Volume 63 Number 41 
      Produced: Sun, 23 Jul 17 00:37:15 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Correcting baalei kriah (2)
    [Michael Pitkowsky  Jack Gross]
Mukzeh (5)
    [Gershon Dubin  Martin Stern  Daniel Geretz  Yisrael Medad   Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
The Dweck affair (3)
    [Martin Stern  Leah S. R. Gordon  Susan Buxfield]
Was there a third Amorite state? (2)
    [Sammy Finkelman  Sammy Finkelman]


From: Michael Pitkowsky <mpitkowsky@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 17,2017 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Correcting baalei kriah

There is a very good article about the question of correcting the baal keriah by
Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg in the Journal of Halachah and Contemporary Society,
Sukkot 5770/Fall 2009 issue. 

See short summary here: 


Michael Pitkowsky

From: Jack Gross <jacobbgross@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 19,2017 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Correcting baalei kriah

Dr. William Gewirtz wrote (MJ 63#40):

> ... in addition to the varied criteria used, I have wanted to correct
> outrageous errors in trop.

Two of my favorites:

1. In Mishpatim (Ex. 21:17) a very common error is:

"Umkallel aviv (pause) v'immo mot yumat"

(what did his mother do to deserve capital punishment?)

In the sequence "merkha tevir tippekha" there should almost always be a
greater pause after the tippekha than after the tevir.

2. At the end of Bo (Ex. 13:15):

"kol-petter rekhem hazecharim"
intoned with "pashta (pause), munnakh, zakef katan" instead of "mappakh,
pashta (pause), zakef katan"

(normally males do not have wombs!)


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 16,2017 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Mukzeh

In response to Carl Singer (MJ 63#40):

Once you have the heter to move it, you can in fact move it anywhere you want. 

My question is on what basis were you permitted to move it in the first place. A
pushka full of money would seem to fall into the category of "eitzim va'avanim"
rather than Keli shemelachto le'isur?


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 16,2017 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Mukzeh

Carl A. Singer wrote (MJ 63#40):

> When I arrived in shul Shabbas morning there on the shulchan [a large table,
> slightly tilted, without shelves, etc. where we layn] was the tzedukah
> pushkeh. (This was in the Bais Medrosh where the Hashkoma minyan davens --
> unused Friday night, so apparently not noticed.)

Presumably Carl means to intimate that he was coming to the Hashkoma minyan.
> I took the pushkeh and placed it under the center of the table where it would
> be out of sight and beyond getting accidentally kicked by anyone standing at
> the table.

I am not sure that Carl acted correctly. A pushke is not a "keli shemelachto
le'issur [a utensil whose main purpose is for forbidden work]" like a
hammer, which can be moved "letzorekh gufo [to use for a permitted purpose]"
or "letzorekh mekomo [because its current place is needed for a permitted
purpose]". It is most likely that a pushke is a more severe form of muktzeh 
- basically a basis [support] for the money [muktzeh machmat gufo] in it - which
can only be moved "kilacher yad [in an unusual manner]" and should perhaps have
simply been tipped onto the floor by tilting the table and then kicking it
> Later, it was suggested (courteously, not critically) to me that since I was
> already moving it, that I could  have put it back to where it belonged -- a
> bookshelf along one of the walls.

This would only apply to a "keli shemelachto le'issur" and be inappropriate
in this case.

Martin Stern

From: Daniel Geretz <danny@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 16,2017 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Mukzeh

In response to Carl Singer (MJ 63#40):

It would seem to me that this subject is discussed in Shulchan Arukh Orach
Chayim 266:12 and 308:3.

One would need to consider the type of muktzeh a tzedakah box might be (would
you say kli she'melakhto l'issur [its primary use is for a forbidden activity]
or muktzeh machamat gufo [it is forbidden to handle because of its essential
nature]? See Mishna Berura Beur Halakha on 266:12 s.v. "yakhol leilakh" that a
wallet - or a tzedaka box - is different from money itself. I think it is pretty
clear it is the former category.)

