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Volume 30: Number 159

Sun, 25 Nov 2012

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 11:26:07 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Insights into Halacha: The Chicken Bone 'N'

On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 09:14:55AM -0500, Prof. Levine quoted RYSpitz's
column on ohr.edu:
> Approximately thirty-five years ago, several students attending a  
> yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael engaged in a typical Shabbos nocturnal  
> activity: the raiding of the yeshiva Cholent pot. Yet, as these bochurim 
> followed the proper laws of scooping Cholent out from a pot on Shabbos, 
> their innocuous actions on this Friday night unwittingly sparked a raging 
> halachic firestorm between two of the pre-eminent Gedolei HaDor, Rav 
> Moshe Feinstein and Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zichronom l'vracha...


1- Neither gadol objects to Fri night chulent. In contrast to the OP in
"HONORING SHABBOS LUNCH and the New Religion"
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol30/v30n154.shtml#12>. And in fact,
fn 1 quote the Tzitz Eliezer (7:15) that the fri night raid of the
chulent pot qualifies as "letzorekh mitzvah"!

2- Friday night chulent isn't /that/ recent. 35 years.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Life isn't about finding yourself
mi...@aishdas.org        Life is about creating yourself.
http://www.aishdas.org                - Bernard Shaw
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 2
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 11:04:21 -0500
[Avodah] HaKafos (was HONORING SHABBOS LUNCH etc)

At 09:34 AM 11/21/2012, Chana Luntz wrote:

>Well while hakafos as we know them may be 16th century (not clear), the
>minhag of dancing on Simchas Torah in some form goes back to the geonim.
>The Beis Yosef in Orech Chaim siman 339:3 in discussing the prohibition on
>dancing on shabbas and yom tov notes: "and the Meharik writes in shoresh 9
>(unaf 2) in the name of Rabbanu Hai Gaon that on the day of Simchat Torah it
>is permitted to dance at the time that they say praises of the torah because
>they are accustomed to permit because of honour of the Torah since there is
>only in it because of a rabbinical decree".
>Now it is fair to say that as the geonim were in Bavel, and therefore had
>the one year cycle, maybe they weren't doing this in places where they had a
>three year cycle - but you also have a possible hint in Talmud Bavli Sukkah
>48a: "It was taught in a braita:  [Devarim 16:16] "and it will be completely
>joyous" this is to include the night of the last day of Yom Tov [lelei yom
>tov haacharon."
>And there appear to be references to special piyutim being said and special
>torches (of which people seem to have disapproved) in many sources - so the
>evolution from piyutim and dancing to hakafos does not see that far to me.

All of this is, again, in Ya'ari's sefer Toldos Chag Simchas Torah.

Permitting dancing on Simchas Torah is due to the fact that ST is 
d'rabanan.  However,  in EY the dancing is done on Shemini Atzeres 
which is D'oreisa.  And this is why I think that Simchas Torah has no 
place in EY.  Dancing is not permitted on Shabbos or on a Yom Tov 
that is D'oreisa,  although today the Chassidim and, as a result, 
others are maikel in this.

 From http://www.torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5766/bo.html

QUESTION: Why did the Rabbis restrict clapping and dancing on Shabbos 
and Yom Tov?

DISCUSSION: The Talmud(5) records that the Rabbis prohibited playing 
musical instruments on Shabbos and Yom Tov because musical 
instruments often need to be tuned, a potential violation of the 
Shabbos Labor of Makeh b'patish.6 Not only did they prohibit all 
different types of musical instruments, but they also included all 
other noise-making objects, such as bells, whistles or rattles.(7)

The Rabbis of the Talmud(8) went even further. They decreed that 
certain actions which could lead to the playing of musical 
instruments should also be restricted, even if at the moment there 
are no musical instruments present or even available. Apparently, 
they were concerned that such an atmosphere could lead a creative 
individual to forget that it is Shabbos, and fashion a makeshift 
musical instrument on the spot.(9) Thus they banned clapping and 
dancing as well, since these are activities which generate an 
atmosphere in which music is played.

