Avodah Mailing List

Volume 28: Number 106

Wed, 22 Jun 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 11:47:17 -0400
[Avodah] The great Mixed Dancing Controversy of 1960-61.

  From http://tinyurl.com/43v27uk

Here's the abstract: by 1960, in Great Britain, like in the United
States, the majority of Orthodox Jews saw nothing religiously wrong
with mixed dancing at social events, even in the synagogue. Although
such a practice would be exceedingly difficult if not impossible to
justify from halachic sources, the rabbis either saw nothing really
wrong with it, or justified it as a lesser of evils or they saw
nothing at all. Yet in September of 1960 the Beth Din of Manchester
took a stand against it. Following this, and feeling that they did
not go far enough, some months later other rabbis held a conference
in Leeds, criticized mixed and dancing and publicly called for a ban
on it. This generated a heated correspondence (including the
assertion that mixed dancing causes illegitimate children) and a
heated editorial in the pages of the Jewish Chronicle. The editorial
in particular was very intemperate, being an editorial, saying that
the action of those rabbis raises questions about their "emotional
stability" and "mental hygiene." This was too much for the rabbis,
who included R. Yitzchak Weiss, and collectively they wrote the
Jewish Chronicle a letter (dated December 19, 1960) stating that they
demanded a prominently placed apology, which in itself would not be
enough, and therefore they also demand monetary compensation for
defamation. In addition, they served notice that the editor was
hereby called to a Din Torah. The editor responded that first of all
the facts are in his favor, and secondly he cannot submit to the will
of a Din Torah as this is a matter of Freedom of the Press, and a
free press is integral to society. The editor himself did, however,
appear before the London Beth Din in what he called "an act of
courtesy to the Chief Rabbi and his court," to tell them that he must
decline to take part in a Din Torah.

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Message: 2
From: Simon Montagu <simon.mont...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 17:33:21 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Tznius for Men

On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 2:21 PM, Prof. Levine <llev...@stevens.edu> wrote:
> In an attempt to get some more discussion about tznius for men going, let me
> ask the following. Should Jewish men wear sandals? Is it appropriate?
> Without socks? Is this appropriate?

I'm fairly sure that the Avot, Moshe Rabbenu and Hazal all wore
sandals without socks, and I see no reason why a dress code developed
in a colder climate should be more appropriate.

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 14:13:17 -0400
Re: [Avodah] [Avoda] Ehrlachkeit, not Frumkeit

I finally wrapped up that blog entry. I don't think I did it justice -- so
much time had passed since I started, I forgot some of the points I had
set out to make. Anyway, here it is.

Notably, it defies my rule about not investing effort dismissing
the chaff, that we should promote ehrlachkeit rather than have long
discussions deriding frumkeit. Still, in our discussion last April
("Chumros") R' Doron Beckerman made me realize that my memory
brought RSW's definition of frumkeit more in line with my usual
whipping boy -- habit -- than what RSW actually said. See his post at
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol28/v28n053.shtml#05>. So, I revisited
the quote, and eventually produced the following.

Interestingly, one of the few times I go negative, I got a lot more
positive feedback. (Mostly in email.) Which reinforces my negative
opition of blog dynamics. Blogging promotes negativity, since people are
more likely to comment when they want to object to something. And so,
there are two kinds of successful blogs:

1- someone who promotes an idea well, but whose readership doesn't buy
into his position and are thus irritated by it; and
2- someone who shares his irritation among others who can then expand
upon his complaint.

This negativity is a hazard, as it is an instance of coming to terms
with one's own existential angst by focusing on how others are worse.
And I see this point as Mussar enough to belong here rather than on

Tir'u baTov!

What is Frumkeit?

The word "frum" has become a near-synonym for Orthodox. How this came
to be is noteworthy.

"Frum" descends from the German "fromm", meaning pious or devout. In
pre-war Yiddish, usage appears to have varied widely. On the one hand,
those who named their daughters "Fruma" clearly thought being frum as
complementary. On the other, there was an idiom, or as Rav Aharon Kotler
often put it, "Frum iz a galech; ehrlich iz a Yid - the town priest is
`pious', a Jew is refined." I also heard the first part from Bergers of
that same generation, "frum iz a galech". Admittedly, both data points
from Lithuanian Iddish.

How did the word "frum", then, ever catch on in the Yeshiva world, a
community that aspires for continuity with the yeshivos of Lithuania?
How did a word go from being a scornful description of the wrong kind
of religiosity to a self-label?

