Volume 21 Number 38
                       Produced: Wed Aug 30 21:48:43 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Attitudes toward the Non-Observant
         [M E Lando]
Baal Tefilah Self Teaching Tapes
         [Yoni Greenfield]
Blowing Shofar on Rosh Chodesh Elul
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Dina Demalkhuta Dina
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Halacha is more than morality
         [Bob Werman]
Kavanah OR minyan
         [Barry Siegel]
Noisy Shuls
         [Marc Meisler]
Wine for Havdala on Motzei Tisha B'Av
         [Carl Sherer]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 1995 21:38:13 -0400
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

Thanks to those of you who pointed out that number 36 appears to have
disappeared into the great bit-bucket. I have re-sent it out.

I would also like to thank those who when sending in their m-j
subscription contributions, also included notes about their thoughts on
mail-jewish. I really appreciate hearing from you and knowing what you
think, even if I do not get the chance to respond to each of you
individually. It's nice to hear what you like, and very useful to me to
hear what you would to see done differently.

I have a couple of thoughts that I wanted to share with you on some of
the ongoing discussions. I think the definition of Orthodoxy is a very
interesting and useful discussion, even though I basically agree with
the poster who said that the question is un-answerable. The value I see
is not in getting an answer, but rather in process of discussing what
Orthodoxy means to each of us on the list.

I would like to thank the various posters on the recent Israel related
topics who have made a clear effort to move the conversation away from
the political and move it into a direction that I at least think will
better fit the discussion we want to have on mail-jewish. I have enjoyed
postings from all sides of the issue.

There are occasional postings that come through that may violate the
guidelines. Sometimes it happens that it just slips past me, other times
there is enough that I feel warrants discussion that I will allow a
posting that has some small portion that violates the guidelines to go
in rather than send it back. Occasionally there will be a posting that
really should be rejected, but for one reason or another I may bend the
rules and let it through (although I usually regret it later on). There
may also be some postings that are skirting the edge, and I will let
them through. However, I may not allow replies that violate the
guidelines through, just because I let the first one through. While that
may not be fully fair, I also do not think that it is fair to the
readership to let another guideline violating post through, just because
I may have slipped up and let the first one through.

As we are now in the month of Ellul, I would respectfully request of all
members of the list to try and give extra consideration to how they
relate to their fellow mail-jewish subscribers in their replies and
posts. According to the Bnei Yisaschar, we are obligated to repair our
actions during the month of Tamuz, our speech during Av and this month,
our thoughts.  May we all be zocheh to a full kapparah leading to a true
state of being Tahor.

Avi Feldblum
Shamash Facilitator and mail-jewish Moderator
<mljewish@...> or feldblum@cnj.digex.net


From: M E Lando <landom1@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 1995 11:43:12 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Attitudes toward the Non-Observant

Eli Turkel discusses "Sephardim....have been more flexible in their
acceptance of the many."  I think he is drawing the wrong lessons from
history.  My friends of s'fardic and ay'dot ha'mizrach extraction point
out that in their communities there was never an organized opposition to
(for lack of a better term) orthodox practice and belief.  Thus, people
who were wavering, but not in vocal opposition, could be accepted.

In Ashkenaz, this was not true.  The reform movement was organized,
vocal and opposed to much of accepted jewish practice and thought.  In
places like Germany and Hungary the reformers gained control of the
communities and threw out the observant jews. (Remember, "orthodox" is a
19th Century term caused by their schism.)  We could not then, nor now,
accept clergy denying toras moshe and torah she'b'al peh as equivalent
to our g'dolim.  Most Ashkenaz kehillos and congregations have no
difficulty in dealing with individuals who are not shomrei mitzvot.  It
is groups that claim to be our equals, but deny our heritage that we are
excluding.  Remember, the strong opposition of the Reform movement to
Eretz Yisroel as a goal for the jewish people.(Unlike the Satmarer, and
other chasidim, their opposition was not based on the belief that
Moshiach would precede the State.)

I am not sufficiently knowledgeable to discuss Eli's points about the
Saduccees.  One important difference between them and the 19 Century
apostasy, was that the Saduccees accepted a framework of mitzvot as G-d
given.  Their dispute was over torah she'b'al peh.  The Reform movement
did not believe in Torah MiSinai either b'ksav or b'al peh.

