Volume 28 Number 74
                 Produced: Sun Jun 13  8:58:24 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

2 days Yom Kippur
         [Ezriel Krumbein]
Fax and Nolad
         [Sam Gamoran]
In defense of Praying in English
         [Zev Sero]
Keeping one's feet together
         [Avraham Reiss]
         [Warren Burstein]
Paskening by the Zohar
Pointing with little finger during Hagbah
         [Boruch Merzel]
Pointing with the Little Finger
         [Rick Turkel]
         [Bart Stall]
Tefillin on Chol Hamoed
         [David I. Cohen]
Women's exemption from mitzva of procreation
         [Louise Miller]
Yom Tov Sheni - Shavuoth
         [Richard Wolpoe]
Yom Tov Sheni, Omer
         [Josh Hoexter]


From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 23:48:55 -0700
Subject: Re: 2 days Yom Kippur

> From: Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...>
> 2) Conversely, was there ever a time that even Yom Kippur was kept for two
> days outside Eretz Yisrael?  Understanding that at a minhag-avosenu level
> we do not do it today because of the difficulty of fasting for two days,
> but back when there was a *real* doubt, did people outside of Eretz Yisrael
> have to do so?  (Now *there's* a compelling reason for Aliyah!)

I have heard that in Shanghai due to questions of the interantional date
line some people did fast 2 days.  I do not know for a fact that this is

Kol Tov


From: Sam Gamoran <gamoran@...>
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 22:04:22 +0300
Subject: Re: Fax and Nolad

Would there be a difference between a fax printed on a piece of paper
that existed before Shabbat (although blank) and a piece cut off from a
long roll of thermal paper which wasn't a separate entitiy beforehand?

Sam Gamoran
Motorola Israel Ltd. Wireless Access Department


From: Zev Sero <zsero@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 17:19:27 -0400
Subject: Re: In defense of Praying in English

Russell Hendel <rhendel@...> wrote:

> * if you know Hebrew you should pray in Hebrew at a talking pace-- about
> a minute for ASHRAY, 6 minutes for Shma, 4 minutes for Shmneh Esray
> ..... The ideal speed is 2.1 words a second; using the number of
> words in Shma you get 6 minutes for Shma the exact speed suggested by
> the Rambam in Shma 1:11. Thus the primary part of davening---Shma and
> Shmoneh Esray---should ideally take 10 minutes (not a difficult task).

* If Sh'ma has 620 words, then at a rate of 2.1 words per sec it should
  take 300 seconds, or 5 minutes.

* In which siddur does Sh'ma have 1.5 times as many words as Sh'moneh Esrei?

Zev Sero                              Harmless Historical Nut


From: Avraham Reiss <areiss@...>
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 22:53:39 +0200
Subject: Re: Keeping one's feet together

I have looked further into the question of keeping one's feet together
while davening (A generic term, including Amidah, Kedusha and Kadish).
I have found sources for Amidah and Kedusha, but no source for keeping
one's feet together when saying Kadish.

The orginal source is in Berachot daf yod: as I indicated in an earlier
posting, we learn from Yechezkel 1,7 ("veraglayhem regel yeshara") that
"hamitpalel tzarich sheyechaven" (lit. 'must direct') his feet. On the
quoted verse Rashi says "appear as one foot".

This is brought in the Shluchan Aruch Orach Hayim 95, regarding Amidah
(18 Blessings): "He should bring his feet together as if they were one,
in order to appear as the angels, as it is written ("veraglayhem regel
yeshara"Yechezkel 1,7), that is their (the angels' A.R.) feet look as
one foot.

[The Yerushalmi at the the beginning of Berachot brings a second source
for keeping one's feet together during prayer, in addition to the
'Angels' source; this is learned from the work of the Kohanim. This
Kohanim source is n o t quoted by the Shulchan Aruch as the reason; The
Tur Orach Hayim 95 d i d cite the Yerushalmi, but the Bet Yosef cites
only the above Bavli, Berachot Yod:]

In Shluchan Aruch Orach Hayim 125,2, Kedusha is also designated as a
prayer during which one's feet must be kept together, and the Mishna
Berurah (siman Dalet) refers back to Orach Hayim 95.

The dinim of Kadish are brought in Orach Hayim 55 and 56, and nowhere
there is there mention of keeping one's feet together.

Three possible opinions for keeping one's feet together during Kadish
could be raised here:

[1] Kadish is a 'davar shebekdusha' [a matter of holiness] like Amidah
and Kedusha.

