Volume 17 Number 45
                       Produced: Fri Dec 23 14:38:21 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Mechitzos, or Lack Thereof
         [Chaya Gurwitz]
Mezzuza Questions
         [David Steinberg]
More Trop-isms
         [Mechy Frankel]
Tsitsis on a scarf
         [Hillel Chayim Israel]
Tzizit and Carrying On Shabbos.
         [Immanuel O'Levy]


From: <gurwitz@...> (Chaya Gurwitz)
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 94 10:53:40 EST
Subject: Mechitzos, or Lack Thereof

>From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
> It may be that women who wish to come aren't aware 
>that accommodation would be made (i.e. a mechitza put up) if they came. 
>Or maybe they don't want to "be a bother".  Hence the rare occasions upon 
>which women come. Also, the current situation obviates a woman from 
>coming 30 seconds late.

Aleeza's comments regarding the paucity of shuls with standing
mechitza's is a sore spot of mine.  I, too, live in Brooklyn (not
exactly a "midbar") and am extremely distressed by the lack of
mechitzos.  My experience doesn't even come from trying to attend daily
minyanim, but from Shabbos and YomTov.  My experience is that Aleeza is
wrong about accomodation being made for women who want to come to shul.

At one point, my husband davened in a minyan in a small local yeshiva.  
There *was* an ezras noshim (women's section), but access to the ezras 
noshim was from a different outside entrance. At some point the key to 
the ezras noshim was lost.  I would say that it took about 2-3 MONTHS 
until a new key was made.  To me, that shows a lack of accommodation!  

More recently, a small shul opened across the street from my house.
At first, I was excited that I might actually be able to get my children
to shul. Well, two weeks in a row I got all the kids dressed and fed
(no small feat!) and crossed the street to find the ezras noshim locked
and unable to be opened from the inside.  So much for that shul!

My husband davens at a hashkoma minyan (very early) on Simchas Torah.
Understandably, women and children don't usually make it out that
early and so they did not have a mechitza up.  However, when I arrived
with my children, my husband asked someone to help him bring in a mechitza.
He was told that the mechitzos belong to the caterer and that they
*could not* bring anything in.  (He did anyway, but the point is that
the minyan is *not* accommodating).

I agree with Aleeza -- I'd rather not make a scene.  When the outside door
to the ezras noshim is locked, I *could* march through the whole main
shul to get to the ezras  noshim.  I don't.  I turn around and go home,
and I resent it.

I can readily understand that many minyanim are tight on space and figure
that not too many women would come anyway, or that they only come
on YomTov, etc.  But what kind of message is being sent?  

Finally, if not for the women themselves, what about the issue of chinuch
ha-banim (educating children to do mitzvos).  I would not send my children
to shul with my husband, because they cannot sit still so long.  If I
can come towards the end, I can bring them for a short while and gradually
accustom them to davening with a minyan.

I will repeat Aleeza' plea:

>The upshot is, I appeal to the mail-jewish membership to make sure that 
>their synagogues are open to women every day.  ...
>Also, I'd rather not make a scene.  I just want to pray.

-Chaya Gurwitz


From: David Steinberg <dave@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 1994 10:45:09 +0000
Subject: Mezzuza Questions

My cousin recently had his Mezzuzahs checked.  The inspector, who visited 
his home noticed that some mezzuzahs were fixed to the wall with velcro.  
The inspector claimed that that is invalid.  That makes no sense to me.  
Is there any basis for it?  Any citations?

Another LOR told my cousin that he does not need a mezzuzah on the 
sliding door from the patio into the house.  Here too I fail to see the 
logic.  Any insight here?

Thank you



From: Mechy Frankel <frankel@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 1994 13:56:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: More Trop-isms

1. Q. What do you call an attraction to laining?  A. A
tropism. (whaddaya think, is this too specialized? I'm thinking of
sending it in to Leno)

2. To continue an intermittent thread on the exegetical power of trop I
offer the following additional examples:

Yeshayahu 40:3 "kol koray bamidbar panu derech hashem" the telisha
indicates that the first pause is after "koray" giving rise to the
interpretation " the voice of one who cries out, prepare in the
wilderness.." As opposed to the different interpretation and frequent
popular literary form (offered in Matthew 3, and quoted just for
evidence of extant early alternative exegesis) of a "voice, crying in
the wilderness".

