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Volume 33: Number 108

Tue, 28 Jul 2015

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 22:23:37 +0300
[Avodah] miryam bat batus

<<Either Rav Assi was mistaken about the king's name, or there was a
short-reigned later king of that name whom Josephus didn't bother
mentioning, or one of the later kings had Yannai as one of his names,
and Josephus didn't bother mentioning it. >>

Any Jewish king would have been over 100 before the churban
besides there is the known problem with Yehoshua ben Gamla having his
position bought for him OTOH he seems to have done good deeds

Interestingly wikipedia writes

"*Yehoshua ben Gamla* (or Joshua son of Gamla) was a Jewish high priest
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohen_Gadol> who officiated in about 64 CE.
He married the rich widow Martha
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martha_daughter_of_Boethus> of the
high-priestly family Boethos <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boethusians> (Yeb.
vi. 4), and she by bribing Jannai secured for him the office of high priest
(Yeb. 61a; Yoma 18a; comp. "Ant." xx. 9, ? 4). Although Yehoshua himself
was not a scholar, he was solicitous for the instruction of the young, and
provided schools in every town for children over five years of age, earning
thereby the praises of posterity (B. B. 21a). The two lots used on the Day
of Atonement <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur>, hitherto of
boxwood, he made of gold (Yoma iii. 9). Yehoshua did not remain long in
office, being forced, after a year, to give way to Matthias ben Theophil
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthias_ben_Theophil> ("Ant." xx. 9, ? 7)."

i.e. Martha bribed someone named Jannai in 64CE. Not clear who this Jannai
is but definitely not a king

Eli Turkel
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Message: 2
From: Zev Sero
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 15:44:12 -0400
Re: [Avodah] miryam bat batus

On 07/28/2015 03:23 PM, Eli Turkel via Avodah wrote:
> Interestingly wikipedia writes

I.e. somebody, perhaps with no more information than you or me, wrote

> i.e. Martha bribed someone named Jannai in 64CE. Not clear who this
> Jannai is but definitely not a king

Says who?  Why do you say that, especially when not only does the gemara
say he was a king, but we know that at the time the kehuna gedola was in
the gift of king?

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
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Message: 3
From: via Avodah
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:37:06 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Sources for Not Covering Hair?


From: Meir Shinnar via Avodah  <avo...@lists.aishdas.org>

>> That is the crux of the issue  -- not whether we wish to pasken that this
is muttar for ourselves (or for  those who listen to us..) -- but how we
view those who follow a different  shitta -- and anyone who suggests that
RYBS viewed his wife as nonobservant  or not fully halachically committed
is motsi la'az and needs to go to her  kever

That issue about the rav's wife not being unique is  important -- it
was a shitta in lita -- even if one the rav may have  disagreed with,
it was not one that was hutz lamachane. That is the crux of  the issue. <<

Meir Shinnar

[1] No one has ever suggested that RYBS viewed his wife as  "nonobservant" 
so nobody has to go to her kever, although anyone who wants to  may do so.  
I assume her children and grandchildren go on her  yahrzeit.  The line 
between observant and nonobservant is pretty clear,  even though all of us 
sometimes sin.  I have yet to hear of anyone saying  that if a woman keeps 
Shabbos, kashrus and taharas hamishpacha, but does  not cover her hair, she is 
"nonobservant."  However if you know of a person  who does say that, please cite 
the source, thank you.  Maybe he is the same  person who says that if you 
talk loshon hara you are nonobservant -- and  therefore there are only about 
500 observant Jews in the whole world, if  that.
[2]  There is no "different shita."  There was no "shitta in  Lita" 
allowing married women to go out with their hair uncovered.  What  there was in 
Lita was the winds of Haskala, Reform and sliding, sliding, sliding  away from 
Torah, more marked among the women even than among the men.   Sarah Schnirer 
noted that there were chassidishe homes in Poland where, after  the Friday 
night Shabbos meal, the teenage girls and even the mother would go  out to 
see a play at the local theater.  If there was slippage in Poland,  where 
chassidus was strong, you can just imagine what was going on in Lita,  where 
there was nothing to capture the hearts and minds of people who were not  
themselves talmidei chachamim -- viz, the unlearned masses, and the women.

