Volume 56 Number 90 
      Produced: Thu, 09 Jul 2009 22:15:57 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

"yuhara" nowadays 
Adath Jeshuron 
    [Stuart Feldhamer]
    [Mark Steiner]
Instructions for the Shaliach Tzibur  Modim repetition.  
Pragmatics of a Bet Din 
    [Harlan Braude]
Rebbe as Moshiach? (4)
    [Ari Trachtenberg  David Ziants  Mordechai Horowitz  David Ziants]
The Missing Hekesh (2)
    [Martin Stern  Martin Stern]
Welcome Home to the New Olim (and pictures) 
    [Jacob Richman]


From: jgbiz120 <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 6,2009 at 04:01 PM
Subject: "yuhara" nowadays

I'm looking for an up-to-date definition of "Yuhara", and how it is to be applied

Example: The Chida bans wearing Rabbenu Tam tefillin except for a well-known
tzadik.  The Mechaber bans re-davening for an early maariv service, again unless
the person is known as a super-Jew, because otherwise it would appear to be Yuhara.

So, when a regular guy says, I don't eat there, I don't like the hechsher, why
isn't that yuhara?  (assuming the machshir [kashrut supervisor --MOD] is a
qualified Rabbi).

Another case: Can a shul ban one from davening because they, for example, use
the eiruv [legal aggregation of property to permit carrying on Shabbat --MOD]?
(Again, assuming that at least some qualified Rabbis support that eiruv).

More, why is it even allowed to say things like I don't use the eiruv/ this
hechsher- wouldn't it be both Yuhara and lashon hara ["gossip" --MOD],
reflecting as if there was something wrong with it?  If a qualified Rav said X
is mutar [permitted --MOD], I obviously can (quietly) decline to use that heter
[permission --MOD], but am I allowed to tell anyone that, since I am in effect
both maligning the Rav and presenting myself as a bigger scholar to differ with him?

Yossi Ginzberg


From: Stuart Feldhamer <stuart.feldhamer@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 28,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Adath Jeshuron

Francine Weistrop wrote:

> I would like this forum to go back to its original purpose, as I have  
> been led to believe it is: to discuss with dignity and respect, the  
> various halachic issues that Torah Jews legitimately have.  Thus, it could
> continue to be an avenue for learning, and not an opportunity for
> diminishing reputations.

Is it correct, Avi (or other mods), that this list is solely for discussing
halacha? I thought it also encompassed other matters of Jewish interest.

[Please see the following pages that define the M-J charter:
   * http://mail-jewish.org/MJwelcome.html#Purpose
   * http://mail-jewish.org/MJwelcome.html#Ground_Rules
 -- MOD]

But regardless, I repeat my earlier assertion that this topic is of vital
importance. Let's say we're all busy learning the halachos of the
prohibition against murder in the beis medrash, and the concept of "lo
ta'amod al dam rei'echa" (don't stand idly by while your fellow is being
killed/assaulted), and outside the window we all of a sudden see a mugger
stabbing someone.  We could rush out to help, or we could say "we're busy
studying halacha here, let someone else deal with it".

My point is that study of halacha is worthless without practice of halacha.
What Martin Stern is describing is a practical halachic situation.  I don't
believe that he's bringing it up to say lashon hara ["gossip" -- Mod], and in
fact, I don't believe he's mentioned any names.  Rather, he's bringing it up
because it is a violation of halacha that is affecting him personally, and he's
looking for any advice or help that he can get.

[Please note that M-J does not and should not replace the advise and mentoring
of a competent local halachic authority on questions of practical halacha.  --MOD]

This is a practical case of "Lo Ta'amod al dam rei'echa" [do not stand idly by
the shedding of your fellow man's blood --MOD].  What are we going
to do about it?  The least we can do is not sweep the situation under the



From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 2,2009 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Esther

I will risk one more posting on "Esther," although I am far from my field of
expertise.  (Philosophers think they are experts in everything; we have a
philosopher in Israel who is Finance Minister, even though he never studied
economics or finance.)  I did consult a "house linguist," i.e. my brother,
who is not responsible for any misunderstandings of his response.

