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Volume 25: Number 360

Mon, 13 Oct 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 15:06:01 -0400
[Avodah] Appeasing with Three Friends

R' Meir asked:   Has anyone ever heard of or participated in the  
process of appeasing someone
by employing the strategy of the sinner bringing friends to assist in  
placating the victim?

As I learned it, you would take three people (preferably, friends of  
the one you are asking to moichel you)
so that it might facilitate the aggrieved party to offer forgiveness.  
Also, I see the number three as significant
(chazakah, etc.). In addition the S.A. says that if the party refuses  
to forgive you the first time, then you ask a
second time. If he refuses a second time, you ask a third time. If he  
refuses to forgive you a third time, then the
aveira goes onto him.

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Message: 2
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 15:38:17 EDT
Re: [Avodah] davening to melachim/toby

In a message dated 10/12/2008, bass...@queensu.ca writes:

>> btw-- why should we call it "neila"-- we asked for  "psicha"-- pesach lanu 

This answer may be a little too pat, but -- the gates are closing, that's  
why it's called neila!  And we're like the customer who shows up at closing  
time and says, "Wait, wait, can't you stay open just a few more  minutes?!"


--Toby  Katz

**************New MapQuest Local shows what's happening at your destination.  
Dining, Movies, Events, News & more. Try it out 
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Message: 3
From: "Eli Turkel" <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 22:38:11 +0200
Re: [Avodah] rain on succot

 In Israel we dont say morid hageshem for 2 weeks after succot so that
the pilgrims can get home without rain.

Do you have a source that the curse is only the first night.
As to rain on friday night who says that is also on succot


On Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 5:30 PM,  <T6...@aol.com> wrote:
> From: "Eli Turkel" elitur...@gmail.com
>>>The weather forecast in Israel for the next several days is rain
> in various parts of the country. According to the gemara this is a
> sign of a curse<<
> It is only a curse if it rains on the first night of Sukkos at the time of
> the seudah and rains hard enough to prevent you from eating in the sukka
> that night.   After midnight or any other time during the chag rain is a
> bracha.  Rashi says the best time for rain is leilei Shabasos after
> midnight, when everybody is snug at home.  At almost any other time, rain is
> definitely inconvenient but still a bracha.
> --Toby Katz
> =============
> ________________________________
> New MapQuest Local shows what's happening at your destination. Dining,
> Movies, Events, News & more. Try it out!

Eli Turkel

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Message: 4
From: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer <r...@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 21:36:34 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Avodah] Numbers and Letters on Bottlecaps

(Since I'm out of town right now, this is from memory, and should be 
checked "inside.")

According to the Shemiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa vol. 3, in the dinim of 
psik reisha (paraphrasing and elaborating a bit), even Ashkenazim tend 
to be meikel in the case of a psik reisha d'lo nicha lei - even in a 
d'orysa, IIRC, but certainly in a d'Rabbanan (to a significant extent, 
because Reb Chaim held that the Rambam was meikel like the Aruch in this 
regard - which is why Reb Simcha Zelig, the Dayan in Brisk, was one of 
the early mekilim on opening fridges on Shabbos).

OTOH, SSK holds that we are machmir on a psik reisha d'lo ichpas lei, 
even in a d'Rabbanan (Mocheik shelo al menas LiKtov) - which is the case 
here. But he does say that b'makom mitzvah or other tzorech one can be 

Gershon Seif wrote:
> <<In Yalkut Yosef Hil. Shabbos vol. 2 p. 519 ROY paskens that if
> letters are printed on a bottlecap so that when one opens the bottle one
> rips the letters it is nevertheless permitted to open the cap on
> Shabbos! ... His rationale (note 21) is that since he does not intend
> to erase the letters, even though it is a pesik reisha, since he has
> no hana'ah from the mechikah, and since this mocheik shelo al menas
> liktov is only assur
> me'd'Rabbanan, it is permitted.>>
> - Would Ashkenazim be permitted to rely on that?
> - Would the same svara apply to opening bags (as far as the issue of mocheik is concerned)?

