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Volume 28: Number 255

Thu, 29 Dec 2011

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 11:07:47 GMT
Re: [Avodah] V'al HaPurkan

R' Micha Berger wrote:

> The shoresh is found in Hebrew too. E.g. Bereishis 27:40, "ufaraqra
> ulo mei'al tzavarekha". Or Shemos 32:2 "Vayomer eilehem Aharon:
> pirqu nizmei hazahav...." (also pesuqim 3 and 24), and I'm sure
> your concordance shows more occurances of the shoresh.
> The binyan might be the same as "shulchan", I don't know. But the
> consonant clustering is shared.

Those examples all have the meaning of "perek", to divide, which is very
different from "purkan"'s meaning of "yeshuah". But on the other hand,
"shalach" and "shulchan" have pretty different meanings too.

Note the word "prook", in Daniel 4:24, which is an otherwise overwhelmingly
(totally?) Aramaic sefer, translated by ArtScroll as "redeem". Perhaps the
analogy to "shuchan" is misleading, and "purkan" really is Aramaic.

In any case, I do still have a response to R' Allan Engel, who opened the thread with:

> If so, what is it doing (twice) in the otherwise entirely Hebrew
> Al Hanissim?

If it turns out that "purkan" is indeed Aramaic, it would not be the only
example of a foreign word appearing in the Shemoneh Esreh: Note the
appearance of the Latin "legions" in Nachem for Tish'a B'Av.

Akiva Miller

53 Year Old Mom Looks 33
The Stunning Results of Her Wrinkle Trick Has Botox Doctors Worried

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Message: 2
From: enrico lacosta <newman...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 07:58:54 -0800
[Avodah] chanuka decorations

is the idea of  outdoors chanuka  decorations  discussed?  ie  in the mode
of  the usual outdoor gentile displays ---
lights , tinsel, etc   , i have noticed this year more  chanuka  tchatchkes
 being  placed outdoors  in frum neighborhoods.  i  wonder  at what point
would chukat  hagoy start to apply.   [this is apart from the chabad
communities who are mandated to have an outdoor display ]

s newman
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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 13:10:34 -0500
Re: [Avodah] V'al HaPurkan

On Tue, Dec 27, 2011 at 11:07:47AM +0000, kennethgmil...@juno.com wrote:
: R' Micha Berger wrote:
:> The shoresh is found in Hebrew too. E.g. Bereishis 27:40, "ufaraqra
:> ulo mei'al tzavarekha". Or Shemos 32:2 "Vayomer eilehem Aharon:
:> pirqu nizmei hazahav...." (also pesuqim 3 and 24), and I'm sure
:> your concordance shows more occurances of the shoresh.

: Those examples all have the meaning of "perek", to divide, which is very
: different from "purkan"'s meaning of "yeshuah". But on the other hand,
: "shalach" and "shulchan" have pretty different meanings too.

I would think the use in the pesuqim I cited is to unburden -- yokes
are removed, not divided. Which to my mind is the same meaning as that
when used as an idiom for yeshuah. (Which is why I quoted them.)

A gut chodesh un a lichteger Chanukah!

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 14:34:23 -0500
[Avodah] Height of the Aron

A source for the notion that a reshus goes up 10 tefachim is the aron.
Hashem appears mibein hakeruvim and also min haShamayim. The aron was
1-1/2 ammah high, ie 9 tefachim, plus one tefach for the kapores, means
mibein hakeruvim is 10 tefachim above the ground. And that's above

When I learned this sugya a couple of weeks ago, the question hit me.
What about the IE and Chizquni, who say that pa'amosav means "its legs",
not "its corners", that the taba'os were put on the legs of the aron?
In which case, the height of the aron above the floor would be 10
tefachim plus the height of the legs. What happens to the above raayah,
which appears multiple times in both shasin?

(BTW, the Areshes Sefaseinu explains why, leshitasam, the word "pa'amah"
rather than the more common "regel" is used. A regel is used to stand
upon. Mal'akhim stand upon one regel, tables have raglayim. Pa'amah is
a leg specifically as a means of motion. The aron is being described as
a symbol of a human soul with its motion, rather than static furniture.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where
mi...@aishdas.org        you are,  or what you are doing,  that makes you
http://www.aishdas.org   happy or unhappy. It's what you think about.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Dale Carnegie

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 14:59:40 -0500
[Avodah] How Many Places Were We in the Midbar?

