Avodah Mailing List

Volume 37: Number 72

Fri, 06 Sep 2019

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Avram Sacks
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2019 01:24:34 -0500
Re: [Avodah] How Fast Do You Daven

The issue of davening speed is a major pet peeve of mine. I belong to
a shul of "fast daveners." I rarely keep up and usually get to shul
earlier on shabbat by about 15 -- 20 minutes in order to get a running
"head start." My seat in the main shul is two rows in directly in front
of the shulchan, so I can sometimes hear the shaliach tzibbur muttering
words under his breath. A few years ago there was one shaliach tzibbur,
with smicha, no less (but NOT the rav of the shul!), who muttered the
words of the first paragraph of Aleinu, and then nearly a second or two
after he finished the last word of the first paragraph, I heard him say
"v'ne'emar... I asked him after davening how he was able to get so quickly
from the end of the first paragraph to "v'ne'emar." In Columbo-like
fashion I asked how he did it, because, I had only formally started to
learn Hebrew at age 8, and wondered if he had some technique that allowed
him to get to "v'ne'emar with such amazing speed. His only response was
"good point," and I have never heard him go so fast, ever since.

In a shul that I infrequently visit out of town, the rav of the
shul davens every word of every t'filla out loud in order to keep the
shaliach tzibbur from going to fast. I find that too distracting, but it
does ensure that the shaliach tzibbur will never go so fast as to skip
words. In another shul, locally, there is a card at the shulchan where the
shaliach tzibbur stands, that indicates at what time the shaliach tzibbur
should arrive at given points in the davening. That, too, I found to be
too distracting -- at least when I davened there as a shaliach tzibbur.

The rav of our shul tries to slow things down at shma and at the amidah,
but that only helps to some degree.

Respectfully, I disagree with the comments of R. Spolter. Yes, there is
merit in showing up, but I often find that my experience, particularly
at shacharit, is far less spiritually moving when I am in shul and feel
like I am always racing to keep up. It is particularly stressful if I
have a yahrtzeit and am not leading the davening because there are also
others who have yahrtzeit. There have been times (albeit rare) when I
have not yet finished the shmoneh esrai when kaddish is being said. I do
not believe I daven inordinately slow. I can say the t'fillot relatively
quickly, but not like an auctioneer!

So, is there a halachic obligation to daven with kavana? Is there a
halachic obligation to even just SAY THE WORDS? Years ago, I was taught
it is not ok to just "scan" the words, or "think." One must actually say
them. So, I don't quite understand R. Spolter's defense of speed davening
and t'filla skipping. If I am to not only say the words, but to have a
sense of the meaning of most of them, AND time for some self-reflection,
which, after all, is what davening is supposed to be about -- there is
a reason that the Hebrew word, l'hitpalel, is reflexive in form!! --
I do not believe R. Spolter's position is so defensible.

(And, as an attorney, I don't think it would be such a terrible thing
for those of us in the United States, to regularly recite the U.S.
Constitution. But, that is a different post for a different forum....)

Kol tuv,
Avram Sacks

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2019 15:55:05 -0400
Re: [Avodah] reward for mitzvot

On Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 05:56:34AM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
> The Drashot Haran (Drasha #6) posits that while HKB"H set varying "gmul"
> (reward) for the 613 mitzvoth, he didn't tell us which (me-positive ones)
> had greater reward in order that we not focus only on those mitzvoth
> but rather try to do all in hopes that we include the high value targets.

Since lefum tzzara agra, the sekhar for a mitzvah depends on the situation
that a person finds themselves in and their own abilities to make the
right choice. So, wihtout knowing your own nequdas habechirah really well,
without fooling yourself, you couldn't know the value of a mitzvah.

And why tzadiqim are judged kechut hasa'arah.

(Still: We do rank mitzvos by the sekhar or onesh listed in the chumash
for qal vachomer purposes.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 A person must be very patient
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   even with himself.
Author: Widen Your Tent            - attributed to R' Nachman of Breslov
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2019 16:11:00 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Chazal accept medicinal treatments

On Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 08:14:40AM -0400, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:

> Next, I would say the same thing as others have posted, but in much simpler
> terms, that it doesn't matter whether these treatments ACTUALLY worked, as
> long as Chazal BELIEVED they worked. [Let's be honest. Do we really know
> what works? No, we don't.]

