Volume 29 Number 17
                 Produced: Fri Jul 23  6:09:16 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

An explanation of "Who did not make me a woman"
         [Chana Luntz]
Mixed dancing and Hashgacha (3)
         [Reuven Miller, Elozor Preil, Zvi Weiss]
Nida and "b'not yisrael gazru alayhen"
         [David I. Cohen]
Religious Organizations "Mandated to Control"


From: Chana Luntz <Chana/<Heather@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 22:20:56 +0100
Subject: An explanation of "Who did not make me a woman"

Joseph C. Kaplan <penkap@...> writes

>I would be most appreciative if Etzion Avraham would please give us some
>sources for his statement that there were rishonim who said "shasani

I am not Etzion Avraham, but according to the Gra, the Rosh and the Tur
(Biur HaGra Orech Chaim 46 "d'h" shelo asani) - where he writes on the
bracha shelo asani goy:

"and so it is in the Rif and the Rambam and so it is in the tosephta at
the end of Brachos and the Yerushalmi there, but in our sepharim it is
shasani yisroel and so it is in the Rosh and the Tur".

The Rosh is found on Daf 43 of Brachos.  I have never been able to find
the Tur to which the Gra refers, but maybe he had a different girsa.

The Sde Chemed has a discussion on the bracha of shelo asani goy and
mentions there that the Gra's minhag was to say sheasani yisroel (as was
apparently R' Stern of Shavel, Lithuania - a well known gadol from the
mid nineteenth century Lithuania).  The Sde Chemed himself said shelo
asani goy k'goyei aratzos [who did not make me a nation like the nations
of the world].

Gilad J. Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...> writes:

>I would like to add Etzion Avraham [MJ 29.03] and call the attention to
>the counter berach by the women, that is "she'asani kirtzono."
>R. Baruch Halevi Epstein in his book Baruch She'amar [page 30] suggests
>that women should not say the "she'asani kirtzono" with beracha [beShem
>umalchut] since there is a rule, which is brought up by R. Yona to the
>Alfasi [Berachot 6] which says: any blessing which is not mentioned in
>the Talmud one should not add Shem umalchut to it. Accordingly, since
>this berach is nowhere in the Talmud we should instruct the women to
>bless only "Baruch ata sheasani kirtzono."
>It is evident that this is not followed.

The issue of not saying a bracha that is not mentioned in the talmud is
discussed in the Tur on "hanosen l'ayef koach" - which as the Tur says
is an additional bracha found in Ashkenazi sidurim.  The Beis Yosef
comments on this asking how can this be allowed since it is not in the
talmud, and so the Beis Yosef says you shouldn't say it, and poskens so
in the Shulchan Aruch (siman 46, si'if 6) The Rema, Bach, Magen Avraham,
Taz etc all disagree.

The Bach takes the tack of saying that it (hanosen l'ayaf koach) may
have been in different versions of the gemorra, and brings proofs to
this. The Magen Avraham says that one should not be batel an old minhag
like this (and even suggests that the Beis Yosef recanted towards the
end of his life).  But see the Taz there (si'if katan 7) for a really
full discussion on why this is not over the issur in such circumstances.

In the particular case of sheasani k'roteno, the Taz raises the issue in
(s'if katan 4) but is unworried by the fact that it is not in the talmud
as women have a quality that is not found by men, and that is hinted at
in the bracha said by men (because they say it in the negative and not
the positive, thereby hinting to the existance of the quality) and since
it is therefore hinted at in the gemorra, that is sufficient to allow
the bracha.

Micha Berger <micha@...> writes
>...  It is only
>: recently that Hirsh and Kook reinterpret the beracha in a positive
>: manner.
>Rashi is the originator of the explanation that this refers to the
>opportunity to fulfil more obligations than one would as a woman. Rashi,
>being a medieval commentator, clearly had no women's movement he had to
>justify yiddishkeit to.

This is also the explanation given by the Tur and the marjority of the
nose kelim on the Shulchan Aruch.  In fact, the Magan Avraham derives a
halacha from it (Orech Chaim siman 46 si'if katan 9), namely that if a
man mistakenly says shelo asani isha before he says shelo asani goy or
shelo asani eved, he cannot go back and repeat the earlier brachos,
because the others are included in that bracha (that is, a woman does
all the mitzvas of a goy and an eved) - and so they have to be said in
that specific order (note that others, eg the mechtzis hashekel
disagree, but this is on the basis that there are some cases where eved
and goy are not included in the definition if isha and therefore isha
does not fully "cover the field" with respect to mitzvas).

