Avodah Mailing List

Volume 27: Number 5

Mon, 04 Jan 2010

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@Kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 17:59:56 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Seeing G'zeiros Everywhere

RMB writes:

> And both agree that these new prohibitions due to change in pesaq,
> metzi'us, spread of a minhag, and perhaps even charamim (like Rabbeinu
> Gershom), as well as other mechnisms are possible.

Agree with all this.  I just did want to add that there is yet another line
that it is important to include in this discussion, which (to use the Ran's
taxonomy, not that I think there is major disagreement) is the line of power
derived from the king.  The thing is, because in Judaism we do not have a
clear separation of church and state, it is sometimes confusing as to when
powers are being exercised by, to use the English terminology, the Lords
Spiritual (in England the Bishops) or the Lords Temporal (the more general
Lords who traditionally wielded political power via the house of Lords).  At
various points in our history, both sets of powers were wielded by the
Sanhedrin.  Later however the political power was vested in the Rosh Galuta,
who was then the power who appointed the betei din in the various cities.
While the spiritual power, if you like, remained with the leading tamidei
chachamim of the generation.  Often these talmidei chachamim were appointed
to the betei din, but other times they were just heading the academies, and
it is not clear they were necessarily on the Rosh Galuta appointed betei
din.  It also does not seem that this necessarily prevented them from
forming their own betei din, but the powers that went with those of the Rosh
Galuta (ie the shotrim) did not necessarily go with, shotrim of course being
part and parcel of the betei din appointed by the Rosh Galuta.

Of course all of this political power was only wielded at the sufferance of
the ruling authorities of the country (eg the Persian emperor and his
appointees in Bavel) but it does seem that a large amount of political
autonomy was permitted.

This also seems to have been the political model at the time of the Rambam.
The Rambam has lots of statements in various places enjoining the betei din
to appoint officers to police the people to do this that and the other.  (To
give you an example, hilchos yom tov perek 6 halacha 21 "Beit din is
obligated to appoint officers on the festivals that they look around and
seek in the gardens and orchards and on the rivers in order that there
should not gather to eat and drink there men and woman and they will come to

But  by the time it came to Europe, there was no Rosh Galuta or central
political authority.  And this is where the Ran's (and others) philosophical
argument comes into play.  Because these rishonim held that in the absence
of a king or king like figure, political authority reverts to the people as
a whole, and that then allows the people to decide upon a political
structure (Vaad or the like) which is thereby empowered to police the people
(meaning that once the populace as a whole had given their consent,
individuals were bound to accept these rulings, and could be punished for
not doing so).  Sometimes this political power was vested in the rabbis or
the chachamim, but often it wasn't, although there were various constraints
(tuvei hair) etc, but fundamentally it was seen as being a bottom up rather
than top down structure. 

I, like RRW I suspect, had my eyes opened to this by Menachem Elon's Mishpat
Ivri, which in my view is absolutely essential reading for anybody and
everybody (and there is even an English edition, so you do not need to read
it in Hebrew, although it is expensive.  The Hebrew edition is, or at least
was, the standard textbook for the Mishpat Ivri portion of the law course at
the various Israeli Universities (and I believe Mishpat Ivri is generally a
compulsory subject for an Israeli law degree) so it can be picked up at a
reasonable price.  The English edition seems to be priced for libraries, and
so when I looked into purchasing it, I was put off by the cost, and went for
the Hebrew one instead).

Once you have read Mishpat Ivri, you start realising that all of these
concepts are all over the Shulchan Aruch (Tur, Beis Yosef etc) in a way that
was not at all apparent, at least to me, when trying to go from the gemora
Rashi/Tosphos/Rambam to the Shulchan Aruch without such background

> I feel that by using the term loosely RRW is obfuscating the entire
> topic originally under discussion!

I agree, but what I wanted to add was that it can be very useful to keep a
kind of church/state distinction in one's head in trying to think through
the topic. Gezeros come from the "church" side - they are part of the powers
that were granted to the talmidei chachamim by the Torah via the line
enumerated in Avos.  And because they are fundamentally about spiritual
welfare, they are binding regardless of where a Jew may be or what powers
the chachamim actually had (ie Roman persecution or no Roman persecution).
So, a Jew who had travelled to England was still bound by a gezera made by
the chachamim in Eretz Yisroel and there would still be an issur for him to,
for example, clap or dance on Shabbat.  There was an interplay with the
people, as there was a mechanism where if the people were unable to cope
with the gezera, the gezera fell away (think oil of nochrim), but that is
it.  It is this kind of power that the Rosh etc held is not longer able to
be invoked.

