Volume 35 Number 53
                 Produced: Mon Oct  8  0:20:14 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Agunah stories of WTC tragedy (3)
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, Jeanette Friedman, Neal B. Jannol]
How do we relate to Buddhists?
Inverted Piyyutim
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Medrash on Adam Harishon
         [Jerome B. Taragin]
Or Zarua and women's zimmun
         [Debby Koren]
Perished and No Remains Found
         [Gregorio Mankita]
         [Meir Shinnar]
Rain during funerals
         [Michael M. Schein]
Travel on Chag
World Trade Towers and Agunah
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
WTC Stories
         [Yitz Weiss]
WTC Tragedy
         [Carl Singer]


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahem@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 11:41:51 -0400
Subject: RE: Agunah stories of WTC tragedy

>From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
>    I heard a horrible story (which I have not authenticated) where a
>chassidic man trapped in the WTC called his wife to inform her that he
>was in the building so that she would not be an aguna, called his
>brother to ask him to take care of the family, and then called the rebbe
>(in the story I heard it was the Belzer rebbe) for permission to jump
>out of the building, so that there would be a body and thus a levaya
>[There are various versions of this story going around. I have no idea
>of whether they are correct. Mod.]

There is one that I heard from a neighbor of the family it is supposed
to have happened to, so I think it is pretty accurate.

The man involved called his Rav to make him a shaliach to have a get
written and delivered to his wife so she would not be an aguna.  I do
not know if this shlichus would work or not on a halachic basis.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz - <sabbahem@...>

From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 09:09:50 EDT
Subject: Agunah stories of WTC tragedy

the stories about the WTC are just stories, like the story of the 10
cops with the cell phone, the white dove and all the
rest. Unfortunately, the temperature down below is still in excess of
1,500 degrees farenheit. It is why I asked about creating a beit din for
augnot. I wish people would stop deluding themselves. The jet was filled
with fuel. People were vaporized. The dust and smoke contained the
carbon residue of our friends and neighbors, our loved ones and family
members.  Please do not add to the pain and confusion with bubbeh

Genar Chatima Tova.
jeanette friedman

From: <nbj@...> (Neal B. Jannol)
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 8:47:42 -0700
Subject: Agunah stories of WTC tragedy

Tragically, the WTC story about the asking of a Rov the question of
whether to commit suicide or not by jumping, so as to avoid an agunah
problem is true.  I was told the man's name, but I hesitate to repeat it
in fear I wont spell it correctly.

My Rabbi, Rabbi Aron Tendler, told it over before Neilah. 

IN addition there were three Chaim Berlin talimidim trying to escape on
the roof, who were on the phone with Rabbi Aharon Schachter and he did
vidui with them and stayed on the line until the end.

As to the first story, I do not know what advice the Rov gave, and I do
not think I even want to know of such a dilemma for the Rov or the
person asking the question.  The man did end his life and the body was

My Rov's point was that this clearly shows a level of Jews who knew "how
to die" just as they knew "how to live." What I get from the story is
that I am not as much interested in what the correct psak is in this
situation as with the ability of a person to call his Rov and spend the
last moments of life making a beyond heroic effort to determine what
halacha asks of us.  In some ways, the only comparable situation is the
akedah, when psak from Hashem was "wrong" but could only be followed by
Avraham, with his tremendous emunah Whatever the psak was in WTC, it is
not of the most significance to me - what is more important is the
kiddush hashem involved.

May it be an inspiration for all of us and may the mourners of these
tzadikim be comforted amongs the mourners of zion and jerusalem.

Neal B. Jannol
Riordan & McKinzie


From: <shari613@...> (Shari)
Date: 28 Sep 2001 09:51:22 -0700
Subject: How do we relate to Buddhists?

I think I understand the basics of the discussion about how we are to
relate to Christians and Muslims, in terms of what is considered avoda
zara and what is not.

