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Volume 32: Number 62

Fri, 11 Apr 2014

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:18:43 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Galus and Ge'ulah, EY and Galus

Until now there has been un unstated assumption that ge'ulah is departure
from galus, and thus having Birkhas Ge'ulah as a baqashah in Shemoneh
Esrei, regardless of nusach, would prove that AKhG sitting in lishkas
hagazis felt they were in galus. Chazal named the berakhah assuming it's
about ge'ulah, and yet had no problem attributing the list to AKhG.

But what if (as Zev suggested on Areivim) they thought they were not in
galus but still required a ge'ulah? (Ignoring the Galus Yavan issue for
the moment.)

So, I seaarched for galus and ge'ulah in proximity, and found Rashi on
pereq Cheileq, Sanhedrin 94a, who explains the gemara's discussion of
boqer and laylah as being about ge'ulah and galus.

Also, Rabeinu Bechayei Shemos 26:2, which does speak in the terms I
assumed. He contrasts the future ge'ulah and ge'ulas Mitzrayim, which
was temporary because it was eventually followed by galus. (Thus "Vayhi
li liyshua" refers to the ge'ulah yet to come, because only a permanent
ge'ulah is a yeshua.)

There are other sources as well, but I think that's enough to make
the point. Ge'ulah is seen as being from galus

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             How wonderful it is that
mi...@aishdas.org        nobody need wait a single moment
http://www.aishdas.org   before starting to improve the world.
Fax: (270) 514-1507              - Anne Frank Hy"d

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Message: 2
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 23:45:14 +0100
[Avodah] May Orthodox Rabbis Permit Women to Don Tefillin?

RYL wrote:
>Please see http://www.torahweb.org/torah/special/2014/rtwe_tefillin.html

The problem with this analysis is that he sets up a straw man - ie picking
and choosing amongst the rishonim such as the Rambam against the Rema, and
then of course provides cogent arguments as to why the straw man's position
is not valid.

But the most cogent argument for why one would reject this specific Rema (at
Orech Chaim 38:3) is:

a) the Rema specifically brings his din in the name of the Kol Bo.

b) the Kol Bo (Sefer Kol Bo Siman 21) merely cites, in the name of Rabbi
Meir, that we protest a woman wearing tephilin because they are not able to
keep a guf naki.

c) the author of the Kol Bo, R' Aharon, wrote another later and fuller work
called the Orchos Hachaim.  In the Orchos HaChaim (Orchos Chaim Hilchos
tephillin siman 3) he again brings this din in the name of Rabbi Meir,
precisely as he does in the Kol Bo, but then raises two serious problems
with it.  The first is the gemora in Eruvin that says that the sages did not
protest in the case of Michal, and the second is that (he quotes this in the
name of the Rashba) if you hold that women can make blessings on mitzvos
aseh shehazman grama that is learnt out from this gemora in Eruvin.  The
specific language is "And there is a question to me from that which is in
Eruvin perek Hamotzi that Michal Bas Shaul wore tephilin and the Chachamim
did not protest.  And the Rashba permitted to them all mitzvos aseh and they
bless on them from this ma'aseh, and she would not have done it without the
will of the Chachamim and since she laid [tephillin] for sure she blessed."

d) that is, as the Orchos Chaim accurately states, without the ma'aseh rav
of Michal (we also see this in Tosphos Eruvin 86b d"h "dilma" and Rosh
Hashana 33a d'h "ha Rabbi Yehuda") there is no basis for women to make
brachos on mitzvos aseh shehazman grama (and indeed, only questionably a
basis to rule like Rabbi Yosi and Rabbi Shimon that nashim somchin reshus
rather than Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Meir in the stam mishna in Rosh Hashana).

e) indeed besides this reference in the Rema, all the other places where the
idea that the chachamim should protest women wearing tephilin due to guf
naki are brought by those (such as the Ra'avid (on Toras Cohanim perek 2:2),
Shiltei Giborim Rosh Hashana 9b and Tosphos's explanation of Rabbi Yehuda)
who hold that women may not generally perform mitzvos aseh shehazman grama.

f) it seems inconceivable that the Rema saw the Orchos Chaim.  At the very
least one would have expected him to refer to it in the Darchei Moshe and
explain how it is that he reconciled his position (which of course is in
favour of women generally performing mitzvos ase shehazman grama and making
brachos over them) with the challenges brought in the Orchos HaChaim.

