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Volume 30: Number 128

Wed, 19 Sep 2012

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 12:36:33 -0400
[Avodah] Kiddush Hashem

The following is from Rabbi Dr. David Tzvi Hoffman's essay  PROBLEMS 
OF THE DIASPORA IN THE SHULCHAN ARUCH that is printed in Fundamentals 
of Judaism.  For information on Rabbiner Hoffman see 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Zvi_Hoffmann  YL

Kiddush Hashem

Maimonides introduces his Hilchoth Yesode ha Torah (Ch. 5) with the 
following statement: "The entire house of Israel is obliged to 
sanctify the exalted name of God, for it says: "I shall be sanctified 
in the midst of the children of Israel" (Lev. 22, 23). The 
sanctification of God's name, Kiddush Hashem, may be achieved in three ways.

( 1) "Throughout the world we must proclaim the true faith  without 
fear of coercion and repercussions. We must sacrifice our lives 
rather than have the enemy assume we renounced our faith" (Sefer haMizvoth 9).

(2) "He who refrains from sin or performs a good deed, not because of 
fear or to obtain personal advantage, but in honor of his creator-he 
sanctifies the name of God" (H. Yesode haTorah 5, 1O).

(3) "He who is on friendly terms with his fellowmen, receives 
everyone kindly, insults none, refrains from participating in the 
shallow pleasures of the world; busies himself constantly with God's 
teachings, living in a manner that causes all that know him to praise 
and love him and to attempt to live in his ways he sanctifies the 
name of God, and of him Isaiah proclaims (49, 3): "My servants are 
you, oh Israel, through you I will be glorified."

Of the Patriarchs and their selection to form the people of God, the 
Torah says: "" .. through them and their descendants all generations 
on earth shall be blessed ...." This then is to be Israel's 
convocation: to carry the banner of God in the midst of the nations 
and to glorify his faith. Whenever the Jew performs an act of 
kindness and goodwill, he promotes the idea "that the Jewish people 
consists of righteous men," and neither his personal nor  the 
national glory matters. The glorification of Divinity, the message of 
absolute Divine rulership must be the sole motive of our actions, the 
sole basis for our relationship with men of different faith.

The immediate and practical aspects of "Kiddush Hashem" are vividly 
illustrated by the following accounts in Yerushalmi Baba Mezia II.

"Simon ben Shetach owned a flax business. One of his disciples 
decided to acquire a donkey to spare the master the burden of 
carrying his wares. They bought the donkey from a Sarazene and found 
a precious pearl hanging from the neck of the animal. Overjoyed, they 
rushed to Simon. "Master, your troubles are ended. Behold, we bought 
the donkey and found this jewel." "Does the owner know about it?", 
asked the Rabbi. "No." "Return the jewel at once," ordered the 
master. Then the disciples returned it, the Sarazene exclaimed: 
"Praised be the God of the Jews." Comments Yerushalmi: "The law 
permits to keep an object lost by a heathen. But to Simon ben Shetach 
the heath en's reaction was more precious than all the treasures in 
the world."

"R. Chanina related: Our old teachers bought a pile of wheat from 
several soldiers. In the pile they found a bag of money. they 
returned it, the soldiers exclaimed: "Praised be the
God of the Jews"." "Abba Osia from Turia was a washerman. One day he 
found  at the bank of the river a precious jewel left there by a 
matron. The lady said: "You need not have returned it; I have 
many  more beautiful jewels." R. Osia retorted: "The Torah commands 
us to return a lost object." And the matron exclaimed: "Praised  be 
the God of the Jews."

"R. Samuel ben Suzarti once found jewels in Rome that the  Empress 
had lost. She had issued the following proclamation: "Anyone 
returning the jewels within thirty days will receive a  generous 
reward. If the finder keeps the treasure longer, he will have 
forfeited his life." R. Samuel returned the jewels on 
the  thirty-first day. Surprised, the Empress inquired whether he 
had  not heard of the proclamation. R. Samuel replied: 'I have heard 
of it. Yet, neither the promised reward nor the fear of punishment 
caused me to return the treasure, but solely the fear of God." And 
the Empress exclaimed: "Praised be the God of the Jews."

