Volume 35: Number 131
Thu, 16 Nov 2017
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
From: Arie Folger
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2017 13:05:02 +0100
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Torah precheit
RAM and RMB have been arguing about whether aliens somewhere out there
could have received a Revelation akin to ours and whether theirs would be
one of shiv'im panim la-Torah.
I believe that it is not unimportant that according to present theories of
physics, we are constrained by how far we could ever travel. Even if we
were to remain happy with slower than light travel, travelling at the
phenomenal speeds necessary to get anywhere else in our own galaxy where
aliens might live, i.e. in another star system with planets in the
habitable zone, would use up phenomenal amounts of energy. Furthermore, the
distances are so vast, that we would need enormous (what's the trendy word
variant, ginormous?) amounts of time, and we still hardly would get
Bottom line, there very well may exist intelligent aliens out there, but we
are near 100% sure that we will never ever be able to meet them.
Which leads me to the following observation: If there are aliens out there
which we will one day meet, then we could not accept their *competing*
Revelation. There is only one 'am hanivchar. We would indeed need to see
them as a special kind of Noachides with a possible true revelation that
is, however, subordinate to ours and can never contradict it.
If, however, we consider aliens whom we will never ever be able to meet, I
see no reason why they couldn't have their own Revelation, with their own
Torah, which, while it surely will agree in all iqarim, may nonetheless,
through a variety of mechanisms suggested by mefarshim throughout the ages
(including but not limited to the Ramban's Torah without spaces, and the
expansion thereof by later mequbalim that the Heavenly Torah has 23
letters, of which we only see 22), be quite different from ours.
I do wonder though, can there be an alien civilization we will one day
encounter in person, which has exactly the same Torah as we do. It would
seem extremely improbable for them to have had an Avraham, Yitzchak &
Yaakov, Shevatim & galut Mitzrayim, but hey, if this is predetermined in
part, then why not? The question will then be, are they and us the same
people (in the assumption that it is even physically possible to
intermarry)? I consider this whole possibility even less likely than the
one about meeting any aliens anywhere, so this is just an thought
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From: Akiva Miller
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2017 20:45:22 -0500
Subject: [Avodah] Gifts on Shabbos
I am trying to get a more precise understanding of when it is
assur/mutar to give someone a gift on Shabbos.
Orach Chayim 306 is about all sorts of business activities. Gifts are
a subset of this topic, and Mishne Berura 306:33 writes, "It is also
assur to give a gift to one's friend, because it is similar to buying
and selling, because it leaves his ownership [reshus]. But a gift is
mutar when it is L'tzorech Shabbos V'Yom Tov - as written in 323:7 -
and likewise for L'tzorech Mitzvah... And it also wrote that according
to that, the practice of giving keilim as a gift to a Chasan is
When I turn to Shulchan Aruch 323:7, Mechaber doesn't say anything
about the general laws of giving gifts on Shabbos. He only gives one
particular case: That if one forgot to tovel a keli before Shabbos, so
it cannot be used on Shabbos, he is allowed to give it to a non-Jew as
a gift, and then borrow it back for Shabbos use. Mishne Brura 323:34
explains: "Even though it is assur to give gifts on Shabbos as written
in Siman 306, here it is allowed because of Tzorech Shabbos."
The logic is somewhat circular, I think: 306 refers to 323, and 323
refers to 306. The only clear heter is an interesting one: On the one
hand, it is for a NON-food item (though it is food-related); on the
other hand, it seems to be a b'dieved solution for the person who
either forgot to tovel it before Shabbos, or somehow acquired it from
a non-Jew on Shabbos. I don't see any clear heter to deliberately give
a food gift on Shabbos, and I also don't see any clear prohibition
that non-foods are excluded from being "L'tzorech Shabbos".
Mishne Berurah 306:33 says that it is wrong to give "keilim" as gifts
to a chasan. Rabbi Dovid Ribiat ("The 39 Melochos", page 961) includes
"presenting a Bar Mitzvah boy with a Sefer" in this category. These
examples suggest two rules to me: (1) If the gift will not be used
until after Shabbos (quite likely for the bar mitzvah boy's sefer,
though I have no idea which "kelim" the chasan would receive), then it
is not "letzorech Shabbos". (2) The chasan (or bar mitzvah boy)
presumably gets hanaah from receiving the gift, but that amount of
Oneg Shabbos is not significant enough to count as "letzorech
I offer two specific examples for discussion:
(1) Many shuls offer printed material, such as parsha sheets, weekly
shul bulletins, and even newspapers and magazines. Or someone might
attend a shiur, where the teacher distributes printed handouts of the
source material. Can I take these home to read or learn from on
Shabbos afternoon? Wouldn't this be a Tzorech Shabbos?
