Volume 31 Number 81
                 Produced: Mon Mar 27  7:07:31 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Are raffles michshalim?
         [Joseph Geretz]
Bar Mitzvah before becoming a bar mitzvah
         [Joseph Greenberg]
Funeral Customs
         [Zev Sero]
Historical Authenticity of the Artscroll Siddur
         [Carl Singer]
Judaica Archival Project's Virtual Geula Bookstore
         [Judaica Archival Project]
Lecha Dodi
Lecha Dodi --  change of melody at "Lo tevoshi" .
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Lecho Dodi
         [Richard Wolpoe]
Reasons for BOWINGS During Amidah
         [Russell Hendel]
Se'udas Hoda'ah (2)
         [William J Scherman, <aronn@...>]
Women pray w/minyan vs w/o minyan
         [Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer]


From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2000 21:42:09 -0500
Subject: Are raffles michshalim?

Andy Goldfinger wrote:
> Here is the question: by putting a such a large prize before the
> public, and such a large temptation to cheat on one's taxes, is the
> tzedakah over (transgressing) on "lo titain michshol" (do not put a
> stumbling block before the blind, i.e. do not tempt a person to do
> wrong)?  If so, how can tzedakah's justify this common practice?

I can't see that this is a problem. By extension you might just as well
say that a clothing retailer in New Jersey should not sell clothes to a
New York State resident, since the consumer will almost certainly not
pay the Sales and *Use* Tax to their State of residence. This is the
law. You are required to pay Use Tax in the state in which you will use
the product, not necessarily in the State in which you purchase
it. That's why some retailers (most notably catalog retailers) do not
collect tax on out-of-state purchases. Strictly speaking though,
according to the law, you are supposed to declare these purchases and
pay use tax to the State in which you reside.  (I don't think that you
can claim that the State forgives the tax on out-of-state purchases. A
few years ago there was a big to-do about NY inspectors who were sent to
the NJ malls during the secular holiday season to take down NY license
plate numbers for the purposes of attempting to collect tax on the
purchases, since NJ was luring NY residents across the State line by
offering tax-free shopping week. Perhaps they realize that they can't
enforce it, but it doesn't seem as though they forgive it gracefully.)

When is a Law not a Law?

Perhaps this should be a separate topic, but I'd like to throw out the
question, When is a Law not a Law? We know that secular law is often
binding (Dina D'Malchusa Dina), specifically in the arena of commercial
law (Mamonus). However, if a government enacts a law which is blatantly
disregarded by practically ALL of its own citizens, (to the point that
it becomes unenfoceable) can that law be said to have the binding status
of Dina D'Malchusa Dina? To parallel it to our own system of Halacha
(L'Havdil) we have a principle that Chazal never enacted a restriction
which the community would be unable (or unwilling?) to abide
by. Similarly, perhaps a law which is disregarded and is not sanctioned
by the majority of a country's own citizens might not have a status of
Law of the Land as far as Halacha is concerned. Any comments?

Kol Tuv,

Joseph Geretz
Focal Point Solutions, Inc.


From: Joseph Greenberg <jjg@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 16:25:14 -0500
Subject: RE: Bar Mitzvah before becoming a bar mitzvah

I've not been keeping terribly up to date with MJ, but in briefly looking
thru the last issue, I note two items, for those that say "never".

I celebrated my bar mitzvah almost exactly 23 years ago (1977), by
reading parshat Terumah and the maftir for parshat Zachor (having been
taught be a very learned and well-respected baal koray), including
receiving that mafir aliyah myself (and reading the haftorah
myself). The shul was an orthodox shul in New York, I would add. So
while I've since learned that some people object to this, be careful
about those "nevers".

On a similar note, in 1991 I had the z'chut to personally bury my father
on (in?) Har Hazaytim, including performing almost the entire kevura
(covering the body) by myself (which was my intention, despite others
present to help). The arrangements were coordinated by the Chevra of
Yerushalayim of the chief Rabbinate, and neither I nor my mother or
sister were prevented from participating or approaching the grave
(although admittedly we had been warned that this was a possibility). So
again, never say never.

