15 May 2008
However, Rabbi Moshe Isserles wroteאכל בשר, אפילו של חיה ועוף, לא יאכל גבינה אחריו עד שישהה שש שעות. ואפילו אם שהה כשיעור, אם יש בשר בין השינים, צריך להסירו.
והלועס לתינוק, צריך להמתין.If one ate meat - even a wild beast or poultry - one should not eat cheese after that until one waits six hours. And even if one waited that amount of time, if there is still flesh/meat in one's teeth, one needs to remove it.
And one who chews up [meat] for a child/toddler needs to wait [the prescribed amount of time].
For Rabbi Isserles' use of the term "these lands", I will refer to Joseph Davis' excellent article:ואם מצא אחר כך בשר שבין השינים, ומסירו, צריך להדיח פיו קודם שיאכל גבינה (הר"ן פכ"ה). ויש אומרים דאין צריכין להמתין שש שעות, רק מיד אם סלק ובירך ברכת המזון, מותר על ידי קנוח והדחה (תוס' ומרדכי פכ"ה והגהות אשיר"י והג"ה מיימוני פ"ט דמ"א וראבי"ה).If one found meat between ones teeth afterwards and removes it, one needs to wash out one's mouth prior to eating cheese.
והמנהג הפשוט במדינות אלו, להמתין אחר אכילת הבשר שעה אחת, ואוכלין אחר כך גבינה. מיהו צריכים לברך גם כן ברכת המזון אחר הבשר (ע"פ הארוך והגהות ש"ד), דאז הוי כסעודה אחרת, דמותר לאכול לדברי המקילין. אבל בלא ברכת המזון, לא מהני המתנת שעה. ואין חילוק אם המתין השעה קודם ברכת המזון, או אחר כך (ד"ע ממהרא"י ולאפוקי או"ה). ואם מצא בשר בין שיניו, אחר השעה, צריך לנקרו ולהסירו (ד"ע ממשמעות הר"ן הנ"ל).
ויש אומרים דאין לברך ברכת המזון על מנת לאכול גבינה (ארוך בשם מהר"ח), אבל אין נזהרין בזה.
ויש מדקדקים להמתין שש שעות אחר אכילת בשר לגבינה, וכן נכון לעשות
There are those who say that one does not need to wait six hours, but, rather just to remove their plate and to bless the Grace After Meals and it is permitted through wiping and rinsing.
The simple custom in these lands is to wait one hour after eating meat, and then [to be able] to eat cheese. However, one still needs to bless the Grace After Meals after the meat, because it would be like another meal, for which it would be permissible to eat, according to those who are lenient. But without the Grace After Meals, waiting an hour does not help. And there is no difference if one waits an hour before the Grace After Meals or afterwards. If one found meat between one’s teeth after that hour, one needs to remove it.
Some say one should not say the Grace After Meals just to eat cheese, but we are not concerned about this.
There are some who are meticulous to wait six hours after eating meat before [eating] cheese. And such is proper to do.
"These lands" is a phrase that Isserles was fond of, and he used it several times in his Responsa. In one place, he contrasted "these lands" to Italy.... In another place, he contrasted "these lands" to Moravia.... In a third responsum..., Isserles contrasted "these lands" to Germany....-Joseph Davis, "The Reception of the Shulhan Arukh and the Formation of Ashkenazic Jewish Identity," AJS Review 26, no. 2 (2002), 265.
Isserles used "these lands" to mean the lands of Poland. The "customs of these lands" that Isserles codified in his notes to the Shulhan Arukh were the customs of the Polish Jews.
For more on this topic, my havrusa wrote a little piece on this same topic (you have to scroll down a little).
13 May 2008
It is a moral idiot who thinks that anti-Semitism is a threat only to Jews. The history of civilization demonstrates something rather different: Judaeophobia is an unfailing prognosis of barbarism and collapse, and the states and movements that promulgate it are doomed to suicide as well as homicide, as was demonstrated by Catholic Spain as well as Nazi Germany. Today's Iranian "Islamic republic" is a nightmare for its own citizens as well as a pestilential nuisance and menace to its neighbors. And the most depressing and wretched spectacle of the past decade, for all those who care about democracy and secularism, has been the degeneration of Palestinian Arab nationalism into the theocratic and thanatocratic hell of Hamas and Islamic Jihad....
