Avodah Mailing List

Volume 30: Number 76

Thu, 28 Jun 2012

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Daniel M. Israel" <d...@cornell.edu>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 00:40:27 -0600
Re: [Avodah] Is It Forbidden to Use an Electric Shaver?

On Jun 24, 2012, at 11:14 PM, Liron Kopinsky wrote:
> Where on the face does this issur apply? If someone is just shaving below their neck, is there a point at which they could use a real razor?

Along those lines: it would seem like using a razor on the back of the neck
should be fine, but my impression is that although this is common among
regular barbers, it isn't generally done by frum people.  (It is possible
that frum barbers, at least, are simply not trained in the use of the
straight razor.)  Is there any reason to avoid it?

Daniel M. Israel

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Message: 2
From: cantorwolb...@cox.net
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2012 12:19:15 -0400
[Avodah] Berachot in the Course of a Meal

R' Toby wrote: ...Unless you are still eating bread, in which case the  fruit /is/ 
part of the meal and doesn't need a separate bracha.

That is a perfect answer except that we are letting the tail wag the dog.
The fact that we take bread purposely to eat with the fruit is an artificial construct.
Who, under normal conditions in our society, would purposely eat bread with dessert?
It reminds me of a very humorous family story. I had a cousin who was a little girl of
about 5. While she was eating a meal, she picked her nose. My uncle, her father, 
gently told her that it isn't proper etiquette (he used simpler terminology) to pick her 
nose and that she should use a napkin. She then took a napkin, poked her finger 
through the napkin and then, through the hole in the napkin, picked her nose. This
was a family joke for years but there's a lesson to be learned. 

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Message: 3
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 08:31:52 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Who is a Talmid Chacham

On 27/06/2012 4:14 AM, Chana Luntz wrote:
> That is true if all Torah learning is of equal weight.  But if, for example,
> the chiddishim of gadol A are understood to have tremendous defensive power,
> and the learning of Yankel Shmerele does little,

Isn't this explicitly rejected, though?  A poor person's korban is
just as valuable as a rich person's.  Also, "echad hamarbeh ve'echad
hamam'it", and "Rachamana liba ba'i".

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: 4
From: "Joel C. Salomon" <joelcsalo...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 10:35:06 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Who is a Talmid Chacham

On Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 4:14 AM, Chana Luntz <Ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk> wrote:
> Just an addendum to my post of yesterday, I would just point out, on a more
> philosophical note, that this idea of "Is one person's learning of a shverer
> ketzos more valuable than another person's learning of Chumash?" is what
> might be described as the communist strand of Jewish thinking - ie, the
> lowly factory worker's contribution is just as great, and needs to be
> treated as just as great, as that of the factory boss. ?Indeed the lowly
> factory worker's contribution may be greater, as he may have to overcome all
> sorts of internal hurdles to work at all (such as not being very smart), and
> so they should be paid and treated at least equally.
> Similarly the Chumash learning of Yankel Shmerel might be just as valuable
> if not more valuable than the chiddushim of [insert your favourite gadol
> here], and we dare not value or prioritize in any way the one over the
> other.

Valuable to whom? "HKBH liba ba'i" with respect to individual merit,
but the Jewish community gets more benefit from the chiddushim and
teachings of the gadol. In the context of communal merit too, the
learning of a teacher or future teacher is the better investment; the
Chumash-learner's merit will protect his generation; the future
teacher's will do the same and his student will protect the next.

?J. Chesky

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Message: 5
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 08:25:51 -0400
[Avodah] A Vilna Gaon story that was too weird for Artscroll

On the Mainline has a very interesting post with the above title at 

Below are some excerpts.

Interestingly, the Misnagdim did not know that Mendelssohn was doomed 
to 18 million years in Hell, and there was a time when the following did occur.

In 1799 an anonymous book called Sefer Ha-bris was printed in Bruenn. 
It was written by Rabbi Pinchas Eliyahu Hurwitz of Vilna (1765-1821), 
although no reader would have known it at the time, unless you knew 
the author (and he left hints, as we will see below).

In the censor's page, Karl Fischer describes the book as full of 
"firsternen, kometen (astronomy), logik, physik, geographie, 
botannik, optik and anatomie." In other words, it is a science book.

The book became an instant classic, eventually being reprinted many, 
many times. It discusses everything from America to geese that grow 
on trees in Scotland.

