Volume 28 Number 42
                      Produced: Tue Dec  8  8:07:24 1998

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Rabbi Shmuel Jablon]
Iyun Tefillah (was Misheberachs)
         [Carl M. Sherer]
Kashrut of Placenta
         [Ari Z. Zivotofsky]
Klezmer Music
         [Jordan Kirsch]
         [Susan Shapiro]
Relatives Marrying non-Jews
         [Sheldon Meth]
T'filla shel rosh
         [Alexander Heppenheimer]
         [Schwartz Baruch]
When to say Mi Sheberach
         [Yehuda Poch]
Whipped Cream on Shabbos
         [Yitz Weiss]
         [Edward B. Black]


From: Rabbi Shmuel Jablon <ShmuelAJ@...>
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 07:30:28 -0800
Subject: Intermarriages

Though I do not claim to be a posek, it does seem to me that attending
an intermarriage or its reception would be a "heskher" and thus not
 Simply put, an intermarriage is not a marriage in halacha.  Living with
a non-Jew "in the way of marriage" is, according to the Rambam, a
Toraitic prohibition.  Therefore, attending the "wedding" is not only a
problem---attending a party celebrating would seem to make a farce of
the idea of a "simcha."  This does not mean cutting off relations with
the person.  Unconditional love to those who violate the Torah (usually
without knowing, really, what this means) is still crucial.  But that
doesn't translate into an obligation to violate our own beliefs.

Shmuel Jablon


From: Carl M. Sherer <carl@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 17:04:39 +0200
Subject: Iyun Tefillah (was Misheberachs)

Joel Rich writes:

> Strangely enough I think the issue is very much tied to the issue of
> kavanah.  We need to analyze what a misheberach accomplishes. For
> example, the Rav was against saying a misheberach with the text of
> "mitpallim bavuro"(that we, or his family pray for him) because this is
> an example of iyun tfila(just praying and waiting for hashem to answer)
> which is not allowed. 

I always understood Iyun Tefilla differently. I thought Iyun Tefilla
was, in effect, saying to Hashem, "in return for my davening (with great
kavanah of course :-), You must answer me." I understood that the
problem with Iyun Tefilla is that it is an attempt to prove to Hashem
that we *deserve* to have a positive answer to our request, whereas all
tfilla to Hashem is supposed to be based upon rachamim (mercy), because
none of us is worthy of anything ba'din (on a strictly merit basis).

Thus, I understood "ba'avur shekol hakohol mispallelim ba'avuro" as
giving to the sick person "the merit that the entire congregation is
praying for him," (and adding that merit to the sick person's account)
and not as an attempt to strike any sort of bargain with Hashem. In that
respect, I don't think asking that the merits of the congregation's
prayers be considered for a sick person is any different from praying
that Hashem should save us in the merit of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov
(see the Aneynu piyut at the end of Slichos for an example of this). I
don't think there is anything wrong with pointing out the merits that
one is granting to a sick person, so long as we do not try to make a
"bargain" out of it.

> I've often thought that a gabbai's reading off a
> list of people he doesn''t know when the provider of the name is not
> there is not of great value. I was taught that the value is in the
> charity or other mitzvot that one does in "honor" of the ill person that
> they otherwise would not have done, and the request that the "payment"
> for that act redound to the credit of the one who caused it(ie the sick
> person). 

But don't the congregation's prayers for him constitute a merit that is
similar to the charity? After all, when the congregation answers Amen
they are "seconding" the Gabbai's prayers for the sick person and adding
their own prayers to his. And if the congregation's prayers are not a
merit for the sick person, then why does the congregation *also* answer
Amen when the Gabbai says "ba'avur she'ploni almoni nadar l'tzedaka
baavuro" (because so and so gave charity for him).

BTW - do you have a source for what you cite as the Rav's opinion here?
I grew up in Boston (admittedly not the greatest proof for having heard
all of the Rav's opinions on any given topic :-), and I don't recall
hearing anything like that.

