Z'MANIM - HALACHIC TIMES - Correct for TT #641
Sunset, on the other hand, is given for an elevation of 825m and, in parentheses, as if at sea level. There are different opinions as to which sunset time should be used for halachic purposes. We present both times.
The deadlines for the SH'MA and the Shacharit Amida can be calculated in two ways. Either considering the day to be from sunrise to sunset or from dawn to stars out. The first way of reckoning is known as the opinion of the GR"A, and is the first time given in each case. The second method is known as the Magen Avraham, and is presented in parentheses.
Aside from candle lighting and havdala, the times are presented as a range, from the current Thursday of the issue of Torah Tidbits until the coming Thursday, a span of 8 days. Days between the two Thursdays can be determined by interpolation (which means: a method by which to estimate a value of between two known values-this is something that people above a certain age might remember from high school trigonometry and logarithms, but younger people who went to school during the calculator era might not be familiar with).
It is usually wise to "pad" the times with a minute or
two in the "play it safe" direction. E.g. Plag Mincha. Better to finish
Mincha a minute or two before the given time. But, better to not light
candles until a minute or two after the given time.
Based on some reader feedback and comments, we will write a little more on the situation presented in last week's issue - namely, the last opportunity for Kiddush L'vana when there is a lunar eclipse that occurs before the official "end of K.L. time".
As previously stated, the deadline for K.L. is the NIGUD, a.k.a. opposition, a.k.a. full moon. However, it is the calculated NIGUD, based on the average time it takes the moon to go through its cycle of phases, and NOT the astronomical instant of opposition, that can differ from the calculated time by a few minutes to many hours - before or after the calculated time.
This results in one of two situations each month:
(2) Or, it can be that we are permitted to say K.L. even after the moon is full and is actually waning, i.e. decreasing in size (brightness). Again, that is so because we follow the average figures and not the actual (astronomical) times.
The fact is, the human eye will see the moon as full for quite a number of hours before and after the actual NIGUD, so neither situation (1) or (2) is a problem. In other words, keeping to the halachically accepted timing, although it does not perfectly fit with the actual timing, does not cause us to sense any contradiction to the reality. Whether this is part of the halachic reasoning in setting the limits for K.L. or not, is another issue.
The question about a lunar eclipse affecting the ability to say K.L. or not is the subject of differing halachic opinions. In last week's TT, we did NOT present all sides of the issue - just the one that I (Phil) personally found most intriguing.
Here then, is a fuller presentation, but still probably not the whole picture. Just a bit more information on the subject.
Most of the treatment of this topic in Torah Tidbits has come from Sefer Kiddush L'vana - Otzar Halachot U'Minhagim (Book on K.L. - treasury of laws and customs) by R' Yaakov Tannenbaum, Jerusalem.
He cites the Maharil and others in being of the opinion that once the eclipse occurs (actually, once it noticeably begins), one can no longer say K.L. even though there remains more time until the calculated deadline.
This is countered by the opinion of the Pri Megadim who says that we follow the calculation based on average (as presented earlier) and that this is the whole story. It does not matter that the astronomical facts clash with the halachic timing, or even that the experience of the eclipse clashes. Neither is relevant, because the halacha uses the average calculations.
Then comes the opinion mentioned last week - which is actually a few opinions with slight variations - that whereas knowledge of the "real" full moon will not affect the deadline of K.L., the personal experience of the lunar eclipse combined with the knowledge of its significance do not "allow" the person to say K.L. after the eclipse (and before the official deadline).
There is a distinction drawn by some who comment on the topic between locations on Earth where the eclipse will not be seen as opposed to an individual not seeing it where others see it.
The author concludes that preferably one should say K.L. on a Friday night (something usually not done) before an eclipse, rather than on Motza'ei Shabbat (the preferred time for K.L.) after an eclipse has occurred (but before the calculated deadline, of course).
Another opinion that might factor into this discussion is the one who says that the deadline for K.L. does not depend on the NIGUD (average or actual) but rather on 15 full days after the molad.
It would seem that this opinion would allow saying K.L. after an eclipse, since the NIGUD is not the determining factor.
Others argue that in other months, the 15 days after
the molad is acceptable because the moon still looks full and nothing
happened to show us otherwise. A lunar eclipse, however, demonstrates that
full moon already took place, even though a look at the moon would not show
If Avraham is the clasp of the chain, then Yitzchak is its first link. From his "And the two of them walked together" of the Akeida at the end of Vayeira, through this week's sedra in which we learn of the importance of finding the right life's partner for Yitzchak, and into next week's sedra, we watch carefully as values and personal qualities emerge to teach us what a strong link of the Chain of Tradition is made from. And this is particularly important to us, because we are links in the same chain.
