Volume 29 Number 46
                 Produced: Tue Aug 10  7:25:43 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Claude Schochet]
Eli Tziyon
         [Richard Wolpoe]
Explaining Yesh Mei'Ayin to a 6 year old
         [Steve Pudell]
High Yeshiva Tuition vs Chinuch
Kol Ishah
         [Aliza Berger]
Misrepresentation in Business
Ovel as Shliach Tzibbur on Shabbos
         [Shlomo B Abeles]
Shir HaShirim and Megillas Esther
         [Binyomin Segal]
Special status for wealthy kids (was high tuition)
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Temple Mount Entrance
         [Yisrael Medad]
Tisha B'Av Nigunim (2)
         [Yisrael Medad, Moshe Feldman]


From: Claude Schochet <schochet@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 15:00:38 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Eclipse

a) What's the b'racha upon seeing a solar eclipse (e.g. via a pinhole

b) Must the eclipse be total to say the bracha? If not, what % 

c) At what point do you say the b'racha?

d) What is the oldest Jewish reference to a total solar eclipse?

Claude (Chaim) and Rivka Schochet
Math Dept		04-834-6049 home phone and fax
The Technion		04-829-3895 office phone
Haifa, Israel 32000     04-832-4654 office fax


From: Richard Wolpoe <richard_wolpoe@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 1999 11:38:09 -0400
Subject: Eli Tziyon

FWIW I have several 19th century arrangements of that tune.  I.M. Japhet
has it printed for the Lecho Dodi of Shabbos Chazzon, (although in his
arrangement he uses thaht tune only for hte first and last verse). He
also uses a variation of the essential theme for the first 2 for the 3
weeks, (which he terms "bein hametzorim).

One rabbi and I debated over that meoldy as either hopeful or not.
IMHO, based upon the text of Eli Tziyon, I would think a hopeful melody
would be incongruent with the devastating nature of the verses
themselves.  IOW, to me this melody represents tragedy not hope.

<<I heard the Rov say in shiur-and also on a tape from Tisha B'Av
1974-that the tune for B'nei beischa k'vatchila is the same tune as Eli
Tzion, and we use it in the beracha regarding aliyah l'regel [Going up
to Yerushalaim for Yom Tov - Mod.] to indicate our regret over not
having the Beis HaMikdash. I once mentioned this in a talk I gave in a
shul on Shabbos Chazon durng seudah shlishis, and the chazan, who was
present, said that it is not the same tune. I guess the Rov's ear was
tuned differently!<<

FWIW, the uunderstanding I received from several Cantoral teachers and
experts in Nusach is that the 2 meloldies ARE related.  Granted, they
are not identical, rather they might be 2 variations of the same
meoldy. Te connection is indeed that because of our sins we have no
Temple, and that is why it is restricted to that paragraph.

Rich Wolpoe


From: Steve Pudell <Gmachine9@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 16:22:58 EDT
Subject: Re: Explaining Yesh Mei'Ayin to a 6 year old

I knew that someone would object to my characterization of my daughter's
question as yesh mae'ayin.  But to a certain extent that's what it was.
That is, she thinks that everything needs a creator.  The fact that
Hashem always existed, is in fact, a problem of something coming from
nothing.  We try to resolve this by positing that Hashem always existed
(whichwe believe He did).  But, nonetheless, the problem my daughter had
with this is that while Hshem created the world, who created Hashem.

Anyway, thanks for your help, I would love more suggestions.

Steve Pudell


From: A.J.Gilboa <bfgilboa@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Aug 1999 15:02:39 -0700
Subject: Re: High Yeshiva Tuition vs Chinuch

> From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
> A colleage of mine on another email group privately wrote me about
> difficulties he has had with registering his children in local yeshivoth
> because of high tuition.
> a) How prevalant is it for children to be turned away from yeshivoth
> because of high tuition
> b) Is such a practice right, wrong or "it depends"
> c) what steps if any could the jewish community take to avoid such
> a situation.
> d) In the meantime what should people like my colleague do with his
> children.

I believe that some yeshivot in the US charge graduated fees according
to the unbiased recommendations of independent assessors. Assuming that
the potential clients provide the true facts about their income and
property, this should divide the load equitably. In addition, needy
parents of students with excellent academic achievements can be given
cash prizes at the end of each school year, to help cover the expense of
the following year.

