Avodah Mailing List

Volume 23: Number 171

Fri, 17 Aug 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 22:06:48 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Why is Milchemes Reshus allowed?

Old MYG:
> Did anyone yet reference Berachos 3b (on bottom), where it was clear
> that the Milchamos were (at least sometimes) solely for economic
> reasons? I don't think we are offended, because the economy is very
> important - it is the difference between having food on the table or
> having just the tablecloth.
> BTW, I notated the word "Parnassah" in that Gemara with the words,
> "Ayin Ritva." I don't currently have a Ritva on Berachos, anyone who
> does could check and see if it is a pertinent reference...

I found this Ritva in Shul and it is pertinent: "V'zeh she'hayu omrim
she'tzrichin parnassah, k'she'hayu aniyim dechukim hayu omrim kach v'lo
b'chol sha'ah." IOW, they wouldn't do this every day...


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Message: 2
From: "R Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 06:41:22 -0400
[Avodah] An Elul Vort

The numerical value of Elul is 67. The very first word in the Torah equaling
67 is in Bereshis, 3:6 (last word).  The word is 'vayochal,' referring to
Adam eating from the forbidden tree.  This is the very first sin recorded in
the Torah. Elul is the beginning of our self-examination in preparation for
the main event. Thus, we struggle to go back to our first sin of the year
and sincerely do teshuva. 


The very last word in the Torah equaling 67 is in Chronicles 1, 29:21. The
word is 

'z'vachim,' referring to sacrifices (peace-offerings). During Elul we are
more aware that in order to be worthy of a favorable judgment on the High
Holy Days, we must make 'sacrifices,' and we must strive for peace in the
complete (shalem) sense of the word.  


The 67th word in the Torah is in Bereshis 1:7, fourth word, which is
'ha-ra-ki-a,' (the firmament), referring to when God made the firmament
which separated between the waters which were beneath, and the waters which
were above. God called the firmament heaven. And so it is with our lives at
this awesome as well as auspicious time of the year. If we are able to
achieve our lofty goals, and successfully separate between the unholy
beneath and the holy above, we then will bring heaven down to earth!

Richard Wolberg

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Message: 3
From: "R Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 06:42:31 -0400
[Avodah] A Wake-Up Call

Today we begin to sound the shofar (some began yesterday) each morning after
shacharis every day, culminating with Rosh Hashana. I see an analogy with a
snooze alarm clock.  

As soon as the alarm clock goes off, many people press the snooze button to
get another few minutes of sleep. A similar idea exists with the shofar
during this month. Elul is like the snooze button. We get thirty extra
minutes of sleep this month (each day is another snooze). But then, we
finally have to wake up on Rosh Hashanah.


A guten chodesh.

Richard Wolberg

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Message: 4
From: Lawrence Teitelman <lteitelman@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 11:43:55 -0700 (PDT)
Re: [Avodah] Luchos

R'n Toby Katz wrote (as quoted by R' Chaim Manaster):

"I don't know "who" says it but it is commonly said that the first five are bein adam laMokom and the second five are bein adam lachaveiro, strongly suggesting a parallel structure that wouldn't be obvious if, say, four dibros  were actually written on one luach and six on the other."

in response to which RCM cites a parallelism between the n-th dibrah in each of the respective luchos with each other and with the n-th sefer in Chumash.

Two cents about the two luchos (in honor of the Rosh Chodesh Elul, anniversary of Moshe's trip to get the replacement set):

(1) The majority opinion in some traditional sources (e.g. Mekhilta) - even if not the one accepted in synagogue art - is that all ten of the Ten Commandments were written on
/each/ of the two "tablets".

(2) Even working within the standard five by five model, if we are willing to get philosophical, one can also argue that the distinction between the "Lamakom" and "Lechavero" is not as obvious as it may seem. Honoring one's parents is the most famous problem, with its equally famous answer a la the Gemara in Yevamos that the honor due to parents is alikened to that due to G-d. But there are others: Shabbos, for example, is a day of rest also for one's slaves and animals, in remembrance of the slavery in Egypt, a form of
"Lechavero" (and "Livhemto"). Adultery may be an offense against a married couple but the punishment which is not compensating the victim but rather capital punishment may reflect an inherent indecency and such a violation of kedusha (much like one who commits beastiality is not being punished for the adverse effect on the animal). Similary, murder may be punishable because of the Tzelem Elokim that he has destroyed. False testimony is much more than a slight of another person; it undermines one of the pillars of G-d's world (emes). Of course, the willingness to transgress any sin even against another human - is on some level a rejection of the Commander, i.e. every "Lechavero" is also a "Lamakom".