[2] Responsa Trumot HaDeshen Part 1 siman 13 gives the opinion that the
three steps backwards taken at the end of the Amidah is learned from the
same three steps taken at the end of Kadish - so possibly the feet
together' equation might have been made here.

[3] The Shaliach Tzibur does not take 3 steps back at the end of the
repetition of Amidah, he is 'covered' by the 3 steps back he will later
take at Kadish Titkabal after the Amidah, so he probably will keep his
feet together during Kadish Titkabal as they were during Amidah, until
the end of Kadish Titkabal.

But, as I have said, I have found no explicit source for keeping one's
feet together during Kadish.

Avraham Reiss,
Yerushalayaim Ir HaKodsh.


From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 16:44:09
Subject: Re: Mechitza

>From: Norman Tuttle <TUTTLE@...>
>Micha Berger <micha@...> asserts that
>>That gemara could actually be used as a source that mechitzos are NOT
>>required for prayer. After all, they put one up for the simchas heis
>>hasho'eivah (SBhS), when there was undo levity. But they took it down as
>>soon as refular services resumed! 
> No!  The SBhS took place in the Ezras HaNashim ("women's chambers").
>The regular temple services (Avodah) did not take place in the Ezras
>HaNashim, so there were ample accomodations for the men without being
>distracted by the women who could enter the Ezras HaNashim.

Perhaps the immediately above does not answer the further above
objection, but rather suggests a different answer to the original
question (what is the source for the shul mechitzah?) - the division in
the Temple between the men's and women's court that was in effect all
year round.


From: ainspan <ainspan@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 12:12:00 -0400
Subject: Paskening by the Zohar

	In v28n72, Steve White <StevenJ81@...> wrote:
>(5) Re: Zohar and death penalty: We don't pasken (rule on halacha) by
>the Zohar. 

	I'm no kabbalist by any stretch of the imagination, but see the
Mishna Brura 25:11(42) at the end, where he quotes the Knesses HaGedola
(R. Chaim Benvenisti, 17th cent.), who gives guidelines in psak of the
relative weightings of Kabbala/Zohar and Gemara/poskim, as follows:
	1. If the Zohar and Gemara disagree, we follow the Gemara.
	2. If the Zohar is more strict on a matter than the Gemara, we
should follow the Zohar.
	3. If the Zohar says something that is not mentioned in the
Gemara, then one should follow the Zohar, although we don't force 
someone to do so.
	4. If the matter is subject to disagreement among the poskim,
then we do what the Zohar says on the matter.

	Gut Shabbos. -Herschel Ainspan (<ainspan@...>)


From: Boruch Merzel <BoJoM@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 17:21:42 EDT
Subject: Pointing with little finger during Hagbah

 Jay Rovner inquires about pointing with the little finger to the Torah
during Hagbah.  It would certainly be natural and would make sense to
point with the index finger.  I have my personal theory for this strange
custom, which I can't remember seeing during my childhood, except in one

I can recall, almost 70 years ago, 2 men in our Shteibel whose right
forefingers were permanently frozen in a bent position.  When I inquired
about the reason for this I was told that the ligaments of their
fingers---their trigger fingers--- had been purposely cut or damaged to
avoid being drafted into the Czar's army (in many cases a 10 to 25 year
term of service) I was also told that this was not a rare practice among
Jews who feared not only for their sons lives but also for their
"neshamos".  Interesting, too, is the fact these men, because of their
self inflicted infirmity, were the only ones who pointed, during Hagbah,
with the little finger of the right hand.  A very natural reflex, if the
forefinger can't be straightened.

It does not require much imagination to understand how other's seeing
some very pious and learned elderly European Jews using their little
fingers to point during Hagbah, a very noticeable gesture, might assume
that this was the correct way in which to salute the Torah.

Boruch Merzel


From: Rick Turkel <rturkel@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 14:04:19 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Pointing with the Little Finger

	Jay Rovner <jarovner@...> asked in m.j 28#71 about the
source of this minhag.

	When I lived in Beit Hakerem (Jerusalem) some thirty years ago,
we would occasionally daven at the Yemenite shul in the neighborhood.
There, _everyone_ (women included) would extend their right pinkies
toward the sefer torah when it was raised for hagbaha after the leyning
(torah reading).  Back then, that was the only place I ever saw this
practice, so I find it somewhat amusing that so many American Jews have
become Teymanim (Yemenites) over the past thirty years.  :-) Seriously,
though, it is a nice custom, and that's probably why it has become so

	Just my NIS 0.08-worth.

