Avodah Mailing List

Volume 28: Number 114

Mon, 27 Jun 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2011 22:58:04 +0300
[Avodah] kaddish yatom

<<> R. Akiva never mention any kaddish yatom
> [...]
> This is often linked to a tale about
> Rabbi Akiva which suggests that a person?s son can redeem the parent
> from torment by saying Kaddish (Kallah Rabbati, ch. 2, etc.)

Don't you see the contradiction?  Unless you're claiming (on what basis?)
that this is a mere "tale" which we should ignore.>>

I didnt claim it was a tale I claimed that the institution of kaddish
yatom is much later
The first one who mentions orphans saying a special kaddish is Or
Zarua. At this late date it was connected with the story of R. Akiva

quoting more from the source

None of this material suggests a link with mourning, but Rabbi DS
Telsner, in his ?The Kaddish - Its History and Significance? (ed. GA
Sivan, Jerusalem, 1995) puts forward the idea that the development of
the mourner?s version of the Kaddish may have come about as the result
of a shift in emphasis. At first the Kaddish honoured the living (?in
your life and in your days?). During the medieval persecutions it
consoled the survivors of the catastrophes and implied that they
should not let their tragic experiences weaken their faith in
redemption. Eventually it memorialised those who had lost their lives,
and so it became a prayer for the dead rather than the living.

This theory reflects the fact that the Mourner?s Kaddish probably
arose in north-west and central Europe in the Middle Ages. Another
medieval source, the Machzor Vitry, speaks of a mourner conducting the
service on Saturday night, probably because of the belief that at the
end of Shabbat the dead are selected either for punishment or for
reward. Eventually the mourners recited Kaddish without necessarily
conducting the service, and finally Kaddish at the end of the service
became the mourner?s prerogative. This is often linked to a tale about
Rabbi Akiva which suggests that a person?s son can redeem the parent
from torment by saying Kaddish (Kallah Rabbati, ch. 2, etc.

Berkowitz of Yerushalayim. At the time of the Anshei Kesenet Hagdolah
, they held a lottery of words that they would select to formulate the
Baruch She-Amar. So one may say that this act of selecting the words
from a lottery was guided by Yad Hashem (the hand of G-D), and thus
the words of Pesukei d'Zimra "fell from the Heavens" ? they were
chosen by G-d's hand.

Though many ascribe Baruch Sheamar to Anshei Knesset Hagadolah in fact
it is not mentioned in the gemara.

Eli Turkel

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Message: 2
From: Harvey Benton <harvw...@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2011 13:37:59 -0700 (PDT)
[Avodah] joseph; sale v. death

did the brothers of joseph violate any of the halachot of holding a beis din 
that we have? (eg, defendant standing, etc?)
did they question him and give him a chance to explain?
were the charges against him valid (eg moser?)
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Message: 3
From: Meir Shinnar <chide...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2011 13:00:01 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Consumer Alert: Minhog Scams On The Rise!

> Again I come back to the basic question: are
> we Jews or Protestants? Do we believe that there is a Higher World and
> there are miracles or not? What kind of Jew believes such things to be
> impossible?

As RZS does not view the MN as representing the authentic rambam (we
can agree to disagree on this - he does represent a major haredi
streak), look at ma'amar techiyat hametim - where he is explicit that
while we believe that miracles are in principle possible, we try our
best to minimize them to the extent possible - because disruptions in
the natural order reflect a defect in that order - and those that
maximize miracles, rather than increasing kavod hashem, decrease it.
Therefore,  we interprete as much as possible allegorically.  Yes,
some things, such as tehiyat hametim (the focus of the article -as the
rambam was accused of not believing in it)  are supported by
sufficient evidence that we believe in them - but that evidence has to
be quite strong.

