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Volume 24: Number 67

Wed, 21 Nov 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 18:29:22 -0500
Re: [Avodah] origin of Megillas Antiochus

On Nov 20, 2007 2:09 PM, Gershon Seif <gershonseif@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I just received an email which stated the following:
> Megillas Antiochus - The Scroll of Antiochus. This
> ancient scroll which dates back to the first century
> B.C.E.
> Can anyone hear corroborate that? I recall once
> hearing that the source and authenticity of Megillas
> Antiochus is dubious.

I heard about 9th Century CE -  iirc Birnbaum has some details.  of course
it is fair to say that Megillas Antiyochus is BASED upon earlier sources

1st Century BCE?  -  Probably Maccabees I and II

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 2
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 19:02:37 EST
Re: [Avodah] Semi-Circular Menorah

From: Aryeh Herzig _guraryeh@gmail.com_ (mailto:guraryeh@gmail.com) 


>>I think that the straight line is meant to mimic the straight  line of the 
neiros of the menorah in the Bais Hamikdosh.....

This  is because gold is a soft metal and the longer the pipes are, the more  
difficult it is to keep to keep them from drooping and warping.  Yet,  we 
know from our tradition plus archeaology that it was built as a straight  
line, as difficult as is was for the goldsmith.
Moshe was shown how it should look on Har Sinai.  KaMar'eh Asher  Hor'etha 

This "straightness" of the neiros is, therefore,  a Halacha LMoshe 
MiSinai <<

Rashi says the branches came out of the central stem "be'alachson" which  
means at an angle, but it is by no means clear from Rashi that the arms were  
straight.  "Alachson" can equally well mean "curved."  True, the tops  of the 
branches formed one row, none higher or lower.
From archeology we know that the arms of the menorah in the BHM'K were  
You wrote correctly, "Moshe was shown how it should look on Har  Sinai.  
KaMar'eh Asher Hor'etha 
BaHar." However, Moshe did not leave us  any drawings or photographs.  
Therefore, your conclusion that >>this  "straightness" of the neiros is, therefore, 
a Halacha LMoshe MiSina<<  is groundless.  We simply do not know what Moshe 
was shown on Har  Sinai.  Not the cups, not the flowers, not the knobs, and not 
the angle of  curvature of the arms.  
And CERTAINLY, there is no "halacha leMoshe miSinai" regarding the correct  
shape of a Chanuka menorah, which, may I remind you, has eight branches, not  
seven.  We also have testimony here on Avodah from a Chabadnik that  
traditional Chabad menorahs have a back and no arms at all.
When the BHM'K is rebuilt, bimheirah beyameinu, we will then know what the  
menorah is supposed to look like.  I am confident that it will be  
aesthetically beautiful, classical, and not modernistic.

--Toby  Katz

**************************************Check out AOL's list of 2007's hottest 
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Message: 3
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 19:12:35 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Women's zimun

On Nov 15, 2007 7:26 PM, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:

> On Mon, November 12, 2007 12:50 am, R Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> : Diclaimer I DO NOT insist pesak is algorithmic. I am on record as
> : saying otherwise although on this thread i have not taken ANY side
> : whatseover!
> I do not see how that's consistent with the words at the end of the post:
> : AISI this system is totally subjevtive. If Tsoafos says to ignore a
> : Mishnah it is OK but if a C rabbi says to follow a Tur or a Rambam he
> : is WRONG.
> : HOW?
> If you think the alternative is fatally subjective, how can you say
> you aren't supporting algorithmism?

See Sunday's Daf with Artscroll
Rabban Gamliel claimsha we are Boshin over  Chadhashim
Artscrol explains it that he QUESTIONS the rule of the lekuchos  it but does

QUESTIONS on methodology are not necessary a  REJECTION of methodology

I actually do not have a firm position. What I do say is that I have not
seen a convincing arugment

The only thing I have rejected up until now is your PROOFS that the system
is YOUR way.  Se kesubbos 2b Just as the Gemara does not reject the logic of
Rava re:  Ein ones begittin but dimissies [with quite a big of kvetch I
might add] all of the RAYOS brought to bear, similarly I reject your
arguments because they are not convincing.