QUESTION: Nowadays, does the Rabbinical injunction against clapping 
and dancing on Shabbos and Yom Tov still apply?

DISCUSSION: While all authorities agree that the original edict 
against playing any kind of instrument remains in effect 
nowadays,(10) there are conflicting opinions whether or not the 
additional decree against dancing and clapping is also in effect. 
Some argue that nowadays we no longer have the ability or talent to 
fashion a musical instrument on the spot, so we should not prohibit 
activities that could lead to the fashioning of musical 
instruments.(11) Others hold that the original Rabbinical decree 
applied only to dance movements which required musical accompaniment, 
not to the unstructured and informal circle dancing popular 
today.(12) For whatever reason, the fact remains that it became 
customary for people to dance and clap on Shabbos and Yom Tov, and 
the poskim did not strenuously object to their behavior.(13) While it 
behooves a ba'al nefesh (a person who is especially meticulous in his 
mitzvah observance) to refrain from dancing and clapping(14) on 
Shabbos and Yom Tov [except on Simchas Torah (15)], especially for 
non-mitzvah purposes,(16) and many people are careful about it,(17) 
the basic halachah follows the opinion of the poskim who hold that 
nowadays, the Rabbinical decree against dancing and clapping is no 
longer applicable.(18)

See the URL for the footnotes.

See also http://www.cckollel.org/html/parsha/vayikra/shemini5763.html


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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 12:00:38 -0500
[Avodah] Metaphoric Aggadita

Usually when discussing whether aggaditos should be taken literally,
people focus on the Rambam and his son R' Avraham. Here on Avodah,
we've also seen over the years citations from the Ritva, the Rashba,
Maharsha, the Maharal, the Gra, the Maharitz Chajes, RSRH, and RYSalanter.
(And more contemporary: RAFeldman, based on the Gra, in The Juggler and
the King pg xxii, R' Mordechai Breuer, based on the Maharal.)

I encountered another possible rishon, the famous Raavad (Hil' Teshuvah
3:7) that objects to labeling people who believe that G-d has a body as
minim. He says they weren't minim if they were misled "mimah shera'u
bedivrei ha'agados hameushashos es hada'as". Not a clearcut statement
about aggadita in general, but it does go beyond applying "diberah Torah
belashon benei adam" to the pasuq ("Yad H'", "charon Apo", etc...). It
involves claiming metaphor, not just idiom.

Similarly also in Teshuvah 8:2 and 8:4, when the attacks the Rambam
saying that people have no bodies in olam haba. He says that the literal
medrashim in these particular cases do not qualify as fitting the
rules for assuming they're metaphoric. Not the principle of metaphor in
general. In fact, by justifying them within the rules of being plausible
literally, the Raavad implicitly agrees to the Rambam's general claim.

Side-note: LAD, Raavad apparently didn't understand the Rambam. The
Rambam's olam haba is where a soul goes between this life and techiyas
hameisim, as well as after death after techiyas hameisim. The Raavad
is arguing about having bodies after techiyas hameisim -- a different
definition of "olam haba".

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Live as if you were living already for the
mi...@aishdas.org        second time and as if you had acted the first
http://www.aishdas.org   time as wrongly as you are about to act now!
Fax: (270) 514-1507            - Victor Frankl, Man's search for Meaning

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Message: 4
From: Ben Waxman <ben1...@zahav.net.il>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 18:57:52 +0200
Re: [Avodah] HaKafos

I still don't understand why it should be. The community here was wiped 
out, or almost wiped out, in the Crusades, and the people who 
reestablished the Jewish community here brought their minhagim. Why 
would anyone expect that that particular minhag be resurrected?

On 11/20/2012 11:34 PM, Prof. Levine wrote:
> What I am referring to when I mean the celebration of Simchas Torah,  
> and I admit that I was not so clear before,  is the completion of the 
> Torah yearly.  This was not done in EY and was done in Galus.  So my 
> question is, "Why wasn't the triennial cycle reestablished in EY when 
> the Jews returned to EY?"
> YL

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 15:27:05 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Brain is the Link to HKBH

On Fri, Nov 09, 2012 at 5:34pm +1100, R' Meir Rabi wrote:
: The Maharal famously says, it is better for us to struggle with
: understanding the Halacha and applying it, even if we get it wrong, than to
: avoid that struggle by consulting a rabbi or a Sefer, and getting it  right.

