Volume 24 Number 74
                       Produced: Mon Aug  5 23:57:41 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Divorcees Covering Hair
         [Chanie Wolicki]
Doing some new good things 3 times
         [Chana Luntz]
Haphtorah Chazon
         [Alan Rubin]
Krias Shema and Maariv in the North
         [Mechy Frankel]
Mishna question
         [Yaakov Azose]
Shoes required for davening?
         [Jonathan Katz]
Stops during layning
         [Martin N. Penn]
Strong Emotions and Lashon Hara
         [Jonathan Abrams]


From: <crew_esq@...> (Chanie Wolicki)
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 1996 10:30:40, -0500
Subject: Divorcees Covering Hair

     Janice Gelb raised the issue of divorcees covering their hair.  The
standard ask your LOR applies. Basically, women looking to remarry
generally get a heter, but it's a personal issue which goes deeper than
strict halacha. Personally, I just felt uncomfortable stopping, so I
still do. I know of women who ripped off their shaitels the minute they
got their gets, women who sometimes cover their hair depending on how
other around them feel, women who covered their hair for a while but
eventually gave up, etc.
     Depending on your crowd, people could misinterpret covered hair as
a sign of being married, or misinterpret uncovered hair as a sign of
being modern! You can't win :-)!



From: Chana Luntz <heather@...>
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 1996 23:11:23 +0100
Subject: Doing some new good things 3 times

Russell Hendel writes:
>HETER 3: The Yoreh Dayah explicitly states that "stringency leads to a
>neder status" only if the person *intended to do it forever*(and I guess
>if they did three times without intention then it is equivalant to doing
>it forever). But it appears to me that the woman in question probably
>had the following thoughts "Oh they are davening maariv; that is a good
>thing to do; let me try it out also".  In other words I perceive her
>intentions as intentions of trying out and not intentions of doing it

>Let me give another example to clarify this: Suppose a person says to
>himself: "People in first minyans(on Shabbos) are davening Kriash Shemah
>on time...I think that is the proper thing to do...let me go this
>month." Now, even though the person did it as a stringency and did it 3
>times it appears to me he is not obligated by neder to always go to the
>Hashcamah minyan since it is clear that his intention was only to try it
>I admit that if the woman came to the Rabbi and worded her question
>"Well they were davening maariv and I thought that beautiful and thought
>I would do it" then it appears that she intended it forever (and hence
>the Pesak that she can't get out of the Neder (see YD there)) however I
>believe I have a strong argument that her intentions were only to try it

I can't speak to the other matters you mentioned, but we are, in the
case in question, not dealing with an am ha-aretz (actually, how do you
feminise that?), but with a woman who is quite knowledgeable, and who in
the past was always careful to say (or think) bli neder.  The problem
was that she forgot, meaning that her davening of maariv ended up being
stam. It was not a case of 'that is a good thing to do, let me try it
out also'. That is, there was a lapse in her general 'bli neder'
practice, that she recognised and identified, and asked a shaila about.
It would seem to me that if you really intended to 'try something out'
then effectively your machshava is one of bli neder. But we are not
dealing with such a case here. We are dealing with a woman who in any
event was davening twice a day (following the Mishna Brura), but not
three times, (probably, knowing her learning level, knew that there were
opinions that women ought to be davening three times), was generally
careful about not making maariv davening into a neder, and then forgot
(granted, probably because of the nature of the situation - if you are
making three shiva calls one after the other in a week, you are probably
under quite a lot of emotional stress).




From: <arubin@...> (Alan Rubin)
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 96 23:39 BST-1
Subject: Haphtorah Chazon

It is the custom in my synagogue to read the maftir on the Shabbos before 
9th Ab using the tune for Echah.  I have always felt that this custom was 
in error and that it was wrong to use a tune of mourning on Shabbos.  I 
would be interested in any educated opinions.

Alan Rubin     <arubin@...>


From: <system@...> (Mechy Frankel)
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 1996 19:05:07 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Krias Shema and Maariv in the North

In a recent mailing, the poster noted that:
<Even at that, I wonder whether one can fulfill kriat shma of ma'ariv before
dark, if one needs...>

1.  There have been a few postings on the subject of maariv and krias
shima at far northern latitudes, including the poster quoted above who
wondered about being yotzeh krias shima before dark. There is a vast
halachic/historical background connected with every facet of this issue.
(as a historical starter i would recommend the article by Jacob Katz,
"Maariv Bizimano-Visheloa Bizimano" in Tzion 35, reprinted in the
collection "Halochoh Vekabboloh" by Jacob Katz (Magnes Press,1986).