(2) Suppose someone is invited to a friend for a Shabbos meal, and he
brings a challah or wine as a gift for the host. The host was not
expecting it and has other food that he was planning to use. Is this
enough of a tzorech Shabbos to transfer ownership? If this host
accepts the gift, is he required to serve the food? In other words, if
"tzorech Shabbos" is indeed a carte blanche for food gifts, does the
food have to actually be eaten?
Postscript: It seems to me that this issur of giving gifts applies
only on Shabbos, and *not* on Yom Tov. Consider: You can send a living
behema to your friend on YT, even through a Reshus Harabim, even if
you know that the friend won't shecht it, and the heter is contingent
only on the fact that the friend COULD shecht it. (MB 516:1) You can
even send a pair of tefillin to your friend even though it is not
needed at all for Yom Tov; the only requirements are that the tefillin
are ready-for-use, and that friend gets hanaa from receiving the gift
(MB 516:11-12) That whole siman seems to deal with issues of hotzaah
and muktzeh, and doesn't even mention kinyanim (at least, I didn't see
any such mention). This is very puzzling: Why would there be a
difference between giving gifts on Shabbos and on Yom Tov? If this
could be answered, it might shed light on what "L'tzorech Shabbos"
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From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2017 11:39:28 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Gilgul Hanefesh
On Tue, Nov 07, 2017 at 12:43:04PM +0200, Lisa Liel via Avodah wrote:
: As I understand it, gilgul neshamot is not the same as the eastern
: idea of reincarnation, where one person's soul literally incarnates
: again in another body and lives another life...
RSGaon says in (Emunos veDei'os 6:8
<http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/mahshevt/kapah/6b-2.htm#8> tr R' Yosef
el-Qafeh, "Kapach"; emphasis mine):
ki anashim, mimi SHENIQRA'IM YEHUDIM,
matzasim ma'aminim begilgul
veqor'in oso haha'ataqus.
I left that in Hebrew because I want to be medayeiq in lashon in a
moment. To continue, with my translation from the Hebrew:
The matter to their minds is that the ruach of Re'uvein will be
in Shim'on, and after that in Leivi, and after that in Yehudah.
And from them, or most of them figure that it could be that the ruach
of a person will be in an animal, and the ruach of an anumal in a
person. And a lot of such delusions and confusion.
And then the rest of the chapter lists their errors.
RYeQ footnotes that R' Uzziel concluded that the people who are "called
Jews" who believe such things are the Qaraim. Anan (the founder) picked
up this idea from the Greeks.
I do not know the original Arabic, but in this translation, notice
that it's possible to read RSG as being against people to take the
idea of gilgul and call it "ha'ataqus" and describe it as souls
migrating from person to person or even to animal, etc... But not
against gilgul itself. Which would support Lisa's understanding.
This read has two open questions to resolve, not that I am saying
1- RSG does use the same Arabic again at the end of the chapter (and
ma'amar) that R "Kapach" translates to "gilgul" -- "And I say: what
does this say that teaches about gilgul?..."
Perhaps it should be read: How do they think those pesuqim indicate
that gilgul means ha'ataqah -- they don't talk about gilgul altogether?
2- My bigger problem is that RSG would then be spending all this time on
a heretical misunderstanding of gilgul, without even one sentence saying,
"But what gilgul *really* means..."? It would even be an important point
of the ma'amar's discussion of souls and afterlife. This omission I find
As to how they would differ.
The kind of people who talk about gilgul also talk about Naran and
sometimes even Naran Chai -- Nefesh Ruach Neshamah, which are the
penimios aspects of the soul, and Chayah and Yechidah.
For that matter, RSG discusses Naran in the very same ma'amar (6:3
<http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/mahshevt/kapah/6-2.htm#3>) as three
kochos. To RSG, they are an indisible singularity that has three
abilities. But in more Qabbalistic sources, they are described as
parts even as the soul's unitary nature is also asserted.
