Volume 17 Number 76
                       Produced: Sun Jan  8  0:26:01 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bat Mitzvah
         [Harry Weiss]
First ever Bat Mitzvah
         [Gilad J. Gevaryah]
Marriage in Shul
         [Yechiel Wachtel]
Orthodox Double Ring Ceremony
         [Esther R Posen]
Orthodox weddings - double ring ceremonies
         [Menachem & Elianah Weiner]
         [Stan Tenen]
Rav Henkin/Rav Moshe
         [Michael S. Lazaroff]
Shul Marriages
         [Zev Budnitz]
Tephilah in Hebrew
         [Ephraim Dardashti]
Weddings in shul
         [Micha Berger]
Weddings in Shul
         [Steven Friedell]


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Thu, 05 Jan 95 19:55:36 -0800
Subject: Bat Mitzvah

There has been considerable discussion recently regarding the issues of
Bat Mitzvahs in the Orthodox community.

Just under 10 years ago, when our shul was in its infancy, the daughter
of our Cantor was approaching the age of Bat Mitzvah.  (Judy's parents
Martin and Bonne London are both MJ members, but have not had time to
respond.)  Our previous OR, Rabbi Yosef Polstein contacted Rav Yaakov
Weinberg of Ner Yisroel and the following took place.

After the conclusion of Shabbat morning services the Rabbi announced
that services were now over and the Bat Mitzvah celebration would begin.
Judy read part of the Book of Ruth and gave a speech.  This was followed
by the usual other speeches and a wonderful Kiddush. (Bonne is a
wonderful cook and a author of Jewish cookbook.)

This ceremony was meaningful for everyone and was particularly
appropriate in this community where Orthodox Judaism was just be
reestablished after an absences of almost one half century.



From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryah)
Date: Sat, 7 Jan 1995 20:04:07 -0500
Subject: First ever Bat Mitzvah

In MJ17#74 Mechy Frankel correctly states that the claim that Mordechai
Kaplan celebrated the first ever bat-mitzvah (to his daughter) is
untrue. I remember reading somewhere that Kaplan himself said that he
read about it as being done in Europe.

Prof. Dov Sadan, wrote about the first episode of celebrating Bat
Mitzvah in Eastern Europe in 1902. It was so controversial at the time,
that the religious Zionists joined the haredim in opposing it. It was
widely published at the time, and probably made its way also to the
USA. Kaplan read about it, and decided to celebrate his daughter's bat
mitzvah in a similar way in around the early 1920s.

Source: Dov Sadan, Bat Mitzvah, Dat Israel U'Medinat Israel, New York,
1951, pp.136- 139.

Note: Rabbi Kaplan was at the time the orthodox rabbi of New York Jewish
Center, although his semicha was from JTS. He was one of the founders of
Young Israel movement in the USA.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Yechiel Wachtel <YWACHTEL@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 95 21:23:49 PST
Subject: Marriage in Shul

	I may have mentioned this once before, but here goes again.  Rav 
Gustman ZT'ZL mentioned in his modesty, while trying to decline being a 
"mesader kidushin" in lieu of another Rabbi mentioned the following.
	You think it is a big Kovod to be a "mesader kiddushin"?  In Europe
(Vilna) The couple were brought to the shul, and the "shamash" performed the
kiddushin!! and the Rosh Yehiva would conclude, so why do you feel obligated 
to make me your "mesader kidushin"? I do not remember for sure, if he said 
they were married in front of the Aron (Arc) or in front of the open Aron.


From: <eposen@...> (Esther R Posen)
Date: Fri, 06 Jan 1995 13:45:38 -0500
Subject: Orthodox Double Ring Ceremony

Orthodox couples can exchange wedding rings or decide to wear purple
sweatshirts at their weddings.  However, the chatan giving the kallah a
ring is an integral part of the Orthodox wedding ceremony as practiced
today.  The kallah can give her chatan a ring before they are engaged,
after they are engaged, in a car, at the movies or in the yichud room.
It is superfluous to and not a part of the religous ceremony.  I would
put it in the "its a free country category" of things to do when you get

(In my circles it is customary for the chatan to give the kallah a
"present" - pearls, gold necklace etc. - in the yichud room.  Lovely,
but not part of the orthodox chuppah and kiddushin ceremony.)

