Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 111

Tue, 15 May 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 17:16:52 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Torah Study vs. other contributions to soCIETY

>From: David Riceman <driceman@att.net>
>Subject: Re: [Avodah] Torah Study vs. other contributions to soCIETY
>Samuel Svarc wrote:
>> <me>
>>>  see Tshuvoth HaRama #7.
>> <RMSS>
>> Um, I looked at it, and it discusses if it's "prohibited". I fail to see
>> you keep on circling back to this point that wasn't in our discussion.
>The purported prohibition it discusses is the permissibility of studying
>Greek philosophy, not of spending time away from Torah.  The Rama told his
>cousin the Maharshal that he spent some of his time studying philosophy,
>even though ikkar zman limudo was halacha, and the Maharshal called him on
>the substance of what he studied, but neither of them thought that it was
>inappropriate for the future gadol hador to spend time away from Torah.
>According to you both of them should have agreed that this was
>inappropriate behavior.

No one thinks learning subjects that will help you in Torah is prohibited.
Let me quote b'shem the Gra, " The Vilna Gaon is quoted by Rabbi Boruch
Schick in his introduction to his translation of Euclid's Geometry, as
When I was in the illustrious city of Vilna in the presence of the Rav, the
light, the great Gaon, my master and teacher, the light of the eyes of the
exile, the renowned pious one [may HaShem protect and save him] Rav Eliyahu,
in the month of Teves 5538 [January 1778], I heard from his holy mouth that
according to what a person is lacking in knowledge of the ther wisdoms,
correspondingly he will be lacking one hundred portions in the wisdom of the
Torah, because the Torah and the other wisdoms are inextricably linked
together" (Translation courtesy of RYL). So it's no chiddush that this
doesn't fall under the original discussion, as it was clearly meant to
further Torah (in fact, the Rama asserts that he got his knowledge out of
seforim written by gedolie Torah). This is far removed from training for
Zaka. The only relevance this teshuvah has, is to show that learning such
subjects is not prohibited, something, as been pointed out now quite a few
times, was not in our discussion.


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Message: 2
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 23:42:31 +0100
Re: [Avodah] chumrot of sefardim

RLPhM wrote:

> Either (you assume) the din is this wine won't do. In that 
> case, the Ashkenazzi isn't youtze either.
> Or (you assume) the din allows it, only a regional chumre or 
> otherwise minnek says not to. In that case the 
> Seforaddi/Mizrahi is youtze, too, at least bedieved. Even 
> lechatchile, there are aspects like honouring another in 
> general and a host in particular that might override menogem 
> and chumres.
> Or you have a sofek what the din is, then it depends on the 
> exact details and the Rules of the Art of Sfeikes, but 
> there's certainly no difference in din for Jews whose 
> ancestors happened to live in Spain and Iraq vs Germany, is there?

It is more complicated than that.  Basically there is are concepts in
halacha that even if you hold one way in l'chatchila circumstances -
l'din, if there are other poskim who hold differently, you can rely on
those other opinions (even if it is a yachid v'rabim type debate) in
sha'a hadachak type situations).  The idea is that if you have a vadai
machlokus haposkim, that is a form of safek d'rabbanan, on which you can
rule l'kula if you have extenuating circumstances.  Now if your
ancestors happened to live in Spain or Iraq, then you hold, l'din, like
the Shulchan Aruch against the Rema and if your ancestors happened to
live in Germany or Lithuania, you hold l'din like the Rema rather than
the Shulchan Aruch.  BUT there are circumstances where a posek may allow
you to hold like the other, usually more lenient shita, if there is
sufficient rationale to do so. See what I say below regarding hana'ah on

> LPhM

And RMK writes: 

> You are discussing a few different cases here, and I think it 
> is worthwhile to discuss each of these issues individually, 
> as the issues are not identical. 


 I don't think there is any 
> blanket rule of "good for you, good for me". (Except perhaps 
> for hechsherim :-), v'hameivin yavin.)
> 1) Chazara- in most (all?) cases, chazara, especially if done 
> by another person, does not make food assur to eat. (ie, even 
> w/o the factor of "muttar for them" to do, the food is 
> probably not assur for you to eat.)

