Volume 27 Number 25
                      Produced: Thu Nov 27 13:59:41 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

A Simple Observation On Slander and Psychotherapy
         [Russell Hendel]
Avos, Imahos, and marriage
         [Sheldon Meth]
Burial on the Second Day of Yom Tov
         [I. Harvey Poch]
Holocaust artefacts
         [Sarah C. Rutherford]
Lashon Hara
         [Perry Zamek]
Lying for shidduchim
         [Aaron D. Gross]
Sukkah Decoration
         [Chaim Mateh]
Tefillin Question
         [Mark Guenette]
Yemenite (Temani) Minhagim
         [Sheri & Seth Kadish]


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 19:37:38 -0500
Subject: A Simple Observation On Slander and Psychotherapy

There have been many find points made in the last few issues on slander
and psychotherapy. The following simple case may answer some remaining

If a person comes into a therapist office and starts telling his/her
problems and conspicuously and obviously slanders people then I would
simply posit that in ADDITION to all his/her other problems this person
has the personality problem of slandering people.

Quite simply then the therapist has not only a halachic requirement to
object but the therapist also has a PROFESSIONAL OBLIGATION to cure this
person's most blatant fault: His/her compulsion to slander.

In fact this would tie in with what Jeremy Nussbaum said: Our view of
slander vs psychotherapy must be a function of how Judiasm views
psychotherapy...and obviously Judaism considers Slander to be the root
cause of many personality faults (e.g. consider the multitude of
statements on the MeTzOrah..who is being punished for all his faults...
yet the most basic one in "slander")

Let me put it still another way..all the questions so far have separated
Therapy's desires from Judaism's desires...what I am positing is that it
is contrary (or should be contrary) to professional standards of
therapists to ignore a "slander compulsion" problem and concentrate on
other (minor) problems.

I would be so bold to say that if a person went twice a week to a
therapist for a year (50*2*100=$20000 dollars) and the therapist never
attempted to cure his/her slander problem then this person would be
entitled in a Jewish court for a return of his/her money due to the
professional negligence of the therapist.

Needless to say I am not only interested in halachic comments..  I
wonder how the therapists feel about my "diagnosis"

Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.d ASA rhendel @ mcs drexel edu


From: Sheldon Meth <SHELDON.Z.METH@...>
Date: 17 Nov 1997 14:29:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Avos, Imahos, and marriage

In Vol. 27 #24 Akiva Miller writes: "But Yaakov's twelve good sons were
born to a combination of wives and concubines."

My understanding is that Bilhah and Zilpah were sisters and also sisters
of Rachel and Leah, although Bilhah and Zilpah's mother was Lavan's
concubine.  They were maidservants to their half-sisters, as the Torah
states.  On the other hand, when they were "given" to Ya'akov, he freed
them, and married them as wives, not concubines.

I do not have specific references for this, however, kach mekublani
meRabbosai [so have I received it from my Rebbeim].

-Sheldon Meth


From: I. Harvey Poch <af945@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 11:55:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Burial on the Second Day of Yom Tov

First of all, Shalom Aleichem to my friends - the Vanderhoofs - from
across the ocean.

Jewish burials are permitted on ANY day of the year except for Shabbat
and Yom Kippur. Because of the special sanctity of Yerushalayim, burials
are carried out with dispatch (pardon the pun), even at night and on Yom

In chutz la'aretz, burials are permitted (with most of the work being
done by goyim) on the first day of Yom Tov, as well as the second day
(with most of the work being done by Jews).

HOWEVER, because of the MANY questions of chilul Yom Tov, most
communities (including Toronto, where I am a funeral director), this is
simply not done. And when we have three-day periods, such as Rosh
haShanah, Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret this year, the funeral homes and
cemeteries go nuts on the Saturday night and Sunday.

There have been only TWO such burials in Toronto in the last thirty
years, both involving Orthodox families. I wasn't living here when the
first occurred, but I know the family of the second had 'charatah',
because there was NO funeral, and only a minyan could attend the
'kevurah'. This minyan did NOT include the children of the niftar, but
two of the grandchildren attended as members of the Chevra Kadisha.

I. Harvey Poch  (:-)>


From: Sarah C. Rutherford <eliscrp@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 11:46:20 +0000
Subject: Holocaust artefacts

I wonder whether you might be able to help me.

In connection with my PhD thesis, I need some information on artefacts
made out of Holocaust victims' remains.

