Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 119

Tue, 01 Apr 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2008 17:41:47 +0300
Re: [Avodah] R' Angel & Geirus Redux

R' Michael Makovi wrote:
>>  So far I have avoided getting involved in this discussion, mostly
>>  because I have agreed with you as compared with RMM that one cannot say
>>  that a tinok shenishba bears no guilt for their actions which violate
>>  the Torah.
>> R' Chana
> Gevalt, is this what we were arguing?? Oy va voy, I misunderstood what
> we were arguing about!
The gemora in Shabbos (68) is dealing with the status of someone who was 
raised totally ignorant of Judaism or Jews - for this there is a 
question of ones or shogeig. We posken shogeig. The next issue is once 
they are exposed to Jews or Judaism - do they retain their shogeg state 
or do they move closer to meizid - and how much. Or alternatively 
following Rav Henkin - how much do we moderate the meizid status because 
of their ignorance once they see religious Jews? You seem to saying that 
until they are truly gedolei Torah they can not do any sins 
deliberately. Which probably means that maybe some of the members of 
this list might be capable of deliberately sinning - but surely not 
most. This might be consistent with a mussar approach - but I don't 
think it fits in with the poskim.

Let me just present another teshuva from Rav Ovadiah Yosef

*Yabiya Omer(E. H. 8:12.2): *The Rambam(Hilchos Mamrim 3:1-3): writes: 
?Anyone who does not acknowledge the validity of the Oral Torah is 
considered a heretic and he is killed by man. Furthermore once it is 
well known that he is a denier of the Oral Torah he can be lowered in a 
pit and not taken out. He is just like the other heretics who say that 
Torah was not from Heaven  and the informants and the apostates ? all of 
who are  no longer considered amongst the Jewish people. And it goes  
without saying that their punishment does not require  the testimony of 
witnesses or warning or judges. In fact whover kills one of these  is 
performing a great mitzva andis removing an impediment for the Jewish 
people.* *What are the circumstances? It concerns a man who denies the 
Oral Torah in his thoughts and according to words that appeal to him. He 
follows after his own independent  thought and the dictates of his heart 
and denies the validity of the Oral Torah on  his own  as  did Tadok and 
Baysus and  those who mistakenly followed after him. However in 
contrast, the children of these  mistaken people as well as subsequent 
generations of those who were  convinced to follow these mistaken 
beliefs and were born  amongst  the Karaites who raised them according 
to their religious beliefs ? they are like a child who was  captured 
amongst them and raised by them. He  is not motivated to follow in the 
path of doing  mitzvos because he  is like someone being forced against 
his will. And therefore even if he hears afterwards that he is a Jew 
and  he see Jews and their religion ? he  is like one who has no free 
will since he was raised in their erroneous ways. Thus are those that we 
mentioned  that  hold to the ways of their fathers the Karaits who 
erred. Therefore it is necessary to cause them to repent and to attract  
them with peaceful words until the have been brought back to the laws of 
the Torah. [They should not be readily killed].? These are the words of 
the Rambam. The Radvaz wrote on his commentary to these words of the 
Rambam, ?Nevertheless the Karaites  who exist today ? everyday we try to 
persuade them to believe in the Oral Torah in order for them to properly 
repent. Nevetheless they blaspheme and debase the rabbis and therefore 
they can?t be viewed as being forced against their will but rather they 
are genuine rejecters of the Oral Torah. Consequently it is a mitzva to 
lower them in to the pit - if it within our power.? These are the words 
of the Radvaz. The Radvaz said something similar in a teshuva (2:696). 
This that the Rambam (Hilchos Mamrim 3:3) wrote that ?one should not be 
quick to kill them? is to be understood that if these descendants of the 
Karaites are  warned  not to violate the halacha and yet if they persist 
in their mistaken ways they are to be killed - if it is in our power to 
do so. A similar understanding of the Rambam is found in Ohalei Yaakov 
(#33) where he writes that it is obvious from the language of the Rambam 
?that they are not to be quickly killed? because they might repent. 
Furthermore that the one who kills them is not liable to be executed for 
killing them because otherwise what does it mean ?that they are not to 
be quickly killed??? Obviously they can be killed because they are not 
actually being forced against their will (ones) since they have already 
heard the truth. This  understanding is correct even though the Mizrachi 
(#57) wrote that ?they are not to be quickly killed? means that they are 
not to be killed. He concludes that after efforts  have  been  made  to 
convince the descendants of the Karaites to repent they are not to be 
killed since the Rambam has already said that they are comparable to 
children who have been held captive amongst the non?Jews That  means 
that their transgressions are as if they were forced and thus there is 
