Volume 24 Number 57
                       Produced: Wed Jul  3 21:14:06 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

An-im Z'mirot
         [Moishe Kimelman]
Collecting of Tzedakah during Davening
         [Warren Burstein]
Hebrew Calendar Watch
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Motorist in Distress
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Shabbath morning qiddush (error)
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Stopping for Motorists in Distress
         [S.H. Schwartz]
Vow Freeing Ceremony for Customs
         [Russell Hendel]
Vows (response to anonymous post)
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Women & kippot (was: vows & respect)
         [Hannah Gershon]


From: Moishe Kimelman <kimel@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 1996 09:33:05 +1000
Subject: An-im Z'mirot

Chaim Wasserman wrote:
><<  Yisrael Medad posted the following:
> >the final Shabbat morning song is "an-eem z'mirot"
> >and not "anim zm'irot". "An-eem" = I will make pleasant.
> I don't understand what he is saying. One thing is sure - the same vowel
> appears in both words, so if it is an-eem it must also be z'meeroth. But
> on whose authority do we say that an-im is an error?
> Perets Mett     >>
>What Medad is talking about is a grammatical issue of how syllables are
>divided in the presence of a "sheva". There are basially two kinds: one
>which opens a syllable the other which closes it (sheva na and sheva
>nach respectively.)

It seemed to me that Yisrael was pointing out something more blatant
than that.  "Anim" implies that the chirik ("i" sound) is under the nun,
and there is no ayin.  In fact the nun is pronounced passively, and the
subsequent ayin has the chirik.  Thus "an'im" not "anim".  I think that
Yisrael confused the issue by using "i" the first time, and "ee" the
second time.

Now, are there any other pirushim in what Yisrael mean :-)


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 07:20:28 GMT
Subject: Re: Collecting of Tzedakah during Davening

I used to go to a shul where every Purim morning, during the reading
of the Megillah, a person used to come to shul to collect tzedakah.
I was very bothered by this, but of course I couldn't tell him, since
the Megillah was being read.


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 1996 22:42:01 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Hebrew Calendar Watch

Readers may be interested in a new watch that has appeared in Israel, by
a company called Leitner. In addition to the time and Gregorian date, it
carries the Hebrew date (in either Hebrew or English letters).  It also
flashes "Shabbat Mevarchim" and "Yaaleh Veyavo" on the appropriate
dates, plus a few other messages that I forget.

The official price is IS120 (about $40), but I've seen it in Meah
Shearim for IS100 ($32).

The problem I find with it is that I believe as a result of poor
construction, if one looks at the watch from any angle but directly, one
sees the underlying outline of "8"s throughout, but it's still worth
considering (I have no proprietary interest in this, of course).

Shmuel Himelstein


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 10:30:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Motorist in Distress

Shalom, All:
       Y. Adlerstein (<yadler@...>) writes that<<Rav Ovadiah
Yosef, shlit"a, (Shu"t Yechaveh Da'at 5:65) holds that it is obligatory
to stop and assist a motorist in distress, as a direct application of
the laws of Perikah and T'inah (unloading and loading.) >>
           Dang!  Not only is that a menschlich/brilliant
interpretation, it even makes sense on a scientific level.  After all,
car motors are measured in _horse_power...
    Yeshaya Halevi (<Chihal@...>)


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 07:10:44 +0000
Subject: Shabbath morning qiddush (error)

Richard Schultz <schultr@...> complained about blatant errors by
an individual during Shabbath morning qiddush:

>So naturally, his brachah included the line "ki sheshet yamim
>atah [!!!] HaShem. . .

Although I agree that this probably should have been corrected, it does not in
any way detract from the qiddush itself!  These "pesuqim" [sentences from the
Torah] are not part of qiddush; they are, perhaps, a preparation for qiddush.
 They need not be said at all.  The qiddush is simply the blessing on the wine
(and drinking at least a cheekful).

>What I did (and this might not have been the
>right thing) was to decide that this was one kiddush from which I wouldn't
>be yotzei, and made my own.