The Talmud establishes only very generally that Jews should prepare themselves mentally for prayer and that daily recitation of certain psalms is an ideal for prayer for which one should strive. However, in the earliest extant geonic treatises on prayer, the pesukei d’zimra, complete with a framework of blessings, are an established part of the morning service. Halakhot Gedolot, from the late ninth century, records an earlier ruling that the latecomer trying to catch up should abbreviate the psalms recited but not the blessings themselves, which clearly are already more essential liturgically than the psalms they came to frame. Natronai Gaon’s famous responsum detailing the hundred blessings one is required to recite daily simply lists barukh she-amar, assuming that his readers will know it. Although no geonic traditions attempted to hide the post-talmudic nature of the opening blessing particularly, none made excuses for its existence either. Most Rishonim did not question the legitimacy of this blessing and referred to its origins only vaguely as an enactment of the rabbis. (pp. 48-49; see also nn. 34-37 on pp. 49-50 on this selection)& the following:
Until the fourteenth century, most rabbinic discussions of its origins assumed the existence of some vague rabbinic enactment, the exact nature of which was of no great concern. The Tur mentions in passing that the blessing appears in Sefer Heikhalot. R. David ben Yehudah Hasid, in his influential kabbalistic prayer commentary, Or Zarua, states that barukh she-amar was not established by the men of the Great Assembly. Instead, scholars and men of wisdom received it directly from “the tradition of the covenant” when a note fell from heaven. R. David was no doubt rebutting a theory suggested by some unidentified group or person in his world. Obviously, it was not a mainstream theory, judging from the literature of the period. However, in the sixteenth century, R. Meir ibn Gabbai, in his commentary Sefer Tolaat Yaakov, miscites the Or Zarua, stating that it ascribes barukh she-amar specifically to the men of the Great Assembly, who established the prayer on the basis of a note that fell from heaven. This clever ascription removed all doubt about the legitimate origins of barukh she-amar by placing its provenance in the same mythical pre-talmudic antiquity as the amidah, the paradigmatic Jewish prayer. This explanation eventually became standard in noncritical prayer commentaries.
The impetus to generate and accept such “origins” for this single prayer must have come from the continuing need to justify its recitation. Before Ibn Gabbai’s solution was widely accepted, Hizkiah da Silva, in his Peri Hadash, a late seventeenth-century Sefardi commentary on the Shulhan Arukh, challenged the geonic right to establish new blessings, basing his argument on the Rosh’s objections to the priest’s blessing at the pidyon haben. Da Silva was either unaware of, or, more likely, unconvinced by the eighteenth-century commentators, the Peri Megadim and the Beer Heitev. The Beer Heitev, like his Sefardi contemporary, the Hida, also points to the Tur’s identification of the source of the blessing in the Sefer Heikhalot as proof of its pre-talmudic origins. (pp. 100-101; see also nn. 244-250 on pp. 100-101 thereupon)
12 May 2008
The second article towards which my attention turned was that of Rabbi Dr. Ari Z. Zivotofsky’s “What’s the Truth about… the Uganda Plan?” In truth, I generally turn to his section of the Jewish Action every issue first, as it is something towards which I look forward. And, as happens every time, I always learn something new – this issue being no exception.
A selection of articles, however, jumped out at me. They had a health section in this issue, a rarity. This section included Jack Botwinik’s “Frum and Fit: Are We Fulfilling Our Torah Obligation to Take Care of Our Body?”, Dr. Ronald Nagel’s “Pediatric Obesity: A Challenge for the Orthodox Jewish Community,” “Habits of Highly Healthy Families,” and Nechama Cohen’s “Avoiding the Pesach Pounds.” I wanted to first applaud Jewish Action for taking on this very important topic – something I think which is sorely lacking in Orthodox discourse and consciousness. One thing, however, that I think was lacking both in Mr. Botwinik’s article and in the “Habits of Highly Healthy Families,” per se, was that of the importance of exercise. Whilst the articles generally discussed nutrition and food – which are significant points of Orthodox interest – exercise ought to be emphasized a little more.