g) so the most logical inference is that the Rema did not see the Orchos
Chaim, and that if he had, he would have known that the rishon he relied on
for this opinion would seem to have retracted, and he would therefore never
have brought it l'halacha, but rather would held consistently with all the
other rishonim who allow women to generally perform mitzvos aseh shehazman
grama, and certainly those who make brachos, who do not distinguish between
tephillin and any other mitzvah aseh shehazman grama.

h) this is further strengthened by the teshuva of the Rema (in Shut of the
Rema Siman 98) that, contrary to some others, the whole din of guf naki is
d'rabbanan, and that if a man genuinely cannot manage to mantain a guf naki,
he should don tephillin anyway.  Therefore the Rema by following the Kol Bo
is being choshesh for a safek d'rabbanan here, while in the case eg of
shofar, he is willing to follow the school of Tosphos (based on Rabbi Yosi
and Rabbi Shimon) that vadai d'rabbanans are pushed aside when women perform
mitzvos aseh.

Kind Regards


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Message: 3
From: "Chana Luntz" <Ch...@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 23:13:07 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Aliyyot to the Blind vs Aliyyot for women vs

RAF writes:
> We thank Ms Luntz for devoting so much time [in her post of March 27th]
> to the analysis of our position. 

I apologise for the fact that I have not been able to devote as much time
as I would like to this, and to responding. The run up to Pesach is not
an easy time. However, an article which in essence ends up posseling
the practices of (at least) the the holy congregations of the Syrian
community of Brooklyn, certain Iraqi communities here in England, and
numerous historical kehillos in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon (just to name
some of those of which I am aware) needs a very high level of scrutiny.
It is accepted that the established practices of communities, especially
where we are not just discussing one isolated one, is something that we
do not invalidate lightly, and we must be sure that there is absolutely
no other alternative before that is contemplated. It is a very high bar
to cross. The fact that other holy communities may hold differently does
detract from that obligation, especially if there are explanations that
can accommodate both sets of practices.

>>Unfortunately, her lengthy analysis of the position of the Mehaber misses
the mark. We discuss this issue at great length and with extensive
documentation -- in section VIA of the paper (and notes 168-175), which is
entitled: "The Function of the Ba'al Keri'a." [Again we reiterate our
invitation to those who are kind enough to comment on our position, to
please study the Tradition paper inside.] We summarize below the penultimate
paragraph of section VIA:

Originally, the task of each oleh was to read his Torah portion aloud to the
community from the sefer Torah. With the innovation of a ba'al keri'ah, the
task of the oleh has been effectively bifurcated: firstly, to read the
selected Torah reading from the Torah scroll; and secondly, to have that
selection read aloud for all the community to hear. BOTH subtasks must be
fulfilled together for the attendant berakhot to be valid. (See note 173 for
documentation.) According to the school of Maharil, the ba'al keri'ah can
carry out both functions for the oleh via shelihut or shome'a ke-oneh. (See
note 174 for documentation.)

Please note of course that the Meharil does not say this in general,
all he does say that he is prepared to call up a blind man and the
illiterate (and of necessity that means that the ba'al koreh carries
out both functions in these specific cases). And the other two rishonim
quoted by the Beis Yosef (the Sefer Eshkol as quoted by the Nemukei Yosef
and the Aguda) also are brought specifically to allow the calling up of
a blind man. So in fact this rishonic school is only expressed to allow
for the blind and the ignorant, it is not explicitly stated to involve
the normative case where somebody is able to read for themselves.

By contrast, Rosh's school views the first component, namely, the
obligation to read from the parchment, as the oleh's personal task alone,
which cannot be fulfilled via the actions of anyone else. After all, if
the oleh does not even read, argues Rosh, how can he make a berakha? Only
with regards to fulfilling the second part of his obligation, i.e., to
have the weekly portion recited aloud to the community, can the oleh be
assisted by the ba'al keri'ah. The school of Rabbenu Asher (Rosh) does not
deny the general effectiveness of shelihut or shome'a ke-oneh. However,
they maintain that these mechanisms cannot be invoked with regard to
this first task of the oleh -- to read the selected Torah portion from
the Torah scroll. Several rationales have been proposed for this (see
note 175 of the paper at length).>>

Other than my quibble above, I agree fully with your analysis of the
existence of two schools. And whatever the rationale for the Rosh's
school, the bottom line halacha is, according to this school, that the
brachot are said on the quiet reading by the oleh, and not on the public
reading by the ba'al koreh, and it is that and only that which makes
those brachot valid.

