Avodah Mailing List

Volume 25: Number 427

Sun, 21 Dec 2008

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Meir Rabi" <meir...@optusnet.com.au>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2008 23:16:52 +1100
[Avodah] Yosef Kappara and Tamar


Is there some suggestion that even after the demise of Yosef there was still
some opportunity to attain forgiveness and Mechilla?

Aside from going to his Kever with a Minyan, the obvious answer, there is an
implied understanding that even many generations later some type of
reconciliation can be achieved. Does this mean that the old enmities were
still being maintained? All the way down to the 10 Martyrs?


And is there some understanding how the suffering of the martyrs brought



On another matter: Tamar - Why did Tamar wait until her pregnancy was
obvious; she sh/could have presented to Yehudah the evidence of his presence
and informed him that she is expecting. This would have avoided the
inevitable "showdown" and given Yehuda ample opportunity to devise an
honourable solution by marry her to Shelah or himself or send her away to
return later or not at all. If the last option frightened her and she wanted
to avoid this was she permitted to thus endanger her life?





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Message: 2
From: "Moshe Feldman" <moshe.feld...@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2008 22:52:04 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Seeing the Swiss Alps

 On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 I wrote:

>  <<I also note
> that David HaMelech wrote Barchi Nafshi about the wonders of EY.>>

Presumably David Hamelech meant Barchi Nafshi to be universal; however,
David Hamelech lived in EY, and it is reasonable to say that he described
what he saw (and what I see out of my living room window).  After all, every
one of his descriptions is of what exists in EY, and had he been describing
other parts of the world he might have described things differently, or
added other animals/scenery.  Some examples:
"ha'meshaleiach ma'ayanim ba'nechalim, bein harim ye'haleichun"--he
describes springs in the mountain valleys, but does not describe mighty
"harim ha'gevohim l'ye'elim, sela'im machseh l'shfanim"--these animals are
prevalent in EY.  I'm sure that in other countries there are other animals
on the mountains.

Shavua tov.
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Message: 3
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@COX.NET>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2008 17:19:52 -0500
[Avodah] Miketz "Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction (or

Yosef sees his brothers, recognizes them, (they do not recognize him,)  
and remembers his dreams. He treats them harshly and accuses them of  
being spies. They deny the charges and tell Yosef of their family  
history and honorable intentions.

Rashi says that the brothers (unknowingly) uttered a true, prophetic  
statement saying "WE are all the sons of one man". Consciously, they  
were talking about themselves. But the statement is very true when  
Yosef is included - We are ALL...

The Baal HaTurim points out that the phrase VAYISHTACHAVU LO, and they  
(the brothers) bowed to him (Yosef) has the same numeric value (772)  
as B'CHAN NITKAYEIM HACHALOM, "With this, the dream (Yosef's) was  
actualized." Another source adds that VAYITNAKEIR ALEIHEM, "And he  
(Yosef) acted like a stranger to them" (the brothers), is also 772.  
Part of what Yosef did to complete the Divine plan expressed by his  
dreams, was to hold back in revealing himself for a while. SHEVA  
SHANIM, 7 years, a significant feature of this episode, is also 772.    
What does it all mean?      YGIAGAM.
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Message: 4
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2008 18:58:18 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Yosef Kappara and Tamar

Meir Rabi wrote:
> If the last option frightened her 
> and she wanted to avoid this was she permitted to thus endanger her life?

Malbim suggests that Yehudah did not sentence her to be burned to death
but to be branded on her face as a whore.  He suggests that the reason
prostitutes covered their faces was to hide their brands.

This doesn't answer the question, but it does reduce the stakes (so to

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: 5
From: Celejar <cele...@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2008 21:04:27 -0500
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Kolech calls for dayanot

On Fri, 19 Dec 2008 08:50:47 +0200 someone on Avodah characterized the
possibility of women serving as Dayyanot in the event of "kiblu
aleihem" as "a minority opinion".

It is *not* a minority opinion:

1)  The principle that Kabalas Pesulin works is an undisputed Halachah
Pesukah (SA HM Siman 22)

2)  While AFAIK, the SA and the major commentaries don't specifically
apply the principle to women, many Poskim, Rishonim and Aharonim, do,
and I'm aware of no dissenting view.  See Hilchos Dayyanim (Im Halachah
Pesukah - Machon Harry Fischel) Siman 7 n. 97 for many sources, and
note also Hasam Sofer (cited in Pis'hei Teshuvah HM 22:5) and Sefer
Ha'Maor (R. Elazar Meir Preil, (listmember?) REMT's grandfather) #55 p.

