Avodah Mailing List

Volume 24: Number 34

Mon, 29 Oct 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 11:21:33 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Religion and Falsifiability

In Avodah Digest V24#14, RMYG responded to RRW:
>> But I was told
Mirshatarbed NISHt fu na kasah
We do NOT die from a question!? <<
> Rambam (Hilchos Avodas Kochavim 2:1-3) says that we do. <
R' MP:
WADR, that sounds like equating proper "v'darashta heiteiv" to improper
"tidrosh leiloheihem" just because d'rishah* is involved in both situations.

*) and, it so happens, AZ

Rambam, IIRC, is actually talking about Lo Sasuru, and you are correct that
he discusses AZ, but he also makes it extremely clear that he includes plain
ol' Kefirah.


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Message: 2
From: Yitzhak Grossman <celejar@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 15:00:17 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Birchas Kohanim [WAS] An-im Zemiros

On Wed, 24 Oct 2007 14:47:20 -0400
Zev Sero <zev@sero.name> wrote:

> Micha Berger wrote:
> > But to answer your question... Blind people tend not to look at too
> > many things. What second time?
> It's a joke.  The way I heard it was that the first time you look
> you go blind in one eye; the second time you go blind in the other
> eye.  And the third time you look, you die.
> AFAIK the only genuine source for anything like that only says that
> looking at the Cohanim's hands causes general weakness and ill health,
> not anything specifically ophthalmological.

The Gemara [0] does make an opthalmological claim:

Anyone who looks at three things will have his eyes dim: at a rainbow,
at a Nasi, and at the Kohanim ... At the Kohanim - when the BHMK stood,
when they stood on their platform and blessed Yisrael with the Shem

> Al pi nigleh the reason not to look at the Cohanim, or at anything
> else, is so as not to be distracted from hearing the bracha.  It has

Tosfos give that reason for a prohibition even when not in the
BHMK; they aren't claiming that that is the Gemara's intention [1].

> long seemed to me that going under a talles with several people,
> including screaming kids, is *less* conducive to focusing on the bracha
> than forgoing the talles and just closing ones eyes.   Also, a talles
> with several people under it gets hot and stuffy, especially if the
> Cohanim sing at great length between words, and by the end one is
> waiting impatiently for it to be over, which is not what it's about.

I have always felt the same way.

[0] Hagigah (16a)
[1] ibid s.v. Ba'kohanim

> Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's

Bein Din Ledin - bdl.freehostia.com
An advanced discussion of Hoshen Mishpat

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Message: 3
From: Yitzhak Grossman <celejar@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 15:01:02 -0400
Re: [Avodah] An-im Zemiros

On Wed, 24 Oct 2007 15:41:55 -0400 (EDT)
"Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:

> On Wed, October 24, 2007 2:47 pm, R Zev Sero wrote:
> : Al pi nigleh the reason not to look at the Cohanim, or at anything
> : else, is so as not to be distracted from hearing the bracha....
> I thought it was so as not to be mevayesh the kehunah by pointing out
> the lack of hashra'as haShechinah. Whereas in the days of bayis
> rishon, "lo yir'ani adam vachai" like processes prevented the eye to
> withstand the light of the Shechinah.
> The kavod issue is implied in Chagiga 16a, which puts it together with
> staring at the nasi or at a rainbow as being bad (but not terminally
> so!) for eyesight.

Additionally, the Gemara immediately prior to that explains the
Mishnah, which states "ve'kol she'lo has al kevod kono ra'sui lo she'lo
ba le'olam, to be referring, inter alia, to a gazer at the kohanim.

The Magen Avraham (128:35) explicitly mentions that the reason for the
prohibition against looking while the BHMK stood is kavod ha'shechinah,
and that there is now a prohibition against gazing as a zecher to that.

