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Volume 35: Number 75

Tue, 06 Jun 2017

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Zev Sero
Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2017 16:47:46 -0400
Re: [Avodah] va'v apostrophe daled vav kuf

On 04/06/17 06:01, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
> When you see the abbreviation va'v apostrophe daled vav kuf in a 
> commentary how do you read it?

Vest du velen kvetchen, kadoches vest du vissen

On 04/06/17 15:23, Micha Berger via Avodah wrote:
> That's the Arhkh haShulchan's use. I think it's more common.
> HOWEVER, there are mechaberim who use "vedoq" for "vedochaq qetzas"
> -- pretty much the opposite of saying the idea is qal.

Or "vedayeq vetimtza qashe"

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: 2
From: Sholom Simon
Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2017 23:38:42 -0400
[Avodah] Maharat

>Hora'ah is not writing books, it's paskening a 
>specific shayla for a specific person.

I guess the question is: is that related to semicha? Note the following
(by Joel B. Wolowelsky, from that Tradition issue last year that focused
on women's leadership issues)

The standards of the semikha might vary from yeshiva to yeshiva even
though the text of the klaf certificate is generally the same. I think
it safe to say that no one takes semikha at face value as authority to
pasken difficult halakhic questions on matters of grave import. Very
few rabbis are viewed as posekim, and their authority surely does not
rest on any formal semikha they were awarded at an early stage in their
professional career. Most rabbis even most pulpit rabbis are relied
upon to relate what the accepted halakha is, not what it should be.
They are not assumed to be posekim. Rabbi Menachem Penner, Dean of RIETS,
recently made this clear when he stated that:

    not all individuals given the title of rabbi are entitled to serve
    as decisors of Jewish law... Following the halakhic opinion of a
    scholar or rabbi who is not recognized as a posek would represent a
    fundamental breach in the mesorah of the establishment of normative
    halakha... Musmakhim of RIETS, along with all learned individuals,
    are entitled to their personal opinions on halakhc matters and the
    halakhic system as it functions today and may publicize their views
    as opinions that are not halakhically binding.

If this is true of musmakhim of RIETS, who have completed many serious and
demanding years of study, all the more so for the myriads of rabbis who
earned their semikha by simply sitting for a less-demanding final exam
after self-study or learning in a beit midrash up until their wedding,
at which time they received semikha. We should quickly note that this is
not intended to imply a diminution of the value of semikha. Rather it
reflects an unprecedented expansion of Torah study in our community.
Which raises the obvious question: if so many men have semicha that
shouldn't engage in hora'ah, what's the problem of having a woman in a
similar position?

[Email #2.]

Earlier in this thread, someone mentioned that in Israel, this doesn't
seem to be so much of an issue.

May I recommend an utterly fascinating article on this: 

- Sholom 

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Message: 3
From: Rich, Joel
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2017 12:42:53 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Maharat

Lisa- thanks for the response. I think you have the question framed
incorrectly. It isn't " we have to ordain women". It is, on what basis
are we denying women the opportunity to serve God and their community
in a way that they think is appropriate -- is there a Halachic reason to
do so?" 
As they say, half the answer is in how one formulates the question (chazal and Tversky/Kahnemann) . The other side might rephrase as ", on what basis
are we changing millennia old halachic mesorsa -- is there a Halachic reason to
do so?" 
I'd say the debaters on this issue would be well served to read J Haidt's The Righteous Mind 
to better understand why they aren't convincing each other

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2017 14:37:20 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Better to die

On Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 08:50:08PM +0000, Ben Bradley via Avodah wrote:
: The gemara says that this smitten man must not even even have a
: conversation through a partition with the object of his desire on pain of
: YaVY...

Yes, on the pain of yeihareig; but it's not technically YvAY because
there is no actual issur la'avor.

:                                              Since when is conversation
: hana'as issur arayos. The answer, which is surprising to us but causes
: the gemara no problem is that , even sexual hana'a from a conversation
: carries the din YvAY.

