Avodah Mailing List

Volume 24: Number 48

Fri, 09 Nov 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 05:32:40 -0500
[Avodah] Eilu veilu

What is the traditional understanding of the Sanhedrin/finalization of
psak history/process? Is it that Sanhedrin continually functioned from
the time of Moshe Rabbeinu on and was the final arbiter of all issues
but chose which to decide and which to leave local?  For example
machshirei milah on shabbat or chicken and milk -  assumedly there was
awareness of differing local practice yet the issue was not aiui
immediately resolved.  Is this similar to different patterns of shofar
that were allowed then unified (seems a stretch)?  Any thoughts
appreciated on or off line,

Joel Rich
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Message: 2
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@sibson.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 08:29:39 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Wommen's zimun

 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

IIRC there's a tshuva of either R' MF or the Chasam Sofer that
specifically allows a talmid to change his minhag to follow that of his
Yeshiva. I recall not understanding how this fit with my understanding
of the force of minhag (which led to my earlier question on how one
generation binds another). B"N I'll look for it when I'm at home.

Joel Rich
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Message: 3
From: "M Cohen" <mcohen@touchlogic.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 09:18:31 -0500
[Avodah] MM and yerusha

R Dessler speaks in MM about reasons for the halachos of yerusha (which are
not what one w/ m'sevarah expect)

ie wife and daughters m'doraisah get nothing.

I am trying to find the exact quote for someone, and I can't find it.

anyone remember where it is...

Mordechai Cohen
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Message: 4
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 14:29:10 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Just what ARE the rules of p'sak anyway?

RYG writes:

> --- 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 must be missing something here:

A) why did they not rely on the more usual their zera is considered like
susim? (I always thought, despite the unhappiness of the Sridei Aish
about this idea, that it was precisely for these reasons, and because
this sort of thing happened too often, that it was good we held this

B) How would afkinu help for Cohanim anyway, whether she was considered
married to her husband the Cohen at the time or not, the problem of
zonah would surely still exist?

> Yitzhak



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Message: 5
From: "Richard Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 18:57:27 -0500
[Avodah] Just what ARE the rules of p'sak anyway?

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.


This is just the opposite of an old saying: ?An expert is someone who comes
from more than 50 miles away to give advice.?  I?m not sure from where that
comes.  ?  


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Message: 6
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 21:28:51 -0500
Re: [Avodah] lifnei iver/kanaus

On 10/11/07, Celejar <celejar@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 07:00:15 -0400
> Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:
> > On Mon, Oct 01, 2007 at 01:10:22AM -0400, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> > : The Talmud/SA tells us that we may not hit a child past a certain age
> [15
> > : iirc] because he might hit you back and you would thereby trangress
> lifnei
> > : iver...on an issur of misas beis din no less.
> >
> > Might, not probably.
> >
> > Think of the gezeirah against blowing shofar on Shabbos. Takanos do not
> > require a very high threshold of probability.
> I see no indication in the Gemara (MK 17a) or SA that this is a takanah
> or gezeira; the gemara's language is that "he has violated lifnei
> i'ver".

I'm WAAAAY behind on Avodah, but....

The Gemara at the end of Eizehu Neshech (BM 75b) says:

"Amar Rav yehuda amar Rav: Kol mi sheyesh lo ma'os umalveh osan shelo b'edim
oveir mishum v'lifnei iver lo sitein michsol, v'reish lakish omer gorem
klalah l'atzmo."  In this case, the gemara also refers to it as lifnei iver,
even though there is clearly no transgression taking place except in the
unlikely circumstance that the loveh is kofeir.  This is most definitely not
an issur of lifnei iveir.  It is at most a gezeirah/takanah.  (I have a
comment penciled in the margin of my gemara directing me to Ritva Megilla
28a where he says that this is not an issur, but a middas chassidus.)  The
same should apply to the gemara in MK 17a which uses a similar lashon.

