Volume 34 Number 51
                 Produced: Wed May 16  7:27:21 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Avoiding Mixed couples
         [Russell Hendel]
Bat Mitzvah (2)
         [Harry Weiss, Ben Z. Katz]
Jewish Moral Ed
         [Binyomin Segal]
Maakah / Fence within a House
         [Dovid Pernikoff]
Rupture and Reconstruction
Saying 'Mazal Tov'
         [Batya Medad]
Shalom Aleichem
         [Shaya Potter]
         [Zev Sero]
Tefilla question - Phraseology (2)
         [ben katz, Matthew Pearlman]
Throwing Candy (2)
         [Carl Singer, Moshe and davida Nugiel]
"Yahrzeit" Calendar
         [Reuben Rudman]
Yahrzeit Calendar Calculator
         [Ephraim Stieglitz]
Yom Tov Sheini
         [Dov Teichman]


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 00:20:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: Avoiding Mixed couples

Carl Singer in MJv34n41 responds to my comments to Chaim on avoiding
mixed couples. I suggested based on the laws of Nazeritism that there
MIGHT be times in a couples life when they feel that, at that time, they
must isolate themselves to improve their marriage.

Carl responds as follows: >>

Agreed --- but that's an "Asseh" not a "Lo T'asseh" -- meaning (to me)
that there are times when people may need to isolate themselves and
concentrate on each other -- "work on the relationship"  ....
But I believe the original discussion wasn't focused on spending
so called "quality" time (alone) with one's spouse, but rather with
modesty(?)-related issues of socializing with other couples. <<

My point still holds. Indeed, the Talmud says that the Nazir may abstain
from wine because he witnessed the adulterous wife ceremony.  Let us
pick this theme. Suppose a couple hears about another couple that got
divorced because of an act of adultery. Then this couple may wonder if
it could happen to them. They may decide to suddenly become stringent in
modesty and avoid mixed couples.

My point is that this feeling is legitimate if it is for a temporary
period. Furthermore, my point is, that others must respect this couples
need to redefine modesty while they are working things out.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.Com/ 


From: Harry Weiss <hjweis@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 19:42:00 -0700
Subject: Bat Mitzvah

> From: Daniel Mehlman <Danmim@...>
> Searching for an innovative service for a shabbos and weekday bat
> mitzvah in an orthodox synagogue.

Years ago when our shul was very new we had a bat mitzvah on shabbat.
Immediately follwing the mourner's kaddish after shir shel yom, the
Rabbi announced that services were now concluded and we will have a Bat
Mitzvah celebration.  The girl read a chapter of Ruth and spoke.  Her
father and the Rabbi spoke and we went to the Kiddush.

Our previous Rabbi consulted with and got approval for this from
R. Yaakov Weinber zt"l

From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 23:15:40 -0500
Subject: Re: Bat Mitzvah

I am aware of only 2 possibilities.  The standard Modern Orthodox approach
is to allow the girl to deliver a dvar Torah after daveing in shul.  The
second approach is to allow the girl to lead a Women's Tefillah Service,
which some Orthodox rabbis allow under their auspices (and their roofs).  I
know of at least 3 Orthodox shuls (in NY, St Louis and Boston) where this

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph 773-880-4187, Fax 773-880-8226


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 16:08:16 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Jewish Moral Ed

hi -

as part of research on moral ed in general, i have taken a pretty good
look at jewish moral ed. (i'm teaching a course in moral ed for grad
students this summer at loyola chicago)

if you could be a bit more detailed about what exactly you are looking
for, i should be able to give you some direction and sources.

note the new email address
(old one works for now)


From: Dovid Pernikoff <talmid@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 05:53:54 -0700
Subject: Maakah / Fence within a House

I would like to know what the Halacha is regarding the din Maakah within
a house. Does the railing on the second floor have to be 10 tefachim and
is this under the rule of Maakah or possibly "lo ta'amid al dam

<talmid@...> - email
(212) 894-3748 x7949 - voicemail/fax


From: <rubin20@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 22:06:19 -0400
Subject: Re: Rupture and Reconstruction

>An amazing fact to add here is found in an article cited by
>Rabbi C Soloveitchik in his article, entitled The Lost Kiddish Cup.  In
>that article is described the fact that the Chafetz Chaim's
>grandchildren won't use their zedie's becher because they do not think
>it is sufficiently voluminous.  to think that the author of the mishna
>berurah was not yotzai his kiddush every shabat and yom tov ...