The importance of sanctifying the Divine name indirectly annuls the 
heathen-laws that do not harmonize with the principles of 
righteousness and love for humanity. These laws were  mainly designed 
for the judge whose finding must take into account the heathen 
viewpoint. To the religious individual the  divine command of "I will 
be hallowed" was always guide and measure for all his actions. Where 
is the son of the Jewish people who could refuse the  demand of 
Kiddush Hashem? Our history is saturated with the bloody sacrifices 
of countless men, women and children who  offered their lives on the 
altar of Kiddush Hashem. The history of the Jewish people is the 
history of a continuous and heroic Kiddush Hashem.
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Message: 2
From: "Akiva Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 16:57:01 GMT
Re: [Avodah] R Asher Weiss

R' 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.

I think there's a typo here. Did you mean to write
"first a king and only second a father" or
"first a father and only second a king" ?

Akiva Miller

Woman is 57 But Looks 27
Mom publishes simple facelift trick that angered doctors...

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Message: 3
From: cantorwolb...@cox.net
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 17:45:07 -0400
Re: [Avodah] R Asher Weiss

R' Micha wrote: If G-d would prosecute we could never win.

Theologically, this statement is troublesome to me.
HE created us and gave us our nature, as well as 
the capacity to choose good over evil. Therefore,
if you say that we could never win, there has to be 
a flaw in how HE created us. Why would G-d create
us to always lose. He surely would give us the opportunity
to win, even though it may be difficult. Furthermore, the
oven of Aknai story in Bava Metzia 59a-b supports my 
objection in which R' Natan asks Eliyahu: What did HQBH
do in that hour? Eliyahu replied that G-d said: "My sons have
defeated Me; My sons have defeated Me."  So from this, we
also clearly see that G-d did not win. And even if G-d were to
prosecute, the party being prosecuted may very well win, if 
deserved through scrupulous behavior.

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Message: 4
From: "Akiva Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 21:39:32 GMT
[Avodah] The root peh-ayin-mem

On our sister list "Mesorah", someone recently asked:

> Can anyone make a connection for me between the words
> pa'am, (Hapa'am odeh es Hashem),
> pa'amosav (four taba'os on the four "pa'amosav" of the shulchan
> vatipo'em (Vyhi vaboker vatipo'em rucho.

I'd like to move that conversation to Avodah, by posting this plug for the
"Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew" (Feldheim, 1999) by Rabbi
Matityahu Clark, father of former listmember Eli Clark. Rabbi Clark went
through the writings of Rav SRHirsch, and some others, and listed the
meanings of many many roots, in sequence by their three-lettered roots. I
was very surprised by the many varied meanings and contexts in which this
root appears, and so I will share it with the chevra now:

(Rabbi Clark begins here)

1: knocking against; stunning (Ps 77:5 "nif'amti v'lo adaber" also Gn 45:17)
2: striding; striking ground while walking (Ps 17:5 "bal namotu f'amai" also Gn 16:13)
3: anguishing; being emotionally stricken (Gn 41:8 "vatipaem rucho")
4: period of the year (Ex 23:17 "shalosh p'amim bashana" also Ex 23:14)
5: anvil (Is 41:7 in Mendel Hirsch "machlik patish et holem pa'am)
6: bell (Ex 28:33 "upa'amonei zahav")
7: corner (Ex 25:12 "al arba pa'amotav")
8: at last; this time (Gn 2:23 "zot hapa'am")

(Rabbi Clark ends here)

The basic meaning that I get from these varied contexts corresponds very
closely to the English "beat", which is both a noun connoting regularity
(as in music) as also a verb connoting a strong impact done repeatedly. For
example, a bell could be formed by being hammered repeatedly against an
anvil. The regularity of the thrice per year is obvious, and it is my wild
guess that the singular "this one time" was adapted from there.

Akiva Miller

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

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Message: 5
From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.du...@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 22:17:02 GMT
Re: [Avodah] The root peh-ayin-mem

Very interesting, but how do you explain "pa'amosav"?