Gut Shabbos,



From: <weiner@...> (Menachem & Elianah Weiner)
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 95 12:43:31 EST
Subject: Orthodox weddings - double ring ceremonies

My wife and I decided upon a different tactic.  After engagement
(secular), and before the tanaim, my wife gave me a single gold band
which I placed on my right hand.  During yichud, she placed it on my
left hand.  Apparently this is a European custom.  It certainly leaves
no question as to the kiddushin being valid.  Any comments?

-Menachem & Elianah Weiner (Liane & Merril)


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 1995 18:01:28 -0800
Subject: Pronunciation

Re: Ben Yudkin's response in m-j 17,72 to Eli Turkel's comments on my 
questions about language:  Yes, Ben is correct about what I am asking.  
Did most of us speak local vernacular for everyday discussion even while 
we were using Hebrew for religious, spiritual and technical purposes?  
Do we have records of this?

Thanks to everyone for both posted and email responses.
Good Shabbos,


From: Michael S. Lazaroff <lazaroff@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 1995 03:50:08 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Rav Henkin/Rav Moshe

	In vol. 17, #71, Yosef Bechhofer correctly points out that Rav
Moshe felt that he was only disagreeing with Rav Henkin concerning civil
marriages, but it seems that Rav Henkin felt differently.
	In Kitvei Ha-Geri Henkin, Kerekh 2, Teshuvot Eyvrah, Siman 76,
Rav Henkin wrote in a letter to a "well-known gaon" that he disagrees
with his lenient ruling concerning *both R/C and civil marriages.* Rav
Henkin explains that there is no room for this (R/C - Civil) distinction
because there is no connection between the halakhic validity of the
marriage and the identity of the mesader kiddushin (trans. - the one who
arranges the marriage ceremony).
	Rav Henkin writes, (pg. 125)[my own translation]

	"It is shocking . . . that he was lenient with [a woman] married
by Reformers.  Is there a [halakhic] need for a mesader kiddushin [at a
wedding?], if a Jewish man says to a [Jewish] woman,'ha-ray at she-lee'
in front of witnesses, she is married. If there are no witnesses, [then]
when they live together many years and publicly present themselves as
married, there are witnesses. . . .  And the author [of the lenient
ruling] has an obligation to publicize that [others] should not rely on
his decision, for any decision based on this is an aveirah (trans.- sin)
 . . . ."

   					Menachem Lazaroff


From: Zev Budnitz <wbudnitz@...>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 1995 11:02:44 -0500 (est)
Subject: Shul Marriages

I was happy to read that someone finally cleared up the confusion about 
the source of not getting married in a shul. ( I have since deleted the 
message and I have forgotten who wrote it.) The source was indeed the 
Chasam Sofer who included this as one of his decrees to protect orthodoxy 
against the inroads of the reformers (who were known as "neologues" in 
his time and place). However, contrary to that writers opinion that it is 
entirely irrelevant today, there are still many Rabbonim from the 
"Austro-Hungarian Chasam Sofer" school that still adhere to his decree. 
As a case in point, my own wedding did take place in a shul and was 
attended by, (and officiated by) Roshei Yeshiva and Rabonnim from the 
most right wing of the spectrum. There was one Rav, however, that 
politely declined from coming to the Chuppa out of defference to the 
Chasam Sofer. He did come to the rest of the Chasuna.
I am somewhat confused as to why R' Dovid Lipchitz zt"l did not mention 
the Chasam Sofer when the issue came up.