Firstly, I personally measured the becher in question, and it is very
near the most machmer shiur. Secondly, the Yidden in parts of Europe
were extremely poor, which many Achronim give as justification for the
Misnah Berurah allowing the use of Rasien wine, unlike virtualy all
other poskim. The Chafetz Chaim himself frequently made kiddish on
bread, as he had no wine (and no bread either at times).


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 05:13:44 +0300
Subject: Saying 'Mazal Tov'

A recently freed friend (got a gett) was greeted by "Mazal Tov," and that's
what the local rabbis said was the proper greeting.


From: Shaya Potter <spotter@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 21:25:54 -0400
Subject: Re: Shalom Aleichem

Zev Sero said:
| Russell Hendel <rhendel@...> wrote:
| > My personal minhag is to say the the other 3 stanzas
| > and to hum along on the one with angels.
| Eh?  Which stanza are you talking about?  All four have the same
| reference to the angels.

I think the problem is expressed like this

1) shalom aliechem - just welcoming them (so no problem)
2) Boachem - Just welcoming them (so no problem)
3) Barchuni - Asking them to bless you (problem! only Hashem can do that)
4) Tzeitchem - Just wishing them good on their way (so no problem)

Another problem is, who are you saying Tzietchem to! The Malachim who
are with you now, are going to be with you the entire shabbos.  You
shouldn't be saying "good bye" to them.  So you'd think that it's the
malachim that are with you during the week, but as its shabbos already,
they should already be gone, so I've that heard some people don't even
like to say the 4th stanza either.


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 14:03:27 -0400
Subject: RE: Smoking

Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>

> Hence I suggest that if an item (a)has some nutritional value
> and (b) does not pose an IMMEDIATE danger then it is permissable
> to eat it (like the bad fruit). But an item that has an immediate
> danger (like uncovered water) or an item with a long range danger
> which has no nutritional value (like sucking coins) is prohibited.
> Hence smoking which resembles sucking coins in both degree of danger
> (long range) and lack of nutritional value should be prohibited.

Why do you assume that the danger from putting coins in ones mouth is
long-range?  The fear is presumably that someone with a communicable
disease might have handled the coin; for any one coin that may not have
happened, but if it did then you stand a very high chance of catching
their disease immediately.  This cannot be compared to the risk from
smoking, where any one cigarette slightly raises the statistical
probability that you will develop a disease many decades from now,
assuming that you're still alive then.


From: ben katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 11:05:35 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Tefilla question - Phraseology

>From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
>    This is a classic example of being right (maybe) for the wrong
>reason.  If the word were from lehashvot (hif`il) then the correct form
>would indeed be vayashvukha.
>    The emendation suggested by Ben is based on reading the word as a
>pi`el meaning "render" as in Ps 18:34 meshaveh raglay kaayalot, "He
>renders my legs [as swift] as those of the ayalot."  The verse in an`im
>zemirot then means that we "render" Hashem according to His deeds,
>because we cannot understand His essence.  While this is reasonable, I
>don't think that the current vocalization is so obviously wrong that it
>justifies a dogmatic correction.

        Far be it from me to disagree with Dr. Steiner about Hebrew
grammar.  I will just point out that the 2 siddurim that I am familiar
with that are the most punctilious re Hebrew grammar (Birnbaum and Rinat
Yisrael) both have "vayeshavucha").

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph. 773-880-4187, Fax 773-880-8226

From: Matthew Pearlman <Matthew.Pearlman@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 14:22:29 +0100
Subject: Tefilla question - Phraseology

Ben Katz raised several examples of inappropriate word divisions in Tefilla.

