Volume 23 Number 49
                       Produced: Mon Mar 18 17:39:07 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Anonymous's Request on Firing a Rabbi
         [Jonathan Meyer]
Esther Miriam Frimer o.b.m.
         [Martin Stern]
Firing Rabbis
         [Perry Zamek]
Forcing a Get
         [Carl & Adina Sherer]
Halacha liMoshe MiSinai
         [Micha Berger]
Kiddush on Shabbat by non-religious Jew
         [Edwin R Frankel]
         [Carl & Adina Sherer]
Performing Mitzvos Electronically
         [Moise Haor]
Psalm 97
         [David Charlap]
Slits in Skirts (2)
         [Danny Schoemann, Esther Posen]


From: Jonathan Meyer <meyerj@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 12:54:15 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re:  Anonymous's Request on Firing a Rabbi

IMHO, one's last resort is to fire (rabbi or anyone).  The better
approach is to set up a Rabbi Liaison Committee (my shul's got one).
Its mission is to receive all issues from congregants regarding the
rabbi, so he doesn't feel put upon by everyone, especially if the
problem is felt by many.

This will allow both the congregation and the rabbi to have clear
expectations on what is to happen to keep everyone happy.  The committee
often has just a few members on it, including a VP, probably not the
congregation president, and other members of the Board.  Note: my shul,
also, is small, with fewer than 100 families.  But it does have an
organization and has been in operation for nearly 40 years.

You are well advised to have regular and frequent meetings with the
rabbi to develop a shared understanding of the problems and intended
solutions and to make sure there is constant progress.

You cannot be fearful of getting a reputation of being difficult to work
with a rabbi.  If you don't communicate with him, and give him too much
latitude, THAT could hurt your reputation.

Jonathan Meyer


From: Martin Stern <MSTERN@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 96 09:32:00 CST
Subject: Esther Miriam Frimer o.b.m.

I was extremely saddened to read of the passing of Esther Miriam Frimer
o.b.m.  I knew her since my young adulthood and was always impressed by
her lovingkindness, suportiveness, vitality and just plain goodness.
She was someone who helped raise a generation of committed, caring Jews.
Despite the infirmities of the last years, the loss is overwhelming.
With both her and her life partner, Rabbi Norman Frimer za'l, gone, a
generation has passed.  We are all poorer for that loss as we were so
enriched by their presence with us over the years.  T`hei zichram

May her family be comforted in their memories which I know are so much a
part of who they are and what they do.  Hamakom ...

Moshe Stern
Winnipeg, Canada


From: <jerusalem@...> (Perry Zamek)
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996 21:41:59 +0200
Subject: Firing Rabbis

In mj v23n47, there was an anonymous posting regarding the issue of
firing rabbis, and I would like to offer some ideas.

Have members of the board, or members of the congregation whom the rabbi
respects, spoken with him, privately, and indicated the areas in which
he is not living up to the expectations? Have there been any practical
suggestions, like helping him keep a diary of meetings, shiurim, a log
of she'elot (with dates in/out, etc.), a reminder service for getting to
shiurim, etc.? Is there any reason that the rabbi should be involved at
all in financial matters? Is this his first congregation, and did his
training include organizational issues? (I assume that, if he is also
aware of the problems, he will be amenable to having help in overcoming

The congregation might also ask the following questions: Are we setting
unrealistic deadlines or expectations? (In these times, we expect
answers to our she'elot as fast as we can fax them. :-) ) Can we
dispense with the drasha *every* Shabbat, and thus allow the rabbi more
time to prepare? Are there tasks, which are currently seen as the task
of the rabbi, that could be taken over by other members of the

If the need comes to part with the rabbi (by mutual consent, if
possible), you could try to help him find a more suitable position (say,
as an assistant to an established rabbi with an established shule who
can serve as a mentor and foster his growth). At the same time, this
would avoid the image of a "bad" community.

I offer these ideas as an outsider, and wish you all the courage and
strength to resolve the problems "be'darchei noam" (through
pleasantness) in a way that reflects well on all of you.