There was an interesting (and revealing) story that revolved around this 
particular decree. A couple from the Pressburg community came to the Chasam 
Sofer to tell him of their impending marriage. They told him, however, of 
their strong desire to get married in a shul. The Chasam Sofer told them 
that he forbids it and if they did not heed his wishes he would not 
attend the wedding. The couple refused to concede and continued to beg 
the Rav's consent and participation. The Chasam Sofer became sharp with 
them and told them "..you will be married the way you want, but you will 
have gentile grandchildren..".
The couple did marry in a shul, as they desired. As time went on the 
children of this couple became irreligious and married out of the faith. 
The Rav's prediction came true, the couple did indeed have gentile 
Needless to say, the people of Pressburg started to talk about the "ruach 
hakodesh" (divine inspiration) of their Rav and how he was able to 
fortell the future of this unfortunate couple. When the matter was 
brought to the Chasam Sofer's attention he said that this was not a 
matter of "ruach hakodesh" or the like. It was obvious, he said, from the 
couples adament attitude from the beginning. If they were so strongly 
inclined to be like the "others", even if, in their mind, they felt that 
these were spiritual motivations, then there was something wrong at the 
core. I knew, therefore, what this would lead to....

There are many more stories and D'roshos that emphasize this theme, but 
I am afraid that I reaching the legal limit for the size of mj mail. I 
would hate to be truncated by the honorable administrator! <G>

 Zev Budnitz


From: <DARDASHTI@...> (Ephraim Dardashti)
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 1995 00:54:18 -0500
Subject: Re: Tephilah in Hebrew

A Jew can travel to any corner of the earth and enter an Orthodox
synagogue and regardless of the pronounciation of the Hebrew text feel
at home and in the bosom of our people through the common use of Hebrew.
There is no argument that there large pockets and population of Jews who
are lacking in Hebrew skills, however the remedy is not to switch from
the language of the Torah to the local tongue.  As most bi-linguals can
vouch each language carries with it its on psychological mind frame.  To
give up on Hebrew is to change the character of the heritage of the


From: Micha Berger <berger@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Jan 95 08:08:55 -0500
Subject: Weddings in shul

R. Yaakov Shemaria (beautiful family name, BTW) writes in v17n71:
>                                                                    [T]he
> Yad Halevi writes in volume 2 of his responsa 61 suggesting that having
> a Chupah in shul does not violate its sanctity.

I would assume not, since most shul's are Batei Medrash, and not Batei
Kinesses. I couldn't see the wedding being any more of a problem than
other se'udos mitzvah (such as a siyum) which are often held in a shul.
Even more problematic are the Simchas Torah kiddush and the
post-ta'anis snack, which are often served in shul and are not seudos
mitzvah. (I guess one could argue about the kiddush. It depends on the
meaning of "kiddush bimakom se'udah".)

>                                                 Rav Bension Uziel, a
> former chief Sephardi Rabbi, of Israel, defends the practice of weddings
> in Shuls,(See Piskei Uziel 49-50.). He argues if the prohibition of
> having weddings in shuls is based on the "behukoteihem lo teilechu "
> similarly we should not doven in shul, after all they also pray in their
> houses of worship!

The question would be which came first, and what was the
motivation. My understanding was, and please correct me if I'm wrong,
that holding a wedding in shul, having the ceremony anywhere in-doors,
is a rather new practice. Traditionally weddings were outdoors --
often the shul's _lawn_, but that may have just been pragmatics (who
would have a bigger area?) Bringing it into the shul was the idea of
the early Reformers, and seems to be part of a general pattern they
had for adopting Protestant trappings.

PS: Could you post more on who wrote the Yad Halevi?

Micha Berger                    red---6-murder---kindness-Abraham-body---nefesh
<berger@...>  212 224-4937   green-7-incest---Torah----Jacob---mind----ruach
<aishdas@...>  201 916-0287   blue--8-idolatry-worship--Isaac---soul-neshamah
	<a href=http://www.iia.org/~aishdas>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>

From: Steven Friedell <friedell@...>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 95 10:06:09 EST
Subject: Weddings in Shul

I remember when I grew up in Minnesota (I left there about 25 years ago,
but I think the practice is the same) that all of the rabbis in
Minnesota agreed that all weddings would be performed either at the
bride's home or in a shul.
 The purpose, as I understood it, was to avoid the New York hotel style


End of Volume 17 Issue 76