Volume 25: Number 389
Tue, 18 Nov 2008
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
From: "Rich, Joel" <JR...@sibson.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 22:02:45 -0500
Subject: 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.
I was thinking as a snif lhakel such as shvut dshvut bmakom mitzvah
since aiui according to the majority of poskim when push comes to shove
electricity without light is drabbanan.
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From: "Moshe Y. Gluck" <mgl...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 00:15:26 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Story about kashrus on airplane
R' Mike Miller:
> [It was mentioned on Areivim that....]
> > Washing in a bathroom ... is no good according to RMF (although others
> - Hide quoted text -
> L'chatchila or b'dieved?
> Source please? (that's a question, not a challenge!)
Sounds B'dieved. Igros Moshe, Even Ha'ezer I:114.
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From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 05:07:22 -0500
Subject: [Avodah] Eruvin in Pre-War Europe: An Eyewitness Account
Rabbi Poliakoff, a Baltimore native, studied in the Telshe and
Slabodka Yeshivas in Europe. He served as a chaplain during WW II.
Customs of Lithuanian Jewry
By Rabbi Menachem Mendel Poliakoff
It is a mitzvah to establish an eruv, and Chazal even instituted a
brachah for setting one up. Additionally, the local Rabbi is
obligated to establish an eruv for his community. There was hardly a
community in pre-war Lithuanian, Poland, or Russia without an eruv. I
surmise the same was true regarding Rumania, Austria, Hungary, and
Czechoslovakia. There were also eruvin in Vienna and Paris.
Today many American communities have an eruv, which is as it
appropriate, and in consonance with the halachah. Whoever instituted
them deserves commendation. However, in keeping with the spirit of
extremism in vogue these days, some people think they are
demonstrating great piety by publicly refusing to rely on the eruv.
Those who ostentatiously refuse to use the eruv cause the uninformed
to feel guilty for using it. They are also violating halachah
(Shulchan Aruch, 366:13). Even worse, the Talmudic Sages and later
authorities would have accused them of being apikorsim [heretics]
(Eruvin 31b, Mishnah and Rashi, 61b, Rabbeinu Yehonasan, and Shulchan
Aruch 385:1). The Sages of the Talmud highly praise King Solomon, and
expressed their gratitude to him for instituting the laws of eruv,
hailing it as one of the most important rabbinic regulations ever
enacted. Consequently, they frowned upon people who impeded those who
sought to install and use an eruv.
The knowledgeable dissenters base their objection on the Chafetz
Chaim's ruling in his Mishnah Berurah.
I am well aware of the Mishnah Berurah's strong objection to the
eruvin we have installed during the 20th century all over the world,
and I am shocked. His objection is not new. It has been a point of
contention for hundreds of years, and it is evident the overwhelming
majority of the great scholars disagreed with this objection. Proof
of this is there was no community large or small without an eruv,
despite the objection of the Mishnah Berurah and those who preceded him.
See the URL for the rest. YL
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From: "Eli Turkel" <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 19:45:07 +0200
Subject: [Avodah] praying with a minyan on an airplane
In the latest volume of the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society
there is an article on praying with a minyan on an airplane.
The author, Rabbi Weiner, points out that though praying with a minyan is
strongly encoutaged it is overriden by other considerations such as
performing a mitzvah even if its only rabbibic as well as health, physical and
financial concerns etc. Thus it is not always obligatory.
Thus in particular problems of a chillul hashem would override davening
with a minyan. Other problems include proximity to the lavatory and
immodestly dressed women who need to pass by in the aisle. He quotes
RSZA as being opposed to minyanim on a plane.
A good portion of the article disccuses the prohibitin of gezel sheina.
Rav Wosner feels the problem is of less importance since sleep is
intangible while R. Menashe Klein claims gezel does apply to intangible items.
In particular R. P.C. Sheinberg rules that one is not allowed to waken a
fellow passenger in order to get to one's tallit and tefillin.
As usual for any particular case he recommens speaking to your LOR
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From: "Michael Makovi" <mikewindd...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 20:19:11 +0200
Subject: [Avodah] Sephardi-ism: some food for thought
which is an alias for
in turn linking to
This is a (short four page) review by Professor Zvi Zohar, of a book
about Rabbi Benzion Uziel, in turn written by Rabbi Marc D. Angel.
Professor Zohar makes a paradigm of Sephardi halakhah and hashkafa as
opposed to Ashkenazi. Ashkenazi pesak relies on "kol ha-mahmir tavo
alav berakhah" and "hadash asur min haTorah", whereas Sephardi pesak
has no such concept of "hadash" and holds by "koha de-hetera adif".
Also, Sephardi aharonim regularly cited Ashkenazim, but the converse
is not true.
