Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 28

Sun, 20 Jan 2008

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Michael Poppers <MPoppers@kayescholer.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 23:51:05 -0500
Re: [Avodah] 15 fruits- [RavAviner] Parashat Beshalach 5768

In Avodah Digest V25#25 (or as CBers might say, double quarters), RJR
> ...It says in the Jerusalem Talmud (end of Kiddushin), "Rav Bon said: In
the future a person will have to give an accounting for all that his eyes
beheld, but he did not eat."  Rav Bon?s intention was not that a person
should be a glutton and eat everything in his sight; rather he should
endeavor to taste everything (obviously everything that is permissible) at
least once.  And it also relates that Rabbi Eleazar was concerned about
this idea, and he would save his money in order to eat each of the year?s
new produce.  Similarly, the Mishnah Berurah (Orach Chaim 225:19) writes,
"It is meritorious to eat a little from each year?s new produce. The reason
is in order to demonstrate the preciousness of Hashem?s creation." He does
not mention, however, that one must eat fifteen types of fruit. <
To conflate w/ the "Alps" thread, RSRH wrote (quoted from CW VolVIII, the
initial two paragraphs of the long essay "From the Notebook of a Wandering
Jew"), "How could you think, dear N., that your letter would still find me
within my four walls? 'The winter is over, the blossoms are showing, the
time for singing has come;' could your friend stay in the house?  No, my
dear.  Even as a child I envied our forefathers when, on the Seder night,
my father presented them to me with their feet sandalled, their loins
girded, the wanderer's staff in their hands, the bread-bundles on their
shoulders; I would have given the sweetest charoses for a drink of bitter
water if I could have wandered thus for forty years with them in the
desert.  I almost believe that all you homebodies would one day have to
atone for your staying indoors, and when you would desire entrance to see
the marvels of heaven, they would ask you, 'Did you see the marvels of God
on earth?'  Then, ashamed, you would mumble, 'We missed that opportunity.'
{new paragraph --MP} "How different were our Rabbis in this respect.  How
they breathed and felt, thought and lived in God's marvellous Nature.  How
they wanted to awaken our senses for all that is sublime and beautiful in
Creation....How they wanted to demonstrate to us that every creature was a
preacher of His power, a monitor of our duties; what a Divine revelation
they made of the book of Nature."  If RLK (who noted RaMCHaL's views some
digests ago), RMM (who posited that RSRH must have disagreed w/ RaMCHaL's
views on p'rishus), et al. have a good handle, l'aniyus da'tam, on shitas
ba'al M'silas Y'sharim, I would like to hear how they explain that TY sugya
l'shitaso.  Again, for my part, there is no machloqes between RaMCHaL and
RSRH: the sugya doesn't say what effort one must expend in order to
"behold" a given item/aspect of this world, nor (to repeat what I wrote
before) does it say one must indulge in "beholding"; and I don't understand
RaMCHaL as advocating blocking oneself from any form of "beholding."
Rather, he notes as a basic axiom in MY 13 (as he begins outlining ways in
which a person can improve from being a "tzaddiq" to becoming a "chassid")
that re those aspects of this world which are "muchrach lo mei-eizeh ta'am
sheyihyeh," a person would be a "chotei" rather than a chassid should he be
"poreish" from them.

Gut Voch/Shavua Tov and all the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20080119/e9a08f7b/attachment-0001.htm 

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 14:29:37 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Snake or Dragon?

On Jan 18, 2008 10:51 PM, Richard Wolpoe <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jan 15, 2008 8:46 PM, <RallisW@aol.com> wrote:
> >
> > When in Shemos (7:8-13) Moshe and Aharon appear before Paroah and Aharon
> throws down his staff and it turns into a "Sanin" not "Nochosh." Could the
> term sanin refer to a dragon rather than the traditional snake?
> >
> >
> > The word sanin also appears in Bereshis (1:21), "taninim hagedolim.."
> usually translated as great sea giants.
> I translate this as simply dinosaurs [literally great lizards] which were
> both in the water and on land.  OTOH a reptile is after all a reptile!
> --
> Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
> RabbiRichWolpoe@Gmail.com
> see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/

I can't remember exactly, but I remember Rabbi Slifkin objecting to
this, that the taninim are definitely sea creatures, which the
dinosaurs were certainly not. But perhaps one could fit the
plesiasaurs (sp?) in.

