Volume 12 Number 85
                       Produced: Tue Apr 26  7:00:38 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Calendar Algorithms
         [Mitchell J. Schoen]
Early Erev Shabbat prayers & Mar'it ay'in
         [David Ben-Chaim]
Eruv Hazerot in 16th Century
         [Kris Zapalac]
Jewish Calendar
         [Daniel Friedman]
Minhag Avot vs. Minhag Hamakom
         [Mike Gerver]
mixed seating
         [Anthony Fiorino]
Paul and Shelo Asani Berachot
         [Rabbi Freundel]
Yom Tov Sheini
         [Yonah Wolf]


From: Mitchell J. Schoen <72277.715@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 1994 06:04:59 -0400
Subject: Calendar Algorithms

Shimon Lebowitz wrote:

>there is a shareware pc product i have seen in use called 'jewish',
>available for $18 from Rob Singer on Compuserve 74017,2067. ...
>(he might also share algorithms - i dunno).

Rob pulled his shareware program from the CompuServe Library after he
upgraded his calendar and made it a commercial product (available from
Kabbalah Software, as of the last time I checked their catalog.)
Furthermore, it would be useless to e-mail him at his old CompuServe
address, as Dr. Singer has made aliyah and now no longer maintains a
CompuServe account.  I believe your best bet is via Kabbalah, but that
will get you a commercial product and not the algoriths.  Alternatively,
perhaps you can persuade Alan Lustiger (of Kabbalah Software) to put you
directly in touch with Dr. Singer.


From: David Ben-Chaim <DAVIDBC@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 1994 19:23:32 +0300 (EET-DST)
Subject: Early Erev Shabbat prayers & Mar'it ay'in

    I personally have never held too much from MAr'it Ay'in (avoid doing
something because others will see you, and come to the wrong conclusion -
Oh boy - is Hebrew shorter than English). Otherwise anything we do in 
life can be misunderstood by someone else. Having spent last Shabbat in
The Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem where our forefathers lived on on top of
another, and you can see from one window's apartment into the next - I came
to appriciate a drop more the idea of Mar'it Ay'in.

    This connects to early Shabbat prayers as follows:

    When we lived in Chicago, Shabbat would start much later than we were
used to in Brooklyn. As we had litle kids, we went to an early minyan which
started at 7pm (and of course came home in broad daylight). One Friday
night we came home after davening and saw the rabbi of the shul we had just
come from outside washing his car. As he loved his little Israeli neighbors
with their Hebrew chattering, he came over to wish us a "Shabat Shalom". My
kids ran away from him - terrified- into the house. When I caught up with
them and asked why they misbehaved, they said that they were afraid that
lighting would strike the Rabbi for washing his car on Shabbat. So much
for Ma'it ay'in !!

|    David Ben-Chaim                      |
|    The Technion, Haifa, Israel 32000.   |
|    Tel:   972-4-292502                  |
|    email: <davidbc@...>    |
|    FAX:   972-4-233501                  |


From: Kris Zapalac <kzapalac@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 15:27:27 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Eruv Hazerot in 16th Century

Fellow scholars --

I am an historian working on communal self-definition within the German
town of Regensburg in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries of the Common
Era.  As a reader of Latin and German, I can write fairly easily about the
ways in which the Christian community modeled community and communal
order, and about those ways were disrupted before and by the Reformation. 
I am, however, particularly interested in the concept of community within
the walled Jewish community at that city's heart until the pogrom of 1519.
For that reason, I am trying to find out about the creation or
non-creation of the eruv hazerot among neighbors residing on a courtyard
and/or the creation of a token partnership for alleyways or an entire
town.  Such Eruvin should have been necessary at least according to
Maimonides (though a responsum in Shulman's *Authority and Community*
collection [16th century Poland] suggests other views) -- the ghetto had
at least 4 gates to the rest of the city.  A kind scholar recently 
directed me to Peter Freimark's "Eruv/Judentore" article, but that's 
basicly 18th century.  Does anyone know of references
(probably in responsa literature) to the eruv hazeroth (*not* the eruv
tehumin) or to token partnerships in walled ghettos with Ashkenazi
communities?  I would include northern Italy in this exploration because
the Regensburg community certainly respected Josef ben Solomon Colon, and
his own travels make it clear that considerable contact existed.  The only
evidence I've turned up thus far for late medieval eruvin is the
illustrations in Ms. Rothschild 24 (Jerusalem) which I've seen only in the
Metzger's *Jewish Life in the Middle Ages.* Have you come across
discussions of this issue in late medieval responsa literature?  Or in 
recent monographs or articles dealing with the late medieval period (I've 
done all the usual electronic and library searches, but they wouldn't 
necessarily turn up work published in Hebrew).  Any help would be 

