Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 168

Thu, 09 Aug 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 15:18:20 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Badatz Denounces Violent Demonstrations

From: "Jonathan Baker" _jjbaker@panix.com_ (mailto:jjbaker@panix.com) 
>>  Israel  is a JEWISH state.  Its police is a Jewish
police, appointed by the  (majority-Jewish) government.  Its power to
enforce the law is part of  the Torah system.  How can it be "mesirah"
to report a crime to the  Israeli police?  Police brutality is a separate
issue, but they are  expected to be brutal in the  Torah.<<

name: jon  baker             
Israel does not claim to be a "Torah" state nor are its laws the laws of  the 
Torah nor does it follow halacha in most instances nor are its judges and  
police the shoftim and shotrim of the Torah.  There has been much testimony  
about the many Russian policemen in Israel (some with crosses around their  
necks) ,and even the Jewish police are the lowest people in Israel, chosen from  
the ranks of the most brutal and least civilized strata of society.  There  has 
also been much testimony on Areivim and in many other places about police  
brutality against guilty rioters and innocent bystanders alike.   They will wade 
into a crowd of peaceful protestors, clubs swinging, and aim to  cause injury. 
 DL settlers and charedim alike have plenty of stories to  tell.  When the 
Torah says that police must exercise force, by no means  does it envision the 
indiscriminate beating of innocent people.   In  America policemen who  commit 
wanton acts of brutality against minorities  go to jail (especially if there is 
eyewitness testimony and video footage) but  in Israel they are deliberately 
"sicced" on "undesirables."  "Undesirables"  are settlers and 
settler-sympathizers, and any man with payos caught walking  down the street anywhere near a 
reported "incident" -- whether or not he had  anything to do with it.  The 
police also beat up Arabs pretty  indiscriminately -- though I admit it's harder 
for me to get worked up about  that, since any randomly chosen Arab is pretty 
likely to be guilty -- but I  would think that the kind of person who thinks 
charedim deserve to get beaten  might not feel so unsympathetic towards innocent 
Arabs who are similarly  victimized.  The Torah does not say that shotrim 
should engage in  wanton, lawless acts of brutality, not even against Canaanites 
in our  midst.  


--Toby  Katz

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Message: 2
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 15:24:03 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Kaparos? For PETA?s Sake!

From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com"  <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
>>. At least according to Rebbi  
(Yoma 85b), Yom Kippur is mechaper even without Teshuvah. I do not  
understand how that would work<<

Akiva Miller

The inuyim of Yom Kippur provide atonement, the same as any punishment or  
consequence or suffering inflicted by a bais din or by Shomayim -- not total  
atonement, in the absence of teshuva, but at least partial kapara.  The  fact 
that you went hungry and thirsty for 24 hours is certainly a form of  suffering. 
 Somewhere it says that even if you put your hand in your pocket  and thought 
for a minute that your money was lost -- and found it in the other  pocket a 
minute later -- the moment of anguish when you thought it was gone is  also a 

--Toby  Katz

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Message: 3
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 15:35:38 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Public school or non-Orthodox day school?

From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" _kennethgmiller@juno.com_ 

> Do not think, "The non-O school provides a good chinuch but we
>  don't want to show support for non-O." Rather, as bad as the
> chinuch  might be in public school, the  education in a non-O
> day school is  /even worse/. [--old TK]

>>It is very unfair to make such blanket  statements. Both schools 
deserve a cursory lookover, at the very  least.<<
Suppose the choice were sending the kid to a very religious Christian  school 
vs public school, and suppose the secular education and the moral  atmosphere 
in the Christian school were better than what the public school could  
provide -- but the kid has to attend chapel every day and see a cross on the  wall 
in each classroom.  Would you consider sending your kid to this  Christian 
school?  It's "better" than public school, plus the kid will  learn some Bible!

