Volume 14 Number 12
                       Produced: Tue Jul 12  7:59:05 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Melvyn Chernick]
Chumros Revisited
         [Isaac Balbin]
         [David Curwin]
Kabbalistic Healing (3)
         [Ben Berliant, David Steinberg, David Olesker]
Lubavich Rebbe as Moshiach
         [David Kaufmann ]
Rabbi Akiva story
         [Harry Glazer]
Tzitzit & Wearing tallit over the head
         [Fred Dweck]
Tzitzit on Modern Clothes
         [David Charlap]


From: <chernick@...> (Melvyn Chernick)
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 1994 06:36:59 -0400
Subject: Abbreviations

The abbreviation Hey Khaf Mem that the Lubavitcher are currently using
when mentioning the name of the late Rebbe, stands for Hareini Kaparat
Mishkavo, "may I serve as atonement for his death." According to the
Talmud in Sanhedrin, this is the appropriate way to express Kavod for a
deceased parent during the 12 months following his demise. Understandably,
Hasidim use it for their Rebbe. 

Melvyn Chernick

[Similar responses from:

Michael Shimshoni <MASH@...>
Gedalyah Berger <gberger@...>
Sheldon Korn <rav@...>



From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 1994 20:18:45 -0400
Subject: Re: Chumros Revisited

  | From: Yitzchok Adlerstein <ny000594@...>

  | Then there was the other group.  (You guessed it - the glatt places!)
  | They were near East coast Jewish urban areas, within range of returning
  | home to family every few days.  Why?  Because the shochtim here insisted
  | on it.  They weren't willing to compromise on their minyanim, or on the
  | other accoutrements of frum life.  So which kind of shcohet would you
  | prefer?

Purely on the issue of close by versus far away, I would say that
the better thing would be to provide the Glatt at the cheaper price!
That is, they should get good shochtim to go out to the mid west
and have some mesiras nefesh to be mezake es horabbim by getting
everyone cheaper prices. It isn't as black and white as painted.


From: <6524dcurw@...> (David Curwin)
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 1994 18:33:10 -0400
Subject: Codification

Eli Turkel (<turkel@...>) writes:

>    I sometimes feel that if the Shulchan Arukh were written today it
>would come with an introduction that it should not be used for a psak
>but only as an introduction to the sources (actually many achronim
>objected to the Shulchan Arukh on the grounds that it would encourage
>laziness and people would not look up the sources).

The Maharal in Netivot HaOlam (Netivot HaTora 15 end, and other places
in his writings) discusses this point. He goes so far as to say that it
is better for one to rule from the Talmud "even if there is reason to
suspect he will not be going in the true way, and will not give the psak
as it should according to the truth" than it is for him to simply look
in a book (like the Shulchan Aruch to which he was opposed). He says
that the Rambam and the Tur did not write their books to give a final
psak (which might not be historically correct) and would not have
written their works if they knew that they would be causing the
abandonment of the Talmud. For the Maharal felt that the whole purpose
of tora is "sichlit" (intellectual?) and since the whole world exists on
the Tora, those who take away the "sichli" aspect of the Tora are
destroying the world.

For more information on sources of opposition to codification, look in
the Encyclopedia Judaica under "Codification" and in Eliezer Berkovitz's
Not in Heaven in the chapter "Halakha in Exile (pgs. 87-90)". And I
should mention that I first heard this Maharal quoted by Rabbi Cohen of
Detroit, in a remarkable Shabbat Drasha.


From: Ben Berliant <C14BZB@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 1994 11:12:54 -0400
Subject: Kabbalistic Healing

Harry Weiss (<harry.weiss@...>) described an

>advertisement from a Rabbi in Los Angeles. He writes about his
>spiritual/metaphysical healing.  He says "The healing work that I do is
>based on secrets of The Holy Kabbalah as well as on a wonderful gift
>from Hadkadosh Baruch Hu, which along with my understanding of
>Kabbalah, allows me to be able to tap into and generate healing

Harry wonders:
>Is this sort of thing for real or is it outright chicanery?  Is there
>any legitimate Halachic basis for this?

	Those are actually two separate questions. Let me address the
second with a personal anecdote.

	Back in my Yeshiva days, while sorting a some clothes back from
the cleaners, I found a small parchment scroll mixed up in it.  Although
I was quite fluent in Hebrew and Aramaic, I could not read a word of it. 
so I showed it to my Rebbe, Rav Avigdor Cyperstein (ztl).  As I
suspected, he identified it as a kamei'a (an amulet).  With all the
certitude that my modern, westernized education could muster, I
expressed some degree of skepticism in the efficacy of such things. 
Whereupon Rav Cyperstein hauled out a Gemara Shabbos, and showed me were
the gemara accepted (without discussion) that amulets are valid and
	The amulet,as described in the Gemara, was used to ward off a
specific peril.  So the notion of using Kabbalah to _protect_ the user
is neither new nor illegitimate.  However, as Rav Cyperstein hastened to
add, whether a particular amulet has any value will depend upon who
wrote it.  I do not know of any sources that support the idea of
"spiritual healing" consistent with the tone of the advertisement.

	If I received such an advertisement, I would consider the (lack
of) credentials of the writer, and cheerfully consign it to the

				BenZion Berliant	

From: David Steinberg <dave@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 1994 12:21:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Kabbalistic Healing

In his post in m-j 14#8 Harry Weiss writes of an ad he received
> I received in the mail a letter and advertisement from a Rabbi in Los
> Angeles. He writes about his spiritual/metaphysical healing.  He says
> "The healing work that I do is based on secrets of The Holy Kabbalah as
> well as on a wonderful gift from Hadkadosh Baruch Hu ...
> There are no Rabbinical Haskamot (approbations) attached to the ad.  I
> would like to get opinions from other MJers out there.  Is this sort of
> thing for real or is it outright chicanery?  Is there any legitimate
> Halachic basis for this?