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Message: 7
From: "Michael Kopinsky" <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 21:40:50 -0500
Re: [Avodah] mitzvat aseh

On 10/17/07, Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com> wrote:
> RMF claims that the mitzvah of yishuv EY is a mitzvat Aseh kiyumit like
> Tzizit
> where one is not required to do it but one gets a mitzva if one does.
> R. Shapira (Ztl) disagreed and pointed out that if one wears a cloth
> with 4 corners
> then one is required to put on tzizit. Similarly other mitzvat Aseh
> kiyumit the choice
> is whether to be in the position. However once in the position the
> Mitzvah is required.
> Same thing for Succah once one eats a meal on any day of Succot it
> must be in a Succah.
> The kiyumit part is only that one doesnt't have to eat a meal.
> None of this applied to yishuv EY

(Catching up on old Avodah posts....)

The way I understood R' Moshe's shita is that it IS similar to tzitzis.  The
gemara/Rambam/poskim all say that there is an issur to leave EY, but do not
say that it's assur to live in Chu"l.  Saying it's a mitzvah kiyumis (as
opposed to "mitzvah chiyuvis al haguf" - his lashon in EH 1:102) means that
there is no automatic chiyuv.  Someone who lives there, is chayav to
continue to do so, the same way someone who is wearing a beged with 4
corners is chayav to wear tzitzis.  But there's no chiyuv to go to Israel,
nor to wear such a beged.

I would like to see his piece in Dibros Moshe, where he says he discusses
this further.  Does anyone know where this in Dibros Moshe it is?

Michael Kopinsky
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Message: 8
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 23:46:58 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Traditions Should not be Altered

On Nov 6, 2007 8:29 PM, Moshe Y. Gluck <mgluck@gmail.com> wrote:
> Another example: All the new-fangled Segulos (forty days Perek
> Shirah/Kneading Challah/Shir Hashirim/etc.).
> Another example: All the Hanhagos (both active and passive) based on Sefer
> HaZohar, that (I presume) were not practiced until the Zohar spread. Would
> R' MF, had he lived at that time, Paskened against them?
> Another example: What about the safes that many Aron Kodesh's now have in
> them? They detract from the aesthetic and add enormously to the cost.
> Mei'olam Lo Shamanu Mei'hem!
> I'm sure that the listmembers can come up with more examples.
> KT,

Another way of saying
"Yesterday's shinui is today's time-honored Tradition!

I if something is normative ONLY because it is OLD, then the system
breaks down because its anitquity does not prove anything except its

I don't mean to be flip.  A time-honored Tradition in my school of
thought has to do with standing the test of time and passing a form of
"peer rfeview". if however people accept things w/o any proper
analysis, then being OLD doesn't prove it has any intrinsic value at

Milsa delo ramyah anafshei, lav adato d'inish. If - as a chashuver
colleague of mine is wont to say - "The Olem is a Golem" then you
cannot prove anything by a practices popularity or its antiquity.

The proper model for supporting an old minhag -aisi - is to presume
that it is based upon a leigitmate p'sak but the original source or
its Ta'am has been lost and all we have is the practice.  [This lose
is often due to forced migrations, persecutions or just plain faulty
oral/mimetic transmission of details - such as the Shach/Sema story
where the in the original story the Shach himself was not included.]
This phenomenon of lost origins is one of the main classes of "minhag"
in Menachem Elon's work on Mishpat Ivri.   As Rabbeinu Tam puts it [as
quoted by Dr. Israel T Shma] The source of our [viz. Ashknezic]
liturgy stems from the same Oral Traditions originating in Israel as
did the Bavli.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:

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Message: 9
From: Michael Kopinsky <mkopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2007 23:47:54 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Teshuva - postive or negative?

Micha Berger wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 07, 2007 at 04:13:21PM -0400, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> : If Harata is remorse  -  an emotion such as depression would be the natural
> : consequence.
> In Shaarei Yosher, shaar 1, fourth principle, Rabbeinu Yonah literally
> links the effectiveness of teshucah to the amount of distress one has
> in charatah.
I think you meant Shaarei Teshuva, not Shaarei Yosher....


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Message: 10
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 00:13:36 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Esther and Achashveirosh

On Nov 6, 2007 8:45 PM,  <T613K@aol.com> wrote:
> From: Sarah Green sarahyarok@yahoo.com

> Once she went to the king voluntarily -- for /anything/ -- she was no longer
> a captive but a willing actor.   She was now acting as a wife rather than a
> kidnap victim.