Perry Zamek   | A Jew should live his life in such a way
Peretz ben    | that people can say of him: "There goes
Avraham       | a living Kiddush Hashem".


From: Carl & Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 00:11:09 +0200
Subject: Forcing a Get

Perry Zamek writes:

>4. Under what circumstances can or should a Bet-Din require a husband to
>give a Get? Is this possible in the US? Israel? 

The problem is that if the Beit Din "requires" the husband to give a Get
then the Get is "meuseh" (forced) and is invalid.  The Gemara says (I don't
have a cite unfortunately) that much like certain sacrifices the rule is
"kofin oso ad sheyomar rotze ani" (he is forced until he says 'I want to').
Unfortunately, the Beit Din's ability to "force" today is quite restricted.  
In some States in the United States (notably New York) there is a Get law
which states that no one may receive a *civil* divorce unless s/he has first
removed all obstacles that might prevent the other spouse from remarrying.
Since I have been out of New York for some time now, I don't know whether or
not this law has been tested for and withstood constitutional scrutiny (I
have serious doubts whether it could withstand a constitutional challenge
under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment but this list is not
the place for that discussion).

In Israel, the Beit Din does have the power to jail husbands who do not give
their wives Gittin.  In some cases it has been successful, in other cases
this has not been successful.  To the best of my knowledge, the power to
jail the husband is not used very frequently.  One thing that generally
*does* happen here is that both spouses' passports are confiscated on
commencement of a divorce proceeding so as to prevent either of them from
fleeing the country.

-- Carl Sherer

Carl and Adina Sherer


From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 06:29:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Halacha liMoshe MiSinai

My point about Halacha liMoshe miSinai is NOT that ALL such mitzvos
are diRabbanan. The overwhelming majority are not.

Which is exactly the problem. If the phrase HlMmS refers to diOraisos,
how can the Gemara borrow the expression to stress the certainty
of a diRabbanan? Using a diOraisa term to refer to a diRabbanan
ought to be a violation of bal tosif as understood by the Rambam.

Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3255 days!
<AishDas@...>                     (16-Oct-86 -  5-Oct-95)
<a href=news:alt.religion.aishdas>Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed</a>
<a href=http://haven.ios.com/~aishdas>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


From: <frankele@...> (Edwin R Frankel)
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 1996 10:25:23 -0700
Subject: Kiddush on Shabbat by non-religious Jew

>Hi. I would like to know what's the halacha if a non-religious Jew makes
>kiddush on Shabbos are you aloud to be yotzeh or not?

Two things are troublesome to me in this question.

1) Since when is it anyone's concern how religious another may be?  After
all, are we not bidden to judge one another l'chaf zechut (leniently)

2) It would seem that it is the mitzvah that is the concern, not the person
to perform it.

The question just seems inappropriate.

Ed Frankel


From: Carl & Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 00:11:12 +0200
Subject: Mazinkin

A.M. Goldstein writes:

>I would like to know all and everything about the "krenzel tanz," done
>when the last child is married off.  Who participates, any special
>music, can it be done before sheva brachot, what customs, practices,
>etc. (even prohibitions?), attend this dance, which is also known by
>another name (which I forget--something like "meiziken," but I may be
>way off).  Need this information quickly as wedding I am going to is
>this Wednesday, if all's well, and I'll be leaving my office by one
>p.m. Haifa time.