53 Year Old Mom Looks 33
The Stunning Results of Her Wrinkle Trick Has Botox Doctors Worried
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Message: 6
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 13:19:34 -0400
[Avodah] Chillul Hashem

The following is from Rabbi Dr. David Tzvi Hoffman's essay PROBLEMS 
OF THE DIASPORA IN THE SHULCHAN ARUCH that is printed in Fundamentals 
of Judaism.  For information on Rabbiner Hoffman see 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Zvi_Hoffmann  YL

Chillul Hashem

While the law to sanctify the Divine name calls on us to practice 
justice and love towards all men, regardless of their creed, there 
exists an even stronger motive to restrain every Jew in whose heart 
still lives a spark of his faith from mistreating his non-Jewish 
fellowmen in any manner. We refer to the  prohibition of desecrating 
the name of God.

Whereas the sanctification of the Divine name is a duty which we must 
strive to perform at all occasions, the contrasting action of the 
desecration of the Divine name constitutes the worst possible crime 
against Judaism, a crime that must be prevented with the combined 
force of the individual and the community.

Concerning the deplorable tendency to evade payment of taxes, R. 
Bechai ben Asher ("Kad hakemach") has this to say: "The profanation 
of the Divine name is a crime which may be erased neither by 
repentance nor by physical suffering. For, thus our Sages taught 
(Yoma 66): who transgresses a law will be forgiven at once by 
repentance and the Day of Atonement. Deadly sins may be atoned for by 
repentance, the Day of Atonement and physical suffering. Desecration 
of the Divine name, however, can be forgiven only by death."

"Evasion of taxes is a desecration of the Divine name~how great is 
this crime!"

Hundreds of admonitions such as these may be found in the Jewish 
religious law. All designate "Chillul Hashem" as the worst crime that 
a Jew can commit. All commentators agree that any action performed by 
a Jew that serves to falsify, disparage and ridicule the Jewish 
religion in the eyes of the world constitutes a desecration of the 
Divine name.

We must be careful not to draw the conclusion that the term Chillul 
Hashem applies exclusively to actions that result in public 
"scanda1." Our Sages teach in Aboth 4, 5: "Whoever desecrates the 
name of God in secret will be publicly punished ...." Even in the 
remotest corner of the world we must not treat a single non-Jewish 
individual in a manner that might cause defamation of the Jewish 
religion. It matters little whether the non-Jew would ever voice his 
indignation publicly or not. We must work to erase prejudice towards 
Judaism in the mind of every single individual, however low his station.

There can be no doubt that a number of rules in the Shulchan Aruch, 
the practice of which would be frowned upon today as a possible 
defamation of the Divine name, were welcomed by the non-Jewish world 
of medieval times. As an example we refer to a ruling of the Sh. A. 
which must have found critical acclaim in the 16th century but which 
today this same Sh. A. would surely consider a step in the direction 
of a Chillul Hashem.

Shortly before the destruction of the second Temple, the leaders who 
were responsible for the edition of the Jewish law  saw fit to 
abolish the death penalty. Since then no Jewish court as a rule had 
the power to decree a sentence of death even if  the state indicated 
its approval. An exception are heretics and apostates. Their crimes, 
according to the Sh. A., are still punishable by death.

The Sh. A. was codified at a time when heretics and apostates were 
most cruelly persecuted by the Christians. Thus, the Jewish attitude 
towards heretics must have found the wholehearted approval of the 
non-Jewish world. On the contrary, a more conciliatory treatment of 
the heretics would have been branded as being godless and 
irreligious, unworthy of the Jewish rabbis.

We are firmly convinced that the Sh. A. would have strictly 
prohibited the persecution of heretics and apostates because of a 
possible Chillul Hashem, were it not for the fact that the principles 
of tolerance and religious freedom found few followers in medieval 
times. Nowadays, when a majority of the civilized countries upholds 
the principle of tolerance as a basic concept of democracy, the 
execution of the Sh. A.-paragraph concerning the heretics and 
apostates would constitute a major injury to the Jewish religion, a 
veritable Chillul Hashem.