--Toby  Katz


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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:30:53 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Sources for Not Covering Hair?

On Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 4:37pm EDT, RnTK wrote:
: [2]  There is no "different shita."  There was no "shitta in  Lita" 
: allowing married women to go out with their hair uncovered...

The AhS, whose theory of pesaq gives a lot of weight to seeing which
ruling was accepted as general practice, famously permits saying Shema
while seeing a married woman with her hair uncovered.

But this is what he says in OC 75:7 <http://j.mp/1h3JvzN>, where that
heter is given:
    And now, we will cry about the breached of our generation in its
    many since, for many years Benos Yisrael violate this sin and go with a
    revealed head. And whateve we yell about this, it doesn't help and
    it doesn't have an effect. And now this mispachas [oe of the nega'im]
    has spread, that married [women] go with their hyair like the besulos do.
    Woe to us that this arose in our generation!

    Still, al kol panim, according to the din is appears permitted to us
    to daven and make berakhos opposite their revealed heads, since now
    that most of them go this way... memeilah there won't be hirhur.

So, RYME is pretty clear: It was common, it was viewed has a sin -- not
"a different shittah", and the rabbinate did complain but no one listened.

And again, that's the AhS, not the textual theoretician "what ought the
ideal halakhah be from a clean slate" approach of the MB.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             I always give much away,
mi...@aishdas.org        and so gather happiness instead of pleasure.
http://www.aishdas.org           -  Rachel Levin Varnhagen
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:46:05 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Mesora only through Rashi

On Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 02:10:52PM -0400, Saul Guberman via Avodah wrote:
: AIUI the [MT] "was all that you needed to study".  Are you/RGS saying that
: this is only as a codifier?  RAMBAM did not feel that he was passing on the
: mesorah? In the end, it does not matter what he wrote, RASHI vs RAMBAM, you
: must have RASHI, RAMBAM is nice but without RASHI you come to a dead end?

As the Rambam says in the haqdamah (par 40 <http://j.mp/1SdAuoD>), the
goal was to put the "TSBP kulah sedurah befi hakol" -- his primary
audience was the masses.  And we know how much he thought of the masses.

Similarly he continues (41) by telling you he his work "Mishneh Torah"
because it fulfills the shelish bemishnah -- the studying of halakhah
pesuqah. (He calls it sheliesh BTSBP, but as you just saw in the haqdamah,
the Rambam both identifies the two and also says they're contained in
his MT.) However, in Hil' Talmud Torah 1:12 tells you that that's only
"betechilas tazlmudo shel adam, aval kesheyagdil bechokhmah" he should
set time for TSBK and divrei hashemu'ah so as not to forget,
"veyifneh kol yamav ligemara".

So it is not impossible that even the Rambam himself might agree that
those who explain how to do the shaqlara vetarya like gemara, or lomdus,
or "veyotzi davar midavar veyidmeh dava ledavar" etc... are more central
to the mesorah than his own Mishneh Torah.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When faced with a decision ask yourself,
mi...@aishdas.org        "How would I decide if it were Ne'ilah now,
http://www.aishdas.org   at the closing moments of Yom Kippur?"
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 6
From: via Avodah
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:54:36 -0400
Re: [Avodah] avelut after 12 months


From: Eli Turkel via Avodah _avodah@lists.aishdas.org_ 

>>The gemara says that Yoseph was certainly alive because  Yaakov mourned 
the whole time while we know that the dead are forgotten  after 12 months
(memory of the bet hamikdash is different)

I have a  personal problem with this statement. To my sorry I know of
several people  who have lost children especially in the age of 18-25. One
thing I have  learned from these people is that one never forgets a child  

