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Volume 34: Number 85

Sun, 31 Jul 2016

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Alexander Seinfeld
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:15:16 -0400
Re: [Avodah] praising the bride

Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2016 18:25:57 -0400
From: Zev Sero

> Whereas Beis Hillel said *every* kallah should be described as "na'ah
> vachasudah", regardless of whether these are in fact among her qualities,
> because these qualities are expected of every kallah, so by omitting them
> from her praises one may as well be shouting from the rooftops that she
> lacks them.

Along the lines of what Zev writes, Rav Berkovitz shlita told us that
pshat in Beis Hillel is that in the groom?s eyes she is surely "na'ah

That is, it is entirely truthful, along the lines of Rebbetzin Heller's
original teitch.

(Also, for the record, it appears to be a beraisa, not a mishna; see
Kesubos 16b, bottom)

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Message: 2
From: elazar teitz
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 23:16:19 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Halacha in changing times

     RMicha Berger wrote, "Some see melichah within 3 days and chalav yisrael
as taqanos that apply even when the reasons don't."

     Those who are mattir chaleiv hacompanies do not consider it a change
in halacha, but rather a hetter built into the g'zeira itself.  While the
original g'zeira was milk milked by a goy whom a Jew did not witness, the
g'mara itself says that it is not necessary for the Jew actually to witness
the milking; it suffices that the goy fear that the Jew can show up --
yotzei v'nichnas. Those who permit hold that yotzei v'nichnas is not the
hetter; it is the fear of being caught, and fear of USDA penalties puts it
into the same category.  In other words, it is their opinion that so-called
"chalav stam" is not a new category of chaleiv akum with a hetter; it is
chaleiv Yisraeil.

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:10:13 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Halacha in changing times

On Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 11:16:19PM +0300, elazar teitz via Avodah wrote:
:      Those who are mattir chaleiv hacompanies do not consider it a change
: in halacha, but rather a hetter built into the g'zeira itself.  While the
: original g'zeira was milk milked by a goy whom a Jew did not witness, the
: g'mara itself says that it is not necessary for the Jew actually to witness
: the milking; it suffices that the goy fear that the Jew can show up...

Yes, that's Rav Moshe's approach.

However, the Peri Chadash YD 115:6, quoting the Radbaz, undersoof that
the problem was the risk of adulterated milk directly. Not a gezeirah,
but a pesaq. IIRC, the IM specifically says he is holding like the CS,
not the PC.

Along the same lines, the AhS (#10) quotes the Issur vHeter that as long
as there is no risk, the milk is kosher.

However, the AhS, in his disagreement, clearly did not understand the PC
as saying what RMF later cdoes. He insists that in the case where there
is no measurable risk of adulteated milk, one would still have to have
a Jew watch part of the milking (as per the Rama).

RMF's qulah would not override CY as the AhS describes it. He could say
that even the Chasam Sofer only requires yedi'ah and not actual re'uyah,
but this doesn't fit the AhS.

Which is why I originally listed three shitos: the Chasam Sofer's
(gezeirah, and therefore not dependent on the metzi'us), RMF's (gezeira,
but relies on yedi'ah enough to be dependent on the metzi'us), and
the AhS' understanding of the IvH and how I was reading the PC (pesaq,
and thyerefore directly a function of metzi'us).

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The fittingness of your matzos [for the seder]
mi...@aishdas.org        isn't complete with being careful in the laws
http://www.aishdas.org   of Passover. One must also be very careful in
Fax: (270) 514-1507      the laws of business.    - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 4
From: Simon Montagu
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 23:55:31 +0300
[Avodah] Two questions on Pinehas

Two things struck me in last week's parasha (in EY, this week's in hu"l):

Why is there no mention of Moshe's children in the lists of the Levite

In the list of the other tribes, why do they appear in that order? It seems
at first glance to be Leah's children followed by Rachel's followed by
Bilhah's followed by Zilpah's (each group in age order), but how did Gad
get right up after Reuven and Shimon? I suppose a good answer to this would
need to cover all the other places in the Torah with a list of all twelve

Any thoughts?
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Message: 5
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 22:07:42 -0400
Re: [Avodah] birchat kohanim

R' Zev Sero wrote:

> But Minchas Yitzchak says that the real reason is that our
> kohanim's yichus is uncertain, so every time they duchen they
> are risking an avera.

R' Micha Berger asked:

> Which is? The worst they did was recite three pesuqim. I know
> many fathers who are not kohanim who use these pesuqim when
> blessing their children Fri night.

I don't think those fathers are relevant to the question. The fathers chose
those pesukim because of the meaning in those words; they are appropriate
words with which to bless the children, and they use them for that purpose.

