Avodah Mailing List

Volume 28: Number 184

Mon, 12 Sep 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "S." <dbm...@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 08 Sep 2011 21:04:56 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Ancient Ashkenazi Hebrew

From: R' Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
> The original question was what was minhag Ashkenaz? Was ayin always
> silentsince we settled there? And if not, which sound did it have. I
> pointedout that the Yiddishism "Yankef" points to a memory of an n-like
> ayin.

I used to incline to that view, but I'm not sure it works, not without
any evidence. First of all, how long did they say "Yankev"? It makes a
huge difference if it began in the 1700s in Poland or in the 1000s in
Rhineland, and we can't assume anything without showing it. If there
is such evidence (transliterations in another language, more outright
discussion, etc.) I'd love to hear it.

Secondly, we see that (some?) Ashkenazim had a problem with two pasachs
in the beginning of a word, second letter ayin, hence "mayriv," "tayna,"
and so forth. Interestingly, the other thing Ashkenazim do is remove
one altogether when it's an aleph, hence "bal" instead of "ba'al" and so
forth. Following this pattern, Ya'akov should have became "Yaykov" (or,
really, "Yaykev). Say it out loud. I daresay "Yaykev" doesn't work as well
as "mayriv." It's not so difficult to see how it changed into something
sounding more like "Yankev" for ease of pronunciation. Unfortunately I
do not know the proper linguistic terminology, but I'm fairly certain
the difference between yud-ayin with two pasachs and other consonants
followed by an ayin can be explained in a reasonable way. So it is at
least possible that "Yankev" has nothing to do with a faintly preserved
ayin per se, and is just the exact same thing as "mayriv" only adjusted
for pronunciation. Of course since there is apparently a difference
between what Ashkenazim did with letters in such a pattern, between
an aleph and an ayin, perhaps *that* - "mayriv - is the residue of a
vocalized ayin.


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Message: 2
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2011 03:16:50 GMT
Re: [Avodah] zrizim and mitzvot///

R' Harvey Benton asked:

> why do we put on one of the tefillins first, when the other is meakev?

That's not my understanding. If one has one of the tefillins but not the
other, he can certainly put it on and is fulfilling is Chiyuv D'Oraisa.
Should I find a source, or would you like to rephrase the question?

> same would go for saying [brachot] and hinneni muchen umezuman,?
> before doing the mitzvot, when it delays the mitzvah and we hold
> that zrizim makdimin.....

Both of these practices do indeed delay the mitzvah. But they also enhance
the mitzvah, by making us more aware of what we are doing. (Or at least,
that's what saying these things is *supposed* to accomplish.) Now, consider
the idea that one is not yotzay unless he does the mitzvah with the correct
kavana. (I'm speaking about "mitzvos tzrichos kavana", and I do realize
that there's a machlokes about how we hold on this issue, but everyone
agrees that it is certainly the lechatchila way to do mitzvos.)

Suddenly, saying these things looks less like an improper delay, and more
like an important preparation for the mitzvah. We rarely rush into a
mitzvah blindly, but usually prepare for it in some way: We check the
tzitzis strings, we put the oil or candles in the menora, we check which
night of sefira we're up to. If the mitzvah is delayed a few more seconds
to insure that we know why we are doing it, and then a few more seconds by
thanking the One Who commanded us, it is well worth it, in my opinion.

Akiva Miller

60-Year-Old Mom Looks 25
Mom Reveals $5 Wrinkle Trick That Has Angered Doctors!

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Message: 3
From: Liron Kopinsky <liron.kopin...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2011 08:27:33 +0300
Re: [Avodah] zrizim and mitzvot///

On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 10:46 PM, Harvey Benton <harvw...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> why do we put on one of the tefillins first, when the other is meakev?
> same would go for saying [brachot] and hinneni muchen umezuman,
> before doing the mitzvot, when it delays the mitzvah and we hold that
> zrizim
> makdimin.....

Saying the hinneni muchan (for those who do so) would be considered hachana
for the mitzvah and not necessarily a delay. Further, you would have to
prove that zerizim makdimin would have precedence over doing the mitzvah

Having just read the chapters about zerizut in Messillat Yesharim, it seems
to me that your definition of zerizut is off anyway. It does not mean do it
as soon as possible, but rather, do it without any delay. If you are
actively engaged in doing the mitzvah, even if those actions are "just"
hachanot, you are still being zariz.