I personally went to a Mekubal on several occassions, a number of years 
ago. In the course of our conversations he told me things that no-one 
else could know.  He also seemed to KNOW the bracha I needed.  On one 
occassion I came to him believing I had a health problem.  He responded 
(correctly it turned out) that I had nothing to be concerned about but 
gave me a bracha for something entirely different which became an issue 
months later.   

With that as a preface, it seems to me that your mekubal is remarkably 
commercial - advertising mailers ...  At the minimum it makes sense to 
check it out.

There is the story of the Rov who is told the Mofsim (wonder tales)
attributed to a Chassishe Rebbe by a someone who obviously didn't
believe the tales.  The Rov responded that if the question is 'was it
possible' then the answer is that for a Koddosh (holy person) it is of
course possible; if the question is 'do I believe all the stories' ....

Hamayvin yovin  

Dave Steinberg

From: David Olesker <olesker@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 1994 11:12:52 -0400
Subject: Kabbalistic Healing

Harry Weis writes of an adverisment for "Kabalisic Healng", the very fact 
that it is advertised would make me suspicious. Any one interested in 
this subject would be wise to read "Faith and Folly" by Rav Yaakov Hillel 
(Feldheim 1990)
David Olesker <olesker@...>


From: David Kaufmann  <david@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 1994 20:56:17 -0400
Subject: Lubavich Rebbe as Moshiach

From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>

> Regarding one of the several theories extant currently in Lubavich that
> the Rebbe will arise with T'Chias Ha'Meisim and then be the Moshiach, I
> am puzzled by the reasoning here:

>     So long as we are postulating that Moshiach can be declared after
>     T'Chias Ha'Meisim, why should the Moshiach not be expected to be a
>     greater Tzaddik yet: e.g., The previous Rebbe, The Ba'al Hatanya,
>     The Besh"t, Rabbi Yehudah Hannasi, King David, etc?

I wonder how we measure the "greatness" of a tzaddik? But I think the
answer to the question can be found in the way it was phrased: _King_
David, Rabbi Yehudah _Hannasi_, etc. In other words, each tzaddik has an
appointed task, a spiritual responsibility. Our identification of that
b'gashmiyus [in physicality] (obviously limited) comes through the names
and titles by which we recognize a particular tzaddik (Moshe

> I am also unclear about the theological approach here.  The notion that
> the Moshiach can (must?) first die before being resurrected as Moshiach
> has only been circulated (to the lay public, at least) after the Rebbe's
> death.  If this was a tenet, why the late circulation?

 It was not a tenet. It is a concept that can be found much earlier
(Zohar, for example) and one the Rebbe mentioned during the year
following the histalkus of his father-in-law. That it was not
"circulated" earlier has an obvious explanation: who would want to give
that possibility more strength (since speaking of spiritual things,
mentioning them, makes them more physically real)? That a possibility
exists doesn't mean we have to pursue it before it's absolutely

(And thank you for the reasonableness of the questions.)


From: <FGLAZER@...> (Harry Glazer)
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 1994 21:28:34 -0400
Subject: Rabbi Akiva story

[This response is from Harry Glazer, whose wife was kind enough
to teach him e-mail and loan him one of her accounts]

In his book "Mourning in Halacha," Rabbi Chaim Binyamin Goldberg
cites Or Zarua - a book "written by one of the Reshonim" - as the
source for this story. The version of this story cited by Rabbi
Goldberg states that Rabbi Akiva taught the son Borchu AND Kaddish.

Harry Glazer


From: Fred Dweck <71214.3575@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 1994 23:49:50 -0400
Subject: Tzitzit & Wearing tallit over the head

A view from the Kabbalah!

Both these questions are answered clearly in the words of The Ar'i Z"l,
in Sha`ar Hakavanot, written by Harav Haim Vital z"l, in the section:
`inyan Tzitzit.

1) The Ar'i used to say "Lehit`atef" on both tzitzit and Talit. The
explanation, however, was that he required wearing a talit katan which
was large enough to do "atifat Yishme`elim" (wrapping of Yishme`elim
(Arabs)). In the case where it is not of sufficient size, then one
should say "`al mitzvat tzitzit."

2) The talit gadol should always be worn over the head, since the "orot"
(lights, energies) which it represents (which are emulated by the
wearing of talit gadol) flow over and cover the head of "Zeir Anpin"
(small countenance).  It further states that the Ar'i was careful not to
take his talit off his head until after `alenu, except if it was a very
hot day; then he would take it down during `alenu. According to what we
understand from the Ar'i, (other posqim notwithstanding) one does not
fulfill the obligation of talit gadol, unless he covers his head with
it, the entire time he is wearing it.

Fred E. Dweck; Los Angeles, CA 


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 94 11:57:46 -0400
Subject: Tzitzit on Modern Clothes

On many occasions, I've seen articles of men's clothing (especially
suit jackets) cut such that the garment has four corners.  (At the
front, bottom, and then the cut at the rear-center).  Most people I
speak with (even rabbis) hold that one should have the suit altered
such that it doesn't have four corners.  (Usually done by rounding off
the front two corners.)  Why haven't I seen any people solve the
problem by putting tzitzit on the jacket?  I would think that at least
one or two people (perhaps rabbis?) would choose to do this.  And I
would think it's better to fulfil the mitzva of wearing tzitzit than
eliminating the situation where they would be required.


End of Volume 14 Issue 12