--Eli Turkel

My grandmother had a baby daughter who died at the age of five months, and  
fifty years or more after that, I once asked her about the baby she had  
lost.  She started to cry as if it had just happened, and described the  baby 
in detail -- what she looked like, what she could do at five months and so  
on.  So I learned the lesson that a parent never forgets a lost  child.  
However, she only cried for a little while and then returned to her  cheerful 
self.  I'm sure that in the year after her baby died, she was not  cheerful.
I don't think "gezeira al hameis" means the person is  literally forgotten, 
but that the degree of mourning becomes less  intense. Initially the 
bereaved person, especially a bereaved parent,  simply cannot believe the child is 
gone, and constantly thinks and even dreams  about the child.  With the 
passage of months and years, the knowledge that  the child is truly gone is 
assimilated and the parent goes on with life, even if  a heaviness always 
remains somewhere in the background.   

--Toby Katz


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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 18:38:10 -0400
Re: [Avodah] De-Chokifying Arayos (including MZ)

On Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 10:12am EDT, R/Dr Meir Shinnar wrote:
: Remember, the SP tries to reconcile two positions
: I) in hazal - that continued desire for some forbidden actions
: is compatible with a high spiritual state - issue is control of
: the desire - NOT its presence
: II) Aristotelian ethics - a high spiritual state does not desire
: for forbidden - the desire is a sign of a flaw.

But chazal too talk in terms of virtue ethics, not just in terms of
kibush hayeitzer (overcoming the desire) but also tiqun hayeitzer
(adjusting those desires).

Most famously, "mah Hu Chanun, af atah chanun". Or, as the Rambam
paraphrased, "mah hu *niqra* 'Chanun'..." It doesn't speak of
giving to others without cause despite desire, it asks us to
develop the middos of chanun, rachum, etc...

Now, on to a totally different topic...

On Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 05:15:16PM +0000, Kenneth Miller wrote:
: Zeh haklal: Eating is proper as long as you don't overdo it. Sex
: is proper as long as you minimize it. - Is the difference really that
: subtle? To me, it is as subtle as a brick.

I think the difference is just about that, but because of the biological
differences. Sex differs in two ways:

1- It involves a second party. There is no threat of objectifying good.

2- You can survive without it. A few days without food though...

Therefore, the attitude toward perishus for each comes from opposite
directions. For food, which is necessary for survival, we talk about how
much is too much. For sex, we talk about the right balance between keeping
the other happy (chiyuv onah) and turning them into a tool for your
own happiness.

The bottom line is still the same: perishus from challenges I cannot
handle while be maqdish olam hazeh the rest of the time. The details
differ due to the differences above.

On Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 3:18am GMT, Kenneth Miller wrote:
: .... This is a case where the Shulchan
: Aruch paskened very clearly in one direction, and this approach went
: uncontested through centuries of acharonim. Then something changed...

On Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 3:41pm EDT, Rn Toby Katz replied:
: It seems to me we are using the words "psak" and "poskim" too loosely. If 
: it's psak you want, I think all sources, rishonim and acharonim, agree 
: that marital intercourse is always mutar (assuming the usual, the wife is not 
: a nidah, it's not forced, it's not Yom Kippur, etc). What we are really 
: talking about here is hashkafa, not psak -- even if it is in the Shulchan 
: Aruch. What frequency is optimum? Surely that is at least partly subjective, 

While what I said before about "minimize it" not meaning all that
different from "don't overdue" addresses this question of RAM's as well,
I think RnTK's response is really the essence of the answer.

But to quibble with the language...

I'm not sure it's "hashkafah" as much as Hilkhos Dei'os / Chovos
haLvavos. After all "Qedoshim tihyu" is a chiyuv, not a nicety, and
that's a source for "perushim tihyu".