no liablity for death at all even if they refuse to repent. These are 
the words of the  Mizrachi. Nevetheless I respectfully disagree with the 
Mizrachi because a careful analysis of the Rambam?s words indicates that 
the Mizrachi?s understanding seems to be incorrect. For example the 
Rambam says that a tinok shenishba is onus (forced against his will) and 
he doesn?t say that he is like one who is forced. However afterwards the 
Rambam writes that even though the descendant of Karaites has heard that 
he is a Jew? he is ?like? one who is onus (forced against his will) and 
he doesn?t says that he is actually onus (forced against his will). The 
reason for this distinction is that once  the descendant of Karaites has 
heard that he is Jewish it is not possible that he is absolutely forced 
to continue violating the Torah as he was when he did not know that he 
was a Jew. Nevetheless it is still appropriate to continue being patient 
with him because he might eventually repent. This that the Rambam 
permitted the circumcision of the sons even on Shabbos because that is 
the correct halacha. Even  though they are in fact rashayim (wicked 
people) but the fact is they have not totally left Judaism as  the 
Mizrachi himself acknowledges. You don?t tell a rasha (wicked person) to 
add to his wickedness. So surely concerning a baby who it isn?t known 
what his status and deads will be. Those are the words of the Ohalei 
Yaakov. We find a similar analysis in the Mabit (1:37): ?It is  obvious 
that the Karaites  are deliberate sinners and are invalid as witnesses 
according to theTorah. And even their grandchildren whose father have 
led them astray, nevetheless they are considered as if they had been 
warned because they know that they come from Jewish ancestors and are 
contradicting the Oral Torah and deviating from the correct  halacha and 
are arrogantly going against the rabbis of the generation and transgress 
many sins everyday. There can not be any worse deliberate sinners worse 
than them. And this that  the Rambam  says that the tinok  shenishba  
is  considered as  oness (forced against his will)  simply means that 
they are not to be considered  like those heretics which are to be 
killed immediately. Rather there  need to be an attempt to persuade them 
with peaceful words and  they should not be quickly killed since  it is 
possible that they will accept rebuke. However if they don?t accept 
rebuk and they don?t repent they have the same status of heretic as 
their fathers and they can be killed by man immediately. This is what 
the Rambam meant ?not to be quick to  kill them.? However in regards to 
giving testimony it is obvious that according to the Torah they are 
invalid witnesses. The Rambam(Hilchos Eidus 11:10) says: Our Sages did 
not need to list informants, heretics and apostates as invalid witnesses 
since they only listed the Jewish sinners. However these people who 
reject and rebel against Judaism are lower than non?Jews. This can be 
seen from the fact that non?Jews are not saved from the pit but neither 
are they put into a pit. In contrast these are put into the pit and not 
saved and they have no portion in the World to Come.? The Karaites who 
deny the Oral Torah are included in the category of heretics and thus 
they are invalid as witnesses according to the Torah? The Maharshach 
(#15)?states that one could possibly say that even if we say that the 
Karaites today have the legal status of trangressing against their will 
(ones) since their ancestors educated and raised them with the religious 
beliefs of the Karaites and thus they are tinok shenishba ? nevertheless 
they are not valid witnesses. That is because they in fact transgress 
many commandments and are consequently liable to the punishment of kares 
according to our true religion. Even tinok shenishba who continue 
practicising the mistaken religion that they were raised in  - would 
anyone conceive that they could valid witnesses?? We can conclude from 
all of these sources that the majority of poskim rule that the  Karaites 
are invalid witnesses according to the Torah. It would follow from this 
that their marriages are not valid either when done before their 
witnesses. I saw in the Igros Moshe (E.H. 82.11 page 215b) that he cites 
the Rambam (Hilchos Aidus 5:11 and Hilchos Mamrim 3:3) that we have 
already mentioned. Rav Moshe writes ?even the children of the Karaites 
and grandchildren who have been misled by their ancestors and there they 
are considered tinok shenishab which is ones (against their will) ? that 
is only in regards to law that they are not put in the pit  or saved. 
However in regards to testimony they are definitely invalid. That is 
because as long they are mistaken and don?t observe Judaism properly 
they are no better than a non?Jew and are invalid to be witnesses. That 
is because once they have seen the righteous and proper Jews and they 
have the opportunity to follow in their ways and they chose to continue 
following in the ways of their wicked ancestors ? they are now 
considered deliberately sinning and therefore they are invalid 
witnesses.?  (See also Igros Moshe E.H. 4:32.7 page 76a). Also look at 
Ginas Veradim (O.H. 3:1 page 49b).


