Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 158

Wed, 30 Apr 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 18:17:00 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Daas Torah

On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 01:44:36AM -0400, Richard Wolpoe wrote:
: But the notion of Da'as Torah in worldly affairs has to be taken with a
: grain of salt.

I recently wrote that the world isn't assur-reshus-chiyuv but rather
a spectrum. And therefore there is no question of "Is there a middle
ground between assur and chayav?" The range runs
    the clearly assur,
    the assur according to some shitos which can be done beshe'as
        hadechaq etc...,
    neveilus birshus haTorah,
    baal nefesh yachmir,
    not obviously right or wrong,
    middas chassidus,
    tov veyashar,
    chosheish leshitah,
    And gradations in the middle.

The flipside of that is that there is not a simple line but a gray area
between the appropriate domain for pesaq and the territory where one
can argue that daas Torah is appropriate or not.

IOW, worldly affairs are not disconnected from religious ones. The
religious issues may be greater or smaller, but they are never entirely

This, I think, is what RYS originally intended when he recoined the term.
Not infallibility or even better track record WRT the non-religious
aspects of the question.

BTW, for those who didn't chase the links I posted earlier this thread,
I think there are three contemporary models:

1- Ruach haqodesh / siyata diShmaya (differing in quantity but same
   basic idea) -- the nevi's successor is the chakham
2- Refining the mind through Torah impacts analysis of the beri'ah.
   Histakeil beOraisa uvarei alma, so studying the one should help
   understand the other. Like the legend about the CI and brain surgery.
3- R' Dovid Cohen says the rav is the successor to the melukhah.
   Following da'as Torah doesn't depend on increased rightness, but on
   a chiyuv to obey.

But I think RYS was speaking of something very different. An argument for
involving a moreh derekh to help with the religious implications of the
decision. Even to help identify implications you might not realize exist.

But in a generation that has too few Erev Shabbos Jews, this concept is
bound to have devolved.

A second major difference is that he had no concept of "the gedolim". A
chavrusah could turn to a sr chavrusah, a talmid to a rebbe.

The primary problem MO has with da'as Torah isn't da'as Torah itself.
As I wrote before, I've watched YU Jews debate minutia of RYBS's writings
to defend or attack topics like land-for-peace. It's that of "the gedolim
say". The notion that increased rightness means convergence on a single
right answer.

Which of course will bug people who feel they have a different right
answer. Aside from deligitimizing the answer, it also forces disemissing
those gedolei Torah who reached it. (Can't be a gadol if "the gedolim
hold X" and he doesn't.)

Yes, RYBS had elements of recognizing relative authority that the
yeshiva world does not. He would push his talmidim to learn how to be
autonomous LORs before assuming the role. The yeshivish LOR is more
likely to refer to his RY. Balance needs to be found -- matching ability
to responsibility assumed.

But notice that the first half of this post, defining Daas Torah is
totally unrelated to the issues raised in the half about MO and DT.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 10th day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        1 week and 3 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Tifferes sheb'Gevurah: When does strict
Fax: (270) 514-1507                  judgment bring balance and harmony?

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Message: 2
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 13:13:03 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Bitul Chometz

From: _RallisW@aol.com_ (mailto:RallisW@aol.com) 

>>If chometz is botel b'shishim before Pesach. If an item is  already botel 
purchased before Pesach may it be consumed on Yom Tov? IOW  once something is 
botel does it stay  botel?<<

Possibly relevant:  the OU says you can buy Lactaid milk (for the  lactose 
intolerant) before Pesach and consume it on Pesach.  But I  think the enzyme 
they add to the milk isn't chometz, it's kitniyos, so I  don't know if that makes 
a difference.

--Toby  Katz

**************Need a new ride? Check out the largest site for U.S. used car 
listings at AOL Autos.      
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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 21:15:25 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Bitul Chometz

On Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 10:52:57PM -0400, RallisW@aol.com wrote:
: If chometz is botel b'shishim before Pesach. If an item is already botel and 
: purchased before Pesach may it be consumed on Yom Tov? IOW once something is 
: botel does it stay botel?

Yes. This is an odd case: a chumrah derabbanan causes a chalos that ends
up creating a qulah in a deOraisa.

I had it on my docket since before Pesach to ask: Why is such a thing
possible WRT bitul chamewitz, but in other cases we look on the deOraisa
level separately. E.g. a geir qatan doesn't become a gadol WRT qabbalas
ol mitzvos on his/her birthday, when (s)he becomes a gadol for things
like aliyos laTorah. We require 2 sa'aros.