It is not fundamentally in the analysis of what goes to make up the two
schools that the logical flaw in your argument appears, but in how you
then relate to these two schools.

What it is important to note again and again as a prelude (and I know
you do not disagree):
a) The Beis Yosef says explicitly in Orech Chaim Siman 141, after
outlining the two schools, that we cannot rely on the first school
(he brings what you call the Meharil school in the name of the Nemukei
Yosef quoting the Sefer Eshkol and the Aguda) because that is against
the overwhelming majority of rishonim who disagree and who follow the
Rosh's school.

b) The Rema in the Darchei Moshe while bringing the Maharil states
specifically that he disagrees with the Maharil's approach, although he
brings the Maharil in the Shulchan Aruch without comment.

 > R. Soloveitchik notes that while we advise olim le-khattehila to
read along quietly following Rosh, in practice, we rule like Maharil. (See
note 172 for documentation.) This was confirmed as well by R. Aharon
Lichtenstein who indicates that we rule like Maharil bein le-kula u-vein

But here begins the logical flaw in your argument. How you appear to
understand we "rule like the Meharil".

The premise of your article -- underlying everything else, is an
understanding that (i) shomea k'oneh works and this is the fundamental
explanation of the Maharil's school (so far so good, following the Taz and
others), and as a consequence (ii) the quiet reading by the oleh as per
the Rosh's school does not work (this is what does not follow). In other
words, we take the Maharil's school as explained by the Taz and others,
we set it off against the Rosh's school, and we then say only one of
these two schools can be followed halachically. If the Rosh is right, the
Maharil is wrong (this is true), and therefore if the Maharil is right,
the Rosh is wrong (but this is not necessarily true). If you do not follow
fully through on the logic brought here then there is no problem calling
up a katan or a woman (at least in relation to the question of brachos)
so long as they read along quietly -- and this is regardless of who the
ba'al koreh is. Nor is it a problem having the ba'al koreh be a katan or
a woman vis a vis the question of brachos, so long as the oleh or olah
reads along quietly. There might be a problem calling up a blind katan or
woman, but that would be the limit of the problems raised by your article.

But even according to your strongest source, ie Rav Soloveichik as quoted
above, it would seem pretty clear that RYBS did not hold of the extension
you posit that the Rosh's school's mechanism does not work. If shomea
k'oneh is the only mechanism that works, and we follow it l'chula and
l'chumra, there is no value to reading along with the ba'al koreh, so
why bother to do that even l'chatchila. To reframe: since we rule like
the Maharil (as explained by the Taz) and since shomea k'oneh works,
then (as explained by you) reading along with the oleh does not work
and so is not worth doing.

And if you say, well, it is just being done as a sop to the school of the
Rosh, since why not, well it is not that simple. If shomeah k'oneh is the
dominant mechanism then recommending that an oleh read along with the ba'al
koreh l'chatchila would actually be counterproductive, as it would then get
the oleh into serious problems. Because one thing about shomea k'oneh is
that the shomea *has to have the intention* to rely on the oneh.  And
somebody who knows their Shulchan Aruch, and is duly reading along with the
Chazan in accordance with the Beis Yosef/Rosh's school, and thus is not
listening properly to the chazzan or intending for the chazzan to cover
them, well according to you in fact their brochos are l'vatala, because they
refused to use shomea k'oneh even though it was available to them and the
mechanism of the school of the Rosh does not work.   So It actually turns
out that you have posselled most of the aliyos around the world across

But it seems pretty clear that this is not and cannot be what Rav
Soloveichik meant by "we rule like Maharil"? Rather either it means:

(a)    we *can* rule like the Meharil whenever we would like to, and we can
rule like the Rosh when we like to, we just need either one. That is
consistent with a l'chatchila allowance to rely on the school of the
Maharil, rather than the school of the Rosh, even when we are dealing with
somebody who could read along; or

