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Volume 24: Number 47

Thu, 08 Nov 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 00:35:48 EST
Re: [Avodah] Mikveh l'zona

In a message dated 10/25/2007 7:03:30 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
dov_kay@hotmail.co.uk writes:

but I  have question for Avodah:  Is there any point at all in her going to  
mikveh?  Is there an issur of niddah in such a  case?

In addition to the already mentioned sources that hold that there  is Issur 
Niddus on B'ilas Akum, (Maharsha, Pnei Yehoshua, Ohr Godol) I also  found the 
Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 10 # 43 who brings from the Minchas Chinuch in his  Kometz 
HaMincha on Mitzvah 35 who says so Mfurosh.
On the other hand I found an opinion who disagrees and brings proof to his  
opinion that there is no Issur, the Sefer is called Dvar Yeshuoh on the Megila. 
 (if there will be any interest in it I will send pdf file, as there are many 
 interesting points with regard to the discussion about Esther.) 
Kol  Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Message: 2
From: "Simon Montagu" <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 10:50:00 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Esther and Achashveirosh

On Nov 6, 2007 10:15 PM, Sarah Green <sarahyarok@yahoo.com> wrote:

> However, there was one part I never understood - on 'ka'asher avadti
> ovodti".    Possibly because we tend to have pictures in our minds of what
> we learned as children, and we find it hard to switch to another view.
> However, in my adult mind it still seems to me that if you go to request an
> audience to speak to a king, he is sitting in a public throne room or
> reception room surrounded by courtiers and advisors.
> So why on earth, when Esther went to invite him the party, would we need to
> assume that anything private or personal would take place?

That isn't necessarily true today - see the Starr report - and I doubt
if it was true in Ahashverosh's court.

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Message: 3
From: "Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer" <frimea@mail.biu.ac.il>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 09:25:43 +0200
[Avodah] Minimum/living wage in Halakha

I was wondering whether anyone has thoughts or has seen of discussion related to the letter I've received below.
Dear Prof. Frimer,
    I am trying to analyze the situation of consumers with regard to the employment practices of major stores.
    Could you direct me to any existing sources of halachic obligations on consumers to refrain from patronizing stores which pay employees less than a living wage?
    Do the stores themselves have limitations on staff salaries? In other words, instead of raising prices to maximize profits, so-called "mega-stores" lower costs at the expense of personnel.
    Most of the sources I've consulted discuss tactics like monopolies, price inflation and the like.
            Thank-you so much.

Prof.. Aryeh A. Frimer
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 52900, ISRAEL
E-mail: FrimeA@mail.biu.ac.il
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Message: 4
From: "Richard Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 03:24:19 -0500
[Avodah] Boruch Dayan Emes

Michael Kopinsky wrote:

But the Bracha is Baruch Dayan HaEmes.  With your change, that would read as
"Dayan Hei Meis", clearly a problematic change.



Of course, from a literal point you are correct. However, this was a d'rash
which is not necessarily meant to be taken literally. That's why I omitted
the "hay". We have example after example of this throughout our literature
when it comes to a d'rash.


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Message: 5
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 14:28:35 EST
Re: [Avodah] Esther and Achashveirosh

>>However I also always understood the "ka'asher avadti avadti" to  mean, not 
that she would automatically be chayav kares for going to  the throne room, 
that by going to the king's throne room  voluntarily she was greatly 
increasing  the chances ...etc<<  [--old TK]
I should have added that if you translate "ka'asher avadti  avadti" as "if I 
am doomed to kares I am doomed to kares" -- that is not  pshat.  Pshat is that 
it means, "If I lose my life, I lose my life."   There is also nothing in the 
pshat to indicate that Esther and Mordechai were  ever married.

--Toby  Katz

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Message: 6
From: Yitzhak Grossman <celejar@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2007 17:27:35 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Just what ARE the rules of p'sak anyway?

On Mon, 5 Nov 2007 18:50:52 -0500 (EST)
"Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:

> For example, the problem nearly everyone has with hafkaas qedushin.
> There is no textual basis for extending "kol demeqadeish adaas
> derabbanan meqadeish" in an era where there is no institution one can
> point to as being the locus of "daas derabbanan". Today, one would
> have to ask, which rabbanan? (Looking at the rishonim, the machloqes
> seems to be whether geonim had such authority. Hakol modim they
> didn't.) There is no minhag avos support for such things, no historic

By "Hokol modim they didn't", I understand you to mean that all agree
that Rishonim do not have the authority to nullify Kiddushin.  This is
not correct; the most sensational account of a post-Talmudic afke'inhu,
and the only one I know to have occurred without a preexisting edict,
and justified solely by a perceived Rabbinic fear of a potential future
socio-religious catastrophe, is this one of the Darkei Moshe [0]:

--- Begin Quote ---

[Quoting the T'rumas Ha'deshen:] But in the [aftermath of the] decree of
Austreich they [women who had been captured by gentiles - see the
previous section of the DM] were permitted, on the authority of
Gedolim, to their husbands too, even to Kohanim ...