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Message: 5
From: "D&E-H Bannett" <dbnet@zahav.net.il>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 22:13:51 +0300
Re: [Avodah] It is not the same religion

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned that the usual 
Sefaradi custom in E"Y is for the chatan to arrive at the 
wedding together with the kalla in a decorated automobile. 
On the way they often stop for the photographer to take 

They also do not usually retire to a yichud room after the 


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Message: 6
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 21:11:45 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Standing for the Chasan and Kalah

R' Yitzchok Levine posted:
> I have posted the material dealing with this topic at
> http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/levine/standing_chasuna.pdf
> "Since the groom does not receive the status of 'chasan' until
> after the recitation of all those brachos which are said under
> the chupah"

Can I presume that according to that sefer, since the groom is not yet a chasan until the chupah, there is no reason to skip Tachanun if Mincha is said prior to said chupah?

Akiva Miller

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Message: 7
From: hankman <salman@videotron.ca>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 20:02:17 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Luchos

The point you (RLT) make in your previous response is precisely the point
RYH builds his
thesis upon. The parallelism that exists between dibros 1-5 and dibros 6-10,
the first set of 5 in a context of bein odom lamokom and the last 5 in the
context of bein odomo lachaveiro, thus the two sets of five compomise the
five underlying themes of torah as he describes more fully in his book. Thus
as you describe, the common underlying theme in dibros 1 and 6 (in the
contexts of lamokom and lachaveiro),  dibros 2 and 7 etc form the 5 basic
underlying logical themes for the structure of  Torah and perhaps some of
the glue that puts one paarsha next to another etc.

Kol Tuv
Chaim Manaster

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lawrence Teitelman" <lteitelman@yahoo.com>
To: <avodah@lists.aishdas.org>
Cc: "Henry Manaster" <salman@videotron.ca>; <T613K@aol.com>
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2007 2:43 PM
Subject: Re: Luchos

R'n Toby Katz wrote (as quoted by R' Chaim Manaster):

"I don't know "who" says it but it is commonly said that the first five are
bein adam laMokom and the second five are bein adam lachaveiro, strongly
suggesting a parallel structure that wouldn't be obvious if, say, four
dibros  were actually written on one luach and six on the other."

in response to which RCM cites a parallelism between the n-th dibrah in each
of the respective luchos with each other and with the n-th sefer in Chumash.

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Message: 8
From: "Elazar M. Teitz" <remt@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 20:22:00 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Standing for the Chasan and Kalah

RZSero, reacting to the comment that the chasan has no status as such until after all the brachos have been said, writes:

<It seems to me that this is not at all as obvious as the author
thinks.  First, the chatan has done something in the matter of kidushin and nisuin - he has accepted a kinyan on the ketuba.    Indeed, the first time he is mentioned in the ketuba he is
not called "hechatan", because the kalah has not yet indicated her acceptance of his proposal; but the second time he is mentioned he is called "chatan dinan", and he continues to be called that every time he is mentioned again, because by this time he has made his proposal, and the witnesses have reason to believe that the kalah has accepted it*.>

     To this, he appended a footnote:

<* (Precisely what reason they have to believe this is another
question, since she isn't usually present when the ketubah is filled in and signed, and the witnesses make the kinyan on her behalf, without necessarily ever having met her, let alone asked her whether she authorises them to do so.  But that's a question for
another time.)>

     I believe that the above is mistaken on two grounds. First, it is far from universal not to write "hechasan" the first time. Indeed, in all k'subos printed until about 40 years ago, it was "hechasan" the very first time as well.  It need not be representative of a halachic statement, but of common usage: we refer to an engaged couple as chasan and kallah long before the k'suba. The use of the word may reflect legal status no more than does the wedding invitation.

     Second, the reason for calling him  "hechasan" thereafter is not because the kallah has indicated acceptance of his proposal; it is because she has already accepted kiddushin from him.  

