by Joel Rich
Question: Over Yom Tov I noted several bnai Yeshiva in our thoroughly modern synagogue. Some came on time and others a bit later. I noticed a few from each group who made no effort to catch up to the tzibbur for shma or shmoneh esrai but prayed at their own pace. Is anyone else seeing this practice? What is the source?
From TRADITION/ Rabbi Bleich article this issue:
Those who forbid Anisakis and similar parasites but not other organisms assess the Talmudic statements in one of two ways. Some limit the relevant Talmudic presumption to organisms with regard to which there is no compelling evidence disproving the possibility of spontaneous generation and prohibit only species found both in the viscera and flesh but accept the Talmudic statements as presumptive and hence controlling only where there is no compelling evidence to the contrary. They do not regard the relevant Talmudic statements as universal and irrebuttable and, consequently, their conclusion prohibiting Anisakis and permitting other species is not inconsistent.
Other authorities redefine the underlying Talmudic principle, not as enunciating a principle of spontaneous generation, but as a declaration that subvisual phenomena are to be disregarded. Having redefined the principle, the application involves no inconsistency or difficulty whatsoever. Any and all organisms imbibed at a stage at which they can be perceived by the naked eye are forbidden. Those imbibed while not yet visible and found in the flesh of the fish, since they have no prior juridical identity, are treated as having been generated by the fish itself. Those found in the digestive tract even if imbibed in a subvisual state, do not develop by parasitic feeding upon the flesh of the host but appropriate to themselves nutrients eaten by the fish that are found in the digestive organs and hence are treated no differently from organisms that feed in the water outside the fish.
In the opinion of this writer, the halakhic arguments of those who prohibit Anisakis-infested fish are compelling. Moreover, their resolution of the underlying confrontation serves to affirm the veracity of Talmudic teaching without ignoring empirical reality and does so in a manner that is intellectually consistent.
Me:Intellectually consistent, but is it the truth?
A little about avi mori vrabbi zll”hh http://isramom.blogspot.com/
Writing this on R’YBS’s Yahrtzeit about R’Nissan Alpert in whose shiur I occasionally took up space – and you want to know why I’m feeling just a tad sub-perfect?
Here R’NA explains the lessons of mishpatim (civil laws) being sandwiched in matan torah. Our deah (wisdom) needs to be guided by HKB”H so we can actualize his will. Also (Sibsonites from YU will recognize this as my on boarding speech) that our doing the “civil laws” based on the command of HKB”H should (will) have those around us saying “Blessed is the God of (Sibsonites fill in their name here) Shimon ben shetach”.
Then to make me feel even better – an explanation of Kimu V’Kibblu (reacceptance of torah in the time of Esther) as a reinforcement/reminder that at our core Shushan is not our capitol, Jerusalem is (no matter where/when).
A masterful analysis of Grace after meals based on the chakira (distinction?) as to whether its primary nature is to thank HKB”H for the food; and other topics (e.g. Jerusalem) are dragged along, or is it fulfilling a more general requirement of praise. This is tied to the halacha of where we mention Shabbat in birchat hamazon.
Do blessings imply HKB”H is the source of all blessing or that we are the recipients (it depends!)? Similarly does amen mean we are saying it is emet (true) or that it should be so (halevai) – birchat hamazon itself changed somewhat from one to the other depending on circumstances (e.g. was Jerusalem standing).
Sheim (the name) of HKB”H reflects the representation of HKB”H in this world, so while HKB”H doesn’t need our blessings, his name does so it can be a strong instrument to represent him.
Also addresses why we need a glass of wine (or not) in certain circumstances – is it a blessing or a shira/song).
The gemara includes a bracha that the guest at a meal should say for the host (me – why was it not included for many years?) which includes both material wealth and tremendous spiritual success.
A bracha must have something to be chal (act?) on, whereas a prayer does not; thus bracha is to bring out potential – all brachot in torah should be understood this way. Thus, the special blessing in birchat hamazon is timely because the host has been machis orchim (had guests > entertaining HKB”H).
Why was Yaakov so concerned about sending Binyamin to Egypt and not about ending the other brothers? Because Rachel (and family) had proven susceptible to the dangers of travel. So how did Yehuda change this? By being arev (cosigner?) he became one with Binyamin and changed destiny. This is how prayer acts as well (similar to R’YBS).
HKB”H just waits for us to take 1st step! [me – R’NA had a similar thought by burning bush – “Vayar Hashem Ki Sar l’rot” – as soon as moshe turned towards the bush to investigate, HKB”H revealed himself].
R’Elyashav said Kohanim couldn’t fly over Cholon graveyard. EL AL later changed flight patterns so 90% of flights don’t go that route so it’s not a problem due to combination of other leniencies (me – why isn’t this efshar l’vaer?). Then a detailed analysis of the issues involved and why those who would be lenient are incorrect.
