Volume 25 Number 39
                       Produced: Sun Dec  8 17:28:58 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Administrivia - Moderator in Tuscon
         [Avi Feldblum]
North Pole and Beyond
         [Mechy Frankel]
Tfillin on Chol HaMoed (was Minhag Avoteynu Beyadeinu)
         [Adina and Carl Sherer]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Dec 1996 16:47:10 -0500
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

First, my wishes for a happy and enlightening Chanuka to all the
mail-jewish family!

I'm happy to say that I am egtting to a good number of your messages to
me, and mail-jewish is going out in a fairly regular basis. The Kosher
Restaurant database has had a large number of updates (not all, I admit)
added over the last few days, and we are now at over 750 entries. I
would like to thank Laurent Cohen for his updating of the Paris entries,
I think we now have over 100 entries for Paris!

As I mentioned in an administrivia a few weeks back, I spent a Shabbat
in the LA area, and I got a chance to meet with a number of mail-jewish
members. The hospitality extended to me was very heart-warming and I
would like to thank both those that I got a cance to meet and spend some
time with, as well as those that communicated with me but we did not get
a chance to get together.

I had several messages after my period away from the net about what
people could do to help share the load. I will get to answering a number
of you, but I did want to bring up a few areas where if there were
people interested in helping, I would be very interested in working with
you. Here are what I think are my top three, in approximate order of

1) The mail-jewish Home Page.
	If there are people on the list who are involved in web site
design who would like to take a hand on upgrading the mail-jewish
homepage, I would be very interested. I know that there are a number of
things that can be done to make the page more useful and interesting. If
you want to try, it is now much easier to arrange that then it was in
the past and I would like to give it a try.

2) Perl programming help.
	A number of the scripts that run the list are based on Perl,
thanks to the work of Daniel Faigin. Unfortunatly, I have never gotten
to the point where I am fluent in Perl. There are a number of things
that I would like to do that may be variations of Daniel's scripts or
maybe a few new things. Someone who knows Perl well, and can spend a few
hours here and there to understand what the scripts can do (and explain
them to me) and modify for some things I think I would like to do, would
be welcome.

3) The Shul Home Page
	There is a shuls home page that I started at Shamash, but has
not been kept up. If someone would like to redo the page, make it more
user-friendly, and possibly update it, I would be very happy to work
with you on that.

I have some ideas about some associated pages that would be nice to set
up, so if there are a few volunteers, I have some ideas, and I'm sure
that there are other mail-jewish members who may have some ideas of what
would make the mail-jewish Web presence better than it is now.

With the end of the secular year drawing close, and some mandated
holidays as well as some vacation days I think I need to take or lose, I
hope to be spending some additional time on mail-jewish and Shamash, so
that we end the calendar year in good shape. I'll keep in touch with all
via my musings here under the Administrivia heading.

Avi Feldblum


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Dec 1996 16:56:32 -0500
Subject: Administrivia - Moderator in Tuscon

My last request was so succesful, I'm going to try again. This time it
might be a bit tougher. I knew that there were several mail-jewish
members in the LA area. This time I'm heading to Tuscon, Arizona and
will be there for Shabbat. It's coming up soon, as well, it's this
coming weekend. Does anyone know of a place I can spend Shabbat at?

Thanks in advance,

Avi Feldblum


From: Mechy Frankel <FRANKEL@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 1996 19:07:30 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: North Pole and Beyond

A poster inquired about halakhic sources treating the North Pole.
Basically, one finds two unequally sized camps with some minor
variations within the groups. a) the most common position: when there is
no sunrise or sunset, the halakhic "day" is to comprise a 24 hour unit
for purposes of tifiloh, shabbos, etc. and b) the no-tickee-no-laundry
school, i.e. no sunrise or sunset implies the day doesn't kick over, its
a "yoma arichta" whether shabbos or not.

For some specific opinions we have: 
 1) The Tiferes Yisrael (TY) expresses the opinion that polar visitors
should keep shabbos according to the time of the place they started out
from.  This has the curious consequence (as noted by the TY) that an
American and European who reach the pole simultaneously will observe
shabbos according to shifted schedules betweeen Europe and America.  An
only slightly more radical implication - which the TY doesn't treat - is
the case of two travelers who reach the pole from different sides of the
international (or jewish-international, a whole other subject, but not
now) date line. One fellow might find himself in perpetual shabbos while
his friend is in perpetual chol, all in the same time and place.  The TY
also notes that no korban chatos or sikiloh would be levied on a polar
shabbos transgressor. (All of which argues that TY's basic position is
that there is no real shabbos, just some eitzoh dirabbonon.)

