Avodah Mailing List

Volume 26: Number 209

Tue, 27 Oct 2009

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Chana Luntz" <ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 13:40:42 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Sukkah on Shabbos

RAM writes:

> One can do tzitzis on two levels. In all cases, there is 
> clearly never a chiyuv to wear a beged which needs tzitzis, 
> but if one chooses to wear such a beged, he is obligated to 
> make sure there is tzitzis on it. If one has a wool or linen 
> beged, and puts tzitzis on it, and he chooses to wear it, he 
> fulfills a d'Oraisa. If the beged is another fiber, such as 
> cotton, I understand that many poskim hold that it's only a 
> d'Rabanan. I will not get into whether this sort of mitzvah 
> is called "chiyuvis" or "kiyumis" or "machsheres" or 
> whatever; my point is that it is the same in all cases, and 
> the only difference is d'Oraisa or d'Rabanan.
> One can also do sukkah on several levels. In all cases, there 
> is clearly never a chiyuv to eat in the sukkah. But if one 
> chooses to eat a keviyus seudah (which we will not define 
> here), then he is obligated to do it in the sukkah, and he 
> will fulfill a d'Oraisa for it. If one chooses to do 
> something other than eating a keviyus seudah (such as 
> drinking a glass of water, or learning, or shmoozing) he is 
> definitely *not* obligated to do it in the sukkah, but he can 
> choose to do it in the sukkah anyway. And if he does so, he 
> will fulfill a d'Oraisa for this too. (Or, at least, I've 
> never heard anyone say this to be merely d'rabanan.)
> So we have an interesting difference between tzitzis and 
> sukkah: The first can be done in two ways; they are both the 
> same in the chiyuv/kiyum area, but one is d'Oraisa and the 
> other is d'Rabanan. The second can also be done two ways, but 
> while one is chiyuv and the other is kiyum, both are d'Oraisa.

Um, I not sure - but are you sure that there is not a second way that is not
a d'rabbanan?  The following is a bit speculative, so I wonder what the olam
thinks about it.

The reason I am saying this is that, all the poskim seem to say very clearly
that the d'orisa obligation is yeshivu k'ain tadiru - you shall dwell in the
sukkah the same way that you dwell in your house.  That would seem to
suggest that if it is a form of yeshivu that is not k'ain tadiru, then it
would not be a d'orisa - but then, what is it, nothing?  Do not people do
this all the time?  Some of the example you bring regarding kiyum might fall
into that category, but another example that pops to mind is the whole
circumstances surrounding our chol hamoed outing .  We took the kids to
Legoland, and my husband's solution to the problem was to have toast for
breakfast (which he never normally does) in the sukkah, and then have potato
salad for lunch.  Some other people who went's solution was to bring a pop
up sukkah - and when we passed it, we saw a man, who clearly had a large
family, sitting in this tiny sukkah with a son on each knee, and about four
or five other sons standing wedged against him while eating their lunch,
while the wife and daughters milled about a few metres away.

Now, in the case of my husband, eating bread for breakfast is a normal thing
to do, it is just that he never does it, so while it is not yeshivu kein
tadiru on a personal level, maybe his daas it batel l'kol adam.  But you
cannot tell me that what this man at Legoland was doing was yeshivu kein
tadiru - NOBODY, but nobody eats his lunch the way he was eating it, and
even less so the way his sons were eating it.  And of course the normal
thing that people on trips to Legoland do is to picnic out in the open air.
However, leaving aside questions about pop up sukkos, the sukkah was clearly
kosher in terms of the halachic definitions.  So, was this man fulfilling
the d'orisa? - I can't quite see how he was.  Was he doing absolutely
nothing?  Doesn't seem correct to say that either as that would mean that
his bracha a bracha l'vatala?  Assuming the sukkah was indeed a kosher one,
nobody seems to be concerned for this.  Best way out I can see is to say
that in fact there is an intermediate category of rabbinic (or perhaps
minhag, but then you get into the bracha and hallel on Rosh Chodesh problem
- and Sephardim seem to do this too) sukkah dwelling - ie when you eat in a
kosher sukkah in a manner that is not yeshivu kein tadiru.