One thing that I will point out is that Dr. Nagel claims “According to Chazal, the mitzvah ‘Venishmartem meod lenafshoteichem, Be very careful about your lives’ imposes an obligation to preserve one’s health”, citing “Berachot 32b”. However, what Dr. Nagel unknowingly points out is the actual lack of such an obligation [in the Talmud]. The source Dr. Nagel quotes is the following beraisa (Berakhos 32b-33a):
Although we see that this verse is used in the context of guarding oneself - one's body, even - nevertheless, it is used by a gentile general in somewhat of a polemical context. Actually, Rabbi Samuel Eidels has written already to say that this verse is certainly not discussing a bodily context (מהרש"א חידושי אגדות מסכת ברכות לב, ב):תנו רבנן: מעשה בחסיד אחד שהיה מתפלל בדרך, בא הגמון אחד ונתן לו שלום ולא החזיר לו שלום, המתין לו עד שסיים תפלתו. לאחר שסיים תפלתו אמר לו: ריקא, והלא כתוב בתורתכם רק השמר לך ושמור נפשך וכתיב ונשמרתם מאד לנפשתיכם, כשנתתי לך שלום למה לא החזרת לי שלום? אם הייתי חותך ראשך בסייף מי היה תובע את דמך מידי?Our masters taught: There was an incident with one pious man who was praying on the road; a general came along and said "Hello," but [the Jew] did not return the greeting. The general waited for him until he finished his prayer. After he finished his prayer, he said to him, "You fool! Is it not written in your Torah, 'Only guard yourself and guard your soul' and it is written 'and guard yourselves very well.' When I greeted you, why didn't you respond with a greeting? If I were to have cut off your head with a sword, who would seek vengeance for your blood from me?"
אמר לו: המתן לי עד שאפייסך בדברים.
אמר לו: אילו היית עומד לפני מלך בשר ודם ובא חברך ונתן לך שלום – היית מחזיר לו?
אמר לו: לאו.
ואם היית מחזיר לו, מה היו עושים לך?
אמר לו: היו חותכים את ראשי בסייף.
אמר לו: והלא דברים קל וחומר; ומה אתה שהיית עומד לפני מלך בשר ודם שהיום כאן ומחר בקבר - כך, אני שהייתי עומד לפני מלך מלכי המלכים הקדוש ברוך הוא שהוא חי וקיים לעד ולעולמי עולמים - על אחת כמה וכמה!
מיד נתפייס אותו הגמון, ונפטר אותו חסיד לביתו לשלום
He said to him, "Wait for me until I appease you with words."
He said, "If you were standing before a king of flesh and blood, and your friend arrived and said 'Hello,' would you respond to him?"
He said, "No."
"And if you were to respond to him, what would he do to you?"
He said, "He would cut off my head with a sword."
He said, "Behold - this is an a fortiori argument: If you were standing before a king of flesh and blood and today you were here and tomorrow in a grave, then I who was standing before the King Amongst Kings, the Holy One, Blessed Be He, that He lives and endures until forever and ever - how much more so!"
Immediately, the general was appeased and the pious man departed unto his house in peace.
Although I can live with it, I have thought that the verse of guarding yourself well was, indeed, an imperative to protect your body and to keep it in good shape. However, that is neither how it was meant in Deuteronomy, nor in the Talmud. Nevertheless, as Jews, we should still be keeping good care of our bodies, anyways, as we see that obesity has been on the ascent in recent years.כתיב בתורתכם רק וגו'. האי קרא בשכחת התורה קמיירי כמ"ש פן תשכח את הדברים וגו' ובפ"ג דאבות שנינו כל השוכח ד"א ממשנתו כו' כאלו מתחייב בנפשו שנאמר רק השמר לך וגו' וכן האי קרא ונשמרתם מאד לנפשותיכם וגו' איירי שלא נאמין בשום תבנית פסל וגו' ולא איירי הני קראי כלל בשמירת נפש אדם עצמו מסכנה ומיהו במסכת שבועות (לו.) דריש ליה תלמודא נמי למלתא אחריתי דהיינו אזהרה למקלל עצמו מנין שנאמר רק השמר לך ושמור נפשך וגו' ע"It is written in your Torah, “only...” – this verse is dealing with the forgetting of the Torah, as it says, “lest you forget these things”. In the third chapter of Avos, [Rabbi Dostai son of Rabbi Yannai said in the Name of Rabbi Meir] taught anybody who forgets one thing from his learning… is as if he is responsible for his life, as it is said, “only guard yourself….” And, similarly, the verse “and you shall guard yourselves well,” is with regards to not believe in any idol… And these verses are not dealing at all with guarding one’s body itself from danger. However, in Shavuos, they expounded another learning , which is a warning to the swearer himself, whence? From only guard youself and guard yourself. See there.