In terms of the tefillin, you physically can't put them both on at the same
time and the pasuk says "ukeshartem l'ot al yadecha, v'hayu l'totafot bein
einecha" in that order.

Kol Tuv,
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Message: 4
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2011 22:52:02 EDT
Re: [Avodah] Ancient Ashkenazi Hebrew

From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
On 7/09/2011 1:14 PM, Joel C.  Salomon wrote:
> Along those lines, the line ???? ??? ?????, ???? ????  ??????? in
> Tehillim 104 sounds almost like a pun.

??????...??????  in Shema surely is a pun.

Zev  Sero         

you guys are forgetting that with all of your learned quoting, some of  us 
are left with nothing but question marks

--Toby Katz


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Message: 5
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2011 03:01:05 GMT
Re: [Avodah] patterns???

R' Harvey Benton asked:

> we all know the damage that yaakov did by favoritising joseph. 
> q1. ...
> q1a ...
> q2. ...
> 3. ...

I would like to suggest that all the questions can be resolved by analyzing
your first initial comment. All these questions boil down to a very
respectful way of asking, "How many times does he have to make the same
mistake, until he finally understands that dangers of playing favorites?"
Indeed, the subject line attests to this repetitiousness.

My response is that, as you wrote, *WE* know the damage that is done by
playing favorites. But it seems that Yaakov Avinu truly did not understand
this. We have learned and benefited from his mistakes.

In a similar vein, one can say that while Moshe Rabbenu certainly knew
Torah and Kedusha better than anyone else, his knowledge of some other
areas (such as how best to set up a judicial system) was imperfect, and he
benefited from Yisro's advice in these areas.

Also: Consider the matter when two women had a maternity dispute over an
infant, and the case was brought to Shlomo Hamelech. He rendered his
verdict, and both women honestly spoke their mind, whereas we today would
like to think that we'd call the king's bluff. We think we're smarter than
those women, just like we don't understand Yaakov Avinu. But the truth is
that we're not any smarter than those women - we merely have the advantage
of having heard the story already.

I think this is at least part of what is meant by being "midgets standing
on the shoulders of giants." We are truly smaller than them; we're simply
fortunate to be walking the paths that they've blazed long ago.

Akiva Miller

57-Year-Old Mom Looks 25
Mom Reveals $5 Wrinkle Trick That Has Angered Doctors!

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Message: 6
From: Harvey Benton <harvw...@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2011 13:25:35 -0700 (PDT)
[Avodah] is hachana worth it??

who says the mitzvah is done better by more hachana??
eg the old time people in the gemmara would prepare for 

3 hours before davening.....
was this hachana better than learning (midoraisa vs. midora-
also, what if you have to take o ff the tefilin right away to take care
of a crying baby (or go to the bathroom?)
by not doing the ikar mitzvah first, you might miss out.......... again
on the midoraisa.......and do something that is NOT EVEN a midaro-
banim (or is it??
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Message: 7
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Fri, 09 Sep 2011 17:09:28 -0400
Re: [Avodah] is hachana worth it??

On 9/09/2011 4:25 PM, Harvey Benton wrote:
> who says the mitzvah is done better by more hachana??
> eg the old time people in the gemmara would prepare for
> 3 hours before davening.....
> was this hachana better than learning (midoraisa vs. midora-
> bonnan??)

Obviously it was, or the mishna wouldn't praise it.

