Avodah Mailing List

Volume 27: Number 191

Wed, 03 Nov 2010

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 12:45:11 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Marriage and Love

On Sun, Oct 31, 2010 at 09:11:15PM -0400, Moshe Y. Gluck wrote:
: Hmm, was it this: http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol21/v21n016.shtml#05?

In it you say:
> This reminds me of something that I once said. We don't find anywhere that
> Avrohom loved Sorah. We find that Yitzchok loved Rivkah at some point after
> they got married. We find that Ya'akov loved Rochel at first sight.

> The Chassidim do like Avrohom, the Yeshivish like Yitzchok, and the MO like
> Ya'akov. This is to teach us that none of these Mehalchim are better than
> the others, and each can be correct. 

Interesting, because when it comes to which mitzvah they place in the center:
I see the Chassidim seeking to daven like Yitzchaq, the MO to sanctify
the world around them like Avraham, and the yeshivish to sit and learn
like Yaaqov.

BTW, I contrast the three kinds of love exibited by each of the avos in
<http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2004/12/love-part-ii.shtml>. I tie together
the style of love we find in their marriages, in their ahavas Hashem,
and in how they relate to their children.

    I would like to suggest that for Avraham, love was not primarily
    expressed by giving to the beloved, but by giving of oneself to
    further the beloved's goals. This is also how Chazal portray the
    relationship between Avraham and Sarah.... A couple sharing a
    common dream....

    However, the word ahavah only appears once in the naarative of
    Avraham's life. "Take your son, your only one, asher ahavta, whom
    you love, Yitzchaq" to the aqeidah. The word itself first appears
    in a relationship to Yitzchaq. And in fact, when we get to Yitzchaq
    the word appears often...
    Yitzchaq's love was more straightforward. It was giving to the
    beloved. That's why it warrants explicit use of the term ahavah rather
    than letting it remain implied. Avimelekh knew that Yitzchaq and
    Rivqah were spouses when he saw him "metzacheiq es Rivqah ishto"...

    When we get to Yaaqov, we find a synthesis of the two. Yaaqov's avodas
    Yashem is identified with "titen emes leYaaqov, give truth to Yaaqov",
    "veYaaqov ish tam yosheiv ohalim, and Yaaqov was a pure/whole man,
    who dwelled in tents" and chazal add: in tents of study. Yaaqov
    worshipped G-d by studying what was known so far of His Torah, by
    trying to understand him. This love through understanding the other
    is also what we find at the end of his life, when Yaaqov blesses
    each son according to that son's personal strengths and weaknesses....

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             You are where your thoughts are.
mi...@aishdas.org                - Ramban, Igeres Hakodesh, Ch. 5
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 12:47:50 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Translation/Interpretation

On Sun, Oct 31, 2010 at 11:57:50PM +0000, Elazar M. Teitz wrote:
:> In this context how would you translate tarbut?

> I would imagine it is in the same sense as it is used in B'midbar 32:14,
> "V'hinei kamtem tachas avoseichem, tarbus anashim chata'im," where
> the Targum renders the word as "talmidei," and Ibn Ezra relates it to
> "asher tipachti v'ribisi" (Eicha 2:220, a pasuk in which Rashi interprets
> "ribisi" as "gidalti." Hence, the meaning would be bringing up, rearing.

Does this imply that the title "Rav" carries more implication than
just being the term borrowed from the master of servants?

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 14:54:57 -0400
[Avodah] Bitul on Erev Pesach

Kayadua, there is a major kulah in that items bought before the issur
chameitz derabbanan on Erev Pesach can be bateil -- and the bittul carries
through for Pesach as well. Even though there is no bitul chameitz when
the issur is chal deOraisa.

Explanations generally involve the koach given chakhamim, etc...

Today's daf Y-mi, Maaseros 4:1 (vilna 18b)
seems to defy most such explanations.

