Avodah Mailing List

Volume 33: Number 94

Sun, 05 Jul 2015

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Arie Folger
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:55:34 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Alternate texts for the Prayer for the

Someone asked about alternate texts of the prayer for the government, more
attuned to democracies.

I have adapted the classic hanoten teshuah lamelakhim for the US, with
variant readings for Canada, for inclusion in the still forthcoming new
revised RCA Siddur.

Send me a message through my web site (see the sig) and I will gladly share
that text with you.

Yours sincerely,
Mit freundlichen Gr??en,

Arie Folger
blogging at http://www.rabbifolger.net/
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Message: 2
From: Baruch Cohen
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 10:22:13 -0700

I plan on being in Israel for Sukkot, and hope to be at the Kotel for
Birchat Kohanim. I usually daven early every morning, and the Birchat
Kohanim occurs later in the morning. My question is: do I have a Chiyuv to
"duchen" if I'm in the audience and the Shaliach Tzibbur announces on the
loudspeaker the word: "Kohanim!" Does that trigger a halachic obligation
for me to duchen, even if I am in the audience, in the back of the crowd?

Baruch C. Cohen, Esq.
e-mail: BCC4...@gmail.com
LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/baruchcohen

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Message: 3
From: Zev Sero
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 15:06:33 -0400

On 06/30/2015 01:22 PM, Baruch Cohen via Avodah wrote:
> I usually daven early every morning, and the Birchat
> Kohanim occurs later in the morning. My question is: do I have a Chiyuv to
> "duchen" if I'm in the audience and the Shaliach Tzibbur announces on the
> loudspeaker the word: "Kohanim!" Does that trigger a halachic obligation
> for me to duchen

No. If you have already duchened that day, you have no further chiyuv,
even if you hear the chazan, and even if someone directly tells you to
go up. However if you *choose* to duchen for a second (or third, etc)
time that day, you may do so with a bracha. (SA OC 128:3)

[Email #2. -micha]

PS: This applies also in an ordinary shul where they duchen at shachris
and musaf. Any cohen who duchened at shachris, and doesn't feel like
doing it again at musaf, needn't leave the room. He has no obligation
to answer the chazan's call. But those who do answer it duchen with a
bracha, because that is takanas chachamim.

Zev Sero

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Message: 4
From: Kenneth Miller
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:26:26 GMT
[Avodah] Kaddish Yasom

What is the rule for when we do or do not say Kaddish Yasom (Mourner's Kaddish)?

From what I've seen, it is NOT said even if a minyan says Birkas Hamazon,
but it IS said when a minyan says Kiddush Levana. It is NOT said when a
minyan says Tehillim even as an organized group, but it IS said on Yom Tov
after the Megilla (Shir Hashirim, Rus, Koheles) is read.

I do not see any pattern. Does anyone else know of a rule?

Akiva Miller

Want to place your ad here?
Advertise on United Online

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Message: 5
From: Zev Sero
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 18:03:54 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Kaddish Yasom

On 06/30/2015 03:26 PM, Kenneth Miller via Avodah wrote:
> What is the rule for when we do or do not say Kaddish Yasom (Mourner's Kaddish)?
>>From what I've seen, it is NOT said even if a minyan says Birkas Hamazon,

Why would it?

> but it IS said when a minyan says Kiddush Levana.

Probably because people are used to saying it after Alenu.

> It is NOT said when a minyan says Tehillim even as an organized group,

Where have you seen it not being said then?  I'm surprised that this is your experience.

> but it IS said on Yom Tov after the Megilla (Shir Hashirim, Rus, Koheles) is read.

Yes, that is my experience as well.

Zev Sero               I have a right to stand on my own defence, if you
z...@sero.name          intend to commit felony...if a robber meets me in
                        the street and commands me to surrender my purse,
                        I have a right to kill him without asking questions
                                               -- John Adams

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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 10:15:26 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Kaddish Yasom

On Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 06:03:54PM -0400, Zev Sero via Avodah wrote:
: On 06/30/2015 03:26 PM, Kenneth Miller via Avodah wrote:
: >>From what I've seen, it is NOT said even if a minyan says Birkas Hamazon,
: Why would it?

