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Volume 25: Number 248

Tue, 08 Jul 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 00:00:25 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Your brother's a Mumar; here's the solution!

From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" _mgluck@gmail.com_ (mailto:mgluck@gmail.com) 

>>Are any women  in Tanach described as loving their  husbands?<<

The woman in Shir  Hashirim?  I know she's not some actual historical person, 
but a  representation of Klal Yisrael, but still, doesn't that at least 
presume that  [some] women love their husbands?

--Toby Katz

President  Reagan talked with the Soviets while pushing ahead with the 
deployment of Cruise  and Pershing missiles in Europe. He spoke softly ? after 
getting himself a  bigger stick.  --Mark Steyn

**************Gas prices getting you down? Search AOL Autos for 
fuel-efficient used cars.      (http://autos.aol.com/used?ncid=aolaut00050000000007)
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Message: 2
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 00:02:04 -0400
Re: [Avodah] LechemMishneh

On Mon, Jul 7, 2008 at 1:41 PM, <JoshHoff@aol.com> wrote:

>  In a message dated 7/7/2008 11:13:58 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> avodah-request@lists.aishdas.org writes:
> Any sources as to whether 2 pieces of man fell on erev yom tov as well
> as erev shabbat?
> KT
>  See Tosafos Beitzah 2b, 'vehaya,' 2 opinions from diff. midrashim ,and
> see Nefesh Chayah from R. Reuven Margolios, Orach Chaim, 529, 3.

I have not follwoed this thread, but it is pretty accepted taht lechem
Mishan on YT is a chiyuv from the Ga'onim not the Talmud [Midrash would
usualyl qualify as Ga'onic AIUI]

The raya brura for this is that one of our earliest post Talmudic sources -
the BEHAG - claims that the Sder should have 2 matzso except Friday night.
This is a very strong indication that in his day:

   1. There was no ISSUR of having 3 matzos re: lechem oni
   2. There was not NEED to have lechem Mishna on YT
   3. There WAS a need to have lechem Mishna on Shabbos

Tosafos/Rosh take it for a davar pashut that lechem mishna is need on YT,
too - hence the 3 matzos.

Gra Attacks Rosh as not reading the Gmara properly, but it is clear that the
sugya was not aliba dehilchesa [for the Rosh on this point]. Either the Rosh

   1. Once the Ga'onim required lechem mishan the sugya had to be
   retrofitted to match noramtive Halacha AS PRACTICED  OR
   2. The Rosh [and others} might have realized that the Talmud never
   EXPLICITLY required lechem Mishan on YT, but it was always assumed to be
   there -  albeit IMPLICITLY. This Sugya must have not held it to be
   noramtive, and Behag would have concurred.  But the sense of Shab as awhole
   might have beeen otherwise

#1 implies a lot About Ashkenazi minhag.  One the Ga'onim say you say Baruch
Hashem L'olam at Arbis, you do it anyway - the Talmud notwithstanding.  The
GRA would dissent on this point, too

#2 implies another factor.  That that which is IMPLICT inthe Talmud may have
the force of the Talmud. {jsut like 13 middos has a force of the a
d'oraisso]  So of course the Talmud does not sayexplicitly that lechem
mishan is normative on YT but it has the force of Talmud anyway. The Gra
would still desent because he would require [like the Rambam usualy] more
explicit texts. Ashekanzim often extrapolate

Two Tangents:

   1. Whether the Rambam extrapolate Birchas Ner Shabbs from the Bavli is an
   interesting hypothesis that woud make the Ramba more Tosafos-like and less
   2. The Gra himslef relies upon Masseches Soferim for saying a Bracha on
   Megillos [aside from Esther]. Soferim is sessentially Ga'onic albeit it
   quotes earlier sources. This sort of puts thE GRa on both sides of the
   Talmud vs. Ga'onic issue re: litrugy.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
see: http://nishmablog.blogspot.com/
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Message: 3
From: "Marty Bluke" <marty.bluke@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 10:33:15 +0300
[Avodah] Can you steal/damage to prevent an autopsy?

