Volume 21 Number 22
                       Produced: Tue Aug 22  7:32:24 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chazak Chazak Halachah
         [Arthur Roth]
Havdalah After Tisha b'Av Nidchah (2)
         [Arthur Roth, Carl Sherer]
Noise in Orthodox Shuls
         [Joel Ehrlich]
Noise In Shul
         [Steve White]
Once-a-Year Brachot
         [Art Werschulz]
Rav Lau on: "Can you call up Reform clergy for an Aliya?"
         [Chaim Wasserman]
Talking During T'fillah
         [Chaim Wasserman]
Talking in Shul
         [Moishe Kimelman]
Which Challah to cut
         [Joe Goldstein]


From: <rotha@...> (Arthur Roth)
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 11:24:42 -0500
Subject: Chazak Chazak Halachah

>From Gary Fischer:
> 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 ... "

Hmm ... Gedaliah Freidenberg originally quoted the general halachah from
Rav Cohen (nothing to do with the extension to the case where the oleh
is also the ba'al korei) with the reasoning that the oleh shouldn't
(essentially) praise himself or wish himself "yeyasher kochachah".  I
later responded that Rav Schachter had brought down the same halachah,
but for the reason of a hefsek between the brachot.  Gary's anecdote
addressing the extension of this halachah to a special case also
supports only Rav Schachter's reason for the original halachah, as Rav
Cohen's reason would render it inappropriate for "Chazak" to be repeated
in the above situation even AFTER the bracha.


From: <rotha@...> (Arthur Roth)
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 10:44:03 -0500
Subject: Havdalah After Tisha b'Av Nidchah

In an earlier posting, I mentioned that Rav Eider's sefer requires
waiting until the morning after a Tisha b'Av nidchah before consuming
meat or wine.  Carl Sherer responds:

> "It is written in the Maharil that when it gets dark one blesses Boreh
> Pri Hagefen and Havdala and therefore it appears that it is permitted
> to make Havdala on wine and it appears that he may drink it himself and
> need not give it to a child [Dagul Merevava]."
> It is not entirely clear to me that the Mishna Brura is referring only to 
> the case of Tisha B'Av nidcheh, because the title of the Siman in the 
> Shulchan Aruch is "Tisha B'Av which fell on Sunday".

Thanks for pointing this out.  I was unaware of this Mishna Brura, and
Rav Eider's sefer may or may not be in disagreement with it.  Possibly,
there is a legitimate difference of opinion.  Then again, maybe the
Mishna Brura is referring only to havdalah wine (due to the mitzvah
involved) but not other wine.  After all, if there is no katan
available, he may drink the havdalah wine himself even during the nine
days, when it is clear that he shouldn't drink wine for any other
    By the way, Rav Eider provides sources for all the statements in his
sefer.  If anyone wants to know his sources for this particular matter,
I can look them up.

From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 95 21:51:00 IDT
Subject: Re: Havdalah After Tisha b'Av Nidchah

Another poster writes:
 Then again, maybe the Mishna Brura is
> referring only to havdalah wine (due to the mitzvah involved) but not other
> wine.  After all, if there is no katan available, he may drink the havdalah 
> wine himself even during the nine days, when it is clear that he shouldn't 
> drink wine for any other purpose. 
I believe this is correct and that the Mishna Brura is referring only to
Havdala and a Kos shel bracha for those who regularly say Birkas Hamazon
on a cup of wine.

-- Carl Sherer
	Adina and Carl Sherer
		You can reach us both at:


From: Joel Ehrlich <ehrlich@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 09:02:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Noise in Orthodox Shuls

> >From: Mordechai Perlman <aw004@...>
> Secondly, and this is a more metaphysical reason.  When people go to a 
> proper shul, the Yetzer Horo is at work there, trying to get them to 
> sin.  So he puts all his energy into making them committ this heinous 
> crime of talking in shul during Krias hatorah, Chazoras Hashatz, and 
> Kaddish.  he utilizes the reasons above to make it attractive.  However, 
> in a temple the Yetzer Horo has them where he wants them already, all he 
> has to do is provide some entertainment to keep them there.  

This is uncalled for.  It's unfair to assume that that in a case where
someone chooses to go to a C or R synagogue on Shabbat (as opposed to
going to the movies, or whatever -- going to an O shul is not a real
option) that the yetzer hora is victorious.  If anything, these people
are overcoming their yetzer hora, because they come in purely out of
desire to be there and worship Hashem.  There is very little sense of
wrongdoing or fear of punishment in the Reform community if one doesn't
come to shul, so people must show up without the benefit of guilt
motivation. It is inappropriate and offensive for these pot-shots at
Reform to continue as justifications for Ortho misbehavior -- espcially
since we seem to agree that the Reform standard of decorum is better.