Is this true?  I note that several people have quoted that in general
being over on an an issur d'rabbanan does not create a hana'ah problem
vis a vis shabbas (actually, while this is clearly the Ashkenazi psak,
it is not so clear that the Shulchan Aruch agreed, although I note that
the Yalkut Yosef brings this psak as the primary din and only notes that
the Shulchan Aruch might not agree in footnote 66 of his chapter on
Orech Chaim siman 318) but I thought that chazara/hatmana were different
(ie as set out in Shulchan Aruch Siman 253 si'if 1 where the food is
specifically said to be assur) rather than based on the general
principle in siman 318 (and certainly the Yalkult Yosef says explicitly
that this is an exception to the rule that d'rabbanan foods are not
assur in footnote 76 of his chapter or hana'a midvar haissur

I am also not sure that the problems of chazara are necessarily to be
characterised always as a d'rabbanan.  To take the extreme example,
there are Sephardim (although not the majority as the Shulchan Aruch
does not hold this way) who hold that ain bishel acher bishel for a
d'var lach.  If you hold yesh bishul achar bishul for a d'var lach, my
understanding is that you hold that it is bishul d'orisa.  If you eat at
the home of somebody who hold ain bishul achar bishul in a d'var lach,
can you eat the soup they just warmed up for you?

My understanding of why this is permitted (and certainly why the Yalkut
Yosef permits it) is based on a Pri Megadim (siman 118 si'if katan 10)
which states (and I confess I am quoting the Yalkut Yosef's citation
here) that wherever there is a machklokus haposkim if there is an issur
in relation to a matter or not, b'dieved one can be makil and have
hana'ah from that melacha on shabbas since the issur hana'a in a ma'aseh
on shabbas is only a knas d'rabbanan and therefore since there is a
sfaka drabanan [ie a safek as to how to posken] we go l'kula.  And the
Yalkut Yosef further brings the Magen Avraham (siman 258 si'if katan 11)
and the Mishna Brura siman 318 si'if katan 2)  and 323 (si'if katan 11).

Now it seems clear from the examples brought in the Mishna Brura (and
from the Yalkut Yosef) that this is even if the person did the act
bmezid and certainly if done in ignorance (eg if an Ashkenazi person
were to warm up soup, it would seem that if it was put in front of you
you could eat it, because there are poskim who permit it).  But it is
also phrased as being bideved (which to my mind means that the soup is
already warm and the question is, do you eat it).  What about accepting
an invitation in advance (in circumstances where it is not as though you
are a stranger in town with nowhere else to go) - meaning that you know
that the person is going to cook more food for you erev shabbas, and
then, if they are doing certain acts of chazara that you regard as
impermissible, you know that they will do those for you.  Can that
really be described as bideved?  After all, you are virtually
authorising him to do it on your behalf.  An another example of this is
when others in my husband's yeshiva went to find him (as the token
Sephardi) to get him to put stuff on the blech that somebody had
forgotten to put on erev shabbas.  That is not fully bideved (although
it is in a way, because somebody had forgotten, rendering the
circumstances bideved) but you can see a certain l'chatchila nature of
it.  What if they had not forgotten, but decided to rely on my husband
to do it to save the trouble?

So my understanding was - and I confess when I went to look at the
sources over shabbas I couldn't find it said anywhere, that the reason
why this is l'chatchila permitted, is because the whole idea of the
issur hana'ah is, as the Pri Megadim says, a knas of the rabbanan, and
that no knas attaches when somebody is doing something that is, for him,
mutar.  And the fact that you are riding on his shoulders, and even
getting him to do things with your food, for you, is therefore OK
(except in the specific case of amira l'akum, where it was specifically
banned rabbinically, with the specific reason given so that the issur
should not come to seem light in his eyes - but were it not for this
rationale, and the specific ban, the good for him, OK for you would

 When it was actually 
> muttar for them to reheat the food based on their poskim, 
> there is even more leniency, since the problem eating food 
> cooked/reheated on shabbos is based on the fact that it was 
> done b'issur, and if they were permitted, this factor doesn't exist.

Agreed. As I said above.

> 2) Kiddush - Note that to be yotzei kiddush, there is NO need 
> for anyone but the mevareich to drink.  Kiddush does, 
> however, need to be made on what is halachically called wine. 
>  I believe that the requirements for wine for kiddush are 
> more stringent than those for it to be hagafen.  For example, 
> according to Ashkenazi psak (correct when/if I err), a drink 
> of 40% grape juice and 60% pear/apple juice is hagafen, but 
> is not good for kiddush or havdalah.  I think ROY requires 
> 5/6 wine to be good for kiddush.  I don't know to what extend 
> the "good for you, good for me" rule would apply re: being 
> yotzei kiddush.  

