Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 71

Sun, 01 Apr 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Moshe Yehuda Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 22:38:54 -0400
Re: [Avodah] More on Mitzvos and Iyun

R' MB:
*Lomdus is of little practical value,

I would add: ...except if you are already a Baki.


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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 22:59:36 -0400
Re: [Avodah] More on Mitzvos and Iyun

On Thu, Mar 29, 2007 at 10:38:54PM -0400, Moshe Yehuda Gluck wrote:
: R' MB:
:* Lomdus is of little practical value,

: I would add: ...except if you are already a Baki.

How is it of /practical/ value even to a baqi? Lomdus is Torah lishmah,
knowledge for the sake of knowing Retzon haBorei. It has no applicability,
in fact I argued it can get in the way of being able to decide how to
apply the din. It has no visible impact on the middos amd does little
for deveiqus. (In fact, the Besh"t recommended deveiqus breaks.)

So in what knowable way does deep be'iyun refine and ennoble the
student? And if it's in a mystical way, perhaps it helps the lesser
student in the same metarational way?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When you come to a place of darkness,
micha@aishdas.org        you don't chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org   You light a candle.
Fax: (270) 514-1507        - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Message: 3
From: "Moshe Yehuda Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 23:30:52 -0400
Re: [Avodah] More on Mitzvos and Iyun

*On Thu, Mar 29, 2007 at 10:38:54PM -0400, Moshe Yehuda Gluck wrote:
*: R' MB:
*:* Lomdus is of little practical value,
*: I would add: ...except if you are already a Baki.
R' MB:
*How is it of /practical/ value even to a baqi? Lomdus is Torah lishmah,
*knowledge for the sake of knowing Retzon haBorei. It has no applicability,
*in fact I argued it can get in the way of being able to decide how to
*apply the din. It has no visible impact on the middos amd does little
*for deveiqus. (In fact, the Besh"t recommended deveiqus breaks.)
*So in what knowable way does deep be'iyun refine and ennoble the
*student? And if it's in a mystical way, perhaps it helps the lesser
*student in the same metarational way?

I'm not sure that learning B'iyun refines or ennobles the student any more
than learning any other part of the Torah does or does not. I was responding
to your statement that it has little practical value, unless one is a
Poseik. I think it does have practical value, even for a non-Poseik, but
only for someone who is a Baki. That said, I'm not sure your Lomdus and my
Lomdus are the same things - you wrote that Lomdus is "Torah lishmah,
knowledge for the sake of knowing Retzon haBorei." My Lomdus is
understanding the intent and the rationale of the subject, to be able to
extrapolate, compare and contrast one inyan with another (even if they are
superficially non-related), and to be able to better understand both Inyanim
better because of it. The problem most neophytes (V'gam Ani B'socham) have
with this is that they either think they are doing this correctly,
misleading themselves; or they come up with Sevaros or Chillukim which
(although they don't know it) are contradicted somewhere else; or, they
don't have a way of determining whether what they are saying is correct.
That's why I said that the practical value Lomdus has is limited to a Baki,
who isn't plagued by these three issues.

This is a great place to post a story that I heard - I posted it once a long
time ago, and I wasn't able to confirm if it is, indeed, a true story. As
with all my IIRC stories, all details are subject to revision. :-)

Someone once suggested a Shidduch between the daughter of a prominent Talmid
Chochom and one of R' Chaim Brisker's sons. The prospective Mechutan visited
Brisk, and met with R' Chaim to discuss the matter. He said, "Nu, tell me
about your son." R' Chaim answered, "He knows Shas with Rashi." The Talmid
Chacham said, "Shas with Rashi? Dontcha know that this is Brisk? I thought
you would tell me he's a Lamdan, or that he can say a good Sevara. Why are
you praising him that he knows Shas with Rashi?" R' Chaim said, "Do you
think I let someone say a Sevara before he knows Shas and Rashi?!" and
refused to consider this particular Shidduch further.

KT and CKVS,

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Message: 4
From: "Marty Bluke" <marty.bluke@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 23:41:15 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Love of Israel

On 3/29/07, Chana Luntz <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk> wrote:
> Actually, I think there were two different aspects of malchus and kavod
> under discussion.  The first was whether there was a requirement to give
> kavod in circumstances where the melech was not from beis David, and
> even if you take the Satmer Rebbe's point of view, it would still seem
> that so long as the person is righteous, he would agree that the
> technical requirements of being a melech from beis David are not
> required.  I agree that the second aspect - ie are you required to give
> kavod to a king who is a rasha, cannot be proven from Achav if Achav is
> considered to be a tzadik at the time that Eliyahu haNavi honoured him.
> How does the Satmer Rebbe deal with with the issues raised above (ie the
> gemora regarding teshuva of an idolator and the Mishna regarding Achav's
> portion in the world to come)?
As I mentioned, this is not the Satmar Rebbe's chiddush, he is quoting
earlier sources, I believe the Ralbag. I don't know if Achav would be
considered a tzaddik, it may be that he was just not considered a

You are right that the Satmar Rebbe would agree that someone not from
Beis David who is a tzaddik would get kavod, but none of the leaders
of the Israeli government qualify as tzadikim lkulei alma.

