Avodah Mailing List

Volume 30: Number 127

Sun, 16 Sep 2012

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 17:02:11 -0400
Re: [Avodah] R Asher Weiss

On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 10:52:45PM +0300, Eli Turkel wrote:
: R. Weiss also stressed that we always say avinu malkenu. G-d is both a king
: and a father but he is first a king and only second a king. So even when in
: judgement he hints that blowing the shofar will help. The main point is
: that even then G-d is a judge and not a prosecutor. If G-d would prosecute
: we could never win

Something I like to repeat
<http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2008/09/coronating-g-d.shtml> takes a very
different perspective on Melukhah.

Rosh haShanah is about accepting Hashem as Melekh not in contrast to
anarchy. After all, perforce He runs the universe. Rather, it's to shift
our relation to HQBH from being to a Mosheil to being a Melekh. Melukhah
is by the acceptance of the masses (ein melekh belo am). As the Ibn
Ezra translates the brothers' response to Yoseif's dreams: "You think
you would be melekh, an accepted king over us? No, you would only stand
as mosheil, in opposition to our will."

The Gra finds this shift in pesuqim like "Ki Lashem haMelkhah, umosheil
bagoyim" and "Malkhusekha malkhus kol olamim, uMemshaltekha bekhol
dor vador."

(Then there is the difference between accepting the fact that Hashem is
King and accepting H' as one's personal King. See Pachaq Yitzchaq RH #11;
the blog entry has more discussion.)

By our accepting Hashem as Melekh, He no longer has to impose His Will on
us despite our desires. Instead, we take on ourselves to work together
with that Will. This is why it's the centerpiece of the day on which
we're judged; we enthrone the "Keil Melekh al Kisei Rachamim".

Thus, even our calling Him "Malkeinu" is discussing a diminution of
Middas haDin.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             I always give much away,
mi...@aishdas.org        and so gather happiness instead of pleasure.
http://www.aishdas.org           -  Rachel Levin Varnhagen
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 17:16:28 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Eating Pas Yisrael During Aseres Yemei Teshuva

On Fri, Sep 07, 2012 at 09:18:11AM -0400, Rich, Joel wrote:
:> 2- The distinction, even if real, isn't relevent to the comparison of
:> pas palter to the original objection about people asking us how we could
:> post in some tone / on some topic during Elul. "Do you think you're
:> fooling Hashem?"

: aspirationally of what we would like to be. I'd humbly suggest that pas
: yisroel is a fine thing but for most of us not the primary challenge we
: face in our avodat hashem so by all means do it, but the real question
: isn't "Do you think you're fooling Hashem?", it's "Are you fooling
: Yourself?"

Returning to my earlier post, where I suggested that if mitzvos
are letovaseinu, not because He needs them, then so too are chumeros
excercises to improve ourselves, not statements to G-d -- neither honest
nor misguided attempts to fool Him. ...

There are two ways of fooling ourselves into thinking we're better than
the we actually are: One leads to complacency. We got there already.

The other is to act a certain way even though I don't feel it yet, so
that the feelings follow.

In Or Yisrael, RYSalanter discusses kibbush hayeitzer (acting correctly
despite the yeitzer hara) and tiqun hayeitzer (where the negative
desire no longer exists). Kibbush hayeitzer naturally leads to tiqun

This is akin to a self-help concept called "fake it till you make it"
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_it_till_you_make_it>, a/k/a "act as

So maybe the idea /is/ to fool oneself -- in this latter way.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             None of us will leave this place alive.
mi...@aishdas.org        All that is left to us is
http://www.aishdas.org   to be as human as possible while we are here.
Fax: (270) 514-1507            - Anonymous MD, while a Nazi prisoner

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 17:37:48 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Metzitza only six days of the week

On Sun, Sep 09, 2012 at 05:32:11PM +1000, Meir Rabi wrote:
: Since we practice Metzitza today as a tradition, unlike the Halacha that
: requires it as a matter of life and death...

It's NOT a given that halakhah only requires it as a matter of life and
death. This is the very topic under machloqes!

And if it were, then why would it continue even as a minhag? We don't do
bloodletting in general as a minhag. All the other refu'os in shas (with
1 exception) are neither halakhah nor minhag. And the one exception --
fish and meat -- is about tzora'as. Not your usual teva illness. So
I would need proof that we consider this particular piece of medical
advice more enshrined as minhag than any other.