[The DM himself:] And it seems to me that perhaps the Gedolim who
permitted did not do so Mi'dina but for a Zorech Sha'ah, for they saw
that we must be concerned for future women, that if they were to know
that they would be unable to return to the husbands of their youth,
they might sin, and so they were lenient.

And do not say, can we be lenient with regard to an Issur De'oraisa?
It seems to me that they relied on that which it is stated "kol
d'me'kadesh a'da'ata d'rabbanan m'kadesh" and Beis Din has the
authority to nullify their Kiddushin and they are therefore as single
women and even if they have strayed they are permitted to their
husbands, so it appears to me.

--- End Quote ---

[I came across this once in an article by Rabbi Riskin, but could not
recall the DM's location; a friend tracked it down for me.]

[0] EH 7:13

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

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Message: 7
From: JRich@Sibson.com
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2007 12:54:04 CST
Re: [Avodah] Minimum/living wage in Halakha

Is it an area that chazal could institute takanot,? Sure.

How would chazal determine living wage? What would the mechanism be do administer them on an ongoing basis?  The history of minimum wage, price controls etc. Is such that I would think it would take extraordinary circumstances to do so.

Now we can discuss ethical responsibility -  at least in us consumers have voted with their feet on this one.

Iirc there are (unwritten?) tshuvot on what delta is material enough to overcome the presumption that one should deal with brothers.


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Message: 8
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 20:39:42 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Just what ARE the rules of p'sak anyway?

R' Micha Berger wrote:
> Also, weighting shitos is only part of it.

Something about the phrase "weighting shitos" reminded me of something I heard a long, long time ago, in a place far, far away...

In 1980-82 I was zocheh to learn in the kollel of the Bostoner Rebbe shlit"a, which at the time was located in the Bukharim section of Yerushalayim. It was a halacha-oriented kollel, in which we spent over a year learning Kaytzad Mevorchim.

The Rebbe spoke to us once about the rules of psak. I've forgotten most of it, but one particular point made a deep impression, and I still remember it clearly. The point was about the importance of *local* psak, and the precedents set by previous poskim of that particular makom. The example he gave (these are not his exact words, but he did use these names and places) was that someone paskening in New York - even if he is Sefardi - has to give a lot more weight to Rav Moshe Feinstein's opinion, compared to that same posek if he was paskening in Yerushalayim. And for the same logic, someone paskening in Yerushalayim - even if he is Ashkenazi - has to give a lot more weight to the opinions of the Ben Ish Hai, compared to that same posek if he was in New York.

(I admit that those examples would make more sense if the Ben Ish Hai had lived in Yerushalayim rather than Baghdad. Perhaps the Bostoner actually used ROY's name, but this is the way I remember it.)

Akiva Miller

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Message: 9
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 18:03:30 EST
Re: [Avodah] Mikveh l'zona

In a message dated 11/7/2007 12:19:52 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
Yzkd@aol.com writes:

See  Sefer Medrosh Talpiyos (which I faxed, and hopefully R' Micha  will 
assign a URL for it and notify us)

Thanks to R' Micha, here is the URL:

Kol  Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Message: 10
From: Michael Poppers <MPoppers@kayescholer.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 22:12:05 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Steps/Stages

(Forgive me if what I note below has been discussed this past week+ --
looking at the ToC/"Today's Topics" stanzas of digests I haven't yet read,
I saw a lot of "Re: Steps/Stages" subject headings, and their respective
content didn't address this point....)

In Avodah Digest V24#35, RJJB wrote:
> - the three tefillos - the avos, or the korbanos?  the korbanos wins out,
because it can include all the musafim, and we have the verse "compensating
with the bulls of our lips". <
I think a better translation of that phrase (considering that the dageish
qal of "farim" is elided because the two words of "unshal'mah farim" [as
per the t'amim] go together) would be "and let our lips compensate for
bulls" rather than "and let the bulls of our lips compensate," don't you,
R'Jonathan?  Thanks.

All the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager
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Message: 11
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 09:51:14 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Wommen's zimun

Bounced to Avodah instead, as I suspect this is too Torah heavy for the
moderators at Areivim.  If that is a problem for you, please let Micha

RMW writes:
> R' Chana Luntz:
> >> If it is poretz geder to go against a
> >>minhag, how could there ever be a minhag shtus, or a minhag taus?
>   Before I answer, let me ask you the converse - if choosing to 
> abandon one shittah and follow another because it fits my political 
> agenda, is not Poretz Geder, and violation of Al Titosh, when IS it a 
> violation?

Well to answer that properly, one needs to work through the sources on
poretz geder.  It is rather difficult to do this on one leg, but the
proof text for poretz geder is Koheles 10:8 [v'poretz geder yishkanu
nachash] which Rashi explains there refers to a siyag shel Chachamim
l'avor al divreheim, which seems to be the way it is understood in the
gemora as well. And I note that the Ramban (in his hakdama to Sefer
Hamitzvos - chelek 1 (5)) understands that a violation of the lav of lo
tasur only occurs in relation to something that is d'orisa or halacha
miSinai in origin, but in relation to takanos and gezeros, one is not in
violation of the lav, albeit that there is misa b'yadei Shamayim based
on the concept of poretz geder (ie the death b'yadai shamayim is
encapsulated in the form of the nachash).  So unless you say that the
shitta adopted is that of a zaken mamre, prima facie I can't see how you
get to poretz geder no matter what motivates the change.  Agreed there
are some citations of the concept in the Shulchan Aruch which might
suggest a slightly wider definition, but those seem to be of the nature
of creating effectively a local and specific takana - which again would
draw it back to a violation of divrei Chachamim.

