Volume 17 Number 83
                       Produced: Mon Jan  9 23:44:41 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bar Mitzva
         [Danny Skaist]
Civil Law Marriage (v17n79)
         [Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer]
Insurance payment for Brit Milah
         [ Dr. Jeremy Schiff]
Marriage in a Synagogue
         [Ralph Zwier]
Marriage in Shul
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Men wearing Rings
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Orthodox Wedding Practices
         [Leah Zakh]
Orthodox weddings - double ring ceremonies
Reimbursement for a Bris
         [David Steinberg]
Wedding Issues: Shul, 2Ring
         [David Steinberg]


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 95 12:06 IST
Subject: Bar Mitzva

>Mechy Frankel
>perform mitzvos. The Maharshal concludes from this story (R. Yosef's
>celebratory impulse at merely hearing a positive report related to
>mitzvoh performance) that it is appropriate to have a public celebration

A more complete version is in Baba Kama 86b-87a.

There is a disagreement between R. Yehudah and R. Meir.  R Yehudah holds
that the blind are excused from mitzvoth R. Meir disagrees and holds that
the blind are commanded in all mitzvoth.  So, since hallacha is like R.
Yehudah,  R. Yosef wanted to have a party to celebrate the fact that he is
on a higher plane for doing what he is not required.

When hearing that "commanded and does was greater then not-commanded and
does". He wanted to make the party when someone would tell him that " the
hallacha was NOT like R. Yehudah."  [but rather like R. Meir.]

That is, he would make the party when he became obligated in mitzvoth.
Ergo Bar-Mitzva celebrations.



From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer)
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 1995 23:12:26 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Civil Law Marriage (v17n79)

I noted Rabbi Price's position previously. I also noted the Tztiz
Eliezer, and I shall now also note the Rogatchover's opposotion to the
stance that seees common law marriage as sufficient to create Mamzeirus
(although, as in many areas, the Rogatchover has a unique position in
this, see Shut Tazafnas Pane'ach Dvinsk simanim 1-5). The Tzitz Eliezer
is very sharp in kis dissent with Rabbi Price, whose position he regards
as undermining the sacred nature of the unique contract of Kiddushin in

Once more, Reb Moshe also consistently and steadfastly rejects Rabbi Price's
position as well.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: <schiff@...> ( Dr. Jeremy Schiff)
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 95 11:20:07 +0200
Subject: Insurance payment for Brit Milah

I don't think Barry Seigel was trying to say that Brit Milah is a
medical procedure and should therefore be covered by medical insurance.
It is the case that many non-Jews choose (for non medical reasons)
to have their male newborns circumcised; in general the circumcision is
done in hospital by a doctor shortly after birth. I'm sure some insurance
companies will not cover a "routine" circumcision, i.e. one performed 
without a diagnosis necessitating such. But if Barry's insurance company 
does cover routine circumcision, they have no justification for only
covering it if done by a doctor and not if done by a licensed, registered
mohel. And contrary to other opinions that have been expressed, I feel
there is a good reason to "open this can of worms", because if insurance
companies are allowed to give this preference to doctors, many less
committed Jews will opt to have their sons' britot done in hospitals before
the 8th day.
The various reasons people have expressed for not wanting insurance 
companies to cover britot are all good, so I would prefer insurance 
companies not to cover any routine circumcision....but if they do, they 
should cover britot too.
As for the suggestion (made in the name of "some poskim") that frum doctors
should not do britot because it might appear that it is a medical procedure,
and cause the wrong kavana (intent in performing the mitzvah), I have a 
number of objections:
1. Who says it's wrong to think that Hashem instructed to do milah because 
   it had positive medical aspects? We do milah - because Hashem said so,
   but if tomorrow convincing evidence were presented that it is medically
   beneficial, we should rejoice in this!
2. Surely the advantage of having every mohel have as good a medical 
   training as possible (to deal with any remote emergency that should
   arise, halilah), much outweighs the possible suggested disadvantage?
3. Again, it every mohel were a respected doctor, less committed Jews
   would be much more content using them, as opposed to having an 
   in-hospital procedure done, with no brachot, and probably before the 
   8th day. 
In short, the above suggestion suggests religious technophobia to me.



From: Ralph Zwier <zwierr@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 1995 18:19:21 
Subject: Marriage in a Synagogue

When I got married, we went to Rabbi Groner Shlita in Melbourne. 
Almost before I had opened my mouth to ask him to officiate he said 
words to the following effect:

"Refoel, you know I can only come to the wedding if two conditions 
are met: Firstly the chuppah must be OUTDOORS, and secondly your 
aliyah must be on the Shabbes before the Chuppa." (Many people here in 
Mebourne have the Offruf one week earlier than this so that the 
Kallah can come to the Offruf).

I understood (perhaps from something he said) that the Chuppah needed 
to be under the stars for some reason. Indeed I have heard of a 
wedding where the Mesader Kiddushin reluctantly did it in a shul and 
they were very particular to send someone upstairs and open all the 

I notice that nobody has referred to this reason for not having a 
wedding in a Shul. Does anyone have any info?---
Ralph S Zwier
Double Z Computer, Prahran, VIC Australia       Voice +61-3-521-2188
<zwierr@...>                        Fax   +61-3-521-3945


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 1995 22:57:13 -0500
Subject: Marriage in Shul

If the reason not to allow a marriage in shul is following the decree of
the Chatam Sofer and is based on the "behukoteihem lo teilechu ", then
we should look for other useages of shuls other than davenning, and see
if we are consistant in the prohibition of shul useage.

