Volume 30 Number 39
                 Produced: Mon Dec 20  6:43:06 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aliyos (2)
         [Rick Turkel, Isaac Hollander]
Esther and Mordechai (2)
         [Gershon Dubin, Ari Kahn]
Kissing of Tzitzit
         [Yisrael Medad]
Kissing Tzitzit
         [Matthew Pearlman]
Kriah of Ma'aseh Reuvein
         [Rena Freedenberg]
         [Yisrael Medad]
Rabbanim and Supervision
         [Daniel Israel]
where would you like to live
         [Reuven Spero]


From: Rick Turkel <rturkel@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 16:15:10 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Aliyos

Israel Rubin <Israel.Rubin@...> wrote in m.j 30#34:
>There has been much discussion in recent issues about the topic of
>using titles when calling someone up to the Torah.  Since the
>discussion was triggered by someone mentioning an incident in which an
>unmarried man in his forties had his feelings hurt by being called up
>as "habochur", I would like to note that there's no reason not to call
>such a person up as "harav".  I am usually the gabbai in the shul in
>which I daven, and I would call up anyone over 30 as harav - maybe even

	I have to disagree.  As a gabbai, I would never consider calling
someone to the Torah as "harav" unless they had some sort of rabbinical
ordination.  To my mind, doing so disparages the learning usually
involved in becoming a rabbi, and would be an insult to any rabbi
present.  "reb" maybe, but not "harav."

	There is a man in my community (but not in the minyan in which I
gabbinate) who recently received some kind of mail-order semikha
[rabbinical ordination], if I'm not mistaken from someplace advertised
in the Jewish Press.  I learn in a gemara shi`ur with this gentleman and
am reasonably familiar with his level of learning, and kevodo bimeqomo
munakh [with all due respect], it's far below my own - and I'm the first
person to admit that I have a long, long way to go myself.  I would have
a hard time calling this man up as "harav," even though he is older than
I am by at least ten years.  Fortunately, I haven't yet been faced with
this problem.  :-)

>      Also, I believe that in Breur's Shul in Washington Heights, there
>are metal ornaments with the names of the aliyas (shlishi, revi'i etc.)
>engraved on them, which are given to the intended recipients of those

	I've seen similar things in quite a number of different shuls.
They are nice in that they let the `oleh know in advance when to come
forward so there is less time wasted during the leyning (Torah reading).
However, in the places where I've seen them used, the `oleh is still
called up with the standard "ya`amod...."  The person who gives out the
`aliyot usually gets the person's name at the time the card/ornament is
given out if it isn't known by the gabbai who will actually call him up.

	Just my NIS 0.08-worth.

Rick Turkel      (___  _____  _  _  _  _  __     _  ___   _   _  _  ___
<rturkel@...>      )     |   |  \  )  |/  \ ein |navi| be|iro\__)    |
<rturkel@...>    /      |  _| __)/   | ___)    | ___|_  |  _(  \    |
Rich or poor, it's good to have money.    Ko rano | rani, u jamu pada.

From: Isaac Hollander <ysh@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 13:50:02 -0500
Subject: Re: Aliyos

> From: Samson Bechhofer <SBechhof@...>
[ snip]
> Incidentally, the minhag in KAJ is not to announce the number of the
> particular Aliyo after the name of the Oleh.

This is also the minhag at Ohab Zedek on the Upper West Side of
Manhattan.  Not surprising, as OZ was (I believe) founded by Hungarian
Jews who have other Yekke customs (e.g. saying bameh madlikin after
shmoneh esrei, before kiddush Friday night.



From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 16:45:03 -0500
Subject: Esther and Mordechai

> From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
<< I would assume that according to the opinion of the Amorah - I would
> need to check who said it - it is only one opinion - that Esther was
> married to Mordechai, Mordechai divorced her when she was taken to 
> the king's palace.>>

	While you're there, check the Tosfos as well.  I believe Tosfos
asks why Mordechai did NOT divorce her and avoid the problem, and
answers that it would have been too public and she would have been found


From: Ari Kahn <kahnar@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 09:57:00 +0200
Subject: Re: Esther and Mordechai

Regarding the precedence which Esther may have established by her
behavior. This question has been discussed in the Responsa
literature. The main impetus was a case told of a group of Jews who were
traveling and accosted by a band of thieves who were going to rob them
and apparently kill them. A (attractive in some sources) married woman
seduces the leader of the thieves and the group is saved. The questions
arose were: 1.Did this woman act in a correct manner?  2.Can she return
to her husband or is this considered sexual relations under duress?
3. Is this the same case as Esther?