Why does the sedra tell us the story of Eliezer's mission to find Rivka Imeinu, and then repeat the story as Eliezer relates it to Lavan and B'tuel? Partly because the the story is not incidental. It is repeated to emphasize the concerns of a father, the not-so-perfect tactics of the father's emissary, the helping hand lent by G-d in this important quest, the dynamics of Rivka and her family, (and the reaction of Yitzchak Avinu at the end of the sedra). The last part was in parentheses, not because it is less important, but because it wasn't part of Eliezer's repetition of the story.
What we all need to try to be is a combination of
different qualities of each of the Avot and Imahot, and of Yosef HaTzadik,
Moshe Rabeinu, Aharon HaKohen and various other early links in the chain,
with a strong component of the kind of person and Jew we are each capable of
being. Add to all this the concern and effort to transmit ones commitment
and love of Judaism to the next generation. We must be strong links in the
Chain and also help forge the next link.
SDT With the last theme of Vayeira being the AKEIDA, the juxtaposition of Sara's death supports our Tradition that Sara died as a result of the Akeida. The Midrash says that the Satan informed Sara about what Avraham was intending to do with Yitzchak, when they went towards Har HaMoriah. The shock was too great for an old woman, and she died. Some commentaries give an interesting twist to this episode. They say that Sara expired, not from fear that Avraham was to offer Yitzchak as a Korban, but that he might not! She remembered Avraham's reaction when she told him to banish Yishmael (and Hagar). She was afraid that Avraham's love and kindness towards Yitzchak would prevent him from carrying out G-d's command, and that Avraham would thus fail this ultimate test. When she saw (or heard) that Avraham was returning with Yitzchak still alive, she thought her fears were realized. And she expired.
Avraham comes (some say from the Akeida, that is from Har HaMoriah; some say from Be'er Sheva; either way, it was apparently to Hevron that he came) to eulogize Sara and to cry for her.
SDT V’LIVKOTAH, and to cry for her, is written with a small KAF. Some take this as a reminder that the crying was "small" since Sara had lived such a long life (Baal HaTurim). There is more crying when a person dies young. Some say that the KAF points to the 20 in the way that the Torah tells us how old she was when she died: 100 years and 20 years and 7 years. Others say that the small KAF allows us to reread the word with regular-sized letters only to obtain a different understanding, on a REMEZ (hint) level. And Avraham came to eulogize Sara UL-VITAH, and her daughter. This correlates with the opinions that Avraham and Sara had a daughter, but she died when Sara did. (Some say that her name was BAKOL.) Not everyone agrees.
Avraham next makes the arrangements for providing a suitable place to bury Sara. (There is a Tradition that Avraham was aware of the burial place of Adam and Chava, and that is the piece of land he was interested in.) He turns to the people of CHEIT, one of whom is known as EFRON. They all exchange niceties and the people offer Avraham any land he wants. He insists on paying and that is what he does for the field and cave of Machpela.
Pirkei Avot made famous that Avraham was tested 10 times. But we are not told what the ten tests are. And there different opinions as to which of Avraham's experiences are considered tests of his faith. Most lists of the 10 end with the Akeida, as implied from the p'sukim themselves. Rabeinu Yona finds a test after the Akeida — Avraham's experience in providing a burial place for Sara. What was so difficult about that, that it should qualify as a test of faith - especially after the Akeida? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that after the Akeida, Avraham still had a couple of difficult things to go through. Wasn't the Akeida and everything that preceded it enough? No, not finished yet. This can test a person, some- times, more than terrible trials and tribulations.
Surviving the Holocaust did not guarantee a person that he would have an easy life from then on. Some were blessed with trouble-free lives after their terrible ordeals, but most had many more difficulties to face in the years to come.
We do not know how G-d works. Why must we suffer trials and tribulations in this world? It has something to do with making us better people. With challenging us. With testing us. With preparing our souls for the World of Truth. And probably a lot more.
There is another approach to answer the same question. Eulogizing his wife, acquiring a burial place, finding a "shiduch" for Yitzchak - even remarrying Hagar (Ketura) are all "regular", mundane experiences. Can one who spoke repeatedly to G-d, ascended Har HaMori'ah, had a special relationship with G-d - can such a person return to being a "normal" human being? This too is a test, and Avraham passed with flying colors. These commentaries point to the pasuk, "And Avraham return to the lads..." as an indication that he was able to "come back down to earth".
SDT If a father insists that his son marry or not
marry a particular woman, the son is not duty- bound to listen to his
father. Meshech Chochma says that we learn this from the fact that Avraham
gave instructions and administered an oath to Eliezer about a wife for
Yitzchak, but did not command Yitzchak himself on the matter.
[S> 24:1 (67)] Avraham is now at an advanced age and has been blessed greatly by G-d.
“And G-d blessed Avraham BAKOL”, with everything.
