Avodah Mailing List

Volume 26: Number 240

Sun, 29 Nov 2009

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Heather Luntz" <heather.lu...@bigfoot.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2009 23:19:09 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Yom Tov Sheni for Olim LeReget to the Beit

RRW writes:

> Do me a favor
> And Forget tosaphos
> Have you seen the mishnah in sh'qalim?
> Discard everything about bal tosif and every other pre-conceived notion
> and start anew and see that mishnah and meditate upon what it means
> Otherwise we're talking accross each other and afaict Ran will make no
> sense either

Ok, I have gone back to your original reference to the Mishna in Shekalim as follows:

> See Mishnah Sh'qalim
> 1:5
> There are 3 categories re: Sh'qalim
> The Obligatory
> [EG Jewish adult males]
> The Rejected
> [EG Kussim etc.]
> And the Voluntary [EG Nashim avodim, ketanim]

And I have checked out the Mishna. 

But I don't see how it helps you.
> Question for contemplation: May a woman or child offer only a
> quarter-sheqel in lieu of a half-sheqel?

Clearly yes, they may, but then you see, they are not fulfilling the
mitzvah of giving half a shekel, they are fulfilling the mitzvah of giving
an nedavah to bedek habayis.  That is where the issue of semantics that I
discussed before comes in.  At some point something becomes so far removed
that it cannot be described as being the mitzvah you are seeking to
identify it as, and it becomes something else.	Sometimes that something
else is another mitzvah and sometimes it is not.

But let us go back to the Kussim as this is interesting.
The proof text that the Kussim etc are rejected is from a pasuk in Ezra "it
is not for you ... to build the house of G-d" - and it is not just the half
shekel that is rejected but anything vowed for bedek habayis.

But there is yet another factor at play here in Shekalim - what happens if
a Kusi does indeed vow something for bedek habayis - does it become hekdesh
(ie be subject to meila) or does it not?  Does he have the power to effect
this transformation or not?  As far as I can gather, this is a machlokus
between Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda in Aruchin 5b.  But at least according
to Rabbi Yehuda it would seem that if a Kusi did indeed vow something for
bedek habayis, (and presumably that would include a half shekel) then that
object indeed becomes hekdesh, it is just that they refuse to use it to
effectuate the upkeep of the Beis Hamikdash. Whereas reshut in this context
would seem to me that not only are women able to make the transformation to
hekdesh, but that the gabaiim are the prepared to indeed use the money for
the upkeep of the temple.  The reshut and the rejection have nothing to do
with the people in question, who seem to be making fundamental
transformations in the money, 
 it is to do with the subsequent actions of the gabaiim in dealing with
 such money.  A very very different sort of scenario to the one we are
 discussing in relation to things such as blowing shofar and taking lulav.

And I can't see how this has any bearing on the Ran.

> Let's go to 4 Minim
> Since a woman is not obligated therefore -Q: May she take 3 kosher
> minim
> and substitute a lemon for an Esrog?
> Answer:
> of course not!

But as I have said, the usual reason not permitting this is baal tosif,
nothing to do with psukim in Ezra.  You can't forget about it when it is
the primary reason discussed in the gemora in the case in question.

> By obligating herself, a woman is not creating an obligation to DO,
> but to conform to the HOW whilst doing.
> Similar to sh'chita and arba kanfos. A Jew is permitted to kill an
> animal w/o shechita,

But not to eat it which makes shechita a mitzvah kayemes.

 but when performing sh'chita a Jew must conform to
> Hilchos Sh'chita.


BTW, if you look in the Ran and in the Beit Yosef, you will see that they
explicitly refer to the baal tosif problem as being at least one of the
potential problems that in fact is not triggered in the case of women's
performance.  This is as per Rashi who understands baal tosif as being the
primary objection of Rav Yehuda (the bar plugta of Rabbi Yose whom we
posken like).

