Volume 18 Number 69
                       Produced: Sun Mar  5  0:47:17 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adar II
         [Mike Grynberg]
         [Mordechai E Lando]
Birkat HaGomel
         [Israel Medad - Knesset]
Individual Piety versus Communal Responsibility
         [Steven Shore]
Israel Alumn
         [Shalom Berger]
Levy w/o a Kohen
         [Harry Weiss]
Prayer for a sick non-Jew
         [Ben Yudkin]
Sunrise/sunset time algorithms
         [Mike Gerver]
Synagogue Politics v18 #50
         [Neil Parks]


From: spike%<bimacs@...> (Mike Grynberg)
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 95 11:35:30 +0200
Subject: Adar II 

One year at camp we were having a contest. one of the questions asked
was when do we take out 3 sifrei torah from the aron? I answered when
parshat hachodesh falls out on rosh chodesh. the other obvious
answer is during shabbat chanuka. I was just wondering if it is
possible for rosh chodes adar II to fall out on shabbat and then we would
also take out 3 sifrei torah for shabbat, rosh chodesh, and for shabbat
shkalim? is this possible?


From: Mordechai E Lando <landom1@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 1995 11:19:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Banter

Andy Goldfinger's scenario (m-j,v.18,#52) verges on a, perhaps, more
serious issue than loshon horoh.  Making disparaging remarks about
Terry's "spaghetti" code in Terry's presence may be malbin p'nay
cha'vay'ro; i.e. whitening your friend's face.  The gemorah and mussar
sforim say this is a very big sin comparable to killing a person.

Mordechai E. Lando ha'm'chu'na Yukum


From: Israel Medad - Knesset <imedad@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 1995 11:13:10 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Birkat HaGomel

For myself, I bench the Birkat HaGomel after flying because of the
danger in being in Galut rather than the actual physical danger existing
as a result of flying.

After all, living in Shiloh and travelling 45 km (28 miles) each way to
and from Jerusalem, passing the spot where Ofra Felix was shot dead and
where Tzvi Klein was killed as welll as others, not to speak of the
injured from other shootings, stabbings, firebombings and more, we would
being saying Birjat HaGomel constantly.  Or maybe the issue is an
unusual danger that one goes through.

Yisrael Medad


From: Steven Shore <shore@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 95 14:32:32+010
Subject: Individual Piety versus Communal Responsibility

>[stuff deleted]
>a) Is individual piety worth more than communal observance?  While there
>is a principle that you do not do an averah in order to save another
>from a more serious averah, does this apply to humrot?  That is, if the
>rav hamakom gives a heter, and you would like to be mahmir, is the
>observation of your individual humra better than the fact that the
>community, by following the heter, avoids a more serious avera?

I fail to follow your logic. Let the community follow the heter and you
can follow the chumra - whats the problem?

>[stuff deleted]
>b) Does the Rabbanut have the status of mara d'athra?  If it does, to
>what extent is one allowed, and perhaps obligated, to accept all the
>heterim of the Rabbanut, especially befarhesia, to the extent that one
>does not have a clear, well defined minhag against it?  
>[stuff deleted]

How can the Chief Rabbis in Israel be considered mara d'athra? I do
not mean to insult them (chas v'shalom) but the fact is that they hold
an elected position with a time limit. Mara d'arthra is a position that
is bestowed on the Rav from the people and is earned over time. Once a
Rav becomes the accepted mara d'athra he is not just replaced because
his term is over. Look at the case of the Sephardic Chief Rabbi, R. Bakshi
Doron, who supports Shas, do you think he considers himself to be above
R. Ovadia Yosef, the leader of Shas and a former Chief Rabbi? Do you think
that R. Lau considered himself to be more of a halachic authority than
R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l?

