Volume 32 Number 46
                 Produced: Tue Jun  6  6:27:00 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Carrying Key on Sabbath and the Duty to Rebuke
         [Andrew Klafter]
Looking for an apartment in Washington Heights area
         [Joseph Tabory]
Pre-Chuppah Wedding Pictures (6)
         [Joel Rich, Stuart Wise, Anthony S Fiorino, Gershon Dubin,
Janice Gelb, Jordan Hirsch]
Publicizing Apikorsus (2)
         [Norman Tuttle, Freda B Birnbaum]
Some Leads on Sources to Difficult Issues
         [David Cohen]
Tzitzit and aliya
         [Bill Bernstein]


From: Andrew Klafter <andrew.klafter@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 00:07:55 -0400
Subject: Carrying Key on Sabbath and the Duty to Rebuke

> From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
> 4 - when we lived in suburban Philadelphia (no eruv at that time) my
> wife wore a charm braclet with a key as a charm.  A Rabbi approached her
> one day and told her that this was carrying.  Her response (bless her)
> was "I didn't ask you to pasken for me.")  -- Just a reminder that
> although some of these methods are publicly visible, it's not our
> business to decide for others whether it's OK.  I.e., that looks like a
> key dangling from your ear -- not an earring.

I agree that individual p'sak halacha is only appropriately given after
it has been asked for (with some exceptions being situations where there
is an agreement that a halakhic authority shall instruct people whenever
he sees fit, such as in a shul or in a school).

However, your story above is a misapplication of this principle and
reflects some misunderstandings.

(1) There is a positive commandment for Jews to rebuke their fellow Jews
when they see them sinning "...You shall surely rebuke your fellow, and
bear not his sin.", Vayikra 19:17.  This applies to intentional as well
as unintentional sins.  See Rambam and Sefer HaChinuch for a good
overview of the parameters.

(2) When the sin being withnessed is biblical in origin, it does not
matter whether the person sinning will heed your advice.

(3) When the sin is only rabbinic in origin, the person should not be
warned if we suspect that he will not heed the rebuke.

I presume that the story you told above involves only a question of
rabbinic prohibition, since most neighborhoods involve only a rabbinic
prohibition of carrying on the Sabbath.  However, if your wife was, in
fact, carrying the key in a manner that constituted a rabbinic
violation, anyone who saw her doing it was obligated to inform her of

Your statement above that "it's not our business to decide whether it's
ok" is not exactly true according to halakha.  If something is a matter
of debate among halkhic authorities, then I agree that it is none of our
business.  There are ways that an item like a key can be utilized as a
link in a chain , or an ornamental garment so that its transport is
considered wearing jewelry or the like.  This is not a terribly complex
or controversial area of halakha, but many people assume that they can
just include a key among jewels on a chain.  This is not true.  There
are clear parameters for what is fair carrying.  But if a member of an
Orthodox community is carrying publicly on the Sabbath in a manner that
is clearly prohibited by Jewish Law, we are certainly charged to inform

There is an art to giving rebuke, and perhaps the Rav who said this to
your wife should have done it privately or with a different tone of
voice.  On the other hand, we have a duty to accept rebuke (even harder
than giving rebuke).  Thus Erchin 16b states "Said Rabbi Tarfon, 'I
wonder if anyone in this generation accepts rebuke....  Said Rabbi
El'azar ben Azarya 'I wonder if anyone in this generation knows how to
[properly] give rebuke..."

Anticipating that this may digress into a discussion about when and when
it is not right to give rebuke, I wish to start with the follwing.  When
generally unobservant Jews violate biblical prohibitions (e.g. drive on
the sabbath), it is a very serious halakhic question as to how we are
entitled not to rebuke them.  As I mentioned above, the fact that they
will not accept the rebuke and change their behavior is not a criterion
to for exemption when the sin is biblical.  There have been several
approaches to this, but the one I find the most compelling is the
position of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe.  The Rebbe stated that by
organizing adult education programs in our communities and inviting Jews
to our homes on the Sabbath we are fulfilling the mitzva of tochecha,
and that rebuke should not be carried out in a negative fashion
immediately as the sin is witnessed.

-Nachum Klafter


From: Joseph Tabory <taborj@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 07:45:59 +0200
Subject: Re: Looking for an apartment in Washington Heights area

I am looking for an apartment for a couple in the Washington Heights
area of New York from June 27th to July 26. Advice on where to turn to
look for a place will also be greatly appreciated.

