Volume 23 Number 53
                       Produced: Sun Mar 24 20:51:40 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Forcing a Get
         [Avraham Husarsky]
Megilla reading and the definition of hearing
         [Elhanan Adler]
Mordechai and kollelim
         [Eli Turkel]
More on Kreunzel Tanz
         [Diane M. Sandoval]
Rabbis in Small Kiruv Positions
         [Steve White]
         [Carl & Adina Sherer]
Syracuse Triple Play Plus! Hebrew
         [Michael J Broyde]
         [Cheryl Hall]
Temple Menorah
         [Barry S. Bank]


From: <hoozy@...> (Avraham Husarsky)
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 96 20:18:46 msk
Subject: Forcing a Get

>From: Carl & Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
>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').
>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.

The israeli batei din use the power to jail very rarely, if at all.
they will basically never use it or order the husband to give a get, if
the wife put in a claim in civil court, unless the case involves
physical violence.  according to a lawyer i spoke to, in his ten years
of practice the bais din ordered a get in only one instance, which
involved physical violence.

it is my humble opinion that the whole agunah business is getting blown
out of proportion.  a true blue agunah is a woman who turns to the bais
din with good grounds for divorce and the husband then runs away or
refuses to give a get.  in any other case, especially where the secular
court system gets invloved, it all becomes a matter of negotiation, as
the court system is clearly stacked in favor of mothers.  people need to
be aware of how long a civil case can take before they embark on such a
procedure, without the authority of a heter meah rabbanim, as is
required by halachah.

to answer the specific question as to when a bais din can order a get;
there are situations listed in shulchan aruch and these are the
requirements a bais din should follow.  even if a situation is beyond
all hope of repair, as the long as neither of the parties violated one
of these situations listed in the halachah, there is no basis for
calling one of them agunah/agun if the other party says they don't want
a halachic divorce until an agreement/court judgement is finalized.

BTW, the minchas yitzchak (dayan weiss) ruled that in a case where a
woman who goes to the "ercaos" (civil courts) and then receives a get,
the get is meusa.  rav moshe argued on this claiming that child support
is a halachic obligation anyhow so by forcing the father to pay in
court, it's not meusah.  note that in the USA the couple must go to the
court anyhow, so this may be part of rav moshe's logic.  i'm not sure he
would have applied this to israel where the rabbinical court has the
same authority as the family courts.

Name: Avraham Husarsky
E-mail: <hoozy@...>, ahuz@netvision.net.il


From: Elhanan Adler <ELHANAN@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 7:42:43 +0200 (EET)
Subject: Megilla reading and the definition of hearing

Avraham Husarsky asked:

>does one fullfil their obligation if they hear a live broadcast of a 
>megillah reading on TV or radio?  i stress live, i'm not referring to a 
>tape.  if no, why would this be different than one who sits in the 
>synagogue hallway and hears the reading, or hears the reading through a 
>window?  or a microphone in the synagogue?

I recently gave a series of shiurim on this topic. Here is a brief
summary of what I found:

The crux of this question is the definition of "hearing" - does the
original acoustic energy itself have to reach me? What if it reaches me
indirectly?  (echo, etc.) and what if it is "reconstituted" (acoustic to
electrical and back to acoustic).

There are different opinions regarding the various types of sound,
starting with interpretations of the Mishnah in Rosh Ha-shanah regarding
blowing the shofar in a pit or cave and the problem of whether ones
hears "havarah" (often mistranslated as "echo" - probably closer to
"noise"). There are also opinions that this Mishnah relates to hearing
the shofar *only* and that the rules for human voice might be
different. An excellent discussion of the sugya and its physics can be
found in an article by Prof. Zeev Levi in "Noam" - v.23.

As to hearing in hallways, etc. - the general view seems to be that as
long as you are above ground (not in a basement) the sound heard in
adjoining rooms or even buildings is valid although the Mishnah Berurah
brings an opinion that someone standing outside the synagogue may not
have heard valid sounds of the shofar (siman 587, Mishnah Berurah #7).