Shimon (Steven) Shore			<shore@...>


From: Shalom Berger <berger@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 1995 14:33:39 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Israel Alumn

I am working on a doctoral dissertation on how year-long Yeshiva programs 
in Israel affect American High School graduates. I would appreciate any 
comments from individuals who attended such programs on how they were 
affected (re: career choice, where you live, attended college, etc.) as 
well as any recollections, anecdotes, etc. that might help explain the 
impact of the program. It will be helpful to know what type of program it 
was (i.e. Women or Men, Haredi, Hesder, American), and how long ago you 
	Many thanks,
		Shalom Berger


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 95 19:30:39 -0800
Subject: Levy w/o a Kohen

In MJ 18-48 Sheldon Korn says that calling a Levy in the absence of a
Kohen is frowned upon by Halacha.  He give the impression that the
absolute Halacha is that you cannot call a Levy for the first Aliyah in
the absence of a Kohen.

The Shulcahn Oruch Section 135 Paragraph 6 says when you call a Yisroel
where there is no Kohen a Levy does not go up after him.  The Rama adds
that you may call the Levy first.  The Mishnah Berura explains that the
Levy is no worse than a Yisroel.  He goes on to say and it is clarified
more that this is where the Levy and Yisroel are equally deserving, but
if the Yisroel is greater you call the Yisroel.

There are those who have customs not to call a Levy or only to call a
Levy.  Neither custom is in violation of Halacha so there is not reason
not to continue the custom.  In the absence of an established custom it
is a judgement call based on whatever consideration the shul or Gabbai
uses to determine who gets Aliyahs.



From: <oujac@...> (Ben Yudkin)
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 1995 15:54:39 +0000
Subject: Prayer for a sick non-Jew

[Quotations of previous postings refer to v.18 #47]

Edward Goldstein writes:
> In addition, in the Amidah "SHMA Kolenu" is it  inappropriate to say a
> prayer for a non Jew?

Avi Feldblum writes:
> Alan Zaitchik writes:
>> I assume that the question refers only to the "mi shebeirach" recited
>> aloud, since there is obviously no such problem "what to say" in one's
>> private prayers, which is of course the _real_ place to pray for
>> someone who is ill. (I mean in the "r'fa'einu" prayer of the Sh'monah
>> Esrei".)
> This is not at all "obvious". R. Yehuda Halevi in the Kuzari seems clear
> that no private prayers are allowed in Sh'monah Esrei outside of the
> blessing of Shema Kolanu. If you look at the halakha as brought down in
> the Shulchan Aruch and its commentators, it appears that we poskin that
> a private prayer with the same context as the existing text is
> permitted. However I wanted to point out that it is not so simple what
> and when to add private prayers in Shemonah Esrei.

Readers may be interested in some sources mentioned in R' Yisroel Pesach
Feinhandler's book 'Priority in Prayer' (English ed.), which I have
looked up.  In respect of the proper place for inserting personal
petitions, the Mishnah Berurah (103:8) says (forgive this and following
translations): "....it is better to establish [a place for] prayers
concerning everything one needs after one has finished the Amidah than
to establish them in the blessing 'Shomea Tefillah', so that when one
needs to respond to Kaddish or the Kedushah, one will be able to respond
after [saying] 'Yihyu leratzon...', in keeping with all opinions".  IMH
understanding, the point is that one should not lengthen one's private
Amidah and thereby risk missing the chance to respond to Kaddish or the

R' Feinhandler says (Hebrew footnote to p. 87): "...the great Rabbi R'
Mordechai Gross [apologies if I've mis-spelled the name] has pointed out
that according to this [Mishnah Berurah], if praying without a minyan,
one can then also say [these private prayers] in 'Shomea Tefillah'.  But
IMHO, even without a minyan one should be wary of this, since we worry
lest one make a mistake and state one's request in the plural, and the
Mishnah Berurah (119:10) has stated that this is forbidden...".  IMH
understanding, the point here is that the Amidah's wording was
established by Chaza"l to reflect its public and national nature, and
one may not therefore add private requests to the Amidah in the plural
since one appears to be adding to Chaza"l's formulation [see Mishnah
Berurah (119:9)].  Hence, another grounds for preferring to insert
personal requests after the end of the Amidah rather than in 'Shomea