A second case is presented in the Binyan Zion (Rav Yakov Etlinger)
Section 154 for an amazing tale of a woman who had relations - willingly
- with a man she thought to be Eliyahu Hanavi, she was told that the
offspring would be the Messiah, is she permitted to return to he husband
or is she guilty of a trespass? He discusses the previous case and again
considers the precedent of Esther, who also wanted to save the entire
Jewish world.

See Nodah Bi Yehuda tanina YD 161
Maharik 168
Beit Yakov 39
Shvut Yakov volume 2 section 117


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 00:24:02 +0200
Subject: Kissing of Tzitzit

Regarding the discussion of kissing tzitzit,
I found an exhaustive Halchic summary of Hilchot T'filla entitled
"Ishay Yisrael", written by Avraham Yeshayah Pafuefer (?)
and published a year and a half ago.  The author studied
with Yehoshua Yeshaya Neuberger and his book is modelled
on the style of Shmirat Shabat.

On page 187, Perek 20, Para. 6, his instructions are:

a) at "v'havi'einu", one gathers up the tzitzi'ot in his left hand;
b)  at the beginning of the third section of the Sh'ma, they
are transferred to the right hand;
c)  when saying "u'raitim oto", one looks at them;
d)  at each mention of "tzitzit", they are kissed;
e)  and there are those that kiss them at "u'raitim oto"
f)  they are kissed for the last time at "nechmadim le'ad" and
then let loose.

Sources for the kissing as he lists them:
 Kitzur Sh. Arukh 17:7; Kaf HeChayim 24:18; Mishnat Yaakov (Rosenthal);
Chesed La'Alafim; The Yaavetz Siddur's commentary of Amudei Shamayim who
explains that twice "la'ad" equals the Hebrew word for top of head -
"kodkod" and therefore the tzitzit should be kissedat these words.

According to him, the Gr"a says no kissing as does B'maaseh Rav 39.  The
New Leket Hakemach 61:36 notes that the Chazon Ish discouraged kissing.

The Orchot Rabeinu Part One Tzitzit, 50, one kisses at "emet" too.

I saw a reference in the ArtScroll Siddur to Ba'er Hetev, O.C. 59:3
(btw, the ArtScroll writes there that kissing is "the prevalent custom"
but no source) which I translate as: "...when he reaches 'arba kanfot
haaretz' [in the Bracha immediately preceeding the Sh'ma recitation] he
takes the four tzitziot in his left hand and places them on his heart
until the [third Sh'ma] Parsha of 'vayomer' and then he takes them in
his right hand until he reaches 'lechayim v'kayamim' [that is, in the
verses immediately following the Sh'ma] then kisses them and then lets
them go".

The upshot of this is that either one kisses three, four or five times or
but once.

Yisrael Medad


From: Matthew Pearlman <Matthew.Pearlman@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 09:06:52 -0000
Subject: Kissing Tzitzit

> Following the recent discussions on kissing tzitzit for Baruch Sheamar,
> does anyone have a source for kissing tzitzit during the Shema each time
> one says the word "tzitzit" and "emet" at the conclusion?
As far as I can see, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 24:4) brings as a
"yesh omrim" that one places the tzitzit on ones eyes on saying "ure'item
oto" (and you shall see it), and the Rema adds that one should kiss them
when one sees them (and so presumably when saying ure'item oto).

The Magen Avraham, followed by many later poskim eg the Mishna Berura,
bring in the name of the Ari z"l that one should kiss the tzitzit on
saying "ne'emanim v'nechemadim la'ad" in the blessing following the Shema.

