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I started reading the Diary of Anne Frank this morning.
It’s so sad to realize that the girl who wrote this never made it past sixteen, and died in such a horrible manner, just because she was Jewish.
Every once and a while, some phrase or other makes that especially poignant.
I’ve never read the diary in full, but plan to finish it over Shabbat.
I read somewhere that she was made an honorary citizen this week.
I imagine that rings especially hollow for her surviving relatives, because if she had been allowed to enter the United States while she was alive, she never would have died in a concentration camp.

  

Current Mood: none

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Megillah, Chapter Two, Mishnah Five

Introduction

One can fulfill one’s obligation of hearing the Megillah at any time during the day. Our mishnah gives a very long list of numerous other rituals that one
can perform at any time duing the day.

Since this list is very long, I will not explain each item in detail, but rather mostly make reference to the relevant biblical verse(s) which deal with
the issue. I will not even comment on issues that seem abundantly clear.

Mishnah Five

The whole day is a valid time for

1) reading the Megillah;

2) reciting Hallel;

3) for the blowing of the shofar;

4) for taking up the lulav;

5) for the Musaf prayer;

6) for Musaf sacrifices;

7) for confession over the oxen;

8) for the confession over the tithe;

9) for the confession of sins on Yom HaKippurim;

10) for laying on of hands;

11) for slaughtering [the sacrifices];

12) for waving [them];

13) for bringing near [the vessel with the minhah-offering to the altar];

14) for taking a handful;

15) for placing it on the fire;

16) for pinching off [the head of a bird-offering];

17) for receiving the blood [in a vessel];

18) for sprinkling [the blood on the altar];

19) for making the sotah drink [the bitter waters];

20) for breaking the neck of the heifer;

21) and for purifying the metzora.

Explanation

Sections 6-7: On Shabbat, holidays and Rosh Hodesh there are musaf sacrifices and musaf prayers. The sacrifices can be offered at any time during the day
and the prayers may be recited throughout the whole day.

Section 8: For confession over the ox—One who brings an ox as a sacrifice also confesses to the sin for which the ox is brought (Leviticus 4:3,14).

Section 9: For the confession over the tithe—On the fourth and seventh years of the sabbatical cycle one makes a confession that he has “removed all of
the holy produce from his home” (Deuteronomy 26:13).

Section 10: For the confession of sins on Yom HaKippurim—The high priest recites a confession over the sacrifices (Leviticus 16:21; see also Yoma 3:8,
4:2, 6:2).

Section 11: For laying on of hands—one lays one’s hands on an animal sacrifice before it is slaughtered (Leviticus 1:4).

Section 13: For waving [them]—one waves the innards and the breast of wellbeing offerings (Leviticus 7:30).

Section 14-16: these are all elements of the minhah offering.

Section 17: For pinching off [the head of a bird-offering]—Leviticus 1:15, 5:8.

Section 18: For receiving the blood [in a vessel]—in order to sprinkle it on the altar.

Section 20: For breaking the neck of the heifer—if a dead body is found in a field and the identity of the murderer is unknown (Deuteronomy 21:1)

Section 21: And for purifying the metzora—Leviticus 14.

  

Current Mood: none

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I just spent the longest time talking to my friend Gina, who I haven’t
talked to on the phone for at least a year, and that was the first time I
had talked to her in ages.
The first time I’m referring to was last year.
We got our contact information straightened out, and it turns out that I had
two very wrong email addresses for her.
I’m also trying to get back in touch with my friend Susan, who I haven’t
talked to in years.
I hope I’m successful, because I’d really like to be in touch with all my
old friends, the ones I grew up with and who have remained friends over the
years.
Tomorrow’s the last day for this week regarding work, and I’m glad for that.
I still haven’t heard about the job I’m applying for, but I’ll give that
some more time.
As far as what’s going to happen with my status at the company I’m working
for now, I have no idea.
Tomorrow is the last day of the project I’m currently working on, and when I
left work yesterday, no one had any idea what was going on.
Oh well, I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
Everyone have a good night.

  

I just spent the longest time talking to my friend Gina, who I haven’t
talked to on the phone for at least a year, and that was the first time I
had talked to her in ages.
The first time I’m referring to was last year.
We got our contact information straightened out, and it turns out that I had
two very wrong email addresses for her.
I’m also trying to get back in touch with my friend Susan, who I haven’t
talked to in years.
I hope I’m successful, because I’d really like to be in touch with all my
old friends, the ones I grew up with and who have remained friends over the
years.
Tomorrow’s the last day for this week regarding work, and I’m glad for that.
I still haven’t heard about the job I’m applying for, but I’ll give that
some more time.
As far as what’s going to happen with my status at the company I’m working
for now, I have no idea.
Tomorrow is the last day of the project I’m currently working on, and when I
left work yesterday, no one had any idea what was going on.
Oh well, I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
Everyone have a good night.

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

I managed to sleep in majorly today, and thus I am not at work. I was
supposed to be at work at 07:00, and didn’t manage to wake up for the first,
groggy time at 06:24. Naturally, I called my ride and told him I overslept
and would be to work later. I laid back down on the bed for a second,
thinking I would wake back up in time to be to work by 09:00 and work until
18:00, but I fell asleep again and didn’t wake up until 10:45, and if I had
gotten to work at any time after 11:00, it would have counted as an absence.
Fortunately I have some paid time off, and put some of that in for today.
The occurrence still stands, (I think they keep changing the rule on that
one, because I know I’m not absent-minded enough to keep forgetting the
policy), but at least I’ll get paid. All around though this was unexpected.
I suppose that’s what happens when you can’t sleep the night before.

  

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MOED KATAN 15

Point By Point Outline

1) HAIRCUTS FOR A MOURNER, A “MENUDEH” {one who has been excommunicated} AND A “METZORA” {a leper}
(a) A mourner may not cut his hair, as derived from a Pasuk in the Torah.
(b) Question: May a Menudeh and Metzora cut their hair?
(c) Answer: A Beraisa explicitly says no. (It also says that if a Menudah dies during his Niduy a large stone is placed over his casket.)