As far as deciding not to be included in the qiddush (preceded by the
incorrectly pronounced), that was Richard's prerogative (although I think it is
probably preferable to be included).

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


From: S.H. Schwartz <shimmy@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Jul 1996 00:27:39 -0400
Subject: Re: Stopping for Motorists in Distress

From: Y. Adlerstein <yadler@...>

> Picking up on a recent thread, readers might be interested to know that
> Rav Ovadiah Yosef, shlit"a, (Shu"t Yechaveh Da'at 5:65) holds that it is
> obliagatory to stop and assist a motorist in distress, as a direct
> application of the laws of Perikah and T'inah (unloading and loading.)
> He seems to lean to considering it a chiyuv d'orayso (obligatory by
> Torah, rather than rabbinic, law).

I wouldn't recommend this practice in the urban New York area.  There is
a real issue of pikuach nefesh; part of the price of living chutz
la'aretz.  OTOH, it is fairly easy (and free) to dial 911 from a cell
(or other) phone and report a stranded motorist.  It is also
(unfortunately! ;-) ) easy to tell a toll collector that a driver is
stranded on a bridge or approach.  I have seen these people relay the
information immediately to a supervisor: the last thing that they want
is to deal with traffic congestion caused by someone hitting a disabled

Steve (Shimmy) Schwartz
With Rebecca, Forest Hills, NY: <shimmy@...>
NYNEX Science & Technology, Inc., White Plains, NY: <schwartz@...>


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 19:51:32 -0400
Subject: Vow Freeing Ceremony for Customs

[Anonymous, Vol 24 # 54] writes that she took a vow and for ten years
wore a head covering. Although she had no problem observing the custom
when she took the vow she recently ran into a situation where the vow
caused disrespect.  She inquired on the halachic implications of this

To the best of my knowledge (please correct me if anyone knows this is
wrong) EVEN IF NO VOW was taken, if a person performs a custom for say
three years (without explicitly stating BELI NEDER) then it is
considered as if the person took a vow. In such a case the custom must
be observed till the person goes thru a legal ceremony which requires a
court to free the person from the vow.

In this particular case there is no problem on freeing the vow: Freeing
the vow requires a NEW AWARENESS.  In this case anonymous is AWARE that
her custom causes DISRESPECT NOW but did not do so (according to her own
account) at the time she took the vow. Thus a NEW AWARENESS exists
allowing the court to free her from her vow.  It should be noted that a
court is required. I would therefore advise anonymous to seek Rabbinical
help and indicate this new AWARENESS

Incidentally one of the most famous religious vows that was freed is
that of Rabbi Akiba's father in law who vowed to disinherit his daughter
for marrying an ignoramous.  Several decades later the father came to
Rabbi Akiba (without being aware that he was his daughter's husband) and
said he regretted treating his daughter that way.  When Rabbi Akiba
asked him if he WOULD HAVE MADE the vow HAD HE KNOWN his son in law
would be a great scholar the father in law said "of course not".  Rabbi
Akiba then revealed his identity and the two made up.

I mention this story to deal with the PSYCHOLOGICAL problem of
anonymous: Rabbi Akiba's father in law did not make a mistake when he
took the vow...  since he communicated thereby how important it was for
his son in law to become a scholar! When the son in law became a scholar
the need for the vow vanished and it could be annuled.  In a similar
manner the vow by anonymous to wear a hat made her aware of how
important it was to be involved in symbolic affirmations of her
religious identity...and it is clear from the posting (please reread it)
that by enjoying a shabbos "<and I had a blast... one of the best
shabbosses>" she fulfilled this very legitimate and strong need. Hence
it is logical to assume that the original way of fulfilling this need
(by wearing a hat is no longer needed).

In passing I believe that the above simultaneous
approach---<halachic--NEW AWARENESS-&-psychological>---perhaps gives
more insight into the Vow laws.