3)  The question of whether the community or its government may appoint
women to permanent positions as Dayyanim(-ot) is admittedly much more
doubtful; see Hilchos Dayyanim ibid. n. 98 and Sefer Ha'Maor ibid. p.

Bein Din Ledin - http://bdl.freehostia.com
A discussion of Hoshen Mishpat, Even Ha'Ezer and other matters

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2008 23:57:23 -0500
Re: [Avodah] esav

On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 01:10:38AM +1100, SBA wrote:
: The next pasuk: "Vayira Yaakob me'od vayetzer lo.vayomer im yovoy Esav el
: hamachneh ha'achas vehikohu."  See how the Rashbam explains that.

: I had another look at the Rashbam today. (BTW, the Chizkuni more or less
: says the same thing as the Rashbam.)

: Lulei demistafina, I would suggest that the Rashbam is saying that while the
: Malochim came back to Yaakov saying that they had no doubt that Esav is
: coming with his 400 chevra  to give you a nice welcome,  Yaakov was far
: cleverer than them. 
: He knew Esav only too well and had plenty reason to be afraid.


I took a look, and it seems to be explicitly what he's saying (minus the
bit of /why/ Yaakov expected worse of Esav than the messengers did).
But, leshitaso, the messengers were right. Yaakov thought he knew Eisav,
but he erred and prepared for a war Eisav never planned on.

Mind you this only works because the Rashbam not only goes with strict
peshat, but he is also a minimialist when it comes to supernatural
claims. The Rashbam went with mal'akhim as human messengers instead of
the more frequent meaning (and thus default peshat) of supernatural beings.

Had the been supernatural beings, Yaaqov would have known that they
could literally sense Eisav's state of mind (which would be more real
to them than his actios), and trusted their assessment.

Gut Voch!

Micha Berger             One who kills his inclination is as though he
mi...@aishdas.org        brought an offering. But to bring an offering,
http://www.aishdas.org   you must know where to slaughter and what
Fax: (270) 514-1507      parts to offer.        - R' Simcha Zissel Ziv

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Message: 7
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 04:46:58 GMT
Re: [Avodah] mesorahReb Moshe responded re wearing modern

R' Eli Turkel wrote:
> RMF also was against nusach sefard (chassidic) as it was a
> change from tradition although that happened some 300 years ago.

R' Zev Sero asked:
> Where did he write this?

Igros Moshe O"C 2:24

The case was of a child who was taught Nusach Ashkenaz because that's what
the shul and school used, even though his father "and another two or three
generations" davened in Nusach Sfard. His conclusion is that if the child
"wants to return (lachzor) and to daven Nusach Ashkenaz, which is the
nusach of our fathers and rabbis, he is definitely allowed (vadai reshai)
because he is returning to his origins (she'harei chozer l'kadmuso)."

Akiva Miller

Can't pay your bills?  Click here to learn about filing for bankruptcy.

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Message: 8
From: Harry Weiss <hjwe...@panix.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 00:07:42 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] mesorahReb Moshe responded re wearing modern

> From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
> Subject: Re: [Avodah] mesorahReb Moshe responded re wearing modern
>    American clothing that were a variation from the traditions.
>> RMF also was against nusach sefard (chassidic) as it was a change from
>> tradition although that happened some 300 years ago.
> Where did he write this?  I know he wrote that the differences between
> the two are trivial, and when it's written not to change traditions it
> doesn't include such trivial changes.  His own father grew up davening
> Sfard.

Orech Chaim chelek Beis siman Kof daled.

Harry J. Weiss

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Message: 9
From: Ben Waxman <ben1...@zahav.net.il>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 08:11:13 +0200
Re: [Avodah] mesorahReb Moshe responded re wearing modern

The problem with this line of thought is that it is ein sof in its nature. 
Whenever the Jews in Europe started wearing long black coats or khasidishe 
garb they must have changed from something.


> Reb Moshe responded re wearing modern American clothing that were a
> variation from the traditions.>>
> RMF also was against nusach sefard (chassidic) as it was a change from
> tradition although that happened some 300 years ago. Evidently his
> opinion is that it makes no difference how long ago a mesorah was
> changed it is still considered a change today.
> I don't think most people feel that way
> -- 
> Eli Turkel

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Message: 10
From: "Eli Turkel" <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 11:12:52 +0200
[Avodah] ashenaz and sefard

RMF in IM OC:2 siman 24
says that one may change from nusach sefard to ashkenaz but
not the reverse since our fathers all originally davened ashkenaz
Note he does not say that one must change back
obviously also he was not addressing edot mizrach

Eli Turkel

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Message: 11
From: "Rabbi Meir" <rabbim...@optusnet.com.au>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 16:08:41 +1100
[Avodah] Did Yosef Forgive His Brothers?

