תקציר המאמרים באנגלית
Table of Contents
"And Upon Countries It is Then [Rosh haShana] Decreed..." / Rav Yoel Catane…….3
About Girls' Singing at Sabbath Meals in the Presence of Educators –
A Responsum / Rav Ovadia Yosef zt"l……………………………………………5
The Opinion of the Maharsham in the Matter of Heter Mechira [Selling
the Land during Shemittah] / Rav Yehoshua Ben-Meir…..……………………..8
Sale of Fields in Anticipation of the Shemittah of 5775 (2014/5) /
Rav Zeev Weitman………………………………………………………………..12
"Man's Sword Against His Brother" in the First World War /
Rav Uriel Banner………………………………………………………………..…21
The Map of the Extent of the Land of Israel for the Purpose of Dwelling
in the Land / Rav Yeshaya Steinberger………………………………………..33
"Until He Finds Favor with His Fellow" – Between Pardon and Appeasement /
Rav Meir Bareli…..……………………………………………………………….47
"Piggybacking" On a Neighbor's Wireless Internet Connection Without His
Knowledge / Rav Dr. Yitzchak Roness………………………………………….59
What Is the Kavanah [Intention] Required to Fulfill the Obligation of
Sukkah [Hut]/ Rav Avishai Grinzeig………………………..…………………..66
The Weightiness of the Mitsvah [Directive] of Sukkah /Prof. Nachum
Inherent Contradiction [tartei desatrei] in the Validation of Joined Sukkot
[Huts] / Shimon Kalman…………………………………………………….……74
Responses and Comments
On the Principle of Nahmanides that it is a Torah Obligation to Refrain
from Burdensome Labor on the Sabbath / Rav Dr. Eitam Henkin; the anonymous author of Orhotekha Lamdeni; Rav Yaakov Ariel……………...91
Additional Note on the Approach of the Author of Sefer ha-Terumah
regarding Shemittah / Rav Yaakov Epstein……………………………………96
Rejoinder to the Comments of Rav Weitman on the Collection of Shemittah Decisions of Rav Elyashiv ZT"L / Rav Mordechai Emanuel; Rav Zeev Weitman.....97
Editorial Review of Recent Torani Publications / Rav Yoel Catane…………………101
Rav Yoel Catane: "And Upon Countries It is Then [Rosh haShana] Decreed..."
Greetings to the English speaking readers of HaMa'yan.
This issue opens as usual with the Editor’s Remarks, in which he presents us with the miracle of the existence of the Jewish people "as a sheep among seventy wolves" in view of the events of recent months in the Holy Land, among Jews wherever they may be throughout the world... and who knows what the future has in store for us. Clearly the entire world is changing appearance before our eyes "in real time", and no doubt it is all for good and for blessing with the help of Gd.
Rav Ovadia Yosef zt"l: About Girls' Singing at Sabbath Meals in the Presence of Educators – A Responsum
The first article is a responsum of Rav Ovadia Yosef zt"l, the first anniversary of whose passing will occur in the coming weeks, which we publish here for the first time. The director of dormitories at the Ministry of Education enquired, when Rav Yosef was Chief Rabbi, “What should educators in girls' dormitories do during zemirot (singing during meals) on the Sabbath?” The Sabbath repast and its songs constitute a significant part of that Sabbath atmosphere which is so important to the girls' education: should it be precisely then that the rabbis and educators leave the dining hall? And what should the older boys among the staff families do? Rav Ovadia zt"l bases himself upon the well-known responsum of Rav Weinberg, author of Seridei Esh, and holds that when such a great educational need exists it is possible to be lenient and join in the singing, even when one hears a woman's voice, when we are not speaking of the voice of a lone woman. The older boys whose presence is not essential should leave the hall during that period, and in case of need it is possible to be lenient for them as well. May the memory of the righteous Rav Ovadia zt"l be a blessing!
Rav Yehoshua Ben-Meir: The Opinion of the Maharsham in the Matter of Heter Mechira
Over 130 years ago, leading Rabbis made a practice of selling land in Israel to a non-Jew during Shemittah [the Sabbatical Year], in order to permit cultivation of the land and the commercial utilization of its produce, colloquially referred to as heter mechira. In this article, Rav Ben-Meir of Jerusalem, author of the book Heter Mechira o Otzar Beit Din [Permission Through Sale or Court Storehouses?], publishes for the first time the manuscript of a letter from Rav Tzvi Klingberg zt"l, the Rabbi of Lanchyn, Poland, who in his youth served as assistant to his grandfather-in-law, the Maharsham [Rav Shalom Mordechai Hacohen Schwadron] of Berezhany, between the years 1909-1910. During these years the debate on heter mechira was rekindled due to the intention of Rav Kook to implement the heter mechira. Maharsham was among the leading authorities in Europe in his time. In his letter the grandson testifies that the Maharsham was persuaded by Rav Kook's letter sent in 1909 (Igrot Hareiya 1:207, pp 240-259) and in fact agreed to the heter mechira, but declined to publicize this opinion as it was his custom not to intervene in halakhic debates that had become the subject of public controversy.