I understand that some such artefacts are on display in holocaust

If you are able to point me in the direction of any information or
references on this subject, I would be most grateful.  The slightest
clue would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

S. C. Rutherford
University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 07:21:39 +0200
Subject: Lashon Hara

In mail-jewish Vol. 27 #23, Moshe Hillson writes:

>I distinctly remember, when learning Hafetz Hayim (laws of gossip and
>talebearing) a mention of 2 cases where it's a mitzva to lend an ear to
>someone who has a gripe about someone else (laws of Lashon Hara CH. 6
>paragraph 4):
>1) When the listener feels he has the ability to convince the speaker
>that there was a misunderstanding.
>2) When the speaker will be calmed down by "ventilating".

Question: If one is permitted to listen to the lashon hara under the
second provision, is one *obligated* to try to convince the speaker that
there was a misunderstanding? Or are these two separate (and equal)

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: Aaron D. Gross <adg@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 10:12:10 -0800
Subject: Lying for shidduchim

In an earlier post, in response to a post by Rabbi Simmons, I have
subsequently had numerous emails off-line with others and Rabbi Simmons
regarding the subject of lying in order to make a shidduch.  The
following is a paraphrase of an email that I sent to Rabbi Simmons that
he suggested that I post, here.

Apparently, I came across as opposing the idea.

My conclusion was that I had *difficulty* with the matter and raised
serious questions of concern (for instance, the scenario that the lying
party never gets an opportunity to divulge the lie).  I never said it
was wrong, per se.

I have no trouble with a Gadol telling you, another rav, that you may
lie in order to make an initial shidduch.  The Gadol's and your
hashkafos are clearly Torah-true and intact.  My problem is that it was
expressed in such a fashion that many well- intentioned but unqualified
lay-shadchanim may interpret your statement as a blanket haskamah for
lying.  This is a dangerous precedent.

I am painfully aware of someone who had a long painful divorce since he
was lied to by rebbeim who, according to him, never owned up to their
responsibility in the matter.  That person left frumkeit altogether and
it will take a few more years before the financial damage of the divorce
is paid off, let alone the emotional and spiritual damage.  I am certain
that you know this person and would agree that he is an incredible
mentsch, and remains so despite leaving frumkeit.

"Matchmaking" closely resembles "playing with matches".  A lie is a
stick of dynamite.  In the hands of experts, it can be used to prepare a
solid foundation for a "beis neeman l'yisroel".  It can also kill.  It
is imperative that those using dynamite are qualified to do so.

Saying that a gadol permits lying in order to make a shidduch is handing
out sticks of dynamite.

It helps that you say that the person lied about is the one obligated to
divulge the truth.  It is necessary, then, for the shadchan to inform
the lied-about party about all truths fudged on or withheld.  This will
give the lied-about person the ability to dowse the fuse.  If there are
many fuses, though, it is essential that the shadchan divulge all of

I think that fudging with age, hair color preferences (a shadchan wrote
me yesterday about a bochur who refused to date redheads and ended up
marrying one) and the like are relatively minor, superficial
characteristics that qualified shadchanim should have leeway with,
especially as these are easily discovered on initial meetings.

On the other hand, not disclosing mental illness, histories of family
abuse, and other serious matters, is more the type of unrevealed problem
that can be disastrous.

In conclusion, you went to a highly respected Jerusalem shadchan.
Someone who knows how to use dynamite.  Would you trust the average
newbie baal tshuvah 2 weeks into frumkeit, who hears it's OK since a
gadol permits it, with the same stick of dynamite?


Aaron Gross

p.s. I married a redhead 11+ years ago, though that was 
     probably last on my list of preferences if you had 
     asked me beforehand.  Bochurs who reject redheads are,
     in my opinion, missing out on a treasure!  ;-)
   Aaron D. Gross -- http://www.pobox.com/~adg


From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 16:41:03 +0200
Subject: Re: Sukkah Decoration

Zvi Goldberg wrote in reply to my "Sukkah decoration" answer:

<<if eating under decorations *4* t'fachim or lower from the schach is
valid. I believe we pasken it is invalid like R' Chisdah and Rabbah. I
would be curious to know where Mr. Mateh obtains the number *3*.>>

Mr. Mateh (just call me Chaim <G>) obtained the number 3 by relying on his
memory without checking the sources correctly  (|:-(

On 13 Cheshvan last week, the Hallacha Yomis was the exact seif in the
Shulchan Aruch Orech Chaim (Siman 627 Seif 4) that discussed the topic
and it says very clearly that the number is 4 tfochim as Zvi correctly
pointed out, and not 3 tfochim as I mistakenly wrote.  I apologize for
the error.  Boruch H-ashem I added my disclaimer of asking everyone to
confirm the Hallacha with their LOR.

Kol Tuv,


From: <MDGuenette@...> (Mark Guenette)
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 21:50:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Tefillin Question

Wrapping up my tefillah shel rosh a couple days ago, I noticed that the
shin embossed on the bayit had four branches instead of the usual three.
I'm sure there's a perfectly logical explanation for this, but I've
either forgotten it or never knew it.

