Avodah Mailing List

Volume 36: Number 71

Mon, 18 Jun 2018

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Yisrael Herczeg
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2018 14:15:11 +0300
[Avodah] Subject: Re: Eretz Yisroel, Zionism, and Medinas

On Thu, Jun 14, 2018 at 09:47:54AM -0400, Prof. Levine via Avodah wrote:
: Many years ago I asked Rabbi Dovid Kronglass, ZT"L, who was the
: Mashgiach of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel for many years, about moving to
: Eretz Yisroel...

: The land of Israel has a special Kedushah (holiness). Therefore, if one
: does a mitzvah there, one gets more reward than if one does the exact
: same mitzvah here. However, if one does something wrong, G-D forbid,
: in Israel, it is much worse than if one commits the same wrong deed
: here. "You just don't go to Israel," he told me. "You have to be on the
: right spiritual level before you go."

::This idea is also in Vayo'el Moshe.

It is also in the Tashbetz Kattan.

Yisrael Herczeg
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20180618/9283e90a/attachment-0001.html>

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2018 13:53:11 +0000
[Avodah] Is One Required To Live In Israel? (Bava Batra 91a)

From https://goo.gl/NKZ2eR	by Raphael
Grunfeld.   (Note: Raphael Grunfeld is a son of Dayan Dr. Grunfeld who
translated the Horeb and other works by RSRH from German into English.)

First, it is not universally accepted that there is a biblical obligation
to live in Israel. Rashi?s commentary on the Torah as understood by the
Ramban implies that there is no obligation to live in Israel. Rabbeinu
Chaim, one of the Tosafists of the twelfth century, states clearly that
following the destruction of the Second Temple and the exile from Israel,
there is no longer any requirement to live in Israel. The Rambam agrees
with Rabbeinu Chaim and accordingly did not include living in Israel in his
list of the positive commandments.

In more contemporary times, the Rebbe of Munkatch, in his responsa Minchat
Eliezer, endorses Rabbeinu Chaim?s position. The Rebbe of Satmar, Rabbi
Joel Teitelbaum, points out that the Shulchan Aruch does not include the
mitzvah of living in Israel in its code of law.

The majority opinion prevailing in the halacha, however, follows the Ramban and maintains that there is a biblical obligation to live in Israel today.


Although it is preferable to live in Israel, there is no obligation to go.
However, once you live in Israel, there is an obligation not to leave. In
fact, the language used by the Ramban in his supplement to Sefer Hamitzvot
is that ?anyone who leaves Israel? ? ?kol hayotze mimenah? ? is like an
idol worshiper.

See the above URL for much more.


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20180618/8ce8e9a9/attachment-0001.html>

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2018 07:56:14 -0400
[Avodah] When Shabbos is Motzaei Rosh Chodesh

In just a few weeks, we will observe Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av. This
particular Rosh Chodesh is always only one day long, and this year it
happens to fall on Erev Shabbos. This means that when Shabbos occurs, Rosh
Chodesh will be over. I want to discuss the ramifications of a person who
begins Shabbos early in this situation.

Let's consider someone who begins Shabbos early, and arrives home and
begins his seudah before sunset. He will probably eat the bulk of his meal
before shkia or tzeis, perhaps even the *entire* meal. (I know that there
are poskim who advise one to eat a kezayis of bread after tzeis, but they
don't require it.) In my experience, mealtime goes much quicker when there
are fewer people at the table. This past Friday, for example, I went to a
very nice minyan, beginning Kabalas Shabbos and Maariv shortly after Plag,
I took a leisurely stroll home, and despite our best efforts at taking our
time through the meal, my wife and I were still ready for Birkas Hamazon a
full five minutes before shkiah.

In such a situation, what additions does one add to Birkas Hamazon? On a
regular Shabbos, of course one would include Retzeh. But when straddling
Rosh Chodesh and Shabbos, would one say Retzeh or Yaaleh V'yavo or both?

I don't recall ever learning about this particular situation. There is an
analogous but very different situation that I *have* seen discussed, namely
that of a Seuda Shlishit that begins on Shabbos Erev Rosh Chodesh, and
continues into Rosh Chodesh Motzaei Shabbos. In that case, the poskim give
a wide variety of answers, but (among the poskim who *don't* pasken to say
both) it is not always clear whether their rule is to base oneself on the
beginning of the meal, or the end of the meal, or the holier of the two
days. Further, some of them make a distinction, paskening differently for
one who is merely benching after tzeis but didn't actually eat after tzeis,
as opposed to one who actually ate [food in general or perhaps bread
specifically] after tzeis.