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Message: 5
From: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer <r...@aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 21:53:46 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Spicing your cholent on Shabbos

This is obviously not quite as lenient an approach as that of the Zekan 
Aharon, because RMF evidently would not be mattir the spicing of the 
cholent, as the spice is not a davar lach, or so at least it would seem.


kennethgmil...@juno.com wrote:
> R' Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer asked:
>> ... was asked if one can pour cold soup onto hot potatoes
>> in a keli sheni, and he wrote that the Maharshal (Shach,
>> YD 105:5) who paskens that a davar gush is in a mevashel
>> in a keli sheni is not oisgehalten l'ma'aseh - and especially
>> not b'makom Oneg Shabbos.
> I presume that the soup you're mentioning is not an uncooked soup, but had been cooked previously, and is now cold.
> If so, this sounds exactly like Rav Moshe Feinstein's teshuva about
> putting ketchup on a piece of hot meat in a kli sheni (Igros Moshe O"C
> 4:74:5, or Rav Eider on Shabbos vol 4, #18 of RMF's teshuvos in the
> back). He says that both "davar gush is mevashel in a kli sheni" and
> "yesh bishul achar bishul b'davar lach" are chumros, but while we DO
> normally avoid them, they do not combine to forbid the situation under
> discussion.
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Message: 6
From: "Eli Turkel" <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 11:57:11 +0200
[Avodah] etrogim and shmitta

One of the problems during shemitta is buying etrogim which has kedushat
sheviit. According to many it also applies to hadasim and there is also an
opinion (I think R. Akiva Eger) that it applies to lulavim because of the dates.

The usual procedure is that (almost?) all the etrog dealers use otzar bet din
and sell the etrogim in closed boxes. The money paid is for the lulab/aravah
or the work of the seller.
In theory since one is paying only for the work involved things should
be cheaper
than other years.

Real life: Prices are pretty identical to last year. In addition the
closed boxes are
now label A.B.C,... with prices ranging between 30 and 100 shekel depending on
the quality of the goods in the closed box though I have heard stories of closed
boxes selling for 300 shekels for A++ quality.

Yesterday (sunday morning) someone asked R. Elyashiv about this and he said
that it is "shechorah gamur" and completely forbidden. His only advice was to
limit the number of etrogim bought to at most one per family and possibly less.
Of course all this after most people have bought their arba minim.

fun and games in EY

Eli Turkel

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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 06:41:40 -0400
Re: [Avodah] davening to melachim/toby

On Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 03:38:17PM -0400, T6...@aol.com wrote:
: In a message dated 10/12/2008, bass...@queensu.ca writes:
:> btw-- why should we call it "neila"-- we asked for  "psicha"-- pesach lanu 
:> shaar.

: This answer may be a little too pat, but -- the gates are closing, that's  
: why it's called neila!  And we're like the customer who shows up at closing  
: time and says, "Wait, wait, can't you stay open just a few more  minutes?!"

IOW, it's called ne'ilah in the same sense that shacharis is called

RHB has a point, though, that the tefillah itself, though, is not ne'ilah,
it's not a prayer that causes anything to close, it's an attempt at

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When you come to a place of darkness,
mi...@aishdas.org        you don't chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org   You light a candle.
Fax: (270) 514-1507        - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 11:24:41 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Gentiles in Torah

On Tue, Oct 07, 2008 at 03:40:42PM +0200, Michael Makovi wrote:
: Rabbi Eliezer Samson Rosenthal (smiha from Merkaz haRav, posek for
: Professor Ephraim Urbach's Movement for Torah Judaism) perhaps agrees
: (at (at http://www.lookstein.org/articles/reflections.pdf). In
: relatively unclear words (page 10) which I am not sure I understand,
: he says that we adopted universal values from the Enlightenment,
: because for centuries we cried to the gentiles that we are their
: brothers...

But as RBLau (whose article RMM is citing) points out RESR failed in
sticking to the MTJ's agenda. Their goal, as summarized in the article:
    Most members of the Movement for Torah Judaism were religious
    academics grounded in the intellectual world but taking halakhic
    guidance seriously. As individuals leading religious-halakhic lives,
    they had to account to themselves for the tension between their
    spiritual-intellectual world and their observance of the halakhic
    system. For example, Prof. Moshe David Har, a leading spokesman
    for the Movement, claimed that "our sages of blessed memory strove
    for a normative way of life in practice...a distinction was drawn
    between halakhah and thought...halakhah strives for the norm, but
    theoretical analysis is up to each individual."

But in practice, this didn't happen, and (again as RBL notes) they ended
up subject to the same problems as C / Mesorati's legal process. And in
fact, that RESR was unique in the MTJ crowd for assuming a poseiq's role
for this very reason. He blured the lines between academic objective
history and halachic process.

You accepted RESR's position without addressing RBL's criticism. And the
position you are endorsing shows all the symptoms of historical school.
I suggest you reread from pg 20 onward.

: R' Weiner says it is difficult to deny some sort of greater love for
: Jews by Hashem. The way I have seen it is, all of mankind is His
: children; when we err, He still loves us no less, just like any
: parent. To be sure, a parent is closer to an obedient well-behaved
: child, but this closer relationship does not imply greater love (the
: parents out there will please explain and/or correct my words)...