This is a followup to the Areivim discussion Re: Torah without Derech Eretz

Here is an interesting article which discusses whether you are allowed
to steal to save your own life

"... There are sources that indicate that one may not steal even if it
is for pikuach nefesh. The Binyon Tzion, Rav Yaakov Ettlinger, brings
two sources that show authorities of the opinion that it is forbidden
for a person to steal even if his life depends on it.7

The first source is a Gemara in Bava Kamma8 that relates a story from
Sefer Shmuel about King David.9 King David was fighting the
Philistines when he became very thirsty. He said "if only someone
could give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is in
the city of the gate." Upon hearing this, three of David's men broke
through the gate and retrieved water. Before drinking, David sent a
question to the Sanhedrin, asking permission to drink the water, to
which they responded in the negative. The Gemara understands the
passage to be speaking of David's wish for halachic guidance. The
"mayim" being referred to was not physical water but the waters of
torah. According to R' Huna, the question David was asking was whether
he was permitted to destroy the property of another for pikuach
nefesh. David and his army were in the middle of a barley field where
the Philistines were hiding. He wanted to torch the field so that the
Philistines would retreat and thereby avoid an ambush on his army. The
problem was that the barley field belonged to another Jew. David
inquired if he could save himself and his army by sacrificing the
property of another. The Gemara states that the Sanhedrin sent him
back a ruling that it was forbidden to destroy the property of another
to save his life, however since he is king, he has the power to do
what he wants with the property of his people.10

From this Gemara a conflict arises between Rashi and Tosafos. Tosafos
maintains that David was not asking the Sanhedrin if property
destruction was permitted to save a life, because that was obviously
permitted. David was aware of the rule that when there is a possible
danger to life, one may transgress any sin in order to escape the
danger, with the exceptions of idolatry, forbidden relations and
murder.11 Thus, one is clearly allowed to destroy someone else's
property in order to remove a threat to life. David's question was
whether he was liable to compensate the owner if he burnt the field.
The Sanhedrin responded that it was forbidden to burn the property
without compensating the owner. Tosafos further explains that the
reason this rule is stated in the gemara in terms of a prohibition (It
is prohibited for a person to save himself?) is to imply a caveat
where there is another way to save oneself that does not entail the
destruction of another's property, one is indeed prohibited from
destroying that property.12

The Rosh13 agrees with Tosafos and states that the Gemara never
contemplated whether it was forbidden to save the life of the Jewish
army at the expense of someone else's crops. Such a ruling was obvious
since nothing stands in the way of pikuach nefesh except the three
cardinal sins. David was inquiring about compensation to which the
Sanhedrin responded was obligatory.

The Binyon Tzion states that Rashi disagrees with Tosafos'
understanding of the Gemara and maintains that the Gemara should be
interpreted literally.14 King David asked whether he could burn the
field to save his soldiers, which the Sanhedrin prohibited. According
to Rashi, a person is not allowed to steal or damage another person's
property even under threat of death and even if one will repay the
loss. Therefore it is Rashi's opinion that one may not steal even if
it is for pikuach nefesh.

The second source that the Binyon Tzion discusses is a Gemara in
Kesubos,15 that describes a scenario where a witness is given the
ultimate to sign a false note, which will award money to an
undeserving party, or be killed. Rav Chisda says that Rav Meir rules
that in such a case one should allow himself to be killed rather than
sign the note since signing the false note would be stealing. Rava
disagrees with the view of Rav Chisda and rules that the witness may
sign the note since nothing stands in the way of mortal danger other
than the three cardinal sins, which stealing is not a part of. The
Rambam states that Rav Chisda's interpretation of Rav Meir is correct,
and brings a Braisa Kitzonis (excluded beraisa) to show that R'Meir
adds theft to the list of the cardinal sins holding that stealing is a
form of killing. Additionally, the Shitta Mekubetzes in Kesubos16
quotes from the Rambam that the question of whether or not stealing
should be the fourth of the cardinal sins may be a matter of dispute
among the Tanaim.

