Volume 26 Number 97
                      Produced: Tue Aug  5 23:00:52 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Apologies (V26 N96)
         [Sheldon Meth]
Birchat Sheheheyanu
         [Saul Mashbaum]
Eyin Horah & Purchasing things in advance of a baby's birth
         [Shimon Schwartz]
Geographical spread - was Mixed Seating
         [Chana Luntz]
Halakhic Methodology of History
         [Saul Newman]
Lies, Damn Lies & Anonymous Sources
         [Daniel Eidensohn]
Minyan Requirements for Maariv
         [Michael J Broyde]
Respect for Others on the List
         [Alana Suskin]


From: Sheldon Meth <SHELDON.Z.METH@...>
Date: 5 Aug 1997 09:23:26 -0500
Subject: Re: Apologies (V26 N96)

Rise Goldstein writes:

<<What about the offender (call him/her Person A) who knowingly and grievously
wrongs Person B, ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT B will forgive?>>

In Tefillas Zakah, which we recite before Yom Kippur, there is a section
in which we forgive all who have offended us in the hope that they
likewise will forgive us.  The statement there explicitely EXCLUDES
anyone who offends us thinking, "I will offend him, and he will forgive


From: Saul Mashbaum <mshalom@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 1997 16:01:37 GMT-2
Subject: Birchat Sheheheyanu

I would like to make a few more observations about bircat sheheheyanu.

1) Regarding the practice of making sheheheyanu when wearing a 
   new garmant, rather than when purchasing it, I cited, in a
   previous posting, OH 600 (Hilchot Rosh Hashana). Another 
   pertinent source which is relevant to this time of year is
   Hilchot Tisha B'Av, OH 551. The Mechaber cites the custom 
   of avoiding making a sheheheyanu on a new fruit or garment 
   during the mourning period preceding Tisha B'Av (the "Three 
   Weeks" for Ashkenazim). There is a dispute whether this 
   applies to Shabbat as well. The Mishna Brura says that 
   according to the opinion which says it does not, one should 
   delay eating a new fruit *or wearing a new garment* during 
   this period until Shabbat, when sheheheyanu may be made. 
   From this we see that the bracha on a new garnment is made 
   when the garment is worn, rather than purchased. 

2) Daniel Israel correctly points out that when a new garment is
   worn on Rosh Hashana, the bracha of sheheheyanu is made some 
   time *after* the garment is first worn, and wonders why there
   is no problem of hefsek (interruption). A similar observation may
   be made regarding a new fruit, when the bracha is made *before*
   eating the fruit (albeit only a few minutes). We see that the
   bracha of sheheheyanu is a bricat shevach vehodaa (praise and
   thanksgiving) which is made in proximity to the event which
   engenders it, but not necessarily immediate proximity, as are
   bircot hanehenin (made on food and other pleasures). I believe
   it accurate to say that the feeling of gratitude regarding a new 
   garment which causes the bracha to be made is long-lasting 
   enough to allow it to be made some time after the initial wearing 
   takes place (particularly since the garment is being worn when
   the bracha is made). A similar idea can be formulated regarding
   the sheheheyanu made *before* a friut is eaten: the presence of
   the food on the table and the intention to eat it engender feelings
   of gratitude which make the bracha of sheheheyanu appropriate.

   Furthermore,the application of one bracha of sheheheyanu to several 
   sources which obligate it, even when the obligations are not simulta-
   neous, is an established practice. It is proper, when making sheheheyanu 
   at the seder, to have the mitzva of matza (and perhaps sippur yetziat 
   Mitzraim) in mind as well. And the sheheheyanu made on the megilla 
   Purim morning applies to the other mitzvot done on Purim as well. 
   Thus it is not surprising that when we make a sheheyanu the second 
   night of Rosh Hashana it relates to both the Yom Tov and a new fruit 
   or garment, even if it is made not in immediate proximity to eating 
   the fruit or first wearing the garment. The same idea applies to the 
   sheheheyanu made by the baal tokea while wearing a new garment.

Saul Mashbaum


From: Shimon Schwartz <schwartz@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 19:43:04 -0400
Subject: Re: Eyin Horah & Purchasing things in advance of a baby's birth

> From: Ben Rothke <BRothke@...>
> There is a prevalent minhag of not purchasing specific for a baby in
> advance of its birth, due to the eyin hora (Evil Eye).
> Is this a real minhag that has a basis in halacha and what exactly is
> the eyin hora?