A statement in the or zarua about an event at the time of hazal -
butnot found in early sources  by this quite explicit approach, would
be quite automatically viewed , even if viewed as historically
reliable (WADR to the Ohr zarua, doubts about historical reliablity of
such stories is legitimate) , as reflecting more a sense that the
authors viewed the tefilla as inspired by ruach hakodesh - rather than
a literal story.

RZS comes from the strand that the rambam denigrates - who would
maximize miracles.  He has al mi lismoch - but to call those who
follow the rambam Protestants is something that requires a mecha'a

Meir Shinnar

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Message: 4
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 01:39:13 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Defining an Os

R' Micha Berger brought several examples, and I'd like to add a few more, which I hope will help clarify some of these questions.

Normally, a kuf has two parts, but I have seen some calligraphy and fonts
where the two parts do touch. If one writes something in that style, does
it count as writing on Shabbos, or is it a sufficiently significant change
as to not be a melacha?

If it is *not* considered writing, and the reason is that the letter is not
of the standard form, then how do we define the standard? Only one which is
valid for sta"m (sifrei Torah, tefillin and mezuzos)? Would Frank-Ruehl
(the standard font in the Vilna Shas and many older siddurim) be considered
standard or too different? What about the printed "Rashi" script, or our
handwritten styles? Where do we draw the line?

Conversely: If a kuf *is* considered writing even when the two parts touch,
and the reason is that it is sufficiently common to count as "writing",
then I would imagine that other "sufficiently common" styles would also
count. Further: IF a one-piece kuf is writing because it is sufficiently 
common, then I would venture that other common fonts constitute writing,
even if their nature is to break a one-part letter into two parts, or even
*many* parts. And the specific font I'm speaking of is Dot Matrix.

Maybe I shouldn't put "Dot Matrix" in upper case like that, but it seems to
me that the style is very common. Both in English and in Hebrew, and I
would imagine it is common in any language that has electric signs.

I'm not taking sides on the issue - that's for the poskim. I'm just
wondering why a one-part kuf would be more chamur than an easily-recognized
kuf that was made of several dots.

Akiva Miller

57 Year Old Mom Looks 27!
Mom Reveals $5 Wrinkle Trick That Has Angered Doctors!

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Message: 5
From: Arie Folger <afol...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 07:38:48 +0200
Re: [Avodah] alenu

R'n Menucha wrote:
>  From Teshuvot Hageonim (Shaarei Tzedek 43)
> Yehoshua tiken Aleinu Leshabeiach velav hu mitakanat Rabanan

The "Geonic" responsum (in the name of IIRC R'Hai Gaon) claiming that
Alenu was authored by Yehoshu'a has been repeatedly demonstrated to be
pseudepigraphic, having been written long after the Geonic era came to
a close. See Otzar haTefillot, which explains why, and suggests that
Alenu was written either by Rav, or during the 2nd Temple era (as it
features hishta'havaya).

(BTW: Eliott Wolfson demonstrates why he is convinced that the author
of that responsum is none other than R'Moshe Ibn Shem Tov de Leon)

Arie Folger,
Recent blog posts on http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/
* Meditating on the Tragedy in Japan
* Ode an das Pessachfest und den Fr?hling
* Denkmal an den deportierten l?rracher Juden
* Holiday Art
* Will the Judge of the Entire World Not Do Justice?
* When Theodicy Is No Theodicy

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Message: 6
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 08:09:10 -0400
[Avodah] Consumer Alert: Minhog Scams On The Rise!

At 03:02 PM 6/26/2011, Moshe Y. Glick wrote:

>R' ZS:
><SNIP>  What exactly is
>difficult about believing that the Anshei Knesses Hagdolah saw a piece
>of paper fall from heaven?  Again I come back to the basic question: are
>we Jews or Protestants?  Do we believe that there is a Higher World and
>there are miracles or not?  What kind of Jew believes such things to be
>To elaborate upon R' Zev's question: If we believe in Hashem, we have
>already suspended our belief in a purely rational world. If that is so -
>that we are allowing the supernatural into our life - then why should it
>bother us to allow more of it into our life - admitting, for example, the
>possibility of a Piska falling from heaven? Why should we confine our belief
>in the supernatural to the miracles explicit in the Torah and in the
>previously mentioned Mishnah in Avos?
>In other words, to a rationalist who believes in the supernatural, it is not
>rational to limit that belief.

