Avodah Mailing List

Volume 37: Number 50

Mon, 24 Jun 2019

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Joshua Meisner
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2019 12:46:40 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Modern Orthodox Jewish Education

On Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 10:21 PM Rich, Joel via Avodah <
avo...@lists.aishdas.org> wrote:

> https://www.thelehrhaus.com/commentary/compartmentalization-and-synthesis-in-modern-orthodox-jewish-education/#em
> Compartmentalization and Synthesis in Modern Orthodox Jewish Education By
> David Stein
> A long piece focusing on proposed approach to education. The entire piece
> is interesting reading but this statement alone is worth our consideration
> ?Modern Orthodoxy is a worldview that encompasses intellectual, social,
> spiritual, cultural, and professional dimensions, and which recognizes that
> there exist multiple ? and competing ? values in our world, all while
> upholding the primacy of Torah learning and observance. All too often,
> however, it gets reduced (at worst) to an ideology of compromise, or (at
> best) a superficial pairing of general and Judaic studies.?
> Can we quantify ?All too often?

Quantify?  Are we looking for a precise number such as 50% (or 5% or 95%)
of the time MO is reduced from a worldview that upholds the primacy of
Torah to an ideology of compromise or a superficial pairing of general and
Judaic studies? (Granted, having such numbers would help us go a long way
towards developing the sorely needed actuarial tables that could once and
for all resolve the great debates of the history of Klal Yisroel).

I think that R' Stein would be best able to answer the question of what he
meant - the Shalhevet website does not provide his e-mail but rather only
has a link to contact, although I'm sure that some list member must know
how to cc him - but in an attempt to unpack his words, he seems to be
saying that MO is a worldview that upholds the primacy of the Torah while
recognizing that there exist other - and competing - values that, by
default, must be relegated to a secondary place.

All too often, though (continuing to unpack), this primary-secondary
hierarchy is instead reduced to an ideology
a) where the primary value of Torah is placed secondary to the secondary
other - and competing - values or
b) instead of the secondary values being acknowledged as being secondary
values, they are instead superficially paired with Torah values (which
could either mean providing them with equivalency that breaks the
primary-secondary hierarchy or keeping them as secondary but expending time
on the intellectual endeavor of trying to pair them off - although the
second explanation does not seem to fit the context).

I believe that RJR's question here is relevant to the discussion that he
began a few months ago (April 4)

Siman 231 in S?A O?C is one sif long (?buried? between hilchot brachot and
> tfilat mincha) which covers all human endeavor. Worth some very detailed
> discussion but I?ll just mention two points 1.) His ?psak? (and I assume
> it?s psak since it?s included in S?A) seems to demand an ascetic lifestyle
> (ex. His comments on attitude towards onnah). I?m not sure all agree on
> this conclusion (and is this truly an area for psak or is there a range
> where each of us must figure out for ourselves?) 2.) The general rule of
> evaluating each action based on a goal of service to HKB?H seems right on
> to me but I also perceive that people who actually do this or articulate it
> as an aspiration, are thought of as somewhat odd, at least in the MO
> community. Thoughts?

Is v'chol ma'asecha yihyu l'shem Shamayim davka or lav davka, or is there
room for secondary - and competing - values?

I suggested in a response that the Shulchan Aruch in this siman (and a
handful of others) was dipping a toe across the line between halacha and
aggadah, the former being a set of hard lines that either tell us what we
can never do ("Electric fence Judaism") or tell us what we need to do
during finite periods of time in our lives ("Time-share Judaism") while the
latter is a fuzzy (although equally real) entity covering an infinite
portion of space (hyperspace?) that takes on the illusion of lines when
viewed piecemeal.

R' Micha, in a response to my invocation of R' Shkop, made the correct
observation that sometimes downtime can also be holy.  R' Gil Student put
up two posts on Torah Musings in the past week (one a reposting) titled "Is
Leisure Kosher?" and "Everyone Needs a Yisro" that touch on the real
tension between the two poles in Jewish thought and practice.  And the
Nazir of last week's parsha, far from being a Maimonidean caveman,
intentionally separates himself from a community of yere'im ushleimim who
spent the previous parsha and a half organizing themselves in a circle
around the Aron - and he, too, must contend with the tension between being
a kadosh and being a chotei.

(Upon rereading this post, I realize that I used RDS's article as an excuse
to take another shot at grappling with RJR's previously cited post, but I
suppose that it's all Torah.)

- Josh
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Message: 2
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2019 13:47:25 +0000
[Avodah] Calling a Woman by Her First Name


Calling a Woman by Her First Name

In bungalow colonies men tend to be in the presence of women more
frequently than during the rest of the year. One should not call other
peoples'  wives by their first name. One can be lenient in regard to
relatives such as his aunts or cousins. Unfortunately, many people are not
careful with this and it leads to an excess of familiarity. Tznius is
something that is learned, and the best way to promote an elevated level of
tznius is to be extra stringent in a summer related setting such as
bungalow colonies etc. One should use chuchmah and seichel to avoid putting
himself into potentially harmful situations. Tiny breaches, if not
controlled, can be openings for dangerous situations. Therefore, one should
talk in a manner that reflects tznius and self control. 83

83. ?  Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Bach E.H. 21, Taz 21:1, Ben
Yehuyoda Sotah 2a:page 109 (new), Divrei Chachumim page 256, Rivevos
Ephraim 6:402:page 440, Sharei Halacha U???minhag E.H. page 147, Teharas
Hamisphacha page 240. The custom is to be lenient in regard to calling a
non-Jewish woman by her first name (Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita). Refer to
Yisroel Kedoshim pages 165-169. Refer to Sdei Chemed chof:120:page 203,
Darchei Chaim V???sholom page 372:1063, Minchas Elazar 3:13, Bais Avi
2:121, Betzel Hachuchma 4:70 Yismach Lev 1:pages 255-256, if a man can call
his wife by her name.

