Avodah Mailing List

Volume 39: Number 23

Mon, 15 Mar 2021

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Aryeh Frimer
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2021 18:19:59 +0000
[Avodah] When Shabbat Goes into Yom Tov

Has anyone seen a discussion of davening Ma'ariv for Yom Tov/Motsa"sh early
when Shabbat goes into Yom Tov (e.g. Seder Night) - including the
recitation of Va-Todi'einu
Shavu'ah Tov and Chodesh Tov

Dr. Aryeh A. Frimer
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 5290002, ISRAEL
E-mail (office): Aryeh.Fri...@biu.ac.il

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20210313/cc262936/attachment-0001.html>

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2021 17:37:23 +0000
[Avodah] Soft Matzah

The CRC sent out an email saying that soft matzah is not acceptable for
Ashkenazim.  The person who knows a great deal about soft matzah is Rabbi
Dr. Ari Zivotofsky.  A google search for Zivotofsky soft matza yields

The Halachic Acceptability of Soft Matzah<http://halachicadventures.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Journal-of-contemporary-socienty-and-halacha-soft-matzah.pdf>
halachicadventures.com ? 09

of Soft Matzah Rabbi Dr. Ari Z Zivotofsky Dr. Ari Greenspan Introduction
The Torah (Shmot 12:18) commands all Jews, men and women alike, to eat
matzah on the ?rst night of Pesach; yet nowhere does it explain how to make
this required product or how it should look. For most Jews today, matzah is
a thin,

The Thick and Thin of the History of Matzah<http://www.hakirah.org/Vol17Zivotofsky.pdf>
www.hakirah.org ? Vol17Zivotofsky

Ari Zivotofsky, Ph.D., is a rabbi and shoh?etand teaches in the Bar Ilan
University brain science program. Together they have been researching
mesorah, history and halakhah from Jewish communities around the world for
over 30 years. They write extensively and lecture worldwide.

Matzah: Thin and Hard vs. Thick and Soft Ari Zivotofsky<https://www.torahinmotion.org/sites/default/files/podcast/matzah_thick_thin_sources.pdf>
www.torahinmotion.org ? sites ? default

Ari Zivotofsky (biblical mitzvah to eat matzah on the first night of Pesach
? what is it?) ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??

and more.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20210315/fef30e7e/attachment-0001.html>

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2021 13:12:42 +0000
[Avodah] After reciting Hamotzi, how much bread should be

From today's OU Kosher Halacha Yomis

Q. After reciting Hamotzi, how much bread should be eaten before conversing?

A. Ordinarily, after reciting a brocha on food, one may not speak until the
beracha takes affect by swallowing a small bite of food. If one spoke
before eating, the beracha is invalidated because of the hefsek
(interruption) and must be repeated. While this is true for all foods,
bread has a unique status. The Mishnah Berurah (167:35) writes that
lichatchila (preferably), one should not talk until a kezayis (half the
size of an egg) of bread is swallowed. However, if there is a pressing
matter, one may converse after swallowing any amount. The Mishnah Berurah
writes that if one spoke while chewing on the bread before swallowing, he
is uncertain whether it is a beracha livatala (a blessing recited in vain)
and perhaps the beracha would need to be repeated. Therefore, this should
be avoided. However, the Chayei Adam writes that if a person swallowed some
of the taste of the bread while chewing (even if not the actual bread
itself), a new beracha is not said. In all cases, one should ma
 ke an effort to swallow a kezayis of bread before talking. In the next Halacha Yomis we will discuss why bread is different than other foods.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20210315/d587880f/attachment-0001.html>

Go to top.

Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2021 16:29:16 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Sh'foch Chamas'cha

On Sun, Jan 31, 2021 at 04:47:11PM -0500, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
> Please note the text of Tehillim 79-6, which appears in the Haggada as the
> very first thing we say after benching.

[Shefokh chamsekha...]

> Personally, I don't know how he sees such a distinction between those who
> "do not know You" and those who "do not call on your name"...

Thinking "out loud":

A polytheist could know there is a Creator, but call on someone else. Or

Perhaps RSRH believes such people are more likely to be in the opposition,
rather than ignorant. And since we switch from amim to mamlakhos, we
are switching from peoples to countries, entities with militaries.

