Volume 34 Number 04
                 Produced: Thu Jan  4  6:02:46 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

613 in 10
         [Leona Kroll]
Learning out loud
         [Daniel Walker]
Learning out loud with a nigun (melody) (2)
         [Sammy Finkelman, Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Non-jewish parent under the chupa (7)
         [Carl Singer, Joseph Tabory, Leona Kroll, A. Seinfeld, Jeff
Fischer, Ed Norin, Anonymous]
Ramsey/Mahwah NJ
         [Jeffrey Bock]


From: Leona Kroll <leona_kroll@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 00:36:34 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 613 in 10

The Me'am Lo'ez ( Torah Anthology) on Yisro gives a beautifully written
explaination of the commandments that are contained in each of the
Aseres Hadibros.


From: Daniel Walker <walkerfam@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 00:16:18 +0200
Subject: Learning out loud

Yaacov Feldman:
YF>    The Alter Rebbe's "Hilchos Talmud Torah" is rather clear cut. It
YF> says that if one doesn't learn out loud, he's not credited with
YF> Talmud Torah-- unless he's delving into something in his mind at the
YF> time.
YF>   Yet I've read where Rav Soloveitchik referred to learning out loud
YF> as a mere eitzah tovah for retention, and not at all obligatory.

I would like to suggest that there is no contradiction between the two
sources quoted above (especially as the Alter Rebbes source is a gemoro
in Berochos see sources there.)

I think that the Alter Rebbe (Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi - Shulchan
Aruch Harav) was referring to enunciating the words even quietly . In
the paragraph you are referring to he compares learning torah to any
other speech based mitzva e.g. davening. As we know from the Amidah one
must mouth the words so "that they can be heard by the ear" but one
should not say them out loud. It seems likely that Rav Soloveitchik was
referring to saying the words actually out loud which would therefore
only be an eitzah tovah similar to those who say that one should daven
out loud to aid concentration.

Daniel Walker


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 01 13:07:00 -0400
Subject: Learning out loud with a nigun (melody)

There is a gemorah somewhere that recommends not just saying something
out loud, but with a musical intonation. I thought at the time this
could be the source of the near universal gemorah tone. (That is, that
this probably done in the time of the Tannaim or early Amoraim - it was
an indication because I thought it probably went back that far)

I don't remember where it is. I ran across it probably more than a dozen
years ago. It is probably in Seder Moed, maybe in Shabbos, but might be
Sanhedrin or another familiar mesechta in Nezikin. Maybe somebody can
identify it. I didn't understand that at all as Halacha in the sense
that this is the only way to learn but rather as a sort of a byword.

I think this is a recommendation for retention although maybe given in a
in a semi-hyperbolic manner ( a person who doesn't do this doesn't do

Something else besides musical tone may also be mentioned there.

Both the Alter Rebbe and Rav Soloveitchik might be basing what they said
on the same Gemorah (there is not really a great contradiction between
the two statements - both assume learning can take place silently, and
both assume that saying something out loud enhances the experience. Of
course it would slow you down too. But then slowing down could catch

From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 09:26:28 EST
Subject: Learning out loud with a nigun (melody)

In a wonderful story, Oliver Sacks (_An Anthropologist on Mars_) tells a
story of one of his patients "The Last Hippie" (pp. 42-76) who loved
music and later in life developed a benign brain tumor which was removed
too late.  He could not retain any new memories, but upon visits
Dr. Sacks discovered that he could retain new music as it is stored in a
different part of the brain. (Neurologists-don't jump on me if I
oversimplified it.) Therefore, it makes perfect sense to study aloud
with a melody since it is stored in two places, and hence better
retained. Experience must have taught our people to use this wonderful
tool as an enhancer of the quality of learning. So, I don't know if
learning aloud is a "must," or only a learning device, but if it is done
with melody, it is certainly better learning. Rav J.B.  Soloveitchik who
said that it is "eitzah tovah for retention" was certainly right.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 07:56:50 EST
Subject: Re: Non-jewish parent under the chupa