This case is not quite so academic as one might think.  The TY was rov
in Gdansk in the early 19th century and the original question concerned
zimanei tifiloh in high northern latitude cities, where even at midnight
one might distinguish the color blue from white, a traditional criterion
for identifying the ziman for morning krias shema (a d'oraisa after
all).  The TY strayed from there to a consideration of the north pole as
it might happen that jewish whalers from Europe and America could often
find themselves above the arctic circle, where the sun doesn't rise/set
for months at a time.  Prior to the creation and enormous expansion of
the new oil industry and the sudden market infiltration of oil based
kerosene in the later 19th century, whale oil was the most prized and
profitable of all lighting materials and another great industry was
based on exploitation of whale products.  presumably many jews were also
associated with these enterprises, and also could be found on whalers.
As for the original question for the ziman tefiloh in the north, the TY
basically ends by saying he isn't really sure what the answer is.

2) The Mor U'kitzioh (R. Yaakov Emden)
 Every 24 hour period is a new halakhic day.  if uncertain what day it
is now, follow the same advice provided travelers lost in the desert and
count six 24 hour units and observe shabbos on the seventh.

3) R.Yosef Chaim Al Chakham, (The Rav Pa'alim, sefardic,19th) also holds
from artificial 24 hour day units, but with the proviso that the sun
really never sets. if it sets even for a brief interval, then we
unlimber the full sho'oas zimanios apparatus. Thus we migth have a a
23.5 hour night and a half hour of daylight - each split into 12
halakhic "hours", which might prove challenging to polar voyagers who
put on both Rashi and R.Tam tefilin, not to mention khopping in a

4) R. Moshe Sternbuch (Mo'adim Uzimanim/chelek2/155) 
 A day is a 24 hour unit - with the interesting twist that, if the sun
doesn't set - there is no "night" in this day and one is thus free of
the obligation to perform any mitzvos which are nohaig at night (he
doesn't provide a list, but specifically excludes for further
consideration the evening krias shima, which might be associated more
with the the lying down and waking up from sleep (bishochbichoh
uvikumechoh) rather than the nightfall per se. and similarly for a day
which was all "night".

5)  R. David Luria (hagahos Radal) and more recently the Minchas Elozor:
  As long as the sun doesn't rise and set, the clock is stuck at
whatever day you got there. R. Luria takes this insight from a pirkei
dirav elazar which notes that Joshua's holding up the sun at Giv'on also
held up the start of shabbas by 36 hours.

Now for beyond: These issue are also related to the, for now, decidedly
academic issue of mitzvoh obligation on the moon or mars. if one is
indeed obligated, how to figure the zimanei tifiloh, etc.  it is not
unreasonable to think that some of these polar pisaks might be applied
to moonies or martians.  in a continuuing academic vein one might also
speculate about possible differences between the moon and mars, etc.  Of
course the simplest advice for the first jewish astronaut with such
concerns to land on mars is, as soon as he/she debarks, to simply go
enquire of the local chabad rov what the minhog hamokom is and conduct
him/herself accordingly.

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


From: Adina and Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 1996 00:45:47 +0000
Subject: Tfillin on Chol HaMoed (was Minhag Avoteynu Beyadeinu)

In Volume 25 Number 20 Israel Pickholtz writes:

> The notion of minhag avoteynu beyadeinu (our fathers' customs are
> entrusted to us) is a fairly powerful one.  Most obviously it supercedes
> the Torah commandment of tefillin on the extra day of the three
> festivals.
> ...
> So how come when it comes to tefillin on Hol HaMoed - which is practiced
> in galut by many people - EVERYONE in Israel accepts the local custom of
> not putting on tefillin?  (A Torah commandment.)  Shouldn't there be a
> logical kal vahomer that says if a visitor from galut cancels tefillin
> on the day after a festival "just" because of minhag avotav, a person
> cannot cancel tefillin on Hol HaMoed IN CLEAR VIOLATION of minhag
> avotav?

In Volume 25 Number 24 Menashe Elyashiv answers:

"True, minhag avotanu beyadanu, however it appears that minhag hamakom
overrides this rule. The reason for not putting on Teffilin on H.H. in
Eretz Israel is because the three main groups of the original settlers
of Eretz Israel in the last generations did not put on Teffilin. The
Sefaradim (at least from the time of the Shulhan Aruch and the
Kabbalah),the Talmidai HaBeshet (Hassidim) and the Talmidai HaGra
("Perushim"),and that set the custom here. The machloket on Teffilin
on H.H. probably goes way back to the Tannaim! In any case this is
minhag haaretz."