In EhE, deRabbanan level actions have chalos on the deOraisa level, but
we invoke "kol demeqadeish al daas derabbanan meqadeish". It's not
assumed possible in a general way.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Today is the 10th day, which is
micha@aishdas.org        1 week and 3 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Tifferes sheb'Gevurah: When does strict
Fax: (270) 514-1507                  judgment bring balance and harmony?

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Message: 4
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Thu, 1 May 2008 02:18:11 +1000
Re: [Avodah] Kaddish Yasom -- Misplaced Priority?

From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
R Dov Weinstock wrote to Areivim:
> Re: the kaddish issue - despite the importance which kaddish
> has taken on in modern times, my understanding is that it
> has little true halachic significance. 

... although the obligation of Kaddish is only minhag in origin,

How many of our laws on death and mourning are not minhag in origin?

>>> to be a kiyum of Kibud Av V'Em (which I do realize is of less
significance once the parent has passed on, but is still not trivial). 

Not according to the Zohar quoted in KSA 26:22. Aderaba!


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Message: 5
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Thu, 1 May 2008 02:19:09 +1000
[Avodah] mixed swimming, and allowing walking on the

From: "Meir Shinnar" <chidekel@gmail.com>
but there is little basis for forbidding, for example, mixed swimming, and
allowing walking on the boardwalk next to the beach....

Which poskim are mattir walking on the boardwalk next to the beach?

AISI it is clearly Assur. See Aruch Hashulchan EH 21: 1, 2 & 3.


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Message: 6
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Thu, 1 May 2008 02:20:39 +1000
Re: [Avodah] When does mixed swimming mean?

From: "Rich, Joel" <
> Fwiw iiuc there is now a line of full body non-skin tight bathing 
> suits available.

If a certain beach or pool were mixed but permitted only davka such bathing
suits for women, would mixed swimming per permissible then?
Mikha'el Makovi
CLOR but technically why would it be 

Have a look at Even Hoezer siman 21 - headed: "Lehisrachek Me'od min

I have the Aruch Hashulchan in front of me so I'll quote from there:
SK 1: "...ve'ossur lehistakel benoshim ha'omdos al hakevisah mipnei
sheragleihen megulos".

I think that as far as mixed swimming is concerned there is usually more
than ragleihen megulos.

In SK 2 the AH writes: "veha'over achorei isha banahar ein lo chelek le'olom

From: Minden <phminden@arcor.de>
>>> We don't pasken straight from a gemore.

OK, so go to the abovementioned SA.

>>> Taking a bath, for practical reasons of enhanced cleansing probably
naked, isn't going for a swim in a swimsuit.


>>> Calling a ben odem not a ben odem isn't worthy of a ben odem, IMHO. 

See Yonah, Rashi dh "Ubeheimah Rabba: Bnei adam gedolim vedaaton kebeheimeh
She'einom makirim mi baram..."


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Message: 7
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 16:24:25 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Kaddish Yasom

Cantor Wolberg asked:
> He was told (contrary to what many feel is proper) that it was
> not kovodik for a son to shovel earth, so he refrained from
> what he thought was correct. Up until he told me that, I always 
> encouraged children to participate in the mitzvah. Has anyone
> ever heard of this minhag or halacha?

I am not expert on the details of whether or not children are an exception to this shoveling, but I'd like to relate a story from the levaya of my father a"h.

While my brothers and I were shoveling, someone -- within hearing range of
my mother -- commented, in a deprecating tone, "Look at that! They're
burying their own father!!!"

When my mother related this to me, I told her that I wish I'd have heard
that comment, because my response would have been, "He tucked me into bed
many times. Why shouldn't I return the favor?"

Akiva Miller
Click here for free information on starting a business from your home.

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Message: 8
From: "Mike Miller" <avodah@mikeage.net>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 19:37:37 +0300
Re: [Avodah] chametz gamur

On Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 6:49 PM, Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com> wrote:
> In fact I had a similar conversation over Pesach concerning Shemitta and heter
> mechira. If one holds that the farmer can sell his land because of hefsed but
> the consumer shouldn't buy from him then again you have destroyed the farmer's
> income.
> You seem to be saying that the farmer or the store should only get a parnassah
> from people who are not very careful.

