Avodah Mailing List

Volume 36: Number 59

Mon, 14 May 2018

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Zev Sero
Date: Thu, 10 May 2018 12:28:29 -0400
Re: [Avodah] melucha

On 10/05/18 10:51, David Riceman via Avodah wrote:
> Me:
>>> Are there other examples of "rosh" meaning subordinate? It's a surprising usage.
> RZS:
>> Certainly in more recent usage it's not at all surprising; in every
>> Jewish community the Rosh Hakahal was the layman who did the work, not
>> the rav who guided him.
> No.  The kehilla had the authority, not the rav.  The rav was an expert
> on halacha and (in smaller kehillot) the town judge, but the kehilla voted
> on policy, with each household having some share of the vote.

But if the rav paskened that they were wrong they had to obey him.

>> But at
>> any rate there can't be any doubt that R Akiva is referring to the
>> full-time administrators, because his whole point is that if they're to
>> do their job properly they can't be learning all day.

> The claim that ?da'as Torah? is derived from din melech is precisely the
> claim that learning Torah all day does produce authoritative expertise in other fields. 

And indeed it does; how do you see a contradiction from R Akiva?  He 
didn't say TCh don't have the knowledge to run the town, but that they 
don't have the time.

> Incidentally, it also raises a question: why is there a melech at
> all, shouldn?t the leader of the Sanhedrin be more qualified for his
> role?

Same story: He is qualified, but he has no time, so he will neglect the 
work and the town will suffer.  That's why we need and have askanim to 
run things, but they have to know that they are not in charge but must 
defer to the chachamim.  Note that not even the biggest haredi calls for 
the gedolei hatorah to sit in the knesset themselves, let alone to be 
mayors and city councillors.

Zev Sero            A prosperous and healthy 2018 to all
z...@sero.name       Seek Jerusalem's peace; may all who love you prosper

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Message: 2
From: David Riceman
Date: Thu, 10 May 2018 15:43:38 -0400
Re: [Avodah] melucha


> The claim of this version of DT is that just as today's rabbanim took
> over WRT pesaq, they also inherited the role of filling in for melekh.

The melech?s commands are binding, and he has an obligation to give
commands as needed.  Hence this opinion implies that Rabbis should be telling us
what to do in non-halachic contexts, and we should do as they say.

I already raised the objection of R Akiva?s advice to his son; RZS?s response is
conceptually clean, but (a) it doesn?t fit the words of the text, and (b) according to
you it is internally contradictory - - if the rabbis who run the city have a din melech
how can they be supervised by others?

There?s also the sugya of b'nei ha'ir kofin zeh et zeh ?.  Naively the authority of the
kehilla comes from din melech, but then why b'nei ha'ir, why not the town rabbi?

David Riceman

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Message: 3
From: Saul Guberman
Date: Thu, 10 May 2018 14:51:40 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The Real Shiurim -- They're Smaller Than You

On Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 12:55 PM, Micha Berger via Avodah <
avo...@lists.aishdas.org> wrote:

> RMWillig has a kezayis of 22.5cc, and writes that Middos veShiurei
> haTorah pg 277 reports matzah has half the weight of an equivalent
> volume of water. So, RMW says a kezayi matzah weighs 11.25gm. (1cc of
> water weighs 1gm, by definition. So, the weight of 2cc of matzah is 1gm.)
> We buy matzah by the pound, so you can estimate a kazayis pretty
> accurately if you know how many matzos are in a 1lb box. (2lb boxes,
> divide by 2, naturally.) There are 40.3 or so kezeisim in a pound.
> matzos / lb  ->  kezayis matzah
>  6  ->  2/13 of a matzah
>  7  ->  1/6
>  8  ->  1/5
>  9  ->  2/9
> 10  ->  1/4
> :-)BBii!
> -Micha

I wish I had remembered to use this at the seder.   My rabbi tells me that
he got an electric scale this year and had the grandkids make shiurim bags
for the sedorim on erev pesach.  Has the benefit of having something for
the kids to do and moves the seder along.
When I mentioned to my Rabbi that I was looking into smaller shiurim,that
are smaller than the plastic sheet that is so popular, he was not
interested in continuing the conversation.  My daughter informed me that
one of her seminary Rabbonim wrote a sefer on measurements and his are even
smaller than RMW. Here is a link. http://margolin.ravpage.co.il/kzayitbook
It seems to me that everyone is making assumptions and leaps somewhere in
the base of their calculation.

