Avodah Mailing List

Volume 39: Number 61

Tue, 13 Jul 2021

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2021 15:12:15 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Who knows "eleven"?

On Sat, Jul 10, 2021 at 10:52:07PM -0400, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
> Three times (Bereshis 32:23, Bereshis 37:9, Devarim 1:2) it appears as
> "achad asar".
> Three times (Bamidbar 7:72, Bamidbar 29:20, Devarim 1:3) it appears as
> "ashtay asar".

A place to possibly start. "Ashtei asar" most literally refers to the
number after 10. Ashtei is the semitic root that gives us "shtayim". To
the extent that many hold that the sheva in "shtei" is nach, an exception
to the rule for the sheva on the first letter, a legacy of the missing

Knowing that "echad asar" is the usual name for a number, whereas "ashtei
asar" talks about 11 as "the second after ten" would at least allow you
to reframe the question, even if the question seems just as difficult.

I noticed something else in Devarim 1:2-3. "Achad asar yom" is a duration,
"there are 11 days [travel] from Choreiv via the Har Seir route, until
Qadeish Barneia".

But "it was the fortieth year in the elevenTH month..." An ordinal, not
cardinal number. So, maybe "ashtei asar -- after-tenth" is particularly
ordinal? First, second, third ... tenth, after-tenth, twelfth....


Micha Berger                 Zion will be redeemed through justice,
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   and her returnees, through righteousness.
Author: Widen Your Tent
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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Message: 2
From: Jay F. Shachter
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2021 15:46:34 -0500 (EDT)
[Avodah] RSRH, R Barukh of Shklov, and a historian

> Prof Levine cited RSRH, the Gra via R Barukh of Shklov and a
> historian.  Although admittedly the historian is speaking about the
> Golden Age of Spain, and not making broad assertions about norms
> before and after that golden age.

You clearly did not read the passage purported to be written by that
historian, or you did not read it carefully, since it asserts that
Jews in the time and place in question studied geometry "Euclidean and

More to the point, the people engaged in this debate have lost sight
of their original reason for having it.  The original reason for the
discussion was to determine whether secular education is effective.
Whether secular education was widely practiced, or was not widely
practiced, where it was widely practiced, where it was not widely
practiced -- all of these questions were subservient to the original
question, which was: if I encourage my children to go to college, will
it be good for them, or bad for them?  If I encourage my children to
obtain a secular education thru some means other than by going to
college, will it be good for them or bad for them?  That is the
question you were seeking to address, not whether Jewish
schoolchildren in Moslem Spain studied non-Euclidean geometry.

And if people were thinking more clearly, they would realize that we
will never know the answer to this question.  The answer is
unknowable, because an experiment in which the subjects assign
themselves into the control group, or into the non-control group, is
not an experiment.  Children whose parents give them a secular
education, are not the same population as children whose parents do
not give them a secular education.  Therefore, you may not compare
them.  You will never know with certainty whether sending your
children to college increases, or reduces, their likelihood of
observing some mitzva, the observance of which is measurable, for the
same reason why we will never know with certainty whether smoking, or
living in New Jersey, causes cancer in humans.  Maybe one of the early
symptoms of cancer, a symptom which can be observed decades before any
other symptoms are manifest, is that you develop a desire to move to
New Jersey.

Fortunately, the question that we cannot answer, is not the right
question.  Asking whether teaching your children secular knowledge is
effective, is like asking whether prayer is effective.  It is the
wrong question.  I don't know whether prayer is effective, and neither
do you, and don't say that you do, because you don't.  Our Creator has
commanded us to pray, we are obligated to pray; therefore, we pray.

So the question you should be asking, is not the question that you
have been asking.  At this point, I think that Chana Luntz (Sassoon)
should re-post here the article that she posted on Areivim on April
28, 2010 (originally written in response to an article on "shidduch
references", but addressing larger matters), because the people who
are participating in the current debate, if they did read that article
when it was originally posted, are in need of reading it again.

                        Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
                        6424 North Whipple Street
                        Chicago IL  60645-4111
                                (1-773)7613784   landline
                                (1-410)9964737   GoogleVoice

                        "Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur"

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Message: 3
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2021 17:50:44 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Where Did The Manna Fall?

R' Meir G. Rabi asked:

> If Moshe Rabbenu's Manna fell close to his home
> and Korach and his congregation's Manna began to fall far
> from their door after they declared their insubordination
> why was there any doubt about who was right and who was wrong?

Good question. I will respond with another question:

If almost all the COVID patients in the hospital are people who didn't get
vaccinated, and almost no one who did get fully vaccinated ends up in
hospital with COVID, then why is there any doubt about whether the vaccines
are effective?