To do justice to this topic, one must know, among other things:  Hebrew
pronunciation at the time AND PLACE of the LXX; Greek pronunciation at the
time AND PLACE of the LXX; Latin and Greek pronunciation at the time of the
Vulgate; English pronunciation at the time AND PLACE of King James, as well
as Latin and Greek there and then.

To see how tricky all this is: it is accepted that the sound of theta
changed, and although today and in the Byzantine period it is/was pronounced
like the th in the word "both," this was not true at the time of the LXX.
Instead, it was in fact pronounced "t".  The Vulgate renders theta by TH,
but we have to know how Latin TH was pronounced in that time and place.

The different renderings of the letter `ayin in the LXX (Dr. Katz offers
Gaza vs. Eden) may reflect polyphony--i.e. that `ayin had two
pronunciations, just as shin/sin.  The dual pronunciation of the letters
bgdkft, which is the reading tradition of the Baalei Masorah, whom we follow
lahalakha, was apparently not respected in all places and in all preceding
times--and in any case, it is hard to find a word that changes meaning in
Hebrew as a result of introducing or eliminating what the medieval
grammarians called "dagesh kal."  We have to know, therefore, what the
dialect of the Jews who produced the LXX was before even beginning to
discuss this kind of question, which is a good reason for me to stop here.  


From: <Gevaryahu@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 5,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Instructions for the Shaliach Tzibur  Modim repetition. 

SBA responded:
> > That's a Minhag!?

> Apparently some  balabatim from other congregations say it only the first
> line aloud -  right or wrong.  So the minhag of this shule is to say it all
> out  loud.
I deal with very issue in MJv30n01.
[MOD:  see http://www.ottmall.com/mj_ht_arch/v30/mj_v30i01.html#CD]

Gilad  J. Gevaryahu


From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 29,2009 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Pragmatics of a Bet Din

In Vol.56 #85 Digest, Carl Singer wrote:

> One issue raised in Martin's postings deals with a Bet Din.
> While accepting the caveat that for the most part the system does work --  
> it seems we frequently hear of the Bet Din "system" failing.  Concerns 
> include:
> ...
> I don't know how permissible it is to give specific examples -- so I 
> won't.

Please forgive me for veering off the topic, but I think Carl's post 
highlights limitations of a forum such as MJ regarding sensitive issues.

We try hard not to cross the line of writing something inappropriate (in 
violation of halacha, like lashon harah or motzee shaym rah [types of gossip
--MOD]), but in so doing we may end up with too little information to discuss
a topic meaningfully.

I think we've had rigorous debates on sensitive issues where the identities 
of specific parties weren't disclosed, so what's the harm in giving specific
examples here (by specific, I mean the situation, not names of people/places)?

If there isn't a forum to discuss such topics among a larger group of Jews 
than we might encounter in our synagogue, I think we all lose out.

What am I missing?


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 8,2009 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Rebbe as Moshiach?

[Please note that entries on the "Rebbe as Moshiach?" line have been
heavily edited.  We are now in the three weeks Ben Hametzarim
[between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av], and I want to be
exceedingly careful regarding this topic, which can easily lead to
significant division within the Jewish world.
   -Ari, in my role as one of the MJ moderators]

From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sat, Jun 27,2009 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Rebbe as Moshiach?

I think we should discuss / understand the response of the Rabbinic 
leadership (P'rushim as they were known) to the emergence of 
Christianity (which started off as a Jewish group according to my 

My question is how did the P'rushim react at that time and could they 
have reacted differently? Can we learn from their reactions?

I hope that the mainstream chabad reject the messianification of their 
Rebbe (and that I am not naive), and [I] hope they are working to correct 
those in their movement who have this false notion.  I did read the link 
that was given in a posting the other day by Mordechai Horowitz, and I do 
not have a problem that some of their theology might have been based on 
our kabballa (without knowing enough to relate to anything 
specifically).  I also have no problem that every generation has an 
individual (or individuals) that could have the potential to be Mashiach 
if this is the will of hashem (G-d).  This does not mean we have the 
authority to declare any specific rabbi as Mashiach without him 
producing the goods that according to our tradition, he is supposed to 

I would be happy to receive any responses by private CC as well as to 
the list.  

David Ziants

From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 28,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Rebbe as Moshiach?