R' Yochanan says that sales, the arrival of Shabbos and taking
the crop into a chatzeir only create a chiyuv of terumos umaaseros
R' Ami quotes Reish Laqish that a guarded chatzeir would start the
chiyuv deOraisa.

Heqdeish isn't subject to tu"m.

Later down on the page, this is used to discuss the case where
the food was stewed while heqdeish -- when there was no chiyuv.
Then someone was podeh it and brought it into a guarded chatzeir.

The gemara writes: Al taateih deRabbi Shimon b Laqish, litbal --
zu Torah, vezu eino Torah.

IOW, this Y-mi doesn't assume that a chalos that happens because
of a derabbanan changes the cheftza WRT the deOraisa as well.

Tir'u baTov!

CC: RYGB, whose MP3s I use to chazur and check that my leining of the
gemara made sense.

Micha Berger             Mussar is like oil put in water,
mi...@aishdas.org        eventually it will rise to the top.
http://www.aishdas.org                    - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 4
From: "David W. Eisen" <dei...@hornlaw.co.il>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 18:56:07 +0200
Re: [Avodah] How much for the mayo?

RZS writes:

RYC doesn't say why you were not a shliach, but perhaps one reason is because the "meshaleach" didn't give you money with which to buy the shirt for him.

RTK's case with the mayo is completely different, because at the time she took the discount she was acting entirely for herself.


My question indeed was concerned with ribbit, though RYC in his teshuva
explained that it did not arise since I was deemed neither to be a shaliah
nor a lender. As RYC explains, I would have been considered a shaliah even
without receiving the money had I become a lender to the person who
requested that I purchase the shirt, but as he correctly noted, I did not
consider my son's friend to be liable to me had the shirt gotten lost or
damaged between the purchase and delivery nor did the ownership to the
shirt transfer to the friend at the time that the purchase was made,
rather, he became the owner only the moment that he actually paid for the
shirt upon receipt.

Along these lines, the case of the mayo is similar as the purchase was not
attributed to the friend. Even though I was doing a favor for the friend,
nor formal shlihut had been created, so I was effectively acting for
myself, at least according to RYC, as explained above.

Kol tuv,

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Message: 5
From: Arie Folger <afol...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 18:32:33 +0100
Re: [Avodah] V'hu Rachum Authorship

RMYG asked about the details of the origins of the "log vehu rachum."

My answer: there are several versions of the story, found in a number
of sources. The details vary from version to version, and that may
help you put things a little back together. Look in the Levush, and
IIRC (but this one I may be misremembering) in the Shibolei haLeqet.

I intend to blog about this in the near future.

Arie Folger,
Recent blog posts on http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/
* Basler Gymnasium experimentiert mit Chawrut?-Lernen
* Where Will We Find Refuge ... from technology overload
* Video-Vortrag: Psalm 34
* We May Have Free Will, After All
* Equal Justice for All
* Brutal Women of Nazi Germany
* Gibt es in der Unterhaltungsliteratur eine Rolle f?r G"tt?

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Message: 6
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 20:18:46 +0200
[Avodah] marriage and love

> The song Love and Marriage is one that Frank Sinatra made famous.
> ...
> However, it seems that from a Torah standpoint the song should have
> been titled Marriage and Love.

That's only if one looks at Yitzchak and Rivka, as you did in that
post. But if one looks at Yaakov and Rachel, it seems that "Love and
Marriage" is also valid.

Someone one pointed out to me that from Yitzchak and Rivka, we see one
extreme of the shidduch process. And from Yaakov and Rachel we see the
other extreme of the dating process. And we know absolutely nothing
about how Avraham and Sarah met and courted. The conclusion that might
be drawn is that the Torah is emphatically NOT teaching a "one size
fits all" approach to these matters.>>

How would interpret Moshe and Tzippora?