: This is found in Nesivos Olam, Nesiv Torah end Ch 15.

Available at <http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14202&;st=&pgnum=72>.

It's not what I see there. I see the Maharal telling the chakham that even
the authors of secondary sources wouldn't want them ignoring the talmud to
turn to them when pasqening.

Yes, when speaking of the risk for an error:
"And this is better thasn someone who pasqens from one text and
doesn't understand at all the reason for the thing, who walks like
a blind man on the road."

But different than what it says above, and thus doesn't justify RMR's
conclusions, for two fundamental reasons:

1- It's advice to a poseiq, not advice to the masses that they work by
themselves and not "consult a rabbi or a sefer".

Which is what originally bothered me about RMR's presentation of
this Maharal. A talmid needs reshus to give hora'ah when the rebbe is
available. Meaning that there are limits to thinking for oneself even for
someone who is unlikely to err -- never mind the hamon am! In fact, when
we call semikhah "Yoreh Yoreh" we are invoking this idea from Sanhedrin
5b by quoting the sugya's buzzword. Semikhah is netilas reshus to think
for oneself. Which rules out the notion that this is how everyone is
supposed to do things.

2- The Maharal is speaking about non-understanding obedience. IOW,
don't just read a Qitzur, MB, or Shemiras Shabbas keHilkhasah and tell
your qehillah whatever is written there. Understand /why/ the din is
this way or that. Or get out of the pasqening business. Which isn't even
following one's own mind over that book. It could be you don't like the
sevara that the din converged around. But understand it.

And that understanding is so important that the occasional error is
less of a price to pay than occasionally violating the consensus through
ignorance of it, because one looked at the talmud and missed the acharon.
He speaks of ignorance, not of willfull selection of sevara over accepted

: Reb Chaim Volosiner FORBIDS accepting what ones Rebbe Paskens or advises if
: one has questions on it.

: In the same vein he explains that HaVey MisAbek BeAfar RagLeyHem ? means
: not to sit at their feet but TO GO INTO BATTLE with them.

Yes, to use your brain. Not to follow yourself halakhah lemaaseh over
a received pesaq! Follow, but not blindly!

On Fri, Nov 09, 2012 at 5:37pm +1100, R Meir Rabi wrote:
: The Rosh [Chulin Ch8] quotes Rabbenu Simcha...
: He explains that the Torah prohibits cooking meat in its mother's milk.
: This phrase is not just a poetic term, but a Halachic qualification. The
: only milk that may not be cooked with meat, is milk that emerges from a
: mother. Once it is altered and is no longer the same as it was when first
: emerging from the cow, it is transformed into a product that may be cooked
: with meat. [It might be a problem understanding in this case why the curds
: are deemed to be milk.]

: I think the greatest Chiddush of this discussion is the genius of Rabbenu
: Simcha. Where does he draw the substance of his Chiddush? The answer is,
: there is no Gemara that supports this interpretation, it is only the power
: of the human mind. LaMa Li KeRa? SeVaRa Hu. No verse in the Torah is
: required to teach us that which is self evident.

But his chiddush is lomdus, explaining the gemara's pesaq WRT "mei chalav"
on Chullin 111b, the top of 114a, and "nisyuvei dechalba" in Pesachim
42a. Again, a non-blind following of existing pesaq, and not an instance
of "lamah li qera? sevarah hi!"

On Wed, Nov 07, 2012 at 01:20:15PM +0000, Akiva Miller wrote:
: Regarding the sale of a shul to be a mikveh, R' Micha Berger wrote:
:> (RMF in IM CM 1:42 reaches the same conclusion [as the CI], but argues
:> that since one may sell a seifer Torah to marry a woman
:> (Megillah 27a) and qedushas ST outranks that of a shul (prior
:> mishnah, 25b), then qal vakhomer one may sell a shul to build
:> a miqvah. Thus defusing this example for the sake of our
:> discussion.)