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Message: 3
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2019 14:32:57 +0000
[Avodah] How early can one make an ?early Shabbos??

From Today's OU Kosher Halacha Yomis:

A. There are three main opinions among poskim for the earliest time to
light candles and recite kiddush on Shabbos (See Mishnah Berurah 233:4 and
Mishnah Berurah, Beiur Halacha 263, s.v. Kodem) :

  1.  Vilna Gaon and Levush: after plag ha?mincha, which in their opinion,
  is one and a quarter halachic hours before sunset. In this view, a
  halachic hour is calculated as one twelfth of the time-span between
  sunrise and sunset.
  2.  Shulchan Aruch and Magen Avrohom: after plag ha?mincha, which they
  maintain is one and a quarter halachic hours before tzeis ha?kochavim
  (nightfall). In their opinion, a halachic hour is one twelfth of the
  time-span between alos ha?chama (dawn) and tzeis ha?kochavim (night
  3.  Rav Eliezer Mi?metz: two hours before tzeis ha?kochavim. (See Mishnah
  Berurah, Beiur Halacha 263, s.v. Kodem). He reasons that just as we find
  that certain laws of Shemita begin a month (a twelfth of a year) before
  Rosh Hashanah, so too Shabbos can begin two hours (a twelfth of a day)
  early (see Darkei Moshe OC 261:1).

The difference between these three opinions can be very significant. For a
day that is 12 hours long from sunrise to sunset, the Vilna Gaon, Levush
and Rav Eliezer Mi?metz would allow lighting candles more than an hour
before sunset, while the Shulchan Aruch and Magen Avrohom would not permit
lighting until approximately 18 minutes before sunset.

It should be noted that all three positions agree that Maariv cannot be
recited before plag ha?mincha. As noted in 1 and 2, the time of plag
ha?mincha is a matter of dispute.

In practice, many people light candles, daven Maariv, and recite kiddush
significantly before sunset. They are following the position of the Vilna
Gaon and Levush in item 1. Other segments of the Jewish community follow
the more stringent position of the Shulchan Aruch and Magen Avrohom in item
2 and begin Shabbos considerably later. Both customs are firmly rooted in
mainstream Halachic viewpoints.

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Message: 4
From: Prof. Levine
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2019 10:38:49 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Calling a Woman by Her First Name

At 10:20 AM 6/21/2019, Zalman Alpert wrote:
>Most of your sources are Hungarian seforim

These are not my sources,  but come from the article that I referred to.

Are you implying something about Hungarian seforim?  If so,  then what?

>Your statement here was never the practice among Lithuanian Jews 
>Chabad ,Modern Orthodox etc

Again,  not my statement,  but from the article referred to.

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Message: 5
From: Mandel, Seth
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2019 14:48:38 +0000
Re: [Avodah] How early can one make an ?early Shabbos??

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Message: 6
From: Marty Bluke
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2019 06:47:11 +0300
[Avodah] Paying your workers on time using electronic

The Torah is very makpid that we pay our workers on time and there is both
a lav and an aseh. The din is that payment must be in cash, the worker can
agree to take other payment or defer payment and then you are not over the
lav, however then you are not yotze the mitzva either.  The question is
what if I pay the worker electronically am I yotze the mitzva? For example,
I go to the barber and pay by credit card or I go to the cleaners and pay
by credit card. What about if I pay the plumber with a bank transfer (for
example using Zelle)? Are these considered cash payments?

Credit cards
It seems clear to me that credit cards are not considered cash payments and
you are not yotze the mitzva for 2 reasons:
1. You aren?t actually paying. The way credit cards work is that you are
telling the credit card company to pay the vendor and then they will
collect from you. Since you are not paying you aren?t mekayem the mitzva.
2. The vendor doesn?t get his money that day. Typically, a *payment* can
take anywhere from 24 hours up to three *days* to process the *payment*.

What comes out is that when you deal with Jews it would seem that you
should try to pay in cash and not a credit card to be mekayem the mitzva
doraysa of byomo teeten scharo.

Electronic bank transfer
Here there are a number of issues:
1. How does it work? Is it like a credit card where you tell the bank to
send money and then the bank collects from you or is the bank simply your
agent to transfer your money to the other person?
2. Is getting money in my bank account like receiving a cash payment? Money
in my bank account is actually a loan to the bank so when someone transfers
money to my account it would seem that they are lending the bank money and
designating me as the person to pay back to. Therefore maybe that is not
considered the equivalent of a cash payment. On the other hand, since I can
go to an ATM and take out the amount in cash maybe it is.

As the world moves away from cash the Halacha needs to adapt with it.
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