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Volume 24: Number 5

Mon, 15 Oct 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 12:00:07 -0400
Re: [Avodah] How Bitter Can A Month Be? Bittersweet.

On 10/13/07, Zev Sero <zev@sero.name> wrote:
> R Wolberg wrote:
> > The month of Cheshvan is also referred to as "Mar-Cheshvan." Mar means
> > "bitter" ? because there are no holidays this month, we allude to it as
> > 'bitter'.
> Unfortunately, that piece of folk etymology has about as much truth as
> most such.  Merach-Shevan simply means "eighth month"; the mem and resh
> are an integral part of the name, not a prefix, and there is no such
> thing as plain "Cheshvan".
> --
> Zev Sero

Zev is correct for support see a fine Article by Ari Zivotovsky:


I have also speculated that MAYBE the term was at one time
YerachShemon  and that the Mem got transposed somehow and the Vov/yud was
flipped and transposed

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 2
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 12:01:35 -0400
Re: [Avodah] insert the slichos

On 10/14/07, SBA <sba@sba2.com> wrote:
> From: "Michael Kopinsky" < >
> Lately, I have been davening maariv out of a small German siddur,
> published
> in Basel in 1974.
> What minhag is this referring to?  Slichos in the middle of shemoneh
> esrei?!
> ==========
> Correct. During hoych shemona esra.
> That is the way our main Nusach Ashkenaz minyan does it.
> It must be a Oberland and yekkish nusach.

NB: I have found a source for this in Seder Rav Amram Gaon

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 3
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 12:08:26 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Tea before Shacharis

On 10/14/07, Elazar M. Teitz <remt@juno.com> wrote:
> <<I think it's a pretty safe bet that RSZA said Birkas HaTorah prior to
> Tehillim, and if so, then V'haarev Na is *not* enough.
> I wonder why? What do those psukim have that v'haarev lacks? Could it be
> that davening for ruchniyus does not meet the definition of bakasha? I don't
> know...>>
> <Perhaps the whole point of tefillah before akhillah is that one ask for
> siyata diShmayah for one's physical needs befrore trying to address them
> oneself? In which case, it would make sense that the baqashah must be closer
> to the subject of food than birkhas haTorah.>
>      The reason V'ha'arev does not suffice is that the source is the
> g'mara's statement that " 'Lo so'chlu al hadam' -- lo soch'lu kodem
> shetispal'lu al dimchem."  Obviously, then, it must be a t'filla for the
> physical.
>      Thus the pasuk in T'hillim 30 that is relevant is not "Mah betza,"
> but "Sh'ma Hashem v'choneini, Hashem heyei ozeir li."

I The she'iltos on Noach Rav Acha Gaon brings THREE drashos on lo soch'elu
al hadam

   1. don't eat after shechita whilst animal is still alive [related to
   eiver min hachai but slighty different]
   2. Ein mavrin harugei Beis din
   3. R. Akiva - A Beis Din that executes must fast

Point?  Tthat  he omits the case of eating before Tefillah!  AISI, since
Tefilah is Derabbana he must view this usage as asmachta b'alma.NB:  I have
not seen the the  ha'emek she'eilah on this.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 4
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 18:08:29 +0200
Re: [Avodah] How much Conformity to local Nusach/Mihag is

RMB wrote:
> This is similar to the idea I was trying to convey when I lamented about
> the large number of people who aspire to say Berikh Shemei but are already
> unwinding for leining (or their bein gavra legavra chat). People simply
> don't care.

Eh... some people aspire NOT to say Berikh Shemi. Glance at Schoroschej Minhog 
Aschkenas vol I. In fact, as I subsequently learned, some people aspire not 
to add a bunch of verses to be recited during hotzaah. In Amsterdam I 
discovered that they always start with Vayhi binso'ah haaron. The additions 
were, IIRC, advocated by Ma'hzor Vitri, but not known elsewhere in Ashkenaz. 
We should aspire to wind up for listening to the leining and learning Torah.