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Message: 2
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 00:00:09 +1100
Re: [Avodah] What is a saris?

From: Zev Sero <>
As for Haman, if saris is meant literally, perhaps he was castrated for
the sake of his career after he had his children.

So then why did Achasverosh get upset at him saying
 "Hagam lichbosh es hamalka imi baboyis"?


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Message: 3
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 00:16:36 +1100
[Avodah] "Kol Chamira"

Can anyone remember?
Have we previously discussed the reason for the 2 quite different nuschaos
for "Kol Chamira" - which are said at night and the next day?

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 13:00:08 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Driving on Shabbos

On Tue, Apr 01, 2008 at 06:47:56AM -0400, Cantor Wolberg wrote:
: Someone wrote that RSZA paskens that if a car stops you on Shabbos to
: ask directions you should remind him (or her) that it's Shabbos and then
: give him directions to limit the chillul Shabbos.

: What about dan l'chaf z'chus?  Assume it's a goy.

Well... RSZA was writing in Israel. The question might be how far of a
chance must one hold onto in order to find that kaf zechus.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "The most prevalent illness of our generation is
micha@aishdas.org        excessive anxiety....  Emunah decreases anxiety:
http://www.aishdas.org   'The Almighty is my source of salvation;  I will
Fax: (270) 514-1507      trust and not be afraid.'" (Isa 12) -Shalhevesya

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Message: 5
From: "Mike Miller" <avodah@mikeage.net>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 22:40:34 +0300
Re: [Avodah] What is a saris?

On Tue, Apr 1, 2008 at 4:00 PM, SBA <sba@sba2.com> wrote:
> From: Zev Sero
> > As for Haman, if saris is meant literally, perhaps he was castrated for
> > the sake of his career after he had his children.
>  So then why did Achasverosh get upset at him saying
>   "Hagam lichbosh es hamalka imi baboyis"?

Does lichbosh refer to actual relations, or merely the violation of
Achashveirosh's exclusive possession of the Queen as "his"? Even a
saris could, presumably, be "close" enough to offend... After all, all
Haman actually did was fall and yet this was enough to trigger
Achashveirosh's anger.

-- Mike Miller
Ramat Bet Shemesh

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Message: 6
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 18:18:04 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Shabbat erev pesach

I was going to write this post anyway, under a different subject heading,
but as long as R' Michael Makovi has opened the topic for the current year,
I'll use the subject he gave it.

