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Volume 38: Number 43

Wed, 27 May 2020

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Simon Montagu
Date: Tue, 26 May 2020 22:10:55 +0300
[Avodah] Symbolism of the Menora

In preparation for the AishDas Arukh haShulchan Yomi* I have been looking
at the author's introduction at
(in the printed editions it's at the front of Hoshen Mishpat, the first
volume to appear).

RME says, (in the third paragraph as formatted in wikitext): "[The Torah]
is the source of all wisdoms, and this is alluded to by the six branches of
the menora, all of which turned towards the central lamp, as explained by
the great sages of the heart, is it not in their book[? - sifratam]"

A number of things puzzled me here. Who are being referred to as "hachmei
halev?" and what is their "book". Am I even understanding "sifratam"
correctly? I don't recall coming across this form anywhere else.

I searched on Sefaria and Google and saw a similar idea in a few places,
mostly without citing any sources earlier than Rav Kook. It does appear in
Rabenu Behaye on Shemot 25:3. Can anyone point me to a primary source?

*which I dare say RMB will be grateful if I add a link to: <
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Message: 2
From: Zev Sero
Date: Tue, 26 May 2020 18:28:28 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Symbolism of the Menora

The expression "Halo besifrasam" seems to derive from Tehilim 56:9, 
"Halo besifrasecha".   Rashi translates that as "in Your count", but 
says Menachem (ibn Saruq) translates it as "in Your book".  Malbim also 
translates it as "count".  Most meforshim seem to agree with Rashi, but 
the Radaq sides with Menachem.

Zev Sero            Wishing everyone a *healthy* and happy summer
z...@sero.name       Seek Jerusalem's peace; may all who love you prosper

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Message: 3
From: Chana Luntz
Date: Wed, 27 May 2020 02:13:46 +0100
Re: [Avodah] Why we mourn during the omer Model" in New

RMB writes:
The first two se'ifim in the Arukh haShulchan mention two reasons:
talmidei R' Aqiva and the Crusades.

But I think one can go earlier.
The omer is a special time in Avodas BHMQ. But unlike other times when there
are special qorbanos, there is no issur aveilus. The omer is the one time we
are permitted to mourn the loss of a special qorban.
And then, a generation after losing the BHMQ to sin'as chinam, R Aqiva
rebiulds talmud Torah. But we hadn't learned enough. The students aren't
guilty of outright sin'as chinam, but they still lacked kavod.
A period when people were already feeling the absence of the joy of the
qorban omer became a period when they had to face the truth that they
weren't ready yet.
The death of talmidei R Aqiva stirred all that up again.
It wasn't "just" the death of 24,000 of the best and the brightest. It was
the death of the hope they brought.>>

It depends on the extent to which you privilege the Shulchan Aruch (and the
Tur on which the Shulchan Aruch is based) over other sources, and your own
sense of things.  Because both the Shulchan Aruch and the Tur say explicitly
that the reason we do not marry between Pesach and Asseres until Lag B'Omer
is because of the death of Rabbi Akiva's students.   They do not discuss the
hope at all.

Regarding the other minhag mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch and the Tur, that
of abstaining from work from shkia during sefira - the Tur gives two reasons
(and the Shulchan Aruch does not give any).  The first because the talmidim
died close to shkia, and so they stopped work to bury them, and the second
because of counting the omer, but neither gives the cessation of the mitzvah
of the korban omer as a reason for the lack of weddings.

The Aruch HaShulchan, as you say, adds the crusades, and brings as his proof
text the piyutim that were added on the Shabbasim between Pesach and
Shavuos, and says there were other reasons why these days are to be
considered yamai din.