> SheTir'u baTov!
> -micha

Bein Din Ledin - bdl.freehostia.com
An advanced discussion of Hoshen Mishpat

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Message: 4
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 21:24:52 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mikveh l'zona

Yzkd@aol.com wrote:
> In a message dated 10/26/2007 6:27:33 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, 
> yadmoshe@012.net.il writes:
>      However Rashi is
>     understood  as meaning that  she went to the mikva for Achashveros.
>   As to Shitas Rashi Lan"d it is clear that the Tvilah was for 
> Mordechai and "after" being with Achasveirosh (the mikva was for being 
> with Achsveirosh),
Rashi (Megila 13b) says: "Esther was tovel for the sake of cleanliness 
so that she should not be disgusting to the tzadik [Mordechai] because 
of her intimacy with Achashveros."

Ohr Godol (Simon aleph page 9) deduces from the fact that Rashi doesn't 
say that she was tovel for Mordechai because of nidah that she must have 
already toveled for nidah when she was with Achashveros.

Daniel Eidensohn

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Message: 5
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 22:41:06 +0200
[Avodah] top recent seforim

A recent article I read asked for the names of any top Israeli seforim
in the last 10-20 years that might have a long term impact

Any suggestions?

Eli Turkel

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Message: 6
From: "Richard Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 17:54:01 -0400
[Avodah] Birkat Kohanim

In both cases Hashem created something and let it obey rules that allow harm
to come to people.

That certainly cannot be denied; however, there are miracles and exceptions,
if and when HaShem wishes to employ them - many times far beyond our


You err in your description of the tannaim. Hillel and Shammai rarely
disagreed. It was batei Hillel veShammai who had all the machloqesin.


If you are saying that the machloqesin were initiated and generated by the
batei Hillel and Shammai, it seems you are putting a negative take on it.
What happened to eilu v'eilu. Secondly, even if it were the batei who had
them, they nevertheless reflected their respective Rebbie. Thirdly, I
thought is was an accepted fact that Hillel treated people much more kindly
than Shammai. Two cases in point: the goy who asked to learn the Torah al
regel achas and the bride on her wedding day who Shammai said was ugly and
Hillel said was beautiful. 


I disagree with your point. Poison /is/ equally "with Hashem."


I cannot see how you can equate the two. HaShem made the poison available,
just as HaShem created "evil" - Yotzer or uvoreh hara.  Chazal changed the
word RA to HAKOL for the very reason that Hara is /NOT/ equally "with
HaShem." Likewise Poison is /NOT/ equally with HaShem.




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Message: 7
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 22:13:07 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Minhag Yisroel and Gra on 2 Matzos vs.3

RAF writes:
> On Sunday, 28. October 2007 13.31:03 Chana Luntz wrote:
> > Or they did teshuva I guess. ?I am not sure that this is really a
> > of manipulating reality though. ?Here the women have demonstrated
> > things to the beis din a) they have somehow sufficient  control of
> > captors to be able to get them to wait at a distance and b) their 
> > state of purity was important enough for them to arrange for all
> > to happen and they were clever enough to do so.
> No, in the case of the women who originally came to 
> Neharda'ah, it was Mar Shemuel's father who arranged for the women to
come sans 
> captors to beit din.

Obviously I am understanding the gemora differently from the way you are
- but I understood the bit about the captors standing at a distance as
only applying to Shmuel's daughters, and not to the women from
Neharda'ah.  Rather, as I understand it, what happened with the women
from Neharda'ah ws that Shmuel's father arranged for them to be given
protection to prevent their captors violating them, and then Shmuel went
and asked what was the point, as they were assur to a cohen anyway given
that they were known to have been captured, and Avuha deShumuel answered
that if they were your daughters, wouldn't you want me to do this?  In
other words even though according to the halacha they are deemed to have
been violated from the time they are known to have been captured, and
hence are ineligible for cohanim, still, they might in reality not have
been, and even if they were, giving them additional protection will
prevent them being violated again, and wouldn't you want your daughters
to have that kind of protection, regardless of their formal halachic
status?  Does not Tosphos bear this reading out - by making it clear
that they are in the category of assur from the time they were
recognised as captured.