I meant that as more than a quibble. Gilui arayos is an issur that
trumps personal survival. But here it's not a matter of encountering
a greater issur. It's not even hana's issur arayos, it's hana'ah from

And much the same territory as your description of the 2nd MdA:
: That's the first man d'amar. The second MdA , that we mean even a penuya,
: causes the gemara problems because there's apparently no problem of
: hana'a from a penuya, or at least certainly not involving YvAY and
: certainly not from a conversation. So mai kulei hai?
: The chiddush here is that we're even gozer YvAY on hana'a from a penuya
: due to societal considerations of bnos yisrael not being hefker etc.

It's the same issur in Hilkhos De'os either way. The guy is doing nothing
assur on the arayos level; it's entirely abotu whether or not we feed the
downward character spiral.

Tie'u baTov!

Micha Berger             It is our choices...that show what we truly are,
mi...@aishdas.org        far more than our abilities.
http://www.aishdas.org                           - J. K. Rowling
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2017 14:49:05 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Burning sold chameitz

On Thu, May 04, 2017 at 10:00:22PM -0600, Daniel Israel via Avodah wrote:
: Can I burn something that was hefker without acquiring it? If I declare
: something hefker (I'm not sure the legal implication of batel), and then I
: burn it, wouldn't that imply I'm koneh it? Which makes things much worse.

We might argue whether bitul chameitz means something other than hefqer.
But even if it does, how can a formula that ends "vehefqer ke'afrah
de'ar'a" not render it *also* hefqer?

I am not sure what kind of qinyan burning would be. (Shinui? but shinui
to something worthless is back to not having anything shaveh perutah to
own.) Taking from hefqer means there is no maqneh, does that mean there
is no qoneh?

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: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2017 15:33:07 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Is Mincha Different?

On Thu, May 25, 2017 at 02:28:39PM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
: S"A 90:9 the following statement appears-"V'hu hadin bnai adam hadarim
: b'yshuvim v'ein lahem minyan mkol makom yitpallu shacharit v'arvit bzman
: shehatzibur mitpallim (smag)." Question - why isn't mincha mentioned?

The SA says "yekhavein lehispalel besha'ah shehatzibur mispallelim". Your
question is why the Rama -- or is the Semag, I couldn't find the citation
-- doesn't mention minchah.

I think the MB s"q 31-32 *implies* that the emphasis is on Shacharis and
Maariv since the solar landmarks vary the most, and therefore the minyan
is more likely to have their own idiosyncratic time -- late Shacharis
or early Maariv.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The waste of time is the most extravagant
mi...@aishdas.org        of all expense.
http://www.aishdas.org                           -Theophrastus
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 7
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2017 15:00:33 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Lo Taamod

On Thu, May 11, 2017 at 11:54:06AM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
: Rav Asher Weiss discusses in parshat Vayeitzeih on lo taamod al
: dam reiacha that one would have to give up all his assets to save a
: single life if he is the only one who can do it. However, "it's pashut"
: that if others can also do it, that he doesn't have to give up all his
: assets. Why is it so pashut if others refuse? (i.e. why isn't it a joint
: and several liability?)

I am not sure halakhah has the concept. The nearest I can think of is
a zeh vezeh goreim, such as if a shor tam pushes another ox into a third
party's bor bereshus harabbim. SA CM 410:32 rules that the baal habor
must pay 3/4. Hezeq by a shor tam need only be reimbered 50%. So, the
owner of the shor tam only has to pay 50% of his half of the guilt -- 25%.
The baal habor therefore would cause the loss of the other 75%, so he
has to reimberse it.

But there is a machloqes about what happens when one of the two doesn't
have the money -- does the other have to pick up the difference, or not?
If not, then wouldn't that mean halakhah doesn't have a notion of joint
and several liability?"

But even if he does have to pay what the other can't... One may still
be choleiq between someone who did something that incurs a fine and a
chiyuv to spend money. It's not really a "liability".

And this is beyond the usual limits of a chiyuv.... If there are others
who can save the guy, RAW says I'm not chayav to spend all my money,
but what about spending up to a chomesh, like for any other chiyuv?
Maybe even if there is joint and several liability, it stops at 1/5
rather than 100%.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Like a bird, man can reach undreamed-of
mi...@aishdas.org        heights as long as he works his wings.
http://www.aishdas.org   But if he relaxes them for but one minute,
Fax: (270) 514-1507      he plummets downward.   - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 8
From: Zev Sero
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2017 16:13:54 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Is Mincha Different?

