Volume 30 Number 11
                 Produced: Mon Nov 15 21:19:32 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Break on Rosh Hashana
         [Akiva Miller]
children in marriage
         [j e rosenbaum]
Democracy and Messianism
         [Russell Hendel]
Inventing Halacha
         [Ellen Krischer]
Jewish Music
         [Stuart Wise]
Mi shebeirach for cholim issues
         [Ahron Wolf]
         [Daniel Israel]
Origin of "Shena B'shabbat Taanug"
         [David Curwin]
Previous generations
         [Chaim Mateh]
Status of Chabad vis-a-vis the Rebbe
         [Chaim Mateh]


From: Akiva Miller <kgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 09:24:33 -0500
Subject: re: Break on Rosh Hashana

If the problem is that people get hungry, skip this suggestion. But if
the problem is that we want to avoid fasting on Rosh Hashana (which is
especially important when it falls on Shabbos) then I think the simplest
solution is to drink a small cup of water before leaving home. As far as
I know, we are allowed to drink plain water before davening according to
all opinions (as opposed to foods or other drinks, which are

Akiva Miller


From: j e rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 12:54:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: children in marriage

If a woman specifies in her ketubah that she wishes to remain financially 
independent of her husband, who pays for the children:  him, her, or both 
of them equally?  Does this division change in the event of their divorce?

Also, in R. Meiselman's book on women in Jewish law, he states that if a
woman chooses financial independence, she is still entitled to clothing
and food from her husband, but doesn't cite this.  Does anyone know
where this comes from?  Nearly everyone I've mentioned it to has been
surprised, and said that they learned differently (that independent
meant complete separation of assets).



From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 23:03:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RE: Democracy and Messianism

There have been several postings (v29n95-v30n9) dealing with how we in a
democracy can make a transition to the monarchial world of the
messiah. Most of these postings have dealt with the negative aspects of
the transition--things we must forgo when King Messiah comes. I would
like to mention some positive aspects of the transition--things
democracy will contribute to King Mesiah's reign.

BOTH democracy and Jewish law by and large approach civil and monetary
law thru human reason and the concept of fairness. However modern
democracy in a technological world has had the opportunity to develop
certain economic concepts which were only in their infancy in Talmudic
times.  One such economic concept is insurance which allows a large
group of people to pool resources together to mutually protect
themselves. Insurance is mentioned in Jewish law (Rambam, Theft and
Loss, 12:12,15) but is developed in more detail today because of greater
data keeping ability, communication and accessibility.

More specifically the Medicare Act of 1965 created for the first time in
human history a NATIONAL effort to care for the elderly and disabled
thru a systematic use of taxes. My point is simple--respecting the
elderly is a Biblical idea (Lev 19:32) but has been developed IN DETAIL
by American law with a series of regulations that have actually
increased health and quality of life in the elderly. King Mesiah will be
proud to learn such laws and apply them in his own reign. I believe this
to be a good example of how democracy can help us transit to the
Messianic era

Russell Hendel; Phd ASA; <rjhendel@...>; http://www.shamash.org/rashi/


From: Ellen Krischer <krischer@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 09:30:12 -0500
Subject: RE: Inventing Halacha

>An oral agreement is just as binding halachically as a written
>agreement, particularly where a 'kinyan' is made as is generally the
>case at a 'vort'.  This is hardly inventing halacha as the sources for
>thus are quire explicit in Kiddushin, Bava Basra amongst others.
> David 

	The "inventing Halacha" that I was referring to is *not* the
notion of binding oral agreements.  It is that we are creating
communities in which having a vort *at all* is becoming the rule and not
the exception.  In the not-to-distant future, I believe having a vort
will take on the force of halacha the way other things that started out
as minhagim now have the force of halacha.  I can't tell you how many
people are agast that we did not wait until 3 to cut my son's hair.  All
the allusions to picking fruit from trees is nice and having an excuse
for a party is also nice - but it ain't halacha.