> Thus, I believe the question should be reworded to <<< how did Chazal
> accept any medicinal treatments from non-halachic sources)>>>.

I want to make explicit something that I think is implied in what
you said.

The amoraim of Bavel spent a lot more space talking about sheidim,
qemeios, and all those other things the Rambam would have preferred they
not bring up than the amoraim of EY. The number of references one finds
on the Yerushalmi can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and with
spare fingers too.

But then, the same was true of the beliefs of the surrounding Bavli

Did Chazal buy into local superstitions?

Or, were sheidim (eg) seen as science?

Astrology was taken as science for centuries beyond their day. The IE,
a rationalist, was an astrologer because in his world there was no
contradiction between the two.

Getting back to Clark's Third Law... The inverse is also true: Once
science is sufficiently disproven, it is indistinguishable from

> On a related note, R' Micha Berger posted:
>> They only talk about establishing a qemeia mumcheh or a rofei
>> mumcheh or a refu'ah. They don't talk about counter-evidence.
>> And yet one doesn't need to know that 3 out of hundreds of uses
>> is more likely to be a fluke or "coincidence" (if your theology
>> allows for actual coincidences) than proof the medicine worked.

> That's according to OUR understanding of probability. It seems that Chazal
> (or possibly the ancients in general) had an entirely different way of
> looking at these things. (The classic example of the nine kosher butchers
> is enough to convince me of that.) ...

I agree with your general point.

But once I came up with a way to explain qavua to myself, the fact that
we take a majority of qavu'os, and not a majority of pieces of meat didn't
surprise me. The very presence of a qavu'ah (or 9, in the case of stores)
already killed our motivation for a purely statistical solution.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 You are where your thoughts are.
http://www.aishdas.org/asp           - Ramban, Igeres haQodesh, Ch. 5
Author: Widen Your Tent
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2019 16:20:45 -0400
Re: [Avodah] How Fast Do You Daven

On Sun, Sep 01, 2019 at 02:57:30PM -0400, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
>>> ... The person then listens to that recording, and judges for
>>> himself whether or not he actually said the words well enough.

> R' Micha Berger responded:
>> This is a different goal, and I think your methodology would get
>> in the way of RBK's goal. ...
>> RBK wrote about going slow enough to think about peirush hamilim.
>> You are talking about going slow enough to actually say the words
>> clearly.

> I think it is safe to say that RMB and I agree that one's ultimate goal
> should include (among many other things) BOTH peirush hamilim and saying
> them clearly. The question on which we *might* disagree is the sequence of
> steps towards reaching that goal.

I just meant that RBK's exercise isn't specific to either goal, but
his verbiage was about peirush hamilim.
However, your exercise is specific to performing the mitzvah maasis
correctly and would get in the way of thinking about peirush hamilim.
(By giving the person something else to keep their mind on.) So, you
didn't really propose and alternative means to the same ends.

But since you did raise the topic of sequence...

I am reminded of the line where someone asked R Yisrael Salander that
since he only had 15 minutes to learn each day, should he learn Mussar
or the regular gefe"t (Gemara -- peirush [i.e. Rashi] -- Tosafos)?
RYS said that he should spend the time learning Mussar, and then he
would realize he really had more than 15 minutes!

Learn peirush hamilim, learn to care about tefillah and that one is
speaking with the Creator, and what kinds of things Anshei Keneses
haGdolah, Chazal and the geonim think that relationship should revolve

Then you'll notice you're motivated to do it right.

But make tefillah into a frumkeit, a ritual with a list of boxes to
be checked, and I don't know if kavvanah would naturally follow.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 People were created to be loved.
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   Things were created to be used.
Author: Widen Your Tent      The reason why the world is in chaos is that
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF    things are being loved, people are being used.

