Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 162

Tue, 31 Jul 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 10:08:58 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Charedim and the army

However it does not answer the famous contradiction of this Rambam with the
one that says one should have one own's living and not learn and rely on

Eli Turkel

On 7/30/07, Marty Bluke <marty.bluke@gmail.com> wrote:
> R' Charlop (from YU) has a very interesting observation (Beis Yitzchak
> 5756) about the Rambam at the end of Hilchos Shemitta V'Yovel (which
> is the focus of the discussion). The Rambam writes:
> "v'lo rak shevet levi bilvad ela kol ish v'ish mikol baey olam asher
> nadva rucho ..."
> The Rambam uses the phrase "mikol baey olam". R' Charlop points out
> that these words are used exclusively in both Shas and the Rambam to
> refer to Jews and NON_JEWS as well. In other words, the Rambam seems
> to be saying that even a non-Jew can join Shevet Levi and serve
> Hashem, and therefore it is not necessarily referring to someone who
> is Toraso U'mnaso, but someone who serves Hashem. This is a very big
> chidush, but it seems muchrach based on the Rambam's use of the words
> "kol baei olam".

Eli Turkel
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Message: 2
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 13:54:33 +0300
Re: [Avodah] shemitta

> Subject: [Avodah] shemitta
> A question I asked for which he had no answer (so far)
> what to do with fruit growing in ones backyard. One does not want 
> strangers
> wandering about the yard. He first suggested making the fruit (only NOT 
> the
> yard)
> hefker and leaving it on the street. I objected that most people passing 
> by
> will not treat it with kedushat sheviit (ouside of Bnei Brak and similar
> places).
> I suggested bringing it to shul. He agree to my objection but didn't think
> one could bring hefker to ones friends in shul with left us with no viable
> solution.

How about getting together with other religious neighbours with the same 
problem, inviting the Ra'anana Yeshiva or Ulpana Amana (or both, at 
different times) to come pick the fruit, following shi'urim at the 
Yeshiva/Ulpana  on the topic, and then have the parents prepare/cook/bake 
the fruit and serve it at a neighborhood dinner to be held at the 

This could be an excellent parent/children project where both sides can 
learn the halachot of Peirot Shivi'it while doing something fun.

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Message: 3
From: "Marty Bluke" <marty.bluke@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 14:05:20 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Charedim and the army

On 7/30/07, Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com> wrote:
> However it does not answer the famous contradiction of this Rambam with the
> one that says one should have one own's living and not learn and rely on
> charity

R' Charlop discusses that aspect of the Rambam as well. Unfortunately,
I don't have the article in front of me now, I will try to respond

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Message: 4
From: "Doron Beckerman" <beck072@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 16:24:50 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Charedim and the army

Marty Bluke quotes R' Aharon Lichtenstein's piece regarding Shevet Levi
status for  those who exempt themselves from the army based on Torato
Umanuto. He adds that it takes 'a tremendous amount of hubris' to assume
that one has this status. As I have mentioned in various fora, I think that,
with respect, RAL  overstates his case in this regard:

1) If it is true that of a given population only 2% or 5% of it can
reasonably expect to be granted that lofty status, it seems ludicrous that
an entire Shevet Levi (let us say, 8500 from the ages of 30-50 as per
Parshas Naso) is granted exemption because 170-425 members will actually
qualify. RAL recognizes that this is a weak point and states that their
exemption is 'genealogical'. This fails to solve the problem, though. Why is
there a geneaological blanket exemption for an entire Shevet when the reason
for the exemption applies so scarcely?

2) A yet stronger counter-argument to the genealogocial argument is that
according to the commentary of the Netziv to Parshas VaYechi, the entire
Shevet Yissachar availed themselves of this status to exempt themselves from
fighting  in the time of the Shoftim. Based on what? Did every single one of
them look himself in the mirror and say that they are Kodesh Kodoshim?

3) One who decided to truly dedicate the best years of his life to Torah
study and Mussar refinement, trying to grow in his Yiras Shamayim with no
concern for the Cheshbonos of Bnei Adam during that time, is described by
Hashem, through the words of the Rambam, as Kodesh Kodoshim. The numbers of
Yeshiva boys who are learning seriously should not blind us to their
inestimable value and stature in the eyes of the Ribbono Shel Olam.

4) It doesn't take any hubris whatsoever to follow the opinion of the vast
majority, if not all, of Gedolei Torah in the Charedi, as well as many of
the Gedolim of the  RZ world (i.e. the Roshei Yeshiva of Mercaz Harav, Beit
El, and other Yeshivot Gevohot) who support not going  to the army for many
years after HS and whose students serve in afar reduced capacity than their
capabilities vis-a-vis combat. RAL is certainly a minority opinion among
Gedolei HaRoshei Yeshivos.