(b)   we can rule like  the Maharil in kind of shas hadchak situations such

a.        when dealing with the misery of the blind (and indeed, if I
recall, R' Aharon Lichtenstein writes movingly about the frustrations of his
father on becoming blind, and the trials of those "who also serve, who only
stand and wait"), or

b.       When dealing with the shame of the illiterate, or

c.        When faced with the embarrassment of somebody caught in the middle
of reciting shema when called up, facing the prospect of somebody else's
name being substituted and them going up in their place (and as I recalled
in a previous post Rav HaPaolim Orech Chaim chelek 2 siman 16 describes that
embarrassment fairly graphically).  

This option (b) does not in the slightest mean this is the normative
position, which remains the school of the Rosh, but only that we are
following a wider principle that we can rely on minority rishonic opinion in
shas hadchak situations (even when not a form that triggers hefsed merubah).

This indeed is consistent with the general position (as referred to by the
gemora in Nidah 9b) that in a shas hadchak situation, you can rely on a
minority position (many hold this is only in a d'rabbanan situation, but
since Ashkenazim hold in general that brachos sheaino tzrichos are
d'rabbanan, that is not a problem, and the Rashba may extend the principle
even to d'orisas).

I personally think that it is clear, as I cited in my last posting, that the
Mishna Brura and the Aruch HaShulchan hold like position (b).  And I don?t
know how many would be prepared to rule in accordance with Rav Soloveitchik
and Rav Lichtenstein in opposition to those two (but no doubt there are
those amongst the readers of Tradition). But even assuming that one does
hold like (a), which appears to be where Rav Soloveitchik and Rav
Lichtenstein are coming from -- that still does not invalidate what you claim
it invalidates, ie the mechanism of the school of the Rosh remains a valid
and legitimate method for allowing the making of the birchos haTorah, and so
it is when done by a katan as found amongst the various Sephardi kehilos,
and hence by extension, the brachos are not l'vatala when done by woman if
she reads along quietly, whether or not the ba'al koreh is a man or by a man
if he reads along quietly, whether or not the ba'al koreh is a woman.

Thus:(1) It is a widespread almost universal custom, both amongst
Ashkenazim and Sefaradim [contrary to the Mehaber and despite the revised
sringent ruling of RO Yosef] to call to the Torah the blind, untrained, and
illiterate, who clearly cannot or will not read along from the scroll. (2)
In addition, R. Soloveitchik and R. Benjamin Solomon Hamburger, both note
that if one is called to the Torah while he is in the midst of birkhot
keri'at shema, the halakhic consensus is to accept the aliyya and recite the
blessings, but not to read along with the ba'al keri'ah, again relying on
Maharil. (3) Finally, R. Moshe Soloveitchik ruled that for Parashat Zakhor,
the oleh should not read along with the ba'al keri'ah as required by Rosh.
Rather, he should fulfill his obligations according to Maharil with the
reading of the reader via shomei'a ke-oneh along with the rest of the
community. (See note 172 for documentation.)

But again that suggests that while R' Moshe Soloveichik regards the position
of the Maharil as the better position, the fact that he recommends it only
for parshas zachor means that even he falls into school (a) above, you can
do one or the other, Were he to hold that the Rosh's mechanism does not
work, then he would have to forbid all olim from reading along with the
ba'al koreh, not just not recommend it, and not just for pashas zachor but
always. And I suspect Rav Moshe Soloveichik is very much in the minority
here, but only because just about everybody else holds that the Rosh's
position is the ideal, and only allows the other when the situation is not
l'chatchila, not because anybody holds the Rosh's position is invalid.

            It would also seem that Ms Luntz misunderstands the Arukh
haShulhan?s (OH 139:7) use of ?Kol ha-ra?ui le-bila.?  The AH is not
challenging the use of ?Shome?a ke-oneh? in the case of keri?at ha-Torah. On
the contrary, the Yerushalmi he cites proves it is applicability;

I think you are conflating two arguments I brought, one from the Biur
Halacha/Mishna Brura and one from the Aruch HaShulchan (perhaps I was not
distinguishing them clearly enough). The one is the position of the Biur
Halacha siman 141 which is as follows:

???? ???? ??? ???? ???????? ?????? ????? ????? ???"? ????? ??? ?????? ???
???? ?? ????? ?????? ????? ????? ?? ??? ???? ???? ???? ????? ??? ???? ?????
??????? ???"? ??? ???? ????? ????? ???? ???? ????? ?? ?????? ??? ????? ???
????? ??"? ?????? 