P.S. Although I can read German and Italian, and could probably tackle
transliterated Yiddish, I don't read Hebrew (a problem I've already come
up against in dealing with sources for Luther's revision of Jerome's
translation of yetzer in Genesis 6:5 and 8:21 for an earlier book). 
Needless to say, if someone can point me toward relevant discussions, I'll
find a translator. 

Kris Zapalac
Washington University in St Louis


From: <TXDANIEL@...> (Daniel Friedman)
Date: 22 Apr 94 14:26:46 EDT
Subject: Jewish Calendar

A few more resources that you might want to check out.
There is an excellent program for the IBM-PC by Lester Penner called
JCAL (Ver. 7.01 is the one I saw), that is on Shareware, for $18.00.
It does most of what the other PC program claims to do.

He has a wonderful and concise (yet it still does run into a number
of pages) and precise explanation of the Jewish calendar, and how it
correlates to the Gregorian one. He references "The Jewish Calendar
Mystery Dispelled" by Geo. Zinberg, and "The Comprehensive Hebrew
Calendar" by Arthur Spier.

He can be reached at Compuserve (75236,1572) or his work number is
(516) 273-3100 or (516) 466-5574 (Long Island, New York).

Daniel Friedman, C/S System Software
(212) 647-2066    Fax (212) 647-5167


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 2:59:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Minhag Avot vs. Minhag Hamakom

Nathan Katz asks in v12n47 asks whether the principle that minhag
ha-makom [custom of the place] takes precedence over minhag avot [custom
of ancestors] means that Ashkenazim can eat kitniyot on Pesach in the
house of a Sephardi family. I would think that the principle of minhag
ha-makom would only really apply if the Ashkenazim were permanently
settled in a place with a Sephardi community but not enough Ashkenazim
to constitute their own community. In this case I think the Ashkenazim
would essentially become Sephardim, and would be allowed to eat
kitniyot. A Sephardi friend of mine, whose family originally came from
Iraq, told me that one of his great-great-grandparents, his father's
father's father's father, was actually Ashkenazi, but this did not make
my friend Ashkenazi, even though that is normally inherited from one's
father, because this ancestor had permanently moved to Iraq and
legitimately became Sephardi according to halacha. (Ask your LOR about
what to do in practice, of course.)

If the Ashkenazim were not permanently settled in a Sephardi community,
but merely invited over to a Sephardi house for dinner, then I think
they would not be allowed to eat kitniyot normally, but might if they
would seriously offend their hosts by refusing to eat kitniyot. This is
similar to the question of eating kosher species of grasshoppers at the
house of a North African Jew, which was discussed at length in v5n82,
v6n2, v6n3, v6n6, v6n11, and v6n18.

Realistically, of course, most Sephardim would make a point of not
serving kitniyot if they were having Ashkenazi guests over on Pesach. In
1977, when we were living in Ithaca, shortly before our first child was
born, but when we were no longer in easy travelling distance to parents,
we were invited to the seder of friends, of whom the wife was Sephardi,
from Egypt, and a very good cook. Although of course the issue of
kitniyot did not come up, we were eagerly anticipating some tasty and
exotic Sephardi dishes. Instead, thinking to make us feel at home since
we were away from family, she served us a very Ashkenazi style meal,
with chicken soup, etc.  It was delicious, and did make us feel at home,
but a little disappointing.