: Rather than defusing this example, I think it is a *great* example of
: the "inventive logic" that I referred to above. Do you think that these
: arguments did not occur to earlier poskim? Yet they don't seem to have
: mitigated the psak of the Mishna (Megillah, 2nd one on 27b) and Shulchan
: Aruch (OC 153:9)....

I just meant it defuses the miqvah case as an example of choosing least
amongst issurim. RMF instead claims that selling the shul would be mutar.

I just got an epiphany about huterah vs dechuyah, but go try to relay an
epiphany. I never thought of the two (dechuyah and this kind of "halakhah
ve'ein morin kein" choosing the least amongst issurim) at the same time
before to realize they're connected.

In terms of RAM's point, I actually think that:

1- There are plenty of sevaros that, intentionally or not, hinichu lahem
chakhamim for later generations and now seem obvious in retrospect.

2- This particular situation isn't the one in the mishnah or the
SA. The case where a rav had to choose between building a shul or a
community that violated taharas hamishpachah required the rabbi living
among non-observant Jews. Not that RMF was creating a sevara that let
him overturn halakhah pesuqah. (Which is the common theme that had me
reply in this thread, rather than continuing this under the obsolescent
subject line "eivah".)

In general, the eivah thread seemed to be talking about three things:

1- RET was talking about cases where people find excuses to sanctify
their violation of halakhah. Regardless of whether they found halachic
loopholes. Like his enigmatic citation of Yonah as an example.

2- RAM appears to be talking about people's ability to find halachic
loopholes where the halakhah violates their natural sense of morality.
Often/usually by showing a way in which their situation is new in a way
not covered by the old new pesaq.

If I may add, this requirement isn't always true. In CM, it's possible
to say that because parties' expectations changed, the *existing* din
would. Because most of CM is about agreements between parties. Which is
why qinyanim can be made by conforming to secular conventions.

Or the Sho'el uMeishiv's (1:44) idea that if secular society saw the moral
obligation to protect an author's creation and publisher's investment, it
is impossible that the Torah is less moral. He therefore assigns ownership
of ideas to their creator. And since, in halachah, ownership is eternal
(barring proactively making a kinyan), he paskened that copyrights are
lehalachah also eternal -- even when secular law and morality do not.

Sometimes it's that a new situation needs a new pesaq. In CM, sometimes
it's that the standing pesaq is to conform to property as people think
of it. And then there are other cases of where existing pesaq has new
implications. See below.

3- I thought we were talking about cases where people are finding new
instances of eis la'asos despite not being able to find a justification
for a new pesaq on the halachic plane.

One is left in a similar quagmire trying to understand the CC on formal
education for girls. Did he mean "eis la'asos laH'" literally, and thus
it's a lesser-sin situation? Or did consider the discussion of what was
covered in preexisting pesaq more primary? If the issur always excluded
that which is necessary to avoid sin, then the CC could -- and did --
then that pesaq would include some theoretical knowledge for girls living
in a society that has mandatory secular education. Avoiding going off
the derekh is also avoiding sin. Just as much as avoiding ignorance of
halakhah lemaaseh.

On a third aspect of this "independent thinking about halakhah" post...

The Brisker chumerah defies the more common theories about what the
halachic process is. You're basically taking the daas yachid of the
Rambam, that halakhah has one right answer and the poseiq needs to
*discover* what HQBH or the rabbanan who made a taqanah meant. There
is a right and a wrong pesaq to every question, and "eilu va'eilu
divrei E-lokim chaim" refers to HQBH wanting the effort more than

Which gets us back to my disagreement with RMR. I mean here the effort
that goes into the stream of pesaq, not of an individual relying on
himself rather than qualified avaliable resources.

 From the discovery perspective of machloqes, R' Chaim Brisker or
the MB can talk about being chosheish for shitos that the consensus
rejected. These shitos have preexisting reality, and a lack of certitude
that the consensus converged on the right one is sufficient to motivate
playing safe as a lifnim mishuras hadin technique. One isn't required to
go beyond that demanded halachic process, but there is value to doing so.

