Volume 30 Number 81
                 Produced: Tue Jan 11  6:27:34 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Apology - Malt Whiskey and Sherry Casks
         [Avi Feldblum]
Aveylut and being Shliach Tzibur on Shabbat
         [Ari L Goldman]
Counting non-Frum Jews for a Minyan (7)
         [Anonymous, Edward Ehrlich, Gershon Dubin, Len Mansky, Geoffrey
Shisler, Sheldon Meth, A.J.Gilboa]
Kabbalah and Avodat HaShem
Minyan Participation If You've Already Davened
         [Art Roth]
Reb Moshe would have ...
         [Shmuel Himelstein]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 06:26:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Apology - Malt Whiskey and Sherry Casks

I'd like to apologize to Bernard Kozlovsky, where I put in an editorial
comment from reading the web site that he was quoting. When I finished
reading the entire article the "conclusion" that he quoted from it was

Scotch and Irish whiskeys would be acceptable unless the beverage has been
aged in sherry casks. We do not have to assume that this is the case
unless the company asserts that it is so. 

I am left with no way to understand how the writer of the article in the
body clearly states that there is no Halakhic problem with Scotch whiskys
that have been aged in sherry casks, and only that one may wish to be
stringent in this case, to a statement of acceptability only where one can
assume that it is not in sherry casks.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Ari L Goldman <alg18@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 12:31:56 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Aveylut and being Shliach Tzibur on Shabbat

	I am in aveylut for my father and find one restriction
mystifying: not be allowed to be a shliach tzibur on Shabbat and Yom
Tov. In a year when I am davening my hardest (and most regularly) I
can't represent the congregation. Can anyone enlighten me to the source
and purpose of this restriction.

Ari L. Goldman
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Journalism
Columbia University, 2950 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10027
Phone: 212 854-3878, Fax:   212 854-7837


From: Anonymous
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 00 08:29:52 -0500
Subject: Counting non-Frum Jews for a Minyan

Although I think that enough has been said on this subject, I wish to
offer a couple of personal experiences that, to me at least, really hit

IMHO, the posters who point out the various mitzvot that non-frum Jews
are performing when they join a minyan are right on the money - as are
the frum Jews who include them, who are also performing the mitzvot of
kiruv and "v'ahavta l'reiacha kamocha" (love thy neighbor as
thyself). In the neighborhood where I work, there is a small mincha
minyan every afternoon. Although I'm pretty sure that there are usually
at least 6 observant men there, there are also a number of mourners who
may not normally daven (and I have no idea of their level of observance
of other mitzvot, nor do I think it's any of my business), but who
scrupulously come to minyan every day to say Kaddish; there have been
times when these people have had to be counted toward a minyan, and no
one seems to have had a problem with it. I do know some people -
including at least one of my own relatives - who have returned to
observance, or at least come a bit closer, because of this experience.

OTOH, one of the worst shul experiences I have had occurred in my "home"
shul (hence the anonymity of this posting, to avoid lashon hara). A
group of Chasidim - obviously there to collect for their various
tzedakas - came to mincha/maariv. I don't know if they had davened
previously, or whether our "modern Orthodox" shul was "not good enough"
for them. In any event, although they stayed in shul for almost the
entire davening, not only did they not daven at all, they did not stop
talking to each other throughout the entire service. I think the fact
that I was attempting to say Kaddish at that time probably made this
even more offensive to me.

Given the above scenarios, I'd much prefer to daven with sincere, but
possibly less observant, people than I am than with these so-called frum
people who seeming had no respect for their fellow daveners!

From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 21:54:37 +0200
Subject: Counting non-Frum Jews for a Minyan 

Joseph Geretz wrote:
>Sure, you've definitely accomplished something [counting a "non-frum" Jew]
>as part of a minyan, but did you discharge
>your obligation of davening with a Minyan? that was the original question.

 It seems to me that there are relatively few cases in which the Halakha
requires a certain level observance in order to correctly carry out
another mitzvah.  The most obvious case is that an aid (witness) must be
Shomeir Shabbat.  Even in this case, it limits the requirement to a
specific group of mitzvot and not an over all level of "frumness".