If ruach and nashamah are indeed parts, then there is a huge difference
1- Gilgul nashamos: The neshamah -- and according to the Ari, even
"sparks" of a neshamah rather than a whole one -- "revolves" from one
life in one body to another.
2- Ha'ataqa: where the ruach migrates.
Neshamah is much less associated with the notion of "self" than ruach
is. E.g. "Neshamah shanasati bi, tehorah hi." The "bi -- in me" receives
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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From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2017 12:31:55 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Torah precheit?
On Wed, Nov 08, 2017 at 11:53:24AM -0500, H Lampel via Avodah wrote:
: On 11/7/2017 6:05 PM, Micha Berger wrote:
:> ... that the universe was created at some point in the nearer
:> past, eg 5778 years ago -- or Last Thursday -- and everything before that is
:> fake. ...is the position of ... R' Avigdor Miller.
: He certainly is not of the opinion of last-Thursday-ism. (I suspect RMB did not really mean that.) His opinion is based on the mesora.
I meant omphalism. Which is not based on the mesora, it's based on pashut
peshat in a pasuq. A pasuq that we don't really have much mesorah saying
actually hyas a pashut peshat, at least not one we can comprehend.
: Re: "and everything before that is fake. ...is the position of ... R'
: Avigdor Miller"
: To clarify, R' Avigdor Miller's position is not that fossils, for example,
: were planted merely as a test of our emunah.
Which is why I didn't say that.
Continuing with RZL's quote of RAM's Rejoice O Youth (pp. 47-48):
:> Why should the [dinosaurs] need explanation any more than the
:> dodo, the passenger pigeon, or any of the other species which
:> have become extinct, some even in our time? The huge
:> animals of ancient times, as well as many small animals,
:> became extinct each in the due time decreed by the timetable
:> of Heaven. ... Their existence is a fact which does
:> not help th theory of Evolution in any manner.
So he says it's simply incomprehensible.
I also gave a different explanation than "test of our emunah" -- necessary
for having a sensible and detectable teva.
My point was to defend the viability of omphalism of both RAM's and the
LR's sorts. Asking "Why would Hashem be so cruel as to create all that
to mislead, at best to test" question presumes a strawman.
: However, that Adam was created as a 30-year-old (as Chazal say), with,
: for example, a full mouth of teeth? Yes. Because:
:> "Creation means that the Universe began at once in full-blown development.
:> The First Man immediately had trees whose fruit he could eat.
:> (Ibid. pp 45-46)
See Bereishis Rabba 14:7 <http://www.sefaria.org/Bereishit_Rabbah.14.7>).
According to R Yehudah bar Shimon says that "ofer olam" was created in
his fullness. R' Elazar b Shimon says that Chava was too. R'
Yochanan says they were creates as 20 (quibble: not 30) year olds.
And then down in 14:10, R Yehudah says that Adam was made with a tail,
but it was removed for the sake of his kavod. Evolution anywone?
The month that Adam was born in is part of the greater machloqes between
R' Yehoshua and R' Eliezer about Nissan vs Tishrei (RH 11a). Meaning,
if the world was created in Tishrei, when "the earth brings forth plants
and trees full of fruit", then yes, this medrash stands. But if the world
was created in Nissan, when the plants start growing and the fruit is
emerging from the tree (as the gemara puts it), then perhaps not.
In any case, the meaning thereby ascribed to saying the world was made
in Nissan is that the universe was created at its start. Regardless of
Adam's development when born.
So I would have said "one opinion in Chazal", not "as Chazal say".
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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From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2017 13:38:37 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Gifts on Shabbos
On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 08:45:22PM -0500, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
: I am trying to get a more precise understanding of when it is
: assur/mutar to give someone a gift on Shabbos.
: The logic is somewhat circular, I think: 306 refers to 323, and 323
: refers to 306...
The Mishnah Berurah has mutual references between 306:33 and 323:34. But
I don't see the logic itself being circular. 306 spells out the theory,
and 323 is an example of that theory and at each place he shows you the
other half of the picture.
Giving gifts is assur (derabbanan) on Shabbos, except when the purpose
of the gift is letzorekh Shabbos, or another mitzvah.