When a minyan says Birkhas haMazon, the zimun changes, it creates a minyan
one may not break (by benching on their own or with a normal zimun), but
no Qaddish.

When a minyan says Pesuqei deZimra, nothing changes, there is no specific
issur on leaving in the middle, and yet it is closed with Qaddish (even
if you lose the minyan during PdZ).

I think RAM's question why is quite fair.

It would be nice to think the minhag follows some well-defined rule.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Man is capable of changing the world for the
mi...@aishdas.org        better if possible, and of changing himself for
http://www.aishdas.org   the better if necessary.
Fax: (270) 514-1507            - Victor Frankl, Man's search for Meaning

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Message: 7
From: Prof. Levine
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 2015 08:35:34 -0400
[Avodah] Bio of RSRH

See http://tinyurl.com/p5h866u

 From this URL.

When Rav Yisroel Salanter read a copy of The Nineteen Letters in 
1873, he said that it should be translated into Russian and Hebrew. 
He also remarked, "Is there a Gan Eden big enough for Rav Shamshon 
Raphael Hirsch?"

See the above URL for more.


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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 17:33:45 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Hakarat Hatov

On Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 03:56:25PM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
: Does Hakarat Hatov engender a measurable "liability" (e.g. require a
: marginally greater action) between the recipient and the provider of the
: "Tov", or is saying "Thank you, I appreciate it" the only requirement?

Moshe isn't the trigger for the first makkos because he "owed" the
Ye'or and the sand for saving him in the past.

As Chazal put it (BQ 92b) WRT "velo sesaeiv Mitzri ki ger hayisa
ve'artzo", it justified the common saying "bira deshasis mineih, lo
tashdi beih kala" (into a well from which you once drank, don't throw
clods of dirt).

That said, I don't think reducing gratitude to *nothing more than*
a favor-economics is healthy.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When you come to a place of darkness,
mi...@aishdas.org        you don't chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org   You light a candle.
Fax: (270) 514-1507        - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

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Message: 9
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 17:37:53 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Hakarat Hatov

PS: I started with the aggadic story and didn't say why I opened with
a medrash rather than a gemara.

The Nile and the sand wasn't actors. Moshe didn't really owe them
anything. It's like "not embarassing" the challah by covering
it. Apparently the notion of repaying a favor is so important, HQBH
expects us to practice it for a middah exercise even when the other side
isn't a real 2nd party.

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Message: 10
From: Kaganoff
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 2015 15:08:58 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Kaddish with mixed seating

Following up upon my earlier post about the permissibility of saying
the *kaddish
*of a *siyyum* at a dinner with mixed seating.

I spoke to RIETS RY last week and he said that we only require *mechitzah* in
a *Shul*, based upon the *Gemara* in *Succos*, which requires separate
seating at a *shul*.

This is clear from the original textual source of mechitzah, the Gemara in
the fifth perek of Succos, that the basis of *mechitzah* is the *Bais
ha-Mikdash*. As our Synagogues are modeled after the Bais ha-Mikdash, we
apply the principals underlying the *Gemara* in Succos to our Shuls.

(Similarly, *Tosfos* justifies the practice of bringing children to Shul
using the model of *Hakhel*.) As the Kaddish for a Siyyum has nothing do to
with a Shul there is no need for separate seating.

I also spoke to one of the Dayanim in our community he did not even think
that saying *kaddish* with mixed seating was an issue as he thought that
mixed seating was only an issue in a *Shul*.

Others told me the same (i.e. that only a *shul* requires separation) in
the name of Rav Schachter *shlit?a* .

However, I saw Rav Herschel Schachter *shlit?a* at shacharis this week so I
asked him my question. He responded that it would be better if they would
have the *siyyum* before the dinner. I asked why and he responded ?*Davar

I asked him so why do people recite *Kedushah* after a *siyyum* with mixed
seating. And he responded, ?Nu, Nu?. (Which is a common response from Rav
Schachter to questions of that sort.)

