Avodah Mailing List

Volume 34: Number 152

Sun, 20 Nov 2016

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2016 15:41:09 +0200
Re: [Avodah] logic

> A heap is not rigorously defined.  Nor is a crumb.  Half a crumb is a
> crumb.  The only things that aren't binary in the sense you seem to be
> using the word are linguistic constructs.  Real things have attributes that
> can be defined rigorously.  Vague language does not equal the thing being
> described.

Almost everything in physics (quantum mechanics being an exception) is a
continuum not discrete and certainly not binary

[Email #2, a correction. -micha]

Correction to my post - Even quantum mechanics is not really discrete as it
is a probability function.

However returning to Lisa's comments: "The examples you give only exists
as artifacts of vague language."
Basically everything real is an artifact of vague language

A specific example is the definition of a Rasha. Rambam defines a Rasha
as someone who has more sins
and a tzaddik is one who has more mitzvot and a benoni is in the middle,
This definition is very strange.
First the chances of sins and mitzvot being exactly equal (given any set of
weighting for them) is essentially zero.
More important for our discussion I would suggest there is no such thing
as a rasha. One can be or less a rasha and more a less a tzaddik. It is
a continuum
There is no excluded middle (even with benoni as a third choice).

Many others have therefore used different definitions than the Rambam which
indeed depend on ones direction
rather than any absolute definition

Eli Turkel

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2016 12:22:16 -0500
Re: [Avodah] logic

On Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 03:18:59PM +0200, Lisa Liel via Avodah wrote:
:> RMA's favorite example is to define a heap.
:> (A) one object is not a heap
:> (B) adding an object to a heap can't change it to a heap

: The examples you give only exists as artifacts of vague language.
: Bald isn't rigorously defined.  If it were, we'd be back to excluded
: middle...

You're assuming the universe is quantized. Most real things are
continua. (And the quantum world itself is definitely non-boolean;

In a world in which all the shades of grey exist, there wil perforce be
problems rigorously defining predicates.

BTW, RMA's "favorite example" is original formulation of the sorites
paradox", one of the 7 classical paradoxes of by Eubulides of Miletus
(4th cent BCE). "Sorites" comes from the ancient Greek word for heap.

In the Concise Encyclopedia of Semantics (pg 1047) the sorites paradox is
indeed blamed on vagueness. It's just that thinking in vague predicates
are necessary, as argued above, since many things in this world are
measured rather than counted.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Live as if you were living already for the
mi...@aishdas.org        second time and as if you had acted the first
http://www.aishdas.org   time as wrongly as you are about to act now!
Fax: (270) 514-1507            - Victor Frankl, Man's search for Meaning

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Message: 3
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2016 15:30:53 +0000
[Avodah] The danger of smelling a food and not consuming it

The following is from today's Daf Hayomi B"Halacha

The danger of smelling a food and not consuming it
Someone who smelled the aroma of a food but was unable to eat it should not
swallow the saliva that formed in his mouth because of the food. Swallowing
this saliva can be dangerous and cause harm. Instead, one should spit out
this saliva. If a guest enters while the host is eating a fragrant food
which could cause the guest to salivate, it is proper to offer him some of
the food to save him from a dangerous situation.  As such, hosts have
developed the practice of inviting people present to share in their meals.
Guests, however, are forbidden from offering outsiders who were not invited
by the host to participate in the meal unless they are certain that the
host will not mind.
(???? ?, ?"? ?, ? ???, ????"? ?"? ????; ??????? ??????? ????, 1)

In order to protect him from this danger, a waiter [who is not a member of
the seuda] must be given a taste of every fragrant food that is served. If
many fragrant foods are served at one meal, he should receive a bit of each
one. It is laudable to offer the waiter a little of every food that he
serves, fragrant or not. If, at the time the waiter was hired, the host
stipulated that the waiter may not taste the foods, the stipulation is not
binding and the waiter is entitled to taste each food. One is not required
to give the waiter a special portion if he is authorized to help himself
from the food. Likewise, it is not necessary to give the waiter a separate
portion in places where the waiter joins the family at the table.
(???? ?, ?"? ?, ????"? ?"? ??, ?"? ???? ??"? ???)

