could certainly understand a svara 
> that he should compensate for his time.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I suspect the concept you are both
reaching for is lifin meshuras hadin.

Regarding its applicability vis a vis workers, a relevant story is that
found in Baba Metzia 83a regarding Rabba bar bar Chana, who had a barrel
of wine broken by some porters he had hired, it would seem negligently.
He took their cloaks in recompense, and they went to Rav, who told him
to give them back their cloaks.  He said, "is that the din?", Rav said
yes, "leman telech b'derech tovim" (Mishlei 2:20) which Rashi explains
as a reference to lifnin meshuras hadin.  The porters then said to Rav -
we are poor, and we have worked all day, and we are hungry and have
nothing so Rav said to Rabba Bar bar Channa, pay them their wages.  He
asked back, is this the din? And Rav responded Yes "v'arucha tadikim

As mentioned in my previous post, the Rema (Choshen Mishpat siman 12
si'if 2) brings down a machlokus as to whether a dayan is allowed to
force a litigant to go lifnin meshuras hadin (ie was Rav rendering a
halachic judgement as a dayan judging between two parties and compelling
Rabba bar bar Chana to obey, or just advising him that this was what he
ought to do).  But in this day and age of very limited enforcement
powers for dayim, the question is probably reasonably immaterial. What
it is important to understand is that the obligations would appear to go
beyond the way we generally understand the concept of midas chassidus.
On the other hand, one does need to understand the basic halacha that,
as a general principle, a porter is required to pay for damage caused
due to his negligence to even get within the question of lifnin meshuras
hadin, something that I do not believe is well established in the case
under discussion ie regarding the wedding singer.

Shabbat Shalom


Go to top.

Message: 5
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 21:54:12 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Retzei

In Avodah Digest V23#61, RMYG responded to RJB:
> Your point is well taken, but it raises the question of why "L'olam
(which I see I forgot to write in my OP) is not at the end of the sentence?
Because "l'olam va'ed" is deliberately attached to "yimloch aleinu" and, so
to speak, cannot be separated from it even though "v'al kal-ma'asav" really
belongs directly after "aleinu."   See the end of the "Baruch H' l'olam"
paragraph which immediately precedes the stanza w/ the b'rachah: "v'qayeim
malchus'cha tamid _umloch aleinu l'olam va'ed_."

Shabbas Shalom and all the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20070322/04e93215/attachment.html 

Go to top.

Message: 6
From: "aryeh gielchinsky" <agielchinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 22:56:04 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Sparks and motors

> The "halakhic" spark is the oxidation or destruction of material. The
electric spark is the
> result of the movement of quantities of electrons through the air.  Both
cause light.
> Can one learn the halakhic category of the electric spark, assur or mutar,
> comparison with the other phenomenon?

I would think "halachik" sparks (in which some metal is being
"consumed") are more similar
to a regular fire than electrons jumping across the air which
don't "consuming" anything.
Has anyone seen any sources on lightning in connection with fire? Such as
saying boreh mi'oriah ha'esh
by havdalah?
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20070322/d8c96aed/attachment-0001.htm 

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: "Marty Bluke" <marty.bluke@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 09:18:54 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Electricity on Shabbos

R ' Elliot Shevin wrote:
<.. and plugging in an appliance adds on to the wiring in the
building. (It's the CI's idea,
not mine!)

I don't recall the CI saying that. In fact, that sevara has been
rejected l'halacha at least by tevilas keilim. One acharon suggested
that a toaster would be patur from tevilas keilim because it is
mechubar l'karka (plugged in) and everyone else disagreed.

With all due respect to the CI, the overwhelimng majority of poskim
seenm to reject the CI's opinion that it is boneh, in truth, the CI's
opinion is very difficult.

Go to top.

