Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 351

Sun, 05 Oct 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2008 01:37:01 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Pat palter

R' Joel Rich wrote:
> I think I remember once learning that we assume all their
> keilim (including stoves I guess) are assumed not ben
> yomo but I don't know why or if so, was there an attempt
> to see the local teva.

Ditto. It's hard for me to imagine that in a society which was so much less
afluent than ours, they had so many kitchen utensils that any random item
was probably not used in the past day.

And actually, this applies not only to pas palter/akum, but also to
*bishul* akum. I've asked this before, but I'll repeat it now: If certain
foods were prohibited by the legislation of bishul akum, those foods must
have been mutar prior to that enactment. But how *could* they have been
allowed? With absolutely zero Jewish involvement in the cooking, how
confident could they be that a vegetable soup had only kosher ingredients?
(I specify "vegetable", on the possibility that Basar Shenisalem Min
Ha'ayin was already forbidden when Bishul Akum became forbidden.)

> why isn't factory bread which has neither of the issues
> not "pat yisrael" much the same as milk per R' Moshe
> (and why was R' moshe later say yeshivot should drink
> chalav yisrael other than for "salute the flag" reasons.)

My impression has been that indeed, factory bread is mutar lechatchila, and
that everyone agrees Pas Yisrael to be only a beyond-what's-required sort
of chumra, in contrast to Chalav Hacompanies, which is a machlokes such
that some poskim call it treif. Am I wrong?

Akiva Miller

Click to reduce wrinkles, increase energy and drive - anti-aging.

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Message: 2
From: Arie Folger <afol...@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2008 18:23:33 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Pat palter

On Thursday, 2. October 2008 16.50:10 Micha Berger wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 01, 2008 at 11:36:15PM -0400, Zev Sero wrote:
> : AIUI, at the time it was unheard of for bread to contain anything treif,
> : so there was no need to worry about it...
> My understanding is that this is still true for some breads for which
> there is a strong tradition to use a particular recipe. Such as buying
> baguettes in France. RAF?

The situation has become somewhat more murky in recent years, and one must 
distinguish between large retailer bread, which likely contains additives, 
and traditional baguettes, which are still eaten. Caveat: I live outside of 
France, in Switzerland.

> The star-K told me the same about traditional teas. Much like beers
> that aren't dark here in the US. A brewer may use red wine to color beer
> without "losing face" or calling it anything fancy. But most beers do not
> require a hechsher. Whiskies, without the issue of sherry casks. Etc...

By the way, I am behind on Avodah, but I understand this discussion is related 
to RSBA's report that brewers in New Zealand use fish derivatives to clarify 
beer. This is a well known issue with many, many fruit juices and was dealt 
with in well known teshuvot. If I am not mistaken, the field was opened by 
teh Noda biYhudah who ruled that products clarified with isinglas (a fish 
derivative) are permissible. Caveat 2: this is off the cuff.
Arie Folger

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Message: 3
From: j...@m5.chicago.il.us (Jay F Shachter)
Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2008 10:54:29 -0600 (CDT)
Re: [Avodah] What does hamelech hakadosh mean?

"Marty Bluke" <marty.bl...@gmail.com> wrote on Thu, 2 Oct 2008 10:53:49 +0300:

> Rashi on the gemara comments that hamelech hamishpat is
> grammatically incorrect, it should be melech hamishpat and it is to
> be understood that way (the king of mishpat) and basically we ignore
> the extra heh.  The Beis Yosef comments that the same problem should
> apply to hamelech hakadosh and yet Rashi doesn't say anything.

That the Beyth Yosef would say such a thing is utterly mystifying,
unless he had a different nusax that we have (e.g., "qodesh", rather
than "qadosh").  "Qadosh" is an adjective, so the presence of the heh
in front of both words is exactly what you would expect.  "Mishpat",
in contrast, is a noun, thus you would expect the heh, as Rashi
correctly points out, only in front of the last word (e.g., "torath
nega` tzara`ath beged hatztzemer", Leviticus 13:59).

My understanding of "hammelekh hammishpat" has always been, since it
appears in direct address, that the second heh is the definite
article, of which (as in all construct forms) you would expect only
one, whereas the first heh is the vocative heh.  This account for both

                        Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
                        6424 N Whipple St
                        Chicago IL  60645-4111

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Message: 4
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2008 22:38:23 -0400
[Avodah] Developing Bitachon

R' Micha wrote:
"But to return to the question... If anyone has pragmatic advice for  
developing bitachon, please chime in."