A more mundane explanation: If chas v'shalom there is a stillbirth or
[mid-term] miscarriage, the couple doesn't have to deal with a room or
house full of baby furniture and utensils.

I leave the ayin hara issue to others.

Shimon Schwartz
With Rebecca and Sarah Miriam, Forest Hills, NY: <schwartz@...>


From: Chana Luntz <heather@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 1997 18:22:16 +0100
Subject: Geographical spread - was Mixed Seating

 Joseph Geretz <JGeretz@...> writes
>This question may be of great significance today, where our communities are
>in general much more widely distributed than they were in the days of the
>Chofetz Chaim zt'l, due to the modern forms of transportation. In the
>Chofetz Chaim's day, families tended to cluster into close communities as
>it was rare to travel far beyond one's village or town. Hence a wedding was
>more likely to consist of a large concentration of close families.
>Nowadays, because of the way we all move around, in search of parnassa,
>Kollel, College, etc. (listed in no particular order :) ) a person's circle
>of friends and acquaintances are likely to be non-family members.
>Therefore, it is quite possible that our weddings nowadays consist of a
>lower concentration of family members and a higher concentration of
>strangers than they did in the days of the Chofetz Chaim zt'l.

I shall not comment on the fundamental issue that was being addressed
here, namely mixed or separate seating at weddings, but I would like to
comment on this statement, above, because I have been doing quite a bit
of genealogical research, involving nineteenth and early twentieth
century Lithuania, and I think that *relatively speaking* this is in
fact not true.

What do I mean by relatively speaking?  Well clearly in absolute terms,
families live further apart. To take my own family as a prime example.
I am living in England, my parents are in Australia, my grand-parents
are in South Africa, and my aunt is in Israel (and before that in
Canada).  That is about a geographically dispersed as one can get.  But
look at it another way - I am twenty hours from my parents, about
sixteen from my grandparents - and currently five from my aunt (it was
seven).  There are planes going to each of these places several times a
day.  Therefore I never need travel more than a day and a half to reach
my family - and although it is not cheap to travel, certainly it is
something that is affordable for a simcha.

On the other hand, my genealogical research suggests that we Jews did
not stay in one shtetl for very long (two generations seems to be often
the maximum).  I would say that the rabbinic branches were clearly the
greatest travellers - it is pretty standard for Rabbi X to have been
born in shtetl A, learnt in B (or B and C) married a girl from D, and
have held rabbinical posts in E and F (and maybe even G).  By horse and
cart, or even by railway, I suspect that these various towns were more
hours travelling time away than my parents are in Australia.  But even
the non rabbinical branches often shifted shtetl, sometimes clear across
North West Lithuania, (or in one case, even from France to Lithuania) -
often for parnassa or shidduch reasons. And certainly the wealthier
businessmen travelled.  One great-grandfather (b 1867) from a base in
Shovl (Siauliai, Lith) appears to have travelled all over the Russian
empire on business (he was even supposed to have had an office in
Copenhagen - although I have been unable to document this).  So while
there was clearly a lot of intra-familial marriages (ie cousins marrying
cousins), almost certainly more than one finds today - this did not
necessarily mean that these families lived that close together, in
travelling terms. And for those that did, no doubt different
considerations arose.  I have one branch that owned the consession from
the poretz for the entire village - the inn, the (three) shops, the mill
etc.  Because of this, - as the three sisters each ran one of the shops,
in one case the husband moved into the village (from somewhere else),
and the other two I am not sure about,but I suspect they were
intrafamilial marriages of some sort (same surnames keep reappearing).
So that, although yes, everybody in the village may well have been
related, they also constituted the vast bulk of potential marriage



From: Saul Newman <Saul.Z.Newman@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 09:06:10 -0700
Subject: Halakhic Methodology of History