He points out that this is the only time that we see that Eliyahu gave
Achav kavod which would seem to support his position.

I am away already for Pesach and don't have my sefarim etc. so it will
be hard for me to look up the exact sources of the Satmar Rebbe's

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Message: 5
From: Akiva Atwood <atwood@netvision.net.il>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 08:40:17 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Marijuana is kitniyos?

> No one eats hemp seeds.

But they DO use Hemp OIL -- it's sold in health food stores,



So it should be no different than cotton seed oil in Halacha.

> That a derivative is made from the oil extract is not kiniyot 
> but "mei kitniyot". And I doubt this is even "mei kitniyot" 
> since the THC (active ingredient in marijuana)  from hemp 
> must be extracted by complex chemical means

It's not exactly rocket science -- it was routinely being done by high
school students in my home town in the early 70s.


There are two kinds of speeches and two kinds of silences. Speech is either
truth or a falsification, and silence is either fruition or heedlessness. If
one speaks the truth, his words are better than his silence, but he who
invents falsifications, his silence is better than his speech.

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Message: 6
From: Yaakov Moser <ymoser@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 08:32:20 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Halachic who is right from "The Lost Scotch"

> On Sun, March 25, 2007 4:33 pm, Yaakov Moser wrote:
> : Can we assume that usually Halacha, at least in realms of Hoshen
> : Mishpat, is close to what we feel is morally correct and it is only this
> : case which is out of line, or are there plenty of other examples of such
> : a dissonance? ....
> I was asked a variant of this theme on scjm, so I started thinking about the
> question already.
> "Ve'asisa hatov vehayashar" implied that someone has a concept of tov and
> yashar that is not spelled our in specific halakhos. Where else are we
> supposed to get these notions from? It would seem to argue for an inherent
> morality that is usable to define a chiyuv de'Oraisa.
> ...
> But WRT bein adam lachaveiro, you would think that there are many more cases
> where we could map from the underlying and intuitive rule to specific dinim.
> Minus those BALC which depend on your impact to his spiritual state in some
> way neither of you understand. But neziqin, choshein mishpat... I would think
> that instinctive assessment of a well-thought-out understanding of the
> metzi'us ought to be the same as din in the majority of cases.
> Tir'u baTov!
> -mi
For the benefit of continuing this debate (and the one concerning YCT and Yated that is happening concurrently), I have reread Rav Aharon Lichtenstein's article "Does Judaism recognise an ethic independent of Halacha?".

RAL's conclusion there is that there is "din" which presents case law, and in addition to that there is "Lifnim MeShurat HaDin" which is a further Halachic obligation where din is insufficient in and of itself. Din creates law which is applicable in all circumstances, irrespective of the nature, positions and status of the Baalei Din. However, there are times when this is insufficient - either due to the to lack of clear din, or because there seems to be a moral problem with the din. In such a case "lifnim meshurat hadin" becomes operative.

This is based on a comment of the Ravya regarding returning lost property even after the owner despaired of it. There is no  "din" requirement to do so, but there is a requirement of "lifnim meshurat hadin". The Ravya noted that this is the case because it may be that the finder is poor and the loser wealthy. "lifnim meshurat hadin" gives a latitude that is unavailable under rules of "din".

[For further elucidation, I refer everyone to the article itself. RAL notes that we need to be very careful with our terminology - "halakha" with a small h is equivalent to din, while "Halakha" as a complete system includes also "lifnim meshurat hadin" requirements.]

[For clarification - to here was my understanding of RAL, now it's my continuation]

In most cases, I too would expect that "din" reflect our basic "moral sense" regarding the case - shorn of any particulars regarding the nature of the Baalei Din. Thus in the case of returning lost property, the rule itself makes sense, until you throw in the rich man/poor man conundrum. 

I would agree that this seems to be the upshot of Hillel's rule - referring to BALC only, not WRT to rules of BALM.

However, in the case of the Poalim, I find the basic law to be problematic. Whose fault is it that the river dried up (and assuming no difference in knowledge)? In such a case, I would say (following Hillel?) - split the difference 50:50. From here you can add extra-halachic (but still inner-Halachic) measures of "Lifnim meshurat hadin", if the workers are poor and the owner wealthy (or vice versa). [The wedding singer story plays off on several of these points]. 

The basic understanding of the rule seems to be that this was a force majeure, an act of God, and whoever suffered from it suffered. Is this consistent with Hillel?