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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2019 13:37:14 -0400
[Avodah] Brachos and Continuous Creation

You may have heard the thought that "Yotzeir haMe'oros" is written in
lashon hoveh because the RBSO didn't create the me'oros and then they
continue to persist. Rather, He is creating and recreating everything
continually. "Hamchadeish beTuvo bekhol yom tamid."

Our persistence is as much an act of creation as the original moments
when things came to be.

In Arukh haShulchan OC 46:3, RYMEpstein notes that this is only one
example. Every berakhah concludes belashon hoveh: Nosein haTorah, Borei
peri ha'adamah. And therefore says our nusach "haNosein lasekhvi vinah"
(Rambam, Tur, SA) is iqar, not what we have in our girsa'os of the gemara,
"asher nasan lasekhvi binah".

He then adds, "Asher Yatzar" starts out belashon avar, because it's
about what just happened, but there to the chasimah is "Rofei khol

I want to combine this with something RYME writes in OC 4:2. There
he talks about the shift from second to third "Person" grammar in
berakhos. "Barukh Atah" talks to a You. However, "asher qidishanu" or
"hanosein" or whatever talks about a He. We similarly find in a number
of mizmorim and hoda'os "Atah Hu".

His Atzumus is ne'elam mikol ne'eman. The seraphim and ophanim have
no idea. They and we only know Him by His actions. And therefore
"Barukh kevod H' mimqomo" -- His Kavod, which we can understand
something about, because they are His Actions. But not His Atzmus.
So, when we speak of something we receive from Him, we are talking
about Hashem's action, and can use the word Atah.

But RYME doesn't explain why then we switch to the third "Person"
langage the chasimah.

Perhaps this idea from 46:3 is why. We can relate to Hashem providing us
the bread beforee us. But can we relate to Maaseh Bereishis being lemaaleh
min hazman, such that His providing us that bread is the same Action as
His creating the concept of wheat, it properties, and the first wheat,
to begin with?

(I will repeat my obsersation that in lashon haqodesh, present tense
verbs and adjectives and nouns all blend together. When we say "haNosein
lasekhvi" are we saying Hashem is giving now (verb), or that He is the
Giver? And if the latter, do we mean, "the King of the universe Who gives"
(adjectival) or are we continuing the list, "Hashem, our, G-d, the King
of the universe, the One Who gives..." (noun)? Li nir'eh the point is
they are all the same thing -- you are what you are doing.)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 If you won't be better tomorrow
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   than you were today,
Author: Widen Your Tent      then what need do you have for tomorrow?
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF            - Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

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Message: 6
From: Danny Schoemann
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2019 14:38:19 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Boray M'oray Ha'esh on Tisha B'Av

> Closer to our case:
> If you daven maariv at pelag, you are not permitted to wear tefillin
> afterward.

I'm not sure the Aruch haShulchan agrees with that. See 30:8 - " the
Beis Yosef writes that SOME SAY that if you daven maariv at pelag, you
are not permitted to wear tefillin afterward."

This makes it sound like not everybody agrees. Now I see that the SA
(30:5) quotes it anonymously: "SOME SAY that if you daven maariv at
pelag, you are not permitted to wear tefillin afterward."

The Mishna Berura along with most other Nosei Keilim (
https://tinyurl.com/Sefaria-OC-30-5 ) suggest you wear them w/o a

- Danny

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Message: 7
From: Danny Schoemann
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2019 14:09:44 +0300
Re: [Avodah] Tartei d'Satrei

From: David Riceman <drice...@optimum.net>

> RJR:

>> I've always felt that going to more than one poseik (even in different areas of psak) raises
>> the likelihood that one will be accepting positions which are based on a higher order tartei
>> dsatrei (Internal inconsistencies that even the poseik may not be consciously aware of).

> Of course the Sanhedrin ruled by majority, so following the Sanhedrin's psak entails the
>  same problem.
> David Riceman

Isn't that oversimplifying the process? If the Sanhedrin did not have
a Mesora on the issue, then they would have a debate until they all
(or at least a majority) agreed.

As Meforshim on the Mishna (Sanhedrin 11:2) explain:

Yodunu Bo kFi HaSevoros veHekeshos haTorios
????? ?? ??? ?????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ???? ?? ??????? ???? ??
???? ????? ??

