Avodah Mailing List

Volume 35: Number 15

Wed, 01 Feb 2017

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Prof. Levine
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 12:00:52 -0500
[Avodah] Going to a Hotel for Shabbos/Yomtov

At 09:45 AM 1/30/2017, R Akiva Miller wrote:

>R' Yitzchok Levine posted:
> > The following is from http://tinyurl.com/h2fgx5x
> >
> > ....
> > To achieve the correct level of kashrus one must inquire if
> > the utensils are toiveled (ritual immersion in a mikve). While
> > there are heterim for this ...
> > ...
> > One must check if the cooking is bishul yisrael or that of
> > a non-Jew. If they are lenient regarding ?bishul akum?, ...
> > ...
> > One must ascertain if the greens are the special ?gush katif?
> > [insect free] type or do they make due with using regular
> > vegetables that are washed and inspected by a mashgiach. ...
> > ...
>Upon reading this, my first reaction was to wonder: Why isn't it sufficient
>to determine who is responsible for the kashrus, and then ask my trusted
>rav whether that hashgacha is reliable for me? The only answer I can think
>of for that, is that perhaps my rav is unfamiliar with the hashgacha, so I
>need to help him by doing some research into these questions.

Kashrus Magazine's Kosher Supervision Guide for 2017 lists at least 
330 hashgachas in Brooklyn alone. Worldwide it lists 1371 
agencies!  See http://tinyurl.com/jxk2sg2  Do you think that any rov 
can know what is going on with all of them or even with the majority 
of them or even with a substantial minority of them?

Furthermore,  my personal experience is that many rabbonim are not 
familiar with the details of the various hashgachas.  Even if the rov 
recommends a certain agency he probably will not be able to supply 
such details as what meat and poultry the agency approves of,  who 
are the mashgichim on the spot,  etc.  And what if your standards are 
different from those of the rov?  Suppose he considers heimishe 
hashgachas to be reliable and you do not.

My experience is that the only way to get detailed, inside 
information is to talk to someone in the field of 
kashrus.  Unfortunately,  many of these people are reluctant to speak 
about details.

>But this brings me to another question that I've had for a long time: Why
>aren't these answers already public knowledge? Why can't someone ask these
>questions to several hashgachos, and then publish the answers? Are there
>any libel risks? Are the hashgachos afraid to publicize their policies?
>Perhaps this has already been done?

If you look at the ads for many hotels,  restaurants,  carry 
outs,  etc., you will see that many of them do not even list whose 
hashgacha they have, and often, if they do,  one cannot make out the 
hashgacha unless one has a magnifying glass.

Some catering halls in Brooklyn have a sign posted indicating who is 
giving the supervision.  However,  most do not.



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Message: 2
From: Ben Waxman
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 19:06:28 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Going to a Hotel for Shabbos/Yomtov

There is an additional point here: How exactly is someone expected to 
get reliable information? Meaning, a person obtains a phone number of 
someone who he knows not, calls him, asks him all sorts of questions and 
is expected to believe him? Even if the guy sounds like he knows what he 
is talking about, he is still a total stranger.

Why assume that an individual has better information than the kashrut 
agency involved? In theory, he could tell you that the hotel doesn't use 
Gush Katif vegetables (FYI: that term has become generic and has lost 
much of its meaning). But if he were to say "Yes, we use Hasalat" why 
would you believe him (unless you plan on going into the kitchen and 
checking it out yourself)?

Conclusion: Find out who is giving the heksher and if it is good enough, 
go enjoy yourself without a second thought.

On 1/30/2017 8:55 AM, via Avodah wrote:
> A guest in a hotel only needs to know one thing:  who gives the 
> hechsher?   If the hechsher is one that cannot be relied on to be 
> careful about tevilas keilim, about bishul akum, or about checking for 
> bugs, then the hechsher cannot be relied on, period.

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Message: 3
From: saul newman
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 08:20:47 -0800
[Avodah] headlines topics



1. 'embracing chabad as brethren'--  r kotlarsky impassioned defense
against charge that chassidim 'pray to the rebbe'

3.' living in the territories, endangering ones life lechatchila '  --
 mostly holding that their presence there at least keeps the enemy further
from the rest of the country

2. 'yosom lechatchila'--  on the phenomenon now of older single women using
IVF to create a child.
here the poskim were almost exclusively against, more on hashkafa
grounds/psychological grounds than straight halachic issur
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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 13:37:38 -0500
[Avodah] Halachah and De Morgan's Law

There are two laws in boolean algebra (and therefore also in propositional
logic) discovered by 19th cent British mathematician Augustus de Morgan.
Known, logically enough, as de Morgan's Laws.