Devarim 26:5 "arami ovaid ovi" (see rashi, onkelos) the trop supports
the traditional interpretation that "an arami (Lavan) wanted to destroy
my father", not "my aramenian father was in hot water."

Devarim 11:13 (from the Shema) "liahavoh es hashem elokeichem uliovdo
bechol livavichem uvechol nafshichem" the zakef on "uliovdo" separates
it from "bechol livavichem" indicating that God must not only be served
with all one's heart, but also loved (i.e. bechol livavichem also
modifies "liahavoh").

Yeshayahu 45:1 on the muchly remarked pasuk "ko amar hashem limishicho
lichoresh (Cyrus the Great) asher hechezakti biyimino" see rashi and
Megilla 12a. The trop separates "limishicho" from "lichoresh" supporting
R. Nachman bar R. Chisda's interpretation in Megila that, rather than
identifying Cyrus as the mashiach, God is addressing his mashiach
(someone other than Cyrus), saying He's got a complaint against Cyrus.

Bereishis 18:21 (see rashi and rashbam) on "asu calah", there is a pasek
between the words to show they aren't connected, and it means "if they
have acted like this, I will end them" .

Shemos 15:17 "mikdash hashem conanu yadecha". mikdash has a zakef gadol
to separate it from name of God, meaning "the mikdash, which your hands
O God, have established", not "the mikdash of God". (rashi)

Shemos 24:5 "vayalu olos vayizbichu zivachim shilomim lashem parim" see
rashi and Chagiga 6b discussion whether this verse refers to two types
of burnt offerings, or only one.

Compare the apparently similar "besefer hatorah hazeh" (Devarim 29:20)
and "besefer hatorah hazoas" (Devarim 28:61)" where the tifcha in the
former phrase make sit clear that "hazeh" is modifying "sefer" not
"torah" and thus uses the masculine form.

Yerchezkel 1:1 "uphinaihem vechanifaihem perudos melimaaloh" see radak,
rashi.  the "penaihem" is separated by the zakef gadol, giving the
interpretation "these were their faces, and their wings were spread out
above their faces, covering them."

Melochim 1 16:24 " vayikra es shem ha'ear asher bonoh al shem shemer
adonai hohor shomron" The mercha in "hohor" makes clear that this means
"he called the name of the city after Shemer, who was the ruler of the
mountain called Shomron" not "he called the city Shomron, after Shemer,
ruler of the mountain".

3. I found these, as well as about seventy other examples of interplay
of cantillation with exegesis, in Yisrael Yeivin's excellent
"Movoh Lamesorah Hativernis" (Intro. to the Tiberian Masorah").

Mechy Frankel                                  H: (301) 593-3949
<frankel@...>                           W: (703) 325-1277


From: Hillel Chayim Israel <ag723@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 1994 03:55:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Tsitsis on a scarf

Firstly, with regards to the question of what colour tsitsis on a
multicoloured garment should be, see the Rama in O.C. siman 9 seif 5:
"But the ashkenizim are not of the practice to make tsitsis [any colour]
other than white, even in coloured garments, and one should not act
differently."  The question may still be valid for sefardim.  I don't have
a kaf hachayim or the other sfardi poiskim at hand.

Secondly, with regards to a scarf, I don't see how there could be a
question.  According to my understanding, the Shulchan Aruch clearly
states (10:10):  

  A scarf (mitsnefes - worn on the head) is exempt [from the   
  requirements of tsitsis], even those from the west whose two ends 
  are thrown on the shoulders and body, and even though one covers 
  with it his head and the majority of his body, it is exempt, since
  its main purpose is to cover the head, and "your [body's] garment" 
  is written in the Torah, not a "head garment".  

Similarly, in the next seif:  

  A scarf (sudar) which is worn on the neck ... and a "buka" which 
  was worn in Spain on the shoulders are exempt [from the requirements
  of tsitsis].

