Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 388

Mon, 17 Nov 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doni...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 11:35:04 +0200
Re: [Avodah] a troubling halacha

> On the one hand, Mechaber Yoreh Deah 402:12 says that "there's no obligation".
> On the other hand, he also brings the pasuk "He who speaks dibbah is a k'sil"
> (Mishlei 10:18). So you can decide for yourself whether the Mechaber's true
> intention is that "one need not" or "one should not".

> What I'm looking for is some sort of explanation of why we presume that the
> potential avel would prefer not to know about the death.

Why don't we simply assume that it has nothing to do with the Avel,
but rather with the bearer of the news.

Shlomo Hamelech asserted: Being the harbinger of bad news is foolish.
Why would anybody want to be the town fool?

So now you have to weight being a fool vs. doing the guy a "favor".

Now we can understand why the Poskim sometimes suggest that the
"favor" outweighs the foolishness.

This also explains why you can hint at the bad news if asked directly;
you're not being harbinger of bad news.

May we all be the bearer of good news.

- Danny

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Message: 2
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 10:03:36 -0500
[Avodah] Eruv in Bungalow Colony and City

The sefer Shulchan HaLevi, Halachic Responsa From the Desk of Harav 
Yisroel Belsky was recently published. It contains halachic 
discussions on a wide range of topics relevant to our daily lives. 
The sefer is now available in most Jewish bookstores.

In one section Rav Belsky discusses the appropriateness of making 
Eruvim in cities. He points out that there is a difference in halacha 
regarding cities with populations of less than 600,000 people and 
those with populations of 600,000 or more people. He concludes his 
discussion with

It should be noted when making eruvin in cities where the population 
is less then 600,000 one must be on guard for an increase in 
population which would render the existing eruvin invalid. 
Furthermore, almost all of the creative reasons invented to permit 
eruvin in large cities today would result in rules that would make it 
impossible for the existence of a reshus ha'rabbim, even those 
surrounded by walls, such as Yerushalayim, and the Babylonian city of 
Mechuza. It is self-evident that reasoning which leads to absurd 
conclusions is flawed by definition. It is surely the most ridiculous 
absurdity to imagine that there were never any public domains when so 
many of them are actually identified by Chazal and in light of the 
many decrees that were made by Chazal to prevent carrying on Shabbos. 
This alone is proof enough to invalidate this entire modernistic 
approach to halachah.

It is painful to observe how the groups who wish to construct these 
eruvin insist that the Chassidic custom has always been to seek any 
justification to allow eruvin any place, when in fact all historical 
evidence points to the contrary. As we mentioned above, it was the 
Beis Ephraim, a staunch misnaged, who permitted eruvin in Europe.

In Warsaw, Poland, the Rav who permitted an eruv, even when the 
population of the city grew to exceed 600,000, was Rav Shlomo Dovid 
Kahane, a Lithuanian Jew who never identified with Chassidism. the 
Chassidic population of Warsaw never used the eruv, and considered 
carrying in Warsaw on Shabbos to be prohibited.
Those who today wish to permit eruvin, who in every other respect are 
faithful to time-honored traditional custom have in this case availed 
themselves ofan approach to halachah that has no precedent and has 
never before appeared in any reputable Torah work.

I have put Rabbi Belsky's entire discussion of this issue at 

Yitzchok Levine 
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Message: 3
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 05:51:57 EST
Re: [Avodah] a troubling halacha/Re being the bearer of bad

R'n CL writes:

>>If you understand the halacha in the Shulchan Aruch this way  then the Rema
is in fact coming to say, but in the case of male children,  even if you
think that in many ways the child might be better off not  knowing, the
minhag is still to tell them, so they can say kaddish  (remember that kaddish
is regarded as an obligation which assists the meis,  especially when said by
a son, so there is reason to say that even if it is  not so good for the
son's mental welfare to be told, he must still be told  for the good of the
meis).  Such a calculation would not however apply  to daughters or other
close relatives.<<

Something I have wondered about for years:   Does an adopted child, who knows 
that his birth parents are Jewish, have an  obligation to seek them out 1) in 
order to fulfill kibud av va' eim    2) in order to know when they pass away 
3) and does he have to sit shiva for  them when they pass away?   And: if his 
birth parents are  still alive when his adoptive parents pass away, may he sit 
shiva for his  adoptive parents?  Say kaddish for them?  Does he have to get  
permission from his bio parents to do so?  (Coming back to my starting  
question:) Does he have to maintain some kind of contact with his birth parents  in 
order to get that permission if needed?


--Toby  Katz

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Message: 4
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 12:35:00 GMT
Re: [Avodah] pikuach nefesh

R' Joel Rich mentioned:
> There was a quote in the New Jersey Jewish News that his
> Rabbi told Rahm Emanuel that it was permissible to take a
> conference call on Rosh Hashanah about the bailout package
> because "I felt it was a case of Pikuach Nefesh".  

I would like to remind the chevra that according to my understanding, RSZA,
Rav Moshe Heinemann, and others, hold that speaking into a telephone on
Shabbos is "only" a d'rabanan, because the electricity's main function is
something other than heat or light. According to this shita, such actions
are mutar on Shabbos even for needs which are less than a full-blown
Pikuach Nefesh, and certainly so on Yom Tov.

(For more info about Emanuel's rabbi, see the shul's bio at http://www.asbi.org/harav/index.htm)

Akiva Miller

A New Way to Get Free & Discounted Offers -- FreeInternet.com!
Visit http://offers.juno.com/TGL112

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Message: 5
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 09:38:04 -0500
Re: [Avodah] pikuach nefesh

Rich, Joel wrote:

> Actually I was thinking about karov lmalchut as a starting point.

Where in hilchot shabbat/yomtov do we find any kind of heter for karov
lemalchut?  AFAIK that heter is found for chukot hagoy, and even for
drinking their wine; I could therefore see extending it to bishul akum,
etc., but how does it leap the conceptual gap to chilul yomtov?

Also, the heter for karov lemalchut is based on the fact that there are
regularly gezerot against Jewish lives which the shtadlan has to defeat,
and to do so he has to remain at court.  Here that consideration doesn't

But the heter of a double-derabbanan for tzorchei tzibbur is directly
in hilchot shabbat/yomtov, so that seems like a straightforward place
to look for a heter in this case.  If he had a telephone from Mechon
Tzomet we wouldn't even be talking about this; but I assume he doesn't.

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: 6
From: Y...@aol.com
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 20:12:36 EST
Re: [Avodah] Chafetz Chaim's wife davening

In a message dated 11/16/2008 5:32:48 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
m...@inter.net.il writes:

I  remember hearing that the Chafetz Chaim told his wife that when she 
was  busy with child raising she did not have to daven as per his shita.   
Is this an urban legend or is there a source for  this?

It can be found in "Sichot Chafetz Chayim" (by Rav Aryeh Leib son of the  CC) 
Chapter 1, par. 27, quoted and elaborated on in Halichos Bas Yistoel (by Rav  
Yitzchak Yaacov Fuchs) 2:2. (I am enclosing a copy in pdf format)

Kol  Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind
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