2) WRAPPING OF THE HEAD FOR A MOURNER, A “MENUDEH” AND A “METZORA”
(a) A mourner must wrap his head with a kerchief (see Tosfos 21a why this is not done any more), as derived from Yechezkel.
(b) Must a Menudeh wrap his head?
1. The Gemara attempts to bring a proof that he must from a Beraisa that deals with people who have fasted for rain but did not have their prayers answered.
“They must sit with their heads wrapped like Menudim and mourners.”
2. The proof is rejected, because in that case the people are Menudim from Hash-m Himself, and this is a more serious type of Niduy.
(c) A Metzora must wrap his head, as it says clearly in the Torah.

3) TEFILIN FOR A MOURNER, A “MENUDEH” AND A “METZORA”
(a) A mourner may not put on Tefilin (see below, 21a, for details), as derived from Yechezkel.
(b) May a Menudeh put on Tefilin? The question remains unanswered.
(c) May a Metzora put on Tefilin?
1. The Gemara attempts to bring a proof from a Beraisa that discusses the Torah’s law that a Metzora must be “Pore’a” his head. R. Eliezer says this means
that he must grow his hair. R. Akiva says it means he may not put something ON his head. The Gemara thinks that this “something” is Tefilin.
2. The proof is rejected. The “something” might be just a hat or head ornament.

4) GREETINGS FOR A MOURNER, A “MENUDEH” AND A “METZORA”
(a) A mourner may not give a greeting (see below, 21b, for details), as derived from Yechezkel.
(b) May a Menudeh give a greeting?
1. The Gemara attempts to bring a proof from the above Beraisa (2:b:1) that deals with people who have fasted for rain. “They must not greet each other.”
2. The proof is rejected on the same grounds as it was in 2:b:2.
(c) May a Metzora give a greeting?
1. A Beraisa states clearly that he may not.
2. Question: The Beraisa seems to imply that a Menudeh may also not give a greeting, so why do we not use it as a proof for Menudeh?
3. Answer: The Beraisa does not necessarily carry this implication about the Menudeh.

5) TORAH LEARNING FOR A MOURNER, A “MENUDEH” AND A “METZORA”
(a) A mourner may not study Torah, as derived from Yechezkel.
(b) May a Menudeh study Torah?
1. A Beraisa states explicitly that he may learn or teach Torah. (However, a Muchram [more serious than a Menudeh] may only learn by himself but not teach
or be taught by others.)
(c) May a Metzora study Torah?
1. A Beraisa states explicitly that he may study Torah.

6) LAUNDERING FOR A MOURNER, A “MENUDEH” AND A “METZORA”
(a) A mourner may not launder his clothes, as derived from Sefer Shmuel.
(b) May a Menudeh and a Metzora launder their clothes?
1. A Beraisa states explicitly that they may not.

7) RIPPING CLOTHES FOR A MOURNER, A “MENUDEH” AND A “METZORA”
(a) A mourner must rip his clothing, as derived from the Torah.
(b) Must a Menudeh rip his clothing? No answer is given.
(c) A Metzora must rip his clothing, as the Torah says explicitly.

15b—————————————-15b

8) TURNING THE BED OVER FOR A MOURNER, A “MENUDEH” AND A “METZORA”
(a) A mourner must turn his bed over (see Tosfos 21a why this is not done any more). Bar Kapara explains the symbolism behind this act.
(b) Must a Menudeh and a Metzora turn their beds over? The question remains unanswered.

9) WORK FOR A MOURNER, A “MENUDEH” AND A “METZORA”
(a) A mourner may not do work, as derived from a Pasuk.
(b) May a Menudeh do work?
1. The Gemara attempts to bring a proof from a Beraisa that states that people fasting for rain must refrain from work (except at nights) and must do several
other mourning-like actions, “and the same goes for a mourner and a Menudeh.” The Gemara thinks that the clause “the same goes for… Menudeh” applies
to refraining from work.
2. The proof is rejected, because the clause may be referring to the other mourning-like actions mentioned there.
3. Another Beraisa states specifically that he may do work.
(c) May a Metzora do work? The question remains unanswered.

10) BATHING (AND ANOINTING THE SKIN WITH OIL) FOR A MOURNER, A “MENUDEH” AND A “METZORA”
(a) A mourner may not bathe (or anoint his skin with oil), as derived from Sefer Shmuel.
(b) May a Menudeh bathe?
1. The Gemara attempts to bring a proof from a Beraisa that states that people fasting for rain must refrain from bathing (except for hands, face and feet)
and must do several other mourning-like actions, “and the same goes for a mourner and a Menudeh.” The Gemara thinks that the clause “the same goes for…
Menudeh” applies to bathing.
2. The proof is rejected, because the clause may be referring to the other mourning-like actions mentioned there.
(c) May a Metzora bathe? The question remains unanswered.

11) WEARING SHOES FOR A MOURNER, A “MENUDEH” AND A “METZORA”
(a) A Mourner may not wear shoes, as derived from Yechezkel.
(b) May a Menudeh wear shoes?
1. The Gemara attempts to bring a proof from a Beraisa that states that people fasting for rain must not wear shoes (except when on the road) and must do
several other mourning-like actions, “and the same goes for a mourner and a Menudeh.” The Gemara thinks that the clause “the same goes for… Menudeh”
applies to wearing shoes.
2. The proof is rejected, because the clause may be referring to the other mourning-like actions mentioned there.
(c) May a Metzora wear shoes? The question remains unanswered.

