Volume 31 Number 26
                 Produced: Mon Jan 31  5:31:56 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

9 men, 1 woman at a minyan
         [Janice Gelb]
Aliya to Save Your Children
         [Carl and Adina Sherer]
Benediction Without Head Covered
         [Yisrael Medad]
Cholov Yisrael (again!)
         [David I. Cohen]
Disability and Shabbat ... help!
         [Sherman Family]
Finding the Lost
         [Yisrael Medad]
High schools and a mother's broken heart
         [William J Scherman]


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 09:06:34 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re:9 men, 1 woman at a minyan

Rabbi Elan Adler <eylry@...> wrote:
> This morning, at our minyan, we had a paucity of men due to a raging
> blizzard. For several minutes, we had exactly 9 men, and one woman who
> is often the only woman in attendance. We also had a yahrzeit. While
> some people would look around toward the door and say, "gee, still only
> nine people," one or two were kind enough to say," we have a chinese
> minyan....one man shy."
>  Given that halachah cannot bend to include the woman in the minyan in
> these unusual circumstances to count her in order to allow the yahrzeit
> to daven for the neshama of his father, how do we address the issue of
> this woman's unintended but real feeling of being anonymous? Being
> careful about kavod habriyot, how do we respond to her being there but
> not being there?

Your sensitivity to the feelings of the woman in attendance is
commendable. However, I am willing to bet that if she has been regularly
attending your morning minyan, she either does not feel invisible at not
being counted or is willing to put up with being invisible. I doubt she
feels any more invisible not being counted for a tenth in the situation
you describe than she does, for example, when you barely have a minyan
and scramble for enough men to rotate through the honors of Torah
reading on Monday and Thursday. If not being counted bothered her, she
probably would not be attending an Orthodox synagogue, or at least she
has already steeled herself to put up with that feeling.

-- Janice


From: Carl and Adina Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 11:42:55 +0200
Subject: Aliya to Save Your Children

Someone wrote:

> From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
> > Your ideal world exists. It is called the State of Israel.........
> > This is something that has always puzzled me. I see parents, who are
> > friends of ours, who have jobs that are nothing special,
> at least they do have those jobs here...! (:-)

Anyone who can find a job in the US can find one in Israel. There are
very few unemployed American olim.

> > ..... but they would not even
> > consider coming on aliya. Can someone on that side of the
> > ocean explain why? I am at a loss to explain it.
> The answer is simple and twofold.
> First, making a non-spectacular income here does not imply *anything*
> wrt. parnasah in Israel. If anything - one not extremely successful in
> business here is likely to fall lower over there. Finding a reasonable
> job in Israel can be difficult. That, coupled with the fact that most of
> the living expenses are higher there can explain reluctance to
> move. 

I am appalled at this answer. We are talking about children who will
otherwise be sent to public schools, to a spiritual midbar (desert).
And you are worried about your standard of living? Ribbono Shel Olam -
is this what galus (exile) has brought us to????

In the Mishne in Pirkei Avos 6:9 Rav Yossi ben Kisma states, "Amarti lo,
bni, im ato nosain li kol kesef v'zahav v'avanim tovos u'margoleyos
sheba'olam aini dar ela b'mkom Torah, lefi shebeshas ptiroso shel adam
ain melavin lo l'adam lo kessef v'lo zahav v'lo avanim tovos
u'margoleyos ela Torah umaasim tovim bilvad." (I said to him, my son, if
you give me all of the silver and gold and precious stone and jewels in
the world, I will not live other than in a place of Torah. For at the
time when a person dies (R"L) his silver and gold and precious stones
and jewels do not accompany him; only his Torah and good deeds accompany

And you are willing to condemn your children to the spiritual wilderness
of a public school - clearly NOT a makom shel Torah, because your
standard of living might drop????

If I ever needed an answer as to why the Jewish Observer and Jewish
Action have each devoted issues in the past six months to kids going off
the derech, this is the answer. OUR PRIORITIES ARE ALL WRONG! IT'S OUR

> Second, the life in Israel is richer in some aspects (which alone could
> make the aliyah worthwhile) but it puts a noticeably higher pressure on
> an individual especially if he didn't grow up in that environment. Not
> all can take this pressure, or live in that social environment.