Or perhaps the farmers needs to sell to maintain his export business,
which works on long term contracts and can't accept an entire year

-- Mike Miller
Ramat Bet Shemesh

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Message: 9
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
Date: Thu, 1 May 2008 02:42:34 +1000
[Avodah] Shaos Eretz Yisroel (EY zeiger) - offlist comments

Here are some comments that I recvd re the 'Shaos EY' post:

From: SBA [mailto:sba@sba2.com] 
..this issue has a small piece about something which would have puzzled
most who have spent time in Jerusalem and seen the notices/pashkevillin of
the walls - announcing the time for some function/protest/tefilla/drasha
giving 2 times; one "Lamed Shin Alef Yud" (leshaos Eretz Yisroel) and
another as  shaos "Europis".  Most have no idea what the LShEY means.

This article explains that under this system the Shekieh is always at 12
midnight, when the new cycle (day) begins. 
Thus - al pi Minhag Yerushalayim to bring in Shabbos 40 minutes before
Shkiyeh - candle-lighting time is always 11.20.

The writer also claims that many call it the "Arabisher zeiger". But this is
an error as it used to be known as the "Erevisher" (miloshon Erev = night.

He also writes that the British did their best to get rid of this system and
destroyed a number of public clocks that used it


     In the Gra shul in Sha'arei Chesed, there are two clocks on the wall of
one of the rooms -- Sh'on EY and Eiropis.  The davening times for the
minyanin k'vuim for Shacharis are based on Eiropis; Mincha and Ma'ariv on
Sh'on EY.  It makes it easy to see if it's too late to say Tachanun (which
is _never_ said there even a minute after sh'kia).

     I just wonder who changes it daily and when; I've never seen it done.

     But as far as "erevisher" vs. "Arabisher," I don't believe them. If
there were any truth to it, it would have been called something like "shkia
zeiger."  I think it's like afikoman deriving from afiku man, or apotiki
form po t'hei ka'i: it's not its origin, it's why Chazal decided to keep the
goyishe term, because it could be given a Torah interpretation, but not that
the word was made up from the interpretation; the original source is

Hi! Shloma Boruch,
                   The first day I arrived in eretz yisroel in 1954 
I visited Reb Osher Zelig Margolis z"l in order to give over regards
from my father z"l who was a chaver of his.

 As we were talking he said oy vey! it's late it is
already 11.30 we have to go to daven mincha.

I said 11.30? by me it is 5.30

He said let me explain, the day, by yeeden starts at shkiah, so shkiah 
every day is at 12.00 pm, we move the clock every day by 2 minutes.
By goyim, where the day comes before the night, the day should
logically start the whole year round at 6.00 am,that is to say 6.00 am
should be 12.00 am and 6.00 pm the start of the night should be 12.00 pm.

Because in all truth let us take what we call 2.00 am, 2.00 in the morning,
is actually in the middle of the night. It would make as much sense as
calling our 2.00 pm which is the middle of the afternoon, the middle of the
night. Why then do the goyim call 12.00 am the start of day?

L'koved yoshka pundera their mamzer god whom they claim was born at 12.00

Said reb osher zelig, I'm not going to run my life according to 
the goyshe mishagaas  


 RUBBISH When I was at Ponevez Yeshivah, a Yerushalmi Bochur, Yankl Seckbach
(he is still around amve"sh), who still remembered its use, told me that the
Etz Chaim Yeshiva switched to the European Zeiger in 1948.  The reason was
that most of the homes had already changed and it was being used as an
excuse for coming late.  The system (still used in Saudi Arabia!!!) has the
time cycle starting at daybreak and is adjusted weekly.  Thus in September
and March 6.00 o'clock is about noon.  In winter it is later and in summer
it is earlier.

It takes a couple of generations and lack of contact with bnei Yishmael to
get the whole thing distorted.

It seems to me that it is the old Sha'ot Zmaniot shifted on to the clock and
made Shavot.

Never believe newspapers.


Arabish is not a mistake at all .it is called in many seforim "keri'as

(This clock is still used side by side with "our"time  in the Tukyszinski
Yerushalmi luach used by many in Yerushalayim as a practical luach)

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Message: 10
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 13:07:58 EDT
Re: [Avodah] 2 days yomtov

From: "Liron Kopinsky" <liron.kopinsky@gmail.com>
> What if  it were reversed and one left EY during chol hamoed.
> In the old days he  didn't forget the date within a few days

>>It would seem to  me in the old days that if he left knowing the date of 
chodesh, any  place he went to would also be able to keep 1 day since there
is no longer a  safek.<<



If he crossed the International Date Line, there is a huge  safek.  Even if 
he just traveled to a different time zone, there is already  a safek.