The word BAKOL screams out for explanation. And, sure enough, there are many suggestions as to what this extra blessing of BAKOL is. (Every time we say Birkat HaMazon, we ask G-d to bless us as He blessed our forefathers - BAKOL... Mikol and Kol are terms associated with Yitzchak and Yaakov.)
The numeric value of BAKOL 52, the same as BEN, son. This alludes to the ultimate blessing that Avraham received - his son Yitzchak.
R. Meir says that Avraham was blessed by not having a daughter. In Avraham's time and in his unique circumstances, who would she have married? What would have happened to her? In this case it was a bracha not to have had a daughter.
On the other hand... R. Yehuda says that Avraham's extra blessing was that he DID have a daughter. There is even an opinion that his daughter's name was BAKOL.
Rabbi Eliezer HaModai says that Avraham was blessed with the art/skill/power of astrology and that he was consulted by noblemen from far and wide. (Even when G-d told Avraham that he would still have a child, Avraham resisted because he had seen in the stars that he was not going to have children. G-d "explained" to Avraham that it is possible to rise above one's "mazal", and in fact, that is the special quality of the nation that will come from him. EIN MAZAL L'YISRAEL. Even Ezra says in the name of our Sages z"l, true, as long as they keep the Torah.)
R. Shimon bar Yochai says that Avraham had a precious stone with curative powers that would heal all who gazed upon it.
These last two opinions identify BAKOL as Avraham's prominent position in the world. This fits with his role as "father of many nations".
Some suggest that Eisav's not sinning (until Avraham died) and Yishmael's repentance, both during Avraham's lifetime are the extra blessings.
There are still other explanations.
From the variety of explanations of BAKOL, it is quite clear that Avraham's unique status as the one who restored belief in One G-d to the world did not go unrewarded. We can see in this list of blessings, all the different kinds of blessings that can be ours, the spiritual heirs of Avraham Avinu.
The one major task remaining, which will forge the
next vital link in what promises to be a great people and a great Chain of
Tradition, is finding a suitable "shidduch" for Yitzchak. Everything now
will depend upon Yitzchak. However great Avraham was, unless there is
"solid" continuity, all will be lost. To this end, Avraham calls upon
Eliezer to swear that he will faithfully carry out his task, that he will
return to Avraham's family and hometown, and find a wife for Yitzchak there.
And that Yitzchak is not to leave Eretz Yisrael (having been consecrated on
the Mizbei'ach during the Akeida).
She immediately gives him his fill and then draws water for his camels. Anxious to find out whether she was "the one", Eliezer waits until the camels have their drink and then presents Rivka with gifts of jewelry. (On the one hand, he has seen her kind nature and tireless act of chesed; on the other hand, he has not even asked her who she is.) When Rivka tells Eliezer that she is indeed from Avraham's family and invites him to stay at her home, he prostrates himself before G-d in grateful acknowledgment.
SDT The Gemara says although Eliezer did not ask properly, G-d answered him properly. Combining the different opinions, let's say that Eliezer's actions were borderline forbidden. Relying on Signs and Omens is forbidden. Yet Eliezer's sign was a reasonable test of the girls. But it could easily have backfired. He was no tB'SEDER, but G-d "sent" Rivka to him. This is viewed as an act of Divine Kindness towards Avraham Avinu.
When one prays to G-d, he/she might include a request
that G-d accept our prayers as they should be prayed and meant, and not
necessarily as we say and mean them. It is humbling and not a little
upsetting that we sometimes mess up the great opportunities we have, every
single day, to approach G-d in prayer and then not do a good job of it.
Lavan (filled with ulterior motives, our commentaries tell us) runs to greet Eliezer. The gold jewelry adorning Rivka catches Lavan's eye, and he "graciously" offers Eliezer hospitality. Eliezer is served food but refuses to eat until his "business" is completed.
Eliezer proceeds to tell the story of his mission. He tells of Avraham and Yitzchak and of being sent to find a wife for Yitzchak. When he asks for Rivka's hand on behalf of his master, Lavan and Betu'el (commentaries point to Lavan's pushing himself before his father as an indication of a negative personality trait) accept all as G-d's will.
Eliezer again prostrates himself before G-d in
grateful acknowledgment of the success of his mission.
Meanwhile, Yitzchak (having gone to bring Hagar back to Avraham) is in the Negev area and goes "into the field to commune, before evening". (This, we are taught, was the model for Mincha.) As the Rivka-Eliezer caravan approaches from a distance, Rivka sees Yitzchak, jumps down from her camel, and asks Eliezer who that man is. She covers her face with a veil when she is told that the man is her intended husband.
Eliezer tells Yitzchak everything that has occurred. Yitzchak takes Rivka as his wife and she becomes a comfort to him for the loss of his mother. For us, she later becomes Rivka Imeinu.
