Avodah Mailing List

Volume 37: Number 33

Mon, 22 Apr 2019

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:08:54 -0400
[Avodah] Heseibah, Halachah and Science

Another teshuvah by R' Asher Weiss. I'm sharing it for the metahalakhah
implications. Must heseibah be on the left even now that we know there
is no greater risk of choking by reclining on the right? Can't you
cut us lefties some slack and free up our dominant arm?


Tir'u baTov!

Tvunah in English
Beit Midrash for Birurei Halachah Binyan Zion
Under the Leadership of Maran HaRav Asher Weiss Shlita
For the Zechut of R' Zion Hilu

Pesach- hesebah
Posted by: Rabbi Akiva Dershowitz In: The Jewish Calendar, [Kelali]

   Likvod Harav Shlit"a,

   Seeing as we know that the understanding of some Rishonim that eating
   while leaning on the right is dangerous was based on a mistaken
   understanding of the location of the windpipe and foodpipe (kaneh and
   veshet), and we are therefore forced to explain that the sakanah was
   only said in regard to one lying on his back (as per Rashi Pesachim
   108, and contra Rashbam) should a "lefty" lean to his right (the more
   natural position)?


   No, even a lefty should lean on his left side. The Mishna Brura brings
   an opinion [472 Shaar Hatziyon 13] that even a lefty who leans on
   his right may not fulfill his obligation, even bdieved.

   When Chazal rendered a halachic ruling they were intended to do so with
   their understanding of nature, biology and the physical world. Their
   rulings then become part of Torah Shbal Peh. This was the intent
   of Hashem when giving over the ability to make halachic rulings to
   Chazal. This was never intended to line up with scientific knowledge.
   Scientific knowledge by its very nature is dynamic, constantly changing
   with new discoveries and advances. Torah is the ultimate unchanging
   mesorah, so once Chazal established the halcha it doesn't change
   based on scientific knowledge which is a totally different wisdom
   and set of rules.

   This principal idea is the key to understanding the general question
   of Torah and Science.

   A an aside, even from the scientific side of things, we only accept
   proof after experimenting and proving, ie. the scientific process. To
   the best of my knowledge no study or survey was ever done to prove that
   leaning on the right is just as safe as leaning on the left. While
   we don't see a reason for there to be a difference, this would be
   our unproven theory, well based and logical as it is.

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:14:43 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Pesach mitzvos at night

On Tue, Apr 16, 2019 at 05:12:40PM -0400, Sholom Simon via Avodah wrote:
: Most mitzvos are done by day.  Most Pesach mitzvos are done at night.  Are
: there any deeper reasons for this (beyond halacha and/or "the geula started
: at night")?

Balebatishe answer:

It works better that way. A meal, song, telling stories, trying to relive
an experience.

The seder is at night for the same reason why people make bonfires at
night, or a kumzitz, a tish, etc...

Tir'u baTov!

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Message: 3
From: Rich, Joel
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2019 22:11:20 +0000
Re: [Avodah] Heseibah, Halachah and Science

> Another teshuvah by R' Asher Weiss. I'm sharing it for the metahalakhah
> implications. Must heseibah be on the left even now that we know there
> is no greater risk of choking by reclining on the right? Can't you
> cut us lefties some slack and free up our dominant

It certainly is an interesting approach. I love the line of attack maybe
that heseiba Itself is vestigial in nature Since it reflects a practice
of a society long gone. This argument has been bad for doing away with
it all together but has never been accepted

I know that the Shulchan Aruch in oc 192 uses the language of msubin
when speaking of a group that has to do zimun. I'm pretty sure we don't
require actual leaning today for that purpose.

Joel rich

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Message: 4
From: Zev Sero
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2019 14:42:30 -0400
[Avodah] Showering during shloshim (was: Showering during

On 7/4/19 3:35 am, Ari Kahn via Avodah cited his own 
as follows:

 >> But in present times our custom is to prohibit bathing for the entire
 >> 30-day period [known as shloshim]?
 > Rav Moshe Soloveitchik argued that [...] this (presently unknown)
 > custom regarding personal mourning.[...] the now-defunct custom,
 > cited by the Rama as the Ashkenazi practice current in his time, of
 > refraining from bathing for the entire shloshim period. Once this
 > custom fell out of practice, Rav Moshe argued [...]

Looking around in the seforim and online it seems that the custom is far 
from unknown.  On the contrary, every reference I have so far found 
takes it for granted that this is very much still binding minhag 
ashkenaz.  R Kahn's article is the only reference I have seen that 
claims it is no longer done.  What is the source for this, and does the 
fact that so many references know nothing of this not mean that the 
metzius contradicts it?   Or is this a case where the books say one 
thing and universal practice is the opposite?

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: 5
From: Sholom Simon
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2019 09:00:49 -0400
[Avodah] at shul this morning

1.  The guy who davened from the amud was wondering if this is the shortest
shacharis of the year: (a) no tachnun; (b) Friday is shortest shir ha'yom;
(c) skipping mizmor l'soda.  Thoughts?

2.  The young rav making a siyyum on Chullin mentioned 139b where the
gemara asks "Moshe, min hatorah minayin" and answers "inasmuch as he is
[mere] flesh".  He thought that that was a perfect (and timely) answer to
"Moshe, why don't we find him in the haggadah" -- i.e., inasmuch as he is a
mere person, we don't want to give credit to him so much for the geula from
Mitzrayim as the haggadah would rather focus on H's beneficence.

Nice "food" for thought this morning,

-- Sholom
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