In this connection it is noteworthy that the idea of the "desecration 
of the Divine name" also motivates Christian thinking. When Thomas of 
Aquino was asked whether it was permissible to confiscate the 
property of the Jews, he replied as follows: "By their own guilt the 
Jews are condemned to eternal slavery. Hence their masters are 
entitled to take possession of their property at any time. However, 
since even those outside the Church must be treated decently in order 
to protect the1tame of the Lord from desecration. . . . it is 
advisable to refrain from overtaxing the Jew...."

There is no point in criticizing the famous saint for condemning the 
Jews to eternal slavery. His views are in accord with the beliefs of 
his time and it would be unjust to judge a medieval teacher of 
religious doctrine by modern conceptions of tolerance and equality. 
Rather, we are grateful to Thomas of Aquino for  formulating a 
principle which not only is essentially Jewish but should serve as a 
warning signal for the modern Antisemite.

The following passage in the Talmud (Baba Mezia II) clearly indicates 
the importance of practicing greater restraint towards the non-Jew 
than towards the Jew in order to avoid a Chillul Hashem. "A worker 
who is hired by a non-Jew to gather in the grapes must refrain from 
partaking of the fruit except when the master's custom permits it. 
Although the Jewish law permits the worker to eat of the fruit while 
reaping the harvest, this ruling is suspended in the case when the 
master is a non-Jew who has no knowledge of the Jewish law and must 
necessarily look upon the Jew as a thief. ..."

The prohibition of a Chillul Hashem, considered by Jewish teaching as 
the most severe religious crime, entails the duty to treat the 
non-Jew with infinitely greater restraint than the Jew whenever rules 
are concerned which the law of the state or the general concept of 
ethics accept as unjust. This prohibition neutralizes every rule of 
the Sh. A. involving non-Jews and idol-worshippers, as long as they 
are certain to be rejected by the current concepts of justice and morale.

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Message: 7
From: "Akiva Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 12:23:29 GMT
[Avodah] Can a Rasha do Teshuva?

Rambam, Hilchos Teshuva 3:3 -- "... on Rosh Hashana: One who is found to be
a tzadik is sealed for life. And one who is found to be a rasha is sealed
for death. And the beinoni is left hanging until Yom Kippur: If he did
teshuva he is sealed for life, and if not he is sealed for death."

L'maaseh, on a practical level, it is obvious that since no one knows which
category they fall into, everyone has to do the best teshuva they can. But
l'halacha, in theory, there are some things about this that bother me:

Is teshuva ineffective for the rasha? A simple reading of this Rambam would
seem to indicate that the rasha was already sealed for death on Rosh
Hashana, and it is only the beinoni who needs to bother with teshuva. Is it
impossible for the rasha's future to be improved by teshuva?

Let's set that quesion aside for a moment, and ask a different question:
What of a beinoni who is *exactly* in the middle and did not do teshuva.
Would his fate really be sealed for death? I recall learning that in such a
case, where one is *exactly* in the middle, HaShem tips the scale towards
life. If that memory is accurate, then it is a question on this Rambam. But
the question can be easily answered by saying that the Rambam is speaking
about the beinoni as a very wide category, including everyone who is
neither a tzadik *gamur* nor a rasha *gamur*.

If so, this explanation reflects back on the first question, and shows us
that it is only the tzadik gamur and rasha gamur whose fate is immediately
sealed. The 99% tzadik and 99% rasha can still improve their fate via
teshuva. This shows that not only is "beinoni" a wide category, but "life"
and "death" are also wide categories, including not only whether or not the
person will live out the coming year, but also the *quality* of that life.
(I come to that conclusion by wondering whether the 99% tzadik is in any
danger of actually losing his life in the coming year.)

But this logic seems to confirm what I wrote in the beginning, that the
rasha gamur, the 100% rasha, is sealed for death on Rosh Hashana, and no
amount of teshuva will help him. I am very troubled by this. I would prefer
to think that *everyone* -- even the rasha gamur who might not ever
actually exist -- can improve his fate by doing teshuva.

Surely I misunderstood something. But what?

Akiva Miller

Fast, Secure, NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband. Try it.

