Volume 24 Number 42
                       Produced: Fri Jun 14  7:24:08 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Answering AMEN to radio
         [Elhanan Adler]
Bnei Noach
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Chofetz Chaim/Taryag mitzvos
         [Barak Greenfield]
Errors in Tefilla
         [Eli Turkel]
Hearing Aids on Shabbos
         [Linda Katz]
I brake for...
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
         [Arnold Samet]
Shiduchs and Why Leshon harah is so hard to Keep
         [Russell Hendel]
Simple Meaning
         [Stan Tenen]
Study of Rav Hirsch
         [Steve Bailey]


From: Elhanan Adler <ELHANAN@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1996 7:34:40 +0300 (EET-DST)
Subject: Answering AMEN to radio

Further to the question of Amen on the radio:

>From: David Mescheloff <meschd@...>
>In Shabbat BeShabbato Number 531 (18 February 1995) it was reported that
>the view of Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu Shlita on this question is that one
>should not answer Amen (and one does not fulfil any obligation that may
>be fulfilled through hearing someone else) upon hearing a bracha or the
>megilla reading over the radio, the tv or the telephone.  

Rav Ovadia Yosef (Yehaveh da'at v.2 #68) discusses answering AMEN for
kaddish and 13 midot for selihot heard over the radio (in real time, not
a recording).  His bottom line is yes, you should answer, but you cannot
fulfill a mitzvah (megilla, kiddush, etc.) that way.

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


From: Shimon Lebowitz <lebowitz@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 1996 20:49:47 +0300
Subject: Bnei Noach

someone recently asked about contacting an organization of 'bnei noach'
(non jews committed to keeping the Torah's requirements of them, the 7
mitzvot given to Noach, also called 'The Noachide Code').

while there is an organization in the usa, a noachide of my acquaintance
told me they 'go their own way', and do not want to be taught by
Jews. (but i am not *sure* we are talking about the same organization).

the Root and Branch organization, which was also mentioned, had been
offline for a while, but is now getting started up again, and has a new
email address.

here is a copy of the email i got from its head, Mr. Aryeh Gallin.  (the
phone number given is in yerushalayim: +972-2-688-563)

From:  Root and Branch Association <rbranch@...>
To:      <lebowitz@...> 
Subject:  Re: ppl asking about rbranch

Dear Shimon:

We are in business again.  Yehoshua Friedman (tel. 688-563), our
Educational Director, will handle inquiries.  He can be reached at the
same Email address.

We will be reactivating our list also.
Aryeh Gallin, President
Root & Branch Association, Ltd.
P.O.B. 8672, German Colony, 91086 Israel
Tel: 972-2-739013, Fax: 972-2-739012
Email: <rbranch@...>
Root & Branch represents Jews and Non-Jews who believe in

1. working together on behalf of the Jewish People 
    and the State of Israel
2. studying traditional Jewish teachings with rabbis 
    and Torah scholars
3. building a world based on biblical principles

Shimon Lebowitz                   Bitnet:   LEBOWITZ@HUJIVMS
VM System Programmer              internet: <lebowitz@...>
Israel Police National HQ.        IBMMAIL:  I1060211
Jerusalem, Israel                 phone:    +972 2 309-877  fax: 309-308


From: <DocBJG@...> (Barak Greenfield)
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 1996 13:40:29 -0400
Subject: Chofetz Chaim/Taryag mitzvos

Russell Hendel mentioned, in passing, a book written by the Chofez Chaim
for soldiers.

The book was entitled "Machane Yisroel" ("Camp of Israel") and was
written for Jewish boys and men who were typically drafted into the
Czars army for very long periods of time. It detailed ways in which the
commandments could be kept (in bare minimum fashion) even under the most
arduous of circumstances. When asked, he refused to release this book
for general circulation, fearing that this would lead to widespread
minimalist observance of the mitzvos.

Barak Greenfield, MD


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1996 09:09:58 +0300 (GMT+0300)
Subject: Errors in Tefilla

    To add my observations about common errors in davening to that of others:

1.  From my father z"l:
    In the birchat hamazon the standard tune yields
    "Ba-marom ye-lamdu a-lehem ve-alenu ---- zechut she-tehe ..."
    In heaven they should plead upon them (either the master of the house or
    else the avot) and us there is no object to the clause. Rather the word 
    "zechut" (merit) belongs with the first clause and not the second.