Interestingly enough the Gemara in Succos brings a ?proof? for separation
of men and women from a non-?*Davar She?bekedushah*? the funeral in

Of course we are not discussing whether a particular practice is good or
bad or even ?best practices?, but rather whether it is required or not.

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Message: 11
From: Cantor Wolberg
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2015 11:32:09 -0400
[Avodah] From Succot to Moshiach

Ma tovu ohalecha:  ?Tents? are temporary and refer to olam hazeh
?.mishk?nosecha:  ?Dwelling places? refers to olam haba.

In other words, we are first in the antechamber, the temporary abode, which tents symbolize;
then, once we leave our temporary homes, we hopefully ascend to our permanent ?dwelling place.?
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Message: 12
From: Micha Berger
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2015 17:44:48 -0400
[Avodah] The Historical Bil'am

H/T RYGB, see http://www.livius.org/source-content/deir-alla-inscription
He asks on his blog: Why isn't this more widely known?

The full article includes an image of the instription and a complete
translation. This is just the opening.


   Articles on ancient history

                             Deir 'Alla Inscription

       Deir 'Alla Inscription: inscription, found in the Iron Age town
       of Deir 'Alla, mentioning the Biblical prophet Balaam.

   Deir 'Alla is situated in western Jordan, about eight kilometers east
   of the river Jordan, and about a kilometer north of the Jabbok. The
   excavators found a very large Bronze Age sanctuary that had suffered in
   the period of wide-spread destruction in the thirteenth/twelfth
   centuries. Unlike other settlements, which were abandoned, Deir 'Alla
   remained in use well into the fifth century BCE. That is remarkable.

   Even more remarkable, however, was the discovery of a painted text that
   contained a prophecy by Balaam...  (The site of Deir 'Alla is,
   technically, on the [11]Ammonite side of the river Jabbok.) The text
   refers to divine visions and signs of future destruction, in a language
   that is close to that of the Bible. For example, we read about the
   "Shaddai gods", an expression that is close to the Biblical El Shaddai,
   "God Almighty". On the other hand, the setting is not monotheistic: we
   read, for instance, about a gathering of a group of gods. The
   word elohim, which in the Bible (although plural) refers to one God,
   refers to more than one god in the Deir 'Alla text.

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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2015 18:16:24 -0400
[Avodah] De-Chokifying Arayos (including MZ)

In a recent blog post, R' Aryeh Klapper (Cc-ed) writes

    Imagine pre-snake Adam and Eve walking into the Jewish camp. They
    would not praise the Jews for their modesty, and they would have no
    idea why the tents' openings did not face each other. For Bilaam
    to praise the Jews' virtue, even in the context of his deep and
    unremitting hatred, he had to be capable of understanding that
    modesty was a relevant evaluative category.

    What would it take for Bilaam to have this capacity? Unlike the
    prelapsarian original couple, he would have to be conscious of his own
    sexuality, and experientially aware that sexuality could be associated
    with shame. He might nonetheless choose exhibitionism for himself,
    and for his culture. He might decide that sexual shame is the root
    of neurosis and dedicate himself to its cultural eradication. But
    he would understand what he was eradicating. Perhaps there would
    even be moments when he regretted his victory.

    My tentative suggestion is that the Torah teaches us here that there
    is a value in making our moral premises intelligible even to our
    enemies; this is part of our mission to be the light of the nations. I
    want to be clear that this value is not pragmatic, and that we are
    not safer, or less likely to be hated, if we are understood. Like
    Bilaam, the world may use its understanding of our virtue to learn
    how best to undermine us. It is simply part of our job to enable as
    much as we can of humanity to make informed moral choices.