I think that's it's for the same reason why kids who are eating at
McDonald's are branded "at risk", but those who are chronic liars are
not. The first group are "at risk" in the sense of their risk of leaving
the community and no longer staying exposed to our values -- and thus
losing the likelihood of returning. Which means we're defining ourselves
by how we differ from non-Orthodox Jews and non-Jews -- not by what's
most important.

To some extent, when we use it as a self-identification, we are still
thinking of frum in its original, ritual centric, meaning. A frum Jew
is one who belongs to our community, and thus is following Orach Chaim,
Even haEzer and Yoreh Dei'ah. And as implied by my comparison, this is
an important threshold -- it's the line between someone who wishes to
remain influenced by our teachings and culture, and those who do not.
But it does not accurately reflect priorities. "Ehrlich is a yid."

It is the original derogatory usage which is clearly the starting point
for Rav Shelmo Wolbe's essay on Frumkeit, in Alei Shur II pp 152-155
<http://www.aishdas.org/as/frumkeit.pdf>. R' Wolbe takes the informal
usage of yore and gives it a robust, specific, technical meaning. In his
hands, the word "frumkeit" refers to an etiology for a specific kind of
cul-de-sac on the path of religious growth.

As you may have noticed following this blog, I am a strong advocate for
a thoughtful and passionate approach to religious observance. As the
name says, a fusion of passionate aish with the rigor of das's law-based
rite forming a new thing, a new word, "AishDas". But in my discussion of
thoughtful Judaism, I have always presumed the antonym of thoughtless
Judaism, observance based on habit, on culture. Putting on tefillin
merely because "that's what is done."

Rav Wolbe notes a different alternative to thoughtfulness -- instinct.
To Rav Wolbe, frumkeit is an instinctive drive to be close to the
Creator. It is not even specific to humans; the frumkeit instinct is
what King David refers to when he writes, "Kefirim sho'agim lataref,
ulvaqeish meiKeil okhlam -- Lion cubs roar at their prey, and request
from G-d their food." (Tehillim 104:21) And, "Nosein livheimah lachmahh,
livnei oreiv acher yiqra'u -- He gives the animal its food, before the
ravens who cry." (147:9)

What can go wrong with something that draws us to the Almighty,
even if it is instinctive? Instincts are inherently about survival,
self-preservation. As we see in the pesuqim cited in Alei Shur, the lion
cub and the raven calls out to Hashem to get their food. Rather than
being motivated by thoughtfulness, frumkeit is the use of religion to
serve my ends.

A while back I posted
about something I called the paradox of performing mitzvos bein adam
lachaveiros lishmah -- doing interpersonal mitzvos for the sake of
the mitzvah:
    What is the purpose of such mitzvos? To develop feelings of love
    and caring toward others; to expand our natural focus on ourselves
    to include others. Does the lishmah (lit: for itself) mean doing the
    mitzvah for the sake of doing a mitzvah? If it does, then we are not
    focusing on caring for other people, we are focusing on Hashem. On
    the other hand, if we define lishmah as being "for the purpose for
    which we were given the mitzvah (as best we can understand it)", we
    would conclude that mitzvah bein adam lachaveiro "for itself" means
    doing it without thought to its being a mitzvah. As I said, a paradox.

Rav Wolbe quotes the Alter of Slabodka's treatment of this question:

    "Ve'ahavta lereiakha komakha -- and you shall love your peers like
    yourself." That you should love your peer the way you love yourself.
    You do not love yourself because it is a mitzvah, rather, a plain
    love. And that is how you should love your peer.

To which Rav Wolbe notes, "This approach is entirely alien to
frumkeit." The frum person is the one who makes sure to have Shabbos
guests each week, but whose guests end up feeling much like his
tefillin -- an object with which he did a mitzvah. A person acting
out of frumkeit doesn't love to love, he loves in order to be a holier
person. And ironically, he thereby fails -- because he never develops
that Image of the Holy One he was created to become. The person who acts
from self-interest, even from the interest of ascending closer to G-d,
will not reach Him.

One must approach a mitzvah with a drive to see the deed done, rather
than the self-interested drive to be the one doing it. This is "mimaaqim
qarasikha Hashem -- from the depths I call out to you, Hashem." I reach
for G-d not while instinctively grasping for loftiness, focusing on
how can I make me more lofty, but when I subdue myself for the sake
of the deed. To honor Shabbos out of a sense of honor, to give to the
poor because one feels such love and empathy that nothing else would
be thinkable.