R' Michael Makovi wrote:
> Of course, gebrokts can't eat the boiled matzah, but
> ashira and fried ought to be fine.

Not necessarily. Non-gebrokts people tend to be Ashkenazim who would avoid
matza ashira on Pesach, and most begin avoiding it when the issur chometz
begins. So it is a solution for Friday night and the early morning, but
generally not for Shabbos afternoon.

Some non-gebrokts people eat fried matza (avoiding only what's been wet
with water), but others avoid it, and for them I suppose the above
paragraph would apply.

> Oh, but he added that on Shabbat day, not only can you not
> have ordinary matzah, but also no baked matza-meal products.
> But ashira/boiled/fried matzah is still okay. Anyone know
> of any sources that speak about any of this pilpul b'ochel?

This is a very commonly-quoted view, especially in pamphlets and articles on this topic. But the seforim seem to take a very different view.

This topic was discussed here on Avodah quite extensively seven years ago.
New members who want to review it can go to the archives, at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/
and then use the "Subject index section" there to look up these subjects:

Erev Pesach she' chal b'Shabbos Eitza for Ashkenazic Gebrokts Ea ters
Erev Pesach she' chal b'Shabbos Eitza for Ashkenazic
Erev Pesach she' chal b'Shabbos Eitza for Ashkenazic Gebrokts Eaters
Matzah mehl Rolls on Erev Pesach - Partial Retraction!
Erev Pesach she' chal b'Shabbos Eitza
Matzah mehl Rolls on Erev Pesach
matzo mehl rolls

They are really all one thread, not a thread which spun off several sub-topics. So try to read them chronologically, if you can.

The reason I was going to post today is to add a new source which was not
available when the original thread was discussed. Namely, the Halichos
Shlomo of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Hilchos Pesach, Chapter 8.

At the top of the page, Halacha 4, he writes:

"A cake baked from matzah meal, which was kneaded with oil and honey, and
when it was kneaded its turisa d'nahama [appearance of bread] was neevad
[lost/destroyed] from it, yesh makom lomar [there is room to say] that it
is mutar to eat it on Erev Pesach."

In the middle section, note 6, it says:

"And so, when Erev Pesach falls on Shabbos, just like one can eat for the
third meal from ground [k'tusha] matza which was boiled or fried, so too it
is possible also to eat from a cake like this. But in such a case, even if
it is mostly oil and eggs and sugar, and its minority is flour, it has the
halacha of Pas Habaa B'Kisnin, which is not like cooked ground matza, and
if one makes a meal of it [ee kava alay seudah], he'll definitely [vadai]
be obligated in netilas yadaim, and bless hamotzi and birkas hamazon on

There is quite a bit more, such as an explanation that Rama 471:2 and
Mishne Brura 471:19 (who seem to forbid matza meal cake on Erev Pesach) do
not apply to this situation, because (in RSZA's opinion) the Rama and MB
apply only if the mixture still has turisa d'nahama [the appearance of
bread]. But if the turisa d'nahama is absent, then it becomes mutar on Erev

(This point is confusing to me, because MB 168:60 says than when bread is
ground up as fine as flour, it has lost its Toar Lechem. I raised this
point during the above-mentioned Avodah discussion in Avodah 7:15, and
several posters responded in subsequent issues. I consider it significant
that that the MB talks about fine bread crumbs losing the Toar Lechem as
part of the grinding process, and RSZA stipulates that the matza meal rolls
must have lacked Turisa D'Nahama during the kneading process. It seems to
me that these two steps are very similar, and if anyone wants to claim that
the already-baked matza meal rolls *do* have turisa d'nahama, it would be
irrelevant to the discussion. Thus, I cannot envision the situation which
RSZA describes, in which the MB would forbid matza meal rolls on Erev
Pesach because they did have turisa d'nahama in the kneading stage.)

The footnotes also explain why the words "there is room to say" were chosen to describe his view on this.

