Avodah Mailing List

Volume 33: Number 100

Mon, 20 Jul 2015

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2015 22:47:05 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The Halakhic Status of an Epicurian

On Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 11:33:13AM -0400, Kaganoff via Avodah wrote:
: 1)      Can one count someone who denies the historicity of *matan torah*
: and *yetzias mitzrayim* but is other completely *shomer torah u-mitzvos*
: for a *minyan*?
:  There is an halakhic category of *mumar l'hachis* who cannot count for a
: *minyan* according to many *poskim*. But that is on the assumption that
: they are violating *halakhah*. If they are not violating halakhah, can they
: be counted in a *minyan*?

I don't know if we hold like the Rambam, but Hil' Teshuvah ch. 3 is
the only discussion of the categories of heresy I know of.

A min is an atheist or polytheist, a trinitarian, etc... (3:7)

An apiqoreis, the category in the title, is defined with a list of
theological errors. It's someone who, like Epicurus, denies that
Hashem runs the world. A Deist, someone who denies prophecy, or that
He doesn't know man's actions. (3:8)

Leshitaso, someone who doesn't believe in the historicity of Torah
miSinai would be a kofer baTorah. (ibid)

A mumar is a consistent sinner (ledavar achas, lekhol haTorah kulah),
not a heretic. {3.9) Then the machti'ei rabbim (10), poreish midarkei
hatzibur (11), moserim (12), and one who terrorizes the community --
not lehsim shamayim (13).

That list -- 3 kinds of heretic and 5 kinds of sinners -- lose their olam
haba, if they die without teshuvah (3:14). And then he says there are
also smaller ones that still carry a similar price.

Anyway, R' Aharon Soloveitchik held that "nebich an apiqoreis" (not
using the term in the Rambam's technical sense) can be counted for
a minyan. As long as his beliefs include those ideas that make
tefillah meaningful. So a min couldn't, nor an apiqoreis who believes
G-d doesn't know every little thing going on down here.

(This was a common idea among Artistotilian, although obviosuly not among
ours. Since facts change with time, and the Creator does not, how could
the Creator know such facts? Would that mean His knowledge changes?)

But a tinoq shenishba (by which RAL intentionally includes Jews not
raised O) who doesn't believe in Sinai, but does believe that there
is One G-d Who Listens to prayer and is Mashgiach, should be countable.

Not because their heresy makes them heretics and thus michutz lamachaneh.
But because they are incapable of prayer.

RAS didn't discuss the person who isn't a tinoq shenishba, but also
not a rebal. Someone who grew up in a Torah setting, but in his studies
reached the wrong conclusion.

The Tashbetz and the Radbaz (eearly 16th cent CE, not the Ridbaz who
wrote on the Y-mi) famously hold that such people are not heetics even
if they believe heresy. (As least on the list list it's famous, anyeay.)
I just can't assume RAS agrees without proof.

RAL also doesn't discuss a Deist who believes G-d Hears prayers, but
won't act any differently. Can he make a brikhas hoda'ah, but not a
baqashah? Since prayer is not al menas leqabel peras, do we even make
baqashos for the sake of gettin a "yes", or just to have a moment
with Him talking about what is bothering you?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The thought of happiness that comes from outside
mi...@aishdas.org        the person, brings him sadness. But realizing
http://www.aishdas.org   the value of one's will and the freedom brought
Fax: (270) 514-1507      by uplifting its, brings great joy. - R' Kook

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Message: 2
From: Kenneth Miller
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2015 14:01:37 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Confronting sexual abuse in the Jewish community

I wrote on Areivim:

> Of course it is important to protect future victims, but that is
> not the only consideration here. What about the fallout to the
> family of the victim, to the family of the perpetrator, and to
> the community as a whole?

(For those who have not been following on Areivim: Personally, I am all in
favor of protecting the victims, but I know that my opinions might be
heavily influenced by the society in which I live. My suggestion is that
our chachamim are the only ones qualified to decide on any particular case,
whether it might be better to whitewash an incident, so that the family
and/or community are not hurt by the publicity.)

R' Eli Turkel responded here on Avodah:

> Can you give a place in shas or SA where the punishment of a
> crime accounts for the pain to the family
> If someone deserves the death penalty (there is no jail in
> halacha)  as far as I know the bet din does not take into
> account that the family who are innocent will also be
> punished.
> If someone is sent to "ir miklat" the yeshiva goes with him,
> we don't remove the punishment because it affects the whole
> community

These are excellent points. But then I must ask: Haven't there been times
and situations when legitimate gedolim have paskened to hush things up
because of other considerations? Would someone say that all such cases come
from gedolim whose outlook is NOT Torah-based?

I wish I could cite specific examples for discussion. Unfortunately, my
knowledge of such things is far too limited. But surely this attitude must
have come from somewhere, and did not materialize from nothingness.