I am trying to be reasonably good about keeping people whom we 
ask to daven for Baruch Yosef up to date when something 
happens, so I will tell you all that as of now, Sunday's MRI was 
inconclusive (definitely not worse, but maybe not a lot of favorable 
changes either; for many reasons interpretation is difficult). We are 
seeing an expert in interpreting the films on Sunday IY"H to get his 
opinion. Thanks to all of you who continue to daven for him.

Carl M. Sherer

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima
for my son Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya. 
Thank you very much.


From: Ari Z. Zivotofsky <azz@...>
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 09:57:38 -0500
Subject: Kashrut of Placenta

In vol. 28, no. 35, Eliyahu Shiffman asks about the appropriateness of
what he claims is a practice of some women who use "natural childbirth"
- eating the placenta! It would seem at first glance that other than
being unpleasant it is not prohibited. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah
81:4) records that the afterbirth of a chamor (donkey?) is permissible
despite coming from a non-kosher animal. The Shach (sk 11) notes that
this is true for all non-kosher animals and not just the chamor. From
79:1 it appears that a human is not more non-kosher than any other
non-kosher animal and this rule of permitting the afterbirth should
apply to humans as well. There may be additional problems with consuming
the blood which I am not addressing here.



From: <TROMBAEDU@...> (Jordan Kirsch)
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 11:40:40 EST
Subject: Re: Klezmer Music

<<  Does anybody know of a Jewish spiritual/religious connection between the
 origin of klezmer music or is it strictly folk music of an area? This
 information is requested for my friend, a very active person in the Jewish
 community. Toda! >>

Music is a funny thing. I am a very active musician in the Klezmer
field. I love Klezmer. It is evocative of a life and time rich in a
unique Jewish culture.  Having said that, I will point out that Klezmer
is essentially an adaptation of Turkish, Bulgarian, Serbian, Greek,
Arabic, Macedonian, etc. music. It has in it no inherent spiritual
content. However, music always carries with it some type of meaning for
the listener. Any music can be holy or spiritual for the performer or
listener, depending on whether they are prepared to infuse into it and
receive from it spirituality.  So I guess the short answer to your
question is No. On the other hand, there are a lot of subjective issues
that are worth discussing about how we relate to music, that bring up a
number of questions about giving things spiritual meaning.  

Jordan Kirsch


From: <SShap23859@...> (Susan Shapiro)
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 09:31:00 EST
Subject: Question

I have a very close family relative who has married a non-Jewish girl
and now they're expecting their first child.  We have never
"congratulated" them or acknowledged their marriage and they are very
upset.  I finally offered to explain why we're upset, and they grabbed
the offer, but I haven't an idea where to start.  I don't want to
condemn him or her outright, becausae I feel that his action was taken
out of ignorance and possibly if we explain the situation sensitively,
it could lead her to investigate Judaism and possibly convert. On the
other hand, I don't want to actively encourage her to convert, but
then.... he IS Jewish and plans to raise his kids in a Jewish manner.
Does anyone have any ideas of how I can begin to explain to them the
reasons Jews and non-Jews shouldn't marry -- remembering it's done
already -- without making them rush out and get a divorce.

Susan Shapiro


From: Sheldon Meth <SHELDON.Z.METH@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 11:03:20 -0500 
Subject: Re: Relatives Marrying non-Jews

First let me say that I concur wholeheartedly with Kenneth H. Ryesky's
words: we must stick to our guns, and not compromise on Hallachah nor

Having said that, the challenge to attacking this tragic problem is a
delicate balance between (1) not giving any shred (actual or implied) of
validity to the union; and (2) doing whatever possible to break the
union and bring the Jewish partner back.

(1) IMHO means absence from the wedding ceremony and reception; it means
not addressing the couple as husband and wife, nor Mr. and Mrs.; it
means not sending any wedding gift; it means not participating in any
way in any anniversaries or any other occasions which recognize the
couple as husband and wife.  As far as flak or Chillul Hashem or Tikkun
Olam, or any of the other buzzwords is concerned, to paraphrase one
Gadol, "if there is no Bayis, the laws of Shalom Bayis do not apply."