Joseph Greenberg


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2000 17:47:32 -0500 
Subject: Re: Funeral Customs

Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...> wrote:
>Minhag Yerushalayim (the custom of Jerusalem) is adamant against
>allowing *sons* to attend their father's funeral.  This is a well
>documented custom, with a Kabbalistic basis.

What's odd is that they apply this to women's funerals as well,
even though the reason doesn't apply. 

In other places (in those communities who have this minhag), a man's
children may not follow his coffin, but they make their way to the
grave by another route, and a woman's children follow her coffin.
I've only heard of the deceased's chidren being barred from attending 
at all, and even when the deceased is a woman, in Yerushalayim.

Zev Sero                              Harmless Historical Nut


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 10:08:40 EST
Subject: Re: Historical Authenticity of the Artscroll Siddur

Perets Mett writes:
<Neither word appears in any  authorized nusach; see e.g. The sidur of baal 
hatanyo or Sidur  yeshuos.>

Clearly Perets is much more of a mayven re: nusach than I -- but I still
have several questions related to "process" and metziah:

1 -- what makes something an "authorized nusach" -- 

2 -- unless we have the original manuscript, how do we know that we have
an accurate record?  As I mentioned elsewhere, my sons daven "Nusach
HaGrah" -- and the several scholarly siddurim all have variants and are
by no means identical.

3 -- since we have been in galoos for so long and we have such a rich
variety of minhagim in our tapestry -- what makes one better than

4 --  who today is "authorized" to make changes (corrections or changes)

5 -- how does an individual choose his or her own nusach -- especially
when the nusach they've grown up with is reported to be "flawed" (i.e.,
"scholars" say it's inaccurate or contains errors.)

6 -- how does a community choose ....

7 -- how should one daven when one's personal nusach is different that
that of the tzibor.

To the last question, I recall when a neighbor, who is Lubavitch asked
me to help him with his Friday night minyan at his home -- I davened my
nusach quietly and when invited to "dance" I simply stepped aside and
quietly told him that this wasn't my Father's nusach.

Carl Singer


From: Judaica Archival Project <jmr@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 13:16:33 +0000
Subject: Judaica Archival Project's Virtual Geula Bookstore

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From: <moish@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 01:43:14 -0500
Subject: Lecha Dodi

Some have the Minhag to change tunes by Vehoyo Limshiso (Vishnitz).


From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 11:11:28 EST
Subject: Lecha Dodi --  change of melody at "Lo tevoshi" .

Neil Parks (v31n75) asks:

<<But they [most congregations] have one thing in common:  About 90 percent 
of the time, they will sing the first five verses [of Lecha Dodi] one way, 
and then starting with Lo  Seivoshi they will switch to a different melody. 
Why is that done?>>

I read recently the "Daf Shevuii" of Bar Ilan University for Parashat
Teruma, where Dr. Yosef Klein discusses this issue. It can be found on
the Bar Ilan University Web site. He says that the reason to the change
of the melody with the starting verse of "Lo tevoshi" has to do with
content. Whereas the first four stanza of the piut deal with the
preparation for the Shabbat, the one starting with "Lo tevoshi" lists
the blessing for those who worked hard in the preparations and are
keeping the Shabbat. The last line "Boii beshalom" is not included in
the acrostics and might have been added later.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Richard Wolpoe <richard_wolpoe@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 11:29:24 -0500
Subject: Lecho Dodi

It is done to denote the mood shift in Lecha Dodi.

Hisnaari Mei'afar Koomi, denotes wake up from the dust. This verse is a
reason given for not saying Lecha Dodi when Shabbas coincides with Yom

Following this thinking in German Congregations, shift takes place in
the following verse - i.e. hisor'ri.

In Eastern European congregations this mode shifts at lo seivoshi, do
not be ashamed.