2.  In the repetition of the Amidah by the Chazan in the Birkhat Cohanim
    The phrase should be "borchenu ba-beracha ha-meshu-leshet  ---
    ba-torah ha-ketuva al ye-de Moshe avadekha". It is a three-fold blessing.
    Many chazzanim put the word ha-meshu-leshet with the second part which 
    would indicate that the priestly blessing appears three times in the 
    Torah which it does not.
    In the book "The Encylopedia of Jewish Prayer" by Macy Nulman he
    brings in the name of Rav Soloveitchik the change to
    "borchenu ba-beracha ha-meshu-leshet --- ha-ketuva ba-torah ..."
    i.e switching the order of the words ha-ketuva  and ba-torah meaning
    with the threefold blessing, that is written in the Torah by Moshe.

Eli Turkel


From: <MSGraphics@...> (Linda Katz)
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 1996 15:37:28 -0400
Subject: Re: Hearing Aids on Shabbos

I'm pretty far behind with the list- so if I'm repeating info please
forgive me- but in response to Andrea Rosen's request 2 weeks ago about
info on the use of hearing aids and batteries on Shabbos:

My Rav , Rav Mordechai Schuchatowitz, is an authority on this, and wrote
a small sefer on the subject about 6 years ago called "Halacha
Concerning the Jewish Deaf and Hard of Hearing". He says the booklet is
distributed for free by

NCSY- "Our Way"
45 W36th Street
NY NY 10018
212-244-2011 (he thinks?)

He will be revising it in the near future to include halachot relating
to cochlear implants.  He doesn't have copies of the booklet- but if you
have any questions (and he will try to answer shailos on this topic),
you can reach him at <71574.2654@...>

(He is Rav of Agudah Greenspring in Baltimore, teaches at Ner Yisroel
and is a dayan on the Baltimore Bais Din, among other things- a really
busy guy- so he might not be able to reply immediately.)

Hope that helps!
Linda Katz 


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 1996 10:22:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: I brake for...

In v24n40, Chaim Shapiro asks, re who seemed to be willing to offer a ride
to a stranger:

> Subject: Right wing vs. center
> 	Why such a disparity?  I am at almost a complete loss.  I will
> never forget one below zero night where a frum person drove by at about
> 10:00 PM and stopped at the light.  I was shivering and a little more
> bold than usual, so I pointed towards the direction which he was going.
> He looked at me, then averted his eyes and drove on.  I ended up waiting
> at least another 30-45 Minutes in the cold. 

I have no answer as to why the disparity, it is indeed puzzling. The
Satmar are famous for their bikur cholim in hospitals. Maybe the ones who
did not offer rides were more afraid of strangers?  On the other hand, a
friend reported to me a story of looking for directions to a shul in a
strange city where she was staying while looking after a relative in the
hospital, and being given not only directions but very welcome Shabbos
hospitality, from Lubavitchers. 

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>


From: Arnold Samet <samet@...>
Date: 13 Jun 96 14:49:00 -0400
Subject: Ponchos

In vol 24 #40  Shimon Lebowitz <lebowitz@...> writes:

> these ponchos were a rubberized (or somehow coated) material, a square
> of 4 or 5 feet on a side, with a hooded hole and drawstring in the
> center. (it also had snaps on the sides so it could be attached to
> another, and used as a pup tent.)

> i took mine back to kerem beyavne and showed it to the posek there,
> R. Dov Eliezerov, Shlit"a, who confirmed that it was 'shti-va-erev'
> (woven) material, and DID need tzitzit, so he suggested rounding a
> corner too.

In the summer of 1970 I was in a camp where we bought used rain ponchos
(also U.S. Army) and the tzitizis shayla was raised. The camp called R.
Moshe Feinstein zt"l who ruled that we could wear them without tzittis.
The canvas material was considered botel (null) relative to the
rubberized (vinlyized?) material to which it gave support, because rain
protection was the main reason for our wearing the ponchos. Perhaps the
ruling would have been different if we wore them for warmth.

Yitzchok Samet  


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 1996 13:30:51 -0400
Subject: Shiduchs and Why Leshon harah is so hard to Keep

I have been impressed with the respect people have shown in recent MJ
postings on the care one must take in listening and giving shiduch
information. We all know how severe the sin of leshon hara is and it is
always good to see it affirmed in public.

This leads me to present an insight as to why Leshon harah is so hard to
keep (vs other stringent isurim like not eating on yom kippur, not
working on shabbos, sexual prohibitions, not eating chamatz on pesach
etc.). Why is leshon harah harder to keep than all of these?