Russell Hendel,, Ph.d ASA  rhendel @ mcs . drexel . edu


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 1996 23:57:19 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Vows (response to anonymous post)

In v24n54, anonymous wrote:

> I have been wearing a tallis and kipah since I was Bat Mitzvahed 10
> years ago.  At that time I took a very private vow, between me and G-d
> only, that I would take on these and other mitzvot that are not required
> of women.  I believed strongly in this vow and I still do.  [...] I am
> very interested to hear some opinions of people who are more traditional
> in their beliefs in this area.  What do I do?  Is there any halacha on
> this issue (aside from women not wearing men's clothing--I am VERY
> versed in this area, and I took the vow anyway)?  Anybody see the issue
> another way?  HELP!  Thanks in advance! 

Standard disclaimers apply, I'm not a rabbi, etc. (I'm a more or less
"modern" Orthodox BT, married for a long time, and over twice your age :-)
), but... here are a few thoughts to begin with, I may have more later. 
One of the questions a beth din or a rabbi asks a person who is seeking to
be released from a private vow (I'm not necessarily suggesting that you do
this, so finish reading! :-) ) is whether they had realized when they made
the vow that the consequences would be such-and-such.  As you made this
vow at age 12 or 13 (some groups, mostly Reform, do both bar- and
bat-mitzvah ceremonies at age 13), it's a good bet that you hadn't
realized some of the ramifications of it.  You need to think through just
what will be the consequences in the near, and hence in the more distant,
future of sticking strictly to this vow, and how these consequences may
affect your other religious and life goals.  It's possible that you may
decide that there are other religious and life goals which are equally as,
or more important than, this one.  Also, in the interim, you could wear a
small arba kanfos under your clothing instead of a big tallis.  (Don't
freak, guys, I know of people who have done this with rabbinic approval,
tho not necessarily enthusiasm.)  And was the vow to wear a particular
type of head covering?  Does it have to be a kipa?  Of course, single
women wearing hats will also be a source of comment in the circles you are
concerned about.  I suppose as a last resort you could even use a sheitel. 
But it seems to me that you need to review very seriously what it is that
you want to accomplish by doing these things, and investigate if perhaps
some other observance which doesn't push so many negative buttons will
accomplish it. 

I expect others will have more to add, but this seemed to want an answer
sooner rather than later, so here it is for now.

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: <GERSHON@...> (Hannah Gershon)
Date: Wed, 03 Jul 1996 10:54:18 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Women & kippot (was: vows & respect)

  Greetings --
      I wish to respond to Anonymous, a woman who wears a kippah but
wishes not to offend folks in the mainstream community.
      I have chosen a similar path. I also daven with tallis (and
tefilin), and I also keep my head covered. This was one of the toughest
decisions I have ever made in my life. I agonized over it for about 20
years before I finally realized that I just couldn't live with myself
any more in that state of believing I *should* but not practicing what I
      I do 2 things differently than you, though. The first is that I
took all this on *conditionally* and NOT as a vow. (I know the thing
about doing a mitzvah 3 times constituting a de facto vow. I have in
mind each day, however, that this is NOT a neder.)
      (Oh, I just realized that I do THREE things differently than you.)
      The second thing I do differently is that I do NOT wear my tallis
(or tefilin) in public. I daven at home first, and then go to shul. I
often get to shul late, but that's only because I'm too lazy to get out
of bed early enough to daven and still make it to shul on time.
      The third thing I do differently is that I do not wear a kippah.
Instead, I cover my head in the same fashion as the married women in my
community do. (Hats, scarves -- not a wig, though!) I guess a lot of
people just assume that I am divorced, but those who know me, know why I
have my head covered. Only people who do not know me well assume that
I'm divorced.  (Everyone in my shul knows I'm not currently married, and
no, I am NOT actually divorced, by the way. I am, however, 40 years old,
so the assumption of being divorced is reasonable.)
      Sure, I would love to see women being able to follow their convictions
without being censored by the community, but I doubt that's going to happen
any time soon. Doing these things privately and/or allowing people to think
I'm divorced when I'm not is a price I am willing to pay in order to live
with myself -- AND others. Like I said, those who know me, know. I do really
sympathize with your position, however. If you would like to email me
privately to talk further, by all means, please do so.

-- Hannah Gershon <gershon@...> Boston, Massachusetts


End of Volume 24 Issue 57