As for "reconstituted" sound, there seems to be unanimous opinion that
sound heard from a recording is invalid, however there are different
opinions regarding "real time" sound (via radio or telephone). Harav
Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Minhat shlomo, siman #9) held this is no
different than a recording since the sound you hear is created by
electrical energy, he, however, mentions that the Hazon Ish disagreed
with him and felt that it "might" ("efshar") be valid. The Igrot Moshe
was also of this opinion (Orah hayyim 2/#108) - i.e.  that it might be
valid (but better not to rely on it). [These views also have practical
application regarding someone who cannot hear without a hearing aid -
Rav Auerbach expressed regret that according to his conclusion such a
person cannot fulfil the mitzva of shofar or megilla].

There are also differences of opinion regarding loudspeakers in a
situation where the original sound reaches you as well (Rav Ovadia Yosef
allows it but notes other opinions - Yechaveh da'at v.3 #54) and whether
one should answer "amen" when hearing a "real time" bracha or kaddish
via the radio (again - Rav Ovadia allows it but notes other opinions -
Yechaveh da'at v. 2 #68).

* Elhanan Adler                   Assistant Director                       *
*                                 University of Haifa Library              *
*                                 Mt. Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel          *
*                                 Tel.: 972-4-8240535  FAX: 972-4-8249170  *
*                                 Email: <elhanan@...>           *


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 07:18:26 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Mordechai and kollelim

    Meir Shinnar quotes a rav that brings the midrash about "ratzui
lerov echav" to prove that learning comes before saving lives.
    It seems to me that the midrash proves the opposite. First of all it
was only a minority opinion of the Sanhedrin that disapproved of
Mordechai limiting his learning to save the Jewish people. Even more
important the fact that Megillat Esther was put into the Bible proves
that the rabbis approved of Mordechai's actions. In fact the rabbis
originally objected to Esther's request to include the megilla in the
Bible and had to be convinced that it was allowed. If they felt that
Mordechai acted in the wrong manner they would not have set his example
for all generations to read.

Eli Turkel


From: Diane M. Sandoval <74454.321@...>
Date: 23 Mar 96 21:18:31 EST
Subject: More on Kreunzel Tanz

The only time that I saw the Kreunzel Tanz differed slightly from that
described at the Sherer's wedding (described in an recent issue I don't
have at hand): At the wedding I attended, the mother who had "married
off" her last child was crowned with a crown composed of flowers.  The
symbolism of the crown fit in with what I was told was the meaning of
the ceremony: honoring a woman who had accomplished the goal of raising
all her children to the chuppah.


From: <StevenJ81@...>  (Steve White)
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 1996 14:22:09 -0500
Subject: Rabbis in Small Kiruv Positions

In "mj-announce" v.2 #88, Rabbi Shlomo Grafstein writes:
>I came to Halifax with a heter
>from Rav Dovid Feinstein if I could educate the Kehillah to install
>a Mechitzah in the Orthodox Synagogue.  Since a positive response was voted
>down, I am seeking to relocate.

This brings up an interesting question for "regular" mail-jewish: Since
when is a "heter" required for a Rabbi to take a position in this type
of shul for the purpose of kiruv?

This is a serious question.  I lived in Wichita, KS, for a year, about
eight years ago.  The rabbi there at the time came straight out of YU to
Wichita, on the assumption that he'd stay until he need a Jewish
education for his kids, and then leave.  (I don't know that he "didn't"
have a heter, BTW.)

When he came (12-13 years ago, now), it was still reasonably common for
recent graduates of YU and other places to go off to a community like
Wichita, or Halifax, for a while, and then for a new young rabbi to come
take his place.  But already when he left (during 1988), the community
had a very hard time finding an Orthodox rabbi.  It finally found one,
but it didn't work out -- he was only there a year or so.  After that,
because of the difficulty of finding an Orthodox rabbi, the
traditionalists in the shul found themselves unable to hold off those
members wanting to convert the shul to Conservative -- and that's where
it is now.