First, in a general sense "bitachon" is what the Torah is all about. A  
Jew has to have a lot of trust in God in order to perform all the  
mitzvos. So you already have more bitachon than you realize. A  
relationship with HKB"H must have a parameter of bitachon. [Na'aseh  
v'nishma]. R' Avram, the son of the Rambam, as well as the Chazon Ish  
point out that there is a baseline of bitachon and then there are  
levels that go beyond. The baseline is that everything is in the hands  
of HaShem. We have trust, knowledge and conviction that there are no  
accidents in this world. There are no coincidences. HaShem controls  
everything. That is the basic and most fundamental concept of  
bitachon. The Chazon Ish explains that even that realization has a  
very consoling and soothing benefit. It would be much more scary if we  
believed in random occurrences and accidents. Everything would be  
chaotic.  He points out that there is a design, there is a controller,  
hashgacha. Much of it we have no comprehension; we may even be angry,  
but it offers some peace of mind in a soul that is otherwise in turmoil.

Also, on a higher level, we cannot forget that God feels our every  
pain and sorrow. So therefore, there is something intuitive that gives  
us more bitchon when we gain that insight.

Dovid Hamelech said in a posuk: "Chesed umishpot ashira."  The gemara  
asks: Al Chesed ashira, or al mishpot ashira? So the answer is: I say  
Hallel when He is kind to me, and I say Hallel when He judges and  
punishes me. In my mind and in my heart He is Kol kulo chesed to the  
extent that if He give me something positive or if he hurts me and  
punishes me, it's the same thing because I so deeply and emotionally  
know, feel and sense His kindness, that a slap in the face is as much  
an expression of His kindness as His kiss is.  Now this is certainly a  
very lofty level. We don't know too many people on this level, and if  
fact, if you look at the m'chaber in the S.A., he says that on  
something good you make a "Hatov v'hametiv" and conversely on  
something bad you make a "Dayan Ha'emes."  But he says you should make  
a "Hatov v'hametiv" on everything because everything is for the good.  
That's a "y'sod hadaas";  everything that HaShem does is for the good.  
But you can't always see it and you can't always feel it. So we can't  
make hatov v'hametiv on a tzara because we don't understand it at all  
and we certainly don't feel any goodness. So all we can say is Dayan  
Ha'emes. We trust that God is the true God and He knows what He is  
doing even though we cannot relate to this as a blessing, as a  
kindness or as a benefit. In fact, to tell someone that is an insult  
to their finite human comprehension.

But a level that we can relate to is a clear recognition that  
everything is from HaShem and the sometimes feeling of inspiration  
that I know that not only is He in control but that He knows what He  
is doing and ultimately will not let me down ('ultimately' is the  
operative word).

The rishonim amongst others say: "Kol haboteach ma'amin, avol lo kol  
hama'amin boteach." Very interesting. Why? If I believe in Him, why  
don't I trust in Him. The answer is that I believe in His power, but I  
don't feel worthy and don't deserve it. So the baal bitachon not only  
believes in HaShem but he trusts that God will use His powers to favor  
him EVEN if he is not worthy.
I heard a beautiful vort: What is a baal tzedaka? A baal tzedaka is  
not a person that money doesn't mean anything to him. On the contrary.  
To a baal tzedaka money is the most precious thing he ever has and  
still he gives it.  What is a baal bitachon? A baal bitachon is no one  
who is impervious to danger. A baal bitachon is one who is acutely  
focused on the danger. He is aware that terrible things are going on,  
but he rises above that with his bitachon BaShem.

The Gaon says that the whole shoresh of tefillah is rooted in bitachon.


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Message: 5
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2008 20:59:50 -0400
[Avodah] Haazinu "Those who cannot remember the past are

32:7  "Remember the days of yore, understand the years of generation  
after generation. Ask your father and he will relate it to you, your  
elders, and they will tell you."

This implies historical tradition being imparted to each generation in  
a predominantly oral culture.  Many people are foolish and refuse to  
believe that the past is quite relevant.
Hence, much human suffering and error is caused by moral myopia and a  
refusal to connect the dots of the past to the exclamation points of  
the present. Generation after generation    were brought down for sins  
of immorality, cruelty, hatred and bigotry. We always think of history  
as the story of the past, but more important, it should be a guide for  
the present!