Y-mi Yuma 24 has a machloqes between R Yehoshua ben Levi and R Yochanan
about the effects of decamping the Mishkan on the lecham hapanim.
RYbL says that the lechem hapanim are not nifsal during the masa'os,
and R' Yochanan says it is.

A recurring motif in Y-mi Shabbos is justifying the notion of qayamah,
whether in a qesher, in writing, etc... After all, the mishkan could be
dissembled and rebuilt at any time. Eg 7:2, 52b:

    What binyan was in the Mishkan?

    They would put the qerashim atop the adanim.

    And was it not lesha'ah?

    R' Yosi said: Since they camped and traveled upon Hashem's word,
    it is like it was le'olam.

    R' Yosi bei R' Bun said: Since HQBH promised them that He would
    bring them into the land, it is like it was lesha'ah.

    Others say: binyan lesha'ah, binyan.

I think R' Yosi and RYbL hold a single shitah -- that we really only camped
in one place in the midbar "where Hashem said so". Therefore building and
rebuilding the mishkan doesn't matter, and the lechem's time outside the
mishkan during traveling doesn't matter.

R' Yochanan holds like R' Yosi bei R' Bun.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Mussar is like oil put in water,
mi...@aishdas.org        eventually it will rise to the top.
http://www.aishdas.org                    - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 6
From: Harvey Benton <harvw...@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 12:49:33 -0800 (PST)
[Avodah] alphapbet.........

the questions in my mind are:
1. does it matter???
(eg, once established by Ezra Hasofer) it probably will not
change, unless we find the originall sefer torah, and findsome letter (passage) discrepancies [kidushim lamed hard-
to explain passages]

2. how do we know the "5" were lost??
is there a chazal that says so??
3. we are a people of the book, we have lost a lot, 

including the tagim, the sounds, etc, but how could we 

have lost entire letters?????
the soferim, and scholars, are, and were very medakdek


 From: Joel C. Salomon <joelcsalo...@gmail.com>
To: Avodah Torah Discussion Group <avo...@lists.aishdas.org> 
Cc: Harvey Benton <harvw...@yahoo.com>; Zev Sero <zev.s...@gmail.com> 
Sent: Monday, December 26, 2011 7:22 PM
Subject: Re: [Avodah] timeline??
On 12/26/2011 06:42 PM, Harvey Benton wrote:
> my question is, what was there to learn from the
> tagim, when the original text (most believe) was
> not the modern hebrew that we use ??

I recall reading a theory (I thought it was on A/A, but searching
aishdas.org does not turn it up) that the *original* original script,
the one the Avos would have used, would be the Aramaic one (see
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramaic_alphabet>) -- Avraham was from
Aram, after all --; and that the Phoenician "ktav ivri" was adopted
after the conquest of Eretz Yisrael.

That would explain where the 5 final letter forms come from, and how
they were "lost, and Ezra reestablished them".

(Trouble is, the theory [as I remember it] has some holes, e.g.,
archeological evidence of Phoenician turning into Aramaic.? If anyone
else remembers seeing this, and where, maybe the fellow who wrote this
originally has some answers.)

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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 17:38:35 -0500
Re: [Avodah] alphapbet.........

On Tue, Dec 27, 2011 at 12:49:33PM -0800, Harvey Benton wrote:
: 2. how do we know the "5" were lost??
: is there a chazal that says so??

Assuming you mean the 5 spelling differences between Ashk and Seph
siferei Torah...

Far more than 5. R' Meir says we're not beqi'im in cheseiros and

What's interesting is that we haven't had any drift that actually
changes meaning. For a Torah that is more be'al peh than kesav, that's
the important part (IMHO).

