Volume 39 Number 03
                 Produced: Mon Apr  7  6:33:24 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Definition of Apikorus
         [Martin D. Stern]
Hungary kosher hotel
Koach D'Hetaira Adif
         [Michael Kahn]
Majority Rule (2)
         [Eli Turkel, Ira L. Jacobson]
Modern Orthodoxy;  actually quotation moqor
         [Michael Frankel]
Modern Orthodoxy: definition (Chumras)
         [Allen Gerstl]
Pesach Trivia
         [Irwin Weiss]
Rambam Murder 12 applies to COUNTRIES not INDIVIDUALS (2)
         [Elazar M Teitz, Ezriel Krumbein]


From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin D. Stern)
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 06:12:56 EDT
Subject: Re: Definition of Apikorus

Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...> writes ( 39 #01):

<< Is disrespect for a Torah scholar a violation of one of the 13 ikram
(sic)? Isn't that a requirement for apikorsus? >>

    The Gemara in Sanhedrin 99b brings several opinions as to the
of an apikorus: either "one who embarrases a talmid chacham" (Rav and R. 
Chanina) or "one who embarrases his friend in front of a talmid chacham"
Yochanan and R. Yehoshua ben Levi). Later it brings Rav Yosef's opinion:
who says 'What use are the rabbis to me?' " However none of these speak of 
someone who denies the 13 ikkarim.

Also, A. Krinsky <adkrinsky@...> writes ( 39 #01):

<<Relating to the discussion about davening speed and Tircha D'tzibura, I 
have a question.  Is anyone aware of any halachah regarding davening speed 
and the tzibur?  That is, can the Shaliach Tzibur drag the entire Tzibur 
with him? Finally, I have seen the practice of starting the repetition as 
long as six have finished the silent Amidah; is this halachically fine, or 
allowed but not ideal?  I thought that it was necessary (or only ideal?) to

have the Shaliach with nine answering amen?>>

    His first point is well made and can only be resolved by having an
timetable for the various segments of davenning. I have seen such cards on 
the amud in several "yekkishe" shuls. If everyone knows the timing they can

start early if they want more time for any part and, conversely, they
complain if it is not fast enough on any particular day. 
    As regards his second point, presumably he can assume that if six
have stepped back, there will be at least another three who are in the
of 'elokai netsor' who will be able to answer him when he reaches the end
the first berachah. In any case, it is advised that he should consider his 
repetition as a tefillas nedavah in case this is not so, to avoid the 
possible problem of berachah levatalah.

Martin D. Stern
7, Hanover Gardens
Salford M7 4FQ England
( +44(1)61-740-2745
email <mdsternm7@...>


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2003 23:51:28 -0600
Subject: Hungary kosher hotel

Shalom, All:

	Since people are asking about kashrut in Austria, I recall that
in Hungary, Budapest has a kosher hotel owned by an Orthodox Jewish
family with roots in Cleveland, Israel and, of course, Hungary.
      The owners speak English, Hungarian, Hebrew and Yiddish, and
perhaps other languages.
The kosher hotel is named the King's Hotel.  Its address is Nagy Diofa
Utca 25-27, 1074 Budapest.  The international code (from US) is 011, the
country code for Hungary (dialing from the US) is 36 and the area code
for Budapest is 1.  The hotel number is 352-7675.  Ask for Mr.

Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Sat, 05 Apr 2003 23:09:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Koach D'Hetaira Adif

>In a practical sense, this has always been true, but a friend once
>pointed out to me that the Talmud states (I don't know where) that it's
>easy to say 'no' (but it takes some scholarship to say yes).  Isn't this
>what we should be striving for?

The Gemara explains that "Koach Dehetaira Adif", lit. the strength of 
permiting something is stronger, which rashi Baitza 2 explains is because 
anyone can just forbid something since if you err on the side of caution 
nothing is transgressed. Greater scholarship is shown when someone permits 
something since the onus of proof for doing so is more stringent. Many
a Mishna illustrates a case of a machlokes (dispute) in a fashion that 
brings out to a greater extent the far-reaching opinion of the permitting 
authorities instead of the illustrating the far-reaching extent of those
forbid. The gemara says this is because of "Koach Dehetaira Adif". I hope I

have written this clearly.


