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Volume 25: Number 283

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Gershon Seif <gershons...@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 09:24:25 -0700 (PDT)
[Avodah] whoops, there's 4x times the amount of gorillas we

With all Science's smarts, they sure can get things wrong!


BTW, What is the Torah's take on protecting endangered species? Do we
care about this at all?

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Message: 2
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2008 15:52:34 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The halakhos of ecology

Micha Berger wrote:
>>From Areivim (the authors can take credit if they choose, but I'm too
> lazy to ask):

>: I can't think of anything in any Torah source that even suggests we should
>: care about the extinction of species with no known use.  Useful species,
>: of course, are subject to bal tashchit, but they're rarely in danger,
>: because people cultivate them or take other measures to preserve them.

> "No known use"? Or "no use" -- which would be the contrapositive of your
> next sentence.
> Bal tashchis gives priority to sacing fruit trees over non-fruit bearing
> ones. But can we say that any part of the beri'ah is really unnecessary?
> Didn't David haMelekh ask this about spiders, only to be proven wrong?

Bal tashchis doesn't just give priority to fruit trees over others,
it doesn't assign any importance at all to the others.  There's no
injunction not to cut down more barren trees than necessary, or to
choose cheaper ones over more expensive ones.

The way it comes down lahalacha, though, is that it's a simple economic
calculation, and if the tree's economic value if left standing is less
than the value one would get by cutting it down then one may do so.
Indeed, one is allowed to destroy ones property just for the sheer joy
of destruction, if the subjective value of that enjoyment is greater
than the value of the property.

The way I understand the difference between the Torah's version and
the one in the halacha sources, is that the Torah is talking about a
situation where you're cutting down trees that don't belong to you.
To you, the soldier who's been sent out to fetch timber, the trees'
economic value is of no importance.  Given your choice, you'll cut
down the nearest tree, even if the tree just a few metres away is
much less valuable.  After all, why should you care?  The tree you
don't cut will produce no benefit to you.  So the Torah steps in and
tells you not to be wasteful of a common resource, even one you
personally will never benefit from because you'll never be this way
again, but rather to treat it as you would your own property, which
you manage prudently because you know it will continue to be yours.
But at the same time, you can't be expected to do a whole study and
impact statement every time you go out to get wood.  So the Torah
gives a rule of thumb - fruit trees are valuable, and non-fruit trees
are not, and that's good enough for this sort of exercise.

As far as unknown benefits from species, you're ignoring the cost of
*not* allowing them to become extinct.  After all, we're not talking
about senseless destruction, we're talking about allowing or preventing
useful activity, because it might have an impact on a species's
survival.  Refraining from that activity has a real and measurable
cost, while the supposed benefit is unknown and may not even exist.

As for the argument that Hashem didn't create anything for no purpose,
the same argument applies to foreskins, and to the weeds a farmer must
eradicate and the swamps (excuse me, "wetlands") he must drain.
We are supposed to improve the world, because it is *not* perfect, and
every improvement we make involves destroying something that was there
before.  A world without the smallpox virus is a better one than a
world with it.  And probably the same applies to disease-spreading
mosquitoes and fleas.  If Hashem had a purpose in creating them, for
all we know it may have been to give us the opportunity to wipe them out.

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

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Message: 3
From: David Riceman <drice...@att.net>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2008 16:54:56 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The halakhos of ecology

Micha Berger wrote (citing someone else):
> : I can't think of anything in any Torah source that even suggests we should
> : care about the extinction of species with no known use.  Useful species,
> : of course, are subject to bal tashchit, but they're rarely in danger,
> : because people cultivate them or take other measures to preserve them.
Ramban Ki Teitzei 22:6 (near the beginning, in a clause people often
ignore): "Or the Bible doesn't permit destruction which may destroy a

David Riceman

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Message: 4
From: "Daniel Israel" <d...@hushmail.com>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2008 12:10:56 -0600
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] What do daven at shachris for a new,

Moved from Areivim:

On Tue, 05 Aug 2008 10:46:55 -0600 Avroham Yakov
<avya...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>I am teaching a new BT about davening.
>His Hebrew is poor, so he davens slow.
>But since he can't spend the entire morning in prayer, he
>needs to know what the most important things to say are.
>Is there any sort of list (hopefully mapped to an ArtScroll
>siddur) that details what is the bare minimum amount to be said
>from brachos and devening?
>After that, the list would detail what is to be said for
>someone who has more time.