The Bach appears to give two reasons not to say sheasani yisroel (I have
noted elsewhere that that was the minhag of the Gra, Tur and Rosh).  The
first is the need to make up the 100 brachos a day, and once sheasani
yisroel has been said, say sheasani ben chorin and sheasani ish can no
longer be said, because the latter two are included in the first
(according to the Magan Avraham, you could presumably say them in the
correct order, which is presumably why he only quotes the second reason,
while those who disagree with the Magan Avraham cite this Bach and the
Tosphos in Menachos that prohibits saying two brachos where one could be
said which covers all).  The second reason  the brachos are in the
negative according to the Bach is because we posken like Beis Hillel in
their famous maklokus against Beis Shammai in Eruvin as to whether it
was better that man was or was not created, with beis shammai holding it
was better that man was created and beis hillel holding no.  Given that
we hold that it would have been better that man was not created, we
cannot make a positive bracha and therefore they must be phrased in the

>So while there may be commentators who had a different opinion (although
>I'd prefer sources before taking that as a given) it's not "apologetics"
>or "reinterpretation".

However for a different explanation, see the Taz (Orech Chaim siman 46
si'if katan 4).  After citing the second explanation of the Bach (ie why
it needs to be in the negative because we pasken like Beis Hillel) and a
discussion of the Tosphos that one cannot say two brachos when the
matter could be covered by one, he states "it seems to me that it wants
to teach by this [phrasing of the bracha] that a man should not make the
mistake chas v'shalom that there is lacking in the creation of man
[ha'adam] in that he created non jews and also in the creation of woman.
But the truth is that there is in them a purpose ... so rather [he
praises G-d] at a man merits that he was not created in another form
which also has a purpose in its creation, that is, shelo asani akum, but
others were created that way and so with a woman. But there is no a hint
to this if one says sheasani yisroel - it is as if they are saying that
the creation for whoever is not a yisroel does not have a purpose at all
and by a woman it is more necessary to recall that there is a miyla
[higher quality] in the creation of woman, just that he does not need
that quality."

If you think about it, the Taz basically turns the whole discussion on
its head (which is why it always baffles me that he never seems to be



From: Reuven Miller <millerr@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 05:12:02 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Mixed dancing and Hashgacha

>  Gitelle Rapoport <giteller@...> wrote
> Are religious organizations also "mandated to control" singing by a
> woman/women/mixed group on a yacht, even though halachic opinions on
> that are mixed? 

I'm sure its been discussed before but... where are the "halachic    
opinions" that permit "kol isha"? 

(I've seen the Sairedai Esh but he for sure is not talking about the Klatt


From: Elozor Preil <EMPreil@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 03:11:56 EDT
Subject: Re: Mixed dancing and Hashgacha

> Are religious organizations also "mandated to control" singing by a
>  woman/women/mixed group on a yacht, even though halachic opinions on
>  that are mixed?

Whoa.  Please cite for us even ONE legitimate halachic opinion permiting 
women to sing in front of men lechatchila (as the preferred practice), even 
in a mixed group.

>  Are they mandated to control people's dress, even
>  though halachic opinions and minhagim on that are also mixed? 

Again, please cite even ONE legitimate halachic opinion permitting women to 
dress in a non-halachic, legally immodest manner.

Kol tuv, 
Elozor Preil

From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 08:58:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Mixed dancing and Hashgacha

> From: Gitelle Rapoport <giteller@...>
> I don't understand what you mean by the statement that a religious
> authority that is supposed to enforce kashrut is also "mandated to
> control" mixed dancing on a boat? Mandated by whom? What about married
> couples who may permissibly dance with each other and would like to do
> so where they can also eat kosher food? Maybe some people got a p'sak
> that they may do it because they are professionals and want to
> practice, or for some other reason. Also, many Jews try to keep kosher
> but for one reason or another do not adhere to restrictions on mixed
> dancing. At least this helps them keep kosher. 

