Avodah Mailing List

Volume 40: Number 54

Tue, 09 Aug 2022

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2022 14:56:44 +0000
[Avodah] This year Tisha B?Av is nidcheh

The following is from the OU Kosher Halacha Yomis

Q. This year Tisha B?Av is nidcheh?it is postponed from Shabbos to Sunday, the Tenth of Av. When do the various prohibitions of the Three Weeks end this year?

A. Normally, all restrictions of the Three Weeks and the Nine Days remain
in place until the tenth of Av at Chatzos (midday) because the Bais
Hamikdash continued to be engulfed in flames on the tenth of Av (Rama OC
558:1). This year, since the ninth of Av falls on Shabbos when we may not
fast, the fast of Tisha B?Av is postponed to Sunday, the tenth of Av.
Sunday evening is the 11th of Av and therefore, the restrictions against
taking haircuts, shaving, doing laundry, bathing, swimming, saying
Shehecheyanu and sewing are lifted immediately at the end of the fast
without waiting until the next day (Mishna Berura 558:4).

Nonetheless, eating meat and drinking wine (which are foods used for
celebrations) are only permitted Monday morning after the fast this year,
but may not be consumed Sunday evening. Since the day was spent in
mourning, it is not proper to resume conduct of simcha (joy) by eating meat
and drinking wine immediately after the fast is over (Rama ibid).

It is questionable whether we can play and listen to music Sunday evening,
this year. Is music, which is used for simcha, treated like meat and wine,
which are restricted at night and not permitted until the morning? Or do we
consider music as less significant, and it is permitted immediately after
the fast, similar to haircuts, laundry and bathing? (See Kitzur Hilchos
Bein HaMetzarim p. 32:3 who prohibits and the sefer Pesach V?Tisha B?Av
B?Shabbos p. 154-155 who permits). Rav Schachter, shlit?a paskened that
when Tisha B?Av is postponed, playing or listening to music is permitted
immediately after the fast ends.

Professor Yitzchok Levine
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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2022 12:23:48 -0400
Re: [Avodah] It Is Neither Dispositive, Nor A "Xumra"

On Thu, Aug 04, 2022 at 03:44:02PM -0400, Zev Sero via Avodah wrote:
> If by "me`akev" you mean that without it the child is not circumcised and
> the bris must be redone correctly, *nobody* holds that.  Once the bris has
> been done, incorrectly, with metzitza omitted, nobody says that you need to
> create a wound just to suck blood from it!

I meant, the mitzvah was not fulfilled.

Bedi'eved has two meanings: one refers to the qiyum, and the other to the
chalos. And this discussion made me realized that therefore its antonym,
me'aqev, as well. To explain by using our case as an example:

It is me'aqeiv in the qiyum sense -- you aren't even yotzei bedi'eved. The
chiyuv is left unfulfilled.

But, bedi'eved -- the chalos is qayam, the boy is gemalt.


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Message: 3
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2022 22:23:00 -0400
[Avodah] Bias kulchem (and rubo k'kulo)

According to the people quoted in these articles
within the next 30 years, two-thirds of world Jewry will be living in Eretz

I am not aware of any significance to the number 2/3, but it is my
understanding that if half of world Jewry would be in Eretz Yisrael, that
would be of *great* halachic significance. Without getting into details,
many halachos which are currently d'rabanan would acquire d'Oraisa status,
which would in turn affect many details of those areas. And if I'm not
mistaken, some halachos which are at only a minhag level (or
non-operational entirely) would similarly become more important.

My question here is NOT about which halachos are in these categories.

My question is: Are the gedolim discussing this stuff? As I see it, there
are at least two different questions they need to consider:

1) Exactly which halachos will change?

2) Perhaps more importantly: How will we know when this occurs? Which
statistics will be considered for this question? Which demographers will we
listen to?

I think we are all painfully aware of how little our brothers and sisters
know about being Jewish. So many don't even know themselves whether they
are Jewish by *any* definition. So how can WE know how many Jews are in the

There have been many similar articles in recent years about Israel becoming
the center of Jewish population. What makes these two (the ones I linked to
above) different is that the other articles are about reaching the halfway
point, and now they're talking about two-thirds. It makes me wonder if we
might already have passed the halfway point, at least according to some
calculations. This is what makes me want to know what the gedolim are

Akiva Miller
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Message: 4
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2022 15:52:27 +0000
[Avodah] Comments About the Mishnah and Talmud

The following is from Vision & Valor written by Rabbi Berel Wein

A key feature of both the Mishnah and the Talmud is that they
can never be understood from the outside. As a unique work with
its own method of reasoning, it can be known only from the inside
- from the Talmud itself! So, the obvious question is, where does
one begin? One must struggle to get into the heart of the Talmud,
for only by reaching its heart can one hope to penetrate the intricacies
of its mental processes and appreciate the magic of its logic.
Since the Talmud can only be known from inside, intellect alone
(though certainly necessary) is insufficient to master it. Minds can
speak to minds, but only hearts can speak to hearts.

The Talmud is a book of godly personalities and deep insight
into the human condition and the world. It is a book of love, of
compassion, of striving spirituality and also of withering candor. It
is a book for the masses, but it is again a book only for the few. It
has simple wisdom on its surface and majestic mystery in its depth.
It is the book of love between Jews and Jews, between generations
and generations, between the people and the God of Israel. Therefore,
one who measures the Talmud by the yardstick of facts, laws,
and discussions alone makes a fundamental error, for that is a very
narrow, and even unjust, view of this monumental work.