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 16:46:16 GMT
Subject: Majority Rule

> That is not entirely accurate. Rav Ovadia Yosef frequently uses just
> such a method in his psakim. And while Rav Moshe did not resort to it
> frequently he does use it occasionally. (Off hand, I think that Rav
> Moshe only does it with "rishonim" while Rav Yosef does it with
> "achronim" as well). Other poskim use this method as well.

It is clear that ROY does not just rely on a majority. When he wants he
certainly paskens with the minority. He certainly would not accept an
ashkenazi psak because most poskim were ashkenazi. OTOH he frequently
tells ashkenazin to paskin according to the sefardi minhag

 Eli Turkel,  <turkel@...> on 04/06/2003
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 06 Apr 2003 19:00:11 +0300
Subject: Re: Majority Rule

Michael Kahn asked:
      Didn't the Beis Yosef write his Shulchan Aruch by following
      "majority rule", i.e. by following the majority opinion that we
      find between the Rambam, Rosh, and Tur?

No, but almost.  The vote was among the Rambam, the Rosh and the Rif.



From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Sat, 05 Apr 2003 21:34:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Modern Orthodoxy;  actually quotation moqor

<<From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
>I think this a variation on "If I have seen further it is by
standing on the shoulders of giants" Sir Isaac Newton, cited in The Oxford 
Dictionary of Quotations.  I still remeber when my teacher Dr.
Hurvitz brought in a copy of the Teshuvos HaRid that had been recently
published and pulled out a quote that was very similar.  I believe the Rid 
was trying to explain why felt able to argue with his predecessors.>>

I believe the first published source of the metaphor - dwarves standing
on the shoulders of giants - is Bernard of Clairvaux, who in turn
attributed it to his rebbe, John of Sylvester.  Tosophos Rid is the
first jewish guy to use it, but he explicitly acknowledges lifting it
from the (goyish) "philosophers", though he doesn't name them.

Mechy Frankel			H: (301) 593-3949
<michael.frankel@...>		W: (703) 845-2357


From: Allen Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Apr 2003 21:57:28 -0500
Subject: Re: Modern Orthodoxy: definition (Chumras)

On 30 Mar 2003 11:25:31 -0600 Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...> Wrote

Allen Gerstl writes:
>I suggest the addition of:
>5. Chumras (halacha stringencies)(I shall resist the temptation to
>write about chumras as the MJ search engine indicates numerous entries
>on this topic and I am sure that Avi would prefer to spare the

>While I believe Allen is pointing correctly to a sociological reality, >I 
>am not sure it is a clear philosophical difference. The concept of
>chumra (with both positive and negative aspects) is defined pretty
>clearly in traditional sources (halachik and philosophic - see for
>example the Shach's rules for psak). So while I admit that in practice
>there seems to be a difference, I am not sure the difference isn't just
>a projection of other differences.  ...

My reply (with apologies to those have heard this before from me):

I would argue that chumrot are found for both halachic-philosophical and
for sociological reasons, but that a certain type of chumra is a
hallmark of non-MO.

IIUC Binyomin's reference to the Shach's in YD as to the principles of
pesak is a reference to the long Shach at the end of YD242. That
however,I believe, is not dealing with Horaah (halachic decision
making)in general but with an apparently unresolvable safek
(uncertainty) as to the halacha.

Thus see CM25 (Hilchot Dayan She-Taah-the Laws of a Judge Who Errs in
his decision).

The latter siman (chapter in the Shulachan Aruch) deals with the
situation of a Dayan or a Posek (and the halacha appears to be the same
for each) who has erred. A posek may only be said to have erred in
halacha if he has erred as to a Devar Mishnah (ruling against the Talmud
or perhaps against the Shulchan Aruch) or the Sugya de-Almah, a
consensus among poskim as to a halacha. Where there is no binding Devar
Mishnah or Sugya de-Alma, the halacha is subject to the halachically
limited discretion of the posek to apply his logical reasoning to
determine the halacha in accordance with its principles. The posek if he
is a chacham gadol hayodeah lehachriah (a great talmid chacham who is
able to come to a definitive conclusion) MUST attempt to come to a
decision if at all possible. He may not fall back upon the klallim
(general principles)applicable to safekot.

