Free translation of Haqdamah:
And if in some lands they have a minhag to prohibit some things,
even though that we decide the opposite,
they should remain steadfast in their Minhag
because it has already accepted the Hacham who prohibited,
and it is prohibited for them to have a minhag permitting
as is found in the Fourth Chapter of Talmud Pesachim.
Question: Whose Haqdamah contains this disclaimer?
Surprise answer: The Beth Yosef!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
. A matter of halacha which has been accepted for centuries can not be overturned, unless one can demonstrate that there simply was an error involved from the very outset.
- Rif Rambam paskened 2 matzos at the Seder as per simple read of the Talmud.
- Gaonim have a tradition for Lechem Mishnah on Yom tov
- Rosh/Tosafos say 3 - that sugya is superseded by the requirement of Lechem Mishneh
- Rema says 3 ratifying Minhag Ashkenaz
- Bet Yosef says that minhag is like Tosafot and Rosh and paskens 3 despite his stated rule re: Rif/Rambam - Minhag Yisrael prevails nevertheless
- Shleah - as cited by kaf Hachayyim says the only way to be yotzei lechal hadei'os is to use 3.
- Were Rosh, Rema, Shulchan Aruch, Shelah all beta'us?
- If so does this impact their reliability on other matters of Halachah?
- Did the Gra feel bound by the norms Minhag Yisrael - or by his read of the Talmud?
- For those who have already switched to 2, should they switch back to 3 - since the shita of 2 goes against the norms of Halachic canons as posited by RHS? ""one can demonstrate that there simply was an error" . i.e the error here is going against Minhag Yisroel.
- Is there ever a time limit on overturning Minhag based upon error? IOW how many centuries of practice makes perfect or is it ALWAYS subject to revision based upon a better read of Talmud.
- How do recently discovered girsaot of old manuscripts play into this? Are they demonstrative of earlier errors and therefore dispositive of minhaggim?
In other words, Its' great when A Gadol [EG RHS] pontificates a principle, but what are the realistic parameters of this principle? Do we think this is really a consistent Meta-Principle that applies globally? The rhetorical questions poitn out that such pronouncments may be a nice rhetorical fourish, but what valence do they have in p'saq? It's like Kol Yisra'el Yesih lo Heleq l'olam Habba. A great platitude, but it's meaning is not quite what it says, because along comes several mishnayot qualifying the generlization.
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Given that old Minhag Ashkenaz had washing BEFORE Qiddush
A: Therefore this serves to accentuate this distinction on the Seder night when the order is reversed
Furthermore, it further arouses the curiosity of the children as a result of this out-of-sequence procedure in the Seder
Prev Pub. Wed Apr 8, 2009 12:12 pm
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Since the destruction of the
- To EAT roasted meat in commemoration of the Paschal Offering
- To AVOID EATING roasted meat in commemoration of the LOSS of the
and the Paschal Offering Temple
These diverse Minhaggim have legal weight wherever there is a bona fide "Minhag Hamaqom" For someone to eat Roasted Meat where the local Minhag prohibits that can incur Rabbinical lashes - Makkat Mardut! So this is no trivial matter at all. The Minhag haMaqom is tantamount to local LAW more than it is to be considered a mere custom.
In a future post, we will examine some of the parameters of the this Minhag.
Friday, March 25, 2011
And there is no reason in the matter to prohibit it (nevertheless) due to "Al titosh torat imecha" [do not abandon Your Mother's Torah] the one should not deviate.
Customs can take on a life of their own regardless of the strict letter of the Halachah.
Previously Published on Yahoo Tue Apr 7, 2009 12:00 am
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
- Why are Hanukkah and Purim observed only 8 and 1 day respectively in the Golah? Why not add a day?
- Why is Sefirah done on the 2nd day of Passover as definite and not done on both 2nd and 3rd keeping 2 counts out of doubt?
So Sukkah on the 8th day in the Golah is a "S'feik D'oraitta l'humra" while Lulav is a "S'feik Derabbana l'kulah"
Q: But Rabbi - why isn't this answer given?
A: Wolpoe's Rule #1 of Oral Law -
We often know the WHAT to Do, but we do not always know the WHY!This model seems to me more straightforward than the various answers I have seen given over the years!
