Volume 11 Number 69
                       Produced: Mon Feb  7 13:24:02 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brit Melah on Shabbat
         [Lawrence J. Teitelman ]
Eating Before Davening
         [Danny Skaist]
         [Murray Gringold]
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Mishenichnas Adar, Marbim B'Purim Torah
         [Sam Saal]
Orthodox Shul Decorum (2)
         [David Charlap, Ben Berliant]
Pets on Pesach
         [Stephen Phillips]
Trees on Tu B'Shvat in Shmitta
         [DAVID BEN-CHAIM]


From: Lawrence J. Teitelman  <csljt@...>
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 94 15:11:06 EST
Subject: Brit Melah on Shabbat

Danny Weiss (<danny@...>) writes

> An obvious analogy is a brit milah (circumcision), on Shabbat, which is done
> wherever it is to be done (shul, home, etc.) and the instruments are taken 
> there before Shabbat to avoid the problem of carrying on Shabbat in a reshut
> ha'rabim. I suppose Chazal did not fear (for obvious reasohns) that someone 
> would run home, get their own implements, and carry them to the nearest mohel
> for instructions in the art of brit milah!

Tosafot (Megilla 4b s.v. ve-ya`avirenah) give two reasons for the fact that
there is no "gezera" (Rabbinic decree) prohibiting milah on Shabbat lest one
carry some implements in the public domain:

(1) Milah is too significant to postpone (it is the basis of 13 convenants).
(2) Due to the danger inherent in performing a circumcision, a person will
    only engage in this act if he is an expert.

Another common explanation is that since the Torah goes out of its way to
require milah on Shabbat ("u-va-yom ha-shemini yimol" -- afilu be-Shabbat),
the Rabbis cannot (will not?) go ahead and prohibit it. This is the 
principle "heter mefurash bikra" (a leniency explicit in the text [of the
Torah]) which is discussed by the Taz in several places in his commentary
on Shulchan Arukh. 

(See Shabbat 132a; Tosafot, Megilla 20 a, s.v. dikhtiv; Torah Temimah, 
Vayikra 12:3 #14.)

Larry Teitelman


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 94 10:14:55 -0500
Subject: Eating Before Davening

>1. eat a hearty breakfast before davening and then daven fully with the
>I prefer #1 for myself - since I often get a headache and irritated, which
>can lead to worse aveiros bain-adam-ladam (person to person) than the aveiro
>bain-adam-l'makom (person to G-d) of eating before davening.

The Baal Hatanya, the first rebbe of Chabad, told his daughter.  "It is
better to eat in order to daven, then to daven in order to eat."  He also
supported option #1.

When told that Lubavitcher eat before davening, one man replied "Really! You
mean I have been a Lubavitcher for 40 years and never knew it?. :-)



From: Murray Gringold <MURRAY@...>
Date: Sun,  6 Feb 94 17:28 +02
Subject: Re: Gedolim

I never thought I would add anything to this already talked-to-death subject,
but I had to respond to MJ # 58, in which Nathan Davidovich said:

  > Therefore, the determinative factor is whether or not a sizeable number
  > of people feel that a particular person is a godol.  If so, that is
  > sufficient, and all those persons falling into that category should be
  > considered gedolim, regardless of whether you agree with them, and they
  > should be accorded the proper respect.....

Aside from the obvious problem of defining 'sizeable', there is a major
problem here. While I have no problem according any rav respect, what
Mr. Davidovich is proposing is defining a gadol based on a democratic model,
whereby a given percentage of the masses can decide a rav is a gadol ! This
seems to me to be extremely dangerous. History is full of mistakes made by
'a sizeable number of people' in choosing leaders. A community might pick
their local rav that way (similar to the way some religious kibbutzim decide
on a rav) but giving someone the title of gadol shouldn't be left to the
subjective opinions of the community at large.

If anything, it is after a rav is recognized to be a gadol, using any of the
other methods discussed in previous issues, that sizeable numbers of people
follow him. I recognize any of the rabonim mentioned in this discussion to
be gedolim; however I wouldn't consider myself worthy to be part of the
gadol-making process. There are many dangers inherent in making the
definition of a gadol dependent on his current support among the people; I
won't go into them all here, but they are obvious.

Murray Gingold            Jerusalem, Israel
<murray@...>     02-665011


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 1994 09:57:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Kippot

 | From: <barbery@...> (Yacov Barber)

 | {vol. 10 p. 394} that one can bring a source to the custom of wearing 2
 | head coverings {Chulin 138.} from the fact that the Cohen Gadol would wear
 | a woollen Yarmulka under the Priestly hat.

What source is there for this statement that the Kohen HaGadol would wear 
a woolen 'yarmulka' under his hat -- from what I understand he was 
prohibited from wearing any other Bigadim -- except for the 8...

           |  Joseph (Yosi) Steinberg       |              <steinber@...>
  Shalom   |  972 Farragut Drive            |  <jstein@...>
  Uvracha! |  Teaneck, NJ 07666-6614        |               <jsteinb@...>
           |  United States of America      |       Tel: +1-201-833-YOSI(9674)


From: Sam Saal <SSAAL@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 94 12:00:17 -0500
Subject: Mishenichnas Adar, Marbim B'Purim Torah

>From the start of Adar, we multiply Purim Torah.

Hi!  Your friendly Purim edition editor, here. With only a couple weeks to 
go till Purim, I'd like to remind the mail.jewish readership that the Purim 
edition will only be as funny as the submissions we get.  And so far the 
quality is good but the quantity is not. Please send submissions by the 7th 
of Adar (that's February 18, 1994) so I have time to edit them and put 
together the issue.