The Shulchan Aruch (119:1) states (very rough summary) that one may add
to any berachah as long as one sticks to the subject of the berachah.
If asking for a general need of Jewry one should use the plural at the
end of the berachah; if asking for one's personal needs one can insert
the request even in the middle of the berachah as long as one uses the
singular.  If asking in 'Shomea Tefillah' or at the end of the Amidah,
one may use the singular or the plural [presumably even in the middle of
the berachah].  Despite this, however, the later authorities seem to
rule that a preferable place is after the end of the Amidah.  I leave
open the question of whether this should be before or after 'Yihyu
leratzon imrei fi...'.

In respect of whether the wording "betoch she'ar cholei Yisra'el"
precludes the inclusion of non-Jews in that particular standard wording,
I would argue that it does.  Despite the Rambam's use of similar
expressions, the wording here (at least in my nussach) is as I have
quoted: "among the remaining [or other] sick Jews".  If the wording were
simply "betoch cholei Yisra'el", the situation would be more analagous
to the expressions quoted from the Rambam and we could paraphrase "in
common with sick Jews".

Ben Yudkin


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 1995 1:50:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Sunrise/sunset time algorithms

    Zal Suldan says (in v18n33) that the algorithm he used to calculate 
times of sunrise and sunset was off by up to 15 minutes. Probably he
neglected the "equation of time", described by that figure 8 (called an
analemma) that you sometimes see printed on a globe in the middle of the 
Pacific Ocean. The longitude of the analemma represents the difference 
between mean time (measured by clocks running at a constant speed) and 
local solar time (measured by the position of the sun)  while the latitude
of the analemma represents the declination of the sun (how far north
or south it is). The difference between mean time and local time, which 
can be as much as 15 minutes, is due to two effects, about equally

  1) the eccentricity of the earth's orbit (i.e. the fact that it is an
     ellipse, not a perfect circle)

  2) the second order effect of the 23.5 degree tilt of the earth's axis.

The first order effect of the 23.5 degree tilt accounts for the vertical
extent of the analemma, from -23.5 to +23.5 degrees latitude, which gives
rise to the seasons. If the earth's orbit were perfectly circular, then
the analemma would be a symmetric figure 8 about the equator, intersecting
the equator at an angle of 90 - 23.5 = 66.5 degrees, and the maximum
extent of the analemma in longitude would be proportional to the square of 
the tilt. The eccentricity of the earth's orbit makes the figure 8 
assymetric about the equator, being wider in the southern hemisphere and 
narrower in the northern hemisphere. The biggest differences occur in 
November and February.

    I assume that any commercial or shareware program for calculating times
of sunrise and sunset would include these corrections, and such programs 
should be accurate to within one minute, at least for a few hundred years.
Beyond that, these corrections change somewhat, due to the precession of
the equinoxes, and also to the small periodic changes in the 23.5 degree
tilt, which are believed to be responsible for ice ages. These slow
changes are due to tidal forces of the sun and moon on the earth. I
would imagine that most available sunrise/sunset programs ignore that.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: Neil Parks <nparks@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 95 07:50:34 EDT
Subject: Re: Synagogue Politics v18 #50

(Leah Gordon said:)

>Halakha:  There is no source that anyone has been able to quote to me
>forbidding women to be "voting members" on synagogue Boards.
>Status Quo:  There exist Orthodox shuls that only allow men to be full
>members of the congregation, and they defend the practice by saying that
>it is required by Orthodoxy.

I doubt that there is a halachic source that prohibits women from being
full voting members of synagogue boards, because if there were, than
we'd have many shuls being in violation of halacha.  At my shul we have
previously had a woman as vice president, and if she ever wanted to be
president I'd vote for her.

(OTOH, I did once hear a rabbi say that the president of a shul has to
be a man, because the president in some ways is like the King of Israel
who had to be a King and not a Queen.)

"This msg brought to you by:  NEIL EDWARD PARKS"


End of Volume 18 Issue 69