Volume 28 Number 90
                 Produced: Wed Jun 23  6:11:03 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

40 or 42 Tekiot
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Alma in Kaddish
         [Yehuda Poch]
Ashkenazi pronunciation of 'Ayin
         [Joseph Geretz]
Being Obligated in a Tzedekah without your Consent
         [H Zabari]
Judging Non-Jews Favorably
         [Carl M. Sherer]
Morid Hatal
         [Jack Stroh]
Timers on Shabbat (2)
         [Ari Kahn, Eli Turkel]
Windows in Shul
         [Yisrael Medad]
Yom Tov Sheni
         [Rabbi Freundel]


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 20:03:03 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: 40 or 42 Tekiot

The question of why the Mishna Berura does not hold like the Rama on
taking off Teffilin on Hol Hamoad was brought up here. An other case is
how many Tekiot should be sounded after the 30 Meushav. It is quite
clear that most Rishonim hold that 10 is enought, R.  Tam holds 12. 100
comes from the Kabbalah, and it spread thru East Europe.  Mishna Berura
brings it as the best way' in the name of the Shala.
   My question is - besides Adat Yeshurun as brought in Shoresh Minhag
Ashkanz- are there other places that keep the old Ashkanazi way of only
40 or 42? BTW - that is the Yemanite Baladi way.
 Menashe Elyashiv

[I've given shiurim on this have have somewhat argued for it (at least
for the Hashkama minyanim), but not with the expectation that anyone
would accept it. It is considerably older than the Shala, though. In
terms of numbers, I've always been more satisfied with the Geonic
explanation of 40 corresponding to the 40 days that Moshe spent getting
the Torah than 100 corresponding to the 100 cries of the mother of
Sisro. Mod.] 


From: Yehuda Poch <yehudap@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 16:36:57 +0300
Subject: Alma in Kaddish

>On 14Jun1999, Art Roth replied:
> > To my knowledge, everyone who pronounces this syllable with a qamatz
>gadol and sh"va' nax also accents the syllable --- b"ALma' rather than
>b"alMA' (capitals indicate accent). <

Not me.  I pronounce the kamatz gadol-shva nach, and I emphasize the second
syllable.  "be-ol-MA"

Yehuda Poch


From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 08:35:47 -0400
Subject: Ashkenazi pronunciation of 'Ayin

My own personal theory regarding the Yiddish names, Endel and G'nendel,
is that they are two pronunciations of the same name, where the Ayin of
Endel is pronounced G'n to become G'nendel.

Kol Tuv,

Yossi Geretz


From: H Zabari <zbozoz@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 09:56:58 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Being Obligated in a Tzedekah without your Consent


I would like to hear some reactions to something that happened to me
recently. I recently celebrated the Brit Milah of my son. I looked for
a Mohel who would perform the Milah according to my custom. I found one
who although was not a member of my community performed Milah in my
tradition and agreed to use my Nusah. After all of the Berachot had
been recited and the Prayers for Wife and then Child's wellbeing were
said, the Mohel felt it necessary to say a MiSheberach of his own. I
did not really pay much attention to it and thought it was somewhat odd
since it was not part of my Nusah nor that of the Synagogue that we
chose to make the Milah in. In his MiSheberach he made mention of the
father giving Tzedakah for the mother and child's wellbeing. 

The Rabbi charged for his time (which would have been unheard of in my
community). I expected this, realizing that there are those who have
found a rational for taking money for religious services rendered. My
issue arose a few days later when I received a form letter obviously
from the Rabbi, (although his name was not mentioned), using my name,
informing me about the Segulot of the Brit Milah and the importance of
the Rabbi's MiSheberach. The letter claimed that in this MiSheberach
the father agrees to give Tzedakah to this Rabbi's favorite Charity. I
will not mention either the name of the Mohel or the Charity so as not
to cause injury to either. I simply found this to be a highly coercive
method which did not appeal to my senseabilities at all.

My first thought was to send the Mohel a nasty commentary on these
tactics along with a check for Hai. Later I realized how much tzedakah I
had been giving out during this period (including how I feel about the
Rabbi's salary) and realized that I do not feel an obligation nor any
guilt about ignoring the request. I would like to hear peoples reaction
to this method. Is it one commonly used in certain communities? One
Pasuk that comes to mind regarding this is "VeLifnei I'iver lo titen
michshol", as with all the commotion I was certainly unaware of what the
Rabbi was pledging for me.


