[Avodah] Footnote to the Shulchan Aruch

Zev Sero via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Mon Sep 7 18:06:48 PDT 2015

On 09/07/2015 07:43 PM, Micha Berger wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 06, 2015 at 10:22:37PM -0400, Zev Sero via Avodah wrote:
> : On 09/06/2015 07:58 PM, Micha Berger via Avodah wrote:
> :> Was excommunication banned under the Ottomans in 1563, when the SA was
> :> written, or in Venice 1565 when it was first published?
> : No.
> Source?

There is no source that it was banned then.  Why would you even
imagine that it would be?     There is no such note in any edition
of the Shulchan Aruch.

In any case, the concept of banning cherem doesn't seem to have come
up until the late 18th century.  http://t95.el.sl.pt

> :> Whether or not the Jewish community put people in nidui despite such a law
> :> and this was all for the censor (as Zev presumes) or it actually wasn't
> :> practiced, clearly in some community such a law must have existed.
> :> However, the MBs Poland wasn't it
> : Yes, it absolutely was.
> Again, source? Actual excommunications were commonplace. Comes up
> in teshuvos on agunah.

Catherine the Great banned cherem in 1795.   Of course they ignored
the law and did it anyway, but to get a sefer past the publisher they
had to pretend to be obeying the law, so if the sefer mentioned cherem
they had to note that this was written before it became illegal.

> :> Until it got closer to WWII, Jews had a lot of autonomy in Poland.
> : Poland?!  It was Russia, and the Jews had no autonomy.  No book could
> : be published without the censor's approval.  The censor's stamp on the
> : MB is dated 23-Dec-1882.
> In the CC's hayday, Radun was in the Vilna Voivodship, Poland.

What Poland?  There was no such place as Poland.   It was Russia,
and there was no autonomy.

> And I didn't ask about censortship, I asked about autonomy, as in having
> courts empowered to punish, and the Jewish community certainly did.
> At least, azoi shteyt YIVO
> <http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Poland/Poland_from_1795_to_1939>
>      The Polish government never recognized Jewish communal autonomy de
>      jure, but autonomy existed de facto in hundreds of local communities,
>      school systems, and youth movements during the interwar period.

Read what you just wrote: "The Polish government".   What period could
this paragraph possibly be talking about?  The period when there was a
Poland and a Polish government.  IOW not the time we are discussing.
And indeed if you look at the page again, you will see that it is
explicitly discussing the interwar period, after Polish independence.

> Because regardless of whether this appeal to dina demalkhusa was real
> or to satisfy a censor, the mileau that created this footnote had to
> have such a law.

Yes, it did.  Catherine's law that I mentioned above.  And it also
had a strict censorship law, which this sefer was subject to.

If you need any further convincing, note the language of the censor's

Zev Sero               I have a right to stand on my own defence, if you
zev at sero.name          intend to commit felony...if a robber meets me in
                        the street and commands me to surrender my purse,
                        I have a right to kill him without asking questions
                                               -- John Adams

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