Previously Published on NishmaBlog
Tuesday, 2 October, 2007
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
- We still have minor celebrations for the Dedicatinsof Mose's Tabernacle and of Solomon's Temple 1 (4%)
- The Hellenists tried to destory Judaism and we survived and they failed. 7 (33%)
- The Miracle of the Oil Still Signigifes God's Everlasting Providence 8 (38%)
- The Rabbis needed to fill the gap between Sukkot and Pesach with additional Celebrations 0 (0%)
- We need a Holiday to Compete with Xmas 3 (14%)
- To support the "oil" industry. 0 (0%)
- To Provide more Light during the dark days surrounding The Winter Solstice 1 (4%)
- To Celebrate one of Our few victories against our Oppressors. 1 (4%)
- When theTemple Burned, Some one forgot to repeal it!
Monday, November 15, 2010
But lich'ora, tadir v'sheino tadir, tadir qodem and Ner Shabbat should come first
MB 1 says while Mechabeir doesn't really hold that Qabbalas Shabbos starts with lighting Ner Shabbos, rather he is merely chosheish for that Sheetah, [aparently that of the BeHaG as quoted By SA himself 263:10]
Lich'ora this should also mean that the mechaber should pasqen to light Ner Shabbos before the Brachah! IOW not over la'assiyasson.
But then I realized that perhaps the mechaber is only chosheish for the BeHaG that LIGHTING starts Shabbos, but not for the Mordechai who holds the BRACHAH starts Shabbos, so "yeish lechaleiq"KT
Sunday, September 12, 2010
There are numerous problems with this practice TODAY in a modern Urban society. Suffice it to say, that in the absence of Minhag Avot or a STRONG community minhag [Minhag Hamaqom] I would venture to say even the Rema would concede the mechabeir's point.
1. Darchie Emori as above
2. Tza'ar ba'alei Chaim
3. Hillu Hashem
Theis last point can be shown in Hilchot Aveilus that many practices that are specifc int he gemara - e.g. kefiyas hamitta and Atifat Harosh - were eliminated because "what would the Gentiles say?"
There are heterim to wear shoes to shul on Tsiha b'av for the same reason. Any public "shlugging of Kaparos" that does not respect the tza'ar balie chayim of the chickens is therefore really problematic since there is no halachic requirement to do so! And aderabba the damage could be great!
That said if individuals have a strong community of family custom and they seem to know how to handle the chicken and they are discreet, I would not object to preserving their legacy. Rather I simply oppose popularizing something that many in the previous generations thought was a good idea to switch to coins.
FWIW - there is a family "legend" that when one child witnessed kaporas live he became a vegetarian as a result.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
What imagery does"b'nei Maron" evoke?
Are we to be compared to sheep being reviewed by the shepherd?
Are we better compared to a Ruler reviewing his loyal troops?
Are we to be "Bent over and subservient"?
"Erect and dignified"?
And on the 1st of Tishre all the comers of the world pass before Him Kivnei Maron
What does this term mean
The Bavli gives 3 explanations
The Yerushalmi 2 explanations.
The girsa as espoused by Hanoch Albeck is Kivnumeiron. This is related to the Latin Numerion. This suggests a Legion of Soldiers. See also Danby ad .loc. and footnote 12. This is also supported by a passage in the Tosefta.
The common understanding based upon the more popular reads in the Bavli and Yerushalmi are like sheep under the shepherd's rod. [Maron is apparently a Semitic word meaning sheep/flock.] What connotation is invoked by this metaphor? Are all of us helpless sheep under the protection of a pastor? How do we view ourselves?
On the other hand, what imagery does the concept of legions invoke? How do we NOW view ourselves? Do we see ourselves as loyal troopers in God's Legion?
The issue to me is one of dignity! The common, popular, albeit “source-text” challenged point of view, is that we should humble ourselves as sheep. Is this humbling or humiliating? What are the images of the Holocaust? Does not sheep invoke the image of passive victims?
Now soldiers in the Emperor's Legions are every bit as subject to massive slaughter as are sheep. Let's face it, the military is called upon to sacrifice humans just as often as sheep were sacrificed in days of yore. But THAT sacrifice invokes a DIGNIFIED image!
Meir Kahane was challenged just what did he mean by NEVER AGAIN? His retort was not that no further oppression or attacks could take place against Jews. That was impossible for Jews alone to prevent. What he sought to prevent was that Jews would NEVER AGAIN submit passively to oppression, that we would rise up and defend ourselves - much like our ancestors the Maccabbees did!
Now that God has revealed to us the original etymology by teaching us how this single word was in the time of the Mishnah and how it has been inadvertently distorted into 2 words, we should take this NEW lesson on the Old Torah to heart! We are now called upon to view ourselves as members of God's Legion and to abandon our self-imagery of the "sheep on the way to slaughter." Not only has history demanded such a paradigm shift in our thinking, but the newly revealed discoveries in text have confirmed that this has been God's desire all along, only we did not quite get HIS message!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Hoshana Rabba
are ALL Days of Judgment?