But still, surely it is fair to say that, given the prominence of this
reason in the Shulchan Aruch, that this is the ikar reason, and that what
the Aruch HaShulchan is doing is, as he says giving "v'od" reasons.  And
while that would not seem to discourage you giving yet further "v'od"
reasons, I do not think the Aruch HaShulchan was coming to undermine the
ikar reason, and it is noteworthy that he added in specifically that they
died of plague (not mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch or the Tur), but does
not mention the death of hope.  And, interestingly, the Aruch Hashulchan
attributes the minhag of not marrying during sefira to the period of the
Geonim.  Which has to be the case, as otherwise this minhag would be
mentioned in the Talmud itself, and might even be a halacha, not a minhag.
But the point that makes is that, at the time the minhag arose, we know the
rest of the story.  Rabbi Akiva renewed his efforts, and the Talmud we all
learn is the result.  By the time the minhag came into existence, they knew
that hope was not dead, and the Torah was not dead.  But nevertheless so
many talmidim dying was a huge tragedy.

And this is where, while not sure I understand  RJR's question regarding
minyanim - I do think regarding weddings his comment that "Those who view
halacha as primarily chukim(positivist?) and so any clever
"workaround/loophole" will do" is appropriate, when considering those who
are working so hard to find workarounds and loopholes to enable weddings in
the middle of a pandemic.  It is appropriate to diminish simcha during yamei
sefira due to the deaths of Rabbi Akiva's talmidim, as the Tur explains.  Is
it therefore not appropriate to diminish simcha when so many of our people
are dying?  I think somebody told me that in Brooklyn the week after Pesach
there were over a thousand aveilim sitting shiva.  I am not saying that this
is something that should be kept from year to year.  But when the yamei din
are playing out in front of our eyes, it seems to me inappropriate to be
working desperately hard to find workarounds and loopholes in the government
guidance to enable davka weddings.  Because again as the Tur puts it "davka
marriage as it is the ikar simcha"




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Message: 4
From: Rabbi Meir G. Rabi
Date: Wed, 27 May 2020 10:55:03 +1000
[Avodah] HaRav M Sternbuch - Why We Eat Dairy Shavuos

Meat and Milk

Avraham Avinu entertained three angels masquerading as human visitors;
feeding them calf tongue [Rashi Gen. 18:7] cooked with milk. Although Rashi
explains that the dairy was served first as a filler until the meat was
ready, the Meshech Chochma, quoted by HaRav M Sternbuch [MoAdim Uzemanim Vol-4
Chapter-319] explains a Medrash that describes Avraham Avinu feeding the
angels actual Bassar BeChalav.

Avraham wished to honour his visitors and so he selected tongue for their
menu, which is a smooth, grainless cut, of very soft texture and besides,
there is only one in each calf thereby subtly informing his visitors that
he had slaughtered three calves, one for each visitor, in his enthusiasm to
spare no expense to please them.

We may also assert that driven by his desire to honour them, he cooked or
marinated the meat in sour milk or yoghurt as the lactic acid in fermented
dairy products, such as yogurt and buttermilk, unlike citric acids which
are prone to toughen meat, break the meat proteins softening the meat as
well as increase its water content.

According to our traditions, Avraham Avinu maintained all the laws of the
Torah and also all the Rabbinic enactments. Rashi, Genesis 26:5; Yevamos
21. Accordingly, Our Sages explain why Avraham did not offer the bread
[Rashi, Genesis 18:8; BMetzia 87] specially prepared for his guests; Sara
had miraculously rejuvenated and experienced ?the ways of women?. She
became ritually unclean and thereby made the bread she was preparing for
the guests also unclean. Although neither Torah Law nor Rabbinic Law or
Tradition prohibits eating this bread, it is no more than a stringency
adopted by the very pious, nevertheless Avraham Avinu would not serve it to
his non Jewish guests - if Avraham Avinu would not eat it himself, he would
not serve it to others.

This explains why Avraham Avinu did not employ an alternative option. Torah
law does not prohibit cooking deer and giraffe [known as Chaya] with dairy.
Neither does the Torah prohibit cooking beef with milk of a deer or a
giraffe. Our Sages however, prohibited this, and as we explained, Avraham
Avinu was particular to keep even the strictures of the Sages.