It is thus only in the case of Shmuel's daughters that the captors stand
far away, and allow the women to be ruled permitted to marry a cohen.
And the reason for that is, as I understood it, on the basis of the peh
she'assur principle - ie since the only way the beis din knew that the
women were captured was from the mouths of the women themselves, they
could not take only half the testimony, and had to accept all of it,
including the bit about them being tahor.  And that meant the captors
couldn't come to beis din, because once they came to beis din, and
testified that they had taken the women captive, then then the beis din
would not be relying solely on the women's testimony, and hence could
and would disregard their testimony regarding tahor ani.  Agreed, once
beis din has ruled, then that ruling overrules any subsequent witnesses
that come and testify that the women were captured, because the beis din
knows that already from the woman and have already ruled to permit her
so the witnesses are not bringing to the attention of beis din anything
they don't already know, and that means there is nothing to allow them
to overturn their judgement to permit (at least according to Avuha

Note by the way, that the way I am reading it, this whole business about
Shmuel and his daughters could be understood as a punishment of Shmuel
for his insensitivity towards the captured women from Neharda'ah.  All
Shmuel was looking at was the hard halachic reality, and failed to
consider the plight of the women, and as a punishment he found himself
in the situation of finding out what it feels like to have daughters who
are captured and taken far away (they were taken all the way up to Eretz

> BTW, manipulating reality isn't necessarily bad. If Avuha 
> diShemuel did it, it  was right (as the Gemara implies with the story
how Shemuel's 
> own daugthers eventually were taken prisoners).

I confess I don't think I understand your reading.
> Regarding the captors, I frankly doubt they did teshuvah,  otherwise
the sugya 
> would have been about whether a captor-turned-BT can testify  about
things he 
> did before repenting, and how ein adam meissim 'atzmo rasha' applies

Not if the whole point was that the captors could not come before beis
din, and had to wait at a distance so that the beis din can hear from
the women themselves that they were captured and not from any external
method.  In which case, whether the captors could themselves testify as
to the capturing, or the capturing could be deduced by witnesses who saw
the women with the captors in beis din, the women had to prevent the
captors coming.

> am rather inclined to believe that this was a standard  practice by
> government appointed tax collector or otherwise some form of  Jew
> by government forces.

Could be - but note that the daughters of Shmuel were taken all the way
from Bavel to Eretz Yisroel (which is why they found themselves in front
of the beis din of Rav Chanina - a beis din who did not know who they
were and where Rav Chanina had to deduce that they were the daughters of
a tlamid chacham from the way they acted).  Given what we know about the
governmental forces of the day, Bavel and Eretz Yisroel were not often
(if at all) under the same government.  It is also noteworthy that the
captors took them from Bavel to Eretz Yisroel - would that not also
imply that they were Jews?  The situation with the women from Neharda'ah
would seem to be different. That would seem to be a case of only one
kingdom, given Shmuel's location, and, at least according to my reading,
they allowed additional protection to be provided to the women so that
it could be made clear that the women were not being violated.  However,
that is not so inconsistent with a capture for the purpose of redemption
- after all, at the point you are seeking money for redemption, it does
not seem unreasonable to agree to allow additional guards to ensure that
the property to be redeemed is not further damaged.

> Regarding your [here unquoted] argument that we should not 
> only worry about  the yirat shamayim of the shoel, but also of the
meishiv, I 
> am sure we all agree. However, that would not bear as much on the
> issue of the nature of pessaq, which we have been discussing here 
> (remember, we started with the fact that there can be two seemingly
> rulings given to two similar people, and yet both are valid. This was
> research whether pessaq halakhah is "mathematical" or not), but rather
on a 
> different issue, of whether an erroneous pessaq renders it nonbinding,
> is treated in the halakhic literature. (ta'a bidevar mishnah etc.