R Micha says from R' Bachya that Yoseif did forgive his brothers. He did not
however articulate that mechilah; and suggests that the problem wasn't
obtaining Yoseif's mechilah, but HQBH. 


My understanding of the R Bachya 50:17 seems not so. I offer my loose
translation: "Whoever has hurt another, is not forgiven until the victim is
appeased, even though he has repented. Now even though the Pessukim mention
that Yosef comforted them and spoke to 'their hearts' which gives the
appearance that Yosef forgave them, we nevertheless do not observe anywhere
that in fact did forgive them and put aside the wrong they had done to him.
They thus died with their sin, without Yosef's forgiveness. It is for this
reason that their sin required some type of release which occurred with the
ten martyrs."


Meir Rabi


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Message: 12
From: "Ilana Sober Elzufon" <ilanaso...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 09:11:08 +0200
[Avodah] Yosef Kappara and Tamar

RMR: Why did Tamar wait until her pregnancy was

There were no pregnancy tests at that time - she could have strongly
suspected a pregnancy but wouldn't have known for sure until she was

- Ilana
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Message: 13
From: "Eli Turkel" <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 11:18:06 +0200
[Avodah] yosef kappara

<<Is there some suggestion that even after the demise of Yosef there
was still some opportunity to attain forgiveness and Mechilla?
Aside from going to his Kever with a Minyan, the obvious answer, there
is an implied understanding that even many generations later some type
of reconciliation can be achieved. Does this mean that the old
enmities were still being maintained? All the way down to the 10
Martyrs? And is there some understanding how their suffering brought

I don't see anything about continuing enmity however Judasim does
contain a concept of Kapparah after death. That is fact the essence of
Kadish Yatom and Yizkor and that Yom Kippurim is in the plural because
it is kapparah for the living and those who already died

There is also another medrash (vaguely remember someone else can
supply the details) that when Reuven died his bones were not connected
and he did not get into Gan Eden until Moshe Rabbenu prayed and in
stages brought him to Gan Eden and his proper place (not that I really
understand that medrash)

Eli Turkel

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Message: 14
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 05:46:06 -0500
[Avodah] Only One Interpretation, The Right One - (Was Did

At 06:51 PM 12/20/2008, Rn T. Katz  wrote:

> >>>>>
>I find it hard to take that medrash seriously because there is simply no
>textual support for the notion that Dinah was sent away or that she had a
>daughter or that "Asnas bas Potiphera" was 
>really "Asnas the daughter of Dinah  and
>Shechem" or that Eishes Potiphar adopted a daughter.   It's all  based on
>what?  And explains what?

I think the comments of RSRH on Bereshis 40:5 can 
be used to back up your contention.

5 Both of them then had a dream, each one his 
dream in the same night, each one as an interpretation
of his dream, the butler and the baker of the 
king of Egypt, who were imprisoned in the prison.

An intelligent person can discern the precise explanation of a dream,
without being able to guarantee the dream?s fulfillment. The interpretation
must come from within the dream itself. Such an interpretation
of a dream is a deep psychological task, just as the explanation of any
symbol, the hermeneutic interpretation of any verse, should be pisron,
explanation from within. There is no end to the interpretations that can
be forced upon any symbol or verse. But there is only one interpretation
? the right one ? that will be found by one who seeks (thus the term
derush) the interpretation from within. Just as at organic birth and at the
unfolding of every bud, there is an inner point from which the whole
development takes its course, so in every ?closed? symbolism, there is
a kernel of an idea which has to be grasped, whereupon all the rest
automatically follows and becomes clear.

RSRH does not use midrashim to explain pesukim 
all that often. To me it seems that the above comments explain why. YL
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Message: 15
From: "Saul Mashbaum" <saul.mashb...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 22:27:56 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Chevra Kadisha Fast Day today, 15 Kislev?

 >>But what happened on 15 Kislev ?

I don't know if this is related, but the luach "Ittim l'vina" states that
this is the yahrzeit of Rebbe, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, the redactor of the

Saul Mashbaum
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Message: 16
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 15:37:37 EST
Re: [Avodah] chanukah candles and women

From: "Eli Turkel" _eliturkel@gmail.com_ (mailto:elitur...@gmail.com) 

>>I still  do not understand why wives generally do not light chanukah candles
according  to the Ashkenazi custom that each person lights separately.... 