Rav Zeev Weitman: Sale of Fields in Anticipation of the Shemittah of 5775 (2014/5)
Rav Weitman, Rav of the Tenuva Cooperative, who was in charge of the Shemittah arrangements at the Israeli Chief Rabbinate during previous Shemittot, raises several points on the wording of the contract which the Chief Rabbinate sent in recent months to the farmers to sign authorizing the sale of their fields to a non-Jew over the Sabbatical year. In his opinion, the direction taken by the Chief Rabbinate is correct, but there was room for several changes in the wording and content of the contract which the farmers signed, changes which would have enhanced the quality of the sale and its acceptability as a legitimate halakhic authorization from the viewpoint of a portion of traditional opponents of the heter mechira.
Rav Uriel Banner: "Man's Sword Against His Brother" in the First World War
During the First World War, which began at this time a century ago, the question arose for the first time if it is permissible for a Jew to take part in the fighting since, aside from endangering himself, which cannot always be justified, there is also the danger that he will harm a Jew on the other side of the lines. And if military service is forced upon the Jew, is he required giving his life and refuse to take part in the fighting under the rule of one who is told to kill who must allow himself to be killed? The question is made tangible by gathering descriptions of a number of tragic incidents such as these from various sources. The article militates in favor of the actions of our ancestors who took part in the fighting on both sides and adduces reasons for permissibility, for example: the obligation to obey local law; one cannot be certain a Jew will be slain; taking part in the war on the side of the ruling power rescues other Jewish citizens since refusing to serve is liable to cause injury to all, and more. In the article, Rav Banner, Ram [teacher] in the Sderot Hesder Yeshiva, demonstrates that war between nations is halakhically legitimate and that therefore a Jewish citizen of a country is permitted to take part in it, and on the other hand it is possible to view the Jew fighting on the opposing side as a rodef [one attempting murder] which permits attacking him. In sum, there are a number of aspects justifying those of our brethren who are citizens of various countries in taking part in the fighting, and even if it happens that they hurt Jews in battle, they have not done anything wrong.
Rav Yeshaya Steinberger: The Map of the Extent of the Land of Israel for the Purpose of Dwelling in the Land
There are various opinions about where it is that one is considered to be dwelling in Israel. Rav Steinberger, Ram [teacher] at Yeshivat Hakotel and Rav of a neighborhood in Jerusalem, explains that the basic sanctified territory is the area conquered by the people led by Yehoshua upon entering the land. This also includes the conquests which reached their greatest extent at the time of King Solomon. After the Babylonian exile many aspects of the sanctity of these territories no longer obtained. Since the sacred status was based upon its being controlled by the whole nation, once the enemy won the war and deported us, the land did not retain its sanctity (at least concerning the applicability of agricultural mitsvot). The return of the people under Ezra, settled by Cyrus, resanctified the land and it remains, according to Maimonides, holy forever. The holiness extends also to the sea which is surrounded by the sacred shores. According to Rashi it seems to include the shores of southern Turkey and the northern Sinai. Consequently part of Cyprus and the surrounding waters are part of the Land of Israel. R' Yehuda's opinion is that every body of water – and probably also land – opposite the latitude of Israel is sanctified, which might even include parts of France and the straits of the Red Sea south of Eilat. This scholarly Talmudic essay tries to illuminate these and many other points, involving these and other connected issues.
Rav Meir Bareli: "Until He Finds Favor with His Fellow" – Between Pardon and Appeasement
The obligation of the injurer to the injured party was expressed by Hazal [our Sages] with two terms: ritsui [finding favor] and mehila [pardon]. To find favor means to appease, but what is the implication of begging pardon? Generally, mehila means waiving a right, but what right is the injured party waiving in pardoning his fellow? Is pardon possible when the injured party is not appeased? These questions are discussed by Rav Bareli, Rav and Dayan [rabbinical court judge] in the city of Sderot. He shows that the Sages are divided on the matter: there are those who equate appeasement and pardon and see no value in pardon which does not include finding favor and appeasement, and in contrast there are those who distinguish between finding favor and pardon. According to them, absolving the injurer depends upon heavenly pardon which is granted via the injured party, and this is achieved by finding favor with him and appeasing him. According to this opinion, the pardon by the injured party is effective even if he is not satisfied or appeased, if he will nevertheless pardon.
Rav Dr. Yitzchak Roness: "Piggybacking" On a Neighbor's Wireless Internet Connection Without His Knowledge
The Halakhic propriety of using a neighbor's wireless internet connection in cases where the owner incurs no loss, necessitates an analysis of the laws of Zeh Neheneh V'Zeh Lo Haser (one benefits while the other bears no loss). Does this maxim relate only to the post facto question of whether one is obligated to pay for the benefit he derived, or can we learn from here that deriving such benefit from a neighbor's possessions is permitted ab initio provided that the owner is not harmed in the process. Rav Roness, Rav in Bet Shemesh, presents in this article the views of Rishonim and Acharonim [early and late authorities] on the matter, defining the circumstances wherein "Piggybacking" may be halakhically sanctioned.