All that is a good starting point for my situation, but it is only a
starting point. A tremendous difference between the two cases is that in
the more common case, the calendar day DID change during the meal, to some
extent or another. But in the case that I'm asking about, the calendar day
did not actually change, only that the people involved are doing the
mitzvah of Tosefes Shabbos. To be more explicit: Imagine a couple that goes
to an early minyan on Erev Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Av. They daven Maariv, make
Kiddush, and say Birkas Hamazon, all before shkiah. Then, after benching
but still before shkiah, imagine that the wife gives birth to a boy. This
boy will have his bris milah a week later on *Erev* Shabbos, and his bar
mitzvah will be on Rosh Chodesh. Is it possible that his parents should
have omitted Yaaleh V'Yavo from Birkas Hamazon?

Of course, I understand that the answer may depend on details like whether
or not the meal continued after shika, or even past tzeis. But I am most
curious about the simple case, where benching was before shkiah. And the
other cases will perhaps flow from that one.

Any and all sources are appreciated. Thanks in advance. (Disclosure: I have
other questions about the calendar and a person who begins Shabbos early,
but I'm starting with this one, and perhaps I'll open new threads later
about the others.)

Akiva Miller
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20180618/b412bae7/attachment-0001.html>

Go to top.

Message: 4
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2018 13:10:57 +0000
[Avodah] What to do with old pots

From today's OU Kosher Halacha Yomis

Q. I found an old set of pots in my parents' basement. They have not been
used in many years. No one remembers if they were milchig or fleishig. I
would like to use them for milchig. May they be kashered and used for

A. Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Commentary on Nidah 27a) writes the pots may be
designated for meat or dairy without kashering. The pots have not been used
in more than 24 hours. After 24 hours any taste that was absorbed in the
pot becomes foul, and on a Torah level the pot can be used for meat or
dairy without kashering. Nevertheless, there remains a Rabbinic obligation
to kasher pots even after 24 hours have elapsed. However, in this case, we
may apply the principal of ?safek d?rabbanan l?kula? (in cases of doubt
that pertain to a Rabbinic prohibition one may be lenient). Additionally,
Igros Moshe (Y.D. II:46) writes that if a utensil is not used for more than
a year, there is an opinion that holds that it does not need kashering.
Although we don?t follow this opinion, it can act as an additional
mitigating factor. However, since one can avoid the doubt by kashering the
pot, it is proper to do so. Although the Magen Avrohom (OC 509:11) writes
that the custom is not to permit kasheri
 ng a fle
 ishig pot to use it for milchig, in this case kashering is acceptable since it is only a chumra (extra stringency).

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20180618/8a58debf/attachment-0001.html>

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: Cantor Wolberg
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2018 07:30:24 -0400
[Avodah] B'li Neder

Question - is the reward that one receives for doing the stringency
greater if one takes it on as a requirement vs. saying bli neder?

As I recall, somewhere in Pirkei Avos it says that we don?t know the exact 
reward or punishment for mitzvos or aveiros. That?s only known by HQBH.
However, I also remember learning it is more praiseworthy to do a mitzvah
that you?ve taken on versus doing it optionally, though it seems counterintuitive.

Go to top.

Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2018 10:50:20 -0400
[Avodah] Learning, Spirituality, and Neo-Chassidus

On Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 1:14pm, R Aryeh Stein wrote on Areivim:
> Rabbi Shafran's letter to Mishpacha included the following paragraph:
>> It's easy to say that a person has a relationship with Hashem wherever
>> he is, regardless of what he is doing, but it's not true. Many of us break
>> that connection through destructive habits and the like, and sugarcoating
>> them doesn't make them any less destructive. "Feeling spiritual" may
>> be better than feeling bad about yourself, as quoted in the article,
>> but are we to be content with feeling spiritual?

I think the real problem with R' Avi Shafran's article was picked up in
the replies. It's not an either-or. Rather, people whose core learning
is the regular gefe"s or shas-and-posqim aren't getting inspired by
intellectual pursuit *alone* and are looking for a better connection to
the emotional and experiential aspects of Yahadus. Addition, not

The question is more:
Are we content with thinking the right thoughts while being parched

> Rabbi Moshe Weinberger was  very  disturbed by this paragraph in which
> Rabbi Shafran seems to state that one's relationship with God can be
> severed if one engages in destructive behavior.