One, which I am just including for completeness, is that
        not (A or B)
is the same thing as
        not-A and not-B
To clarify with an English example:
        John did not go to the store or the shop.
Means the same thing as:
        John did not go to the store, and he did not go to the shop.

The other law is the one I thing I stumbled across in the Arukh haShulchan.
This rule looks similar, but has to do with
        not (A and B)
is the same thing as
        not-A or not-B
To clarify with an English example:
        John did not go to both the store and the shop.
Means the same thing as:
        John did not go to the store, or he did not go to the shop.
        (And possibly neither.)

Here's how the AhS invokes it in YD 188:141. (That's not a typo, YD 188
has 158 se'ifim of AhS.) The SA se'if 40 discusses a case where a father
is mashbia his son not to borrow money unless Re'uvein and Shimon agree
to it. The son may take a loan if either Re'uvein *OR* Shim'on agree.
(This is based on the Rashba, and it means we hold like R' Yonasan
over R' Yoshiah in a recurring machloqes.)

The ra'ayah is from "aviv ve'imo qileil", where the issur is against
cursting either, not both. So you see "ve-" means or.

The BY is bothered -- yes that shows the vav hachibur could be used for
or, but who said it /has/ to mean "or"? Like "venasan lakohein hazeroa
vehaleichaim vehaqeiva" and numerous other examples where it means "and".
Vesafeiq nedarim lechamir!

So AhS se'if 140 proposes the possible case where Re'uvein died, and
we can assume that the father did not mean that borrowing was prohibited
if only one could be asked.

But se'if 141 draws a distinction between a chiyuv and an issur. In a
chiyuv, yes you do have to give the kohein all of the matanos listed.
But in an issur -- like meqalal aviv ve'imo -- "ve-" by default means
"or", that X is assur and Y is assur, ie it is assur to X or Y.

(Unless, as R Yonasan says, the pasuq says "yachdav" to be clear that
the issue is only when both.)

Similarly the "unless" of our neder.

De Morgan's law swapping "and" and "or",no?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Friendship is like stone. A stone has no value,
mi...@aishdas.org        but by rubbing one stone against another,
http://www.aishdas.org   sparks of fire emerge. 
Fax: (270) 514-1507                  - Rav Mordechai of Lechovitz

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Message: 5
From: Rabbi Meir G. Rabi
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2017 06:51:16 +1100
[Avodah] Going to a Hotel for Shabbos/Yomtov

Who will be answering these questions?

The hotel staff? The rabbi? The Mashgiach?

And if one suspects they are cutting corners in Kashrus, can we consider
their answers to our questions reliable?

Perhaps the entire push to get people to ask questions is just advertising,
an attempt to build enthusiasm and keep Kashrus alive.
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Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 15:05:20 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Praying for a miracle

On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 04:06:49PM +0200, Saul Mashbaum via Avodah wrote:
: We're getting bogged down in language usage here. One cannot pray that the
: child a pregnant woman is carrying is a boy, or a girl, because the sex of
: the child has already been irreversibly determined...

To get back to the original question:

Barring a miracle. Eg Dinah.

So, as the OP asked, does this mean that one shouldn't pray for a miracle?

Perhaps this is as per Taanis 24a-b telling one not to get hana'ah from
nissim because it uses up zekhuyos.

Li nir'eh the answer to the OP is: Yes but no.

When R' Chanina ben Dosa decided to tell his daughter to light vinegar
for Shabbos (Taanis 25a), it was because He Who causes oil to burn could
cause vinegar to burn.

But then there is the question about how he was okay getting hana'ah
from a neis.

R' Tzadoq haKohein says that RCBD was not violating the bit about hana'ah
from nissim because as the gemara says, he didn't perceive this as a neis.

This would also work for Dinah. Perhaps for Leah, Hashem changing the
gender of the child she was carrying wasn't seen as any more miraculous
as the rest of pregnancy. And so she was permitted such prayer.

So it seems to me a plausible answer would be that one is not permitted
to pray for a miracle, but for someone who is on a madreiga where it's
all normal, that's not called praying for a miracle.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             People were created to be loved.
mi...@aishdas.org        Things were created to be used.
http://www.aishdas.org   The reason why the world is in chaos is that
Fax: (270) 514-1507      things are being loved, people are being used.