Shuls have been used for funerals too. If the deceased was an important
rabbi or communal leader, in many communities the practice was to bring
him into the synagogue for funeral service (Shulhan Arukh, Yore Deah
344:20) As you know the gentiles do have funeral services in churches
too. I do not know what was the opinion of the Chatam Sofer on funerals
in shuls.

By the way, (I don't know if this was mentioned before) Rabbi Moshe
Feinstein allowed marriage ceremonies to take place in shuls, and in his
teshuvah argues with the opinion of the Chatam Sofer. (Igrot Moshe, Even
Ha'ezer, I, Siman 93.)

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 1995 10:44:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Men wearing Rings

Aryeh Blaut has written:

:I think that the question of "Double rings" should lead into the topic
:of men wearing jewlery in general.  In other words, would a ring be
:considered "beged Isha" (clothing of a woman) and therefore be
:prohibited for him to have on?

(1) Historically, throughout Tanach, we find that men wore rings:
Mordechai, Yehuda, etc. The references to Yehuda wearing a ring do not
seem to indicate that it was anything unusual either. He gave his
Taba'at -- as if everyone else had his own ta'baat as well...

(2) In modern times -- in the Western world -- many, many, married men
wear rings. Just take a look at the hands of the leaders of the Western
World and you will see.

I would find it impossible to believe that considering that men always
wore rings and continue to do so that one can consider them beged isha.



From: Leah Zakh <zakh@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 1995 16:04:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Orthodox Wedding Practices

As far as Halakha is concerned the chatan does not have to give the
kallah [bride - Mod] davka [specifically - Mod.] a ring - he can give
her anything that is shavei pruta [worth a pruta, a small coin - Mod]. I
specifically remember Rav Itzhak Goodman of Far Rockaway state that it
is just as halachic to give the kallah a can of vegetables as it is to
give her a ring, provided that the can of vegies is shavei pruta.

Leah Zakh
P.S. I am sorry to forward my previous messages to all the list members.
You can reach me at <zakh@...> or 212-779-1939


From: <Robert_Rubinoff@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Jan 95 15:54:38 EST
Subject: Orthodox weddings - double ring ceremonies

> >From: <weiner@...> (Menachem & Elianah Weiner)
> 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?

At our wedding (admittedly not carried out under Orthodox auspices),
what we did was this: I bought both rings, so that I was giving my
wife's ring to her, but she was merely placing my ring (which was
already mine) on my finger (and the witnesses knew this).  And I recited
the standard "harei at" line, while my wife recited (in Hebrew and
English) "Let this ring be a symbol of our union according to the laws
of Moses and Israel".  So the ring I gave her was the *means* of the
union ("by this ring"), whereas the one she put on my finger was merely
a *symbol* or our union (which had already been established by the first
ring).  The entire procedure took place under the huppah, with nothing
else (e.g. ketubah reading) separating them.

This is certainly closer to a "mirror-image" double-ring ceremony than
what other people have been describing, but it was deliberately designed
to make a clear distinction between the role of the two rings in the
actual ceremony.  I hope this was enough to make our marriage
halakhically valid (we did have a traditional ketubah, or rather I
should say I gave my wife one).  Fortunately, all indications are that
the question of whether we would need a get to divorce will remain
entirely academic :-)



From: David Steinberg <dave@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 1995 20:06:08 +0000
Subject: Reimbursement for a Bris

fThere has been a recent discussion about getting an insurance,
company to reimburse you for the cost of a bris.

Maybe I'm naive, but I don't know why one would want an insurance 
There are two issues:

Can a Mohel charge for performing a bris?  Obviously, the common 
practice is that many do.  I have B'H two boys. My bechor's mohel 
accepted a cash gift that I offered him after the bris.  At no time did 
he specify how much he wanted.  I assume he viewed this as Schar Battalah 
  - A wage for the time he could have spent doing other economic activity- 
plus reimbursement for his out-of-pocket expense.  
My second son's Mohel would not accept even reimbursement for his 
expenses (despite my fierce arguements)  This gentleman performs hundreds 
of brises every year -- Can you imagine the mountain of zchus that he's 
built up. (After much cajoling over a period of weeks he specified a 
charity that he supported)

Assuming one did pay the Mohel an agreed upon sum, I would view that as 
the cost of having him stand in for me.  I have the Chiyuv - 
responsibility - to do the Millah.  Given that I'm not capable to do so I 
hire the Mohel to do it for me (My perspective - he still has to justify 
getting paid, L'Hallacha).  Why give up my share of the mitzvah?

Dave Steinberg


From: David Steinberg <dave@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 1995 19:43:27 +0000
Subject: Wedding Issues: Shul, 2Ring

The issue of making a Wedding in a Shul has been abundantly discussed.
For anyone who wants to read more, there is a good survey article by
Rabbi David Katz in "The Journal of Halach and Contemporary Society"
Number XVIII Succot 5750/Fall 1989 on the topic.

Regarding a two-ring ceremony, Rav Moshe in Iggros Moshe E.H. 3 #18, 
argues strongly against the practice if it takes place under the chupa.  
Despite his strong opposition, he rules that doing so does not invalidate 
the Kiddushin.

Aryeh Blaut questions whether a man may wear a ring.  I assume his
question is whether a man can wear a wedding ring as it is clear that
men wore signet rings in Talmudic times.  Also if a ring is distinctly
masculine there would be no Beged Isha -woman's garment- question.

Rav Moshe addresses this in E.H. 4 #32 subheading 2.  He rules that
there is no problem with a man wearing a wedding ring (that was not
exchanged as part of a two ring ceremony under the chupa).  He examines
whether there would be a question of Bechukosayhem - emulating gentile
practice - and concludes that there is no concern; that at most wearing
a ring is a sign that the man is married and there is no problem with

Dave Steinberg


End of Volume 17 Issue 83