In addition, there are sources that seem to imply that stealing is
forbidden even for pikuach nefesh. Meseches Yoma17 records a story
where a Tanna stole a loaf of bread from a farmer in order to save his
life, and was rebuked for doing so. In Bava Kamma18 there is a case
where the Rabbis objected to a person keeping in his possession an
animal that grazed other people's property, thereby stealing from
others even though the animal was needed to save the owner's life. The
Yershalmi in Avoda Zara19 implies that stealing is equal to the three
cardinal sins of Judaism. Forcing someone to steal is like forcing him
to kill. Since one cannot kill to save a life, one cannot steal
either. The Beraisa in Meseches Semachos20 compares one who steals to
one who murders and worships idols; the Vilna Goan21 compares a thief
to an adulterer and a violator of Shabbos. From these sources, we can
see that although theft is not formally on the list of cardinal sins,
there are authorities that believe that theft is similar enough to
murder, adultery and idolatry that it is forbidden to transgress even
at the expense for the sake of pikuach nefesh.

Despite these sources, the halacha follows the views that one can
steal for pikuach nefesh, but only on the condition that the property
be returned or the owner compensated for the property's value.22 The
Shulchan Aruch23 states that, except for idolatry, illicit relations
and murder, a person is permitted to transgress all the sins in the
Torah rather than be killed. Therefore, if a person's life is in
danger and he must steal to save himself, he can do so. However, he
must have the specific intention to pay back the owner. The Rambam24
rules that if a person commands a Jew to transgress one of the
commandments or be killed, he should transgress rather than be killed.
He learns this rule from the pasuk "vechai bahem." Moreover, if a
person is in this situation and chooses to die, he is guilty on his
life.25 The Rambam applies the law to all commandments except
idolatry, illicit relations and murder.26

In conclusion, the dominant view in Jewish law follows the Shulchan
Aruch27 and the Rambam,28 which allows a person to steal or damage
property of another to save his own life. Thus, one may break in to
the house of another, or steal insulin if that was necessary to save
his life. However, such a person must compensate the owner of the

It is clear from the above to steal to prevent an autopsy from being
done would be prohibited (the whole heter above was pikuach nefesh
which does not apply here) especially if you have no intention and/or
no way of paying back. Therefore, to throw rocks and damage property,
burn garbage bins etc. where the rioters have no intention of paying
back and in fact in many cases don't even know who to pay back would
be categorically prohibited.

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Message: 4
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 11:52:55 GMT
Re: [Avodah] T'uM

R' Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> Is a shtar chovvv [in other words an IOU or p[romissory note]
> with $10.00 face-value  really muktzeh on Shabbos? It may be
> assur to read as "shitrei hedyotos" but is it really muktzeh?
> If TODAY"S US money - no longer back by gold/silver is ONLY a
> promissory note - then it might not even be muktzeh at all

This post led me the wonder why these things (gold coins, aluminum coins,
paper money, promissory notes) aren't ALL considered Muktzeh Machmas
Chisaron Kis (MMCK).

From what I see in chapter 3 of The Halachos Of Muktza by Rabbi Yisroel
Pinchos Bodner, it is *not* critical for such an item to have a designated
place, but it *is* critical that the item would not be used for anything
other than its regular function.

If so, then I can make an argument that checks are MORE muktzah than money:
Coins are used for all sorts of purposes on an ad hoc basis: Drawing
circles, measuring a gris, screwdriver, and so on. Even paper money, which
is manufactured to be quite sturdy, can be folded to be even stronger, and
is then a handy straightedge, or used to clean one's fingernails, and so

In contrast, he writes on page 71 that "Important papers, with or without
intrinsic value, are reserved for safekeeping by their owner and are
muktza. Thus, cancelled checks, contracts, sales receipts, drivers'
licences, automobile registrations, etc. are all muktza machmas chisaron
kis." -- And I think it reasonable to draw a kal vachomer from "cancelled
checks" to depositable checks.