Message: 8
From: Dov Bloom <dovb@netvision.net.il>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 09:33:57 +0300
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Kitnyos

It is not clear to all poskim that soybeans and similar products that were unknown at the time of the development of the gezeira/minhag of kitniot are "clearly included". 
A prominent Posek that clearly held otherwise was R Shaul Yisraeli Z"l who ate and served products that some osser but he held were not known in Europe and such were not part of the minhag. RMF's tshuva on peanuts was already mentioned. The Melameds - father and son hold similar views mi-ikar hadin as do many others who learned from R Yisraeli.

>> As for mustrad wants that becomes the minhag it is included.
>> RMF and  other say that anything not included in the original custom
>> like peanuts is not included later even if it is technically kitniyot
>That can't be true, because corn was not in the original gezera,
>and yet everyone agrees that "terkishe veitz" is forbidden.  The
>same goes for soybeans: unknown in Europe at the time of the original
>gezera, and yet clearly included.

Go to top.

Message: 9
From: Minden <phminden@arcor.de>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 12:21:52 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Kitnyos

> I also don't understand those who allow oil of kitniyot, when the Rema clearly forbids it.

The Remo was an outstanding godoul, but he is not the first nor the last word, just like the Shulchen Orech itself. If people in Metz or even in Minsk always consumed mei kitniyes in accordance with their poskem, why should the mere fact that the Remo in Kroke says one doesn't eat it make a difference, unless the heloche is clear and nobody in Metz and Minsk had realised before?

If you only wondered how people can claim the Remo allows it, I agree.

Lipman Phillip Minden

Go to top.

Message: 10
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 11:27:30 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Halachic who is right from "The Lost Scotch"

RMSS wrote:

> I spoke today to one of the finest minds in Lakewood in CM 
> (if not in other areas as well). He told me that the author 
> got it right. Since the kallah's side would not be interested 
> in having someone else impersonate Chaim ben Zundel after 
> they had gone to the expense of hiring the real deal,


> the 
> chosson is considered an oneis. Oneis, I was told, is not 
> only "eey efshar" physically, it is also when it is "eey 
> efshar" practically. The Trumas HaDeshen, I was informed, 
> says that a case where a man's wife falls ill is considered 
> an oneis, even though the man can hire someone to take care 
> of his wife. Since practically speaking that is not an option 
> it is considered oneis.

This does not seem to me to be relevant to the problem I have with the
psak.  The idea that an ones can be considered to be eey efshar
practically as well as physically was not something I thought was raised
as a problem.  The issue we raised  vis a vis the oneis question was
(and there were other issues):

does  oneis occur when the act is an "act of man" as well as when it is
an "act of G-d"?  I was mesupik about that, others argued the case more
strongly.  The Trumas Hadeshen does not seem to me to help here, as the
fundamental act causing the ones, the wife falling ill, is an act of
G-d.  Whereas here, the act that made the eey efshar, the act of the
kala, was an act of man, making it different. The fact that it made an
eey efshar practically rather than physically does not appear relevant
to the distinction being drawn.   As I mentioned though, I am mesupik as
to whether one can consider a act of a man an ones or not, and could see
the logic of it going both ways (for example in terms of torts, a human
being is, I believe, generally considered muad not onus, but this is not
exactly a tort case either).   However, I can also see arguments the
other way, ie that an act of man could be considered an ones, but would
like to see some halachic support for this, which it seems to me that
this particular Terumos Hadeshen does not provide (and neither does the
si'if in the Shulchan Aruch, as the acts of rivers and rain are clearly
acts of G-d).  Do you have another source where the act in question that
caused the ones was an act of man?  Could you ask the Rav you consulted?

> The clincher? The author chose this scenario based on a real 
> story: A chosson had hired a popular Jewish singer to sing at 
> his chasunah. At the chasunah, his father-in-law informed him 
> that either the singer goes, or he (the f-i-l-) goes.

Who poskened that the chosson does not have to pay?  (The issue is not
whether the chosson might not choose to ask him to sing, but whether the
the lack of appreciation of the f-i-l and therefore the chosson choosing
not to have him sing pater's paying).  This case in fact seems even
further from the river case than before).