> In public school he won't learn anything about  Judaism at all
> and will be left a tabula rasa, for his parents or  outside
> tutors to fill in later. [--old TK]

>>Surely the  word "later" was included by mistake, as dedicated parents 
will try to teach  their children as much Torah as they can.<<
By "later" I meant when the kid gets home from school.
As for dedicated parents, they would not live in a place with no day school  
for their children, so the parents in this scenario must be not yet observant 
or  just becoming observant -- and probably therefore not knowledgeable enough 
to  give their kids a Jewish education themselves.

> In the non-O school  he will learn all kinds of sheker, which will
> be exceedingly difficult  to eradicate from his mind later on.
> Much harder to write on a  palimpsest than on a  tabula rasa. [--old TK]

>>I totally  agree with this. But it is only one factor of many.<<
What other factors would be so important that it would be worth exposing  
your child to sheker that would fill his mind with an utterly false idea of what  
the Torah is?  The only possible factor I can think of is if the non-O  
school has Orthodox teachers.  

--Toby  Katz

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 02:11:54 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Kaparos? For PETA?s Sake!

The practice of kapparos is condemned by the mechabeir (OCh 605:1),
and the Rama's defense seems to center around the need and value of
old minhagim. The SA's condemnation is notable since the Ari supported
shlugging kaparos, and associated it with Yeshaiah 1:18 "im yihyu
chata'eikhem kashanim, kasheleg yalbinu", therefore recommending a
white rooster/chicken.

In the 1565 Venice edition, the mekhabeir calls it a "minhag shel
shetus". (Information via the On the Main Line blog.)

Kapparos raises questions of shechutei chutz -- how is it not a qorban?
The Ramban describes the kaparah of qorbanos in that the maqriv realizes
that the animal's fate should have been theirs. Doesn't that sound like
"zu khalifasi"? And if one manages to explain how the chicken is not a
qorban, how does one avoid derekh emori?

In the US, many families were forced to switch to giving tzedaqah as
qaparos. Since the Rama's defense is based on the value of preserving
mihag, I wonder if it is appropriate for those of us for whom the minhag
was perforce interrupted to restore it.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A wise man is careful during the Purim banquet
micha@aishdas.org        about things most people don't watch even on
http://www.aishdas.org   Yom Kippur.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                       - Rabbi Israel Salanter

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 03:19:03 -0400
Re: [Avodah] End of sefer notes

On Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 02:34:10PM +0000, kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
: 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.

Every minyan I recall being in is noheig to lein the end of the pereqim
of Esther with a different tune than the usual sof pasuq. I was
wondering about the origin of peraqim in Esther.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 6
From: "Samuel Groner" <samgroner@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 17:04:25 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Public school or non-Orthodox day school?

Some of RTK's arguments for why public school is better might lead one
to the conclusion that she believes public school is better than
non-orthodox schools even for children who are not from observant
homes (for example, RTK writes that "In public school he won't learn
anything about Judaism at all and
will be left a tabula rasa, for his parents or outside tutors to fill in later.
In the non-O school he will  learn all kinds of sheker, which will be
exceedingly difficult to eradicate from  his mind later on.   Much
harder to write on
a palimpsest than on a  tabula rasa.")

If this is indeed the position of RTK or of others -- that public
school is better than non-O schools for children from non-observant
families -- I wonder whether the following quotation from R. Aharon
Lichtenstein might be relevant in considering that issue further.

From a symposium in TRADITION a number of years ago:

"Nor do I share the glee that some feel over the prospective demise of
the competition. Surely, we have many sharp differences with the
Conservative and Reform movements and these should not be sloughed
over or blurred. However, we also share many values with them and
this, too, should not be obscured. Their disappearance might
strengthen us in some respects, but would, unquestionably, weaken us
in others. Can anyone responsibly state that it is better for a
marginal Jew in Dallas or in Dubuque to lose his religious identity
altogether rather than drive to his temple?"

I would think R. Lichtenstein's arguments would apply to day schools
as much as to shuls.