Thus, we see that there was a time when the public could actually 
believe that the same Torah-Science work was either written by the 
Vilna Gaon or Moses Mendelssohn.

Please see the above URL for the entire most interesting and well 
researched article. YL

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Message: 6
From: cantorwolb...@cox.net
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 08:57:57 -0400
[Avodah] Berachot in the course of a meal

No one today would ever eat bread with their string beans, or with their spaghetti
but would someone have bread (other than croutons) with their salad?
I very well might put a meat ball in my bread, but the other modern Americans at the table would think it childish.

I hate to contradict you but 1) many people eat bread with spaghetti and
vegetables (including string beans);					   
				  2) Of course, people have bread with
salad and 3) Meatball sandwiches are very common in restaurants.

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Message: 7
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 10:35:10 -0400
[Avodah] Daf Ha Shavua - Rav Pinchas Mordechai Teitz

 From http://tinyurl.com/7q8zqds

Rav Pinchas Mordechai Teitz saw opportunities for the growth of Torah 
when he came to the U.S. in 1933. He built a modern Torah community 
in Elizabeth, NJ, where two mikvaos, three schools, and five shuls 
form a united JEC, Jewish Educational Center. In 1953 he wanted to 
enable those who had become disillusioned with socialism and 
Communism to re-connect with the Torah of their youth. He would bring 
the beit midrash into their homes through a weekly half-hour of study 
in Yiddish on their favorite radio station, WEVD. Although a full 
page could not be covered in a half hour, he called it Daf Hashavua. 
Not only did he reach his intended audience, but a government survey 
of foreign language programs found 200,000 listeners. Rav Teitz sent 
tapes of the broadcasts to Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, 
Miami, Montreal, and Philadelphia, initiating the Torah tapes 
phenomenon. Jews in Russia heard the shiurim on short-wave radios 
through Kol Yisrael Lagolah. After he ended the program in 1988 a new 
wave of university students asked for tapes in order to hear pure, 
elegant Litvishe Yiddish. Scholars enjoyed his clarity in explaining 
the gemara; he started each topic with the Torah verses behind it. 
His grandson Avi, who learned with Rav Teitz on Shabbos afternoons, 
said, "Some people make you feel the gemara is too complicated for 
you; Saba makes it clear."

I lived in Elizabeth, NJ for 6 years from 1968 to 1974 and still have 
warm and positive recollections of Rabbi Teitz.  (See 
http://tinyurl.com/7sv6u3l )  If you have a basic knowledge of 
Yiddish, you will definitely find these shiurim on Makkos given in a 
clear, understandable Litvishe Yiddish both enjoyable and 
enlightening.  Rav Teitz was a master teacher.  YL

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Message: 8
From: "Akiva Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 15:36:51 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Drops of wine

R' Daniel Israel asked:

> What I would be more curious of, assuming you (RAM) having been
> looking through an (extensive?) Hagada collection is the answer
> to the original question: how many hagaddos (and which ones)
> mention spilling for the plagues because of decreased joy?

Great question. I'm pretty sure my collection is on the small side, but here's what I've found:

Ritva, Rashbam, Kol Bo, Gevuros Hashem, Rashi, Ol'los Ephraim, and Chasam
Sofer, as printed in the all-Hebrew Haggadah Kol Dodi -- I see nothing
relevant to this question.

ArtScroll's Haggadah (pg 127) quotes the pasuk "Binfol oyivcha" (Mishle
24:17) and attributes the connection to Abarbanel. I did not see it in the
Abarbanel as printed in Kol Dodi, but could easily have missed it. On the
other hand, I'm not the only one who can't find it. Back in 2006, in Avodah
Digest 17:23, R' Josh Backon wrote that "the alleged Abarbanel which quotes
the "sorrow" hypothesis doesn't exist." (See there for more interesting

The Haggadah "From Twilight to Dawn", by Rabbi Shlomo Kahn, writes
something interesting on pg 63: "Why do we spill a drop of wine for each of
the ten plagues? Judaism teaches not to rejoice at the downfall of a
personal foe, but only at the destruction of enemies of God and Israel.
(See Proverbs 11:10) Yet human suffering, even of an enemy, dilutes our
joy. Therefore we reduce our cup's content when we recall the plagues." And
the following paragraph cites Megilla 10b about Hashem telling the angels
NOT to sing at the Yam Suf.