Unless there is a compelling halakhic reason, it seems to me that
limiting "non-frum" Jews from participating in a minyan or any other
religious ritual is a very negative act.  When I was a member of the
Orthodox synagogue in Binghamton, New York and there was not enough men
for the week day minyan, the rabbi would frequently request the rabbi
from the reform synagogue (which was just down the street) to come over.

Joseph also wrote:

>However, I've seen a few
>occasions where we were stuck for a minyan (in a professional office)
>and one of the fellows went out and came back with a non-frum co-worker
>who just stood there, and didn't daven. Now, to me, this fellow's
>presence does not indicate the slightest desire to pray at all. At most,
>he's just attending to help out his co-workers because they need a
>favor. So in this context, what is the justification for including such
>a fellow in the minyan?

 I can't speak for the person that Joseph mentions, but as someone who
does not daven three times a day and is occasiaonaly invited to join a
minyan, I don't consider this merely "doing a favor".  This is not the
forum to discuss my personal philosophy, but praying in a minya is a
meaningful experience even to non-observant Jews.

 I would also suggest that if there is a regular minyan in a
professional office, to have a few extra siddurim so that if a
non-observant Jew is participating in the minyan he can follow the

 Ed Ehrlich
Jerusalem, Israel

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 18:31:26 -0500
Subject: Counting non-Frum Jews for a Minyan

	On this issue, Rav Moshe Feinstein writes, Orach Chaim Chelek
Aleph Teshuva 23, that one can include mechalelei Shabbos [people who
desecrate Shabbos - Mod.] in a minyan in a pinch i.e. there would be no
minyan without them.  He proves this from the way we learn out that ten
is a minyan, from the meraglim [Spies - Mod.], and the meraglim were
kofrim (deniers of Hashem) which is worse than mechalelei Shabbos.


From: Len Mansky <Len613@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 19:12:39 EST
Subject: Counting non-Frum Jews for a Minyan

In a message dated 01/06/2000 6:29:04 AM Eastern Standard Time, Hadassa 
Goldsmith <hbgold@...> writes:

<< In response to Mr. Geretz about the non-frum man who completed the
 minyan: This man followed the mitzvah of V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha -
 Love your neighbor as yourself. He knew that he was needed to help
 someone else out (i.e. the other nine men) and he agreed to do so. Not
 only does he get a mitzvah, but the person who asked him to join in gets
 a mitzvah as well for getting him to fulfill this mitzvah. And who
 knows, maybe sometime in the future this man will be encouraged to learn
 more about Judaism knowing that he "counts" even if he is not yet

I identify with this excellent and sensitive response because I was once
one of the non-frum men being talked about.  When I was non-observant a
frum associate asked me if I would have a Minkha minyan in my office
each afternoon so he could say Kaddish.  We rounded up a minian for the
obligatory eleven months.

I now am treasurer of my Orthodox shul and am indebted to this wonderful
man who gave me the oppoortunity to experience davening that I otherwise
would not have had.


From: Geoffrey Shisler <Ravgeoff@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 13:46:12 +0000
Subject: Counting non-Frum Jews for a Minyan

If the point of a Minyan is 'Berov Am Hadrat Melech' - 'the King is
glorified in a multitude of people,' then presumably it doesn't matter
that an odd individual isn't participating - as long as the majority

One would imagine that royalty are impressed with a large turn out. I
doubt that they stop to see how many of the crowd are actually waving a
flag too!

Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler
Bournemouth (Orthodox) Hebrew Congregation
UK                                              <RavGeoff@...>

From: Sheldon Meth <SHELDON.Z.METH@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 09:50:00 -0500 
Subject: Counting non-Frum Jews for a Minyan

In v30n72, Avi Feldblum writes:

"I think the case you have just described is the perfect example to
support all the current poskim who hold that the halakhic category of
"mechalel shabos befarhesia" - "one who desecrates Shabbos publicly",
...It is that "public statement" which causes us to treat this
person in certain ways. The person you just described, while he is nichsul
[stumbles] in his observance of an important mitzvah - Shabbos, makes the
public statement of "Gut Shabbos, Rabbi" and walks into the shul to daven."