I've been to my fair share of noisy Reform services too.  In all cases,
R,C, and O, there are two kinds of people: those who are there because
they want to daven, and those who are there for social reasons (or who
feel compelled to attend but have no real desire to daven).  In all
cases, the first group is quiet by nature, and the second group is prone
to make noise if the opportunity presents itself (parents, gabbiim,
fellow congregants, and the synagogue layout may attenuate the
opportunities).  I have yet to encounter an exception to this rule.

Joel Ehrlich                         \           <ehrlich@...>
Department of Biochemistry             \              Home: (718) 792-2334
Albert Einstein College of Medicine      \                 Lab: (718) 430-3095


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 1995 15:18:09 -0400
Subject: Noise In Shul

I'm wondering if we haven't gotten to the point of a moratorium on this
subject.  Mr. Richard Friedman's satiric take on this leads me to the
belief that we are no longer really covering halachic issues relevant to
this discussion, but mostly devolving into inappropriate criticism of
fellow Jews.
 (Note: we have legitimately covered halachic issues here.  I just think
we haven't lately.)  It's hard to admit, but perhaps we should just
admit that we have something to learn from our less-yet-observant
brethren here and leave it at that.

Having said that, I am going to put in an appeal to the one "official"
who hasn't been named yet here, the shaliach tzibbur (prayer leader,
roughly the same as cantor).  As a frequent shaliach tzibbur, I simply
do not go on with my davening until the shul is quiet.  This is my rule
no matter where I am, whether at home (OK -- my shul, the same one our
moderator davens at, is quiet) or a guest in someone else's shul.  The
most it ever takes is three stops to keep the congregation quiet.  And
if I ever hear a word about it afterwards, that word is always positive,
because it is the right thing to do.  If the sh'lichei tzibbur would not
put up with talking, talking wouldn't happen.  Period.

Steve White

PS -- Sh'lichei tzibbur should also daven at a moderate speed, should
pronounce each word distinctively, and should be sensitive to their
congregations' needs.  These things also help keep people from being
distracted.  But all this is an entirely separate issue that doesn't
really need to distract this forum.


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 09:05:08 -0400
Subject: Once-a-Year Brachot


When I had first heard this one [a couple of years ago, at a Seudah
Shleesheet] , the answer was that there were only four such brachot
outside of Eretz Yisrael: Yom Kippur lights, nachem, al biur chametz,
and the tree-bracha.  Interestingly enough, I have never had the
opportunity to make the last one in this list, since

(1) I wouldn't know a fruit tree in bloom from poison ivy, and
(2) Even if I *did* know, I probably wouldn't have a siddur with me at
    the time I would first see such a plant.

For a boy who had a horse farm on his paper route (I grew up in
Louisville, KY), I guess I'm not much of a naturalist.

As Joseph Rapps (<jr@...>) pointed out, #5 (harav et rivenu) is
done at both the night-time and the morning Megilla reading (at least
according to all the siddurim that I can lay hold of, and based on my
past experience).  Maybe this got confused with an acrostic piyyut
(Asher Heini) that is recited after the night-time Megilla reading.

I wonder if we can fine-tune the list a little further.  The Yom Kippur
shacharit bracha ("ha-poteach aha'arei rachamim") mentioned as #6 on the
list is really the once-a-year modification of the usual opening of the
long bracha, usually referred to as "the first bracha before kriat
shema".  [Here, a "long" bracha is one that begins and ends with a
"Baruch atah ..." phrase; the starting phrase (usually?)  mentioning
shem v'malchut, the concluding phrase omitting it.  A short bracha is
not of this form.]  Usually this bracha starts "yotzer or u-vorei
choshech"; it always ends with "yotzer ha-me-orot"; on YK, it merely
starts differently.

FWIW, if you want to count #6, you probably should count the YK haftarah
closing as also being in the category, by reasons of symmetry.  OTOH, I
would still keep "nachem".  Although it's "only" the [once-a-year]
closing of the Amidah's "Yerushalayim" bracha, the intersection between
the nachem variant and the usual variant seems to of pretty small

Anyway, this was a fun contest.  