Sam Saal
Vayiphtach HaShem et Peah Ha'Atone


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 94 10:31:25 -0500
Subject: Orthodox Shul Decorum

<btanenb@...> (Robert J. Tanenbaum) writes:

>The consequences of their changes have remained to this day, with Reform
>and Conservative congregations having more regimented style of service
>than Orthodox. It should be noted that Orthodox congregations which still
>maintain the German traditions show this more regimented style service
>while maintaining Orthodox standards of synagogue structure.
>It should also be noted that a certain "free spirit" seems to be spreading
>from Orthodox services into some Conservative services - especially those
>with large active youth groups.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "regimented" vs. "free spirit".
If you mean "free" as in the large Chassidic yeshivot - where
everybody davens individually, only coming together for kaddish and
laning, I don't (personally) see this as a good thing.  T'fillah
b'tzibur (communal prayer) doesn't seem to mean much if the enture
congregation isn't saying the same things at the same time.

And most orthodox congregations I know of try to keep everyone at
approximately the same place in the davening.  Is this "regimented"?

WRT to the bimah, I would just like to note that not all Conservative
shuls have the front-bimah.  The one my parents belong to has it in
the center.  (I don't know about Reform - the only Reform shul I was
in had a front-bimah.)

>An aside about Kiddush clubs. Let's say that an individual really does
>feel physically burdened by waiting until after the speech and after musaf
>to say kiddush and have a bite to eat. Which of the following would be
>most preferable:
>1. eat a hearty breakfast before davening and then daven fully with the
>   congregation.
>2. daven quickly alone, both shachris and musaf, and then eat - perhaps
>   going to shul to hear the Torah reading and Kedusha with the congregation.
>3. doing like the "kiddush clubs" - davening shachris with the congregation.
>   Taking a short break to eat and say kiddush -- then returning to the
>   davening.
>I prefer #1 for myself - since I often get a headache and irritated, which
>can lead to worse aveiros bain-adam-ladam (person to person) than the aveiro
>bain-adam-l'makom (person to G-d) of eating before davening.

I would normally recommend #2, since there is a custom not to eat
anything before davining shacharit.  #2 allows you to say all of it
before eating, thus participating in this custom to the fullest.  But
many do not observe this custom (I don't think the Lubacitch do - when
I spent a shabbos visiting people in Crown Heights, my host's wife
said that they usually have a small something before shul so as to be
in better health during the davening.)

But if it makes you sick (you say you get headaches &c.) then you have
a medical reason to eat.  In which case, go ahead and eat something
before shul.  But not so much that you should become sleepy or need to
use the lavatory during davening.

From: Ben Berliant <C14BZB@...>
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 94 07:51:40 -0500
Subject: Orthodox Shul Decorum

Ezra Bob Tanenbaum  wrote (and asked for comments)

>One of the major complaints that the early Reform movement made against
>the Orthodox davening was that the decorum in shul was perceived by
>them to be less desirable than the decorum in German churches.
>Many of their reforms --- moving the bima from the middle to the front,
>facing the congregation during Torah readings, ushers, choirs ---
>were designed to make shul decorum more like the German churches.

	The set "Likutei Batar Likutei", contains the following Drasha,
for Parshat Beshalach. It seems particularly relevant here :-)

	The Midrash describes a daily battle between the Satan and
Hashem, in which Satan tries to prove that Bnei Yisrael (the Jewish
People) are not worthy of being the chosen people, and Hashem refutes
these arguments one by one.  But then Satan brings his best argument. 
He says:  Compare the behaviors of the gentiles and your people in their
respective houses of worship.  In their churches, everything is
conducted with great decorum and respect, each person seated in his
place, and attentive to the service.  But in the shuls of the Jewish
people, people walk around, they talk to one another, and generally seem
oblivious to Your presence.  At this argument, Hashem has no good
answer, so He turns to the Jewish people and says, "If you want me to
continue this battle with Satan, you must do your part.  Hashem yilachem
lachem, v'atem tacharishun."  [Hashem will fight for you, and you (will?)
(shall?) be silent].

	I don't have my books here at the moment, but I believe that my
edition of this set (the original edition) contains a copyright date of
1947.  Apparently things haven't changed much in 35 years. :-(

				BenZion Berliant


From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 94 13:28 GMT0
Subject: Pets on Pesach

Any ideas anybody on what we should do with our two guinea pigs and a
hamster on Pesach. We're going away for Pesach and will have to dump
them on some kind soul. Should we sell them and their food when we
sell the Chometz?

Stephen Phillips


Date: Wed, 2 Feb 94 08:35:46 -0500
Subject: Re: Trees on Tu B'Shvat in Shmitta

>From: Josh Klein <VTFRST@...>
>This year the JNF (Keren Kayemet) is advertising a "once every seven year
>special deal". Since (they say in the ad) one cannot plant trees during
>shmitta, they are organizing hikes through JNF forests, and concerts in
>national (reforested) parks. It's a great idea, and is nicely in the spirit of
>shmitta. ....

On Israel Radio, they had a special announcement that Keren Kayemet Lyisrael
got a special "heter" from the Rabbinut to plant trees this shmita year by
putting each sapling in a flimsy plastic (polyethelyne what Israelis call
"nylon") bag so that the roots don't actually touch the ground. Nobody
mentioned what happens when  the roots grow out thru the plastic sack.

|    David Ben-Chaim                      |
|    Tel: 972-4-292502                    |
|    email: <davidbc@...>    |
|    FAX: 972-4-233501                    |


End of Volume 11 Issue 69