Eli Turkel

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Message: 7
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toram...@bezeqint.net>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 20:21:24 +0200
Re: [Avodah] A Question About Yitzchok Taking a Canaanite

> Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2010 13:00:30 -0400
> From: "Prof. Levine" <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
> To: avo...@aishdas.org
> Subject: [Avodah] A Question About Yitzchok Taking a Canaanite Wife
> Message-ID: <0LB5006FFZ8...@nexus.stevens.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; Format="flowed"
> Bereishis 24: 3 says I will make you swear by God, the God of heaven
> and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from
> among the
> daughters of the Canaanites in whose midst I dwell.
> If this reasoning is correct, then I do not understand why Avraham
> made Eliezer take this vow. Why not make Eliezer take a vow that he
> would take a wife for Yitzchok from Avraham's family?

 [SLB writes] R'MYG already responded to the issue of a "my fair lady" type
of bride, but there is another issue.

Avraham has a two-fold request - go to Haran and seek a wife from my family
- but whatever happens you, Eliezer will NOT bring home a Canaanite woman.

There was always the possibility (in theory at least) that Rivka would have
been engaged/married already by the time Eliezer got to Haran. She could
have refused to come. Eliezer would have to seek another bride for Yitzchak.
Once this situation arose, Avraham wanted it clear to Eliezer that the
replacement bride could not be a Canaanite, no matter what - even if she
happened to be "family" by marriage and lived in Haran.

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Message: 8
From: "M Cohen" <mco...@touchlogic.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 15:26:51 -0400
[Avodah] chidushim from R Kook on evolution and literalness


chidushim from R Kook on evolution
maaseh braishis - must it be read literally?

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Message: 9
From: "Prof. Levine" <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 2010 15:56:17 -0400
[Avodah] Marriage and Love

At 12:39 PM 11/1/2010, R. Micha  wrote:

>It also depends what emotion destabilized Rivqa off her camel. Was
>she afraid of Yitzchaq, that he was too great for someone like her?
>Was it awe and excitement about the holiness of the man she was to

According to RSRH Rivkah was not  "destablized" 
by emotion when she came down from the camel she was riding.

Below is how he translates Bereishis 24: 64 and his commentary on this Possuk.

64 Rivkah, too, looked up and saw Yitzchak, and 
she let herself slip down from the camel.

During the journey, Eliezer had undoubtedly made a point of telling
her about Yitzchak. As a result, she recognized him immediately; there
is no need to say that she had an ?intuitive presentiment.? She may also
have recognized the field from Eliezer?s description, and, seeing the
manner in which Yitzchak walked straight through the field to meet
them, she may have concluded that here was the owner.

Vatepol, an intentional quick dismounting from the camel. As it says of
Na?aman: Vayipol mayal  hamerkavah 
l'krahso  (Melachim II, 5:21) ? out of respect
for Elisha, what is more, for his servant. Here, too, when meeting
Yitzchak, Rivkah did not want to be riding high upon a camel?s back.
This, too, is characteristic. A haughty young lady, when meeting her
future husband, would certainly have preferred to come riding in state,
at the head of a long train of attendants, and then to permit him to
help her alight from the camel. But especially since Yitzchak was approaching
her on foot, she did not consider it proper to ride to meet
him. Moreover, riding was a sign of high rank, and Rivkah did not want
to appear as a grand lady when she met Yitzchak. This was not a premeditated,
calculated act on her part (if it had been so, her modesty
would have been merely an act, difficult to distinguish from arrogance);
rather, Vatepol, it all happened spontaneously, without calculation, the result
of intuition and correct feeling.

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Message: 10
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 18:14:20 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Fwd: Re: Truth and the Rambam

On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 03:26:39PM -0400, David Riceman wrote:
> There are two bits of evidence concerning  the place of machlokes in the  
> Rambam's thought: (i) the Rambam was exceedingly troubled, as we see in  
> the Hakdamah to the PhM, at the existence of machlokes in traditional  
> sources: how could Moshe Rabbeinu not know the precise halacha? (ii) the  
> Rambam chose to excise machlokes from the MT (though not completely: see  
> Rabbi Twersky's "Introduction to the Code of Maimonides" pp. 121 ff. for  
> a large list of counterexamples).