> He didn't discuss this specific point in his response to Rabbi Shafran
> that was printed in Mishpacha, but he dedicated two shiurim to
> demonstrate that Hashem's love for every Jew is eternal and
> unconditional (see links to shiurim below)

At 03:59:40PM -0400, Zev Sero via Areivim wrote:
: To Hashem's love may be unconditional, but the direct connection a
: person has with Him can certainly be severed; that is what kares
: means.  See Igeres Hateshuvah ch 5-6:
: https://tinyurl.com/y9hckn5t
: https://tinyurl.com/y6wtghxf

But on another level, I don't think a person or even an object can be
fully severed from the Borei, because withough Or Ein Sof, there is no
such thing as existing.

This fits kareis as per the Rambam, that the onesh after misah is ceasing
to exist. (Except that we would have to translate the Baal haTanya's "Or
Ein Sof" language into the Rambam's chain of sikhliim.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Education is not the filling of a bucket,
mi...@aishdas.org        but the lighting of a fire.
http://www.aishdas.org                - W.B. Yeats
Fax: (270) 514-1507

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:14:54 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Toen in Shulchan Aruch

On Sun, Jun 17, 2018 at 09:49:29PM -0400, Henry Topas via Avodah wrote:
: Can someone point me to the proper source for the role of a toen in
: a din Torah pls?

: Also any source for when did the role of a toen become common practice.

A to'ein is a plaintiff. Could you ever have a din Torah in CM without
a to'ein and nit'an?

Ah, just googled. I take it you mean a to'ein rabbani, a modern Israeli
coinage in order to avoid calling someone an oreikh din, since the
job was defined in a way so as to avoid violating "al ta'as atzmekha
ke'orkhei hadayanim" (Avos 1:8).

The Yerushalmi, Kesuvos 4:10 and BB 9:4 (same quote; both gemaros are
short and it's easy to find the quote), says the issur in the mishnah
is telling only one side the law when they're still trying to phrase
their claim. See also Kesuvos 52b and the Ritva d"h "asinu".

So, while I don't have a maqor for when it became normal to have to'anim
rabbaniim, I would think the place to look is the earliest shu"t that
explain how they're not orkhei din.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             When memories exceed dreams,
mi...@aishdas.org        The end is near.
http://www.aishdas.org                   - Rav Moshe Sherer
Fax: (270) 514-1507

Go to top.

Message: 8
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:48:48 -0400
Re: [Avodah] B'li Neder

On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 07:30:24AM -0400, Cantor Wolberg via Avodah wrote:
: As I recall, somewhere in Pirkei Avos it says that we don't know the exact 
: reward or punishment for mitzvos or aveiros. That's only known by HQBH.
: However, I also remember learning it is more praiseworthy to do a mitzvah
: that you've taken on versus doing it optionally, though it seems counterintuitive.

To do a mitzvah Hashem obligated you in, yes. But one you've taken
on yourself? I don't know.

As for untuitiveness, see my 9/8/2001 post at
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol07/v07n098.shtml#09>. But it ties
together why Hashem would command men in something He didn't command
women to that mitzvah likely being of more value to a man, to the
greater reward. A line of reasoning that doesn't apply to volunteerism.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Spirituality is like a bird: if you tighten
mi...@aishdas.org        your grip on it, it chokes; slacken your grip,
http://www.aishdas.org   and it flies away.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

Go to top.

Message: 9
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:57:54 -0400
[Avodah] Chizkiyahu's Reforms

See "Hezekiahs Religious Reform -- In the Bible and Archaeology" on the
Biblical Archeology Society web site at <http://bit.ly/2t6C43s>.

Here is Mosaic Magazine's teaser. I noted how similar this was to Chazal's
portrayal of Chizqiyahu haMelekh's success and failue, in that the
archeological evidence is of destroying the AZ in public, but failed to
get rid of everything hidden in private homes.

    A large 9th-century horned altar was discovered [in Beersheba] --
    already dismantled. Three of its four "horns" [rectangular projections
    on the four corners of the top of the altar] were found intact,
    embedded in a wall. Their secondary use indicates that the stones
    were no longer considered sacred. The horned altar was dismantled
    during Hezekiah's reign, which we know because some of its stones
    were reused in a public storehouse that was built when the Assyrians
    threatened Judah and was destroyed by the Assyrian army in 701....

