Volume 19 Number 59
                       Produced: Fri May 12 18:25:03 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Holidays in the Omer
         [Danny Skaist]
Kiddush on Yom HaAtzmaut
         [Dave Curwin]
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Sefira - Customs during the Omer
         [Yehudah Edelstein]
Sefira comments
         [Philip Ledereic]
Starting the Seder early
         [Akiva Miller]
Yom Ha'atzmaut & Sefira
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Yom HaAtzmaut (different issues)
         [Meir Shinnar]


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Thu, 11 May 95 14:24 IST
Subject: Holidays in the Omer

>Gilad J. Gevaryahu
>"Thirty-third day in the period of the counting of the Omer ("Lag"=33),
>corresponding to the 18th day of Iyyar. This day is celebrated as a
>semi-holiday, although the reason for the celebration has not been
>definitely ascertained. The reason most commonly given is that the

How about the reason that on 18th Iyyar the manna started in the midbar ?
That reason makes lag b'omer the oldest non-biblical (semi-)holiday.

>Joe Goldstein
>Therefore the period of the 3 weeks Culminating in Tisha Be'av was also
>included in that time of happiness. Does anyone think those days
>are reverting to days of happiness? Those days WILL revert when

Have you noticed that the period between Yom Ha'atzmout and Yom
Yerushalem is "three weeks".

The temple burned on the 10th of Av and that is the date that should
have been kept, but since the 1st temple was destroyed on the 9th and
since the fire was started on the 9th we keep that instead. (although
the "9" days does extend into the 10th)

The British left Israel on the 6th of Iyar.  The mandate ended at
Midnight between the 15th and the 16th.  In order to avoid Hillul
Shabbat the state was declared Friday afternoon the 5th of
Iyur. (However as the gemorra in megilot states "two rulers cannot rule
at the same time")

>From the 17th Tamuz to the 10th of Av is 23 days inclusive.
>From the  6th Iyur  to the 28th Iyyur is 23 days inclusive.

As it was destroyed [...] so shall it be rebuilt....



From: Dave Curwin <6524dcurw@...>
Date: Fri, 12 May 1995 01:01:15 EDT
Subject: Kiddush on Yom HaAtzmaut

Jerrold Landau wrote:
>However, if the Kiddush simply entails the recitation of some Psukim
>(Biblical Verses) and the making of a 'Borei Pri Hagafen' (Blessing over
>wine), which is what I believe is the case, then it is not really a
>Kiddush, but really an expression of 'lechayim' (i.e. a toast) to the
>State of Israel.  It is always permitted to recite Psukim, and it is
>generally always permitted to drink a cup of wine, so there really is
>nothing wrong with this type of Kiddush on Yom Haatzmaut (although the
>use of the term Kiddush may be a misnomer).

Without entering the debate over the legitimacy of giving formal 
praise to God for His miraculous acts over the last 50 years, I have
to disagree with Jerrold's definition of Kiddush. If "simply...some Psukim"
and "the making of a 'Borei Pri Hagafen'" does not constitute Kiddush,
then how do you explain Kiddush Rabba (the kiddush said on Shabbat day)
which also only contains psukim and 'borei pri hagafen'? 

As far as the general debate though, the basis of the customs of Kibbutz
HaDati (who first institued prayers for Yom HaAtzmaut) is in the psak
of Rabbeinu Tam, who said that customs of a community, that have been
practiced for a long time, and are of clear religious importance, like
saying hallel on Rosh Chodesh, are deserving of a bracha. Rav Goren, Rav
Elimelech Bar Shaul, and others agreed that Rabbeinu Tam's psak applies
here, and remember that "Shmuel in his generation is like Yiftach in
his generation" -- we judge our religious leaders by the times they 
live in. 

David Curwin		With wife Toby, Shaliach to Boston, MA
904 Centre St.          List Owner of B-AKIVA on Jerusalem One
Newton, MA 02159                   <6524dcurw@...>
617 527 0977          Why are we here? "L'hafitz Tora V'Avoda"


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Thu, 11 May 1995 11:19:41 +0000
Subject: Purim

Rabbi Taburi (Har Nof) pointed out to me that for whatever reason any
place keeps Purim for 2 days, the blessing for the Megillah would have
to be on the first day.  I previously thought that those places (such as
certain congregations in Har Nof and Mevassereth) who did so would say
the blessings on the 2nd day, since the doubt is not whether the city
(Jerusalem) was walled, but whether or not they are part of Jerusalem.
The problem, however, with saying the blessings on the second day is
that you've already fulfilled the commandment of reading (even if only
bedi `avad [after the fact]), so you can't make a blessing after doing
the commandment.