What a mitzvah to be or to become something (such as "qadosh") is in
practice, though, is inherently situational and subjective. If we were
talking about something reducible to black-letter halakhah and objective
rules, it would have been.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "The most prevalent illness of our generation is
mi...@aishdas.org        excessive anxiety....  Emunah decreases anxiety:
http://www.aishdas.org   'The Almighty is my source of salvation;  I will
Fax: (270) 514-1507      trust and not be afraid.'" (Isa 12) -Shalhevesya

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Message: 8
From: Kenneth Miller
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 22:58:41 GMT
Re: [Avodah] De-Chokifying Arayos

R"n Toby Katz wrote:

> It seems to me we are using the words "psak" and "poskim" too
> loosely.  If it's psak you want, I think all sources, rishonim
> and acharonim, agree that marital intercourse is always mutar
> (assuming  the usual, the wife is not a nidah, it's not forced,
> it's not Yom  Kippur, etc).  What we are really talking about
> here is hashkafa, not  psak -- even if it is in the Shulchan
> Aruch.  What frequency is optimum? ... ...

Maybe, and maybe not. Let's look at the words.

I'm focusing on Orach Chaim 240. The word "asur" appears a fair amount of
the time, but there are other categorizations used as well, such as "lo
y'hay" (don't be that sort of person), or "lo [insert verb here]" (don't do
that). I was once told that the word "asur" is to be taken literally, but
the other terms are not as strong, and simply means that these actions are
ideally to be avoided, actually mutar (which might also be RTK's point).

But if that is how we are to understand the vocabulary, then we have a
whole new way of reading the Shulchan Aruch. Here are some examples: It's
not assur to shmooze between Geulah and Tefillah of Maariv. (236:2) It's
not assur to say Shehecheyanu on the Lulav on the second day. (662:2)

  Surely that is at least
> partly subjective, and any of the various  sources that apparently disagree with each other 
can be drawn upon when  you're looking for something to back up what your gut 
tells you is right.   I can easily see a modern day rav or Torah mentor 
varying his answers depending  on the circumstances of the wife and husband who 
are asking him for advice, as  well as accepted societal norms.  Also it 
seems to me that with all  the talk about minimizing this-worldly pleasure -- 
which in general is a  Torah-dik thing to do -- we are also losing sight of 
the husband's obligation of  onah.  For a wife, physical closeness is tied to 
emotional closeness and it  is often not, strictly speaking, a this-worldly 
pleasure but a real  emotional need, which a husband has at least some 
obligation to fulfill.
Old School Yearbook Pics
View Class Yearbooks Online Free. Search by School & Year. Look Now!

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Message: 9
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 23:51:08 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Molad

On Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 02:09:11PM -0400, Zev Sero via Avodah wrote:
: That should be halfway between moldos, i.e. 14d 18h 22m after the
: molad, not a full 15 days.  It should also be adjusted for the time
: difference between your standard time and Y'm's real time, which
: for NY is 7h 20m in the winter and 6h 20m in the summer.   Using
: a full 15 days is only bediavad.

Y-m time to EST is 7h 21m, not 20.

But I am not sure the molad is announced for Y-m time, despite what we
call it. It's hard to know exactly where the molad is being announced
for, since the average lunation has changed over time and the accumulated
difference between estimation and reality over millenia has grown large.

Right now, the average molad matches the average moment of new moon for
Qandahar, Afghanistan.

If we go back in time to when the molad was closest to one lunar month,
we get to 4th cent CE, the days of Hillel Nesi;ah. The av beis din to
whom R Hai Gaon attributes our current calendar.

If we assume the molad then was most accurate in start time as well when
it was most accurate in durection, then the molad is being announeced
for something like Ur Kasdim, which is also around the middle of Jewish
settlement at the time, between the Nile and the Euphrates.

In which case, the molad is being announced for a place 44 min after IST
(not 21m).

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             There's only one corner of the universe
mi...@aishdas.org        you can be certain of improving,
http://www.aishdas.org   and that's your own self.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                 - Aldous Huxley


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