--Toby  Katz

**************Need a new ride? Check out the largest site for U.S. used car 
listings at AOL Autos.      
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Message: 11
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewinddale@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 15:09:38 -0400
[Avodah] Religious tolerance

I was just musing, apropos of nothing**, about the following:

In theory, we say that anyone who doesn't follow the Noachide laws is
a heretic or infidel or whatever, end of story. And of course, were we
to have a religious state, there'd be practical implications (accept
the laws or leave the country). But in practice, we don't go around
criticizing any gentiles of being apikorsim for believing in a
three-for-one special, and on the contrary, many (at least in the
MOish community) have quite positive relationships with gentiles. I'm
sure we all know that he believes in 3-in-1 and that he's surely
stolen *something* from *someone* ( = violate Noachide laws) sometime
in his life, and yet we don't seem to hold it against him, at least
not publicly. I am thinking that perhaps it is a gap between theory
and practice.

In theory, it is all well and good to say certain things. But in
practice, how do you draw the line between what is kosher and what is
treif? Moreover, it isn't very "Jewish" to go on witchhunts, IMHO;
that's just not the kind of people we are. And notice how the nevi'im
criticized the nations for their evil practices (human sacrifice,
etc.) and not for their theology per se. Similarly, Chazal said that
the nations of their time were simply following the minhagim of their
forefathers as regards idolatry, and only their evil practices were
basis to discriminate. And even so, we find Chazal still had extensive
relationships with gentiles, and did not make a ghetto wall in Bavel.
So it would also seem that we aren't very willing to put our own
theory into practice.

It is to be noted that we don't destroy idols in gentile lands, but we
certainly do destroy idols in Israel. So apparently, much of the gap
between theory and practice is a simple factor of galut. But I wonder,
even in a religious state in Israel, to what extent would we let
things by (he says he worships one god, so we'll take his word for
it), and to what extent would we go on heresy-hunts, so to speak (i.e.
really investigate his beliefs, etc.)? How much of this gap is due to
galut, and how much of it is OTOH an intrinsic Jewish discomfort with
confrontation and conflict, and a fundamental appreciation for the
humanity of man irrespective of what he does, an appreciation for the
fact that much of it is shogeg, etc.?

I apologize for the disorganized flow of ideas here; as I said, it is
my own musings, and I'm still sorting them through. I figure that an
Avodah conversation would help.

Mikha'el Makovi

** To say it is apropos of nothing isn't quite accurate. I often have
monologues with myself, with some imaginary party that I'm talking to;
in fact, I learn a lot about myself and what I know, this way. In this
case, the monologue was sparked by imagining a conversation between
myself and a certain philosemitic Iranian (she actually lives in Iran)
ex-Muslim I recently met.

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Message: 12
From: "Joseph C. Kaplan" <jkaplan@tenzerlunin.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 15:09:23 -0400
[Avodah] Letter of RSRH

"TK:  Both you and SBA insisted that Hirsch would have been Neturei  Karta or 
Satmar in his attitude towards the modern Israeli state if he  were alive 
today.  I am certain that is NOT true.  He would have been  RWO, non-Zionist but 
would have viewed developments in E'Y as overwhelmingly  positive and a sign of 
Divine benevolence."

I simply don't understand how anyone can predict how the Holocaust and the
actual creation of the State of Israel would have affected RSRH's thinking
about Zionism.	One can as easily say that he would have become the
Honorary President of Mizrachi as say that he would be NT, Satmar or RWO. 
Oh, sorry, that was a different gadol who switched from being a member of
the presidium of Agudah to the Honorary President of Mizrachi after the

Joseph Kaplan

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Message: 13
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 18:10:26 EDT
Re: [Avodah] The Three Zechisim

From: Cantor Wolberg _cantorwolberg@cox.net_ (mailto:cantorwolberg@cox.net) 

>>So the question is that if they sunk to the 49th level (and  that's why  
they had
to leave in haste so as not to sink to the  50th) how could it be said  
that they
were even interested or  concerned in preventing Arayos? They already had
descended into such  immorality.<<


The 49 levels of tumah they sank into had to do with avodah zara and  kishuf 
-- not arayos.  There was only one single individual woman who ever  had 
relations with an Egyptian, Shlomis bas Divri.  Every Jew other than  her son (the 
megadef) was able to trace his yichus exactly ben achar ben  back to one of 
the shvatim.

--Toby  Katz

**************Need a new ride? Check out the largest site for U.S. used car 
listings at AOL Autos.      
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