Worth listening to the whole shiur to hear that I was mchavein to R’SZA – Davar sheyeish lo matirin afilu b’elef to batil (some things are not annulled even 1/1000) has a limit (e.g. 1/10,000,000 would be batel!).
If mitzvot tzrichot kavannah (mitzvot require intention) is a torah requirement, do you have to redo the mitzvah if you didn’t have proper intent? Perhaps not if it’s done in a conducive context (e.g. shma in prayer). Perhaps “plain intent” (i.e. whatever chazal wanted) is enough. Perhaps if the mitzvah is one with physical result, intent isn’t critical. Lot’s of opinions! [me – so, again, why aren’t you yotzeh with the Rabbi’s bracha on sfirah without “negative” intent?]
Various chameitz issues including “control” issues (e.g. pawnbroker, ownership of stock in a company).
Homeopathic medicine – a shoteh (fool) is patur (exempt) from mitzvot!
Other topics include liquors, soy sauce, non-edibles, achshevei (if you consider it food it is) davar hamamad (forming agent?) and avida l’tameih (put in for taste).
Sfirah – is it drabanan (rabbinic) or duraita (torah)? If drabanan, is it a drabanan sfira (patterned on duraita?) or is it a drabannan zecher lmikdash (remembrance of the temple) whose form happens to be sfira (same issue by maror). R’YBS & R’Velvel discuss.
Why not count 2 numbers every night of sfirah due to sfeika d’yoma (uncertainty of which day it really is)? Dvar Avraham – counts (e.g. 1/10 for maaser of animals) can never be from doubt! R’YBS – so they never counted sfira in far places when we were mkadeish al pi r’eiah (sighting of moon)? R’HS – no, they did count since they generally “knew” (<2% chance of error) when rosh chodesh would be. Kiddush bmakom seudah (where the meal is) also discussed. Interesting – we assume bavli statement of R’Yochanan’s opinions are correct against Yerushalmi’s even though R’Yochanan’s students edited the Yerushalmi!
Round 3 – His stay in Pressburg and opposition from some towns people. His approbation and later retraction for a translation of the Talmud.
Pirkei Avot – Analysis of how Hillel’s statements are reflective of his personal history (in particular his desire not to be Nasi, till he absolutely had to). Avot = models of those particular midot. The tannaim who lived their midot (mentioned in pirkei avot) become like Avot (as in zchut avot) and so can we (Avos dereiyn – at least I remember that) if we act l’sheim shamayim (for heavenly purpose).
We each need to have the proper self esteem, we each have our own set of abilities and our own roles/destiny, everyone counts.
Sub units include family, mishmar, tribe – each as a building block.
The tfillin of Rabbeinu Tam order of the parshiyot and some lessons. Includes the relationship of mishpatim and chukim and the total commitment to both chukat hatorah [revelation] and chukat hateva [reason] (torah is primary).
Analysis of the luchot story and the relationship with HKB”H – the meaning of HKB”H saying he will send the malach. General theme is Tshuva (repentance).
Asseret Hadibrot (10 commandments) has same kedusha as rest of torah. Perhaps because of concern for saying the 10 are more important they aren’t mentioned sometimes (e.g. Shabbat shacharit – R”YBS also gives the Abudraham’s explanation on this). All mitzvot can be categorized under these 10 categories.
R’YBS then gives examples. Anochi covers morality, prayer and total reliance on HKB”H, Lo Tisa focuses on truth and importance of speech (he was discouraged by the many “frum” slanderers – I wonder if he was referring to those who slandered him?)
Disagreement in Talmud – did the Jews answer the negatives (e.g. don’t murder) with no, we won’t or yes, we won’t. Difference is no means they wouldn’t have done it anyway – yes means submission to HKB”H – leads into discussion of natural tzaddik vs. one who falls but overcomes.
Some interesting historical musings as well.
How did sfirah evolve from a happy harvest time to a sad mourning period? 1st written source is gaonic, covers all the days and only mentions weddings. Tur mentions no haircuts till lag baomer. Then focus on R’Moshe’s famous flexible finding on observing sfirah followed by R’Sperber’s/Aruch Hashulchan on transition to mourning period due to crusades.
His psak on music is that non – “jumping/dancing” music is probably OK.
Continuation of Asseret Hadibrot. Use of Ani=action/predicate, use of anochi = identity (to the exclusion of others). Thus anochi hashem defines universal word of God – applicable in all geographies to all kinds of people – including totally spiritual and those more connected to this world.
Interesting comments on the shift to today’s more intellectual approach – used to be able just to teach masses to do mitzvot without understanding (me – perhaps this is why many feel TUM is for intellectual elite), now every day school kid needs an explanation.
Asseret written in singular – every individual can make a difference, must withstand social pressures and has no excuses!
Moshe’s breaking the first luchot as a defense of the Jewish people – no contract. (cuts off in middle)