    I suggest further that perhaps we can understand the Seven
    Noachide Commandments as intended not to provide a formal code of
    behavior, but rather to identify a set of moral premises. Perhaps
    our mission is particularly to make those premises universally
    intelligible. Making premises intelligible is not accomplished
    through rational argumentation. Rational arguments depend on mutually
    intelligible premises.
    One core premise: let us identify it with the Noachide commandment
    against forbidden sexual relationships, or arayot -- that is no longer
    intelligible to many Americans is that sexuality can be evaluated
    in nonutilitarian terms, that a sexual act can be wrong even if
    no one gets hurt. We have replaced sexual morality with sexual
    ethics. Conversations on topics such as chastity, masturbation, and
    adultery are wholly changed from what they were even two decades ago,
    and tracts from back then can seem less contemporary than prehistoric
    cave art.

    There are many reasons that traditional rationales in the area of
    sexuality have moved rapidly from self-evident to unintelligible. Here
    are two: (1) Effective birth control and in vitro fertilization have
    broken the connection between intercourse and procreation. It is no
    longer self-evident to speak of intercourse as potential recreation,
    or as inevitably associated with the risk of pregnancy. (2) Many
    human beings with homosexual orientations have told compelling
    personal stories of pain and alienation.

    In the secular world, the natural reaction to a premise's social
    unintelligibility is the repeal of any laws that depend on it. In the
    Orthodox world, where immediate repeal is rarely a viable option,
    one reasonable reaction is what I call "chokification," or the
    declaration that laws that once depended on the now-unintelligible
    premise should be regarded as either beyond human comprehension or
    else as arbitrary rules intended to train us to obedience.

Let me take a step toward de-chokifying arayos.

I utilized the following "Lonely Man of Faith" based idea to open "The
Talk" with my sons.I wanted them to understand the sanctity of sex,
so before getting into the mechanics of it, I tried to open by setting
a religious context.

As far as I can tell, the Torah gives two purposes for marriage:

1- In Genesis 1, the goal is to procreate and raise children. This is
Adam I's drive "to fill the earth and conqure it", his place at the end
of a sequence of creation -- above the animals, but more quatitatively
than qualitatively.

2- In Genesis 2, the goal is to reunite the two halves, Adam and Eve,
who were originally created as a single unit. Adam II seeks redemption
through community. In this case, romantic love. Sex in its role of making
a bond between people.

And therefore a problem of premarital sex is that one thereby learns
to minimize the bond thereby created. It weakens that function of sex,
so it won't be as effective once you are married.

Either alone -- procreation or the romantic reunification of the two
halves of the original Adam (which again, I mean psychologically, not
mystically) would be sufficient reason to justify sexual intimacy. But
without either, it's the pursuit of our mamalian drives for insufficient
reason. The objectification (or at least animalization) of the self.

In order to buy into #2, one needs to believe that gender (as opposed
to biological sex) is an innate set of existential and psychological
differences, and not just a role imposed by convention. And therefore
Adam and Eve are distinct and different halves of a whole. That this is
an existential and deep-psychological truth, which will hold no matter how
much society attempts to change those roles and bury gender differences.

Notice that despite the social trends that brought the Supreme Court
to conclude last week that traditional sexual morality (in contrast to
sexual ethics) is irrational and thus prejudicial bias, the above implies
that the Torah's ban on homosexuality can be explained in mishpat terms.

On a different note, the shift from morality to ethics is typical for
postmodernism. When all narratives are equally valid there is no way
to insist there is an absolute moral code. Never mind determine what
it contains.

Therefore, one encourages a freedom to act as an end itself, rather than
as a means to greatness.

(Which is a logical progression from the American legal system, the
concept of rights-based law taken to its extreme. It's notable that a
society that values a "maavir al midosav" would not laud taking rights
as far as all that. As a legal philosphy, though, it is the best we've
come up with to avoid "ish es rei'eihu chaim bal'o", which is the central
role of a secular gov't, no?)

However, the lack of establishment of a common moral code is itself
damaging to society. No one private violation of moral code, whatever
the society holds it to be, will necessarily harm others. But living in
a society that doesn't promote morality, that doesn't work toward aiming
that autonomy toward some higher end, is harmful.


Micha Berger             Despair is the worst of ailments. No worries
mi...@aishdas.org        are justified except: "Why am I so worried?"
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507


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