Avodah Mailing List

Volume 35: Number 17

Mon, 06 Feb 2017

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Marty Bluke
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2017 11:19:52 +0200
Re: [Avodah] gaon

See my post
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Message: 2
From: D Rubin
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2017 09:42:29 +0000
Re: [Avodah] honest emotions

From: Micha Berger via Avodah <avo...@lists.aishdas.org>
Date: Sun, 5 Feb 2017 12:53:45 -0500
> There is a specifically Litvishe idea that emotions are to be kept
> private. Eg this story told by RYBS about parting from his father
> So much of spirituality is emotional, that to this branch of Litvisher
> through, emotions are the qodesh haqadashim of the soul. (Note how Shir
> haShirim is also likened to the QhQ...)

> But as RYBS is emphatic when telling that story, the feeling is there,
> and to someone else living in that culture, they know it's there. But
> it's not for public.

Date: Sun, 5 Feb 2017 14:03:11 -0500
> Thinking about it more... If there is a seed of truth in the depiction
> of a chassidic court in Potok's The Chosen, I want to amend that answer
> to being a stream of thought in a number of East European mehalakhim.

As a descendant of eminent Chassidish and Litvish lines, I can attest
to this.

My mother's maternal side were descended from the Gra's family and were
known as 'die kalte [cold] _ _ _' [insert family surname]. They never
showed their emotions. But a fire burnt within.

My father's paternal family were part of a Galitsiana Chassidic
dynasty. Even in davening, they took care that outward displays of emotion
be kept to the minimum. Tears were hidden, voices subdued. This was the
'old' Galitsiana derech that I saw also by other true remnants. Visible
emotion was the result of overflowing.

I cannot recall which chasidishe sefer says, that not being able to hold
in one's love and fear of G-d is the sign of a flawed soul.

Dovid [Rubin]

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Message: 3
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2017 14:20:26 +0000
[Avodah] Tu B?Shevat

From today's OU Halacha Yomis

Q. This upcoming Shabbos, February 11th, will be Tu B?Shevat, (the
fifteenth day of the month of Shevat). The Mishna (Rosh HaShana 1:1)
relates that Tu B?Shevat is the Rosh Hashanah (new year) for trees. What
does this mean?

A. There is a seven year cycle of terumos and ma?aseros (various tithes)
for produce that grows in the land of Israel. In order to determine which
tithes must be separated, one must know in which year the produce grew. The
calendar year for fruit that grow on trees begins on Tu B?Shevat. If a
fruit reached a certain stage of development called onas ha?maaser before
Tu B?Shevat, then this fruit still belongs to last year?s crop and should
be tithed accordingly. Fruits that reach the stage of onas ha?maaser only
after Tu B?Shevat belong to the new year and must be tithed accordingly.
One exception to this rule is the esrog, which is tithed according to the
year in which it is picked, regardless of when it reaches onas ha?maaser
(Shulchan Aruch YD 331:125-126).

Tu B?Shevat is relevant outside of Israel as well. Tu B?Shevat plays a role
in the counting of years regarding the laws of orlah (prohibition of eating
fruit from a tree during its first three years). This will be discussed
more in tomorrow?s Halacha Yomis.

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2017 10:09:15 -0500
[Avodah] Archeological Evidence of the obervance of Hilchos

The Ancient Near East Today, published by ASOR (The American Schools of
Oriental Research) carried a story in the current issue (Feb 2017,
v4n2 by a Yonatan Adler. See

His topic s about finding hundred of miqva'os from the days of the
Chashmonaim through the Bar Kokhvah. Also, "The Early Roman period (63
BCE135 CE) witnessed a surge in the number of ritual baths throughout the
country, with the vast majority discovered to date (over seven hundred)
deriving from the period spanning from the first century BCE until the Bar
Kokhba revolt of 132-135 CE."

Pictures of various ancient miqva'os at that URL. I notice most are in
the south, in the area of Y-m ih"q and Lud. (The center of tannaim and
consequently amora'ei EY moved north right at the end of the period
in discussion.)

    Another important archaeological phenomenon that points to the
    observance of ritual purity regulations is the widespread use of
    chalkstone vessels. The practice is based on the conception that
    stone is a material impervious to ritual impurity. According to the
    Priestly Code, vessels may be rendered impure upon contact with
    certain sources of ritual impurity, however in some instances a
    distinction is drawn between vessels made of different materials:
    wood, cloth, leather and sackcloth are to be purified through
    immersion in water (Lev 11:32), while earthen vessels are to
    be broken (Lev 11:33, 15:12). Other materials singled out for
    purification through ablutions are gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin
    and lead (Num 31:2223). The status of vessels made of stone (such
    as grinding implements usually made of basalt or other hard rock)
    is nowhere apparent from these sources.