 The mandate is probably one of "Lifnei Ivair".  If you can do something
(or NOT do something) that will absolutely ("Trei Evrei D'Nahara")
prevent the other person from committing an Isur, there is a mandate to
do so.  As far as married couples are concerned, I would suggest
checking with one's LOR -- it is not at all obvious that such *public*
activity is permitted.
 The only possible opening here is if it was clear that these couples
would -- willy nilly -- go to a non-Kosher operation in order to hold
their "celebration".  I believe that R. Moshe answered that it was OK
for a Kosher caterer to cater a wedding where mixed dancing wsa being
held because the catering activity was not a direct enabler of the
dancing AND that -- if anything -- the caterer is actually helping the
people to [at least] eat kosher food.  However, it is not so clear [does
anyone have more data?] that this was the case.

> Are religious organizations also "mandated to control" singing by a
> woman/women/mixed group on a yacht, even though halachic opinions on
> that are mixed? Are they mandated to control people's dress, even
> though halachic opinions and minhagim on that are also mixed? Public
> reminders or suggestions are fine, but it seems to me that kashrut
> organizations that take on the responsibility of enforcing anything
> other than kashrut are setting a problematic precedent. Where does it
> end?

 I think that there is a distinction between areas where there is a
well-known range of halachic opinion and areas that are "more
restrictive".  Once we knw that there are *legitimate* opinions that
permit something, r. Moshe stated (when discussing Esrogim of Shemitah)
that those following the opinion of a legitimate posek are doing no wrong
-- even if that posek is in the minority.  In such a case, it does not
appear that there is the same sort of Lifnei Ivair issue.  However, it
does not seem to me that "mixed dancing" falls into that category.


From: David I. Cohen <BDCOHEN613@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1999 13:44:50 EDT
Subject: Nida and "b'not yisrael gazru alayhen"

>>In fact the halacha recognized the unique role women play in hilchot
niddah, by the fact that much is based on "b'not yisrael gazru alayhen",
that the daughters of Israel took certain stringencies upon themselves,
not simply a regular "gezeirah d'rabban", a rabbinical decree. Whether
we classify niddah as "mitzvah" or "matir" doesn't (IMHO) detract from
the possible hashkafic implications David I. Cohen<<

>>I have discussed this in detail with some colleagues.  Loosely based
upon these conclusions I would like to postulate the following "hidden
agenda" behind the chumro:

>>1) W/O this chumro, Bnos Yisroel were subject to frequently having to
consult poskim to determine if their blood were nida or zovo.  The
chumro of waiting the extra days served also as a kullo in that women
could now avoid embarrassing themselves.

>>2) It seems quite likely that keeping this chumro had the effect of
engineering leil tevilo (I.E. the immersion night) to closely co-incide
with the woman's ovulation...

Rich Wolpoe>>

	I don't disagree with the above at all. It may very possibly be
the reasons behind the gezeira (although I'd like to see a source for
the speculation).
	My point, however, is that, whatever the motivation, the Gemara
uses the unique formulation that the decree was self-instituted by the
"daughters of Israel", not the Rabbis. Thus, this area of halacha, which
is most closely related to issues dealing with time-related human
biology, is uniquely under the authority of women.
	This is not after the fact apologetics, but the manner in which
the halachah has been set up.
	One question on R. Richard's reason #2--- does that mean that if
for some reason a women's cycle prevents pregnancy because of the "7
days", can we find heter for her, basic on the fact that the gezeira is
defeating its own purpose?
	David I. Cohen


From: dwenger <dwenger@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 99 08:05:57 -0400
Subject: Religious Organizations "Mandated to Control"

Yasher koach to Gitelle Rapoport for bringing up the thorny topic of
whether kashrut-supervising organizations are "mandated to control"
anything else. IMHO, they are there to ensure that the food served in a
restaurant that represents itself as kosher is, in fact, kosher. That's
 I once lived in a small city that had one (count 'em, 1!) kosher
restaurant. To attract clientele - as we all must admit, most kosher
restaurants outside NYC must also serve nonobservant customers in order
to keep their businesses going (another reason for serving meat during
the 9 days, but that's another story) - it decided to feature live music
one night a week. One time, the group it had featured a female singer -
and the supervising organization immediately removed its hashgacha,
thereby forcing the owners of the restaurant to close, losing their
parnasa. My question: did this organization have the right to do this?
If observant patrons objected to this form of entertainment, couldn't
they still eat at the restaurant during the rest of the week? Did the
singer make the food treif??


End of Volume 29 Issue 17