<<  From: Anonymous
 My bride has a non-Jewish father whom she greatly respects. She is aware
 that there are various restrictions etc. appertaining to non-Jews and
 also understands that the honours at the wedding must almost all go to

 With this, we have been getting contradictory information from her
 teachers concerning her father under the chupa, although he is not going
 to actually be doing anything there. The teacher who said that her
 father being under the chupa might be a problem, does not see a problem
 him leading her to the chupa with her mother.  Another teacher who does
 not see a problem of her father being under the chupa if he just stands
 there with the rest of the parents, feels it is problematic if her
 father leads her there.  The teachers involved are of chareidi
 inclinations, and also have experience with "hozrei b'tshuva" from
 non-religious or assimilated backgrounds.

 I have heard that there is a policy in some countries or communities not
 to allow non-Jewish parents under the chupa at all, but is there a
 source for this in the rishonim, achronim, or is this just a "today"
 policy as a way to show dissatisfaction with an inter-marriage that took
 place a generation earlier?

 With contradictory information, the response is sometimes "ask a
 she'ela", and also have received offers to set us up a meeting with the
 (chareidi) gedolim to ask the she'ela, but we fail to understand why a
 she'ela is even necessary. The wedding will be under the auspices of the
 local Rabbanut (and in the end, if there is a she'ela it might be
 directed towards the responsible Rav at the chupa).

 I would be grateful for any sources and information on this topic.  >>

Not to address the specific question at hand, but how it's being asked,
and of whom.  I guess I'm still somewhat concerned re: jurisdiction,
respect for Rabbi's, etc.  And I'm not picking on this instance (the
anonymous individuals involved) other than it serves as a good example
of what to me is a modern dilemma.  This is exacerbated by (1) diversity
within the orthodox community, (2) lack of formal structure within many
communities and (3) ease of communications -- There are several
approaches to addressing such issues:

1 - one can ask a Shaila of one's Rav -- and one would hope that an
individual seriously committed to Yiddishkite has someone whom they
consider to be their Rav, posek, etc.

2 - one can seek their shule's Rav, or the Rav or the shule where the
wedding will take place.

3 - one can ask a shaila of their community's Rav -- assuming there is
(a) a community and (b) this community has a Rav (the "local Rabbanut"
per the above)

4 - one can ask the Mesdar Kiddushin, i.e., the person who will be
"conducting" the wedding.  (The "Rav at the chupa" -- per the above)

5 - one can shop around and get many opinions and attempt to
"intellectualize" an answer with which he, she or they are comfortable.

I submit the alternative #5 is a great way to gather data and make
business, academic and technical decisions, but an improper way to reach
an halachik decision.  Granted that it's what many of us have been
trained to work in business, academic and technical situations -- but
this self-directed, self-actualizing, "intellectual" problem solving
approach is not really appropriate to most (many?  any?) halachik

That said, may Mr. & Mrs. Anonymous be zoche to build a bayit ne'eman
and have lot's of nachus, etc.

Kol Tov

Carl Singer

From: Joseph Tabory <taborj@...>
Date: Thu, 04 Jan 2001 10:25:01 +0200
Subject: Non-jewish parent under the chupa

I hesitate to reply to this because there are no halakhic sources for
this discussion. The only ones who should be under the chuppa are the
chasan and the kallah and it might even be considered preferable that
only they should be there. The rabbi is really unnecessary and the
witnesses can see what is going on without actually standing under the
chuppa. Therefore, any discussion of who should stand there is based on
the customs and mores of environment, as is the question of who walks
down the aisle with the chasan and the kallah. Since environments
differ, local people should be the judge of this. The rabbi who is
mesadder kiddushin should be the one to decide on this and, in this
particular case, I imagine that his decision will be based, to a large
extent, on the people involved. Is intermarriage a major problem in the
community? How have these people been accepted till now?  What is the
nature of the relationship between the child and his/her parents? I
don't think that anyone can presume to judge from a distance. I also
think that if the couple looks around, they can find an orthodox rabbi
who will be sympathetic with their own views on this issue. Since there
are no halakhic considerations involved, I think that this is
legitimate. It might be acceptable for people on this list to offer
their views on the issue but the final decision must be made by the
mesadder kiddushin and the couple and almost any decision should be
halakhically acceptable.

