Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 92

Wed, 05 Mar 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2008 23:50:16 -0500
Re: [Avodah] ashkenaz and sefard

On Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 10:44 AM, Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com> wrote:

> :
> I was reading a sefer recently decrying the modern ashkenazi influence
> on sefardi customs. I found the argument quite silly. All communities have
> had multiple
> sources. Almost no community has been immune to outside influences unless
> they were physically cutoff from the rest of the world. One of the
> greatest sources of modern mutusal influence is the Rosh moving to Spain.
> Over the next some 200 years his family's traditions affected sefardi
> customs and vice versa.
> One interesting point is that the Rosh lists major differences between
> ashekenaz
> and sefard. customs. He does NOT list any differences in pronunciation!
> --
> Eli Turkel

Indeed a Great point. tt is not a black and white thing as was pointed out
Yekum Purkan is from Bavle and is Ashkenazic litrugy, and MUCh of Ashkenazic
litugry stems fro mRAv Amram Gaon

Every community got their "mindest" framed by seminal works.  For Bavel it
was th Bavli.  Fro Greece [as a chaver points out] it was the sh'iltos. For
most Jest 1-00 years ago it was  the Kitzur SA.  People and communities get
a comfort level based upon certain pervasive texts. I am guess that Ashkneaz
had several texts before the Bavli and that Halachos Gedolos was one of the
more influnetial.  If you see Tosafos on Women reading the Megillha, it
almost trying to get the Halcha in line wtih the Behag?  Why? Becuase the
Behag was like the Kitzur [or one of segveral such seforim] in early
Ashkenaz . The concept is idea framing!

And Ritva introduced a selw of Tosafistic ideas into Spain In fact Tools For
Tosafos says that besidse the Tosfaos harosh, chekc the Ritva if you are
struggling with a difficult Tosafos.  one would expect the Rosh to be
helpful, but the Ritva is right up there, too

When I say Minhag Asheknaz follows EY I Mean it is a trend not an absolute.

For example, RYDS was a Brisker nevertheless he split with Brisk re:

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 2
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 00:31:57 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Zayin Adar

On Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 1:00 PM, <T613K@aol.com> wrote:

>   From: "Richard Wolpoe" rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com
> >>The reason I reject a literal 24-hour day for the first 6 days is that
> by the
> Torah's OWN account the Sun/Moon/Stars/Plents [iow our clanedrical
> system!]
> was not created until day 4. <<
> >>>>>
> I don't believe in literal 24-hour days for the first six days either, but
> I must point out that what you say is lav davka.

> It's possible that until Day 4 the atmosphere was so thick and soupy that
> the sun and the moon were completely obscured, and they only became visible
> on the fourth day (or /would/ have been visible if there had been anyone
> there to see them) when the atmosphere cleared enough to let the sun shine
> down onto the surface of the planet.  Rashi says the sun and the moon and
> everything else were created on the first day and only put in place on their
> respective days of creation.  The sun being put in the sky on Day 4 could
> theoretically mean it only became visible in the sky on that day.
> *--Toby Katz
> =============
> *

True but this is not a literal read either.   Remember it COULD be red that
the first 3 days were a matter of secondes just as much as they could be
eons.  The point is the text TELLS us that the luminaries were created to
MARK TIME. Therefore the first 3 days must be seen from a literary
standpoint as  A-temp[oral [non-temporal?] in OUR method of time

IOW if you read the text w/op BOTH Rashi and w/o any knowledge of Science -
there would be little reason to pre-suppose a 24-hour day for the first 3

Add to that that Seder Olm is based NOT upon Creation but upon Adam
Harishon's life -span and then we have a different peshat in 5768.

Here is a drasha to justify  my redundancy

Q: How is the first chapter of Breishis different than the entire remainder
of Tanach?
A: ALL of Tanach deals with essentially one subject: the relationship
between the Divine nad the human.  Most ofBreishis one is merfely an account
of creation with barely any Divine-Human inter-action [excpetoin the bracha
given by HKBH to Humans]

And MOST of that remainder is the relationshipmore specifically between
Israel and G-d, but  Breishis/Noah plus Iyyov are exceptions.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 3
From: Akiva Blum <ydamyb@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 09:45:39 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Girl Scout cookies

RRW wrote:
Nire'h li pashut that it is problematic to add the cookies to a feligshig
recpie if one constgrues that the original bittul of the whey is construed
as bemeizid.

Not so poshut. With nat bar nat, even where the process was done with
intention to mix with meat, which is ossur to do (Y.D.95 Shach 3, Taz 4),
we do not find that it is ossur bedieved since there is no real issur to be
mevatel cholov in parve.

