Volume 10 Number 68
                       Produced: Thu Dec 16 18:39:57 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Asarah B'Tevet
         [Josh Wise]
Berov Am Hadrat Melekh
         [Michael Kramer]
         [Eric W. Mack]
Chanukah Presents
Children of Amalek
         [Benjamin Svetitsky]
Daas Torah
         [Eli Turkel]
Daf Yomi
         [Mark Lowitz]
Proper Time for Ma'ariv
         [Mayer Danziger]
Rambam on Midrash
         [Jeff Mandin]
Separate Berachos for Chanuka Lights
         [Israel Botnick]
Suicide, Assisted and Otherwise
         [Zev Farkas]


From: <jdwise@...> (Josh Wise)
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 93 19:02:48 EST
Subject: Asarah B'Tevet

	According to the Ezras Torah luach (calender of holidays and
laws pertaining to them), the fast ends at tzeit cochavim (when the
stars come out) like any other fast. This doesn't come into conflict
with Shabbos because most shuls don't finish davening until after
"tzeit," moreover, under normal circumstances one shouldn't make kiddush
before "tzeit" anyway.
	The only changes in Mincha, are the omissions of Aveinu Malkenu
and Tachanun. The Torah reading and Haftorah are read as on any other
fast day.


From: <mpkramer@...> (Michael Kramer)
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1993 09:22:02 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Berov Am Hadrat Melekh

In response to Zvi Basser's intriguing question concerning our lighting
separate hannukiyot (with separate brakhot) rather than lighting them
together, in accordance with the principle of "berov am" [loosely, God is
glorified when a large number pariticipate in a single mitzva]:

Two possible, purely speculative and uneducated answers:

1.  Hannukah is different from all other mitzvot in that it's principle
foundation is "pirsumei nisa" [to "publish" the miracle].  Now, one might
think that "pirsumei nisa" is achieved better "berov am."  But perhaps the
Rabbis felt that it would be better achieved with a maximum proliferation
of mitzvot and brachot, with a maximum number of people lighting a maximum
number of candles and blessing God "who made miracles for our ancestors ."

2.  The customs of Hannukah (dreidel, gelt) are often explained as issues
of hinukh, education (at least Kitov explains it that way).  Perhaps the
same reason applies here.  And if we require children to light for hinukh,
then how can we not suggest that all adults light?

Neither of these reasons are particularly compelling--at least not as I've
articulated them.  But perhaps someone more knowledgeable can pick up the ball
and run with it.



From: <ce157@...> (Eric W. Mack)
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 93 20:26:03 -0500
Subject: Chanuka

In "hanerot halalu", we say "shmonat y'mai hanuka".  Why is it
not "shmona (shmone?) y'mai hanuka"?

Hag Urim Sameach!
Eric Mack and/or Cheryl Birkner Mack


From: <btanenb@...> (Robert J. Tanenbaum (Programmer))
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 93 12:24:57 EST
Subject: Chanukah Presents

Giving presents on Chanukah may have originated because of that other
holiday celebrated in late December, but there may be an "asmachta"
[collateral support] in the miracle of the oil.

Much has been written about the miracle of the oil -- and much deeper
and more profound and more infused with symbolic meaning than what I
will write here, but I'll go ahead anyway.

One thing we can see is that a portion of oil which SHOULD only last
one day REALLY lasted eight. Our perception of physical limits is faulty.
Many times we assume there is not enough and we feel deprived and miserly.
Yet everything we have comes from G-d's infinite supply.
 From infinity you can take out 1, 100, or a million and still have infinity
left. One lesson of the oil is a lesson of ABUNDANCE, and that spiritual
abundance is transformed to physical abundance. It is therefore appropriate
to celebrate with abundant gift giving and to share G-d's blessing with
those around us.

Here's wishing everyone an appreciation G-d's bountiful blessings.
Ezra Bob Tanenbaum	1016 Central Ave	Highland Park, NJ 08904
home: (908)819-7533	work: (212)450-5735
email: <btanenb@...>


From: Benjamin Svetitsky <bqs@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 93 12:20:45 -0500
Subject: Children of Amalek

Neil Parks wrote:

>Megillas Esther, Chapter 9, verses 6 through 12, tell us how the ten
>sons of Haman the Amalekite were killed.  Then in verse 13, Esther
>asks the King to have Haman's sons hanged.  Why is she asking for
>something that seems to have already happened?

Discovery seminars notwithstanding, the plain meaning of the text is
that the ten sons of Haman were killed on the 13th of Adar, and Esther
asked the king to hang their bodies for public display.  This is similar
to the Torah's command to hang the body of a murderer after he is

Ben Svetitsky         <bqs@...>


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 93 08:41:43 +0200
Subject: Daas Torah    

Eitan Fiorino asks

>>  In R.  Shach's view, or R. Yosef's view, is it permitted to vote for
>>  another party?

     I can't answer for Rav Schach or Rav Yosef but before each election
there are posters put out, signed by major rabbis, that one is required
by Halakhah to vote for party X and those who don't (i.e. vote for a
different religious party not to talk about Likud, Labor etc) violate
the Shulchan Arukh just as if they would violate shabbat.

    I used to think this was a recent phenomena. Recently I saw a speech
of Rav Soloveitchik in which he makes fun of similar statements 30-40
years ago.

Eli Turkel


From: <mlowitz@...> (Mark Lowitz)
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 93 16:24:03 EST
Subject: Daf Yomi

Does anyone know if "Daf Yomi" or any other Torah learning is available from 
the Internet system?