Now if we held that there was a ptur for holchei drachim that fitted the
case of going on a trip for pleasure, then presumably the simple answer to
what to do when one went to Legoland would be simply to picnic.  But Rav
Moshe, inter alia, is dead against this, and says that that ptur is only for
a tzorech like business.  On the other hand, the way one lives in one's
house is not usually to be prevented from taking trips with one's family
either.  The best way I can understand this is that we have a rabbinic form
of mitzvas aseh, that requires one to avail oneself of a sukkah even though
this is emphatically not yeshivu kein tadiru.

Any thoughts?

> Akiva Miller

Shabbat Shalom


Go to top.

Message: 2
From: Meir Shinnar <chide...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 07:28:03 -0400
Re: [Avodah] G-d changes his mind

> He goes so far as to say that Abraham was wrong for not arguing with G-d
> at the Akedah.
> His sources are Alan Dershowitz and Shulamit Aloni !!
> That is definitely krum. ?In each case where someone argues with
> Hashem, Rashi goes out of his way to point out that Hashem had no
> obvious reason to inform them of His plans in the first place, so
> they took it as permission and an invitation to argue. ?In the case
> of the akeda this obviously doesn't apply; Avraham received, not
> information but a direct order, and when someone gets an order from
> Hashem he has no right to argue. ? After obeying he may perhaps ask
> for an explanation, but not before.

There are better sources than Shulamit Aloni..

In classical ashkenaz, There is a type of piyut for shavuot that goes
through why the torah was not given before moshe - with a fault for
each major prior figure why he couldn't receive the torah.
For Avraham, most piyutim (including one by Hakallir) take his
statement bama eda ki irashena  as the fault (based on a midrash).
However, there are several piyutim, including another one by Hakallir
and one by Yosef Tov Elem (neither minor sources..), that say the
fault was that he did not argue with hashem when commanded over the
akeda.  (R Yona Frankel, in his edition of the machzor for shavuot,
comments that he knows of no extant midrashic source for this idea -
but, as it is hakallir, it must reflect some midrashic tradition.)

Meir Shinnar

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: Simon Montagu <simon.mont...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 05:16:00 -0700
Re: [Avodah] Minhag Yerushalayim - candle lighting 40 minutes

On Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 2:55 AM, Goldmeier <goldme...@012.net.il> wrote:

> I have been looking for the source to the Minhag Yerushalayim of lighting
> Shabbos candles
> 40 minutes before sunset.
> Does anyone know the source why 40 minutes?

In Yabia` Omer 5 OH 21, ROY brings it from "Sefer Eretz Yisrael" by RIM
Tukachinski (sp?) p. 26 "Minhag atik be'eretz Yisrael lehachriz o litkoa
lehadlakat nerot be`erev shabbat 40 dakot kodem hasheki`a", quoting Kaf
Hahhayyim 256:5

ROY himself has a different pshat in the Kaf Hahhayyim, and says that 10 or
15 minutes before sheki`a is sufficient, and that especially during Hhanukka
one should not light any earlier than that. Ayyen Sham.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 4
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 13:05:07 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Pizza - is it Pashtida?

R' Rich Wolpoe wrote:
> The common wisdom is that pizza slices are "pas
> habba bekis'nin". My talmid chaveir [RNG] questioned
> this read, and had convinced me otherwise, that
> pizza=pas period. ... Today, seeing SA orach Hayyim
> 168:17 I am even more convinced. "Pashtida baked in
> the oven with ....cheese, one makes Hammotzi"

Not everyone agrees that Pashtida is a special case, but they hold that it has the same halachos as ordinary Pas Habaa B'Kisnin.

Rav Daniel Wolf at Yeshivat Hat Etzion writes:

> This also explains the Shulchan Arukh's ruling (OC
> 168:17) that "pashtida", bread filled with meat,
> cheese, or fish, obligates a birkat ha-mazon and
> ha-motzi. Most Acharonim agree with the Magen
> Avraham that even an olive's worth of "pashtida"
> obligates birkat ha-mazon (against the Taz's
> approach, who views it as "pat ha-ba'a be-kisanin"). 

