Avodah Mailing List

Volume 41: Number 63

Mon, 28 Aug 2023

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Michael Poppers
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2023 15:44:56 -0400
[Avodah] Medrash ?

In Avodah V41n62, RJR asked, "Someone mentioned to me a medrash that Shir
Hashirim has 117 psukim because David Hamelech had 3 sins which deserved
malkot (3x39=117)
Anyone know where this is found?"
Google'ing, I see Sefaria.org (URL
https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/395598?lang=bi) quoting REMansour, "
??? ?????? ??? ??:??:?? </Shir_HaShirim_Rabbah.1.1.8>

?????? ?????, ????? ???????????, ????? ???????? ????????? (???? ??, ?):
??????? ???????? ??????? ?????, ?????? ????? ????? ??????? ??????? ???????
?????? ????????? ??????????? ??????????? ????????, ???????? ??????????
????????. ???????? ??????????? ???????, ??????? ??????? ?????? ?????????
????????????, ???????? ?????????? ???????? ?????????, ??????? ????????
??????? ????? ???? ?????? ?????? ??? ????? ???????? ???????? ???????
????????? ????????, ???????? ???????? ??????, ???????? ???????? ??????,
?????? ????????? ?????????. ??????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ????? ???????? ???
??????? ?????????. ??? ??????? [??? ?????], ??? ??????? ????? ??????????
????????? ???????? ???? ????????? ????????, ????? ???????? ???????
?????????? ????? ?????? ????????? ????????, ???? ??????? ????? ???????
?????????? ?????????? ??????? ????????, ????? ?????? ?????????? ???????????
??????? ??????????. ????? ??? ?????? ????? ???????? ??? ????? ????? ??????
???????????? ???????? ??????, ???????? ???????? ???????? ?????????? ??????
????????? ???????... ????? ?????? ?????? ??????????? ??????? ??? ???????
?????? ???????? ?????? ?????????? ?????? ???????????? ????? ?????????
??????, ???????? ?????? ?????, ???????????, ?????? ????? ???????? ????????
?????? ??????????, ????? ???????????? ?????? ????? ?????????, ???????
???????? ????????: ????????, ???????, ??????? ???????????.
Shir HaShirim Rabbah 1:1:8 </Shir_HaShirim_Rabbah.1.1.8>

This is like that which is said in Ecclesiastes "A further word: Because
Koheleth was a sage, he continued to instruct the people. He listened to
and tested the soundness of many maxims. If another person had done what
Shlomo did, you would've had to really strain to understand things. More
than he said them with the holy spirit and more his wisdom taught the
people through his parables, he gave openings to the Torah. Until Shlomo
came, that wasn't the case. It's like the case of a great castle that has
many openings. Anybody who went into the castle would always get lost.
Then, a wise person came and made ornaments that he hung over each door. So
too it was that until Shlomo came, a person never really understood the
words of Torah and then afterwards, they did. Rabbi Yudan said this is all
to teach anyone who teaches Torah in public merits the resting of the
divine presence on her and we learn this from Shlomo. Since he taught this
all in person, the holy spirit rested upon him and he wrote Proverbs,
Kohelet, and Shir Hashirim.

*Rabbi Eli Mansour*

The Midrash Talpiyot, based on the Zohar in Parashat Noah, writes that the
souls of the wicked condemned to suffering in Gehinam are given a reprieve
from their suffering during the times when we are praying here in this
world. Each of the three daily prayer services, the Midrash Talpiyot
writes, lasts for an hour-and-a-half. (It seems that in the olden days the
Sadikim spent a full 90 minutes on each prayer, even Minha and Arbit!) This
means that the wicked enjoy 4.5 hours of relief a day (three 90-minute
periods), or 27 hours a week (4.5 X 6), excluding Shabbat, throughout which
the wicked are in any event given a reprieve. It thus emerges that out of
the 144 hours in the workweek (24 X 6), the souls of the wicked spend 117
hours (144 ? 27) suffering in Gehinam.
The Book of Shir Hashirim was composed by King Shelomo and contains 117
verses, corresponding to the 117 hours of suffering endured by the souls of
the wicked each week. And thus as we end the week, we read this book in
case, G-d forbid, we had done something during the week for which we
deserve being condemned to Gehinam. Our reading of this book at the end of
the week serves as a Tikkun (rectification) for anything we might have done
to earn this kind of harsh sentence. King Shelomo wrote this book to atone
for the three sins that he committed, violating the Torah?s restrictions on
the amount of wives, wealth and horses a king is allowed to have. Each
violation is punishable by 39 lashes, and so he composed the 117 Pesukim of
Shir Hashirim (39 X 3) to atone for these transgressions".

All the best from
--Michael via phone
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.aishdas.org/pipermail/avodah-aishdas.org/attachments/20230824/95e60cee/attachment-0001.htm>

Go to top.

Message: 2
From: Joel Rich
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2023 17:28:02 -0400
[Avodah] Medrash

Thanks so much to micheal poppers for the reference to the medrash
talpiyot. From what I was able to find apparently this was written in the
late 1600s. The cover page in Hebrew books states that he collected from
medrash in bavli yerushalmi Zohar and elsewhere.  And looking inside I did
not see any place where the sources are listed of individual entries, and
the organizational system did not permit me to find this particular one if
anybody has any additional information I?d love to know.
Joel rich 

Go to top.

Message: 3
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2023 16:26:45 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Minyan Man?

