Volume 39 Number 27
                 Produced: Wed May 14  6:46:03 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chametz after Pesach
         [Eli Turkel]
Divrei Elokim Chayim
         [Moshe Goldberg]
Divrei Elokim Hayim
         [Gil Student]
Le Shelosha B'Ellul
         [Irving Green]
miracles and Halacha
         [Simon Wanderer]
Modern Orthodoxy: definition (Chumras)
         [Binyomin Segal]
Names of Tanaim and Amoraim
Pulmus ha'Mussar
         [Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer]
A Serious but Halachic Approach to the Orthodoxy Problem
         [Binyomin Segal]
Siddur Hageonim Vehamekubbalim by Rabbi Weinstock
         [Immanuel Burton]
         [Immanuel Burton]


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 14:27:14 GMT
Subject: Chametz after Pesach

> If an Israeli spending Pessah west of Israel sells his hametz in
> Israel, then it reverts back to his possession while it is still
> Pessach where he is and then it becomes "hametz she'avar alav

My LOR said that it us sufficient to have in mind that he is not
buying back the Chametz until later. No one can force you to buy back
the Chametz against your will.

Prof. Eli Turkel,  <turkel@...> on 05/13/2003
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University


From: Moshe Goldberg <mgold@...>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 16:20:41 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Divrei Elokim Chayim

> From: Andrew Klafter <aklafter@...>
> > Indeed, the very first words of the Torah say Eloheem created
> > the world, and the Hebrew for "created" is singular. Why, then, do we
> > use the plural "chayim" instead of the singular "chai?"
> I have wondered about this myself, and here is my solution: "Divrei
> Elokim Chayim" should be translated as "the living words of G-d" and not
> "words of the living G-d."Therefore, the plural "chayim" (living)
> modifies the plural "Divrei", which is "devarim" (words) in the
> smichut/construct state.The rule for the construct state is that the
> adjective following a smichut generally matches the first word in the
> smichut.

I wonder if anyone has suggested to take this one step further: Not
"chaim" meaning life, but rather meaning "strong/powerful", as in the
paragraph after "Shema" in the morning: "u'devarav choim" - a kometz and
not a patach - which specifically means "strong" and not "alive".  Thus,
"divrei Elokim chaim" would mean "the powerful words of G-d."

Admittedly, this might be harder to accept in the case of King David and
his fight with Goliat.

Moshe Goldberg


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 22:04:29 -0400
Subject: Divrei Elokim Hayim

The following is from an article by R. Aharon Lichtenstein titled "Torat
Hesed and Torat Emet" that was recently reprinted in /Leaves of Faith/

p. 65
"Then a heavenly voice issued, asserting, 'The statements of both are the 
living words of God, but the Halakhah is in accordance with the views of Bet 

p. 85 n. 14
"[14]. Eruvin 13b; cf. Yevamot 14a. The adjective, /hayyim/, could refer 
either to God, i.e., 'the words of the living God,' or to the words proper. 
The former would be analogous to /Devarim/ 5:23, where /kol E-lohim hayyim/, 
clearly refers to E-lohim, as /kol/ is in the singular. However, in our 
context, I intuit that the referent is /divrei/, and I have translated 

Gil Student


From: Irving Green <scanrom@...>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 11:54:01 -0400
Subject: Le Shelosha B'Ellul

I am looking to purchase a copy of Rav Zvi Yehuda Kook's volume-
LeShelosha B'Elul. If anyone has a copy that they want to sell or know
where I can acquire a copy-it would be appreciated.



From: Simon Wanderer <wanderer@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 11:05:11 +0000
Subject: miracles and Halacha

Re the recent post on whether Halachic decisions must consider
miraculous possibilities.

The individual cases raised may have certain peculiarities regarding
their specific Halachot, therefore I do not think it would be wise to
comment on them without consultation of primary sources. It may be an
oversimplification to assume that they successfully isolate miraculous

However on the more general point, it seems clear that Batei Din must
work within the assumed parameters of the natural world. Miracles are
not limited to fast trans-continental travel, but refer to a breach of
the natural order, or even a breach of logical order (see eg, Sfat Emet
on "B'toch Hayam Bayabasha" in Beshalach).

Clearly the Beit Din, whatever rules they operate under, is expected to
make rational decisions. Any framework for rational thought is rendered
absurd if the fundamentals of logic are not held sacrosanct. For
example, why would every murderer, duly witnessed and warned not be able
to claim that he had miraculously controlled the minds of the witnesses
to think that a murder had occurred? Or why could an Eid Zomeim not
claim to have miraculously been in two places at once?

I return to a point I have made previously on this list that certain
boundaries of "reasonableness" must be in place for any Halachic
discussion to take place. This would be another example.




From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Sun, 11 May 2003 20:13:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Modern Orthodoxy: definition (Chumras)

On 7 Apr 2003 Allen Gerstl wrote about a particular type of chumra as 
being specific to the charedi community.

> 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).

There are two points here which I believe require further analysis.
First, Allen implies that this type of chumra is a fairly new phenomena
of the modern charedi community, different from the traditionally
sanctioned chumra of siyag. Second, he attributes this type of chumra to
the assumption of an absolute correct answer.

The first point is, I think, somewhat inaccurate. There are examples of
this type of chumra from previous generations. One example that leaps to
mind is the waiting period between meat and milk. The ashkenazik PSAK is
that no time period is required (all that was required was that the two
be eaten during separate "meals".) The rama (yd 89:1) records that the
custom at the time (c. 1500) was to wait one hour. At the end of the sif
he states that the "medakdikim" (precise ones) wait six hours (like the
psak of the sephardim), and that this is an appropriate practice. The
Aruch HaShulchan quotes this rama and says that in his time (c 1900) the
universal custom is now to wait six hours, and that one is required to
follow that custom. A clear example of a chumra of this sort that has
become the halachicly required norm for most of ashkenazik jewry.