Art Werschulz (8-{)} 
InterNet: <agw@...>  <a href="http:www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7061, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: <Chaimwass@...> (Chaim Wasserman)
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 1995 16:44:06 -0400
Subject: Rav Lau on: "Can you call up Reform clergy for an Aliya?"

Isaac Balbin [mj21.11] writes 
>I was shocked by the p'sak. Rav Moshe in the Igros went as far as
>saying that we should not even answer Amen to a Brocho from either a
>reform or concervative clergyman.

Is this to imply that Rav Lau has no right to see things differently
than Rav Moshe zatzal?

Then, Isaac continues to ask:
>Does anyone know what Rav Soloveichik's attitude to the above problem was?

The question is irrelevant.  I would humbly suggest that a more tachlis
kind of a pursuit would be to ask: "What is Rav Lau's attitude to the
above problem?"

To put it pointedly: (and this is Rav Soloveichik's known mandate) If
one is a rov who has examined the issues of a case then the rov should
pasken - even if there are others who disagree and/or see the problem

Just an aside: Does Isaac Balbin use liquid soap on yom tov or Shabbos?
What does Rav Moshe say about that?

chaim wasserman  


From: <Chaimwass@...> (Chaim Wasserman)
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 19:49:47 -0400
Subject: Talking During T'fillah

I have labored a long time now to try to determine which is more of a
disgrace - a shul where educated and non-educated Jews come "to daven",
on the one hand, and, on the other hand, a house of worship where Jews
come to a worship service with no mechitzah, a microphone on Shabbat and
at times an organ playing with non-Jews in a choir.

This past Shabbat I was in a very prestigeous orthodox shul where the
majority of members are way above the average level of Torah leaning as
well as wordly wisdom. I was reciting Kaddish and in the section where I
sat of about 20 men who were able to hear my Kaddish only one, I saw,
barely managed to respond. The same situation existed with "Amen" after
the b'rachot of the chazzan.

So, I wonder, which is the greater "chillul Hashem" - disregard for
halachah out of ignorance or out of a sense of preoccupation with more
"important" things. Which is the more dastardly: act of omission or of
commision? And of what was Yeshayahu (Isaiah) lamenting in the very
first of his prophetic messages ("Mi bikesh zot mi'yedchem?....) those
Jews who knew no better when they came to worship G-d or those who knew
better but had this cocked-sure air about them that they were G-d's gift
to the world?

Over 25 years ago, when I made it my crusade in life to have the talking
stop in the shul in which I davened, I first heard this odious
"homecoming" explanation for talking in shuls from a distinguished
member of the shul.  What a horrible distortion of the opening b'rachah
we recite as we enter shul: Ma tovu ohalecha Yaakov, mishk'nosecha
Yisrael." Couldn't this situation be the most likely reason for the
Vilna Gaon counselling his wife and daughter not to go to shul?  At
times I find myself talking to myself "What a pity that the men aren't
able to have such leeway!"

In no way can I ever sanction the anti-halachic arrangement of so-called
conservative and reform temples. While I understand how worthy people
forcefully resist ever entering such a building under any circumstances,
I wonder if G-d would enter the kind of shul with a constructed concrete
barrier to halachically divide the men from the women but where ten
sophisticated, educated men were too busy to stop their conversation to
respond to one saying Kaddish with a robust (or even feeble)
"Amen. Yehay sh'may rabba m'vorach l'olam u'le'olmay olmayo.

Chaim Wasserman   
Young Israel of Passaic-Clifton


From: <kimel@...> (Moishe Kimelman)
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 1995 13:36:08 +1000
Subject: Talking in Shul

Just an interesting point about talking in shul.  The Imrei Emet z"l, is
alleged to have said that the reason Hitler's destructive forces had very
little effect in Sefardic countries was because they do not talk in shul.

Unfortunately, over the years, many of them seem to have learnt our
(Ashkenazim's) bad habits.


From: Joe Goldstein <vip0280@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 95 20:18:59 
Subject: Which Challah to cut

Micha Berger "Half" remembered a gemmorah in Sanhedrin, perek Chelek
where Menashe asked "Do you know WHERE to cut the challah?" Not which
challah to cut. when the Tanna said he did not know he was told to cut
it from the place where it gets brown.  I remember hearing that there is
a question of where THAT (The place where the Challah gets brown) is. On
the top of the challah or the bottom.  Therefore, there are people that
cut the challah on the side, that way both the top and bottom are cut



End of Volume 21 Issue 22