Avodah Mailing List

Volume 27: Number 37

Thu, 04 Feb 2010

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Tue, 02 Feb 2010 06:46:10 -0500
[Avodah] The Uniqueness of Jewish Law

The pesukim in Shemos 19: 10-13 detail how the 
Jews were to prepare for the receiving of the 
Torah. In his commentary on these pesukim RSRH 
explains the uniqueness of Jewish Law. He writes in part:

Jewish Law is the only system of laws that did not emanate from
the people whose constitution it was intended to be. Judaism is the only
?religion? that did not spring from the hearts of the people who find
in it the spiritual basis for their lives. It is precisely this ?objective?
quality of Jewish Law and of the Jewish ?religion? that makes them
both unique, setting them apart clearly and distinctly from all else on
earth that goes by the name of law or religion. This quality makes Jewish
Law the sole factor in human culture that can be considered the catalyst
and ultimate goal of every other manifestation of progress, whereas the
Law itself, as the given absolute ideal, remains above and beyond any
idea of progress.

All other ?religions? and codes of law originate in the human minds
of a given era; they merely express the conceptions of God, of human
destiny, and of man?s relation to God and to his fellow man, that are
held by a given society in a particular period of history. Hence, all these
man-made religions and codes, like all other aspects of human civilization
? science, art, morals and manners ? are subject to change
with the passing of time. For by their very nature and origin they are
nothing but the expressions of levels reached by civilization at various
stages in human development.

Not so the Jewish ?religion? and Jewish Law. They do not stem from
beliefs held by human beings at one period or another. They do not
contain time-bound human concepts of God and of things human and
Divine. They are God-given; through them men are told by God?s Will
what their conceptions should be, for all time, about God and things
Divine and, above all, about man and human affairs.

 From the very outset, God?s Torah stood in opposition to the people
in whose midst it was to make its first appearance on earth. It was to
prove its power first of all upon this people, who opposed it because
they were an am k'shei oref. This resistance which the Torah encountered
among the people in whose midst it obtained its first home on earth is the
most convincing proof of the Torah?s Divine origin. The Torah did not
arise from within the people, but was given to the people, and only
after centuries of struggle did the Torah win the people?s hearts, so that
they became its bearers through the ages. (On the uniqueness of Judaism
and its relation to religion, see Collected Writings, vol. I, pp. 183?186;
Commentary above, 6:7.)

The purpose of all these preparations and restrictions is apparently
to emphasize and mark this contrast as clearly as possible, at the Torah?s
first entrance into the world ? a contrast that so fundamentally characterizes
the Torah?s nature and origin. The Torah is about to come to
the people. Its arrival is to be anticipated over a period of three days.
In order to be worthy of even awaiting the Torah, the people must first
sanctify their bodies and their garments; that is, they must become
worthy of receiving the Torah by becoming aware, symbolically, of the
rebirth ? the renewal of their lives, within and without ? that the
Torah is to bring about. In their present state, they are not yet ready
to receive the Torah. Only their resolve to ultimately become what they

The distinction between the people about to receive the Torah, and
the Source from which they are to receive it, is underscored also in
terms of physical separation. The place from which the people are to
receive the Torah is very clearly set apart from them. It is elevated into
the realm of the extraterrestrial. No man or animal may set foot upon
that place, or even touch it. Any living thing that sets foot upon it must
be put to death. Only when the Lawgiving has been completed will the
place be restored to the terrestrial sphere, and both man and beast will
be free once more to walk upon it. Until that time, the people are to
be restricted by a boundary all around, beyond which they must not
go. All this is done in order to illustrate the fact of the Torah?s superhuman,
extraterrestrial origin.
should be will make them worthy of receiving the Torah. 
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Message: 2
From: Arie Folger <afol...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 00:01:00 +0100
Re: [Avodah] New Brachos

RMB wrote:
> (Tangent: The Bal'adi Teimani siddur has a leading berakhah
> before Qorbanos -- birkhas haTorah! Rather than our "Eileh
> Devarim", they go straight to parashas Tamid, IIRC.)