     The kinyan and signing of the kesuba were not meant to take place until after the kiddushin. Indeed, the k'suba itself states explicitly that he said to her "hevei li lintu k'das Moshe v'Yisrael" (or, in other words, "Harei at m'kudeshes . . ."). "Hevei li l'intu" is not a proposal. One might say "Will you marry me?" or "Will you be my wife?," but I doubt if anyone ever proposed by saying "Be my wife k'das Moshe v'Yisrael."

      That it is not merely a proposal, but a reference to his having been m'kadesh her, is obvious from the next words: "Utz'vias maras Plonis bas Ploni vahavas lei l'intu," that Mrs. (note the title) So-and-so consented and became his wife.

     By right, the kinyan should be made and the kesuba signed at the point where now we read it.  In EY, many do just that: the k'suba is read until "v'kanina," at which time the kinyan is made and the eidim sign, and then the last part is read.

     In fact, the not writing of the word "v'kanina" until after the kinyan is performed is somewhat an absurdity.  Its source is the Nachalas Shiva, who says that to write it before it was done is "mechezi k'shikra."  When done as intended, possibly (after all, it isn't _signed_ until after kinyan). But nowadays, when witnesses actually sign a document in which the as-yet-to-happen kiddushin are presented as a fait accompli, it seems absurd to worry about writing, not signing, that a kinyan has taken place before it actually has. Until fairly recently, common practice was not like the Nachalas Shiva; most printed k'subos until 40 years ago had the "v'kanina" printed.  Its omission has led to the non-uncommon situation in which the word is inadvertently omitted until after the signing, and filling it is subsequently raises serious questions about the document's validity -- reason enough to eliminate the risk of its happening by printing the word.
     (I once argued this point with a rosh yeshiva at a yeshivishe chasuna, where the chasan would be in a kollel and the kallah would earn the parnasa. On the way home, my wife asked what it was about, and when I told her, she said, "And when it says that he promised 'va'ana eflach v'okir v'eizon va'afarnes yasichi,' isn't that mechezi k'shikra?")

     In any event, as regards the honor due to the chasan, signing the k'suba has no effect; nor, for that matter, does the act of kiddushin.  His special status is due to the chupa, as in the pasuk "v'hu k'chasan yotzei meichupaso."  See the RM"A in OC 131:4, regarding tachanun, that he is only called a chasan "b'yom shenichnas lachupa." 


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Message: 9
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 18:19:54 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Kapparos? For PETA?s Sake!

At 03:08 AM 08/08/2007, R. Harry wrote:

  There has been a discussion on Areivim about a complaint registered by
the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals about Shluging Kaparos. Dr.
Levine mentioned in this context that he recalled seeing something in
Kashrus Magazine about a year or two ago stating that a number of Rabbonim
had "condemned" the way chickens used for Kapporos are often mistreated. The
chickens are kept in small cages, are not fed, are left out in the rain,
sun, etc.

  That generated the following thought on my part.

  What is the point of Shlugging Kaparos anyway? I admit I'm an Am Ha'aretz
on this issue. I never understood this custom. We know for example  that the
Minhag of using live chickens was frowned upon at one point because of
Darkei Amori. How did it now seep back into practice?

I was taught as a boy to use coins instead.  The Mechaber attacks the
practice as Darchei Emori based upon some teshuvos to be found in be'er

Rema defends the practice.

There are numerous problems wiht this practice TODAY in a modern Urban
Suffice it to say, that in the absence of a family minhag or a STRONG
community minhag I would venture to say even the Rema would concede the
mechabeir's point.

Objections include:

   1. Darchie Emori as above
   2. Tza'ar ba'alei Chaim
   3. Hillu Hashem

Theis last poitn can be shown in hlichos Aveilus that many pracices that are
specifci nthe gemara - e.g. kefiyas hamitta and Atifas Harosh - were
elimnated becasue "what would the Gentiles say?"

There are heterim to wear shoes to shul on Tsiha b'av for the same reason
Any public shuluggin of Kaparos that does not respect the tza'ar balie
chayim of the chickns is therefore really problematic since there is no
halahic requirement to do so!  And aderabba the damage could be great!

That said if individuals have a strong community of family custom
and they seem to know how to handle the chicken
and they are discreet, I would not object to preserving their legacy.
Rather I simply oppose popularizing something that many in the previous
generations thought was a good idea to switch to coins.

FWIW - there is a family "legend" that when one child witnessed kaporas live
he became a vegetarian as a result.

