Volume 35 Number 46
                 Produced: Thu Sep 13  9:49:48 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Auctioning" Aliyos and Kibbudim
         [Reuben Rudman]
Edah Conference in Jerusalem
         [Rose Landowne]
         [Baruch J. Schwartz]
         [A. Seinfeld]
The permissibility of lotteries
         [Meylekh Viswanath]
Source (From Rav Hirsch) For Enjoying World
         [Russel Handel]
Symbolic Foods for Rosh Hashanah
         [Robert Tolchin]
what applies to a self-identifying ben-noach?
         [Janet Rosenbaum]


From: Reuben Rudman <rudman@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 11:58:05 -0400
Subject: "Auctioning" Aliyos and Kibbudim

In Mail Jewish Vol. 35 # 42 sources for the selling of Aliyot were
requested.  The Mishna Brura discusses this in at least two places.

In Siman 136, his paragraph 4, the Chofetz Chaim discusses the order in
which people are called up to the Torah on Shabbos and Yom Tov.  After
discussing the priorities of assigning Aliyot, he then tells us: all
this pertains to those localities where they do not sell the mitzvos
[The CC did not speak nusach Sefaradit.] ... but where they do sell the
mitzvos and the money pledged goes for charitable purposes, whoever buys
them has permission to honor whosoever he wishes, providing he follows
[proper protocols] of honor ...but those for whom it is obligatory to be
called up [e.g., a groom before his wedding] must get called up, since
such aliyos were not included in the sale.  [Also, see the end of the
Biur Halacha for more of his comments.]

In Siman 282, his paragraph 18, he tells us there is a custom to sell
"Shishi" (i.e., the 6th aliya) by itself based on a Zohar in Parshat
"Shlach" and also that the last aliya (Acharon) is sold separately.

Thus it seems that in some places one person would buy all but two of
the Kibudim and give them away as he pleased.  The CC gives several
sources but they all seem to be later than the Rishonim (depending on
how you define Rishonim).  The earliest that I noted was to the Levush,
written by Rav Mordechai Yaffa about 1600.  This is not to say that the
Levush does not quote earlier sources, just that I did not check them

 From his comments it is obvious that the CC was in favor of this
practice as it resulted in money for tzedaka.  He does not specify any
parameters as to how the sale was done and whether or not 'tirche
d'tzibura' [congregational agony due to a long drawn out process] is to
be considered.

Reuben Rudman


From: Rose Landowne <ROSELANDOW@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 20:50:03 EDT
Subject: Edah Conference in Jerusalem

   Dear Friend,

There are many reasons to be in Israel for Sukkot of 5762.

As the Shmita year of 5761 comes to a close, the Sukkot of 5762 will see
the commemoration of Hakhel, the septennial national assemblage that
will be held on Thursday, October 4, 2001, at the Kotel.

As the new Intifada approaches its second year, our presence in Israel
to manifest support for our family certainly involves fulfillment of the
Mitzvah of Gemilut Chassadim.

As cultural shifts alter the religious status quo - with Charedi units
being formed in Tzahal, Batei Midrash opening to enable secular Jews to
study texts of Torah, growing numbers olim from the FSU converting
according to Halakha, and the renewal of the conceptual struggle between
Hesder and full Tzava service - one can feel that a new opportunity for
spiritual development has seized the Medinah.

And Edah, in conjunction with a group of Israeli organizations which
share in the vision of a modern Orthodoxy which has the capacity to
spiritually and intellectually enrich the People and the State, while
fully engaged in the world, has scheduled a one day Conference in
Jerusalem on Sunday of Chol Hamoed Sukkot, October 7, 2001.

We invite you to join us as Edah and the sponsors of the Lavi
Conference, including the Kibbutz Hadati movement, Bar Ilan University
and Beit Morasha of Jerusalem, bring together some of the most
outstanding scholars, Rabbis and teachers of Israel and North America to
deliberate on issues of grave import to the spiritual future of Am
Yisrael in Israel and in the Golah. Over twenty Orthodox Synagogues in
North America have joined in co-sponsorship of this Conference to lend
their support to the growth of the modern Orthodox vision in Israel.

There will be three plenary sessions, one on the Future of Israel as a
Jewish and Democratic State; a second on the Distinctive Vision and
Contributions of modern Orthodoxy to Am Yisrael; and third on the Shared
Destiny of Israel and Golah. Each plenary will be followed or preceded
by break out sessions at which elements of the general theme will be
discussed in smaller groups. The Conference will open with Torah Lishma
- the opportunity to study Jewish texts with some of the most
exceptional teachers in Israel. We expect that the intellectual level
and the quality of spiritual engagement that was present at the two
prior Edah Conferences in New York will be exceeded by this Conference
in Jerusalem. More details on the projected program can be found at our
website, www.Edah.org.

We urge you to join us!

If you are planning to be in Israel for Sukkot, register now to
participate in this exceptional program, at http://www.Edah.org.  If you
know others who are planning to be there, forward this e-mail to them so
that they will have the opportunity to register and participate. If your
son or daughter is in Israel for a year of study, inform them and
register for them, so that they will be able to share in this
invigorating intellectual and spiritual atmosphere. If you have friends
and family living in Israel, inform them about the Conference and
register for them to encourage their participation and engagement. If
you can still change your plans so as to join us in Jerusalem - we will
gladly save a place for you.