I suspect that the same answer applies to both questions: Some people
believe what they want to believe, and nothing will convince them otherwise.

And if there is someone out there who thinks that I am mistaken about
COVID, then that just reinforces my point. I have sources that I consider
trustworthy, you have sources that you consider trustworthy, and I presume
that Korach's followers also decided between various sources of information
and their truthiness.

Akiva Miller
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Message: 4
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2021 22:43:33 +0000
[Avodah] Sukkah 4a ?What?s Wrong with This Picture??


Sukkah 4a ?What?s Wrong with This Picture?? ? The Seforim Blog<https://seforimblog.com/2021/07/sukkah-4a-whats-wrong-with-this-picture/>
Sukkah 4a ?What?s Wrong with This Picture?? By Eli Genauer. This post is is
l?zecher nishmas my uncle and rebbe, Rabbi Sam Genauer ZT?L whose yahrtzeit
is the second day of Av. Rabbi Genauer was a talmid of Rabbi Moshe
Soloveichik at RIETS.
By Eli Genauer

Please see the above URL for a detailed discussion of these pictures.

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Message: 5
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2021 14:54:36 +0000
[Avodah] Even More on Secular Studies and Yeshiva Eduacation

Someone sent me the following:

I will tell you a piece of history that no one will tell you today . We all
know the story of the CHOPFETZ CHAIM going to the Polish prime minister to
nullify the decree that all children must have 4 years of secular
education. What no one will tell you that a few years later they set up a
network of CHADORIM called YAVNEH with full secular program and RAV
ELCHONON WASSERMAN went around collecting money for it . They asked Rav
Elchonon isn't the CHOFFETZ CHAIM against secular learning in Yeshivos to
which he replied that they saw that the average BAL HABOS did not want to
send his son to a place without secular education so they were sending to
not frum CHADORIM, so we had to change and make a good program of secular

Also, when the GERER Chassidim started their Cheder in Israel 1930's they had Limudei Chol.

Let me add that in my opinion it is most unfortunate that many Chareidim
and Chassidim are willing to send their sons to yeshivas that give no
meaningful secular education.  Those who attend such yeshivas in general
have little chance of getting the skills required to get jobs that will
properly support their families.


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Message: 6
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2021 21:43:39 +0000
[Avodah] The 16 People Who Can?t Be Counted For a Minyan

Please see the article at

The 16 People Who Can't Be Counted For a Minyan - VINnews<https://vinnews.com/2021/07/11/the-16-people-who-cant-be-counted-for-a-minyan/?utm_source=feedburner&;utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+vin+%28Vos+Iz+Neias%29>
by Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com Click to get Text Message Updates right
to your phone Join our WhatsApp group Awkward is a word that has become
very popular in the past few years.  And, without a doubt, the halacha
about to be discussed below can certainly place a number of people in such
a [?]

for details.

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Message: 7
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2021 12:38:08 +0000
[Avodah] Why is laundry prohibited during the Nine Days,

From today's OU Kosher Halacha Yomis

Q. Why is laundry prohibited during the Nine Days, while an avel may do laundry during the month of mourning (shloshim) after Shiva?

A. Rav Yosef Ber Soloveitchik, zt?l (Out of the Whirlwind, pp.9-30)
discusses at length the Gemara (Yevamos 43b) which distinguishes between
aveilus chadasha and aveilus yeshana, i.e., the ?new? mourning of the
private individual and the ?old?, public mourning over the destruction of
the Bais HaMikdash. The individual mourns over the loss of a close
relative. The community mourns over the loss of the Bais HaMikdash, a
historical event which transpired almost two thousand years ago.

The individual mourns over an event which has just transpired with a
spontaneous reaction of grief. As the year progresses, the pain over the
loss lessens. The Halachos of the individual?s mourning reflect the
lessening of this anguish. On the other hand, the public, communal mourning
over the loss of the Bais Hamikdash entails reflecting on an ancient
historical event. This type of mourning increases with intensity so that by
the time Tisha B?Av arrives, it is as if ?his deceased relative lies before
him.? The Halachos of mourning in this case intensify with time, mirroring
the increasing reflection and concentration of the public over an old event
to recreate that event as if on Tisha B?Av it just transpired.

It is for this reason that one is prohibited from doing laundry during the
Nine Days. In olden times, washing one?s clothes meant continuous public
work at the river. This causes hes?ach hada?as, a diversion from the
increasing meditation concerning the loss of the Bais HaMikdash, and is
thus prohibited (MB 551:21). In contrast, an individual?s period of
mourning is naturally intense, and there is no need to restrict laundering
which leads to hes?ach hada?as.
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