Rav Avishai Grinzeig: What Is the Kavanah [Intention] Required to Fulfill the Obligation of Sukkah
The Torah explains the mitsvah [directive] to dwell in a sukkah [hut, pl. sukkot]: "That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in huts, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt" (Lev. 23:43) The Bach, Rav Joel Sirkis, innovatively understands the wording of the Tur [Arba'ah Turim] to mean that it is obligatory to intend when one fulfills the directive that we are dwelling in a sukkah in memory of the sukkot in which the children of Israel dwelt, and if one did not actively have this kavanah [intention] he has not properly fulfilled the directive of sukkah. Rav Grinzeig discusses the innovation of the Bach and those posqim [decisors] who accept his remarks as halakha [law] (among them the Mishna Berura) despite the fact that this ruling is explicit neither in Hazal [our Sages] nor in Rishonim [early authorities]. Among those who accepted his ruling, there were those who were more stringent than he was, and ruled that without this intention we do not at all fulfill the mitzvah of sukkah. He concludes that although it is proper to act in accordance with the Bach's opinion, it is not a full obligation but a measure of piety.
Prof. Nachum M. Bronznick: The Weightiness of the Mitsvah of Sukkah
In the extant sources of Hazal [our Sages], there is no statement that it is as weighty as all the mitsvot, but it is found in the piyutim [liturgical poetry] for Sukkot. A rationale for this view is herein presented, composed of two parts: One, according to the opinion that the sukkah represents the 'clouds of glory' that enveloped the Jews in the wilderness of Sinai; and the other, according to the opinion that the sukkah represents the huts in which the Jews stayed during the fighting for the conquest of the Land of Israel, beginning with the war against Sihon and Og. Various ancillary concerns are treated in the course of the article.
Shimon Kalman: Inherent Contradiction [tartei desatrei] in the Validation of Joined Sukkot
In his article Shimon Kalman has attempted to show various situations in which the kashrut of a sukkah (or part of it) is based on a halakhic defect in a sukkah to which it is joined – this generally occurs when the kashrut of the sukkah relies on the law of dofen akuma, a bent wall, e.g. the section to be considered a wall for one would no longer be considered sechach [covering] for the other. The author examined when it is possible to declare both sukkot valid (kasher), when just one is, and when it is not possible to accept either of the two. The article reviews the basic laws and principles in this matter, as well as circumstances and distinctions which have been discussed by leading halakhic authorities and on which they may disagree. Even in situations where it is possible to declare both sukkot to be kasher, sometimes with the agreement of all the halakhic authorities and sometimes only according to some of them, Mr. Kalman surveys in the article the uncertainties surrounding the question of whether the contradictions in the kashrut of the sukkot create any limitations for one person to use both sukkot, even at different times, and if there are any restrictions in respect of two people fulfilling the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah at the same time in both sukkot where the kashrut of each interferes with the other.
Responses and Comments
Two talmidei hakhamim [rabbinic scholars] reacted to the matter of Nahmanides' approach which was mentioned in the previous issue, that it is a biblical obligation to refrain from burdensome work on the Sabbath, and that this is the basis of many Sabbath rules. Rav Dr. Eitam Henkin demonstrates that this is not only the opinion of Ramban [Nahmanides] but of many leading rishonim and aharonim [earlier and later authorities], and an anonymous talmid hakham, known only as the author of the work Orhotekha Lamdeni, claims that Nahmanides as well does not forbid things which do not involve particularly burdensome labor and which significantly impinge upon the holiness of the Sabbath. Rav Yaakov Ariel replies that systematic impingement on the Sabbath is liable to be quite severe, and the judgment of leading contemporary posqim [halakhic decisors] must decide which among the new technologies should be prohibited even without solid, ‘overt’ halakhic basis. Rav Epstein of Shomria (in Hevel Lakhish), author of the series of responsa Hevel Nahalato, strengthens the remarks of Rav Friedman in the previous issue concerning the approach in pesaq [halakhic decision-making] of Rav Baruch author of the Sefer haTerumah, and his conclusion that it indeed is halakhically decisive in being lenient in Shemittah [the Sabbatical Year] in our time. Rav Emanuel responds to the remarks of Rav Weitman concerning the decisions of Rav Elyashiv zt"l in matters of Shemittah which Rav Emanuel had published, and Rav Weitman replies briefly.
The issue closes as usual with a review of Torani works by the editor. A good new year!
כתיבה וחתימה טובה ובשורות טובות לנו ולכל ישראל!
In Memory of our dear alumnus of Yeshivat Sha'alvim
Avraham Khaldar ע"ה
Son of Mitra and Jamshid Khaldar שיחיו
אברהם ז"ל בן משה שי' חלדר
נפטר ו' אלול תשע"ד
Avraham was tragically taken from us at the very young age of 25. His unique combination of sterling character and idealism will continue to be a source of inspiration to all of his friends and family.
יהי זכרו ברוך