> RMB, if I understand him correctly, views these as two phenomena  
> motivated by a single attitude.  I, on the other hand, see them as  
> distinct; the first is a historical problem (made more severe because of  
> Moslem anti-Jewish polemics), the second is a pedagogical concern.
> What is so very different from the way other rishonim "did halakhah"?  
> The main difference is how he recorded his results.  As I said above, I  
> still don't understand how you relate this to Aristotle.

Aristotilian logic is where I feel the Rambam picked up this notion that
ideas are everything.

There is a philosophical problem called akrasia, why people make bad
choices. Rather than invoking middos or taavos, according to Aristo,
the ultimate source is bad opinions.

Related: Aristotle sees personal redemption in philosophical
understanding, Rambam, and the "larger souled" person is not the one
who is more moral, kind or merciful, but the one who is more capable
of understanding those truths. The Rambam agrees, although he is more
specific in what kind of knowledge, and he uses that idiom as well.

IOW, I think these two phenomana come from a single attitude, because
I see the same two phenomena in a common attitude in Aristo's work.

Aristo also has no room in his logic for fuzziness. Something is either
blue or it isn't. An indigo thread can't be "somewhat blue". Similarly,
he has no way to describe whether or not a 5'10" man (at 1-1/2" above
average here in the US) is tall. (From down here at 5'3" he certainly

Nor for the contradictory nature of the human condition. The law of
contradiction is fine for math or physics. But for discussing chesed
and gevurah?

The Rambam's problem with machloqes and with the notion that two valid
interpretations of an existing din could exist I think stem from Aristo's

And his problems with interpretation, with pesaq that is non-legislative,
shows up in the Rambam's preference for his own understanding of the
mishnah rather than the gemara's (and he'll push the gemara into fitting)
and his own understanding of the gemara over that of the geonim.

> The third general point I want to make really ought to be made by  
> someone better versed in history (RRW, this is a hint!!).  Just as Rashi  
> is the culmination of an older tradition of scholarship, and the Baalei  
> HaTosafos started a new tradition of scholarship, so also the Rambam is  
> the culmination of an older tradition of scholarship, with a new  
> tradition begun in Spain by the Ramban and Rabbeinu Yonah...

I thought you were arguing that the Rambam was attempting to start a
new school!

If we combine both ideas, perhaps I see the Rambam as a corner case
because he departs from the Rif's style of pesaq but does not succeed
in actually setting a new norm for consequent rishonim. But that plays
down how different I think his theory of pisqa is.

> When I was young I was taught that it's much easier to study halachos  
> about which there is a machlokes; that is a clear principle of Tosafos's  
> school.  I'm not at all sure the Rambam would agree.  He had other  
> methods for elucidating the meaning of halachos: see Rabbi Twersky's  
> book pp.143 ff., especially pp.155-162, and recall the Rogachover's  
> description of the Rambam as "Rabbeinu hagadol ham'lamed osanu da'as",  
> reflecting what one can learn about legal principles from the Rambam.

> So when RMB says that one can't do Talmud based on the MT, I suspect  
> he's reflecting the school of the Ba'alei HaTosafos, of whom we are all  
> students but the Rambam wasn't.

I was thinking that in order to do Talmud, you need to know where the
halakhah comes from. You can construct a theory that halakhos A and B
represent a common theory, but if you saw the sugyos inside you would
find out that in fact they did come from very different ideas.

IOW, yes the problem is partly the lack of machloqes, so that you do
not know the point of chiluq that the law was made around. But a bigger
problem is that you lack the flow of the pesaq through time until the
Yad, you usually lack any indication of sevara, etc... Guessing at davar
mitokh davar just from final conclusions is way too error prone.

>>: Notice how Hil' Mamrim never mentions the word "pesaq" or some other
>>: language that would speak to the interpretation of law.

