Volume 29 Number 98
                 Produced: Tue Nov  9  6:15:32 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Helping Children with Gemorah (6)
         [Perry Zamek, <LMuschel@...>, Rabbi Shmuel Jablon, Ascent of
Safed, A.J.Gilboa, Stuart Wise]
Ketuba (2)
         [Eli Turkel, Elozor Preil]
         [Yehuda Poch]
Mi Shebearach' for Cholim
         [Joseph Greenberg]
Succot Laws
         [Stuart Wise]


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999 10:41:12 +0200
Subject: Re: Helping Children with Gemorah

Aviva Fee in v29n97 writes:

>We have a friend who has what seems to be not so unique situation.
>His son is coming home with gemorah homework and the father is extremely
>frustrated that he is unable to assist his son.
>The father is downcast that while he is working on his own gemorah
>skills,.  he will not be able to assist his son fully.  Any ideas on how
>to assist him in this situation?

Firstly, let us remember that Rabbi Akiva went to school with his own
son, starting in "Grade 1" on the same day. Yet we can see how much he
was able to achieve.

Suggest to your friend that he should not feel that he is in competition
with his son. Rather, his son may be able to help him (terminology,
vocabulary, etc.), while he can probably assist his son in following the
broader picture.

Second, if your friend is "Kovea Itim LaTorah" (setting times for
learning Torah), this can only be a positive influence on his son. So
what that the son knows more Gemara - "Echad HaMarbeh ve'Echad
Ha'Mam'it" -- amount doesn't count! (rough translation :-).

Third, from a practical point of view, your friend should speak to his
son's teacher, and explain the problem -- maybe they can work out some
solution together.

Perry Zamek   | A Jew should live his life in such a way
Peretz ben    | that people can say of him: "There goes
Avraham       | a living Kiddush Hashem".

From: <LMuschel@...>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 07:26:43 EST
Subject: Helping Children with Gemorah

    One solution for the father who feels unable to learn with his child
is to hire a tutor. This does not necessarily have to be expensive--a
high school student recommended by a local yeshiva might even help out
as a chessed if there are financial issues. The father could join them
and sit in on the sessions. Another possibility is to invite another
father-son combination(with a background in learning) from the class to
come over and learn as a foursome.

From: Rabbi Shmuel Jablon <rabbij@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 1999 07:59:15 -0800
Subject: re: Helping Children with Gemorah

I have often spoken with parents whose children, Thank G-d, are learning
Torah subjects at higher levels than their parents ever did.  Naturally,
there are various "helpers"...be they Artscroll Gemaras or translated
Chumashim.  But I always tell parents that the best way to "help" their
children is to show them the great importance you place on Torah
studies.  In other words, if a child sees their parent learning Torah on
whatever level they can- and if their parents are clearly paying hard
earned money for tution and tutors (to give help that they cannot)- this
will make a tremendous impression on them.  This may not help a parent
to review a particular daf with their child; but it will help them to
increase the chances of their child wanting to learn for a lifetime!

Shmuel Jablon
Visit my new homepage!:  www.rabbijablon.com
Send an e-fax!: 810-314-2515

From: Ascent of Safed <seminars@...>
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999 14:51:58 +0200
Subject: re: RE: Helping Children with Gemorah

Yes. Take emergency measures. He should _immediately_ drop whatever
tractate he is learning now, and learn instead the same chapter his son
is, at least three times a week. Change teachers, chavrusas, place of
learning, if necessary, paying no attention to differences in "shita"
(approaches, ideology, religiosity, political affiliations,
etc). Strictly ignore anyone who denigrates his use of Steinsaltz,
Artscroll or whatever helps, just make sure that he himself can read
each section in the same edition his son uses before moving on to the
next one, even if he feels he is imposing on others' patience. I promise
that after *one* week he will already see dramatic results. If he needs
help to make new arrangements, two people who will be overjoyed to
assist him are his son's teacher and his son's principal. Don't be shy
to ask them. If he is really determined _and_ can afford it, he can
always hire a tutor to teach him in exactly the way he needs, instead of
hoping a shiur or chavrusa will work out. I wish him the best.
P.S. There are people, even rabbonim, who will advise him to fulfill his
need by hiring the tutor for his son. This is valid halachically and
pedagogically. _Don't_ settle for that (unless his son is falling

Yrachmiel Tilles
http://www.ascent.org.il (worth checking out)

From: A.J.Gilboa <bfgilboa@...>
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999 11:48:10 -0800
Subject: Re: Helping Children with Gemorah

There are many aids to Talmud study. I heartily recommend the Steinsaltz
edition of the Talmud (also available in an excellent English version)
for father and son. However, is it necessary for a parent to be actively
involved in a child's homework in any subject? I remember my own
childhood when working through a difficult problem in the presence of an
interested parent (in subjects where they had very little prior
background) was magically of great help. Also, doesn't the boy have
schoolmates? My classmates used to get together after school to study
Talmud, especially before those famous quizzes. If the father is
struggling with his own beginning steps in the study of Talmud, it may
be of mutual benefit to study with his son, if the father has the
humility (which most adults do not) to accept that his son may
occasionally know more than he does. In explaining a difficult 'sugya'
to his father, the son will gain the important experience of organizing
and explaining to another and will invariably end up with a deeper
understanding than if his father were capable of "giving him all the
right answers".

Yosef Gilboa

From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999 10:26:36 -0800
Subject: Re:  Helping Children with Gemorah

In response to the issue of helping a son with gemara homework, I myself
have been blessed with only daughters (and my wife and I do help them
with their scared studies homework religiously), but other than the
obvious suggestions -- find a friend or a tutor; buy a good translation,
which are currently available; or order the appropriate tapes from Torah
Tapes in Brooklyn, NY, at (718) 438-3904 -- I would like to comment on
something based on a a recent experience.