While this may be quite subjective, one could argue that his public
statement of "Gut Shabbos, Rabbi," (maybe cynically?) implies that he
understood that he was being mechallel Shabbos, thus confirming him as a
mechallel Shabbos befarhesia, and invalidating him for a Minyan.

-Sheldon Meth

From: A.J.Gilboa <bfgilboa@...>
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2000 16:42:14 -0800
Subject: Re: Counting non-Frum Jews for a Minyan

I don't think one needs a reason to include any Jew in a minyan be he
frum or not. The real question is - are we permitted to include someone
who is known to desecrate Shabbat publicly, for example? If such a
person must be regarded as equivalent to an idol worshipper, I daresay
we may not summarily "convert" him in order to have a minyan. However,
if we accept the currently prevalent approach among posqim to regard
such a person as one who acts out of ignorance (tinoq she-nishba) rather
than one who demonstratively denies the basic tenets of Tora, it is not
at all important if he joins the prayers or simply stands by. One might
say that his willingness to join the minyan in the first place is
evidence that he is not in the category of idol-worshipper.

I have a friend who is proud to state publicly that he is absolutely
"hiloni". Yet he is also proud to tell how he "saved the day" for his
religious army buddies when he was the only one on his base who could
blow the shofar at the end of Yom Kippur.

There used to be a story circulating (possibly true?) about a minyan in
Jerusalem where they frequently "grabbed" a tenth man off the street.
Since the man was bearded and always had his head covered, there was no
doubt that he was eligible to complete the minyan, until one day they
realized that he was a Greek Orthodox priest with no motive other than
to help out some strange people who needed his presence.

Yosef Gilboa


From: OhrBaruchShalom <OhrBaruchShalom@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2000 10:36:54 +0200
Subject: Kabbalah and Avodat HaShem

I would like to inform "Mail-Jewish" readers of our monthly newsletters
(at present only in hebrew) on Kabbalah and Avodat Hashem (the
worshiping of G-d) as presented by Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Gotlieb
Shlita of the Ohr Baruch Shalom Institutions of Hasedi Ashlag at

 webmaster for the Ohr Baruch Shalom Institutions


From: Art Roth <AJROTH@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 9:28:08 -0600
Subject: Minyan Participation If You've Already Davened

>From Tszvi Klugerman and our moderator:

> It's been a while since I've looked at the halachot, but I believe the
> minimum number of active "prayers" is six with the other four making up
> the requisite ten needed for the public prayers granted they have to
> answer amen at the appropriate points.
> [The "granted" above is probably the biggest question I would have about
> the practice, as if the person does not know much, they might stand/sit
> and be still as a sign of respect, but might not know to Amen. Is the
> halakha that ten people who actually say Amen is required? Mod.]

It's worth pointing out that if you've already davened but find yourself
in a minyan, you are obligated to say much more than Amen.  In addition,
you are required to say (or answer to) whichever of the following are
applicable to the t"fila that is being said: Bar"khu, Kadish, K"dusha,
`Aleinu, and Modim D"Rabanan.  This applies whether you originally
davened in a minyan (and will be doing all the above items for a second
time) or as an individual (and will be doing all except `Aleinu for the
first time).

I realize that this sheds no light on the original question, which was
not about the a priori obligations of people present in a minyan, but
rather about the kashrut of the minyan if it does not contain ten men
who meet those obligations, and I await other postings on that topic.

Art Roth


From: Shmuel Himelstein <shmuelh@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 18:09:08 +0200 
Subject: Reb Moshe would have ...

With all due regard to various posters, to assume that "had Reb Moshe
been alive today he would have ... (fill in the blank)" is more than a
little presumptious. It reminds me of the first Israeli elections after
I moved to Israel - the elections of 1977 - where we received a printed
note in our mailbox that "had the Chofetz Chaim been alive today, he
would have had people vote for Gimmel "(Agudah). The Chofetz Chaim died
in 1933, more than two generations earlier.

Shmuel Himelstein


End of Volume 30 Issue 81