Akiva Miller
Buffett???s Warning for YOU
4 in 5 Americans aren???t taking his shocking advice. Click here now.

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Message: 3
From: Ben Waxman
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2015 22:49:55 +0200
[Avodah] Rav Kook on Exercise

Rav Kook's opinion about exercise and sport had been brought up here 
before. I quoted him as saying that physical activity helps the 
tzaddikim in their avodah. In the class I go to on Orot, we discussed 
the following piece by R Kook, which goes way further than that.  Keep 
in mind that this was written before there was an IDF, so he isn't 
talking about any  sort of physical protection.

Orot, Orot Hatechiya, 34:

Exercise, (which young Israel is getting involved in, in Eretz Yisrael,  
to strengthen their bodies in order to be vigorous for the nation),  
improves the spiritual strength of the greatest tzaddikim, those who 
involve themselves  in "the unification of God's names" (my translation 
of a phrase which I admit I don't get), and increases the transmission 
of God's light in the world, because there is no revelation at all of 
light without all components being present.

Turns out that (according to Rav Kook) not only does Talmud Torah 
increase the merits to the army/state/people, but just having people 
trying to be healthy, active, in shape, improves Talmud Torah, as long 
as both sides are doing this for the nation.


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Message: 4
From: Rabbi Meir G. Rabi
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2015 03:09:13 +0300
[Avodah] Tefach Thick Soft Spongy Matza

Many mistakenly think that we now have an accepted Halachic tradition,
recorded in the Shulchan Aruch [460:5] to no longer bake Tefach thick Matza
[10 - 12 cm] as in Talmudic times. This is untrue. The ShAruch records that
Tefach thick Matza must not be <made during> Pesach. There is no problem
whatsoever to produce such Matza <before> Pesach and eat them during

The reason for this is quite simple; if one makes Chamets during Pesach, no
matter that it was unintentional, one has transgressed the very serious
violation of having Chamets - Bal YeRaEh and Bal YeMaTzeh. When making
Tefach thick Matza the risk of inadvertently making Chamets because some
dough in the Matza will remain unbaked, is [became] intolerable. However,
baking the same thickness Matza before Pesach poses no concern. If it is
Chamets, as can be discerned by tearing the Matza and checking for doughy
stringy threads, then either eat it before Pesach or get rid of it.
Whatever is fully baked however, is fine for Pesach.

Compare the Mechabers expression, Seif 4 and 5, not to make images on the
Matza; and not to make thick Matza - it is not done - ??? ?????; to his
expression Seif 6, not to make dough filled with meat and veg - one ought
not be lenient - ??? ????.  One ought not be lenient - ??? ???? sounds more
strict, as is supported by the MBerurah [18] suggesting that it is
prohibited even after the fact,  - whereas  it is not done - ??? ?????
 implies it should not be done but after the fact, if it not Chamets it is
Kosher and may be eaten during Pesach.
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Message: 5
From: Cantor Wolberg
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2015 10:19:01 -0400
[Avodah] A Guten Chodesh (Though sad, still hope...)

The gematria for ?Rosh Chodesh" is 813.   (reish:200, aleph:1, shin:300; ches:8, dalet:4, shin:300 ? Total=813) 

 In the whole of tanach there is only one verse with the gematria of 813 which occurs in B?reishis, Chapter 1, verse 3:                                       

 ?Vayomer Elohim ohr; vay?hi ohr?  ?And God said: Let there be light and there was light.?

 May our mourning be turned into dancing (Ps.30:12) and may we live to see the light.

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Message: 6
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2015 10:55:41 +0300
[Avodah] Fwd: heter mechira

<<From http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-shmitta-5775.htm >>

There are many inaccuracies in their statement and much is outdated.
"The produce that is sold in the regular stores during the year of Shmitta
predominantly comes from non-religious kibbutzim and moshavim, who
would never agree to sell their land.  "

I have no idea what this statement means. They in fact do sell their land.
The current situation
in Israel is that the chief rabbinate sends people to each of these
kibbutzim etc to explain to them what the heter mechira means and what are
the other options.  No one is forced to participate.

"However, there are presently many rabbanim who question whether the current
situation in Israel warrants this type of sale"

The figures I have heard is that 85% of Israeli produce is exported (mainly
to Europe).
Without the heter mechira one would have to close down almost the entire
agricultural development in Israel. In addition one is forbidden to sell
produce with kedushat sheviit to nonJews. That would mean having guards at
supermarkets checking that only Jews buy the produce

"This is compounded by the fact that the non-religious kibbutzim do not
observe those prohibitions
which Harav Kook instituted, and Harav Kook never permitted their current

The current chief rabbinate tries to enforce whatever Rav Kook instituted.
In fact most agricultural workers in Israel regardless of shemita are Arabs.