Rabbi Sholom Gold speculates as to how a girl growing
up in the house of Betuel and Lavan can so quickly step into Sara Imeinu's
shoes. His answer (beautifully developed in a shiur - to which we cannot to
justice in so short a space) is that it was D'vorah, Rivka's nursemaid, who
was her teacher and influence in the ways of Sara. D'vorah was left behind
for just this purpose.
On the question of the different treatment of Yishmael (banishment) and the children from Ketura (gifts), RZD explains that there was a crucial difference between Yishmael and Ketura's children. Yishmael challenged Yitzchak's heritage. He claimed (and in some ways continues to claim) Avraham's legacy. When G-d told Avraham to listen to Sara, He told him to banish them, BECAUSE in Yitzchak will be called your offspring, your descendants. This point had to be made, and a farewell party and lavish provisions for the journey would not have made the point. No such problem with Ketura's children. They made no such claim. They did not dispute Yitzchak's role. They received gifts.
Avraham dies at the "ripe old age" of 175 (actually,
this is 5 years short of the complete 180 that Yitzchak achieved - various
reasons are given for the "lost" 5 years). His was a graceful, good, and
fulfilling life (despite the tough times he had). He is buried in the Cave
of Machpela, where he had buried Sara. Both Yitzchak and Yishmael take care
of the burial. The Torah implies that Yishmael had repented his ways and had
become righteous. What greater joy for a father!
From the fact that Avraham took Ketura only after
Yitzchak was married, the Baal HaTurim says that this is the proper thing to
do - Marry off your children, before you yourself remarry.
Yishmael dies at the age of 100 and 30 and 7 years.
The wording in the Torah (seemingly) purposely parallels that which was used
to describe Sara's lifespan, a further indication (perhaps) of the change
for the better in Yishmael. Rashi says that the age of Yishmael is included
to help us compute the chronology of Yaakov.The last 3 p'sukim are reread
for the Maftir.
The Haftara parallels this theme by telling us of the
aging King David with many potential heirs, providing that it would be his
son Shlomo who would be the next link in the Davidic line. This, fulfillment
of a promise made to Shlomo's mother, Batsheva - similar to the promise made
to Sara that her son would inherit. The starting points are Avraham Avinu
and David Hamelech. But no matter how strong their personalities were, the
chain ends with them unless the next generation is as strong as a Yitzchak
Avinu and a Shlomo Hamelech.
It can be stated:
(2) He is liable if the object was lost by him or if it was stolen from him. This holds true for theft as distinguished from armed robbery; the latter is classified under force majeure. This holds true even if he guarded the object in a normal manner and was not negligent.
(3) He is not liable for loss, destruction, or any other non-return of the object as it was delivered to him if due to force majeure.
(4) He is liable for the non-return of the object no matter what the reason, if he uses it, since any use by a paid bailee is unauthorized, including if the object "dies" while he is using it. A lessee or a borrower is not liable if the object that he rented or borrowed "dies" while it is being used for the purpose for which it was rented or borrowed. For example, if the lessee rents a car from A-plus Car Rental Agency and while he is driving it in a normal manner the engine ceases to function through no fault of the lessee, the lessee is not liable.
(5) The bailee is not liable to the owner for loss, damage, destruction, or any other non-return of the object entrusted to him if the owner was present and working for the bailee (even in an unrelated job) when the bailee took possession of the object. This is true even if the owner was not working for the bailee at the actual time that the object was lost even by the negligence of the bailee. However, the bailee is liable if he intentionally damages or destroys the object.
The best way for the bailee to prove his non liability is to produce witnesses who can testify that the object was destroyed in a manner that would exonerate the paid bailee from liability; For example, witnesses testify that an electrical fire broke out because of negligence of the electric utility doing repair work in the neighborhood, and the fire spread to the home of the paid bailee, which fire destroyed the entrusted object. If there are witnesses to the event the bailee must produce the witnesses.
If there are no witnesses to the event, the bailee may take the bailee's oath. There are three oaths involved.
(1) The bailee takes an oath that the object is not in his possession because it was lost by force majeure, and details the type of force majeure. This prevents the situation where the paid bailee claims that the object was lost through force majeure when in reality he still has the object in his possession.
(2) The bailee takes an oath that he was not negligent in bringing about the loss of the object, nor was it lost by him, nor was it stolen from him. In all these situations he would be liable to the owner.
(3) The bailee takes an oath that he did not make unauthorized use of the object. If he had made unauthorized use, he would be liable no matter what the cause of the loss, including force majeure.
In the case of a paid bailee, the payment to be made by the paid bailee to the owner is the value of the object at the time that the object was lost or stolen or when the paid bailee was negligent. The bailee is not liable for the care of the object until he enters upon the role of a bailee.