But when dealing with Buddhism, which is avoda zara, how are we to act?
For example, I found a great little barber shop to take my boys to. The
owner is an immigrant from Vietnam, hard-working, meticulous, and
pleasant. The shop is very clean, the price is right, all seems
great. But all of that may be moot, because there is a 2-foot high
statue of Buddha in the shop, along with some kind of bamboo plant
adorned with red and gold ribbons (which I assume is for good luck).

Should I not use this shop because by paying the owner I am supporting
his avoda zara? Do we hold that all of his parnassa is tainted that way?
Or is it only a problem if I may have some benefit from something that
was used in avoda zara - for example, if I was offered (kosher) food
that was first offered to a foreign god?

I look forward to learning from any sources/discussion/insights offered
by the members of this list.

Best wishes for the new year,


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 20:17:55 +0200
Subject: Inverted Piyyutim

My sons, who learned at the Gush, told me that the different Piyutim of
the Yamim Nor'aim (Imru Leilokim, L'Keil Orech Din, etc.) are recited in
the Yeshiva exactly as written in all the older Machzorim. In other
words, "Imru Leilokim" would be the first two words of the stanza, not
the last.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Jerome B. Taragin <taragin@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 00:09:42 -0400
Subject: Medrash on Adam Harishon

gemar tov to all.
i was telling my grandson a medrash about how adam harishon wa supposed to
live 1000 years. by ruach hakodesh he found out that king david was to die
at childbirth or at least at a very early age. he then prayed to hashem to
take 70 of his years and give them to king david.
does anyone know where this medrash my be found?
thanking you in advance
jerry taragin


From: Debby Koren <deb@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 17:30:02 +0200
Subject: Or Zarua and women's zimmun

[Please copy Debby directly as well as reply to the list. Mod]

In the Sefer Or Zarua, Part 1, Hilkhot Seudah, siman 184, he quotes the
Ri"f, saying that three women form a zimmun.  However, I'm not able to
find this in the Ri"f in any of the logical places.  Can you point me to
where this is in the Ri"f, or did Or Zarua have a different version of
the Ri"f than we have?  Also, after quoting the Ri"f (ending with ad kan
l'shono), the Or Zarua states "rotzeh lomar ...".  Does he mean that he
(the Or Zarua) wants to say, or is he clarifying what the Ri"f says?
Thank you.

Debby Koren, Ph.D.                           Tel: +972 36455009
Director of Internet Technology              Fax: +972 36496595
RAD Data Communications, Ltd.                email: <debby_k@...>
24 Raoul Wallenberg Street,Tel Aviv, 69719   http://www.rad.com


From: <GMankita@...> (Gregorio Mankita)
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 19:44:58 EDT
Subject: Perished and No Remains Found

Shalom: We have a question a looking for  an answer.

When a man makes a last will and in it his desire to be buried in xwy
place; and then when he perished in an act like the one happened in New
York;and his remains never found, and no trace of anything, what are the
Rabonim  saying about Buried, (what) about Tombstone, Shive, Sloishim, etc.

gregorio mankita

erev yom kipur


From: <Chidekel@...> (Meir Shinnar)
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 11:08:36 EDT
Subject: Re: Piyutim

 A poster wrote regarding the way we now do piyutim

<< Thus we end up with such nonsensical pronouncements as `vehi tehilatecha
asher ematecha'.  This is exactly like those chazzanim who daily end
each chapter of pesukei dezimra with `halelukah halelukah'.>>

The history with piyutim is correct.  However, the issue of psuke
dezimra is not quite the same - the hazzan is supposed to both to finish
one tehilla and to begin the next out loud.  I was so specifically
instructed by someone who was baki both in nuschaot and history of
tefillot, as well as different minhage tefilla, and who was very
medkakdek on proper phrasing.