From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 10:10:43 -0800
Subject: Re: Jewish Music

I may venture that the objection to today's music has something to do
with the lyrics for which the music was written.  While some of the
"classical" nigunim may have been adopted from folk music of the day, I
would hope that their source were less suggestive of subjects frum
people don't usually sing about.

I disagree that there hasn't been indigenous Jewish music since the
Leviim.  Many frum people have composed music that is not a ripoff of
the popular idiom.  It may not sell like the other stuff but it does
exist and the melodies can be moving and beautiful.

Stuart Wise


From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 11:26:52 EST
Subject: Mi shebeirach for cholim issues

It has been interesting to see people's responses on this topic that I
raised a while back and I thank all who have responded.  I would like to
comment on some of the responses,as follows-

<< From: David I. Cohen <BDCOHEN613@...>
 Our minyan (I have also seen this at the YI of West
 Hartford, CT) has everyone say the Mi Sheberach together, pausing for
 each indivudual to insert the names of their individual cholim.

 From: A.J.Gilboa <bfgilboa@...>
 After the END of tfilla, the rav or hazzan waits for congregants to
 approach him and he makes a private and quiet mi she-berach for each and
 every one who requests it. This avoids both tirha d-tsibbura and qri`at
 ha-tora (`ayin of qri`at is intentional!).>>

It is good to see that people are trying to improve the
situation. However, I have doubts if the above two suggestions/practices
are to be recommended, however well intentioned they may be. I say that
because they seem deficient because they seem to lose benefit of a
single tefila being done together as/by a tzibbur (community/minyan). To
elaborate, in suggestion #1, each person is saying a different prayer
because they are mentioning different names. Also, who is answering
amein to the prayers? Is it just each person answering amein to their
own prayer? For one thing, normally one doesn't answer amein to one's
prayer/blessing. And if you want to say, that they are (also?)
(simultaneously?) answering amein to the prayer of others-how can they
do that if they didn't follow/hear it, because they were saying their
own at that time?Also, that assumes that they all finish at (basically)
the exact same time-something that may not always be the case. Are 'mi
shebeirach's supposed /allowed to be made knowing that there is no
minyan listening and answering amein? Can they be made without a minyan?
For some reason,I think not.  Also-another point-I seem to recall that
the nusach (standard text) for the mi shebeirach was/is mis
shebeirach...,,,,.hu yirapeh es hacholeh/cholanis....but of late, I have
noticed that some have changed this to 'hu yivarech viyirapeh'. Where
did this addition/change come from? Which way is to more correct?


From: Ahron Wolf <awolf@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 09:23:34 -0500
Subject: Monarchy

As for monarchy being the ideal torah form of government see the
Abarbanel on parshas Shoftim and in Sefer Shmuel where the people ask
for a king. Also see the Netziv on parshas Shoftim. Both these
authorities do not believe that the monarchy is the ideal form of
government. The Abarbanel holds that monarchy is very bad form of
government indeed and was only allowed as a concession to the Yetzer
Hara of imitating the nations of that era.



From: Daniel Israel <daniel@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 14:50:23 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Re: Negiah

> Is anyone else disturbed by the notion that we should learn halacha by
> reading a compilation of sources selected via unknown criteria by an
> anonymous author?

On the one hand, I see your point.  On the other hand, Rashi was written
anonymously also, originally.  I personally would want to hear the
reaction of a halachic authority I trust to the sefer in question.

Daniel M. Israel
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ


From: David Curwin <curwin@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 17:18:28 +0200
Subject: Origin of "Shena B'shabbat Taanug"

Does anyone know the origin of the phrase 
"shena b'shabbat taanug" (sleep on shabbat is a pleasure)?