I have not been able to find a source to kiss the tzitzit at

Matthew Pearlman


From: Rena Freedenberg <free@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 19:14:36 +0200
Subject: Kriah of Ma'aseh Reuvein

> Reuben is still numbered among Jacob's twelve children in the same verse
> as his crime is related.  On the other hand, some modern Biblical
> scholars speculate that a paragraph ending with an unfinished sentence
> indicates the excision of several words by the hand of an early
> editor. The missing words do appear in the Septuagint.  In this ancient
> Greek translation the verse reads. "And while Israel dwelt in that land,
> Reuben went and lay with Balla the concubine of his father Jacob, and
> Israel heard of it,{ and it appeared evil in his sight.}"

I think that I am misunderstanding something in your post. What are
"modern Biblical scholars"? I believe that one of the premises of this
list is that the Torah is m'Sinai. I always learned that it says in the
Torah that we are forbidden to add or subtract even one word -- how
could it be possible that there would be "editors" who would excise any
phrases? This would render the Torah unfit! I must be misunderstanding
what you are saying. Please explain.


[Since someone else also asked me how I let this through according to my
stated rules, I figured I'd add a comment here. There is a difference
(at least in my eyes, and I'm doing the editing) between arguing that
Torah or Halacha is not a valid system, that one is not required to
follow halacha (which I would and do censor from the list) and a comment
referencing a possible "early" editor of the Chumash. As much as some of
the Codes proponents argue that there has been absolutely no changes to
the text since the time it was given at Sinai, there have been other
postings here discussing choices that were made between different texts
by the early baali masorah. How extent those changes may have been, is
something that is possibly a matter of discussion. Understanding
differences between our text and that of the Septuagent is also a matter
that may be of interest to list members. To clarify though, if I had
understood the quoted poster as advocating a documentary hypothosis for
the original text of the Torah, that I would view as being outside the
purview of this list. Mod.]


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 21:00:14 +0200
Subject: Modim

In further reference to the Modim - Outloud/Quiet Repetition discussion,
I wish to refer to a new Halachic work that was published here in
Israel.  Titled "Tal Bracha", its subtitle reads "Questions and
Challenges for the Rav and the Community in a Community Yishuv".  The
author is Rami Rachamim Birchiyahu, a graduate of Maaleh Adumim Yeshiva
and the Eretz Chemdat Kollel, among others (and the husband of the
daughter of a good acquaintance, Rav Uriel Keising).  He deals with the
issue and comes down squarely on saying it outloud basing himself on the
Rambam and the Mishneh Brura.  In addition to regular Halchic topics,
his book in two parts deals with issues that effect a community,
Rav-public, education,etc.


From: Daniel Israel <daniel@...>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 13:28:56 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Re: Rabbanim and Supervision

> Most professionals involved with kashrut supervision will not call
> something claiming to be kosher, "trief" They will use the language "not
> recommended" This is done to avoid law suits or making mistakes.

I always assumed there is another reason.  If Rabbi Ploni certifies a
product, and I don't believe that Rabbi Ploni's standards are such that
I can rely on the kashrus of that product, that does not mean it is
actually treif.  Perhaps particular batches of that product, or certain
items under that supervision are, in fact, completely kosher.  The
problem is, that I have no way of knowing that.  It means their is a
safek.  So "not recommended" actually the most accurate description.

Daniel M. Israel
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ


From: Reuven Spero <spero@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 06:25:27 +0200
Subject: Re: where would you like to live

Each erev Shabbat, I leave my home to walk up the long flight of steps
to a Bet Knesset where the davening can be characterized as "shira" -
and I stand for a moment struck by the beauty of these hills in the
evening light.  From the steps, I can look over and just see the place
where the Mishkan stood.  A friend passes by, offering me the
opportunity to bless over the rechan (fresh basil) he's bringing to
shul, and perhaps I see a few girls laughing as they walk together, with
their siddurim, into the ezrat nashim.

Sorry to wax poetic on a halachic list, but I can't imagine anything
better than to live in a place where you feel you're doing something
important for the am just by living there, being a part of the modern
regeneration of an ancient community.  My family was five generations in
Louisville, but not even the running of the Kentucky Derby (!) gives me
the sense of connectedness that I feel finding a simple shard in the
dirt around my house.  I don't mean to sound smug - anyone acquainted
with yishuv life knows both the joys and frustrations which accompany it
- but a very important aspect of my quality of life comes from the land
on which it takes place.

Reuven Spero


End of Volume 30 Issue 39