But also, Rabbi Slifkin said, the Torah doesn't classify creatures by
our present taxonimical standards, but instead by simple criteria of
what they look like. Reptiles for the Torah slither or crawl, whereas
dinosaurs certainly did not. The Torah, he says, would classify
dinosaurs with mammals.

I forget then what he says the taninim here actually are. But also,
since he takes liberties in taking chapter one allegorically, perhaps
he's not so terribly worried. I haven't actually read the book yet, so
I don't know.

Mikha'el Makovi

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 12:22:45 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Snake or Dragon?

Yechezqeil 29:3 refers to Par'oh as "hatanim hagadol". Which allows us
to leverage a good amount of archeological and sociological evidence to
identify "sanim" (with a mem) with crocodile. We have evidence that Par'oh
was called the Great Crocodile; a title used even as late as PW Botha.

The notion that sanin = sanim = Par'oh's symbol gives meaning to this os.

The Or haChaim (7:9) is maqpid on the chiluq between the pasuq's "yehi
lesanin" and had it said "vayhi". It's not "and it will become a sanin",
but "let it be", belashon tzivui. Rather, the OhC haqadosh holds that
HQVH was telling Aharon to command the stick to turn into a sanin. As
a statement to the Sanim haGadol.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Man is equipped with such far-reaching vision,
micha@aishdas.org        yet the smallest coin can obstruct his view.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

Go to top.

Message: 4
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 21:51:19 -0500
Re: [Avodah] FW: chemotherapy

On Jan 10, 2008 1:19 PM, Michael Makovi <mikewinddale@gmail.com> wrote:

> What you say sounds reasonable. Indeed, I haven't ever seen an
> Orthodox author claim that we can go against the Mishna and Talmud.
> Mikha'el Makovi

If the Gaonim are considered orthodox then they "went against" Mishna and
Talmud in many places.

They even were mevateil entire realms of the talmud [e.g. medical] as
You also migth want to research subjects such as aveilus by using the Bavli
and the Rambma [alos Semachos] and look at the Rema and see how much as
'morphed" from Talmudic norms.

Tosafos says the Mishna in Beitza re: Dancing/Slapping/Clapping is not
operative in our society [see IM cited below for an explanation of this]

Also see the Rabiya re; Hasiba. {albeit there is a yerushalmi supporting his
read, I am curious that the poskim seem to ignore this fact in defending the

Also See the Taz in orach Haim 46:6 re:hanosein layor'eih ko'ach and   IM
Orach Haim 2 #100 in which he posits a method for being mevateil Talmudic
g'zeiros [at least post facto].

Also See Ta sham re: Rabbeinu Tam and Or Zarua re: texts such as Seder Rav
Amram Gaon etc.

Se Steinsalz's Hadnobbok on Talmud  re: masechtos ketanos - e.g. Maseches
Soferim sometimes Trumps Bavli re: kiros and haftoros.

Also the Msoertic text trumps Bavli re: the spelling of k'dar-La'omer [see

There are dozens if not hundreds of more cases.


Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20080119/a61a4198/attachment.html 

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 12:32:32 -0500
Re: [Avodah] FW: chemotherapy

On Sat, Jan 19, 2008 at 09:51:19PM -0500, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
: On Jan 10, 2008 1:19 PM, Michael Makovi <mikewinddale@gmail.com> wrote:
: > What you say sounds reasonable. Indeed, I haven't ever seen an
: > Orthodox author claim that we can go against the Mishna and Talmud.

: If the Gaonim are considered orthodox then they "went against" Mishna and
: Talmud in many places.

Do geonim go against a clear masqanah of the gemara?

I agree that the answer is yes, where they hold like a position supported
by some other amorah (that happens to coincide with some other halachic
factor; eg puq chazi). However, that's the domain in question.

: They even were mevateil entire realms of the talmud [e.g. medical] as
: non-operative.

is tangential. The implied domain is pesaq halakhah.

So, sticking to the topic:
: Tosafos says the Mishna in Beitza re: Dancing/Slapping/Clapping is not
: operative in our society [see IM cited below for an explanation of this]

I gave cases of how halakhah can appear to change without violating the
rules of precedent. My conclusions from our earlier discussion of this
point are at <http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2007/11/halachic-change.shtml>.

"Not operative in our society" could well be "1a- The realia change in
some subtle but relevent way".