This is why mussar is primarily a study of da'as, of wisdom and

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Message: 4
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 17:47:18 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Consumer Alert: Minhog Scams On The Rise!

R"n Lisa Liel wrote:

> Halakha does not allow for a revelation other than Sinai.
> Nevi'im can tell us nuances, but a navi who tries to give us
> "revelation" of laws needs to die.

My understanding is that this is true only if their revelation contradicts what we already know about Torah to be true.

Akiva Miller

Mom Is 55, Looks 30...
Her clever $5 wrinkle therapy angers Botox Doctors. Find Out How!

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Message: 5
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 13:36:43 -0400
[Avodah] Consumer Alert: Minhog Scams On The Rise!

At 01:12 PM 6/22/2011, R. Ben Waxman wrote:
>From: "Chanoch (Ken) Bloom" <kbl...@gmail.com>
>> In this case, Halachah Berurah 125:2 (R' David Yosef) says specifically
>> "The minhag yisrael is like the opinion of the Ari Z"L, that the whole
>> tzibbur says the whole nusach of kedushah word for word together with
>> the shalicah tzibur, from the words 'nakishach v'na'aritzach' until the
>> end of the whole kedushah."

>Unless you follow minhag taiman, in which case you do like the Mehaber
>(baesed on the Rambam?)

I do not say the entire nusach of the kedushah. I follow the original
Nusach Ashkenaz minhag. Please see

Nusach HaGRA also does not follow the ARI. There is a shul not far from
where my oldest son lives that follows the original Ashkenaz minhag.

At 01:12 PM 6/22/2011, R. Zev Sero wrote:
>On 21/06/2011 1:17 PM, Prof. Levine wrote:
>> Be this as it may, I have wondered more than once how the ARI could
>> come along and change so many things and have these changes accepted
>> by many communities. It is all the more surprising to me given that he
>> lived for only 38 years according to many sources.

>It's because he didn't make anything up himself; everything he taught
>came from his rebbe, Eliyohu Hanovi.  He revealed secrets that had not
>been known before him, so it's logical that people changed their
>minhogim to bring them into line with these new revelations, just as
>the medical discoveries of the past 200 years have caused everyone to
>change their lifestyles.

Given my highly rationalistic approach to things, I really do not know
how to respond to this.

Many was the time that I told R. A. Miller this or that "unusual"
story. He dismissed all of them with a wave of his hand, saying,
"We are not mechuyuv to believe these stories. I once told him a story
that R. Chaim Volozhin told about the GRA. Again he dismissed it with a
wave of hand and, "We are not mechuyuv to believe these stories." I then
asked R. Miller, "Why do you take this approach to all of these stories?"
He gave me what I consider to be a very wise reply. He said, "Our minds
are strained enough by what we are required to believe. It is not wise
to add to this."

If it was "logical that people changed their minhogim to bring them
into line with these revelations," then why didn't this happen in
Germany? There most of the old Ashkenazic minhagim were preserved
scrupulously. (For the record, Kabbolas Shabbos was not introduced into
Frankfurt until about 1700 and at that time there was much opposition
to it. To this day KAJ in NY says Kabbolas Shabbos differently than most
other places.)


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Message: 6
From: martin brody <martinlbr...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 13:30:18 -0700
[Avodah] Boruch Hashem

"Excuse me?  Why do you think we say Baruch Shem?  Because Moshe heard
the mal'achim say it.
Zev Sero"

Actually, gentiles said it thrice in the Torah and we copied them.

Martin Brody
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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 17:32:51 -0400
[Avodah] Mumarim and Movements

In the mishnah, Eiruvin 6:2 (6:1, 61b in the Bavli), Rabban Gamliel
tells a story involving a Tzeduqi who lived with them in the same mavui
in Y-m. According to the tana qama, R' Gamliel says that his father (R'
Shimon ben Gamliel) told them to hurry and bring all their keilim to
the mavui before the Tzeduqi took something out and prohibit carrying
there. R' Yehudah has R' Gamliel say that R' Shimon warned them to
hurry and take care of the their needs for the mavui before he took
something out.

The difference? R' Meir's version had RSBG saying that by them using the
mavui first, it became permissible the entire Shabbos. If the Tzeduqi
uses the mavui first, then the verbal bitul was falsified by his actual
action, and there is no bitul.

In R' Yehudah's version (before seeing the gemara), it would seem that
there is bitul, but only up until the time the Tzeduqi used the mavui.

