Volume 35 Number 45
                 Produced: Thu Sep 13  9:13:20 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Auctioning aliyos
         [Elazar M Teitz]
Breaking Glass
         [Carl Singer]
counsel my cousin, please
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
Dogs and Brachot
         [Andrew Klafter]
Itinerant Scribes
         [David Riceman]
         [Elazar M Teitz]
         [I Kasdan]
Lottery (2)
         [I.H Fox, Jonah Bossewitch]
Lottery Tickets
         [Carl Singer]
No Mevorchim Chodesh Tishrei
Tisha b'Av
         [I Kasdan]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 08:37:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

It goes without saying that my heart goes out to all members of our
mail-jewish family who have lost family and friends in this weeks tragedy.
While I have heard of some of those I know that Hakosh Baruch Hu spared by
causing them to be late to work that day, there is no question in my mind
that many of our community have perished.

I am currently one of the many thousands that have been stranded by the
shutdown of the US airspace, and it currently looks like I will be
spending Shabbat in the San Jose area. If anyone on the list can extend me
Shabbat hospitality, please contact me by email. Thanks in advance.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2001 21:27:32 +0000
Subject: Re: Auctioning aliyos

Regarding the query

> Can anyone send me marei mikomos (pro or con) on the minhag of
> "auctioning" aliyos and kibbudim?

see Mishnah Brurah 584:8 (last 3 lines): "The Mateh Efra'yim further
writes that it is befitting for every G-d-fearing man to expend effort to
have an aliyah on the Yomim Nora'im; and even in places where mitzvos are
sold, he should purchase it for as much money as he can afford.  Indeed,
there is a greater advantage in a mitzvah which comes to him for money
than one that comes for free."

Elazar M. Teitz


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 06:53:32 EDT
Subject: Breaking Glass

I was a wedding in New Square (Skverer) and the glass was broken before 
"formal" ceremony began -- (aside) When I heard glass break I thought I had 
missed the "Ha-ray At's ... -- then I realized that this, too, was a 
different minhag.   (Also, BTW, as I recall, both sets of parents & the 
Kallah did 7 circles around the chusan.)

Kol Tov
Carl Singer


From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 05:40:31 +0200
Subject: counsel my cousin, please

For the past few months, I've been searching for someone who would be
interested in being in touch, at least by email, with my cousin.  He's
over 60, has CP, and is the only Jew in a home for handicapped adults in
New Jersey.  He wants to stay where he is; they take excellent care of
him, and he has lots of friends on the staff.  But he is curious about

Tizku B'Mitzvot,
Shanah Tovah,


From: Anonymous
Date: Sun, 9 Sep 2001 02:54:04 +0300
Subject: Dogs and Brachot

I'd be grateful for any insights into the halachah regarding
praying/saying brachot [blessings] in the presence of a pet dog; I've
heard that there are views that one cannot pray when a dog is in the
same room or perhaps even if it is anywhere in the whole house.

Many thanks.


From: Andrew Klafter <andrew.klafter@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 09:42:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Gersonides

> Is Gersonides (Levi ben Gershon, aka the Ralbag) nowadays considered
> outside of Judaism, or can one still agree with his theological and
> philosophical views and still be considered Orthodox?

It depends who you ask.  It also depends on what you mean by "Orthodox."
I believe that Mossad Ha Rav Kook is publishing his commentary on
Chumash.  Mossad Ha Rav Kook is definitely within the parameters of
Orthodoxy.  Publication is not exactly the same thing as Haskama, but it
certainly at least means that they consider Ralbag to be appropriate
enough to disseminate.

The Maharal's Gevurot HaShem, in the 1st or 2nd introduction, states
that the there is little or no benefit in studying the Ralbag, and
considers many of his ideas to be an inappropriate approach to Torah.

I think perhaps a better way to see the Ralbag is a scholarly tradition
within Torah Judaism which simply didn't take hold over the generations.
It doesn't mean that the views are not Orthodox.  It's just that they
are not considered compelling among wide circles of Jews.  There were
many Medival period rabbis who believed that HaShem had a physical body.
The Rambam considered that to constitute heresy.  From our perspective,
we would say that this was a viable Torah philosophic tradition which is
no longer extant.