Nire'h li pashut if you do NOT consture the manufacturer as being mevateil
bemeizid that you may be mevatil it lechatchila [see Ba'ei Hetev in the name
of the Tach]

Could you please be a little more specific as to that source. There's a lot of BH in YD.

Anyway, even if you do not construe the manufacturer as being mevateil
bemeizid, then kol shekein it's already bottul.

Nir'eh li pashut that to EAT said cookie after meat - even if the original
bittul was bemiezied - should be ok.[At most one should wait an hour.] We
ashkenazim hold that waiting is minhag not halachah, and there is not reason
to be machmir if the whey is battel.

The humra of waiting for a tacvshil of chlaval was added onlater andis NOT
mei'ikkar hadin anyway. Thus, Sephardim who must wati 6 hours midin need
not wait becasue this is not halav but a tavshil at most

S'nif to be meikel is tosafos who requries Zero waiting is required [so
Behag and is the original Meimra/P'sak of Rabbi Yochanan before emended to
conform with Rav Chisdah]

Kein Nir'eh lefi aniyas da'ati

As above, you can eat it with meat mamash. It's 100% parve.

BTW, if it has only 1% milk, so it should be botul, but all that milk is in
the chocolate chip only, then you have a problem. You also have a
reasonable explanation why that put in a ta'am that would be botul.


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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 06:23:42 -0500
[Avodah] Classical music in the 3 weeks

On Wed, Mar 05, 2008 at 03:04:45PM +1100, SBA wrote to Areivim (?):
: Does anyone know where there is a hetter by RYBS for listening to classical
: music in the days before Rosh Chodesh Av?

RYBS assured music in the context of parties, not listening to recordings.

IOW, a student of RYBS should be declining an invite to a party during
the omer even where there is no band. Because his shitah turns music
into an example of celebrating, not a minhag in-and-of itself.

(Can the minhag even be analyzed to see if it would include something
not yet invented when it started?)

When R' Hutner listened to opera records on the grounds that a recording
isn't kol ishah (and would that apply to lifelike CDs that have no hiss?),
did he do so during the omer or 3 weeks? In both cases a distinction is
being made between the mindset of someone experiencing live music with
someone listening to a recording. But for very different reasons.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             With the "Echad" of the Shema, the Jew crowns
micha@aishdas.org        G-d as King of the entire cosmos and all four
http://www.aishdas.org   corners of the world, but sometimes he forgets
Fax: (270) 514-1507      to include himself.     - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 5
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 10:37:24 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] Torah limud: theoretical/academic versus

On Tue, March 4, 2008 7:41 am, R Michael Makovi wrote:
:>  So, the O Jew should be fascinated and study such info. But he
:> shouldn't confuse it with that which defines how we are to live as O
:> Jews. Not just in terms of halachic authority, but also in terms of
:> perceptions of the goals we live toward. Because, after all, the two
:> are inseparable.

: And here I disagree. I don't think they are inseparable; I think they
: are part and parcel. They are not the same face of the coin, but they
: *are* two sides of the same coin.

??? You think that one cvan separate halachic authority from having a
feel for the goals we are to live forward but they are two sides of
the same coin? I fail to understand what you're driving at.

Someone with an IQ of 168, practice at choosing search terms, and a
Bar Ilan CD isn't a super poseiq. Pesaq requires a skill beyond that.

An O Jew who engages in talmud Torah who is also known for his
academic study of the history of the mesorah may be better informed
and even know more relevent information than his peer who isn't in
academia. But there is no reason to believe he is better attuned on a
gestalt level to what it takes to make the right decisions to live by.

This is why REB's expertise, to my mind, doesn't carry the same weight
as one of the renown poseqim of our times. Never mind being able to
convince me that the consensus of rishonim erred in basic matter of
hashkafah. Even if his reasoning appealed to me, no one today would
convince me to the point of not wondering why this chiddush waited for
them against the words of so many. We're talking about bucking the
entire development of hashkafah from R' Saadia Gaon to the Pachad
Yitzchaq, RYBS and the Nesivos Shalom. He simply lacks the
qualifications I would demand from someone trying to define a derekh.

Brilliance and information are insufficient.

To put it another way: With all the MO talk against da'as Torah, look
how much ink was spilled (and how many bits were arranged?) discussing
RYBS's and RAS's versions of Zionism and whether one can/should give
back territory. Their pictures hanging on their students' walls to
remind them -- not of information, but of the culture, attitudes and
"feel" of their rebbe's shiur room.

: What is the flow of the mesorah? A large part of it is information -
: and thus, academic/objective information can be just as much a part of
: the mesorah, IMO....