2.  We should also note that there are two fundamentally different
issues here as well.  Krias shima is a d'oraisa with a specified time
for it's performance (see first mishna in Birachos). Ma'ariv is a
d'rabbanan and further is basically a rishus (Birachos 27) though we
tend to treat it at least since Geonic times as an obligatory
act. (reminders of its "lesser" halachic status are the lack of
repetition by the shliach tzibbur and the insertion of a kaddish before
shimonoh esrei.)

3.  Without grappling with practical pisak here, I would note that there
is plenty of historical precedent for davening maariv (and even krias
shima) not only before dark (see Rashi's throwaway line in Birachos 2
indicating the common custom in Ashkenaz to daven maariv while stil
daylight- though he felt that krias shima then had to be repeated after
dark) but even well before the plag hamincha (the so-called hakdamoh
hagidoloh).  Rabbenu Tam clearly poskened that krias shema itself was
lichatchiloh OK before dark, after pilag haminchoh, iconoclastically
interpreting the first mishna in Birachos as only a daas yochid) as did
the Ra'avan and others (but only as a takanas chachmim, in
contrdistinction to Rabbenu Tam).

4.  The custom of davening maariv as much two or three hours before dark
was well attested in the middle ages and both the Rema and Terumas
Hadeshen reluctantly aknowledge the bidieved yitziah of this practice,
even for a talmid chochom assuming he can't change the communitiy
practice, while the sefer yosef ometz actively defends the ancient
minhag Frankfurt to daven this early (the basic rationale for early
maariv being that it is "only" a rishus with no set time. Since any
maariv time is essentially a takanas chachomim, if the chachomim of this
particular region never accepted it, they can change it - haim omeru,
vihaim omeru).

5.  By the 17th century the very early maariv custom had basically died
out in Europe, attributed by Katz to the changing societal dynamics -
dinner hour shifting from the typical 3-4 PM of middle ages to evening
with the diffusion of accurate clocks and widespread indoor lighting
fuels. (these social changes enabling the preferences of the "academic"
halachists to gain the upper hand over the prevalent communal minhagim).

6. The situation in the northern latitudes described might bear
considerable similarities to the medieval European circumstances and
practices (i.e. people eating or even going to bed while still light,
etc.) and that the competent halchic authorities whom one ought consult
- and who have no doubt been deciding these things for the past few
hundred years, after all jews didn't first appear in Trondheim last
summer, might well turn to such precedents while developing their pisak.

7.  Of course, the further north (or south I suppose) one goes, the more
acute this issue becomes, and in fact gradually shifts focus to
significantly more serious issues, e.g. shabbos - if the sun never
sets?, Terumas Hadeshen was quite concerned with this and couldn't seem
to make up his mind, leading some to conclude that jews have no business
or right to live beyond certain latittudes, kind of a divine Pale of
Settlement. There is a significant halachic literature on this issue (i
recall one a few hundred years old involving a jewish whaler - you
thought maybe everybody was a tailor? - on a boat near the north pole
with such a problem) but that is beyond the scope of what I wanted to
convey in this note.

Mechy Frankel			H: (301) 593-3949
<frankel@...>			W: (703) 325-1277


From: Yaakov Azose <yazose@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 1996 02:07:41 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Mishna question

Regarding Tara Cazaubon's question on Mishnayot Shevi'it Perek 8 Misha 9
& 10, I believe the Mishnah should be interpreted differently than
originally posted. Rabbi Akiva was not saying, "Shut up, dummies!" as
Tara described. He merely said that (according to Kahati's
interpretation) Rabbi Eliezer had not said what the 'Hachamim said he
said. Rabbi Eliezer was, in actuality, being more lenient (according to
the more accepted viewpoint in the Jerusalem Talmud) than the 'Hachamim.
For this reason, Rabbi Akiva did not wish to reveal to them what Rabbi
Eliezer had said, so as not to be more lenient than they already were.

By the way, there are times in the Talmud where it does seem as if 1
great rabbi is insulting another. For an explanation of these instances,
see the end of the book " 'Hafetz 'Hayim " before the "Shemirat
Halashon" in a short piece where he quotes a "Teshuvat 'Havot Ya'ir".