> H. Talmud Torah 3:3.

I think this is a typo. Pereq 3 is about the importance of talmud Torah.
I see "lo yafsiq" as in don't stop learning in order to do a mitzvah
someone else could, but nothing about pesaq.

>> : Another lacuna from Hil' Mamrim is the concept of sevara.

> H. Sanhedrin 10:5.

That's a topic we discussed before, "shenayim she'amru ta'am echad".
That's judgment in dinei nefashos, not pesaq.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Nearly all men can stand adversity,
mi...@aishdas.org        but if you want to test a man's character,
http://www.aishdas.org   give him power.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                      -Abraham Lincoln

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Message: 11
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2010 02:44:44 EDT
Re: [Avodah] A Question About Yitzchok Taking a Canaanite


From: "Prof. Levine" _Larry.Levine@stevens.edu_ 

Bereishis 24: 3 says I will make you swear by God, the God of heaven  
and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from among  
daughters of the Canaanites in whose midst I dwell.

Did Avraham  really think that if Eliezer brought Yitzchok a Canaanite 
woman to be his  wife that Yitzchok would have accepted such a 
Shidduch?   ....
If this reasoning is correct, then I do not understand why Avraham  
made Eliezer take this vow. Why not make Eliezer take a vow that he  
would take a wife for Yitzchok from Avraham's family?

I have no  answer.


Rashi says that if Eliezer couldn't bring back a wife for Yitzchak from  
Avraham's family, then he was to find a wife for Yitzchak from the daughters 
of  Aner, Eshkol or Mamre.  They were not of Canaanite stock.  I'm not  sure 
but I think they were Shemites.
Rashi also says that Eliezer himself couldn't be a mechutan to Avraham  
because he /was/ of Canaanite stock, hence "cursed," and blessed cannot marry  
Sometimes I wonder if Eliezer's daughter, who must have known Yitzchak well 
 (after all, her father was in charge of all of Avraham's holdings), was in 
love  with Yitzchak and was left with sad disappointment when Avraham 
rejected the  match outright.

--Toby  Katz


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Message: 12
From: "Prof. Levine" <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Tue, 02 Nov 2010 09:57:36 -0400
[Avodah] Lessons from Jacob and Esav

In Parshas Toldos RSRH makes many insightful 
comments on how one should raise children. He 
expanded on this topic in his essay Lessons from Jacob and Esav that is at


In part he wrote

Down to our present day we have been able to 
observe the disastrous consequences of a 
one-sided approach to the unique task of being a 
Jew. Many a son of a pious talmid chacham has 
been totally lost to Judaism because his father 
insisted on training him to become a talmid 
chacham without considering whether his 
personality and inclinations truly lay in that 
direction. Thus he is exposed to Jewish life in 
only one context: that of a quiet existence of 
study and meditation for which he has neither 
talent nor desire. What attracts him instead is 
the busy, colorful life of the world outside. But 
as a result of the narrow view of life in which 
he has been trained he gets the impression that 
in order to participate in the active, variegated 
life for which he yearns, he must give up his 
mission as a Jew. He consequently abandons his 
Judaism in order to fling himself into the 
maelstrom of excitement and temptations offered by the world outside.

The story of such an individual might end quite 
differently if only, instead of forcing him into 
the mold of a talmid chacham, his father would 
raise him from the very beginning to become a man 
of the world who, at the same time, is faithful 
to his duties as a Jew; if only that father would 
teach this son that the activities of the world 
outside, too, have their place in God's plan, 
that it is possible to preserve and to 
demonstrate one's complete loyalty to Judaism 
even as a sophisticated man of the world. He 
should make his son understand that, as a matter 
of fact, many, if not perhaps the most important, 
aspects of Jewish living are intended primarily 
to be practiced amidst the conditions and 
aspirations of everyday life, in the midst of the 
world and not in isolation from it. He should 
make his son understand that the Taryag 
Mitzvos  are not meant to be observed in the 
klaus [Judeo-German equivalent for a small 
synagogue. (Ed.)] or in the beth hamidrash but 
precisely in the practical life of the farmer or 
the public-spirited citizen. If only that father 
would make it clear to his son that the spirit 
and the happiness of Judaism are just as 
accessible to a Zevulun "in the world outside" as 
they are to an Issachar "in the tents,"?who knows 
whether that son might not stand by his father's 
deathbed and gently close his father's eyes as a loyal, pious Jew?