  On Thu, May 25, 2017 at 02:28:39PM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
> : S"A 90:9 the following statement appears-"V'hu hadin bnai adam hadarim
> : b'yshuvim v'ein lahem minyan mkol makom yitpallu shacharit v'arvit bzman
> : shehatzibur mitpallim (smag)." Question - why isn't mincha mentioned?

It seems to me that "shacharit v'arvit" here may not mean the tefillot 
but the times: they should daven each morning and evening when they know 
the minyan in the city is davening.  The city minyan presumably does 
mincha and maariv together in one evening session, so that's what 
individuals should do.

This is so especially if this is from the Smag, and we know from Rashi 
and Tosfos Brachos 2a that the minhag in France at that time was to 
daven maariv immediately after mincha, while it was still daylight.

We also know from elsewhere that minhag Ashkenaz at a later time was 
similarly to go straight from the Kaddish Tiskabel after Mincha to Vehu 
Rachum and Borchu, with no Aleinu or Shir Hamaalos/kaddish (or Ledavid 
in Elul) in between.

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: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2017 16:55:26 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Elimelech's land

On Sun, Jun 04, 2017 at 10:40:56AM -0400, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
: One sort of redemption relates to things which have kedusha, and
: "redemption" is a process which transfers that kedusha elsewhere (usually
: to money). Examples include Pidyon Haben, Maaser Sheni, and many many
: others....

I think that bringing up pidyon and temurah just cloud the issue.

IMinsufficientlyHO, it pays to just stick to trying to find a common
theme to all the various meanings of ge'ulah (ordered in a way that
strikes me as a progression):

- the go'el hadam

- the go'el of yibum, unless go'el is the term only when he's not an
  actual halachic yavam. (Eg Yehudah, Boaz)

- the ge'uilah of nachalah (Vayiqra 25:25)
- and of people (ibid v 48)

- the end of galus

To me it seems a common theme of restoration. Perhaps even something
familial; restoration of the family to wholeness on its nachalah.

But I'm just thinking out loud. My intent in posting was more to suggest
a exploring a slightly different question first -- "What is ge'ulah?"
before trying to get to a general theory of redemption. There may not
even be one, which would explain why there are different words in lh"q.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "Man wants to achieve greatness overnight,
mi...@aishdas.org        and he wants to sleep well that night too."
http://www.aishdas.org         - Rav Yosef Yozel Horwitz, Alter of Novarodok
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 10
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2017 17:06:17 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Another approach to Ruth's geirus

On Sun, May 28, 2017 at 03:18:13PM -0400, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
: Yes, but see Bava Basra 91a: "Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai said that
: Elimelech, Machlon, and Kilyon were gedolei hador..." An excellent
: introduction to this problem is in the Overview to ArtScroll's Ruth,
: pages 48-52.

Which ties to the other thread about how we're to view Yiftach or
Shimshon -- baalei mesorah or amei ha'aretz? It's possible that at the
nadir points in the days of shofetim, being the gadol hador didn't rule
out also having fundamental flaws.

: R' Zev Sero wrote:
:> There was no yibum; marrying Ruth was seen as part of the
:> mitzvah of redeeming her husband's land.

: It doesn't matter whether you call it "yibum", or you call it
: something else. My point is that there is no connection between Rus
: and Boaz unless Rus was indeed married, and if there was no geirus
: then she was *not* married and not connected to Boaz.

If it was some general Semitic notion of ge'ulah, then perhaps being
common-law spouses in a 7 Mitzvos b' Noach sense would be enough to
trigger ge'ulah, even if yibum would require real qiddushin.

After all, the basis for ge'ulah was likely that the woman came to depend
on the family for her support, and it would be wrong to let her down.
Which is true of a Moaviah intermarrying into a Jewish family, even if
the marriage only seemed real to her.