A good book discussing differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardi
minhagim is "Ashkenazim and Sephardim, their relations, differences, and
problems as reflected in the rabbinical responsa," by H. J. Zimmels,
Marla Publications, London, 1976.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 10:36:54 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: mixed seating

> From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...>
> 1) Is it allowed for a male to read Torah for a mixed seeting minyan?

According to the psak of Rav Soloveitchik, it is preferable to daven at
home alone on Rosh Hashana that to daven in a mechitza-less shul.  See
_The Sanctity of the Synagogue_ recently reprinted by Ktav (Hoboken,
NJ).  Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Aaron Kotler (in teshuvot printed in
this book) are in agreement with Rav Soloveitchik that a beit haknesset
with mixed seating has no kedusha whatsoever.

There have been cases in which Orthodox rabbis have been permitted to
hold positions at mixed-seating shuls in an effort to convince the
congregation to build a mechitza.  See the several "success stories"
included in _The Sanctity of the Synagogue_.  Such positions were not
undertaken without the consent of a competent halachic authority
however, and were usually allowed for limited periods only.  Often, the
rabbi who presided over such a congregation did not actually pray with
the community, but did so before services and merely coordinated
services and delivered speeches.

> 2) What exactly is the reason for prohibiting women from 
> A) reading from the Torah
> B) Making the blessing on the Torah reading

These issues were discussed ad infinitum last summer on mail-jewish;
perhaps the volume & issue numbers are easily accessable to our

Eitan Fiorino


From: <dialectic@...> (Rabbi Freundel)
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 02:20:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Paul and Shelo Asani Berachot

To Israel Botnick's question re why the original version seems to be
Bor--The original Greek version included a negative comparison with
Barbarians (who has made me Greek and not Barbarian) and that may be
referred to here.  Also the term bor is used several times in Berachot
as the description of someone who uses improper wording in the tefillah.
Since, if this theory is correct, the Rabbis were challenging a veiw
that attempted to alter the correct order of things use of this term is
a strongly polemical way of attacking the perpetrator of the deviation.
This would then create a series of three berachot that would be
recognizeable as a refutation of the Pauline formula with the Bor
blessing referencing the original Greek and thereby indirectly calling
the author of the error a Bor. This then explains the question asked to
Rav Aha's son when he recited the bor blessing, i.e. "Kulei hai nami" Do
you need to go this far?" (note how Rashi's explanation seems much more
forced). Instead, concludes the Gemarah, go back to the original
formulation of Paul and refute it while avoiding the personal attack.
By the way your question can be turned around. If the Berachot deal with
Mitzvah obligations why would any one think to include Bor (in Gemara
Language what's the Hava Amena?)? A bor has the same obligations as any
other Jew except that he probably has a stronger requirement to do
Teshuvah for his Borness ;-)>


From: Yonah Wolf <wolf28@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 15:11:03 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Yom Tov Sheini

With Regards to Yom Tov Sheini for a ben chutz la'aretz in Israel:
Originally Hazal decreed that people outside of Israel should keep two
days because we didn't have a set calendar and the holidays were based
on the appearance of the new moon in Jerusalem. This reason for this
observance is 'sfaykah d'yoma' because the messengers from jerusalem
couldn't reach the far reaches of the jewish world in time for the
holidays, and therefore the settlers in remote areas didn't know the
exact day of the sighting of the moon (start of the month) and kept two
days. With regards to shavous, which has no set date in the torah
(shavous is mentioned as the 50th day after the first day of pesach
whereas all other holidays it gives an exact date:i.e. "the 1st day of
the 7th month") Therefore decree of observance of 2 days shavous is
stronger than the decrees for pesach and succos, because it was
established to create uniformity for all holidays in Hutz la'aretz.
Therefore for those b'nei HU"L who keep a half day, shavous might be a
bigger problem than pesach and succos and a Rabbi should be re-consulted
for a special psak on shavous

Yonah Wolf                           If I am not for myself then who     
Polytechnic University Brooklyn      be for me? Yet if I am all for myself
(718)859-2235                        then what am I? if not now, when?- 
<wolf28@...>                       Hillel the Elder (Avot ch.1)


End of Volume 12 Issue 85