At my first cursory glance at the above, I made the mistake of presuming
that Proverbs 11:10 was our pasuk, Binfol Oyivcha. But it is not. Looking
at 11:10 more carefully, it is exactly as From Twilight To Dawn cites it --
it supports the idea that we SHOULD "sing when the wicked are destroyed".
My conclusion is that although this author does distinguish between
different kinds of enemies, he does not cite any sources for that
distinction. (Note: In Avodah 17:24, R"n Lisa Liel quoted R' David Bar
Hayim with an extensive comparison of Mishlei 11:10 and 24:17.)

"The Lehmann Hagadah" (Feldheim 1977), "with the commentary of Rabbi Dr.
Marcus Lehmann of Mainz," does not even mention any removal of wine from
the cup. Is it possible that the German communities do not have this

According to the English "Me'am Loez - The Torah Anthology - Passover
Haggadah - Sephardic", pg 59, these drops are NOT removed from the second
of the Four Cups, but from a separate cup of vinegar which was poured for
this purpose.

In Avodah 17:25, R"n Toby Katz cited her father, Rav Nachman Bulman, as using the "Binfol" argument. I consider him to be worthy of mentioning here.

And in Avodah 17:28, Rav Elazar Teitz quoted
> Rav Yechezkel Abramsky, who expresses that very thought: since
> the kosos express our joy, which is not fully complete because
> of "ma'asei yadai," we spill some.

I have a few questions that I'd like to raise at this point. What is the
point of removing these drops of wine? I'd like to analyze this not from
the perspective of how the wine is removed, but from the perspective of
what happens *afterward*.

Several sources - notably the oft-cited Kol Dodi, and Rav Shimon Eider as
well - point out that the spilled wine is *not* reused, and that the cup
*is* refilled. I do not understand why they need to tell us not to reuse
the wine, and I do not understand why we shouldn't leave the cup alone,
lacking a few drops.

Admittedly, I had always heard the argument of Binfol Oyivcha, and it was
only a few years ago, here on Avodah that I became aware of those who argue
against it. But my questions apply to BOTH sides:

According to those who support Binfol, isn't the whole point of removing
these drops to show that the second cup, The Kos Of Geulah, is incomplete?
Isn't the whole point to lessen our simcha, as Rav Yechezkel Abramsky was
quoted above? Why would I even think of drinking those drops, or of
refilling the cup? Please, do not respond with "because a kos shel bracha
needs to be full." My point is that the very essence of this particular cup
is that it should NOT be full [provided that it does have a reviis, I
suppose]. (It is comparable to the Gra, who uses only one and a half loaves
for Lechem Misheh on this particular occasion, because the essence of
Lechem Oni requires it.)

And according to those who *reject* applying Binfol to this case, the
question is even stronger. What is the point of removing the wine, if not
to lessen our joy? Please don't respond with "because the wine symbolizes
the makos", unless you can show how that symbolism developed BEFORE the
practice of removing these drops began. It seems very plausible to me that
we first got the practice of removing these drops for the makos (for
whatever reason), and THEN people began referring to the drops themselves
as "makos"; the reverse does not sound at all plausible to me.

Several posters have suggested that the symbolism derives from "Etzba
Elokim", but I do not understand that. For "Etzba Elokim", we could raise
or fingers in the air, or something like that. I see no connection from
"Etzba Elokim" to the wine, and even if there is one, it would be lost when
an ist'nis pour it off without using his finger.

All these questions lead me to believe that -- regardless of how to take
Binfol -- there is some sort of connection between the makos and having
less wine in the cup. (At least for Ashkenazim. If someone could elaborate
on what is accomplished in the Sefardi practice of using vinegar, I'd
appreciate it.)

Akiva Miller

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

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Message: 9
From: Doron Beckerman <beck...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 22:22:36 +0300
[Avodah] Who is a Talmid Chacham

 It doesn't have to do with innate output ability, but with Ameilus in
plumbing the depths of Torah. The more one exerts oneself in learning, the
greater the Zechus. See Netziv (Haamek Davar  Bereishis14:14) - "The merit
of  the Torah is the sword of Yisrael... therefore, the more intense the
battle, the greater the need for delving yet deeper into the Halachah and
sharpening the sword."

(And, as Tosafos says in Kesuvos 63a - "Derech Hu Beholeich Lilmod
Shena'aseh Adam Gadol.")