    Next we move to Lachish. The second most important city in Judah
    after Jerusalem, Lachish was a military and administrative center
    in the Judean hills.... In 2016, an 8th-century BCE cultic place
    at Lachish was uncovered next to the main city gate. Archaeologists
    have called this cultic place a "gate-shrine." In it were found two
    small horned altars, whose horns had been cut off and embedded in an
    adjacent wall. Further, a square toilet was found installed in the
    shrine but was never used. The toilet was more of a symbolic act of
    desecration (see 2Kings 10:27) -- part of Hezekiah's cultic reforms.

    The best candidate for the elimination [of these cultic sites and
    others] is King Hezekiah, who probably ordered the abolition of
    all official cultic sites. Only the Jerusalem Temple and small,
    household shrines were spared.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Life isn't about finding yourself.
mi...@aishdas.org        Life is about creating yourself.
http://www.aishdas.org            - George Bernard Shaw
Fax: (270) 514-1507

Go to top.

Message: 10
From: Ben Waxman
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2018 21:50:21 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Chizkiyahu's Reforms

Makes me wonder why exactly was Hezqiyahu eligible to be Moshiach, had 
he been able to sing Shira. His failure to bring about real reform, the 
disaster that Ashur brought to Eretz Yisrael, his split with Yeshiyahu - 
how does this add up to someone who should have been Moshiach? Compared 
to these issues, his inability to sing Shira in the face of disaster was 
the minor problem, no?

On 6/18/2018 5:57 PM, Micha Berger via Avodah wrote:
> Here is Mosaic Magazine's teaser. I noted how similar this was to Chazal's
> portrayal of Chizqiyahu haMelekh's success and failue, in that the
> archeological evidence is of destroying the AZ in public, but failed to
> get rid of everything hidden in private homes.

Go to top.

Message: 11
From: Cantor Wolberg
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2018 15:13:52 -0400
[Avodah] Chukas

1) Four Torah laws cannot be explained by human reason but, being divine,
demand implicit obedience: a) to marry one's brother's widow (Deut. 25:5);
b) not to mingle wool and linen in a garment (Deut. 22:11); c) to perform
the rites of the scapegoat (Lev. 16:26, 34); and d) the red cow.  Satan
comes and criticizes these statutes as irrational. Know therefore that it
was the Creator of the world, the One and Only, who instituted them.  
Midrash (Numbers Rabbah 19:8).
2) [Ch.19:1]  "Hashem spoke to Moses and to Aaron saying:"  Symbolically
the cow came to atone for the sin of the Golden Calf, as if to say let the
mother come and clean up the mess left by her child. If this be the case,
this explains why the commandment was directed to Aaron, the one who made
the calf.
3) [19:2]  "Zot chukat ha-Torah...." This is the statute (also translated
as "ritual law," or "decree") of the Torah......"  This unusual expression
occurs only once more in Bamidbar 31:21. The rabbis have commented that it
should have said ?Zot chukat ha parah.? Why does it sound as if this chok
is the whole Torah? There are several explanations such as only Jews can be
ritually impure. A non-Jew cannot have tum?ah. Also, since a chok is
incomprehensible, it is as if you have observed the whole Torah if you
follow an irrational, illogical commandment.
4) The Midrash to this chapter focuses primarily on one paradox in the laws
of the Red Cow: Its ashes purify people who had become contaminated; yet
those who engage in its preparation become contaminated. I thought of a
contemporary example of something that would appear just as paradoxical. 
Radiation treatment is used to treat many forms of cancer, and yet, the
same radiation can cause cancer. For someone who has no knowledge of
medicine, this would appear as irrational as the paradox of the Red Cow. In
a similar vein, the Midrash notes a number of such paradoxical cases of
righteous people who descended from wicked parents, such as Abraham from
Terach, Hezekiah from Ahaz, and Josiah from Ammon. The Talmud adds the
paradox that it is forbidden to drink blood, but an infant nurses from its
mother, whose blood is transformed into milk to become the source of life
(Niddah 9a).	

You won?t go broke if you follow the chok. But if you don?t keep trying, you?ll end up dying.



-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20180618/7ed512c8/attachment.html>


Avodah mailing list



Send Avodah mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Avodah digest..."

A list of common acronyms is available at
(They are also visible in the web archive copy of each digest.)

< Previous Next >