Joseph Tabory
Department of Talmud, Bar Ilan University
tel. (972) 3-5318593
email:  mailto:<taborj@...>


From: Joel Rich <Joelirich@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 08:29:46 EDT
Subject: Re: Pre-Chuppah Wedding Pictures

<<  What's the point?  Why look for a heter?  Why compromise religious
practice for the convenience of a photographer?  >>

How about the convenience of a few 100 guests who are sitting around
(and possibly not using the opportunity to talk in tora)

Kol Tuv,
Joel Rich

From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 10:20:36 -0700
Subject: Re: Pre-Chuppah Wedding Pictures

If I remember correctly, in Eretz Yisroel I observed among the sefardim
that they chasan and kallah go TOGETHER to the Kosel before the chuppah.
It's a very festive event. I must have observed it a half dozen times in
day after Shavuos several years ago.  Based on the dress of the kallah,
not all appeared Orthodox, but there were some strict observants among

From: Anthony S Fiorino <fiorino_anthony@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 08:23:15 -0400
Subject: Pre-Chuppah Wedding Pictures

Batya Medad <isrmedia@...> wrote:
> What's the point?  Why look for a heter?

A better question is "why look for an issur?"  That one can even invoke
the concept of "heter" when discussing a minhag that in many opinions is
chukot hagoyim and even at its very best imposes a meaningful
lengthening to the entire wedding (without adding to any of the mitzvot
associated with te wedding) just demsontrates how absurd this custom is
(or has become). The consequences of not taking photos before the
chuppah (which in my experience delays the arrival of the bride and
groom to the seudah by 30 to 60 minutes) are: curtailed dancing (because
the hall is only available until a certain time), an imposition on the
guests, and forcing a large number of people to bentsh and leave before
sheva brachot.

Eitan Fiorino

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 10:13:07 -0400
Subject: Pre-Chuppah Wedding Pictures

From: Batya Medad <isrmedia@...>
<<> What's the point?  Why look for a heter?  Why compromise religious
practice for the convenience of a  photographer?>>

	The problem is that it is not the convenience of the
photographer, who would, I imagine, much rather do the pictures before
the reception when few if any guests have arrived, rather than "under
the gun" while everyone waits for the choson and kallah to come in for
dancing and family members are roaming around greeting people instead of
posing for pictures.

	The problem is exactly that; that everyone is waiting; it is a
major inconvenience for the guests, not the photographer.  It is very
upsetting to the choson, kallah and families that due to this scheduling
of the pictures, the wedding meal is delayed unduly, and guests
*usually* leave right after the main course .

	I've seen major photographic/family snafus; ( it's not always
the photographer's fault!)  where people left before the choson and
kallah even came out!  In most cases nowadays, largely due to these
delays in weekday weddings, the great majority of the guests are NOT
there for birchas hamazon and sheva brochos.  The choson and kallah feel
cheated, and they are right.

	This is why the question was originally posed.  It is NOT a
halacha, but a minhag with questionable halachic origins.  I have heard
in the name of major poskim that it need not be observed in the face of
the inconvenience I describe, but had no hard facts to back it up.
Other posters have been more factual, but please understand that this is
not an issue of convenience for the photographer by any stretch.


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 09:13:41 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Pre-Chuppah Wedding Pictures

Batya Medad <isrmedia@...> wrote:
> What's the point?  Why look for a heter?
> Why compromise religious practice for the convenience 
> of a photographer?
> In frum communities, with understanding or frum 
> photographers, pictures are either taken after yichud 
> or when the guests are eating.  the couple should
> eat during yichud.  That's the best time for that "special glow."

First of all, you must have much more spacious rooms for yichud than are
customary here! When I got married, we went for yichud into a room that
could barely hold my dress and train and a small amount of finger food
to keep us from falling over. There would have been no way to eat a
decent meal in there.

While we did observe the custom of not having photos taken together
before the chupah, I wish we hadn't.  This is not so much for the
"convenience of a photographer" as for the enjoyment of the wedding by
the guests and the bride and groom.

Neither one of us got to enjoy a meal that we'd carefully planned, nor
did our guests get to spend as much time with us as they and we would
have liked because we were out of the hall so much taking pictures.