Sammy Groner

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Message: 7
From: "Cantor Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 19:13:45 -0400
[Avodah] Non-O School

For those who feel their children are much better off in a Public School as opposed to a Non-O School, I'd like to carry their logic further.  With that reasoning you could say that Jewish children would be better off in a non-Jewish home (with a non Jewish father) than in a home with Reform Jewish parents.
How would that be any different than the above logic?
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Message: 8
From: "Ilana Sober" <ilanasober@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 23:38:48 -0400
[Avodah] Public school or non-Orthodox day school?

In a community school with O participation, or even in a C school,
there will be other kids who keep Shabbat and Kashrut, and there may
be a policy requiring birthday parties to observe these halachot.
School will be closed on yom tov. Fun events like carnivals, major
trips, etc will not be scheduled on Shabbat.

My brother and I grew up in a very observant C family and attended
non-Jewish schools (public through grade 6, then private). There were
huge social nisyonot - parties and trips on Shabbat, no meeting
friends at McDonalds, major restrictions on HS extracurriculars
(sports, drama, debate, etc all involved Shabbat commitments). Also,
especially by HS, missing 2 days every week for four weeks at the
beginning of the year definitely did not help our grades. I was good
at school and not the most socially adept kid anyway and I was a bit
of a non-conformist, so I did ok - although by grade 12 I was really,
really struggling. My brother, who was always much more popular and
peer-oriented, dropped observance sometime around junior high.

- Ilana

Note that this is my NEW email address. The old one will be
deactivated in August. Please update your address book.

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Message: 9
From: "Prof. Levine" <llevine@stevens.edu>
Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2007 19:13:17 -0400
[Avodah] Kapporas on Tisha B'Av

I thought that I would add this tidbit to the discussion about kapporos.

The father of one of the lawyers who works at the same firm as my 
wife told my wife that on Tisha B'Av his father was going to Queens 
to shecht some animals. His father is the rabbi of the Meshhedi 
community in Great Neck.

I was curious as to why, so I spoke with the son after Tisha B'Av and 
asked him the reason for this. He told me that he thinks that this is 
exclusively an Iranian custom. This past Tisha B'Av his father 
shechted two sheep and a goat. (He told me that there is a place in 
Queens where on the first floor they have the larger animals and on 
the second floor they have chickens.) He told me that the animals are 
used in a Kapporas ceremony that is similar to  the one that is 
performed on Erev Yom Kippur. Similar words are said. In my 
ignorance, I asked, "How do you lift the animal over your head?" He 
explained that this is not done. One apparently puts one's hand on 
the animal and says the appropriate words. I am not sure if this is 
done before or after the shechita, but I think it is probably before.

This was the first time I had heard of anything like this.

Yitzchok Levine 

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Message: 10
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 16:55:53 +1000
[Avodah] The Re'eh Connection

From: "Cantor Wolberg" <>
The parashas Re'eh begins with "See (Behold), I give you today a blessing 
and a curse."  On weekdays we say three times a day in the amidah: "See 
(Behold) our affliction (re'eh v'anyeinu)."

So what's the connection?

On a related matter, see the Baal Haturim this week who has 5-6 different 
pshotim on "Re'eh Onoychi" - a couple which could pass as a chassidish 


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Message: 11
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 17:05:33 +1000
[Avodah] Fw: [Areivim] reporting yidden to a secular police

From: "Jonathan Baker" <>
RMM responded:
> Let me just say that I'm not 100% comfortable with the idea of
> reporting yidden to a secular police.

It seems to me that next week's parsha mandates a police presence, in
the first verse, no?  What am I missing, that nobody has raised this
issue yet?
: Chapter 16 18.
You shall set up judges and law enforcement officials for yourself
: in all your cities that the Lord, your God, is giving you, for your
: tribes, and they shall judge the people [with] righteous judgment.

Sanhedrin 16b: Braita: one must appoint police, (veshotrim), tribal
police (lishvateicha), city police (lish'areicha).