It is also interesting that one of the primary proofs the Ran brings is
from the statement that one who is commanded and does receives a greater
reward than one who is not commanded and does.	 And he points out that by
the use of the term "greater" reward, it implies that one who is not
commanded and does receives a reward, albeit a lesser reward, and it is the
fact of that schar which leads to one being able to say vitzivanu.  Again,
this is a lot stronger than that there is merely a conformity to the how -
it indicates that the act continues to fall within the definition of
mitzvah even if not commanded.

It is interesting to ask on the Ran, what would he say about non Jews
performing mitzvot (other than, say, Shabbas, where we know there are
specific prohibitions discussed)?  Would he say the same thing as he says
here about women, ie that it is a mitzvah that is not commanded but which
is done.  Or would he say that we learn out bnot yisroel somchot reshut,
like Rabbi Yose, but Rabbi Yose does not say Kusim .. reshut, and that we
understand that without this limud baal tosif is applicable here and hence
we do not have a mitzvah, regardless of any conformity to the how.  My
instinct is for the latter position, but I am not sure (and how about a non
Jew doing the mitzvot in practicing to become a ger - does he say
vitzivanu? ever?  How does he practice davening if a lot of the davening he
can't really say, or do we just assume it is all meshum chinuch like we do
with children).

> KT

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Message: 2
From: martin brody <martinlbr...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2009 15:11:11 -0800
[Avodah] Minhag Avos/Minhag Anglia

"My question is whether I should put on tefillin in Chol HaMoed.  My minhag
avos is to wear tefillin in Chol HaMoed.  However, the undisputed minhag EY
is not to wear tefillin, so I don't, because minhag hamakom trumps minhag
avos.  However, when I return to England, ought I to seek out a minyan where
they don't wear tefillin (to conform to my current practice in EY), or a
minyan where they do wear tefillin, to conform to my minhag avos.  After
all, in England there is no minhag hamakom in this regard.  Do we say chozer
v'neiur with regard to my minhag avos, or did it die forever upon my
settling in EY?  Of course, when Moshiach comes and Eliyahu Hanavi clarifies
that everyone should put on tefillin on Chol HaMoed, this question will
become moot.
 once met an English Jew (in England, not EY) who said that he waited 3
hours after meat because that is minhag Anglia.  Perhaps that was the case a
century ago, but with the pre- and post-war influxes of Jews from Eastern
Europe, I am doubtful whether there is still such a thing as minhag Anglia,
any more than there is a minhag America."

There absolutely is still a strong Minchag Anglia, including wearing
Tefillin on Chol Ha Moed.
I do not understand why you changed your custom.
However, that is what is aiding the ever accelerating lurch to the right.
Repent ye!

Martin Brody
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Message: 3
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2009 21:05:40 EST
Re: [Avodah] Thanksgiving

From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com

>> OK we have  identified
Two opposing Positions

If society does it, it  is or probably is "treif."

Liberal or M.O.
Thanksgiving is Kosher and  let's embrace it.

How would R SR Hirsch have viewed  it?  
Personally I'm guessing that his relationship with secular  culture
was selective and that he would embrace anything inspiring,  positive,
or uplifting as long there was no specific Halachic  barrier.

I was wondering What do the "Hirschians" on Avodah  think?