One might argue that it's a derabbanan whose cause for legislation was
medical (and apparently was never real). But then it would still be on
the books, and therefore would outrank a melakhah derabbanan.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             In the days of our sages, man didn't sin unless
mi...@aishdas.org        he was overcome with a spirit of foolishness.
http://www.aishdas.org   Today, we don't do a mitzvah unless we receive
Fax: (270) 514-1507      a spirit of purity.      - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 17:42:27 -0400
Re: [Avodah] recalling the 10 plagues during the Bikkurim

On Sun, Sep 09, 2012 at 11:09:25AM -0400, cantorwolb...@cox.net wrote:
: Rabbi Meir Rabi asked:
:> Kitzur Piskey Tosafos Menachos mentions that the 10 plagues were read
:> during the Bikkurim Ceremony. It is not mentioned in Tosafos.
:> Can anyone enlighten?

: I believe it IS mentioned in Tosafos by R' Yaakov of Orleans who was
: a Tosafist in France in the 12th century (and studied under Rabbenu Tam).
: Shmos 9:14 "...Ani sholeiach kol magaifosai..."

Does the Qitzur Pisqei Tosafos often include rulings by the Baalei
Tosafos that do not appear in the Tosafos itself?

(That's not a rhetorical question; I'm unaqauainted with that work.)

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 5
From: David Riceman <drice...@optimum.net>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 20:04:31 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Sefer Torah, Shevet Levi Special Treatment


<<Why did Moshe Rabbenu give Shevet Levi but not the other Shevatim?>>

The Rogatchover discusses this in several places.  He distinguishes 
between halacha, which is "morashas kehillas ya'akov", and "pilpulah 
shel Torah", which Moshe could give to whomever he wished. Unfortunately 
I don't have all of his sources at hand, but see his comments on 
VaYelech 31:9, pp. 258-261 in his peirush on Humash. IIRC he says the 
concepts more clearly somewhere else.

David Riceman

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Message: 6
From: Marty Bluke <marty.bl...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2012 13:45:27 +0300
[Avodah] Using electronic water meters on Shabbos

2 months ago I started a discussion about this and various people suggested
some possible halachic justifications allowing the use of them. In today's
Yated Neeman there was not 1 not 2 but 3 separate "Kol Koreh's" against
using ANY kind of electronic water meter. They write in the name of various
gedolim (see below) against using heterim based on safek pesik reisha or
grama as they are ??????? ????????? ???. The only electronic water meter
that can be used is one where the electronic component can be completely
turned off for Shabbos and it will mechanically measure the water on

This approach may work in Israel where the Charedim are a big enough
population for the water carriers to accommodate them. However, this will
not work in chu"l even in a place like NYC, kal v'achomer in a city with a
small religious population. The poskim will need to deal with the issues of
electronics on Shabbos and come up with a position that people can deal
with or we will need to become Amish.

Here is a link to the Kol Koreh's:
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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2012 14:29:41 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Using electronic water meters on Shabbos

On Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 01:45:27PM +0300, Marty Bluke wrote:
: 2 months ago I started a discussion about this and various people suggested
: some possible halachic justifications allowing the use of them. In today's
: Yated Neeman there was not 1 not 2 but 3 separate "Kol Koreh's" against
: using ANY kind of electronic water meter. They write in the name of various
: gedolim (see below) against using heterim based on safek pesik reisha or
: grama as they are [dimuyum mefuqfaqim me'od]...

Given how these Qol Qoreis work, my instinctive reation is that such a
proclomation, as opposed to a published teshuvah, reinforces my belief
that safeiq pesiq reishei or gerama is actually valid in the eyes of
those whose opinions matter.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 8
From: Marty Bluke <marty.bl...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2012 13:34:05 +0300
[Avodah] R' Chaim Kanievsky: Better to daven in a minyan

as they are poretz geder and therefore everyone's tefillos are less
accepted, see

The Tzlach that is quoted is talking about sinners in general, why should
we single out iPhone users? According to the Tzlach you shouldn't daven in
a minyan with any sinners.