Depending on the above, one would determine whether one could move it l'tzorekh
m'komo [you need to use the space it is occupying] and whether once you picked
it up you could then place it where it belongs.  There is a machloket
[disagreement] between the poskim as to whether this heter [permission] is
limited to just a kli she'melakhto l'issur or also mukzeh machamat gufo, and
also whether it applies in a case where the muktzeh was picked up b'heter [with
rabbinic permission] or even b'issur [against halakha]. The Magen Avraham is
lenient in both regards, and the Mishna Berura is stringent in both regards, and
there are various other opinions in between (or at least that don't explicitly
address both issues at the same time.)

Here, even according to the Mishna Berura, I think your critic was correct: 

(a) it is a kli she'melakhto l'issur, 

(b) it is permitted to move such a kli l'tzorekh m'komo, and 

(c) you are picking it up b'heter.

Thank you for the opportunity to revisit these halakhot and to review the
pertinent sources.

Daniel Geretz

From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 16,2017 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Mukzeh

Carl A. Singer (MJ 63#40) asks about a Muktzeh question.

Far be it from me to pasken if it is even permitted to touch it, but, if I was
in a similar situation and had decided better to move it, I would assume based
on what I know that:

a) minimalism is the criterion. that is, the shortest distance/least movement

b) doing it abnormally, shinui (change), like taking two towels and lifting it
or had there been Chinese catering, two chopsticks.

As regards the pushkeh carrying, it seems, according to Shulchan Arukh OC 308:5
Note 13, that indeed the minimalistic distance is the rule if one has already
begun the act of lifting.

Yisrael Medad


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 16,2017 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Mukzeh

In response to Carl A. Singer (MJ 63#40):

IIRC once someone is allowed to move a muktza item, he can move it to wherever
it is supposed to be rather than the closest location. However, I do not recall
the exact citation.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 16,2017 at 10:01 AM
Subject: The Dweck affair

Ben Katz wrote (MJ 63#40):

> Martin Stern wrote in the (London) Jewish Chronicle (30 June '17):

>> The latter (Louis Jacobs) denied some of the fundamental
>> underpinnings of Torah Judaism ...

> Louis Jacobs once (waggishly) said that he believes in Torah from heaven, but
> it depends on how you define "Torah", "from" and "heaven".

Regarding Torah min Hashamayim [Torah from heaven], Louis Jacobs certainly
denied the Torah, and probably also Shamayim, as traditionally understood.
So all that remains of this concept is the middle word "min" which can mean
"sectarian" or "heretic". How appropriate!

Martin Stern

From: Leah S. R. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 16,2017 at 11:01 AM
Subject: The Dweck affair

With regard to recent discussions on Rabbi Dweck, halakha, and bigotry against
LBGT people, I would like to make four points:

1. I notice that no-one is getting all up in arms about sha'atnez, and those who
flagrantly wear it and participate in the sha'atnez lifestyle, even in public,
in spite of it being condemned in the harshest terms in the Torah.
(Coincidentally, the *same* terms as some other things we've been discussing.) 
This implies to me that people are looking to the Torah to validate their
personal "ick" feelings, which I find disappointing to say the least.

2. I don't think that joke from Martin was funny, the idea that extending human
rights to all people, could end up meaning forcing someone to become a minority.
How "funny" would that joke be about interracial marriage, for example?

3. I was appalled by Susan Buxfield's casual assertion that we need not care
about gay Jews, our brothers, because "they will disintegrate anyway" - who says
such things about our fellows?

4. A key tenet of life in the USA, UK, and to some extent Israel, is that a
given person's religion doesn't affect what other people have to do. That's
actually really critical, because to a person not of person X's religion, X's
beliefs/practices can seem like following mythological nonsense canonized
thousands of years ago.  None of us wants to be forced to follow other
religions.  In this vein, it is incumbent upon us to maintain a strict
separation between general society's laws/expectations, and what we believe to
be the divine will.