The child who is more obedient is given more responsibilities, and
therefore also more control. (Eg: The child more likely to carry out
the parents' will is more likely to inherit their charity foundation.)
And yes, they will end up working together more. This is the notion of
"beni bechori Yisrael". Being the bechor gets you extra nachalah, but
only to enable your doing extra chores!

One of the questions that get revisited every Purim is "ad delo yada
bein arur Haman levarukh Mordechai". Tell me, how far is it from cursing
Haman to blessing Mordechai? It's not like Chazal said /blessing/ Haman.

There is a thin line between ethnic pride and racism. It's the difference
between saying my people are great, and saying everyone else stinks.
Arur Haman is fine, because Haman personally did stink. But barukh
Mordechai is the more constructive attitude.

Similarly, there is a gap between nachriim and Yisraelim, putting aside
the question of whether this gap is the cause for beris Sinai or caused
by it. One could analyze this gap by looking at how much more the am
hanivchar is from an already high plateau, or, one can belittle the gap
between chai and medabeir.

Which brings me to the Tanya....

On Tue, Oct 07, 2008 at 09:30:10PM +0200, Michael Makovi wrote:
: http://www.bc.edu/research/cjl/meta-elements/te
: xts/cjrelations/resources/articles/Brill.htm
: s.v. "An example of the possibilities...", and the ensuing paragraphs.

Which clearly states, as is evident from the words of the book, that the
Tanya takes the approach of minimizing the gap between chai and
medabeir. Not as extremely as Brill writes. Brill's citations of "later
generations of Chabad thinkers" includes 
> [17] Yitzhak Nahmani,Sefer Torat Ha-gilgul, Nefesh, Ruah U-neshamah.
> (Netanyah : Y. Nahmani, 755 [1995]). In this volume Nahmani tries to
> downplay the dualism by rejecting the theory that [nachri] souls come
> from the [sitra achra]. Using sources from elsewhere, Nahamni argues that
> all souls originate in Adam, and even Esau and Ishmael have Divine
> lights. 

IOW, someone who simply rejects the Tanya's assumption.

In distinction, RMMS is cited as giving a functional reason that
Yehudim must try to "spread the wellsprings" of Chassidus to nachriim
as well. Nothing about differences with the Tanya's descrption of the
composition of human souls; rather, that since the ge'ulah requires
getting the Or out from behind the kelipos, even the kelipos must be
involved in the process.

: Also, Rabbi Tzvi Freeman (of Chabad.org) explained as follows:
: "The Tanya explains to us the Arizal's point of view...

... one rav's interpretation thereof. There are other explanations,
which is why there are Lurianic mequbalim who aren't L....

: "Nevertheless, within every human being there is a spark of true good.
: After all, as the Torah repeats four times in Genesis, and again in
: the Mishnah, all human beings are made in "the image of G_d." If
: anyone knows of the equality and dignity of all human beings, they got
: it from one source and one source alone and that is the Torah.
: "The job of the Jew is to release that spark. And in those non-Jews
: who are Bnai Noach, there is already a certain redemption of that
: holiness. This should answer what you write about the "average
: American today". As the Rebbe spoke, we have already succeeded in the
: birur of Esau. Western civilization since the Reformation is really
: nothing more than goyim acting like Jews.

And yet he says nothing about the Tanya's point, that "kol tzedaqah
vechesed she'umos haolam osin einan ela lehisyaheir" is not a critique
of paganism, but an ontological statement about the structure of the
nachri's nefesh. Leshitaso, Chiune Sugihara zt"l acted lehiyaheir,
not simply leheitiv, since Sugihara only had a nefesh from the qelipos,
the place of yeitzer hara, the satan and the mal'akh hamaves.

: If I understand him correctly, he seems to be saying that the Tanya's
: claim is not an absolute ontological one, but rather, that it is a
: very time-based judgment...

I understand him as saying that the ontological difference isn't a
pragmatic one, because they too take part in the gradual process of

There is also a comment in Lessons in Tanya (ad loc, fn 33)
which appears to me to be entirely at odds with what the Tanya actually
says. As if to save the reader from the statement I illustrated using
Sugihara as an example.

Compare the translation of the Tanya:
> One soul originates in the kelipah and sitra achra. It is this nefesh
> (which originates in the kelipah and sitra achra) that is clothed in
> the blood of a human being, giving life to the body; as it is written,
> "For the nefesh of the flesh... [elliding inserted commentary -- micha]
> and corporeal life) is in the blood." From [this nefesh] stem all the
> evil characteristics, deriving from the four evil elements within it.
> Namely: anger and pride [emanate] from the element of Fire which rises
> upwards; the appetite for pleasures [emanates] from the element of
> Water, for water promotes the growth of all kinds of pleasure-giving
> things. frivolity and scoffing, boasting and idle talk [emanate] from
> the element of Air;... [more insertion -- mi] and sloth and melancholy
> [emanate] from the element of Earth.

