Volume 28 Number 26
                      Produced: Tue Nov 17  8:00:29 1998

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chelek in Olam Haba
         [Shlomo Godick]
Giving Schnorrers during Davening--Sources!!!
         [Russell Hendel]
Kavana & Grease
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Kavanah and Tzedakah (2)
         [Stephen Colman, Jordan Hirsch]
Magen Avot and Kedusha
         [Hyman L. Schaffer]
Nifty Tricks to Increase Concentration in Prayer
         [Carl M. Sherer]
Prayer and Tzedakah (2)
         [Joshua D. Goldberg, Carl M. Sherer]
Tzimtzum and imitateo dei
         [Shlomo Godick]


From: Shlomo Godick <shlomog@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 05:02:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject: re: Chelek in Olam Haba

Chaim Shapiro writes:
<<< E. Springer asks if there is a source for the assertion that making 3
shidduchim guarantees one a "chelek".  In response, I would mention the
concept of a man who has seven sons also earning a chalek. What if he is a
rasha, committing all sorts of evil acts?  Does he earn a chalek simply
because he had seven sons, a bracha which was provided to him by Hashem?

I was once told by a talmid chacham (who has seven sons) that the notion
that the parent of seven boys gets an "automatic" chelek is folkloristic
and has no basis in the Jewish sources.  Has anybody on this list seen
any source that would suggest otherwise?

Kol tuv,
Shlomo Godick


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 16:22:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Giving Schnorrers during Davening--Sources!!!

Three quick thoughts on dealing with schnorrers during davening.

1) >Whoso closeth his ears from the cries of the poor--
          also, his prayer is an abomination (Proverbs 21,13)<

2) The Rambam is EXPLICIT (Shma, Chap 2, 15) that
          > Between chapters, if someone says hello to you, you
          may respond back!!!<

  A non-verbal response of giving money to a schnorrer can certainly be done

3) What about "concentration and distractions"? Well...while reciting
Shma I undertake to accept all of Gods commandments...what is more natural
then but to hear someone asking for charity and my giving it. 

On the contrary, if my giving charity intefers with my concentration on
accepting Gods commandments, then I am not concentrating properly.

In conclusion, it seems recommended to give charity to schnorrers during
davening and to have in mind that we are performing God's commandments.
This is certainly permissable between Chapters of Shma, and in Psookay
dzimra and all other parts of davening (except the Shmoneh Esray). 

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 12:04:08 EST
Subject: Kavana & Grease

Shalom, All:
     <sabbahillel@...> relates the story of a rav, perhaps the father
of the first Lubavitche Rebbe, <<who was davening mincha while on his
lunch break working for a Polish nobleman. The nobleman thought he was
taking too long to daven shemonah esrai and threatened him with a
gun. >>
        There's another relevant story here, and like sabbahillel I too
am not sure of the rav involved -- was it Rabbi Yisrael Salanter? -- but
I remember the incident.
        A rav was walking with his students, when they noticed a worker
greasing his wagon -- while wearing tallit and t'fillin.  Outraged, the
students complained to the rav, "Look at that am haretz (ignorant
peasant).  Even while davening, he still greases his wagon!"
      "Yes, look at him," the rav replied.  "Even while greasing his
wagon, he still davens to Hashem!"
    Yeshaya Halevi (<Chihal@...>)


From: Stephen Colman <stephen.colman@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 14:17:52 -0800
Subject: Re: Kavanah and Tzedakah

Stuart Wise raises a very important matter. Unfortunately, I too have
had my tefilah ruined by a sheet of paper being shoved over my Siddur
and into my face, or an outstretched hand with a few coins being rattled
persistantly and with the express desire to distract my attention. The
culprits, in the main, appear to be 14 - 18 year old yeshiva bochurim,
(not of 'yekishe' or even Litvishe stock - I may add) who consider their
Mitzvah of raising much need funds for the Moisad more important than my
Tefilah (They may well be right - but give me a chance !!)