Jason Moser

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Message: 7
From: "David E Cohen" <ddcohen@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 14:41:13 +0300
Re: [Avodah] More on Mitzvos and Iyun

R' Micha Berger wrote:
> How does knowing a Brisker chaqirah make me a better human being?

...and then wrote:
> Brisker lomdus is not known for producing poseqim; it tends to
> produce people who can see every shitah rather than being able to
> choose one.

I believe that RMB has inadvertently answered his own question.  Being able
to see "both sides of the story," pinpointing and carefully analyzing every
assumption that is behind a position, and being able to recognize that
somebody whose position is ostensibly clearly "wrong" may be working with an
entirely different conceptual framework, are all qualities that can serve
one well even outside the beis medrash, and make one a better human being.


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Message: 8
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 14:22:02 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Love of Israe

R'nCL wrote:
> How does the Satmer Rebbe deal with with the issues raised above (ie the
> gemora regarding teshuva of an idolator and the Mishna regarding Achav's
> portion in the world to come)?

Teiku? ;-) (Eliahu will figure out how to answer this difficulty about the man 
he honoured)

Seriously, that gemara need not be absolute, as per the story pof Rabbi Elazar 
ben Durdia (TB AZ 17a). Evn though he was no longer eligible for teshuvah, 
his sincere teshuvah was accepted and he was upgraded to be called "Rabbi", 
to boot.
Arie Folger

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Message: 9
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 14:41:20 +0200
Re: [Avodah] More on Mitzvos and Iyun

RSMashbaum wrote:
> I think that the recent spirited discussion of a the halachic implications
> of hiring a worker whose services are ultimately not needed very nicely
> illustrates an idea I have advanced before: a shiur based on a series of
> "court cases" can prove interesting to many otherwise unmotivated high
> school students.

I have a friend who opened a program for chassidische yeshivah drop outs in 
Israel that does exactly that, with one more exciting feature: The cases are 
real cases. They are essentially playing lawyer clerk.

However, while that will turn on students, it won't give them solid knowledge 
they can refer back to. They won't have acquired first hand knowledge of 
primary text (Talmud).

So, IMO, such a curriculum would be great when (a) the students already know 
somewhat how to learn (reasonably good reading skills in Rabbinic Hebrew), 
(b) this is meant to enhance and perhaps preface their classical learning, 
not supplant it.

Good Shabbos,
Arie Folger

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Message: 10
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 09:29:39 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Ikarim Redux

RMS wrote in part:

the  incorporation of piyutim into the siddur was never  a halachic   
process  - it was far more minhag..

However, you conflate two  separate issues.  Do the 13 ikkarim  
summarize in some sense  important Jewish ideas - yes.  Saying them in  
yigdal is a way  of stating them.  Does that mean that they have  
halachic  status, that not believing them  has halachic consequences?    
That is quite a leap - and would need much further proof.....

Do  the ideas of any piyut incorporated into a standard siddur or   
machzor now have legal status that rejecting them is now  problematic

If the above is true, please explain Ramban's ruling that the recitation of  
Krias Shma is a rabbinic mitzvah while the recitation of Emes vYatziv is a 
Torah  mitzvah. Please explain the Nussach HaBrachos of any Birkas HaMitzvah or 
the  Mussaf of any YT, especially RH and YK. Malchuyos, Zicronos and Shofaros 
are  hardly just "ideas or any piyut incorporated into a standard Siddur or 
Machzor."  They represent statements of faith.
Steve Brizel
_Zeliglaw@aol.com_ (mailto:Zeliglaw@aol.com) 

************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com.
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Message: 11
From: Sterling Touch <sterlingtouch@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 07:33:43 -0700 (PDT)
[Avodah] Chatziphah Notzach Levisha

Is anybody familiar with the term *Chatziphah Notzach
I heard that the Ramban in Parshas Bo uses it in
regards to Tefillah - something to the effect that we
could [or should] have some sort of Chutzpah when we
daven for our personal requests.
Anyone know the origin and what it really means?
Chag Kosher VeSameach
Jeff Kaufman

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Message: 12
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 13:03:20 -0700
Re: [Avodah] Retzei

On Thu, 29 Mar 2007 11:09:11 -0400 (EDT), "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com> wrote:
> Which is nice, but wrong, since the author of the comment didn't have
> the manuscript evidence from the Geniza at his disposal.  It's an ongoing
> debate, whether the AKG gave us the form (18/19 blessings) alone, or also
> the content (text) of the tefillot.

I do not believe this is true of Retzei, which was coined for the accompanying the
Avodah, not (only / originally) for the Amidah.

> In short, what we use is the Bavli version.  The Eretz Yisrael version,
> part of which survives in our Duchenen nusach, didn't have "v'ishei
> yisrael."...