On the other hand the political power remained wherever the local political
authorities permitted it and to the extent they permitted it.  But such
power was only ever exercisable over the people and to the extent that they
were able to coerce, ie to the extent of the police force, if you like.  If
you moved to eg England, you were out of the province of any such political
exercises of power.  The reason Rabbanu Gershom had to have recourse to
cherem, was because he did not have the powers of policing over the entire
(or any) of the Ashkenazi community.  And the takanot hakahal that were
brought in in places where political power existed covered an enormous range
of subject matters, which could well include and often did include matters
of spiritual welfare and protecting halachic concerns.  But they were like
local pieces of legislation, they only applied to the extent of the
political authority of the institution that passed them, and they lapsed
once that political authority lapsed.

As can be seen from this analysis, the only place we have a clear cut case
of this today is vis a vis the rabbanut, where we have beitei din appointed
by the local political authority (the State of Israel) to whom political
power has genuinely been given.  The rabbanut can lock you up if you don't
listen to them, subpoena etc etc.  That is why their takanot do have the
force of law, within the State of Israel, and the only way to escape them is
to move abroad (and even then, depending on the extent to which the local
law regards the law of the place you came from as having authority, you may
still find yourself extradited if you were there and escaped).

But we also have some quasi forms.  RAF mentioned Elizabeth, New Jersey as a
case - because there you have a situation where the local populace has
accepted upon itself the authority of the Rav there, at least in relation to
certain limited matters (I gather hilchot tephila, eruv and similar).
However, as this particular authority is fundamentally a moral one,
presumably it would be possible for a headstrong shul to break away with
limited sanction if it decided to do so.  And it specifically does not
intrude on any of the political functions of the political state, namely the
government of New Jersey or the United States.

Another example of a quasi form occurs in Israel amongst various Charedi
communities.  It is true that there have been attempts to back this up with
shotrim - modesty patrols and the like, but because the real political power
rests with the State, the authority of these will ultimately rest on the
extent to which the State is prepared to tolerate and/or acknowledge their
validity.  Absent the ability to police in the usual manner, another method
of policing has been found, namely via the school system.  Since this is a
community with a lot of children that all need schooling, controlling the
entry to the desired school system is a form of political power, and it is
being used to bolster the authority of the various quasi takanot.  Those of
us (even within Israel) with no interested in the desired school system
shrug our shoulders whenever bans on the Internet or women getting higher
degrees or whatever it is that is the subject of these modern bans come up.
Again though, it is important to note that this exercise of political power
is only possible because the ultimate political authority, namely the State,
allows it to be.  If the State decided tomorrow that the Charedi school
system should be shut down, and moved to do so, then while they might well
find they had a form of civil war on their hands, I would guess it would be
a whole lot more difficult to try and run clandestine schools, playing cat
and mouse with the authorities, and simultaneously maintain the kinds of
restrictions that are currently in place.  Anybody who was prepared to risk
a) going to jail; and b) having their children taken away from them would no
doubt be accepted to the underground school system, whether or not they had
Internet or a mother with a higher degree or whatever.

But given the tolerance of the State towards certain aspects of self
governance, we are getting in relation to certain communities something that
is starting to approach some of the self governing communities that were
found in Europe.  If one lives in Beitar, for example, one may well have to
toe the line or get run out of town.  On the other hand the moral authority
is far more limited.   While the halacha in its broader sense does allow for
(and in fact regards as necessary) the exercise of political power, and
regards it therefore as legitimate, it can also be criticised as being
against the Torah when used improperly, in the same way as the king could be
criticised despite the existence of the power being legitimate.

It is thus very very different to psak, which relies upon moral authority
and an understanding that this is in fact what the Torah specifies which is
what gives it its force vis a vis the individual.

What is even more interesting to my mind, is the way the Ran and other
Rishonim's understanding about the powers of the people vis a vis political
power and the powers of the people vis a vis minhag seem to overlap and
interlink, although minhag would seem to be unconscious, while it would seem
that the political power aspect can even be conscious.  I am hoping to write
more about at least the power of the people vis a vis political power when I
finally get to write on the Rema on Choshen Mishpat 8:1.