Additions may or may not be fine, but even if OK, let's not forget the main 

> This is lamentable. To my mind, primarily because it means the rav never
> taught the mispallelim peirush hamilim and what difference one vs the
> other makes. People with a greater feeling for minhag avos would object
> for more primary reasons.

May be LOR should also teach the ideas behind the various minhaggim and we 
should sometimes decide for some standard, even if it isn't Artscroll's.
Arie Folger

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Message: 5
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 12:17:40 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Blessing before and after eating

On 10/14/07, Galsaba@aol.com <Galsaba@aol.com> wrote:
> I am not sure how to define if a Mitzvah is from Rabanan or Torah. For
> example: According to Berachot daf 21, Chazal learned from Kal Vachoner that
> Beracha before eating is from Torah, although the Torah does not write it
> BeFeirush.  In this case, when Chazal learned, would it be Mitzvah
> DeRabanan? or from DeOrayta? Another example is "Tuma'at Of Tahor" it does
> not say BeFeirush in the Torah.
> Is there any different in the applications between those that were written
> Beferush in the Torah to those that were leaned by Chazal?
> Thanks,
> galsaba
> ------------------------------

Some interesting Halachos from p'sukkim that may or may not be d'oraisso -
at least in certain contexts

   1. I believe Rambam uses bal Teshaktzu as  an imperative not to delay
   one's call to to nature.
   2. Yet I do not believe ihe has it in his Minyan Hamitzovs
   3. Simlary he uses lo Yir'eh lecha Ervas Davar as imperiative not to
   daven in front of  exrement or a woman who  has exposed a tefach
   4. Yet this, too is NOT in Rambam's minyan hamitzvos however, [it IS
   in the SMAK's minyan]
   5. Taz uses Temimos as rationale for davening late on first night of
   6. MahRIL darshens semuchin to say Tzitzis is olbigation only for the
   married because Gedillim is samuch to ki yikach ish isha.
   7. As I have repeated on another thread, Hazal say lo soch'lu al
   hadam  implies not eating before davening. But MOST shitos is that davening
   is derabban anyway. And The Rambam who holds it IS d'orrasio has no fixed
   time of day mid'orrasio, making not eating before hand an unlikely
   requirement from a mid'orrasisso perspective.
   8. Sephardic poskim understand bracha levatalla to be an isssur
   d'orrasiso of lo sisa. Ashknezim hold this is ONLY an asmachta b'almo

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 6
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 12:25:21 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Don't Blow Out the Candles and Make a Wish

On 10/14/07, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 08, 2007 at 10:54:26PM -0400, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> : Given a cheifetz of Avodah Zoro can be nullified by a goy [bittul]
> : lI wonder nowadays that since many of these sueprpsitions that USED TO
> : have the status of being Batel because they have been secularized -
> : therefore no issur is hal anymore.
> You assume that a lack of preserving their importance is the same as an
> active bitul. Is that true?

I am not positing this as a positive p'sak. I am speculating that MIGHT be
the case in order to rationalize a yishuv to the "minhag".

See Rema about Dancing on Shabbos and YT [Orach Chaim 339].   Sometimes with
a rationale you can combine mutav shyihyu shoggegim, etc.

: I would speuclate the same MAY be true for Halloween which has pagan/Xtian
> : origins but is has really evolved into a secualr Purim style masquerade
> for
> : most people.
> Although still a celebration tied to evil -- death themes, ritualized
> version of extortion (Trick or Treat). Not quite wholesome either way.

Ein hachi nami
and NFL football is probably too gruesomely violent, too!  And NOT in
pretend way either.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 7
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 12:59:56 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Abra(ha)m Received an A+ / Gematria

Joshua Meisner wrote:

> Being that the original discussion was based on a gematria, it's 
> worthwhile to note that that gematria utilizes a base-10 system in which 
> units of 10 represent levels of completion, i.e., (10^0)x, (10^1)x, and 
> (10^2)x.  For argument's sake, one could as easily conceive a base-7 
> gematria system in which the values are 1,2...7,14,21...49, 98, etc.