FWIW the daf 1 or 2 weeks ago says that any wife who is a captive and
helps her captors with food or ammunition is STILL considered under
force because she does so out of fear for her life, regardless how
passive or active she is


> --Toby Katz
> =============

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Message: 11
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 00:54:21 -0500
[Avodah] Is an INCORRECTargument worse than NO Argument at

> Rambam was confronted with a similar situation where some philosophers
> wanted to prove the existence of God by arguing that the world must have
> been created by an intelligent entity from nothing. Rambam on the other hand
> shows that there is no such proof that can stand up to a close
> investigation.
> "*If you wish to go in search of truth, to cast aside your passions, your
> tradition, and your fondness of things you have been accustomed to cherish
> and if you wish to guard yourself against error, consider then the fate of
> these speculators and the result of their labors. Observe how they rushed,
> as it were, from the ashes into the fire. They denied the nature of the
> existing things, misrepresented the properties of heaven and earth, and
> thought that they were able, by their propositions, to prove the creation of
> the world, but in fact, they were far from proving the creatio ex nihilo,
> and have weakened the arguments for the existence, the unity, and the
> incorporeality of God. The proofs of all these doctrines must be based on
> the well-known nature of the existing things, as perceived by the senses and
> the intellect."* (MN 1:76)

for the entire article please See


Sometimes we accept arguments because they fit our comfort zones even though
they may not hold water.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 12
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 17:51:46 +1100
[Avodah] A few Notes on Parshas Chaye Sarah and Toldos

Rashi 23:1 "Bas 20 kebas 7 leyofi"

Q: Since when do we praise a nifteres about her beauty?
Sure, a kallah is 'noeh vechasideh' and Rivka and Rochel had their beauty
mentioned when they were in the shidduch parsha - but as a hesped??


23:2 Rashi "BeKiryas Arba": "Al shem arba anokim shehoyu shom - Achiman,
Sheshay veSalmahy ve'avihhem."

Q: Why isn't the father's name mentioned?

But see Yehoshua 14:15 Rashi dh "Ha'adam Hagadol": "Avihem shel Achiman
Sheshay veSalmay "Arba" hoyo shemoy.."

So now  the question is, why Rashi here, when giving 2 reasons, for the name
"Kiryas Arba" - doesn't give that 3rd explanation?


A nice "vertel" from the Baal haTurim on the 1st posuk.
He asks why does the Torah use "shney" chayei Sarah -  rather than "yemei"
chayei Sarah?

He explains, that Sarah was young and then old, then she became young again
and again got old - thus she lived TWO ["shnei"] lives...


BhT 24:29 writes that Yitzchok's eyes were weakened by the smoke of the
Avodo Zoro of Esav, adding that this did not affect Rivka as she was inured
from this, having seen plenty of it in her father's home (adding that he had
been a komer le'AZ).

Mashma lechoreh that one can be 'innoculated' against such things..
(OTOH, maybe only towards AZ but not other averos...)
For another reason why Rivka wasn't affected, see the Daas Zekenim Parshas
Toldos 27:1.


And a milsa bedichasa I heard explaining why Rivka fell off the camel when
seeing Yitzchak davvening (24:64).

It was late in the afternoon and she was told that Yitzchak had just
davvened. Rivka thought it was Tefilas Shachris - and was shocked to learn
that her choson the famous tzaddik davvened so late..

She relaxed when she was informed that he had just created Tefilas Mincha...



Baal haTurim 27:3 dh 'Tzayid' - includes most of the halochos of Shechita -

Baal haTurim 27:29 says that "Bizechus Yaakov yored geshem vesheleg".
Anyone know of a source for this?

Daas Zekenim 25:25 cites a Midrash that Esav did not have a bris.
For the first 2 years of his life, Yitzchok was concerned about the 'ADmoni"
aspect - think he had some blood problems. At age 2, Yitzchok decided to
wait until he was 13 - just as Yishmael.

But at 13 Esav refused to have a bris.




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