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Volume 31: Number 197

Thu, 05 Dec 2013

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: T6...@aol.com
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2013 23:45:06 -0500 (EST)
Re: [Avodah] The canard of the Rabbinic redefinition of

From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
: "These marriages  prove that marriage constitutes conversion"  only if 
you already 
:  assume that marriage constitutes conversion.  
: But one  could equally say that these marriages prove that Moshe, Yosef.  
:  Shimshon and Shlomo converted their wives before marrying them.   
: how could these men have married the women they married?!  [--TK]

There is no mention in any of these cases of a conversion  occurring first.
Without TSBP, there is no reason to insert this step, and  with repeated
omission, slight reason to believe it didn't happen. It's not a  circular
argument, it's an attempt at proof from absence. Particularly since  the
omitted bit is important.

Micha  Berger            

The omission does not imply that marriage automatically constitutes  
conversion.  It could just as well (in the absence of TSBP) imply that  
intermarriage used to be permitted, or at least tolerated.

--Toby Katz


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Message: 2
From: Arie Folger <afol...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 10:48:33 +0100
[Avodah] The Eruv Controversy in Frankfurt am Main

RMB posted in a thread entitled "":
> In the heat of the battle between the Austritt[gemeinde (--AF)] and
> [grosse (--AF)] Gemeinde communities (scratch last word, that's a
> pleonasm: "Gemeinde community" --AF) in Frankfurt over the eruv

Care to elaborate? I sadly never learned of this surely important parsha.

Arie Folger,
Recent blog posts on http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/
* Berichte ?ber die CER-Konferenz in Berlin
* Media Reports from the Latest CER Conference
* Should we Circumcise the Children of Non-Members?
* Another Reason for More Widespread Use of Halakhic Prenups
* Kann man die Beschneidung nicht mit einem symbolischen Ritual ersetzen?
* I Made the Front Page?
* Sind innerreligi?se Ehen altmodisch und vorbei?
* Die ware Entstehungsgeschichte der Hatikw?-Hymne
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Message: 3
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2013 05:37:21 -0500
[Avodah] eating out

At 10:01 PM 12/3/2013, R. Micha wrote:

>:>I need clarification:
>:>So, in Torah terms are you arguing that yes, one may eat at the homes of
>:>people who are meiqil on things you generally are not? That's it's only
>:>nefarious motives that motivate people to act otherwise?
>: Personally I do not eat in anyone's home save for my own. Surely you
>: know this from earlier posts.
>I don't see how this reflects on your previous statement.
>Again, I'm trying to clarify:
>Are you saying, with yourself as an example, that you personally follow
>the idea that people who do not eat in homes that follow other (but valid)
>pesaqim and minhagim are NOT trying to turn "some of 'us' to be them",
>but are supposed to follow their own chumeros?

I must admit that I find this convoluted and do not understand what 
is bothering you?

>I would have thought that's your position, but then you emailed us that
>earlier post (quoted above).

You would have thought what is my position?

>Neither of which actually provides what the original post asked for,
>substantiation for saying one way or the other.

Regarding what?   I am confused by what you have 
written.  Again,  what is bothering you?

Yitzchok Levine
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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 05:54:25 -0500
Re: [Avodah] eating out

Starting over.

At 12:19 PM 11/29/2013, R. Joseph Kaplan wrote:
>> " ... is this gebnerally true, you cant eat at another's home who has
>> different minhagim?"

>>I always thought that one of the purposes of kashrut (yes, I know, we don't
>>look for ta'amei hamitzvot) was to stop intermingling between us and "them,"

On Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 12:46 PM, R/Prof. Levine <llev...@stevens.edu>
> There are some within the O community who consider some of "us" to be
> them. Doesn't one see this all the time with certain groups interacting
> only with those from their particular group.?

Here you seem to be saying that the primary motive for not "eat[ing]
at another's home who has different minhagim" is that there are certain
groups of O looking to create pirud from other groups.

But we know that you yourself are among the people who won't eat at
another's home if he doesn't conform to your minhagim and beyond that,
even your personal hanhagos, with regard to kashrus. So it would seem
you do see legiimacy in the practice, and it's not just a tool for pirud.

