Volume 21 Number 09
                       Produced: Wed Aug 16 22:53:29 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chazak, Chazak Halacha
         [Gary Fischer]
Decorum in Shul
         [Rich Kruger]
Hazak, Hazak
         [Shalom Carmy]
Kohanim Going to the Grave of a Tzaddik
         [Chaim Stein]
         [Art Kamlet]
Relative noise in O shul's
         [Micha Berger]
Surrender to evil
         [Warren Burstein]
Talking in shul
         [Kenneth Posy]
The Ohel of the Rebbe
         [Rachel Rosencrantz]


From: Gary Fischer <gfis@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 95 11:59:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Chazak, Chazak Halacha

Prof. Lehman states in Ariel Burton's name that the implication of Rav
Coen's p'sak (halachic decision) is that the ba'al koreh (torah reader),
if he gets the final aliyah, should not repeat Chazak ... .

I can offer anectdotal support for this.  Last year on Simchat Torah,
our rabbi, who was also the ba'al koreh, was given the last aliya of
Devorim (the book of Deuteronomy).  After the congregation said "chazak
 ... " he made the b'racha (blessing) said by the oleh (one called up)
after reading the torah, and THEN he repeated "Chazak ... "  I remember
this because we were getting ready to sing after his b'racha, and he
gestured to us to wait until after he said "chazak ... "

Gary Fischer, MD
University of Pittsburgh
(412) 647-4584


From: <Rpkruger@...> (Rich Kruger)
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 1995 21:18:39 -0400
Subject: Decorum in Shul

Sam Lightstone suggests that the reason there's more decorum in Reform and
Conservative shuls than in Orthodox ones is that people in O shuls attend
much more frequently and, therefore, feel more at home and act accordingly.

There may be something to this idea, but I think there is something else at
work, as well.  People who attend Reform and Conservative shuls, and the
rabbis who preside over them, tend to be more assimilated.  In America, that
means they have adopted the manners of society at large, which is heavily
Anglo-Saxon.  Anglo-Saxon culture favors decorum and good manners not only at
religious services but in most public gatherings. Compare British passengers
on an airline  with Israelis on El Al.   Just as our Protestant neighbors are
well-behaved at their church services, so those Jews most acculturated to
America behave best in shul.   Reform Judaism, moreover, began in Germany,
which is big on Discipline, and the early Reformers quite deliberately
adopted certain features of Germany's Lutheran Church.  Decorum was one such
feature.  Our Orthodox shuls no doubt are more reflective of  East European
shuls of old, which were not  greatly affected  by Germanic culture, and even
less so by Anglo-Saxon culture.     (Incidentally, this shows that not all
assimilation is bad.)

Rich Kruger


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 1995 22:17:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Hazak, Hazak

New Bar Ilan Yearbook (vol. 26-7) contains Y. Spiegel, AMIRAT HAZAK
VE-YISHAR KOAH (343-370)

According to Spiegel's research (p. 349 n.26, & 356-7, nn 60-63) Poskim
oppose the Oleh himself saying "hazak..." with the exception of some
traditions in Habad.

Note 63, however, records a recent book (ORHOT RABBENU BAAL KEHILLOT
YAAKOV, by R. Yeshaya Horowitz) according to which the Steipler did say
"hazak". He also cites Yabbia Omer I, O.H. 9, who ruled that saying
"Emet Toratenu haKedosha" before the concluding brakha, does not
constitute an interruption (hefsek).


From: <Chaimstein@...> (Chaim Stein)
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 1995 16:21:39 -0400
Subject: Kohanim Going to the Grave of a Tzaddik

Look at Ketubot 103b, where kohanim went to Rebbe's funeral, and Tosafot
there. Also see the Ramban to Bamidbar 19:2 where he gives a rationale for
the idea "tzaddikim do not become impure" and the sources quoted in Chavels'

Chaim Steinmetz


From: <ask@...> (Art Kamlet)
Date: 14 Aug 1995  10:58 EDT
Subject: Re: Procreation.

<belenkiy@...> (Ari Belenkiy) writes:
>>Be Fruitful was also given to Jacob specifically.
>I have problem with the last statement.
>The 4th rule of Rabbi Ishmael "klal ufrat" says that if a general rule
>is limited by specification it is applied only to this specific case.
>And if you say that such a specification should immediately follow a
>general rule then why did Hashem waste His words at the second time?