I am also reminded of the Rambam IB 13, discussed hear repeatedly ad
nauseum. Shimshon's and Shelomo's wives were p[resumed Jewish until
their actions showed that they not only had ulterior motive, they lacked
a true motive (qabbalas ol mitzvos) altogether. Geirei `arayos all
are in that boat -- if we think they were mequbalos al mitzvos along
with wanting to convert to marry, we presume they're kosher Jews but
suspect and watch whether behavior matches presumption. Rus would be
in a similar situation, no?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             The meaning of life is to find your gift.
mi...@aishdas.org        The purpose of life
http://www.aishdas.org   is to give it away.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     - Pablo Picasso

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Message: 11
From: Zev Sero
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2017 17:55:38 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Elimelech's land

On 05/06/17 16:55, Micha Berger via Avodah wrote:
> IMinsufficientlyHO, it pays to just stick to trying to find a common
> theme to all the various meanings of ge'ulah (ordered in a way that
> strikes me as a progression):
> [...]
> - the go'el of yibum, unless go'el is the term only when he's not an
>    actual halachic yavam. (Eg Yehudah, Boaz)

Where is the word found in this context?   My position is that the use 
in Megilath Ruth is an instance of the next meaning.

> - the ge'uilah of nachalah (Vayiqra 25:25) - and of people (ibid v 48)

This one.  AIUI the underlying theme of this mitzvah is discharging ones 
own obligations, or those of a relative who is unable to do so himself. 
When one has sold the family patrimony, one must buy it back so that 
people will no longer look at one as someone who had to do that.  If one 
can't, then whoever in the family can afford to do so must buy it back, 
to clear ones name.

Included in this is a sub-obligation that if one is aware that a 
relative has to sell family land, and one can afford to buy it, one must 
offer to do so, so he is never subjected in the first place to the 
ignominy of selling it out of the family.   (That, as near as I can 
tell, is what was happening in Ruth.  Naomi and Ruth, having claimed 
Elimelech's property for their ketubot, were now purportedly looking for 
a buyer, and turned to the family to give them first refusal.)

By extension this also includes discharging other obligations, not to do 
with the family land, such as ones obligation to a woman whom a relative 
has left destitute, so that her state will not be a disgrace to the family.

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: 12
From: Ben Bradley
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2017 20:56:12 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Support?

> Reuvain quickly gets up and walks to her and hugs her to comfort her
> and keep her upright. As he does so, he realizes she did not make any
> request or action alluding to any need prior to his action, but she
> did seem to very much appreciate it. She also belonged to the portion
> of the community which did not presume a social negiah restriction. Was
> Reuvain's action preferred, acceptable, or prohibited? If not preferred,
> what should he have done?

I'd vote for preferred. Sevara would be that negia is assur derech chiba,
and the question through the poskim is what consitutes derech chiba. The
fairly consistent answer is to include any contact in any social situation
in addition to more obvious situations of derech chiba. The situations
fairly consistently not included are professional scenarios where your
mind is presumed to be solely on the job eg doctors, nurses, physical
therapists etc. Then we have indviduals who can rely on themselves to
have their mind lshem shamayim like the amora who lifted kallas on his
shoulders. The gemara says there that even in his generation he was
unique in being able to rely on himself to have his mind only lshem
shamayim for this situation.

But the consistent point is the when you can be objectively certain
enough that a given situation will not cause hirhurei aveira then there
is no issur of negia.

I'd have thought the example above would fit that. And preferred rather
than acceptable because if I'm right in sevara then the weight of the
need to comfort the bereaved in such a fashion would make physical
contact the preferred option.


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Message: 13
From: Ben Bradley
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 10:08:45 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Ruth Hamoaviah

> Many times she is called simply "Ruth", and many times she is
> described as "Ruth Hamoaviah". Is there any reason or pattern to the
> distinction?

 I heard from Rav Matis Weinberg that the final reference to Ruth Hamoavia
 emphasises that, despite the way we usually think of geirus, and despite
 everything she's gone through, she remains a Moavia. Meaning that she
 retains her Moavi roots and personal context, and brings the positive from
 that into Klal Yisrael.  I understand him as polemicising against the
 tendency to destroy ones previous identity, consciously or otherwise, in
 order to join the Jewish world either as a ger or a baal teshuva.



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