Yaakov Azose


From: <frisch1@...> (Jonathan Katz)
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 96 19:36:17 EDT
Subject: Shoes required for davening?

Is one required to wear shoes when davening? I see a lot of people who are
apparently strict in this regard, but I can think of numerous reasons why
one should not be reqired to wear shoes.

1) Moshe is told to take off his shoes when approaching the burning bush
(admittedly, not the best proof)

2) Jews took off their shoes before entering the Beis HaMikdash (see Rashi
on Vayikra 19:30)

3) We daven without shoes on Tish'a B'Av (non-leather foot coverings are
not classified as shoes)
and Yom Kippur.

Is there any reason to be strict about wearing shoes when davening in general?

Jonathan Katz
410 Memorial Drive, 233F
Cambridge, MA 02139


From: Martin N. Penn <74542.346@...>
Date: 21 Jul 96 00:05:19 EDT
Subject: Stops during layning

Last Shabbat afternoon I layned the first aliyah from Devarim and
stopped at the end of possuk 11.  This is the same place we stopped
Monday and Thursday mornings.  On Shabbat morning however, we stopped
the first aliyah a possuk earlier (at the end of possuk 10).  The reason
we did this is so that we wouldn't begin the next aliyah on the sad note
of 'Eicha esa l'vadi...'  My question is this: Why, in the first place,
wasn't sheni placed after possuk 10 instead of after 11?  As I was
discussing this in shul with someone, he raised another question.  Is
there a sefer out there that explains why the aliyot are where they are
to begin with?  Does anyone know of such a sefer, or a commentary to be
found in a particular sefer?
Martin Penn 


From: Jonathan Abrams <cont4y31@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 1996 17:54:00 -0400 
Subject: Strong Emotions and Lashon Hara

Responding to Anonymous' query on dealing with: "Strong Emotions and
Lashon Hara"

It has been my personal experience that of all the possible emotions
that anonymous has indicated, the most difficult to control as well as
the most incidious is the emotion of anger.  The Kitzor Shulchan Aruch
uses very strong language indeed when talking about the emotion of
anger, likening it, if I recall correctly, to avodah zara.  One possible
explanation might be that when a person commits the grave sin of avodah
zara it goes against the natural flow of creation and what is often
described as our "common and moral sense" of Hashem's universe.  Anger,
also causes one to lose this "common and moral sense" and places one at
the mercy of one's own subjectivity - a very dangerous place to be for
most of us.

What helps me deal with people who make me angry is to firstly remember
that, due to the great gift of "Bchirah Chofshee" (free choice) given by
G_D to every human, an individual has the right to have their own
opinions about things even if I might find them reprehensible.  That is
a G_D given right so who are we to take this right away from another
human being.  (For a nice story that touches on this subject read the
first story, "Ties that Bind", I believe, in the book "Vistas of
Challenge" put out by Mesorah Publications Ltd.)

The natural assumption in such disagreeable exchanges is often that "I"
am right and "they" are wrong.  I saw a nice Dvar Torah on this subject
recently (I apologize for forgetting the source) which mentioned that in
parshat Korach, the machlokes between Korach and Moshe Rabbenu was the
only time in history that one individual was 100% right - Moshe Rabbenu
- and one was 100% wrong - Korach.  All subsequent dissagreements have
some merit on both sides albeit one side may be more righteous than
another.  What this should teach us is that when confronted with an
angry situation, BACK OFF because almost nothing is solved through angry
confrontation and it is usually caused by a failure or unwillingness to
see the situation from the other persons perspective, especially when in
stark contrast to your own.  A soft and mentchlekeit hand can usually
accomplish much more than a clenched fist.  We have the obligation to
protect a Jew in peril and for this we rely on Hashem's assistance but
when a person's opinions are simply in contrast to our own we also have
the obligation not to try and force people to think like we do.

One last word of advice - seek out a knowledgable Orthodox Rav with whom
you feel comfortable with and can speak openly with, and discuss your
concerns with him.  This is especially important if your concerns
revolve around protecting what you perceive is another Jew in peril.
You will be amazed how helpful the wisdom and Siyata D'Shamayah coming
through such a Tsadik can be.

Best regards, and wishing you B'Hatzlacho, Jonathan Abrams.


End of Volume 24 Issue 74