There's nothing wrong with doing so, but the reason that there's nothing
wrong with it is because they are giving their *own* bracha. It is modeled
after Birkas Kohanim, but it makes no attempt to *be* Birkas Kohanim.
That's the red line. If a non-kohen attempts to actually give Birkas
Kohanim, *that's* the aveira, and my understanding of the Minchas Yitzchak
as cited by RZS is that if a person mistakenly thinks that he is a kohen,
and therefore goes through with duchening with all the correct procedures
and kavanos, that's assur. (B'shogeg, of course, since he doesn't realize
that he's a non-kohen, but an issur nevertheless.)

RMB again:

> And if there is a safeiq, how can they make a birkhas hamitzvah
> -- safeiq berakhos lehaqeil?

Good question. And similarly, if there is a safek, how can they make an
exception for Yom Tov?

My *guess* is that it is an exaggeration to say that "our kohanim's yichus
is uncertain", and that m'ikar hadin we are confident that they really are
kohanim. But the safek is not absent altogether, and it is appropriate to
be machmir, keeping in mind that it is only a chumra, and there are real
dangers in being overly machmir when chumra is uncalled for.

Akiva Miller
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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:57:41 -0400
Re: [Avodah] leviim on duty

On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 04:53:21AM +0200, Ben Waxman via Avodah wrote:
: RZS was correct, that my original post I mistakenly stated where
: they were and what they're job is. I looked at the Mishna and the
: Rambam and it is clear why no one does it today. Number one, they
: would have to go to Har Habayit and who says that this mitzva is
: docheh the possible karet issue? Secondly, according to the Rambam
: they are there to give kavod to the Beit Hamikdash. Is that what
: Levi'im would doing to today, when the Beit Hamiqdash isn't there
: and that mosque is? If there is no Beit HaMiqdash, why are they
: needed?

1- The kohanim guarded in the 3 locations mentioned in the mishnah. But
the gemara (Tamid 27a) lists the 21 places the leviim guarded. 3 of them
were below where the kohanim were. So a kohein was at Beis haNitzotz,
and a levi stood at Sha'ar haNitzotz. In addition 5 guarded the gates
(some gates were not guarded -- see machloqes there), 2 guarded the west
causeway, and another 2 guarded the the area at the end of the causway.

I count 11 shemiros that could be done today without risking kareis.

(About 5 years ago I encountered two Temple Mount Faithful types in
uniform -- complete with a beret emblem depicting bayis sheini, standing
shemirah in an attempt to fulfill this mitzvah. And driving the chayalim
protecting the southern archeological garden crazy.)

2- There is a BHMQ today -- qudeshah lesha'ata, qudesha lae'asid lavo. In
bayis sheini they even did the avodah before actually building the
building. (They were meqadesh the building, then the Kusim slandered us
to the gov't and permission to build was temporarily rescinded.)

After all, shemirah is for the kavod of the Borei, not to keep the
valuables or the structure safe. So actually having a physical bilding
should not be relevant.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             If you're going through hell
mi...@aishdas.org        keep going.
http://www.aishdas.org                   - Winston Churchill
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 7
From: Zev Sero
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:15:02 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Two questions on Pinehas

On 28/07/16 16:55, Simon Montagu via Avodah wrote:
> Why is there no mention of Moshe's children in the lists of the
> Levite families?

They and their children were too few to constitute a mishpacha on
their own, so they were just subsumed into the general family of Kehos,
just as the descendants of Bela`'s children other than Ard and Na`amon
were counted as the Bela` family, and the descendants of Mochir other
than Gil`od  were couned as the Machir family.  They could also have
been subsumed into one of the other Kehosi subfamilies, just as the
descendants of any children Yosef had after Yaa`cov's passing would be
counted in the tribe of Efrayim or Menashe.

Zev Sero               Meaningless combinations of words do not acquire
z...@sero.name          meaning merely by appending them to the two other
                        words `God can'.  Nonsense remains nonsense, even
                        when we talk it about God.   -- C S Lewis

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Message: 8
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2016 14:14:31 +0300
[Avodah] second shoresh of sefer hamitzvot

Last week R Michael Avraham continued his series and talked about the
second shoresh of the sefer hamitzvot -
This is the most difficult shoresh discussing why mitzvot learned through
the 13 middot are not considered as Biblical mitzvot.

A short summear
1) Since the Shoresh was written in Arabic many rishonim did not have
access to it. It is claimed that the Rambam later regreted not writing it
in Hebrew. Though translated it was not well known in many circles.

2) Moshe Rabbenu knew only general rules. The later rabbis developed
details and used the derashot to base them. Similar to grammar (dikduk)
where people knew intuitively the rules but only many centuries later were
formal rules developed.