From: Carl M. Sherer <csherer@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 11:35:29 +0300
Subject: Judging Non-Jews Favorably

As a result of a discussion on another list in which I participate, I
was recently involved in a private discussion with someone as to whether
or not we have an obligation to judge non-Jews favorably.

In the introduction to the Sefer Chafetz Chaim, the Chafetz Chaim writes
that with respect to someone who is a Tzadik Gamur (totally righteous
person), if we see him doing something that is apparently wrong, then we
must judge them favorably if there is any possible interpretation that
would indicate that what s/he did was not wrong.  If s/he is a Baynoni
(one whose merits and sins are (close to being) in balance, as is the
case with most people today), then if there is a reasonable possibility
that what they did was not wrong, then, again, we must judge
favorably. Only if someone is a Rasha Gamur (totally bad people), are we
to look at their actions in the worst possible light.

Lest anyone get the idea that I am advocating branding people Reshaim
Gmurim, I have a difficult time branding people Reshaim Gmurim
today. Most Jews who are not (yet) fruhm - even in Israel (at least
according to R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l) - are considered tinok
shenishba (one who was taken captive by non- Jews as a baby) and not
Reshaim. In the vernacular, they know not what they do. Therefore, those
Jews would presumably fall into the category of Beinoni (the middle

But what about non-Jews? I'm not talking about people who openly hate
Jews, or those who love us so much they would like to convert us to
their false religions. I'm talking about the average goy on the street
(at least in the Western World). Do we have an obligation to judge them
favorably? And before you all jump to say yes or no, please include
sources :-) Thanks.

P.S. If it becomes relevant, I will tell you what the context of the 
original question was, although I recognize there are some people 
on this list who already know.

Carl M. Sherer
mailto:<csherer@...> or mailto:sherer@actcom.co.il
Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son, Baruch Yosef ben
Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  Thank you very much.


From: Jack Stroh <jackstroh@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 00:05:29 -0500
Subject: Morid Hatal

I have a grammatical problem in the davening. Some siddurim say "Morid
hageshem" and some say "Morid hagashem (kamatz)". According to the
nusach which says "Morid hageshem", why does it say "Morid hatal
(Kamatz)" and not "hatal" with a patach? Thanks.
 Jack A. Stroh  <jackstroh@...>


From: Ari Kahn <kahnar@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 1999 22:56:08 +0300
Subject: Re: Timers on Shabbat

I see that many people responded to my wording, I inadvertently wrote
'shvitat kelim' Rav Moshe does not use that term - rather his concern is
ZILZUL - (which I previously translated as 'diminishing the aura' of
Shabbat).  If one paid attention to the wording of Rav Moshe he says two
things, one was that chazal would have prohibited the use of automation,
the second point was that he felt it may be subsumed within an existing
prohibition, namely having a non- Jew perform work for a Jew - or having
work done for a Jew.

There are a number of Rav Moshe's opinions which were not accepted
generally and some even by his own family (for example the use of liquid
soap). Rav Moshe's hesitation is mitigated by other poskim (deciders) in
the case of a mitzva - or the needs of the community. For sources on
this again I refer you to the Piski Teshuvot 252:1 footnotes
3,4. Therefore things which are directly needed for simchat shabbat (joy
of shabbat) may be permitted. Although this too can open a Pandora's
box. Rav Moshe is not alone in this approach, as a purview of the
sources I cited will indicate.

 The classic reason given for not watching TV on Shabbat is uvdah
d'chol.  I would think that the same reasoning should apply to VCRs.
The question is whether the issur should spread to all electrical
appliances (as your reasoning would indicate.)