I believe that the reason why the Slabodka 
Yeshiva produced so many gedolim is because the 
Alter did not take a "cookie cutter" approach to 
how he educated his talmidim. He let each talmud 
develop in a manner consistent with his unique 
strengths. Sadly, I do not see this approach 
being taken often enough today in Chinuch.  As 
Rabbiner Hirsch points out, the attempt to 
educate all in the same manner is bound to lead to failure in many instances.

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Message: 13
From: "Prof. Levine" <Larry.Lev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Tue, 02 Nov 2010 12:26:01 -0400
[Avodah] Chodosh in Chul

  Please see http://www.jerusalemkoshernews.com/2010/11/chodosh-in-chul/


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Message: 14
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2010 13:03:21 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Chodosh in Chul

On Tue, Nov 02, 2010 at 12:26:01PM -0400, Prof. Levine wrote:
>  Please see http://www.jerusalemkoshernews.com/2010/11/chodosh-in-chul/

By the time I took chadash seriously enough to consider it, Rav Dovid
Lifshitz was too infirm to ask. But shortly before my wedding, RDL told me
to have an AhS in the home, as that will enable me to know the halakhah
as they practiced it back in Litta. (My family, at least for the last
century before WWII, was also from Suvalk.)

Well, the AhS YD 293 discusses the sevara lehaqeil. And his discussion
of Ashkenaz and nearby Polin vs Russia clearly places the US (where 75%
of the wheat is winter wheat, in the qulah domain.

And it's clear from that discussion that in Ashkenazi qehillos, this
was the practice that was nispasheit. Even back in the Chareidim's day,
he describes refraining from chadash as "anshei maaseh machmirim".

See also R' Jachter's discussion of the topic at

I have two problems with the whole disccussion:

1- Relying on safeiq or rav presumes that it's i efshar levareir. However,
   R' Yosef Herman (Monsey) manages to publish lists of which products
   are made from yashan. If this is possible, then how may we rely on rov?

2- For most of my life, the US (and much of Europe) grew a surplus of
   wheat. Until last year, when bad whether combined with a poor economy,
   the US typically had a stockpile good for 5-7 years. Now assuming
   the typical commodities seller knows about rotating stock, that you
   don't sell the new while letting the old become altogether unusable,
   why were people finding chadash in their bakeries and supermarkets
   all those years?

   (Okay, if its that question alone, this post should have gone to

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where
mi...@aishdas.org        you are,  or what you are doing,  that makes you
http://www.aishdas.org   happy or unhappy. It's what you think about.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Dale Carnegie

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Message: 15
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2010 01:37:37 EDT
Re: [Avodah] A Question About Yitzchok Taking a Canaanite

I wrote:  >>Rashi says that if Eliezer couldn't bring back  a wife for 
Yitzchak from Avraham's family, then he was to find a wife for  Yitzchak from 
the daughters of Aner, Eshkol or Mamre.  They were not of  Canaanite stock.  
I'm not sure but I think they were  Shemites.<<
Of course I was mistaken.  Aner, Eshkol and Mamre were Amorites --  
descendants of Canaan.  If Eliezer had not found a suitable wife for  Yitzchak in 
Aram, or she wasn't willing to come to E'Y, then Yitzchak would  indeed have 
married a Canaanite woman.

--Toby Katz

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End of Avodah Digest, Vol 27, Issue 191

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