> Gut Voch!
> -Micha



Go to top.

Message: 2
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 18:07:14 GMT
Re: [Avodah] The Concept of Authority

R' Rich Wolpoe wrote:
> I would have chosen
> "Scope of authority"
> But why quibble? :-)

Yes, much better. I wish I had thought of it!

> Here is a challenge for RAM and Aishdas to consider:
> What is the scope of Mishnah Brurah's authority re: items such as: ...
> Or consider RMF: ...

Both of those rabbis, as great as they indeed were, did not have "real
semichah" as far as I know. Therefore, nothing they say could possibly rise
to the level of d'Rabanan. At most, they are telling us their opinion and

Given that they were individuals, not a Beis Din, and not even an Av Beis
Din of any community or organization having any sort of jurisdiction,
nothing they say could have the bindingness of a Community Rule, either.
I'll allow exceptions for rules which RMF, in his role as Rosh Yeshiva,
might have chosen to impose upon his yeshiva, but that's not what RRW was

However, after they have made their opinions public, any individuals or
communities can choose to follow those opinions, and at that point they
become binding like any other minhag or community rule.

Akiva Miller

Small Business Tools
Learn how to save time and money. Click to find what tools your business needs now.

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 2010 12:38:45 -0500
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Rov Jews in EY?

Micha Berger wrote:

> Which would mean either relying on Tosafos about the shevatim in their
> nachalos or we have to worry about shemittah and yoveil deOraisa. No
> more pruzbul, etc...

Pruzbul will still work, just as it did before Hillel came along.  All
Hillel did was make it respectable.  And since he did so, and it's been
standard practise for 2000 years, it has gained respectability that it
didn't have before him; so I don't even know that reputable botei din
should refuse to do them, as the botei din before Hillel did.

Consider the case of the filibuster in the US Senate.  Originally it
was regarded as a low trick, unethically exploiting an oversight in the
Senate rules.  Hence the name "filibuster"; it was seen as an act of
piracy by the minority, holding up the business of the Senate to get
their way.  But over the course of the 19th century it became an accepted
tactic, and the Senate passed up many opportunities to amend its rules to
prevent it, though it did act several times to moderate its effect.
Nowadays it's just part of how the Senate works, and controversy only
erupts when it's extended into areas where it never used to be, such as
judicial nominations.  Pruzbul may be the same; originally it was a low
trick that no reputable beis din would have anything to do with, but now
it's respectable, and it may remain so even when Shmita becomes de'oraisa
again.  After all, the reason for Hillel's takana won't have gone away;
on the contrary, it's stronger now than ever.

Zev Sero                      The trouble with socialism is that you
z...@sero.name                 eventually run out of other people?s money
                                                     - Margaret Thatcher

Go to top.

Message: 4
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 14:28:40 -0500
Re: [Avodah] [Areivim] Rov Jews in EY?

On Mon, Jan 04, 2010 at 12:38:45PM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
: Pruzbul will still work, just as it did before Hillel came along.  All
: Hillel did was make it respectable...

See Gittin 36a, where the gemara says that pruzbul does rely on it being
derabbanan. And on 36b, Abayei invokes shemittah derabbanan to explain how
Hillel could enact pruzbul. Rava says the mechanism is hefqer BD hefqer

Rashi says that Rava is choleiq with Abayei, that shemittah is de'Oraisa,
and therefore he needs a different mechanism. Tosafos explain Rava as
adding to Abayei; the reason why Hillel could effectively overturn those
who made shemittah derabbanan (his BD was not gadol mimenu) at least
WRT shemittas kesafim, is through HBDH.

However, Rashi in Sanhedrin 25a explains that Rabbi Yannai allowed sowing
during shemittah in a year where the Romans levied an oppressive new tax
because shemittah is deRabbanan, and R' Yannai felt the original taqanah
did not include such a high sacrifice. So, even Rashi, the rishon who
holds there was an amora, Rava, who was followed the tannaim who held
that shemittah bizman hazeh is still deOraisa, does not hold that we
follow Rebbe anyway.

Back on topic... Abayei, and according to Tosafos, Rava too, presume
that pruzbul relies on shemittah being derabbanan.

