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Volume 28: Number 235

Thu, 17 Nov 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Meir Rabi <meir...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2011 03:07:49 +1100
[Avodah] Chillul HaShem when NJ are the observers

This discussion began with whether a KH or ChH can be accomplished
exclusively in the presence of Yidden or even NJ but it has morphed.

Drawing from a few posts I see that R Zev makes the following observations

A)     R Zev suggests that Kiddush or Ch HaShem depends on what is causing
the impression. [R Zev, would you please elaborate, I don?t understand what
you mean.]

B)     R Zev suggests that Public demonstrations that Yidden are different
i.e. wear a yarmulke, is a KH [I presume that means, even if a Frum Yid is
arrested in a high profile case it is entirely inappropriate that he in any
way conceal his Frum identity by wearing a cap, concealing his Peyos,
altering his clothing style etc.]

C)     R Zev suggests that KH is accomplished when we stick to Torah and
Mitzvos even when our actions make us disliked, look foolish or crude.

D)     R Zev suggests that ChH is brought about when we abandon Torah,
Mitzvos or Minhagim no matter what positive impressions are made upon the

E)     R Zev suggests that Things that are negative in themselves cause
right-minded people to have a negative impression, that is a ChH [But R
Zev, you maintain that all Torah and Mitzvos and also Minhagim like making
a public spectacle of spitting at AZ can not be negative things; so what
are we left with? What are the negative things, other than Aveiros, and
picking ones nose in public, that cause ChH? And if your Minhag is to eat
with your fingers, would it be a KH to do so at the table of the president
of the US? or to spit at his prayer house or prayer room as you are being
taken on a guided tour?]

F)      R Zev suggests that It is clear from Yeshno Am Echad, that there is
support for his interpretation, that KH and ChH are achieved only when
there are Yidden observing or aware. [R Zev, would you also please
elaborate on how this is so?]

G)    R Zev suggests that Since Avraham A (and Ch M & Azarye) chose to be
tossed into the furnace rather than deny HKBH, this disproves the assertion
(from Rashi in Yuma) that Ch HaShem is prompted by negative impressions be
they upon Jews or NJws. [R Zev, would you please also elaborate on this

H)     R Zev suggests that Failing to return a lost item is not a ChH.  But
for that  very reason, returning it is a KH. [R Zev would you please
explain this? You posit that doing an Aveira is a ChH no matter what
positive inspiration infuses the NJ; and doing a Mitzvah is a KH no matter
what aspersions are formulated in NJ?s mind. Well, returning an Aveida to a
NJ is an Aveirah and keeping it is a Mitzva.]

I)        R Zev suggests that Chessed includes destroying  anti-chessed.
 Sedom is to chessed what antimatter is to matter, and  it is davka chessed
that annihilates it. Ditto for KH and ChH. [R Zev, it appears that AA does
not agree with your Peshat. AA was desperate to prevent this KH by begging
HaShem to permit Sedom, an active ChH to continue. And HaShem also seems to
disagree with your Peshat. HaShem seems to agree in principle, He will
allow this metropolis of Ra?im VeChata?im LaHaShem MeOd to continue in
their evil ways. Now, as long as HaShem puts up with them we can understand
that we don?t pray for their annihilation. But when HaShem finally says ?I
am going to pull the plug? we should be celebrating at the KH. See HaEmek
Davar intro to Bereishis.]

J)      R Zev suggests that What matters is not whether the NJ understand,
like or approve what we do but whether they get a lesson in darkei Hashem.
 When we show Chessed we show the NJ what Hashem is like, and that is a KH.
It makes absolutely no difference whether the NJ understand this and feel
good or think of us as barbarians.

K)     R Zev illustrates this with Lot who made a KH by making his wife
angry with his request and insistence for salt for the visitors even though
this prompted his wife to think badly of him, and his customs evil. [So
although he could have avoided the confrontation and waited for a better
opportunity to coolly and lovingly correct his wife, he preferred the
nuclear KH option. If this is correct, then every time we draw someone
aside to encourage them to correct their ways when we could loudly proclaim
both in actions and in words, the correct attitude and behaviour, then we
have actually perpetrated a ChH. I think we will agree that publicly
chopping up Agog and recording it, was a KH, but is this always the
appropriate line of action?]

L)      R Zev contends that the KH of spitting at AZ for example, has two
aims, earning the approval of those who approve and the disapproval of
those who disapprove. [Seems like a win win situation; it must always be a
KH no matter what one does, and it is proven from both sides of the
argument. So you hold it?s the wrong thing to do? That just proves my
point; it is a KH! Ah, you agree with me, Yes see, this is a KH. An
un-lose-able argument.]