I'd appreciate whatever the obvious answer might be.




From: Sheri & Seth Kadish <skadish@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 19:37:41 +0200
Subject: Re: Yemenite (Temani) Minhagim

>In addition, I am interested in an overview of Yemenite (Temani)
>minhagim, and in getting a sense of that community's general approach
>to Judaism and the nature of its culture.

I am no expert on the halakhot of adoption, but I may be able to help
somewhat on the minhagim/culture issue.  Though no Yemenite myself (I'm
American/Ashkenazi/nowIsraeli), I have unbounded admiration, affection,
and interest in the community.

The very first thing I would suggest, before anything else, it to check
out your own home town.  You are from Beit Shemesh, where there is bound
to be a Yemenite synagogue in the old part of town.  Though the
Americans moving to Beit Shemesh have all bought in their own new
"section", there's nothing stopping you from walking to the old
"development town" on Shabbat, praying there, and meeting people.
Yemenite davvening has a very different style to what you're used to,
but you should get used to it after a few visits.  (It's worth it.)
People may be surprised to see an American there, but I'd bet 10 to 1
that when you explain why, they'll be very pleased and welcoming.  You
may even get an invitation.  If they have a local rav, call him up on
the phone.

Here's a bunch of things I've learned about Yemenite Jews over the
course of the years, especially minhagim:

Prayer: The "real" Yemenite siddur is called the "Tiklal", and is nearly
identical to the Rambam's nosah.  In the 19th century, when their
isolation from the rest of the world relaxed, many Yemenite communites
adopting the common Sephardic siddur (middle-east and north-Africa),
which they call "Baladi".  So there are really two different kinds of
Yemenite synagogues.

The two most distinctive things you will find in tefilla, which will
seem very strange, are pronunciation and Keriat ha-Torah.  Yemenite
pronunciation has been discussed in the past on MJ, but suffice it to
say that the Yemenite Jews preserved distinctive sounds for *all* of the
Hebrew consonants, and well as their own system of vowelization.  It's
hard to hear what they're saying at first, but you'll quickly get used
to it.  Ask for help.
	In terms of Keriat ha-Torah, Yemenites preserve the talmudic
custom of alternating verse/targum, e.g. reading Onkelos after each
pasuk. Often a young kid is the "meturgeman".  Sometimes this makes
Keriat ha-Torah take a very long time.  They also have their own set of
Zemirot called the "Diwan", some of the songs in Judeo-Arabic (Arabic
with Hebrew lettering.)

Torah and Psak: There were outstanding talmidei hakhamim in Yemen,
mostly unknown to the outside world.  The Yemenites had an oral
tradition of talmud interpretation, "peshat", that often bypassed
medieval pilpul.  They had and have endless admiration for the Rambam,
who's pesak (and siddur) they accepted.  They accepted the Shulhan Arukh
very late, and on many things still follow the Rambam's pesak.  (One
quick example: Re-heating liquids on the blech on Shabbat.)  They had
their own official midrash, "Hamidrash Hagadol", which is a collection
like Yalkut Shimoni, but with the texts entirely re-edited by its
medieval author.

Language: If you ask a Yemenite immigrant what language he grew up
speaking, he'll tell you "Yemenite".  Dialects of spoken Arabic are so
diverse that they are nearly different languages!  But in any case, this
would be the equivalent of Yiddish for most American Jews.  Yemenite
scholars also preserved medieval Judeo-Arabic as a language of study,
and thus read the works of many rishonim in their original texts.  In
Yemen, in fact, each verse in Keriat ha-Torah was actually read three
times: The pasuk, Onkelos, and Saadia Gaon's Arabic translation, the
"Tafsir".  Since the mass immigration to Israel, the Tafsir has been
dropped, but not Onkelos.

Books: There are lots of books on the topic.  I happen to have "Yehudei
Teiman" by Moshe Tzadok on my shelf.  Galei Tzahal (Misrad ha-Bitahon)
published a more readable book with the same title by Yehuda Nini.

Approach to Judaism: Yirat Shamyim, talmud torah, close families,
positive attitudes - all of this is very common.  You'll generally find
the descendants of immigrants from Yemen to be warm, welcoming people.
Even those who are not personally observant anymore are usually not
"anti", and have positive views on Judaism and mitzvot.

Food: You could go to the closest Kosher Yemenite Resteraunt a couple of
times (probably in Yerushalayim) to learn all about malawah and jahnun,
but its even better to get an invitation from someone in Beit Shemesh.
It beats bagels and cream cheese by a mile.

Finally, showing respect for and interest in the masoret of the boy
you're adopting is adding a mitzva to an already great mitzva.  Hazak

Seth Kadish
Karmiel, Israel


End of Volume 27 Issue 25