[There used to be a dof yomi mailing list on Nysernet, but I believe it
is no longer functional. I am unaware of any other list at the present
time. Mod.]

Please respond to Mark Lowitz- <mlowitz@...>

Happy Chanuka!


From: diverdan!<mayer@...> (Mayer Danziger)
Date: 14 Dec 93 18:26:35 GMT
Subject: Proper Time for Ma'ariv

Robert Gordon (vol10 no43) asks: " I occasionally daven with a minyan
which has the practice of davening Maariv without any break after
Mincha.  This has the effect of concluding Kriyat Shema before sunset.
Is this legitimate?  Is it preferable to daven after dark without a
minyan?  Many minyanim daven Maariv after sunset but before it is dark,
so perhaps the distinction between this minyan and others isn't all that

There are two very distinct issues here: Ma'ariv and Kriyat Shema. The
time for Kriyat Shema is tzait ha'kochovim - the appearance of 3 midsize
stars after nightfall. This time starts anywhere from aprox. 50 to 72
min. after sunset.  The time requirement is biblical in origin and is
based on the verse in Shema "u'vshochbecho" - the time when people go
to sleep (tzait ha'kochovim). 

If you daven Ma'ariv before tzait, which is permissible if certain 
times and conditions are met, you must read Shema (in its entirety)
again. If you can find a minyan after tzait ha'cochovim, this would 
eliminate the need for re-reading and is the preferred choice. Your
second choice would be to daven Ma'ariv prior to tzait with a minyan
and re-read Shema after tzait again. Please see Shulchan Aruch Orach 
Chaim chap. 233,4,5 and the Mishna Brurah for more details.

I would suggest the usual CYLOR, I just want to point out the 2 
distinct and seperate mitzvot involved.

Mayer Danziger


From: Jeff Mandin <jeff@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 93 12:11:02 -0500
Subject: Rambam on Midrash

<bruda@...> (Bennett J Ruda) writes:

>In connection with David Sherman's comments about Midrash, I believe the
>quote about people who take Midrash literally vis-a-vis those who reject
>it totally is the Rambam, I think in Perek Chalek.

In the Introduction to Perek Helek, the Rambam describes 3 groups of
people: those who accept all Midrashim at face value, those who (ch"v) 
disparage Chazal for their seemingly irrational statements(to whom
he directs his harshest criticism), and those who understand that they 
spoke in puzzles and allegories.

Though he would no doubt agree that "someone who believes literally in 
all Midrash is a fool", the Rambam makes no statement about people who
reject the literal understanding of all Midrash.  

I think the passage is a particularly important one: in the light of
it I think there can be no criticism of anyone who finds some of
the more fantastic Midrashim "difficult".

- Jeff


From: <icb@...> (Israel Botnick)
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 93 11:04:06 EST
Subject: Separate Berachos for Chanuka Lights

>From vol. 10 # 61
>> Zvi Basser writes:
>>>The custom is that at least all males, if not females too now, light
>>>hanuka lights separately in separate oil/candle holders and make
>>>separate blessings. [Text deleted - Mod.] Why should everyone make a
>>>separate blessing as is now the custom and not wish to fulfil the main
>>>commandment and its blessings with the lighting of the first candle lit
>>>in the house?
>>I heard that there is a tshuva of R. Akiva Eger on this topic - his
>>answer is that even though having each member of the family light is a
>>"hidur"(enhancement), typically each person lighting has intention not
>>to fulfill the mitzvah with the first lighting, and thus is able to make
>>a blessing........
>>Jeff Mandin

>you omitted the vital part of my query, Jeff-- this is indeed the
>custom. My question is simply why?

The Shulchan Aruch in chapter 8 says that if a number of people are
putting on their talis, it is best for each to recite their own bracha,
rather than have one person say the bracha for all. The shaarei tshuva
asks what happened to "berov am" ? (same as your question by nerot
chanuka). He answers that in cases where those hearing the bracha are
also doing the mitzva, it is best for each to recite the bracha
themselves. This is because if one person recites the bracha for all,
some may not be ready and this could cause a delay between the bracha
and the mitzva. Especially when the mitzva requires some preparation,
which might cause extra delay.

This may be the reason why all family members recite their own bracha on
nerot chanuka, seeing that all are doing their own lighting. In general
we seem to follow this shaarei tshuva since the only time we have one
person say a bracha on a mitzva for others is where the others are not
doing the mitzva themselves (such as megilla reading, and shofar blowing
where everyone is fulfills their obligation by listening).

By the way the teshuva of Rabbi Akiva Eger is volume 2 # 13.  In that
teshuva he asks that since the essential mitzva of nerot chanuka is
fulfilled when the first person lights, the remaining members of the
family are only doing Hidur mitzva[beautifying the mitzva] so why do
they say a bracha.  He answers (as jeff wrote) that the remaining
members have in mind not to fulfill the mitzva with the first lighting
and therefore are fulfilling the essential mitzva with their own

Israel Botnick


From: Zev Farkas <farkas@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 93 09:28:31 -0500
Subject: Suicide, Assisted and Otherwise

What are the halachic views of suicide in the case of patients with
intractable pain?  Is it comparable to the case of one who anticipates
being tortured?

Zev Farkas, PE                                :)
<farkas@...>       718 829 5278


End of Volume 10 Issue 68