I think it is neither a chiyuv nor an issur.  I personally don't  celebrate 
Thanksgiving but I don't think it's a problem if you have family  members 
who do, and who want you to join them.  I would not say Merry  Chr*stmas but 
I will say Happy Thanksgiving with no qualms.  T
his is not a religious holiday, it is a national holiday.  I also see  no 
problem with hanging a flag on my porch for July 4 or having a barbecue on  
Labor Day.  The fact that the founders of this nation believed in G-d and  
wished to thank Him does not mean that Thanksgiving is a Christian  holiday.  
Some of the Founding Fathers were Deists, Theists or whatever --  they were 
not all Christians.  
The Constitution forbids the establishment of a religion but we  
nevertheless have a national day to thank G-d -- which, until just a few decades  ago, 
was considered perfectly normal and in no way "the establishment of  
religion."  Thanksgiving is the rite of no church, not Catholic nor  Protestant, 
not British nor French.  It is a non-religious national day of  thanking G-d 
for the blessings He bestows upon us, and the fact that America has  such a 
day is one of the things that makes this country so exceptional and so  
Of course nowadays many if not most Americans leave G-d out of  
Thanksgiving altogether, and many textbooks, in the spirit of Political  Correctness, 
teach that it was originally a day for the Pilgrims to thank  the Indians.  
To the extent that it not only is not a religious holiday,  but has even 
become an atheist holiday, there is even less reason for a Jew to  worry about 
it, but, hm, personally I think that leaving G-d out of it lessens  its 
importance and mars the greatness of America.  
In my natal home we did not make a big deal out of Thanksgiving and did not 
 eat turkey but we did eat pumpkin pie and made some passing reference to 
the  fact that it was Thanksgiving.  My father zt'l did celebrate July 4 --  
for some years, our family and the family of R' Shlomo Danziger amu'sh used 
to  get together on the Fourth for a picnic.  My father did not consider it  
obligatory to celebrate the Fourth but he did see it as having an element 
of  hakaras hatov to a malchus shel chessed that allows us Jews to build our 
Torah  mosdos and to live in peace.  
The mainstream charedi position is to reject any type of interaction on a  
national level with anything non-Jews do but there are pockets of  
exceptions within the chareidi community. We -- the exceptions, the Hirschians  -- 
regard patriotism as a form of hakaras hatov to the country we live in,  and 
certainly not as a betrayal of our loyalty to Eretz Yisrael and to our  own 
people.  Thanking G-d for His blessings to America (and to us  personally) is 
a form of patriotism, and can be subsumed under the category of  "Hevei 
mispallel beshloma shel malchus."  Certainly we would encourage the  goyim to 
celebrate Thanksgiving, and to be sure and remember Who should be  thanked.

--Toby Katz

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Message: 4
From: Alan Rubin <a...@rubin.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 11:44:49 +0000
[Avodah] minhag avos

Regarding chol kamoed Dov Kaiser stated.

>  the undisputed minhag EY is not to wear tefillin

Is this really the case?

I have been listening to shiurim given by Rabbi David bar Kayeem on
the machon shilo web site. He may be a bit of an iconoclast but what
he says makes me wonder about this minhag. My background is very much
a 'not wearing tefillin on chol hamoed' one but I am somwhat
uncomfortable with a minhag which seems to be entirely based on

Alan Rubin

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Message: 5
From: Saul Mashbaum <saul.mashb...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 14:42:00 +0200
Re: [Avodah] halachic attitude to the convicted

Rav Asher Weiss in Minchat Asher B'reishit chapter 57 p 371ff discusses
"Onesh haMaasar B'halacha",and brings sources from the g'mara and rishonim
on the topic.

Imprisonment has different functions in different situations, only one of
which is punishment.

1) When someone bodily injures someone else in such a way that there is a
chance the injured party may die, the guilty party is imprisoned, as the
g'mara learns from a pasuq (Sanhedrin 78b). Rashi there says that this is
done to insure that the guilty party does not run away, thus avoiding
This was apparently even practiced after the Talmudic period, because there
is a dispute among the Gaonim if such arrests and incarcerations may be done
on Shabbat, or are they considered "asyat din b'Shabbat" (Shu"t Hagaonim
Shaari T'shuva 182),

2) Imprisonment of a suspect until trial is mentioned in the Yerushalim
Sanhedrin 7:8. ("Y'hei tafus ad
shyavou eidav") The Ran on Sanhedrin 56a applies this to monetary, not only
capital, crimes.