 In Dr Chavel's response to Dr Soloveichik there is a discussion of
methodology of retelling history, essentially "Artscroll" history ,
wherein it is permissible or maybe obligatory to leave out details
and/or possibly change facts. He brings examples that have halachic
implications (secular studies in Volozhyn, re-editing R ' Zevin's work
to not discuss Yom Haatzmaut , e.g.)
 My question is to you historians out there: is there a specific way to
Halachically do history?  Are artscroll-type biographies to be seen as
inspirational, but not factual? in which case, should we then read the
critical versions to find out what really happened?  Is there an issue
halachically of sheker when deleting material facts? and when do the
laws of lashon hara apply.. I was most disturbed by the idea that an
editor would take out a reerence, even minor, if they disagree with the
psak or the nature of the discussion--Especially when in afirst edition
they appeared


From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 1997 18:17:56 -0700
Subject: Lies, Damn Lies & Anonymous Sources

I would like to thank Rabbi Broyde [volume 26 #96] for his cogent
criticisms of anonymous postings which report the rulings of gedolim. I
would like to extend this to the dangers of anonymous authorities in our
postings. The following posting also appeared in that same issue.

The message was as follows:
>While I am not personally familiar with the source, Rav Moshe Feinstein
>did write a Teshuva re a man wearing a toupee rather than a yarmulke. 
>My understanding wis that he clearly did not like the idea and struggled
>to approve of it and ok'd it reluctantly.  His reluctance was, I am told
>by those who studied the response, due to the fact that his reasoning
>against it would also apply to sheitels but that were he to rule
>sheitels assur, his community would not follow him.

This posting is making an assertion - that Rav Moshe really did not
approve of Sheitel - despite his public statements to the contrary. At
the same time the poster acknowledges that he never saw the actual
statement of Reb Moshe but is merely reporting what anonymous
authorities of unknown competence think it means. In addition the poster
indicates that Reb Moshe was less than honest in his rulings. Finally no
mention at all is made of where this ruling concerning toupee might be

What are we - the readers of mail jewish supposed to do with this

This reminds me of a story about the Chasam Sofer. There was a rav in
Hungary who used to "borrow" material from the Chasam Sofer and say it
over in his own name. This never bothered the Chasam Sofer. One day the
Chasam Sofer heard something from this rav that did make him angry. He
told the rav, "I have no problem of you saying over my rulings and
divrei Torah in your name, I do object strongly when you make up your
own interpretations but tell the public that the Chasam Sofer is your

				Daniel Eidensohn


From: Michael J Broyde <mbroyde@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 16:07:34 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Minyan Requirements for Maariv

One writer asked:
> > 	Let's suppose that a minyan for mariv has 4 people who have
> > already davened, 5 who have not, and one individual who had davened, but
> > missed mincha and had not yet said his tashlomin, may he count as the
> > tenth man?
and another writer responded: 
> Since the person did not say his tashlumin *immediately* after he
> davened the amidah of maariv, he can no longer say the tashlumin at all.
> So the question would be moot.

 This answer implies something that I do not beleive is correct.  Unlike
either shacharit or mincha, which requires 6 mitpalelim in order to have
a minyan with chazarat hashatz, ma'ariv has no such requirement.  Nine
people who already davened can stand around while a tenth, who has not,
says barchu, and the various kadishes.  Ma'ariv is in that regard like a
hacha kedusha.
 The requirement of 10 or six mitpallelim is limited to chazarat
hashatz, which we do not have in ma'ariv.



From: Alana Suskin <alanacat@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 12:55:25 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Respect for Others on the List

> Scenario 1: A yeshiva boy isn't really very frum, but he doesn't want
> people to know it, so he decides to show off the frumkeit he doesn't
> have by wearing his tzitzit out even though the other guys are not doing
> it. His Rebbe sees it for what it is, falshe frumnkeit. As you would
> expect, he ends up a cantor at a Conservative synagogue.

I want to note that I was highly offended by this comment. Although I
understand that this is an Orthodox list, it seems unnecessary to me to
insult other Jews. All the Conservative Jews I know, including the
rabbis and the cantors, are Conservative out of positive conviction, not
out of either despair at being made fun of, nor out of falshe frumkeit.
	I try to be respectful to Orthodoxim who post on our lists, and
I would hope that those on this list are able to do the same.  While I
understand that most Orthodoxim are unable to agree that the
Conservative movement is a halachic movement which works very hard at
reading and interpreting the halacha, which we are, I see no good reason
to be outright disrespectful.

	Alana Suskin


End of Volume 26 Issue 97