Eli Turkel

Eli Turkel
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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2015 21:33:43 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Kaddish with mixed seating

On Thu, Jul 02, 2015 at 03:08:58PM -0400, Kaganoff via Avodah wrote:
: Interestingly enough the Gemara in Succos brings a "proof" for separation
: of men and women from a non-"Davar She'bekedushah" the funeral in
: Zecharyah.

The other example is Simchas Beis haSho'eivah.

Notice that one is extreme joy, and the other extreme sadness. Neither
was tefillah betzibbur. Should the fact that chazal thought it was
natural to apply these precedents to tefillah be taken to mean that --
"thanks to my knees for bowing at modim" aside -- Chazal found such
extremes of emotion common during davening?


Micha Berger             Zion will be redeemed through justice,
mi...@aishdas.org        and her returnees, through righteousness.
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2015 21:57:18 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Kaddish Yasom

On Tue, Jul 07, 2015 at 01:14:59AM +0000, Kenneth Miller via Avodah wrote:
: Well, I guess my original post should have had a longer introduction. I
: know that Kaddish Tiskabel has a very clear rule, namely that it
: follows every Amidah, and the only exception is that it also follows
: Selichos. Kaddish D'rabanan always follows group learning (though I've
: never figured out exactly what learning counts and what doesn't).

Qaddish Tisqabel is said after zelosehon (the Amidah) uVa'us-hon (tachanun
or selichos. That the request that they be accepted.

: And now I'm trying to figure out the rule for Kaddish Yasom. It SEEMS
: to be a sort of "congregational prayer", where "prayer" is something
: *other* than the Amidah, but I can't define it any more precisely than
: that. For a long time I thought it was connected to Tehillim, but when
: I noticed it after the megilos on Yom Tov, someone suggested that it's
: not specifically Sefer Tehillim, but *any* part of Kesuvim, not that we
: had any idea why Kesuvim would get this distinction over Neviim or Torah.

Accordng to R' de Sola Pool's monograph "Kaddish", Qaddish originated
as being post-derashah -- the role Qaddish deRabbanan still serves.

So perhaps non-concidentally, the format for sermons through the geonic
era was to start with a pasuq from one of the sidrei EMa"S (Iyov, Mishlei,
Tefillim) and wrap up by applying the resulting an idea to a pasuq from
he sedra.

: I have to admit that a big part of my asking this question is a pet
: peeve that I've been nursing, regarding Kiddush Levana in particular. It
: seems to me that Kiddush Levana -- the way it is done in just about
: every situation I've ever seen -- cannot be called a Tefilas Tzibur in
: any sense. It is a group of yechidim who happen to be saying the same
: thing, but in a totally disorganized fashion...

Perhaps that's it exactly. Like "Shalom Aleikhem", we make a cpoint of
socially unifying those yechidim as part of qiddush levanah. Perhaps
not in the sense of tefillah betzibbur or tefillas hatzibur, but then,
neither is a shiur.


Micha Berger             Zion will be redeemed through justice,
mi...@aishdas.org        and her returnees, through righteousness.
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 9
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2015 12:45:28 -0400
Re: [Avodah] reciting a shehechiyanu when performing a

On Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 11:53:34AM -0400, M Cohen via Avodah wrote:
: http://tinyurl.com/o6rxcdf
: according to those that say you do NOT recite a shehechiyanu when performing
: a mitzvah for the first time (ie bar mitzvah),

Who are they?

All I know of is the Chasam Sofer (OC 55) -- well I guess I also know of
the Peri To'ar, his maqor -- who says that the berakhah when putting on
tefillin on one's bar mitzvah is supposed to be made with all the rest
of the mitzvos in mind.

The Radvaz says a ger says shehechiyanu when they emerge from the miqvah.

I am less clear when a girl becoming a bas mitzvah would make her
shechiyanu. The Ben Ish Chai says the girl should have in mind ol mitzvos
when making shehechiyanu on her celebratory dress. Paralleling what we
do by eating a new fruit on the 2nd evening of RH.


Micha Berger             Zion will be redeemed through justice,
mi...@aishdas.org        and her returnees, through righteousness.
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 10
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2015 12:51:19 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Tefach Thick Soft Spongy Matza

On Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 03:09:13AM +0300, Rabbi Meir G. Rabi via Avodah wrote:
: Many mistakenly think that we now have an accepted Halachic tradition,
: recorded in the Shulchan Aruch [460:5] to no longer bake Tefach thick Matza
: [10 - 12 cm] as in Talmudic times. This is untrue...

Unless we are holding like the "veyeish la'asos" in the Rama se'if 4.
Neither the se'if nor the explanation "ki ein hareqiqin memaharin
lehachmitz" make a distinction about when the matzah was made.



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