???? ????? ???? ??? ???? ???? ????? ??????? ?"? ??? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??????
?? ????? ???? ???? ???"?.

Here is my translation:

and it is not like at all to the din of the Yerushalmi that is dealing with
the matter of megila to krias hatorah that it is different there in megila
since halachically all the congregation needs to read and to bless each one
by himself, and therefore one blesses for all of them to exempt them which
is not the case here that the congregation is not permitted to bless the
birchas haTorah on the hearing but the reader he blesses and if so when he
does not read himself he is not except like the remainder of men of the
congregation that they listen and if so he is not permitted to bless on the
listening where the Rabbis did not institute a bracha

ie the Biur Halacha rejects the argument of the Taz from the Yerushalmi
(although he does go on to say that at a push one can try and answer for the
Taz, but it is clear from his language that he is not convinced by the

Here is the relevant section of the Aruch HaShulchan:

????????? [?"? ??' ?'] ???? ??"? ???? ????? ????? ???? ????? ???? ????? ???
?? ???? ??? ???? ?"? ????? ???? ?????? ????? [?"? ??] ??? ??? ??? ???? ???
???? ????? ???? ????? ??? ????? ???? ???? ????????? ????? ?? ????? ????? ???
???? ????? ??

... And in the Yerushalmi there is a story with Rabbi Meir that he read
sitting and he gave to another and he blessed and they objected on this that
this one reads and this one blesses. Rabbi Yermiyahu says from here that
the shomea is k'koreh [Taz there] but there is not from there a proof since
there the one who blesses is suitable to read but a blind person is not
suitable and we say in general kol roy l'bila ain beila makeves bo." [end
of s'if].

which is why one can read and another can make the berakhot. Rather, he
raises the issue of whether "Shome'a ke-oneh" is specifically applicable to
a suma -- since a suma cannot read himself and, hence, may be totally exempt
from keri'at ha-Torah. What the AH is emphasising is that only one who is
capable of personally performing the mitzvah can, via shome'ah ke-oneh, do
so through others -- and thus the analogy to Kol ha-ra'ui le-bila. However, a
blind person who is not capable of performing the mitzvah of reading the
Torah personally, cannot do so through another, even by means of shome'ah
ke-oneh. Consequently, since the suma can't read, the ba'al korei can't do
so for him. 

Yes, absolutely. There are serious questions raised on the whole idea of the
Taz that the reason for the Maharil's ruling allowing a blind man to be an
oleh is because of shomea k'oneh due to the applicability of kol ha-roy
l'bila. And numerous other raise this too. But the logical inference from
what the Aruch HaShulchan says above is that in a case where we are not
dealing with a blind man, one can potentially apply the principle of roy
l'bila in general. All I did was to extend out the logical inference in
the Aruch HaShulchan to the general case beyond the discussion of shomea

This understanding is explicit in the Pri Megadim, OH 141, Mishbetzot Zahav,
no. 3 (who, in all likelihood, served as the source for the AH), who writes:
"Hinei suma yesh lomar de-lo shani shome'ah ke-koreh de-eyn ra-ui le-bilah."
Similarly, see: R. Aharon Levin (a younger contemporary of the AH), Birkat
Aharon, ma'amar 53, no.1.

Indeed, R. Shneur Zalman of Lublin, Resp. Torat Hessed, OH 8 and R. Zalman
Druck, Mikraei Kodesh, sec. 40 -- clearly state that the minhag haOlam to
give a suma an Aliyya is premised on the assertion that an suma is obligated
in keri'at haTorah and thus "Shome'a ke-oneh" from the ba'al korei is
effective. Cf. Pri Megadim, supra.