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2016 12:05:06 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Minhag Shtus

On Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 09:36:10PM -0500, Michael Poppers via Avodah wrote:
: OK, so from BT Sukah 42a
: <http://dafyomi.org/index.php?masechta=succah&;daf=42a&go=Go> and RaMBaM
: H.Tzitzis 3 <http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/2403n.htm>:8-10 all the way
: through MB 17:10 (who misunderstood MaHaRYL, but that's a different
: conversation :)), shouldn't we conclude that the prevalent *minhag* among
: non-Yekke Ashk'nazim to not wear a *talis gadol* (and thereby fulfill *ituf*)
: until marriage is *shtus*?

Atifah is a chiyuv? I thought it was minhag to make a point of wearing
a four cornered garment during tefillah.

One might argue that a minhag to be yosheiv uboteil from some mitzvah
makhsheres or qiyumis (an asei that's not an imperitive) is a minhag
shtus, but I didn't take that for granted. Clearly the MB felt that
without the "derashah", it would be very strange.

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 5
From: Yisrael Herczeg
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2016 20:15:18 +0200
Re: [Avodah] What's the proper procedure for netilas yadayim

>> One should then rub one?s hands together, a process called /shifshuf
>> /(Shulchan Aruch, 162:2), a practice Rav Belsky, /zt?l/ felt is too
>> often overlooked (Shulchan Halevi, chapter 3:1b)
>> One should then make the blessing /al netilas yadayim/ and then dry them
>> (Mishnah Berurah, 158:42).

>Aren't these instructions in the wrong order?  The bracha is *before*
>the shifshuf, isn't it?

According to Aroch HaShulchan, Orach Chaim 158:16, the brachah precedes
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Message: 6
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2016 21:30:15 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Brewing coffee on Shabbos

R' Michael Poppers wrote:

> In Avodah V34n150, R'Micha responded to R'Akiva re the
> French press. Just to clarify RAH's position, published in
> the previous digest, he forbade the French press on Shabbos
> because it's a k'li, even though one is still obtaining
> ochel mitoch p'soles.

Several people have expressed this view, that the French press is ochel
mitoch p'soles. I do not understand this at all. When one pushes down on
the filter, that pushes the leaves down to the bottom of the k'li, away
from the clear liquid at the top of the k'li. Isn't this a clear and simple
case of p'soles mitoch ochel?

Similarly, R' Isaac Balbin linked to
https://pitputim.me/2011/05/18/plunger-coffee-on-shabbos who wrote:

> Consider two distinct stages in the birth of the final coffee
> product. The first is when the stem is pushed down into the
> glass press, thereby forcing the ground coffee to the bottom
> of the glass. What act is being performed during this stage.
> In my opinion, this is an act of diversion/casting aside. The
> coffee is moved down to the bottom, but at no time does has
> it become separated from the coffee liquid above. For there
> to be an act of borer, I understand that the undesirable needs
> to be removed from the desirable. I would argue that it has
> not been removed, but has been forced into a new section of
> the glass environment.

I don't follow this logic at all. If the p'soles "has been forced into a
new section of the glass environment", then it most certainly has been

He says that "The coffee is moved down to the bottom, but at no time does
has it become separated from the coffee liquid above." At no time? That's
exactly what happens when the grounds are pushed to the bottom, isn't it?

Perhaps people are hung up on the idea that one is *pushing* the p'soles
away. Do they think that borer is violated only when one brings the p'soles
close to oneself? If that were so, there would be very simple solutions to
most situations. (Don't like peas mixed in with your carrots? No problem -
just push them away! I don't think so.)

I don't understand what these people are saying. I am open to new ideas.
What point am I missing?

Akiva Miller
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Message: 7
From: jay
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2016 20:40:16 -0600 (CST)
[Avodah] The Shin Prefix

> ("Sha-" is not only specific to LT, it's only used from the
> historical period from seifer Yeho[s]hua through Shemu'el.

Unless it appears in Genesis 6:3, where it is a pattax followed by a
dagesh xazaq, which is of course the same thing as a qamatz when the
following letter cannot take a dagesh xazaq.

                        Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
                        6424 N Whipple St
                        Chicago IL  60645-4111
                                (1-773)7613784   landline
                                (1-410)9964737   GoogleVoice

                        "Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur"

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Message: 8
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2016 12:30:11 +0200
[Avodah] logic

<< If Aristotle was wise enough to recognize the truth of this logic, that
is to his credit. But it is a logic that everyone from Adam to Moshe Rabbeynu
and on has been expected to use to determine truth. >>

I (RMA) already pointed out that the chiddush of Aristotle was that he set
up rules of logic. Sure everyone befoire him used logic as a tool but
Aristotle made it formal. If today the study of logic is an academic topic
it is because of Aristotle and not Chazal, Moshe Rabbenu etc.