Notice that in both versions, bitul by a Tzeduqi helps. According to
one opinion of the gemara, this is only a tzeduqi who isn't mechalel
Shabbos befarhesia, which requires an interesting translation of "mechalel
Shabbos" -- only deOraisos that aren't al pi derashah, or else the guy
isn't a real tzeduqi! However, the SA (OC 385:1) does not hold this way,
and includes all tzeduqim.

In any case, with a nakhri we must do sekhiras reshus, bitul isn't an
option. (69b)

Now here's the intriguing issue... A Yisrael mumar, menseikh (to AZ)
or a mechalel Shabbos befarhesia have the din of aku"m. (69b, or Y-mi
vilna 38b which has "Geir toshav, ve'eved toshav, umumar begilui panim.)

I would therefore conclude:
A Tzeduqi who is at least trying to be an eved Hashem under a
misimpression of what that means is not to be lumped in with a mumar or
mechalel Shabbos befarhesia.

And that would appear to have real application bizman hazeh.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             In the days of our sages, man didn't sin unless
mi...@aishdas.org        he was overcome with a spirit of foolishness.
http://www.aishdas.org   Today, we don't do a mitzvah unless we receive
Fax: (270) 514-1507      a spirit of purity.      - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 8
From: Lisa Liel <l...@starways.net>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 16:02:36 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Consumer Alert: Minhog Scams On The Rise!

At 08:21 PM 6/21/2011, Zev Sero wrote:
>On 21/06/2011 8:17 PM, Lisa Liel wrote:
>>Halakha does not allow for a revelation other than Sinai.  Nevi'im 
>>can tell us nuances, but a navi who tries to give us "revelation" 
>>of laws needs to die.
>Excuse me?  Why do you think we say Baruch Shem?  Because Moshe 
>heard the mal'achim say it.

That's Midrash.  What's your source for that actually being the reason?

>Why do we say Baruch She'amar?  Because it was on a piece of paper 
>that fell from heaven.

A piece of paper that fell from heaven.  I'm not even sure how to 
respond to that.  I don't think we get our liturgy from pieces of 
paper that fall from heaven.

>Why do we start saying at least the first word of the part of 
>kaddish after "Yehei Shmeih Rabba"?  Because Eliyahu told an amora 
>to say it.  How did Moshe know that the ketores can prevent a 
>plague?  Because the Malach Hamaves told him so.

That's Midrash.  What's your source for that actually being the reason?


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Message: 9
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 17:34:38 -0400
[Avodah] Consumer Alert: Minhog Scams On The Rise!

At 01:12 PM 6/22/2011, R. Zev Sero wrote:

>On 21/06/2011 1:17 PM, Prof. Levine wrote:
> > Be this as it may, I have wondered more than once how the ARI could
> > come along and change so many things and have these changes accepted
> > by many communities. It is all the more surprising to me given that he
> > lived for only 38 years according to many sources.
>It's because he didn't make anything up himself; everything he taught
>came from his rebbe, Eliyohu Hanovi.  He revealed secrets that had not
>been known before him, so it's logical that people changed their
>minhogim to bring them into line with these new revelations, just as
>the medical discoveries of the past 200 years have caused everyone to
>change their lifestyles.

RSRH comments on Devarim 30:12  "It is not in heaven, that you could 
say: Who shall go up for us to heaven and bring it to us, and
make us understand it so that we may carry it out?"

The knowledge and deeds that it has in mind are not in
the realm of the supernatural, the celestial, and all the Divine revelations
necessary for understanding and fulfilling it have already been given to
us in their entirety; nothing of them remains in heaven. Hence, you cannot
say: Where will we find someone endowed with a superhuman spirit,
who will penetrate into the secrets of heaven for us, or who will bring
down to us a new revelation from heaven, to complete our knowledge?
Only if we find such a person endowed with the spirit of God will we be
able to fulfill the Torah in accordance with God's Will.

IMO this contradicts what you have written about Eliyohu 
HaNovi.  Again, as R. A. Miller said many times about stories like 
this, "We are not mechuyav to believe these stories."

Rav Hirsch points out a number of times that it is not the Torah that 
is to be changed to fit the times, but it is the job of the Jew to 
"fit" the times to the Torah.  Thus, it seems to me that your remark 
about medical discoveries of the past 200 years causing lifestyle 
changes is not relevant to Torah.