Rick Turkel         (___  _____  _  _  _  _  __     _  ___   _   _  _  ___
<rturkel@...>)oh.us|   |  \  )  |/  \ ein |navi| be|iro\__)    |
<rturkel@...>        /      |  _| __)/   | ___)    | ___|_  |  _(  \    |
Rich or poor, it's good to have money.  Ko rano rani | u jamu pada.


From: Bart Stall <stallb@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 08:39:35 -0500
Subject: Segulas

Does anyone know of any siddurs specifically dealing with Segulos that
have english translations??

I have seen several in hebrew, but none with english.


Michael "Bart" Stall


From: David I. Cohen <BDCOHEN613@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 14:05:49 EDT
Subject: Tefillin on Chol Hamoed

In reference to the posts that indicated that on Chol hamoed, if the
minhag of the congregation is not to wear tefillin, then the tefillin
wearers should daven separately, because of "lo titgodidu"
	What of a congregation where many wear tefillin and many do not,
with no clear cut custom... can we say that the congregation's "custom"
is to allow all participants to follow "minhag avosayhem" the custom of
their fathers?
	Shabbat Shalom,
	David I. Cohen


From: Louise Miller <daniel@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 10:13:05 -0700
Subject: Women's exemption from mitzva of procreation

I will not attempt to jump into the subject of the general exemption of
women from time-bound mitzvot (collective sigh of relief,) except to
comment to Eli Clark that I believe that the reason women are exempt
from the mitzva of procreation is that pregnancy and child-birth are
potentially life-threatening events.  (Before everyone jumps on me to
say that it's not so dangerous, let me warn you that anyone who
disagrees with me will be forced to listen to the story of the birth of
my youngest son.)

Louise Miller
La Jolla, CA

PS We're all fine, thank G-d, and my son is almost 3 now.


From: Richard Wolpoe <richard_wolpoe@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 15:30:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Yom Tov Sheni - Shavuoth

From: Richard Flom <rflom@...>
> I asked this very question of my teacher of halakhah l'ma'aseh, Moshe
>Benovitz, at Machon Schechter in Jerusalem just a couple weeks ago.
>His answer: The problem is not that, even without a fixed calendar, we
>ultimately know the exact date on which Shavuoth should fall well
>before hand, and that therefore, there could not be a doubt about
>Shavuoth. Rather, it is because we originally observed two days of Yom
>Tov on Pesach in the first place, out of doubt, and the effect this
>could have on the counting of the Omer.  Since we began counting the
>Omer on what might have been the _wrong_ day (if Adar had been 30 days
>that year), we might need to add a day to the Omer once we found out
>the correct date of Rosh Chodesh Nisan (and therefore, the correct day
>of Pesach), and we would then not have performed the mitzvah d'oraita
>of counting exactly 49 days of the Omer until Shavuoth.  All of our
>counting before the day we found out would have been wrong.  In short,
>the safek concerning Pesach had to continue, in a sense, all the way
>until Shavuoth.

There are several (apparent) flaws with this line of thinking.
 1) We acutally do NOT count 2 different days, rather we stick to one day
during Sefiro. 
 2) Any sfeiko deyoma (doubt re: the correct day) that Rosh chodesh
Nissan fell on, would be assumed to be resolved prior to Rosh Chodesh
Iyrra.  IOW, the doubt is within the month only, and does not extend or
cascade any further.  By Sivan any doubt as to the proper Rosh Chodesh
Nissan would have been resolved.

As a corollary, this might explain why only count 1 day instead of 2.
That is because we will definitely know the 1st day of sefira by the
15th day of Sefiro, so the doubt is limited to only the last days of

Richard Wolpoe


From: Josh Hoexter <hoexter@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 13:02:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Yom Tov Sheni, Omer

Something I always wondered about, related to the discussion of Yom Tov
Sheni and Shavuos:

When two days of Yom Tov were actually kept due to doubt, how was the
Omer counted? I assume they counted the same way we do, starting the
second night of Pesach and continuing. If the messenger came and told
them they were wrong, would they adjust the count or not? Either way
seems problematic.

Another possibility would be to count two times each night, similar to
our reading of the korbanos [sacrifices] during musaf and kriah of Chol
Hamoed Succos ("on the second day... on the third day..."), but this
seems unlikely.

Any ideas/sources?

Josh Hoexter


End of Volume 28 Issue 74