According to most opinions, all that is required to establish the legal relationship of owner and paid bailee is a simple meeting of the minds as seen through the discussion between the owner and the proposed paid bailee to make the latter person a paid bailee, or as sometimes seen through their actions. There is a second opinion that holds that mere agreement is not sufficient to establish the owner/paid bailee relationship. According to this second opinion, the proposed bailee does not become a paid bailee unless there is also performed an act to the object that would have been an act of acquisition had the object been sold from the owner to the proposed bailee.
Payment to the Bailee
There are various ways in which payment in kind may be made. It may be that the owner states that he will do a favor for the bailee in return for the bailee guarding the object for a specified term; it may be for a favor already performed by the owner for the bailee. It may be that the owner forgives the bailee a loan inconsideration of the bailee guarding the object, or extends the time for payment; it may be the owner's promise to make a loan to the bailee if he will guard the owner's object. This last agreement constitutes illegal interest for the owner who will get his money back and will also obtain the benefit of the guarding of his object by the bailee/borrower. Nevertheless, the bailee must guard the object. It may be that the owner will publicize in his newspaper the activities of the bailee, or obtain for the bailee an audience with an important person. Or it may be that the owner performed an act on behalf of the bailee that the Torah required him to do, such as to save the bailee while he was drowning. It may be that the bailee commenced the guarding as an unpaid bailee but then the owner did something for the bailee, such as giving the bailee a gift. Anytime that the owner, whether explicitly or by inference, does something for the bailee in return for the bailee guarding the object of the owner, the bailee is a paid bailee.
A broker, a buyer's representative who is paid for each purchase by the storekeeper, or a salesman who holds the owner's object for sale and is to be paid for selling it, is a paid bailee while the object is in his possession.
Reuven takes an object from a seller to show to
Shimon, and if Shimon likes it, Reuven will purchase it as a gift for
Shimon, and if Shimon does not like it, Reuven will return the object to the
seller. Shimon does not like the object; Reuven becomes a paid bailee from
that time until he returns the object to the seller.
A person hired as a helper in a household is a paid bailee for the owner's objects if the duties include taking care of the owner's objects.
A lender who holds collateral for the repayment of the loan is deemed a paid bailee regarding the collateral.
The subject matter of this lesson is more fully
discussed in volume VIII chapters 303 of A Restatement of Rabbinic Civil Law
by E. Quint. Copies of all volumes can be purchased via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
and via website: www.israelbooks.com and at local Judaica bookstores.
Questions to email@example.com
To review, the main insight of Rav Natan is that commerce is an important instrument of Providence, as it helps to channel material items to those individuals who can best help them fulfill their Divine mission. In order for commerce to fulfill this role, good information is essential, so fair dealing is an indispensable part of business.
It is also essential that there be a consciousness of this objective; thus, the main kind of acquisition is raising up the object, symbolizing the fact that the object attains spiritual ascent through the transfer. Likewise, mere verbal agreement doesn't effect a transfer of ownership because the buyer hasn't yet demonstrated his commitment to the object by a concrete act of kinyan (acquisition). In this same vein, according to Torah law, giving money effects an acquisition because obtaining money is the ultimate elevation; it gives the person not a particular object but rather an abstract power to further God's providence, through charity or through any other acquisition. But the Sages were compelled to annul this kind of acquisition because in mankind's current fallen state, following the sin of Adam and Chava and the expulsion from Eden, money is often acquired for no particular goal at all, but merely for the sake of mindless acquisitiveness.
Now let us begin our presentation of Rav Natan's explanation of a money acquisition of land. Rav Natan points out that the curse of man is intimately connected with the curse of the earth. (See Bereshit 3:17-19.) This curse includes all material reality; mankind and matter alike were exiled from their proper relationship by the sin of man, and anything we do to redeem the fallen state of mankind and matter helps reverse this mutual curse.
But as we have explained in other columns, even though the curse of the earth also includes other kinds of matter, our connection to earthly possessions, to earthliness, is primarily signified by our connection to the earth itself.
By the same token, our ability to elevate earthliness to God's service is primarily manifested in elevation of the earth. For example, in terms of production, which is prior to commerce, Divine providence is evidenced by all kinds of industry, but most powerfully by agriculture. (This is emphasized by the Sefer HaChinukh.)In terms of commerce, which Rav Natan explains is a continuation of the "repair" effected by production, this repair is most powerfully evidenced by buying land itself.
Let us cast this mystical idea in practical terms. We have already explained that acquisition is most elevating when the buyer creates a psychic connection with the object and intends to use it in God's service. It is most degrading when the buyer is alienated from the object and obtains it for the sake of mindless acquisition.Perhaps Rav Natan is implying that buying land creates a much more powerful psychic connection than buying chattels. People do trade in land, but it is not as easy as trading in merchandise and the connection to land tends to be much more permanent and committed.
