Avodah Mailing List

Volume 31: Number 112

Sun, 09 Jun 2013

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2013 15:37:38 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] electricity on Shabbos - R. Asher Weiss

From: "Chana Luntz" _Ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk_ 

>> But getting back to the motion sensor lights - closing your  eyes is 
only possible after the light has gone on, and often not  possible at all,
and it is really not clear that you are avoiding lo niche  lei that way.  To
take perhaps a more dramatic example - it is hard to  say that having
numerous lights go on on motion sensor between ones house and  the mikvah is
not niche lei to any woman walking alone there on a shabbas  night, whether
her eyes are closed or not (and closing one's eyes is hardly  likely to be
safe).  I reckon there must be about 40- 50 such lights  between my place 
the local mikvah.  Do you know any posek, anywhere,  who would tell a woman
to put off leil tevila because of such lights?   To the contrary, the
responsa RET has posted have generally said - keep on  doing exactly what 
were going to be doing anyway (ie keep walking, don't  stop, keep going just
as you were previously) and that is OK, ie don't modify  your  behaviour.

It is from these kinds of places that, it seems to  me, RAW is coming from
when he matirs general movement (eg when wired up in  hospital or
electronically tagged).  It is also why he likes makeh  b'patish, because of
the lack of intention of finishing off the kli.   But it does seem that this
suggestion breaks down when you go past your  neighbour's sensor light for
the millionth time on shabbas, and can't help  thinking that actually it 
assist your ability to walk safely, despite  you being able to manage fine
without it (but not fine with your eyes  closed).  

And I can't help thinking that mesasek is a better  general heter.  You 
stop living, breathing, and moving in  space.  <<



At least here where I live in the North Miami Beach section of chu'l, the  
motion detector lights on people's houses are put there by non-Jews for 
their  own convenience, not for the convenience of passing Jews walking home 
from  shul.  The home-owners want lights to come on for the same reason they 
want  their dogs to bark:  to scare away the bad guys, who prefer to work in  
darkness.  Also to be able to see the bad guys and to know that someone is  
Any benefit to passing Jews is completely unintended and irrelevant to the  
home-owner. Also, since there are also street lights, the difference in 
lighting  between the sidewalk in front of a house with motion detector lights 
and the  rest of the sidewalk is not that great.  It's not like the 
difference  between total darkness and a lit-up place.  You would be perfectly able 
to  see where you're going without those lights that light up outside 
people's  houses.  It seems to me that if a goy is doing something for his own  
benefit (and plus, it only slightly and tangentially benefits a Jew) there is 
no  problem with a Jew walking past a goy's house on Shabbos, even if he 
knows a  light will come on.
But for those who think there /is/ a problem, I  have another question  for 
you:  Suppose you walk past a house where you didn't know a motion  
detector was present, and a light comes on?  Do you have to stand there  (making 
sure NOT to stand perfectly still) until Shabbos is over, so that  your 
walking away (or standing perfectly still) won't make the light go  OFF?

--Toby Katz


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Message: 2
From: David Wacholder <dwachol...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2013 15:39:57 -0400



Reflections of the Rav page 142 [R? Abraham Besdin  interpreting Rabbi YDS


Korach had a Spiritual Path Derech Avodah. Korach felt DAAT - connection ?
dialogue of contact ? with Hashem. He saw potential in connecting with
Hashem through Korach?s novel self-generated creative ways of Avodah. As a
Levite he was an inspired singer and had Daas strong feeling of connection.

?Daas Es Hashem? in flowing streams ? inspiration in great flows, charisma,
and strong awareness of Hashem.


Moshe Rabeinu symbolized the aspect of Chochmah Wisdom ? properly and
accurately hearing the Law and transmitting it. This is exact and does not
allow for the same expansion and inspiration. Only one string of Blue
Techeilet on the Fringes, only one Mezuzah Parsha in the door, and only
with numerous sundry limitations. Even if an entire toga of blue Techielet
would be inspiring in a striped pattern ? comparable to the flame motif of
Bigdei Kehunah ? the Law remains that the Blue string in the fringe is The
Instruction of Hashem ? FROM THE MOUTH OF Hashem ? and sealed against
change  by Moshe Rabeinu.


The blue striped toga would evoke experience and be therapeutic ? helping
specific person at a specific time. It would lack permanence and pattern.

The ambition of Korach, to reach the Highest of the High Experience, with
the Deepest of the Deep Connection to the Presence of Anan Kvodo, is the
goal and wish of every Jew. The Law ? from Hashem?s mouth, dictated to
Moshe Rabeinu, keeps primary position.  Chochma ? Hashem?s architectural
blueprints, as expressed in Maamad har Sinai, are present in the life of
every Jew. It creates a wall or channel.