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: Simon Krysl <skr...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2011 13:18:09 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Middot of the Avot

I am not sure I am actually adding anything to this conversation...
This reading has actually always seemed intuitive to me (to the point
of being pshat) and when I was told that the middot were innate,
essential qualities of the avot I _felt_ that reading - that I learned
to be true, no doubt - quite forced. As in Micah  (ten emet laYaakov,
chesed leAvraham).... in the context, the prophet is not speaking of
the actual avot, but is it completely absurd to read the plea to grant
these middot to the respective avot as suggesting that they were given
at a certain point only, that the avot struggled to attain them and
were, finally, given? (We learn, as well, that understanding Yaakov's
apparent long-term troubles with truth (viewed as less important than
other values or aims) literally is superficial: can we read a
narrative of inner maturation here as well? Reading Akeda - no doubt
testifying to Abraham being a true believer, trusting in HKBH (should
we say, his truth) to the utmost - as an illustration of chesed seems
intuitively, again, forced. As a learning experience,less so.)
The association of Yitzhak with din seems to work otherwise: perhaps
learning to accept judgment is a different process, perhaps we don't
know enough about Yitzhak before the akeda... or most likely just I
don't know enough.
Shavua tov
Simon Krysl

> Message: 12
> Date: Thu, 08 Sep 2011 09:45:34 -0400
> From: Yitzchak Schaffer <yitzchak.schaf...@gmx.com>
> To: A High-Level Torah Discussion Group <avo...@lists.aishdas.org>
> Subject: Re: [Avodah] Middos of the Avos
> Message-ID: <4E68C6FE.4040...@gmx.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> On 09/07/2011 17:13, kennethgmil...@juno.com wrote:
>> It seems obvious to me that if they were pre-wired for PERFECTION,
>> then they would have had no challenge, and hence no zechus for
>> succeeding. But they did, and this (to me) proves that they were
>> not pre-wired for *perfection*.
> That makes sense to me as well, and would be my initial read; but built
> into that is the mussaristic assumption that these middos attributions
> of the Avos related to their personal growth. I'm challenging that
> assumption, especially given that there are Midrashic accounts of
> Avraham being endowed with mystical knowledge at the age of three, etc.
> So for example, one could say that Avraham was endowed ("artificially")
> with perfection in chesed, so that he could accomplish something
> transcendent in the world therewith. To develop this: let's say he was
> endowed with perfection in chesed, and had to act *against* that to
> balance it out, e.g. exiling Yishmael, putting Yitzchak up for
> slaughter. Sarah was a foil to Avraham's absolute chesed.
> And as to RMB's initial response:
> ?> It looks to me like you're posing nature vs nurture WRT the avos, and
> ?> thus the same "a mix of the two" answer ought to apply.
> I'd say nature vs. achievement, just to clarify that it was their own
> project and not a flat-out Divine gift. Perhaps you meant this, but
> "nurture" sounds to me more like upbringing than personal endeavor.
> --
> Yitzchak Schaffer
> ------------------------------
> Message: 13

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Message: 9
From: Harvey Benton <harvw...@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2011 17:13:12 -0700 (PDT)
[Avodah] are we protected???

zeh neneh v'zeh lo chaser
if someone gives you a good blessing......
(unless peerhaps) they bless you for their own purposes 

eg to get married, or to earn a living, which Hashem may not
want for you at the time....

bnei yisrael was told (via avraham) that if someone curses us.....
then they will be cursed......
this does not mean however (imo) that we will be protected if someone
(or some nations)/entities, curse us.......
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Message: 10
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 07:56:04 -0400
[Avodah] Rav Menashe Klein - Is It Assur To Watch A Woman

 From http://revach.net/article.php?id=4884

It is assur to listen to a woman sing, since Kol B'Isha Erva. What 
about listening to her playing a musical instrument, is that 
considered Kol Isha? Rav Menashe Klein says (Mishneh Halachos 6:25) 
that it is not, and only her actual voice is an erva.

However says Rav Klein, while Kol Isha is not a problem there are 
other issurim involved that are quite possibly severe. The gemara 
(Eiruvin 18b) says that a person may not walk behind a woman even his 
own wife. The Radvaz (770) says that this applies even if she is 
dressed in a perfectly modest manner. The reason is that by watching 
her body movements you are inciting the Yetzer Hara, which will cause 
you harm. The forbidden distance is not limited to four amos, but any 
distance where you can make out her movements.

Rav Klein says that we see from here that it is assur to focus on the 
movements of a woman, even your own wife and certainly if she is a 
niddah. When it comes to watching a woman play an instrument where 
you are mesmerized by her movements and her performance, although it 
is not Kol Isha, it is certainly assur and maybe even more severe 
than Kol Isha, and this goes into the category of Abizraihu D'Giluy Arayos.