Well it seems to work in reverse - ie good for you, good for me, in the
sense that if I have not made kiddush, and you have, you are able to
make for me again on the basis of kol yisroel areivim zeh l'zeh, and it
is not a bracha l'vatala for you (while it would be if I was not there).
And the areivim aspect is supposed to be mutual - so why if it is agreed
that I am yotzei my kiddush, are you not dragged along on the grounds of
areivim zeh l'zeh (if you intend and I intend).  If you hold otherwise,
then in far fetched situations (eg where my psak is directly
contradictory to yours, and not just one where there are differences but
an overlap), then areivim zeh l'zeh cannot apply, and yet it is a basic
principle that kol yisroel areivim zeh l'zeh, not just some parts who
follow the same psak.  And in addition it seems to me that the reason
why it has to work this way is because of the other phrase that is
commonly applied here, shomea k'oneh, which surely has to mean that the
one who hears the kiddush, is like the one who speaks (but not
necessarily the reverse), so if the one who speaks is yotzei by the
brocha, that means the one who hears is.  

In terms of being yotzei the hagafen and 
> being allowed to drink a shehakol drink (soda for ashkenazim, 
> or even some wines for sefardim), the issues are different.  
> Even if you are yotzei kiddush you may need to make a 
> shehakol, just like in shul Shabbos morning , when I hear the 
> Rav make kiddush and immediately make mezonos and eat my cookie.

But a borei pri hagafen never paturs a mezonos, there is no safek there.
But here maybe it is indeed wine (maklokus haposkim), and safek
d'rabbanan l'kula (and a bracha shehakol is definitely a d'rabbanan).

> 3) Hamotzi-
> a) Is B'rov am relevant for hamotzi?  Kiddush is a mitzvah, 
> hamotzi is not.  In my Yeshiva, they are makpid that only one 
> person makes kiddush for everyone, but hamotzi is made 
> separately at each table.

One person making hamotzei is the Mishna in Brochos 42a and the Shulchan
Aruch Prech Chaim 167:11 - ie the question is, are you intending to be
kovea seuda together (in the days of the Mishna as indicated by
reclining, in our day by things such as one tablecloth and other
indications).  If yes, one should make the bracha, if not, then one
person should not.  It always seems odd to me that people will give
separate loaves of bread eg to different families who are eating at the
table, when such families have been invited by the baal habayis for a
shabbas meal, and everybody would certainly agree they were intending to
be kovea seuda together (and certainly bench together if there is a
mezumen).  The b'rov am is really the question as to whether it is
better to be kovea seuda together or seperately, and I would have
thought it was clearly applicable.

> b) As mentioned before, it is not clear that you will eat 
> enough for kvias seudah.  216 grams of bread is quite a lot.  
> AIUI, the issue is just the same for hamotzi and birkas 
> hamazon.  (Unless you were planning to be koveia seudah and 
> later change your mind, or vice versa.)

Well if there is a mezumen and you are kovea seuda together, then the
person who benches can patur the others, so you can get out of it the
same way you got in.  If there is no mezumen, then I would have thought
there were greater problems, as the chiyuv to bench is then individual.
Also benching raises d'orisa issues, while having a seuda on shabbas and
kiddush are, I thought d'rabbanan.

> c) Birchos hanehenin are individual chiyuvim, and I don't see 
> why my host being yotzei should automatically means that I am 
> yotzei.  If the correct bracha (for you) on this food is 
> mezonos, why are you yotzei with my hamotzi?  I don't know of 
> a rule that hamotzi works b'dieved on cakes etc, the way 
> Shehakol works on anything, and mezonos (acc. to the Gra) 
> works on all foods.

Well I thought that is why shomea k'oneh does not necessarily work on
birchos hanehenin, but only on a certain select group (eg when people
intend to eat together etc).  
> d) There is also a chiyuv to have a seudah with bread.  This 
> may be easier to solve than the lechem mishneh issue, since 
> the host very possibly will have an already cut loaf of 
> hamotzi bread, but it is still an issue.

> e) Lechem mishneh- ROY seems to understand that lechem 
> mishneh needs to be specifically on bread. 

But you are having lechem mishna on bread, according to the halacha
applying to the one who makes hamotzei for the group and therefore based
on areivim and shomea k'oneh, it seems to me that one ought to be yotzei
by means of him being yotzei.  And b'rov am is the principle that means
that one ought to choose this mechanism over the mechanism of being
kovea seuda seperately and bringing your own challos (because if you are
kovea seuda seperately and you hold for you that what is being utilised
is not bread, then yes I can see the l'chatchila as to bring your own
challos - although again why as a bideved one would not be yotzei even
if he himself made the bracha on the safek haposkim safek d'rabbanan
l'kula, I am not quite sure).