I have vague recollections that the Aruch Hashulchan might pasken like this little-known Taz, against the more well-known Magen Avraham.

CAVEAT: This post concerns only the Pashtida aspects of pizza, not any of the many other points which have been raised over the years.

Akiva Miller

Click here to light up your life with a love spell!

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.du...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 13:34:05 GMT
Re: [Avodah] rRe:Quoting Terminology

Quotes from Neviim always have something there about the nevuah being
spoken.  Kadavar ha'amur and kakasuv al yad neviecha both avoid quoting the
nevuah as though it were, so to speak, Writ.
Add to previous question:  in the hagada, shene'emar, and kemah shene'emar


House Rescue Bill Passed
$133,000 mortgage under $679/mo. Compare rates and save!

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 6
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 15:06:37 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Halacha of speeding / Jewish ethics curriculum

> So too in halacha. When RMB writes about "native speakers" whose "mind
> goes beyond algorithm", he's referring to poskim who say things like,
> "In situation ABC, it is mutar/assur to do XYZ. I can't cite you chapter
> and verse, but that *IS* the halacha.

Tangentially, what sefarim would be the bests text for teaching the
language of Poskim"?

I have a few nominees but I wanted to get input from the chevra.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 15:28:06 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Pizza - is it Pashtida?


Snip from above:

> Pizza, according to the above, seems much more like "pashtida,"
> namely bread filled with cheese, than "pat ha-ba'a be-kisanin," which
> are pastries usually eaten as desert. Pizza is made to satiate and is
> normally eaten as a meal. Bread is not necessarily defined as something
> ALWAYS eaten as a meal; bread is sometimes eaten outside the context
> of a meal. There is therefore no relevant difference between pizza and
> normal bread.

The above  is mamash my point!
? Pizza = Pashtida
? PHB is something slightly different

Again since:
"There is therefore no relevant difference between pizza and normal bread."

The distinction about a grilled cheese sandwich being bread first is IRrelevant as above!

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Go to top.

Message: 8
From: Saul Mashbaum <saul.mashb...@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2009 22:09:34 +0200
Re: [Avodah] daas tora interview


interview  w  prof  kaplan on daas tora  issues

Our own RTKatz is mentioned by RDLK in the course of the interview.

Saul Mashbaum
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 9
From: David Riceman <drice...@att.net>
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2009 19:35:04 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mei Marom

Yitzchok Adlerstein wrote:
> I've been trying to introduce a friend of mine to Mei Marom. Someone 
> recently presented him with a few of the sefarim, and he came back to 
> me scratching his head. He found himself in perek 10 of Urie Veyishi, 
> and takes the mechaber to mean, in the words of my friend, that even 
> after "Tshuvah Me'Ahavah, a person still needs to be purged of his 
> sins in Gehenom.  The Baal Teshuavh will enjoy the pain however, 
> because of the realization of the ultimate benefit."
See Nedarim 8b "ein gehinnom l'olam haba ... tzaddikim misrapin bo ...", 
and ask yourself what the tzaddikim need to be healed from.  See H. 
Tshuva 2:8 "... hozer umisvadeh aleihen ...", and, again, ask yourself 
why.  See Orot HaTshuva 16:5 about the pain associated with tshuva 
me'ahava, and see ibid. 8:5.  The relationship between pain, pleasure, 
and tshuva is a recurring theme in Orot HaTshuva.

The concept is that a rise in madreigah requires a reevaluation of the 
past, and, hence, a new round of tshuva.

Incidentally, though it's not germane to your question, the Yefeh 
Einayim cites some parallels to the gemara in Nedarim which are well 
worth looking up.

David Riceman

Go to top.