It fills a little more than one page of this sefer. I'll be happy to scan
it for whoever wants. (Just tell me what file format you like.) And if
enough people ask, maybe I'll translate the rest of it for the chevrah.

Akiva Miller
Click for free info on online degrees and make up to $150K/ year.

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Message: 7
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 14:12:56 -0400
Re: [Avodah] What is a saris?

> From: Zev Sero <>
> As for Haman, if saris is meant literally, perhaps he was castrated for
> the sake of his career after he had his children.

R' SBA: 
> So then why did Achasverosh get upset at him saying
>  "Hagam lichbosh es hamalka imi baboyis"?

Not all eunuchs were incapable of sexual relations. See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castration and


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Message: 8
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 15:59:07 -0400 (EDT)
[Avodah] WTG

On Tue, April 1, 2008 2:38 pm, Joseph C. Kaplan wrote to Areivim:
: RMB asked, I assume rhetorically:  "Could you picture [RYBS's]
: response to an entire WTG movement?"  To picture his response, I
: direct your attention to the seminal article on WTGs by Rs. Dov and
: Aryeh Frimer, the first part of which appeared in Tradition (32:2;
: Winter 1998). I don't have it in front of me, but there is a footnote
: that details RYBS's comments on WTGs to numerous rabbanim and others
: who asked him about it. I believe it is impossible to discuss WTGs
: intelligently without having read this article.  (I do not, of course,
: mean to imply that R' Micha did not read it or that his comment was
: not intelligent.)

See RGS's comparison of this article to R' Meiselman's presentation of
RYBS's position in <http://tinyurl.com/2k4dcc> (Hirhurim Apr '04). He
also has a pointwise comparison to RHS's position (posted in an
earlier Hirhurim article), and a link to the R's Frimer's paper.

I think the whole thing has an interesting meta-issue. RYBS's position
appears to be "okay technically, but the cons outweigh the pros in
most contexts". The WTG supporters see the former, and assume personal
autonomy in overruling the latter. RYBS held quite firmly that only
the LOR knows the facts on the ground well enough to know what's
appropriate for his qehillah. Those who are anti (from among RYBS's
students) are looking at the full answer, and declare it assur by the
"5th tur of the SA -- common sense", another one of RYBS's recurring

And so the issue becomes the bindingness of RYBS's not-quite-pesaq
assessment of hashkafic advisability.

Not quite the same thing as da'as Torah, with its connotation of
obeying a panel of greats on issues even beyond ones clearly
hashkafic, but it is heading in that direction.

I would say it's arguably "slide to the right" except that whomever
assumed the MO debate is to be cast in terms of "what did RYBS hold?"
already did such sliding.

(I am also not intending to pass a value judgment on the slide; but it
has served me well in my own life.)

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: 9
From: "Liron Kopinsky" <liron.kopinsky@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 09:55:57 -0700
Re: [Avodah] Driving on Shabbos

> What about dan l'chaf z'chus?  Assume it's a goy.

This past shabbat I heard a shiur on dan l'chaf z'chus where they basically
1) If it is a person who is known to be a tzaddik, you obviously assume that
whatever they were doing was good, no matter how crazy it may seem
2) If it is a person who is known to be a rasha, vice versa
3) If it is someone who you don't know, assume the best, but you don't have
to jump through ridiculous hoops - "if it smells like a fish..."

If you are in Israel, assuming it's a goy is probably over the top.
Similarly, in the case I had, where they were asking directions to a
Conservative building, it would be hard to make that big of a jump.