3) The g'mara Sanhedrin 81b mentions imprisonment ("machnisim oto l'kipa")
as part of the  punishment for a crime in three contexts:
a) Repeated bodily injury to someone else ("laka v'shana")
b) Murder without sufficient witness-based evidence ("Hahoreg et hanefesh
shelo b'eidim")
c) One who committed a crime three times, after being warned each time ("mi
shehitru bo shalosh p'amim")

4) The Rambam (Hilchot Rotzeach Ushirat Hanefesh 4:5) says that one who
orders the murder of another ("horeg al y'dei shaliah v'sachir") should be
killed by the king. Failing this, beit din may imprison him for many years,
among other punitive measures.

5) Imprisonment as a means of forcing one to comply with a court order is
mentioned  in the rishonim:

a) Rashi P'sachim 91a mentions someone imprisoned to force him to divorce a
wife he married improperly (such as a cohen who married a divorcee) , or
to pay money as ordered by a court.

b) Although there is a dispute as to whether imprisonment for debt (when the
debtor has the needed funds at his disposal)  is halachicly proper, Beit
Yosef ChM 97 and Rama SA ChM there note that many communities adopted this

I believe  that the discussion here so far related to imprisonment as a
punishment only, but thought it
fruitful to cite sources relating to the whole subject of imprisonment in

Saul Mashbaum
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Message: 6
From: Arie Folger <arie.fol...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 14:57:42 +0100
Re: [Avodah] minhag avos

RDK wrote:
> However, the undisputed minhag EY is not to wear tefillin, so I don't,

That is actually not entirely correct. There are pockets of
communities in Israel, which adhere to the noble tradition of Ashkenaz
(not to say Sefarad isn't noble, the point is that they are most noble
in their original forms, true to their messorot). Mekhon Moreshet
Ashkenaz is at the center of just such a network of shuls.

Anyway, when in a shul of tefillin-on-chaul-hamauejd wearers, IMO, you
should definitely wear them (lau tissgaudedoo) and conversely, in a
non tefillin-on-'hol-hamo'ed wearing shul, you should abstain. The
question is really only whether one should then put them on at home.

By the way, it is demonstrably so that this is a very old
Ashkenaz-Sefarad difference, not based on Zohar. Long before the Zohar
was popular, Sefardim didn't wear tefillin on 'holo shel mo'ed.
However, interestingly, it seems that in this regard, the Sefardim
were influenced by minhag EY, while the Ashkenazim were influenced by
the minhag Bavel.

Arie Folger,
Latest blog posts on http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/
* UK Commander Challenges Goldstone Report
* On the Stereotypical Jew
* Wieso ?ruhte? G?tt?
* Wir sind f?r die Evolution!

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Message: 7
From: Ben Waxman <ben1...@zahav.net.il>
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 16:07:46 +0200
Re: [Avodah] minhag avos

From what you write below, RDbK doesn't dispute that not wearing teffilin is 
the minhag in EY. He disputes whether or not people should be following the 

----- Original Message ----- 
> Is this really the case?
> I have been listening to shiurim given by Rabbi David bar Kayeem on
> the machon shilo web site. He may be a bit of an iconoclast but what
> he says makes me wonder about this minhag. My background is very much
> a 'not wearing tefillin on chol hamoed' one but I am somwhat
> uncomfortable with a minhag which seems to be entirely based on
> kabbalah.
> Alan Rubin 

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Message: 8
From: hankman <sal...@videotron.ca>
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 11:57:11 -0500
Re: [Avodah] ikkarim: mashiach

The Torah is not for Angels -- or is it? by Rabbi Hanan Balk @ YU Torah Online


This drasha relates strongly to the question I raised back in issue #238.