RMSS further wrote:

> I don't think one can apply Ishto k'gufo here. We're dealing 
> with knowledge here, and regardless of what halachic 
> realities is created by this concept it does not create 
> knowledge of what the other spouse thinks.

Not actual knowledge, but deemed knowledge vis a vis the worker.

Let me give you a case closer to that of the Shulchan Aruch.  Let us say
that the property that needs watering is originally that of the baal
habayis's wife, not his, and because he has only recently married her
and taken over the responsibilities for the field, he does not know that
the river stops on a regular basis - but in fact his wife and her family
do, as they have had the property for generations (and let us say for
some reason the workers are workers who also do not know - let us say
they come from the husband's town not the wife's town). Are you saying
that because the knowledge resides in the wife and not the husband who
does the hiring, then the workers have to bear the loss?  

Ishto k'gufo appears to be used in two different contexts.  The first is
where the acts of the wife can be deemed the acts of the husband such as
doing smicha on his korbanos, or lighting his chanukah candles.  In such
cases, the husband may not even know that the acts are being done, but
he is deemed to have done them.  Similarly based on this principle, why
would the hiring of singer such as Chaim ben Zundel by a man's wife not
deemed to have been done by him himself?  Especially if it is an act
that we know he would have agreed to had he known (we know he was keen
on the songs, so there is no question of ganivas daas here).  The second
concept is in terms of eidus.  Now again, eidus is about knowledge, and
yet the fact that somebody is related to the wife's side is enough to
take their knowledge out of the equation and deem it to be as though it
was on the husband's side.   So on the contrary, I think that the
halacha regarding ishto k'gufo is all about deemed knowledge.

On the other hand, because this couple had just gotten married, one
might think that the application of this principle was unfair, although
see the discussion in Sanhedrin 24b regarding applying ishto k'gufo to
where the woman involved is an arusa.

But the key reason why I did not feel that the river case applied here
had to do not with the technical relationship between the husband and
wife, but with the knowledge advantage that the chossen had over the
singer - ie of the kind of thing the kala (or father in law) was likely
to do, not because of specific knowledge of a particular act.

The key distinctiom IMHO drawn repetedly in that si'if of the Shulchan
Aruch was whether there was a knowledge advantage of the baal habayis
over the worker.  If no, the worker bears the loss, if yes, the baal
habayis bears the loss. And the knowledge advantage of the owner over
the workers does not seem to me to need to be that great.  As I pointed
out, si'if 2 of the Shulchan Aruch there deals with a case where the
river breaks its banks and waters the field, and in that case, in
general, the baal habayis has to pay, as he has greater knowledge of the
precise location of the field than the workers and hence the likelyhood
of flooding. However since location does not change the likelyhood of
rain there is no knowledge advantage to the baal habayis.  And in the
case of the river, if it does have a tendency to stop, everybody in the
town will know that this river has a tendency to stop, the owner and the
workers, so there is no knowledge advantage and thus the workers took on
the job effectively knowing that the river had a tendency to do this,
and so its tendency is built into the contract.  And if it does not have
a tendency to stop, there is again no way the baal habayis could,
without nevuah, have ascertained that it would stop, ie no knowledge
advantage.  Whereas in the case of the singer, knowledge of the reaction
of the kala (in hiring another singer, or of the f-i-l) does not seem
like standard knowledge of which any reasonable worker should be aware,
and it is more reasonable to expect a chossen to know what his kala or
his father in law will do than a worker (and at least he has access to
her to ask), making it seem to me more like the river flooding its banks
case.  So, ir seems to me, the key question is not whether it is an
oneis or not, but whether the baal habayis has a knowledge advantage or
not.  And it seems to me here he does.

Shaabat Shalom


Go to top.