I have heard that some Jewish leaders in the US have suggested that the
entire Jewish community should raise funds to guarantee that no Jewish
child be deprived of a Jewish education because of high tuition fees.
Perhaps this is already done in part by financial support to yeshivot
from general charity funds such as Federation?

As for your friend and people in the same situation - have they
considered `aliya as a solution?

Yosef Gilboa


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 1999 23:37:28 +-300
Subject: Kol Ishah

R. Yehiel Weinberg's (Seridei Eish) permissive response about boys and
girls singing together is based, in part, on the principle that "two
voices are not heard simultaneously." R. Saul Berman comments on this
that "this argument could likewise lead to the conclusion that anything
but a solo, even a duet of two women, would be permissible." (source:
Chapter by Rabbi Berman entitled "Kol 'Isha" in the Jubilee Volume for
Joseph Lookstein, footnote 94).

Aliza Berger


From: Anonymous
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 99 08:43:38 -0400
Subject: Misrepresentation in Business

 I work in a mid-level position for a mid-size company. My boss is a
frum woman, whom I have always admired for her scrupulous sincerity and
honesty, both in religion and in business. Which makes this scenario
even more disturbing: she recently asked me to call our competitors,
"posing" as a potential customer, to try to glean information about
their products, prices, etc., as she felt that I could not get this
information if the competitors knew who was calling. I refused to do
this, telling her I thought it was unethical. She dropped the subject,
but I have the feeling she might have asked someone else to do this.

The question is: Is there a halachic basis to either of our positions?


From: Shlomo B Abeles <sba@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 12:11:12 +1000
Subject: Re: Ovel as Shliach Tzibbur on Shabbos

> Daniel Mehlman <Danmim@...> wrote:
> Question: 1-why cant an avel be a sh'liach tzibur on shabbos and yom tov
> and where are the sources.
>           2-there is a minhag for one who has yarzeit to be a sh'liach
> tzibur on the shabbos prior to the yarzeit...what would be the halacha
> if that same person is an avel can he still do so on that shabbos before
> the yarzeit?

1) The Remoh in Yoreh Deah 376 SK 6 states that it is a minhag that the
Ovel does not lead Tefilos. In many places - especially Chassidim - this
extends to many other times, including Rosh Chodesh, Chanuka, etc and
even Aseres Yemei Tshuva.

2) In Tshuvos B'Tzel Hachochmo from Rabbi Bezalel Stern zt''l (vol. 4,
siman 129) he rules that an ovel may be shliach tzibur on the Shabbos
prior to Yarzeit.



From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 1999 21:15:09 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: RE: Shir HaShirim and Megillas Esther

 Ellen Krischer asks about the definition of pshat.
*Is this the general view of folks on the list?  I was always led to
*believe that peshat always means "what the words say".  We are not
*necessarily supposed to *use* the words literally - as halacha or as
*history, and it may be that a text was intended as an allegory.
*However, that shouldn't preclude there being value to understanding a
*very literal view of what the text says.

Quite a complex question actually. And one that I believe Rishonim
disagreed about. 

my understanding - which is based to a great degree on Rabbi Michael
Meyers, who himself would credit Nechama Lebowitz a"h with whom he learned
- is that pshat is based on a combination of three elements:
2. semantics
3. syntax

in other words pshat is the simplest explanation that deals with all
three of these elements. exactly how to balance these elements is often
- i believe - a disagreement between even rishonim that are explaining
what they understand to be the pshat.

mostly it seems to me that some (like rashi) tend to see context in a
more holistic, global sense, while others like the rashbam tend to focus
more on the literal meaning of the words.

one needs to remember that rashi is coming to explain pshat. so when he
mentions a medrash, at least in his opinion the pshat includes whatever
insight he has brought from chazal (our rabbis).

an example - the torah says "do not put a stumbling block in front of a
blind person". rashi explains that this refers to not giving bad advice!
the question is, why was rashi unwilling to use the simple translation?

one answer (which may not be correct, but is given as an example) is
that the rest of the pasuk concludes "i am God" this CONTEXT suggests
(as rashi points out elsewhere) that the pasuk is referring to a sin
which not detectable to man, not public like a tripping stone but rather
private like bad advice (which you can pretend is sincere).

the translation of the words, the semanitcs is one aspect, but only one
of three.

similarly i believe rashi chooses to explain "eye for an eye" in a less
than literal sense, like the halacha. but i believe that the rashba uses
the literal translation as pshat.