I have more than once written about what R. A. Miller told me 
regarding literally believing stories that seem to defy logic. He 
said, "Our minds are strained enough by what we have to believe, To 
add anything more to this is not wise."  YL
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Message: 7
From: Danny Schoemann <doni...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 09:28:21 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Should you go to the best surgeon?

> After all,
> Hashem is doing the healing not the surgeon and once we have done our
> hishtadlus, going to the doctor and having the surgery, why should it matter
> whether the surgeon is the best in the world or simply Joe surgeon who is
> competent?

Data point:

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:3: Since the Torah gave permission to the
Doctor to heal - as it says VeRapoh Yerapeh - therefore the sick
person may not rely on miracles, rather he has to use current medical
technology to get healed; and even some Chasidei Olam have been healed
by Doctors.

One who does not call a Doctor is doing 2 evils: he is relying on a
miracle in a dangerous situation which causes his sins to be revisited
and secondly it's haughtiness that he is relaying on his righteousness
to be healed miraculously. Rather, one has to call the most expert
Doctor - and yet realise that all is in the hands of heaven and he
should Daven to the great Doctor for mercy and only rely on Him.

- Danny

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Message: 8
From: Liron Kopinsky <liron.kopin...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2011 16:01:15 -0700
Re: [Avodah] A Shabbos of months? or hours? or ?

On Sun, Jun 19, 2011 at 5:37 PM, Michael ORR <michael...@rogers.com> wrote:

>  Judaism has a Shabbos of days (yom hashabbos), a Shabbos of weeks
> (shevuous), a Shabbos of years (shmitah), and a Shabbos of shemitahs
> (yovel).
> I am wondering about whether there is any tradition of Shabbos with respect
> to other units of time.

I was thinking before Shavuot, why we don't say that every 50th day is also
Shabbat and why we only celebrate the "Shabbos of weeks" at Shavuot.

I did not see any source for these ideas, but here goes:

One idea that I was mulling with was that both Shavuot, shemita and yovel
are all integrally tied to the land. Shavuot is the Chag haAssif, where we
bring our bikkurim and the shtei halechem to the beit hamikdash. Shemita and
yovel, too are land based.
Shabbat on the other hand, is not "limited" to "aretz" but is related to the
creation of Shamayim and Aretz. Since 50 is a symbol of completion we can
say that we have completed one cycle of gashmius, but WRT ruchnius it is
much harder to declare that we have actually completed anything.

A second though I had was that for both Shavuot and yovel, we are obligated
to count and keep track of the passing of time, counting up to the next
event we are anticipating, whether it's the chag of Shavuot or the yovel
With Shabbat, however, when we say "hayom yom rishon bashabbat" we are not
counting up to the next Shabbat, but counting how many days it has been
since the last Shabbat.
Through the counting of the omer and counting of the yovel, we are working
towards a goal, with a reward (so to speak) at the end, celebrating the
journey. Shabbat, however, is different. It will be Shabbat in the world
regardless of whether anyone is actually observing it or not. As such, we
cannot celebrate the "accomplishment" of having successfully passed 7
Shabbatot, because that is just the way of the world.
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Message: 9
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2011 20:02:03 -0400
[Avodah] The Rambam and Eliyahu haNavi

At 03:02 PM 6/26/2011, R. Ben Waxman  wrote:

>Is there any ikkar, any belief, that the Rambam holds, which are not based
>on clear sources?

According to Professor Marc Shapiro there are a number. Please see

Last Word in Jewish Theology? Maimonidies' Thirteen Principles


Yitzchok Levine 
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Message: 10
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 07:51:31 -0400
[Avodah] Rav Shmuel HaLevi Vosner: A Quick Trip To Eilat?