Do we really pasken like this Tzlach any time during the year? Do we ever
find that people set up minyanim of tzadikim and don't let sinners join?
Don't we specifically say on Yom Kippur night "anu matirim l'hispallel im
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Message: 9
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2012 13:07:36 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The Future of the Sefer

On Fri, Sep 07, 2012 at 10:17:27PM -0400, cantorwolb...@cox.net wrote:
: In the recent August 30th Jewish Action Magazine, there was a critique
: by Avi Muschel of an article by Gil Student entitled "The Future of
: the Sefer."
: Personally, I feel the fact that Muschel feels "This concession is
: painful and fundamentally problematic. Is it not an article of our
: faith that we must protect Torah from the raging forces of modern
: societal change?"
: is an indication that Muschel doesn't understand the context...

I think he is blurring an important distinction. Quoting myself from

    All the vessels that Moshe made were valid for him and valid for
    future generations, [except for] the chatzotzros ([silver] trumpets)
    which were valid for him but invalid for future generations.
                                            -Menachos 28b

While it is permissible to use a 100 year old shofar, or in the beis
hamiqdash, an ancient menorah, mizbeiach or shulchan, each generation
that has a beis hamiqdash in which to use it has to make its own
chatzotzros. Why the difference?

Yahadus walks a tight balance between the permanence of its message,
and its relevance to people in very different contexts who are living in
different times. The call of the shofar is eternal, and thus a shofar
is not invalidated by age. However, in contrast to the raw, natural,
shofar, the silver chatzotzros are man-made. Their message changes as
people do. The call of the chatzotzros is distinct for the generation.

End-quote. But there are actually three categories. The two mentioned

1- The Torah's message
2- The application of that message to people living in a particular

and there is also

3- the "new bottle" in which the "old wine" is poured.

Whether we learn from books or from apps isn't an issue of either
theoretical or applied values.

The only real problem I find with it is that we're teaching people
to be more dependent on tools they can't use on Shabbos or Yom Tov.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             It is a glorious thing to be indifferent to
mi...@aishdas.org        suffering, but only to one's own suffering.
http://www.aishdas.org                 -Robert Lynd, writer (1879-1949)
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 10
From: "Poppers, Michael" <Michael.Popp...@kayescholer.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2012 23:07:41 -0400
Re: [Avodah] re pas yisrael

In Avodah V30n126, RMBrody wrote:
> The Shelah wrote that to protect from tumah, some would only eat
pas made with fruit juice and not water. Not sure whether that was in
Europe where he spent most of his life or from the mysticism  of Israel. <
Meanderings of the mind:
-- Does anyone hold that pas haba b'kisnin is not m'qabeil tum'ah (apparently yes)?
-- Do such opinions hold that n'tilas yadayim is not necessary prior to eating such pas (I'm guessing not, especially if one is making a meal out of that pas)?
If these two suppositions are correct, don't they contradict each other?  TIA for helping me out here....

All the best from 
-- Michael Poppers via BB pager

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Message: 11
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2012 12:32:14 -0400
Re: [Avodah] re pas yisrael

On 12/09/2012 11:07 PM, Poppers, Michael wrote:
> -- Does anyone hold that pas haba b'kisnin is not m'qabeil tum'ah (apparently yes)?

No.  The issue isn't pas haba'ah bekisnin, but hechsher lekabel tum'ah.
I assume we must be talking about shmurah flour (such as is used for
baking matzos), which is not muchshar lekabel tum'ah, and if kneaded
with mei peiros will retain that status.

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: 12
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2012 13:10:03 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Lavan falsely accused?

On Sun, Sep 09, 2012 at 02:24:16AM -0400, David Wacholder wrote:
: Do Chaza"l attribute such destructive  intentions to Lavan?  Certainly
: that is the "common" way to explain the Hagada passage...

Bereishis 21:20,21. Yaaqov is secretly boreiach, and Laven -- vayirdof
acharav (in v. 23). 24 Hashem warns ("hishamer lekha", v. 24) Lavan not
to speak to Yaaqov. And his reaching Yaaqov (v. 25) is "vayaseig" in
contrast to "vayifgash".

: Ibn Ezra begs to disagree - and he is correct.

: IBN EZRA stresses the verb  Oveid -  It is the same language as the lost
: wandering cattle of Hashavat Aveidah.  Yaakov was deprived of his family
: and servants, alone, isolated, impoverished and afraid.  That easily
: qualifies as "Aveidah". He was Oveid, wandering. In passive mood he was
: lost and abandoned and impoverished.