-- Janice

From: Jordan Hirsch <TROMBAEDU@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 22:46:06 EDT
Subject: Re: Pre-Chuppah Wedding Pictures

As the previous posts demonstrate, a Heter is unnecessary were there is
no Issur. As far as the convenience of the photographer goes, there is a
lot more to it than that. As a Simcha professional, I can tell you that
taking pictures before the wedding, which I recommend to all my clients,
gives the Choson and Kalh an additional half hour minimum to spend with
their guests, plus it allows them to enjoy their wedding with fewer
interruptions, and often adds an extra set of dancing to the wedding. It
also keeps the schedule running more smoothly, thus avoiding the
possibility of overtime for the various vendors.

Jordan Hirsch


From: Norman Tuttle <TUTTLE@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 17:47:04 -0400 
Subject: Publicizing Apikorsus

A halachic forum should not be the place to advertise programs which are
non-halachic and possibly anti-halachic in nature.  While I do not know
the nature of the Drisha Institute and their website is not yet
available, the "Ma'yan" group with which it is partnered for this
"Tikkun" definitely shows an anti-Halachic basis, including the
featuring of women "Rabbis".  A glance at Ma'yan's mission on its
website "www.mayan.org" shows its bias: "Ma'yan's mission is to act as a
catalyst for change in the the Jewish community in order to create an
environment more inclusive of and responsive to women, women's needs and
women's experiences.  Ma'yan facilitates this transformation by training
and supporting advocates for change and developing and disseminating
innovative and educational programs."  There is no mention of the word
"Halacha", and I suspect that the emphasis on "change" negates this

>From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
>I have been asked by Drisha Institute to publicize what I know from
>previous experience is an excellent learning opportunity.  (They did
>this last year and it was outstanding.)
>- Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses, Ma'yan

From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 18:57:25 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Publicizing Apikorsus

Regarding the concerns of <TUTTLE@...> (no name given; are you
the N. Tuttle who runs/ran programs for singles a while ago and is an
enthusiastic baal teshuva?  The REVIEW function on most Shamash lists is
no longer open to non-owners):

I do share some of your reservations about the advisability of Drisha
co-hosting events with organizations which are not specifically
halachic, and I wouldn't be surprised if there has been some discussion
over this within Drisha itself.  However, there's plenty of halachic
material to be studied at the event, and I wouldn't be surprised if
outreach to "not-yet-observant" folks is part of their intention.

I suppose part of the problem is "how many non-frum kids can you admit
to X yeshiva before it isn't X yeshiva any more?"; but I don't think
that refusing to have anything to do with non-frum groups is such a
terrific idea either.

You might want to discuss these issues with Drisha yourself; they can be
reached at <inquiry@...>

I might add that there is nothing inherently un-halachic about the
possibility of women rabbis, but that's a whole 'nother issue, as they

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: David Cohen <bdcohen@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 18:07:46 -0400
Subject: Some Leads on Sources to Difficult Issues

> From: Nachum Amsel <namsel@...>
> 1. PUBLISHING A PAPER -- On what grounds can a (Jewish, frum) paper or
>    editor print a story about the events and lives of people (that
>    affects and/or hurts their lives) even if it is "newsworthy"? Who
>    discusses this? Is it not Lashon Hara? Is it "Litoeles"?

This issue is dealt with in detail by Rav JJ Schacter in the latest issue of
Torah U'mada Journal Volume 8 (1998-99), in  an article entitled "Facing the
Truths of History". That article was written as a result of criticism
leveled at the Torah U'madah Journal for previously publishing
correspondence between Rav Yehiel Yaakov Weinberg (the Siridei Aish) and Dr.
Samuel Atlas, a professor at the Reform Hebrew Union College.
David I. Cohen


From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2000 18:00:16 -0500
Subject: Re: Tzitzit and aliya

> <<One thing that has always bothered me about that argument:
> How many Jews who don't make aliya because it is "only" a mitzva kiyumit
> (according to Rav Feinstein) take the same approach and go their whole
> lives without wearing a talit katan or gadol? >>

Last I checked a talis koton is about $10-30 and a talis godol maybe $30
and up.  You can spend maybe 5-10 minutes in a store picking it out and
once you have it it takes maybe 10 seconds to put on in the morning.  I
think if aliyah were this easy and inexpensive more people would do it.
Then again, if it were easy and inexpensive more people would become
schochtim or mohelim and fulfill the many mitzvas connected with these
topics.  I admire anyone who does do so, but my understanding is that in
halakha I do not have a personal obligation to do this myself..


End of Volume 32 Issue 46