If you mean the 5 sofios, it's a gemara in Megillah. I already pointed
to a blog entry that runs down the sources I know of, and summarized
it on-list.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Weeds are flowers too
mi...@aishdas.org        once you get to know them.
http://www.aishdas.org          - Eeyore ("Winnie-the-Pooh" by AA Milne)
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 8
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 17:48:04 -0500
Re: [Avodah] alphapbet.........

In any case, this whole discussion is only according to the opinion
that the Torah was given in Ksav Ivri.  But the gemara's conclusion
is that the Torah was given in Ksav Ashuri, because "vezos hatorah",
so the questions don't begin in the first place.

Zev Sero        "Natural resources are not finite in any meaningful
z...@sero.name    economic sense, mind-boggling though this assertion
                  may be. The stocks of them are not fixed but rather
                 are expanding through human ingenuity."
                                            - Julian Simon

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Message: 9
From: Ben Waxman <ben1...@zahav.net.il>
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 05:21:50 +0200
Re: [Avodah] spitting / sinat chinam

So going by the second definition, what would an example of sina which 
is not chinam?


On 12/27/2011 6:16 AM, Micha Berger wrote:
> Our discussion of whether sin'as chinam means the hatred is basisless
> or whether it means pointless seems relevant. It is only in the latter
> case that your question begins, and then it hinges on the metzi'us --
> what purpose does it serve?
> Does it prevent me from emulating their tactics? I think that
> historically, hatred of an opponent justifies more emulation of their
> wronging you, not less.

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Message: 10
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 05:32:14 -0500
Re: [Avodah] alphapbet.........

On Tue, Dec 27, 2011 at 05:48:04PM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
> In any case, this whole discussion is only according to the opinion
> that the Torah was given in Ksav Ivri.  But the gemara's conclusion
> is that the Torah was given in Ksav Ashuri, because "vezos hatorah",
> so the questions don't begin in the first place.

Not the way the Ridbaz (the founder of the Slutzk Yeshiva, and thus of
Lakewood, not to be confused with the earlier Radvaz, R' David [ben
Shelomo] ibn Zimra) understands that gemara, which has the advantage
of making both shasin agree, and makes R' Chisda consistant across two
gemaros. (I'm being meqatzer because I am referring to what I posted
at <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol28/v28n252.shtml#12>
and described at greater length at

The Ridbaz suggests that the gemara's conclusion was about the first
luchos, and it was its floating mem and samech in Megillah, but the second
luchos were as per the common writing, Ivri. If we lost the qedushah to
get the 2nd luchos in Ashuris, then presumably the Ridbaz means the rest
of the Torah too was in Ivri.

OTOH, it also means that Ashuri is miSinai and the text is miSinai
(barring some minor spelling issues) and thus obtaining results from
AkHG's giving us reshus to recombine the two wouldn't be philosophically
problematic. Especially since, barring the eigel, we should have
originally gotten the Torah that way to begin with.

Thinking out loud... Perhaps this has to do with AkHG's imprisonment of
the yeitzer hara that led to the eigel. And after that, it was okay to
allow the final revalation of the Torah in its full *image*. And yes,
there is an inyan to meditate on the appearance of sheimos in Ashuris,
so one could argue the two were linked; until then the full glory of the
Torah might lead someone to worship the word. OTOH, perhaps Chazal's
statement about "... lehatir lahem es ha'arayos" refers to the eigel
being more about the yh"r for arayos than that for AZ.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "I hear, then I forget; I see, then I remember;
mi...@aishdas.org        I do, then I understand." - Confucius
http://www.aishdas.org   "Hearing doesn't compare to seeing." - Mechilta
Fax: (270) 514-1507      "We will do and we will listen." - Israelites

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Message: 11
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 05:33:44 -0500
Re: [Avodah] spitting / sinat chinam

On Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 05:21:50AM +0200, Ben Waxman wrote:
> So going by the second definition, what would an example of sina which  
> is not chinam?

Hating someone out to destroy you or your fealty to the Torah, which
motivates one not to emulate them, and to actively fight them.