Reb Micha proves that KH is accomplished when NJ are inspired, from the
episodes which record the violation of Halacha, ie returning valuables to a
NJ, and the Gemara focuses on the positive response of the NJ.

N)     I believe that R ShZA, discouraged or prohibited people forming a
Minyan on a plane, due to concerns of ChH. I understood that this was true
even when all the J were davening in that Minyan and all the other
passengers were NJ. If I understand R Zev correctly, he would insist that
this is a KH.



Meir G. Rabi
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Message: 2
From: Sholom Simon <sho...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 10:35:06 -0500
[Avodah] Question about Avraham and Sarah at Avimelech's

>A friend of mine had a question about the narrative in last week's 
>*Parsha, Veyara*. In *Lech Lecha *Avram forms an army and fights the 
>armies of the
>Four Kings to free his nephew Lot from captivity.
>However, in *Veyara* when Sarah is taken by Avimelech Avraham acts 
>passively and lets Avimelech's soldiers take Sarah. If when his 
>nephew was captured Avraham takes up arms, why does he not do the 
>same when Sarah is taken?

Great question.  I don't have any specific sources, but lots of 
questions about Avraham in the parsha end up getting answered along 
the lines of: "Avraham knew that Sarah was on such a high madreiga 
she'd be protected."  If one accepts that, then certainly it could 
also apply here, where, certainly, Sarah was not on the same level of Lot.


-- Sholom

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Message: 3
From: Harry Maryles <hmary...@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 06:58:41 -0800 (PST)
Re: [Avodah] bat issues

--- On Wed, 11/16/11, T6...@aol.com <T6...@aol.com> wrote:

Those rabbanim and Torah leaders of our own day who insist that every
scientific statement in the Gemara is knowledge handed down from Sinai
should not be treated with disdain and sarcasm.? Yesh lahem al mi lismoch.?
And it goes without saying, those who say that scientific statements in the
Gemara were not handed down from Sinai, of them too it is true that yesh
lahem al mi lismoch.

I think this is a machlokes leshem Shomayim.
The only caveat is?that?the discussion?must indeed be conducted on a high
level, leshem Shomayim.? To keep it that level, the discussion has to be
without personal rancor, even in a case where a person has every reason to
feel personal hurt and pain and would be almost a malach to suppress all
emotion and always take the high road.? 
I totally agree with you. But those on the other side of the issue say that
it is no longer acceptable to say that Chazal could have erred in matters
of science. They say it is now Apikursus to say that Chazal erred in
matters of science. That's one of the reasons RNS's books were
banned...?considering it an?even a greater problem than his attmpts to
reconcile the Torah narrative with modern science.
Want Emes and Emunah in your life? 

Try this: http://haemtza.blogspot.com/

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Message: 4
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 13:18:02 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Eating and Sustenance

On 15/11/2011 6:17 PM, kennethgmil...@juno.com wrote:
> In the thread "Chillul HaShem when NJ are the observers", R' Zev Sero wrote:
>> The Malbim asks how the angels could eat Avraham's food. It's
>> easy to understand how they could *pretend* to eat, but the
>> Torah says that they actually ate, and to eat ("le'echol")
>> means to derive sustenance.
> I'm curious exactly how the Malbim phrases this, and exactly which word
> he used for "to derive sustenance".

"Inyan ha'achila yitzdak bechol davar sheyitkayem al yado."  "The term
'achila' applies to anything by whose means one continues to exist.  A
fire eats wood, for through the consumption of the wood the fire exists.
The bread of a soul and its ma'achal is the word of Hashem, as in 'lechu
lachmu belachmi'.  The korbanot are called 'Hashem's bread' because by
their means the shechina continues to rest below.  The spiritual mann is
called 'lechem' because the angels eat it. [...] Each mitzvah creates an
angel [...] These angels were angels of chessed, who were sent or created
by the merit of the mitzvah of Avraham's gm"ch and hospitality, and
through this mitzvah Sarah was healed to give birth, and Hashem was
revealed to Avraham, and Lot was saved, and Sdom who did bad things
against the midah of chessed, an angel of chessed was the shliach to
destroy them.  So the food that Avraham Avinu gave the guests, this was
these angels' life and sustenance (chayutam vekiyumam) and this was for
them 'ma'achal' and 'lechem abirim', lehachayotam ulkaymam."

> For nidon didan, I think the exception of salt is notable, because
> I think we'd all agree that the word "le'echol" DOES describe what
> we can do with salt

I don't know.  Does it?  Can you find a text that explicitly uses that
word for salt?