On Tue, Aug 15, 2023 at 05:03:57PM -0400, Joel Rich via Avodah wrote:
> Davened in the bet Knesset in Ben Gurion airport (NATBAG). There were about
> 15 men at various points in their private tfilot. One individual walked up
> to the amud and proceeded to daven out loud the entire tfila (kaddish,
> barchu etc) as if he were a shaliach tzibur. People (including new
> arrivals) answered even though they were at different points (if at all) of
> davening. There were possibly two people davening at his pace. Analysis?

Not that it helps him, but you don't need a minyan for Qaddish.

Qaddish is said after a section of tefillah, or after learning, by a
minyan. E.g. as long as you had a minyan for part of Pesuqei deZimra,
you can say Qaddish afterwards.

Which sounds to me like having a minyan of people willing to answer
Yehei Shemeih Rabba and Amein from whereever they are up to wouldn't
matter. After all, they aren't all saying the section of tefillah the
Qaddish closes.

That said, this line of reasoning would have an aveil be very careful
when saying a Qaddish after Qorbanos that there was a minyan that indeed
said Qorbanos together and are finishing just then. My shul on Shabbos
is pretty yeshivish, no Chazan until Shochein Ad. It is quite likely
nowhere near a minyan finished when the aveil just says Qaddish out loud.
Same thing comes up when people are coming late, and he says Qaddish
as soon as the 10th arrives. (Maybe 9 who finished and a 10th is okay,

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 The trick is learning to be passionate in one's
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   ideals, but compassionate to one's peers.
Author: Widen Your Tent
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

Go to top.

Message: 4
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2023 16:10:48 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The Arukh haShulchan on eating borcht made by a

On Sun, Aug 13, 2023 at 10:34:13AM -0400, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
> For certain products, I question the premise that "we today need to look
> for hekhsheirim".
> Let's look, for example, at foods such as domestic unflavored beer, corn
> starch, salt, unflavored ground coffee, and unflavored water even with
> fluoride. These are listed by the Star K (
> https://www.star-k.org/articles/kosher-lists/3502/no-hechsher-required/)
> ...

And a question I asked about tea led to the star-K writing

Basically, the traditional teas don't require a hekhsher, even if they
have flavoring. And this is true both the standard Chinese and Japanese
recipes and the traditional European ones -- jasmine tea or earl gray are
both kosher, even though they have more than one ingredient.

They emphasize:
> Food flavor chemicals represent one of the most challenging areas in
> kashrus. Since ingredients for flavors are derived from a myriad of
> sources, any product containing either natural or artificial flavorings
> requires certification.

Before continuing, "Flavored teas are no exception..."

They seem to be saying the big problem today is that flavorings and
the like can show up anywhere. Not that this is the problem specifically
in the tea arena, since teas are being presented as "no exception" to
a rule.

So, it would seem "one of the most challenging areas" is a topic that would
have post-dated the AhS (1890s). But only one of them.

> Postscript: I am not advocating the above approach for *all* products, but
> *only* for those where a reliable source has investigated the current
> manufacturing practices, and has concluded that the product is
> sufficiently innocuous...

I think that while today that's a minority of commercially available products
and in the AhS's day a majority, I still don't see how this addresses the
question of how he just assumes random ingredients are bound to be batel
beshishim, and we don't.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Like a bird, man can reach undreamed-of
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   heights as long as he works his wings.
Author: Widen Your Tent      But if he relaxes them for but one minute,
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF    he plummets downward.   - Rav Yisrael Salanter

Go to top.

Message: 5
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2023 16:20:44 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Davening priorities

On Tue, Aug 15, 2023 at 05:06:29PM -0400, Joel Rich via Avodah wrote:
> Which would you choose -- davening Shacharit on a parked plane after
> misheyakir but before hanetz or on a flying plane after hanetz? Why?

I would definitely choose not being in people's way on the plane over
davening at a lechat-khilah time. (You are yotzei bedi'eved / beshe'as
hadechaq after alos, no?)

I would also point out that many of the greatest poseqim of my lifetime
would require you davening sitting if davening on a plane -- R Moshe,
R SZ Auerbach, R Ovadia Yosef, etc... Which would mean your davening
involves a bedi'eved either way.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 The day you were born is the day G-d decided
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   that the world could not exist without you.
Author: Widen Your Tent                  - Rav Nachman of Breslov
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

Go to top.

Message: 6
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2023 16:35:39 -0400
Re: [Avodah] megilot not read from a klaf

On Tue, Aug 22, 2023 at 05:08:28PM -0400, Joel Rich via Avodah wrote:
> If you attend a minyan where the haftara (or any of the megilot)are not
> read from a klaf, what is the kahal's practice (and has the shul rav
> directed this) during the haftara reading? 1. listen intently to each word
> 2. read along word for word with the one reading from the bima 3. read by
> oneself at their own pace 4. other ________.

My minyan just got a Yeshaiah kelaf, but until then, we did (1) and (2)
by reading quietly to ourselves along with the baal qeri'ah.

I grew up in a chassidish shteibl, where they did (3).

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Good decisions come from experience;
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   Experience comes from bad decisions.
Author: Widen Your Tent                   - Djoha, from a Sepharadi fable
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

Go to top.

Message: 7
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2023 16:39:08 -0400
Re: [Avodah] nisyonot

On Tue, Aug 22, 2023 at 05:11:19PM -0400, Joel Rich via Avodah wrote:
> I was comforted to hear that R H Schachter believes that some people are
> given nisyonot that they can't overcome and thus are held blameless (it
> took me decades to come to believe that after being constantly told the
> opposite). Your thoughts?

The alternative is to be prepared to blame a Holocaust survivor who lost
his faith for becoming a kofeir.

If we suspend judgment in such cases, we must believe that there exists
situations where the person just can't be held accountable. Once we
establish that this is philosophical possibility, we are just arguing
about quantities.

Tir'u baTov!


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 >