There is a list in the "Laws" section in the back of the ArtScroll.
 It is titled "Instructions for Latecomers" (sec. 30-32), but I
think it is equally appropriate for someone such as you describe.

It is also important to emphasize to such a person that it is
completely acceptable to daven in English (or whatever his native
language is).  I think it is very important to encourage the
Hebrew, but not to the extent that the person doesn't ever have a
positive davening experience.  OTOH, one shouldn't discourage him
from developing the ability to daven in Hebrew.

I have yet to see clear guidance on davening mixed Hebrew/English.
One idea I had was to read the shemoneh esreh in English, and just
do the chasimos in Hebrew.  But when I mentioned that to someone,
they suggested that it is not appropriate.  Has anyone else seen
anything on that sort of thing?

Two other comments:

First, if the minimum listed in the ArtScroll is still too long,
then there is no real clear answer, AFAIK.  It is possible for a
person to be incapable of doing even the halachic minimum, in which
case one has to weigh other factors, and the person should probably
speak to a Rav about his particular case.  (When faced with such
questions I've given general eitzos, but referred the person to a

Second, I'm assuming you are talking about a man.  The priorities
are somewhat different for women, and there is a good chart in the
back of the sefer Rigshei Lev by R' Nissel.

Daniel M. Israel

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Message: 5
From: David Riceman <drice...@att.net>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2008 17:46:50 -0400
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] What do daven at shachris for a new,

Daniel Israel wrote:
> I have yet to see clear guidance on davening mixed Hebrew/English.
Rambam H. Tefillah 1:4 (note the innovative explanation of the pasuk in

David Riceman

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Message: 6
From: Harry Maryles <hmary...@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 16:17:37 -0700 (PDT)
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] whoops, there's 4x times the amount of

--- On Tue, 8/5/08, Gershon Seif <gershons...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>>>>>>>>? BTW, What is the Torah's take on
>>>>>>>>protecting endangered species? Do we care
>>>>>>>>about this at all??

I don't see any Halachic imperative here. If I'm wrong I'd like to know why.
The way I see it ? the survival of any species is up to nature. If the
species can survive extant conditions - it will. IOW if conditions are
favorable to reproduction then the?species will conrinue to
survive?into the future. If not it will become extinct.
To the extent that man has any part in the extinction of any species
is irrelevant in my view. Man's job is to perpetuate?his own species.
To that end we should do what's necessary to constantly improve our
own chances for survival by imaking our?conditions favorable to
reproduction. If by doing that another species becomes extinct, that
is simply nature taking its course.
Those who claim that we have some sort of moral imperative to make
sure that other species survive because of some sort of ecological
disaster or at least an imbalance in nature that would result, need to
prove their case. In my view they have yet to do that convincingly. I
should think that since animals that once existed in great numbers and
are now extinct - proves such thinking to be?nonsense.
That said, I don't think we shouldn't try to preserve an endangered
species if possible, but not at the expense of man's own welfare.

Want Emes and Emunah in your life?

Try this: http://haemtza.blogspot.com/


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Message: 7
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 23:28:13 GMT
Re: [Avodah] The halakhos of ecology

R' Micha Berger quoted Areivim:
> BTW, What is the Torah's take on protecting endangered
> species? Do we care about this at all?

I found the Torah's requirement - that man is indeed obligated to
protect the environment - to be a pervasive theme throughout Chapter 1
of Rav J.B. Soloveitchik's "The Lonely Man of Faith".

from the Joseph Aronson edition, page 11: "Adam... was charged with
the duty to cultivate the garden and to keep it, l'avdah ul'shamrah."
(transliteration mine)

I must concede that this might be the only line in that book which
refers to the OP so blatantly. After all, RYBS's main concern (in this
work) is more about Man's psychological makeup than his legal

Alternatively, see what Rav Samson Rafael Hirsch writes on that pasuk
(Bereshis 2:15): "Nature itself finds its appointed purpose promoted,
as well as the necessary condition for its continuance, in Man's
conscientious dutiful use of the bounties of nature, as expressed by
avodah v'shmirah." (transliteration mine)

My interpretation is that avodah and shmirah do not *merely* mean that
if Man sins, then Nature will not function properly. It means that,
but it also means more than that. I feel that RSRH's reference to
"Man's conscientious dutiful use of the bounties of nature" means that
these bounties must not be squandered. Above and beyond anything which
Bal Tashchis says to the Jew, Ul'shamrah tell all of mankind that he
must carefully shepherd the world's blessings, in accordance with his
best knowledge and experience.