That used to be everybody's minhag.
Arie Folger,
Recent blog posts on http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/
* Is Mu?ammar Al-Qadhafi Jewish
* After the Tefillin Terror Scare
* Der schwierige Nachlass
* Was ist Bitach?n (Zuversicht)?
* Endlich ein Mass Gerechtigkeit
* The Oldest Holy Places
* Videovortrag: Tehillim als Gebet

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Message: 3
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 00:59:30 GMT
Re: [Avodah] tehilas Hashem in shir hamaalos

R' Daniel Bukingolts asked:
> Does anybody know the source for the "tehilas Hashem..."
> addition to shir hamaalos in bentching and why do many
> people say it is anti zionist to include it?

I have no idea what the source is for it, but I can tell you that we said
it at all the Shabbatonim which I attended from around 1967-1977, which
were run by Yeshiva University's Youth Bureau. I should also add that we
also added two Harachamans: one for the State of Israel, and another for
Soviet Jewry. (I was even one of the editors of the bencher that was
published for those events, and it included all three of those additions.)

But I'd hardly ever heard any of them said anywhere else. And until very
recently, I'd hardly ever seen any siddur include them (though some
benchers have). That's why I've always presumed that it is said by the
*pro*Zionists. This is the first I've heard of it being *anti*Zionist.

As for the idea that anti-Zionists would want to "tone down" the
pro-Zionist mood of Shir Hamaalos, I find that hard to believe. Are there
any anti-Zionists who have tried to tone down the pro-Zionist mood of Yom
Tov Musaf? Or of any of dozens of other tefilos?

Akiva Miller

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Message: 4
From: "Chanoch (Ken) Bloom" <kbl...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 03 Feb 2010 19:22:33 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Counting a Wife Beater Toward a Minyan

On Wed, 2010-02-03 at 10:40 -0500, Micha Berger wrote:
> In my series of QSA on CM, I got to 184:1. I'm deleting the Hebrew for
> logistical reasons, but you can see a menuqad
> text at http://www.kitzur.net/main.php?siman=184&;nk=1
> Here is my translation:
>     A person is prohibited from hitting his friend, and if he does hit
>     him, he violated a prohibition. As it says, "If" the court "must give
>     the wicked person lashes, [the judge will knock him down and whip
>     him before him according to his evil in number." A maximum of under
>     "forty times you shall hit him, no more; [lest you exceed hitting
>     him for these, a great smiting, and your brother will be ashamed
>     before you]." (Devarim 25:2-3) If the Torah was careful with the
>     corporal punishment of someone evil that he should not be hit more
>     than his wickedness [merited], a fortiori with the hitting of a
>     righteous person!
>     Whomever raises a hand against his friend to hit him, even though he
>     didn't actually hit him, is called "a wicked person". As it says,
>     [that Moshe "went out on the 2nd day" from Par'oh's palace "and
>     he saw two men, Hebrews, arguing,] and he said to the wicked one,
>     "Why will you hit your peer?" It does not say, "Why did you hit?" but
>     rather "Why will you hit?" Even though he didn't hit him yet, he is
>     still called a wicked person.
>     Whomever hits his friend, he is excommunicated with an excommunication
>     of the ancients. One does not include him to a minyan of ten for
>     any declaration of sanctity until a beis din releases him from the
>     excommunication, when he accepts upon himself to listen to their
>     ruling.
>     If someone is hitting him or another Jew and there is no way to
>     save himself or his friend from the hand of his attacker accept by
>     hitting him [the attacker], it is permissible to hit him.
> At 9:06am EST this morning, R Dmitry Kreslavskiy (CC-ed; a friend of mine from
> around the neighborhood) commented:
>     So how does this work? If a person is a home abuser, G-d forbid, and
>     hits his wife, that means he cannot be counted towards a minyan? So
>     what happens if he davens with another group of 9 unsuspecting
>     people? Is such davening not considered davening with a minyan?
> To which I replied:
>     I think you're right. I think the people would be beshogegim not
>     davening with a minyan. (Unless a rasha, like a qatan, could be
>     counted in extremis at the 10th toward a minyan with sefarim present.)
>     It's certainly worth bouncing of the chevrah on Avodah.
> So, I'm asking.... What do you think?

Isn't placing someone in cherem an action the beit din takes. Which is
to say that he isn't in cherem until the beit din declares him to be in
cherem. Or do I have this wrong?