12) MARITAL RELATIONSFOR A MOURNER, A “MENUDEH” AND A “METZORA”
(a) Marital relations are forbidden to a mourner, as derived from the book of Shmuel.
(b) May a Menudeh engage in marital relations?
1. The Gemara attempts to prove that he may, from the fact that the while the Israelites were wandering in the desert they were considered Menudim, and
yet they obviously engaged in marital relations.
2. The proof is rejected because perhaps a Menudah by Hash-m Himself is not the same (it is less serious) as a regular Menudeh.
3. This rejection is based on a line of reasoning which is the exact oppisite of that employed above (2:b:2). The idea is that since it cannot be established
with certainty which (if either) kind of Niduy is more strict than the other – regular Menudeh or Menudeh to Hash-m – no conclusion may be drawn in either
direction.
(c) May a Metzora engage in marital relations?
1. (Beraisa): “A Metzora must be like a Menudeh and a mourner, forbidden to engage in marital relations.”
2. Question: Since the Beraisa says “like a Menudeh… forbidden to engage in marital relations,” can we derive that a Menudeh is also forbidden to engage
in marital relations?
3. Answer: No, perhaps the two statements are disjointed: For one thing, he must be like a Menudeh, and for another thing he may not engage in marital relations.

13) SACRIFICES FOR A MOURNER, A “MENUDEH” AND A “METZORA”
(a) A mourner may not offer a sacrifice, as derived from the Torah.
(b) May a Menudeh offer a sacrifice?
1. The Gemara attempts to prove that he may, from the fact that the while the Israelites were wandering in the desert they were considered Menudim, and
yet they offered sacrifices.
2. The proof is rejected as above, 12:b:2.
(c) May a Metzora offer a sacrifice?
1. The Gemara proves that he may not, from a Beraisa in which R. Yehudah and R. Shimon disagree about the interpretation of a Pasuk in Yechezkel, but they
both agree to the same basic principle: A sacrifice may be offered only by someone who is himself permitted to enter the Temple (which a Metzora is not).

Background

1) [line 5] GAL AVANIM – a pile, heap of stones
2) [line 5] GALO SHEL ACHAN – the heap of stones that was piled on top of Achan ben Karmi ben Zavdi ben Zerach of the tribe of Yehudah. After Benei Yisrael
suffered their first loss during the wars of the conquest of Eretz Yisrael, Yehoshua was told by HaSh-m that the reason for the loss was that one of the
people sinned by taking items that were consecrated to HaSh-m. Yehoshua cast lots and discovered that the culprit was Achan. Achan admitted his guilt and
was put to death to atone for his sins. A heap of stones was erected over his body as a reminder of the event (Yehoshua 7:1-26).
3) [line 8] ATIFAS HA’ROSH – wrapping the head with a Talis or scarf that also covers the mouth and the end of the nose (SHULCHAN ARUCH Yoreh De’ah 386:1).
This is not practiced today by Ashkenazic Jews (REMA ibid.). However, it is proper to wear one’s hat lower, near the eyes (SHACH ibid.)
4) [line 14] MENUDEH LA’SHAMAYIM – people who have been “excommunicated by Heaven”, e.g. when it still does not rain after the cycle of 13 public fasts
(see Background to Shabbos 24:1)
5) [line 18] “PE’ERCHA CHAVOSH ALECHA” – “[Sigh silently, do not practice any rites of mourning for the dead,] don your Tefilin, [and place your shoes upon
your feet. Do not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of other people.]” (Yechezkel 24:17)
6) [line 23] HAVAYAH – the word Yiheyeh regarding the head and Yiheyu regarding clothes (Vayikra 13:45)
7) [line 26] KUMSA V’SUDRA – a hat and a scarf
8) [line 27] “HE’ANEK DOM” – “Sigh silently” (Yechezkel 24:17)
9) [line 28] HA’NEZUFIN LA’MAKOM – that have been scorned by the Omnipresent

10) [line 34] MENUDEH/MUCHRAM/NEZIFAH
[I] MENUDEH/MUCHRAM (NIDUY/CHEREM – excommunication)
(a) A person is put into Niduy for 24 things:
1] One who shames a Chacham who toils in Torah and is worthy to rule in Halachic matters, even after the Chacham has died
2] One who shames a messenger of Beis Din
3] One who calls another Jew a slave
4] A person who did not come to Beis Din at the time appointed for him
5] One who treats one of the Torah laws or Rabbinical laws with disrespect
6] One who did not accept the verdict of the Beis Din is put into Niduy until he complies
7] One who has in his domain something that causes damage is put into Niduy until he removes it
8] One who sells his land to a powerful Nochri is put into Niduy until he accepts upon himself to pay for all damages that will be caused to the Jews who
live on the adjoining properties
9] One who testifies against another Jew in the courts of the Nochrim and as a result the Jew’s money was taken away, where the ruling was in violation
of the principles of Torah Law, is put into Niduy until he pays
10] A Kohen who is a butcher and does not give the priestly gifts (see Background to Megilah 28:1) to another Kohen is put into Niduy until he gives them
11] One who does not keep the second day of Yom Tov outside of Eretz Yisrael
12] One who does Melachah on Erev Pesach after midday
13] One who pronounces HaSh-m’s name in vain or in an unnecessary vow
14] One who causes many people to eat Kodshim outside of the places in which it is permitted to eat them
15] One who causes many people to act in a way that causes Chilul Ha’Sh-m
16] One who calculates the months and years and proclaims them outside of Eretz Yisrael
17] One who causes a blind person to stumble, i.e. who causes another person to sin
18] One who prevents the public from doing a Mitzvah
19] A butcher who sold a Tereifah animal
20] A butcher who did not show his knife to a Chacham to be checked (this does not apply today)
21] ha’Maksheh Atzmo la’Da’as
22] One who divorces his wife and then makes a partnership to do business with her, which causes them to come in contact with each other. They are put into
Niduy when they come to Beis Din
23] A Chacham about whom bad things are said
24] A person who puts someone else into Niduy unjustly
(SHULCHAN ARUCH Yoreh De’ah 334:43, based upon the RAMBAM Hilchos Talmud Torah 6:14)
(b) The minimum period of Niduy is thirty days in Eretz Yisrael or seven days in Bavel and elsewhere. If the Menudeh does not repent from his ways he is
put into Niduy for a second thirty-day period. If he still does not repent, he is then put into Cherem. The laws of Cherem are much more stringent.
(c) No one may come within four Amos of the Menudeh, except for his wife and family. He is not permitted to eat or drink with other people, nor is he included
in a Zimun or any other Mitzvah that requires a quorum of ten men. He may not wash his clothes, shave or take a haircut or wear shoes. Learning and teaching
Torah, however, are permitted, as well as engaging in work. The last two are not permitted to a Muchram, who must learn by himself and engage in work to
the minimum that will provide him daily sustenance. People may speak with the Menudeh or the Muchram unless Beis Din specifically prohibits it.
(d) Even if the time of the Cherem or Niduy has finished, a person remains in Niduy or Cherem until he is permitted by three commoners or by an expert sage
(Shulchan Aruch 334:27 and Rema 334:24)