So, do you think it's correct to avoid eating in homes with more lenient
minhagim in kashrus? In which case, why disparage others' motives for
doing so? Or, did you mean what you implied by disparaging them, that
their actions are indeed wrong? In which case, how are you distinguishing
what "they" do from what you do?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             We are great, and our foibles are great,
mi...@aishdas.org        and therefore our troubles are great --
http://www.aishdas.org   but our consolations will also be great.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Rabbi AY Kook

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 06:14:26 -0500
Re: [Avodah] The Eruv Controversy in Frankfurt am Main

On Wed, Dec 04, 2013 at 10:48:33AM +0100, Arie Folger wrote:
: > In the heat of the battle between the Austritt[gemeinde (--AF)] and
: > [grosse (--AF)] Gemeinde communities (scratch last word, that's a
: > pleonasm: "Gemeinde community" --AF) in Frankfurt over the eruv

: Care to elaborate? I sadly never learned of this surely important parsha.

Shortly after WWI, R Nehemia Anton Nobel of the Frankfurt Isrealitische
Gemeinde put up an eruve around Frakfurt am Main. The IRG's position
was against the eruv. (And I believe KAJ's current position is against
using the Washington Heights eruv as well.) R' Isaac Breuer was scathing,
and a fight ensued, forcing many people whose loyalties had until then
straddled the fence to choose sides. You can't "sort of" use the eruv,
and that choice ended up being a statement of affiliation.

My greatgrandfather, a rav in FaM's grosse Gemeinde at the time, tried
making shalom. An attempt that made him so many friends, the next line
in his (unwritten) biography has him accepting an offer from a consortium
of shuls in Boston. (With his passing, this latter position went to

But part of that attempt to smooth over the eruv dispute was his
publishing that booklet I gave the HebrewBooks link to.

See also "From Frankfurt to Jerusalem: Isaac Breuer and the History of the
Secession Dispute in Modern Jewish Orthodoxy", by Matthias Morgenstern,
part III section 1.1.D, on pp 222-224
(the entire section is included in the Google book preview).

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "I hear, then I forget; I see, then I remember;
mi...@aishdas.org        I do, then I understand." - Confucius
http://www.aishdas.org   "Hearing doesn't compare to seeing." - Mechilta
Fax: (270) 514-1507      "We will do and we will listen." - Israelites

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Message: 6
From: "Kenneth Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 13:53:37 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Eating Out

Cantor Wolberg wrote:

> I personally knew a very m'dakdek, machmir Rabbi whose son (also
> a musmach) never ate anywhere outside of his own home. People
> would criticize saying: R' Ploni doesn't even eat in his parents'
> home.
> I see nothing to criticize. That is an individual's personal
> choice and it is a lo p'lug principle which should be respected.

I'd go further, and suggest that it would be presumptuous to criticize or
disrespect people in this manner. I have heard that many who act this way,
do it not for kashrus reasons, but for tznius reasons. In other words,
someone might have total trust in his parents' level of kashrus, but he
still considers it unseemly to "eat out", even at the parents.

I'm not at such a level myself, but others might be, and I'd be a fool to criticize them for it, provided that they do it as inoffensively as they can.

Akiva Miller
Do THIS before eating carbs &#40;every time&#41;
1 EASY tip to increase fat-burning, lower blood sugar & decrease fat storage

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Message: 7
From: saul newman <newman...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 09:03:32 -0800
[Avodah] kasrut change

while they emphasize  , no arabs in the kitchen, isnt the implication also
no hiloni [or even non-strict sabbath observers] shoudl be working in the
kitchen? isnt non-halachic jew =  bishul aku'm?
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Message: 8
From: "Kenneth Miller" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 14:12:00 GMT
Re: [Avodah] The Gym, the Carpool, and Tzniyus

Rabbi Meir Rabi wrote:
> Is it not correct to explain that Tznius is the Hashkafa of
> not shouting to the world - Look At ME?

Dr Isaac Balbin responded:
> I do not think that one can draw that conclusion in general.
> It cannot, for example be argued that someone who wears a
> tefach above their elbow is shouting "look at me!" for example
> ... however I use this example as I assume RMR contends in
> should extend at least to the end of the elbow. He can correct
> me if I am wrong in that assumption. Reasons for Halachos are
> something that can almost always be shown to be incomplete.