However, the majority of ge'onim and rishonim consider one of a few
variants of the theme that machloqes is the product of being able to
extrapolate from existing halakhah to new cases in multiple ways. IOW,
that the poseiq *constructs* new halakhah, *not* discovers it.

This line of reasoning leaves no reason (eg) to be chosheish for shitas
haRosh if we constructed the halakhah to follow the Rambam. It doesn't
make a difference if you've mastered lomdus to the point that you can
see the strength of the sevaros of both sides. It's the process of pesaq
that makes the Rambam (in my example) right, not the

Ironically (given who we're talking about), RYBS's theory of halakhah is
based around this, when Halakhic Man calls halakhah a creative partnership
between HQBH and man. If man *creates*, there is no halakhah-ness to
shitos man didn't chooose. You're being chosheish for things never made.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The fittingness of your matzos [for the seder]
mi...@aishdas.org        isn't complete with being careful in the laws
http://www.aishdas.org   of Passover. One must also be very careful in
Fax: (270) 514-1507      the laws of business.    - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 18:58:01 -0500
[Avodah] Erasing the Sotah Text

The mishnah (Sotah 3:3) says that if the woman confesses or simply
gives in without drinking, the text is put under the hinge of the door
of the heikhal.

The Y-mi opens with an explanation why. But there are two very different
ways the acharonim read the gemara.

Version 1:
Why? In order to erase it. (new topic) There was a small hole by the foot
of [the kevesh] where the water [that was going to be used for the sotah]
is poured.

Version 2:
Why -- in order to erase it?! There was a small hole under [the hinge].
(new topic -- quote from mishnah) "The water is poured":...

The difference between the reading is whether it's farfetched to believe
that the pesuqim not used for the mitzvah of sotah would be erased.

The Ridvaz points back to an earlier sugya where the gemara prohibits
using parchment from a beheimah temei'ah. It says the text for sotah
has qedushah, which would in turn implies that it shouldn't be erased.
And therefore he reads the gemara the second way.

I was wondering, though... Perhaps the implication can't be made. If
a sheim is written on the beach above the high tide line, it can't be
erased; below the high tide line, so that it is inherently temporary,
it can. (This gemara comes up in discussions of sheim H' on screen,
and scrolling the text so that it doesn't display.)

Can one say that the parashah written for a sotah was similarly made
in order to be transitory, and therefore there is no halachic problem
erasing any sheimos (and the complete pesuqim as well) on it?

And perhaps that's what Achitofel meant when he told David haMelekh
that if it were okay to write H's name for the sake of shalom bayis,
al achas kamah vekamah to write it on a pottery shard to stop the tehom
from flooding the world (TB Sukkah 53a-b).

Notice he says "lemikhtav", not "limchoq". The thing that needs a heter
isn't the erasure, since the intent at the time of writing was that it
be temporary. The problem would be in the writing of sheim Hashem while
intending it to be temporary.

Half-baked, so I would like some peer-review.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             You will never "find" time for anything.
mi...@aishdas.org        If you want time, you must make it.
http://www.aishdas.org                     - Charles Buxton
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 7
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 17:47:28 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Insights into Halacha: The Chicken Bone 'N'

On 21 November 2012 11:26, Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org> wrote:

> 1- Neither gadol objects to Fri night chulent.

RMF, at least, didn't realise this was a "raid" (if indeed it was).
He assumes that they took cholent for the evening seudah, and
notes that this was not practical in Europe because the cholent
was in a sealed oven, but even in America it's unheard of, but
apparently it's heard of in EY.

> fn 1 quote the Tzitz Eliezer (7:15) that the fri night raid of the
> chulent pot qualifies as "letzorekh mitzvah"!

The Tzitz Eliezer also may be talking about taking for the night
seudah; it isn't clear.  He's talking about the Rav Pe'alim who
permits taking food from the pot on the fire in order to give it to
an ani, because it's for the purpose of a great mitzvah.  The TzE
then says that taking the food for the bnei yeshivah is also a
mitzvah, but he doesn't say why; the obvious answer, though, is
seudas shabbos.


> 2- Friday night chulent isn't /that/ recent. 35 years.