(Note: This has nothing to do with those who are not fulfilling paragraph 3.
I'm talking about the many thousands who do.)
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Message: 5
From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 14:03:40 GMT
[Avodah] standing for a chasan

From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>

<<A  talmid of R' HS pointed me to Mpninei Harav (p217) where he states
the reason for standing given by R' YBS is the on the way to do a
mitzvah (bikkurim) reason.>>

Which of course would make standing for the kallah meaningless, since
she's not doing a mitzva.

I wonder how many other osei mitzva we stand for.


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Message: 6
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 14:21:00 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Kriah on seeing the makom hamikdash nowadays

R' Marty Bluke asked:
> What is the din if you see the makom hamikdash live on a video
> camera, for example Aish Hatorah's Kotel Cam. You are seeing the
> makom hamikdash just as if you were there. Is there a chiyuv kriah?
> ...
> I specifically picked a live camera because I think that a picture
> or even a video doesn't bring out the same emotions.
> ...
> This is clearly a question that has only come up in the past few
> years, does anyone know of any contemporary poskim who have dealt
> with the question?

My guess is that a precedent might be drawn from the poskim who dealt 
with shome'a k'oneh via microphone or telephone: If one is merely 
hearing a reproduction of the voice and cannot be yotzay, then you're 
merely looking at a picture of the Makom Hamikdash and there's no 
kria. But if one is really hearing the person's voice and *can* be 
yotzay, then he is really looking at the Makom Hamikdash, and kria 
would work too.

Akiva Miller

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Message: 7
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 14:34:10 GMT
Re: [Avodah] End of sefer notes

R' Yisrael Dubitsky wrote:
> What is more troubling, at least to me, is the wholly
> un-masoretic "perakim" marker, as these were not originally
> Jewish text divisions (even if they were adopted later by
> Jews). In that sense, they do not belong in an otherwise
> authentic masoretic note such as this.

I think it would be more accurate to say that the vast majority of 
chapter divisions were set up by non-Jews, but not all of them. In 
some cases -- such as Tehillim and Eichah -- the parshios and 
chapters match up so consistently that it is clear (to me) that the 
non-Jews simply accepted our divisions.

I mention that as a segue to a related point: Who did the chapter 
divisions for Esther? Those do *not* align with the parshios (at 
least, not as far as I can tell), yet when it is read on Purim, each 
chapter break *is* marked with a pause. Why would we do that if the 
breaks are non-Jewish?

Akiva Miller

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Message: 8
From: "Elazar M. Teitz" <remt@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 15:10:32 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Avodah Digest, Vol 23, Issue 161

RETurkel wrote

<RYBS was very insistent on standing because a chassan (and kallah)  

And RJRich responded

<A  talmid of R' HS pointed me to Mpninei Harav (p217) where he states
the reason for standing given by R' YBS is the on the way to do a
mitzvah (bikkurim) reason.  The melech only applies once he's under 
the chuppah (and that's why R' YBS waited until then to put the ashes 
on the head of the chatan (that's when he becomes one)). but still 
stood when the chatan was walking down.>
     When I heard this reason from RHS, I questioned why, when in 
shul, we don't stand when a person comes in to put on t'fillin, since 
he is going to do a mitzvah; he had no answer at the time.  
Furthermore, if we accept this as the reason for standing, it would 
seem to apply to the chasan only, since the mitzvah is his alone.


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Message: 9
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 10:08:43 -0600
Re: [Avodah] What was actually written on the luchos, zachor

On 7/29/07, Marty Bluke <marty.bluke@gmail.com> wrote:
> We know that they were both said at the same time, but what was
> actually written on the luchos themselves. It is clear from the gemara
> that only 1 of them was written as the gemara comments that the mem
> and the samech were b'nes, if both zachor and shamor were somehow
> written b'nes the gemara certainly would have mentioned it.
> R' Yaakov Kamenetsky addresses this question (in Parshas Vaetchanan)
> and claims that zachor was written but the kri was shamor. He says
> this would apply to all the other differences as well (kri uksiv).
> However, this is very difficult as the end of the dibra of Shabbos is
> completely different, in Yisro it talks about the 7 days of creation
> and in Vaeschanan it talks about yetzias mitzrayim. On one word I can
> see saying kri uksiv but not on a whole pasuk.
> Has anyone seen any other mefarshim address this issue?

Rashi Sanhedrin 56b d"h Ka'asher tziv'cha (quoted by Sifsei Chachamim in
Va'eschanan): "V'chol mah shekasuv badibros ha'acharonos haya kasuv baluchos
v'chein shama b'sinai."

It seems that Rashi holds that it is a miracle, just like the other things.