It seems to me that young graduating rabbis are no longer easily willing
to go to communities like Wichita or Halifax, and I gather that at least
part of the reason is that shul practices and communities are not "frum
enough" for them.  So what happens to kiruv?  Is it better to concede
these communities to non-Orthodox movements? Shouldn't young rabbis
still be encouraged to spend some time in remote communities before they
have children?

(Or, put another way, and with all due respect to Rabbi Grafstein, whom
I do not blame a bit, don't the Jews of Halifax still need kiruv, even
if they don't have a mechitza?)

Steve White


From: Carl & Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 16:19:03 +0200
Subject: Salutations

In writing various letters to teachers for my school-age children, I note
that we use a number of different salutations depending on who is being
addressed.  When I write to a female teacher, I write "lamed, alef, yud,
tet", the abbreviation for "l'orech yamim tovim" (for long and good days)
after the name.  When I write to Rabbanim, I salute them with "shlita"
(shin, lamed, alef, yud, tet, aleph), the abbreviation for "sheyichye
l'yamim tovim v'aruchim" (he should live for long and good long days).  When
I refer to one of my sons I add the abbreviation "nun yud" for "nero yair"
(his light should shine), while when I refer to one of my daughters I write
"tichyeh" (she should live).  Finally, when I write to anyone else I write
"amush" (alef, mem, vav, shin), tha abbreviation for "ad meah v'esrim shana"
(until one hundred and twenty years - the source for this being the number
of years that Moshe Rabbeinu lived AFAIK).

Does anyone know the sources from which each of these blessings is derived
and when each one is *supposed* to be used (as well as any sources for their

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Kasher VeSameach.

-- Carl Sherer
Carl and Adina Sherer


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 22:44:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Syracuse Triple Play Plus! Hebrew

I recently saw advertised a CD-ROM called "Syracuse Triple Play Plus! 
Hebrew" that teaches one to understand read and speak modern hebrew with 
interactive games and COMIC STRIPS.  Since I have a seven year old son 
who could use some Hebrew langugue skills, I was wondering if anyone had 
seen or heard of the program and whether it got good reviews.
Michael Broyde 


From: <CHERYLHALL@...> (Cheryl Hall)
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 02:57:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Tehillim

About a month ago, I asked about traditional chants for Tehillim, and haven't
gotten any response. I'd like to recite Tehillim on a daily basis and I
assume there is an extant chant to use. Am I wrong? Does everyone kinda of
make it up as they go along? I've read in Encyclopedia Judaica that the
music associated with the "trope" marks is now unknown.

If there is a system, how does it work and how could one learn it?


Cheryl <CHERYLHALL@...> Long Beach CA USA


From: Barry S. Bank <bt492@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 1996 06:56:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Temple Menorah

With regard to the Menorah, it has been said that the appearance of the
Menorah and/or its base -- about which there is some controversy --
*CANNOT* be proven from the depiction on the Arch of Titus.  The reason
is that the Arch was built for the triumphant Titus to march through on
his return to Rome during which he was supposed to have brought the
Menorah and other Temple vessels with him.  That means that the Arch was
built before Titus arrived in Rome, and if so, how would anyone in Rome
know exactly what the Temple vessels looked like before they arrived
there?  By the same token, perhaps the depiction on the Arch is merely a
reflection of what Titus *SAID* he was bringing with him, but in the end
did not!

Years ago I read an article about Rav Goren having toured some of the
caverns under the Kotel where he saw a storeroom.  He was stopped by
representatives of the Wakf from examining this room in detail, but the
article claimed that he saw what he believed to have been the Menorah.

I have searched for this article but for the moment am unable to find 
it.  If and when I do, I will post it.

--Barry S. Bank


End of Volume 23 Issue 53