Message: 11
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 12:10:56 GMT
Re: [Avodah] baking matzot by a goy/katan

R' Eli Turkel wrote:
> I am currently learning shoneh halachot from RCK. He says
> that lechatchila even the water drawn for the matzot (mayim
> she-lanu) should be by an adult Jew, not a goy or a
> minor/chesh/shoteh. All melachot connected with the baking
> of the matzo after cutting the wheat should be done by an
> adult Jew. Again this is lechatchila.

(This post will focus on the use of the word "lechatchila" in 
reference to an adult Jew drawing the water.)

When I read these sort of comments, I can't help but suspect that 
words have been spoken with one meaning, and heard with a different 
meaning. Specifically, the way RET seems to have learned this sefer, 
he seems to understand that if the water was drawn by a non-Jew, then 
the matza is only "shmura b'dieved". I suspect that this is *not* 
what RCK meant when he wrote that sefer, and he merely meant that the 
ideal way of making matzos is for adult Jews to do all the steps, and 
that one should try to do so, not that there is any sort of p'gam in 
a matza which had some minor amount of non-Jewish involvement.

If I am wrong here (which is quite possible, given that I'm not 
hearing RCK directly, but several steps removed) then I apologize. 
But if I am correct, then it would have been better if he had been 
more explicit about what he meant.

This situation is similar to those who say that it is assur to get a 
haircut during sefira, which leads people to think that there is some 
sort of issur against getting haircuts during sefira. No, there is 
not. There is a *minhag* against such haircuts, and it is assur to 
violate such a *minhag*. It is a fine distinction, but a very real 
one (just as with the matzos).

Akiva Miller

Go to top.

Message: 12
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 15:03:46 +0200
[Avodah] risky professions

>  That is, working in construction
> on a skyscraper entails a risk of falling, but there is a
> constructive purpose and the risk incidental to it.

This makes sense to me, thanks. Now, here are a few more occupations,
where the risk is not as incidental as for the construction worker.
These examples can be used to help fine-tune these distinctions.

Namely: circus acrobat, test pilot, stunt driver. >

There is a teshuva from the Nodah BeYehuda about being a hunter.
The general answer is that for a profession one can take risks but not
for leisure activities. It is reported in the name of RHS that he
objected to skiing because of the risk. I doubt that Swiss poskim
would agree.

In terms of the hunting case the Nodah Beyehuda was not happy because
hunting is associated with Eisav.

Eli Turkel

Go to top.

Message: 13
From: "Samuel Groner" <samgroner@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 10:00:05 -0400
[Avodah] Machon Shilo Bet Din rules that ALL Jews in Israel

See http://www.machonshilo.org/

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL, March 20, 2007 (Nissan 1, 5767) -
"Beth HaWaadh, the beth din (religious court) of Machon Shilo, has
issued a religious ruling permitting all Jews in the Land of Israel to
consume Kitniyoth
(legumes) during the Pesah holiday. The signatories to this ruling
were Rav David Bar-Hayim, Rav Yehoshua
Buch, and Rav Chaim Wasserman, all of Jerusalem.

'The custom of refraining from eating Kitniyoth -- legumes such as
rice, lentils, beans etc. -- during the Pesah holiday has always been
a matter of debate' says Rav David Bar-Hayim, Head of Machon Shilo, a
Talmudic research institute, and president of the Beth HaWaadh
rabbinical court.

According to Rav Bar-Hayim, the custom grew up in some Jewish
communities during the Exile, but no one is quite sure how it began or
why. Some say it started in Medieval Europe as a response to sometimes
finding wheat grains in sacks of rice. This is a problem, as rice
cannot become Chametz (leavened) whereas wheat certainly can-and the
consumption of Chametz is
strictly forbidden during Pesah by the Torah. Others have suggested
that it was to avoid confusion with the
five grains that can become Chametz.

'This was a localized custom in parts of Germany, which later moved
eastwards to Poland and Russia with the waves of Jewish emigration',
states Rav Bar-Hayim.
'The explanations offered for the custom are unconvincing. You don't
find wheat in rice today. It was never accepted by Jews worldwide.
Whatever the
origin of the custom, Ashkenazi Jewish commentators have struggled to
find good reasons for the ban. Some authorities, such as Rabbenu
Yeruham, called
it a 'foolish custom'.'