Lon Eisenberg   Motorola Israel, Ltd.  Phone:+972 3 5659578 Fax:+972 3 5658205


From: <yehudah@...> (Yehudah Edelstein)
Date: Wed, 10 May 1995 21:53:36 +0200
Subject: Sefira - Customs during the Omer

 In previous postings it has been mentioned that Yom Haatzmaut conflict
with the days of morning (5th of Iyar), by all customs.
 Looking in the Shulchan Aruch (493), one does not find (I didn't find),
any mention of M O U R N I N G. It says that it is customary not to
marry during the OMER (different customs for which days) due to the
death of 24000 students of Rabbi Akiva. Also it is a custom not to get
haircuts during 32 (33) days. No mention of mourning, but rather the
Mishne Brura adds, (493:1:2) it is not befitting to have a lot Simcha,
nevertheless when one has an opportunity to say SHEHECHEYANU, it should
be said.
 Mistakenly people apply all the restrictions of the 3 weeks to the Omer
days.  in the Shulchan Aruch (551) it says one should have less Simcha,
less business, and no weddings or engagement parties (during the Omer it
is permisable). The restrictions building up from the 17th of Tamuz,
until the 9th of Av, all reminding us customs of mourning. One should
refrain from Shehecheyanu or atleast postpone it until Shabbat.
 In conclusion I understand that Chazal want us to remember what
happened to 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva, but not to make it a period
of mourning as the 3 weeks. The question is only can one have dancing
and music on the 5th of Iyar, and what about haircuts. Some rabbis allow
it while others not.

Yehudah Edelstein "<yehudah@...>" Raanana, Israel


From: Philip Ledereic <ledereic@...>
Date: Thu, 11 May 95 0:37:17 EDT
Subject: Sefira comments

I thought I would share a thought I had about sefira.

We mourn the deaths of 24,000 Talmidim (students) of Rabbis Akiva during
this time, because their deaths occured now.  The reason given for their
deaths is that they were not careful to treat each other with respect.

It may be that they did not learn their studies from their teacher too
well.  It was Rabbi Akiva who said on the Pasuk (Torah phrase) Vahavta
lireacha kamocha.  Love you neighbor as yourself - his comment was ze
klal gadol batorah, this is a big rule in the Torah.  If they would have
only learned before it was too late...  (& if we could learn a lesson
from them not to hate one another before it is too late & have history
repeat itself...),



From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Fri, 12 May 1995 03:48:29 -0400
Subject: Re: Starting the Seder early

In MJ 19#52, Yehudah Edelstein asked about beginning the seder before dark,
and compared it to both Shabbos Kiddush, and to saying nighttime Shma.

>On a regular Friday night, especially on summer nights in the U.S.,
>U.K., Sweden, Israel, the Shabbos is ushered in earlier, before Shkiya
>(sunset), 1 1/4 hour (rabbinical hour) and Kiddush is made. The only
>problem is to repeat the full Shema after nightfall. Kiddush and eating
>Matzah Pesach night, why should it be different. The Kiddush at least
>is not less required than Kiddush Friday night (this year it
>coincided). The Matzah eating is also obligatory from the Torah (even
>today), why can't one start before sunset?

One of my rebbeim used to say that if you can phrase the question the
right way, it will be half-answered already. In this case, I would
phrase it like this: "Why is it that Shabbos Kiddush may be said early,
but Shma must be said after dark, and how does the Seder fit in?"

The answer, I believe, is that Kiddush is dependent on the calendar,
while Shma depends on the time of day. Once Shabbos begins, Kiddush may
be said, even though the sun has not yet set. But one cannot say Shma
simply because Shabbos has started. The Torah says "when you lie down
and rise up" -- Shma must be said at bedtime (i.e., anytime after dark).

How does the Seder fit this pattern? The first tendency is to consider
it calendar-based. That is true, but incomplete. Shemos (Exodus) 12:8
teaches us: "You will eat the meat on that *night*. You will eat it with
matza and maror." And as the Hagada explains, "One might think [that the
mitzva of telling the story of the Exodus could be done] during the day,
but the Torah says, "[HaShem acted for me when I left Egypt] because of
this". But "Because of this" does not make sense unless the matza and
maror are in front of you."

So you see that *according* *to* *the* *Torah* the mitzvos of eating the
Pesach sacrifice, matza, maror, and telling the story, may all be done
only at night. So why can't Kiddush be earlier? The Mishna Brura (472:4)
explains that since Kiddush is one of The Four Cups, the rabbis felt it
best for one halacha to apply to all the mitzvos of the seder, that it
should not start before the night. [I think this is a good example of
where the rabbis tried to make something simple and uncomplicated, and
we just don't appreciate it.  They make a simple rule that no part of
the seder should start until dark, and we go looking for loopholes. Take
a look at many of the "protective" laws. They were not meant to be a
burden, but as a simple way of avoiding problems.]