But not to even try? When your alternative is to send your child to a
public school with the goyim (non-Jews)? How many of you have ever
seriously looked at making aliya? Two weeks ago, I walked back from the
Kotel with a visiting American. The man is in Special Ed. He gives a
Gemara shiur for special ed kids. I know his brother who made aliya four
years ago (it came out during the conversation). I asked him if he had
ever considered aliya and he told me that he could never find a job
SPECIAL ED TEACHERS! They have almost exclusively women teachers, and
because of that they pull kids out of the room two and three at a time
instead of having special ed classes. Even if the kids would be better
off in a special ed class - the women don't teach Gemara. And there are
no jobs for him here????

Someone else writes:

> Carl isn't wrong that making Aliyah would make logical sense for people
> in the dire situation that this thread is talking about.  The same
> reason that such parents don't follow that option is the same reason
> many people, regardless of circumstance do not make Aliya; comfort with
> their surroundings, or fear of the unknown.  I myself know that it is
> meritous and commendable to make Aliya and my wife's two sisters have
> both moved to Israel.  However, that doesn't make the fear, rational or
> irrational go away.

Comfort with the galus? As much as I may have liked my goyische
neighbors in New Jersey, I could never borrow a cup of sugar from them,
I could never really invite them in for a meal (what if they wanted to
reciprocate), I could never discuss with them the latest sugya I was
learning. What is more comfortable than living amongst fruhmmer yiddin
(religious Jews)?

> A refuah shleyma to your son.

Amen and thank you.

Someone else writes:

> In MJ v31n20, Carl Sherer asks, in response to posts about the
> difficulties re special education:
> > This is something that has always puzzled me. I see parents, who are
> > friends of ours, who have jobs that are nothing special, with incomes
> > that are less than nothing special, with kids with very special needs
> > that are ready to send their kids to public schools R"L or pay
> > thousands upon thousands of after tax dollars in tuitions, but they
> > would not even consider coming on aliya. Can someone on that side of
> > the ocean explain why? I am at a loss to explain it.
> Perhaps:
> -- language difficulties or lack of confidence about learning a new one

Anyone who works in high tech does not need to speak Hebrew.  My wife
works in technical writing and her environment is so English speaking
that our computer at home (this one) is not even Hebrew enabled (by

Yes, for lawyers it is difficult to make it here without halfway decent
Hebrew. For doctors and accountants it is less difficult. But remember
that we are talking about our kids' future! How much money is it worth
to you to have your kids come out fruhm? And if you are going to put a
price on it, go ask someone who R"L has kids who have gone off the
derech (path) because I wil guarantee you that (assuming they themselves
are fruhm) there is no price they would not pay to put their children on
the straight and narrow.

> -- no friends or social network there

Anyone who is willing to consider coming on aliya and needs a social
network in advance can get in touch with me. There is a support group
list on the net for people making aliya. I have been active on it since
it started seven years or so ago. BTW - we made aliya without it.

> -- no grandparents will be there
> -- need to be available for aging parents here

Four responses to this. First and probably obvious, this is a reason to
go when you are young and your parents are healthy enough to take care
of themselves.

Second, there is nothing that precludes your parents making aliya.
There is universal health insurance and it applies to the elderly as
well. We know someone whose 89-year old father just made aliya, and
there is someone else on this list (who is more than capable of speaking
for herself) whose 75+ year old mother just made aliya.  Ad meah
v'esrim! (Until 120).

Third, yes, I know, there are parents who are upset that their children
made aliya. But what does the Torah tell us about this?  The Torah says
(Breishis 2:24), "Al kein yaazov ish es aviv v'es emo v'davak b'ishto
v'hayu levasar echad." (Therefore a man should leave his father and
mother and cleave to his wife and become one with her). The Gemara tells
us, yoser mima she'ha'ben merachem al ha'av, ha'av merachem al haben
(more than the son has mercy on the father, the father has mercy on the
son). What the Torah is telling us and what Chazal are telling us (IMHO)
is that we have to make decisions in life based upon what is best for
our children.  That when it's between what's best for our parents and
what's best for our children, we do what's best for the children. That's
the way the world is meant to be. Are you trying to tell me that because
your parents will IY"H be older in ten years, you should put your child
in a public school in order to stay in America?