Make that at least 53 years, since the Tzitz Eliezer's teshuvah.

Zev Sero

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Message: 8
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 17:24:52 -0500
Re: [Avodah] HaKafos (was HONORING SHABBOS LUNCH etc)

On 21 November 2012 11:04, Prof. Levine <llev...@stevens.edu> wrote:

> Permitting dancing on Simchas Torah is due to the fact that ST is d'rabanan.
> However,  in EY the dancing is done on Shemini Atzeres which is D'oreisa.
> And this is why I think that Simchas Torah has no place in EY.  Dancing is
> not permitted on Shabbos or on a Yom Tov that is D'oreisa,  although today
> the Chassidim and, as a result, others are maikel in this.

The site you quote omits one very important point, which demolishes
the entire question: "rikud" means jumping; dancing in which both
feet leave the ground at the same time.  The sort of dancing we do,
in which we go in a circle while one foot is always on the ground,
is called "mochol", and that is permitted on Shabbos, even without
resorting to the Tosfos that permits "rikud".   We do rely on the
Tosfos for clapping, but not for dancing.

Zev Sero

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Message: 9
From: "Akiva Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2012 00:32:55 GMT
Re: [Avodah] yizkor/ST

R' Zev Sero wrote:

> Ah, so your question is why is it not on the last day.  The
> answer is that it's not triggered by the last day of yomtov,
> it's triggered by the reading of "ish kematnat yado", which
> happens to be read on the last days of Pesach and Shavuot, but
> the first day of Shmini Atzeret.

I'll accept that, but it more begs the question than answers it, because it
transforms the question into: Why is it that for Pesach and Shavuos, it is
Yom Tov Acharon which gets the generic "Yom Tov Of Chul" parsha of Kol
Habechor [or its longer version, Aser T'aser], while on Sukkos, the generic
Parsha goes to a day whose Yom Tov nature is still d'Oraisa, and it is Yom
Tov Sheni (Simchas Torah) which gets a very targeted yomtov-specific

Here's another data point for this discussion: The Israeli mixing of Yizkor
with Hakafos is very noticeable, because it occurs every year; but it is
not the only emotional conflict of this sort. Less frequently -- namely,
when Shmini Atzeres is on Shabbos -- we have the problem of when to read
Koheles. In Chul, this isn't a conflict, because we always read the
megillah on Shabbos (except for Shavuos, when it's usually not an option)
and Simchas Torah in Chul is never on Shabbos. But in EY it is more

I suggest contrasting this situation with what is done in Chul when Pesach
begins on Shabbos. In both cases, we have an eight-day Yom Tov which begins
on Shabbos and ends on Shabbos. So the question arises: On which Shabbos
should we read the Megillah? It turns out that the question is answered
differently in each case: When Pesach begins on Shabbos in Chul, Shir
HaShirim is read on the last day, but when Sukkos begins on Shabbos in EY,
Koheles is read on the *first* day.

Offhand, I can this of several varied reasons why this might be so. One is
that on Pesach, the megillah is read on the day which is "only" D'Rabanan,
and that distinction is missing in EY.

Perhaps the common thread is to have a shorter davening: The first day of
Pesach has Tefilas Tal, so push the megilla to the last day. But on Sukkos
it is the last day which has Tefilas Geshem, so read the megillah on the
first day.

Or maybe EY doesn't read Koheles on Shmini Atzeres simply because is isn't Sukkos any more, and that argument is harder to make in Chul.

Summary: The question of Yizkor on Simchas Torah is complex, and we do have a range of similar questions which might shed light on this one.

By the way, this whole conversation presupposes a preference for reading the megillah on Shabbos. Why is this so?

Akiva Miller

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

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Message: 10
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 20:30:40 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Insights into Halacha: The Chicken Bone 'N'

On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 05:47:28PM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
: On 21 November 2012 11:26, Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org> wrote:
: > 1- Neither gadol objects to Fri night chulent.

: RMF, at least, didn't realise this was a "raid" (if indeed it was)....

The case originally under discussion wasn't a raid either.