For the triumph of the Talmud and its personalities against its
enemies, both within and without the Jewish people, was based
upon its hidden greatness and human warmth, not only on its soaring
intellect and wise interpretations of Jewish law. The creators of
the Mishnah and Talmud are the worthy successors to the prophets
of Israel in their vision, their fire and passion, their unsparing honesty,
their love for the people and God of Israel; and most of all, in
their almost unrealistic yet unquenchable optimism. Theirs is the
unshakable faith in the Torah and mission of Israel that sustained
generations of Jews for centuries.

But perhaps the greatest contribution of the Oral Law - and of
the Mishnah and Talmud that now represents that Oral Law - is
found in the words of Midrash itself:

"I [the Lord] do not wish to grant them the Oral Law in writing
because I know that the nations of the world will rule over the
Jews and take it away from them. Thus, the written Bible I give
them [now] in writing, while the Mishnah, Talmud and Aggadah
I grant to them orally, for when the nations of the world will
in the future subjugate Israel, the Jews will still be able to be
separate from them . .. for they [the words of the Oral Law] are
what will separate the Jewish people from being assimilated and
lost into the general society" (Midrash Rabah Shmos, chapter 47,
section one).

Thus, even though the entire Torah, both Written and Oral,
is from Sinai, the portion of Torah that is the Oral Law remains
solely in Jewish possession, unlike the written Bible that has been
co-opted by other faiths. In this way, the Oral Law has contributed
significantly to the survival of the Jews as a unique and vital
people. The Oral Law can be seen as the dividing line between Israel
and the nations of the world. The Written Law, the Bible, can
be characterized as universal: the Oral Law, as represented in the
Mishnah and Talmud, as particular. The genius of incorporating
both of these ideas and balancing them harmoniously within Judaism
is testimony to the strength and truth of the Jewish faith.

The Oral Law is built upon the Written Torah. Though it was a
product of centuries of study, writing, editing and endless review,
Judaism posits that the Oral Law - its structure, mechanisms, and
its interpretations of the Written Torah - stems from the Divinity
of the Revelation at Sinai. Every subject in the Talmud begins with
the question: "Where in the Written Torah [in the text itself] do we ? ?
find the basis for this discussion?"

Professor Yitzchok Levine
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Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2022 17:04:40 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Comments About the Mishnah and Talmud

On Sun, Aug 07, 2022 at 03:52:27PM +0000, Prof. L. Levine via Avodah wrote:
> The following is from Vision & Valor written by Rabbi Berel Wein
>> A key feature of both the Mishnah and the Talmud is that they
>> can never be understood from the outside...

See RSRH's critique of the Rambam in 19 Letters, letter #18. This is
exactly the line he believes the Rambam crossed. Albeit not in the domain
of halakhah as much as aggadita -- hashkafah and mussar. And RSRH is
far from alone, thus the whole Maimonidian Controversy, the objection
in the Gra's comentary on SA... But RSRH frames it in the similar terms
to those used here by RBW.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 It's never too late
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   to become the person
Author: Widen Your Tent      you might have been.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                    - George Eliot

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Message: 6
From: Zev Sero
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2022 18:47:01 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Bias kulchem (and rubo k'kulo)

Doesn't "bias kulchem" require that each shevet be living in its own 
territory?  Since we have no idea who is from which shevet, and only a 
somewhat vague idea of where each shevet belongs, and we can be pretty 
sure that the economics that dictate where people choose to live take no 
account of this, it seems to me that we don't have to worry about this 
as a practical matter until Eliyahu comes and sorts it all out for us.

Zev Sero            ?Were we directed from Washington when to sow
z...@sero.name       and when to reap, we should soon want bread.?
                    ?Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821.

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Message: 7
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2022 12:20:48 +0000
[Avodah] Is there a concern of bishul akum with coffee?

The following is from today's OU Kosher Halacha Yomis

Q. I will be travelling and would like to know if there is a concern of bishul akum with coffee? (A consumer?s question)

A. Ostensibly, the prohibition of bishul akum should apply to coffee. Any
cooked food which cannot be eaten raw and is ?oleh al shulchan melachim?
(served at fancy dinners) requires bishul Yisroel. Raw coffee beans are
inedible, and brewed coffee is served at fancy dinners. As such, coffee
should be subject to the restrictions of bishul akum. Nonetheless, the Pri
Chodosh writes that brewed coffee need not be bishul Yisroel, since coffee
is primarily water, and water does not require bishul Yisroel. This is
similar to the reasoning that Tosfos offers to explain why beer does not
require bishul Yisroel. Gilyon Maharsha (YD 113:1) cites sefer Be?er Eishek
who offers many more reasons why coffee is not an issue of bishul Akum.

The Shevet Haleivi (2:44) questions the comparison to beer. Beer is
manufactured with water from the onset, and, therefore, never assumes a
bishul akum status. In contrast, coffee beans are dry roasted. At that
stage, the beans should be prohibited because of bishul akum. Subsequently,
when water is added to the coffee beans, the mixture should remain
forbidden. Even if the water exceeds a sixty to one ratio with the coffee,
the coffee would not be botel (nullified) because it is avida li?teima
(added for flavor). The Shevet Haleivi responds that roasted coffee beans
are not ?oleh al shulchan melachim? because they are not eaten as a
standalone food. Brewed coffee is oleh al shulchan melachim, but at that
stage the mixture is mostly water, and like beer, bishul akum does not

For further discussion, see Sh?ut Yechava Daas 4:42.

Though coffee itself may not require Bishul Yisroel, there are other
concerns that should be considered before purchasing coffee while
travelling related to where the coffee is purchased. For answers to those
questions please visit our Summer FAQ<https://links.mkt3536.com/ctt?ms=MzQ0Mzc3MjgS1&;kn=11&r=MjM3MTAxNzY3NzIS1&b=0&j=MjI0MzMyNzUzOQS2&mt=1&rt=0>
page (see Q&A 4).

Professor Yitzchok Levine
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