English historian, James Anthony Froude, eloquently stated: "History  
is a voice for ever sounding across the centuries the laws of right  
and wrong. Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but  
the moral law is written on the tablets of eternity. For every false  
word or unrighteous deed, for cruelty and oppression, for lust or  
vanity, the price has to be paid at last; not always by the chief  
offenders, but paid by someone. Justice and truth alone endure and  

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Message: 6
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2008 21:30:44 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Additional Tefilos for Parnoso etc

In a message dated 10/3/2008, s...@sba2.com writes:

>> "Vechol Maaminim shehu oneh lochash". Any particular pshat  in this? <<



IIRC ArtScroll translates "lachash" as "prayer"  but I think it also has
the connotation of a whisper.  "He  answers whispered prayers, the prayers
no one hears."

--Toby  Katz

**************New MapQuest Local shows what's happening at your
destination.  Dining, Movies, Events, News & more. Try it out!	(http://local.mapq
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Message: 7
From: Yitzhak Grossman <cele...@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2008 22:03:26 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Praying to angels

On Fri, 03 Oct 2008 11:59:35 -0400
Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> wrote:

> Micha Berger wrote:
> > : So where does that leave us with "machnisei rachamim" and "shlosh
> > : esre midot"?  All I can say is that this was dealt with over the
> > : centuries by those well above my pay grade, and the overwhelming
> > : majority concluded that it should be said.  My bottom line is that
> > : if R Amram Gaon and R Shrira Gaon wrote to say it, it can't be wrong.
> > 
> > Not sure why the 13 middos are included. I assume this is a reference to
> > something in a piyut that I missed. As middos of how Hashem acts toward us
> > that we should emulate (cf Tomer Devorah), where is the implied middleman?
> The piyut "shlosh esre midot", which addresses "kol midah nechonah"
> directly, asking it to put in a good word for the speaker.

I think that you may be confusing two different piyyutim centering on
the thirteen middos.  The one beginning "hashem, hashem ... ezkerah
elokim ve'e'hemayah" [0] contains the line "midas ha'rahamim aleinu
hisgalgeli", which the Karban Nesanel [1] did indeed find theologically
objectionable.  The one beginning "shelosh esreh midos" [2], which
contains the line you mention "na kol middah nechonah ahaleh pnei malki
betehinah", does not face any opposition, AFAIK, since the grammar of
all the stanzas makes it clear that we are not actually addressing the
middos; they are all written in either the first person ('ahaleh',
'avakesh', 'eshanen'), or in the second person but addressed to God
("na kol middah nechonah deheh osam Hashem lehastirah"), meaning (as
translated by Weingarten, who appears to be correct) that we are
beseeching God by invoking His attributes, but not the middos

[0] said on the second Monday of a Bahab cycle
[1] RH, #3 at the end of the first Perek
[2] said on Erev Rosh Ha'Shanah

> Zev Sero

Bein Din Ledin - bdl.freehostia.com
An advanced discussion of Hoshen Mishpat

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Message: 8
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjba...@panix.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2008 23:02:31 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Praying to angels

> Micha Berger wrote:
> > RZS:
> > : majority concluded that it should be said.  My bottom line is that
> > : if R Amram Gaon and R Shrira Gaon wrote to say it, it can't be wrong.

> The piyut "shlosh esre midot", which addresses "kol midah nechonah"
> directly, asking it to put in a good word for the speaker.
> > All your bottom line shows is that it's appropriate RAG and RSG. What
> > about for someone who can't resolve the question? If I personally can't
> Whatever RAG and RSG intended.  Just like in the yehi ratzons after
> tashlich, where we ask that what we've read go up "as if we understood
> all the secrets and combinations of Holy Names that come out of them..."
Hm.  I just looked into some of these things, and found some interesting

#1 Do you have a Siddur of R' Shrira (I thought the other Geonic siddur
was R' Saadia)?  I just went through the Seder R' Amram (1861, well,
a 1950s reprint), and his idea of slichot is very different from ours.
He has a sequence of 15 nights leading up to RH, and then slichot for
the two days of RH, Shabbat Shuva, and YK.  

  a) I didn't see the piyut "13 Middot" there, although it's in the 
Chabad online Slichos, as well as the 19th-century Vilna Kol-Bo.

  b) R' Amram doesn't have Machnisei Rachamim either.