I think that this requirement that a posek reach a conclusion is also
implied in the phrase: "...Ke-shem she assur lehatir et ha-assur kach
assur leasor et ha-mutar (just as [a posek] may not declare something
permitted that is actually forebidden, he may not declare something
forebidden that is actually permitted).(Talmud Yerushalmi Terumot end of
c. 5, p. 30b (standard editions) and the end of Chaggigah c.1 cited in
SEMAG Assiin 111 and in the Hagaot Maimoniot, Hilchot Mamrim, 1:5( I
found these references in :Y.Y.  Brunstein, Avnei Gavit - Chebur
Be-Inyanei Horaat Ha-Senhedrin U-Batei Dinim Ha-Baim Achareihem
(Yershalayim:5758) (an anthology ) in the chapter entitled Be-Issur
Letamei Ha-Tahor Uletaheir Ha-Tamei)

A posek must therefore make a real effort to determine the actual halacha.

Yet we also have a recurring phrase "u-baal nefesh yachmir" (and someone
who cares about his soul will be stringent concerning the matter). This
concept of "baal nefesh yachmir" is I believe a hallmark of non-MO and
it is grounded on a particular view of the halacha. I believe that the
latter view is based upon speculation that there is a (Platonic-style)
absolute halacha.  Thus while a rav must pasken and his pesak IS the
halacha and it may be relied upon by the shoel (the questioner), from
the standpoint of an absolute halacha, the posek might be wrong. So
while by relying upon pesak, no culpable aveira might be committed if
the posek was wrong; on an absolute basis there might still be harm to
the neshama of the shoel (questioner).

Thus "baal nefesh yachmir" is not a phrase applicable to pesak but an
etza tovah (good advice) based upon such a metaphysical or mystical
viewpoint as to the nature of halacha.

Perhaps we might then differentiate between the latter type of chumra
with its pietistic connotations and chumrot followed within Jewish
communities as a "siyag ve-geder" (a hedge and a fence) to prevent
transgression. In the latter case the chumrot are freely admitted to be
not the actual halacha but a siyag ve-geder. Those latter chumrot are
mentioned in SA: YD 214, as being in the category of a safek neder
(possible vows) and as being halachically binding through the halachot
of nedarim while the former chumrot are mentioned there (interestingly
enough) not binding if a posek is able to decide the actual halacha.

Thus I believe that the adherence to a chumra because of a decision by a
group and its rabbanim that what was previously considered permissible
by poskim and that was accordingly the common practice should instead
not be permitted is an example of a philosophy of "stricter is better"
and that such is a defining feature of modern Chareidi Yiddishkeit,
while strictness as a Siyag Ve-Geder and confined to cases of a pirtzah
(a breach in observance of a PARTICULAR mitzvah)is normative within all
of orthodox Judaism.

When chareidim attempt to enforce practices that were not previously
normative in general halacha among a wider there is a basis for possible
conflict between them and previously established group.



From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2003 21:52:50 -0500
Subject: Pesach Trivia

At our sederim, besides discussing rabbinic commentary, I like to pose
some "Pesach trivia".  
Suggestions are welcome.
Here is one of mine from last year:  In what opera is there a Pesach
Answer:  Halevy wrote an opera called "La Juif", in which there is a



From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2003 23:27:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Rambam Murder 12 applies to COUNTRIES not INDIVIDUALS

>Frank Zimmeriman and Akiva bring up the interesting question of whether
>we can sell non-Jews guns.(v38n88)

>Their basis of dicussion is Rambam Murder 12.

>I would offer the suggestion that Murder 12 applies to NON JEWISH
>COUNTRIES...so eg one can only sell weapons and eg steel to countries
>who are using them for defensesive weapons or else who are committed to
>fight for their Jewish population

        The Rambam, after quoting in Laws of Murder 12:12 that it is
prohibited to sell arms to idolaters, continues in 12:13 to state, "And
just as they (the sages) prohibited to sell to AN IDOLATER, so too they
prohibited to sell to a Jew who sells to AN IDOLATER."  As the
emphasized words indicate, the Rambam refers to the prohibition as
applying to individual purchasers.

From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 14:53:08 -0700
Subject: Re: Rambam Murder 12 applies to COUNTRIES not INDIVIDUALS

Strange that in Rambam Murder 12:13, right after the law against sales
of weapons to goyim the Rambam says that it is permissble to sell
weapons to cheyl (army) that are protecting the Jews.  If you are
correct, why didn't the Rambam use the word cheyl in the previous

Kol Tov


End of Volume 39 Issue 3