It is worth citing the Netziv (Harchev Davar Shemos 25:20) - "Now, it is
the king's will that anyone who is fit for war should become a warrior, and
one who dodges ("Hamishtamet')  this, even if it is based on the
government's laws that he is not obligated to become a warrior,
nonetheless, that is not the essential will of the king.

<And now, for the gotcha moment....> So too it is the will of Hashem tha
all Jews who are fit for toil in Torah should become Bnei Torah, and one
who dodges that, even if he has reasons that bring him to that situation,
nonetheless he is not considered one who is not doing the will of Hashem,
both in Berachos and Bava Basra. Even though they were involved in Avodah,
nonetheless, since they were not toiling in Torah as they were in the
desert, this is not called doing the will of Hashem."
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Message: 10
From: Lisa Liel <l...@starways.net>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 09:23:35 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Drops of wine

On 6/27/2012 6:56 AM, Micha Berger wrote:
>: What I would be more curious of, assuming you (RAM) having been looking
>: through an (extensive?) Hagada collection is the answer to the original
>: question: how many hagaddos (and which ones) mention spilling for the
>: plagues because of decreased joy?

> In previous iterations, we also mentioned the hagaddah of R' SZ Aurbach['s
> talmidim] and it appears as a "yeish lomar" in that of R Elyashiv (pg 106,
> "dam va'eish").

I don't think any of these sources suggest that it's because *our* joy 
is lessened.  Rather, it's because we know that Hashem is, kaveyachol, 
grieving.  Just as we don't rejoice over the fall of an enemy who is one 
of our own, Hashem silenced the angels because the Egyptians were His 
own, even though they had behaved with enmity towards us and Hashem.

I have not seen a single source that says that *our* joy is lessened 
because the Egyptians drowned.  Not one.

> A third question: We only have one other, and better sourced, proposal:
> "Etzba Elokim hi". But Yekkes don't use an etzba, and even East Europeans
> allow istenisim to spill from the cup. What's the to'eles?

>: My point was, RZS's contention that this is an idea alien to Torah is
>: not correct, regardless of the source, as proven by the number of
>: widely: respected talmedei chachamim cite it.

> I made the same argument by pointing out that if such compassion were
> unJewish, so would giving the parallel explanation for Chatzi Hallel on
> the last day of Pesach. And yet /that/ has a solid pedigree.

And I think you misunderstand that explanation.  The parts of Hallel we 
omit in Chatzi Hallel are specifically the ones that are not praises of 
Hashem, but condemnations of bad guys.  Which dovetails precisely with 
the midrash about Hashem silencing the angels.

On 6/27/2012 1:28 AM, Daniel M. Israel wrote:
> When I first posted this quote from the Kol Dodi, my intention was to
> make the following point: regardless of who is right in RMB and RZS's
> discussion of the origin of the idea that we spill for the makkos to
> show that our joy is incomplete, it is in fact a well accepted notion
> in contemporary frum circles, and not just fringes with "lefty" ideas.
> My point was, RZS's contention that this is an idea alien to Torah is
> not correct, regardless of the source, as proven by the number of widely
> respected talmedei chachamim cite it.

Even widely respected talmidei chachamim can err and confuse alien ideas 
as our own.  As witness the recent discussion about widely respected 
talmidei chachamim quoting "Ein navi b'iro" as though it's a Jewish 
thought, when it's actually from the treyfer sefer.


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Message: 11
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 08:06:26 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Drops of wine

On 27/06/2012 7:56 AM, Micha Berger wrote:
> A third question: We only have one other, and better sourced, proposal:
> "Etzba Elokim hi". But Yekkes don't use an etzba, and even East Europeans
> allow istenisim to spill from the cup. What's the to'eles?

I've already corrected you on this one.  *Nobody* says the reason for
spilling is Etzba Elokim.  That is given as a reason for using the
etzba to *do* the spilling.   The usual reason given for spilling in
the first place is to get rid of the makko.  Al pi kabalah it's about
the responsible use of wine: using intelligence to isolate and remove
the anger that's inherent in alcohol, and keep the beneficial aspect
(at least that's my modern translation of the reason given in the Alter
Rebbe's siddur).

On 27/06/2012 7:56 AM, Micha Berger wrote:
> I made the same argument by pointing out that if such compassion were
> unJewish, so would giving the parallel explanation for Chatzi Hallel on
> the last day of Pesach. And yet/that/  has a solid pedigree.