Generations later, when Moshe Rabbenu ascended Mount Sinai to take the
Torah and bring it to The Nation, the angels gathered, protested, and
succeeded in preventing Moshe Rabbenu from delivering the Torah to The
Nation. However, emboldened by HKBH directing him to respond to the angels,
he quashed their objection by declaring that they had eaten meat cooked
with milk served to them by Avraham Avinu. That memory silenced the angels
and was the instrument through which we merited to receive HKBH's Torah.
And this, explains HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, is another reason why we eat
dairy during Shavuos.

There are 3 issues that require clarification:

Even if the angels sinned by eating flesh cooked with milk [seemingly the
plain meaning] how does that silence their protest?

Furthermore, it is not possible because:

Avraham Avinu obeyed all Mitzvos of the Torah, he did not cook meat with
milk.  [Rashi Bereishis 26:5, Yuma 28b] Whether this is to be taken
literally or only symbolically is not germane to our point and discussion -
the Halachic considerations that underpin this interpretation must conform
with Halachah.

Even if it was cooked inadvertently, he would not have offered it to the
visitors since no benefit may be derived from it.

Reb Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, in Meshech Chochmah, resolves all these problems
- the calves were not ordinary calves but Ben PeKuAh calves which may be
cooked with milk. The angels? protests were silenced not because they had
transgressed a Halacha but because they were confident that they had NOT
transgressed the Law.

The episode and conversation would probably have gone something like this.
Avraham Avinu after welcoming them, arranges for them to wash and refresh
themselves and begs them, "Please make yourselves comfortable here in the
shade, I will soon be bringing you some delicious food. I have a special
surprise for you, we are preparing Tender Spring Calf marinated in yoghurt."

The visitors said, "Without meaning to be rude, sir, but we have special
diet restrictions. We only eat Kosher" Avraham Avinu says, "No problem, so
do I. We also only eat Kosher."

"But," they spluttered, "how can you then be serving meat cooked with
dairy? That is not Kosher."

"Ahhh, but this is not ordinary meat this is Ben PeKuAh."

"Well, in that case," they nodded their heads in eagerness, "we'll be
delighted to enjoy your hospitality."

Ben PeKuAh is the foetus found within a Kosher slaughtered cow sheep or
goat and as just noted it has some very special qualities.

Now here is the problem, or the solution, depending on which perspective
one takes. Only those who are Jewish can perform Kosher slaughter Shechita.
A perfectly executed cut performed by a non-J is not a Kosher slaughter.
The foetus found within such an animal cannot be a Ben PeKuAh. So, if the
angels suspected or were certain that Avraham was not Jewish, they could
not have accepted his hospitality. However, they did accept his hospitality
and they did eat the Tender Spring Calf marinated in yoghurt. So, they must
have accepted that Avraham Avinu was Jewish. In that case, Moshe Rabbenu
silences the angels protests quite simply, they have already conceded that
the Torah belongs to Avraham and his children.
And that was the winning argument put by Mosher Rabbenu.
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Message: 5
From: Rich, Joel
Date: Wed, 27 May 2020 04:12:12 +0000
[Avodah] minhag exceptions

R'HS tshuva on one time exceptions from minhag relies on the dagul mrvava -
when i looked it up istm he is disagreeing with the shach. any clalei
horaah on this issue?
Joel  Rich

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Message: 6
From: Rich, Joel
Date: Wed, 27 May 2020 04:21:39 +0000
[Avodah] kitniyot

In Israel, where IIUC the majority of consumers eat kitniyot on Pesach, why
would the manufacturers be considered to be mvatlim issur l'chatchila in
terms of non-kitniyot eaters buying a product containing trace kitniyot?
Joel Rich