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Message: 3
From: "Doron Beckerman" <beck072@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 16:25:54 -0700
Re: [Avodah] Torah Study vs. Other Contributions to Society

RMB says:
>> In any case, a statement about interrupting a mitzvah can't be taken
to be one about prioritization. <<

That wasn't the source quoted for this discussion. The source was the Gemara
in Megillah which states that Talmud Torah is indeed greater than Hatzalas
Nefashos as a choice of prioritization. This is what the Chafetz Chaim was
talking about.

>> To never leave the "ivory towers" of talmud Torah to apply that Torah
beguf and to the real world would be form with no substance, empty and
without embodiment. <<

What of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his group, who are granted Toraso
Umanuso exemptions from Mitzvos Ma'asiyos?

There is no question that a professional who dedicates time to Limmud and
Harbatzas Torah is laudable. The question is whether that choice is inferior
to a full time Torah study lifestyle  with no other significant tangible
contribution to society other than Torah study.

>> Second, as I said on top, the mishnah calls on us to have equal
zehirus for all mitzvos -- even ones that are qalos in some ways
compared to others! So how can we then take talmud torah keneged kulam
as proof to give it more zehirus? <<

As above, that isn't the source that proves this. And, who is advocating
less Zehirus in other Mitzvos?
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Message: 4
From: "Moshe Yehuda Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 19:47:11 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Maariv Bezman

R' Akiva Miller:
*HOWEVER I must admit that if the above is accurate, then it is NOT
*TRUE that the Gra would say that it is better to daven a late maariv
*without a minyan than an early maariv with a minyan. Rather, he would
*say to daven Shmoneh Esreh with the early minyan, and to say Shma and
*Brachos later -- just like the case of where one walks into shul to
*find them ready to start the Maariv Shmoneh Esreh.

R' Shmuel Kamenetsky told my BIL to do this, l'chatchila, when davening in a
Mincha-right-before-Shkiah-Ma'ariv-right-after minyan. A different Posek,
however, told me that the minhag is to daven everything with the Tzibbur.


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Message: 5
From: "Moshe Yehuda Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 19:53:01 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Maariv Bezam

R' YL:
I can only wonder how one reconciles this with the fact that in the time of
the Rishonim the Ashkenazim did wait to daven Maariv even on the first night
of Shavuous. See

It wasn't only on Shavuos - see Terumos Hadeshen 1 that it was the general
custom to Daven Ma'ariv during the day both on Shabbos and during the week
in the summer.


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Message: 6
From: "Moshe Yehuda Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 20:31:45 -0400
[Avodah] Embarassing One's Rebbe (was Torah Study vs. other

R' MB:
*The same Pachad Yitzchaq discusses the problem with asking an
*off-sugyah question of one's rebbe. Usually it is explained in terms
*of avoiding the possibility of embarassing one's rebbe in public.
*(Lema'aseh this is impluasible. Even with our current round of
*gedolim, who do not pretend to be on the level of tannaim or amora'im,
*it would be difficult to catch them off guard about a sugyah, and rare
*for one of them to be embarassed over it.)

(I find this hard to believe - see Horios 13b, which recounts how they
attempted to embarrass Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel by asking him to teach
Uktzin, which he did not know.) 
I suspect that the model of learning of that time, which required enormous
amounts of memorization, led to a different model of recall than what we are
used to. For example, if someone quotes a Gemara to me that I learned
already, I have a pretty decent chance of remembering where on  the Daf it
is, and whether it was Amud Aleph or Beis. (I'm horrible at remembering the
actual Daf number, though.) Way back when, there was no spatial (or just
about any other) frame of reference, and conceivably, if someone remembered
that something was a Gemara in Kesuvos, (unless he was holding in Kesuvos
and he remembered it in his short-term memory) he would start from the
beginning of the Mesechta and mentally "scroll" through the Gemara until he
reached what he was looking for. Should that Gemara have been toward the end
of the Mesechta, he might well be embarrassed at taking so long to locate
and remember the Gemara.


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Message: 7
From: "Ilana Sober" <sober@pathcom.com>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 21:20:05 -0400
[Avodah] Rav Unna

We have chareidi friends who are descended from Rav Unna - I don't remember what exactly Rav Unna's own hashkafa was, but he was most definitely Orthodox, frum, a talmid chacham, etc. (My husband would have been able to fill in more details...)