If I have that point right, then this isn't an issue of having 9 people
who are unsuspectingly davening with someone who's in cherem because he
beats his wife in the privacy of his own home and nobody knows that he's
sinning this way.


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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2010 22:10:06 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Counting a Wife Beater Toward a Minyan

On Wed, Feb 03, 2010 at 07:22:33PM -0600, Chanoch (Ken) Bloom wrote:
: Isn't placing someone in cherem an action the beit din takes. Which is
: to say that he isn't in cherem until the beit din declares him to be in
: cherem. Or do I have this wrong?

Not always. A BD could place "everyone who does XYZ is in cheirem", eg
Rabbeinu Gershom's charamim.

Here it's called a cheirem haqadmonim (I rendered it "an excommunication
of the ancients), so I understand it similarly.

And besides, wouldn't you need a beis din saying "al da'as haMaqom ve'al
da'as haqahal, anu matirim lehispallel im ha'avaryanim"? But again, this
would be an issur on counting him, not proof that bedi'eved or beshogeig,
he wouldn't count as part of the minyan.

I found RZS's diyuq halashon less than compelling. But even
non-compelling, it is another possible understanding of the SA and
thus I find the din ambiguous as to whether this is an issur against
counting him, or one against doing things that require a minyan because
you counted him (even if out of ignorance).

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
mi...@aishdas.org        I awoke and found that life was duty.
http://www.aishdas.org   I worked and, behold -- duty is joy.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Rabindranath Tagore

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Message: 6
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 03 Feb 2010 23:35:40 -0500
Re: [Avodah] New Brachos

Micha Berger wrote:

> (Tangent: The Bal'adi Teimani siddur has a leading berakhah before
> Qorbanos -- birkhas haTorah! Rather than our "Eileh Devarim", they go
> straight to parashas Tamid, IIRC.)

As does the Rambam's siddur, and Nusach Italia.  In the Rambam's
siddur, Eilu Devarim comes after "Parshat Tzav uvirchat kohanim".
In the Italian nusach it comes after Ribbi Yishmael.  But this isn't
a change in what the bracha is on: the bracha is on all the Torah
that will be learnt that day.  The difference is only in the order
of the passages learnt before shacharit.

> I wrote "let's say for now" (3 par up) because the above has a
> problem.... The berakhah of "[ha]meqadeish [es] shimkha/o barrabim"
> was coined as a birkhas hamitzvah before dying al qiddush Hashem in
> the Crusades. It was then pulled into the siddur, perhaps as a berakhah
> before *living* as a qiddush Hashem.

Where did you see this theory?  I don't think it can be true, since
this bracha is in the original nusach in Tanna D'vei Eliyahu Rabba,
which was written* at least 100 years before the First Crusade, if
not much earlier.

> But in any case, saying it daily
> appears to defy the Rosh -- both the coinage and the time for saying it
> is new.

Which is why nuschaot Sfard/Sefarad/Ari/Italia/Rambam all say it without
Shem uMalchut.  Though if the Tanna Dvei Eliyahu that we have really is
from the time of Rav Annan, i.e. before chasimas hatalmud, then the
Rosh's objection falls away.  

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

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Message: 7
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 03 Feb 2010 23:39:55 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Counting a Wife Beater Toward a Minyan

Chanoch (Ken) Bloom wrote:

> Isn't placing someone in cherem an action the beit din takes. Which is
> to say that he isn't in cherem until the beit din declares him to be in
> cherem. Or do I have this wrong?

The cherem has already been proclaimed, just like ChDRG and Cherem deRT.

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

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Message: 8
From: rabbirichwol...@gmail.com
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2010 23:06:00 +0000
[Avodah] Where is the Nazir story

I forgot where in Shas can be found the story of the kohen Gadol who
would NOT eat from a Nazir's qorban until one special Nazir came along.
It might have been Shimon haTzaddiq.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Message: 9
From: Yitzchok Levine <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Wed, 03 Feb 2010 19:30:17 -0500
[Avodah] Polemics and the Orthodox Prohibition Against

Please see http://text.rcarabbis.org/?p=724

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Message: 10
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 03 Feb 2010 23:55:44 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Where is the Nazir story

rabbirichwol...@gmail.com wrote:
> I forgot where in Shas can be found the story of the kohen Gadol who
> would NOT eat from a Nazir's qorban until one special Nazir came along.
> It might have been Shimon haTzaddiq.