(2) IMHO means we don't sit shiva anymore.  Rather, we maintain familial
ties with the Jewish partner.  If the Jewish partner is the woman, we
participate (within reason and Hallachah) in Jewish ceremonies of her
children, as they are Jewish, and we maintain familial ties with them.
Within reason, we try to encourage teshuvah and the ultimate severance
of the union.

Hashem Yishmereinu


From: <Alexander_Heppenheimer@...> (Alexander Heppenheimer)
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 10:11:19 -0500
Subject: Re: T'filla shel rosh

Mike Savere wrote:
>    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.

The sefer Taamei HaMinhagim (ed. Eshkol) has, in the back, diagrams
showing how to tie the knots for tefillin and tzitzis. Since there are
various customs, make sure you remember what the knot looked like
originally, and then you're home free.

Kol tuv y'all,


From: Schwartz Baruch <Schwrtz@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 05:25:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Titharu

In the avodah, of course, as described in the piyyut, and certainly as
described in the mishnah, the high priest said the verse in its
entirety, actually not even stopping but merely prolonging the
second-to-last word, namely the Tetragrammaton, in order to enable the
worshippers to say baruch shem kevod etc. The worshippers' berachah was
pronounced by them, and the verse was pronounced by the high priest, so
no interrupted verse was involved.

The piyyut is not an interpretation of the verse but rather a
description of what took place, as the payyetan interprets the
mishnah. When we recite this piyyut, we are describing the avodah (as
pictured by the payyetan), in the course of which the verse was recited,
but we are not actually reciting it as a prayer of our own. There should
be nothing objectionable in this even to those who hold fast to the
principle that verses may not be cut in the prayer service. We do recite
the same verse as part of our own tefillah in the qedushat ha-yom
berachah in each of the yom kippur amidot, and there, or course, it is
said in its entirety, unbroken.

All this notwithstanding, it should still be pointed out that there are
a number of exceptions to this ostensible rule, making it questionable
whether the dictum that "we do not cut verses anywhere that Moses did
not cut them" actually pertains to the use of biblical citations in the
prayer service, and if so, how universally it was applied.

Baruch Schwartz


From: Yehuda Poch <yehudap@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 03:24:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: When to say Mi Sheberach

I'd like to focus this discussion on another question.  I moderate an
email list (<cholim@...>) on which a weekly list of cholim is
posted.  It is asked that subscribers to this list have in mind those
names posted in their prayers for the coming week.  The list is posted
every Wednesday night, Israel time, and is sent to over 500 subscribers
around the world, quite a few of whom are shul gabbaim.

Here's the question.  There are often over 400 names on the list.  Many
are on the list for months at a time.  I have instituted a system
whereby every Rosh Chodesh the list is wiped clean, and any name that
should remain on the list needs to be resubmitted.  This removes
delinquent names and streamlines the process.  Yet I still manage to
maintain something around 350 names every month.

I have no doubt that there are few if any of the subscribers who
actually mention every name on the list in their prayers every day.
Those that do, if there are any, have surely earned their place in
Heaven for the effort.

My question is, at what point does the list become too unweildy to be

*            Yehuda Poch                *  Phone: 03-640-8249 / 640-6154  *
*  Coordinator for Project Development  *  Fax:   03-640-7080             *
*        Tel Aviv University            *  email: <yehudap@...>  *


From: <YitzW@...> (Yitz Weiss)
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 09:05:00 EST
Subject: Whipped Cream on Shabbos

I've heard conflicting views on whether or not one is allowed to use
whipped cream from a spray can on Shabbos. Some have told me that the
issur relates to nolad, others have mentioned that there is no issur
involved. Anyone have any information on the subject?

Yitz Weiss


From: Edward B. Black <eblack@...>
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 15:28:28 -0600
Subject: Whisky

Are any list participants aware of any teshuvot [responsa] on the
kashrut or otherwise of whisky matured in casks which prior to their use
for whisky were used for sherry?

I had understood the practice of avoiding whisky matured in sherry casks
to be a chumra [stringency] but have heard recently that the view has
begun to be espoused as normative halacha.

Kol tov
Edward Black


End of Volume 28 Issue 42