Over time, more and more items were arbitrarily added to the list:
beans and peas, and more recently soya beans and even peanuts. Few
Ashkenazi Jews
today would eat peanuts or use peanut oil on Pesah, but as recently as
40 years ago peanuts were permitted by all Rabbinical authorities.
Often there were economic interests at work behind the scenes, pushing
for ever more stringent definitions of Kitniyoth, in order to create a
market for a particular product. Products that were previously kosher
were banned. Very expensive oils such as walnut oil replaced other
oils that were previously
acceptable and the focus of the holiday shifted from avoiding Chametz
to avoiding Kitniyoth.

'We learn from the Mishnah and the Talmud that customs are connected
to a particular place. When one moves permanently to another locality,
one is to adopt the local custom,' explains Rav Bar-Hayim. 'The custom
of abstaining from eating Kitniyoth during Pesah has never been the
prevailing practice among all Jews in Erets Yisrael, and is therefore
not binding upon Jews
living in Israel. A person may choose to continue adhering to his
custom, but no one has the right to
enforce his custom on others.'

According to the ruling, the variety of customs forbidding different
foods creates divisiveness that the Torah prohibits. 'The Torah
specifically instructs us not to act in a divisive fashion; the Jews
in a particular place should follow the same customs' says Rav
Bar-Hayim. 'This is the opinion of Rambam and other authorities who
state that we should not have
more than one beth din (religious court) or groups practicing
different customs in the same city. This leads to a lack of societal
cohesion. Today we see that this is all too true. We hope that this
ruling will serve as the
beginning of a process that will unite the Jewish People.'

Kitniyoth are a Small Part of a Larger Issue According to Rav
Bar-Hayim, this discussion is part of a larger issue on whether the
customs and
practices of the Exile (Diaspora) should be maintained when the Jewish
people return to their Land where other practices have been followed
or even mandated by the
Torah. 'Everyone talks about Kitniyoth, but no one talks about the
Korban Pesah, the Pascal Sacrifice,'
continues Rav Bar-Hayim. 'Today, as always, we are commanded to bring
a Korban Pesah, but most people are under the mistaken impression that
we cannot since we are ritually impure from contact with the dead.'

Rav Bar-Hayim cites the Mishna and the Rambam that state that if a
majority of the people is ritually unclean, the Passover sacrifice is
not postponed and is brought in a state of impurity.

'While we recognize that sacrifices cannot be reinstituted in a time
frame of days or weeks - for political, not Halachic, reasons - we
hope that this
psak halacha will cause a paradigm shift from 'small talk' about
Kitniyoth to confronting the big issues such as the Pesah sacrifice. I
am aware that some people, even some religious Jews, are uncomfortable
with the subject of animal sacrifice; this is something that we need
to discuss and internalize. The Pesah sacrifice was one of the annual
highlights of Jewish life in the Land of Israel during the First and
Second Commonwealths. The Jewish People has come home; we need to
start acting like it.'"

About Machon Shilo
Machon Shilo seeks to promote the study of the customs and practices
of our forefathers and Rabbis, who lived in Erets Yisrael. Machon
Shilo believes that while the Jewish People have physically returned
to their ancestral
homeland, Erets Yisrael, they have not yet returned to the Torah of
Erets Yisrael, only to the learning of Torah in Erets Yisrael. For
more information visit www.machonshilo. org. The full psak (in Hebrew)
can be
found at http://machonshilo.org/PDF/Machon_ Shilo_Pesaq_ Qitniyoth_ 2.pdf.

Does anyone here know more about this?  Have other rabbanim or poskim
responded yet?

Sammy Groner


Avodah mailing list

End of Avodah Digest, Vol 23, Issue 63

Send Avodah mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Avodah digest..."

< Previous Next >