A mechon mamre search yields:
Bavli: Nedarim 9b, Nazir 4b
Y'mi: Nedarim 1:1, Nazir 1:5
Tosefta: Nazir 4:6

The Bavli version specifies that he didn't eat the asham of a nazir
*tamei*, but he would eat from the ordinary asham nazir.  But the
Tosefta and Y'mi versions don't make this distinction.

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

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Message: 11
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 04 Feb 2010 00:10:51 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Polemics and the Orthodox Prohibition Against

Yitzchok Levine wrote:
> Please see http://text.rcarabbis.org/?p=724

IIRC, the LR played a major role in the campaign against microphones
in the 1940s and early '50s, drawing on his expertise as an electrical
engineer.  I think I saw him quoted as saying that those who permit
them either don't understand halacha or don't understand the metzius.
(This was before the invention of transistors, so those issues didn't
come up.)

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

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Message: 12
From: Samuel Svarc <ssv...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 03:24:12 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Kol Isha - HETER

I don't even know where do start...

Most probably it would be best to read it inside in the original
language, instead of filtering everything through other people who
have already "explained" it.

There are certain things that are 'ervah' regardless of ones intent or
actual 'hanauh'. E.g. Going to a nude beach where one is habituated
already r"l and looking at 'oseh makom'. Ervah is 'assur' to look at.
When there is a 'derasha' that turns the voice into 'ervah' there is
no need for 'hanuah' to 'assur' anymore. Ken nereh laniyas dati.


On Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 12:52 PM, Michael Makovi <mikewindd...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> This is an extremely serious misrepresentation and distortion of the
>> Rambam. ? He does not permit kol isha, as you seem to believe.
>> Rn' Toby Katz
> My interpretation of the Rambam is explicit in Rabbi Yehiel Weinberg.
> Rambam says something like assur l'histakel b'etza ketana kedei
> leihanot, v'gam lishmoah kol shel ha-erva. Is there any possible
> interpretation other than to say (as Rabbi Weinberg does) that both
> kol isha and etzba ketana are conditioned on kedei leihanot?
> As for the Aharonim...
> I realize my interpretation is cavalier, but what can I say?


> Read Rabbi Howard Jachter's article (cited in my essay), for example.
> It's an excellent article, and a very useful one, to which I am
> indebted. But it's rather frustrating to see him discuss Rabbi
> Weinberg at length, and then conclude that no posqim have allowed
> hergel to mitigate the prohibition. Excuse me?? Isn't that EXACTLY
> what Rabbi Weinberg did?? He discusses Rabbi Weinberg, but by the end
> of the article, he seems to have entirely forgotten all about him.

Should it not give you pause when smart people have written
differently then you? This is the logical basis behind the halachic
issues of precedent. So to cavalierly assume that one knows better
then previous generations is a major problem. To think that one has
discerned a new p'sak that eluded countless generations of poskim
before him (Ramoh, Pnei Yehoushuah, Gra, R' Akiva Eiger, Chasam Sofer,
etc.) is to disclose that one is not a party to a serious discussion
on halacha.


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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 09:18:54 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Interesting discussion about the history of

On Fri, Feb 05, 2010 at 12:25:45AM +1100, RSBA wrote to Areivim:
: http://onthemainline.blogspot.com/2010/02/yekke-with-curly-peyos.html

For those who don't use other parts of the internet... It's a picture of
R' Aron Wolfssohn Halle (R' Aharon ben Wolf, from Halle), who lived
1756-1832, was the rav of Hildesheim, thus the "Yekke with Curly Peyos"
in the URL RSBA shared.

Also, there is a link in that comment by "S" to
http://jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/newspapers/hamagid/html/hamagid.htm ,
about the newspaper HaMagid leYisrael published in Berlin,
1856-1902. There is a photo of the editor, R Eliezer Lipman Zilberman. He
two had curly peyos.