Message: 10
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2009 20:03:19 -0400
[Avodah] The entire history of mankind ? past, present , and

I have posted the commentary of RSRH on Bereishis 9

25 He said: Cursed be Canaan; he shall be a 
servant of servants to his brothers.

26 And he said: Blessed be God, the God of Shem; 
may Canaan become their servant.

27 God will open [people?s] emotions to Yefes, 
but He will dwell in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be a servant to them.

at  http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/rsrh/bereishis_9_25_27.pdf

Rav Hirsch begins his commentary on these pesukim 
with the words, "We have here what may be the 
most profound and far-reaching vision
of the future that God ever permitted a mortal to 
behold or to utter. The entire history of mankind 
? past, present, and future ? is contained
in these three verses."

The commentary is long, but IMO well worth taking the time to read.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 11
From: Danny Schoemann <doni...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2009 13:33:10 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Water bottle in the desert

>> But once the baby has crowned, why does it stop being a rodef if this
>> was truly a case of rodef(I believe it was K'rodef but not a real
>> rodef is the answer)?

>No, the answer is "min hashamayim ka-radfu lah"; death in childbirth
>was seen as natural, and therefore not attributable to the baby.
>It seems to me that in a case where it is clearly the baby who is
>endangering the mother, then he is a rodef even if he has crowned.

The KSA in 184:11 puts it slightly differently:

A mother who "Makshe Leiled" - is in mortal danger during childbirht:
as long as the baby is in the womb, one may kill it; since it hasn't
been born yet it isn't called a Nefesh, and in order to save the
mother one may kill it since it's like a Rodef after another to kill

But once the baby has crowned one may not touch it since "Ein dochin
Nefesh Mipney Nefesh"; it's not up to us to decide who should live,
and this is the way of the world.

- Danny

Go to top.

Message: 12
From: Danny Schoemann <doni...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2009 13:57:30 +0200
[Avodah] Minhag Yerushalayim - candle lighting 40 minutes

> I have been looking for the source to the Minhag Yerushalayim of
> lighting Shabbos candles 40 minutes before sunset.

> Does anyone know the source why 40 minutes?

IIRC it has something to do with putting various Chumros together.
Here are some pointers:

See MB 261:2 in the Bi'ur Halocho "Mitchilas Hashki'a" towards the end
- (in my version, 6 lines from the end of page 33) - that Rabbeinu
Eliezer MiMetz (d. 1175) ; the author of Sefer HaYerei'im holds that
Shki'a starts 3/4 mil. before sunset.

 See Sha'ar Hatzi'un (21) on the next page that the Yerei'im holds
that a mil is 24 minutes.

Add to that the Mechaber who suggests/allows up to 3/4 mil for Tosefes
Shabbos and you have 36 minutes.

The MB himself suggest half an hour for Tosefes Shabbos in 261:2:(23)

- Danny

Go to top.

Message: 13
From: Michael Makovi <mikewindd...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 2009 22:28:33 +0200
[Avodah] RAYK's Orot - Criticism of RSRH?

From http://michaelmakovi.blogspot.com/2009/10/did-rav-kook-wri

Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook says that Rav Kook's Orot contains reply to Rav
Hirsch, but a reading of Rav Hirsch makes this absolutely impossible.
(I'm sure Rav Tzvi Yehuda knew his father's views, but I don't think
he had any expertise in Rav Hirsch.)

In Orot, Rav Kook basically says: Eretz Yisrael is an end, not a
means. In Nineteen Letters, Rav Hirsch says the opposite. Shabang!

But wait, not so fast! Let's check the contexts! For Rav Kook, "end"
means integral to Judaism, while "means" means a utilitarian tool
which could be conceivably dispensed with. In particular, Rav Kook
criticizes those who see Eretz Yisrael as a convenient place for the
nation to be strengthened by physical gathering; if this were the
purpose of Eretz Yisrael, then conceivably a substitute could be
found, whether in Uganda or in a Hebrew University. But for Rav
Hirsch, "end" means idolatrous fascist nationalism as its own value
(see his comments on the Tower of Babel), while "means" means that it
is an essential part of Torah. Rav Hirsch's "means" is identical with
Rav Kook's "ends"! Rabbi Bezalel Naor's edition of Orot quite rightly
points out that Rav Kook is replying to cultural Zionism and the
Ugandists, that Eretz Yisrael is convenient and helpful but not

The only difference between Rabbis Kook and Hirsch here is whether the
importance of the land of Israel is rational or mystical, i.e.
Maimonidean or Kuzarian (cf. Professor Menachem Kellner's Maimonides'
Confrontation with Mysticism) - does the land of Israel contain inborn
metaphysical significance, or is its importance physical and temporal?
But that's it.