Akiva Miller


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Thu, 11 May 1995 00:43:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Yom Ha'atzmaut & Sefira

Yom Yerushalayim is a commemoration of the saving of the lives of 2 
Million Jews who would have been killed had Israel lost the Six Day War. 
Also, Jerusalem was liberated and for the first time in almost 2000 years 
any Jew in the world (who could leave where he was freely) was free to 
worship in Jerusalem. Yom Ha'atzmaut commeorates the establishment of a 
Jewish government in Israel for the first time in 1900 years. This 
government -- for the first time in 1900 years -- gave EVERY Jew in the 
world the right to move to Israel. Both days are days commemorating great 
miracles. As such they are days 'upon which miracles occurred to all (or 
most) of the Jewish people' -- which gain the status of a semi-Yom Tov 
from the days of old...(i.e., days upon which miracles occur to Bnei 
Yisrael become Yomim Toviv (Semi) not because of a new takana but because 
this was the way things were all along. In addition there are MANY 
Gedolim who say that Music is allowed on Yom Ha'atzmaut. (By Yom 
Yerushalayim Sefirah is over according to 99% of Ashkenazim in Israel -- 
so it was never an issue for me). Shaving on Yom Ha'atzmaut (for those 
who do not shave during sefirah ) is a separate issue...

If you want to stop and think OBJECTIVELY -- Yom Yerushalayim seems to
be a far greater day than Purim -- (1) More Jewish lives were probably
saved (2) We got something (3) We were better off at the end than at the
beginning (Remember, in the case of purim at the end of the story the
Jews are still under the domain of a Non-Jewish king who refuses to
allow the temple to be rebuilt...) This is arguable -- I just wanted to
make a point that if you start poking at YY -- it can become very easy
to poke at Purim as well...

    | | ___  ___  ___ _ __ | |__      Joseph Steinberg
 _  | |/ _ \/ __|/ _ \ '_ \| '_ \     <steinber@...>
| |_| | (_) \__ \  __/ |_) | | | |    http://haven.ios.com/~likud/steinber/
 \___/ \___/|___/\___| .__/|_| |_|    +1-201-833-9674


From: <meir@...> (Meir Shinnar)
Date: Thu, 11 May 95 12:40:27 -0400
Subject: Yom HaAtzmaut (different issues)

With regard to the discussion of Yom HaAtzmaut that falls on Friday or
Shabbat, R. Shlomo Goren, zt"l, held that the tefilot should not be
nidcheh, and should be said on 5 Iyar (in Torat HaShabbat veHaMoed, he
has an article just on the history and halakha of Yom Hatzmaut and Yom
Yerushalaim shenidcheh).
   I do not know to what extent his position is followed. 

It was said that the date of Yom Haatzmaut was set by the Knesset, and
therefore lacks religious authority. Both R. Goren zt"l and R. Herzog
zt"l were closely involved with the establishment of the dates of Yom

With regard to the issue of the 33 days of sefira, I fail to see why
that is a problem.  After all, according to many, including (by hearsay)
Rav Soloveichik zt"l, sefira has a din of shloshim(thirty days of
mourning).  Pesach counts for shloshim just as, according to some
minhagim, chol hamoed and the last days of pesach, counts for sfira.
Some reasons are that one anyway keeps the prohibition of cutting the
hair on Hol Hamoed.  However, I know of no one who argues against a
public celebration with music on Hol Hamoed.  Thus, one could argue that
perhaps one shouldn't get a haircut on Yom Haatzmaut, even though he
celebrates in other ways.  However, there is no reason for adding an
additional day to sfira.

Finally, there has been much discussion on the appropriate way to
celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut - Hallel with/without a bracha, Psuke Dzimra, no
Tahanun, etc.  I would like to add one more point.  There is ample
precedent, from the Crusades and gzerot tatnav (1648 persecutions), for
the institution of prayers to celebrate the salvation of a community, or
to mourn the destruction of one.  People who refused to celebrate were
indicating that they were not part of the community.

Thus, one can debate the propriety of a variety of specific aspects of
the Yom Haatzmaut celebration (e.g., Hallel with or without a bracha).
However, the refusal to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut springs from the
rejection of the theological significance of the State of Israel.  These
are the true apikorsim, in the strict halachic sense of the word. That
is, on a fundamental level, they deny divine intervention in this world
(Rambam, Hilkhot Tshuva).

That is why Rav Kahaneman zt"l threw the bachurim who said Tahanun on
Yom Haatzmaut out of Ponevetz. The Satmar position, that Yom HaAtzmaut
is from the Sitra Achra(devil), while repulsive, at least acknowledges
the religious significance of Yom HaAtzmaut.  No one who is part of
Knesset Israel can view the reestablishment of Jewish sovereignity in
Eretz Israel as a religiously neutral event.  I would add that we should
put our mouths (in terms of what hechsherim are accepted) and
pocketbooks (in terms of the institutions that are supported) in support
only of institutions that are truly yere shamaim and part of Knesset

Meir Shinnar


End of Volume 19 Issue 59