As for hashkafah, Professor Zohar quotes words of Rabbi Uziel's
regarding universalism of knowledge and learning and universalism of
Jewish mission, that to me sound remarkably Hirschian (IMHO), and
Professor Zohar notes that such sentiments are common amongst
Sephardim but not amongst Ashkenazim.
Some food for thought.
P. S. The online store for Rabbi Angel, selling numerous books about
Sephardism (including books about Rabbis Uziel and Hayim David Halevy,
as well as Sephardism in general), along with some other books (one
about Rabbi Soloveitchik, a few books of miscellaneous halakhic and
societal issues). --- http://www.jewishideas.org/store
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From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 20:03:57 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Eruvin in Pre-War Europe: An Eyewitness Account
> It is a mitzvah to establish an /eruv/, and /Chazal/ even instituted a
> /brachah/ for setting one up.[...] Those who
> ostentatiously refuse to use the /eruv/ cause the uninformed to feel
> guilty for using it. They are also violating halachah (/Shulchan Aruch/,
> 366:13). Even worse, the Talmudic Sages and later authorities would have
> accused them of being /apikorsim/ [heretics] (/Eruvin/ 31b, /Mishnah/
> and /Rashi/, 61b, /Rabbeinu Yehonasan/, and /Shulchan Aruch/ 385:1). The
> Sages of the Talmud highly praise King Solomon, and expressed their
> gratitude to him for instituting the laws of /eruv/, hailing it as one
> of the most important rabbinic regulations ever enacted. Consequently,
> they frowned upon people who impeded those who sought to install and use
> an /eruv/.
While in general I'm sympathetic to the viewpoint of that blog, I find
this particular line of attack to be disingenuous. Shlomo Hamelech's
gezerah, and the bracha that Chazal instituted, have nothing to do with
turning a reshut harabim or a karmelit into a reshut hayachid. They
are entirely concerned with carrying in a shared reshut hayachid, and
turning a shared RHY into a private RHY. Shlomo did not create a
leniency, or make shmirat shabbat easier on people; on the contrary,
he made it harder. Before Shlomo, it was permitted to carry in a
shared RHY without any kind of provision; he was the one who forbade
it unless one makes an eruv.
The claim based on OC 366:13 is particularly disingenuous; anyone who
looks it up will find that all it says is "mitzvah lachazor achar eruv
chatzerot". It has nothing to do with the subject at hand.
The condemnations of "mi she'eno modeh betorat eruv" are not of those
who don't carry in a RHR that has been turned into a RHY, but of those
who *do* carry in a shared RHY *without* an eruv, because they don't
accept Shlomo Hamelech's gezerah, and see no need for an eruv.
A far better proof is from the Rosh, who threatened to put a rov in
cherem for not making an eruv in his town. Of course we don't know
how big that town was, or what halachic problems there might have
been with its layout; perhaps had this rov written back that in his
town there were particular circumstances that made an eruv halachically
questionable, the Rosh would have let him off. From the Rosh's letter
it seems that this rov either did not approve of eruvin at all, under
any circumstances, or was just too lazy to make one, or didn't see it
as his job. But at least this letter is on topic, unlike the "proofs"
Zev Sero Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
z...@sero.name interpretation of the Constitution.
- Clarence Thomas
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From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 20:12:54 -0500
Subject: [Avodah] Adoptive vs Birth Parents
For purposes of halacha I was under the impression the relationship is
the same as one between biological parents and children, (and if the
biological parents are unknown
then there should be a conversion).
However, according to Sota 49a the biblical obligation to honor one's
parents applies only to biological parents, not to adoptive parents.
And yet Megilla 13a states: "Whoever raises an orphaned boy or girl in
his home is viewed by the Torah as if he himself had brought the child
into the world."
Sh'mos Rabbah 456 asserts that God possesses treasuries from which he
rewards the righteous, and amongst these treasuries there is a special
for those who take in and raise orphaned children. And it is proper
for an adopted child to say kaddish for his adoptive parents,
especially if they expressed the desire
for their adoptive child to say kaddish.
It would seem to me that if the biological parents have abandoned
their baby, the child has no obligation to seek them out.
I'm sure there will be much disagreement, however.
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From: Yitzhak Grossman <cele...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 22:07:59 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] praying with a minyan on an airplane
On Mon, 17 Nov 2008 19:45:07 +0200
"Eli Turkel" <elitur...@gmail.com> wrote:
> In the latest volume of the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society
> there is an article on praying with a minyan on an airplane.
> Eli Turkel
Bein Din Ledin - bdl.freehostia.com
A discussion of Hoshen Mishpat, Even Ha'Ezer and other matters
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From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 03:51:44 GMT
Subject: Re: [Avodah] a troubling halacha
R' Danny Schoemann wrote:
> 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.
Yes, I think we all agree that doing a favor outweighs the foolishness. The
problem is that many listmembers (myself included) presume that the
daughter would emphatically want to be told about her parents' passing, but
it seems that for many centuries, the general presumption is that the
daughter would NOT consider that to be a favor. Ditto for a sibling,
spouse, or parent. And in fact, ditto for the son too, except that he has
an obligation to say kaddish.