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Message: 10
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 16:36:32 -0600
[Avodah] [Areivim] Accepting donations

Carried over from Areivim...

On 8/16/07, SBA <sba@sba2.com> wrote:

> From: "Marty Bluke" > A related point is that all the ads that I see these
> days for
> > inistitutions like Kupot Hair all promise some return to the giver
> > like Talmidei Chachamim will daven for you etc. This seems to be a new
> > phenomenon. Since when do we give tzedaka to get something back?
> Chazal say 'ha'omer sela zu litzedoko bishvil sheyichyu bonay uvishvil
> she'ezkeh ba lechayei haolom habo - harei zeh tzaddik gomur..'

To strengthen your point:  IIRC the lashon of the Gemara is "al m'nas

However, the way I understood the Gemara is that *even* if you give tzedaka
for a purpose,  you're still a tzadik.  That doesn't mean you *should* give
for a reason.  (Notice that it says tzadik, not chasid.  Based on the
Mesilas Yesharim's chiluk between the two, this makes sense.)

I remembering seeing a Teshuva once (maybe Shu"t haRashb"a - I saw it on the
Bar Ilan CD, so I don't remember what it was) asking about a person who
said, "I will give tzedaka if my son gets well, and I won't give tzedaka if
my son doesn't get well."  The question was, can you force him to give the
tzedaka in any case, enforcing the Mishna in Pirkei Avos, "Al Tihyu
ka'avadim."  The answer was that no he doesn't have to give the tzedaka.

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Message: 11
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 20:04:40 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Why is Milchemes Reshus allowed?

Jsut a few thoughts:
Consider the case of Ma'ariv [or arvis] as a reshus.  Is it REALLY just a
reshus? [see Tosafos]

Maybe a milchmes mitzva is one that is required immediately while a
milchemes reshus is simply one that is like a pre-emptive siirke - iow if
you don't fight NOW sooner or later you may have to anyway.

EG the time for taking on Amaleik followed the appointment/anointment of
Sh'aul as king.
Certainly if Israel/Judea wa attacked it had to defend itself - no reshus
But at times it made sense to attack hostile nieghbors pre-emptively.
Perhaps that  is how the wars of David  brought the peace of Shlomoh, by
eliminating POTENTIAL enemies.

It is a Reshus NOW becasue the enemies are dormant, but it is not simply an
exercise in wasting human life

Consider Presidents Bush's motivation for his Middle East Expeditions.  They
were pre-emptive.   They  were  therfore a form of Reshus. No imminet
threat, but a  rising one nevertheless.

Consider this proposition: that attacking Nazi Gemrany in 1936 would have
been deemd a Reshus; and then think of how  that might have SAVED lives and
not how it COST lives.
Kol Tuv- Best Regards,
Rabbi Richard Wolpoe

On 7/28/07, kennethgmiller@juno.com <kennethgmiller@juno.com> wrote:
> In the thread "Charedim and the army", R' Josh Backon wrote:
> > War is required in what's termed a "Milchemet Mitzva"
> > and is permitted in what's termed a "Milchemet Reshut".
> This is totally accurate, of course, and I really can't argue with
> it. But I reminds me of a question which I've had for a long time,
> and might even have asked on these pages, but with little or no
> response, so I'd like to ask it again.
> What is the rationale behind a milchemes reshus?
> In the past, this chevra has discussed various ways in which the
> Torah permits activities which modern sensitivities consider wrong
> and sinful. Most notably, slavery, but I think we've talked about
> others too.
> It seems to me that a Milchemes Reshus is not only in this category,
> but may be even far worse than slavery. After all, even in a worst-
> case scenario, one cannot kill his eved. In contrast, in a milchemes
> reshus, we are killing members of the other nation, and we are
> putting our own selves in deadly danger.
> And for what purpose? To increase our territory? If our melech wants
> the extra territory because he feels threatened and needs more secure
> borders (as in 1967) one could argue that it is a milchemes *mitzva*.
> The milchemes *reshus* situation sounds like he wants extra territory
> merely for reasons of prestige. Why are we not offended by this
> concept?
> Akiva Miller
> _______________________________________________
> Avodah mailing list
> Avodah@lists.aishdas.org
> http://lists.aishdas.org/listinfo.cgi/avodah-aishdas.org
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