Thus, it includes giving a non-toveled keli to a non-Jew so that it
can be borrowed back and used *for Shabbos*. But not a wedding gift,
which (as per R' Ribiat's bar mitzvah boy) presumably isn't needed by
the chasan on Shabbos.
And apparently claiming simchas chasan being a mitzvah isn't sufficient
to say the gift is letzorekh mitzvah. Which you note as well, although
you phrase it in terms of hana'ah and oneg Shabbos, ie lezorekh
Shabbos. Perhaps this is because there are other ways to provide simchah
or oneg, so it's not "letzorekh".
: (1) Many shuls offer printed material, such as parsha sheets, weekly
: shul bulletins, and even newspapers and magazines. Or someone might
: attend a shiur, where the teacher distributes printed handouts of the
: source material. Can I take these home to read or learn from on
: Shabbos afternoon? Wouldn't this be a Tzorech Shabbos?
I would think so. Why any less than a gift of food? In both cases,
the recipient already owns alternatives. So why would something to eat
be more letzorekh Shabbos than something to learn?
This is unlike the bar mitzvah boy recieving a sefer (acc to R' Ribiat),
in that the purpose isn't learning on Shabbos.
Implied: A guest who knows the host won't use the food (eg he recommends
waiting until the wine is chilled) shouldn't be giving even usable food.
Is this the halakhah?
Also, I found that ROY (Yechaveh Da'as 3:21) DOES allow giving the
bar mitzvah boy that seifer because it provides chizuq. And there is
no greater letzorekh mitzvah than that!
: (2) Suppose someone is invited to a friend for a Shabbos meal, and he
: brings a challah or wine as a gift for the host. The host was not
: expecting it and has other food that he was planning to use. Is this
: enough of a tzorech Shabbos to transfer ownership? ...
Or, in the SA's case... can you give the non-toveled keli to a nakhri
when you have just as good or nearly as good alternatives? That you
already had thoughts of using?
I took it for granted yes, since if not, the SA is oddly missing an
important half of the story. Which is why above I only asked about
a case where the guest gives something in a way that rules out its
use, rather than just left to the host's choice.
When I am the guest in this situation, I am zokheh lo shelo befanav and
transfer ownership on Friday. Came in handy a couple of times when the
host refused the gift. "Well, if you don't want it, you can regift it.
Because it's yours already and you aren't allowed to give it back" right
now, at least.
: Postscript: It seems to me that this issur of giving gifts applies
: only on Shabbos, and *not* on Yom Tov...
Then why "letzorekh Shabbos or YT"? When do you have something that is
letzorekh YT in particular when it's also Shabbos?
: (MB 516:1) You can
: even send a pair of tefillin to your friend even though it is not
: needed at all for Yom Tov; the only requirements are that the tefillin
: are ready-for-use, and that friend gets hanaa from receiving the gift
: (MB 516:11-12)
And the bar mitzvah boy doesn't get the same kind of hana'ah (speaking
quality, not quantity) from his uncle's gift of a set of Rambam? Now
I'm confused again.
Micha Berger "The worst thing that can happen to a
mi...@aishdas.org person is to remain asleep and untamed."
http://www.aishdas.org - Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, Alter of Kelm
Fax: (270) 514-1507
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From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2017 13:48:32 -0500
Subject: Re: [Avodah] Torah precheit
On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 01:05:02PM +0100, Arie Folger via Avodah wrote:
: Bottom line, there very well may exist intelligent aliens out there, but we
: are near 100% sure that we will never ever be able to meet them.
: Which leads me to the following observation: If there are aliens out there
: which we will one day meet, then we could not accept their *competing*
: Revelation. There is only one 'am hanivchar...
Who said that "nivchar mibein ha'amim" means anything beyond benei Adam,
amim as caused by Migdal Bavel?
Perhaps their revelation isn't so much competing as the RBSO providing
them a chance at redemption before Yom Hashem haGadol vehanora, or at
least before whenever it is we get there?
: them as a special kind of Noachides with a possible true revelation that
: is, however, subordinate to ours and can never contradict it.
This is itself the question I was trying to keep under discussion. Could
we even recognize a contradiction? After all, the appearance of Retzon
haBorei to creatures very different than us isn't likely to have many
points where we can contradict.
Assuming they are ethical monotheists, that is.