David Curwin
Kvutzat Yavne, Israel


From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 22:58:50 +0200
Subject: Re: Previous generations

In vol. 30:03, Meir Shinnar <meir_shinnar@...> wrote

<<I would furthermore add that the need for a written tshuva, as distinct
from an oral one from the local rav, seems a distinctly modern phenomenon,
and in some ways antithetical to the notion of torah shebe'alpe.  ....
Furthermore, most of us do things which may be questionable without a
formal written tshuva, because our rabbis and communities do them.>>

Something that a Gadol did in the past that rasies questions as to its
validity, without that Gadol ever having explained the Hallachic
background for what he did, is NOT Torah she'be'alpeh.  It is an
inexplicable action by a Gadol.  If there were a known previous
Hallachic view that jives with what the Gadol did, then we could say
that he did as that Hallachic view.  But if the gadol's actions _appear_
to contradict Hallacha, then how can we put words in that Gadol's mouth
trying to explain exactly what was done and why they were done and what
Hallachic justification there was for it.?

The classic example is the (in)famous non-hair-covering by the wives of
some Gedolim of the previous generations.  I know of no Tshuva that
Hallachically allows such a thing (the Boyde article notwithstanding,
since I've never seen that article and would appreciate if someone could
send me a copy of it; it is supposedly in Judaism magazine volume 40,
issue 1, Winter 1991, which I don't have and don't know where to begin
to look for). So, let's assume that some Gedolim's wives went hair
uncovered.  Can we infer a _Hallacha_ that this is permitted?!  Can we
infer that that Gadol ruled that it's permitted, contrary to all known
Hallachic views?!  Would not such a seemlingly impossible view warrant a
clarification from the Gadol?  And if he's no longer living, wouldn't a
written tshuva from that Gadol be necessary before we quote Hallachot in
his name?

<<Perhaps we should, instead of trying to claim the uniformity of
halacha, admit that there are many opinions and traditions.>>

Fine.  But what _exactly_ is the opinion of the Gadol who did something
that wasn't clarified nor explained by that Gadol?  How can we know what
his opinions about the issue is, if he never explained it unequivicolly?
WADR to those who swear that this or that Gadol did this or that
20-30-40 years ago, the reason that Rebbi Hakadosh wrote down part of
Torah She'bealpeh (Mishna) was because the oral tradition was being
forgotton and IMO mistransmitted, etc, causing unclarity and possible
mistakes.  Same thing applies here too.  The controveries surrounding
what some Gedolim did, why they did it, etc, demands clearcut
clarifications, something possible only by written tshuvot.

Kol Tuv, Chaim


From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 22:13:05 +0200
Subject: Status of Chabad vis-a-vis the Rebbe

Vol 30#09, Jonathan Katz <jkatz@...> wrote:

<<What is the status of those Chabad congregations who still maintain that
the Rebbe was Moshiach? (I don't know what "official" Chabad position is on
this issue, but I do know from visiting various Chabad shuls that some play
up the issue while others ignore it or oppose it)>>

I discussed this with my Rosh Kollel today. He is the son-in-law of Rav
Eliyashiv and he told me that he discussed this topic with Rav Eliyashiv
and Rav Eliyashiv told him the following:
A Chabad messianic cannot be counted in a minyan.  If you are in a shul
with all Messianics, then you shouldn't take an Aliyah since the brocho
would be levatala (in vain).

So I asked the Rosh Kollel what one should do if he is stuck somewhere and
the only Shul is a Chabad Shul that has the Rebbe's picture hanging with
the "yechi adoneinu" under it.  He replied that he should check out who
davens there.  When I sort of like explained that this is pretty difficult
to do or verify, he said that here in Rechovot, Israel we have a Chabad
Shul that has the sign and "yechi", and yet the Chabadniks in this shul are
divided between regulars and messianics, and they even occassionally have
quarrels about it.  The Rosh Kollel's conclusion is that a stam
(unverified) Chabad Shul has a sofek of being Messianic and therefore,
misofek the fellow could daven there.  Obviously if it becomes clear to him
that there isn't a minyan of regulars (i.e., non-messianics), then he is
essentially davening without a minyan, and he should leave the shul.

Kol Tuv,


End of Volume 30 Issue 11