But I think it does have a bearing, because a lot of psak is a lot more
grey and fuzzy than that.  Even this case of Shmuel and his father -
Shmuel was not wrong, but the gemora describes it as shegaga.  Of course
part of the question is - how often is there a genuine elu v'elu case
when it comes to individual psak, and how often is there really a better
answer - ie where the psak, because of its limitations and lack of
consideration, could legitimately be described as shegaga?  The
assumption that is being made in this discussion is that there is an
awful lot of elu v'elu and very little b'shegaga.  But I am not sure
this is the case.  Take again this story brought about the woman and the
egg and Rav Diskin. Whether it is a true story or not, assume the
following: - a) it was an egg not a chicken (so it is not surprising the
other rabbaim did not take hefsed meruba into account); b) the egg was
only kosher according to a daas yachid, so you did need a hefsed
meruba/be sha'as hachak situation  to matir it.  Still, is it not fair
to say that this is actually not an elu v'elu situation between the Rav
who permitted it and the others around the table who were certain it was
not kosher?  Is it not rather the case that the other Rabbaim were not
capable of accurately taking into account the fact that the woman had
walked so far to ask a question about an egg and understanding that this
meant that the egg was a hefsed meruba to her?  In which case, is it not
fair to say that if any of the other Rabbaim had ruled on this egg, that
would have been a ruling b'shegaga?  Even though it would have rendered
the egg assur as a cheftza shel assur!  But in the din emes, I think any
such Rav would have to account for having taken an egg from a poor
woman.  And hence while the egg may have thereby been rendered non
kosher, the psak cannot be understood to be a legitimate psak about
which an elu v'elu discussion can legitimately be held.

Doesn't it make a difference in your theoretical discussion about
mathematics and the nature of psak, to know what we are talking about in
the real world - and whether we are talking about a relatively small
subset of machlokusim that actually would result in different rulings
being given to the same or similar people if they were given correctly,
taking all relevant factors into account, or you are talking about a
relatively much greater subset?  

> [now really back to lurking...]
> -- 
> Arie Folger



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Message: 8
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 23:43:16 +1100
[Avodah] "Al haaretz ve'al michasa ve'al kalkelasa"

I had a visitor - a fine Sefardi Jew who proudly sticks to his traditions.
After being mechabed him with a coffee and a few (Israeli) crackers, he made
a brocho achrono - finishing it with "al michyasa ve'al kalkalasa".

I knew that on peiros and wines from EY some say 'al peiroseho' and 'al pri
gafno' - even in ChuL, but have never heard it said - anywhere - after

I checked a Sefardi siddur that I have and indeed that is their nusach. 

So how come we Ashkenazim don't say it?

I checked out the Likutei Maharich, who also asks this (Baruych
shekivanti...) and he notes that the Shaarei Teshuva indeed says so
beshem Halochos Ketanos .

(He also quotes Tosfos RY Hachosid that also in Birchas Hamazon one should
say "al haaretz ve'al mezonoseho'.)

The LM suggests an explanation for our minhag - that while the Peiros and
wines of EY are all of produce 'shenishtabcho bohem EY', 'Al Hamichya' (and
Birchas Hamazon) are said on '5 minei dagan' - which although included in
'chita use'orah' - are not mentioned clearly in the Torah.


PS: Someone who was at my home mentioned that most of the grain used in
Israel is imported, which may explain our minhag. 


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Message: 9
From: Yitzhak Grossman <celejar@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 14:59:27 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Minhag Yisroel and Gra on 2 Matzos vs.3

On Fri, 26 Oct 2007 11:03:51 +0100
"Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk> wrote:


> Oh and yet another example the other way.  As the gedolim of the last
> few generations pass away, I seem to be hearing more and more reports of
> Ashkenazi rabbaim looking to ROY when they have a case too difficult for
> them.  The whole thing boggles my mind.  Having read now quite a lot of
> ROY teshuvos, I would be really surprised if you would get a psak from
> him where the Mechaber would be trumped by a Tosphos.  Does it matter?
> Does the quality of the gadol matter more than their derech even when it
> is so far away from what one might expect their tradition to produce?

Are they turning to him for sources and background, an area in which he
is unquestionably non-pareil, or for his hachra'ah?  Do you have any
particular examples you can mention?

Bein Din Ledin - bdl.freehostia.com
An advanced discussion of Hoshen Mishpat

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Message: 10
From: Yitzhak Grossman <celejar@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 15:38:33 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Did Someone Forget Eilu v'eilu?

On Fri, 26 Oct 2007 07:09:27 -0400
"Richard Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net> wrote:

> Rambam maintains that Avraham's encounter with the three messengers was not
> an
> actual event. It was a prophetic vision. He also maintains the same with
> Yaakov encounter with the adversary. So it is obvious that the Rambam treats
> certain narratives in the Torah that seems to describe an actual event, as a
> prophetic vision. This very well could apply to Bilaam and the donkey.