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Message: 8
From: Ben Waxman <ben1...@zahav.net.il>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 19:17:37 +0300
[Avodah] Psikei halacha regarding separate graves

Below are links to the piskei halacha of Rav Schwartz and Rav Meidan 
regarding the issue of separate graves for secular and Shomer Mitzvot.

Rav Schwartz

Rav Meidan


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Message: 9
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 12:35:49 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Psikei halacha regarding separate graves

R Zalman Shimon Dworkin z"l once paskened, in a case where a mechalel
shabbos was discovered to have been inadvertently buried in a frum
chelka, that once someone has been buried for twelve months he should
no longer be considered a rasha, and thus he should not be moved.

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: 10
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 13:20:00 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Psikei halacha regarding separate graves

On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 07:17:37PM +0300, Ben Waxman wrote:
> Below are links to the piskei halacha of Rav Schwartz and Rav Meidan  
> regarding the issue of separate graves for secular and Shomer Mitzvot.

People who are mechalel Shabbos according to the shitah followed by
those who own / manage the beis olam, or only if they are mechelalim
lekhol hadei'os? The maamarim you point us to, unsurprisingly, both are
limited to the latter. They do not give reshus for a chevrah qadishah
to exclude people who hold by a different shitah.

That's the first difference between this and the starting topic --
excluding those who own phones the chevrah deems non-kosher or have
access to the internet beyond the limits of the chevrah's posqim.

The second difference is that banning certain media because they
enable a cheit is different than actually declaring those who use
these media avaryanim. There is a machloqes whether it's impossible
to make gezeiros after chasimas hashas (Rosh Shabbos 2:20) or after
the ge'onim (Magid Mishnah, Chameitz uMatzah 5:20). Either way... no
actual issur can possibly be involved, short of proving it's covered by
the preexisting gezeirah of yichud or the like. Not just in finction,
but in actual inclusion. The whole treatment of this "issur" as a
halachic issue comparable to chilul Shabbos requires a conflation of
lifnim-mishuras-hadin policy set by daas Torah and pesaq. (A topic I've
raised here a few times already, I know.)


Micha Berger             "The most prevalent illness of our generation is
mi...@aishdas.org        excessive anxiety....  Emunah decreases anxiety:
http://www.aishdas.org   'The Almighty is my source of salvation;  I will
Fax: (270) 514-1507      trust and not be afraid.'" (Isa 12) -Shalhevesya

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Message: 11
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 20:41:12 +0300
[Avodah] partial teshuva

Rambam lists 3 requirements for teshuva
regret over the past
acceptance for the future

Many have asked from the story of Elazar ben Dordaya (with numerous answers)

My problem is more fundamental. In real life teshuva is usually a process
and not a single moment
with regret and acceptance and usually not vidui. A person may decide to
eat kosher in the future
without regretting all the delicious shrimp from the past

I rrecently saw a quote from the Mabit (Beit Elokim, Shaar HaTeshuva
p139-140) who claims that teshuva
is different from other mitzvot. Someone who puts tzizit on 3 corners does
not get a partial mitzvah.
However, someone who regrets without leaving the sin or leaves the sin
without regret helps
(mo-il ketzat)

Eli Turkel
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Message: 12
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 20:48:09 +0300
[Avodah] shofar and hearing aid

RSZA says that one who can hear only using a hearing aid cannot fulfill the
mitzva of shofar
since the hearing aid converts sound waves to a vibrating membrane and then
back and this destroys the sound
(I have heard that others allow if the person has some minimal hearing)
RMF disagrees in fact quoting science that sound waves are really the
motion of air molecules and a vibrating membrane is
not intrinsically different.

I havent seen teshuvot about cochlear implants but it would seem that this
is okay and it is now part of the body
and not different from the vibrating membranes inside the ear.
I recently read that they are actively working on a bionic eye. Again the
question is whether such an artificial eye would be
the equivalent of full sight (eg a blind person is exempt from various
mitzvot especially ones like reading the megilla
which cant be done by heart).

Does anyone know of teshuvot about bionic ears or eyes?
In the not so remote future many parts of the body will be able to be
replaced by artificial working alternatives which lead to a whole host of

Eli Turkel
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