As does the Raavan ad loc says that pruzbul proves that Hillel held like
Rebbe, that shemitah is deOraisa.

The Rambam (Shemitah veYoveil 9:15) says that pruzvul would not be
effective when shemittah is deOraisa.

See also Kesav Sofer CM #9 (who all but once spells it prusbul, with a
samech rather than a zayin), who discusses the machloqes, but assumes
we are relying on the Rambam and Tosafos's explanation of Rebbe. Also,
the he quotes the Maharsha who says that pruzbul is morally okay because
shemittah today is mishum zeikher, and the pruzbul itself is a zikaron

OTOH, the Divrei Rivos (can anyone give bio?) teshuvah 235 explains
pruzbul as per Rashi's version of Rava, that it's simply hefqer BD hefqer
despite the deOraisa.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Man can aspire to spiritual-moral greatness
mi...@aishdas.org        which is seldom fully achieved and easily lost
http://www.aishdas.org   again. Fullfillment lies not in a final goal,
Fax: (270) 514-1507      but in an eternal striving for perfection. -RSRH

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: Yosef Skolnick <yskoln...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 13:54:40 -0500
[Avodah] Firing a Rabbi

Following the discussion on areivim regarding a Rabbi being allowed to bring
his own hashkafos into a community that disagrees (with cause or without), I
would like to ask on avodah:

Is a Rabbi allowed to be fired? When?  Does he have the status of a king
(see teshuvas harashba [IIRC re: is there a yerusha of the rabbanus (kuntrus
shisha maalos lakisei)]? Do we have to wait and just not renew a contract?
Is that even allowed? Does this diminish the role a rabbi can play in the

There is a teshuva by Rav Shternbach that allows it under certain
circumstances.  I don't have the sefer at home otherwise I would quote where
it is.


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

Go to top.

Message: 6
From: R Davidovich <raphaeldavidov...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 12:40:16 -0500
Re: [Avodah] How do you explain issur of electricity (boneh)

Planting a tent peg into the ground constitutes an act of Boneh - Building.

Conceptually, Binyan can be defined as the act of affixing something to the
structure of the ground.  Pitching a tent into the earth.  Putting up beams
to build a house.  (This is only part of the concept of binyan, which could
be more broadly defined as the merging of several single items into a
whole.  I'm still working on a better phrasing.)

An act of physical violence to the ground is not necessary.  Just as
harvesting may be accomplished by lifting a potted plant (with a hole a the
bottom of the plant) from the ground, Building may be accomplished by
rooting something to the ground, even when done without force.  Hence,
plugging an appliance to the wall is in fact connecting it to the entire
infrastructure of the Electrical Power-Grid and buildings that make it up.

By the way, this also justifies the halachic view that plug-in appliances do
not ned to be toiveled. Since they operate only when they are mechubar
l'karka - plugged in, they lose the status of Kli and shed any Tevila

That would be my way of justifying the Chazon Ish's view, although many
disagree with it, including R Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.

I safely assume that even barring the boneh concern, other objections would
be found, as they have been by other poskim who reject the Binyan argument.

I look forward to any disagreements with my explanation or choice of
phrasing, or if i got any details wrong.


>   So how do I explain
> the issur of electricity (boneh) Truth is I do not know enough about
> circuits
>  and electricity to
> really do it. But the  question will b how
> is turning a light switch on building ?
> And if one could create a type of device that is not boneh, does
> that mean some lights could be turned on during Shabbat
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 17:56:43 GMT
Re: [Avodah] How do you explain issur of electricity (boneh)

R' Avroham Yakov asked:
> How do you explain issur of electricity (boneh) to a non-religious person?

I don't. I can't even explain it to myself; I certainly can't explain it to someone else.

However, on many occasions I have explained that the light and heat
generated by electricity is considered to be a form of fire, and using fire
on Shabbos is explicity forbidden, and I have never had any trouble with
anyone understanding that explanation.

> And if one could create a type of device that is not boneh, does
> that mean some lights could be turned on during Shabbat

You'd still have the fire problem. And if you get around the fire problem
by a device which produces neither heat nor light (or even a device which
produces some heat and lifght, but only incidentally to its main function)
there are poskim who will say that it is forbidden "only" d'rabanan.

Akiva Miller

Diet Help
Cheap Diet Help Tips. Click here.

Go to top.