IOW, in our version they inserted "vehasheiv", and hijacked "ve'ishei Yisrael",
which preserves all of AKG's text, but creates the grammatical dilemma before
us. In EY, they *replaced* the request that Hashem accept ishei Yisrael with
a request for its restoration (vehasheiv es ha'avodah). Smoother but less

A machloqes about the nature of the emendation.


Micha Berger             Mussar is like oil put in water,
micha@aishdas.org        eventually it will rise to the top.
http://www.aishdas.org                    - Rabbi Israel Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507      

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Message: 13
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2007 02:32:12 -0400
[Avodah] "Bar'chuni l'shalom" (was "Re: ikkarim redux"); Re:

In Avodah Digest V23#69, Micha conversed rhetorically:
> Don't you say "Borchuni leshalom mal'akhei hashalom"?
(As a point of fact, I don't....) <
Perhaps it would settle Micha's mind to consider "Bar'chuni" (tangentially,
not "Borchuni": I think it's a qamatz gadol and a sh'va na', and since
Micha transliterated the 4th word's qamatz gadol as "a," seemed like he
considered it a QQ) a request for the fulfillment of RYbY's ma'amar in BT
Shabbos (QG ;-)) 119b re the "good" malach.  If anything, as I think we've
discussed before, it's "*mi*Melech" which is troublesome, and I instead say
"Melech" after I come home from shul.

P.S. Speaking of BT Shabbos 119b, I was waiting for someone to note the
opinion of Reish Laqish (saying "Amein" with all one's strength) in
response to the RAYK-related article I asked RYL to post (thread "Amen").
Since no one did, now's as good a time as any :-).  That said, (a) it's
apparently not l'halacha; and (b) perhaps one can be m'chaleiq even in re
to the ma'amar of RYbL (which *is* l'halacha, e.g. SA OC 56:1) between
saying "amein" (which, as per RAYK, should be in consonance with the sayer
of Qaddish) and saying "y'hei Shmeih rabba m'varach" (which should be with
all one's strength), especially as the g'mara brings a pasuq which
seemingly relates only to the "m'varach" component.

Chag Sameach and all the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager
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Message: 14
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2007 06:32:27 -0400
[Avodah] Community property (was: Halachic who is right)

Chana Luntz wrote:

> Note that, in a similar vein, if Devorah is indeed the one paying for
> Chaim ben Zundel, then, after the marriage has occurred, unless they
> have stipulated differently from most couples, in fact she is likely to
> end up paying Chaim ben Zundel with money that is legally Yehoshua's.
> Now if he is not deemed to have consented, then arguably the money she
> is using to pay Chaim ben Zundel can be considered stolen money (this is
> why baalei tzedaka are supposed to be careful about only taking a small
> amount from a married woman, because a man is deemed to consent to his
> wife giving small amounts of tzedaka, but they cannot know about and may
> not necessarily consent to larger amounts).

I wonder about this.  This was the din in the times of the gemara, when
the husband owned all of his earnings, and merely had an obligation to
provide his wife with her needs, according to their station in life.
But nowadays, at least at the Ashkenazi weddings which I have seen, there
is a shtar tena'im, which stipulates that "veyishletun benichsehon shaveh
beshaveh" -- they will control their property equally.  Does this not
change the din you are quoting?  If all the combined assets of the couple
are community property, then she has as much right as he does to give
tzedakah, and she has as much right to buy him a present as he does to
buy her one.

OTOH, as I have cynically noted at many a wedding, the tena'im are
signed by, and purport to obligate, not the chatan and kallah but
their fathers.  The fathers agree that their children will marry
at a date and place to be determined, and what each will provide for
the couple.  The couple themselves don't promise anything, and are
surely not bound by their fathers' promises.  At the time this form
was originally written, the custom was for tena'im to be agreed on
by the fathers when the couple were still minors, often 2 or 3 years
old, and unable to accept any obligations; when they were ready to
get married they were by definition adults, and had every right to
refuse the shidduch.  By the same token, just because the fathers
agree that all the couple's property should be controlled by both
of them equally, that doesn't obligate the spouse who earns most of
the money to agree to this.

OTGH, if they are aware of the tenai at the time that they go to the
chupah (which they must be, since nowadays it is signed and read
just a few minutes earlier), and they don't explicitly renounce
it, then they can be assumed to have agreed to it, just as they have
obviously agreed to to go along with the shidduch itself.  So we're
back to my theory that the din you have quoted does not apply nowadays,
at least to those couples at whose wedding these tena'im were made.

There there is dina demalchuta, which differs from jurisdiction to
jurisdiction.  Perhaps, just as "kol dimekadesh ada'ata derabbanan
mekadesh", so also everybody who gets married assumes that the actual
way their financial arrangements will work will be in accord with the
local law, and therefore everyone can be presumed to have agreed to
this unless they explicitly say otherwise.

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                       	                          - Clarence Thomas


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