[II] NEZIFAH
(a) If a important Torah scholar rebukes someone and says “how Chatzuf (arrogant) is so-and-so” or something similar, then that person is called a Nazuf
(SHULCHAN ARUCH Yoreh De’ah 334:14). Even if he only senses that the great person bears resentment in his heart against him, he must act as a Nazuf (REMA
ibid.). The Nazuf should try to distance himself from people out of shame and should not show his face to the one who rebuked him. He should minimize his
speech, laughter and business dealings, and show distress before everyone who sees him.
(b) However, the Nazuf is permitted to eat and drink with people, and to ask their welfare (She’eilas Shalom). He also does not have to act in any way like
a mourner. He does not have to appease the person to whom he was arrogant. The period of Nezifah concludes automatically; he does not need an official
pardon.
(c) The period of Nezifah lasts seven days in Eretz Yisrael and one day in Bavel and elsewhere (Moed Katan 16a).

11a) [line 34] SHONEH – teaches
b) [line 36] SHONEH HU L’ATZMO – he learns by himself
12) [line 37] ZEVUNEI MAYA – selling water
13) [line 37] PIKSA (MAYBE PAKSA) D’ARAVOS – (a) the marketplace of Aravos (RASHI); (b) valley of Aravos (Steppes) in Bavel that lacks water
14a) [line 39] EIMAH – fear, dread, terror
b) [line 39] YIR’AH – awe, fear
c) [line 39] RESES – trembling
d) [line 39] ZI’A – shuddering

15) [line 40] BO’EL NIDAH
A person who has relations with a Nidah becomes Tamei for seven days, like the Nidah herself. His laws of Tum’ah, however, are less stringent. The objects
he touches, as well as Tachtono, the objects underneath him, have the same status as the objects above a Nidah, namely, Rishon l’Tum’ah, as it states in
Vayikra 15:24 (see Nidah 33a, and Charts to Nidah 33:8b). After seven days, he immerses in a Mikvah during the day to complete his purification process.

16) [line 41] BA’ALEI KERYIN (BA’AL KERI)
A man who has emitted Keri (semen) becomes a Rishon l’Tum’ah. He may not enter the Machaneh Leviyah (i.e. the Temple Mount), nor may he eat Ma’aser, Terumah
or Kodshim. After he immerses in a Mikvah during the day he becomes Tahor and may eat Ma’aser and enter Machaneh Leviyah once again (mid’Oraisa — the
Rabanan however prohibited him from entering the Ezras Nashim until nightfall). He remains a “Tevul Yom” until nightfall, after which he may once again
eat Terumah or Kodshim.

17) [last line] KEFIYAS HA’MITAH – turning over of the bed (so that he may not sleep in it)

15b—————————————-15b

18) [line 1] DEMUS DEYUKNI – (lit. my shape or form, kiv’Yachol) a semblance of my essence
19) [line 39] “V’ACHAREI TAHORASO; SHIV’AS YAMIM YISPERU LO.” – “And after his purification, they shall count seven days for him.” (Yechezkel 44:26)

20) [line 39] SHIV’AS YEMEI SEFIRO
(a) On the day that a Metzora is healed from his Tzara’as, he takes two kosher birds (Tziporei Metzora), a piece of cedar wood, some crimson wool and a
hyssop branch. One of the birds is slaughtered over fresh spring water in a clay bowl. A Kohen dips the other bird, along with the other articles, into
the spring water that is mixed with the blood and sprinkles it seven times on the Metzora. The living bird is sent away towards the fields. Both birds
are Asur b’Hana’ah, but the Isur is removed from the living bird after it is sent off to the fields.
(b) The Metzora next washes his clothes, shaves all places on his body that have a collection of hair and that are exposed, and immerses in a Mikvah. He
is now considered Tahor to the extent that he may enter a settlement, but marital relations are forbidden. He waits seven days (Yemei Sefiro), then once
more washes his clothes, shaves and immerses. He is now completely Tahor but is still a Mechusar Kaparah (see Background to Pesachim 90:11). For a description
of the order of the Korbanos of the Metzora, see Background to Megilah 8:11:c-e.

Insights

15b—————————————-15b

1) MAY A “MENUDEH” BE WITH HIS WIFE?
QUESTION: The Gemara asks whether a Menudeh (one who has been placed in Niduy, or excommunication) is permitted to be with his wife.

What is the Gemara’s question? The Gemara earlier clearly states that no one may go within four Amos of a Menudeh, and this prohibition applies to his wife
as well. (RITVA and others)

ANSWERS:
(a) The RAN in Nedarim (8a) and other Rishonim cite the Gemara later (16a) which says that it is possible for a person to be in Niduy in one place but not
in another. The Gemara’s question whether a Menudeh may be with his wife applies only in such a case. When a person was placed in Niduy in one city but
in his hometown he is not in Niduy, is he prohibited to be with his wife when he is not in the city which placed him in Niduy? Perhaps even when he is
in his hometown, where he is not a Menudeh and where people do not have to stay away from him, he still may be prohibited to be with his wife because that
requirement is a Halachah relevant to how he must act as a Menudeh and not to the way others must conduct themselves with him.