Message: 8
From: Alan Rubin <a...@rubin.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 2010 18:27:47 +0000
[Avodah] How do you explain issur of electricity (boneh) to

Avroham Yakov asked

> So how do I explain the issur of electricity (boneh)

The problem is that it is not at all easy to explain or justify some of the
issurim with regard to electricity. In some cases heating or sparking might
be an issue but with solid state electronics there might be good case for
suggesting that there is no good reason for an issur.

Alan Rubin

Go to top.

Message: 9
From: Liron Kopinsky <liron.kopin...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 10:33:25 -0800
Re: [Avodah] How do you explain issur of electricity (boneh)

>So how do I explain the issur of electricity (boneh) Truth is I do not know
enough about circuits<
The basic way electricity works is that you have a power source (say a
battery) with a + and - side to it. That electricity remains contained in
the power source until you connect those two points.
When a house is wired, you  have the power source from the power station
with a circuit containing a lightbulb in it as well as a switch in it. When
the circuit is complete, the connection from the + to the - is completed,
and electricity runs through the lighbulb making it turn on. Flipping that
switch, closes the circuit, which "builds" a complete circuit.


>And if one could create a type of device that is not boneh, does that mean
some lights could be turned on during Shabbat<
Theoretically yes - and some have made "kosher for shabbos" cars and
microphones using some techniques here, but they are not always smiled upon.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avod

Go to top.

Message: 10
From: "mirs...@sympatico.ca" <mirs...@sympatico.ca>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 14:28:06 -0500
[Avodah] Re: How do you explain issur of electricity (boneh)

Avroham said: "So how do I explain 
the issur of electricity (boneh) Truth is I do not know enough about
circuits and electricity to really do it. But the question will b how 
is turning a light switch on building ? 

And if one could create a type of device that is not boneh, does 
that mean some lights could be turned on during Shabbat" 

I am an electrical engineer working for the local power company. This is a
very complicated topic and I suggest you look up some source material. 
Boneh is not the only problem (although IIRC it was one of the issues
raised by the Chazon Ish, but there are those who dispute that closing a
circuit is boneh).

Other melachot which could be involved with turning on a circuit are
burning a fire and makeh be-patish (giving the final finishing blow on a
utensil to make it useable), and I think there are others.  The fire aspect
comes about in 2 possible ways: 1) I believe all poskim say that turning on
an incandescent bulb is tantamount to lighting a fire due to the glowing
heat of the filament, and 2) the power system works in a perfect balance
between electricy demand and power generation. 

When you turn on something, a generator somewhere on the system has to give
a stronger "kvetch" and burns up more fuel in response (this wouldn't apply
to a system using only hydro power.) However, I learned at a lecture from
Tzomet Institute that this is not a "psik raisha" - inevitable outcome. 
This is because on a large power system people are constantly turning on
and off lights, so it's likely that at the instant you turn on your device,
someone turned their's off, and the generation remains the same.   So it
may be a gramma - indirect action, but that still doesn't allow use of
electricity willy nilly.

So considering 1) and 2), absent the issue of boneh, it is possible that
turning on a neon or any other lamp that is cold and starts without a spark
could be permitted.

My understanding is that because the layman couldn't possibly understand
all the various ways electricity can be used, and which may or may not be
problematic, a general prohibition is in place to prevent errors in a

Michael Mirsky

mail2web LIVE ? Free email based on Microsoft? Exchange technology -

Go to top.

Message: 11
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 14:55:39 -0500
Re: [Avodah] How do you explain issur of electricity (boneh)

On Mon, Jan 04, 2010 at 12:40:16PM -0500, R Davidovich wrote:
: Planting a tent peg into the ground constitutes an act of Boneh - Building.
: Conceptually, Binyan can be defined as the act of affixing something to the
: structure of the ground....           Building may be accomplished by
: rooting something to the ground, even when done without force.  Hence,
: plugging an appliance to the wall is in fact connecting it to the entire
: infrastructure of the Electrical Power-Grid and buildings that make it up.
: Binyan.

And would this imply that the CI would have allowed battery-powered or
solar powered devices that aren't attached to any real estate?

Given the number of other shitos, and the fact that they are all less
than airtight when dealing with devices with no sound, internal glowing
filaments or near-certain sparking that either don't plug in or are
already plugged in, I would be more comfortable going the meta-level.