And the Rama in 12:

  The garments of ... since their corners are not made so that there 
  should be two in front [of the person] and two behind, opposite each
  other, they are exempt.

There seems to be a lengthy biur halacha here, which I don't have the time
now to investigate, but from what I quoted, it seems clear that scarves
are exempt from tsitsis.  The Mishnah Berurah does not quote any opinions
that disagree with the S.A./Rama.  

See also siman 8, where the M.B. (seif katan 3) writes "travelers who put
the talis on folded, and wrap it around their necks on their shoulders, do
not fulfill the obligation of tsitsis, for in this manner, all agree that
it is not 'ittuf' (wrapping around the body)."  

I remember in High School my teacher, Rabbi S., teaching us about tsitsis
and expressing his disgust with the reformers who started wearing
"scarf-taleisim" to imitate the thing goyishe priests wear in their
churches, for by doing this they not only changed a custom, but also have
caused many to not fulfill the obligation of tsitsis, and to make berachos
in vain (a Biblical prohibition).

Thirdly, with regards to putting tsitsis on it anyway, wouldn't this fall
into the prohibition of "bal tosif", as is putting two mezuzos on the door
lesheim mitsvah or sitting in a sukkah not on sukkos lesheim mitsvah?  I
suppose if their was a doubt as to whether or not the garment was exempt,
there would be no prohibition of "bal tosif", for we do put mezuzos on
doors which are doubtful as to their obligation, without making a beracha.
 However, from the sources I quoted it seems that there is no doubt
concerning a scarf.  In fact, many of my rebbeim wear scarves and I have
not seen any of them wearing tsitsis on them.

Lastly, with regards to the question of whether or not your wife could
wear the scarf with tsitsis on it, it seems to me that since only men wear
tsitsis because only men have a chiyuv to wear them, a women who put on a
garment with tsitsis on it would be oiver [transgressing] the prohibition
of not wearing men's clothing (beged ish).  I don't have a source for this
at the moment, but I'm sure it is brought down somewhere because I've
probably heard this answer given fifty times when the question "should
women be able to wear taleisim in shul" came up.

I hope my comments assist the discussion.
Zai Gezunt,

Hillel Chayim Israel


From: <imo@...> (Immanuel O'Levy)
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 94 09:08:20 GMT
Subject: Tzizit and Carrying On Shabbos.

Lon Eisenberg (<eisenbrg@...>) wrote:
>                                                       If something is
>attached, why isn't it part of the garment?  It would seem that if you
>say that if it is non-functional then you would be carrying it, then you
>shouldn't be able to wear many of our garments on Shabbath.  What
>function do any of the following serve on Shabbath:
>1. trouser pockets
>2. shirt pockets
>3. collars (ornamental?)
>4. cuffs (ornamental?)
>5. unused buttons (don't say that the top button of a shirt is ornamental)

I've also wondered about what qualifies as part of a garment with respect
to carrying on Shabbos.  These five items mentioned are incorporated into
the garment at the time of manufacture, which may have some bearing.  On
the other hand, just because something is attached, doesn't mean that it
automatically becomes part of the garment - if, for example, you tie a 
chair to your lapel on Shabbos, I very much doubt that this can be considered
as not carrying!  What would the Halachah be regarding wearing a flower in
one's button-hole for decoration?  (That might be appropriate on Shavout
when the Shuls are decorated with flowers.)

Something I once heard on this concerns wearing a raincoat on Shabbos without
doing up the belt.  I heard that one may walk in the streets with the belt
undone and hanging from the loops provided that it is the belt that came with
the coat, as this belt is part of the coat.  One may not, however, do this
with a different belt.  Can anyone provide a source for this?

 Immanuel M. O'Levy,                               JANET: <imo@...>
 Dept. of Medical Physics,                        BITNET: <imo@...>
 University College London,                     INTERNET: <imo@...>
 11-20 Capper St, London WC1E 6JA, Great Britain.         Tel: +44 71-380-9704


End of Volume 17 Issue 45