hope this is helpful


From: Chaim Shapiro <Dagoobster@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 17:33:36 EDT
Subject: Special status for wealthy kids (was high tuition)

 Russel brings up an interesting point.  Let me take this one step
further.  One thing I have learned in several schools (and I do not mean
to include any particular school here per se) is that after accepting
students who cannot afford to pay full tuition, these students are made
to feel like second class citizens to their full paying counterparts.
Wealthier kids would get special privileges, do not get punished as
often, or as severely as their poorer friends.  What lesson is that
sending?  That money is everything?  What lesson does that send to the
richer children?  You have a free ride in life because your dad is rich.
You may lie and steal and break rule with impunity?  Is that fulfilling
a principals responsibility to that child?  How can an administrator
possibly justify this kind of behavior?

Chaim Shapiro


From: Yisrael Medad <winkiem@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 1999 11:04:24 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Temple Mount Entrance

Re: Gitelle Rapoport's posting on Har HaBayit entrance
She writes
>A relatively simple immersion, as is usually done
>before Yom Kippur, would not necessarily be sufficient.

Yes, it would as long as we're talking about a "baal keri", i.e.,
someone who has had an issuance of semen after his 9th year and one day
and not a "zav", someone who suffers a disease related to sexual

>Isn't there a serious halachic question re
>anyone going up to the Har Ha'Bayit area today? 


>Which categories of
>impurity, specifically, are the problem? And isn't there an uncertainty
>about where precisely the different areas of the Beit HaMikdash (first
>and/or second) are located today anyway?

Well, yes and no.  For example, most assume that because we are "tamei
met", impure from contact with the dead, that we can't enter.  But the
Rambam specifically permits a "tameh met" to enter even into the
Machaneh Leviyah area, so that can't be the problem.  As Rav She'ar-
Yashuv Cohen said, rather pithily, it's a matter for engineers and
surveyors not really Rabbis.  The area has to be laid out, which is what
Rav Goren did.

As for women and immersion, I suggest the book "El Har HaMor", Yitzhak
Shapira and Yosef Pil'i, 1997, which has a very intricate discussion of
the matter on pages 25-36 including these topics: "niddah and zavah",
"nivla'at and poletet", "yoledet", "yom veset", "bedikah" and "m'kor
mekomo tameh".

Yisrael Medad


From: Yisrael Medad <winkiem@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 1999 11:06:29 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Tisha B'Av Nigunim

Some 35 years ago or more, I sang L'cha Dodi to the tune of "Scarborough
Fair", made popular then by Simon & Garfunkel, at my home schule at
Holliswood, Queens.  I was interrupted by someone shouting and thought
that I would be berated for mixing popular music tunes with the sacred.
To my surprise, when I turned around to see if maybe I could continue, I
heard him shout: "we used that tune only for Tisha B'Av in Poland, how
can you use it for Shabbat?".

Yisrael Medad 

From: Moshe Feldman <MFeldman@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 1999 17:05:15 -0400 
Subject: Re: Tisha B'Av Nigunim

Joe Rich wrote:
<<Rav Schachter in Nefesh Harav tells a story where Rav Schachter led
kabbalat shabbat at the Rav's summer shul in Onset(cape cod). RavSchachter
led Lcha Dodi to the tune of Eli Tzion and noone knew it so hesang by
himself until the Rav had mercy on him and joined in, From thisRav Schachter
concluded that the Rav didn't have a problem with thistune on Shabbat even
though it might seem like a public display ofmourning. I have heard ( a
report from NCSY Kollel) that the Rav sang Eli Tzionwith a bit of shalosh
regalim melody - so maybe this is not a conclusive proof - anyone know any
more on this?>>

I wonder whether this report was confused with the point that
R. Schachter noted in Nefesh Harav.  He noted that the Rav would sing
"bnei betcha k'vatchila" from the Amidah of shalosh regalim to the tune
of Eli Tzion.  (R. Schachter, I think, used this as a proof that you
could sing these nigunim on Shabbat and Yom Tov, i.e., it's not
mourning.)  So it's not that Eli Tzion was sung with a Shalom Regalim
melody but the opposite--the Shalosh Regalim sentence dealing with the
rebuilding of the bet hamikdash was sung in a mournful way, to the tune
of Eli Tzion.

Kol tuv,


End of Volume 29 Issue 46