As a result, on principal, notwithstanding the maxim of 'time is money',
I now will ignore any Meshulachim who take this attitude, and cannot be
bothered to wait until an appropriate break in Tefilah 

In fact, in the Shull that I daven at regularly, the Rav has put up a
notice strictly forbidding any meshulachim from interupting our Tefilah
between Pesukei DeZimra and Chazoras Hashatz, although they are welcome
during and after Chazoras hashatz. (Unfortunately, this is not always
adhered to...) I do believe that the for the short time we are able to
devote to Tefilah, we should have the right to undivided Kavanoh - if we
are looking for it.

I also know of 2 other shulls in my area where the rule is that on
certain days of the week the only collection allowed is by the shull
Gaboim for the benefit of the Shull.

Stephen Colman

From: <TROMBAEDU@...> (Jordan Hirsch)
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 12:33:30 EST
Subject: Re: Kavanah and Tzedakah

<< Is it wrong not to respond positively to every outstretched hand --
especially when their actions disrupt my davening?  >>

I have always personally followed the "Shlomo Carlebach" approach- You
never know which Schnorrer is Eliyahu Hanavi. I know it sounds corny,
but the way I figure it, if a person has to put out their hands for
money, they need it, even if they are not poor. That doesn't mean they
are entitled to a sawbuck, but its not my place to be the bochen

Jordan Hirsch 


From: <HLSesq@...> (Hyman L. Schaffer)
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 11:31:14 EST
Subject: Re: Magen Avot and Kedusha

Concerning Yosef Gilboa's theory concerning the possible linkage between
congregational singing of magen avot and the introductory lines to
kedusha (viz. nkadesh or naaritzcha) you will not be surprised to learn
that the minhag hagra is not to say these lines either (just as it is
not to say magen avot), although maase rav notes that the tzibbur that
davenned with the gra did say them. I recall reading a tshuva (I believe
by Rav M. Shternbuch, who is a descendent of the gra) pointing out that
magen avot was designed for the shatz exclusively, and further
commenting on those who sing along (at least as I recall it) "where did
they learn to do this, and they are not acting appropriately (lo yafeh
hem osim)". I will bli neder look for the cite to the tshuva.


From: Carl M. Sherer <carl@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 14:50:57 +0200
Subject: Nifty Tricks to Increase Concentration in Prayer

sabbahillel writes:

> There is the story of the father of the first Lubavitche Rebbe who was
> davening mincha while on his lunch break working for a Polish nobleman
> (I may have the story wrong as to who it is).  The nobleman thought he
> was taking too long to daven shemonah esrai and threatened him with a
> gun.  He said "I will shoot the gun and if you flinch, I will kill you".
> The Rebbe's father was so intent on davening that he did not hear him,
> nor did he notice when the gun went off.  That impressed the nobleman so
> much that he did not object to his davening in the future.

The Artscroll biograhpy of R. Moshe Feinstein zt"l brings this story 
as having happened to R. Moshe's father, R. David Feinstein zt"l. 

-- Carl M. Sherer
mailto:<carl@...>  or   mailto:sherer@actcom.co.il
Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son Baruch Yosef ben
Adina Batya.  Thank you very much.


From: <jgoldberg@...> (Joshua D. Goldberg)
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 9:28:04 -0500
Subject: Prayer and Tzedakah

>>Is it wrong not to respond positively to every oustretched hand --  
>>especially when their actions disrupt my davening?

 From a purely legalistic approach, I believe "haosek bimitzvah, patur
memitzvah" (the person engaged in a mitzvah is exempt from other
mitzvahs) would apply and there is no obligation to give charity while

Joshua D. Goldberg
Keating, Muething & Klekamp, P.L.L.
Tel: 513-579-6400 -Fax: 513-579-6457
Internet Address: <jgoldberg@...>

From: Carl M. Sherer <carl@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 19:04:44 +0200
Subject: Prayer and Tzedakah

Stuart Wise writes:
> It is common in many shuls for outsiders looking for tzeddakah to enter
> shul during davening.  For years I would reach into my pocket to give
> tzedakah and then lose my place, and my kavanah as well. Lately, I find
> myself just ignoring the outstretched hand (especially during Shema),
> but then feeling guilty. Complicating matters for me is that One can
> never be sure who these people are collecting for and whether they are
> true aniyim, and for those aniyim who apparently are frum, they seem to
> have no regard for the fact that they are interrupting my davening.
> Is it wrong not to respond positively to every oustretched hand -- 
> especially when their actions disrupt my davening?