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Message: 10
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 19:45:02 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Driving on Shabbos

> Someone wrote that RSZA paskens that if a car stops you on Shabbos to ask
> directions
> you should remind him (or her) that it's Shabbos and then give him
> directions to limit the
> chillul Shabbos.
> What about dan l'chaf z'chus?  Assume it's a goy.
> ri

Maybe this is too unrealistic; i.e. when I look out on Shabbat at the
hundreds and hundreds of cars driving on the highway between Jerusalem
and Tel Aviv, I KNOW they're not gentiles. Such a "dan l'chaf z'chut"
is outrageously unrealistic. True, you are to assume even unrealistic
scenarios, but this is almost as unrealistic as assuming he's a

Or perhaps such a dan l'chaf z'chut ironically leads to a negative
result: if you assume he's a gentile, and don't mention Shabbat, then
you've lost a chance to remind him of Yiddishkeit. Heck, we could dan
l'chaf z'chut that everyone in the Reform temple is a gentile, but
then R' Toby would have no one to invite for Shabbat, and she'd be
lonely (joke); seriously, we'd lose the chance for kiruv.

Or perhaps you can assume he's a Jew but specifically a tinok
she-nishba, and that's your dan l'chaf z'chut.

Mikha'el Makovi

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Message: 11
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 22:34:46 +0300
[Avodah] driving on shabbat

Someone wrote that RSZA paskens that if a car stops you on Shabbos to
ask directions
you should remind him (or her) that it's Shabbos and then give him
directions to limit the
chillul Shabbos.

What about dan l'chaf z'chus?  Assume it's a goy.>>

If someone stops me in Raanana and asks directions in Hebrew the
chance of it being a goy is miniscule. Dan lechaf sechut doesn't
mean being foolish

Eli Turkel

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Message: 12
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doniels@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 23:28:05 +0300
[Avodah] Is a Mezuza a Segula

I read something in last weeks [Hebrew] Mishpacha (pp 44) by Rav
Yaakov Posen related to an old thread.

He mentions that when his late father was deathly ill they went to
every Rov and "Baba" they could find, in order to get brochos.

One Tzadik told them to put a Sefer Raziel Hamalach and a Mezuza in
the patients pocket. Once he was on his deathbed they put these items
on his pillow.

Many years later he saw in SA YD 289:2 the Shach who says that a
Mezuza needs to be put in the Tefach closest to the outside so that
(1) you meet it immediately upon entering from the street and (2) so
that it can protect the entire house (even the first Tefach) from
The Gilyon Maharsha (of R' Shlomo Eiger) adds that if you're doing it
for the mitzva (of Mezuza) then you're allowed to think that as a
reward for the Mitzva, Hashem will protect you. But of you're doing it
only for protection - then you have no protection and it becomes "a
knife in his eyes!"

He ends off by saying that we can learn from here that (regarding
various segulos) the concept of "it can't hurt" is not always true.

- Danny

Join my Halocho a Day group - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2387884087

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Message: 13
From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgluck@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 14:17:54 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Skipping Korbanos

> Thirdly, (maybe the Lakewooders can answer this),how many davveners of
> mini version of Mincha immediately sit down to learn. And how many simply
> home to eat, nap or do shopping?

True, but they have to do that anyway, right? So this way, they get back to
second Seder faster. That's the theory, anyway, I think. The other reason
I've heard for Heicha Kedusha, BTW, is that it's better to say only three
Berachos out loud: It's more likely that the Kahal will be Mechaven with the
appropriate Amens for those than if the Chazan would recite all nineteen

> I recall once when the local Lakewood Kollel had a Shabaton out of town
> one of the guset speakers being Rabbi C Keller from Chicago. Motzeh
> after Maariv I noticed that they didn't say "Veyen Lecho".
> I queried this with RK, who explained that it isn't said in (Litvish)
> yeshivos for reasons of 'bitul Torah'.
> I asked him to show me a single person in this room, who is now learning
> Torah?  Teiku.

I don't know, I have never seen V'yiten Lecha said in a Nusach Ashkenaz
Shul, whether or not Yeshivish. FWIW, I can never remember seeing it said in
a Nusach Sefard Shul, either. I do see some people saying it themselves
after Maariv is already over. 



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