11 May 2008
- Day - $12
- Month - $65
- 3 Months - $150
- 6 Months - $240
- Year (Renewal) - $286
- Year (New Member) - $388
09 May 2008
the city received complaints regarding the general concept of our firm doing any type of construction. During the numerous inspections the city conducted, it was determined by one of the inspectors that we lacked ownership of the retaining wall and as such could not proceed with any work until the the wall ownership could be determined.-----------------------------
The issue became more troublsome as no city agency wished to take responsibility of the ownership of the wall. It is still an issue at this point and we are working with various city agencies to resolve the situation. It will take some additional time to get this resolved. Until this situation is resolved everyone will be inconvenienced on many different levels.
Tags: construction, Washington Heights, Manhattan, Wadsworth Terrace, 1 Wadsworth Terrace, Wadsworth Condos, Wadsworth Terrace
06 May 2008
Their work "constitutes just over half of the total text of the Babylonian Talmud and which frames the discussion of the rest. This framework, post-dating the statements of identified figures, introduces questions, often provides solutions, and, in general, controls the interpretation of the earlier sources. It was composed by the late-fifth /early-sixth centuries, no later than c. 542 when the Black Plague appeared in Byzantium and proceeded to ravage the region for two centuries."1 Their work was already pointed out by Tosafists "some two hundred times".2
Of the stammaitic work, maybe 5% is early stam.3 Rava is not only one of the major motivating factors in the Babylonian Talmud, but the stam is greatly influenced by him.4
As far as their style is concerned,
…it is highly typical for the stam to interpret earlier sources in a forced manner, and it has been suggested that this characteristic is attributable in large part to the length of time separating the stam from its sources. It is reasonable to assume that the level of forced interpretations would be dramatically reduced if the stam were contemporary with the amoraim whose statements it was explicating. A contemporary would be able to ask the amora personally what his meaning was, and would not be forced to rely on his own independent understanding.5However, as far as this last point is concerned, "but communication wasn’t where you could just pick up a phone and call."6
Lastly, "the stam often appears to engage in argument for argument’s sake, out of sheer delight in dialogue and rhetoricity."7
I hope to return to these important sages in a later post....
(Elman also refers the reader to David Weiss Halivni, Midrash,Mishnah, and Gemara: The Jewish Predilection for Justified Law [Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1986], pp. 76–92 for further reading on this topic,8 so I hope to get around to reading that.)
1 Yaakov Elman, "The Babylonian Talmud in its Historical Context," in Printing the Talmud: From Bomberg to Schottenstein, ed. Sharon Lieberman Mintz & Gabriel M. Goldstein (New York: Yeshiva University Museum, 2005), 19.
2 Ibid., 23.
3 Yaakov Elman, Yeshiva University, "Introduction to Amoraic Literature," Lecture #9, New York City, 30 March 2006.
4 Yaakov Elman, Yeshiva University, "Introduction to Amoraic Literature," Lecture #10, New York City, 6 April 2006.
5 Richard Kalmin, “The Post-Rav Ashi Amoraim: Transition or Continuity? A Study of the Role of the Final Generations of Amoraim in the Redaction of the Talmud,” AJS Review 11:2 (Fall 1986), 166.