Meir Shinnar


From: Michael M. Schein <mschein@...>
Subject: Rain during funerals

I am looking for sources for the claim that it often rains at the burials
of the righteous.  I have heard this often enough in the form of general
Jewish wisdom, and I think that I have seen this in the Gemara, but I
don't know where to find it now.

Gmar hatima tova.
Michael Schein


From: Anonymous
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 22:23:14 +0200
Subject: Travel on Chag

The recent disruption of air travel led to a situation in which some
observant Jews landed in Tel Aviv after the onset of Rosh Hashana and
went home in taxis driven by non-Jewish drivers (that had been ordered
before hand). It seems to me that there are all sorts of Halachik
ramifications regarding disembarking from an international flight (I
forgot to ask one of the people I know how he got from the air liner to
the terminal, when the connection at Ben Gurion is normally done by
bus), going through passport control, managing automatic doors etc. In
this particular case, given the time of departure from New York, the
passengers knew the (El Al) plane would be landing on Chag.  Is there
precedent for allowing such travel? Is there a difference if the plane
were scheduled to arrive before chag/shabbat but was delayed (by fog,
for example)?


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 20:21:51 +0200
Subject: World Trade Towers and Agunah

I've posted this on another list, but feel that this should be of
importance on Mail-Jewish.

I believe that the Agunah question of the Trade Towers can be solvable
very easily, if resort is made to a Teshuvah of Rav Moshe Feinstein - in
my opinion, his most breathtaking one.

Rav Moshe had a question of a woman whose husband had definitely been
taken away by the Nazis, but there was no evidence that he himself had
been killed. Rav Moshe ruled that this fact alone was sufficient, as
everyone taken away at that particular time was killed, and he permitted
the woman to remarry. See Igrot Moshe Even Ha'Ezer Part 4, p. 116. Also
see p. 115 for a number of similar cases.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: <YitzW@...> (Yitz Weiss)
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 13:35:58 EDT
Subject: WTC Stories

As you've no doubt heard, the stories that are circulating regarding the
near-misses of September 11th are absolutely amazing! People who were in
the Twin Towers and escaped, people who should've been there (or on one
of the planes) and weren't - it gives me the chills every time I hear
one of them.  I've been in contact with an author, a good friend, who is
considering compiling a collection of these kinds of stories. The
thought is to give encouragement and consolation to all who were touched
by the tragedy. If there's anyone with a first or second-hand story of
courage, compassion or serendipity (providence, bashert) that they wish
to share and would like to have it considered for publication please
forward it to me at <yitzw@...> & I'll pass it along. Perhaps we can
all gain strength from them.  Please forward this notice along to others
so that they can respond as well.  Let's pray that the coming year
should be a safe, sweet, healthy and prosperous year!

Yitz Weiss


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 08:12:39 EDT
Subject: WTC Tragedy

>  From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
>      I heard a horrible story (which I have not authenticated) where a
>  chassidic man trapped in the WTC called his wife to inform her that he
>  was in the building so that she would not be an aguna, called his
>  brother to ask him to take care of the family, and then called the rebbe
>  (in the story I heard it was the Belzer rebbe) for permission to jump
>  out of the building, so that there would be a body and thus a levaya
>  (funeral).
>  [There are various versions of this story going around. I have no idea
>  of whether they are correct. Mod.]

With no supporting evidence one should label this apocryphal.

(1) someone under emergency stress thinking rationally (?) enough to
evaluate the situation and determine a course of action.

(2) someone making AND completing three phone calls during the few
stress filled moments of an emergency -- rather (or while) trying to

(3) someone being clarvoyant and knowing the building would later
collapse and thus only jumping from a window would provide a body.

I don't know if there is a redeeming social value in these kinds of
tales -- perhaps they point out some issues of aguna, etc. -- perhaps
they try to humanize, or make someone out as a hero or at minimum very
pious even in the face of death.  Perhaps they give people with macabre
imaginations an outlet for their creativity.

Kol Tov

Carl A. Singer 


End of Volume 35 Issue 53