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Message: 11
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:59:56 -0400
[Avodah] Berikh Shemei - To say or not to say

Please see http://www.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/rsrh/berikh_shemei.pdf

Note the list of arguments raised against reciting this prayer, as 
well as the points of controversy that exist among those who have 
embraced the custom.

Yitzchok Levine 
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Message: 12
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 17:43:29 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Shabbos King

On Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 05:47:27AM -0400, I wrote:
: I would like to propose that it rests on whether one has our girsa in
: Shabbos 119a of "Shabbos haMalkah", with a hei, or whether R' Chanina is
: taken as speaking of "Shabbos haMalka", with an alef. Although perhaps
: the Rambam's girsa was further from ours...

R Dr Eszra Schwat of the Machleqet Kitvei Yad of Israel's National Library
ran with the question.

See <http://imhm.blogspot.com/2011/09/gender-awareness-on-shabbat.html>

The use of malkah (with a hei) or malkesa (Aramaic feminine) appears to
correlate with which locales had access to the Bahir (with the exception
of the Raavan).

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Nothing so soothes our vanity as a display of
mi...@aishdas.org        greater vanity in others; it makes us vain,
http://www.aishdas.org   in fact, of our modesty.
Fax: (270) 514-1507              -Louis Kronenberger, writer (1904-1980)

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Message: 13
From: Harvey Benton <harvw...@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 14:44:08 -0700 (PDT)
[Avodah] rambam horse

where does the rambam get his "give him a horse and a driver/attendant" from??
?legabei?tzedaka to each person's needs??
is it from the gemarra??
???if a beis din is empowered to feed the poor of a city.......
how are they to decide? based on a basic need (food, clothing shelter) etc, of most?
people, or a mzerrati for one/some??
and yeshurun waxed fat (and kicked), if you're going to wax fat?? why kick???
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Message: 14
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 18:10:42 -0400
Re: [Avodah] rambam horse

On 12/09/2011 5:44 PM, Harvey Benton wrote:
> where does the rambam get his "give him a horse and a driver/attendant" from??
> legabei tzedaka to each person's needs??
> is it from the gemarra??

Kesubos 67b

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: Harvey Benton <harvw...@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 16:18:03 -0700 (PDT)
[Avodah] oldest texts (by category??)

what are the oldest versions (of each masechta) that we have in existence??
does anyone have in their vaults (church/british museum, cairo, etc) have any
older manuscripts, and or does it really matter (eg, the current vilna?" edition?
is good enough??
-was talking to a nice gentleman over coffee, and he was explaining to me how
we have certain sfarim (from nach) that have been dated (by ink analysis,etc, )
and other factors, as being very close to the archaeological (amos??) dates of
when the ketuvim existed.......
i wonder if we have the same for other aspects; (eg mishna, (oldest chumash) etc,?
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Message: 16
From: Richard Wolberg <cantorwolb...@cox.net>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2011 21:16:53 -0400
[Avodah] Mesira vs Chillul HaShem

Someone posted the following:  So if the ''mal`igim''
were a factor, we should stop opposing intermarriage, 
and join Senator Lieberman in saying that we're fine with it.

Before responding let me make it clear that I am no fan of 
Joe Lieberman. I'm from Connecticut and neither of my parents
voted for him and I wouldn't vote for him for reasons irrelevant here.
However, the comment above that 'Senator Lieberman says we're find
with it (regarding we should stop opposing intermarriage) is patently false
and pernicious. Joe Lieberman never said 'we're fine with it.' Joe Lieberman
declined to respond since he did not see the question as pertinent to his job.
I see nothing wrong with that response and feel it is quite appropriate. It is not
his job as a senator to become involved with that type of issue. The following is
a quote from The New York Observer:

''Joe Lieberman declined to respond to my fax on the issue, his spokesman
saying he did not see the question as ?pertinent? to his job. And both
Steve Friedman and Michael Barone argue that Jewish policies on
intermarriage should be off-limits in political debate. Indeed, Mr. Barone
says that hanging Mr. Bush on the intolerant policies of a backwater
institution (Bob Jones) struck him as a stretch.''

Click on the following for the entire article:


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