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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 15:28:25 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Mesorah?

On Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 05:48:59AM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
: In Shiurim L'zecher Aba Mori Z"L, R'YBS posits (see page 230) that in a
: difference of opinion concerning a Halacha Moshe Misinai, if one side has
: a kabbalah (tradition) and the other doesn't, the decision is always in
: favor of the side with the tradition. [Me - assumption being a tradition
: must be correct and not a transmission error?] Whey then would we not
: apply the same logic with a Gzeira Shava...

I suggested in the early years of this list (last millenium CE) that
there was a time when GS did not require a mesorah. Just that over time,
we lost the details necessary to employ the laws of derashah for ourselves.
So, first all forms of derashah were open. Then, by the time we get to
Peachim 66a / Niddah 18b, we forgot too much about how to identify when
two words can be utilized, so they accepted gezeiros shava that were
from before the forgetting, but not mei'atzmo.

And then, later in history, the art to more forms of derashah were lost,
until derashos were stopped being made at all, except as asmachtos.

BTW, in the Y-mi Pesachim 39a, the limitation means one can only use
gezeiros shava that support an otherwise reached conclusion:
    Rabbi Yosah bei Rabbi Bon amar besheim R' Ba bar Memel:
        Adam dan GS leqayeim talmudo,
        ve'ein adam dan GS levatel talmudo

    Rabbi Yosi bei Rabbi Bon besheim Rabbi Ba Bar Memel:
        Adam dan qal vechomer le'atzmo
        ve'ein adam dan GS le'atzmo.
        Lefikhakh, mashivin miQvC, ve'ein moshivin mGS.

If that's too much translitation to wade through, try here:

Which Rashi says (Pesachim 66a) "ela im kein lomdo meirabo" is the intent
of the Bavli too -- only if he learned the halakhah from his rebbe can
he make a GS for it. Not lechadeish halakhah. But new gezeiros shavah
could be coined, if only for a confirmation.

So gezeiros shava needn't be ish mipi ish from MRAH.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Man is a drop of intellect drowning in a sea
mi...@aishdas.org        of instincts.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 8
From: Zev Sero
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 16:09:02 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Going to a Hotel for Shabbos/Yomtov

On 30/01/17 14:51, Rabbi Meir G. Rabi via Avodah wrote:
> Who will be answering these questions?
> The hotel staff? The rabbi? The Mashgiach?
> And if one suspects they are cutting corners in Kashrus, can we consider
> their answers to our questions reliable?

I assume the mashgiach will be answering these questions, so we can 
trust him to tell the truth.  The problems aren't what he knows but what 
he doesn't know, the things they get away with when he's not looking. 
The presumption is that if an owner wants to cheat no mashgiach will be 
able to prevent him; the questions are designed to see whether these 
owners are the kind of people who are likely to cheat.

Zev Sero                May 2017, with its *nine* days of Chanukah,
z...@sero.name           be a brilliant year for us all

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Message: 9
From: Ben Waxman
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 23:21:55 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Going to a Hotel for Shabbos/Yomtov


Here are the rabbinate's requirements - a 200 plus page document.

To answer your basic question: I have no idea. I searched for a few well 
known heksherim and they don't even have a web site.


On 1/29/2017 2:28 AM, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
> But this brings me to another question that I've had for a long time: 
> Why aren't these answers already public knowledge? 

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Message: 10
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 18:46:25 -0500
[Avodah] How long was Shib'ud Mitzrayim?

We often say that the slavery in Mitzrayim was "only" 210 years. The best I
can figure, that would be the span from 2238 (when Yaakov and the family
joined Yosef) until the Exodus in 2448. But surely it was shorter than
that, since Yaakov and the family were treated as honored guests -- at
least initially.

I suppose that's why Rashi (Shemos 6:16) says that there was no slavery
until the last of the brothers died, and that was Levi. ArtScroll's
comments on that Rashi say that Levi lived in Mitzrayim for 94 years, so
when we deduct that from the 210, only the last 116 years were actual

The Torah Anthology (Parshas Shemos, pg 150) gives two more possibilities:
(1) The slavery began with Miriam's birth, and lasted 83 years and 4
months. (2) He gives another calculation, leading to 86 years minus 40 days.