3) Tashbetz - Rambam is only talking about the immediate source of the
halacha. However the substance (tochen) is from the Torah.
Problem is that it doesnt't seem to fit into the words of Rambam
Furthermore Rambam in a teshuva stresses that marriage with money is
derabban and so one can't claim that what is in Yad Chazakah is a mistake.
Ramban - accepted the Rambam literally but disagreed with him

4) The second shoresh is rarely quoted in the Yad Hazakah. A few exceptions
a) marrying a woman through money (or a ring) seems to
be only derabban while using a "shtar" which is also learned from
a drasha is de-oraisa
b) suppressing one's prophecy - there is no "azhara"
these seem to contradict the Tashbetz but OTOH there are only a "few"

So it seems that the Tashbetz is usually correct but there are exceptions.

RAM's basic claim is that there are 2 types of drashot - somchot and
yotzrot. Somchot means the drasha expands and explains a known Torah law.
It may be known through mesorah or verify something known by logic.
Yotzrot means that ir creates a new halacha not previously known (the
concept is already used by Ralbag with hints in Kuzari and Ohr Hashem. Most
drashot are somchot and they create a deoraisa as explained by the
Tashbetz. However there are a few exceptions - yozrot - which are rabbinic.
The second shoresh is talking about the drashot yotzrot whic the Rambam
says is derabban. However, there are only a handful of these. The vast
majority are somchot are indeed the Yad Chazaka lists these as Torah

Example - marrying a woman through "money" is learned by a
gezera shava "kicha-kicha"  which is yozeret. In this case we use the
Tashbetz that the source is rabbinic but the content is Biblical.

Eli Turkel
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Message: 9
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2016 14:11:24 +0000
[Avodah] Toiveling in a Lake

From today's OU Kosher Halacha Yomis

Q. A recent Halacha Yomis (linked below), cited Rav Belsky, zt"l's ruling
that that one may immerse a utensil in a lake, provided it has not rained
in the last few days. Can you please clarify what is the reasoning for
this? (Subscribers question)

Halacha Yomis July 13,2016 - Tevilas Keilim<http://links.mkt3536.com/ctt?k

A. The general rule is that spring water is acceptable for tevilah even
when flowing, while rainwater and melted snow is acceptable only when
stationary. In situations where there is a mixture of rainwater and spring
water, we follow the majority: if mostly rainwater, the water must be
stagnant, but if mostly spring water, the stream is acceptable for tevilah
even when flowing. Although many Rishonim write that one may assume that
the majority of water in a river is spring water, the Rama (Yoreh De'ah
201:2) writes that it is proper to be strict and not toivel in a river
during the rainy season.

Rav Belsky, zt"l was asked about toiveling utensils in a small man-made
lake in the Catskill Mountains. This particular lake was fed directly by a
river, and because the water also flowed out of the lake, it was not
stationary. The concern was that the majority of water might be rainwater.
Rav Belsky, zt"l responded that if a mikvah was not easily accessible, one
may toivel utensils in this lake, provided it had not rained in the last
few days. Since it had not recently rained (and there was also no concern
for melting snow), one may assume that the majority of water was spring
water. Furthermore, Rabbi Belsky advised that utensils should not be
toiveled on the edge of the river or lake, but should be immersed at a
deeper point. This is because Maharik 115 (quoted by Shach, Yoreh De'ah
201:11) says that even if the majority of water is spring water, one still
may not toivel in any part of the river that was swollen outwards by the

Large lakes (which are viewed as stationary bodies of water) and oceans are kosher for tevilah at all times, even if it had recently rained.

Please note, this ruling was intended only for utensils. One should not use rivers or lakes for other types of tevilah without first consulting with a Rabbi.

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Message: 10
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2016 15:42:38 +0300
[Avodah] antidote for baseless hatred

<<Let me give you an example. Suppose I said about my neighbor, "He isn't
going to be arrested." If he's done nothing criminal, that's certainly
true, but what image is created in the listener's mind? Or how about,
"He's not being charged with wife-beating." Again, this is true, but
the image that he may be beating his wife is false. And that image is
created because the listener is who she is. >>

R Zilberstein in a shiur on doctors giving out information about
prospective kallah/chattan. There are times that the doctor knows
information that would be important for the other side to know but the law
prevents him from revealing information.

R Zilberstein's advice was to say something like "I am not allowed to give
out this information"
exactly to hint that there is something to be looked into further. So
according to Rav Zilberstein there are occasions when one should exactly
say the above quote.

(BTW my doctor friends tell me that they are not even allowed to say this
without permission)

Eli Turkel
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Message: 11
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2016 08:41:44 -0400
[Avodah] Using a Child to Open an Electronic Door on Shabbos

We were discussing on Areivim some months ago what is done in areas like
much of France where locks are increasingly electronic.