The second point that Allen makes requires more complex analysis. As
Rabbi A Cohen points out in his recently discussed article, reliance on
daas torah in general suggests the very opposite world view as is here
attributed to the chareidi community. That is while the daas torah
philosophy attributed to the chareidi world suggests "even on the right
if it is left", Allen here is attributing the very opposite approach to
the chareidi world.

Any comments?



From: <ENGINEERED@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 08:24:42 -0400
Subject: Names of Tanaim and Amoraim

This question to the Mail-Jewish community comes from my son, Avraham
Norin.  Many of the names of our Taniam and Amoraim come from the bible.
Even names that you would not expect, such as Rav Yismael.  Still
certain important names standout as missing.  Can anybody suggest why
the following names do not appear from the time of the Bible until the

Avraham, Moshe, David, Yeshaya(hu).


From: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 08:56:51 -0400
Subject: Pulmus ha'Mussar

>PS: Apropos Dov Katz - if anyone knows where I can obtain the
>never-reprinted fifth volume of his work, entitled 'Pulmus Ha-Mussar', I
>would be very greatful./ My copy disappeared about twenty years ago!

It is actually a sixth volume - Tenuas ha"mussar is five volumes (of
which I have four). It is indeed a pity that it was never reprinted, and
I second Paul Shaviv's request, as I am missing both vol. 3 and Pulmus
ha'Mussar.  BTW, there is a website devoted to mussar -
www.tzemachdavid.org IIRC.



From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Sun, 11 May 2003 20:25:33 -0500
Subject: Re: A Serious but Halachic Approach to the Orthodoxy Problem

On 8 May 2003 10:42:53 -0000, Russell Hendel wrote (in part):
> So quite simply (and let me emphasize that it is SIMPLE) let me suggest
> an operational solution which is perfectly acceptable halachically.

While there is much to Russell's solution which is quite beautiful, 
there may be some sticking points - at least according to some opinions.

> Another example: When I was in the south the local Chabad Rabbi had a
> chevruta with the local conservative Rabbi EVEN THOUGH HE WAS
> INTERMARRIED. I did ask him about it...he explained that in small
> southern towns Rabbis have to pool all their resources together to
> sustain the Jewish community. He further explained that by having a
> chevruta with him he was not in any way lowering his own standards.

> C) Let various strict and less strict Rabbis get together occasionally
> for issues of common cause (like charity) where there are no halachic
> concerns

Ok, lets back up a step or two. From the strict halacha, one is not
allowed to associate with heretics. Today, most (all?) poskim seem to
agree that, at least in general, we do not confer that halachik status
on individuals. And so, there is no problem with associating with a Jew
that has heretical beliefs because they are not given the status of a

However, while that is true of individuals, many poskim have a different
attitude when discussing anything that is organizational.  That is,
while an individual reform Jew does not have the status of a heretic,
the Reform movement does. Therefore, any organizational cooperation
between orthodox and reform is prohibited as a matter of law.

One of the concerns is the prohibition of granting credibility to
heretics and their beliefs. As a result, the lines between corporate
cooperation and private friendship can get messy. When the orthodox
Rabbi in town learn with the reform Rabbi in town it lends credibility
to the reform positions. This would seem to violate this halacha. (But
it may also mean that if the orthodox rebel in town chooses to learn
with the reform Rabbi, no halacha has been violated.)

For a discussion of the issues (that is similar but NOT the same as mine
here) see Igrot Moshe OH 4, 91:6.

While the goals being discussed are laudable, a valid halachik solution
is not simple. That doesn't mean we should give up.



From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 11:58:44 +0100
Subject: RE: Siddur Hageonim Vehamekubbalim by Rabbi Weinstock

In MJ v39n24, Martin Stern asked for help in tracking down some 
volumes of the Siddur Hageonim Vehamekubbalim by Rabbi 

Although I do not have any copies, one place to try is:


This is basically a searchable database of stock held by second- hand
bookshops around the world, and amongst other things that I have managed
to track down via this Web site are a copy of the rather rare Annotated
Edition of the Authorised Prayer Book (commonly known as the Singer's
Siddur) published in 1914 and with 245 pages of commentary about the
nusach, and a rather unusual Routledge Machzor for Yom Haatzmaut.

Immanuel Burton.


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 09:58:36 +0100
Subject: Tachnun

In mail.jewish v39n21, Joel Rich asked if anyone knows the reason why we
don't say tachnun at mincha on the day before tachnun is not said.

I looked this up in The Encyclopaedia Of Jewish Prayer by Macy Nulman
(published by Jason Aronson Inc, 1993).  It cites Ta'amai Ha'Minhagim
(by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Sperling), paragrapah 128, and states that
tachnun is omitted at mincha on days preceding festivals - which are
listed as being Rosh Chodesh, Purim and Chanukah - so that people won't
forget to say Ya'aleh Ve'Yavo or Al Ha'Nissim in maariv.

No mention was made in The Encylopaedia of omitting tachnun at mincha on
Friday or Erev Yom Tov, presumably because maariv on Shabbos and Yom Tov
have a special Amidah, as opposed to the weekday Amidah with additions.
Perhaps omitting tachnun at mincha on the days before Rosh Chodesh,
Purim and Chanukah spread to mincha on the days before other days when
tachnun is not said?

I do not have a copy of Ta'amai Ha'Minhagim, and so have not been able
to look up the original source to see what's written there.

Immanuel Burton.


End of Volume 39 Issue 27