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

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2021 16:54:45 -0400
Re: [Avodah] sheasani yisrael

On Wed, Feb 03, 2021 at 01:02:59PM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
> About 50 years ago if I recall correctly I heard R' N Alpert ZT"L say that
> the reason we don't say a bracha sheasani yisrael is that HKBH can only
> give us the opportunity to be so but it is up to us to make ourselves so.

Rabbi Yehudah, who authored an earlier version of the three berakhos
(goy, bur, ishah) and the rebbe of R Meir who wrote our version says
they are "who didn't make me" someone with fewer mitzvos. (Y-mi Berakhos
vilna ed. 63b) And the chiyuvim and issurim are there whether or not one
lives up to them. Maybe RMA is saying "she'asani Yisrael" would only be
a berakhah if a person is on the tzaddiq side of the beinoni line?

The Taz has an interesting argument (OC 46:4). He says that if the
berakhos were framed as "she'asani", a person might think that nakhriim,
slaves or women are less important creations. Rather, we say that while
having been created a woman would have been a blessing, I thank the
RBSO that I personally was given the role that has even yet more mitzvos
than that!

So, if RNA wants to build on the Taz, he could be saying the berakhah is
thanking G-d for not only creating me with the opportunities to fulfill
mitzvos of an X, but even more.

On Thu, Feb 04, 2021 at 07:39:20PM +0000, Joseph Kaplan via Avodah wrote:
> I'm not sure I understand. Aren't we taught that a Yisrael, even one
> who has sinned, remains a Yisrael? So each of us is a Yisrael by birth
> no matter what we do.

The way I spun RNAlpert's idea in reply to RJR's post, I avoid this question.
Yes, the person remains a Yisrael. But a sinful Yisrael. Like we tell the
prospective geir: Why not remain a non-Jew and earn a lichtiger gan eden
without all those duties and prohibitions?

In any case, there is also the difference between Am Yisrael and Adas
Yisrael. "Yisrael, af al pi shechata, Yisrael hu" refers to qedushas
Am Yisrael. What RYBS calls the qedushah of the community of fate. But
someone who isn't giving the eidus isn't a member of Adas Yisrael;
they aren't participating in the qedushah of the community of destiny.
The latter is used in the mishnah "Kol Yisrael yeish lahem cheileq le'olam
haba" followed by the list of koferim, minim, apiqorsim and mumarim who
don't. Because it is specifically all of Adas Yisrael who have a cheileq`
RNAlpert could have meant that the berakhah "shelo asani Yisrael" would
have meant "Adas Yisrael".

But I like my first suggested peshat more. Feels more like something
he actually would have said.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 I thank God for my handicaps, for, through them,
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   I have found myself, my work, and my God.
Author: Widen Your Tent                   - Helen Keller
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

Go to top.

Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2021 17:33:14 -0400
Re: [Avodah] For trolley enthusiasts

On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 06:39:57AM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
> For trolley enthusiasts: Reuvain (falls, jumps off from) the sixth floor
> balcony. As he passes by the fourth floor a bullet from Shimon's fourth
> floor apartment is released (maybe accidentally, or just to let off steam,
> or to kill Levi across the street) piercing Reuvain's brain and destroying
> it. As Reuvain's body passes the third floor and awning (which he and
> Shimon were aware of or unaware of) (was open, or is opened/before Reuvain
> reaches it) and breaks his fall. In each case what is the (secular,
> halachic) cause of death? What liability is cast on each participant?

One is not chayav for killing a tereifah or speeding up the death of a
goseis. But it's still retzichah.

So, just to get the post more attention, here is my guess:

Shimon is oveir retzichah either way. The only question is punishability.
Since lemafreia we know that Re'uvein wasn't omeid lamus, one would
have said that Shimon's violation is punishable. Except that you set
up a situation in which Shimon couldn't have been acting bemeizid and
with hasra'ah.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   I awoke and found that life was duty.
Author: Widen Your Tent      I worked and, behold -- duty is joy.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                      - Rabindranath Tagore

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2021 17:13:38 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Soft Matzah

We discussed this topic around 15 years ago. I ended up asking R Herschel

He brought proof from the Rama that Ashkenazim weren't making cracker-like
matzos in his day. So of course the concept isn't a problem.

