Volume 28 Number 40
                      Produced: Tue Dec  1  7:59:56 1998

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Finishing the Pasuk
         [AJ Gilboa]
How to learn to lain
         [Joe Harlin]
Intermarriage Attendance
         [Judy Bubis]
Keter Shem Tov
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
relatives marrying non-Jews: RSVP'ing to wedding invitations
         [Ed Norin]
RSVPing to out-marriage wedding invitations
         [Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.]
Seven Sons Redux
         [David Riceman]
T'filla shel rosh
         [Mike Savere]
Trivia Tangent on kavvana discussion
         [Sheri & Seth Kadish]


From: AJ Gilboa <bfgilboa@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 12:23:50 -0800
Subject: Re: Finishing the Pasuk

> <      Related question: when we say in the Yom Kippur avodah about the
>  Kohen Gadol saying the pasuk "ki bayom hazeh", we leave off the last
>  word of the pasuk.  Has anyone seen anything about finishing off the
>  pasuk silently (before the bowing)? >>

The ongoing discussion of the "splitting" of the pasuq in question
raises an interesting point. Although the Rambam in Hilchot Avodat Yom
Hakipurim (2:7) gives this as the correct manner of reciting this pasuq
after each of the three viduyim of the Kohen Gadol, it is not at all
clear where this halacha comes from. The mishnayot that deal with this
do not specify the practice of the K.G. timing the the word "titharu" to
coincide with the end of the congregational recitation of "baruch ...
va'ed". Nor does the Kesef Mishne shed any light on the source of this
halacha. Strangely, the text of Kesef Mishne reads (freely translated):
"concerning what I have written - the K.G. aims to finish .... and says
to them titharu". FULL STOP and NO SOURCE GIVEN. Is this a misprint? Or
are we to suppose that there is no Talmudic source for this practice?
Daniel Goldschmidt's introduction to his Mahzor l'Yom Hakippurim sheds
some light perhaps.  states that all the known piyyutim of the "avoda",
including anonymous piyyutim predating Yossi ben Yossi of the fifth
century (common era), contain this text as we see it today in our
mahzorim. So the paytanim must have relied on a well established
tradition. And it should have been known at least to the latest
redactors of the Talmud if indeed the Talmud was brought to its more or
less final form by the end of the fifth century.

Should we then conclude that there is a difference of opinion here? The
Talmudic sources give the impression that the K.G. recited the (entire)
pasuq and the assembled kohanim and others then replied with
"baruch...va'ed" whereas the piyyutim are unanimous that the pasuq was
split. Does the Rambam then decide in favor of the paytanim vs. the
Talmud?! Or can we say that the piyutim are simply elaborating on the
description given in the Mishna by filling in details. In this
connection, I noticed that the Steinsaltz edition of the Talmud has a
footnote to the relevant Mishna in Yoma (Bavli 66:1) referring to the
abovementioned Rambam (Hilchot Avodat Yom Hakipurim 2:7). After quoting
the text of the Rambam, the editor has added the word "kamishna", i.e.,
"in accord with this mishna", even though the Mishna does not explicitly
specify that the K.G. waits before saying "titharu".

I would appreciate it if anyone could shed more light on this "mystery".

Yosef Gilboa


From: Joe Harlin <joeharlin@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 05:51:08 PST
Subject: How to learn to lain

I would like to learn how to read from the Torah with the tropp (musical

Does anyone have any suggestions on tapes, books, CD-ROM's etc. that
an adult can utilize to learn how to lain???.



From: Judy Bubis <bubis@...>
Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 22:45:45 +0400
Subject: Intermarriage Attendance

> Re Avram Sacks - relatives marrying non Jews.