>   The answer is as follows. When there is a Minhag Shtus or Taus 
> involved, the minhag is being deemed 'incorrect,' and the person 
> deeming it such is saying 'everyone drop this minhag.' About such 
> minhagim, Rabeinu Tam wryly noted in Sefer Hayashar, the gematria of 
> Minhag is 'Gehinnom.' A good example would be your example, of the 
> minhag for married women to not cover their hair.
>   Whenever one has a minhag, and that minhag is not deemed a 
> minhag taus, one is not supposed to change his minhag merely 
> because rov achronim hold differently. 

The irony of this though, is that the minhag is not like this - at least
if you use the expansive definition of minhag that you are doing.
People go off to yeshiva and adopt the hanhagos of their various Roshei
Yeshiva.  The Roshei Yeshiva are recorded as frequently changing their
minhag, because of conviction out of the sources, or because of derech
eretz reasons, or for a whole host of other reasons.  

Nor would one expect it to be when one goes into the sources and roots
of minhag.  After all, much of the original discussion of minhag
revolves around one person going to live in a town with a different
minhag from the town he came with, and of course his responsibility in
that situation, if he moves permanently, is to change his minhag both
l'chumra and l'kula.  If he moves temporarily, he only changes it
l'chumra.  This idea that we hold onto the minhag that our particular
parents had in the old country is only really justifiable because we say
that the places we have moved to do not have a settled minhag.  

>   More specifically, when the Mishna Brerura picks an opinion based on

> 4 out of 6 achronim, he is only addressing those who do not know their

> minhag regarding this issue(unless he specifies that one of the 
> options is a taus) . This doesn't mean the Mishna Brurah was only 
> written for Baalei Teshuva.
> No one knows their minhag, offhand, regarding all the 
> thousands of halachachic minutiae to be found throughout the 
> shulchan aruch.

Well if you father and/or grandfather is around, why not try asking him?
- if he never did it, then if you hold, as you do that not doing
something is proof of a minhag not to do it (I think there could be
disagreements on this as well, but I think the Aruch HaShulchan says
something along those lines) then by definition you don't have the
minhag.  Even if they are not around, you could always try asking
somebody who came from the same town.  If they don't do it, and don't
recall anybody else doing it, that is pretty clear proof that you don't
have the minhag.  You don't need the Mishna Brura.

Of course, as mentioned, the minhag is not like this.  Whether it should
be like this (or even a weeny bit more like this) is a serious question.
Perhaps people ought to be spending more time quizzing their fathers and
grandfathers regarding every item of halachic minutiae they possibly can
instead of running off to the Mishna Brura.  In fact the Aruch
HaShulchan is noted as being far more in favour of preserving minhag
than the Mishna Brura, and one of the aspects of the shift to a greater
popularity of the Mishna Brura is that historical minhag seem even less
in favour than it once was.

>   So, regarding women's zimmun, If a person has a specific minhag to 
> do it, it would be poretz geder to not do it. If a person does not 
> know their minhag, I see no problem with picking either the Gra or the

> Mishna Brurah's conclusion. But for a seminary to preech to all of 
> their students that the Gra is the correct opinion, and they should 
> all abandon their tradition of not doing it, is arguably, Poretz 
> Geder.

In which case, every seminary and yeshiva that I am aware of is poretz
geder.  Leaving aside everything else, they almost invariably these days
have a dress code that is not the ancestral minhag of most of their
student's parents.  The requirement that my three year old son wear
tzitzis is an example followed by almost all the day schools I know.
And there are many other instances of this (how about requiring the
student to only eat chalav yisroel when his family minhag is chalav
hacompanies?  To wear a black hat?  It does not stop.)

But specifically regarding choosing to abandon one shittah and follow
another because it fits a political agenda, I would note that the Bagatz
(Israeli Supreme Court) appears to agree with you, at least where the
economic and social impact on Israeli society is significant.  Whatever
you want to say, the minhag outside of Bnei Brak has been for the last
100 or so years to rely on the Heter Mechira.  Whereas Keren HaShviis,
which I gather is paying farmers who previously relied on the Heter
Mechira (one shita) to let the land lie fallow in accordance with other
shittos, would seem to have a different view about the permissibility of
enticing a switch (including with financial incentives).  And note of
course that the minhag of Egged and the many frum people using Egged
over the last 50 plus years was always to rely on those shitos which
allowed men and women to sit together on buses, so presumably setting up
and requiring mehadrin buses is poretz geder.  I suspect we may have a
ruling from the Bagatz to that effect soon as well.
>  - Mike Wiesenberg




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