I think that RMR and DIB are talking about two different things, and thus
might not really be disagreeing. RMR is talking about the general hashkafa
of tznius, also known as "the spirit of the law". DIB is focusing on one
particular detail of the halacha, also known as "the letter of the law".

I have often felt that if the spirit and letter of the law seem to
conflict, then he is misunderstanding one or the other (or both). My
favorite example of this is kosher versions of non-kosher foods, which I
maintain carry none of the spiritual problems that the non-kosher versions

But this case is different, because it is not a question of identity but of
shiur. The letter of the law MUST place a limit somewhere, and the question
of whether the sleeve must reach the elbow, or the wrist, or some other
point is rather arbitrary if one is investigating the spirit of the law.
The difference between the upper arm and lower arm is not comparable to the
difference between beef and pork.

In conclusion, I tend to agree with RMR that tznius means to avoid
attracting attention to oneself. And at the same time, I tend to agree with
DIB (if I understand him correctly) that when someone's sleeve is short,
that will/won't attract attention depending on the *culture* of the time
and place, regardless of what the *poskim* of the time and place might say.

Akiva Miller
Do THIS before eating carbs &#40;every time&#41;
1 EASY tip to increase fat-burning, lower blood sugar & decrease fat storage

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Message: 9
From: David Riceman <drice...@optimum.net>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2013 11:07:08 -0500
[Avodah] suicide by cop

While recuperating I've been reading a book by Paola Tartakoff about a 
case in mid fourteenth century Spain of a Jew who had converted to 
Christianity.  It was claimed by the Inquisition (and supported by 
testimony induced by torture) that a group of local Jews told him that 
the only way to achieve absolution was to go to the authorities, tell 
them that he had reverted to Judaism, and be burned at the stake.

Obviously the historical question is did this occur, or is this 
something the inquisitors imagined might have occurred because they 
projected Catholic views of penance and absolution onto Jews.  I incline 
to the latter because I can't think of any parallels in contemporary 
Jewish thought.  The closest I can imagine is the penances recommended 
by Hasidei Ashkenaz, but (a) I don't think they ever recommended 
anything that would lead to permanent injury, much less death, and (b) I 
don't know of any evidence that their doctrines were influential in Spain.

Is there something that I'm missing?

David Riceman

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Message: 10
From: saul newman <newman...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 09:34:40 -0800
[Avodah] lighting inside

...essentially , we can't worry as much about the shmutz outside; we have
to halt its  progression inside.....
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Message: 11
From: Ari Meir Brodsky <ari.brod...@utoronto.ca>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 14:23:45 -0500
[Avodah] Wednesday Evening begin Prayer for Rain

Dear Friends,
(Apologies if you receive this more than once)

This is a friendly reminder to Jews outside of Israel that our daily
prayers should include the request for rain, beginning with Maariv tonight
(Wednesday evening), December 4, 2013, corresponding to the evening of 2
Tevet, 5774, the eighth night of Chanukka.  The phrase ??? ?? ???? ?????
"Veten tal umatar livracha" - "Give us dew and rain for a blessing" is
inserted into the 9th blessing of the weekday shemone esrei, from now until
Pesach.  I encourage everyone to remind friends and family members of this
event, especially those who may not be in shul at that time.

We begin requesting rain in the Diaspora on the 60th day of the fall
season, as approximated by Shmuel in the Talmud (Taanit 10a, Eiruvin 56a).
For more information about this calculation, follow the link below, to a
fascinating article giving a (very brief) introduction to the Jewish
calendar, followed by a discussion on why we begin praying for rain when we
(Thanks to Russell Levy for providing the link.)

Wishing everyone a happy Chanukka,
-Ari Brodsky.

Ari M. Brodsky
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Message: 12
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2013 14:34:38 -0500
Re: [Avodah] kasrut change

[To save someone else the mental double-take I had: We're speaking of
people who are indeed Jews lehalakhah, but do not themselves observe
halakhah. I'm used to "non-halachic Jews" referring to people who show
up as "Jewish" in a survey or census, but aren't Jewish al pi din.

On 4/12/2013 12:03 PM, saul newman wrote:
> isnt non-halachic jew =  bishul aku'm?

Not as far as I know.