Unfortunately I have more relatives that I care to count who have
married non-Jews so I have different thoughts on the matter.  Firstly,
there is a difference between being present at the actual ceremony and
going to the reception afterwards. Being present at the ceremony entails
witnessing and thereby actively participating in the non-kosher union,
or at the least would indicate your tacit approval of it.  However, once
the marriage has taken place, your approval or participation or lack of
it is no longer relevant.  If you would continue to be friendly and
socialize with this relative at family gatherings even after such a
marriage, then presumably you could make an appearance at the reception
bedarchei shalom, but not necessarily "enjoy" the party too much. In
most cases it is not necessary to explain your absence, I think most
people would be aware that as a religious person you can't participate
in a mixed marriage and if you are worried about insulting anyone it's
better not to spell it out and make them feel worse. However, if you
have an ongoing, close relationship with the relative and they really
care about your presence, you should certainly explain your position and
if necessary, make any accomodation that you are halachically able. To
cut yourself off totally thereby creating animosity is just as much of a
Chilul Hashem as it would be to eat the treif food at the wedding.OTOH,
I believe that one of the contributing factors to the increasing
intermarriage rate in the last few generations is that too many parents
and relative subscribed to the "what can I do but accept it - and anyway
he's basically a nice person - as long as they're happy" philosophy.  If
our long held values are fundamentally challenged, then it is certainly
not inappropriate to express one's disapproval by not attending the
wedding, and if the parties feel slighted, well perhaps they should.

Someone in this position really has to analyze the relationships
carefully, figure out what the ramifications might be in each particular
case, and consult a well respected Rav.

Judy B.


From: Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 16:44:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: re: Keter Shem Tov

The sefer Keter Shem Tov (7 parts printed in 5 volumes) is easily
obtainable at Mekor Haseforim in Brooklyn (1987 Coney Island Avenue).  I
bought a set a few weeks ago and I saw at least two other sets on the
shelves there at the time.


From: <EngineerEd@...> (Ed Norin)
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 16:32:14 EST
Subject: relatives marrying non-Jews: RSVP'ing to wedding invitations

Going to the wedding implies acceptance of what you are witnessing and
joining in the celebration.  For a religious Jew, a mixed marriage is
never a Simcha.  Besides for this, in a mixed marriage, there is often
problems with kashruth and Shabbot.
   My wife and I a few years ago, faced a difficult situation when our
niece was getting married.  It certainly strained the family bonds.  We
solved the problem by calling the children and the parents (my sister)
and explaining to each of them how this has nothing to do with love for
them but our view on Jewish law and continuity.  With HaShem's help and
going out of our way to make it to a lot of other family functions
(including two brit from the mixed marriage couple) and inviting the
couple over to our house for various events, everyone in the family has
now accepted us for our views.  No guarantees that this will work in any
other situation.


From: Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq. <khresq@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 15:29:50 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RSVPing to out-marriage wedding invitations

Re: Avram Sacks's query regarding responding to invitations to weddings
where a family member marries a non-Jew (issue 28:35):

My experience has been to simply respond that you will not attend,
without further commentary.  If further explanation is requested, then
speak your mind and pull no punches.

Why is it that YOU are the one who must be made to feel like a social
boor when someone else commits the social wrong of marrying out and
his/her parents act as facilitators?  YOU shouldn't be put on the
defensive for their wrongdoings!  Keep this in mind if and when you are
called upon to explain.

Another issue: Sometimes the relatives make the non-Jewish partner the
"heavy" in the deal.  It must be remembered that there is nothing per se
wrong with a non-Jew not being Jewish, but there is plenty wrong with a
Jew marrying a non-Jew.  Put the blame where it belongs!!  We must stop
giving social acceptance to marrying out -- and to facilitating people
when they marry out.

It is true that you might take some flak from some (or all) of your
relatives for not attending the festivities.  But as long as we continue
to attend these out-weddings, then we are facilitators and must be held
to some degree of accountability for them.  Sometimes firmness is more
important than politeness.  Besides, much of the flak subsides in due
time, when everyone sees that you mean business.

The time to take the stand begins long before you receive the invitation
to the out-wedding.  Within the past two months, my wife and I declined
to attend a so-called "Bar Mitzvah" ceremony which entailed
circumstances so contrary to halacha that we simply could not attend.
Yes, we caught (and continue to catch) flak, but, surprisingly, many of
those from whom we expected severe adverse reactions expressed respect
and admiration to us for sticking to our guns.  If we are known to take
a stand when all the individuals involved are Jewish, then it is all the
more easier to take and maintain a stand when you get the invitation to
an out-wedding.

Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.
P.O. Box 926
East Northport, NY  11731
E-mail:  <khresq@...>
516/266-5854 (vox)  - 516/266-3198 (fax)


From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 1956 21:25:57 +0000
Subject: Seven Sons Redux

With regard to Dr. Hendel's theory:

  The Yerushalmi tells a (truly marvellous) story of a man whose twelve
brothers died without children.  All twelve widows insisted that he
perform yibbum, and he came to Rebbi with the complaint that he couldn't
afford to support such a large family.
  "I'll support the family one month a year!" cried each widow.
  "I can't even afford to support the family during leap year,"
responded the unfortunate future husband.
  "I'll support the family during leap year," said Rebbi, and he sent
them off with a bracha that they have boys.
  Three years later twelve women and thirty six young boys showed up on
Rebbi's doorstep expecting (and receiving) a month's support.

  So you can have seven children in fewer than six years.

David Riceman


From: Mike Savere <mike_s@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 16:49:10 -0500 (EST)
Subject: T'filla shel rosh

	Is there a certain way the knot is supposed to be tired for the
head t'filla? The knot on mine has come undone, and I am not sure how to
tie it back.


From: Sheri & Seth Kadish <skadish@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 17:26:05 +0200
Subject: Trivia Tangent on kavvana discussion

	One of the issues in the kavvana discussion sparked my
curiousity as to whether anything else like it exists elsewhere in
halakha.  I'll explain the issue first and then the trivia question it
brings to mind.

	Here is the issue: The statement that "we don't have kavvana"
(and yet we still pray) first appears in the writings of the geonim.  It
was repeated by many rishonim (with the notable exception of the Rambam)
and in all halakhic codes ever since the Rambam.  It became common
practice even though it directly opposes an explicit prohibition of

	The prohibition is this: "Rabbi Eliezer said: A persion should
always evaluate himself.  If he is able to direct his heart [lekhavven
et libbo], then he should pray.  But if he is not able to, he must not
pray."  (Berakhot 30b) It is crucial to note that if a person can't
[have] kavvana he is not just *exempt* from prayer, but actually
*forbidden* to pray.  There are other talmudic examples of kavvana as an
absolute precondition for prayer (see Eruvin 65a), especially Rabbi
Elazar's statement that "One who returns from a journey must not pray
for three days."  This was meant literally, and codified halakha
le-ma'aseh by the Rambam.  (Journeys apparently entailed great physical
hardship and mental exahustion.  I guess they still do today to a lesser
degree.)  The gemara on the same daf is equally clear that if you
already prayed without kavvana, you haven't fulfilled your obligation.

	Rabbi Eliezer's prohibition of prayer-without-kavvana has always
been accepted by *all* posekim without exception, at least in principle
(though there is a range of opinion on which berakhot are meant).
However, the idea that "we don't have kavvana" overcame Rabbi Eliezer's
rule in practice.  This means that even when you can't possibly have
kavvana you still must pray, despite the fact that you won't fulfill
your obligation.

	What is so strange about this whole thing is that later posekim
took a clear, undisputed talmudic *prohibition* (Rabbi Eliezer's rule)
and turned the exact prohibited act into an *obligation*!  What twist of
logic could possibly justify this?  (Chapter 2 of my book is an attempt
to come grips with this problem intellectually.  There are a couple of
possible explanations for the logic.)

	Now here is the trivia question: Is there any other area of
halakha besides prayer where something like this happened?  Where later
posekim turned an absolute talmudic prohition into something that *must*
be done?  Or is the idea that "nowadays we don't have kavvana" unique in
this respect?

	I've only thought about this very briefly.  The first thing that
came to mind was the relative preference for yibbum (the brother marries
his dead brother's widow) versus halitza (the brother performs a
ceremony so as not to marry the widow).  But this is not a good
parallel, because both yibbum and halitza are clearly permissible.

	Other issues where we try to technically avoid prohibitions
(such as prozbol, selling hametz, heter iska for interest at banks,
etc.) are also not good parallels because they never become
*obligations* (no one forces you to sell your hametz), and because they
attempt to avoid the prohibited act.  In the prayer issue, the
prohibited act is *exactly* what you are obligated to do!  To me, this
is quite strange.

	So can anyone out there think of a parallel to "we don't have
kavvana" in different areas of halakha?  Or is this entirely unique to

Thanks to anyone who can help!


End of Volume 28 Issue 40