Academic information is about it, not it. (To rephrase YU's JSS's
motto: It, not About It. Good motto for a kiruv yeshiva.) It's all
part of my focus on not just knowing, but internalizing. That concept
called "daas Torah". Regardless of how far you believe it should
extend, defining one's derekh ba'avodah is included, no?

And I would say this objection is even more central to why I can not
accept RJA's point. We started by discussing why REB's line of
reasoning, no matter how convincing I found it, would never suffice
for me to be the basis of my relationship to the halakhah. The role of
studying history isn't being denied, it's being defined as different
than what I look for in a moreh derekh. And, on the "history" thread
about mesrash, not what I believe Chazal would put in the collection
of the mesorah we call "Talmud [Torah] Bavli" (parenthetic addition

:                     I find myself wishing quite often, actually, that
: Chazal were more interested in history per se, because I find that
: even history without a lesson, but rather, just stam history for its
: own sake, makes me feel connected.
: I've never understood the objection, for example, to a certain Chumash
: narrative being stam history. If it has a lesson, yofi, but if not,
: what's the problem? Suppose there were no lessons to learn from the
: Avot and Imot - do you think that then you could dispense with their
: history? ...

Not just Chazal... Look how paltry the biographies of the avos and
Moshe Rabbeinu are. Missing decades in Avraham's life... not even his
re-discovery of monotheism is covered. Large chunks missing from
Moshe's life. No description of the majority of the time in the
midbar. Etc...

SheTir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "Man wants to achieve greatness overnight,
micha@aishdas.org        and he wants to sleep well that night too."
http://www.aishdas.org     - Rav Yosef Yozel Horwitz, Alter of Novarodok
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 6
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 14:48:17 +0200
Re: [Avodah] history

R' Gil wrote in a private message, regarding the comparison of Avraham
keeping 613 to a mural of Levi'im wearing shtreimels, etc.:

> I can't say that I remember everything I've written but that in
>  particular does not seem like something I would write. Although it
>  could be from a quote on my blog.

Apologies then. I thought I read it on his, but apparently not. I read
it somewhere then. In any case, I personally find it agreeable. But R'
Gil did not write it.

So again, my apologies.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 7
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 14:45:10 +0200
Re: [Avodah] history

> You write that "ancient people in general were less historically critical"
> thus seeming to lump Chazal in with those uncritical, naive ancient people
> to whom we moderns naturally feel quite superior.  We are oh so much more
> intellectually sophisticated than those ancient people.
>  ...
> This is not at all the proper way to look at Chazal.
> ...
> But we must never "cut Chazal down to size" by assuming that they were just
> regular people, no smarter than us, that they were primitive, childlike,
> superstitious and naive in their way of viewing the world.   That is the
> Conservative, not the Orthodox, way of analyzing the teachings of Chazal.
> But even those who want to come to some non-literal
> understanding must not speak condescendingly about Chazal.  We are all
> whippersnappers in comparison to them.
> Our religion depends on our accepting the authority of Chazal.
> --Toby Katz
> =============

I never meant it as condescension, and I never meant to subtract from
the authority of the Chazal. But the simple fact is, people back then
didn't have as much critical historical sense, period. It's nothing
against Chazal, but a simple fact. If nothing else, the fact that
Chazal weren't historians and didn't care about history, means they
never got to develop a critical historical sense, i.e. through
practice. Even if the potential was there, it was never actualized.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 8
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 08:00:23 EST
Re: [Avodah] history


R' Richard Wolpoe mistakenly thought that I was the one who wrote  this, and 
appended my name to words I actually DISAGREE with:

==begin  quote==
> Now, I wonder, to what extent did Chazal realize when they were  being
> anachronistic? Is that they didn't care about historical accuracy,  but
> nevertheless knew when they were being anachronistic, or did  they
> genuinely lack a real historical sense b'klal?
==end quote==

In fact, it was R' Mikhael Markovi, not I, who wrote the quoted  material.  
I actually objected quite strongly to such wording and replied to RMM, in  
==begin quoting myself==
I totally reject the  premise 
that Avraham didn't really keep  the Torah at all and that Chazal "of  
were being anachronistic  when they said he did.  I therefore also  reject 
question --  "Did they know they were being anachronistic and went  ahead and 
told  us stories anyway, or were they so ignorant, as all ancient  peoples  
were, that they had no idea of historical chronology?"  
==end quoting myself==
I further wrote that it is NOT proper to speak of Chazal that way,  that we 
may not speak of Chazal condescendingly or assume that they were  "ignorant, 
like all ancient peoples."