Let's say that in Year 1 [or is that Zero?] God created the Heaven and the earth on Tishre 1 What is the corresponding solar Date? Let's arbitrarily say September 30th.
In Year 2 Tishre 1 is the Lunar Rosh Hashana. let's say it is 10 days earlier and falls on Solar Sept. 20th. When is the SOLAR new year? Why it is again Sept. 30th. This is due to the usual loss of 11 days which has been rounded off to 10 days. Sept. 30th is Yom Kippur in year 2 and the Solar Rosh haShana
In Year 3 Tishre 1 is the Lunar Rosh Hashana. let's say it falls on Sept. 9th in the solar calendar. What then is Sept. 30th or Solar anniversary? Why, it is Hoshana Rabbah!
What about year 4? We get a 13th month and recycle the cycle.
Thus whilst 1 Tishre is ALWAYS the Lunar New Year, Yom Kippur and Hoshana Rabbah are pinch hit Solar New Years as needed. Thus, they also obtain the status as Days of Judgment!
Friday, August 13, 2010
But 10 chapters a days is a tad unwieldly. Because they vary in size so much, any day that includes kappitel 119 would be onerous.
Tehillim is already divided into a 30-day plan. So the simple technique I have subscribed to is as follows:
- Elul: do ONE cycle of Tehillim using the existing monthly cycle.
- During the 10 Days of Teshuva, use the 7 days of non-YomTov and of the weekly cycle. Thus, e.g. this year, on Tzom Gedalyah you do the Yom Rishon section ending on Erev YK with the Yom Shevi'i section
- If you have time you can divided RH & YK and do a 3rd cycle
Saturday, July 17, 2010
- The most obvious parallel is that both fasts are for a full day - actually about 25 hours - as opposed to other fasts which are from early morning until night.
- Both Final Meals traditionally follow the Minchah Service.
- Both Final Meals have several custsoms and rituals that are unique to these meals.
Friday, July 16, 2010
1 Maariv - Nighttime 1.1 Only Megillos that are read at night. 1.1.1 Eicho 1.1.2 Esther 1.2 Similar Structure with Kaddish Tiskabel and v'Ato Kodosh 2 Shacharis - Omissions 2.1 Purim - A "miracle" Holiday , no Hallel (Megillo instead) 2.2 9th of Av - A Fast Day without 2.2.1 Selichos (Kinnos instead) 2.2.2 Tachanun & Ovinu Malkeinu 3 Shacharis - Chazoros Hashatz 3.1 Only weekday repetitions of the Amido with Krovos/Krovatz 4 Preceding Shabbos 4.1 Purim preceded by Zachor 4.2 9 Av preceded by Chazon 5 Tanach Pattern - Special Torah and Haftoro readings are read the Shabbos before the event, with the corresponding Megilloh on the day of the event. 5.1 Purim - The Amalek Connection 5.1.1 Torah- Zachor 5.1.2 Navi - Haftoro of Zachor (Shaul's War with Amalek in Shmuel) 5.1.3 Kesuvim Esther 5.2 9 Av - The Eicho Connection 5.2.1 Torah - Eicho in Devorim 5.2.2 Navi - Eicho in the Haftoro of Chazon (Yeshaya) 5.2.3 Kesuvim - Eicho 6 Month-wide 6.1 Mishenichnos Adar Marbin b'Simcho 6.2 Mishenichnos Av M'maatin b'Simcho 7 Miscellaneous 7.1 Some Pesukim in Esther are read to Eicho melody (in particular Asher Heglo) 7.2 Chiyuv S'eudo vs. Chiyuv Taanis 7.3 Similar Minhogim not to work ================================
I mean if 9th of Av is Shabboss we can eat a "Shaloshudes" fit for Shlomoh haMelech up to sheqia! But we can't LEARN after Hatzos!?
The fast allows us to eat food BEFORE the fast and to digest it DURING the fast after it has commenced. However, with Torah the digestion is itself learning and generating simcha - Hours after it was first consumed! Therefore we must learn ONLY Tisha B'Av ready topics during the hours leading up to the fast - lest we derive Joy from our intellectual ruminations
May we merit a Nechama!