2. If  ishto kegufo why can;t the wife light even lechachtila for the husband 
why if he is absent does he need to appoint her as a shaliach?  <<

In today's Huffington Post, there is an article, "Religious Enough for You?  
Women Light the Holiday," by Leora Tanenbaum.  She makes an  impassioned plea 
for Orthodox women to take control of their own lives and  light Chanuka 
"Most Jewish women in the liberal denominations (Conservative, Reform,  
Reconstructionist), as well as in modern Orthodox communities, are delighted to  
light the candles (even though this means more melted wax to contend with  
later). But there remain too many holdouts who prefer to have a man or even a  boy 
over the age of 13 light on their behalf. " 

Read her arguments and you will see that in today's day and age,  for  women 
to take upon themselves the lighting of Chanuka lights -- if  they do not 
already have a family mesorah to do so -- is a symbol of leftist  politics rather 
than religious devotion, and should be studiously avoided  by Torah-loyal 
women.  When she sees a picture of a woman lighting the  menorah, Leora thinks, 
"There goes a strong, brave woman who refuses to be  subjugated to the 
patriarchy anymore and will not allow her husband to be the  boss of her."
Beware of buying into the feminist critique of Judaism, which makes a  
traditional Jewish home a place of oppression for women and turns Jewish men  into 
bullies and thugs.  If you -- any woman -- have in your heart  even a little 
bit of a feeling that the Torah is not fair to women or that  different roles 
for men and women imply that G-d is unjust to women or that  Chazal were unjust, 
you should davka avoid taking a mitzva and using it to make  a political 
statement.  If you want to be closer to Hashem, do something  that does not have 
political implications.  There is no shortage of mitzvos  and acts of chessed 
for women to do.
As for a woman lechatchila lighting the menorah on behalf of the whole  
family, /instead/ of the husband, that would up-end the natural assumption that  a 
husband in the home is primus inter pares.  It would be a denigration of  the 
husband's position.  Jockeying for power between husbands and wives is  
definitely not a recipe for sholom bayis.  


--Toby Katz
"If you  don't read the newspaper you are uninformed; 
if you do read the newspaper  you are misinformed."
--Mark Twain

Read *Jewish World Review* at _http://jewishworldreview.com/_ 

**************One site keeps you connected to all your email: AOL Mail, 
Gmail, and Yahoo Mail. Try it now. 
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Message: 17
From: Cantor Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 20:31:09 -0500
[Avodah] Chanukah

The Gemara in Maseches Shabbos (21) begins:
"What is Chanukah? The Rabbis have expounded: Beginning with the 25th  
of Kislev, eight days of Chanukah are observed, during which no  
eulogies are delivered, nor is fasting permitted. For when the Greeks  
entered the heichal, they defiled all the holy oils used for the  
Menorah in the temple, and when the Hasmonean house prevailed and  
defeated them, they searched and found only one remaining cruse of oil  
with the Kohen Gadol's seal, which evidently had not been touched by  
the Greeks.  Although it contained only enough oil to burn for one  
day, a miracle occurred, the Menorah was rekindled and the oil  
miraculously lasted for eight days until new oil could be prepared. A  
year later they (the Rabbis) designated these days as Yamim Tovim on  
which praise and thanksgiving were to be said."
Interestingly, not a word about the military victory is stated. Also,  
the question has been asked why weren?t the Greek enemies commanded  
to go into the temple, smash all the jars of oil and spill it out,  
thereby depriving the Jews of continuing their daily lighting of the  
Menorah. Why did they just defile it? The answer is fascinating. The  
goal of the enemy was not to prevent the rekindling of the Menorah,  
but rather that it should be rekindled with defiled oil. So they  
purposely left a supply of oil in the Sanctuary to be readily  
available for this purpose.

The bottom line is that the Greeks demanded that the Jews accept THEIR  
(the Greeks) torah (small ?t? purposely) and as long as the Jews  
followed what the Greeks commanded, everything would be fine. And one  
of the most powerful tools the Greeks employed was assimilation.

In other words, the real God of the Jews was not allowed to be  
followed and the resistance of the Chashmonaim was at the basis of our  
faith: To follow God?s way irrespective of what others say or demand  
we should do.  To be flip: It?s either God?s way or Oy Vey!

Happy Chanukah

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