David Ziants wrote:
> .  This does not mean we have the athority to declare any specific 
> rabbi as Mashiach without him producing the goods that according to 
> our tradition, he is supposed to provide.

And your source for this statement is....

From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 28,2009 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Rebbe as Moshiach?

Mordechai Horowitz wrote:

> And your source for this statement is....

The "goods" are listed in Rambam - Yad Hazaka  shoftim/hilchot m'lachim 
11:1 (Judges/Laws of Kings) See: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/e511.htm

Also: 11:8 (11:4 in the censored edition I have)
and 11:9 (which from there on does not appear in the censored edition I 
have).  There, the Rambam stresses (what can also be inferred from 11:8) 
that if the king does not do everything, he is like any other kosher 
king from the lineage of David, but he is not melech hamashiach.

[snip -MOD]

A distinction still has to be drawn between "We want Mashiach now" and "x 
is Mashiach". Of course, many of us understand our period as being 
"atchalta d'ge'ula" (the beginning of redemption) or reishit tzmichat 
ge'ulatainu (the beginning of the sprouts of redemption), and this is 
from our observation of those events that are actually happening to us, 
and our tradition tells us that would one day happen.

A strong rebuttal of the possibility of the comparison that I brought up 
between the start of early Christianity and the subject of our topic, 
can be inferred from the (uncensored) Rambam text. The Rambam explains 
in 11:10 that what happened then and afterwards cannot have the 
legitimacy of the scenario of 11:9 - mentioning that there was the 
opposite of redemption as Israel were not so long after sent to galut by 
those followers.  L'havdil, if the Lubavitcher Rebbe (or any other Rebbe 
or other Jewish leader) was a direct descendent of King David and he did 
some of the things on the "do" list when he was alive then he could 
maximum be part of the 11:9 category of being a kosher king. For 
example, to what extent is  kibbutz galuyot (the ingathering of the 
exiles) which we have merited to see with our own eyes, attributed to 
the Lubavitcher's work?

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 6,2009 at 03:01 PM
Subject: The Missing Hekesh

Haim Snyder <haimsny@...> wrote (off-line) in reply to my submission:
[reproduced with Haim's permission, -MOD]
> I also had problems with the answers from the encyclopedia, especially
> g'zaira shava. One can't invent one's own g'zaira shava (it has to have been
> taught you by your teacher who got it from his, etc.), but one can invent
> one's own hekesh. How, then, can hekesh be a subset of g'zaira shava?

I am not so sure that one can 'invent' one's own hekkeshim, at least for
deriving halachah.
> The only answer I have is that Rabbi Yishmael's list is not all inclusive.
> Why he decided to include one thing and not another is left as an exercise
> for the student.

The problem is that Rabbi Yishmael's list includes rarely used rules, or at
least ones less frequently employed than Hekkesh, and has at least one that
seems to be completely redundant (number 10 is implicit in number 9). Also
it is strange that he includes two rather different rules under Binyan Av
[generalization based on analogy from one source text -MOD]
when Hillel Hazakein lists them separately.

Perhaps he had esoteric reasons to have 13 rules (middot) of interpretation
to correspond to the 13 attributes (middot) of mercy. I am not sure whether
there may not be much more to his choice than meets the eye.

Martin Stern

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 5,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: The Missing Hekesh

On Mon, Jun 29,2009, Haim Snyder <haimsny@...> wrote:

> The Talmudic Encyclopedia gives a few answers to this question under the
> term "Hekesh".  First, it says that there is an opinion that it isn't a mode
> of interpretation, it is written in the body of the Torah that way.

This is the opinion of the Sefer Hakritot who was one of the Ba'alei
Tosafot. I find this rather difficult in view of the discussion in Zevachim
41a ff which seems to imply that it is a hermeneutic rule on the same, or a
similar, level to the gezeirah shavah, kal vechomer and binyan av, all of
which are included in Rabbi Yishmaeil's 13 middot [various hermeneutic rules
--MOD]. It would seem that he appreciated the problem I had posed but had no
mesorah [tradition] regarding its omission and posited this as a rather forced
way of explaining it.