That refers to Shoftim, ie, Sanhedrin and/or BD.
Not secular (and even anti-Torah) courts and govts.

>>> Israel is a JEWISH state.  Its police is a Jewish
police, appointed by the (majority-Jewish) government.  Its power to
enforce the law is part of the Torah system.

Israel may have a majority Jewish population - but its laws and justice
methods have absolutely nothing to do with the Torah system.

Having made that clear - here is my response to RMM's post (on Areivim):

> From: "Mike Miller" <>
> SBA wrote: IIRC, there is no issur to 'dob in' a violent person -
>> who may again hurt someone.

> This may be an Avodah question, but is this because mesirah doesn't
> apply at all, or because it's nidche due to pikuach nefesh. Is there a
> chiluk b/w violent and deadly?

Deadly is definitely permitted.
But even violent persons may be handed over to goyim.

See CM 388 from sk 9 onwards.

s. 11: "...Hametzar tzibbur umetzaaron - muttar lemosro beyad Akum -
lehakoso, le'osro ulekanso. Avol mipnei tzaar yochid ossur lemosro.."
SMA 30: "..ve'im yosro bemakos ve'onshei haguf - muttar".
Shach 60: "Mi sheragil lehakos - muttar lemosro lehatzil shelo yakkeh od"

I would think that these cases may be handed over EVEN to secular Jewish 


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Message: 12
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@bezeqint.net>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 10:47:56 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Kaparos? For PETA's Sake!

> From: "Prof. Levine" <llevine@stevens.edu>
> Subject: [Avodah] Kapparos? For PETA?s Sake!

> IMO, there is no question that what is going on
> in with this practice in many places is, to put
> it mildly, problematic. Someone wrote to me
> saying that he saw 20 cases of chickens that were
> left in front of a yeshiva over Yom Kippur last
> year all filled with dead chickens. They had died
> as a result of not being fed and the elements.

This is truly horrifying, and it makes it clear why the issue of chickens as 
kapparot, at least in the States is problematic.

Here in Israel, my in-laws use chickens, but in a very different manner.

Several days before Yom Kippur, the chickens are chosen for them at the 
Shochet's factory, after saying kapparot for the whole family, the Shochet 
takes care of them, like any other chicken for consumption.  Several of the 
chickens are sent to local yeshivot and the others go home for consumption, 
for Erev Yom Kippur.

I haven't checked the origin of the custom, but it's at least generations 

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Message: 13
From: "L Reich" <lreich@tiscali.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 10:53:23 +0100
[Avodah] What was actually written on the luchos, zachor

This reminds of a story told to me by an old acquaintance from Chevron Yeshiva. He heads a Talmud Torah in E.Y. where they learn according to the derech of the Mahral, (concentrating on Tenach and Mishnayos in early years and postponing Talmud until later).

Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky visited this institution and posed the a question to a class. "Which was written on the Luchos, Zochoir or Shomoir?"

A budding scholar raised his hand tentatively and answered "Shomoir".

"How do you know?" asked the Gaon?

"Because we say in Shabbos Shacharis, "Vecosuv Bohem Shmiras Shabbos", was the lad's response.

R' Yaakov hugged the boy and kissd him on the forehead.

Incidentally, The Ramban (Shemos 20:8) suggests that the first Luchos may have had Zochoir and the second Shomoir.  

(Saul Guberman" <saulguberman@gmail.com> posted:-  
"I was just listening to a parsha shiur at  http://www.rabbisitorsky.com , a
Rabbi in Bayswater, NY.  He says that the midrashim state that the first
luchot were written as recorded in Yitro & the second as recorded in
V'Etchanan."  I didn't find this in Midrash.  ER)

As to the way the Luchos were inscribed, one Midrash states that the were written on all four sides. And to respond to a query by R'  T.K; who says that there were precisely five commandments on each stone?

Further details can be found in "Keystones of the World" by Devorah Reich published by Targum/Feldheim in 2002).  Says a proud father.

Elozor Reich

Elozor Reich
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