(b) The RAN (in Nedarim) and the RASHBA answer in the name of the RA’AVAD that a Menudeh’s wife is not included in the requirement to stay away from him
because of the principle, “Ishto k’Gufo,” one’s wife is like his own body.

(c) The ROSH here writes that not only is the Menudeh’s wife permitted to be in his presence, but even his children may approach him. He proves this from
the incident of Rebbi Elazar ben Hurkenus (Sanhedrin 88a) whose son removed his Tefilin for him when he was placed in Niduy. The reason why one’s family
members may come within his four Amos is because when Beis Din places him in Niduy, they do not include his family members in the prohibition to go near
him.

Similarly, the RITVA answers that although everyone else must keep away from the Menudeh, his wife is not required to avoid him. Moreover, all of the other
members of his household (and not only his children) are allowed to approach him. This is part of the stipulation of the Niduy made by Beis Din, which
allows him his primary needs (Nedarim 39a).

HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 334:4) rules that a Menudeh is permitted to be with his wife, as the Rosh writes. The REMA adds that others permit him
to be near the rest of his household, as the Ritva writes.

2) DERIVING LAWS OF AVEILUS FROM THE CONDUCT OF DAVID HA’MELECH
QUESTIONS: The Gemara derives that an Avel is prohibited to be with his wife from the verses which describe the conduct of David ha’Melech when his infant
son died. The verse says that after the child died, “David comforted his wife Bas Sheva, and he came to her…” (Shmuel II 12:24). The verse implies that
he was with his wife only after the Aveilus for his son ended, but during Aveilus he was prohibited to be with her.

(a) The proof from David ha’Melech that an Avel is prohibited to be with his wife is problematic. The verse says that “it happened on the seventh day that
the child died” (ibid. 12:18). If the child was only seven days old when he died, then he had the status of a Nefel (stillborn), and there is no requirement
of Aveilus for a stillborn. Why does the Gemara assume that David ha’Melech was observing the laws of Aveilus?

(b) Furthermore, it is clear from the verses that David ha’Melech did not observe the laws of Aveilus when his child died. The verse says that when the
child died, “David stood up from the floor, washed, and anointed himself and changed his clothes. He came to the house of Hash-m and bowed down. He came
to his house, asked for food, and they served him food and he ate” (ibid. 12:20).

How can the Gemara derive laws of Aveilus from David ha’Melech if he was not an Avel? (RADAK ibid.)

ANSWERS:
(a) The RADAK suggests two approaches to answer the first question:

1. The Chachamim understood that when the verse says, “It happened on the seventh day that the child died,” it does not mean that the child died on the
seventh day of his life. Rather, it means that he died on the seventh day of his illness. He was older than thirty days and thus his parents were obligated
to observe Aveilus for him.

2. Even if the child was only seven days old as the verse implies, perhaps David ha’Melech nevertheless was obligated to observe Aveilus for him. The Gemara
in Shabbos (136a) says that the reason why one does not mourn for a Nefel is because the child was not yet completely formed. However, if one knows for
certain that the child’s gestation reached full term, he is required to mourn. David ha’Melech knew that his child was a full-term baby because he had
been with Bas Sheva only one time (Shmuel II 11:27).

(b) Several approaches are offered to answer the second question:

1. The RADAK suggests that David ha’Melech washed himself and changed his clothes before he became an Avel — that is, when he was an Onen, after the child
died but before he was buried, at which time the Halachos of Aveilus (according to some Rishonim) are not yet observed. The reason he washed as an Onen
was because he wanted to bow down to Hash-m in the place of the Shechinah in fulfillment of the dictum, “One is required to bless Hash-m for the bad just
as he is required to bless Hash-m for the good” (Berachos 54a). David ha’Melech wanted to praise Hash-m even on the occasion of the loss of his child,
and thus he immediately went to the place of the Shechinah. Since it is not proper to go there unclean and disheveled (as was David ha’Melech’s state as
a result of fasting and sitting on the ground for seven days while the child was sick), he needed to wash and change his clothes.

This is also the explanation of the RITVA here, as well as the RA’AVAD cited by the ROSH.

2. The CHIDUSHEI HA’RAN answers that perhaps the laws of Aveilus apply to a king differently from the way they apply to all others. A king is not permitted
to disgrace himself publicly, and thus he may not observe the laws of Aveilus which apply in public. For this reason, David ha’Melech was permitted to
wash and change his clothes. A king is required only to observe the laws of Aveilus which apply in private, such as the prohibition against marital intimacy.

3. In his second answer, the RAN suggests that David ha’Melech needed to wash himself not for pleasure but in order to clean off the dirt from his body
which had accumulated after sitting on the ground for seven days. It is permitted for an Avel to wash or change his clothes when he does so not for pleasure
but to remove dirt (as the Gemara implies on 24a).

3) DID THE JEWISH PEOPLE OFFER KORBANOS IN THE DESERT?
QUESTION: The Gemara proves that a Menudeh (one who has been placed in Niduy, or excommunication) is permitted to send his Korbanos to the Beis ha’Mikdash
with a Shali’ach. The Gemara proves this from the fact that during their sojourn in the wilderness, the Jewish people — who had the status of a Menudeh
– sent their Korbanos to the Mizbe’ach.

The Gemara here contradicts the Gemara in Chagigah (6b). The Gemara in Chagigah says that the Jewish people were ostracized in the wilderness because they
sinned with the Golden Calf. Rebbi Akiva there cites a verse (Amos 5:25) which shows that they did not offer Korbanos in the wilderness due to their state
of censure. Only the members of the tribe of Levi, who did not participate in the sin of the Golden Calf, brought the Korban Tamid.