Rav Tzvi Yehuda points to a second contradiction: Rav Kook says galut
is bad, Rav Hirsch says it is good! But not so fast; Rav Hirsch never
says this! Rav Hirsch, in his essay "Av I", dwells at length on how
the galut is a tragedy, how the galut shekhina means G-d has lost His
national manifestion and vehicle for the representation of the Torah
on every level of national life. (I dare you to tell me how this
differs from Rav Kook!) All Rav Hirsch says in Nineteen Letters is
that bedieved, there is value in the galut, but the galut is a tragedy
nonetheless. And guess what? The Gemara in Pesahim seems to say the
same thing, that we were exiled for the sake of gathering gerim. So
maybe Orot is writing against the Gemara, not Rav Hirsch! And on top
of that, Rav Kook, elsewhere in Orot, says there is an inner value in
the galut, that in the Machiavellian world of Roman politics, we
didn't have to rule - Rav Kook sees good in the galut! The only other
person I've seen say this is Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Berkovits, in his
Crisis and Faith, Towards Historic Judaism, and Between Yesterday and
Tomorrow. (Rabbi Berkovits goes a bit further than Rav Kook; Rav Kook
said this positive value of galut is bedieved, a post-facto comfort
for us, while Rabbi Berkovits says it is the very reason for the galut
in the first place, that Caesaria and Jerusalem could not stand
together simultaneously, as the Gemara says.) So actually, Rav Kook
perhaps sees more good in the galut than Rav Hirsch does! Thus, Rabbi
Bezalel Naor says that Rav Kook's target for criticism is not Rav
Hirsch, but rather Hermann Cohen, who saw the galut as a positive step
upwards from vulgar nationalism and parochialism.

So much for Orot criticizing Rav Hirsch. The problem really is that no
one actually reads Rav Hirsch. The academics assume he is a German
gentile masquerading as a rabbi, and so they assume Kant is his source
even when an explicit mishnah in Avot preceded Kant. (See Rabbi Joseph
Elias's edition of Nineteen Letters, and Rabbi Shelomo Danziger's
reply to Rabbi Howard I. Levine in Tradition.) And the Haredim assume
he is haredi and holds by Daas Torah (even though Rabbi Hirsch's essay
"Jewish Communal Life" is a masterpiece of constitutional-democratic
theory that reads almost like John Locke), and so they (the Haredim)
also never read him. Everyone says the most ridiculous garbage in Rav
Hirsch's name, things that are disproven by even a cursory glance at
his own words. Rav Hirsch was a Spanish Jew - Arabic or Spanish, take
your pick - in German clothing. That's it.

Yes, Rabbi Hirsch pasqened the Three Oaths as halakhah, and said that
the galut would not end until we did teshuva for our sins. Yes, this
is a contradiction with Rabbis Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer and Kook,
absolutely. But this is something entirely else. If one wants to draw
a distinction between Rabbis Kook and Hirsch based on mysticism versus
rationalism, or based on the Three Oaths, then please, by all means.
But don't misread Rav Hirsch and then mistake Rav Kook for criticizing
Rav Hirsch when he was really criticizing Herzl, Ahad ha-Am and
Hermann Cohen.

Michael Makovi

Go to top.

Message: 14
From: Avram Sacks <achdu...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2009 12:12:01 -0500
[Avodah] shlichei tzibbur, davening speed, and halacha

I would like to open up a discussion about something that has
troubled me for a long time, but which now has very practical
consequences for me as I now have a chiyuv to daven as a shliach
tzibbur and will continue to have this chiyuv for some time: davening speed.