Agreed, but again you appear to be confusing discussions which centre on
the debate as to whether or not one can rely on shomea k'oneh in the
specific case of a blind man, and whether shomea k'oneh is and must be used
in the more general case. It is precisely because of these kinds of
concerns vis a vis shomeah k'oneh in relation to a blind man (ie even for a
blind man it may be that shomea k'oneh does not work to provide the heter
necessary to rule like the Maharil, the Sefer Eshkol and the Aguda -- ie the
only rishonim that are not of the Rosh's school) that I suggested the
possibility of an alternative mechanism (a carve out if you like from the
birchas hatorah in the morning) to avoid such problems. But this is all
within the discussion of the blind man. Not a discussion of the normative

The normative case is and remains that the oleh reads along with the ba'al
koreh, and his brachos are valid due to this quiet reading. In cases where
that is not possible, many allow for alternative mechanisms, that is the
most that can be logically deduced from the sources. The one exception, it
would seem, is Rav Moshe Soloveichik, who appears in at least one case (but
not it would seem in all cases) to recommend an individual to rely on shomea
k'oneh even where he has the alternative to read along. But even that does
not invalidate any borchos made by any person who then reads along quietly.

Finally, the gratuitous remark regarding "partnership minyanim clouding your
mind," was uncalled for. We went into this effort with no agendas whatsover.

I apologise.  But what I cannot understand is how two such fine scholars
(and all the people they consulted) have managed to miss a fundamental
logical flaw .  (Those who are involved in logic professionally could no
doubt write a formula to show the mis-step in logic, but I am afraid I am
not so skilled).  One alternative is perhaps that you reviewed too many
sources, and searched too widely, resulting in you failing to see the wood
for the trees.    But the other alterative, it seemed to me, was that
consciously or unconsciously, there was a desire to find a problem where
none existed.   Which of these (or other alternatives that I have not
thought of) has caused your failure to see the logical flaw in the
interaction of the two schools is not something  I can answer, but that it
exists seems to me to be crystal clear.

beKhavod Rav

    Aryeh and Dov Frimer



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Message: 4
From: David Wacholder <dwachol...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:11:29 -0400
[Avodah] Kzayit

When my children were in school, I said - take the smallest size Kzayit
they offer.
Now when my associates ask for clarification, I say - whereas an egg
approaches "satiety" reasonably well, an olive is a swallow. One eats
normally, and that first swallow [any healthy person] is the Kzayit. For
the sake of erasing all possible doubt, by all means take a second swallow
soon after.  Even three olives - presuming one is thinking about it - can
be swallowed simultaneously, as Hillel may have done in the Mikdash.

That is the easy direct part. How do we get there?

Orchos Rabeinu - Rav Horowitz chronicled every move of the Chazon Ish and
Steipeler contemporaneously - tells that the CI showed the "area" of  a
kzayit on the palm of his hand [CI  is always described as a person whom
one can easily not even notice at first sight. ] I think he CI got 6 pieces
from a Matza. Their "Mesora point" was that there are two conflicting
accounts of Rav Chaim Valozhiner's teaching. One said that just as the egg
is doubled, so also the olive must be doubled. The other RCV student -
perhaps Reb Yosef of Slutzk - says that the "olive is independent", rather
than a dependent variable proportional to an egg, so it does not have to
double just to keep the egg company.  That opinion is accepted by the CI
and RYK, but not by Rav Sternbuch, who takes the "doubles double" approach,
bringing one's olive to 27 grams or perhaps 50 or more. The CI group mocked
that as "chasing stringencies" - see all in Orchos Rabeinu who was present.

To come back to earth, CI ended up at about 16 grams as the "independent"
calculated Zayit.

The following is not well written, but since Shoshana Boubil Tichyeh  came
close to the truth, I feel obligated to share  these controversial and not
original, but most definitely novel, approaches.

The CI was extremely good at agriculture, and knew that 2,000 year old
olive trees are not shocking in EY. He knew the Geonim based the Zayit as
something that will never change. He knew that the size of Zayit Ha'aguri -
the best oil olive - at the largest is 7 grams, but 3 grams is within
plausibility. There is about a 10% +- anyway where it is too small a margin
to debate. The larger olives found in Masada were "salad olives" which run
bigger, though they told me that 16 grams may be pushing it.