The Gemara there clearly says that the Jewish people did not offer Korbanos in the wilderness (and that they were not even permitted to), while the Gemara
here says that they did offer Korbanos. How are the two Gemaras to be reconciled? (MISHNEH L’MELECH, beginning of Hilchos Temidin u’Musafin)

ANSWERS:
(a) The TUREI EVEN in Chagigah answers based on the words of TOSFOS here (15b, DH v’Shimshu). Tosfos questions what the source is for the Gemara’s assertion
that the Jews offered Korbanos in the desert. He concludes that “perhaps there is some indication from the verse” but he does not specify any verse which
gives such an indication.

The Turei Even suggests that the proof from the verse is according to the opinion of Rebbi Yishmael in Chulin (17a), who maintains that the Jews were not
allowed to eat meat in the desert unless it was the meat of a Korban (as derived from Devarim 12:20 et seq.). If they ate meat in the desert, then obviously
they also offered Korbanos!

The Turei Even adds that if the verses from which Rebbi Yishmael derives his opinion indeed are the source that the Jewish people offered Korbanos in the
desert, then there is no contradiction between the Gemara here and the Gemara in Chagigah. The Gemara in Chagigah is expressing the view of Rebbi Akiva,
who argues with Rebbi Yishmael and maintains that the Jews were permitted to eat meat that was not from a Korban (”Basar Ta’avah”). Accordingly, he maintains
that the Jews in the desert did not offer Korbanos.

The RASHASH here asks that the Torah explicitly specifies various Korbanos which the Jews offered in the desert, such as the Korban Pesach in the second
year of their sojourn. The Rashash answers that perhaps they offered the Korban Pesach because of a special command from Hash-m for that moment (”Hora’as
Sha’ah”), but they did not bring other Korbanos.

(b) A simple answer to the question may be suggested as follows. The Gemara in Chagigah does not say that the members of the tribe of Levi owned the Korbanos
which they brought. Rather, they were merely the ones who offered the Korbanos; the animals themselves were not necessarily the property of the Leviyim.
Perhaps the Gemara there means that the Jewish people were not involved in the actual service of offering the Korbanos since they were in a state of censure.
They were certainly permitted, however, to own a portion of a Korban and to let the Kohanim and Leviyim offer it on the Mizbe’ach. This is what the Gemara
here means when it says that the Jews sent their Korbanos in the desert.

Why, though, does the Gemara in Chagigah teach that the Yisraelim in the desert had no role in the service of offering Korbanos? Ordinary Jews never have
a role in the service of offering Korbanos; only Kohanim and Leviyim are involved in the actual service. Even if the Jews in the desert would not have
been in a state of censure, they would not have offered their Korbanos because that service is the sole domain of the Kohanim and Leviyim.

The answer is that the Yisraelim indeed have a role in the offering of the Korbanos. The Yisraelim perform the service of the Ma’amados — groups of Yisraelim
who stand watch over the Korban. When the verse teaches that the Jews in the desert were not involved at all in the service of the Korbanos, it means that
they did not take part in the Ma’amados due to their state of censure. They nevertheless owned a portion of the Korbanos (and gave money towards the purchase
of the Korban Tamid), and the Kohanim and Leviyim offered the Korbanos on their behalf. Accordingly, the Gemara here and the Gemara in Chagigah do not
contradict each other. (-Based on the MITZPEH EISAN; see also Insights to Chagigah 6:2.)

  

Current Mood: none

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

Megillah, Chapter One, Mishnah Eleven

Introduction

The final mishnah of this series continues to deal with differences between
places in which sacrifices can be offered.

Mishnah Eleven

1) There is no difference between Shiloh and Jerusalem except that in
Shiloh sacrifices of lesser sanctity and second tithe could be eaten
anywhere within sight [of the town], whereas in Jerusalem [they had to be
eaten] within the walls.

2) In both places the most holy sacrifices were eaten within the
curtains.

3) After the sanctification of Shiloh there is permission [for altars],
but after the sanctification of Jerusalem there is no such permission.

Explanation

Section one: During the time of Samuel the ark was at Shiloh (see I Samuel
3-4). Since the ark had a permanent home, it was prohibited to offer
sacrifices at local altars, just as it was prohibited to offer sacrifices
when the Temple stood in Jerusalem. There is only one difference between
Shiloh and Jerusalem, and that is with regard to where certain sacrifices
and second tithe could be eaten. When Shiloh was the center of worship,
these could be eaten in any place within sight of Shiloh. In Jerusalem they
had to be eaten within the city walls.

Section two: In both Shiloh and Jerusalem most holy sacrifices, such as sin
and guilt offerings, had to be eaten within the Temple/Tabernacle (Mishkan)
precincts.

Section three: When Shiloh was destroyed, it again became permitted to offer
sacrifices at other communal and personal altars but when the two Temples in
Jerusalem were destroyed there was no such permission and it continued to be
forbidden to offer sacrifices at other altars. Put another way, when the
Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed it became forbidden to offer sacrifices
elsewhere and after the destruction of the Second Temple it remained
forbidden until the Temple will be rebuilt.

  

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

I would love to make my coworkers walk around the office blindfolded.
I think it would be enlightening.

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.George Lindemann Jr

Regulatory board’s decision to increase fees has some worried about the
future of Web-based radio, but this week broadcasters begin to battle back.

By Jeff Cox
CNNMoney.com contributing writer

CNNMoney.com) — Roger LaMay sees his radio station as a sunny
alternative island standing out amid a gray ocean of mainstream pop music.

As general manager of WXPN-FM at the University of Pennsylvania, LaMay’s
station offers an eclectic array of folk, jazz, blues and alt-rock via its
Web-based radio broadcasts to consumers around the globe that they might
not get otherwise.

But LaMay’s little island got hit last week by what some see as a
regulatory tidal wave.

After nearly two years of legal wrangling, the Copyright Royalty Board
(CRB), an oversight body created by Congress to settle royalty disputes in
the music business, issued a new, higher fee structure for Web music
broadcasts on March 5that Web radio executives see as crippling.

By LaMay’s estimates, WXPN could be paying about $1 million a year in
royalties under the CRB’s ruling. For small publicly funded stations and
Web radio startups alike, that could mean the end of streaming, he said.