I believe that this interpretation has support from the gemara. As an example of the unique power of land, Rav Natan cites Rebbe Elazar who asserts, "Anyone who doesn't have land is not called 'man' (adam)" (Yevamot 63a). Yet later on the same page, Rebbe Elazar himself asserts, "Working the land is the most degraded of all occupations". Tosafot explain that the first statement refers to someone who buys land for his own dwelling and sustenance, while the second refers to someone who merely works the land. We see that the kind of land purchase idealized by Rav Natan is the kind where the owner creates a lasting and vital connection with the land.
Following the precedent of Avraham Avinu in our portion, we should acknowledge that for the Jewish people, a truly lasting and vital connection with the land is possible only in the land of Israel.
Rabbi Meir authors a popular weekly on-line Q&A
column, "The Jewish Ethicist", which gives Jewish guidance on everyday
ethical dilemmas in the workplace. The column is a joint project of the JCT
Center for Business Ethics, Jerusalem College of Technology - Machon Lev;
and Aish HaTorah. You can see the Jewish Ethicist, and submit your own Qs —
www.jewishethicist.com or www. aish.com
Q Can one use a door-knocker, not an electric or musical door bell, on Shabbat? If it is forbidden, what is the nature of the prohibition?
A The issue is rabbinic, and is related to the fear that one may come to fix a musical instrument, which would be a violation of makeh b'patish. The source for the general issue is the mishna and gemara in Beitza 36b about not dancing or clapping for fear he might fix an instrument. Let's see how this relates to your question about a non-musical instrument.
The gemara at the end of Eruvin (104a) tells that Ulla scolded one whom he heard knocking on a door on Shabbat. Rava justified the knocker, saying that the problem is only if one made a "sound of song." The extent of what is considered song becomes a little clearer as the gemara proceeds. The gemara asks on Rava from a baraita that allows one to set up an apparatus that drips water to make a sound only for the needs of the sick. The gemara assumes at first that the sound was noise to wake someone up, which we see is normally forbidden. It deflects the proof, saying that the dripping water created a calming sound that puts people to sleep.We see from the deflection of the proof that "the song" doesn't need to be a real song but includes any sound made for its pleasantness (see Rashi, ad loc.).
In summary, it seems then that according to Ulla, knocking on a door in any form that he intends to make a noise is forbidden, whereas according to Rava, it is permitted unless the noise is at least marginally musical. Like whom do we pasken?
Although the Yerushalmi seems to concur with Ulla's approach, the Rif (Eruvin, ibid.) and the Rambam (as the Beit Yosef, OC 338 infers from a few sources) accept the lenient opinion of Rava. The Beit Yosef introduces the Agur's compromise opinion that it is forbidden to make sounds only with an instrument that is made for the purpose of making any sort of sound even if it is not musical. The Beit Yosef is puzzled by this opinion, as it appears too lenient for Ulla and too strigent for Rava. He suggests that it is within the camp of those who accept Rava, but that if it is a noise-making instrument, we need to be concerned that he will use it for music. Music apparently includes keeping a beat, as we find in the original example of clapping (Beitza 36; see Shemirat Shabbat K'hilchata 28:35).
Although the Shulchan Aruch does not bring the Agur's compromise as halacha (338:1), the Rama (ad loc.) does. Thus, according to the Rama, although one may bang with his fist on a door with the intention to make noise (as long as it is not to a beat), he may not do so with a door-knocker, which is made for that purpose.
Thus, it is permitted for Sefardim to use a door-knocker (see Yalkut Yosef, ad loc.:12) and forbidden for Ashkenazim (Shemirat Shabbat K'hilchata, ibid.).
Certainly, the situation is even more problematic if there is some sort of more musical bell, even if it is not electrically activated, which is forbidden even for Sefardim.
However, there is room for leniency in the following case. If one has bells that chime whenever one opens a door and neglected to remove them before Shabbat, then the custom is to allow one to enter the house despite the knowledge that he will thereby produce the problematic sound. This is based on the Magen Avraham (338:1and 301:35) who says that one can move curtains or clothes with little bells attached to them if he does not have intention to make the noise. The Mishna Berura 338:6 (see also Biur Halacha ad loc.) explains this opinion and allows following it in a case of need, for example, if it is the only way into his house. In the case of bells on the adornment of a sefer Torah, there are authorities who are lenient because of the mitzva involved (see Mishna Berura, ibid.), and each shul should follow its minhag and the ruling of its rabbi.
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Harav Shmuel Mohliver answers that the Torah is teaching us that when it comes to redeeming the land of Israel, we mustn't be put off by the price. We must be prepared to pay even more than the "market value" to obtain every possible granule of this holy land. That's how dear it is to us.