And because I fault your logic you seem to think I agree with the opposite
side. Not so!

> But in any case, the above is my best attempt to explain how the
> baalei Tosafos and the C Rabbi are doing something different. Your
> claim is similar to saying that once I open up room via eilu va'eilu
> for personal differences, how am I not including everything? Simply,
> the nature of the system creates limits to the range of possibilities.
> Otherwise, your air conditioner goes on when it hits 30degF, and and
> your heater when it reaches the 90s (also F).

I understand your analogy. but you have not addressed my point.
How is an O poseik CORRECT when rejecting a Mishna and a C posiek WRONG when
overlooking ONLY a Tur?  to whom  dioes to'eh bidvar hamioshna apply?

> ...
> :> The concept of halakhah kebasra'i is often cited as the reason why
> :> the Bavli has more authority than the Y-mi. RRW would take this to
> :> mean "Bavli trumps Y-mi".
> : Look the Riof and Ri Migash say this. an dAFAIK so did R. Sa'dyah
> : Gaon. I am not advocating this position, I am only the messnger don't
> : shoot ME!
> None used the word "trump".

Quibble on semantics.  They rule that Bavli rule over yerushlami. AIU IRi
migash was explained to me to not even factor in Yerushlami at all since if
the Bavli is silent it is ignoring the Yer. by design. That goes beyond
trumping a conflict!

> The question of whether we hold the Bavli
> carries [much] more authority than the Y-mi or that the Bavli "trumps"
> the Y-mi would require a diyuq lashon. And given the use of absolutes
> in Hebrew (dating as far back as Leah being described as "senuah"
> rather than "less loved), I don't think such a diyuq is viable.

There are many clallei p'sak. some poskim use them as absolutes. But even if
they are NOT 100% absolute they ought not to be dismissed arbitrarily.
According ti Choeshn Nishpat 25 there is possibilty for error


> http://www.vbm-torah.org/archive/shoah/03shoah.htm

If, on the other hand, our faith in the sages must be unequivocal, as Rabbi
> Dessler argues, then it is impossible for them to be mistaken. Therefore,
> there is no need to defend them on the level of historical analysis. This
> leads to the far-reaching conclusion that religious leadership has the
> all-encompassing authority to issue instruction in all matters pertaining to
> reality and history, but they are exempt from any criticism ? including,
> apparently, even self-criticism.
This quote deems a kind of infallibilty. If the gedolim say it, it must be
so EVEN in retropsect.
AFAIK even a Sanhedrin can be 2nd guessed after the fact and bring a korban
over horayos!

> Mayim acharonim weren't permitted until after the saqanta was
> eliminated. Fish and meat stays in the books with a constant comment
> about chamira saqanta mei'issura (not that I claim to know what that
> tzora'as related saqanah is...)

Which book? the Gemara is limitted to the case of COOKING fish and meat and
then eating it. Cold contact per se is not in the Gemara. So the Sakanta has
morphed.  And Bet Yosef and Levush even claim fish and MILK as a problem!
If indeed"chamira saqanta mei'issura: we should reject the Rema'squestions
and follow that chumra!

But Ga'onim have waived all medical concerns from the Talmud.  That is how
one rav [viz R. Mordechai Aderes] understands the waiver for mayyim
acharonim.  So at least as HE sees it my question is valid re: fish/meat.

Anyway with allthe fuzzy loigc and heuristics what is the VALID RANGE of
eilu v'eilu!  E.G.
when Chabad holds that keilim used with "haleiv hacompanies i"s treif EVEN
when relyinh upon RMF's pesak are they saying

   1.  those who follow RMF on this issue are beyond eilu v'eilu? Or
   2.  does eilu v'eilu STILL apply but the dishes can STILL be viewd as

So then can we could say that community X's dishes are treif but they STILL
are in the eilu v'eilu paradigm!?

Can anyone defined THEIR valid range?
Can they define ROYs valid range?

