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Volume 23: Number 78

Fri, 13 Apr 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 16:50:53 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Peanuts

Reb Harry Weiss wrote:
> Now days among Ashkenazim that is almost universal. ?When I was child I
> remember that on Pesach we always used Peanut oil. ?When is the last time
> you saw peanut oil under reliable US hashgacha?

Is it so obvious that a minhag develops so quickly, that you can still 
remember it being otherwise?

Arie Folger

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Message: 2
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 09:30:09 -0400
Re: [Avodah] R Asher Weiss

Me-original> If one of us and the gadol hador were on a desert island
and there 
> were only one kzayit of matzah available for pesach and it was our 
> property, Hashem would get more nachat ruach if we gave it to the 
> gadol hador to be mkayem the mitzvah (and we should act as such - 
> although iiuc we would not be compelled to)

R'DR-Why doesn't this fall under the general rubric of "hayyecha
kodmin"? Or "v'chi omrin l'adam hate bishvil sheyizkeh haveireicha?"


ME-I suppose one could argue that there is a mitzvah of kavod (IIRC
there is disagreement as to whether this is an unbounded definition or
only applies to specific categories of service) for your rebbe muvhak
and a gadol hador iirc according to some is everyone's rebbe muvhak and
you are giving up a mitzvah bein adam lmakom for one that has elements
of bein adam lchaveiro.


R'DE- This issue is discussed in detail in the Shaarei Tshuva 482:2 "The
Beis Yehuda has the case of two people who are in jail or in the desert
and they only have 1 kezayis of matzoh - who takes precedent? He
concludes that they should fight it out....
Me- I suppose one could argue this is in the case of everything else
being equal and R' AW posits it a case which is not so

R'DE-I asked Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach why it was necessary to fight
when it was hefker but it was permitted to give away the mitzva if you
own the matzoh. He replied that it was obvious. If it is hefker and you
let the other have it - you are mevazeh the mitzva. It shows you don't
care. But if it is yours and you want to help another do the mitzva by
your generosity there is no bizoi mitzva.

Me- I am not at the level of understanding R' SZA.  Does this imply I
should arm wrestle the gadol hador for the matzah and then give it to
him after I wrest it away?

Joel Rich
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Message: 3
From: mike38ct@aol.com
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 11:06:04 -0400
[Avodah] Brain death, RSZA

I am a member of the board of the HOD Society, and asked the founder and director of the organization, Robby Berman, to respond tou your recent post.  It appears below.
Michael Feldstein
Stamford, CT
Dear Shaya,
I apologize if you find the HOD Society website (www.hods.org) confusing. 
Dr. Steinberg published an article in ASSIA 1994, pg 53 that elaborates Rav Auerbach's position in great detail and every line of this article was approved by Rav Auerbach. The article will be up on our website database by the end of April. I hope this will give you the answers you are looking for.
Robby Berman
Founder & Director
HOD Society
AOL now offers free email to everyone.  Find out more about what's free from AOL at AOL.com.
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Message: 4
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 13:34:43 -0400
Re: [Avodah] More on Mitzvos and Iyun

T613K@aol.com wrote:
> RDE then wrote:
>     >>RMB's comments are obviously true to anyone who
>     has spent time in yeshiva. I am surprised that Rav Bulman's daughter
>     never heard her father make identical statements. <<
> >>>>>
> When RMB said that Torah learning "has no visible impact on the 
> middos" I thought he was referring to Torah leaders, poskim, rabbanim, 
> roshei yeshiva and 'gedolim.'  I thought he was making a subtly 
> denigrating comment about those known collectively as "the gedolim" 
> which is why I responded negatively.
> If he was saying that the average yeshiva bochur is not necessarily a 
> paragon of midos then he is correct.  And it is true that my father 
> bemoaned the lack of midos of too many yeshiva guys.

Your father did not limit his criticism to the lower levels. I remember 
once discussing with him the disparagement of the baale battim in 
yeshiva circles. He related the following. He was once visiting a well 
known businessman when their conversation was interrupted by a phone 
call. Rav Bulman heard the following. "Hello Rosh Yeshiva. ...What you 
want me to be the guest of honor at the yeshiva dinner again this year? 
But you promised me that when I was guest of honor recently you would 
not ask me for a long time! ...." The conversation continued and the 
businessman was getting more and more depressed until he final agreed. 
Rav Bulman's comment was that the businessman was not stupid and he knew 
exactly what the rosh yeshiva thought of him. He concluded that the 
laymen can not be treated with contempt by the rabbis without there 
being serious repercussions.