> Then it gives 2 other opinions: that it is included in the mode "Davar
> halomaid mi'inyano u'dvar halomaid misofo" (An interpretation may be deduced
> from the context or from subsequent terms in the text)

I find this unsatisfactory as I explained previously since the term Hekkesh
is used so much more frequently.

> or that it is included in "G'zaira shava" (Inferences from similarity of
phrases in texts).

This is based on the Halichot Olam, a comprehensive work on Talmudic
methodology and hermeneutics, written by Rabbi Yehoshua Halevi of Tlemcen, a
North African Rishon of the period just before the expulsion from Spain,
usually published with commentaries by Rabbi Yosef Karo and Rabbi Shlomo

I believe that this is a misunderstanding of the text. In part 4, chapter 2,
he discusses the various hermeneutic rules and their limitations, starting
with Kal Vechomer (page 42), then Binyan Av Mikatuv Echad and Binyan Av
Mishnei Ketuvim (page 46) - incidentally these are treated as separate
middot in Hillel's 7 middot (Tosefta end of chapter 7 of Sanhedrin) - before
continuing with Gezeirah Shavah (page 50).

He then continues (page 54) "And the rules of Hekkesh ..." which might lead
one to assume that he intends it to be a subcategory of Gezeirah Shavah.
However, I think this is an incorrect inference, especially as he continues
(page 55) "And there is another rule similar to this one and it is Semuchim
...", which indicates that Semuchim (where two verses are in juxtaposition)
is similar to Hekkesh, unlike his introduction of the latter where the
similarity is not mentioned. I would suggest that he felt that there was a
problem as to where to discuss Hekkesh and put it after Gezeirah Shavah as
being the most similar one in Rabbi Yishmaeil's list. It would also appear
from this that he definitely did not consider that it came under the heading
of "Davar halomaid mi'inyano u'dvar halomaid misofo"

Furthermore, though the Rashbatz initially suggests that the middah of
Hekkesh is included in Gezeirah Shavah, and therefore it is unnecessary for
it to be mentioned individually, he refutes this idea, because the Gemara in
Zevachim (48a) states that, Hekesh adif migezeirah shavah. Since a Hekkesh
is stronger than a Gezeirah Shavah, they cannot be one and the same.

In reality these three rules, Gezeirah Shavah, Hekkesh and Semuchim, are
similar in that they involve comparisons either of similar words in
different verses, apparently unconnected ideas in the same verse or
juxtaposition of seemingly disparate verses, respectively. The Shelah
suggests that they were all subcategories of a more general rule known as
Comparisons which would seem to make a lot of sense except that one would
have expected Rabbi Yishmaeil to list it as such rather than through the
subcategory of Gezeirah Shavah.

> It is number 19 in the list of 32 modes of Eliezer b'Rabbi Yossi Haglili.

Basically these are rules for aggadic inference rather than Rabbi
Yishmaeil's which are for deriving halachot. Nonetheless this does not
explain Rabbi Yishmaeil's apparent omission of Hekkesh.
> I hope this adds to what Martin had previously heard.

Unfortunately, I had already heard these suggestions and found none of them
entirely satisfactory as I have explained. I had specifically avoided
putting them forward in the first instance in order not to pre-empt
discussion. Perhaps these comments may stimulate further discussion. Tsarich
iyun [deeper analysis is necessary].

Martin Stern


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Tue, Jul 7,2009 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Welcome Home to the New Olim (and pictures)

Hi Everyone!

On Tuesday morning, July 7, 2009, I was at Ben-Gurion airport to
greet the new olim that made aliyah from North America to Israel.

There were 232 olim on the flight including 60 singles (including
22 joining the IDF) and 42 families with 93 children.

The youngest oleh in the group is 7 weeks old and  the oldest oleh 
is 83 years old. The flight also included 7 dogs and 1 cat.

I took 294 pictures of the exciting event and I posted them online at:

I also posted the 294 pictures on Facebook for name tagging.
There are two sets of pictures and the address of the first set is:

If you have a Facebook acccount and you are in the pictures or 
see someone you know, please feel free to name tag the pictures.

May the aliyah from all over of the world grow and bring 
more Jews back to their homeland, Eretz Yisrael.

Have a good day,


End of Volume 56 Issue 90