Fourth, living in Israel is a mitzva. (I have done several posts proving
this in the past - there is one early in Volume 25). We can argue over
whether it's a mitzva chiyuvis (obligatory) or kiyumis (fulfilling a
mitzva by living here), but with the possible exception of the Satmar
Rov, I think everyone today holds it's a mitzva. Let's assume that it's
"only" a mitzva kiyumis. Tzitzis is also a mitzva kiyumis. How many of
you would go out without your tzitzis? With all of the discussion about
chumras that has gone on this list over the last two weeks - how about
fulfilling some mitzvos? I recall someone saying to me a number of years
ago, "the minimum is keeping arba chelkei Shulchan Aruch (the four parts
of Shulchan Aruch), to be 'fruhm' you have to have chumras." Someone
else overheard the conversation and said, "Halevay (it should only be)
that you should properly fulfill arba chelkei Shulchan Aruch." My
friends, before we look for chumras, let's fulfill the mitzvos that
Hashem gave us. One of those mitzvos is living in Israel. Kal v'chomer
ben bno shel kal vachomer (all the more so) when the alternative is
condemning our children to going to public school among the goyim!

> -- no special job skills to take there

This is the standard of living argument in another guise. I think I
dealt with that above. But in any event, why does anyone think that
(other than language) the job skills are any different there than they
are here?

> -- unwillingness to uproot other children from their social networks

Children are the most adaptable people in the world. Anyone with
children under 12 probably has nothing to worry about. Anyone with
children under 8 almost certainly has nothing to worry about.

I hope that all of you will take my words to heart. If I manage to 
save one child from the American public schools, this post has 
accomplished something.

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son, Baruch Yosef
ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  Thank you very much.
Carl and Adina Sherer


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 15:36:11 +0200
Subject: Benediction Without Head Covered

If a male uttered a benediction (such as happened to me when putting
one's Arba K'nafot [small tallit]) and then ran one's hands through
one's hair and discovered to his amazement that he wasn't wearing a
kippah, does one repeat the bracha?  If so, what is the status of the
first b'racha?  For clarity, the time-lapse was more than enough time to
say whatever one says, i.e., baruch shem k'vod malchuto l'olam va'ed, in
similar situations to avoid a b'racha l'vataleh [a wasted benediction].

Is a bracha valid even without a head-covering and if so, and one said
the bracha again, what is the status of the second bracha?

Yisrael Medad


From: David I. Cohen <BDCOHEN613@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 13:50:12 EST
Subject: Cholov Yisrael (again!)

 Sorry for bringing back this thread, but I just purchased a gallon Of
"Hood" milk (apparently a New England dairy, HP Hood & Sons) with a
hechsher from the "KVH". Does this make the milk "cholov yisrael"?
    Shabbat Shalom
    David I. Cohen


From: Sherman Family <shermans@...>
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 22:40:19 -0500
Subject: Disability and Shabbat ... help!

Shalom I know there is an organization in Israel (I think Y'rushalayim)
that deals with technically helping those with disabilities re:
halachically acceptable practices for Shabbat.  (Shabbat pens, scooters
for those who cannot work, elevators, etc.)  Would somebody tell me the
name of the organization and how to contact it?  thanks!



From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 10:45:23 +0200
Subject: Finding the Lost

Jonathan Grodzinski wrote:

>and can anyone help me find my spectacles?
>My father z"l used to promise 5/- (=0.25 Pound) to R Meir Baal Haness
>who somehow helped him find mislaid articles. How does that work?

Don't know but we have on our refrigerator the following from a Talmudic
source that has since been lost to me (it was brought home by my boys):
"Amar Rabi Binyamin - hakol b'chezkat sumin ad sheyavo HaKadosh Baruch
Hu v'yair einayhem shel Yisrael" [Said Rabi Binyamin - all are
considered as blind until the Holy-One-Blessed-Be-He comes and
enlightens the eyes of Israel]

Yisrael Medad
(trying not to be snow-blinded looking at over one foot of fallen snow in
where Channah prayed)


From: William J Scherman <zscherman@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 01:48:06 -0500
Subject: Re: High schools and a mother's broken heart

> Both women have sons in 8th grade, good boys from religiously
> observant families, and neither woman can get her son into high school
> for next year.  One woman has a son with a slight learning disability.

	Two years ago, I was told by a local Yeshiva/Day school
principal that all the area high schools using the BJE's had guaranteed
that all students graduating yeshiva elementary schools would be
accepted to at least one of the area yeshiva high schools.  When they
all refused to accept a particular 8th grade girl -- contrary to their
promise -- they told him that they had changed their minds and would
start this guarantee with the 1999-2000 year.  This girl, and her
younger sister, are no longer in yeshiva.


End of Volume 31 Issue 26