1 Boneh BERAHAMAV Yerushalayim
2 Mechahem Tziyyon Bevinyan Yerushalayim
The "classic" siyyumim are
1 Boneh Yerushalayim
2 Boneh Yerushalayim respectfully :-)
Opponents of the "change" from the classic style cite the Passuq "Tziyyon beMishpat Tipadeh". - Which closed last week's Haftara of Hazzon - as a prooftext for eschewing these alterations.
What's Pidyon got to do with it?
However, a careful read makes this prooftext problematic; Viz. What's BINYAN have to do with PIDYON? How can we conflate the 2 verbs?
Rather this prooftext MUST be al pi drush and not al pi P'shat! So what is the reason for the anti Rachamim Position?
Glad you asked! It has to do with a fundamentalistic view of the matbei'a of brachos.
However, in Ashkenaz, that kind of rigidity was never enforced. Rather minor thematic embelshmints of siyyumim or chasimos was permitted, or even embraced for ad hoc puposes.
Is there a precedent? Yes during the 10 days of Teshuva the Talmud itself flexibly alters the chasimos in order to conform with the season's theme. By extension of Talmudic Methodology, the brachah of Menachem Tziyyon is similarly enhanced.
May we merit the rebuilding of Yerushalayim
Mercifully and Speedily
Pull a ring and water flows to soak one's body
The sailor then lathers himself with soap w/o any water flowing
The sailor pulls the ring again and rinses off all of the soap and dirt.
How can we mourn publicly on Shabbos By chanting L'cha Dodi to the tune of Eli Tziyon?
- While the tune is mournful, that does not necessarily constitute "mourning"in a technical sense!
- Many congregations chant the passuk Eicha in the Torah Reading and most of theHaftara of Hazzon to the Megilas Eicha "trop". So what's the big deal doing Lecha Dodi, too?
- Tunes for Lecha Dodi sometimes reflect the season. Therefore the melody isn't in order to mourn but to remind one of the time of year.
- Hazanim already reicte the plea of Bneh Vais'cha kevatchila on Yom Tov to the Eli Tziyyon motif!
- Most Obvious: Shabbos does not start - according to most Pos'qim - untilMizmor Shir or Bor'chu. Therefore, Lecha Dodi precedes Shabbos anyway
- From the 17th of Tammuz
- From the 1st of Av
- The wek in which 9th of Av falls
- Those who rerfain from meat/wine from the 17th of Tammuz do so out of "zecher lemikdash," i.e the custom commemorates the catastrophe of termination of the daily sacrifice- which is triggered on its very anniversary.
- Those who refrain from meat/wine from the 1st of Av do so because of the principle that since there is no Simcha WITHOUT meat/wine; therefore meat/wine produce Simcha. And since we are told to reduce simcha from the 1st of Av, therefore it flows from and follows that meat/wine must be abandoned on that date in order to reduce our Simcha.
the Hegemony of Current Practice?
In this day and age we have non-Orthodox movements on the Left challenging Orthodoxy by using "halachic principles". RNCL seems to also question normative practice from a leftward position
Plus the various Neo-Karaite camps of various flavours are also looking to up-end Halachah as we know it to be replaced by a Talmudic or Maimonidean Fundamentalism. Their approach seems more rightward in saying tht Halachah may not progress from Talmudic times, AND once it has we MUST Regress and restore it back to its pristine foundations. Although some friends feel that this fundamentalism is a trojan horse masking Reformist tendencies
RY Karo might have seen the Halchic loophole of permitting meat during the nine days. But he also saw that exploiting it where the issur had been established was "poreitz geder"
Mei-inyana d'yoma see SA O"Ch 551:11 in the m'chabeir
"Kol me she"ochel bassar b'maqom shenohagim bo issur, POREITZ GEDER ..."
The revisionists, on the left are thus prone to being "poretz geder".
Indirectly, the Right does not get off scott-free here either because many flimsy Humrot and other Revisionistic tendencies have undermined trust in our traditions and enabled revisionism on the left. [Law of unintended consequences] They don't see the Causal nexus, because they're so frum. Yet to me, discarding tradition, is often a "meta-message" being sent out when valid Traditions are ignored by the Right. Once distrust has set in, the left can manipulate it, too
For a great mashal, see Avot der. Nathan [ADRN] re: Anigonos ish Socho and how his dictum backfired. Hachamim nowadays have to see how their attempts at buttressing Halachah might undermine it in the long run if they do so arbitrarily.
Another Mashal the Midrash on Adam and Havvah re: "v'lo tig'u bo"
Here's the nimshal:
First the right issues a humra that is "unfounded" then the Left seduces others by "shlugging up" the right with texts. Thus, Tradition goes by the wayside when we ignore it to further an agenda.