- Ilana
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Message: 8
From: "Ilana Sober" <sober@pathcom.com>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 21:48:54 -0400
[Avodah] Yizkor second day yom tov in E'Y

My understanding is that the custom to leave the shul during Yizkor is davka
for those whose parents are both living. Is it out of respect for the
parents, or to avoid ayin hara? Even there, I have sometimes heard requests
that everyone should remain in shul for Yizkor at least for the prayers on
behalf of groups (those who died in the shoah, chayalei tzahal), or in shuls
where the congregation is overwhelmingly young and very few people need to
say Yizkor. (And there are people like me - I say Yizkor for my husband
although both my parents are b"H alive and well.) But I have never heard of
people who have already lost a parent leaving during Yizkor. Especially
since I assume you will be with your mother, and I would imagine she would
prefer that you not leave.

- Ilana

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Message: 9
From: "reuven koss" <kmr5@zahav.net.il>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 09:51:42 +0300
Re: [Avodah] kerias sheni shel pesach

>> From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
>> Subject: Re: [Avodah] kerias sheni shel pesach

>> reuven koss wrote:
>>>> Also the extraordinarily long reading of the first day of chol hamoed
>>>> Pesach, which is of course the reading for the second day of Pesach
>>>> in chu"l.  Why not cut it down a bit, to make it similar in length to
>>>> the other chol hamoed readings?
>>>           Dina d'gemara
>> The gemara doesn't say how long it needs to be.  Nor do I think the
>> gemara is paskening a din for EY; it's describing the minhag of Bavel,
>> where they kept two days of yomtov.
>> -- 
>> Zev Sero

 Rashi says that the beraisa was learnt in Eretz Yisroel were one day of y-t
 is kept. Length- that is the length of parshas tora.

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Message: 10
From: Minden <phminden@arcor.de>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 09:31:39 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Rabbi Isak Unna of Mannheim (was Re: Rav Unno)

RAF wrote:

> since 1920 3rd city rabbi [probably dayan -- AF] in Mannheim

He was the Neo-Orthodox community's rabbi, but as the authorities didn't fully recognise this community, he didn't have an official pulpit function in their eyes. This was changed in 1920.

> (1924 conference rabbi of the Supreme Council [probably the Council of Jewish Communities of Germany --AF]

The Oberrat was the umbrella organisation of the Jewish communities in the Grand Duchy of Baden. (Aggev orche, it still is, in spite of the fact that the state itself long merged with the neighbouring state to the German federal land of Baden-W?rttemberg.) Mannheim was an exceptional case, as the de-facto separate community was officially just a shul, and part of the main community.

> about the history of the Klaus Synagogue Mannheim [probably a kind of Yekkishe shtiebel --AF

That was his community/shul. As much a shtiebel as Breuer's, Munk's or Basle's IRG before their respective chareidisation.

As an aside, if you're in Yerushelayim, you can still go to "Rav Unna's", at least for Shabbes and Yontev - this is basically his (long deceased) son's former living room in Rechavia, officially called Bet Kneset Binyan Tzion, as the Unna and the Ettlinger families are connected through Mannheim.

May I add that there can be no doubt whatsoever about Rav Unna's Orthodox position. (Personally, and I hope this makes it through moderation, I'd say he was of a personal integrity and of a typically Yekke Orthodoxy that wouldn't allow for compromises, neither with the Liberal reformers, nor with chasidists.)


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Message: 11
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 15:54:29 +0200
[Avodah] shemitta

I am surprised that there hasn't much discussion of the shemitta year coming
soon. In Israel the various pages distributed on shabbat had a detailed
discussion of the
Basically there are 3 approaches to the issue

1. Eda Hacharedit - use exclusively nonJewish produce. They have signed an
agreement to import a large amount of vegetables from palestinians in Gaza!

2. At the other side is the "heter mechira" which allows most Israeli farms
proceed almost as usual.

3. CI - Otzar Bet Din   -  vegetables are used from Jewish farmers that
abide by the
Shemitta rules and sell their produce that grows by itself to a bet din who
sell it to the consumer. Fruit can go directly to the consumer. In all cases
vegetables & fruit have "kedushat sheviit".

Interestingly many charedim in Bnei Brak have given up on the "kulah" of the
Chazon Ish and gone over to the Edah Hacharedit. One reason is not to have
"bother" with the rules of shemitta produce.
Interestingly a new DL group has been formed to push the position of the CI.
They (like the CI himself) are interested in supporting Jewish farmers
than buying from Palestinians. Furthermore, since shemitta is a mitzvah one
should be interested in performing the mitzvah and complying with kedushat
sheviit rather than trying to avoid it.

Eli Turkel
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