“We’re a nonprofit so we’re willing to lose a little money or break even.
We’re also firm believers in the thinking that musicians should get paid
for what they do,” LaMay said. “But this decision is telling people, ‘Don’t
do this. Don’t go into this business. Don’t give these artists airplay’.”

This week, Web radio will begin fighting back against the new royalty fees.
On Friday, National Public Radio officials will file a petition for
reconsideration with the CRB. If that fails, NPR has vowed to bring
whatever legal challenges necessary to overturn the decision.

NPR spokeswoman Andi Sporkin called the ruling a “stunning, damaging
decision for public radio” that would cost stations 20 to 30 times what
they are paying now in royalties.
Web-based broadcasters dig in their heels

Tim Westergren founder of Pandora, one of the leading Internet radio
outfits, said he too will challenge the CRB decision in the courts and
Congress. His site allows listeners to create their own “stations” by
entering what type of music or artists they want to hear. The CRB ruling
could jeopardize Pandora’s existence, Westergren said.

“We’re definitely going to be a part of this (challenge) collectively,” he
said. “For us this is the difference between existing and not existing, so
we’re going to do everything we can possibly can.”

Smallwebcaster.org, an online community of Internet broadcasters, also has
mobilized a lobbying effort to get Congress to overturn the CRB fee
structure.

Web broadcasters want the Web radio royalty fees returned to their original
structure which was established in 2002. At that time, the Copyright
Arbitration Royalty Panel set fees at 0.07 cents per performance for AM or
FM signals that simultaneously aired online, and 0.14 cents per performance
for Internet-only broadcasts. Those fees were made retroactive to 1998.

Under the new guidelines, rates for commercial stations will be set
retroactively for 2006 at 0.08 cents per performance, climbing to 0.19
cents by 2010. For public broadcasters the CRB set fees at a flat $500 a
month, but only for a set level of listening hours per month, which LaMay
said his station exceeds by nearly four times. Part of the 2002 ruling
allowed small stations to pay 10 to 12 percent of their revenue, rather
than a per-song fee.

Once a public station surpasses its allocation of listening hours, it must
pay commercial royalty fees. LaMay says that would cost about $1 million in
royalty fees by the time the CRB rates hit their peak.

The fees are charged per performance, or each time a song is streamed to an
individual, a measure that opponents say fails to accurately gauge Internet
listenership.

The CRB ruling came following testimony that began in May 2005 from record
company executives, major music-streaming outlets like AOL, which (like
CNNMoney.com) is a division of Time Warner (Charts), Yahoo (Charts)! and
MSN, as well as mom-and-pop operators.

Among those who testified before the CRB on behalf of streamers was Adam
Jaffe, dean of arts and sciences at Brandeis University. Jaffe faulted the
underlying logic behind the decision, which likened listening to a song on
an Internet radio stream more closely to buying a CD than to hearing a song
on the radio, where stations pay royalty fees only to composers and
publishers, but not to artists and record labels.

“The question is what is the appropriate standard for what should be paid,”
Jaffe said. “The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and the
record companies basically want to make the argument that this Web-based
streaming is like selling CDs or downloads of MP3 files and they should be
compensated at the same rate. I think that’s the wrong way to look at it.”

For the music industry, though, the clamor from streamers is much like what
happened when webcasting rates first took effect in 2002.
The same old song?

“The webcasters then were saying that they were going out of business, and
I think instead what you’ve seen over the last five years has been an
explosion of webcasters who have come online. You’ve seen a tremendous jump
in both listenership and also in revenue,” said Willem Dicke, spokesman for
SoundExchange, a performance rights organizations that collects royalty
payments for entertainers and provided testimony during the CRB hearings.

“So no, I don’t think that this is any kind of a death knell for the
webcasting industry at all.”

Dicke said Web radio revenues has increased 10-fold over the past four
years.

With the new CRB ruling, SoundExchange would profit substantially. An
analysis by BetaNews, a site that follows Internet media trends, showed
that SoundExchange would collect $2.3 billion annually in royalties in
2008. Another analysis, from the Radio and Internet Newsletter (RAIN),
suggests that the new rates could cost stations 100 percent or more of the
revenue that Internet stations generate from streaming.

Large Internet-only providers like AOL and Pandora would each pay
SoundExchange upwards of $20 million a year in royalty fees, RAIN estimated.

LaMay said the financial crunch the fees would place on small stations
would have a chilling effect on music not normally heard on mainstream
radio.

“We play artists (on the Internet) that we’re not even playing a lot on our
own air,” he said. “These are artists that are getting exposure they
wouldn’t otherwise get.”

  

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.senior housing new york city

By
Eric Auchard

SAN MATEO, California (Reuters) – A U.S. judge has thrown out a lawsuit
challenging the fairness of how Web search leader Google Inc. calculates
the popularity of Web sites in determining search results, court papers
show.

In a ruling issued on Friday that came to light on Tuesday, Judge Jeremy
Fogel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
dismissed a lawsuit against Google by parenting information site
KinderStart.

The judge also imposed yet-to-be-determined sanctions on KinderStart
legal counsel Gregory Yu for making unsupported allegations against Google.

KinderStart sued Google in March 2006 alleging the Mountain View,
California-based Internet company had defamed the site by cutting it
from its Web search ranking system.

The Norwalk, Connecticut-based company, which features links to
information about raising children, accused Google of violations of
antitrust, free speech, unfair competition and defamation and libel laws.

In its suit, the company argued its site’s sudden demotion in March 2005
to a “zero” ranking in Google’s search system had severely harmed its
business.

KinderStart had sought class action status on behalf of what is said
were many other sites that suffered the same fate as Google fine-tunes
Web site rankings in search results.

“KinderStart had failed to explain how Google caused injury to it by a
provably false statement … as distinguished from an unfavorable
opinion about KinderStart.com’s importance,” the judge’s ruling states.