IOW, it's arguable that this case, or that of not washing mayim acharonim
in a society where people don't use melach sedomis, aren't "goint against
the mishnah and talmud". Rather, the cases only look similar, but as
norms change, the new din is really being applied to a new case.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A wise man is careful during the Purim banquet
micha@aishdas.org        about things most people don't watch even on
http://www.aishdas.org   Yom Kippur.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                       - Rabbi Israel Salanter

Go to top.

Message: 6
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 23:19:06 -0500
Re: [Avodah] manipulating bodily energies

On Jan 15, 2008 10:32 AM, Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org> wrote:

> On Mon, January 14, 2008 10:49 pm, R Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> : I simply thought I was re-inforcing the concept of Echad as in Shema
> : Yisroel - Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad. The MON in Monotheism is
> : simply teh Echad in the Shema
> : But if you want a dissertation on the Yichud of HKBH see the Kesser
> : Malchus of ibn Gabirol - recited by some on Kol Nidrei night
> Look. I don't say "Borkhuni leshalom" in Shalom Aleikhem.

Your missing my point. I am decrying the toaly liberal kula attitude wrt to
AZ as oposedt othe hihgly humra attitude re: say strawberries!  You cannot
be a medakdeik  and a good humra monger and allow multiple reshuyos.
Ho'omer modim modim meshatkin oso

halosches al mhamakah v'omer  "... ki ani Hshem Rofe'echa..." ein lo helke
lo'loma habbo. But many  "healers today do approiximately the same thing!
This is agaisnt Talmudic pricnipples period.

> : Nevertheless, WADR, isn't this a specious argument?  i.e. how is
> : attacking the attacker a defense? The fact that Reform does more
> : egregious things does not at all excuse Ortho's for condoning
> : questionalbe practices...
> But it does destroy the implied comparison between R's lack of
> shemiras hamitzvos and O errors in monotheism to point to a huge
> difference in the magnitude of R's intentional stance and members of
> O's masses who miss a subtle theological point.

I note a sense of I'm OK but Reform is NOT OK reasoning>
We O's are merely approving what's popular and since we are O's it MUST be
But R's are differnet therefore when they violate halachah yada yada yada.
The point of the R post was to reflect on what WE do wrong. not ignore our
aveiros by patting ourslevs on th prverbial back by saying but aftger all
we're frum so a little shituf her and a littlepoyltytheism ther and a
little  kishuf everywhere must be OK because after all we do it!
LH used to be OK on that basis before th chofetz Chaim!  Talk about a meis
mitzva!  Who would think that 'tofesie Torah lo yed'auni" would make the
Achdus of the eibishter an issue for the Children of Avrahm Avinu!  Then
Again read the nevi'im [ho'omirim Shaoom shalom v'eish Shalom!]

> While on the subject of supernatural forces, getting back to the
> subject line... Most alternative medicine theories are about physical
> claims -- whether or not they happen to be true, bad science isn't AZ.
> I have real misgivings about reiki, however.

If a Mom puts her hand on a crying baby to quiet her, she is also doing

> Ki (Chinese: Ch'i, similar to the Indian concept of Chakra or George
> Lucas's "the Force") could be taken to be a concept of how the
> universe works, entirely within the same domain (but a different set
> of answers) as physics. I could see it depending upon the teacher.
> However, the word "rei" means "hidden".
> SheTir'u baTov!
> -micha

Source?  Ithough Rei was  Universal of Divine and Reik i is using Divine
Using a magnifying glass to focus the Sun is IMHO about the same level of AZ

Reiki is about unblocking blocked life force that is choked off in the human
body by disease or  tension or psycholgical conflicts etc.  It's a lot like
improving circulation of the blood or improving slow digestions etc.  It is
simlar to Accupuncture or  Shiatzsu in manipulating varous energies of the
body which includes glands etc.