As I see it, the questions we're trying to answer are: Can it be possible
that human emotions have changes so much? Is it true that we care more
about our family than they did? Or are we missing some key point?
I really can't imagine that modern communications are the cause of these
changes. Halacha does prescribe certain brachos to be said when close
relatives or friends see each other after being out of touch for a long
time. But those cases were rare. The common case was that people *were* in
communication with their relatives.
I can't suggest a specific number of times-per-year that they would write
letters to each other, but it is safe to presume that it was often enough
that the aforementioned brachos were said only rarely. If I am correct
about that, then the next step is to presume that the "foolishness" would
be in his trying to hide a relative's death, because it would eventually be
And if I'm correct on that point as well, then I think I may have stumbled on the answer to this thread. Consider the following:
-- The presumption is not to tell someone about a relative's passing
-- This applies even though they did occasionally communicate with each other
-- Despite hiding this informaiton, the truth would come out anyway
-- The average person did not prefer finding out right away
-- The average person preferred finding out eventually
Okay, here's my guess: Could it be that this halacha is based on the
presumption that people would prefer to observe the relatively easy
halachos of delayed information, and that they did not want to observe the
relatively difficult halachos of timely information?
If so, then the next question is: What changed? Why do we prefer the full
burden of the timely-information halachos? It can't be because of the
general trend towards stricter halachos, can it?
A New Way to Get Free & Discounted Offers -- FreeInternet.com!
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From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 10:01:50 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Sephardi-ism: some food for thought
On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 08:19:11PM +0200, Michael Makovi wrote:
: This is a (short four page) review by Professor Zvi Zohar, of a book
: about Rabbi Benzion Uziel, in turn written by Rabbi Marc D. Angel.
Wow, how many mischaracterizations can an author pack into one article?
: Professor Zohar makes a paradigm of Sephardi halakhah and hashkafa as
: opposed to Ashkenazi. Ashkenazi pesak relies on "kol ha-mahmir tavo
: alav berakhah" and "hadash asur min haTorah", whereas Sephardi pesak
: has no such concept of "hadash" and holds by "koha de-hetera adif".
Kochah deheteirah adif is not "it's better to be meiqil". This was
discussed numerous times on Avodah. It means that since heter requires
a greater burden of proof, its existence carries more weight in further
RYK characterizes it somewhat differently in
> The term "Koach di'hetera adifa" is a pedagogic term, not a legal one.
> It is used by chazal EXCLUSIVELY to mean that when a dispute between two
> authorities applies to two different applications, one in which the kula
> is the bigger chidush, and the other in which the chumrah is the bigger
> chidush, and the statement can be taught in one of two ways, one
> emphasizing the kula and the other emphasizing the chumra, we are always
> taught the case where the kula is the bigger chidush. See Berachos 60a
> and Beitzah 2b.
> This is because it is a bigger chidush to teach the lenient ruling than
> the strict ruling. (Se Rashi to Beitzah ad loc.)
I'm not sure we diagree, but I'm not sure we don't -- so I gave both.
In either case, the assumption in the gemara's usage is quite the
reverse -- qulah is the greater rarity.
Chadash assur min haTorah is the motto of one particular flavor of O that
flourished in Hungary. Somehow, though, RSRH's community has the same
system of pesaq as they -- despite their embracing chadash. And it was a
statement about not changing culture, totally outside of issues of pesaq.
The prohibition against overturning precedent requires believing that
we are gadol meihem bechokhmah uveminyan. What happens more frequently
is the question of whether the facts on the ground changed enough to
warrant new pesaq.
Frankly the thing reads like someone trying to claim Seph for C... These
are all arguments I've seen typed by a C rabbi on scjm, in describing
pre-R halakhah vs post-R Orthodoxy, to claim that we, not they, are the
If you really want to look at real difference in process, ROY tends to
use rules like majority much more heavily, whereas the bigger Ashkenazi
poseqim leverage the few more accepted authorities by applying personal
: As for hashkafah, Professor Zohar quotes words of Rabbi Uziel's
: regarding universalism of knowledge and learning and universalism of
: Jewish mission, that to me sound remarkably Hirschian (IMHO), and
: Professor Zohar notes that such sentiments are common amongst
: Sephardim but not amongst Ashkenazim.
I think it depends on how many generations it has been since the
particular Ashk or Seph subcommunity lived under a hostile regime. But
that's more for Areivim. (And again, see TIDE.)
CC: former regular RYKaganoff
Micha Berger Weeds are flowers too
mi...@aishdas.org once you get to know them.
http://www.aishdas.org - Eeyore ("Winnie-the-Pooh" by AA Milne)
Fax: (270) 514-1507
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