 From http://revach.net/article.php?id=2350

If someone lives in Eretz Yisroel, may he travel to Eilat for a 
vacation?  The first issue that must be addressed is; is Eilat part 
of Eretz Yisroel?  Rav Shmuel HaLevi Vosner in the Shevet HaLevi 
(5:173) says that almost certainly without a doubt, Eilat is not part 
of Eretz Yisroel.

This brings us to the issue of leaving Eretz Yisroel.  The Rambam in 
Hilchos Milachim (5:9) paskens that it is forbidden to leave Eretz 
Yisroel to go to Chutz La'Aretz.  Regarding this, says the Shevet 
HaLevi, it is clear from the Rambam that the main prohibition is 
going to Chutz LaAretz to take up residence there.  The only time 
this is permitted is if there is a severe famine in Eretz 
Yisroel.   For someone leaving on a temporary basis, whose place of 
residence is still established in Eretz Yisroel, it is permissible to 
leave if there is a "Tzorech", a need.  This includes traveling for 
business even if you are not lacking sustenance.

Leaving for no Tzorech whatsoever is not permitted according to Rav 
Vosner, and this he says would logically include a pleasure 
trip.  Nevertheless, he says that if someone were to travel for a 
very short time with the purpose of enjoying the natural marvels of 
our Holy Creator's world, in that case if he has in mind that he 
wants to do a mitzva, there is room for leniency.

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Message: 11
From: Lisa Liel <l...@starways.net>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 10:36:05 -0500
[Avodah] Yovel

I've read in a number of articles that we are approaching the point 
where a majority of Jews live in Israel.  I realize that the numbers 
are skewed both by the problem identifying who is actually Jewish as 
well as the fact that some Jews in Israel live outside of Eretz 
Yisrael (Eilat, for example).  But once a majority of Jews are living 
in Eretz Yisrael, a bunch of legal issues arise.

Yovel is the first.  Once Yovel is noheg again, how do we figure out 
what to do?  It isn't even a matter of when to count from-- it might 
be possible to start counting from when the determination of Yovel 
being back in practice happens, the way someone who is lost in a 
forest and loses track of what day of the week it is starts counting 
from the moment he realizes he's lost track, and keeps Shabbat on the 
7th day.  But the very question of how Yovel is counted is a 
machloket Tannaim, if I'm not mistaken.  Between Rabbi Yehuda and 
Rabbi Meir (correct me if I'm wrong), as to whether the Yovel comes 
between the seventh Shmitta and the first year of the next Shmitta 
cycle, or whether it *is* the first year of the next Shmitta cycle.

Once Yovel is noheg, there are other laws which go back into 
practice.  Eved Ivri.  Arei batei choma.  Shmitta d'Orayta.  Will a 
prozbul even work when Shmitta is d'Orayta?

Does anyone know if these issues are being discussed?  It's not like 
it's going to be very long before they're practical questions.


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Message: 12
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 15:37:26 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Yovel

On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 10:36:05AM -0500, Lisa Liel wrote:
> I've read in a number of articles that we are approaching the point  
> where a majority of Jews live in Israel.  I realize that the numbers are 
> skewed both by the problem identifying who is actually Jewish as well as 
> the fact that some Jews in Israel live outside of Eretz Yisrael...

It seems to me from the bottom of Eirachin 32a that this is by sheivet,
not just by majority. It says that the mixing of Yehudah and Binyamin
rather than each on its own land is sufficient to prevent yovel and
shemitah deOraisa. This was raised to explain that yovel deOraisa ended
with the loss of the land mei'eiver laYardein, even though it's likely
that enough of those shevatim moved in among their brothers.

Rashi on Megillah 14b "efshar yovel bateil" uses a prallel argument about
the end of yovel in the days of Chizqiyahu and the loss of 10 shevatim.