You are allowed to hate someone guilty of hating the Borei, for example.
(I write "guilty of" rather than "who hates", to avoid tinoq shenishba

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 12
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 05:51:59 -0500
[Avodah] Amein and Amein Yesomah

On Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 12:39:12AM -0500, R Rafi Hecht wrote to Avodah,
in reply to a discussion about a number of rabbis who said amein to a
"barukh ata Hashem E-lokeinu" (prounounced that way) "berakhah" on
neir chanukah made during the day:
: Amen = Kel Melech Ne'eman. I don't see why one cannot say that at any given
: time.

And we often say it to emphatically agree to informal berakhos: "May
your husband have a refu'ah sheleimah!" "Amein!"

We also have minhagic "amein"s in the middle of Qadish, even those of
us for whom one of them is "berikh Hu" instead. (Neither of which RYBS
did not say between Ge'ulah and Tefillah in Maariv.)

OTOH, there is the amein yesomah, which implies one cannot just say
"amein" willy-nilly. Anyone understand how to fit the two? Why are "amein
yesomah" or "amein chatufah" so terrible, and when is this wrong-ness
limited to?

(Okay, amein chatufah sounds like you are trying to just get it over with,
and imply not bothering to listen to the berakhah, so that's easier than
a disconnected amein. Although a single answer would be more elegant.)

As a side-note, "amein" does not equal "Keil Melekh Ne'eman" -- that's a
derashah, not a translation. "Amein" is a proclomation that something is
reliable. Think of the shoresh "emunah" in terms of belief, in terms of
trustworthiness (nasata venatata be'emunah?), and in terms of "uMordekhai
omein es Esteir..."

Don't make the same mistake that cost Marcheshvan (Merachshevan) the
amputation of its first syllable!

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Here is the test to find whether your mission
mi...@aishdas.org        on Earth is finished:
http://www.aishdas.org   if you're alive, it isn't.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Richard Bach

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Message: 13
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 09:24:26 -0500
[Avodah] Is New Year?s Kosher?

Please see http://bit.ly/tjLvAf  for a discussion of Celebrating New 
Year's Day and Halacha by R. Michael J. Broyde.
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Message: 14
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 16:05:59 -0800
[Avodah] bus segregation

 review of current daas tora

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Message: 15
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2011 07:33:13 -0800
[Avodah] zohar belief


on what one must believe about the zohar--new article and review of 

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Message: 16
From: Saul.Z.New...@kp.org
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2011 08:13:49 -0800
[Avodah] emuna and seichel

http://onthisandonthat.blogspot.com/2011/12/sacred-nonsense.html    to 
achieve ideal  emuna, must one set aside seichel?

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Message: 17
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2011 16:57:14 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Forms of Bitul

On Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 11:04:39PM -0000, Chana Luntz wrote:
:> Becuase if so, then the stuff the centrifuge brought to the
:> top isn't actually "milk", from a halachic perspective.

: That is what I would suspect.  Ie if initially you are able to recognise it,
: then this is prior to the bitul happening.  Once bitul has happened, I
: believe the language used by the various rishonim is that it is "keino".  I
: don't know that they contemplate somebody being able to centrifuge the
: mixture to thereby re-separate what has previously been mixed and
: undetectable by our taste test....

On Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 05:27:49PM -0000, RnCL added:
: Further though to my earlier post because otherwise it might be misleading
: - there is of course the concept of hozer v'niur, which kind of does
: what you are looking for....

My expectation is different. I would expect the various rishonim would
have held leshitasam parallel positions to those they said by bitul berov.
To expand:

Deep down, under all the differences in shiur bitul deOraisa vs
deRabbanan, between real taaroves and the "taaroves" of doubt, of "'isah'
lashon safeiq hu", I believe there is one mechanism being invoked. As
per the single pasuq from which they all derive, the use of common
language by chazal, etc...

So, I expect parallel shitos between rov and taaroves. So, someone who
holds that you can eat each piece one after the other is really saying
that batul is batul, and we don't redo the math after the situation ends

Of course, as you noted, the rishonim in question wouldn't have discussed
a reversal of a taaroves. But at the time I dreamed up the centerfuge,
it was in response to your assumption that bitul is somehow more real,
more manifest, than ignoring mi'ut. And an example you brought was the
possibility that one may not eat all three pieces in a row.