Eli Turkel
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Message: 9
From: Ben Waxman
Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2016 21:18:37 +0200
[Avodah] What is Redemption? - by Rabbi Oury Cherki

What is Redemption? - by Rabbi Oury Cherki, Machon Meir, Rabbi of Beit 
Yehuda Congregation, Jerusalem

In the first chapter of his book ?Netzach Yisrael? the Maharal of Prague 
defines the concept of redemption based on his view of the exile. By 
doing this he makes use of a common theme in his way of looking at 
things: The Unity of Opposites. An idea can often best be defined by 
understanding its opposite. Thus, black is used in defining white and 
evil is used when trying to define good.

Thus, the Marahal defines exile as having three elements: The exit from 
the natural habitat (Eretz Yisrael), dispersion among the other nations, 
and being ruled by another nation. This means that redemption, the 
opposite of exile, is characterized by three elements: return to the 
proper place, ingathering of the exiles, and national independence.

Note that the definitions of exile and redemption do not have any 
spiritual characteristics. Redemption is a political action. As opposed 
to Christian belief, which views redemption as a spiritual and mystical 
event where the soul is rescued from the impurity of its sins and from 
eternal hell, Judaism is not explicitly worried about the fate of the 
soul ? after all, ?Every person of Yisrael has a place in the world to 
come? [Mishna Sanhedrin 10:1]. Judaism rejects the concept of a deity 
which is hostile to mankind and seeks revenge. The main task which 
mankind is required to perform is ?tikun,? mending the ways of this 
world. Since the main power that moves historical events in this world 
is political the Holy One, Blessed be He, gave Avraham a role which was 
in essence political ? to create a nation within boundaries of a 
specific land - that is, to establish a country.

There are spiritual processes that take place based on the redemption, 
such as repentance, world peace, the return of prophecy, the rebuilding 
of the Temple, and more. But these are consequences of the redemption 
and not part of its essence. There is a powerful dispute between two 
great men, Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua, about whether redemption 
depends on prior repentance by Yisrael or not (Sanhedrin 97b-98a). No 
matter how this dispute is decided, the very fact that the question is 
discussed in this way shows that everybody agrees that redemption is not 
repentance itself but rather a process that takes place in parallel with it.

Among the holidays which the Torah has given us, there is a difference 
between Pesach, when we celebrate the liberation of 600,000 idol 
worshippers from Egypt, and Shavuot, which marks the giving of the 
Torah. It is true that the two holidays are linked together by the 
counting of the Omer, but in any case the Torah did not imply that the 
national holiday of Pesach depends on the existence of the Torah holiday 
of Shavuot. In fact, the opposite is true: The precondition for being 
given the Torah was the redemption from Egypt. Even if an enlightened 
Pharaoh had granted Yisrael religious freedom in Egypt, this would not 
be the Torah of Yisrael, since it would not include a basis of political 
independence. Only in this way is it possible to achieve the great 
vision that ?All the families of the world will be blessed through you? 
[Bereishit 12:3].

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Message: 10
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2016 11:26:42 +0200
[Avodah] minhag shtus

I have brought up in the past the chassidic custom with regard to eating in
the succah on shemini atzeret (outside EY) where some declare it a minhag
shtus while large groups of religious people follow the custom.

I am now preparing a shiur on another such. The question is whether a cohen
can go to the grave of a tzaddik, i.e. does the grave of a tzaddik have
tumah. Over the ages there have been many cases of cohanim visitng the
grave of tzaddikim while others condemn the minhag. Without exhausting the
subject the Avnei Nezer has a chiddush that that if the Tzaddik dies
naturally the grave is me-tameh while if he was called then the grave is
not me-tameh. R Usher Weiss says that its a nice drasha but not halacha.

Eli Turkel
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Message: 11
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2016 14:58:38 +0000
[Avodah] Turkey on Thanksgiving

Before I point to web sites dealing with this issue, let's deal with "Is Turkey kosher?





Regarding eating turkey on Thanksgiving see


Where it says

There are some who felt that Thanksgiving dinner should
be avoided. However, the custom of many people in Klal
Yisroel is to eat turkey on Thanksgiving (see below regarding
the kashrus of turkey). As mentioned above, one should not
have a party.

Also see there the discussion regarding the kashrus of turkey.



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