Daniel Eidensohn

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Message: 5
From: Yaakov Moser <ymoser@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 15:50:30 +0300
Re: [Avodah] R Asher Weiss

Daniel Eidensohn wrote:

> Yaakov Moser wrote:
>>> If one of us and the gadol hador were on a desert island and there were
>>> only one kzayit of matzah available for pesach and it was our property,
>>> Hashem would get more nachat ruach if we gave it to the gadol hador to
>>> be mkayem the mitzvah (and we should act as such - although iiuc we
>>> would not be compelled to)
>> This would seem to me to be a problem with "passing over Mitzvot" 
>> (Ein Me'avirin Al Hamitzvot), which is Mede'oraita, at least 
>> according to many (based on the Tosfot in Yoma 33a). We sometimes 
>> allow a person to delay a mitzvah if they are going to perform it in 
>> a more complete or beautiful manner later - but to give up a mitzvah 
>> so another person can keep it..? And who knows the reward for a 
>> Mitzvah - how can we say which is more important? In a case such as 
>> this I am sure we cannot judge what gives Nachat Ruach to Hashem.
>> This is a Mitzvah which a person has to keep for themselves - the 
>> person with the Matzah has the Mitzvah of eating the Matzah, and the 
>> Gadol HaDor is anus.
> This issue is discussed in detail in the Shaarei Tshuva 482:2 "The 
> Beis Yehuda has the case of two people who are in jail or in the 
> desert and they only have 1 kezayis of matzoh - who takes precedent? 
> He concludes that they should fight it out....The case is apparently 
> one where the matzoh is hefker since your needs take precedent over 
> that of others....We see also how Boaz manipulated the situation so he 
> could marry Ruth since he knew who her descendants would be.... And 
> even though it is prohibited to deceive people but that is in monetary 
> matters but regarding mitzvos even though one can not take with force 
> from someone who has it. But if as long as the other hasn't gotten the 
> mitzva it is like the desert which is hefker to all those who have the 
> commandment and want to perfect their soul. This is also what happened 
> with Yaakov and the right of the first born... However if the person 
> is persuaded to give that which he owns to another - there is no 
> problem with this."
> I asked Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach why it was necessary to fight when 
> it was hefker but it was permitted to give away the mitzva if you own 
> the matzoh. He replied that it was obvious. If it is hefker and you 
> let the other have it - you are mevazeh the mitzva. It shows you don't 
> care. But if it is yours and you want to help another do the mitzva by 
> your generosity there is no bizoi mitzva.
> Daniel Eidensohn
I think that your ellipses (...) mislead as to the meaning of the 
passage. I will endeavour to quote more fully (albeit freely):

However if the Matzah belonged to both of them in partnership, and one 
grabbed from the other, then this is a stolen Matzah and is worthless. 
However, even according to the opinion that one gets a partial Mitzvah 
with less than the full amount, according to which we could say that it 
is better that each have a partial mitzvah rather than giving to the 
other and having no mitzvah - nevertheless it appears better that they 
should cast lots and one should have the entire Matzah (and mitzvah) and 
the other will have the mitzvah of allowing the mitzvah to be properly 
fulfilled (like Yisachar and Zevulun). It is clear that the reward of 
allowing a full mitzvah is greater than the reward for the fulfillment 
of a partial mitzvah. This is not like giving up on the mitzvah as it is 
done by lots - and [here is the quote you brought] even  'if the person 
is persuaded to voluntarily [ie without casting lots] give that which he 
owns to another - there is no problem with this'.

Thus it is clear that the case being discussed here is where each had a 
half matzah. However, to give up a full mitzvah for another would seem 
to be a problem, imho.

There is discussion there of covering the blood and Milah - but these 
are Mitzvot that can be done by a Shaliach - and not like eating Matzah 
which he himself has to do.