I think there is some SERIOUS antiquity to the notion. It's either that,
or I would have to accept parallel evolution of banana-curl peiyos in
both the Hungary-Galicia area and Teiman. See Gitin 58a (also mentioned
in the comments on that page), where R' Yehoshua ben Chanania sees a
beautiful boy, with curly peyos, in prison.

RYbC cried out, citing Yeshaiah 42:24, "Mi noasan limshissah Yaaqov,
veyisrale' levozezim, halo Hashem?" The [future R'] Yishmael ben Elisha
completed the pasuq from his cell, "Zu, chatanu lo.... vayishpokh alava
cheimah apo..."

We see from this gemera that curly peyos was considered part of a young
Jewish boy's beauty as far back as the days of the tannaim. (RYbC died
right before R' Aqiva joined bar Kochva, 131 CE.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             If you won't be better tomorrow
mi...@aishdas.org        than you were today,
http://www.aishdas.org   then what do need do you have for tomorrow?
Fax: (270) 514-1507              - Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

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Message: 14
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 12:54:00 GMT
[Avodah] Mincha and Z'rizin Makdimin

It is clear to me from many places, that in general, a delayed Mincha is
preferable to an early Mincha. For example, all else being equal, davening
during Mincha Ketana is preferred to an earlier davening during Mincha
Gedola. Also, I will give an example below, which shows that a later part
of Mincha Gedola is preferable to an earlier part of Mincha Gedolah.

(In addition, I think I've heard of people who prefer to begin Mincha
either *at* Shkias Hachama, or even *after* Shkias Hachama. I presume that
these people hold that Bein Hashmashos does not begin until some time after
Shkias Hachama, and they daven Mincha during the gap between the two.)

What happened to "z'rizin makdimin b'mitzvos"? This principle says that it is generally best to do a mitzvah at the earliest opportunity, and not to delay it.

The *application* of this rule is subject to a lot of discussion and
exceptions, especially when there are good reasons to delay the mitzva. For
example, Bedikas Chometz can theoretically be done any time in the 30 days
before Pesach, but Chazal told us to wait until the very last night before
Pesach. Mishne Brurah 436:4 (and others) explains why the last night is
better than the earlier 29 days, so I don't want to get sidetracked onto
this particular example. My main question in this post is to look for
*other* examples. The only one I can think of is Mincha.

The simple answer is that our Tefilas Mincha is modeled after the Tamid
Shel Bayn Ha'arbayim, and that Korban Tamid was delayed until very late in
the day. The exception was that on Erev Pesach, because of the many people
who had to bring their Korban Pesach *after* the Tamid, the Tamid was done
earlier than usual, at 7 1/2 hours into the day (~1:30 pm). But when Erev
Pesach was on Erev Shabbos, because of the many people who had to bring
their Korban Pesach after the Tamid, AND roast it before Shabbos, the Tamid
was done at the very earliest time, at 6 1/2 hours into the day (~12:30

This is the case I referred to above, where it seems that a later part of
Mincha Gedola is preferable to an earlier part of Mincha Gedolah. It was
only when Erev Pesach was Erev Shabbos that they pushed the Korban Tamid to
its absolutely earliest time. But on a regular Erev Pesach, the Tamid was
early, but not *that* early.

So the question is: Why was there this push to delay the afternoon Tamid? Why not do it early on a regular basis?

One possible answer which I found comes from the Rambam in T'midin U'Musafim 1:3 --

"They shecht the Tamid Shel Bayn Haarbayim once the shadows are clearly
getting longer, which is from 6 1/2 hours until the end of the day. On a
regular day, they wouldn't shecht it until 8.5 hours, and then they were
makriv it at 9.5 hours. Why did they delay it for two hours after the
beginning of the time for shechting? Because of the korbanos, whether of
individuals or the tzibur, because it is assur to be makriv any korban at
all before the morning Tamid, nor to shecht any korban after the evening
Tamid - except for the Korban Pesach alone..."

From this Rambam, it seems that *theoretically*, the afternoon Tamid could
be brought at any point in the afternoon (between 6.5 hours and the end of
the day), and it is only *practical* considerations which dictated this
particular schedule.