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 4
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 19:19:42 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Parshanus: How Does one Construe Silence?

On Nov 20, 2007 10:03 AM, SBA <sba@sba2.com> wrote:

> From: "Richard Wolpoe" < >
> Rashi at times uses Gematriyas.. countless Times that the Ba'al Hatuirm
> uses
> a Gematriya where  Rashi does not use one.
>   1. Is it fair to conclude that if Rashi wanted to, he WOULD have used
>   the same Gematriya as the Tur?   Or
>   2. Is Rashi's silence on a given Gmeatirya say nothing in particular?
>   3. Is Rashi [or any parshan] always giving THE DEFINITIVE exhaustive
>   peshat?   Or
>   4. Is the Peirush simply selecting one of several valid options w/o
>   necessarily rejecting other possible explanations?
> >>>
> #4. (and I suppose #1 as well.)
Follow up:

See Rashi's use  of Tanach itself [what I term the Concordance technnique]
to define  ufasachti in Shemos 12 [in 2 places as either chamalti or
dilagti]  and  in Parshas Eikev Rashi uses Targum to define Ekev [halaf]

Given the concordance Technique is used by Rashi himself elsewhere

   1. Would Rashi himself object to using this concordance technique to
   define Ekev?
   2. And even if he DID object in this, would it still be a valid method
   of parshanus?--

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 5
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 19:39:32 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Rules of Psak

On 10/31/07, Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@panix.com> wrote:
> RRW:
> What you're looking for is a real response to R' Joel Roth's "The Halakhic
> Process: A Systemic Analysis".

Exactly. I think attacks on JRs' methodology need to be specific.

 I read an Orthodox review that said that
> Roth concluded that while there are lots of rules of psak, it's left
> entirely
> to the individual posek to decide which rule applies where.  In other
> words,
> there are no rules that govern the application of the rules, so there are
> in
> effect no actual rules that would lead inexorably from S {set of
> circumstances}
> to P a singular psak.
> This, then, is an argument for anarchy in psak, allowing the Conservative
> poskim to go where they will.
> You argue that there are meta-rules such as "adherence to minhag" etc.
> that govern where a psak goes, but that's still not a rule, that's an
> excuse to generate a conclusion, and then Tosfos or the Rosh or whoever
> are free to apply the rules as necessary to reach the conclusion.  Puk
> chazi rules.  Not that that's a bad thing, when you're looking at a
> community that is 90% observant, but it doesn't help much when, as today,
> 90% of Jews are non-observant.
> There needs to be some kind of new overarching principle to guide psak,
> like the old "minhag rules" or "the Bavli rules".  Unfortunately, in this
> post "Rupture and Reconstruction" world, the rule may be becoming "lomdish
> chumra rules", which can drive more people away from Torah.
> It seems to me that part of the original purpose of AishDas was to create,
> on at least an individual level, a consciousness choice of meta-rules that
> would describe and drive one's own path in Torah & mitzvah observance.  If
> it's so difficult to even define the scope of a meta-rule, that goal was
> probably doomed from the start.  It was part of the reasoning behind the
> MMGH learning program - to learn enough about different derachim so as to
> choose intelligently among meta-rules.  But learning enough about a derech
> to even formulate a meta-rule is very difficult: philosphism, Chasidism
> (various strains), Lurianism, Yeshivishim, Modernism - all have different
> ways of approaching the rules.--
>         - jon baker

Well put!
The problem is that poskim themselves do not seem to posit a rule and to
stick to it!

I can come up with more than ONE valid model of meta-Halachah. However,
shich poskim stick to ANY meta-rules?

Bet Yosef set up a Bet Din
Kitzur SA supposedly had one, too [viz. chayei Adam SA harav and Derech
Shulchan Aruch Harav USUALlY follows Magen Avraham
Kaf hachayyim brings as many sources as possible. I am not sure how he
selects the winner but I
ROY aiui is about restoring the authority of Maran Bet Yosef amongst

But many poskim are SO eclectic it is really hard to discern any methodology
or any authority that can trump their pesak.  And that would mean that:

   1.  Choshen Mishpat 25 is obviated wrt to'eh dbidvar hasmishne and
   2. unlike a Sanhedrin the scnario of horayos could not happen
   3. therefore making modern poskim less accountable than the Beis Din
   Hagadolo in the BhM!