Zev Sero

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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 16:06:06 -0500
Re: [Avodah] kasrut change

On Wed, Dec 04, 2013 at 02:34:38PM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
>> isnt non-halachic jew =  bishul aku'm?
> Not as far as I know.

The Rambam (Shabbos 30:15) says that a mechalel Shabbos befarhesia and
an oveid AZ are "kegoyim lekhol divreihem". This is taken to include
bishul aku"m. And therefore the Chokhmas Adam 75:13 is machmir, as is
the QSA 42:2. And numerous others. (Peri Megadim, CI, Maharsham...)

The Pischei Teshuvah (113:1) notes that we are given two reasons for
bishul aku"m: either to prevent intermarriage and the other is trust
that the result would actually be kept kosher. Only the latter would
apply to a mumar. And thae Maharam Shik (OC 248), Tzitz Eliezer (9:41)
are meiqil. The Kaf haChaim (YD 113:1) is matir the food bedi'eved.

And then there are those who are meiqilim because 2nd+ generation
assimilated Jews are tinoqos shenishbe'u.

There is a more complete discussion of bishul aku"m at
by the kof-K.

They report R' Belsky (according to the masthead he reviews the things
they say in his name) is meikil because there is no problem marrying
the observant children of mumarim, and RMF holds that's the primary
basis of the taqnah. (YD 1:45-46)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The trick is learning to be passionate in one's
mi...@aishdas.org        ideals, but compassionate to one's peers.
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 14
From: "Rabbi Meir G. Rabi, its Kosher!" <ra...@itskosher.com.au>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2013 08:30:04 +1100
[Avodah] The Gym, the Carpool, and Tzniyus

I believe it is well accepted in our traditions that there are innate
tendencies within our soul, our thinking, which gravitate towards
Mentschlechkeit. These tendencies may be erroneously labeled as dignity
shyness aloofness etc. or deliberately misnamed in order to excise them
from any link to gdliness, but they are all essentially an echo of the
spiritual sensitivity that is a natural part of every human being. The
Pintelle Neshama, if you wish.

Lacking such sensitivity and common courtesy was usually identified by
one of our aged rebbes in school with - Grobber Yung. Unfortunately
amongst those who were cool, the word Grob, became popular.

[Email #2. -micha]

When I suggested that Tznius is the Hashkafa of not shouting to the
world - Look At ME; I was defining Tznius. I was not explaining it. We
have various levels of Tznius, some of which are absolute whilst others
are subjective, as is seen in Halacha.

But the most important aspect is this notion; don't tend towards drawing
attention to yourself.

We link lust to Tznius, but it is not necessarily so in all cases.

Those who wear a Tefach short or whatever Shiur they maintain, may prefer
to believe otherwise, but they are shouting "look at me!"

perhaps we don't hear it because we live in a society where everyone is
shouting that.

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Message: 15
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2013 15:51:11 +0200
[Avodah] skiing hagomel

<<RMR writes
> Driving a car in India where the rate of accidents and the drivers take
> ridiculous risks ... does not qualify to obligate one to Bentsch
> HaGomel, I think.

> But Isaac, I think, is suggesting that there is no need to Bentsch HaGomel
> for the plane flight, as per Reb S and actuarial risk calculations; but
> there is a duty to Bentsch HaGomel after having driven on the road in
> I dont think that is correct. As far as being scared is concerned, the
> Halacha will measure that by the average person's behaviour. Isaac says
> that Indians are not scared [they just die on the roads, he says] ...

The "being afraid" was not a halachic consideration in any way in
my response. It was a comment about my state of mind. Furthermore,
I have seen no evidence that it's a halachic consideration in any case
in respect of HaGomel.

Existential Danger would seem to be what is driving the Tannoim, according
to some Acharonim.>>

One does not make birkhat hagomel because one was almost in an accident.
In general the bracha is limited to the 4 categories listed in SA.
Those achronim who require a bracha for a plane is because they feel it is
under the category of sailing on a boat. Thus, some poskim require a bracha
only if one flies over a major body of water. It is irrelevant whether
driving a car is more or less dangerous than flying. In a car one is on dry
ground while in flying one is either in the air (RMF) or else over water
(many poskim)

Perhaps Tefillat Haderech has more to do with actuarial risk

Eli Turkel
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