> From this soul stem also the good traits inherent in every [Yehudi]'s
> character, such as compassion and benevolence. For in the [case of
> the Yehudi], this soul of kelipah is derived from the kelipah called
> "nogah", which also contains good; [This kelipah] is from the esoteric
> "Tree of Knowledge" [which is comprised] of good and evil.

> The souls of the [umos ha'olam], however, emanate from the other, unclean
> kelipot which contain no good whatever, as is written in Etz Chayim,
> Portal 49, ch. 3, that all the good that the nations do, is done out of
> selfish motives. So the Gemara comments on the verse, "The kindness
> of the [umos] is sin" -- that all the charity and kindness done by the
> [umos ha'olam] is only for their self-glorification...

With the commentary:
> When a [Yehudi] acts in a benevolent manner he is motivated mainly out
> of concern for the welfare of his fellow. The proof of this is that were
> his fellow not to need his help, this would give him greater pleasure
> than the gratification derived from his act of kindness.

> Concerning the [umos ha'olam], however, this is not so. Their motivation
> is not the welfare of their fellow; rather, it stems from a self-serving
> motive -- the desire for self-glorification, a feeling of gratification,
> and the like.

So far they match. Now, what as I can only see as apologetics for the
laaz speaking audience:
> It should be noted that among the [umos ha'olam] there are also to
> be found those whose souls are derived from kelipat nogah.33 Called
> "[chassidei umos ha'olam]," these righteous individuals are benevolent
> not out of selfish motives but out of a genuine concern for their fellow.

> [33] See  Siddur Im D'ach, Shaar Chag HaMatzot; Lekutei Biurim (By
> Rabbi Hillel Malisov of Paritch), 47b.

Does this last paragraph, based on R' Hillel Paritcher, even loosely
resemble what the Tanya actually says about even chassidei umos ha'olam,
with an ontological read of "chessed le'umim chatas"?

It should be noted that RHP wrote his biurim during his transition from
Chernobel to L, before actually being a chassid of R' Dov Ber, the Mittler
Rebbe. The source is not even necessarily an attempt to follow the Tanya.

One distinction one /could/ make, although the Tanya does not the door is
open for it, is not between chassidei umos ha'olam and other nachriim, but
between geirei toshav and other nachriim. After all, leshitas haRabamam,
it seems that a CUM keeps the 7 mitzvos, but the GT is doing so /because
they are miSinai/. Thus definitionally exempting them from the "ela
lehisyaheir" of the gemara.

But then, anyone who believes that nachriim are inherently structurally
different rather than believing the differences are caused by differences
in roles, already believes that geirei *tzedeq* undergo structural
changes. Why not geirei toshav too?

So, how else is the gemara understood? RMYG pointed me once to REW's
Qovetz Shiurim. (Since the blog entry of mine that Cantor Wolberg already
cited.) REW follows Rabbeinu Gershom, and cites numerous rishonim. The
gemara is understood as a a statement about the nature of AZ. AZ is about
"what can I get?", "how do I bribe the gods?" It's not anything to do
with what nachriim are capable of or how they are composed.

(Whether this means that much of the current trend toward segulos and
al menas leqabeil peras practices in the O community can be considered
derekh Emori can be left as an excercise to the reader and his poseiq.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Our greatest fear is not that we're inadequate,
mi...@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: 9
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 06:55:09 -0400
[Avodah] Eis or Zman

: >>An eis is a  time that comes according to a prescheduled  
: >>ready or  not. It is a point in a shanah, in cyclic time that runs  
:  >>celestial heartbeat regardless of human action. A zeman is a  
landmark  in
: >>the course of progression.

>>>>> I believe that "zman" is a date or a season and  "eis" is the  
>>>>> time of day.

As I see it, zman defines eis. Another way of looking at it: Eis is  
and Zman is Particularistic.

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Message: 10
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 07:14:58 -0400
[Avodah] Davening to Malachim

"I took special note in Neila that we beseech midas harachamim-- and  
decided from its wording        
that here midas harachamim was a seperate being from HKBH."

I've always used the analogy of a prism. A prism refracts light into  
various colors (like the rainbow). It still is one beam that
either breaks light into its constituent spectral colors or splits  
light into components with different polarizations. This is similar
to the analogy that R' Toby gave regarding different personality  
traits. It's still the same person. Any mida from HaShem is
still from the One. (Reminds me of Yom Rishon, the day of the One).

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