I think this was one  the main objectiosn to the Rambam's Mishne Torah. OTOH
Tosafos nearly always justifies its positions [or attempts to anyway]

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 6
From: "Joshua Meisner" <jmeisner@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 19:55:01 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Re A few notes on Parshas Vayetzei

On Nov 19, 2007 11:28 PM, SBA Gmail <sbasba@gmail.com> wrote:
> 29:11 - Vayishak Yaakov leRochel.  2 pesukim later re Lavan kissing Yaakov
> "Veynashek Lo".
> Is there any difference between 'vayishak' and 'vaynashek'?

I posted the question on my blog (HaProzdor), and a commenter noted
that the former is kal while the latter is pi'el.  He also noted that
the latter form is found only 4 times in the Torah, 3 of them by
Lavan, and suggested that perhaps these instances were
insincere/forced, and hence the use of the intensive pi'el form.  (The
fourth instance is Yosef kissing his brothers; the other instance in
Tanach is "Nashku bar pen ye'enaf" in Tehillim 2).

- Joshua

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Message: 7
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 13:25:03 +1100
[Avodah] Avodah] segulah of reciting Parshas Va'yishlach

From: "Moshe Feldman" < >
Someone told me that the Maharil cites a custom that a Jew who anticipates
an encounter with heathen authorities recites as a precautionary segulah
measure Parashas Vayishlach (up to and not including the episode with
Shechem and Dinah) on the Motzaei Shabbos beforehand.

I have long ago heard about the segula of reciting Vayishlach on Motzoei
Shabbos before traveling - a segula quite widespread amongst both Chassidim
and Litvaks. But this was the first I heard about its use against

I did a Hebrew Google search and found an amazing 'Segula' website
http://tinyurl.com/3d2cx7 which indeed mentions this beshem Minhagei Maharil
and the Midrash Talpios.

..a Jew who anticipates an encounter with heathen authorities recites as a 
> precautionary segulah measure Parashas Vayishlach (up to and not 
> including the episode with Shechem and Dinah) on the Motzaei Shabbos 
> beforehand.

If one merely "recites" it, and this recitation is done at some particular
time on the calendar, then it seems to give the word "segulah" a connotation
of "magical incantation", which bothers me to the point of suspecting it
might be assur.

Look up that site and you'll see plenty of such segulos.

Discussing this with a TC today, he told me that this 'segula' section of
Vayishlach is known to give us Yidden instructions on how to deal with Akum.

And then I noticed an interesting Baal Haturim (Vayishlach 32:17) explaining
a mesoreh with "...Remez ledoros haboim sheyitnu shochad lesareihem !!".

Over to the PC-isten here - to explain this...


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Message: 8
From: Sholom Simon <sholom@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 22:51:10 -0500
Re: [Avodah] What is Mindfulness and does Judaism have it

>On Nov 20, 2007 7:25 AM, Arie Folger 
><<mailto:afolger@aishdas.org>afolger@aishdas.org> wrote:
>Says who? An ultrarationalist. Many would interpret this literally, lo levazot
>et hamitzvot, even if the 'hallah doesn't know the difference. This might
>belong to proper religious mannerisms.

Even if the challah *does* know -- we're not doing it for the sake of 
the Challah, al pi RambaN, right?  After all, if shiluach haKen is 
not for the sake of the bird, then, it would seem to me kal v'chomer 
that covering the challah is not for the sake of the challah.  The 
Rabman was far from an ultra-rationalist.

And then there's the many-told story of the Chofetz Chaim, who 
witnessed a man embarrassing his wife for not covering the 
challah.  Whether the story is accurate or not, it certainly doesn't 
work if the C"C didn't think the mitzvah was, al pi Ramban, to 
inculcate values among ourselves.

-- Sholom

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