Firstly, I would add to the list the phrase in Avinu Malkenu "K'ra ro'a
g'zar dineinu" where the last 3 words form a complete phrase.

However, secondly, I would add a slightly different slant. The ta'amim
in the Torah often put disjunctive notes in the middle of phrases. To
take an example (not necessarily the best, but it comes from this week's
parasha - vertical lines represent disjunctions according to the notes)
"v'hayu l'cha | y'mei | sheva | shab'tot hashanim...".  The last 4 words
are a complete phrase, yet the notes break them into 3 phrases.

A conclusion might be that the natural way of pronouncing longer phrases
in Hebrew is to break them down into shorter phrases even if this
involves seemingly inappropriate pauses.



From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 07:54:28 EDT
Subject: Throwing Candy

At the Young Israel of Passaic-Clifton, Rabbi Wasserman, very wisely,
defers candy throwing until after the Torah(s) have been returned.

Personally, I'd be more distressed about candy being thrown at (or
hitting) the Torah, than a light bulb -- both are, quite obviously,

Re: headgear -- I have a white pith helmet that I've lent to Bar Mitzvah
boys and to Chasens for the occasion -- but, unfortunately, this may
escalate the level of violence, so to speak.

Kol Tov

Carl Singer

From: Moshe and davida Nugiel <friars@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 22:37:01 +0300
Subject: Throwing Candy

Aside from the fact that it lowers the dignity of the shul, throwing
candy is  bad chinuch for the children:
1)  In anticipation of the upcoming candy, the youngsters get up and
mill around the bimah during Torah reading, making noise, unsettling the
atmosphere of kedusha, and demonstrating a general lack of reverence for
the Torah itself which parents ought not to allow.

2) The larger/more aggressive kids get most of the candy.  Some of the
younger children get none at all. Invariably I see tears and unhappy
faces of children who got little or no candy.  The message sent is that
the strong dominate, a kind of law of the jungle.  This is certainly
contrary to normative Torah values, and not the kind of message we ought
to be sending to our kids.

For the kids' sake, I think that in place of throwing candy, there ought
to be small bags of candy prepared in advance.  These bags are given out
after mussaf to all the kids.  The kids will understand the difference,
and will, on the whole, be grateful.

Moshe Nugiel


From: Reuben Rudman <rudman@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 08:46:30 -0400
Subject: "Yahrzeit" Calendar

The Yahrzait Calendar described by Andy Tannenbaum (MJ Vol. 34 #49) at


is much more versatile than he gives himself credit for.  Since it has
an option for entering a Hebrew date (as well as a secular date), it can
be used for listing secular dates on which any YomTov will fall.  This
can be very useful for planning long-range school and meeting calendars
among other things.

Reuben Rudman


From: Ephraim Stieglitz <ephraim@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 07:45:56 -0400
Subject: Re: Yahrzeit Calendar Calculator

There is also a Yahrzeit calendar available to emacs users.
The command is: M-x list-yahrzeit-dates



From: Dov Teichman <DTnLA@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 10:45:20 EDT
Subject: Yom Tov Sheini

37 L'Omer
As recounted in the sefer "Massaos Yerushalayim" and the yiddish book "Die Reise Kein Yerushalayim", the Muncaczer Rebbe, the Minchas Elozer, took a trip to Israel (Palestine) in the 1930s during the days between Pesach and Shavuos. He purposely returned to Europe in time for Shavuos so that his celebration of Yom Tov should not be disturbed by the Eretz Yisroel Jews doing melacha in front of him while it is Yom Tov for him, as Yom Tov Sheini possesses a very special kedusha. He also writes that even the Jews of Israel should dress like it is Yom Tov on Yom Tov Sheini in deference to the Jews of the diaspora who are celebrating that day as Yom Tov. This is in stark contrast to the opinion of Rav Goren and others that Diaspora Jews in Israel should be low key in their observance of Yom Tov Sheini in deference to the Israelis.

Dov Teichman


End of Volume 34 Issue 51