I would assume the debate took into account the Tartei d'Satrei
aspects. We're talking about The 71 Gedolim of the generation, after

- Danny

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Message: 8
From: Danny Schoemann
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2019 14:56:26 +0300
Re: [Avodah] R Moshe Feinstein as posek hador

On Wed, Aug 07, 2019 at 06:13:09PM +0000, Ben Bradley via Avodah wrote:
> I've come across a event described in a couple of medical halacha books
> which I find intriguing for reasons unrelated to medical halacha. In 1948
> there was an outbreak of meningitis in Jerusalem with a limited supply
> of penicillin, less than the amount needed to treat all the present
> cases. Rav Herzog, the chief rabbi, called Rav Moshe Feinstein in New
> York to ask how to prioritise the use of life saving penicillin...

> Why did R Herzog not ask the chazon ish or other posek in EY? ...
> And, if it was a pure question of pure seniority/shoulders in psak...

Um... based on https://tinyurl.com/wikipedia-he-dateline Rav Herzog
disagreed with the Chazon Ish regarding the dateline - about 2 years
before this incident happened.

Seemingly RH he didn't feel that he was subservient to the CI.

(Strangely enough, even though the CI was elevated (by whom?) to the
status of Uber-posek (similar, at some level, to the Chofetz Chaim and
the Vilna Gaon and the Bes Yosef) I wonder how many people pasken 100%
like the CI (or the CC or the VG or the BY). There seems to be a lot
of picking and choosing, a la "oh we do THIS as per the Ari
z"l/Gro/Minhag/______. Maybe that's more for Areivim... - or another

- Danny

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Message: 9
From: Micha Berger
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2019 13:45:29 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Boray M'oray Ha'esh on Tisha B'Av

On Thu, Sep 05, 2019 at 02:38:19PM +0300, Danny Schoemann via Avodah wrote:
> RMB:
>> Closer to our case:
>> If you daven maariv at pelag, you are not permitted to wear tefillin
>> afterward.
> I'm not sure the Aruch haShulchan agrees with that. See 30:8 - " the
> Beis Yosef writes that SOME SAY that if you daven maariv at pelag, you
> are not permitted to wear tefillin afterward."

I had actually just learned 30:8* which is why that example came to mind.
Yes, he quotes it as a yeish omerim in the machaber, explaining that
it is because it would be a "tereo qolei desasrei". Then the AhS goes
on with "velachein" if he didn't daven [maariv] but the tzibbur did,
he can still wear tefillin. And then moved on to the next case. There
is no quote or explanaiton of other shitos. It seems he holds like the
yeish mi she'omer.

For that matter, the SA himself quotes the yeish mi she'omer only.
Which the Kaf haChaim says is NOT indication that others say otherwise.
Rather, that it's the mechaber's style to posit his own chiddushim with
some weaker lashon. And we can deduce from silends that the Rama
agreed with this chiddush, no?

And similarly the Taz only explains the SA and moves on.

The Kaf haChaim, though, does list the acharonim that are probably the
ones the MB tells us he is relying on.

So, I think the AhS does agree, and he is far from alone. But, it's not
open and shut, as I had thought.

Related, we hold that laylah zeman tefillin. Which the AhS says explains
that next case in the SA, someone who puts on tefillin thinking it is
day, but it is still night. He doesn't have to make a berakhah again
when day really does start.

Rather, chazal were oqeir besheiv ve'al taaseh the mitzvah of wearing
tefillin at night in a gezeira to prevent falling asleep in them.

In our case... I could see how it would explain ruling that one should
wear tefillin after maariv but before sheqi'ah. Mide'oraisa, there is
no tarta desasrei, because even if maariv is syaing it's night time,
mideoraisa there is still a mitzvah of tefillin. And miderabbanan --
it's not after sheqi'ah, how increased is the risk of falling asleep?

The MB takes lechumerah -- both on wearing tefillin and on berakhah

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 I have great faith in optimism as a philosophy,
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   if only because it offers us the opportunity of
Author: Widen Your Tent      self-fulfilling prophecy.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                            - Arthur C. Clarke


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