Our best wishes for your personal religious growth and for the arrival
of peace in Medinat Yisrael.

Rabbi Saul J. Berman, Director,
Rabbi Bob Carroll, Program Director
Murray Laulicht, President
Morton Landowne, Chair of the Conference Committee
Evi Musher, Conference Consultant


From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 08:49:43 +0200
Subject: Kedushah

Shmuel Himelstein asks "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?".

First of all, kol hakavod for describing this as you do, pointing out
that the proper, and original, manner of reciting the kedushah on
weekdays and at mincha is for the congregation to say only "kadosh"
"baruch" and "yimloch" (in recent generations, saying "nekadesh" also
seems to be widespread, though this is not the original practice) and to
refrain entirely from saying the hazan's parts.

The fascinating history and development of this practice is discussed in
detail by B.S. Hamburger in Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz Volume I,
pp. 23-45.  On p. 43 he notes that he has not found an explanation for
the difference between weekdays and Shabbat/Yomtov anywhere in the
halachic literature, and suggests that the reason may be that the
passages added on Shabbat and Yomtov are said by the congregation since
they consist of words of praise and petition, as distinct from the mere
transitional phrases said on weekdays and at mincha.

The next chapter (pp. 46-58) deals with other issues concerning the
musaf kedushah for Shabbat and Yomtov kedushah; I recommend looking it
over too.


From: A. Seinfeld <aseinfeld@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 03:03:09 -0700
Subject: Re: Meditation

In my forthcoming (b"H) book, "The Complete Jewish Meditation Handbook:
A Guide to the Hidden Meditations at the Heart of Jewish Tradition", the
thesis is that brachos, of Krias Shema and other practices that we do
daily - are in fact deep meditative practices when performed properly
and not by habit.

(The book is thoroughly researched and the endnotes should aid anyone in
further study beyond Aryeh Kaplan's excellent works.)

Alexander Seinfeld

> Does anyone know of any possible Halachic issues surrounding meditation
> practices?  Although some meditation has origins in Buddhism, the
> religious connection is not necessary for effective meditating.


From: Meylekh Viswanath <pviswanath@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 14:54:53 -0400
Subject: The permissibility of lotteries

At 02:02 AM 9/7/2001 +0000, Eli Turkel <turkel@...> wrote:

>Basically there are two problems in gambling
>1. asmachta - that the one who loses did not really mean to gamble
>and only did it on the assumtption he would win and so the winnings are
>stolen money.
>However, this does not apply to modern instituional gambling like
>lotteries and in house races as there the house knows that certain
>people will win and take that into account. On the contrary the house
>wants some people to win as to encourage more gambling.  On the other
>hand the individuals put the money up front which also removes problems
>of asmachta.

I don't understand this.  Whether or not the money is put up front, the
individual playing is doing so with the understanding/hope/expectation
that he will win, and not lose.  Why does this not make the agreement an
asmakhta?  Or perhaps, it's OK as long as the house is non-jewish?

According to my understanding of your analysis, standard gambling with
cards would be OK if people played with real money and anted up the
money up front with maybe a individual acting as a banker, so that all
agreements are between each of the players and this "banker?"  (Sort of
like a clearing house for securities trades and futures contracts,
which, then, would also not have asmakhta problems.)

Meylekh Viswanath


From: Russel Handel <rhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 23:09:59 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: Source (From Rav Hirsch) For Enjoying World

In MJ v35n41 there was a question for sources that we should enjoy the
world. Alexander Seinfeld responded

>The way I heard it, it was R' Samson Raphael Hirsch. I looked for a
source but can't find any.<

I was privileged to hear the Rav, Rabbi Joseph Baer Soloveitchick for 7
years. He actually cited the source: Gn02-15 says AND GOD PLACED ADAM IN

The Rav cited Rav Hirsch who pointed out that the word IT is FEMININE vs
MASCULINE. But in Hebrew, GARDEN is masculine. Hence concludes Rav
Hirsch, the IT refers not to the garden but the pleasure. That is, the
verse explicitly states >and God put Adam in the garden of pleasure to

The Rav explained that >Judaism believes man should enjoy the
world. However Judaism is opposed to indulgence in obsessive hypnotic
pleasure. Hence most laws against pleasure such as Kashruth and Family
Purity focus on not being obsessive vs not enjoying oneself alltogether<

The Rav concluded: >Rav Hirsch is too sharp for me(Referring to the
subtle grammatical derivation)<

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.Com/mj.htm
Visit my Mail Jewish ARchives


From: Robert Tolchin <tolchin@...>
Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2001 23:18:27 -0400
Subject: Symbolic Foods for Rosh Hashanah

I would like to make a Rosh Hashanah dinner serving exclusively foods
with symbolic meaning.

I would appreciate any creative or unusual symbolic foods, whether you
made them up yourself or they are traditional foods your grandmother


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Sep 2001 18:33:18 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: what applies to a self-identifying ben-noach?

> I'm curious what halakhic designation applies to somebody like this. I'm
> also curious how halakhot related to mevushal wine might apply to him,
> especially since given his belief in Hashem, he would never have used
> the wine for Avodah Zarah.

a self-identifying ben noach is like any other gentile wrt treifing
non-mevushal (uncooked) wine.  the reason for not drinking gentile wine
nowadays is intermarriage (due to rabbinical takana), rather than avoda
zara, and it is not allowed for a jew to marry even the frummest ben



End of Volume 35 Issue 46