Avodah Mailing List

Volume 28: Number 172

Wed, 24 Aug 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 13:57:20 -0400
Re: [Avodah] sun and moon

On Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 10:22:20AM -0400, Eli Turkel wrote:
: What does it mean that moon and sun talked - they are inanimate

This medrash, as well as the one about "eitz peri" vs "eitz oseh peri",
I would take as distinguishing between the "ideal" world and the real
one. The original plan describes a universe without evil, and the medrash
explains how this universe diverges from it.

This particular medrash (Chullin 60b) was the
topic of a piece I wrote for MmD for parashas Pinechas
<http://www.aishdas.org/mesukim/5764/pinchas.pdf>, but here is a summary
I blogged:

    In Parshas Bereishis (1:16) the Torah reads: "And G-d made the two
    large luminaries -- the large luminary to rule the day and the small
    luminary to rule the night -- and the stars."

    The gemara (Chulin 60b) points out an inconsistency in the
    pasuq. R. Shimon ben Pazi asks why the Torah first describes the
    sun and moon as "the two large luminaries", but then it calls the
    sun "the large luminary" and the moon is called the small one. The
    gemara answers with a story. Originally the sun and moon were the same
    size. But the moon complained to Hashem, "Can there exist two kings
    sharing the same crown?" How can both the sun and the moon share the
    glory? G-d replies, "Go and make yourself smaller." This pains the
    moon, and Hashem subsequently offers three consolations. When that
    fails, Hashem says that we are to bring a qorban to atone for His
    sin. (Again, see the devar Torah in MmD.)

    The Maharsha explains that the story is about the Jewish people and
    our goals vs the world at large and theirs. The Jews are compared to
    the moon (see, for example Qidush Levanah). Edom, the dominant power,
    is the sun. Why do we live in a world that seems to be dominated
    by Edom's principle, that might makes right? Why isn't holiness the
    dominant idea, and right make might?

In case you're not learning daf and are wondering what this has to do
with parashas Pinechas... Reish Laqish (ad loc) explains that the sa'ir
brought on Rosh Chodesh as a "chatas Lashem" was a "kapparah" for Hashem
"wronging" the moon. (Again, I discuss this more at the above link,
and the above is just beqitzur.)

: the moon's light is only a reflection of the sun...

Since medrashic stories are metaphoric, and this one is clearly not
history utilized for a message, I don't think we should assume this bit
of science is relevent. Chazal probably didn't know that moonlight is
reflected sunlight, and even if they did, they aren't likely to have
assumed the listener would know that.

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: "Joel C. Salomon" <joelcsalo...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 14:22:43 -0400
[Avodah] Bracha on an Earthquake

We on the East Coast just felt a magnitude 5.8 earthquake, so I went
looking up the bracha to make on such an occasion.  Apparently there are
varying views; see
<http://www.ou.org/torah/tt/5764/mishpatim64/specialfeatures.htm#7> for

Blessed are you, L??? our God, King of the Universe, Whose power and
might fill the world.


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Message: 3
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@Kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 19:18:53 +0100
[Avodah] shelo asani isha continued

RAF writes:

>     I would like to make it clear that there is no doubt as to the
> authenticity of the text of the benediction she-lo asani isha?since it
> appears thrice in Rabbinic literature: in the Tosefta, the Talmud Bavli
> and the Yerushalmi.[1] Both the Tosefta and the Yerushalmi make it
> clear that the benediction is related strictly to men?s greater
> obligation in commandments. 

But in the interests of honesty, it should be clear that in gemora didan, ie
Menachos 43b, no such explanation is given, and it is not so easy to read
this into the words.

???? ??? ?"? ???? ???? ??? ???? ??? ????? ??? ??? ??? ?? ?????? ?????, ???
????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ?? ??? ?? ???? ????? ????? ???? ?? ???? ??? ?????
??? ??? ??? ???? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???? ??? ???? ??? ????? ??? ????? ??? ???
??? ???
Menachos 33b-34a
It was taught in a braisa, Rabbi Meir said a man is obligated to bless three
blessings each day, and these are those:  ?sheasani Yisroel?, ?shelo asani
isha?, ?shelo asani bor?.  Rav Acha bar Ya?akov heard his son blessing
?shelo asani bor? and said to him, to such an extent also?  He said to him,
rather what should one bless ? [he answered] ?shelo asani eved?, [he
objected] this is [the same as] an isha? Eved zil t?fei [Rashi
notwithstanding this either an eved is a more mezalzel or add it anyway to
make up the three].