So I don't know, really, what "RAG and RSG intended."


  a) The siddur Eizor Eliyahu says that the Gaon didn't say tashlich at

  b) The siddur of the Alter Rebbe with Raskin's notes attributes 
that yehi ratzon to Chemdas Hayamim, which should instantly raise 
fish-colored flags, but at any rate, indicates that it's a late addition
to our services.  R' Raskin further notes that the Yehi Ratzon is not
present in the early Ari siddurim.

  c) the siddur Otzar Hatefillos attributes the whole sequence after
Tashlich to "Sefer Avodas Hakodesh", but I have no idea if it's the 
Rashba (probably not), the Chida, or R' Meir ibn Gabbai.

  d) the idea seems to be kinda Chassidish, too, esp. Chabad (acc.
to RYGB's explanations of Chassidish approaches to the Ari's Kavvanot),
that we don't have to use the kavvanot themselves because saying the
correct Ari Text brings the benefit of the kavvanot along automatically.

        name: jon baker              web: http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker
     address: jjba...@panix.com     blog: http://thanbook.blogspot.com

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Message: 9
From: "M Cohen" <mco...@touchlogic.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2008 00:18:42 -0400
[Avodah] Ran's theory of secondary justice system to handle

I just came across a rabainu Yonah (Shaarai teshuvah, shaar 3, seif 221)
that says
a similar idea.

he says that although in general a single witness should not testify 
(because a single witness's testimony is useless)
that in the case of avairos ben Adam l'chavairo (ie theft, damage, pain,
a single witness SHOULD tell the appropriate authorities so that justice
will be done

Mordechai cohen

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Message: 10
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doni...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2008 16:30:25 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Praying to angels

RMB wrote:
> If I personally can't see how the prayer isn't shituf, am I allowed to say it? What would my kavanah be?

and R' Richard Wolpoe wrote:
> So a Mal'ach can do not harm unless Hashem asks him to do harm, but a
> Mal'ach might have bechira within certain parameters of yetzer tov.

I've been thinking more about my "telephone operator" parable and the
reactions that angels don't have a choice but to do the right thing.

We do see cases of angels making mistakes. Some examples:

- The Bnei Elohim were supposedly angles who seduced humans

- The angels that went to destroy Sdom had to admit to Lot that all
was not in their hands, after bragging they were in charge.

- In Chagiga there's a story of the Angel of Death's gofer killing the
wrong person - and it's made to sound like a non-rare occurrence.

- In Chagiga there's even a story of the "boss" MTTRN getting lashes
for making an error in judgement.

So while I don't fully understand what I'm talking about - and I say
these prayers because I like their tunes - I think a case can be made
that the angels who transport our prayers can use some "prodding" so
they don't "drop the ball"...

Gmar Chatima Tova

- Danny

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Message: 11
From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewindd...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2008 16:37:49 +0200
[Avodah] Gentiles in Torah

It doesn't take a genius to realize that nowadays many, especially
Modern Orthodoxy, have been taking at a new, more universalistic look
at gentiles in Torah. However, I realized that while I have happened
across countless incidental and anecdotal references (especially in
Modern Orthodox works) to our loving relations with gentiles (etc.),
whether explicit or implicit, I have not yet seen anyone who candidly
and systematically examines the issue halakhically and sociologically,
tracing the references through Modern Orthodox literature and
analyzing precisely where they stand with relation to historical
halakhic literature.

Does anyone comprehensively and candidly detail such issues of
Jewish-gentile relationships, especially in an academic manner? I have
seen a reference to "A. Sagi, Judaism: Between Religion and Morals
(Tel-Aviv, 1998)", perhaps dealing with this topic, but I know nothing
of this work. Goldstein (http://www.talkreason.org/articles/meiri.cfm)
has done this to some extent, showing that Meiri is in stark contrast
to most of the literature (Rambam and sha'ar haposkim, who view the
Talmud's discriminatory civil legislation as being directed
ontologically at gentiles per se, regardless of their morality), but
he mentions barely anything of what recent authors have made of this
issue, i.e. who has or has not relied on Meiri in recent years, how
they used him or did not, etc. (In fact, he seems almost oblivious to
the fact that any Modern Orthodox authors have advocated the Meiri's
shita or one like it, save Rabbi Yehiel Yaakov Weinberg.) All I have
been able to gather is anecdotal evidence from Rav Hirsch's writings,
Modern Orthodox writings on the Shahak and Feldman affairs, statements
from miscellaneous authors such as Rabbis J. H. Hertz and Ahron
Soloveichik, etc. But I have not yet found anyone who academically or
systematically analyzes the trends and pinpoints exactly what is going
on. It is all rather helter-skelter; one can easily see that Modern
Orthodoxy is inclined to emphasize the common humanity of Jew and
gentile, but few if any forthright admissions, much less analyses,
have been made, as far as I've seen. The closest I've seen is Rabbi
Eliezer Samson Rosenthal (in an article by Rabbi Benjamin Lau -
http://www.lookstein.org/articles/reflections.pdf), very briefly
admitting that one can either take a primitive and archaic ontological
view, or a modern cultured view of "sefer toldat adam". Does anyone
know if anyone has written what I am looking for?