How is it so many posqim reached the same conclusion through such
different routes? Is halakhah ends-driven? Or, is it that that the truly
great posqim have an inarticulatable notion of what Shabbos ought to
include, and it's only in trying to articulate a decision that is really
based on the whole gestalt that these numerous weak reasons get presented?

While some of us question the existence of daas Torah WRT decisions
where the open question isn't halakhah or even what's the best AYH,
do any of us doubt the concept of daas Torah within the domain of pesaq?

And if so, how do you explain this "mysterious" convergance of
conclusions (in a way that still justifies following the pesaq)?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             It is our choices...that show what we truly are,
mi...@aishdas.org        far more than our abilities.
http://www.aishdas.org                           - J. K. Rowling
Fax: (270) 514-1507

Go to top.

Message: 12
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 19:44:24 +0000
Re: [Avodah] The Concept of Authority

R Akiva Miller:
> However, after they have made their opinions public, any individuals or
> communities can choose to follow those opinions, and at that point they
> become binding like any other minhag or community rule.

I think RAM and I are sympatico here 

My point -- and it's the SAME point my anon. Colleague and I both raised
to each other. -- is re: smoking 
Whether RMF had used traditional p'saq 
he and his BD had issued a ban that 
his scope of authority would have been about the same. 

[My quibble is a ban plays less games with sources! It's simple and
clear Smoking is banned period
Shema one is transgressing v'nishmartem...therefore Smoking is
Banned". [The latter would automagically disintegrate when medical
sceince changes its mind again ;-)]

Then you need no lamdus or quibbling, no dochaq and no kvetching. It is
what it is.

And it's NOT creating a new derabbanan, it's a lmigdar milsa. But see

Now let's ask 
What is the scope of authority for the following

1 a Rav pasqens -- donuts from that shop are assur [moreh issur] what
is the consequence of a member's disobedience? EG Lo sassur?
2 A BD Pasqen's that Shimon must Pay Reuven $50. What's the consequence
of disobedience?

AIUI these decisions are NOT new mitzvos, BUT they can trigger a new case
of an existing mitzvah. That is to say due tothe existing structure od
neder, sh'vuah anyone can trigger a new heicha timtza or motsa s'fasecha
tishmor v'assisa just by verbal declaration..

Similarly, can a Rav/poseiq/BD trigger a new case of a pre-existing Mitzvah? 

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Go to top.

Message: 13
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 19:56:26 +0000
[Avodah] The Scope of the "7 Mitzvos d'Rabbanan"

There is a cute g'matriya of Kesser =
720 by adding 7 debannans to our Taryag d'oraissos

Because BeHag includes many derabbans [irc much more than 7] and the
Hareidim lists dozens of derbabanans

Therefore I am curious as to how to determine the correct parameters
of these 7. [Let's axiomatically grant that this is true, that there
are w/o debate the Seven] what valid conclusions may we extrapolate and
which would be learning from "klalos"

So AISI We need to identify:
1 when did this 7 first appear as a stated list?
2 what are the parameters for inclusion?
3 How do we  realistically treat derabbanans outside this pale?
4 What is the Behag's criteria for those derabbanan's in his Taryag?
5 what is the Hareidim's criteria for his dozens of derabbanan's?

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Go to top.

Message: 14
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 20:09:53 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Firing a Rabbi

R Chaim Brikser was reported to say:
"Any Rav that they're not seeking to fire is failing at his job". [Too mechaneif?]
OTOH "Any Rav who IS fired isn't competent" [not clever enough?]

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Go to top.

Message: 15
From: Avroham Yakov <avya...@hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 15:53:38 -0500
[Avodah] Why are beards considers so choshuv?



Why are beards considers so choshuv?


We know from the seder how Rav Azariah had a big gray beard
come via a miracle.


But to get a beard requires two things: good genes and not
shaving.  A person has no control over
the genes, and to grow a beard, a person just does not shave.  That is the opposite of l?fum tzara agra.


So with that, why does Judaism consider a beard so chashuv?


Aside from the issue of the permissibility of eclectic razor,
why is a beard so chashuv?  And why do
many men feel embarrassed by their inability to grow a full bread (having peach


Thank you,


Hotmail: Powerful Free email with security by Microsoft.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-ai


Avodah mailing list

End of Avodah Digest, Vol 27, Issue 5

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 >