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: 5
From: Sholom Simon <sho...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 10:46:38 -0500
[Avodah] Mezuza On The Home Of A Mixed Married Couple

>Someone offered a mezuza to a Jewish man living with a non-Jewish 
>woman.  The man agreed to pay for it and hang it up on his 
>door.  Rav Moshe Shternbuch was asked (3:327) if it was worthwhile 
>to help him at least keep this one mitzva, despite his grave situation.
>Rav Shternbuch answered that a Jew who lives with a non-Jew has a 
>Din of a Meshumad, someone who converted to another religion.  A 
>Meshumad is not even entitled to be buried in a Jewish cemetery, and 
>neither is someone who lives with a non-Jew.  This is worse than any 
>other aveira in the Torah.  He is not merely Oveid Avodah Zara he is 
>a Meshumad.

What makes it worse than any other aveira?  Why is it worse than, 
say, being mechallel shabbos b'farhesia?  Or, to take an example from 
Rambam, wearing sha'atnez every day?

-- Sholom 

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Message: 6
From: hankman <hank...@bell.net>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 10:32:15 -0500
[Avodah] Sand and stars

While I had the Chumash Torah Mai'ira open on my computer, I checked
out something else that bothered me in the past. In the bracha that
AA would have children as the stars in the heavens and the sand on the
shores of the sea. The implication is that the huge numbers of grains of
sand and the numbers of stars should be equivalent. I found this to be
a stretch not likely to be true so I looked for other ways to understand
this bracha.

Here are some of the peshatim he brings:

1) Elsewhere the Torah makes the bracha with stars and again elsewhere
with grains of sand, to strengthen this, here the Torah brings both

2) They should be as large as stars b'ayechus in that each star is
individually large as an entire world, and be many b'kamus, as the number
of grains of sand,

3) the gedolei hadaas among AA's children will shine brightly like the
stars, while the hamon, ie, the gedolei haruach (the hamon who follow
in your footpath in the sand?) to be moser nefesh al kidush Hashem,

4) If they follow in the derech Hashem the He will place rucho upon
them and they will shine on the land like the stars but if they leave
the derech Hashem then they will be like the sand trodden upon by all
and will spread out to the four corners of the Earth like the sand,

5) While the stars are each a great light on their own but they can not
all be brought together in one place or there would be great destruction
to our world so the must remain widely spaced, therefore after the bracha
to be like the stars, Hashem added the bracha to be like the grains of
sand which by their nature are always in large numbers clumped together

6) Even should they be trodden upon by the nations like the sand on the
shores, nevertheless they will shine as brightly as the stars,

7) they are compared to the stars that they will be a guiding light to
the proper path to the nations, just as the stars are guides to find the
right path in navigation, and they are compared to the sand that they
will endure the constant trials and tribulations of the nations just as
the sand endures despite the constant battering by the waves of the ocean.

Kol Tuv
Chaim Manaster

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Message: 7
From: "Heather Luntz" <Heat...@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 23:28:55 -0000
[Avodah] : Re: Chillul HaShem when NJ are the observers

RMB writes:

> I doubt that spitting when observed by a nachri was done very often. I
> doubt there ever was a minhag Yisrael that carried such risk of piquach
> nefesh.

This is irrelevant.  A church is an inanimate object.  Here we are
discussing human beings who were created btzelem Elokim.  A person might do
something wrong, indeed very wrong.  But we posken like Bruria. It is the
sins and not the sinners for which one must show disgust.

And that is why what RZS writes is inapplicable:

> And exactly the same applies to spitting at AZ.  Rejecting and being
> disgusted by AZ is the essence of right and justice.  It is the
> ultimate good; it's the definition of a Yehudi - "mi shemodeh baH' vekofer
> baAZ". And visibly expressing this disgust is the equivalent of giving the
> guests salt, or indeed of returning the stone to the donkey seller.
> An observer who shares our beliefs will approve; one who believes in
> the AZ will disapprove; kiddush haShem means seeking the first one's
> approval and the second one's *dis*approval.

Whether or not one might spit at AZ, or show disgust for it, that provides
no justification for spitting at a person, regardless of their views on AZ.
But there more than that.  In this respect I believe RZS correctly framed it
when he said:

>It depends what is causing this "negative" impression.  The argument
>you are making is precisely that which was used in the last generation
>to tell people to remove their yarmulke, because it's a "chilul haShem"!
>Of course that is exactly backwards.  Wearing a yarmulke in public,
>demonstrating in public that yidden are different, is a kiddush haShem.

