Avodah Mailing List

Volume 37: Number 10

Sat, 09 Feb 2019

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2019 15:20:55 +0000

From today's Hakhel email bulletin

PRACTICAL PROBLEMS OF MEZONOS BREAD: The following exceptional excerpt is
from the outstanding work The Laws of Brachos (Artscroll) by Rabbi Binyomin
Forst, Shlita:

Practical problems of ?mezonos? bread?:

A.  Franks, falafel and sandwiches: One who eats a filling meal of
?frank-on-roll,? falafel or salami sandwich, regardless of the fact that
the breads are kneaded with apple juice, is required by Torah law to recite
Birkas Hamazon. Consequently, one who treats ?mezonos bread? as cake often
neglects a positive commandment of the Torah. The responsibility for this
transgression is shared with the proprietors of the restaurants, since they
serve these foods to a public often unaware of these halachic problems?.

B. ?Mezonos challos?: Some caterers even serve ?mezonos challos? at wedding
banquets to save their guests the ?inconvenience? of al netilas yadayim and
Birkas Hamazon. This practice is regrettable since the guests are
encouraged to neglect their requirement of Birkas Hamazon. These challos
are eaten before or during the meal in the place of normal challos, and are
thus considered as pas ha?ba b?kisnin eaten together with other foods,
which effects a k?vias seudah. However, one who eats cake or cookies for
dessert need not be concerned with this problem. The cake is not eaten as
part of the meal and does not combine with the other foods to effect a
k?vias seudah (unless one eats a considerable amount of cake, in which case
the cake alone may constitute a k?vias seudah).

C.  Airline meals: Airlines usually serve packaged kosher meals. These
meals are commonly accompanied with a roll or bun marked ?mezonos.? This
practice is misleading and improper. Although the bun by itself may require
only a mezonos (which is by no means certain), the fact that the bun is
eaten with the other foods as a meal gives it a status of k?vias seudah.
One must certainly wash, recite al netilas yadayim and hamotzi. One may eat
the meal without the bun, recite a bracha achrona and eat the bun as a
snack later during the course of the flight. In this case, one may perhaps
rely on opinions which hold that one may recite mezonos on a roll of this
type even if the taste of the fruit juice is not noticeable.

Hakhel Note: Every person is faced with the challenge of Mezonos bread in
various contexts--and must realize that there is no one to fool. Rather, he
should consult with his Rav or Posek as to the appropriate conduct in the
various circumstances with which he is presented.

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Message: 2
From: Zev Sero
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2019 14:50:46 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Defrocking a Rabbi

See also the case of the author of Shut Binyamin Z'ev.


[or http://bit.ly/2MQImNp -micha]

Zev Sero            A prosperous and healthy 5779 to all
z...@sero.name       Seek Jerusalem's peace; may all who love you prosper

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2019 15:50:37 -0500
[Avodah] Announcement: New Book -- Widen Your Tent

We so often study a book and simply skip its introduction. And yet,
introductions are often where authors lay out their view of the world,
the grand big picture they see the work fitting into.

In the introduction of his magnum opus, Shaarei Yosher, Rav Shimon Shkop
outlines his view of the purpose of Judaism, our lives, the nature of
holiness, and what it means to be a good person and in the image of G-d.

His vision is one that speaks to us today:

"Blessed shall be the Creator, and exalted shall be the Maker, Who
created us in His 'Image' and in the likeness of His 'Structure', and
planted eternal life within us, so that our greatest desire should be to
benefit others, to individuals and to the masses, now and in the future
in imitation of the Creator (so to speak)."

In this new book, I use Rav Shimon Shkop's teachings as a guide to
provide direction and give meaning to our own lives.

Available from Feldheim Books or Amazon.com.


We now return you to our regular Avodah programming.

Chodesh Tov!

Micha Berger             If a person does not recognize one's own worth,
mi...@aishdas.org        how can he appreciate the worth of another?
http://www.aishdas.org             - Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polnoye,
Fax: (270) 514-1507                  author of Toldos Yaakov Yosef

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2019 11:28:30 -0500
[Avodah] Privacy in Halakhah

Aviad haKohein and Gavi Siboni wrote an article in last December's
issue of Cyber, Intelligence, and Security titled "Ubiquitous Presence:
Protecting Privacy and Forbidding Intrusion into a Persons Records in
Jewish Law".

Mosaic Magazine's snippet
    The ban on infringing upon a person's privacy is specifically mentioned
    in Jewish law in many contexts.... For example, the Mishnah states, "A
    person must not create an opening [in his own house] opposite an opening
    [in his neighbor's], or a window opposite a window. If his opening or
    window is small, he must not make it larger. If there is one opening, he
    must not turn it into two openings."... In his commentary on the Talmud,
    Rabbi Shmuel ben Meir explains that the ban on creating a new opening
    opposite the opening to his neighbor's yard (or even a yard shared by
    both of them) is designed to prevent damage caused by looking into another
    person's property; that is, infringement on another person's privacy.

    [The contemporary scholar] Eliyahu Lifshitz explains that the Mishnah
    shows that damage to privacy caused by opening a window opposite a
    shared yard is relative and not absolute damage. For this reason, there
    is no requirement to conceal an existing window, even a large one; it is
    merely forbidden to create a new window or enlarge an existing one. If
    the window existed even before the neighbors moved in, they cannot force
    the window-owner to change his situation; rather, they must take their
    own measures to prevent the infringement of their privacy....

    Jewish law took a more significant step in protecting a person's privacy
    regarding personal documents--such as medical records, letters, and,
    nowadays, material stored on a personal computer--based on a ruling by
    Rabbi Gershom ben Judah, the greatest Jewish sage in Germany in the 10th
    century. Among other things, he enacted a ban against any person who
    reads someone else's letters without permission, since doing so invades
    the letter-writer's privacy....