And Ralbag (Bamidbar 22:21) indeed says that it does:

This narrative has many extremely difficult problems ...

Now the opinion of our Rabbis Z"L is that this affair was according to
the simple reading ...

And what appears to us according to the true fundamental principles
that are apparent from the words of the prophets and from analysis is
that this story was an episode that occurred to Bilam in a prophetic
vision. ...

And it appeared to Bilam in his dream of prophecy that night had fallen
when God's word came to him, in which He said to him "If these men have
come to call you, arise and go with them".  And after that it appeared
to him in his dream that it was morning and that he had arisen and
saddled his donkey and gone with the Moabite nobles, for that would
have been his decision, had he awoken.  For a man is only shown [in his
dreams] that which is in his thoughts, and so you will find that a
man's characteristics in his dream are similar to his waking
characteristics.  And God caused him to experience on his journey that
which would show him that Heaven did not agree with his going there for
his intended purpose, for he still intended to harm Yisrael as
possible.  And it therefore tells of this episode that befell him.  ...

And it appeared in his dream that God opened the ass's mouth and it
spoke to him twice ... 

And he [Bilam] said "if it is evil in your eyes I shall return" because
it appeared to him that he had already embarked on the way ...

And that which it subsequently states "and Bilam went with Balak's
nobles" is what occurred to him while awake, and that is why it needs
to state this, for the first [reference to Bilam's going] was in the
prophetic dream, and if not for this explanation, it would not need to
say this a second time, after it has already said "and he went with the
Moabite nobles".

[My translation; words in brackets are added for clarity]

Bein Din Ledin - bdl.freehostia.com
An advanced discussion of Hoshen Mishpat

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Message: 11
From: yzkd@aol.com
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 06:27:00 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mikveh l'zona

is rather difficult to understand since she obviously couldn't tell 
Achashveros to stay away from her when she was a niddah.

Thanks for your reference to the Ohr Godol (from the Gadol of Minsk), he answers this by showing from A"Z 18a and Taanis 22a, that Goyim do not have relations during the flow, so Esther was able to keep Achasveirosh at bay during that time (she either had a 7 day flow or was able to convince him that she did).

As to your?point about Pshat in Rashi and to the main question whether there is Issur Niddus when being with a Goy, will BL"N get back to it when I have more time.

Kol Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind

Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com
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Message: 12
From: "Meir Rabi" <meirabi@optusnet.com.au>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2007 00:04:35 +1100
Re: [Avodah] Avraham Avinu's Menu: Meshech Chochma P VaYera -

Thank you for your response. Yes that earlier posting is by the same poster.

I accept that the MCh is a little confusing by the continuation of his
discussion where he launches what appears to be his proof from the MILK of
the BP.

However, the earlier part, "the Ben HaBokor was a BP which is Muttar through
Shechita and for which there is no concern for BBCh" can be read no other
way but that the Issur of BBCh does not apply to the MEAT of the BP.

Now he offers proof for this from the MILK of the BP; which seems to be,
"Just as the MILK is not Milchig so too the MEAT is not Flieshig."

This too needs to be explained, how does one prove the other? I have a
MeHalech but not for now.



Meir Rabi



From: yzkd@aol.com [mailto:yzkd@aol.com] 
Sent: Monday, 29 October 2007 9:29 PM
To: meirabi@optusnet.com.au; avodah@lists.aishdas.org
Subject: Re: Avraham Avinu's Menu: Meshech Chochma P VaYera - BP MEAT is


However no one to my knowledge, other than the M'Ch, suggests that the MEAT
of the BP is nor Fleishig.


I remembered that this was discussed allready on Avoda, so I did a search
and found it at:
http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol21/v21n011.shtml#10 (is it the same person
asking?). In any case I understood the MC as meaning that the MILK was from
a BP, by the mere fact of his quoting the Shaar HaMelech, and not quoting
anyone or any Raya WRT the MEAT.

Kol Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind



size=2 width="100%" align=center> 

Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail
OLAOF00020000000970> !

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