Joseph Tabory
Department of Talmud, Bar Ilan University
Ramat Gan, 59200, Israel
tel.: (972) 3-5318593
email:  mailto:<taborj@...>

From: Leona Kroll <leona_kroll@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 23:04:14 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Non-jewish parent under the chupa

 I just wanted to pass along one possible solution- a friend of mine
married a ger tzedek and his parents did not walk him to the chuppah,
however they did each hold poles and everyone made a fuss about what an
honor it was, etc. ( it is, actually, though not as much as we all made
it out to be). What you could do is have someone else hold the pole
while her parents escort her to just a couple of feet from the chuppah,
then another couple could take over as escorts while her father takes
the pole. Technically, you could say that they didn't lead her to the
chuppah if those last two or three steps are led by someone else (which
could satisfy those rabbanim who feel he shouldn't walk her to the
chuppah), but they will feel as though they did lead their daughter to
the chuppah and holding the pole will give her father a role under the
chuppah. Also, he could hold the ketubah and ring and hand them to the
chosson at the appropriate time.  My parents boycotted my wedding. Make
the most of his being there- it matters more than you could imagine.

From: A. Seinfeld <aseinfeld@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 01:53:45 -0800
Subject: Re: Non-jewish parent under the chupa

I attended a wedding where the bride's parents were both
non-Jews. Against the bride's wishes, a well-meaning rabbi prevented
them from escorting her to the chuppa. The parents found this so
offensive that they declined to participate in the seuda and dancing,
and sat outside instead for the remainder of the night. The result was a
significant diminishing of the chassan and kalla's simcha. So please
tread very carefully.

From: Jeff Fischer <jfischer@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 07:29:24 -0500 
Subject: RE: Non-jewish parent under the chupa

Hi, Anonymous.

At my wedding, my in laws are not Jewish and they were allowed to walk
down the aisle with their daughter, leave her just before the chupah,
they walk up and stand next to the chupah, but not under it, and then I
walked down and went up to the chupah with my wife.  The rabbi said that
it says in Gemara somewhere that that is how it should always be done.

From: Ed Norin <EngineerEd@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 08:44:01 EST
Subject: Non-jewish parent under the chupa

The question about non-Jewish parents under the Chupa raises a bigger
question that I am involved with.  What is a convert's responsibility
towards honoring/fearing their father and mother?  At least
rabbinically, is their any difference between the possitive or negative
aspects of this commandment?

Ed Norin

From: Anonymous
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 09:36:15 -0500
Subject: Re: Non-jewish parent under the chupa

I am a ger and at my wedding, which was planned with the extensive input
of Rav Dovid Feinstein, my parents escorted me down the aisle and stood
with us under the chupah.  It is hard to conceive of any halachic reason
to exclude non-Jews from a chupah (where would the photographers stand
after all?).  And remember your wife still has a halachic obligation of
kibud av even though her father is not Jewish - I can assure you that
the wounds caused by excluding him from this basic involvement in the
wedding could cut extremely deeply. If you are looking for other ways to
involve your non-Jewish father-in-law to be, he can certainly give your
kallah a blessing at the badekin (as my father gave to my wife).

I do not understand your reluctance to ask a she'ela, especially if you
are getting contradictory information (and perhaps even pressure) from
people claiming to speak authoritatively about a matter that most
certainly has a halachic answer.  Asking a she'elah will allow you to
tell them "the psak is this" and be done with it.


From: Jeffrey Bock <jnbock@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 14:15:34 -0500
Subject: Ramsey/Mahwah NJ

I suddenly find myself working in Ramsey, New Jersey for the next few 
months.  Can anyone help me find a minyan or kosher restaurant in the 
vicinity?  Please e-mail responses to <JNBock@...>  Much thanks.


End of Volume 34 Issue 4