I don't see where "levels of completion" comes in to it.  10 isn't a
level of completion, it's just when one runs out of fingers and has to
carry one over to the next column and start again.

> Given RZS' observation that powers of 10 are nowhere else used to imply 
> completeness, though,  it is quite curious that the system of gematria 
> should be set up in this fashion.  Why is this the case?

Because we count in base 10.  Every culture that wears shoes counts in
base 10.  Not because of any mystical notion about the number 10, but
because that's how many fingers we have.  People who don't wear shoes
can count in base 20, as the Maya did.

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                       	                          - Clarence Thomas

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Message: 8
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 20:30:12 -0400
Re: [Avodah] When was the Torah given to Moshe? [was: Resh

T613K@aol.com wrote:
> But we always speak of Matan Torah as having taken place on Har Sinai 
> -- as if Moshe was given the whole Torah on Har Sinai.  Anyway, the 
> idea that Moshe was taught the laws on Har Sinai -- not the entire 
> text of the Chumash -- does fit in with that.
> *
> *
> **

*Ramban[1] <#_ftn1>**(Introduction to Torah):[Translation of R' Chavel] 
*"Moshe Rabbeinu wrote Bereshis together with the rest of the Torah from 
the mouth of G?d. He probably wrote it down on Mt. Sinai because the 
*Torah (Shemos 24:12)* says that G?d gave Moshe the /tablets/, the 
/Torah/ and the /mitzvos/ on Mt. Sinai. The term /tablet/ refers to the 
Ten Commandments. The term /mitzvos/ refers to all the positive and 
negative commandments. Consequently the term /Torah /refers/ /to the 
stories from the beginning of Bereishis. It is called /Torah/ i.e., 
teaching because it is the teaching of the path of faith. When Moshe 
Rabbeinu descended from the mountain he wrote from the beginning of the 
Torah until the end of the description of the /mishkon/. The rest of the 
Torah he wrote at the end of the fortieth year?. This accords with the 
view of *Rabbi Yochanon* that the Torah was not written down all at 
once. However according to the view of *Reish Lakish* the entire Torah 
was written down only at the end of the fortieth year? Moshe Rabbeinu 
was thus like a scribe who copies from a very old book and therefore he 
wrote it without stating in the beginning that this was being dictated 
by G?d?It is obviously true that the entire Torah ? from the beginning 
of Bereishis until the very last word ? was said by G?d directly to 
Moshe Rabbeinu."


?? ????? ???? ???? ?? ???"? ?????? ???? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?? ??' ?? [???? 
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??? ????? ??? ????? ???? ??? ???? ???? ?' ??????. ??? ????? ????? ???? 
???? ???? ???? ??? ????? ????? ???? ????? ???? ???? ??? ???? ??????' 
??????? ???? ??? ?? ????? ???? ????? ?? ??? ????? ???? ????? ???? ???? 
?? ??? ????? ??? ????? ???? ??? ???? ???? ?' ??????. ??? ?? ???? ??? 
???? ?????? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ????? ?? ??? ?? ?? ?????? ???? ????. 
??? ??? ????? ????? ??? ???? ??? ??? ??? ????? ????? ????? ??? ???? 
??????? ???????? ???? ??? ????? ??????? ???? ???? ??? ?' ??? ?? ???. 
???? ????? ?????? ???? ??? ?' ??? ????. ??? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ?? 
?????? ???????' ????? ???? ????????? ?????? ?????? ?????. ???? ???? 
????? ????? ?? ??? ????? ???? ????? ??? ???? ????? ????? ?????? ?? ?? 
???? ??? ????? ?? ????? ????? ????? ??? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???? ???? 
???? ????? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ?? ?' ????? ?? ???? ???? ???? 
??? ?????? ??? ??? ??? ?? ?? ????? ???? ??? ????? ????? ????? ????. 
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?? ??? ????? ??? ??? ??? ????? ????? ????? ??? ????? ?? ??? ?? ????. ??? 
??? ????? ?????? ???? ????? ????? ???? ??? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????? ??? ??? 
????? ????? ??? ?????? ?? ????? ?? ????? ????? ???? ?? ???"? ?????? ?? 
??? ????? ???? ???? (????? ?"?) ???? ???? ??? ?? ?? ?????? ???? ???? 
???? ?? ???? ????.