Shabbat Shalom


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Message: 6
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 12:08:32 -0400
Re: [Avodah] 10 pieces of Chometz

In Avodah Digest V23#77, RnTK replied to me:
>> OK, so let's say the reason for this minhag isn't related to the 
chashash of a b'rachah l'vatalah. <<
> But it is.  Why waste time thinking about a counterfactual hypothesis? <
Forgive me for not quoting RAM's Avodah Digest V23#75 words, i.e. "My 
practice is to put out the ten pieces, but not because of any sort of 
chashash regarding the bracha," when responding to him and you (in the 
post which entered Avodah Digest V23#76) with a "fine, let's take that as 
a 'given'" theoretical position.  Those who are blinded by "but the reason 
*is* to prevent a b'rachah l'vatalah!" from understanding what I 
subsequently wrote in that response may want to ignore the remainder of 
this post ;-), but I would ask them to, again, review the sources noted in 
http://www.torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5758/pesach.html and also to 
consider that the parameters of the custom (specifically 10 pieces, etc.) 
strongly imply that they may be missing the forest for the tree.

Later in Avodah Digest V23#76, RMK replied to me:
>> Can someone tell me re what other mitzvah we're chosheish that the 
person performing the mitzvah may not perform it as well as possible, such 
that we challenge him by deliberately making it harder and/or more 
involved? IMHO, this smacks of lifnei eeveir, even if the person hiding 
the pieces is 101% sure that s/he will be able to find any which the 
searcher cannot find. (NB: I'm merely trying to understand this minhag, 
not to question the sincerity or commitment of its practicioners.) Thanks. 
> The purpose is not to make the mitzvah harder and more involved, but 
make it
more effective.  As RAM wrote, it does actually make you search more 
which is the whole point of bedikas chametz.  You should be
looking that thoroughly in any case.  The 10 pieces is just an extra 
incentive to make sure. <
At the least, RMK is begging my question, so I'll rephrase it in terms of 
his response.  Re what other mitzvah incumbent upon an individual is there 
a custom for someone else to provide extra incentive in an effort to force 
said individual to perform the mitzva properly?

So far, I can think of two possible answers.  The first one is based on 
private conversations I've had with RAM, while the other one just popped 
(no pun intended :-)) into my head while reading RaMBaM Hilchos Chameitz 
uMatzah 2.
(1) While this mitzvah of "tashbisu" is unquestionably not a communal 
mitzvah, it's the type of individual-level mitzvah which actually is 
incumbent upon a ba'al habayis, so "extra incentive" provided by one's 
bayis (i.e. unlike by the case of the wedding singer, we really have here 
a case of ishto k'gufo :-)) is not being provided by an outsider but 
rather by the entity upon whom the proper performance of the mitzvah 
devolves.  As such, just as it would be OK if the bodeiq himself had 
previously hid some chameitz in an effort to ensure that he properly 
performed the mitzvah, so too it's OK if his wife/family hide some 
chameitz ahead of the z'man b'diqah, and this activity doesn't smack of 
"lifnei eeveir" because LI doesn't apply to what one's bayis does to 
oneself any more than it applies to what an individual does to himself. 
(That said, part of me still would like to see the minhag formulated more 
in terms of "if you think you need to do this, you may, and there is no 
concern that, e.g., you are improperly adding to what CHaZaL formulated" 
rather than "this is the way to do a b'diqah, and while it may not rise to 
the level of y'hareig v'al ya'avor, anything less is not a proper b'diqah"
(2) The language of RaMBaM Hilchos Chameitz uMatzah 2:7 implies that the 
custom of hiding 10 pieces is part&parcel of the mitzvah and not some 
external aspect.

A guten Shabbes/Shabbas Shalom and all the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ, USA
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Message: 7
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 17:19:57 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Love of Israel

RMB writes:

> When a malekh tells you to violate an asei de'Oraisa, 
> wouldn't divrei haRav vedivrei hatalmid tell you to ignore 
> the king? Or is that only where there the violation is of a lav?
> Because if it includes a command to violate an asei... 
> Listening to the king would be expressing kavod, no? So if 
> kavod hamelekh is grounds for violating issurim, then when 
> would divrei haRav ever apply to a melekh?