Leah S. R. Gordon

From: Susan Buxfield <susan.buxfeld@...>
Date: Tue, Jul 18,2017 at 06:01 AM
Subject: The Dweck affair

Martin Stern (MJ 63#40) wrote:

> though one can always assume, as I do, that when two males (or females)
> share accommodation are only doing so in order to share its exorbitant cost

The Even HaEzer 24:1 first rules that in general we do not suspect (Jewish)
males when living together of homosexual relationships.

The Mechaber then continues - however in "our countries" (sic) promiscuity is
prevalent and therefore males should not live close to each other.

The Rema rules there is no current promiscuity but all the same it is not wise
for males to sleep in close proximity.

Since there are an abundance of yeshiva dormitories, especially in Israel,
presumably most of today's Roshei Yeshiva inclusive of the Sephardim hold by the
Rema, especially as each student does have his own bed.


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 17,2017 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Was there a third Amorite state?

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 63#40):

> My question was regarding the number of Amorite states in Transjordan since the
> Torah seems always to refer only to the Benei Yisrael conquering the TWO
> Amorite kings in Transjordan, Sichon and Og.

Thinking about that, the Torah never says the other Amorites around Yazer had a
king, so maybe they never got organized to that point, or perhaps it is that, in
that time, and maybe till after Shaul, in order to say that there is a king, you
have to get to certain level of military organization.

And then Og also was not really so much a king of the Amori, as a king of a
certain area. He's always described as king of the Bashan. So it wasn't really
(just) an Amorite state. Og himself in fact was the last of the Rephaim and not
an Amorite at all. Some Rephaim states were wiped out in the tiem of Avraham
(Berishis 14:5) some later (Devorim 2:11, 20-21)

From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Fri, Jul 21,2017 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Was there a third Amorite state?

Ben Katz wrote (MJ 63#40):
> Sammy Finkelman wrote (MJ 63#39):
>> In reply to Martin Stern (MJ 63#38):
>> Not only was there a third Amorite state, there were many others and not all
>> of them that near Eretz Yisroel. Also in Eretz Yisroel  Joshua defeated many
>> of their kings.
>> References to them have been encountered in other places. Hammurabi (a
>> distorted rendition of the name Amrophel) was one of them.
> It is not clear at all that Amrophel is a distortion of the name Hammurabi.
> See discussions in any modern Biblical commentary, such as the Anchor Bible
> (Speiser) or the JPS Torah Commentary (Sarna).

I couldn't find them. It seems like for many years this was the consensus after
1888, but they abandoned it for no good reason.

And it makes sense. It says this was in the days of "Amrophel" but he is not the
lead king, This would be because he was remembered better,

This is in the Rabbi Hertz Chumash where he says "usually identified with
Hammurabi" and the lamed probably corresponds to the ending el, meaning God (or
authority) Aryeh Kaplan also mentions this but thinks it would be early in his
reign because he wasn't the lead king, although why that is a question is not
clear since he was based far away,

A website http://www.ancient.eu/amorite says:

"He was succeeded by his son Ammurapi who is better known by his Akkadian name
Hammurabi (reigned 1792-1750 BCE). The fact that an Amorite king ruled in
Babylon prior to the fall of Ur supports the claim that not all Amorites were
Amorites and that, as previously mentioned, the term was used rather loosely to
refer to any nomadic tribe in the Near East. The Amorites of Babylon seem to
have been regarded positively in the region, while the roaming Amorites
continued to be a source of instability."

Now Ammurapi, has the Aleph, the Mem, the Resh, and the Pei and is only missing
the lamed

Rav and Shmuel assumed he was Nimrod and that either the name Nimrod or the name
Amrophel was not his actual name. The case for Amrophel being some kind of
descriptive name is much weaker than for Nimrod.


End of Volume 63 Issue 41