...>And of course all the kedoshim created "a terrible chilul haShem"
according to your argument,
>by refusing to serve AZ like everyone else, by making a spectacle of
>themselves and insisting on their peculiar worship.  Avraham Avinu - what
> disgrace he was!  Chananya, Mishael, and Azaria - more chilul haShem!
> Chana's children -- such chutzpah they had!  They certainly didn't make
> the goyim think well of Jews!

>The answer is obvious.  Kiddush haShem consists of the observer seeing
>how yidden stick to haShem, Torah, and Mitzvos; whether the observer
>likes it or not.  And chilul haShem consists of the observer seeing the
> opposite, even if he approves and thinks us fine people for doing so.

This I believe is all true.  But that is precisely why the act under
discussion constitutes a chillul Hashem.  We have halachos regarding how to
greet people.  First there is takanas Ezra, where Ezra and those who
supported him instituted that people should shoel es shalom chavero b'shem
(Brachos 54a).  Now there is a malokus between, inter alia, the Rambam and
the Aruch as to whether this is obligatory or just permitted - but it is
important to understand the issue raised by this takana which is, as Rashi
says there "v'lo amrinan mezalzel hu b'kavodo shel Makom bishvil kavod
habriyos".  And indeed, according to the machmirim, without this specific
takana of Ezra, there are issues of taking shem Hashem l'vatala in extending
such greetings.  As so understood it is quite a breathtaking takana,
although much more easily explained if one links it with the idea that the
person to whom you are extending HaShem's name is b'zelem Elokim which is
what entitles it.

Now takanas Ezra was in relation to *chavero*, but Chazal extended "lshoelin
b'shloman" to non Jews mpnei darchei shalom (Gitten 61a).  Only on their
festivals is it forbidden to go into their houses and extend Hashem's name
to them, because that might cause them to thank their gods -but if you meet
them in the shuk eve non their holidays it is mutar.  And at the time the
Chazal instituted this takana, they were unquestionably referring to bone
fide ovdei avodah zara of the highest order - none of this minhag avoseihem
b'yadehem, or shutuf of similar get outs that we have today.

So here we have a clear statement of what is required by Torah and mitzvos
as determined by Chazal which is to greet ovdei avodah zara with shalom,
including with the mention HaShem's name  of Shalom m'pnei darchei shalom.
And what do these people in Jerusalem do, they not only do not greet these
people with shalom (and Shalom), but they do the exact opposite of shoalin
b'shloman, they spit on them.  That is precisely the definition of chillul
Hashem - when somebody does publically in front of non Jews an act that is
*contrary* to Torah and mitzvos as set out in Chazal.  On top of the issur
of the averah itself, there goes an even worse averah of chillul Hashem.

And it has nothing to do with how we might respond to inanimate objects.

> Tir'u baTov!
> -Micha



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Message: 8
From: "Elazar M. Teitz" <r...@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2011 00:29:30 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Chilul haShem when NJ are the observers

     RZev Sero wrote:

> And that is precisely where I am coming from. But of course anyone
> can claim that the "fifth chelek" supports him! What test is there?
> The fifth chelek cannot contradict the first four. And what is the
> fifth chelek anyway? It is mesoras yisroel. In this case, our mesorah
> is precisely what these people are doing, while those who object are
> all coming from an alien perspective.

     As I was taught, it was R. Yisroel Salanter who coined the expression
     "the fifth cheilek of Shulchan Aruch."  His definition of that cheilek
     was "vi tzu zein a mentch."


LifeLock?? Official Site
Don&#39;t Be a Victim of Credit Fraud. Enroll w/ LifeLock & Get Protected.

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Message: 9
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 22:01:57 -0500
Re: [Avodah] : Re: Chillul HaShem when NJ are the observers

On 16/11/2011 6:28 PM, Heather Luntz wrote:
> Whether or not one might spit at AZ, or show disgust for it, that provides
> no justification for spitting at a person, regardless of their views on AZ.

A priest, at least when he is in his robes, represents his AZ.

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: Meir Shinnar <chide...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 22:16:54 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Chillul HaShem when NJ are the observers

WRT spitting at churches etc as "minhag avoseinu", we should separate out two separate issues that I think have been confounded.