From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Nov 1956 10:06:31 +0000
Subject: Itinerant Scribes

  I occasionally see advertisements for sofrim in Brooklyn who make
housecalls.  Does anyone know of a sofer in Central New Jersey who does
the same?


David Riceman


From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2001 21:53:38 +0000
Subject: Re: k'dusha

Shmuel Himelstein asks, "Can anyone explain why (at least in Misnagdic
Shuls) in the Kedushah on Shabbat or Yomtov the congregation recites
both the Congregation's and the Chazan's parts (e.g. Kadosh, kadosh ....
Mimkomecha ....), while on the weekdays only the Congregation's parts
are recited by the Congregation?"

I think the reason is that the weekday parts of the chazan are neither
praise nor prayer.  They are merely statements that "the angels say" or
"in Tehillim it says."  (These are paraphrases, not literal
translations.)  On Shabbos, on the other hand, there are words of praise
(In Shacharis, "Then, with a sound of great noise, mighty and strong,
they sound their voices ...." In Musaf, "His glory fills the world;" "He
is our G-d, He is our Father, He is our King; He is our Savior.") and of
prayer {In Shacharis: "From Your place, our King, may You appear and
rule over us . . ."  In Musaf: "From His place may He turn mercifully;"
"He will make heard to us . . . in the presence of all living . . .")
Indeed, in Yeshivos and in shuls which are careful about t'fillah, while
the chazan's parts in Musaf beginning with "k'vodo," mim'komo" and "hu
elokeinu" are said, the words "uv'divrei kodsh'cha kasuv leimor" are
not, since that last phrase is devoid of praise or prayer (and is,
indeed, what the chazan says, but the congregation does not, during the

Elazar M. Teitz


From: I Kasdan <Ikasdan@...>
Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2001 22:41:34 -0400
Subject: Re: Kedusha

<<Can anyone explain why (at least in Misnagdic Shuls) in the Kedushah
on Shabbat or Yomtov the congregation recites both the Congregation's
and the Chazan's parts (e.g. Kadosh, kadosh .... Mimkomecha ....), while
on the weekdays only the Congregation's parts are recited by the
Shmuel Himelstein>>

The first chapter in "Shorshei Minhag Askenaz" (vol. 1) by R. Binyomin
Hamburger (Machon Moreshet Ashkenaz; Bnei Brak, 1995) is dedicated to
the subject of "Anias Kedusha". At page 43, the author raises the above
question and states that he could not find an explanation as to why
there is a difference in the response of the congregation to the kedusha
on Shabbos versus during the week.  Nonetheless, he suggests an answer
of his own.

(Essentially his suggested explanation is that the Rabbis permitted the
recitation by the congregation of the chazan's middle portions of the
kedusha [as opposed to the opening line of "naaritzchah"] on Shabbos
because: 1) there is some doubt whether the Rabbis ever were "makpid"
for the congregation not to recite the chazan's portions (whether on
Shabbos or weekdays) in the middle of the kedusha -- as opposed to the
opening line of "nekadesh" or "naaritzchah" as to which they were so
"makpid"; and 2)the Chazan's parts on weekdays are merely "krios
b'almah" whereas on Shabbos they also constitute "shevach uvakasha".)


From: I.H Fox <ilan_25@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2001 14:51:35 +0000
Subject: Lottery

Hgara Yosef stated in Yabia Omer I belive that it is forbidden to take
part in israeli Lottery. There were many oposing opinions on this point
since he said there was Gezel Derabana in modern Lottery

From: Jonah Bossewitch <jonah.bossewitch@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 04:46:54 -0400
Subject: Re: Lottery

> witness (pasul l'eidut: see Mesechet MeSachek B'Kuviah [This tractate
> appears to be missing in my shas, could you give additional references?
> Mod.]).  In fact, the only leeway given towards this ruling on gambling

Sorry, that's what I thought was the name of the Sugya, not Mesechet.  Try
Sanhedrin 24b.

Also, a cursory search on the internet yielded the following discussions
citing other related sources:




From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 06:57:16 EDT
Subject: Lottery Tickets

2 points
1 - Since the procedes from state lotteries goes to fund education,
senior care, or whatever -- does that change the status vis gambling?

2 - What's the position on buying raffle tickets (another form of
lottery.)  re: gambling?  -- consider that purchasing raffle tickets
(for a Tzedukah) is not (I believe) a charitable donation (IRS-wise.)