Thus, while money is not MMCK and is subject only to the rules of Muktza Machmas Gufo, the promissory note which RRW asks about *is* MMCK.

Akiva Miller

Click to receive credit card help and get out of debt fast.

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 09:43:49 -0400
Re: [Avodah] K.P. vs P.A.

On Thu, Jul 03, 2008 at 09:17:20PM -0400, Cantor Wolberg wrote:
: The examples you give have to do with relative things. Tumah is tumah
: and can be overlooked for the greater good, but I don't see how that is
: the same as voltage, mountain height or polar ice caps.
: Tell me what I'm missing.

I am playing with the idea that tum'ah hutrah betzibur might not be an
issue of "greater good". That would be dechuyah, not hutrah.

Nor is altitude a relative thing. The mountain is objectively tall.
How tall? Something has to define the scale by which you measure it.
Similarly, one object could be far down the scale of tum'ah, but whther
or not it actually has a halachic statis of tamei depends on where in
that scale you set your zero point -- is it more tamei than zero or less?

Let's follow through with RSRH's rationale for tum'ah (since I have bits
of his commentary to Vayiqra 11:47 at hand for easy cut-n-paste):
     A dead human body tends to bring home to one's mind a fact which
     is able to give support to that pernicious misconception which is
     called tum'ah. For, in fact, there lies before us actual evidence
     that Man must -- willy-nilly -- submit to the power of physical
     forces. That in this corpse that lies before us, it is not the
     real human being, that the real human being, the actual Man, which
     the powers of physical force can not touch, had departed from here
     before the body -- merely its earthly envelope -- could fall under
     the withering law of earthly Nature; more, that as long as the real
     Man, with his free-willed self-determining G-dly nature was present
     in the body, the body itself was freed from forced obedience to
     the purely physical demands, and was elevated into the sphere of
     moral freedom in all its powers of action and also of enjoyment,
     when the free- willed ruling of the higher part of Man decided to
     achieve the moral mission of his life;

R. SR Hirsch portrays the tamei object as one that causes the illusion
that man is nothing more than a physical object, an animal, a helpless
subject to physical forces and physical desires. In reality,
    death only begins with death, but that in life, thinking striving and
    accomplishing Man can master, rule, and use even his own sensuous body
    with all its all its innate forces, urges, and powers, with G-d-like
    free self-decision, within the limits of, and for accomplishment of,
    the duties set by the laws of morality; ...

This notion that tum'ah is evidence of the idea that we must submit
to the power of physical forces implies that once the evidence becomes
the water in which the fish swims, we, like the fish, wouldn't notice
the background.

But this is just a second layer of extrapolation of an idea to play
with. ("Lulei Sorasekha Sha'ashu'ai" should be made Avodah's motto!) No
need to like either, nor do problems with possibly connecting step 1 to
RSRH imply a problem with step 1 (tum'ah is relative) itself.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Our greatest fear is not that we're inadequate,
micha@aishdas.org        Our greatest fear is that we're powerful
http://www.aishdas.org   beyond measure
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Anonymous

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Message: 6
From: "M Cohen" <mcohen@touchlogic.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 09:03:37 -0400
[Avodah] Are any women in Tanach described as loving their

R MYG writes ... Are any women in Tanach described as loving their husbands?