The three concepts of Yimos HaMoshiach, Techias HaMeisim and Olam Haba and
their inter-relation and the differing understanding of them by the Rambam
and the Ramban relates strongly to the issue I raised. If I  understand
correctly that according to the Ramban, the 3 are all (sort of?) rolled
into one, then Yimos Hamoshiach (= Techias HaMeisim?)  is the zeman of the
ultimate gemul. But then the gemara about the sole differences between
Yimos Hamoshiach and Olam Hazeh is a problem. ( I vaguely recall an opinion
that he holds that there are two phases to Yimos Hamoshiach in order to
answer this.) But according to the Rambam who holds that they are 3
distinct periods my issues remain. Apparently, according to R. Balk, these 
 issues (or similar variations on a theme) were raised against the Rambam
and he wrote the Maamar Techias HaMeisim in response to these issues.
(Though according to the Rambam I am still not sure what the resolution to
the issue is.)

Clearly these are devarim amukim.

Kol tuv

Chaim Manaster
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Message: 9
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 15:35:08 +0000
Re: [Avodah] minhag avos

> I am somwhat
> uncomfortable with a minhag which seems to be entirely based on
> kabbalah.
> Alan Rubin

It's not entirely based upon kabbalah
The BehaG, Rashba, [even Ikkar Tos YT] all oppose on Talmudic grounds
See be'er hagolah and Beis Yoseph for sources before Zohar
AIUI, BY used Zohar as a machria between the 2 camps.
The argument in favor of wearing is spearheaded by the Rosh largely
based upon a Yerushalmi

What is true about minhag avos aspect appears to be the following
+ Ashkenazim pasqened like the Rosh. Thus "Minhag#1" began, viz. the
  minhag to follow a single Halachic opinion
+ As per BY Sephardim used to follow Rosh. They abandoned this due to Zohar
+ Ashkenazim who stopped Minhag Avos included Hassidim and Talmidei Gra
  who both abandoned Minhag Avos in favor of the Zohar -- or in the case
  of the Gra possibly because the Gra said so.

[Note: this is similar to the Gra's dispute with the Rosh re: 3 matzos
vs. 2 matzos]

I'm writing a short article on this BEH. A more definitive article may
be found in Yaakov Katz's book on Halachah v'Qabbalah.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 10
From: Dov Kaiser <dov_...@hotmail.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 2009 09:19:43 +0000
[Avodah] Minhag Anglia

<<There absolutely is still a strong Minchag Anglia, including
wearing Tefillin on Chol Ha Moed.  I do not understand why you changed your
custom.  However, that is what is aiding the ever accelerating lurch to the
right.	Repent ye!>
I didn't change my custom in England.  (In any event, I am an Aussie!)	I
changed my custom upon arrival in EY, where no-one puts on tefillin on ChM
- it is clearly minhag hamakom.  My question was what I should do when I
visit England.	This also applies to saying Hallel in shul on Pesach night. 
My argument is that there is no Minhag Anglia, because communities of Jews
who arrived in England since the 1890s have brought their own customs and
established their own batei din.  
In answer to R. Wolpoe, my Dutch friend arrived as an individual, not with
a whole community.  This goes some way to explaining the p'sak he received
from R. Yisraeli.  Speaking of whom, I happened to see a copy of his
Perakim b'Machshevet Yisrael on Shabbos.  It is a wonderful handbook of
Jewish thought ripe for translation to English.  It's a pity ArtScroll
wouldn't touch it because of its provenance.  His discussion of the
argument between Chassidus and Hisnagdus is particularly interesting, as he
discusses both the social and theological differences between the groups.
To be pedantic - I think it should be repent thee!, no ye!.  Ye is the old English second person plural.
Kol tuv
Dov Kaiser                                        
Have more than one Hotmail account? Link them together to easily access both
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Message: 11
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 2009 06:28:53 -0500
[Avodah] The Difference Between Yaakov and Esav

The following is from RSRH's commentary on Bereishis 32

8 Ya'akov was very much afraid and distressed, so he divided the 
people who were with him, as well as the flocks, cattle and camels, into
two camps.