The CI for reasons of existential survival of Judaism, could not just say
that the Raaviyah lived in Germany, no German ever saw an olive there much
less measured one, Raaviyah used "dead reckoning",  took out his slide rule
and recalculated an olive. [Southern Spain and Italy looked at their local
tree.] That would show disrespect for the Poskim. He therefore pondered
about whether the olive will change in each generation based on Gmara Yuma.
That took the edge off the mockery, as the current olive will be in the
district that Shoshana Boubil Tichye' pointed out. Once I calculated that
it took 16 olives to make one 55 gram egg. I tried to eat a hard boiled egg
in 16 bites.

When I see 1.5 fluid ounces [45-50 grams?] as size of an olive - as
popularly suggested  - I become skeptical.  5-7 grams is about the real
number, and plenty of room for civilized polite even proper people to
swallow within a short time span.

Viva le - long live the ability to do a Mitzvah with propriety and decorum.
One regular swallow is the "real amount". Two swallows is Yotzei the Din
DeOrayta with flying colors.

None of this is original at all, except one minor speculation. The paradox
of the thumb to fingers ratio is solved by measuring perpendicular to the
nail, as the thumb lays with hand flat on table. That is also nowhere near
original. I recognize it as the elegant solution to the problem.

Back to Pesach Preparations.

[I was too embarrassed to send this source to my daughter's teacher. ]

David Wacholder

Email: dwachol...@gmail.com
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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger <mi...@aishdas.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:07:28 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Kzayit

The tannaim (Y-mi Pei'ah 7:3 33a) lament the loss of size and taste of
Israeli fruit during their lifetimes. (Note this is not about their mythic
past, nor all that different than Palestinian experience trying to farm
the same land as Gush Katif did.) The kezayis was decided before churban
bayis, and well before Hadrian harasha. With that in mind, even the CI's
shiurim are possible. Olive pits found at Masada or Betar wouldn't reflect
the huge olives we had at the time we started talking about kezayis.

RCV's shiur.... Well, it's one thing to say G-d gave us, or Chazal
decided, a shiur that happens to be the volume of a typical bayis-sheini
era olive. But if it's actually tied to the drift in olives sizes, so
that the point is related to the olive... In a society where olives are
a staple, I could see saying that whatever your local olive is, that's
what you general consider akhilah. But why would this still hold in 18th
cent Volozhin?

To repeat my attempt to reconstruct the kezayis beqitzur nimratz....

Personally, I do not see any reason why today's kezayis lehalakhah
must necessarily be the same as chazal's was, even if kezayis was
descriptive of a particular set volume (unlike RCV). I presume halakhah
is constitutional; ie what those with legal authority interpret it to
be. But if the contemporary kezayis is defined by the historical one:

The enscription at the end of the 525 - 537 meter long Hizqiyahu's
Tunnel ways it's 1200 ammos. Or, since it's around to the nearest 100,
possibly 1150-1250 amos. Meaning an ammah is 42 - 46.7 cm. A number
of markings on the Even Shesia and in most of Har haBayis are at even
intervals of 43.5 cm +/- 2 mm.

So I would assume an ammah is about 43.3 - 43.7 cm.
An etza = 1.80 - 1.82 cm.
Cubic etzba = 5.87 - 6.04 cc.
Revi'is = 63.4 - 65.2 cc = 2.15 - 2.20 oz

If you assume 2 kezeisim per kebeitzah, or 6 per revi'is,
a kezayis = 10.57 - 10.87 cc

If you assume 3, a ketzyis = 7.05 - 7.24 cc.


PS: It feels good to reach the end of a daf yomi, and still recall
something from Pei'ah.

Micha Berger             Nearly all men can stand adversity,
mi...@aishdas.org        but if you want to test a man's character,
http://www.aishdas.org   give him power.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                      -Abraham Lincoln

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Message: 6
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:15:13 +0300
[Avodah] KeZayit

: The size of a Kezayit is relevant for 2 major halachot of Pesach:
: A. Bal YeiRa'eh and Val YiMatzeh.
: B. The amount of matzah to eat at the Seder.

Note that sometimes a chumra leads to a kulah. RSZA held that if one
uses the chumra of CI and puts the entire shiur in his mouth at one time he
might not be yotzeh since that is not the normal way of eating to stuff
ones mouth to that extent.