RYL posited that since chulent was a means of giving more kavod to
lunch than to Fri night dinner, it was wrong to have chulent on
Fri night.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 11
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 20:39:50 -0500
Re: [Avodah] HaKafos (was HONORING SHABBOS LUNCH etc)

On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 05:24:52PM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
: The site you quote omits one very important point, which demolishes
: the entire question: "rikud" means jumping; dancing in which both
: feet leave the ground at the same time...

The Toras Shabbos says this is based on the Y-mi.

Another shitah (AhS 339:9) is that riqud is dancing in a way that
emphasizes the rhythm marked out by one's feet. Which makes it more
like clapping. Dancing where one doesn't hear the "drum-beat" of featr
would be permitted.

I don't know why one would associate "machol" with the latter, although
I know it's done. Machol is singular for mecholos, the name of a keli
shir used in the BHMQ. And, for that matter, by the women at Yam Suf.
The implication is sound-making.

The question can't be "demolished", since acharonim take it seriously,
and the MB prohibits ALL dancing.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             I have great faith in optimism as a philosophy,
mi...@aishdas.org        if only because it offers us the opportunity of
http://www.aishdas.org   self-fulfilling prophecy.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                              - Arthur C. Clarke

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Message: 12
From: Liron Kopinsky <liron.kopin...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2012 13:31:38 +0200
[Avodah] Vataamod Meledet

What does is mean that Va'Taamod [Leah] Miledet? Does it mean that she knew
that she wasn't able to have children anymore in a biological sense, or
just that she stopped getting pregnant?

Kol Tuv,

Liron Kopinsky
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Message: 13
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2012 9:40 +0200
Re: [Avodah] R' Chaim Kanievsky: Better to daven in a minyan

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2012 13:34:05 +0300
From: Marty Bluke <marty.bl...@gmail.com>

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?

Perhaps because, as written in that announcement, because they are
"poretz geder" and thus worse than the "run-of-the-mill" sinner?

According to the Tzlach you shouldn't daven in a minyan with any sinners.

M.S. I would like to see that Tzlach inside.

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?

On the contrary, I recall a Chazal that "any tfilah that does not
include "poshei Yisrael" IS NOT A tfilah". It is deduced from the
K'toret which included chelbenah.

Don't we specifically say on Yom Kippur night "anu matirim
l'hispallel im havaryanim"

Reb Chayim is well aware of that. It's the _start_ of the proclamation!

Moshe Schorr
It is a tremendous Mitzvah to always be happy! - Reb Nachman of Breslov
The home and family are the center of Judaism, *not* the synagogue.
May Eliezer Mordichai b. Chaya Sheina Rochel have a refuah shlaimah
btoch sha'ar cholei Yisroel.

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Message: 14
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2012 09:21:43 -0500
[Avodah] Learn to Say, "I do not know"

The following is from 

In 1876, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch expressed his views, his da'as-Torah,
on a number of topics that were then the subjects of serious concern and
debate among Torah Jews. The two letters in which he expressed these
views were written in Hebrew to Rabbi Pinchos M.E. Wechsler, and were
published in 1976 by Mordechai Breuer in the Jerusalem journal Hama'yan.

The original letters in Hebrew may be read at
Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch on Aggadita II (Original Hebrew article
from Hama'ayan)

The translation below is from Light Magazine. A slightly different
translation appears in Volume 9 of the Collected Writings of RSRH that was
recently published. It seems to me that all those who teach children as
well as parents would be wise to keep Rav Hirsch's words below in mind.


    I wish to add one more point - in my opinion an essential rule for
    every person who teaches our holy Torah, whether Tanach or Halachah or
    Agadah. That is: Get into the habit of saying, "I don't know. ,,31
    It is not within a teacher's power - nor is it his obligation -
    to know everything and to resolve every difficulty. Even Chazal
    left a number of matters unresolved, all the more so lesser people
    like ourselves. Let us admit unashamedly before our pupils, "This
    is something we do not know."