6 Elman, "Introduction," Class #10.
7 Kalmin, "The Post-Rav Ashi Amoraim," 170, n. 41.
8 Elman, "The Babylonian Talmud in its Historical Context," 19, n. 3.
The piece of art or the secular Constitutional document is being evaluated in almost total isolation from their respective authors. Change the authors and the evaluation will remain the same. Not so in a religious statement. There the author is inexorably connected with the authority of the statement. It is he who lends validity to the statement, he who makes it worthwhile studying it in the first place. Remove the author and the statement loses all its efficacy and the weight of its authority. In such a context, history and exegesis converge. The exegete is a historian of the text. He brings out the original intention of the author, reproduces what had transpired in the mind of the author during the enunciation of the statement, capturing thereby a particular historical moment. To usurp, therefore, a person's name, a person's authority for an interpretation which that person did not intend, or, what is worse, outrightly rejected, smacks of historical distortion.-David Weiss Halivni, "Contemporary Methods of the Study of the Talmud," Journal of Jewish Studies 30, no. 2 (Autumn 1979), 197.
05 May 2008
Definitely an interesting piece of information as to what the significance of lag b'omer is.
ומה שכתב ויש מסתפרין מל"ג בעומר ואילך. כ"כ ה"ר דוד אבודרהם (עמ' רמה) בשם אבן הירחי (המנהיג הל' ארוסין סוס"י קו) משמו של הרז"ה וכ"כ ג"כ הר"י ן' שועיב (שם) וז"ל שמעתי שיש במדרש שמתו מפסח עד פרוס העצרת והוא ט"ו יום קודם העצרת כאמרם (שקלים פ"ג ה"ד) [עד] פרוס הפסח פרוס החג שהם חמשה עשר יום בניסן ובתשרי וכשתסיר חמשה עשר יום מארבעים ותשעה יום נשארו שלשים וארבעה והנה הם שלשים ושלשה שלמים ומגלחים ביום ל"ד בבוקר כי מקצת היום ככולו עכ"ל ובספר אדם [וחוה] נתיב ה' (ח"ד מ"ד ע"ד) הועתק כן וכל זה כתב הרשב"ץ בתשובה (תשב"ץ ח"א סי' קעח) וכתב ולפי זה כל יום ל"ג אסור ומקצת ל"ד ולפי דעת (הרמב"ם) [הרמב"ן] מקצת לילה סגי כדאיתא בספר תורת האדם (מהדורת שעוועל עמ' רטו) ויש להתיר ביום ל"ג אם הוא ערב שבת לכבוד השבת עכ"ל:And what he wrote "there are those who take haircuts from the 33rd day of the omer and thenceforth" - such has Rabbi David Abudraham written in the name of Rabbi Abraham bar Nathan ha-Yarhi (HaManhig, Laws of Erusin) in the name of Rabbi Zerakhyah haLevi. And so, too, has Rabbi Yoel ben Shu'aib written:I have heard that there is a midrash that they died from Passover until the spreading out of Shavuot, which is 15 days prior to Shavuot, as they said "until the spreading out of Passover" - the spreading out of the holiday is 15 days in Nissan & Tishrei. When you subtract these 15 days from the 49 days, there are 34 remaining days left. And we shave on day 34 in the morning, because a little bit of the day is like its entirety.And in the book Adam & Eve, it is brought there. And Rabbi Shimon, son of Zemah, Duran wrote in a responsum: "And, according to this, the entire day of the 33rd is forbidden, and a little bit of the 34th. And, according to Nahmanides' opinion, a little bit of the night is sufficient, as it is in Sefer Torat Ha-Adam. And there is to permit on the 33rd day of it if it is Friday in honor of shabbat."
When my now wife used to live on 193rd street, the nearest Blockbuster store was located on Dyckman street. However, that store then closed, leaving the only Blockbuster in the Inwood-Washington Heights area at 179th street (not that that was a problem for me, as it was within walking distance).
And now there are no remaining Blockbuster stores in the Inwood-Washington Heights area, with the closest stores at 125th street in Harlem and in the Bronx.
I would presume that there are a few main reasons for this: Netflix & Blockbuster Online, online movie downloading (both legal & illegal), and knockoffs sold on the streets.
Oh well, we're members of Blockbuster Online and the store on 125th is near my wife's work, so we're not too unfortunate with this neighborhood loss (although gone are the Saturday nights where we can just walk over to a Blockbuster store and rent a movie).