Sometimes you can't appreciate a Dvar Torah unless you know a little about its author. Harav Mohliver was one of the few Rabbanim in 19th-century Europe to join secular Zionists in founding the Chibat Tzion movement. Though he certainly didn't identify with their views on Jewish life, he was willing to pay any "price" for Eretz Yisrael. As Rav of Bialystok, he attended a special conference in Lemberg, Galicia, convened to deal with the fate of the tens of thousands of Jews who had fled across the Russian border to Galicia following the pogroms of 1881. He suggested that the refugees be diverted to Eretz Yisrael. In 1882, he went to Paris to meet the young Baron Edmond de Rothschild and convinced him to help the struggling settlers in the Holy Land. It wouldn't be at all surprising to learn that he shared this Dvar Torah with Rothschild.
May we merit to emulate his love of Eretz Yisrael and
thus merit its complete redemption speedily in our days.
The commentators find it hard to understand why Avraham made such a strong distinction between the Canaanites and the inhabitants of Aram Naharayim in Babylon. For the Abarbanel, they were all equally idolatrous. Other commentators are confused as to why Avraham's prohibition should have included such "good" local dwellers as his close associates Aner and Eshkol.
Perhaps the Canaanites were especially notorious for their abominations (cf. Vayikra 17:27) or perhaps such intermarriage would have precluded later expulsion of this people from the Land (Luzzato). Bringing back a wife from distant parts would also have the advantage of limiting the greater possibilities of assimilation associated with a local marriage.
Nechama Leibowitz notes, however, that what really
counts in the selection of a wife is her character. When Rivka attends to
every little detail of drawing water for ten camels and adequately
"replaces" Sarah in her tent, then we know that it is always worth the
arduous search to gain a woman of valor.
Mikdash Mikva'ot - Ritual Baths (III)
The Radak (R. David Kimhi, 1160–1235CE), basing himself on a passage from the Yerushalmi (Yoma 3:5), postulates that the legs of the oxen were hollow and that the aqueduct water circulated through them coursing into the "molten sea" and draining out through the hollow legs of other oxen, thus insuring a constant fresh supply. This constant water circulation turned King Solomon's "molten sea" into a Halachic Ma'ayan. The Yerushalmi quoted by Radak is the same source which Rashba, noted above, based his hypothesis).
The intent of the construction workers in building a valid Mikva is crucial. The Mikva must be built with the intention that it is to be used as a Mikva – for ritual purification only - and not merely for hygienic purposes. Many Mikva'ot are constructed without drainage, and this lack of drainpipes is considered a major Halachic difference between a Mikva and an ordinary bathtub by some authorities. These authorities postulate that the lack of a drainpipe signifies that the Otzar HaMayim Mikva reservoir and the Mikva immersion pool are truly Mechubar Lekarka – "attached to the ground"; a factor of vital importance to the Halachic validity of a Mikva.
Nevertheless, there are Mikva'ot built with a drainpipe in the Mikva immersion pool. For thee Halachic validity of these Mikva'ot, it is essential for the workmen, while positioning the drain pipes, to have the intention of connecting them to the ground so that it is impossible to dismantle them. Also it must be impossible to remove the unplugged bung completely; the plug is an integral part of the plumbing system. The authorities that countenance building Mikva'ot in this manner posit that these "mental precautions" are sufficient to insure that these Mikva'ot are considered Michubar Lekarka and thereby fulfill the Halachic requirements. The Otzar HaMayim and the Mikva immersion pool have to be cleaned periodically. Where there are no drains, the water is siphoned out or removed with buckets. The water must be totally removed and the interior of both structures thoroughly cleaned and dried. Then the Otzar HaMayim is refilled with at least 40 Se'ah of "natural water" and "ordinary" water added as needed.