Here's a related teshuvah by R' Asher Weiss
in the sense that is shows how totally R' Asher takes for granted that
opening the lock is a melakhah (rather than, say, a shevus).

   Shalom! Here in Russia we have electronic locks on house doors. On Shabbat
   when davening is late we have difficulty to get in because a neighbors do
   not come and go at that time, so we have to wait for a long time. So is it
   possible to give an electronic key to a two years old baby and he bring it
   (without eruv) and unlock a door himself?

   If the child is taught during the week to open the door himself, and he is
   given the key before Shabbos to hold, and when you arrive home he goes and
   opens the door without being told to do so, and he is opening it to get
   himself inside, this would be permitted.

   Obviously if there is another feasible way to arrange entry without using
   a child to do melacha for you this would be preferable.


   There are 3 potential issues we face when a child is doing Melacha we are
   benefiting from. Firstly, the there is an issue of sepiyah beyadayim,
   the general prohibition against directly causing even a small child to do
   an aveirah. In this case it would seem there is no sepiyah as he is given
   the key far in advance, and when he opens the door he is doing so mainly
   for himself. Even on the small side there may be sepiyah we could rely on
   the leniency of the Rashba that a child may be given a Rabbinic
   prohibition when it is for his own needs.

   Secondly, there is the issue of Chinuch. A child of such young age is not
   yet higi'ah lechinukh and so would not need to be stopped from

   Finally, there is the issue of a child who is oseh al da'as aviv,
   even if one does not cause or command his son to violate a
   transgression, if he is doing so for the sake of his father he must be
   stopped, see Mishna Shabbos 121a, and Biur Halacha 266:6 s"v haga"h who
   discusses whether this is a rabbinic or Biblical prohibition. In this case
   however it would seem that as long as it is clear that the child wants to
   enter the house for himself, we need not be concerned that he is doing
   melacha al da'as aviv.

Tir'u baTov!

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: 12
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2016 15:58:10 +0000
[Avodah] Men and Women and Vows

The following is from the commentary of RSRH on the Pasuk 30:4 in parashas Matos.

4 But [as for] a woman, if she vows a vow to God and binds [herself]a bond in her father's house in her youth,

A man's vow is binding on him from the outset. He can -
and should (see ibid. 59a; cf. Commentary, Devarim 23:22ff.) - submit
his vow to the national community and its representatives, so that they
should examine the vow and decide on its fulfillment. Only in this way
can a man dissolve his vow. For a man creates his position in life inde-

pendently, and if he binds himself with a vow that cannot be absolved,
he introduces into his life a new element that is not ordinarily applicable.
This element changes and individualizes his life, and, since he is independent,
he is able to take this individuality into account when he shapes
the conditions of his life.

Not so for a woman. The moral greatness of the woman's calling
requires that she enter a position in life created by another. The woman
does not build for herself her own home. She enters the home provided
by the man, and she manages it, bringing happiness to the home and
nurturing everything inside the home in a spirit of sanctity and orientation
toward God. The woman - even more than the man - must
avoid the constraint of extraordinary guidelines in her life, for they are
likely to be an impediment to her in the fulfillment of her calling.
From this standpoint, one can understand the prescriptions instituted
here out of concern for the woman. The Word of God seeks to
insure the vowing woman against the consequences of her own words,
and therefore confers on the father and on the husband a limited
right to annul vows - on the father, as regards vows of a youthful
daughter still under his care; on the father and on the fianc?, as regards
vows of a betrothed daughter; on the husband, as regards vows of his

b'nureha. There is a deep psychological basis for the following halachah,
which has no parallel anywhere in the Torah: The age of maturity
for vows starts earlier than that for all the other mitzvos.
In the case of the other mitzvos, this is the halachah: The male is
considered an adult after his thirteenth year; the female is considered an
adult after her twelfth year, for the Torah recognizes that her intelligence
matures at an earlier age. Both are considered adults, only if - in addition
- they have produced signs of puberty.

The binding force of vows, however, begins one year earlier: in the
thirteenth year for boys, and in the twelfth year for girls, provided that
they know that it is to God that vows are made (Niddah 45b).

In these years, the boy becomes a youth, and the girl becomes a
maiden, and there is great significance to the resolutions that they vow
in this period. These are resolutions uttered secretly, known only to God,
but they are often decisive for a lifetime. The rich contents of the life of
a noble man or noble woman are often only the ripened fruit of a resolution
vowed to God in the dawn of youth. This would explain the loving
seriousness with which God receives the vows of  narim and naros who are
maturing into His service.
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