    We must be extremely cautious not to create a forced explanation for
    a verse or a statement in Agadah or a statement in the Talmud simply
    in order to cover our ignorance. When we admit that we do not know,
    our pupils learn to humble themselves before the wisdom of Chazal
    and all the more so before the statements of G-d and the expressions
    of His holy spirit. They will learn from us to regard Chazal upon
    a lofty pedestal and to sit in the dust at their feet.

    Let them learn from us that there is nothing wrong with our faith
    if we fail to understand everything Chazal said. Let them learn
    from us to take great laborious pains to penetrate to the depths
    of their words and to draw wisdom and understanding, knowledge
    and mussor from their wellsprings using straight reasoning which
    may hopefully be true or at least close to their intent. That,
    however, which our intelligence can only understand by employing
    distortions - let us leave that for minds greater than ours and not
    lay nonsense on Chazal's doorstep. Every distorted explanation,
    which we instinctively recognize as impossible to be true, perverts
    the pupils' thinking and denigrates the glory of Chazal. It makes
    them arrogantly certain that there is nothing they are incapable of
    understanding, leads them away from the straightforward way of study,
    and teaches them our foolish opinions instead of the wisdom of Chazal.

The following is from
Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch on Aggadita III (Translation as it first
appeared in Light Magazine)

    I admit unashamedly that I never made an effort to get to the roots
    of these matters just as I never found myself curious to inquire
    about the nature of olom ha-bo, the world after the resurrection of
    the dead, and related matters. For the reality of these matters as
    of those is hidden from human vision and it is impossible to know
    them with absolute clarity. Whatever is said about them is no more
    than a guess - however close - at what may be the truth; and there
    is no obligation upon Jews to know these and related matters. Thank
    G-d they are totally unnecessary. There is nothing to be gained by
    knowing them in terms of fulfilling one's purpose on earth through
    observing Torah and mitzvos and performing them, just as one lacks
    nothing if he does not know these guesses and does not occupy himself
    with investigating them.

    What difference does it make if on the topic of magical and related
    acts the truth is as Rambam says or as Ramban says? In either case
    - whether they are nonsense or real- we must stay away from these
    matters, for in either case G-d made them repugnant to us; he who
    guards his soul will keep his distance from them so as not to defile
    himself with what G-d considers repugnant.

    Though we find in the statements of Chazal instances that appear to
    be examples of wizardry, sorcery, astrology, and magic, it is they
    with their breadth of understanding who knew how to make razor-sharp
    distinctions between the permitted and the forbidden which seem so
    similar. But we - blind as bats in sunlight and likely to err in
    matters as clear as day - for us it is far better to stay completely
    away from these murky matters, just as we are obligated regarding
    all other prohibitions to keep away from what is repugnant and from
    anything akin to it.

    "For me with my limited intelligence"

    About little people like ourselves it was said, 16 "He who walks
    in innocence walks securely," and17 "HaShem guards dullards."
    Chazal declared about some of these matters,18 "Whoever takes them
    seriously is treated as if they were serious." Consequently it is
    better for us not to take them as real and to draw support from the
    verse/9 "Be perfectly dependent on HaShem, your G-d," and from20
    "There is no power other than Him."

    Similarly, regarding such lofty matters as olom ha-bo, the world after
    the resurrection of the dead, and similar topics, it is enough that
    we believe wholeheartedly in the words of Scripture, 21 "You will
    not leave my soul in purgatory" and22 "Even my flesh will repose
    securely" without inquiring into the nature of matters hidden from
    us that no eye has seen. For me with my limited intelligence all
    these things are included by the principle, 23 "Do not inquire about
    what is beyond you; study what you are permitted to." The Holy One
    did not make His covenant about hidden matters, but about what He
    revealed to us to heed and to perform. He assured us that fulfilling
    His Torah does not require knowledge of things in the heavens and
    in the seas that are beyond us, but solely that which is within the
    power of our minds and mouths.24

    16 Mishley 10:9.
    17 Tehilim 116:6.
    18 Talmud Bavli, Pesochim 110a.
    19 Devorim 18:13.
    20 Devorim 4:35.
    21 Tehilim 16~10.
    22 Tehilim 16:9.
    23 Talmud Bavli, Chagigah 13a.
    24 Devorim 30:12-14.


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