The Mikva'ot above Sha'ar HaMayim (Water Gate) and the Beit HaParva, the Azara chamber where the hides of the sacrificial animals were salted, were for the use of the Kohein Gadol on Yom Kippur. Aside from Yom Kippur, we do not know how these two Mikva'ot were utilized the rest of the year. While the number of Kohanim who served in the Mikdash on any given day might not have reached “the 700 ministering priests” referred to in the Letter of Aristeas (95); the number serving unquestionably did reached into the hundreds. Before their daily Avoda, all these ministering Kohanim had to immerse in the underground "immersion chamber" accessible by tunnel from the Beit HaMokeid (the Mikdash hostel for Kohanim). A Kohein "would go out and go along the passage that led below the Bira (the Bayit?), where lamps were burning here and there, until he reached the immersion chamber" (Tamid 1:1). To service the large number of immersing Kohanim, the "immersion chamber"had to contain numbers of smaller "immersion pools" or possibly one very large one. These spring- fed "immersion pools" received a steady flow of fresh water from the aqueducts, and since they had drains, there was a constant movement of fresh water entering and "old" water draining out. And, as a matter of fact, halachically,these "purity pools" in the immersion chamber weren't Mikva'ot at all. These "purity pools" were considered Ma'ayanot, fountains of "living water" which are even more efficacious for purification than Mikva'ot! (Note Mikva'ot 1:1,7,8. E.g. a Zav, a man suffering from gonorrhea, must "immerse his garments and his flesh in Mayim Chayim" i.e., fresh Ma'ayan running water for his final purification (Vayikra 15:13). In the Zav's case, an ordinary Mikva is simply not efficacious.) "If the Kohein Gadol was old or weak, they prepared for him hot water which they poured into the cold water to lessen the cold… (Yoma 3:5). And on Yom Kippur, "lumps of wrought iron were heated up on the Eve of Yom Kippur and thrown into the water to warm it up…" (Yoma 34b end). Our sources do not note if the subterranean purity pools, utilized by the other Kohanim, were heated in any way.
Picture the Kohanim in Beit HaMokeid rising well before dawn and slipping on robes. White linen Bigdei Kehuna (priestly garments) in hand, they slowly descend a winding stairway that leads into a chilly torch-lit tunnel extending to a vaulted, spacious hall containing bathroom facilities and the priestly "purity pool".Standing next to the pool, the Kohanim remove their robes, perhaps handing them to Levite attendants, walk down the right side of the stairs, and immerse in the freezing water. As they emerge purified, they shiver as they climb up the left side of the stairs. They are careful not to touch the other Kohanim descending on the other side (note Shekalim 8:2). After they warm themselves near a waiting fire, they don their Bigdei Kehuna, proceed to Beit HaMokeid and await the arrival of the Memuneh, the kohen-superintendent. The day's Avoda will soon begin.
Catriel is in the process of writing a book: The
Temple of Jerusalem, A Pilgrims Prospective; A Guided Tour through the
Temple and the Divine Service
B'RUCH HASHEM means the BARUCH of HASHEM. B'RUCH is a noun. BARUCH is a verb.
A computer search of Tanach for BET-REISH- VAV-CHAF HASHEM resulted in 27 finds (of which, only 5 are in the Chumash), 25 of them are BARUCH HASHEM. The only two people called B'RUCH HASHEM are Eliezer (by Lavan) and Yitzchak (by Avimelech). [Both Lavan and Avimelech had ulterior motives in their dealings with Eliezer and Yitzchak respectively.]
Keeping to the same perek, look at 24:51 and 24:67.
You will find the similar words UT-HI and VA-T'HI. In 24:51, Lavan (and
B'tu'el) say to Eliezer: Here is Rivka before you, take (her) and go, and
she will be a wife to the son of your master, as G-d has spoken. UT-HI,
future tense. T'HI = she will be. The conjunctive VAV switches from a VAV
with a SH'VA to a SHURUK (which also changes the SH'VA under the TAV to a
NACH from a NA, to join the SHURUK in the syllable UT.
Taking a close look at the first Rashi of the sedra could teach us something. Rashi explains the reason that the TORAH wrote year/years a few times when telling about Sara's life. "To tell us that each one (year) stood for itself." Saras' life was not about the past ("remember when we were young…", "those days were somethingelse…", etc.) Sara's life was living the present, not the past. Each year stood for its own, of course learning from the past is very important, but if we stay back in the past it's like a child that wants to stay in first grade because it's familiar, he knows where everything is and in 2nd grade he knows no one.
Living in the shadow of the past is like saying, "we are not good enough, our generation is no better than the earlier generations". Sara teaches us that if we always think about the past we may have a lovely history and great stories to tell, but our present and our future will only serve the past. We could learn fromSara that our eyes should always look ahead and maybe then it's going to be easy for us to see the GE'ULA happening, and it is happening.
• Senior+ Shabbaton is happening next week. Please
contact Talya for more info.
• This week we have Senior Madrich Jeremy Saltan with
some thoughts about The art of balance:
We here at NESTO view ourselves as different kinds of
educators. Our counselors and kids are here by choice, which we highly
respect. We rely heavily on the SHARVIT throughout our activities and give
bonus on our shabbatonim and tiyulim. Additionally, we do not try and escape
our authority and responsibility when problems rise or things go bad. When
we are forced to use our stick, we use it wisely with the benefit of the one
and the whole at mind. - Jeremy
The Israel Center's Youth Program for Anglo-Israelis,
tel. 566-7787 ext. 247 • fax: 561-7432, Chaim Pelzner, Director, Yehoshua
Bonchek, Coordinator, Talya Honig, Bat Sherut, Partially funded by the
Jewish Agency for Israel
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