I once personally spoke to Rav Solovietchik about TV on Shabbat. He
suggested a Torah law of 'Tishbot' (Shmot 23:12) applies. The Rov said
that his understanding was in line with the Ramban (Vayikra 19:2, 23:24)
who said that the Torah prohibited certain things on Shabbat because we
must rest on the Shabbat, nevertheless the sages of each generation are
given the authority of applying the specific prohibition. (The Ramban is
of this opinion also in regards to work on chol hamoed and shmitta)
Therefore what you call 'uvdah d'chol' the Rav called breaking a Torah
law. By the way the most extreme position associated to this is in the
Chatam Sofer (responsa 195 cited by Rav Chavel in his notes to the
Ramban (Vayikra 23:24) who insists that the person who breaks even these
types of laws on Shabbat is considered a Shabbat desecrater from the

The Rav also threw in for good measure the problem of Hashmat kol, as an
additional prohibition.

However I do not see your analogy, the TV is far more problematic since
it is watched on Shabbat. The VCR is set prior to Shabbat and watched
after Shabbat.  Nonetheless Rav Lichtenstein applying the same logic as
Rav Moshe -(I assume) and saw no utility on the Shabbat for such
behavior - therefore felt that it was prohibited.

Given the understanding of the Ramban - this is not a case of making a
new gezirah, rather applying an old principle in a new case. I really
can not understand the logic in all those people who said we can not
make new gezerot - of course that is correct, but that does not mean to
say that we can not apply old principles to new cases. All would agree
that one can not ride in a car even though it did not exist in the time
of Chazal. Likewise, automation presents new challenges. This may mean
applying old principles in new ways.

As far as 'nolad' I remain unconvinced that the ink applied to paper
does not constitute nolad - or would be muktza since it did not exist
prior to Shabbat. A number of you have written 'we have been through
this' sorry I am unaware of the discussion - did anyone produce any
source to buttress this position?

Those of you who still think that all automation should be allowed does
this include factories? Rav Moshe anticipated this advent, and therefore
was strict, and as I cited a number of Israeli poskim concur.

Ari Kahn

From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 09:08:19 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Timers on Shabbat

In general it is well known that Rav Moshe Feinstein was quite hesitant
to allow use of electric timers on shabbat for similar concerns.

While in earlier Teshuvot Rav Moshe allowed timers only for lights in
later teshuvot he seems to take their use for granted.  I heard that
members of Rav Moshe's family confirmed that Rav Moshe changed his mind
because timers became so common that everyone would assume that timers
were being used and their was no problem of people thinking something
was turned on during shabbat.

Eli Turkel


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Subject: Windows in Shul

Re: S. Stuhlman's statement that -
 "I had a rude awakening when I went to college and found the shul had
no windows and I am not sure what direction the aron was in."

If I am not mistaken, while the Rambam does not mandate windows, most
other Rishonim required windows, preferring 12 in number.

Yisrael Medad 


From: Rabbi Freundel <Dialectic@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 23:34:04 EDT
Subject: Re: Yom Tov Sheni

 I have a theory as to Yom tov sheni after the point where we all came
to rely on mathematical calculations that solves all the problems.
 There are many areas of halachah wherein chashivus (special importance)
is given to Israel (eg. the original semichah (ordination) of Rabbis
passed down from Moshe that can only take place in Israel and many other
examples).  I believe that minhag avoteinu (our ancestral custom) was
kept regarding 1 vs 2 days to make Israel different, more focused and
less burdensome on the holidays than outside of Israel.
 For this reason Shavuout about which there should be no doubt has 2
days anyway However Yom Kippur was not included because of its
difficulty in fasting for a 2 day holiday
 For that holiday (as for sefirah) I suspect that originally as today
they relied on the mathematical calculations we use today which were
known to the babylonians when we were taken into exile by them and may
have been known by the Egyptians when we were slaves there (although the
nosei keylim of the Rambam say that they followed the rule that ellul is
usually 29 days in length when it came to keeping 1 day Yom Kippur)
 Further the mishnah Ta'anith 1:3 says that it takes 15 days for the
slowest Pilgrim to Jerusalem to reach the Euphrates river, therefore the
Jews in Bavel should have had no doubt regarding either Pesach or Sukkot
as they are on the 15th of the month and even with the Tishrei holidays
to slow the m down, fast riding messengers of the court would have to be
several days faster in reaching the Euphrates in Babylon than slow
moving pilgrims burdened with children and old people. yet Bavel kept 2
days when calculation became the rule for all Jewry
 Certainly today the trouble the 2 days creates for most of us makes the
impetus to make aliyah something tangible when we contemplate how much
easier 1 day would be


End of Volume 28 Issue 90