Yitzchok Levine 
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Message: 10
From: Lisa Liel <l...@starways.net>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 16:03:19 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Boruch Hashem

At 03:30 PM 6/22/2011, martin brody wrote:
>"Excuse me?  Why do you think we say Baruch Shem?  Because Moshe heard
>the mal'achim say it.
>Zev Sero"
>Actually, gentiles said it thrice in the Torah and we copied them.

That's Baruch Hashem, no?  I think Zev was referring to Baruch Shem Kevod etc.


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Message: 11
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 16:46:37 -0400
[Avodah] Cleaning One?s Glasses with a Tallis

 From http://tinyurl.com/6lxva3q

It goes without saying that one is never permitted to use a tallit 
for a degrading or undignified purpose. This is true even after the 
tallit is worn out and no longer usable.[1] There is some discussion, 
however, whether a tallit may be used for routine or mundane tasks 
that are not necessarily degrading, such as cleaning one's glasses, 
wiping away sweat, and drying one's hands

See the above URL for the rest of this article.
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Message: 12
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 18:08:19 -0400
Re: [Avodah] eye pains on shabbat

On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 10:50:54AM +0300, Eli Turkel wrote:
: I heard from Dr. Steinberg many years ago (and I believe is in his
: encyclopedia) that #3 implies evolution. Furthermore, evolution on a
: scale much faster than scientists would agree. i.e. no scientist would
: agree to evolution in the human body over a period of 2 thousand years
: not to be speak of decades and centuries. This is one of the reasons
: (among others) that scientists speak in terms of millions of years for
: natural evolution. For some halachot nutrition can explain changes. In
: many others we have to assume the gemara should not be interpreted
: literally but as aggadah/metaphorically
: What all this assumes is based on Rambam, RAbhR, and Geonim...

According to RAbhR, the gemaros can be taken literally. He is saying that
Chazal were simply doing what rabbis today do -- use the best science
at their disposal. But they are literally correct.

The discussion of the gestation periods of variosu animals is aggadita,
and thus metaphor (as per the Rambam, Maharsha, Maharal et al), and
therefore the wrongness of the science has nothing to do with the validity
of the mashal-nimshal.

But when halakah is decided on the basis of the science, it's hard to
say they meant what looks like scientific assertions as metaphor.

Replying to RnTK, RET writes:
: > Some recent studies show that common eye problems are linked to heart
: > disease. An international group of researchers found that diabetic
: > retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness in the U.S., is also a warning
: > sign of heart failure....

: Rbn Katz has defended Chazal and shown one should not be quick to be
: machmir against them Nevertheless, I assume R. Elyashiv was talking
: about some external injury to the eye and not internal problems that
: affect the eye.

I don't know why you assume the gemara RYSE (yehi Ratzon that he continue
to progress to a a refu'ah sheleima) relied upon was speaking about
injury over illness.

But in any case, it presents a rule about eye problems, not that one
particular condition (limited to diabetics) that is a mi'ut of such
issues. A horse voice is NOT considered piquach nefesh, but at times
it's pre-cancerous or even ch"v not "pre-"! Finding one particular case
where chazal's words stand up is insufficient as a defense.

I have a similar problem with R' Dr Josh Backon's post of many years back
that showed some sort of link between the liver processing both fish
(in particular eicosapentaenoic acid) and meat (stearic acid) at the
same time and many of the symptoms of psoriasis (assuming it's related
to tzora'as). <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol03/v03n091.shtml#03>
Even if you dug up some causal connection, it's obviously not a common
effect. Chazal don't speak of things far more likely and far more
obvious. I have a hard time believing this is what they're talking about.

We have to do more than dig up theories that appear to match.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Man is a drop of intellect drowning in a sea
mi...@aishdas.org        of instincts.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 13
From: harchinam <harchi...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2011 02:42:14 +0300
Re: [Avodah] eye pains on shabbat

> Nevertheless, I assume R. Elyashiv was talking about some external injury
> to the eye and not internal problems that affect the eye.

I don't think we can assume that. Pain can be caused by many things -- it
does not have to be caused by injury or an external problem at all.

*** Rena
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Message: 14
From: "Poppers, Michael" <MPopp...@kayescholer.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 18:39:56 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Consumer Alert: Minhog Scams On The Rise!