The phrase, in one form or another, occurs several times.  First as a
blessing to the fish and fowl. Later to Adam.  Never to the animal,
which Rashi explains by saying the animal deserved the blessing but
because of what G-d would do to the serpent, the blessing was withheld.

Later Noah receives these words twice; Rashi explains once as a command
and once as a blessing.

And Jacob receives these words; Be Fruitful is given to Jacob.

This commandment is not considered to be one of the 7 laws of Bnai
Noach, yet it is a law given to Jacob and his decendents.  In fact, this
law is not given at Sinai.


Yet I am puzzled, so I ask more questions.

As Reb Tevya says, "On the other hand (there's always an other hand)"
the Sefer HaChinuch lists the commandment of Be Fruitful given to Adam
as being given only to Jews.  The explanation as I understand it is from
Sanhederin (59a): "All mitzvot that were given to Bnai Noah and repeated
at Sinai apply to both Jews and non-Jews.  Those mitzvahs given to Bnai
Noah but not repeated at Sinai were given only for Jews."

I look again at the last sentence: how many mitzvot were given to Bnai
Noah but not repeated at Sinai?  Is this rule in Sanh. 59a custom-made
for "Be Fruitful" alone?  Is it a general rule or, if Be Fruitful is the
only command given to Bnai Noah and not repeated at Sinai, it it really
a specific rule which applies to no other command?

Art Kamlet   AT&T Bell Laboratories, Columbus   <a.s.kamlet@...>


From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 1995 08:35:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Relative noise in O shul's

I thought of four reasons Orthodox shuls are noisier than their
Conservative or Reform counterparts:

1- Familiarity. Sam Lightstone explained this one well.

2- The difference between a "shul" and a "house of worship".  To the Jew
there is not supposed to be any clear line between worship and the rest
of life. While this is positive, in that every act can be an act of
worship, it also means that the observant Jew has no psychological
barrier stopping him from taking the outside world into shul with him.

This also may be why Orthodox are less consistent about the physical
beauty of the shul. The shul is part of the world, not an escape from
it. While Reform feels a need to produce a room that projects an aura, a
feeling, Orthodoxy defines tephillah as a projection of the feelings we
are trying to maintain all day.

3- Historical. Reform, when they introduced a drive for quiet in the
Temple, used the word "decorum". Orthodoxy saw the notion of decorum
part of their innovation in recasting the synagogue in the Protestant
image (silent devotion and the like). It was seen as including not only
talking on extraneous matters, but also on loud prayer. Orthodoxy
resisted the idea of "decorum". This ties in very closely to #2, since
the idea of a house of worship is also a Protestant import.

4- Orthodox Jews are not particularly religious. By this I mean that
we've gotten so used to thinking about halachah, Hashem and the big
picture, the purpose of halachah, are often forgotten.

Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3208 days!
<aishdas@...>                     (16-Oct-86 - 15-Aug-95)
<a href=news:alt.religion.aishdas>Orthodox Judaism:Torah, Worship, Kindness</a>
<a href=http://haven.ios.com/~aishdas>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 1995 14:46:35 GMT
Subject: Re: Surrender to evil 

Kenneth Posy writes:
>     Furthermore, on the last point, I would say yes. When, IYH,
>Mashiach comes tommorrow, the person will have to bring a korbon. Even
>if you were to hold of the heter of "tinoke shenishba bein hagoyim" and
>hold them completely irresponsible for all their actions until they
>began to be observant, I don't think that they would be exempt from a
>korban after they knew it was assur, but said "I'm not ready yet". In
>fact, I think that is probably the classic case of korban, where there
>was knowledge of the crime but not comprehension of its severity
>(shabbos, 68).

Could you direct me to the particular words on Shabbat 68 (as well as
citing the side of the page, as is customary) that is your source?  I
have always understood the "classic case" to be one where the
transgressor either forgot that the act was prohibted, or did not know
that the act was an instance of the prohibition (e.g. didn't know it
was Shabbat, didn't know the fat was "chailev" (prohibited fat)).

 |warren@         bein hashmashot, in which state are the survivors
/ nysernet.org    buried?


From: Kenneth Posy <kpposy@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 1995 00:00:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Talking in shul

Dr. Eviatar writes:
>In reply to the person who hypothesized that Conservative and Reform
>shuls are quieter than Orthodox ones because their members do not come
>as often.