Micha Berger It's never too late
mi...@aishdas.org to become the person
http://www.aishdas.org you might have been.
Fax: (270) 514-1507 - George Eliot
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From: Rabbi Meir G. Rabi
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:11:31 +1100
Subject: [Avodah] How Much Salt for Kashering?
Kosher meat must have all traces of blood removed. This procedure is known
as 'Kashering' and requires very precise procedures and timing of rinsing,
soaking, salting and finally removal of the salt and blood via rinsing and
Halachah provides no precise measure of salt to be used for Kashering and
although insisting that all surfaces must be covered with salt, does not
differentiate between small and large surface area to volume ratios, i.e.
thick or thin pieces of meat. In other words a large circular hunk of meat
[small ratio of surface area to volume] requires the identical amount of
surface salt and time for Kashering as does a thin piece [large ratio of
surface area to volume] Furthermore, a 20cm thick piece of meat will be
Kashered when salted on both sides, meaning the salt will extract blood
from a depth of 10 cm, but a 4cm thick piece of meat salted only on one
side will not be Kosher. It seems like the process has been standardised to
accommodate all cases. Nevertheless, although Halachah permits various
shortcuts when Kashering for emergency situations, it does not advise
Kashering thin slices to reduce preparation time.
Meat that was cooked before it was Kashered will make everything in the pot
it is cooked with non-Kosher. Halacha asserts there is as much blood in the
piece of meat as the mass of meat. If however, there is enough Kosher food
in the pot to render the blood insignificant, the food will be Kosher.
Halachah requires 60 units of Kosher food to neutralise every unit of blood
[1 gram of blood requires 60 grams of Kosher food] In other words, a 100
gram piece of meat will require 6kg to neutralise the blood.
However, meat that was cooked after Kashering but before the blood and salt
was washed off, requires only 60 times the salt and blood on the surface of
the meat i.e. soaked into the salt. The blood that was in the meat has been
removed by the salting.
Some authorities [a note in the ShaArei Dura] assert that every piece of
meat is itself large enough to neutralise the salt whilst others [the Rama
69:9] assert it provides only half the mass required.
????? ??"? - ??? ????? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ?????? ???? ??? ???? ???? ????
??? ??? ??? ???? ?? ??? ?? ?? ???? ????? ??? ??? ????? ?? ??? ?? ??? ?????
????? ???? ??? ????? ??? ??? ?? ???? ???? ?? ??? ????
The Rama however disagrees with the ratio - "there can be no question that
if the pot contains as much as the mass of the meat, it is certainly more
than 60 times the salt ...." See Shach that BeDiAvad, we may rely upon the
lenient opinion particularly if it is a thick piece.
????? ???? ??????????? ?''? ?????? ?????????? ??????????? ????? ??????,
?????? ??????, ?????????? ?????? ????????? ????? ???????? ?????? ??????????
????????????? ???????? ?????????? ???? ?????????? ????? ???????? ?????????,
(????????? ?????? ?''? ?''?
To the best of my knowledge, this is the only source that provides an
empiric measurement of how much salt is to be used for Kashering.
Keep in mind that since this is a general ruling it must encompass all
cases, the guidelines must reflect the maximum amount of salt that would be
applied and that would remain until the meat is ready for its final
washdown. In the words of the Rama, "there can be no question that if the
pot contains as much as the mass of the meat, it is certainly more than 60
times the salt ...."
The Halacha must provide the maximum safety margin and must therefore
assume that the maximum amount of salt was applied and remains on the meat
when it is added to the pot. Further, the Halacha must accommodate the
largest surface area to meat ratio [ChAdam 32:4] and the heaviest salting
hand. In other words, every possible variant that increases the amount of
salt used is turned up to the max - and in this worst possible case
scenario, we can be certain that the salt is no more than one thirtieth of
the mass of the meat. In other words, an average sized steak, 300 - 400
gms, requires no more than 2 teaspoonfuls of salt for Kashering.
Another thing that is certain - all Kosher agencies apply far more salt for
Kashering than one thirtieth. Does it make a difference? Well, these days,
the cost of disposing of contaminants is rising dramatically and salt is
deemed a nasty contaminant and is becoming more expensive to dispose. It
already adds a significant cost to production.
Meir G. Rabi
0423 207 837
+61 423 207 837
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