The answer lies in the fences --rabbinical accompaniments---to the
prohibited items.  Not only adultery is prohibited (for example), but
being alone (Yichud is prohbitied), kissing, and more generally
"carrying on" and wearing "provacative outfits".  Thus the main act
(adultery) is prohibited and *also prohibited* are the acts that lead up
to it.

Similarly with say the prohibition of eating chamaytz on pesach. It is
prohibited to eat it, it is prohibited to have it in ones house, it is
prohibited to own it, and one must prepare the house with "pesachdik"
food.  Again the main act is prohibited(eating chamaytz) and *also
prohibited* are the acts that lead up to it.

But with leshon harah this is *not* the case. While leshon harah is
prohibited,nevertheless one must constantly talk about people in order
to do good deeds.  Making shiduchs for example is a very big mitzvoh:
e.g.(i) it is a fulfillment of "love thy neighbor like oneself", (ii) it
is one of those mitzvoth that we eat only "fruit rewards in this world"
and the main reward is in the next world, (iii) the midrash points out
how great shiduchs and burial-shivah visits are since the torah "begins"
with the marriage (by God Himself, God the Shadchan) of Adam and Eve
and closes with the burial (By God Himself) of Moses.

Thus leshon harah is unique in that while it is prohibited nevertheless
the things leading "up to it"--talking about other people--are very
often part of big mitzvoth.  That is why the rules for it are so

In closing I acknowledge (with humility) the master on Leshon harah, the
Chafetz Chayim, who inspired this thought by pointing out that the
classical example of leshon hara...the talk of Miryam on Moses (Numbers
12) happened not with maliciousness but out of a desire to help Moses
marriage since he had separated from his wife because of prophecy.

B Ahavath Yisroel...Russell Jay Hendel, rhendel @ mcs . drexel . edu


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 1996 10:22:11 -0700
Subject: Simple Meaning

[Note:  This was supposed to have been sent a week ago; just discovered it
got lost in an email glitch on this end.]

On page lvii and lviii of the Introduction to the Artscroll Shir
haShirim edited by Rabbis Scherman and Zlotowitz is the following
discussion about a passage in Shabbos 63a as interpreted by Harav
Margulies.  The passage concerns a dispute in the Mishna about the
carrying of swords and spears on Shabbos. Continuing on page lviii:

	"Rabbi Kahana replied that the verse is allegorical; it refers 
to the words of Torah. The true sense of the verse is that the 
scholar's mind -- like sharpness of sword -- is his real glory.  Mar 
answered Rabbi Kahana: (Hebrew omitted) the verse cannot be divorced 
from its simple meaning.  It is true that there is a deeper, 
homiletical significance to the verse -- it is indeed a symbolic 
reference to the glory of a Torah scholar -- but if the psalmist 
clothed his homily in the parable of a warrior and arms, the simple 
meaning, too, has validity.

	"To this Rabbi Kahana replied:
		(Hebrew omitted)
		"When I was eighteen years old I had already completed 
the entire Talmud but I did not know that the verse cannot depart 
from its simple meaning."

	"His words are truly astounding, virtually incomprehensible.  
How can a rabbi of the Talmud not know what every schoolchild knows?

"Harav Margulies explains that there are times when to understand a 
verse according to the simple translation of the words is not to 
understand it at all.  As the Talmud says (Hebrew omitted), whoever 
translates a verse as it appears [without inquiring into its true 
meaning] is an ignoramus (Kidushin 49a)."

 - So, sometimes simple is not so simple. 

Any comments?



From: <RSRH@...> (Steve Bailey)
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 1996 11:44:22 -0400
Subject: Study of Rav Hirsch

 I was impressed with Dr. Hendel's short comments on Rav Hirsch's
approach to understanding mitzvot symbolically. I am equally convinced,
through many years of studying and teaching the Hirschian approach, of
its importance to the adult modern orthodox community, who tend to be
highly educated philosophically and who seek personal meaningfulness in
the practice of mitzvot.
 If there are enough people out there who would like to develop a
sub-list focusing on the Hirschian approach to Torah and mitzvot, I will
look into how it could be done. If you are interested in such a venture,
either write to me off-line, or if you want to encourage others, post to

Steve Bailey, Los Angeles, CA   <RSRH@...>

[How it could be done is fairly simple. One way it to make it a
mail-jewish sublist, similar to mj-ravtorah which started about half a
year ago, and mj-machshava which you will be hearing about next week, I
hope. So if you have the interest is working the list, I will teach you
how and get you set up. Mod.]


End of Volume 24 Issue 42