To get right to the point, it is impossible for me to daven certain
parts of the t'fillah in as short amount of time as others appear to
require. This is not such a critical issue when I am just part of the
minyan; however, as a shaliach tzibbur, my "slow" speed could be an
imposition on the tzibbur, particularly with respect to p'sukei
d'zimra, tachanun on Mondays and Thursdays and with "v'yi-ten l'cha"
on motza-ai shabbat.

Just to be very clear, I am a fairly proficient and knowledgeable
shaliach tzibbur, and have functioned as such many, many times since
my bar mitzvah long ago for just about every type of service
throughout the year.  On shabbat and yom tov, when people are in
less of a hurry, davening speed is not so critical.  But, at the
daily minyan, when ba'alei batim are chomping at the bit to get to work or
to get home, an additional five or 10 minutes is a big deal.

So, what does one do as a shaliach tzibbur? On one hand, there is a
halachic requirement whether one is a shaliach tzibbur or not, to say
every word of tefillah, and not just scan it with your eyes. Yet,
despite my relative proficiency in Hebrew, it is physically impossible
for me to recite every word of p'sukei d'zimra, or of the long
tachanun or of v'yi-ten l'cha as quickly as everyone else says it. For me
this is particularly curious because I know that I am able to recite
out loud the chazarat hashatz of the shmoneh esrai at a much quicker
pace than most. So how is it, then, that everyone else can recite the
long tachanun (and certain other prayers) so much more quickly than me
when saying these prayers quietly? I asked the respected rav of a
large, well-known shul about this, and his response was that despite
his own Hebrew proficiency, outside of the kollel or yeshiva, he, too,
is unable to complete p'sukei d'zimra, the long tachanun or v'yi-ten
l'cha with the speed of the tzibbur.

So, what is going on? When people daven, are they not actually
enunciating each word out loud (even if only in a soft whisper) as one
is supposed to do? If you are one of those who are makpid about
enunciating each and every word of t'fillah, what do you do when you
are a shaliach tzibbur at a regular weekday minyan of ba'alei batim
and you know that the tzibbur is not used to taking as long as you
take to say certain t'fillot? There is, of course, the halachic
imperative to not keep a tzibbur waiting. So how does this fit into
the halachic imperative to actually say (rather than scan with one's
eyes) the t'fillot? And, when one is a shaliach tzibbur how do you
negotiate these two competing halachic imperatives, particularly if
you have a chiyuv to function as a shaliach tzibbur?

Avram Sacks
Skokie, IL

Go to top.

Message: 15
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2009 22:54:50 GMT
Re: [Avodah] so is she married?

R' Micha Berger responded to my question:

> I understood RARR as saying that lemaaseh we are meiqil,
> whether he says "Will you marry me" or "Harei at me'ureset
> li". However, why enter territory where there are opinions
> that are machmir?

Yes, I *do* understand that if someone holds the halacha to be lenient in a
certain situation, he might nevertheless avoid that situation out of
respect for opinions which are machmir.

But I can understand that *only* if there is some reasonable basis to the
machmir opinions. If Rav A and Rav B have a reasonable difference of
opinion, I can see where the lenient one would defer to the strict one --
at least in the lechatchila situations -- out of an abundance of caution.
But if they differ not in their opinions, but on a point of fact, it is
difficult for me to fathom why one would be machmir for opinions which are,
to put it perhaps too bluntly, just plain mistaken.

I am trying to understand the basis -- and/or the names -- of the opinions
which RARR is being machmir for. Why do they think there is a safek
kiddushin here? Are they familiar with this culture's engagement practices?
Exactly who are they? Are they recognized world-class poskim, or are they
just footnotes in some sefer, and people accepted it without thinking?

When teenagers play around, and stage a pretend wedding, everyone knows
that they were just playing, and did not intend to actually get married.
But they *did* go through the motions. The acts they did were ones which
would accomplish kiddushin, if only the kavana was there. The situation is
very similar to the gemara's case of a rasha who gives kiddushin "on
condition that I am a tzadik". Since he might have done teshuva in that
instant, poskim are choshesh for the kiddushin, and require a get.