    The general prohibition against infringing upon privacy as well as
    the specific prohibition against accessing another's records without
    that person's explicit consent are therefore deeply rooted in Jewish
    law. Accelerated technological development, the weaknesses of cyberspace,
    and difficulties in security pose new and exciting challenges to Jewish
    law concerning the application of ancient principles to our times--pouring
    the fine old wine of Jewish law into the new container of the legal
    system in Israel, whose values are both Jewish and democratic.

RGS posted a link to the Mosaic piece on Torah Musings' Daily Reyd with
the comment:
    "Deeply rooted"? I'm not convinced -- Finding a Right to Privacy
    in Halakhah

This topic was recently discussed by R Yonatan Ziring in his shiur
series for Gush's VBM Halakha in the Age of Social Media:
    #13: Confidentiality in the Age of Social Media Part 1
        What does privacy mean in the modern online world? Is revealing
        secrets a biblical violation, a rabbinic ban or simply bad

    #14 Confidentiality in the Age of Social Media 2: Public Information

    #15: Confidentiality in the Age of Social Media 3: Public Information --

I can think of two meqoros for the concept of privacy:

1- Hezeq re'iyah -- I'm allowed to protect existing privacy in my yard or
   who can see in my windows.
2- Lishna Bisha -- according to the Rambam, the Aramaic translation
   of lashon hara means the same as the idiom LH. But most describe it
   as a right for private information to remain private. (See RJZ's

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: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2019 18:50:37 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Is the Superbowl Kosher?

On Fri, Feb 01, 2019 at 12:09:09PM -0500, Joshua Meisner via Avodah wrote:
: How are we defining moshav leitzim?  ...

: Interestingly, the Bach changes the phrase "she-hein moshav leitzim" by the
: stadium to "she-hein shofchei damim", which may tilt the discussion back
: toward your particular concern over violent sports.

To answer your question: I think the Bach /is/ defining moshav leitzim.

That leitzanus is simply being crass, not just scoffing, being snide,
sarcastic, ridiculing, and the other usualy translations. This
would explain why eating together without a devar Torah is a moshav
leitzim. They're only worried about gashmius without any spirituality.

A leitz is someone at the ground level of spiritual development. To
quote R Shimon, who does not associate the following withn leitzanus
even remotely:

    The entire "I" of a coarse and lowly person -- "ha'ish hagas
    vehashafeil" -- is restricted only to his substance and body. Above
    him is someone who feels that his "I" is a synthesis of body and
    soul. And above him is someone who can include in his "I" all of
    his household and family. Someone who walks according to the way of
    the Torah, his "I" includes the whole Jewish People, since in truth
    every Jewish person is only like a limb of the body of the nation
    of Israel. In this [progression] there are more levels for a fully
    developed person, who can ingrain in his soul the feeling that the
    entire world is his I, and he himself is only one small limb of all
    of Creation. Then, his self-love helps him love the entire Jewish
    People and [even] all of Creation.

In R' Shimon Shkop's worldview, the person totally lacking sheleimus
is one who, when he uses the word "I" thinks only of his body. Like
the people who eat without divrei Torah. Or the person who can enjoy
the atheletics of the Roman stadium without being distracted by the
human cost.

In Nesivos Olam, Nesiv Haleitzanus ch 1, the Maharal defines leitzanus as
the simchah that comes from something more base than mitzad hasheleimus.
have joy despite being a shaleim? In the begining of ch 2 he says it's the
opposite of hakhna'ah and koveid rosh... a ma'aseh sechoq vehatul. (What's
hatul with a tav? -- "worn out" doesn't fit.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A wise man is careful during the Purim banquet
mi...@aishdas.org        about things most people don't watch even on
http://www.aishdas.org   Yom Kippur.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                       - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 6
From: Arie Folger
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2019 09:38:48 +0100
Re: [Avodah] 10 Dibrot

R' Alexander Seinfeld wrote:
> The trop (cantillation) for the 10 Statements (Commandments) is different
> when chanted in the congregation than when an individual is chanting on
> his own.
> What is the meaning or reason for this? How is the public trop supposed to
> resonate with the listener differently?

Very simple, so that each dibbera is one passuk. Which is why those who
want to accentuate that Anokhi is a separate dibbera (actually a machloket)
do not use ta'am elyon for the first passuk.
Arie Folger,
Visit my blog at http://rabbifolger.net/

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Message: 7
From: Zev Sero
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2019 23:41:08 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Is the Superbowl Kosher?

On 6/2/19 6:50 pm, Micha Berger via Avodah wrote:
> . a ma'aseh sechoq vehatul. (What's
> hatul with a tav? -- "worn out" doesn't fit.)

It's "hitul", as in "va'avichen heiseil bi", or  "rak al yosef Par'oh 
hoseil".   To make sport, to play around.

Zev Sero            A prosperous and healthy 5779 to all
z...@sero.name       Seek Jerusalem's peace; may all who love you prosper

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Message: 8
From: Zev Sero
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2019 09:42:55 -0500
Re: [Avodah] 10 Dibrot

On 7/2/19 3:38 am, Arie Folger via Avodah wrote:
> Very simple, so that each dibbera is one passuk. Which is why those who 
> want to accentuate that Anokhi is a separate dibbera (actually a 
> machloket) do not use ta'am elyon for the first passuk.

Taam Elyon combines the first two dibros because they were heard mipi 

Zev Sero            A prosperous and healthy 5779 to all
z...@sero.name       Seek Jerusalem's peace; may all who love you prosper


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