The Chavos Yair neatly disposes of this argument.

Zev Sero

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Message: 12
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2012 01:21:08 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Drops of wine

On 27/06/2012 11:36 AM, Akiva Miller wrote:
> And according to those who*reject*  applying Binfol to this case, the
> question is even stronger. What is the point of removing the wine, if
> not to lessen our joy? Please don't respond with "because the wine
> symbolizes the makos", unless you can show how that symbolism developed
> BEFORE the practice of removing these drops began.

How could it have?  If there was no wine separated in the first place,
then how could it have stood for the makos or anything else?

The Maharil says that one should think while pouring that Hashem should
save us from all these plagues and they should come to Hashem's enemies.
In other words it's as much about calling down punishment on our enemies
as it is about diverting it from us.  We're not just getting rid of these
drops and what they symbolise, we're specifically sending them to the
other side.

So to answer your implied question about how and why this minhag was
invented in the first place, the first person who did this would have
been thinking as follows: We are reading about the makos that Hashem
sent to the Mitzrim, so let's act out that punishment they got.  Here,
you Mitzrim, have some blood, have some frogs, have some lice, etc.
So the identification of the drops with the makos was inherent in the
minhag from the very start, when it was just a cute idea that someone
had, perhaps to entertain his children.

The Alter Rebbe explains that "the cup is the symbol of malchus, and
one is using the power of binah to pour out, from the wine that it
contains, the symbol of anger that is in it, into a broken vessel which
symbolises the klipah, which is called "cursed".  What is left symbolises
"the wine that gladdens", so one should not pour it out but add to it.
My de-kabbalised interpretation of that it symbolises responsible drinking:
alcohol is inherently good, but it has an angry aspect that can lead to
evil.  Therefore when one drinks one must use ones intelligence to remove
the anger and direct it to a proper target, while keeping and enjoying the
beneficial aspects.

BTW, the AR's instruction not to pour out the rest of the wine is because
some write to do so, and to rinse out the cup before refilling it, because
one can't say a bracha on a cup of punishment.  So he explains that the
"pur'anus" is davka what was removed, and what remains is good.

Again, though, your question is answered: the point of the pouring is to
separate bad from good, so that which is separated inherently symbolises
the bad.  It's *not* the empty space left in the cup that we're interested
in, so there's no reason not to fill it, and every reason to do so, so that
we have a full cup.

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: 13
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2012 05:43:40 -0400
[Avodah] Midevar Sheker Tirchak

R' Michael Torczyner's "Daily Torah Thought"
<http://torahbyemail.blogspot.com> for today:

> A Jew dare not lie
> Posted: 27 Jun 2012 02:08 AM PDT

> Hi,

> "If you were to turn truth and justice into lies and deception you would 
> be detested by Gd, for He could no longer acknowledge you as His image - 
> and how could you then still claim to belong to His people and to His 
> estate? You would have lost your human dignity, and yet still want to be 
> a Jew? Would not Gd's Name be desecrated if He let you prosper?"

> (R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, Horeb, paragraph 358, based on Deuteronomy  
> 25:13-16)

> Have a great day,
> Mordechai

> To post a comment on this, or any other Daily Torah Thought 
> email, go to <http://torahbyemail.blogspot.com>.

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Message: 14
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2012 10:32:05 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Who is a Talmid Chacham

RMB writes:

>I find it interesting that WRT to kibud, it depends what he knows (shaqla
vetarya, mar'eh meqomos be'al peh in chumash, shas and ge'onim), not time or
>even effort. This makes a distinction between the measure of the mitzvah,
which AIUI is ameilus, and how we measure kibud-worthiness.
>Someone with an edietic memory gets more kibud for less work.

>I also find it interesting that it is WRT taxes, a financial issue, that
the Rama focuses on torasam umenasan -- those whose "job" is Torah, a
different >criterion.

>But nidon didan is neither, it's the draft.

I half wondered if I should have given more background, in particular the
Shulchan Aruch that the Rema was commenting on, and this comment makes it
clear that I should have, so here it is:

????? ???? ???? ??? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ???? ??? ???? ?

?????? ????? ?? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ??? ??? ????? ????? ???????? ???? ??????
???, ??? ????? ???? ??? ????, ?] ????? ??? ?????? ????? ????? ?????? ???