1) Did minhag avoseinu include expressions of revulsion at Christianity? 
there, I think there is good evidence that there was such a minhag, 
conditioned by what someone cited Rav Tendler as a Pavlovian response to
centuries of persecution as well as theological issues.  whether such
expressions are still necessary/appropriate today is something that can be
argued.  For those  us who follow the Seride Esh's positon that the Meiri's
approach is the binding halacha, this minhag would not be appropriate - but
RZS is right at the existence of such a minhag

2) Did minhag avoseinu ever include letting the object of revulsion KNOW
about the expression - as, in the current issue under discussion is the
problem - that not only are people discretely spitting and expressing their
revulis, but spitting directly and onto people? This was the main foocus of
the discussion - not how an individual thinks or acts in private - but what
he does to others.

I think that it absolutely clear that there was never such a minhag.  One never expressed the  revulsion so that the object would perceive it. 
One can argue about the reason - but it is clear that it was not the minhag - and therefore one can NOT claim that one is following the minhag

The discussion here  has focused on hillul hashem, and for those of us who
follow the Meiri, the notion of hillul hashem does apply fairly naturally -
as one	views oneself as part of a more generalized community of moral and
religious individuals (in addition to being part of am hanivchar..)

Another  reason is, of course, the issue of danger.    On a simplistic
level, it is the danger to the individual - and one can argue about, for
those who truly believe in it, one is allowed to assume the danger
("mesirat nefesh"). Today, such danger is small (even if caught by the
police, the punishment is not very severe.  I think underlying what
happened in Israel is this perception that it is safe - and therefore one
SHOULD express the revulsion publicly (and I sense that this underlies RZSs
position - if expressing the revulsion is a minhag, and it now can be done
in public safely - it should be, and is even, in RZS's terms, a kiddush
hashem showing one's commitment.

There, is however, another danger - a communal danger to the entire
community.  there is a category of things that are assur or muttar mishum
evah - and it is hard to think of something that will generate more evah in
the Christian community than Jews spitting on their religious
sympbols/functionaries.  This is not an immediate danger to the individual
spiitting - but it is a major one to the entire community - that has to
respond vigorously  It seems absolutely clear that this action of public
spitting is assur mishum evah  - and one could even  make a reasonable
argument that those who are spitting may have the status of a mosser - as
they endanger klal yisrael

Meir Shinnar

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Message: 11
From: menucha <m...@inter.net.il>
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2011 08:19:46 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Chillul HaShem when NJ are the observers

What is the fourth oath?

>I would add that it is highly ironic that the people who reject the
>State of Israel on the grounds that it violates the "Four Oaths" would
>be the ones to show ownership of the land in such an aggressive way,
>by spitting on non-Jewish clergy -- an act they would never have the
>nerve to commit in any land where they didn't feel they were the boss.
>So we're the boss of Eretz Yisrael now? The goyim are under our thumb
>now, hey? The Four Oaths are inoperative? Whadaya know, it's aschalta
>de'geulah after all!
>--Toby Katz

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Message: 12
From: shalomy...@comcast.net
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2011 12:47:00 +0000 (UTC)
[Avodah] Division of Mishnayos

Who divided the mishna up into chapters & individual mishnayos? Did RYehudah HaNasi do this division, or did 
that come later? Are we supposed to learn something from the way that they are divided up? 

[Although I'm sure there are other places where this comes up, this is prompted by Terumos 3:1-2. 
Mishna 1 is about occasions where one has to give Teruma again, and the fact that it doesn't create 
meduma. Mishna 2 is a continuation of that topic. Why break those into two mishnayos?] 


Shalom Yitz 
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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2011 11:41:38 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Division of Mishnayos

On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 12:47:00PM +0000, shalomy...@comcast.net wrote:
: Who divided the mishna up into chapters & individual mishnayos? ...

I don't know about peraqim, but there is little consensus about individual
mishnayos. Different traditional editions of the mishnah have different
divisions, the Y-mi and Bavli group and divide their mishnayos differently
than all of them -- even different editions of the Y-mi differ.

I guess it is possible that these are machloqesin about how Rebbe
divided them. But it is SO widespread that I think it's more likely
there simply never was much standard.

Speaking of this topic, though... Pereq 3 of mes' RH looks like the
division is in a non-intuitive location.

Pereq 1 is logical enough.... it starts out speaking of the various rashei
shanah, and then segues into qiddush hachodesh and its eidus. Pereq 2
is about the signal system, limitations on the cheshbon, astronomy...
also, pretty consistent.

Here's where I wonder... 3:1 is still about beis din an qiddush hachodesh,
but the rest of pereq 3 is about shofar.

Doesn't it look like our 3:1 would have fit better as 2:10, at the end of
the prior pereq?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The mind is a wonderful organ
mi...@aishdas.org        for justifying decisions
http://www.aishdas.org   the heart already reached.
Fax: (270) 514-1507


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