The Rambam pasqens accordingly in Shemitah veYovel 10:8, 
    ... bizman shekol yosheveha aleha,
    vehu shelo yihu me'urbabin sheivet besheivet,
    ela kulin yoshevim kitiqunan.

So, it requires Eliyahu (or the melekh hamashiach <grin>) redeviding us
by sheivet, seems like.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The waste of time is the most extravagant
mi...@aishdas.org        of all expense.
http://www.aishdas.org                           -Theophrastus
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 13
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 08:14:08 -0700
[Avodah] the basics

>Shabbos, Kashrus, and Niddah

on one hand , this bare minimum speaks to  jewish status  [ mechallel 
shabbos =  goy]  , and general sphere of  kedusha [what one puts into ones 
body]  .
one could  argue  as to the 1st  two, that it affects large areas of how 
you interact with him--- does he have halachic status as a jew? or is his 
wine  assur?
can you  eat  at his house?
the 3rd  case doesnt  affect directly how you interact with him, though it 
speaks to a certain level of kdusha...

yet ,  there are  going  to be  big variations on these, such that they 
are almost  'in theory'

is there ongoing review of hilchot  shabbat ,  or one is just 'in general' 
keeping shabbos , yet ignorant of its laws?

kashrus--the range of  practice , and hetters relied on vary 
tremendously... would you say someone  who 'eats out' keeps  kosher ?

and  obviously in the private  sphere of taharat hamishpacha  , there can 
be a minimum of a minimum held to --what % would be keeping  harchakot?

but in general they are probably a fairly representative 'trinity' of 
being on the team....
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Message: 14
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 15:26:00 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Yovel

On 27/06/2011 11:36 AM, Lisa Liel wrote:
> I've read in a number of articles that we are approaching the point
> where a majority of Jews live in Israel.  [...]
> Yovel is the first.  Once Yovel is noheg again,

Doesn't that require each tribe living in its own territory?  That
certainly won't happen until Moshiach comes.

Zev Sero        If they use these guns against us once, at that moment
z...@sero.name   the Oslo Accord will be annulled and the IDF will
                 return to all the places that have been given to them.
                                            - Yitzchak Rabin


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Message: 15
From: Ben Waxman <ben1...@zahav.net.il>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 22:28:15 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Yovel

Rav Herzog discusses these issues. For Yovel to be noheig, all of the tribes 
have to be living here. Since that is not the case, and assuming that things 
remain the same, nor will it be, Yovel won't an issue for a long time.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lisa Liel" <l...@starways.net>
> Does anyone know if these issues are being discussed?  It's not like it's 
> going to be very long before they're practical questions.
> Lisa

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Message: 16
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 15:59:09 -0400
Re: [Avodah] the basics

On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 08:14:08AM -0700, Saul.Z.New...@kp.org wrote:
: >Shabbos, Kashrus, and Niddah
: on one hand , this bare minimum speaks to  jewish status  [ mechallel 
: shabbos =  goy]  , and general sphere of  kedusha [what one puts into ones 
: body]  .

I don't think so. I think it speaks to affiliation with no halachic
meaning whatsoever. Of the three, only shemiras Shabbos befarhesia
is discussed by chazal in terms of defining whose membership is in
good standing. OTOH, taharas hamishpachah isn't quite assessable by
the community, and therefore how much risk to communal membership
does violating it pose?

I think it was Rn Debby Baker (R' Jon's eishes chayil) who first pointed
out to me that all three mitzvos were historically under control of women.
One always will, but the wife made Shabbos and prepared kosher food.

It is unsurprising to think we define ourselves by our norms for the
home, not shul or beis medrash. But I don't think these are our most
important mitzvos; "only" the ones that most prominantly define us as
a unique observant community.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When you come to a place of darkness,
mi...@aishdas.org        you don't chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org   You light a candle.
Fax: (270) 514-1507        - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l


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