(That said, I opened the question asking about a specific bakery which
had just started taking on-line orders. So RHS reminded me that he
hasn't looked at that bakery. While he can say the idea has no problems,
he had no idea if the hekhsher checking the implementation is reliable.)

You may recall that one of our more active members at the time was making
wrap- or more accurately tortilla-like matzos. (Wraps usually contain
yeast, and tortillas usually don't.) So the discussion got quite lively.

I learned something else interesting in that discussion. Tortillas and
wraps are usually made from dough (belila avah). But they are sometimes
made from batter (belila raqa). In which case, they would be mezonos,
even if you are qoveia se'udah on a stack of them. So, check the label!

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 A person lives with himself for seventy years,
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   and after it is all over, he still does not
Author: Widen Your Tent      know himself.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                          - Rav Yisrael Salanter

Go to top.

Message: 8
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2021 17:28:05 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Prayers That The Tzibbur Does Not Say

On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 10:31:53PM -0500, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
> Then the entire crowd unites to daven mincha together. When the shliax
> tzibbur recites Xazaras Hashatz, can he add a tefila for the leader's
> health, either in Refa'einu or in Shema Kolenu? If not, why not?

I thought "kol hameshaneh mimatbeia shetav'u chakhamim eino ela to'eh"
refers to making it a norm.

But the similarly phrased "... bibrakhos, lo yatza yedei chovaso",
about the chasimah or whether it's a berakhah arukhah, is even once.

In personal baqashos... It is one thing to make a tefillah for cholim in
a time of need. But one isn't supposed to be inserting the Yehi Ratzon
into EVERY Refa'einu for months or years on end.

Here, IMHO the justification would be similar to that of adding baqashos
to Sh"E during Aseres Yemei Teshuvah. "Zokhreinu lechaim", "Mi Khamokha",
etc... Not the chasimos, which aren't baqashos but special seasonal

Which the Sha"tz says too.

So, I would think the Chazan could / should say something in Refa'einu.
But my 2 week search for meqoros turned up empty.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 "I think, therefore I am." - Renne Descartes
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   "I am thought about, therefore I am -
Author: Widen Your Tent      my existence depends upon the thought of a
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF    Supreme Being Who thinks me." - R' SR Hirsch

Go to top.

Message: 9
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2021 18:07:48 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Meshech Chochma on kedusha

On Wed, Mar 10, 2021 at 10:10:39AM +0000, Ben Bradley via Avodah wrote:
> 'Who is bringing the Torah into the world? Is EY qadosh because it is
> the subject of extra mitzvos? Or is it qadosh because we do those
> mitzvos?

I think
>     ... ein benivra qedushah be'etzem
>     raq mitzad shemiras Yisrael haTorah
>     kefi Retzon haBorei yisbarakh shemo haqadosh...

Yes, this requires that the Borei actually commands them. But it's
not quite what I would consider a partnership. G-d "participates" in
the sense that according to R Meir Simchah haKohein qedushah is about
the Inyan E-loki. The proximate cause is us; we are the only means of
bringing that G-dliness into a place or object.

R Yitzchak Blau has a lecture on Gush's VBM entitled
"Sanctity in the Thought of R. Meir Simcha" at

He has more examples there of the MC making statements about qedushah
to this effect than I was researching. I was on Shemos 12:21 "mishkhu
uqechu" when I found that RYB's lecture. Here's what I was open to:
    Vehinei yeish leha'arikh,
    shekol meqomos hamuqdashim ein YESODAM min hadas
    raq meiha'umah

"Yesodam" is underlined in my MC.

As he continues, all the das, the religious texts say is "the place where
Hashem will choose." It's the places history as the place from where Adam
was created and where Yitzchaq was ne'eqad that gives it qedushah. We
don't identify a holy location by das, we identify it from the people.

Also, "Raq Y-m vekhol EY veHar haMoriah benuyim al hisyachasum

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 With the "Echad" of the Shema, the Jew crowns
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   G-d as King of the entire cosmos and all four
Author: Widen Your Tent      corners of the world, but sometimes he forgets
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF    to include himself.     - Rav Yisrael Salanter


Avodah mailing list



Send Avodah mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Avodah digest..."

A list of common acronyms is available at
(They are also visible in the web archive copy of each digest.)

< Previous Next >