My first response was the centerfuge... who said that those who don't
recombine minorities to produce a majority wouldn't recombine the
mi'ut, 1:60, 1:100 or 1:200 (even if the supermajority is only required
derabbanan) of a taaroves if it were all brought to the end you're
eating? This was an assumption that I simply didn't share.

My second response was to draw a parallel to eating all three pieces
from the difference between touching and carrying taaroves with tum'ah
in it. A person is metamei through carrying, which would parallel the
case of eating all three pieces of fat at once -- unlike WRT touching,
you carry the entire taaroves at once. You know the original cheilev is
in the mix, why would the bitul matter?

I hear chazal talking about safeiq as though it were a mixture. Why not
take that at face value, rather than imposing statistics on a model that
predates the field by just under 3 millenia (Sinai to Pascal or Fermat)?

My emotional stake is that this touches to the core of my hashkafah
about how mitzvos work.

As I wrote on another thread (on the 6th, recently in non-internet scale,
but a long time ago as email lists go)
>                                   ... Chassidus asserted an illusory
> tzimtzum, and thus emphasized Hashem's Immanence, which fits their
> focus on acheiving deveiqus.

> In contrast, R' Chaim Volozhiner asserts that there is only one thing
> that spans multiple olamos, that is the union of all the kochos --
> the human soul. See NhC 1:6 ... To RCV, the way physical actions,
> eg mitzvos, influence higher worlds is via their effect on the soul....

> In Chassidish thought, therefore, physics can influence metaphysics
> directly. A person who eats treif unknowingly could still suffer timtum
> haleiv. A mezuzah that is pasul doesn't have the same power to protect.
> Etc...
> But (eg) Mussar takes a more rational approach in the relationship between
> the world and the soul, the whole reason why Mussar sees sheilumus in such
> psychological terms. I would think the more rationalist understanding
> of the Litvisher position would require physics to have psychological
> impact in order to have metaphysical impact.

If we ever knew where it was from, then the din was qavu'ah, and the
safeiq isn't in the metzi'us, but in identifying what that din was.
But where rov can be invoked, the question is in the metzi'us. (This
chiluq is from shu"t R' Aqiva Eiger.)

But, given my loyalties to mussar and the rationalist end of Litvishkeit,
I see the metzi'us of a given piece of fat not as determined by whether
it on an ontological level came from a part of the animal that would
make it cheilev or not, but in how we relate to it.

Thus, when we have doubt, we entertain both possibilities, and therefore
a safeiq in metzi'us is not just idiomatically being called a kind of
taaroves or isah. It actually is a mixed identity.

RYBS uses the notion of mixed identity, or as he put it, that halakhah
doesn't use a bivalent (black-and-white, true-vs-falase) logic in Ish
haHalakhah, as well as in a yarchei kallah shiur I attended one Elul in
the early 80s. Bein hashemashos is a safeiq yom safeiq lailah, but it's
also when the two days overlap (eg it extends the esrog's status as a
devar mitzvah to the subsequent day).

So, I am saying doubt isn't P chance of yes, and (1-p) chance of no,
but an actual shade of gray. Some liken it to quantum mechanics and
superposition of state (here and in Higayon, a journal edited by R'
Moshe Koppel). I am suggesting it's pyscholigical-existential, which
then moves the soul, which is where physical and metaphysical connect.

: On the other hand, and to mix two separate threads, it may be that at heart
: this is the macholkus between the machmir and meikil stream when it comes to
: bugs.  The point about these bugs is that it is, at least theoretically,
: possibly to see them and separate them, even if it takes much effort (and
: the use of chemicals)....

In the above existentially-focused model of halakhah, this wouldn't
matter, since only bugs that can be directly percieved that matter. That's
how we think about bugs on a gut level.

(Which is why I suggested that it could be that as our eyes and normal
lighting levels improve, the definition of bugs shifts.)

If you have the time and the patience to put up with my quality (or lack
thereof) of writing, you might wish to see my longer presentatin of this
worldview as a series of blog posts at

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Life is complex.
mi...@aishdas.org                Decisions are complex.
http://www.aishdas.org               The Torah is complex.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                                - R' Binyamin Hecht


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