In Yerushalayim it may be wrong not to respond positively to every
outstretched hand, but it is also probably impossible for most people to
respond positively to every one. There are many shuls (plus the Kotel)
where one may be "hit" dozens of times during davening, so I think you
have to reach some sort of a balance.

One thing you can do is leave some small change on the table that they
can take. If you cannot do that for any reason, then I would say not to
respond if someone asks you during Shmoneh Esrei or at other times when
your Kavanah is disturbed (e.g. Shma).

As to the issue of whether these are truly poor people, my general rule
now is that I give most of my tzedaka money to institutions or to people
whom I trust to check carefully into the financial situation of those to
whom they give tzedaka (because otherwise I don't think that you fulfill
your obligation to give Tzedaka). I have a few Gabbei Tzedaka with a
reputation for being honest and meticulous about whom they give money
to, and I trust them to see that my tzedaka money is going to those who
need it.

Having said that, once someone came up to me in shul and said he was
begging for hachnasas kallah (marrying off a bride) and added in an
undertone, "and I am the chason." I gave him money that day, and started
giving him substantial sums of money regularly (generally NIS 20 and
up). After several months, I asked him when his chasuna (wedding) would
be, and he said "after Shavuos; I will give you an invitation." Sure
enough, several weeks later, he came to me and handed me an invitation -
the first time I found out his name. I decided to go to the chasuna, put
a fair amount of money in an envelope, and handed it to the chason.

A few minutes later I ran into a former neighbor, and asked him what he
was doing there. He said that he worked for the chason's father. This
answer surprised me greatly, and I asked what the chason's father did
for a living. He explained to me that the chason's father was the editor
of a large and well-known set of sforim (which many on this list may
well own), and that he - my former neighbor - acted as a researcher,
checking cross references for him. It turns out that the father is a BIG
talmid chochom, and that giving his son money was probably one of the
more reliable ways of giving tzedaka that I have available to me.

The son - the chason in the story - has remained in close contact with
us. I continue to give him money around the chagim (he does not come to
my new neighborhood to schnorr, but I know that he supports several
families now through his schnorring), and he calls regularly to ask how
Baruch Yosef is doing, to tell us where he has davened for him, and once
he even came to our house to take Baruch Yosef to meet and receive a
bracha from a certain Rebbe.

Moral of the (too long - sorry about that) story - sometimes your
instincts regarding to whom to give and to whom not to give are your
best guide.

-- Carl M. Sherer
mailto:<carl@...>  or mailto:sherer@actcom.co.il
Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son Baruch Yosef ben
Adina Batya.  Thank you very much.


From: Shlomo Godick <shlomog@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 03:34:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Tzimtzum and imitateo dei

Stan Tenen ?<meru1@...>? wrote:  ??

Prayer is not our asking Hashem to do what we want.  Prayer is
relinquishing some of the personal will we received from Hashem's Will,
back to Hashem, so that we can do what Hashem wants. (And Yirat Hashem
includes our trusting that Hashem best knows how to satisfy our needs,
regardless of what it is we may think we want.)  When we constrict our
personal will, we make room for Hashem's Will.  This is a reversal of
the process of tzimtzum, wherein Hashem withdraws his Will so that the
universe (where we are given to express our free will) can come into
being.  >>

Nice.  I would add that in fact this is another example of how the
injunction of 'v'halachta b'drachav' (imitateo dei) can be applied to
HaShem's creation of the world.  It reminds me of something I heard Rav
Soloveitchik say, in a different context, in his shiur on the parasha on
motzaei shabbat in Boston years ago.  In discussing parashat Vayera and
the mitzva of hachnasat orchim, the Rav said that the archetypal act of
hachnasat orchim was HaShem's creating the world through tzimtzum,
making room for the creation through, kivyachol, self-withdrawal.
Similarly are we enjoined to withdraw, to circumscribe our ego-space,
and make room in our homes for the needy, the indigent, and the

Kol tuv,
Shlomo Godick


End of Volume 28 Issue 26