I do not know about advanced Reiki and it is possible that they invoke
'spirits" to help them.  That would be like locheish al hamakkah as above
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20080119/8988a430/attachment.htm 

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 23:32:44 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Roast lamb (from areivim)

On Jan 18, 2008 4:29 PM, <T613K@aol.com> wrote:

>   RRW wrote:
>  >>Pan roasted is considered cooked and NOT roasted at all in YD. IOW For
> all halachic purposes it is bishul mamash not zli   Forbidding a pot roast
> outside the Mikdash just because it SOUNDS like it is roasted makes no sense
> to me.  <<
> >>>>
> I thought the hakpada was not to use meat cooked without water, regardless
> of whether it's roasted on a spit or in a pot, on top of the stove or in the
> oven.  Pot roast is mostly without water.  Nothing to do with "sounds like
> roast." It's called pot "roast" because it's cooked with little water and
> most of the meat sticks up above the water level, not because it's a slab of
> meat "like" a roast.
> *
> *
> *--Toby Katz
> =============
> *

So let me amend what I wrote:

> Roasting in a pot is not halachically roasting at all in Yorei Dei'ah even
> w/o any added water. [the meat will ooze its juices soon enough].

Therefore I cannot fathom why it would be assur at all [even as a minhag or
humra] on the Seder Night!  Such "zli k'edierah" is 100% not acceptable for
Korban Pesach so what is the cheshash on Seder night?

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20080119/20a41365/attachment.html 

Go to top.

Message: 8
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 23:42:37 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Yisro "The Minyan of Commandments"

On Jan 19, 2008 6:57 PM, Richard Wolberg <cantorwolberg@cox.net> wrote:

> *The Torah states regarding the preparation for receiving the Torah at **Mount
> Sinai**: "And the Israelites encamped there near the mountain." (Exodus
> 19:2)*
> *The Hebrew word for "encamped" is "vayichan." What is particularly
> interesting is that the second time "vayichan" is used it is in the
> singular form; the grammatically correct form would be "vayachanu" (which
> is used the first time in the sentence). What do we learn from the word
> "vayichan"?*
> *Rashi tells us that the singular form is used to tell us that they
> encamped "as one person with a single desire." From here Rabbi Yeruchem
> Levovitz commented that we see that the love of our fellow man is a
> prerequisite for accepting the Torah.*
> *Rabbi Yitzchok of Vorki noted that the word "vayichan" besides meaning
> "encamped" also comes from the word "khain," which means "grace" or
> "favor." That is, the people found favor in the eyes of one another and
> therefore found favor in the eyes of the Almighty.*
> *When you just see the faults and shortcomings of another person, you
> become distant from him or her. However, when you see the good and positive
> traits in other people, you become closer to them. This unity is a
> fundamental requirement for accepting the Torah and certainly for keeping it
> properly. *
> *How is this developed? We find in the book Nachal Kidumim (by the great
> scholar, R' Chaim Yosef Dovid Azulai, known as the Chida) that togetherness
> between people is possible only when there is humility. When the Israelites
> came to **Mount Sinai**, which is the symbol of humility, they
> internalized this attribute.*
> *When you have humility, you do not feel a need to gain power over others
> or feel above them by focusing on their faults. When you have the trait of
> humility you can allow yourself to see the good in others. The traits of
> love for others, seeing the good in them, and having humility go hand in
> hand. By growing in these traits you make yourself into a more elevated
> person who is worthy of receiving the Torah.*
> *Based on **Growth Through Torah **by Rabbi Z. Pliskin*
> *
> R Wolberg
> *

This concept re-inforces the need for Jewish Unity and it is therefore easy
to understand that if we are to be ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY LH and Rbibis would
be off-limits amongst ourselves on a completely different level with
outsides.  A Torah community in order to foster "Mamleches kohanim v'goy
Kadosh" must be very vigilant to maintain a high-level of mutual respect,
co-operation, and indeed humility.

While certainly  for our own neshama, we must behave properly to all, [Jew
and Gentile alike], we must foster a certain loving, familial bond
internally which we preclude even minimal anti-social behavior. That would
explain why there are such strict strictures on ona'ah etc.

I was once on a list when a list-member suggested that I allow more
criticism and cynicism about human nature and to not be strict about LH etc.
I suggested back tot hat poster that he start by being brutally honest with
his own spouse. That seemed to put an end to his need for truth-telling! If
we treat all of Israel as one beloved family then it would be patently
obvious why
we need to be so strict.

Much of this is adapted from recent lesson in Shemiras Halashon's daily
lessons  He compares one Jew complaining about another as like kids
quibbling in front of their Dad. The internal strife is worse than the issue
at hand etc.  ayein sham
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20080119/f131633e/attachment.htm 


Avodah mailing list

End of Avodah Digest, Vol 25, Issue 28

Send Avodah mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Avodah digest..."

< Previous Next >