Unfortunately this is a bit late, but my wife is the youngest of five
children (bli ayin hara) and was the last to get married, and we did the
mazinkin at our chasuna.  My in-laws sat in the middle of a circle which was
made up of my wife and me, her siblings and their respective spouses and
those grandchildren who were old enough to attend the wedding.  We were
arranged such that everyone was holding hands with their own spouse and/or
with a small child (I think some extra small children were added so that
there would be enough to cover everyone) and/or with members of the same
sex. My wife's aunt decorated my mother-in-law's sheitel with flowers.
Unfortunately, I don't remember what music was played - it was towards the
end of the wedding (but before Sheva Brachos) and I was worn out from
dancing by then :-)

Carl Sherer
Carl and Adina Sherer


From: Moise Haor <pp002129@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 96 01:07:51 PST
Subject: Performing Mitzvos Electronically 

Can a mitzvah be performed electronically? Can a shaliach
(representative) be appointed by email? Is tcp/ip and non-guaranteed
email enough chazakah (assumption) to be used in mitzvos that apply to
the object (and do not require the "person" to perform the mitzvah

This questions apply to Sell-Your-Chametz web pages at

Which other mitzvahs can be performed with a shaliach? And how can we
contribute to transform technology into mitzvahs?

Name: Moise Haor              E-mail: <pp002129@...> 
A Happy and Kosher Pesach ... and remember:
"Dust is not chometz and a husband is not Korban Pesach"


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 96 11:00:11 EST
Subject: Re: Psalm 97

Stan Tenen <meru1@...> writes:
>Just before the (Ashkenaz) chazzan's part, Psalm 97 says:
>"For You, HaShem, are supreme above the earth; exceedingly exalted above
>all powers."  (Artscroll Ashkenaz Siddur, p.310-311.)  The Hebrew word
>translated "powers" is actually Elokim.
>Is there a traditional teaching of how and why this is so? I am NOT
>interested in the standard, apologetic, explanation that Elokim can
>refer to powers in general (or any other easy out.)  The sense of the
>verse is clearly that HaShem is "exalted" over Elokim.

I don't see the "standard" explanation as apologetic.  You make it seem
like the verse really refers to other gods and that we're making up the
explanation for the benefit of others.

That's not the case.  "Elokim" ALWAYS refers to powers.  The fact that
it is often used euphamisticly to refer to God doesn't change that fact.
For example, a better translation of the beginning of most brachot would

	"Baruch ata hashem elokeinu..."
	Blessed are you, God, who is our power...

(I realize that I'm using the common, and inaccurate, translation of
"Baruch" here.)


From: Danny Schoemann <dannys@...>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 23:23:52 +0200
Subject: Slits in Skirts

> In v23n44 Tehilla Weinberg writes:
> >Is anyone familiar with a Halchic source(s) discussing the possible
> >prohibition of wearing slits in skirts (even if the slit is below the
> >knee)?  I am wondering if this is a Halachic concept, a Geder to avoid
> >transgressing other prohibitions, or a Chumra that some have accepted
> >upon themselves.  Is there something fundamentally wrong with wearing a
> >slit (or is it OK if it only exposes the leg below the knee)?  Any
> >information would be EXTREMELY appreciated.

I recall the Bostoner Rebbe shlita in Har Nof speaking on the subject (a
while ago). He had 2 points, if I recall correctly:

The slit was 'invented' by 'Paris' & other fashion centers for the
purpose of attracting attention.

1) Jews don't let 'Paris' dictate what they wear.

2) A 'kosher' slit is a reminder of the treife slit, and no Jewish lady
would want to have anything to do with a teife slit or a reminder

He also mentioned that there are tailors who can sew up slits while
improving the design of the skirt - a practice he seemed to approve of.


 | | <DannyS@...> <<  Danny Schoemann  >> | |      Tower of 
 | | Ext 273               << Tel 972-2-793-723 >> | |      Babel !!

From: <eposen@...> (Esther Posen)
Subject: Slits in Skirts

Slits in Skirts

What suprises me is that the sign discussing women's modesty in dress
should be hung in a men's mikvah - a women's mikvah would seem a more
appropriate (and modest) place to put this type of sign.

I am no rebbetzin though I sew up many of my slits just to have them
tear again...  The idea behind the slit thing (i think) is that as a
woman walks wearing a slit a little game of peek-a-boo goes on as she
takes each step.  This is thougth to be provocative to men...  Knowing
what I know about men there seems to be some validitity to this claim...



End of Volume 23 Issue 49