Now leaving aside whether or not the original text here says sheasani
Yisrael (which in itself is difficult to align with a mitzvah count
rationale. So let us assume that the version we have is an incorrect girsa
as some believe and that it really says shelo asani goy), the whole rest of
the dialogue is not easy to align with a greater obligation in commandments.
If Rabbi Meir's braisa is quoted correctly, then the original is shelo asani
bor, which cannot be understood as being a reference to a mitzvah count (as
a bor has the same mitzvah obligation as a talmud chacham).  Now it is
possible that this is indeed Rav Acha bar Ya'akov's objection (as per
Rashi's second explanation), but Rashi's first explanation works as well, ie
the objection is to praising HaShem for something that is really (mostly)
the doing of a person himself, not being an ignoramus, and not so much
HaShem (and that one really has reached that level).
And again, which the question that an eved is the same as an isha could be
based on an equivalent level of obligation in the commandments (but again
only if you posken, as I have previously posted, that an eved has no more
mitzvos than an isha - and that is by no means pashut), it can also be
equally well understood (as per Rashi's first explanation) that it is a
matter of shibud.  And indeed, the final response, however you explain it,
works much better if it is a question of shibud, because you can say, yes
there is shibud both ways, but the shibud of an eved can be understood to be
greater.  But if you understand it to be a question of level of obligation
of the commandments, then no answer makes sense with our current order  -
you have, at that point, either to bring in an additional explanation that
does not relate to mitzvos, or to reverse the order - ie say goy, isha, eved
(which also works with the text as we have it, as eved is a replacement for
the brocha ordered third - and indeed, as I have pointed out in a previous
posting, many rishonim understand an eved's mitzvah count to in fact be
greater than that of an isha).  But I can see no way that the level of
obligation in commandments of a woman can be said to be greater than that of
a (male) eved, and it is probably less - so the most logical reading of this
gemora is that it is rejecting the obligation in commandments rationale, or
at least that it has been understood to be doing so, given the order that we
find in our siddur and hence is in dispute with the Yerushalmi and the
Tosephta (which is why this rationale is not brought in our gemora) and in
the case of machlokus, we posken like the Bavli. 

>     beKhavod Rav
>             Aryeh



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Message: 4
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 14:37:36 -0400
[Avodah] walking between 2 women

<<As for the reason for this whole thing, I suspect it has to do with

If so it shouldnt apply any more as we are generally not makpid on zugot.
Also if the reason is kishuf that also would not seem relevant today.
Walking down the corridors of my university I doubt if many of them
have taken clases in magic

why should this be different from many other segulot mentioned in the
gemara that many people no longer observe

Eli Turkel

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Message: 5
From: Liron Kopinsky <liron.kopin...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 21:55:53 +0300
Re: [Avodah] walking between 2 women

On Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 5:20 PM, Zev Sero <z...@sero.name> wrote:
>>  My understanding was that it had to do with zugot for the palm trees,
>> but Keshafim for the women and was therefore more chamur.

> The gemara doesn't distinguish in any way between the three examples, so
> what grounds are there to suppose their reasons are different?

The gemarra (Pesachim 111A) does seem to distinguish to an extent,
but looking it over, I am not convinced that I am correct.

It seems that there are a few different going on in that gemarrah.

1) Don't have a woman/dog/or palm tree (or pig or snake) go between 2
men and don't have 2 of those around 1 man. No reason is given.

2) Don't allow a woman who is a Niddah to walk between 2 men, as this
will cause some form of strife between them.

3) If you see 2 women sitting on opposite sides of a street staring at
each other, don't go through as they are for sure doing Keshafim.

The way I had originally learned through this, I had assumed Keshafim
went across the board because of #3, but thinking through it again,
maybe 2 and 3 are both explaining #1. #2 explains why a woman shouldn't
walk between 2 men (because of Tumah and presumably the Sheidim that come
along with it) and #3 explains why a man shouldn't walk between 2 women
(because of Keshafim).

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Message: 6
From: Liron Kopinsky <liron.kopin...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 21:42:47 +0300
[Avodah] Caring about Sheidim

On Wed, Aug 17, 2011 at 4:07 AM, Moshe Y. Gluck <mgl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> R'n TK:
>> If you don't worry about kabbalah you don't have to worry about
>> interlocking your fingers.  It's like sheidim, if  you don't believe in them
>> and don't worry about them they have little or no power over you.

> R' Liron Kopinsky:
>> I thought we *are* supposed to believe in them, and actually take
>> precautions against them, but never-the-less not worry about them. A bit of
>> a catch-22...

> R'n TK is paraphrasing the Gemara in Pesachim (110b towards the top) and
> Rashi there. Check it out.

"Klala d'Milta Kol d'Kapid, Kapidei B'hadei, ud'lo kapid, lo kapidei
b'hadei... Umihu, l'Meichas Bai."

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Message: 7
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 15:02:36 -0400
Re: [Avodah] sun and moon

On 23/08/2011 10:22 AM, Eli Turkel wrote:
> What does it mean that moon and sun talked - they are inanimate

How do you know?  The Rambam says they are intelligent; what grounds
exist to question that?