     IMHO, Dr Eviatar is misinterpreting the original comment. The
analogy with a VIP's home was I don't think was based on frequency, but
on comfort level. Orthodox people feel more comfortable in shul.  It is
true that this has to do with frequency. My experience with conservative
friends, even those that religiously attend services, whenever they are
offered, only daven when they are in shul. Orthodox people daven three
times a day, quiet often at home (or in a dorm room), as well as
bentching after every meal, and brachos involving even the most mundane
activities (asher yatzar). Thus they are familiar with the liturgy, and
it often, unfortunately, becomes rote, and people loose sight of the
deeper meaning. Conservative and Reform, no matter how *religious* they
are, are far less *ritualistic* and thus are more aware of the solemnity
of a ritual occasion.
     I think that Dr. Eviatar's own observation bears this out. She
mentions that the most talking occurs on the high holidays. I think this
is because this is the most familiar ritual to those who come two days a
year. In orthodox shuls, those are the *quietest* time, because the
severity is in clear evidence. (I admit this is a stretch,
though. Another reason for the quiet on Rosh Hashana is tkiyas shofar,
and Yom Kippur, well that's just Yom Kippur).
     I would propose two other practicle reasons to explain talking in
shul. First, for many orthodox people shul is the center of their social
lives, something far less true for other groups. In fact, in Israel,
where orthodox people do not center their social lives around a "shul
community" as much, talking is also less frequent. (In chutz la'aretz,
you haven't seen your best friend for a week, and in Israel, you don't
know the person who happens to have also caught the 7:30 that particular
morning).  Another reason, is that when people frequently daven in
places outside shul, where there are many distractions and the
atmosphere is not appropriate (kitchen, office, or even airport)
appreciation for the decorum needed for davening is reduced.
     The obvious disclaimer: Talking in shul is BAD. very bad. This is
meant as an explanation, not an excuse.  If we take all our religious
responsibilities (bein adom l'makom and l'chavero; talking in shul is an
affront to both) more seriously, we wil be zocheh to have G-d take them
more seriously as well, and bring the G'ulah shleima.


From: <rachelr@...> (Rachel Rosencrantz)
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 1995 12:45:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: The Ohel of the Rebbe

> >From: Elihu Feldman <efeldman@...>
> It is my habit to visit kever avos on Tish B'av. In recent years
> (unfortunately) I follow up with a visit to the Lubavitcher Rebbe's
> Z'T'L ohel. This year I invited a friend with Lubavitch leanings to join
> me along with my wife and middle son. After initial hesitations and
> consideration my friend agreed to join us. (Note: I forgot before I
> asked that my friend was a Kohen). When we reacher the outer perimeter
> of the cemetary, my friend who is a Kohen asked that I, my son, and a
> third person join our hands around the perimeter of my friend to form an
> ohel and in this way we accompanied my friendto and from the ohel of the
> Rebbe. When I came home I told this to my older son who told me this was
> a minhag shtus. However, I asked my friend about it he said its commonly
> done for Kohanim who visit the Ohel on thebasis that the Kever of a
> Tzaddik is not m'kabel Tumah. Is this practice of making an ohel around
> a Kohen utilized by other than individuals of Lubavitch leaningswho are
> Kohanim when they visit the Rebbe? What are the halachic ramifications?

The Ohel of the Rebbe may actually be unique from most other Ohel's.
Not because of any special status of the Rebbe, but because of its
construction.  The Ohel has actually been constructed in such a manner
that there is a wall of sufficient hight between the kever's and the
place where the people stand.  Also, there is no overhang that also
overhangs the kever itself.  Thus a kohain can go into the Rebbe's Ohel.
It was constructed with this in mind.  The green fence shortly before
the ohel also serves this "separation" purpose.  Some kohanim do not
hold that rining a Kohain by holding hands is sufficient.  Instead they
will remain inside a car and be driven up to the green fence and get out
there.  The trick with driving is that you have to be careful to take a
path where the car will not drive under any overhanging trees. If you
are under a tree that is also amongst the graves it essentially puts you
in the "same room" as the grave, which is a problem for Kohanim.  I
think the back fence offers the easiest route to the ohel that avoids
the trees.  My husband has driven several kohanim there, and the route
is sometimes challenging depending on the location of the other cars on
the streets.



End of Volume 21 Issue 9