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Message: 7
From: Chana Luntz
Date: Wed, 27 May 2020 16:29:01 +0100
Re: [Avodah] The tallit without tzitzit

RMB writes:

<<We discussed the story in a thread started by RJK at
There is a variation whether one woman or a group of women were involved,
which is why RJK questioned its veracity.
R Mayer Twersky, R Meiselman, the Frimers and R Seth Mandel all tell the
story. R Meiselman and the Frimers both write that they were told the story
by R Yehuda Kelemer, the rabbi of the YI of Brookline at the time, and that
the story happened in the mid-70s.
<<RSM writes:
> Most of the women accepted this response, because the Rav treated 
> their question with genuine respect and listened to their grievances.
So, I guess you had to be there.>>

But this is why the RSM version stretches credibility - because the full
picture of what he writes is:

"and proposed that there first be a trial period during which they would
wear colored cloaks as tallitot, but without tzitzit and without reciting a
berachah. He asked them to note how they feel wearing them and to come back
after two weeks and confer with him again. After two weeks, they reconvened,
and when the Rav asked these women how they felt, they told him how inspired
they felt when wearing the cloaks. The Rav replied that that was excellent,
that they should definitely continue wearing the cloaks and praying with
kavanah, and that there was no need to wear the tallitot with tzitzit that
men wore. Most of the women accepted this response, because the Rav treated
their question with genuine respect and listened to their grievances."

That is, according to RSM, RYBS was *happy* for the women to continue with a
ceremonial approach in which there was no mitzvah content, but certain
actions (the wearing of coloured cloaks) heightened their "religious high".
Not only that, he encouraged them  to continue to daven with the coloured
cloaks, without the tzitzit.  Coloured cloaks are even less that white
tablecloths and candelabras, in that they are not even traditional, just a
rough imitation of the white cloaks worn by men.  This story, if accurate,
is like RYBS encouraging non-Jews to use coloured tablecloths (instead of
bare tables),  for those who felt their sabbath lacked ceremony.  It is
totally out of keeping with everything else you (and others) have said about
RYBS, including in your previous posts on this subject, but it does mean
that If RSM's account were true, then indeed RBYS is highly encouraging of
nachas ruach via non mitzvah ceremony, at least in the case of feminist

The other reason why RSM's account strains credibility is this.  If there
were a group of feminists in Boston who were told to, and accepted, the
wearing of coloured cloaks to daven in - what has happened to those coloured
cloak daveners?  If this really was such an amazing religious high, that
they were encouraged to continue with, then they would have continued and
grown, and others would have joined them.  We would therefore have expected
a community of women in Boston (if not other places where RYBS's remit ran
large) with the minhag to wear coloured cloaks (without tzitzis).  Indeed,
even someone merely reading RSM's account might well be inspired to find a
coloured cloak (without tzitzis) and try and enhance her davening. The fact
that these do not exist strongly points towards the reality that this
account, at least, is fictional.

Unfortunately the link to the Frimers' article no longer works, so I only
have RSS's account from that previous thread (and that is partial), and
Tamar Ross's, and to discuss properly we would need the closest source we
can.  Especially as I suspect that the version of the story that RJR is
referring to is not RSMs, but R' Frimer(s).  




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Message: 8
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Wed, 27 May 2020 20:42:52 +0000
[Avodah] Eruv Tavshilim


Business Halacha Institute - Restoring the primacy of Choshen Mishpat<https://businesshalacha.com/en/business-weekly/archive/551>
Business Halacha Institute - Restoring the primacy of Choshen Mishpat

Verdict: The local Rabbi grants the community a share in his eruv through a
non-dependent household member who raises it a tefach; this can be relied
upon for eruv tavshilin on a one-time basis.

See the above URL for more.

Question:  In many communities there is ore than one local rabbi.  If one
relied on one in a given year,	and then forgot to make an Eruv Tavshilim
the next year, can one then rely on another for this second  year?


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