In Avodah V28n105, RAM responded to me:
>> Earlier today, I mentioned the example of unmarried bochurim, even
>> those already b'nei mitzvah, not being misateif batalis -- perhaps
>> that non-action could be defended in an era when taleisim were
>> expensive (especially if the motivation was to avoid agudos, those
>> who could afford taleisim for their boys and those who could not),
>> but why is it treated nowadays, when taleisim are essentially
>> affordable for all, as some sacred, positive minhag? <<
> It is treated "as some sacred, positive minhag" because we've
> forgotten the reason behind it. All we know is that the previous
> generation acted this way, and did so deliberately, and so shall we.
> <
I think RAM Is being too kind.	I'll dare say it's because (a) "we" (i.e.
the hamon am) don't know the origins of that Rhine-region custom*; and,
more importantly, (b) our community leaders who should know are not taking
the steps of buying taleisim for their sons at an appropriate age and
explaining to their followers why they are doing so. 

> Perhaps it is comparable to the practice of making simple and inexpensive funerals.... <
Again, for that which is expensive but can be afforded by some in the
community, there is room for the leadership to be m'saqein all not
spending...and we can recently see this principle at work in re to chas'nas
(and perhaps other occasions whose s'udos mitzva have become quite
extravagant).  I can't similarly be m'lameid z'chus in re to buying a talis
for one's son, especially when done at the time he becomes a Bar Mitzva,
when [some]one, be it the father or another person, is spending more on
matters quite important (e.g. t'filin for the young man) or not so

*) Anyone know if such a custom is discussed anywhere other than in [by
which I really mean contemporaneously with or prior to] the seifer I noted
(which brings t'shuvas MaHaRYL to a sh'eila whose shoeil held by that

All the best from 
-- Michael Poppers via BB pager

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Message: 15
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 20:45:36 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Bittul of non-K and Chametz during Pesach

On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 01:18:17PM +1000, Meir Rabi wrote:
: HaRav Sh Z, explains that although Chamets during Pesach is not Battel
: 1:1000, nevertheless it is Battel when it is not at all discernible. This
: means that at 1:1000 it is still discernible. Consequently 1:60 is certainly
: discernible. Now this is strange since 1:60 is the rule of thumb at which we
: assume taste is no longer discernible.

I prefer RAF's formulation to my own, because it means that RSZA's
requirement that /someone/ must be able to taste it is just part of the
general rule that things which can't be perceived by unaided human senses
are outside the metzi'us halakhah deals with. One of my pet topics.

Still, I think my original objection holds, and stands as a second

Kayadua, 1:60 is a thumbnail way of saying there is ta'am without
actually tasting the pot. This is inherent in Chulin 98b, which derives
the one in 60 from the zero'ah (which is qodshim) being bateil in the
rest of the qorban nazir. Rav directly discusses it in terms of
ta'am zeroa'. This is zil qeri bei rav to any musmach, RSZA knows
it too. So obviously he can't be disconnecting them -- your statement
is beyond shocking, it's entirely implausible.

Perhaps you are a Sepharadi and there are no nachriim around, or an Ashk
who presumably has no idea how much of a gormand the nakhri has to be
in order to be an "expert taster" who can pick up the ta'am directly. So
we have a rule of thumb.

: It seems that HaRav Sh Z is saying that at 1:1000 (which is not an exact
: ratio - unlike 1:60) only the most finely attuned palates can discern. That
: is enough to render Chamets during Pesach, not Battel.

1:1000 is at most a hava amina (if not just stam an idiom), it's rejected
-- afilu 1:1000 eino bateil". It is not only not an exact ratio, the
gemara's whole point is that it's not a significant ratio, there is no
halachic concept related to 1:1000. It's "mashehu".

You noted ourself the distinction between RSZA's requirement, which would
be that it must be tastable by anyone in order for the mashehu not to be
batel, and the usual thing 1:60 is taken to measure tastable by most
people or by most experts (machloqes Shakh and Taz).

LAD, the parallel to RSZA saying that
    only a mashehu of chameitz that is tastable to someone is not bateil
would be
    a taaroves of <1:60 but is tastable (e.g. a davar charif) is also not

This was my my initial objection to your chiddush, when I said that
you had the sense of RSZA reversed.

But again, I think RSZA's notion is better understood in RAF's terms
rather than saying he's talking about taam in the taaroves sense. There
would thus be no parallel to be suggested.

: What happens if we have food produced in machinery which has non-K BeliOs,
: which by calculation are =>1:60 yet are not discernible by even the most
: finely honed palate?

We would say you just happened not to find the right palate. That's what
the asmachta from the pasuq is all about!

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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