Volume 24 Number 58
                       Produced: Thu Jul  4 15:03:22 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Assisting a stranded motorist
         [Perry Zamek]
Expensive Mitzvot
German Get Law
         [Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer]
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Kosher Airline Meals from Amsterdam
         [Neil Peterman]
Shabbat Kiddush
         [Elanit Z. Rothschild]
Siddur error
         [Saul Mashbaum]
Translation question (3)
         [Michael Shimshoni, Warren Burstein, Yehuda Poch]
Wedding Cost
         [Oren Popper]
         [Israel Rosenfeld]


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 1996 20:25:41 +0300
Subject: Assisting a stranded motorist

Yeshaya Halevi responded (tongue in cheek?) to Rabbi Adlerstein's reference
to Rav Ovadiah Yosef's interpretation (whew! that's like some references in
the Gemara! :-) ), that assisting a stranded motorist is an extension of the
laws of Perikah and Te'inah (unloading and loading an animal whose load has
shifted, thereby making it hard for the animal to walk). 

There are two aspects here: in P&T for animals, the first aspect is to
respond to the animal's need for relief from the load. The second (which is
probably the one that ties P&T to helping a stranded motorist) is to relieve
the _owner's_ anxiety over the animal.

Shimmy Schwartz's comment on the advisability of stopping in NYC to assist
at a breakdown suggests the following -- if possible (and safe), indicate to
the stranded driver that you will inform the relevant authorities. This will
help relieve his anxiety (as above)

Perry Zamek   | A Jew should hold his head high. 
Peretz ben    | "Even in poverty a Hebrew is a prince... 
Avraham       |       Crowned with David's Crown" -- Jabotinsky


From: Anonymous
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 15:41:08 +0300
Subject: Expensive Mitzvot

The recent discussion about expensive weddings led to some comments on
the rights of the well-to-do to spend extravagantly on mitzvot at their

Some years back, I got annoyed at the money spent on mishloah manot by
people who gave according to the letter of the law for matanot
la-evyonim.  It has since been my custom to spend at least as much on
matanot la-evyonim as I do on mishloah manot.  It certainly benefits the
poor.  Perhaps it moderates my mishloah manot because I know every
sheqel actually costs me two.

A standard that insists on a fixed percentage of expenses above a
reasonable level (whatever that is...) for the poor or for the community
could help similarly on both sides of the equation.



From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer)
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 1996 23:14:06 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: German Get Law

My friend Michael Broyde inquires about a ca. 1830's German Get Law. This
law was pointed out to me recently by a friend and fellow MJer in Chicago,
R' Shaul Weinreb, in the new edition of the Wurzburger Rav, Rabbi
Bamberber's teshuvos, in the back of which is a biographical statement that
speaks of his work on such a law (which means its was probably somewhat
later, say the 1850-60's). It is difficult to tell from the material there
how exactly the law was phrased, but it is a good starting point to research
the issue further.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 1996 23:10:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Jealousy

In v24n52, "anonymous" wrote, re weddings:

> 2) If a person of means wants to make a big simcha, he is allowed to
> make a big simcha.  Suppose this person gives 20% of his income to
> tzdakah.  Suppose he is a ba'al chesed.  If he wants to make a big
> simcha with a "yad rechava" (an wide (open) hand) and he wants others
> join in his simcha he is allowed to.  One should not be jealous of a
> "gvir" (wealthy individual), but rather, we should be happy for him, and
> be honored if we are asked to join in the simcha. This should not be an
> occasion for us to look at our selves and feel inadequate and small. 
> Carping about the expenses involved seems like jealousy transformed into
> fault finding to me. Again this is misdirected energy. 


> Finally the teacher asked "Then why can't this smarter and more eloquent
> person in the world be this young man?" 

Ordinarily I would have sent this to the poster, since "me-too" posts
just clutter up the bandwidth, but since the poster was
anonymous.... :-)

I must say that the above analysis rings true.  I have often heard
complaints which sound a lot like that.  As a friend of mine said years
ago, upon hearing someone make a crack about what kind of socialists
could those kibbutzniks be, after all, they had a swimming pool: "Real
socialists don't want everybody to be poor, real socialists want
everybody to be rich!"

Even if you're Einstein, there's sooner or later going to be someone
smarter than you are, etc., so.... "Who is rich?  He who rejoices in his

Thanks to "anonymous" for describing that so well.