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


From: Yoni Greenfield <sdb@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 95 15:21:00 PDT
Subject: Baal Tefilah Self Teaching Tapes

Help !!!

I just got appointed to be the Baal Tefilah for Rosh Hashana & Yom
Kippur at a local Home for the Aged.  While I normally do just fine for
Shabbat & Yom Tov I think I may be due for some somewhat *quick*
learning with regards to the Yamim Noraim (High Holy Days).

After browsing through some Jewish Music catalogs, I noticed one which
advertised some self teaching tapes "for Cantors - Baalei Tefilah" by
Cantor Abraham Davis.  They include Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur services
and are somewhat expensive.  I'm willing to spend the money but I am not
familiar with Cantor Davis or his work and, if dissatisfied, cannot
return the merchandise.

Can any mj'ers shed any light on the quality of these tapes and/or
suggest alternative self teaching tapes that I could acquire for this
purpose (and where I could get them) ?

If you would like to answer me publicly or privately, either would be

Wishing all the MJ family a Shana Tova U'mevorechet.

Yoni Greenfield
aka   <sdb@...>


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 1995 08:15:43 GMT
Subject: Blowing Shofar on Rosh Chodesh Elul

About two weeks ago, I posed a question on this forum, regarding the
custom which begins blowing the Shofar on the 2nd day of Rosh Chodesh
Elul (i.e., on the 1st day of Elul), which is the 39th day from Yom
Kippur (including Yom Kippur).

My brother-in-law, Rav Yosef Tabory, has since pointed out to me that
this question is discussed in Prof. Daniel Sperber's _Minhagei Yisrael_
(Vol. II, pp. 209-212).

As an introduction, in our times Elul is always 29 days long, while the
preceding month, Av, is always 30 days long. Of course, the 30th day of
Av is always observed as the 1st day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, while the 1st
day of Elul is the 2nd day of Rosh Chodesh Elul. (Sorry if this is
elementary for many readers ...)

Among the views quoted in Prof. Sperber's work, are the following:

a) Mizrachi states that Moshe went up to Sinai on the 29th of Av.
According to him, we have 2 days of Av (29 and 30), 29 of Elul, and 9 of
Tishrei (he does NOT include Yom Kippur in the 40!)

b) Bach says that that year Elul might have been a 30 day month
(something impossible today, now that we have a fixed calendar).

c) Maharil says that the Shofar-blowing begins on the 1st day of Rosh
Chodesh Elul (i.e., the 30th of Elul), which, plus 29 days of Elul and
plus 10 (including Yom Kippur) of Tishrei, adds up to 40.

d) The custom of the community of Worms was to start blowing from the
2nd day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, both EVENING AND MORNING, and to stop
blowing THREE days before Rosh Hashanah.

It thus follows that those who follow the custom of the Jews of Worms in
starting to blow the Shofar on the 2nd day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, simply
do not require the Shofar blowing to begin 40 days before Yom Kippur
(Prof. Sperber's conclusion).

e) Sefer Minhagim totally ignores the 40 day link. According to him, the
Shofar is blown from the 2nd day of Rosh Chodesh Elul until the day
before Rosh Hashanah, when it is not blown, giving 28 days. It is then
blown on the 2 days of Rosh Hashanah, for a total of 30 days. The reason
for this is that the verse (Ps. 81:4) states, "Blow in this month the
Shofar ..." - that the Shofar must be blown for a full month (i.e., 30

         Shmuel Himelstein
22 Shear Yashuv Street, Jerusalem, Israel
Phone: 972-2-864712; Fax: 972-2-862041
<himelstein@...> (JerOne, not Jer-L)


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 1995 11:39:12 +0000
Subject: Dina Demalkhuta Dina

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that this
concept (the law of the land is the law), which is discussed in BT
Gittin, applies to legal documents, i.e., that a document that is valid
according to the law of the land will be recognized and upheld by a beth
din (Jewish court).  I don't think it has anything to do with paying
taxes or stopping at red lights.

I'm not saying you shouldn't pay taxes or that you should pass red
lights, but I don't believe that these issues have anything to do with
"dina demalkhuta dina".

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


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Thu,  31 Aug 95 0:14 +0200
Subject: Halacha is more than morality

While there is much to value in the statement that Halacha is the source
of morality, we might be advised to avoid the identity that too easily
suggests itself.