> the moon's light is only a reflection of the sun, so what does the
> whole story mean and how can it be as big in the future

The moon may not have its own light now that it diminished itself;
that doesn't mean it didn't have its own life beforehand, or that it
won't when it's restored to its former glory.  (BTW there are mekoros
that say the moon still has its own light, that only shines when it's
stimulated by sunlight.)

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: 8
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 16:49:25 -0400
[Avodah] Fighting To Be Chazan?

At 02:04 PM 8/23/2011, R. Zev Sero wrote:

>On 22/08/2011 8:40 AM, Prof. Levine wrote:
> > Although I am sure that the above writer did not have this in 
> mind when he wrote, "Do not make Klal Yisrael into many different 
> groups by having Divergent Halachic Practices."  to me this brings 
> to mind the practice that seems to have become increasingly common 
> today of making more than one minyan if there are two or more 
> chiyuvim.  How do those who do this reconcile this practice with 
> the principle of  B'rov Am Hadras Melech?
>You just gave the answer: in order not to make machlokes.  If there
>aren't enough minyanim for all the avelim then who should get precedence?
>Why should one be more important than another?  So "lo titgodedu" means
>that the minyan should split up in order to accommodate both.  (The gemara
>says explicitly that lo titgodedu does not apply when there are two batei
>din in a town, each ruling its own way; presumably each person may choose
>which BD to follow, and this is not called "divergent practises".  By the
>same principle, splitting into separate minyanim is not a violation of
>"lo titgodedu", whereas having two chazanim in the same minyan might be.)

There is a hierarchy in halacha regarding who gets precedence.  In 
addition, according to the din, which most places do not follow, only 
one person is supposed to say kaddish at a time.

There is a story about Reb Yisroel Salanter who had Yahrtzeit for his 
father.  Also, where RYS davened only one person said 
kaddish.  Someone came in who did not normally daven for the Amud and 
insisted on davening for the Amud.  RYS clearly took precedence, and 
this fellow was told this.  He got upset.  When RYS saw this he told 
the people to let this fellow daven for the Amud and say kaddish.

Afterwards, Reb Yisroel was asked why he did this.  After all, he was 
entitled al pi din to daven for the Amud and to say kaddish. He 
replied, "I thought it was a bigger zechus for my father not to pain 
this fellow and let him daven and say kaddish."

Too bad people do not have this attitude, but instead fight for the 
Amud and insist on saying kaddish in mass.   YL
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Message: 9
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 18:14:42 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Fighting To Be Chazan?

On 23/08/2011 4:49 PM, Prof. Levine wrote:
> There is a hierarchy in halacha regarding who gets precedence.

First of all, I've seen such hierarchies for aliyos and for kaddish,
not for the amud.  Second, if there's only one minyan, then you have
no choice, and someone has to take precedence.  But whoever misses out
is going to be hurt.  Or do you expect them to be happy that their
parent or relative or whoever will miss out on the zechus just because
someone else showed up with a greater claim?  "Oh, that's OK, tatty
didn't really need my davening anyway, you go ahead, I'm sure your
father needs it much more than mine does...."  However you cut it,
surely you see that this is not a recipe for shalom and goodwill.
So if there are enough people, why *not* split up?   You're worried
about "berov am"?  You're constantly quoting R Yisroel Salanter; what
would he say about the relative values of an impressively large minyan
davening together versus someone upset and angry that he missed out on
the amud?

>  In addition, according to the din, which most places do not follow,
> only one person is supposed to say kaddish at a time.

There is no such halacha.

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: 10
From: "Poppers, Michael" <MPopp...@kayescholer.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 19:28:33 -0400

In Avodah V28n171, RZS wrote:
> I do these movements, but so small that I'm not sure even a keen
> observer would notice them, and I assume that many other people do the
> same.  Since the purpose is to concentrate the mind, even a tiny
> movement is enough; indeed, even merely imagining the movement is
> enough, as the quoted article cites from the rishonim. <
I use my eyes (similar to what I do, with my eyes closed, during Q'dushah).

The article noted the connection between the Shomayim vaAretz "ches"
movements and the 7 heavens+1 earth as well as the connection between the
Arba Ruchos "daled" movements and the 4 compass points; it also noted the
mandate to spend twice as long on the 4 "daled" movements as on the 2
"ches" movements and how one can do this by pronouncing the daled rafeh as
"th" rather than "d."  I'm curious whether the chevrah thinks (and in the
past have discussed this issue with my Rav, bcc:ed) that emphasizing the
"cha" (ches/qamatz") without pronouncing the daled as if it had a sh'va na'
is the way to fulfill that mandate.  Thanks. 