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


From: <npms@...> (Neil Peterman)
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 11:07:36 +0400
Subject: Kosher Airline Meals from Amsterdam

The following announcement was made by the Rabbinate of the Amsterdam Jewish
Community, Av Beth Din Harav Yehuda Leib Lewis, on 23 Sivan 5756 / 10 June
1996, and provides useful information about kosher meals out of Amsterdam.

The Amsterdam Rabbinate is responsible for the kashrut of meals served on El
Al planes leaving Schiphol (Amsterdam Airport).   These meals are served on
El Al's own plates without kosher stickers, hechsher etc.
Special Kosher (Glatt) meals can be ordered in advance.  These carry kosher
stickers and a hechsher certificate.

Many other airlines offer kosher meals out of Schiphol including KLM.
These meals must be ordered in advance.    The Rabbinate's responsibility
applies only to meals or parts of meals with the kosher sticker of the

All other meals or parts of meals, including those carrying a "non
offensive" label do not come from a kosher kitchen.   The Rabbinate takes no
responsibility for them and they should be regarded as "trefa".

Enquiries may be directed to the Amsterdam Rabbinate. Tel +31-20-6443868;
Fax: +31-20-6464635

Neil Peterman


From: <Ezr0th@...> (Elanit Z. Rothschild)
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 12:58:02 -0400
Subject: Shabbat Kiddush

In a message dated 96-07-03 21:33:42 EDT, you write:

<< 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). >>

I think the main error people make when they leave out the portions of the
Torah, is that they begin with "al keyn..."  which means "therefore...."
Therefore what?  If the portion before that is left out, then obviously so
should "al keyn..." because you are leaving out the idea that rides on the
"therefore..."  So, when making kiddush on Shabbat, the correct way, IMHO, is
to: 1) say the whole thing, with the Torah portions, 2) say either one of the
Torah portions, or 3) just say the bracha w/o the "al keyn..."

Elanit Z. Rothschild


From: <mshalom@...> (Saul Mashbaum)
Date: Wed, 03 Jul 1996 14:13:19 EDT
Subject: Siddur error

I would like to follow up recent discussions of davening errors with an
observation about a prevalent siddur error which I find objectionable.

Kriat Shma consists, as we know, of three paragraphs. For some reason
unknown to me, many (but not all) siddurim print the last verse of the
second paragragh (starting with the words "lemaan yirbu") as a separate

Not only is there absolutely no massoretic reason to "break off" the
last sentence of the second paragraph from the rest of the paragraph,
this is against an explicit talmudic statement. The gemara in Kiddushin
34a proves that women are obligated in the mitzva of mezuza from the
fact that the mitzva of mezuza adjoins the verse "lemaan yirbu, etc.",
which promises long life to those who keep this mitzva, a promise which
applies to women as much as men.

The printers have separated what the gemara says is connected, a
connection with significant halachic and hashkafic ramifications.

Saul Mashbaum


From: Michael Shimshoni <MASH@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 96 16:26:40 +0300
Subject: Translation question

In mail-j 24/55 Shmuel Himelstein asks:

>In general, we know that "ne'eman" is generally translated as
>"faithful." I haven't yet figured out the meaning of the word as it
>appears in "Nishmat" on the Shabbat morning prayers, in the phrase
>"Khalayim ra'im ve'ne'emanim" - 'evil/bad and "ne'eman" diseases.'
>Any explanations would be appreciated.

The use of ne'eman here is equivalent  to its use in the Torah, Dvarim
28,59  where  we  find  makot  g'dolot  v'ne'emanot,  vaholayim  ra'im
v'ne'emanim (the  last three words  are exactly the same  (copied from
the siddur (-: ).

My attempt  for an explanation is  that indeed ne'eman is  faithful or
reliable, and here it means that like a faithful friend will stay with
you, not  leave you,  here the  illness (nebikh)  will stay  with one.
Another use of ne'eman as something  which does not go away, this time
in a  positive sense, can  be found  in Yishayahu 33,16:  lahmo nitan,
memav ne'emanim, here it means that  his supply of water can be relied
on to stay.

 Michael Shimshoni

From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 16:46:36 GMT
Subject: Re: Translation question

Shmuel Himelstein writes:
>In general, we know that "ne'eman" is generally translated as
>"faithful." I haven't yet figured out the meaning of the word as it
>appears in "Nishmat" on the Shabbat morning prayers, in the phrase
>"Khalayim ra'im ve'ne'emanim" - 'evil/bad and "ne'eman" diseases.'