Kol Tov

Carl Singer


From: smeth <smeth@...>
Subject: No Mevorchim Chodesh Tishrei

Bill Bernstein asks why we don't bentch Chodesh Tishrei.  I had heard that
it was to be mebalbel [confuse] the Satan, which is one of the reasons given
for why we don't blow shofar on Erev Rosh Hashannah.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all mail-jewishers and Klal
Yisrael a Kesiva Vachasima Tovah.


From: I Kasdan <Ikasdan@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2001 01:04:29 -0400
Subject: Tisha b'Av

<<. . . .I'd appreciate hearing some comments on the story, some
pointers to the original source and re-tellings, and I'd also appreciate
some insight into how our sages have interpreted the story.>>

Contemporary English sources discussing the story of Kamza and Bar Kamza
include: 1) Rabbi J. David Bleich in Contemporary Halakhic Problems vol.
III at pps. 87-88 (Ktav 1989) (and previously in the same titled book
volume II at 137-38); and 2) Rabbi Yehudah Henkin in his "Equality Lost"
(Lambda Publishers, 1999, available at
wherein he devotes an entire essay to the story.  

In addition, there are two taped lectures (shiurim) on the story on
www.613.org found at 1) http://www.613.org/speakers/zweig.html("Love of
Self, Love of Fellow Jew" (by Rabbi Yochanan Zweig)  and 2) at
http://www.613.org/speakers/kasdan.html (by me).

[On a personal note, I would be interested in, and would be appreciative
of, feedback on my admittedly unconventional, suggested interpretation
of the story of Kamtza, Bar Kamtza and, in particular, Rav Zecharia ben
Avkulas' role in the matter. I am greatly troubled by the fact that the
gemara appears to single out Rav Zecharia ben Avkulus as the cause of
the catastrophe.  I, therefore, suggest that the gemara (as opposed to
the version of the story in Aicha Rabah) may actually be
(secretly/indirectly) praising Rav Zecharia ben Avkulas and his
involvement in the Kamtza / Bar Kamtza affair as opposed to (unjustly)
assigning him blame and calumny.  

As I more fully elaborate on the tape of the shiur: 

Perhaps Rav Zecharia's "anivus" stems from his calculated silence -- cf.
the Ramban's explanation of Moshe Rabbeinu's anivus (Bamidbar 12, 3) and
Rabbi Chavel's footnote in his edition on this point ("...shama
v'shasak")-- in the face of expected criticism in his decision-making,
and in his willingness to be "blamed," for the tragedy that occurred. 
Rav Zecharia, by his decisions not to allow the blemished sacrifice to
be brought, or to have Bar Kamtza killed, actually performed a kiddush
Hashem by upholding the halacha. (See Rabbi Bleich's understanding, id.,
on this point.) Indeed, the chachamim (Rabbis) must have agreed with Rav
Zecharia for otherwise they should have overruled him. 

With these "z'chuyos", which served to counteract the chilul Hashem
actions of the generation (including the public humiliation of Bar
Kamtza by the anonymous host at his party) and Rav Zecharia's
willingness himself to be "embarrassed" (each time the gemara is
reviewed on Tisha b'av) and to deflect attention from the sins of the
generation (which were the true cause of the churban), Hashem showed
mercy and took out His wrath by (merely) destroying the Beis Hamikdash
as opposed to wiping out the nation entirely (i.e., the punishment for
the sins of that generation should have been "kliyah" like the "dor
hamabul" -- see the kinah entitled: "Aicha Yashvah" -- as opposed to
mere destruction of "etzim and v'avanim".) For that reason, the gemara
emphasizes that Rav Zecharia's anivus destroyed the bayis, caused it to
be burnt, and sent us into galus ("hecheriva es haichalainu; v'sarfah es
baisainu; v'higlisanu min haaretz") -- versus our being annihilated as a

Some Hebrew sources explanining/mentioning the story of Kamtzah and Bar
Kamtza, include: 1) the Beis Yoseph, Choshen Mishpat siman 388, os 16,
quoting the Rashba (found on the Bar Ilan CD Rom -- e.g., my volume of
the Tur had this section censored); and 2) Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah,
chelek aleph daf 186.


End of Volume 35 Issue 45