In addition, the judge said the plaintiff’s counsel should have removed
allegations that Google discriminated against or manipulated its Web
search rankings after the judge ordered the lawyer to do so in an
interim ruling.

“While Yu has brought a novel challenge to a major corporation, it is
apparent that to some extent he has overreached in doing so,” Fogel
said. “Yu had a professional responsibility to refrain from filing such
allegations if he did not have appropriate supporting evidence.”

The judge granted Google the right to seek attorneys fees for the costs
of defending against these specific charges. Both sides have 14 days to
file motions before the judge determines monetary damages against Yu.

Yu is with the firm Global Law Group of San Mateo.

“All options are being explored. That’s all that we are going to say at
this point,” he told Reuters, but declined to describe his plans further.

A Google attorney said the company felt vindicated.

“We always felt these claims were unjustified, because courts have
consistently rejected complaints over search engine rankings, so we’re
pleased that Judge Fogel promptly dismissed this case,” Google
litigation counsel Hilary Ware said in a company statement.

_______________________________________

  

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.Albany liposuction

By COREY BOLES

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

While reading through one of the blogs listed in my blogroll, I came across an article entitled Israel’s Right to be Racist, by Joseph Massad.
The author uses an overabundance of sarcasm to take stabs at Israel, chastising it for laws such as the Law of Return, and its attempts to maintain its Jewish character.
I’ll start off by saying that, although I strongly disagree with the author’s sentiments, I won’t be labelling this piece anti-semitic.
That would be too simplistic, and it would be a failing on my part to address the actual criticism being delivered.
I imagine the purpose of this article was to cause supporters of the State of Israel to question its policies.
Well, this article raises some questions all right.
Just not the ones Massad hoped.
For one thing, why is it all right for Muslim states to be racist, but not the Jewish one?
I don’t see anyone calling for Saudi Arabia to start allowing Christians and Jews to live in its realm as equal citizens.
Nor is this being asked of Iran, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, or any of the other Arab states.
Or what about what happens when a Palestinian state is established, as I believe it eventually will be?
Are the Palestinians going to make sure to treat any Jews who might want to take up residence in its territories fairly and with out racism?
I think before anyone starts criticising the state of Israel for, gasp, maintaining a Jewish character, they need to determine whether the Palestinians and other Arabs apply these same principles.
(Via ProggieMuslima)

  

Current Mood: none

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

I heard the alarm go off this morning, and had resolved to get up at about 06:00.
The next thing I knew, my phone was ringing, and it was 06:20.
My mom was on the other line from Ohio.
I got up, and managed to be ready for work on time, but I’m still tired, and I really wish I didn’t have to be here today.
The application process is going right along, but I can’t discuss it further.
I’ll be glad when today is over.
I don’t have anything that isn’t normally on the schedule to do this weekend, and I get to sleep in.

  

Current Mood: none

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

I was reading through my LJ Friends page, and came across a post by a new ex-Christian.
She says she used to work for the 700 Club’s prayer hotline, which got me thinking about all kinds of humorous things.
Like, what would happen if I called and told them that I’m blind, gay and Jewish, and I’m so ashamed of myself I want to commit suicide, and I need someone to pray for me?
And then, wait a month or two, and write a letter telling my story, and now, thanks to J, everything’s peechy.
Yeah, don’t mind me, I’m sick.

  

Current Mood: none

This afternoon’s meeting with Phil was quite interesting.
Rumple Stiltskin came back to my desk, and told me that someone from
Division of Services for the Blind was here to see me, and that we were
going to work on the software issues.
He also told me that this was “Phase Two” of our little adventure.
Phase two?
You mean Phase One has lasted since December of 2005, and we’re just now
beginning Phase Two?
And how many phases are there going to be?
So Phil and I sit together, and I demonstrate to Phil all the issues with
the software, and he tells management and HR the same thing I’ve been
telling them all this time.
So my case has been reopened with DSB, and I’m now considered post
employment.
Nice how everyone has some nice buzzword for everything.
I’m hoping the process for this new job continues to go as smoothly as it
has.
I got in touch with my friend Damon
this afternoon, and proceeded to drill him on the kinds of questions he got
asked during his interview process.
That probably wasn’t very fair of me, considering he started working for
Freedom Scientific three or four years ago, but I was still in my neurotic
frame of mind.
Fortunately, he took it in stride, (he probably just considered me to be
just like a psycho caller, and wrote it off), and told me that they were
probably asking the questions they did to find out what cue to put me in if
I’m hired.
It’s nice to know that there are always rational people around when you need
them.
I have to be to work tomorrow at 07:30 again.
Well, at least it’s the same time all week.
It was actually suggested to me by my friend Marques at work this morning
that I look into Christianity.
I wasn’t really sure how to answer that, because I don’t want to hurt
Marques’ feelings, and I know he said that because he cares and he wants the
best for me.
I thought about telling him that he could take Jesus if he wanted to, but
that I would take God, but figured that would be mean.
At least he wasn’t pushy or anything.
It’s getting late according to my schedule, so I’m headed to bed.

Hey all,

I’ve been browsing my LJ friends after a long while of not stopping by, and it occured to me that it might be nice if I posted every once in a while.
I’ve spent some time trying to catch up with some of the blinks I haven’t talked to in a long while, mainly looking up people who’s email address or messenger contacts I no longer have.
So far, I haven’t found any of the people I’m looking for.
I think I’m going to list a second email address on my LJ account so I can post from there as well as my normal one.
Maybe that will convince me to actually post in something slightly less than three-month intervals.
I’m in the process of interviewing for a new job with Freedom Scientific.
I’m hoping for a contract position.
That way, I can avoid the time and expense of moving.
It’ll be nice to not work for Convergys anymore.
I can’t believe how laid-back they seem to be around there, Freedom Scientific I mean, not Convergys.
I’ll try to remember to post some of the entries from Customerservant.com over here, at least the personal ones.
I’ll end for now, but I promise, posting will be more frequent.