--Toby  Katz

**************It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms, and advice on AOL Money & 
Finance.      (http://money.aol.com/tax?NCID=aolprf00030000000001)
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Message: 9
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 15:09:56 +0200
Re: [Avodah] history

> When I was a young boy and the old Jews learned Gmara in Yiddish they had a
> little ssmile when they read Hazal's like this.  IMHO they wer clsoe to the
> history of HOW TO LEARN HAZAL! that is be ready to keep one's tongue planted
> in one's check [at least at  times]
> I think Westerners [including Americans and yes English and Germans] take
> Hazal-isms much too literally.  let's face it - Westerners simply don't get
> that Middle Eastern mindset.  {That's why I like Tosafos so much, they were
> very Westernized and I can relate to them much better.]
> Perhasp the Talmud should have had emoticons!  :->
> --
> Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
> RabbiRichWolpoe@Gmail.com

Indeed. Even if one says that the modern Western mindset is superior
to the Middle-Eastern/Chazalic (I said IF!! IF!!! IF!!!), this
superiority causes one to be out-of-touch with the original source. A
less sophisticated person, with such a primitive mindset, would
actually be at an advantage.

The same goes for relating the Tanach, I'd presume; our
(hypothetically, allegedly, again IF) superior mindset puts
out-of-touch and makes us take things in ways they weren't meant to

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 10
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 14:54:45 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] Zayin Adar

On Wed, March 5, 2008 12:31 am, R Richard Wolpoe wrote:
: And MOST of that remainder is the relationship more specifically
: between Israel and G-d, but  Breishis/Noah plus Iyyov are exceptions.

... and Yonah and Ovadiah. And nevu'os to Koreish and Par'oh Necho.

SheTir'u baTov!

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Message: 11
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 15:15:41 -0500 (EST)
[Avodah] e: Sefer HaChinuch on why 2 weeks Nidah for a girl

On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 09:38:29 -0500, RRW <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
: One thing HAS changed over the doros. Usually acharonim have been
: called upon to justify their decisions, whereas Rishonim were more
: terse and often did not bother justifying a decision.

And geonim even less so. Amoraim, OTOH, were recorded as debates.

Does it imply the masses accept their authority less, and therefore
the rabbanim needed to prove their point? Or that the acharonim felt
"nisqatnu hadoros" and therefore less secure themselves in their
conclusions? Or was it a shift to having less mesorah and therefore
being more about reason than repeating what one was taught? Or a shift
from inarticulable feel for the material to conscious and vertical
reasoning? A loss of the Rambam's proverbial "nir'eh li".

But you lose me here:
: While Tosafos bends over backwards [most of the time] to try and PROVE
: his point.  Many find Tosafos pilpulistic as a result. I find it
: refreshing to see someone wrestling with the issue and not just coming
: down with a decision.

You just spoke about rishonim being terse, and then list the baalei
Tosafos (who may qualify as many counter-examples), then the Tur, the
Beis Yoseif, etc...

I would instead suggest that the difference is not necessarily any of
the possibilities I raised above, but one of format. Rashi explains
peratim. The peshat would be harder to follow if Rashi or the Meiri
bothered to explain how they got there.

Rambam's Yad, the Tur, the SA and the Mappa are codes. The Rif is a
little of both. Those formats are not ones that call for reasoning.
Again, it gets in the way.

The Rosh, the Tosafos, etc.. are trying to fit pieces together.
Peirushim, but of the kelal, not the perat.

Different goal, different standard format, different emphasis in content.

Teshuvos are more split, and that's really where I think my question

: The Rambam et. al. seem to be pretty sure that NO poseik after the
: Gemara is absolute...

The Rambam holds that no poseiq after the gemara was accepted by
everyone, and therefore no subsequent poseiq is absolute. However, he
wasn't alive to see people study SA and Mappah for their semichah. He
could have been theoretically right, but pragmatically get different
results for today.

That is RYBS's position, BTW. "Qiblu aleihem kol Yisrael" is what
gives the SA its authority, and what closed the period of the rishohim
with that text.

I still say that we don't so much differ in process as differ in how
much priority we give each of the factors people weigh in that
process. Reason vs accepted practice vs accepted sefarim vs awe of
da'as Torah (in the sense I used it this morning) of the authors vs
movement weltenshaung (eg Chassidic practices)... But we've done that
one already.

SheTir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "Man wants to achieve greatness overnight,
micha@aishdas.org        and he wants to sleep well that night too."
http://www.aishdas.org     - Rav Yosef Yozel Horwitz, Alter of Novarodok
Fax: (270) 514-1507


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