Wish for spontaneous uncontrolled expression of closeness to Hashem is
basic. Without guidance from Chochma of Torah it could lead to harm. First
it needs to be channeled through the Chochma of Sinai and Moshe Rabeinu.
That seemingly weakened Daas, that less spectacular  Daas ? that less
charismatic Daas, not as bright as the blinding flash of Korach?s charisma
? can be harnessed into the connection with Hashem.

600,000 Betzal?eils

From the Divine angle, the Mishkan was given as a blue-print. Bnei Yisrael
then with their inspiration Daas were able to build it flawlessly.
Abrabanel in Parshas Pekudei says that they all built components privately
with no supervision, only at the end Moshe Rabeinu inspected and assembled
it into one Mishkan.

When Hashem?s presence filled the Mishkan that confirmed the validity of
the Chochma and Daas of Benei Yisrael as individual families.


Now that the Presence of Hashem was in full expression and view, Korach
thought that other Levi?im and Israelites should not be cheated out of full
expression of their emotional connection with Hashem. He was strongly
emotionally drawn to avoiding these limitations altogether.  He wished to
believe at least for a moment that Connection to Hashem with no strictures
could have potential positive results, even if volatile and unpredictable.


Prayer attempts to create a connection with Hashem.  In early times, just
as Moshe Rabeinu prayed in his own words, addressed Hashem, as in
Va?etchanan ? I attempted to find favor ? emulating Moshe Rabeinu, each Jew
attempted to pray in their own words.  The Tanna Rabbi Eliezer Ben Hyrkanus
may have still adhered to this approach in its purest sense. He admitted
that a set time for prayer was proper, but no limits could be put on the
content of the prayers. They must be totally spontaneous. Do not make your
prayers rote exercises in repetition!  Rather sincere pleas before the


The ?vox populi?, the voice of the masses, said that they do not even know
rudimentary Hebrew, much less hundreds of pieces of Prayer that they would
need to speak properly before the King of Kings.

Rashbam on Shemot creates a precedent for their request. Moshe Rabeinu told
Hashem that he disqualifies himself as Kvad Lashon, heavy of tongue.
Rashbam says it Moshe claimed that he cannot address Pharaoh, because his
ability to speak proper Egyptian language had become corrupt during his
long sojourn in Midyan. It would not be fitting that he address the Throne
of Par?oh with improper wordings and expressions.

The multitude demanded that the Pieces already written and used be
standardized into one structure that everyone could memorize and say. That
became the 18 Blessings on weekdays, the 7 on Sabbath or Yom Tov, and the 9
blessings Rosh Hashana.

Though the ?ad libitum? approach of Rabi Eli?ezer was overruled, it did
have an effect.   In deference to Rabi Eliezer?s desire for spontaneity,
the exact wordings remained non-concrete and non-standardized for a long
period afterward.

Our spontaneity, emotion, and sincere individual and communal feelings are
expressed through the wordings that are now standard.

That applies by extension to all the Laws of Prayer, including the Laws of
Places of Worship,  all of which serve as channels to focus our attention
for proper Prayer.

Let this be a positive lesson from the Torah?s account of Korach and his
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Message: 3
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2013 15:07:18 -0400 (EDT)
Re: [Avodah] Shelach Gems

From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>

>> Anyone  who believes in Daas Torah want to address the obvious question
posed by the  meraglim? Unlike the question posed by those who said to
stay in Europe  rather than flee before the Nazis, it is difficult to
say Hashem wanted us to  be misled, given His spoken response to our
accepting the report.  <<


Rashi answers the question.  He says that if you want to  sell a donkey and 
the prospective buyer asks you, "Can I take it out  for a test drive?  Can 
I check under the hood?  Can I kick the tires?"  -- you will say, "Sure go 
ahead" and then the buyer won't even bother doing it  because he sees you 
have total confidence in your sechorah.  The meraglim  should have taken "Yes, 
you can go" for assurance that E'Y was everything  G-d had promised.
Whereas if you say, "No, don't touch it, don't look at it too closely" the  
buyer will be suspicious that you know there is something wrong with the 
donkey  (car).  Hashem gave the go-ahead and that should have been enough for 
the  B'Y to know there was no actual need to go check out the Land.  Nothing 
 forced the meraglim to actually go or forced B'Y to actually send spies.   
We know not from Parshas Shelach but from a different parsha in Sefer 
Devarim  somewhere that the initiative to send spies didn't come from Moshe but 
from a  disgruntled, suspicious crowd.
If you are asking a different question -- did Hashem's foreknowledge of  
what they were going to do take away the meraglim's bechirah? -- then that  is 
a different question, addressed in Pirkei Avos, "Hakol tzafui vehareshus  

--Toby Katz


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