A disease that sticks with one for a long time.

From: Yehuda Poch <yehuda@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 1996 12:09:00 -0400
Subject: Translation question

The Artscroll siddur translates the phrase as "severe and enduring diseases".
In this sense, enduring and faithful can also be synonymous in English.

=======\                       Yehuda Poch                      /=======
========\                  <yehuda@...>                 /========
=========x           http://www.interlog.com/~yehuda          x=========


From: Oren Popper <opopper@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 10:16:01 -0400 (edt)
Subject: Wedding Cost

<ohayonlm@...> (Lisa Halpern) wrote:
> I'd like to add another idea to the "wedding-cost" dialogue. As 
> centerpieces on each table at their weddings, two friends of mine had 
> beautiful food arrangements.  One was a basket filled with drygoods, 
> arranged with ribbons, warapped with tissue paper, etc.  The other was a 
> professionally done vegetable-flowers-candle centerpiece from a local 
> florist.  After their celebrations, the food gifts were sent to local 
> organizations that distributed them to needy families.  I think is this a 
> terrific way to start one's married life - both enjoying family and 
> friends, and sharing with others.

At the Yechidus with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, which my wife and I had
prior to our wedding, the Rebbe stressed the custom of the Chosson and
Kallah giving additional Tzedoka on the day of their wedding. The Rebbe
added that all those who are related in any way to the Chosson and
Kallah (kol Yisroel arevim ze la'ze) should do the same.

Inspired by this idea, my wife and I decided to have Tzedoka Pushkas
(charity boxes) as centerpieces on each table! We also prited a synopsis
of the Rebbe's words and enclosed a coin to be given for Tzedoko with
the 'bentchers' which were distributed right at the beginning of the


From: <iir@...> (Israel Rosenfeld)
Date: Wed,  3 Jul 96 14:28 +0200
Subject: Weddings

 A historical note:
 At one of my Sheva Brachos (in 1969) we were zocheh (honored?)  to have
HR"HG Shalom Aizen ZT"L join us.  He was one of the major Yerushalmi
poskim (halachic authorities) since before WWII.  After his Dvar Torah
(torah thought) he decided to tell us "youngsters" what a wedding looked
like in The Old City (Jerusalem pre-WWII).

The chupah would be held Friday late afternoon after Mincha!  After
Kabbalat Shabbat the Chassan would say a Dvar Torah if he could.  After
Maariv, everyone went home for Seudas Shabbas (Shabbas meal) - to each
one's home, mind you.  After the meal everyone would come back to shul
to dance all night.  A side table might have some sponge cake and
schnapps and maybe cookies. You come to wedding to dance, not eat.
There were a group of elderly people who were great dancers.  Their pay?
A bag of peanuts and a bottle of arak (the original stuff - 1000 proof
rocket fuel).  After Vasikin (Shachris at sunrise) everyone went home to
eat and sleep.

I occasionally visited Harav Aizen personally and one time I asked him
about the above description.  He explained that simcha (joy) at a
wedding is a question of what you are expecting to get and expected to
give. Maybe it's a worn out cliche to say that "the joy is in the
giving" but also maybe the poverty forced the people to appreciate more
their simchas.  Harav Aizen said he wouldn't judge our generation
relative to his because of our difference of expectations.

But who creates and/or controls these expectations? The Rabbonim?  I
doubt it.  The Karliner Rebbe limited his chasidim to one type of cake
and one type of drink at a bar-mitzvah. My neighbor (he's quite well
off, thank you) gave each visitor a "wedding cake" (not a piece) and a
goblet (tankard?)  of orange juice laced with something that kept me
"high" for 12 hours.  Did he break the rules? Didn't his Rebbe "try" to
limit extravagance?  (Aren't I talking too much?)

So back to Harav Aizen ZT"L, it's a question of expectations.  If I
don't get a lousy (excuse my bad language) chicken leg at a wedding I
feel cheated. The fault of the Rabbonim? No! It's my fault.

To tell the truth, if every Rabbi from every orthodox denomination would agree
on limits to a wedding, we would have no choice but to get used to it.
But if every Rabbi from every orthodox denomination would agree on ANYTHING,
IMHO Mashiach would come. :-)

Pass the chicken please? :-)

Behatzlacha rabba,


End of Volume 24 Issue 58