Does anyone know of other suggestions as to how long that slavery "really"

Akiva Miller
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Message: 11
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2017 10:17:03 +0000
[Avodah] It is not the poor that need the rich, but the rich

Parashas Bo discusses the bringing of the Korban Pesach, and its
implications for the building of the Jewish nation. Rav Hirsch writes (in
part) the following about Pesukim 12:3 - 6  which are

?  ?????????, ???-????-????? ?????????? ??????, ?????????, ???????? ??????:  ?????????

?????, ????? ???? ??????-?????--???? ????????

?  ?????-??????? ????????, ???????? ???????--??????? ???? ?????????? ????????

???-???????, ?????????? ????????:  ????? ????? ???????, ????????? ???-???????.

?  ???? ?????? ????? ????-??????, ??????? ?????; ???-???????????? ?????-?????????,


?  ??????? ????? ????????????, ??? ?????????? ?????? ???? ???????? ??????; ??????????

?????, ???? ????? ?????-??????????--????? ????????????.

Man's right to independence, equality, freedom, and private property;
ties of blood kinship and free choice, which gather people together
and separate them into separate households - this is the foundation
of the state built by G-d.

Now, this right is a dividing element, placing individuals and households
firmly on their own feet and securing them against intrusion from
the outside. What, then, is the binding element that, in the Jewish state,
should bind one household to another, so that the individual families
will join to form one society? Is it to be - as in other state-building
systems - considerations of necessity, of mutual need, of weakness,
that should wrench the individual from selfish isolation and suggest to
him that his concern for his own welfare should make him concerned
about his neighbor's welfare also?

To be sure, the Divine system of state-building is also based on
mutual need, but it is a need springing from abundance, a need to do
one's duty:

?????-??????? ????????- such is the law that is to build the Jewish
state.   It is not the poor that need the rich, but the rich that need the
poor. Let him whose own household is too small to take in the blessings
God has bestowed upon him seek out his neighbor, so that his neighbor
may supply him with additional souls to benefit from his abundance
and thus help him fulfill his duty. God can provide for the poor without
the help of the rich. But without the poor, the rich cannot fulfill their
life's purpose. In the Jewish state, it is not considerations of persona
need, but a sense of duty, Mitzvah, that should join one household to another,
uniting the individual entities into one national community. Only
such a society, secured by Mishpat and united by Tzedakah, will give rise to a
formal national structure that will become

????? ?????-?????????? (v. 6).

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Message: 12
From: Ben Rothke
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2017 08:57:39 -0500
[Avodah] New blog: Thinking out loud about Emunah, Bitachon

R? Elu Klagsbrun has been leading a hashkafa chabura at Kehilas Bais Yosef
in Passaic on Sunday evenings.

He is taking the material covered, starting with Emunah ubitachon by the
Chazon Ish, and also on the sefer *Ben Melech - Bitachon *by Rav Leib
Mintzberg and and using it a springboard for discussion.

You can read/comment at http://bitachonchabura.blogspot.com
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Message: 13
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2017 18:38:08 -0500
[Avodah] Science and Religion -- from the director of the NIH

Dr Francis Collins director of the US's National Institutes of Health,
made a video on why he thinks conflict between science and religion
is impossible.

> ... To him, each seeks to answer a different type of question: Science
> asks how and religion asks why.

> It's when these boundaries are crossed, he suggests, that trouble happens
> it's when extremists negate the value of either type of question that
> the fighting begins. To this man in charge of America's federal medical
> research agency, they're two sides of the same coin....

Hint: He sounds a lot like Stephen Jay Gould's position of Non-Overlapping
Magisteria <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-overlapping_magisteria>
a/k/a NOMA (1997).

I would instead propose BONA -- barely overlapping. Yes, both touch on
the question of origins. But since that question isn't really the core
topic of either discipline, no question a resulting conflict would raise
can touch on the our confidence in the basic theory. Any question of
origins isn't important enough to disprove a religion or a science; they
are worth shelving until an answer emerges.

My usual mashal at this point is quantum gravity -- where quantum
mechanics and relativity overlap at the edges and give conflicting
answers is this extreme case. Each is so well proven in their core
expertese that we know they're 99-44/100% correct. And we continue
to use both - even to use QM to design chips to perform relativistic
equations in our GPS devices.

In cases of BONA, living with unanswered question is the norm, and works.

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: 14
From: Rich, Joel
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2017 05:10:43 +0000
[Avodah] covering the sefer Torah

Anyone know the source of covering the sefer Torah with a tallit when it's left outside the aron (e.g., during Yizkor drasha)?
Joel Rich

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