I have a nephew who just started learning gemara and for a number of
reasons his father tends not to learn with him SO over a recent Yom Tov
he asked to learn with me and although I hadn't studied that gemara, but
at least I sat there and listened and tried to help him out.  I wasn't
the biggest help in the world but he appreciated just having someone to
sit down and listen and let him identify for himself what he knew well
and what he was weak on.  At that point he could focus on the less-known
material and call a friend or ask his rebbe


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 10:31:17 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Ketuba

>>There are those who try to be silly and enter an unrealistic figure,
>>but I'm not sure if they ever received the advice of a lawyer to do

It is an old sefardi tradition to put in very large amounts into the ketuba.

Eli Turkel

From: Elozor Preil <EMPreil@...>
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1999 23:27:29 EDT
Subject: Re: Ketuba

In a message dated 10/25/99 7:26:23 AM Eastern Daylight Time, A.M. Goldstein 

> In regard to Isaac A Zlochower's querying the 200 "zuzim" in the
>  traditional ketuba, here in Israel--as I sure others will point out--a
>  true Shekel amount is written into the contract and read out at the
>  ceremony.  All Orthodox.  There are those who try to be silly and enter
>  an unrealistic figure, but I'm not sure if they ever received the advice
>  of a lawyer to do that.  Admittedly I don't know whether a civil court
>  here has ruled on the validity of the ketuba as a binding contract, but
>  it would seem to be a legal document in every respect.  Are dollar
>  amounts never written into ketuvot signed in the U.S.?

I recently attended a Jewish intermarriage (Ashkenaz-Sefard) featuring a
ketubah in "nusach Damesek".  In addition to the standard 200 zuzim, the 
tosefet ketubah (additional obligation) was read as being $52,000.  Someone 
exlained that this amount was chosen because 52 as the gematriya of "ben" 

Kol tuv,
Elozor Preil


From: Yehuda Poch <yehuda@...>
Subject: re: Ketubah

Gitele Rapaport writes:

>I have been told
>that most batei din routinely ask the wife in a get proceeding to waive
>the amount of her ketubah (whatever that amount is, which is itself a
>sticky question), supposedly because it is assumed that she will receive
>some type of alimony from her ex-husband anyway (which may or may not be
>true). Could someone please clarify whether that is indeed the case; and
>if so, at least as far as protecting women post-divorce is concerned,
>doesn't that make the ketubah an essentially meaningless document?

In Israel, this is certainly the case.  Furthermore, in Israel, alimony
is almost never awarded.  Child support is, and in many cases, it is far
too low.  I have first hand knowledge of at least three divorce cases in
Israel.  In none of them was alimony awarded, and in the two involving
children, child support was paid.  IN one of those two cases, the amount
was far below what would be considered fair.

In at least two of these three cases, the beit din forced the woman to
waive the ketubah money as part of the get process after this was
demanded by the man.

I have also heard of at least one case in Israel, where in addition to
waiving the ketubah, the woman was forced to pay about 10,000 dollars in
order to obtain her get.

The last statement is certainly the case.  With the exception of the
part it plays in the actual marriage ceremony, the ketubah has become,
unfortunately, a meaningless document useful more to the husband as a
hostage tool than to the wife as a tool of protection.

When I got engaged three years ago, the first thing I did was offer my
bride a pre-nuptial agreement that anchored the ketubah in civil law.
The agreement was drawn up by a lawyer who is licensed in both New York
and Israel and who is familiar with Rav Teitz's opinions on the matter.
If, cv's, it is ever needed, the agreement is binding in both countries.
I advise all couples getting married to do the same in order to protect
the spirit of the ketubah as it was intended, and to prevent corrupt
batei din from strengthening the man's ability to use it as a tool of

Yehuda Poch                           <yehuda@...>


From: Joseph Greenberg <jjg@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 17:22:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Mi Shebearach' for Cholim

Having been in the position of having to read a list of names
approaching 40 different people, some of whom had already died or
recovered, followed by the inevitable line-up of 20 people, some of whom
know personally half-a-dozen sick people (isn't it amazing how the same
people always tend to know sick people?), I think you answered the issue
yourself. I've also stood at the front of some shuls and watched the
circus that the line-up becomes. If people were more sensible about who
"needs" a Mi-shebayrach, and how long that person really needs it, then
I think most shuls wouldn't object to the hefsek (break). But until
people stop making Mi-shebayrachs for their parakeet's allergies, or
shul's can legitimately collect $5.00 (or more!) per name per
repetition, I'm remaining in favor of the "pause that refreshes".

Joseph Greenberg


From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 11:52:43 -0700
Subject: Succot Laws

Over Succos I heard some things that sounded odd to me, and wondering if
anyone has heard of them and if there are any sources for them:

1) Other than the first night of Succos, is one required to wait out
inclement weather before eating. Where I spent Succos, it seems that
some people were, in effect, fasting on a rainy day, refusing to eat
until the rain abated to make it possible to eat in the sukkah.  It was
around 1:30 before my host ate.

2) If it is raining and one cannot sleep in the sukkah, is there any
basis for a person to refrain from sleeping altogether if it can't be
done in the sukkah?

3) Is there such a concept of "Oneg Yom Tov docheh Shabbos" -- that the
enjoyment of Yom Tov can push off Shabbos?  In this same community, in a
year when Simchas Torah fell out erev Shabbos, the yeshiva finished
about an hour before candlelighting and people nevertheless proceeded to
sit down to the seudah (holiday feast) so close to candlelighting.

4) While Torah study may be the most important thing of all, is there
any basis for delaying the making of kiddush in order to have a shiur
(study class).  Is it wrong to delay kiddush well beyond the time when
it is able to be said?


End of Volume 29 Issue 98