    Throughout the rabbinic literature, on the other hand, we find that
    the rabbis assumed that stone vessels cannot contract ritual impurity
    and, as such, never have any need for purification...

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where
mi...@aishdas.org        you are,  or what you are doing,  that makes you
http://www.aishdas.org   happy or unhappy. It's what you think about.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Dale Carnegie

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2017 13:18:38 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Solving Nishmas

On Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 04:08:20AM +0000, David Wacholder via Avodah wrote:
: 1. Machzor Vitry 148-153 is entitled Pisron Nishmas. MV -- actually Rashi

R' Yochanan knew of Nishmas.

Up to "lekha levadkha anachnu modim" is the Birkhas haShir to be said
at the seder. (R' Yochanan in Pesachim 118a)

Part 2, "ilu finu" until "kol qomah lekhah mishtachaveh" or until "ani
ve'evyon migozelo" is part of the hoda'ah al hageshamim, also R' Yochanan
(Berakhos 59b, Taanis 6b).

The rest (up to Yishtabach, velo ad bikhlal) is a ge'onic addition.

I would think that any analysis of Nishmas would need to analyze each
prayer seperately and only then the point being made by connecting these
particular tefillos together in the order we have them.

There is a belief that Shim'on ben Shetach wrote the whole thing. Which
explains the notriqon: "SHokhein ad", "Mi yidmeh", "`Ad heina", "Ve'ilu
finu" (the vav was news to me), "Nishmas". Toledos Yeishu says it it was
a diffrent Shim'on, as TY has a whole theory about Peter being a Perushi
shill sent into the early Notzri leadership to make sure the religion
wouldn't be confused with, and adulterate, Yahadus. Peter is known to
have only eaten fish while in Roman prison, it's easy to attribute that
to trying to keep kosher. And thus this theory says that Peter, while
acting for the right reasons, still wanted to do teshuvah for his years
of teaching apiqursus, so he writes Nishmas while in that jail. Machzor
Vitri vehemently rejest this opinion.

Either would have reason to write "umibal'adekha ein lanu melekh go'el
umoshia" as an intentional snub of Yeishu -- one being the rebbe who
blamed himself for Yeishu going OTD, the other being a false talmid.

The Avudraham says that the Yitzcha"q and "Rivq"a" acrostics of "Befi
Yesharim" refer to the author and his wife, not the couple of that name
buried in Chevron.

When I did a series of shiurim on the siddur, I suggested the following
chiddush. How do we say "ilu finu malei shirah qayam" -- that we are
unfit to praise HQBH", and then just a little while later say "al kein
eivarim shepilagta benu, velashon asher samta befinu"?

I suggested that the reisha is saying that we could not create enough
praise fitting for HQBH. However, our bodies, our organs, their design
is itself -- "hein heim" -- the very fact that we have tongues that
could attempt praise Him, is greater praise than we could craft.

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: 6
From: Zev Sero
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2017 17:02:38 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Solving Nishmas

On 06/02/17 13:18, Micha Berger via Avodah wrote:
> Either would have reason to write "umibal'adekha ein lanu melekh go'el
> umoshia" as an intentional snub of Yeishu -- one being the rebbe who
> blamed himself for Yeishu going OTD, the other being a false talmid.

That would be Yehoshua ben Prachia, not Shimon ben Shetach.  (Even if we 
make the unlikely identification of YbP's errant disciple with the Jesus 
of the NT, whose internal history requires him to be 100 years or so later.)

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: 7
From: Ben Bradley
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2017 21:57:59 +0000
[Avodah] Cheftzei Shamayim

This is my first post to the list having just subscribed. I've really
valued the quality of the discussions having loitered from afar for some
time. This really is a unique resource so thanks to all who organise and
Moving on, there is a machlokes Beis Hillel / Beis Shammai in Shabbos 12b
as to whether 3 types of shidduchim are mutar to arrange on shabbos due to
the issur of Limtzo Chaftzecho	vis.  erusim, teaching a child a 'sefer'
and teaching a child a parnasa.  We pasken like BH that they're mutar since
they're cheftzei shamayim not your own chefetz. This gemara is barely
discussed in the poskim from Rishonim onwards except to pasken like BH and 
clarify that arranging specifics of monies is assur regarding parnassa.
My questions are as follows:
What is the 'l'lamdo sefer' , immortalised in the zemer? Presumably some
kind of limudei chol. Difficult to think it means Torah since BS prohibits
it. Why would BS prohibit arranging Torah lessons on Shabbos? Is that
really chaftzecha according to them?
But if it's means limmudei chol, do BH really mean that's cheftzei shamayim?
And if it's limmudei chol, what kind of chol would that be for pre-barmitzva kids of chazal's time. Arithmetic? What else?

Grateful for any input
Ben Bradley


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