Several full compositions of Lecha Dodi express this shift.  Some
Congregations merely shift melodies at Lo Seivoshi.



From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 23:16:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Reasons for BOWINGS During Amidah

Moishe Friederwitzer in v31n69 writes
Someone recently asked why we don't bow during more of the Amida. In
Parshas Tetzaveh Perek 28 Posuk 36 Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin Z"L in his
Oznayim L'torah says that the greater one is the more he has to humble
himself. For example a King must remain in the bowed position during the
whole Shmoneh Esrei.
The exact law can be found in Rambam, Laws of Prayer 5:10 which is
derived from Bracoth 34 that (a)an INDIVIDUAL bows at the beginning and
end of the Prayer, (b) a HIGH PRIEST bows at the beginning and end
of each blessing and a (c) KING bows at the beginning of prayer and
remains bowed the whole prayer.

It would appear to me that each of these laws is learned from approprate
Biblical verses. Indeed the verse from which we derive the obligation
of prayer says Ex23:25 "..and you will serve (literally 'be slaves')
to God, your Lord'---since it is the nature of a slave to bow whem
he enters and leaves his master it would follow that our behavior in
prayer should be the same. (See the explicit comparison in Prayer 5:4,1:1)

The Torah says explicitly about a King "..and he shall not let his
heart be high (Dt 17:20)" What better way to symbolically implement this
than to require that 'the king bow but never get up till the end'.

Finally, regarding the additional requirement of the High Priest to
'bow at the beginning and end of each blessing'--it would appear to
me that this is required because the high priest himself GIVES blessings
(ie the blessings of the priest, Nu 6:22-27, part of our daily prayer).
Hence, to emphasize that the priest does not actually give the blessing
but is just a messenger (servant/slave) delivering God's blessings it
was deemed proper to have the priest bow in connection with each blessing.

Russell Hendel;
Moderator Rashi is Simple


From: William J Scherman <zscherman@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 01:26:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Se'udas Hoda'ah

> I am looking for mar'eh mekomos [references] to or other information
> on halachos [laws] or minhagim [customs] of a Se'udas Hoda'ah [Feast
> of Thanks].

Look in back of Chayei Adam, where he discusses the explosion of a
munitions factory, and his family's miraculous escape.  I think there's
also an HaEmek Davar? about Mizmor LSodah? in VaYechi?

From: <aronn@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 02:27:44 -0500
Subject: Se'udas Hoda'ah

<<From: Sheldon Meth <SHELDON.Z.METH@...>
I am looking for mar'eh mekomos [references] to or other information on
halachos [laws] or minhagim [customs] of a Se'udas Hoda'ah [Feast of

There is a Kuntreis called "Lehodos Ulehalel" which deals with Hoda'ah,
Birchas Hagomel and Nes etc. It also contains Minhagim on Se'udas
Hoda'ah as well as Drush on the subject.  There is a Drasha on Se'udas
Hoda'ah, as well as Tshuvos from Poskim on Birchas Hagomel and Nes.


From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Sun, 05 Mar 2000 13:54:37 +0200
Subject: Re: Women pray w/minyan vs w/o minyan

Michael Horowitz  wrote

> Rabbi Bleich of YU assurs womens teffilla groups, on the grounds the
> women perform a mitzva kiyum, ie the fulfill a mitzva that they are
> allowed, but not commanded to do by davening with a minyan.
> Therefore he rules that if a women is taking the effort to daven with a
> group then it should be with a halachic minyan.

Rabbi Bleich's letter to the editors of Tradition, 33:1 (Fall 1998)
clarifies that he does not assur WTGs me-tsad ha-din. He feels that it
is improper because of public policy considerations and hence advises
against them. The rationale cited above is discussed at length in our
article: "Women's Prayer Services: Theory and Practice. Part 1 -
Theory," Aryeh A. Frimer and Dov I. Frimer, Tradition, 32:2, pp. 5-118
(Winter 1998). Available at:


End of Volume 31 Issue 81