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Message: 9
From: Dov Kay <dov_kay@hotmail.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 13:06:33 +0000
[Avodah] German siddur questions

<<Yekkes dven ma'ariv either immediately after minha - w/o aleinu afterkaddish tiskabalor after tzeirs afer this shir hama'los. in obth events, the Bar'chu inma'ariv follows a kaddishI speculate that if ma'ariv bizmano were to follow kaddish derbbanan, thenthis mizmore need not be said.>>
I always speculated that this custom was based on the requirement "la'amod b'tefillah b'soch divrei sorah" (eg see Tosfos, Berachos 2a, s.v. "M'emosai" quoting the Yerushalmi).  When KS is recited before nightfall, it fulfils this purpose and no other p'sukim are necessary.  However, when KS is recited after nightfall, it is then said b'toras KS and not divrei sorah, so additional p'sukim are required.  Similarly, where one relies on birchas Ahavah Rabbah to serve as ones birchas haTorah, Torah needs to be learnt after tefillah and KS itself is insufficient.  So to in this case.  If I am correct, we would have to say that the chasidim misunderstood the reason for the custom and just assumed that you say shir hamaalos, whenever one davens.  Or maybe the chasidim simply didn't daven maariv early.
If the reason for this custom were so that borchu may be preceded by a kaddish, how does one explain YT maariv, when we go straight into borchu?
By the way, the oberlander kehillos of Adass Israel in both Sydney and Melbourne say selichos in chazaras hashatz.  My kehillah, Etz Chaim in Manchester, consisting of born-again Yekkes and others, says shir hamaalos before maariv.  Oh, I'm a born-again Litvak, but I have a soft spot for minhagei Ashkenaz (mimeticism and all that...).
Kol tuv
Dov Kay
Feel like a local wherever you go.
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Message: 10
From: "Doron Beckerman" <beck072@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 20:46:34 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Writing down of the Torah

RZS writes:

> BTW, are we forced to say that that was on the very last day possible,
Friday 6th Adar 2490?  And that on that day he wrote 13 copies?  Or is
it possible that the dictation started several days or weeks earlier,
some time after Rosh Chodesh Shevat, which makes his feat of safrus
slightly less formidable, though I don't know any sofer who could write
13 sifrei torah in less than 4 years! <

I just wanted to present a Mar'eh Makom. The Pachad Yitzchak (R' Yitzchak
Lampronti of Chazal and science fame) testifies that he the Ramchal write
his Chiddushim in Nistar so fast, filling up a huge page so quickly, that it
was only possible to do so "B'Derech Nes" (his words!)
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Message: 11
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 15:02:55 -0400
Re: [Avodah] parshas Noach question

M Cohen wrote:

> 1. Rashi says that the first thing that Noach did after leaving the ark 
> was to plant the vineyard

> (and yet its difficult to say that Noah sat around for several yrs doing 
> nothing, and then finally when he decided to plant incorrectly planted a 
> vineyard first)

A vineyard takes time to grow.  Even if you don't keep orlah, the first
year you're not going to get wine.  I'd be surprised if you get any
appreciable quantity of wine the second year either.  Probably the third
year is the first in which you get a harvest.

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                       	                          - Clarence Thomas


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