From what I read the personal minhag of RSZA was to put the matza in his
mouth piecemeal but very rapidly. BTW it is also brought that he gave short
explanations on the haggadah and went through fairly rapidly so as to eat
afikomem before midnight and to try to finish Hallel before midnight (from
the haggadah of RSZA)

Eli Turkel
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Message: 7
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:14:02 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Kzayit

On 11/04/2014 1:07 PM, Micha Berger wrote:
> If you assume 2 kezeisim per kebeitzah, or 6 per revi'is,
> a kezayis = 10.57 - 10.87 cc
> If you assume 3, a ketzyis = 7.05 - 7.24 cc.

Double those.  A revi'is is 1.5 kebeitzim, not 3.0

Zev Sero             Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable
z...@sero.name        from malice.
                                                          - Eric Raymond

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Message: 8
From: Arie Folger <arie.fol...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:02:57 +0200
Re: [Avodah] shiurim

RET wrote:
> According to Chazon Ish a tefach is 2.4 cm . According to Rav Chaim Naeh
> is it 1.9-2.0 cm.

That is obviously a thinko. He meant etzba', not tefa'h, which is four
times as large. The correction applies to his entire post.
Arie Folger,
Recent blog posts on http://ariefolger.wordpress.com/

* When we Sell Our Chametz, We Mean It (humor)

* Are Freedom of Religion and Human Rights in Conflict?

* Warum gingen unsere Vorfahren ins ?gyptische Exil? (Audio-Schiur)

* Warum heilt G?tt nicht die Amputierte

* Culture, a Foundation for Torah?
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Message: 9
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:46:44 +0300
[Avodah] galus and geula

<<Agreed. But since we daven for ge'ulah even when in EY, it's important
to know what galus and ge'ulah are. Or else kavanah would be impossible.>>

Galus and Geula are different topics. We don't have a king, a bet hamikdash
and moshiach.
Hence we still pray for a geulah shelema. According to many people almost
half the Jews now live in Israel (all depends on how one counts Jews etc).
Having a Jewish government is a least on the way towards a Davidic king.
This has an implication for shmeitta and possibly other halachot.
Hence kibutz galayiot is at least on its way. However, this is only once
aspect of geula.

My reading on Bereshit Raba is that Reish Lakish is referring to the
decrees of Antiochus as Galus Yavan. If so this galus would end we the
maccabean revolt.

In summary we basically agree about Geulah but disagree about galus.

Eli Turkel
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Message: 10
From: Lisa Liel <l...@starways.net>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 10:24:32 -0500
[Avodah] Galut and Golah (was Re: Galus and Ge'ulah, EY and

Galut is not the same thing as Golah.  If you're outside of Eretz 
Yisrael, you're in the Golah.  Otherwise, you aren't.  But Galut is a 
whole different thing.  Geulah is the opposite of Galut, but not the 
opposite of Golah.

I don't recall the source, but I remember seeing that the middle brachot 
of the Shmoneh Esrei are in chronological order of the process of the 
Geulah Sheleima (also different from Geulah stam, btw), and Goel Yisrael 
is way before Mekabetz Nidchei Amo Yisrael.


On 4/10/2014 4:18 PM, Micha Berger wrote:
> Until now there has been un unstated assumption that ge'ulah is departure
> from galus, and thus having Birkhas Ge'ulah as a baqashah in Shemoneh
> Esrei, regardless of nusach, would prove that AKhG sitting in lishkas
> hagazis felt they were in galus. Chazal named the berakhah assuming it's
> about ge'ulah, and yet had no problem attributing the list to AKhG.
> But what if (as Zev suggested on Areivim) they thought they were not in
> galus but still required a ge'ulah? (Ignoring the Galus Yavan issue for
> the moment.)
> So, I seaarched for galus and ge'ulah in proximity, and found Rashi on
> pereq Cheileq, Sanhedrin 94a, who explains the gemara's discussion of
> boqer and laylah as being about ge'ulah and galus.
> Also, Rabeinu Bechayei Shemos 26:2, which does speak in the terms I
> assumed. He contrasts the future ge'ulah and ge'ulas Mitzrayim, which
> was temporary because it was eventually followed by galus. (Thus "Vayhi
> li liyshua" refers to the ge'ulah yet to come, because only a permanent
> ge'ulah is a yeshua.)
> There are other sources as well, but I think that's enough to make
> the point. Ge'ulah is seen as being from galus
> Tir'u baTov!
> -Micha


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