That is, in the first si'if of this siman, the Shulchan Aruch rules that
Talmidei Chachamim do not go out by themselves with the rest of the people
to making buildings and wells and similar in the city that they should not
be disgraced in front of the amei ha'aretz, since they are exempt, and they
are not even required to hire others in their place.

Then we get into si'if 2:

??? ????? ??????, ???? ??? ???? ?????. ??? ?? ??? ?????? ?????, ??? ??????
????? ?????? ?? ????? ???? ???? ???? ??????, ?? ??? ????? ???? ???? ????
????? ??? ?????? ???, ?????? ??? ????

In si'if 2 the Shulchan Aruch clarifies though that this is where people
themselves physically do the work, but if people hire others to do it, or
collect money from the people of the city to do it, if it is something that
the life of people need, like water and similar, even Talmidei Chachamim are
obligated to give their share.

The Rema then has a piece, what if originally each person was contributing
his own labour, and then they switched to hiring? And answer that even so
then the Talmid Chacham is required to pay his share.

The Shulchan Aruch then goes on in this si'if:

??? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ????, ???? ????? ???? ?????????. ???? ???????, ??
??? ?????? ??? ??? ????, ???? ?????? ?????, ?????? ?????? ???? ??? ??????
??? ???? ????, ??? ???? ??????? ?? ?? ??? ????, ??? ?? ???? ???? ?? ?? ???
????, ??? ??????? ??? ????? ??????, ??????? ??? ???? ????? ?????? ?????
??????? ?? ?? ??? ????

But a matter which is needed for shmira, like the walls of the city and its
towers and paying watchmen, they are not obligated to give for them at all,
because they do not need shmira, since their torah will guard them and thus
they are exempt from all types of taxes, whether taxes fixed on all the
people of the city, whether a tax which is fixed on each man by himself,
whether fixed or not fixed, and they can obligate the people of the city to
pay for them even the one that is fixed for each person.

The Rema then adds that this is true even if the local authority
specifically singles out the talmid chacham to pay, and it does not matter
if the talmid chacham is wealthy or poor.

The Shulchan Aruch goes on:

???? ????? ?????? ????? ?????? ???????, ??? ??? ????? ???????, ??????. ?????
?? ?? ?? ??? ??????, ?? ??? ??? ???? ??????? ?? ??? ???? ??? ??????, ????
??? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ?"? ????? ????, ???? ????? ??????.

But this is davka for Talmudei Chachamim shetorasam umonasam - but if not,
they are obligated.  But if there is to him a little [other] craft or
business in order to sustain himself by it in order to live, and not to make
him rich, and every hour that he is free from working he return to the Torah
and learns constantly, it is called toraso umanaso.

It is on this portion that the Rema I brought previously comes to define
what is a Talmid Chachamim.

Because as can be seen above - there is something called a Talmid Chacham,
but the Shulchan Aruch itself does not define what that is, it only sets out
several rules - one of which is that a Talmid Chacham himself does not need
shmira (not that the town doesn't, but he himself doesn't) because his Torah
will protect him, and that he is exempt from taxes, which seems to flow from
the lack of need of shmira (because he is still required to pay for those
things that are necessary for the life of a person, the assumption thus
appearing to be that taxes do not pay for such things, except perhaps for
defence).  But this is only if toraso umasoro - ie it is not that any person
where toraso umasoro is by definition a Talmid Chacham, rather you first
have a Talmid Chacham, and even so only if he also does not have a business
or other craft he is exempt.

And thus the Rema comes to define, what is a Talmid Chacham? - and it seems
to me pretty clear that this definition goes on the whole siman (and indeed
the next, where they discuss honouring a talmid chacham).  Ie the question
that is raised was, inter alia, was there such a thing as a genuine Talmid
Chacham today (ie in the time of the Rema and the Trumas HaDeshen)? If yes,
did it extend further than the roshei yeshiva? The answer the Trumas
HaDeshen gives, and which the Rema quotes, is yes, but only if these other
criteria regarding a level of knowledge are met.  Now it is true that the
teshuva of the Trumas HaDeshen is only in regard to taxes - that was the
question he was asked - please outline the correct approach for exemptions
from taxes under halacha (and how does the minhag of various towns play into
this)?  But it seems clear IMHO that the Rema felt this definition applied
across the whole couple of simanim, and certainly on the portion regarding
shmira which is the source for not drafting in the army and hence directly
on point.

>Tir'u baTov!




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