IMHO the answer begs the question.  It essentially says that because the
minhag of those who settled in Eretz Yisrael in the 18th and 19th
centuries had a different minhag, that minhag is followed.  If that is
so, why do we still see many different nuschaot (versions) of davening
in Eretz Yisrael? Why don't we just follow the version of those who
settled here first?

The question of Tfillin on Chol HaMoed bothered me deeply when I studied
here because I am a pure-bred Litvak and to me wearing Tfillin on Chol
HaMoed is a matter of pride.  Two years ago, in preparation for having
to be bored through Yom Tov Sheini in America for Pesach, I purchased
the Sefer "Yom Tov Sheini K'Hilchaso" (by R.  Yerachmiel David Fried)
and discovered that my minhag has support in the poskim, even in Eretz
Yisrael.  The passages quoted below are my free translation from the
Hebrew edition and appear starting on Page 179:

                         Jerusalem and the United States
5) Jerusalem, New York and other places in the United States 
(America), have the rule of places that do not have a fixed custom 
(footnote cites the author's personal conversation with R. Shlomo 
Zalman Auerbach zt"l and Iggros Moshe EH 1:59), and therefore one who 
comes from a place where the custom is to wait three hours between 
eating meat and milk, or who comes from Arab countries and such 
places where they were lenient in eating legumes and other such on 
Pesach to live in [Jerusalem or the United States] may continue to 
keep his own custom (footnote cites personal conversation with R. 
Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and refers to another footnote that indicates 
that nevertheless one who comes to live in Jerusalem is bound to say 
Ein Keilokeinu after Shachris each day as is the custom here even in 
Ashkenazic davening, as well as saying Sim Shalom in Mincha on 
Shabbos, which is also the custom even in Ashkenazic davening here).

                       Putting On Tfillin on Chol HaMoed
6) One who comes from a place where the custom was to put on Tfillin 
on Chol HaMoed to live in Eretz Yisrael, where the custom is not to 
put them on, may be lenient in accordance with the local custom 
(footnote citing Iggros Moshe OH 4:105 at E), *however if he wishes 
to be strict with himself and put on [Tfillin] he is allowed to* 
(footnote citing the same Iggros Moshe, as well as personal 
conversations with R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l and R. Chaim 
Pinchas Scheinberg shlit"a), but he should be careful to do so in 
private and without a blessing (footnote citing the Iggros Moshe and 
Rav Auerbach, and then suggesting that one look further into the 
Responsa of the Beis Yitzchak to be discussed below), and he should 
make a condition that if the Halacha is like those who require 
[wearing Tfillin] then he is wearing them for a Mitzva, and if not, 
then he is wearing them as clothing (footnote citing a conversation 
with Rav Auerbach, as well as Mishna Brura 31, Note 8).

I alluded above to a responsum of the Beis Yitzchak.  Since I don't own
the Sefer, I am posting based on R. Fried's footnote, not having seen
the original repsonsum.  According to the Beis Yitzchok YD 2:88, one
should put on Tfillin and daven at home (!) if there is no minyan which
puts on Tfillin, so that he will not be bearing false testimony by not
having the Tfillin on for Kriyas Shma, to which R. Fried writes in the
footnote, "and we are required to understand (ktzas tzorich la'ayen) why
should he not daven in shul with the congregation without Tfillin, and
just read Kriyas Shma with the Tfillin so that he will not be bearing
false witness."  The footnote then goes on to cite a number of other
poskim who agree that one should not put on Tfillin in a shul where the
custom is not to put them on because of Lo Sisgodidu (one should not
vary from the congregation's custom).

In conclusion, IMHO (and I am *not* a posek), one who wishes to put on
Tfillin on Chol HaMoed in Eretz Yisrael in private is on solid ground in
doing so, one should not make a bracha (blessing) if he does so, and it
may be preferable to say Kriyas Shma (without the brachos) while one has
the Tfillin on.  As to the original poster's question regarding why more
people do not do this, I would suggest two possibilities:

 1. There is a clear heter (permission) in the poskim not to act this
 2. People take for granted that if you don't put Tfillin on in shul,
you don't put them on anyplace else either, without really investigating
the halacha.

I should emphasize that the entire (halachic) discussion was based upon
the premise that one is privileged to iive in Eretz Yisrael, and isn't
just visiting here.  May Mashiach come before the next Yom Tov and
resolve all of our Halachic doubts.

-- Carl Sherer

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

Carl and Adina Sherer


End of Volume 25 Issue 39