(There may be cases where this pasuk obligates Man to protect
endangered species (or endangered resources of other kinds). But there
may also be cases where the protection of one resource drains other
resources. The answer is not always clear-cut.)

Akiva Miller

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Message: 8
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 19:46:59 -0400
[Avodah] Wine Gladdens the Heart

I find the following somewhat strange:

The usual Seudah Mafsekes is replaced with a regular Seudah
of Shabbos at which one may eat meat and drink wine and eat any foods
one desires...etc.

                        Shulchan Aruch w/
Mishnah Brurah 552:10, Shmiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 28:77, Igros Moshe

What I find strange is being allowed to drink wine right before the
saddest day of our year.

needn't go into detail what wine can do and the happy effect it can
have.  I would have thought

           that wine
would have been assur right before Tisha b'Av, even though it is

Any thoughts?
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Message: 9
From: "Liron Kopinsky" <liron.kopin...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 23:47:16 -0700
Re: [Avodah] Wine Gladdens the Heart

> I would have thought that wine would have been assur right before Tisha
> b'Av, even though it is Shabbos.
> Any thoughts?
> ri

Maybe one could say Lo Plug? Once wine was permitted for kiddush on friday
night and shabbat day, the chachamim just permitted the drink of wine in
general on Shabbat.
Maybe there is a difference betwen making something explicitely assur
according to the letter of the law vs. just something that is obviously not
the way a true yirei shamayim would act, but isn't explicitely forbidden.

This is a bit of a stretch but...
Maybe there is an inherent simcha in the act of drinking wine that surpasses
the lingering effects of the wine in the system after it has been consumed?
Maybe the drunk feeling from wine is very much affected by the atmosphere
around it. In general, "yayin mesamach levav enosh", but I have seen many a
drunk person crying as well. Maybe the act of drinking the wine is a joyous
one, but that once the person is already drunk and in a more emotional
state, they could be able to turn those emotions towards the loss of the
beit hamikdash, so with this possiblity the chachamim chose not to forbid
the wine close to 9 b'Av even though it would probably not be advisable for
most people to take this path of action.

Kol Tuv,
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Message: 10
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 07:03:29 -0400

This month is called Av, which of course means "father". Although God
has hidden His

                                                     face from us,
nevertheless, the name of this month demonstrates to us that God acts
as a loving father would, even though

          we are unable to
comprehend His ways. The fact that we continue to survive is proof
that we have not been forsaken.

"You are our (Av) Father and we are Your children!"  May the day come
speedily when Tisha B'Av is no longer a sad day.

The minhag is that one should not say Kiddush Levanah until after
Tisha B'Av.

         Many have
the minhag to follow the opinion of the Ari'zal who says that because

                                         Motzei Tisha B'Av is the
birthday of Dovid
Hamelech one should preferably say it that night.
Shulchan Aruch w/Mishnah Brurah 551:8, see Be'er Haitaiv 25, Levushei
Srad 551:8

Kol tuv (and then some)!
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Message: 11
From: Dov Kay <dov_...@hotmail.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 12:08:24 +0000
[Avodah] ID of chilazon vs. chagavim

R. R. Wolpoe wrote <<Or to put it another way, if resarch can ID a
chilazon w/o a precedent -why not Chagavim?>> See footnote 19 of this
article by R. Shaul Yonatan Weingort, originally published in
Techumin: http://www.tekhelet.com/pdf/bein.pdf. The author argues for
a distinction between simanim d'oraisa and simanim d'rabbanan.  The
former may be relied upon without a mesora (eg fins and scales in
fish), while the latter may not (eg birds).  With respect to chagavim,
the Gemara explicitly states that "u'sh'mo chagav", which the SA then
codifies as the requirement for a mesora.  In other words, the
requirement for a mesora is built into the simanim for chagavim. This
is not the case with techeles. May I respectfully ask that R. Wolpoe
pay just a little more attention to the accuracy of his typing, as the
typos are sometimes so egregious as to make his excellent posts hard
to understand. Kol tuvDov Kay

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