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Message: 4
From: Ben Waxman
Date: Fri, 11 May 2018 06:13:50 +0200
Re: [Avodah] melucha

IIRC the Ramban writes that David took a census because he made a 
mistake, he thought that the issur didn't apply anymore. I found that 
Ramban to be shocking. How is it that no one, no rav, no navi, came to 
David and said "No, you can't do that"?? Answer - David never bothered 
to ask and no one had the job of being his poseik.

Similarly, there are certain acts that the chachamim praised Hezkiyahu 
for doing and others that they disagreed with him. I read that as 
meaning "after he made the decisions, the rabbanim weighed in".

I don't get the feeling from any navi that they stood by the sides of 
the kings and told them "yes you? can do this, no, you can't do that". 
They only weighed in when society or the melucha was totally out of 
sync. or when they were specifically consulted or when God told them "Go 
to the king".

I admit that there is an incredible tension between even the good kings, 
the ones trying to rule according to the Torah, and the prophets (forget 
the evil kings). The former? were not able to live up to the 
expectations of the latter.

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Fri, 11 May 2018 06:50:19 -0400
Re: [Avodah] melucha

On Thu, May 10, 2018 at 03:43:38PM -0400, David Riceman via Avodah wrote:
: RMB:
: > The claim of this version of DT is that just as today's rabbanim took
: > over WRT pesaq, they also inherited the role of filling in for melekh.
: The melech?s commands are binding, and he has an obligation to give
: commands as needed.  Hence this opinion implies that Rabbis should be telling us
: what to do in non-halachic contexts, and we should do as they say.

Not "implies", we are talking about R Dovid [haLevi] Cohen's explanation
of Da'as Torah -- it's the thesis he is trying to justify!

However, unlike some other versions of DT, it only speaks of rabbis as
communal leadership. Not as advisors on personal matters (whose open
questions are not halachic in nature).

It has this in common with [pre-Mizrachi] RYBS's version of DT, "hatzitz

: I already raised the objection of R Akiva's advice to his son...

There is also the historical precedent of the leadership of the Vaad
Dalet Aratzos. There is no record of rabbinic leadership on civil
issues. They dealt with halachic matters, eg shochetim, batei din,
a law to require haskamos on all published sefarim...


Micha Berger             Today is the 41st day, which is
mi...@aishdas.org        5 weeks and 6 days in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org   Yesod sheb'Yesod: What is the ultimate measure
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     of self-control and reliability?

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Message: 6
From: Ben Waxman
Date: Fri, 11 May 2018 06:02:00 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Minhagim

The article is one chapter from an entire book. You walked into the 
middle of a movie, that's all.


On 5/10/2018 2:57 PM, Prof. Levine via Avodah wrote:
> In my opinion,? this article contains a lot of "fluff" and not much 
> substance.? What came to mind after reading it was "Much ado about 
> nothing."

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Message: 7
From: Isaac Balbin
Date: Fri, 11 May 2018 14:23:47 +1000
[Avodah] Meat in the Midbar and Korbon Shelamim

R' Eli Turkel asked:

During most of the years in the desert there were only 3 cohanim. However,
> from most sacrifices a portion is given to a cohen. This is most difficult
> for shelamim. During the years in the desert anyone who wanted to eat meat
> had to bring the animal as a sacrifice of which a portion was given to the
> cohen. How could 3 cohanim eat all these portions from 600,000+ families of
> whom if only a tiny fraction ate meat (in addition to the man) would result
> in hundreds

I suggest looking at the Sefer Hamitzvos of the Rambam, Mitzvah Lamed Daled
where he describes that though the Mitzvah of was on the Cohanim to carry
the Aron on their shoulders (Naso 7), the command was fulfilled by the
Leviim, because there weren't enough Cohanim, however, in the future it
would only be done by Cohanim.