Remember that for too many people morality is
often self-engendered and coincides with subjective
and        engendered
and perhaps ill-informed views of what is "right."

Thus, for us, halacha clearly transcends moralilty.



From: Barry Siegel <sieg@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 95 10:30:01 EDT
Subject: Kavanah OR minyan

>From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
> I too am troubled by being forced to choose between kavanh and minyan. I
> guess this says a lot about the way minyanim are run. (I guess that
> brings us back to the talking in shul thread, and even earlier, to the
> bringing your kids to shul thread.)
> ....
> So, my personal solution is to attend shul (deadlines at work
> permitting), but not to even try to keep with the minyan.

I agree with all the above and yes the pressures of everyday life
(especially weekdays) do make many Minyanim fast and faster.  However,
with all due respect, the simple solution is to come on time or even
early.  If you get a good headstart on the Chazan, there should be ample
time to Daven with Kavanah and at your own pace.

Please bear in mind that the prime aspect of Tefila B'zeibur is to Daven
Shmono Esreh together.  So I suggest that one start early enough to
Daven earlier parts with Kavanah and jointly start Shmono Esreh with the
Tzibur. Please note that I have seen other folks use this strategy.

I would hope that any LOR would be very reluctant to give a Heter 
for a person to not go to Minyan beacuse of the above reasons.
Does anyone know of any legitimate Heter to skip Minyan beacuse of the 
above reasons?

With regards to talking/noise in Shul, I surmise this is only a problem
on Shabbat/Yom Tov.  Can anyone use this excuse on weekdays for not
attending daily minyan?

Barry Siegel  HR 2B-028 (908)615-2928 windmill!sieg OR <sieg@...>


From: Marc Meisler <mmeisler@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 1995 21:56:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Noisy Shuls

Someone recently stated that this discussion was getting off of the 
halachic aspect.  I would like to bring it back again.  Rabbi Frand, in 
one of his Parsha tapes, quotes from the Taz ( I do not recall a specific 
cite) who says that someone who talks during davening should not be 
counted in a minyan.  Maybe some shuls would quiet down a little bit if 
we followed the Taz's opinion -:)

Marc Meisler                   6503E Sanzo Road   
<mmeisler@...>         Baltimore, Maryland  21209


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 95 8:01:52 IDT
Subject: Wine for Havdala on Motzei Tisha B'Av

Mechael Kanovsky writes:

> In regard to making havdalah on a tisha b'av that was postponed. Although
> the Dagul Merevava quotes the Maharil saying that one can use wine for
> havdalah, the Ramah says in the same place that one should not use alcohol
> until the next day and he too quotes the Maharil. The Aruch Hashulchan 
> based on the Ramah says that one should make havdalah on chamrah de'medina.
> I was unable to resolve this conflict and unless someone has access to the
> original Maharil it will have to stay "be'tzarich iyun".

The Mishna Brura at 556:3 does in fact quote the Maharil as brought down
by the Dagul Merevava.  In the Shaalos U'tshuvos Maharil 15:3, he states
that "Regarding drinking of Havdala wine from the beginning of Av, I have
not seen my Rabbis avoiding it.  And furthermore Rav Shmuel Shapira z"l
told me that it is permitted to bless Birkas Hamazon on a cup of wine
and to drink from it and the Maharam z"l agreed with him.  But my heart
is in doubt for it is like a neder as the Maharam held which requires
hatara [releasing] because he acted as if it were forbidden." [Question -
does this refer only to Birkas Hamazon or to Havdala? I think the Mishna
Brura held it referred only to Havdala].

In Siman 125, the Maharil brings the kulot [leniencies] of Tisha B'Av nidche
as compared to a regular Tisha B'Av, and he states that one who would 
normally fast two days for Tisha B'Av need not do so when it is deferred,
he alludes to the heter [permission] for the father of a child whose bris
is on Tisha B'Av nidche to eat, but he says that one who normally does
not normally eat meat and drink wine on Motzei Tisha B'Av should not do so
when it is nidche.  [Question - would this include Havdala and Birkas 
Hamazon which are mitzvos and which he does not mention here]?

Caveats - there is a sefer of the Maharil's minhagim which I do not own.
My conclusion CYLOR.

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


End of Volume 21 Issue 38