I get the impression from the general tone of the gemoras
(kesuvos/yevamos/sotah/etc) that
the nature of the husband/wife relationship (in those days) was more

ie the husband provides A&B and the wife provides C&D. 
and if not; here's your kesuva and goodbye

..you get sick; here's your kesuva and goodbye
..he doesn't get what he wants; here's your kesuva and goodbye

I don't see a tone of the modern vision of marriage of
..love forever no matter what / until death do us part /etc

Mordechai Cohen

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Message: 7
From: Michael Poppers <MPoppers@kayescholer.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 12:28:02 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Modim D'Rabbanan

In Avodah Digest V25#245, RAK asked:
> Two questions were raised this evening about the Modim D'Rabbanan
recited by the kehillah during the repetition of the Amidah.
> (1) As in many shuls, on the wall hangs a poster of the Modim
D'Rabbanan. However, the text of the poster differs by one word from
the text in all of the siddurim. Where the siddurim read
"us-kay-me-nu"/"ut-kay-me-nu" the poster reads
"us-cha-ne-nu"/"ut-cha-ne-nu." The issue came up, in part, because
apparently the Daf Yomi just learned Daf Mem, Amud Alef of Sotah,
where this prayer is discussed--and the text of the Gemara is the
text of the poster and not the siddurim. So, does anyone know why our
siddurim differ from the posters and the Gemara, and how this came about? <
Good Q (and NB that the text of your siddur likely doesn't include
"ut'qab'tzeinu," either).  IIRC, the siddur of Rav Amram Gaon doesn't
include "ut'chaneinu ut'qab'tzeinu."  The Tur (OC 127) certainly doesn't
include either word, but BY 127 d'h' "garsinan" does!  B'li neder, I'll
soon check Baer on this subject -- perhaps he has some relevant

> (2) Now that we are on the topic, the question was raised why we say
this prayer at all? Or, rather, why only this prayer? Why is there
not a parallel D'Rabbanan prayer for any or all of the other brachos
during the repetition of the Amidah? Why should the congregation not
respond to the other brachos, such as for refuah or geulah or shalom? <
(After writing the following, I saw that RJIR already noted it, but he'll
hopefully forgive me for repeating his concept while embellishing it a
If the concept is hoda'ah, and if this concept of thanksgiving must be
performed individually rather than by a representative of tha tzibbur (I've
heard this idea b'sheim Avudraham, and I have a crazy idea that it may be
based on how the TY describes what the tzibbur must do when the SHaTZ
reaches "Modim," as noted in BY 127 d'h' "v'chasav haRaSHBA")....

All the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager
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Message: 8
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Tue, 08 Jul 2008 12:44:31 -0400
Re: [Avodah] T'uM

Richard Wolpoe wrote:

>  From a strictly puritanical vewi once the US governmetn stopped paying 
> gold or silver for paper miny it is ARGUABKLE that all w have is US 
> Scrip instead of Golden Acres Scrip. 

No, it isn't arguable.  It's nonsense.
> Coins are different, albeit they have little intrinsic value nowdays
> either.

Exactly; their value comes from the same government fiat as that of

> Is a shtar chovvv [in other words an IOU or p[romissory note] with 
> $10.00 face-value  really muktzeh on Shabbos? It may be assur to read as 
> "shitrei hedyotos" but is it really muktzeh?

Surely it is, for the exact reason that money is muktzeh.  It's too
valuable to be used as wrapping paper, and it has no other legitimate
use on Shabbos.

> If TODAY"S US money - no longer back by gold/silver is ONLY a promissory 
> note

This is nonsense.  What do they promise?  Nothing at all!  Back when
they *were* backed by gold or silver, they *were* promissory notes:
they promised gold or silver.  Now they promise nothing, they merely
assert themselves to *be* money.  As I said, if you show up at the
Treasury with a $10 note, all they'll give you for it is two $5s.

Gold and silver are *not* money in our society - if you owe someone
$800 and you give him an ounce of gold, he doesn't have to accept it,
and you still owe him the money; whereas if you give him 800 $1 notes
you have paid the debt even if he leaves them lying on the table and
refuses to pick them up.

This is the reality; the question is only to what extent halacha takes
notice of this reality, and for what purposes.

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                                                  - Clarence Thomas

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Message: 9
From: Dov Ber <ydamyb@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 22:43:31 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Torah riddle

Samuel Svarc asks:
How can one have a Tumas meis that is m'tamah b'ohel, b'masa, but not

Molei tarvood rekev. Chulin 126b.


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