Just as Ya'akov and Esav oppose each other here, so they continue
to stand opposed to one another unto this very day. Ya'akov is the family
man blessed with children; hard-working, serving, weighed down by
cares. Esav is the "finished and accomplished" man (cf. Commentary
above, 25:25).

Ya'akov now returns as the independent head of a family. Even now,
having overcome all the obstacles, this privilege is, to him, the highest
prize, the greatest achievement. But to attain it, he had to toil and
struggle for twenty years, despite the fact that he had already received
the blessing and the birthright.

Others, however, take this privilege for granted; it is given to them
from birth. Esav, the "finished and accomplished" man, already possessed
it in full measure when Ya'akov first left home. While Ya'akov,
through hard work, succeeded in establishing a family, Esav became a
political force, the leader of an army, an Aloof at the head of his troops.
Thus the external contrast between Ya'akov, who held on to his brother's
heel when they were born, and Esav, the "accomplished" man.

In Ya'akov and Esav, two opposing principles confront each other.
The struggle between them, and the outcome of this struggle, are the
forces that have shaped world history. Ya'akov represents family life,
happiness and making others happy. Esav represents the glitter of political
power and might. This conflict has raged for thousands of years:
Is it sufficient just to be a human being, and are political power and social
creativity of no significance unless they lead to the loftiest of all human
aspirations, or, on the contrary, does everything that is human in man,
in home, and in family life exist only to serve the purposes of political
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Message: 12
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 2009 06:35:16 -0500
[Avodah] The Goal of History

The following is from RSRH's commentary on Bereishis 32

27 And he said: Let me go, for day is breaking. 
But [Ya?akov] said: I will not let you go unless you bless me.

Ya?akov?s adversary can fight only as long as night is spread over the
earth. Indeed, as long as night prevails, he appears to be ? if not the
victor, then ? the one with the upper hand. But as soon as day breaks,
positions are reversed, and it is Ya?akov who sets the terms for the cessation
of the struggle. The condition he sets for ending the struggle, the
purpose of the whole encounter, is the recognition that Ya?akov is deserving
of blessing and support, not hostility and hatred. Indeed, only
through this recognition will the nations bring blessings also upon themselves.

Ya?akov says: Throughout the long night, you attacked me, you
regarded me as an obstacle to be removed and destroyed through
ceaseless struggle. Now that day is breaking, you are ready to quit.
But I will not cease to struggle, until you grant me a blessing and

The goal of history is not that Ya?akov should be forced to assimilate
among the nations, but the reverse. The nations must be
brought to recognize that their own happiness depends on those
principles to which Ya?akov has adhered throughout all the struggles.
The nations, too, should humbly strive toward these principles, further
them with all the means at their disposal, and regard them as their
sole objective. 
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Message: 13
From: Samuel Svarc <ssv...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 2009 18:43:53 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Minhag Anglia

On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 4:19 AM, Dov Kaiser <dov_...@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:
> ...? This goes some way to explaining the p'sak he received
> from R. Yisraeli.? Speaking of whom, I happened to see a copy of his Perakim
> b'Machshevet Yisrael on Shabbos.? It is?a wonderful handbook of Jewish
> thought ripe for translation to English.? It's a pity ArtScroll wouldn't
> touch it because of its provenance.? His discussion of the argument between
> Chassidus and Hisnagdus is particularly interesting, as he discusses both
> the social and theological differences between the groups.

They wouldn't touch it because of its content, nothing to do with its
provenance. I find amusing how one side assumes that the "Other" is
"Wrong" and their actions are because they "have" to. Instead of
acknowledging the reality of hashkafic differences and building up
their own sides legitimacy, they take the easier route of
delegitimizing the "Others" hashkafah. (So that I'm clear: It wouldn't
bother me if one would ban an hashkafah sefer, as this is the correct
practice throughout the ages. Over here, we're discussing ascribing
reasons to ones ideological opponents.)



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