I think that the only way to reconcile the sources is to say that
listening to a king is not in fact an aspect of the halachic form of
kavod.  Or at least, listening to him might be, but following what he
says if it violates halacha is not.  After all, Eliyahu HaNavi, from
whom we learn the dinim of showing kavod to a melech, spent quite a bit
of time telling Achav off and not doing what Achav wished (what is
running away called?).  So certainly if you take the view that one is
required to show kavod to a melech rasha ie that the kavod that Eliyahu
showed was not a once off incident, then this would seem to follow.

And I think it can be explained very logically - because if something is
wrong, doing what the king says only compounds the wrong and hence
brings the king into greater ultimate disrespect, ie it is at root not
real kavod. But doing something (like dressing in a certain way or
speaking in a respectful way or going to greet him or run before him)
does demonstrate respect and increases the respect that others will have
of him.  And hence it is these kinds of things that seem to be cited as
(possibly) permissible to do even where it involves some sort of
violation of the Torah (such as shaving on Rosh Hashana, going on a boat
to greet him beyond the techum even when one holds that the techum is

> Tir'u baTov!
> -mi

Shabbat Shalom


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Message: 8
From: torahmike@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 11:43:34 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Electricity on Shabbos

R' MB:
>>Does the above mean that the CI was only talking about AC appliances? That
>>battery powered devices, with no cibur laqarqa wouldn't be boneh? In which
>>case, how would a battery powered calculator (no filaments, no chibur
>>can't be considered a keli zemer) wouldn't be a problem?
        The Chazon Ish states that he is even talking about portable
devices. See his replies
to RSZA, printed in Michas Shlomo, where he says that electricity is
considered 'binyan gamor,'
and therefore is prohibited even in keilim, where we would otherwise say ain
binyan bekeilim.

Mike Wiesenberg
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Message: 9
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 17:41:55 +0100
[Avodah] not working on chol hamoed

RET writes:
> A cousin of mine works in an Israeli hospital dealing with 
> insurance companies. She was told that if she doesnt come in 
> on chol hamoed she would be greatly penalized. They asked a 
> posek who said she should show up for work but not do 
> anything (unless it was pikuach nefesh). I was greatly 
> disturbed by this psak. It seems the posek is more worried 
> about possible work on chol hamoed then choshen mishpat 
> issues of getting paid but refusing to work.

Hold on a minute, let us step back a bit.

Let us say that the discussion was not about chol hamoed but about
shabbas.  Ie that the cousin was told that if she did not come in on
shabbas she would be greatly penalized.  And let us say that the cousin
could come in to work without doing any melacha  even on a d'rabbanan
level (eg she could walk etc etc).  Could you understand a psak that
said in that case, the cousin could go into work (even though it was not
very shabbasdik) - yes there might be uvda d'chol issues, but depending
on the level of penalty one could understand some leniency.  That said,
however, obviously when at work she could not do anything that amounted
to a melacha, even d'rabbanan, and hence she would be most likely
sitting around and not working.  And that since the employer should
never have put her in the position he put her in, and certainly should
not be entitled to any hana'ah from her work, there is no issue of
choshen mishpat involved in her getting paid and refusing to work.

I think you can see where I am going.  If you hold that it is assur to
work on chol hamoed, and the employer (a Jew noch) is improperly trying
to get her to be over on an issur - why is there a choshen mishpat
problem about her failing to give him a proper day's work.  He is not
entitled to her work on that day, and ought to be giving her a holiday,
in the same way as an employer is required to allow a Jew to observe
shabbas (despite losing a seventh of the possible working week to
shabbas) and should not be penalizing the Jew for observing shabbas.  I
agree there might issues about the way it looks, especially considering
we are presumably dealing with the non observant population who may not
understand the niceties of halacha, but m'ikar hadin?

Of course this presupposes a strong view on the issur of working on chol
hamoed.  But if there was no real necessity for her to do any work that
day due to some sort of davar ha'aved, it is hard to see on what basis,
halachically, her employer should be requiring her to come in.  Now that
he is by threatening a penalty, it becomes a davar ha'aved for her not
to come in, so she can, but why further than that?  Why should he make a
financial profit from his issur?

> -- 
> Eli Turkel

Shabbat Shalom



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