Unfortunately, I am not in a milieu for whom such topics are of
pressing concern. Shortly before I came to my present yeshiva (Machon
Meir), I happened across an English translation of Rabbi David bar
Hayim's "Atem Nikra'im Adam"
and suffice it to say, I was rather distraught. I asked one of the
rabbis of the yeshiva about this, and he referred me to Derech haShem.
(Since arriving at the yeshiva, I've gotten the impression that had I
asked anyone else, they'd have referred me to the Kuzari. Either way,
six of this, half a dozen of the other.) Thank G-d I didn't have a
copy of Derech haShem on hand at the time, and thank G-d that no one
referred me to the Kuzari (which I did have a copy of, gathering dust
on my bookshelf). Had either occurred, and I had read either one at
the time, my dilemma would have far from improved. Whatever I have
learned since then, has been pieced together by myself from whatever
I've managed to accidentally stumble
across (no exaggeration).


Professor Moshe Halbertal has written an article,
http://tinyurl.com/3k2bh4 (which in turn links to a PDF at
http://www.edah.org/backend/JournalArticle/halbertal.pdf), which
analyzes the Meiri's shita, showing
1) How he systematically applied it to the entire Talmudic gamut, and
2) his philosophical basis.

To elaborate on the second: Meiri holds according to the ibn
Tibbon-ide school that one believing in four matters is one
"restricted by religion", viz. creation ex nihilo, providence,
recompense, and the existence and truth of metaphysical/spiritual
incorporeal reality. Meiri's own hiddush was not that such an
individual is "religious", but rather that a "religious" individual is
exempt from the Talmud's discriminatory civil legislation.

(That a monotheist is exempt from the Talmud's *ritual* legislation
dealing with commerce and relations with an idolater, is no
magnificent hiddush. Rambam himself held Muslims were exempt, and
anyone holding Christians to be monotheists would hold likewise. The
Tosafits, according to Halbertal, did *not* extend this to Christians,
whereas Meiri did, but in any case, this is not a monumental hiddush.
Meiri's real hiddush was in exempting moral monotheists ("nations
restricted by religion") from the Talmud's discriminatory *civil*
legislation. For Rambam, even as he held Muslims to be monotheists,
did not exclude them from discrimination in civil law. Meiri himself
uses two distinct expressions for civil and ritual law: for the
former, "nations restricted by religion" are exempt, whereas for the
latter, mere monotheists are exempt. The two are obviously related,
but even Meiri terminologically distinguishes the two.)

Goldstein points out, that Meiri's shita does not help us today:
Meiri's required beliefs would exclude atheists and polytheists (even
moral ones) alike. His solution is an interesting one: Orthodox Jews
ought to act equitably towards gentiles, and the poskim will follow
suite in their legislation. This solution would indeed work, but is it

Here my own thoughts come in: a tentative answer to Goldstein:
Halbertal notes that Meiri required his beliefs because he felt they
were the minimal requirements for one to be moral. In fact, Meiri
excluded philosophers from his requirements, for they had alternate
sources of moral imperatives. In other words, Meiri required the
beliefs that he did, not because they were "obligatory truths", but
rather because they were "necessary truths" (Maimonidean terms which
will be clear to anyone who has read Professor Shapiro's Limits  - the
former indicates the belief is actual bona-fide dogma, while the
latter is a belief that the masses/laity must hold by, in order to
achieve some societal or political aim, and the learned are exempt
from believing it). In any case, Meiri's own requirements were
borrowed from the ibn Tibbonides.

Therefore, I suggest that either:
1) We differ with the ibn Tibbonides and establish our own definition
of "nations restricted by religion", however retaining Meiri's own
hiddush that such nations are exempt from discriminatory civil
2) We simply classify moral atheists and polytheists as
"philosophers". As long as someone has some source, any source, of
moral imperative, and does not steal, murder, etc., I (personally) am
not particularly concerned with what his source actually is. Rabbis J.
H. Hertz and Isidore Epstein both make the interesting case that the
prophets spoke against heathenism not for its false theology, but
rather, for its false morality. Rabbi Epstein continues that the first
Noachide commandment does not mandate monotheistic belief, but rather
that it prohibits heathenistic ritual practice.

This Friday, I had some spare time, so I write an article with my
thoughts on the subject, in more detail, and more rigourously sourced.

Mikha'el Makovi
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