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Message: 10
From: "Daniel Israel" <dmi1@hushmail.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 11:19:38 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Tzitzis on Tisha B'Av

On Sat, 28 Jul 2007 21:42:37 -0600 Gershon Dubin 
<gershon.dubin@juno.com> wrote:
><<My opinion as to why we don't kiss tzitzis on Tisa B'Av would be
>similar to why an aveil doesn't say "tiskabel.">>
>An aveil says tiskabel.  Maybe you mean that we don't say it on 
>Tish'a Be'Av.

AFAIK an common, but not universal, minahg is not to say tiskabel 
in a beis avel.  I assume this is what is referred to, but I do not 
know the reason.

Daniel M. Israel

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Message: 11
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 17:56:12 -0400
Re: [Avodah] With Which Hand?

In Avodah Digest V23#158, RYM asked:
> Due to my wife's trip to visit parents in the USA, I was left to my own 
make Havdalah.  As I began to recite, I suddenly thought to myself - well, 
here I am with
the becher in my left hand and the candle in my right but is that the 
way?  Should it be the other way around, with the becher in my right (the
more important hand?), or if I feel more safe with the flaming candle in 
right, is the way I am okay?
> Trying to be on the safe side, after placing the becher down to sniff 
b'samim, I then switched.
> Afterwards, I tried a perusory check and found in the MB, Hilchot 
298:3, that the Rama notes that when looking at one's fingernails for the
reflection, it is one's right hand fingernails that get the look and the
becher is in the left hand.  But that doesn't fully answer my question: in
which hand does one start out with holding the becher: the left or the
> Any summer bachelors out there with the answer? <
After reviewing the Talmudic sources noted by RMT (see 
http://www.hamakor.org/shabbos/havdalah/index.htm), esp. BT P'sachim 
105b-107a, I got the impression that the kos should be treated as a kos 
shel b'rachah and, therefore, held in one's dominant hand.  FWIW, SA OC 
296:6 states that one keeps the kos in the right hand except during the 
time of making the b'rachah on the b'samim.  As for the neir, seems to me 
from that s'if as well as from the language throughout OC 298 that the 
neir is an existing fixture and not held by anyone -- extrapolating from 
296:6, my educated guess (in the absence of your checking with your LOR) 
is that it's better that someone holds the objects involved than that one 
of them be put down, but if there's no fixed neir to be m'vareich upon, no 
way to fix one's neir, and no one besides you to hold it, I would humbly 
suggest holding the neir in your non-dominant hand and putting the kos 
down while being m'vareich al hab'samim v'al haneir.

As for that Rama (RMA 298:3), it seems to contradict SA 296:6 -- RMA is 
saying the kos should be in one's "left hand," as you mentioned, while SA 
says one should return the kos to one's right hand after making the 
b'rachah on the b'samim (additional SA 296:6 implication: don't contort 
your right hand while being m'vareich al haneir -- as per 298, IIRC, just 
look at the light).  Additionally, the method by which RMA recommends 
looking at one's nails (also see BH 298:4) would imply that one's hand 
isn't holding anything, in which case the further implication is that one 
isn't holding the b'samim anymore, while at the least SA 296:6 implies 
that one continues to hold the b'samim after making the b'rachah on them 
(whether in the same hand as during the b'rachah or in the other hand, I'm 
not sure).  Bottom line: I'm not sure what SA would say about my humble 
suggestion above, but if RMA allows putting the b'samim down in order to 
see (or not see) certain aspects of one's right hand, there seems to be 
room to allow putting the kos down when one has to hold the neir and wants 
to act upon one's b'rachah al haneir in the manner he notes (hence, 
likewise when one wants to act upon one's b'rachah al hab'samim, although 
I suppose it would be possible to avoid putting the kos down by, prior to 
havdalah, "fixing" those b'samim in such a manner as the neir was "fixed" 
in the days of yore -- however, not sure whether it would be proper to 
"fix" them below one's nose, e.g. on a table, and then lean down to smell 
them after making the b'rachah).

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ, USA
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Message: 12
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 10:03:09 -0600
[Avodah] [Areivim] Tal law

Carried over from Areivim, where there was a discussion about dirty pictures
in army recruitment offices, and the impact that would make on the chiyuv to
serve in the army.

On 7/29/07, torahmike@gmail.com <torahmike@gmail.com> wrote:

>          2. In general, is not seeing pictures of women a ya'harog ve'lo
> ya'vor?
>          3. If the answer to 2 is 'Yes,' then how do you explain the
> parsha of Yefas To'ar, which to me implies that going into battle will
> sometimes cause you to see attractive women?

According to almost all poskim the issur is only to look, not to see.  The
Pri Megadim (I think), quoted by the MB in Hilchos Krias Sh'ma, says that
places that are generally covered are even assur b'r'iyah b'alma, but from
my cursory research, it seems that most poskim don't say that.

And that's even assuming that the Nashei Yefas Toar were immodestly dressed,
which I'm not at all sure of.  It could just be that they were just
good-looking.  In that case, only looking for the sake of getting pleasure
is forbidden.

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