Specifically, it seems to me that although the afternoon Tamid could have
been brought even later in the day than it was, they really did not need to
delay it. On a normal day, all of the other korbanos could be taken care of
by mid-afternoon, so that they could shecht the Tamid at 8.5 hours, and be
makriv it at 9.5 hours, and still have plenty of time before the day was
over. Z'rizin makdimin *was* a factor - they brought the Tamid as early as
they could, but it was not practical to bring it any earlier than this.

On Erev Pesach, though, additional factors came into play. Someone has to
bring a Chatas? Well, they had better not dawdle, because we have to do the
afternoon Tamid early, so that everyone can do their Korban Pesach! (Not
really much different than nowadays, when Erev Pesach is one of the busiest
days of the year.) And if Erev Pesach is on Erev Shabbos, it is even more
critical to take care of your Chatas early in the day. (Again, not very
different than today, where if the Seder is Friday night, there are things
to prepare which on a regular year could've been done on Yom Tov.)

From all this, it seems to me that there was never any intrinsic halachic
reason to delay the Korban Shel Bayn Ha'arbayim past 6.5 hours (12:30 pm),
and that in fact, it WAS brought as early as possible, once all other
prerequisites had been taken care of.

So how did this morph into a preference for davening at Mincha Ketana? It
is true that as a matter of historical record, the afternoon Tamid was
generally brought in the late afternoon, but it seems to me that this is
merely a historical record, NOT a halachic preference. What happened to
z'rizin makdimin?

And, by the way, can anyone think of other examples where we seem to abandon z'rizin makdimin, and prefer delaying the mitzvah?

Akiva Miller

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Message: 15
From: Michael Makovi <mikewindd...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 18:26:29 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Kol Isha - HETER

RRW suggests that Kathy Lee Gifford might be mutar, while Britney
Spears might be assur. --- Exactly!!!! I am NOT arguing that ALL kol
isha is magically permitted. What I'm arguing that MANY (not all)
varieties of kol isha are permitted, while many are prohibited, and
the difference is based not on technical abstract factors, but rather,
on whether there is hana'ah / hirhur. By contrast, the mitzvah of
shofar is entirely abstract and technical.

Contrary to many poseqim, then, I'd say that even if a recording is
electronic, the kol isha is nevertheless prohibited if there is hirhur
/ hana'ah. For me, technical factors (such as the recording not being
the "real" voice) are entirely irrelevant. Technical factors apply to
shofar, not to kol isha.

What I'm trying to do is NOT to create some magical one-size-fits-all
heter. What I'm trying to do is the shift the focus of the entire
issue. Poseqim on kol isha need to stop looking at abstract factors
like they do for shofarot, and instead, they must look at sociology
and sexuality. Perhaps kol isha will still be prohibited, but the
basic question will have entirely changed.

> but they [ = the poseqim] felt that "opera" when the women
> were properly attired were "more or less ok"

Dr. Charles Hall told me that Rabbi J. Soloveitchik held that the
prohibition of kol isha applied only in situations that would engender
improper thoughts. Dr. Hall told me that Rabbi Soloveitchik attended
the opera, and considered it to be ?advanced culture?, and that far
from being prohibited (for containing kol isha), that its attendance
was actually to be encouraged. He added that Yeshiva University holds
an annual opera fundraiser.

I found that Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff gives apposite testimony in
a lecture from 28 January 2002,
---> <http://download.yutorah.org/2002/920/7097

Rabbi Rakeffet-Rothkoff, at 73:14, says Rabbi Soloveitchik classified
as kol isha only "sexual" or "sultry" singing. At 73:44, Rabbi
Rakeffet-Rothkoff says, "There is eidut that the Rav and Rabbi Yitzhak
Hutner attended operas in Berlin. Rabbi Yitzhak Hutner attended operas
in Berlin??!! These are facts! Rabbi Hutner had actually a
subscription to the opera in Berlin."

I doubt Rabbis Soloveitchik and Hutner would have been as lenient as I
want to be, but nevertheless, they clearly subscribed to my belief
that the operative factor in kol isha is NOT technical/abstract (such
as: "Is the voice her "real" voice, or is it electronic?), but rather,
it was sociological/sexual ("Is there hirhur / hana'ah?"). Rabbis
Soloveitchik and Hutner clearly DID rely on hergel mitigating the
issur, contra those rabbis who forbid the application of hergel to kol

Michael Makovi


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