[The Ramban in the 3rd Shoresh there isn't happy with this]
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Message: 8
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Fri, 11 May 2018 08:40:10 +0000
[Avodah] Shiluach Hakein, Performance of

From yesterday's OU Halacha Yomis

Q. How is the mitzvah of Shiluach Hakein performed?

A. Before sending away the mother, one should have the intent to fulfill a
mitzvah. There is a difference of opinion as to how one should send away
the mother. According to the Rambam (Hilchos Shechita 13:5), one should
grab the mother bird by the wings and send her away. Though the Torah
prohibits capturing the mother-bird when she sits on the nest, when the
intention of grabbing the mother is to send her away, this is not
considered an act of capturing. However, Shulchan Aruch (YD 292:4) rules in
accordance with the Rosh and the Tur that one need not grab the mother
bird. Rather, one may use a stick or the back of one?s hand to send away
the mother. According to these Rishonim, the important factor is not that
you grab the mother but that you cause her to fly away. The Binyan Tziyon
(Chadashos 14) writes that some Rishonim disagree with the Rambam on two
points. They maintain that if one grabs the mother and sends her away, a)
the mitzvah is not fulfilled, and b) one transg
 resses t
 he prohibition of taking the mother-bird (even though the intent is to
 send the bird away). It is therefore best to use a stick or, as Rav
 Belsky, zt?l advised, to push the mother bird off the nest with an open
 hand, the palm facing upwards so that the mother bird is not accidentally
 caught. Once the mother bird is chased away, one should pick up the eggs
 or chicks and take possession of them.

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Message: 9
From: Eli Turkel
Date: Fri, 11 May 2018 12:25:19 +0300
[Avodah] Rashbi

Instead of answering Zev's questions directly let me try and describe how I
see the events.
I fully admit that the sources of dates for Taananim seem very sparse and I
welcome any more information

From the chabad site
R Yochanan be Zakai dies in 74
The Sanhedrin under Rabban Gamliel moved about 86
Bat Kochba Rebbelion ended in 133
R Akiva put in prison 134
Mishna completed 189


others) lived for 120 years
as an exaggeration. Typical dates given are 50-135.
This also implies that magic split into 3 sections of 40 years each is also
an exaggeration
This would give his learning under Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua as
after the death of R Yochanan ben zakai about the year 75 when he would be
25 years old

I again stress that all dates are speculation.

It seems unlikely that R Akiva would have 24000 students when so many older
teachers were around. Hence, extremely unlikely that this happened while
the yeshiva was in Yavne under Rabban Gamliel.

The one date I saw for the death of Rashbi was 150.
What seems to be clear is that Rebbe compiled the Mishna after the death of
all 5  talmidim of R Akiva (of course we know that the compilation was done
over a period of time beginning at least with R. Meir and probably R. Akiva
and earlier).
Pushing off the death of R. Akiva decades later would give little time for
the activities of his talmildim after his death before the time of Rebbe
who is the next generation.

One date I have seen for Rebbe is 135-220 (again approximately)
R Sherira Gaon lists the year 219 as the year Rav moved to Bavel

The gemara (Kiddushin 72b) states that Rebbe was born when R Akiva died
which gives
the birth of Rebba as about 135 assuming he died as part of the Bar Kochba
revolt (which the Chabad site seems to also assume)
As an aside the dates of Rebbe would seem to be connected with the debate
over who was Antoninus
see Hebrew Wikipedia on Reeb Yehuda HaNasi

This post started with my claim that Rashbi was a student in Yavneh years
before the plague that kille3d the 24000 students and so he became a
student of R Akiva later in life. I note that the other talmidim also had
other teachers. Thus, the gemara notes that R Meir also learned with R.
Yishmael and certainly with R. Elisha ben Avuyah though R. Akivah was his
main teacher
'The students were given semicha by R Yehudah be Buba

R Benny Lau claims that R. Yehuda bar Ilai was mainly a talmid of his
father and R Tarfon and only secondary by R. Akiva. R Yisi ben Chalfta also
learned mainly from his father and then R. Yochanan ben Nuri both of whom
stressed the traditions if the Galil. We have no statements of R. Elazar
ben Shanua in the name of R. Akiva.
R Benny Lau concludes that the two "talmidim muvhakim" of R. Akiva are R.
Meir and Rashbi but both of these also had other teachers besides R. Akiva.
Hence, we cannot take the story literally that R. Akiva went to the south
and found 5 youngsters who became his students. Rather all 5 were already
serious talmidei chachamim before R. Akiva.
In addition even later many kept up relations with R. Yishmael

Eli Turkel
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