He disagrees with who is the Arami being referred to and what oveid means,
but not that Lavan was out to get Yaaqov.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When you come to a place of darkness,
mi...@aishdas.org        you don't chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org   You light a candle.
Fax: (270) 514-1507        - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Message: 13
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 16:44:55 +0300
[Avodah] yom she-kulo torah

We held our semi-annual yom she-kulo torah in Raanana with many of the top
rabbis from around Israel. As it lasted close to 12 hours I will mention
only a very selected few thoughts. As usual all mis-quotes are my error.

R. Avraham Yosef talked about the need to accept all people in a friendly
manner. We don't insist that everyone think like we do for them to be
acceptable. He described how his parents (ROY)
who hug and cry together every year before YK.  He told a story of some
girl in the family that went to university in Haifa and met an Arab
policeman and fell in love and decided to get married. The father came to
ROY to ask if he should sit shiva for his daughter. ROY told that on the
contrary he should shower this family with more love than the other
children and everything will work out. The end was that the arab converted
(!) and today their children are top talmidim in yeshiva.
RAY said he learned from his children that if you get angry at them they
end up doing the opposite of what you want. Working with positive stimulus
works much better.

R. Rimon talked about chumrot during aseret yemei hateshuva. He pointed out
that if someone tries a long term chumra it becomes a neder and hard to get
rid of. Instead we automatically assume that any chumra is meant only for
these 10 days. For one who is lenient with pat akum there is no problem
with refraining until after YK and making the meal after YK with pat akum.
During these 10 days we are closer to G-d and do actions to increase this
closeness. It is not  hypocrisy to do things in the king's palace that one
would not do at home.
BTW Rav Rimon just issued a machzor which is color coded - which prayers
are essential, which are ver important and which can only be said in a

Rav Stav discussed the problem of RH in the days of the Temple. Most Jews
had no idea what day would be RH and which prayers (or sacrifices) to say.
Even in Jerusalem the witnesses could come late in the afternoon. Even
after the takanah to only accept witnesses in the morning it only partially
answered the problem. There is a machloket rishonim what they actually did.
Rashi says that they relied on the fact that in most years Elul had 29
days. Others disagreed. All this is intrinsic to RH and not just caused by
a later difficulty. Rav Stav answered (bringing sources) that in fact this
is the essence of RH that that life is not known in advance. We cant shop
knowing exactly when RH will fall out next year. Part of RH is renewal
which many times is spontaneous. One cant plan that one will do teshuva in
the future on a certain date.

Rav Neriah Gutal discussed the history of "Hashem Ori Ve-Yishi". Also
pointed out that the first half talks about a person's confidence while the
second half talks about Man's fears. Some claim that in fact this was
originally 2 separate chapters. In addition if it is indeed one chapter the
order should be reversed with first describing man's fears and then going
on to "victory" overcoming one's fears by reliance on G-d. He brought
literary paralleles between the 2 halves to demonstrate that it is indeed
one chapter. As to the order in fact the perek teaches us that there are up
and downs in a person's life and not just constant improvement.

R. Meidan stressed that zichronot means judgement and not remembering. He
brought many proofs from Tanakh. The essence of the bracha of Zichronot is
that we take responsibility for the world and stake an activist position.
Malchiot on the contrary stresses that G-d is in charge and we rely on him.
R. Meidan ventured that this is a key difference between charedim who
stress reliance on G-d and dati-leumi who stress the need for people to
take the initiative. In prayer the synthesis is found in shofarot that
combines the two approaches. He also claimed that this is the difference
between the first 2 chapter of Breshit. In the first perek G-d creates a
world and leaves it. He created trees and animals that can reproduce
without further intervention from above. Man rules over the world. In the
second chapter the emphasis is on G-d's involvement in the world and his
complete control.

A question
1. Why is RH before YK?
(a) before declaring G-d king one should be cleaned from ones sins
(b) on YK G-ds make the major decisions of the future of each person and
only later on RH take care of the few exceptions

Eli Turkel
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Message: 14
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 12:32:59 -0400
[Avodah] Kaddish

On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 03:56:18PM -0500, Lisa Liel replied on Areivim:
>> Of course the right way to pronounce it is: Yisgadeil - with a Tzeirei.

> I can see reasoning on both sides.  On the one hand, the pasuk it's  
> based on is Hebrew, and not Aramaic, so you'd figure the words in  
> Kaddish would be pronounced the Hebrew way.  But since it's immediately  
> followed with shmei raba, and not shmo ha-gadol, it might make more  
> sense to pronounce it the Aramaic way.

On Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 02:13:08PM +0300, R D Bannett replied (still on
> Re: <<the way RYBS and RAS pronounced it based on the Gra. (Hanhagos
> HaRav in the RH &YK Mesoras Harav Machzorim)? Also the Chaf in Kirusei
> has a Dagesh (dot) in it.>>

> As one known to be against yisgadeil with tzeire, I don't know if it is
> permissible for me to help the yisgadeil'nikim but here I go again.

> And if one wants to follow the Gr"a, please add the other differences? He
> must omit the word yis-halal and say mikol instead of min kol.  And as
> Sefer Hapardes, the origin of the yisgadeil error, states that tiskabal
> is Aramaic it is certainly not tiskabeil. The hybrid kaddish of
> incomplete following of the  Gr'a source reminds me that: Ham'numar
> pasul!

It's weirder than that. "Yisgadal" is in both languages. Which is why
it's parashas "Va'eschanan" not "Va'eschanein". The Gra says to make a
point of saying it in Hebrew, to reference Yechezqeil -- but both "-al"
and "-eil" are used in Hebrew. It takes some deduction to take this to
mean "say 'Yisgadeil' because that's unambigiously in Hebrew".

There us another change in nusach haGra that RDB omitted which has more
impact in meaning than "Yisgadeil veyisqadeish". "Kire'usei" rather than

With the khaf, the word is read as flowing from the vowel sound at the
end of "vra". The phrasing is then:
    Yisgadal veyisqadash His great name
    in the world which He created according to His Will

With a kaf, the words are disconnected, so it becomes:
    Yisgadeil veyisqadeish His great name
    in the world which He created
    as per His Will (that His name be Gadol veQadosh)

The latter version is more consistent with the Chazals about "eitz peri"
vs "eitz oseh peri" (that fruit trees do not taste like the fruit in
defiance of His will) and of the moon being smaller than the sun because
the moon objected as opposed to original design.

It is also what we say in "Al hakol", during hotza'as seifer Torah:
    .... be'olamos shebara -- olam hazeh ve'olam haba" --
    kirtzono ukirtzon kol yerei'av...

Obviously the olamos were not created according to the will of those
who have yir'as Shamayim. Rather, what should be according to His Will
and theirs is "Al hakol yisgadal veyisqadash... shemo shel melekh malkhei

And to get back to my opening point, notice that the Hebrew "al hakol"
also has "Yisgadal veYisqadash", despite being in Hebrew. (Not to mention
"veyishtabach, veyispa'ar veyiromam".)


Micha Berger             The waste of time is the most extravagant
mi...@aishdas.org        of all expense.
http://www.aishdas.org                           -Theophrastus
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 15
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 13:50:37 +0300
[Avodah] Brisk and shofar

I found a nice example of the different wat Brisk approaches questions.

In halichot Shlomo it brings a story of a "baal tokeah" who got very
emotional before blowing the shofar.
The local rabbi reprimanded him asking whether he also gets emotional when
putting on tefillin.
When RSZA heard the story he was upset at the rabbi and brought a letter
from R. Akiba Eiger.
R Eiger writes in a similar case that in theory we should get emotional at
every bracha and mitzva.
In practice thing we do frequently live is jaded. However, shofar comes
once or twice a year and
so it is appropriate to get emotional over the bracha and mitzvah.

RYBS brings a similar story with his father (RMS) who was rabbi in a chabad
community and also
asked the baal tokeah why he was so emotional. RYBS says he disagrees with
his father. However,
instead of the "emotional" answer of R. Akiva Eiger and RSZA, RYBS gives a
Brisker answer. He
divides mitzvot into 2 categories. For most mitzvot the main idea is simply
to perform the act,
put on tefillin, tzizit, erect a fence on the roof etc. However, for some
mitzvot in addition to the formal
act there is a thought behind it. The obvious example is tefillah where
mere recital of the words is
not enough. RYBS proves that shofar is in the second category and shofar is
meant as a way
of crying out to G-d and leading to teshuva. So the message is important
and not just the formal act.
Hence, it is important to think about the message when blowing and
listening to the shofar.

In summary according to R. Akiva Eiger one should in theory get emotional
at every bracha and mitzvah
but it simply is diffucult to do for verey day mitzvot and so we "settle"
for shofar. For RYBS there is a
fundamental difference between shofar (and a few other selected mitzvot)
from the majority of
brachot and mitzvot.

Eli Turkel
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