All the best from 
-- Michael Poppers via BB pager

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Message: 11
From: "Simi Peters" <famil...@actcom.net.il>
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2011 11:29:01 +0300
[Avodah] sun and moon

I assume you are referring to the source in Hulin 60b. Two clarifications: 
(1) In this midrash, only the moon speaks and she speaks to God.  The sun
does not speak in this midrash. (2)  The idea that the moon's light will
become equal to the sun's is a *bakasha* in kiddush levana, not a part of
this midrash. 

Like many other midrashim which are not reflective of nature (inanimate
objects speaking) , this one is not meant to be taken literally (as per the
Rambam and most of the rishonim.)  The moon's 'questioning' of God is an
anthropomorphic representation of human questions about the seeming
imperfection or inequality of the world.  Our wish that the light of the
moon be 'restored' is a wish for a perfected world.

The Ramban clearly understands the story allegorically/mystically.  See
Ramban on Bereshit 1:14 toward the end of dibbur hamat'hil 'lehavdil ben
hayom uven halaila':  ...'vesod shnei hamelahim...' till the end.

If you'd like my take on how to read the midrash (i.e., a line-by-line reading) please contact me off list.  We can read it together over the phone.

Kol tuv,
Simi Peters
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Message: 12
From: "Akiva Blum" <yda...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2011 16:00:55 +0300
Re: [Avodah] walking between 2 women

From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 9:28 PM
Subject: [Avodah] walking between 2 women


Are most people really makpid on this?


Rabbl P.E. Falk has a whole section on this in 'Modesty - An Adornmant For
Life'. Permit me to quote selections (from p 503):

             (b) Certainties concerning this issue: The following are points
that are definite concerning the warning of chazal.

                              (1) A man should not pass between two
stationary women unless there are four amos between them (Ben Ish Chai .

                              (2) a woman should nor pass between two
stationary men if there is less than four amos between them [for this reason
no shura is made for an aveila.


                              (4) When two men pass simultaneously between
two women or two women pass simultaneously between two men the warning of
chazal does not apply.

                              (5) When the outer people are standing or
walking in a way that they cannot be considered as associated with one
another, the advice of chazal does not apply. For example, they are within
four amos of one another but one is distinctly further ahead than the other.
In such a case there is no connection between the two outer people and the
middle person is not considered as crossing between them. This however does
not include women standing behing one another in a queue. They are connected
by being 'together the queue'.

                              (6) When a 'man woman man' walk
unintentionally together (such as a husband and wife walking along and a
second man walks unintentionally alongside the wife).


              (c) Uncertainties concerning this issue.:

                              (1) . girls under bar mitzvah.

                              (2) Whether it applies within close family eg.
A father walking between his wife and adult daughter (see Beis Baruch vol. 1
page 402 and Shmiras haguf vehanefesh 111 note 12 The latter quotes the
Chazon Ish who held that this applies even to close family).

                              (3) . non-Jewish women.

                              (4) Whether it applies when all three people
are standing, walking or sitting together, or only if the inner person
crosses through the outer ones (Responsa Salmas Chayim 504 writes that it
applies, see Responsa Vaywvarech Dovid no.122 s.v. ubenogeia and Shmiras
haguf vehanefesh 111: (4). However sefer Zikaron no.16, Minchas Yitzchok
10:68 and Beis Baruch vol.1 page 402 are in doubt).

                              (5) Whether it applies when one of the two
outer people is sitting and the other is standing.

                              (6) Whether it applies when two men pass
either side of a standing woman or two women along either side of a
stationary man.

                              (7) Some maintain that if the man passing in
the middle caries an article such as an umbrella or a sefer, he is not
considered to be passing alone between the two women and the warning does
not apply (Tiv Yehoshua 2:12, Beis Baruch vol.1 page 402, Zichron Tov letter
28, Lev Eliyohu breishis introduction page 27. This is however not
unanimously held - Responsa Vaywvarech Dovid 122 and Chazon Ish quotes in
Shmiras haguf vehanefesh page 334).


This is just a selection of quotes, but there are enough useful qulas, that
with a little attention and effort, this is easily followed.






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Message: 13
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2011 09:32:04 -0400
Re: [Avodah] walking between 2 women

> a woman should nor pass between two stationary men if there is less than
> four amos between them [for this reason no shura is made for an aveila?
> This however does not include women standing behing one another in a
> queue. They are connected by being ?together the queue??

I dispute the whole notion that passing between two rows each consisting
of many people is an issue.  By the same logic one would have to avoid
walking down a tree-lined avenue or a forest path!  Whoever heard of such
a thing?  And in my experience women do pass through the shurah. (What
difference does it make whether it's just one woman or a family that
includes women?  The aveilim go single file after all, so if there were
a problem then it would manifest as each woman passed in turn.)

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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