But in that situation, they *did* go through the motions, and the only
argmuent against the kiddushin being valid is the arguable kavana. That's
not the case in our situation. I maintain that in our situation, they did
not even go through the motions.

In our case, it is simply not true that they were discussing getting
married. They were discussing getting *engaged*. They did not say or do
anything which would lead a viewer to conclude - or even to suspect - that
their intention was to be married at that time. They were discussing
getting married at some *future* time. The only way anyone could get
confused about this is if they did not understand English, or they did not
understand the local customs. And I don't know why the confusion of such a
person should cause this act to become a safek kiddushin.

Akiva Miller

Lights, Camera, Career?
Enter the fast-paced film industry with a degree from top film schools

Go to top.

Message: 16
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 2009 16:19:54 -0400
[Avodah] Telling the Truth About Great Men

The following is from RSRH's commentary on Bereishis 12: 10 - 13

10 There was a famine in the land, and Avram went down into Egypt to 
sojourn there, because the famine was severe in the land.

11 When he was close to entering Egypt, he said to Sarai, his wife: 
Look, I do know that you are a beautiful woman.

12 So when the Egyptians see you, they will say: She is his wife, and 
they will kill me, but you they will keep alive.

13 Please say that you are my sister, so that they will deal well 
with me to get to you through me, and so that, through you, I will remain

After pointing out that the RAMBAN concludes "Our father Avraham 
inadvertently committed a grave sin by placing his virtuous wife 
before a stumbling block
of iniquity because of his fear of being killed . . . His leaving the 
Land, about which he had been commanded, because of the famine was another
sin he committed." Rav Hirsh writes:

The Torah does not seek to portray our great men
as perfectly ideal figures; it deifies no man. It says of no one: "Here you
have the ideal; in this man the Divine assumes human form!" It does
not set before us the life of any one person as the model from which
we might learn what is good and right, what we must do and what we
must refrain from doing. When the Torah wishes to put before us a
model to emulate, it does not present a man, who is born of dust.
Rather, God presents Himself as the model, saying: "Look upon Me!
Emulate Me! Walk in My ways!" We are never to say: "This must be
good and right, because so-and-so did it." The Torah is not an "anthology
of good deeds." It relates events not because they are necessarily
worthy of emulation, but because they took place.

The Torah does not hide from us the faults, errors, and weaknesses
of our great men, and this is precisely what gives its stories credibility.
The knowledge given us of their faults and weaknesses does not detract
from the stature of our great men; on the contrary, it adds to their
stature and makes their life stories even more instructive. Had they
been portrayed to us as shining models of perfection, flawless and
unblemished, we would have assumed that they had been endowed
with a higher nature, not given to us to attain. Had they been portrayed
free of passions and inner conflicts, their virtues would have seemed
to us as merely the consequence of their loftier nature, not acquired
by personal merit, and certainly no model we could ever hope to

Why is it that those who produce literature for frum readers do not 
understand this? Far too many of these books paint the great people 
of the past as having been perfect, never having a doubt, and never 
having done anything wrong. In addition, they simply omit things that 
they feel do not fit with their view of the world.

Someone recently sent me something about Rav Pam and Halloween. He 
was at Rav Pam's house one Halloween night and related that Mrs. Pam 
gave out treats to those who rang their bell. Indeed, Rav Pam did not 
switch off his outside light as many other "observant" Jews did who 
lived near him. They wanted to avoid giving to the Trick or Treaters, 
but the Pams felt it important to give them something when they rang 
their bell.

Someone to whom I sent this wrote, "You won't find this in the 
official biography of Rav Pam." I replied, "You also won't find the 
fact that he had a masters degree from City College and at one time 
taught in the secular studies department of YTV there either."

If Torah is Emes, then why are so many who claim to be committed to 
Torah so keen on hiding the Emes?

Yitzchok Levine 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-ai


Avodah mailing list

End of Avodah Digest, Vol 26, Issue 209

Send Avodah mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Avodah digest..."

< Previous Next >