Volume 35 Number 79
                 Produced: Sun Dec 30 15:04:09 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Birkat Kohanim
         [Jonathan & Randy Chipman]
Hosting Marriageable boy/girlfriends (5)
         [Caren and Steve Weisberg, Carl Singer, Y. Askotzky, Dov
Teichman, Shaya Potter]
         [Joel Rich]
Peanut oil
         [Jonathan & Randy Chipman]
Reaction to Intermarriage (2)
         [A.M.Goldstein, S Meth]
Response to Intermarriage
         [Alexis Rosoff]
Shliach Tzibbur
         [Nuss Seif]
Standing for other people's recitation of Kaddish
         [Carl Singer]


From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 22:11:25 +0200
Subject: Re: Birkat Kohanim

Janine Weinstock mentioned a reference in a short story by Agnon to <<a
second tune, the "Meisim Tanzel" (Dance of the Dead?) used by the
Kohanim on a day of Yom Tov upon which Yizkor is said.>> to which Yossi
Halberstadt responded, in v35n75, <<At the GGBH (Munk's) in Golders
Green, London, UK, we have a separate tune for each of the Yomim Tovim
(Pesach, Shovuous, Rosh Hashono and Succos) as well as a Meisim Tune for
those days on which Yizkor is said.>>

The use of special tunes for each Yom Tov is one of the salient features
of classic Nusah Ashkenaz, possibly dating back to medieval times and
the nusah established by the Maharil.  Avigdor Unna, in the chapter on
Minhag Ashkenaz in a book called "Yalkut Minhagim" published by the
Torah Department of Israel's Education Ministry, mentions the use of
musical leit-motifs for each Yom Tov, not only for dukhaning, but for
Mah Tovu, Barukh Sheamar, Hatzi Kaddish before Barkhu, and Shir
Hama'alot.  I used to be married to a woman of Yekkish background
(second generation), who was always particular about using the
appropriate tune for Shir Hama'alot at the meal.  The full tradition
included special melodies for the Three Weeks, for the Nine Days, and
for Sefirah, as well as distinct tunes for Shemini Atzeret and Simhat
Torah, the latter being a medley of all the tunes used throughout the
year.  Simhat Torah, as the last holiday of the year, was also the
occasion for a special Kaddish, the "Jahrs Niggun," also a medley of
tunes, considered something of a cantorial tour-de-force.

     An elderly friend of mine from Slovakia recalls that in his town,
there was a special melody for the Barkhu of Ma'ariv at the end of
Pesah, used that one time only thrioughout the year, known as the
"Hametzdiker Barkhu."  In brief, I wouldn't be surprised at anything
Jews somewhere do.

     About the "Meisim Tanzel": old-time Yerushalami Haredim are
accustomed on Simhat Torah to do a dance called "Tehiyat Hametim."  They
dance around to a very slow, melancholy tune, bending down very low as
if descending into their graves, and then on the fast part all rising up

    Yehonatan Chipman, Yerushalayim


From: Caren and Steve Weisberg <nydecs@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 22:35:12 +0200
Subject: re: Hosting Marriageable boy/girlfriends

I'm *pretty* sure if memory serves me correctly (from over 20 years ago)
that the Aruch Hasholchon says this is mutar but not recommended,
leading to too much familiarity. "Shelo yehei libo gas bo" is the
expression I think he used.

Steve Weisberg

From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 07:36:11 EST
Subject: Hosting Marriageable boy/girlfriends

      What would the specific issur be in this case? Would the same rule
      (of "no sleeping in the same house") apply to two strangers, as
      well as boy/girlfriend? If not, do you mean to imply that halacha
      recognizes a "boy/girlfriend" status?

I'm not the one to quote halacha nor should we ever forget to consult
your Local Orthodox Rabbi.

The people we bought our home from had a lock on the door leading from
the downstairs levels to the main floor and above (bedrooms) --
apparently when the husband's brother stayed over and slept "below deck"
so to speak (and the husband had to go to work) they locked this door so
two "strangers" -- sister & brother-in-law -would not be alone together.
There are also issues defining "alone" when children (of certain) ages
are present (as witnesses?)

Kol Tov

Carl Singer

From: Y. Askotzky <sofer@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 10:26:49 +0200
Subject: Hosting Marriageable boy/girlfriends

>What would the specific issur be in this case? Would the same rule (of
>"no sleeping in the same house") apply to two strangers, as well as
>boy/girlfriend? If not, do you mean to imply that halacha recognizes a
>"boy/girlfriend" status?

Halacha generally doesn't condone the Western style boy/girlfriend
relationships but recognizes the facts. The rabbonim and most of us are
well aware of human nature and realize that a man and woman, especially
a young man and woman, who are attracted to each other and have a close
relationship, have a powerful physical desire for each other. Those of
us who are married and had no physical premarital contact with our
spouses can fully appreciate this. For the same reason, many rabbonim
suggest or demand that an engaged couple limit their meetings (or at
least to meet in circumstances that they aren't tempted) until
marriage. Therefore, it makes sense that the couple sleep in different
homes. Whether this is halachah or just wise counsel I'm not
certain. Nor am I certain if this applies equally to strangers. I
believe that in most "Yeshiva" homes that strangers do not sleep in the
same home nor do they dine together unless there is some family
connection, the singles are guests together with their parents/families,
for outreach or when the strangers are of marriageble age.

kol tuv,

Rabbi Yerachmiel Askotzky, certified sofer and examiner
<sofer@...>   www.stam.net   1-888-404-STAM(7826)

From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2001 23:34:18 EST
Subject: Hosting Marriageable boy/girlfriends

I do not have the seforim in front of me so please correct my mistakes
but this question is addressed in Shulchan Aruch Even HoEzer Laws of
Erusin where it states that betrothed(post-erusin) people may not be
secluded together (yichud). To this, the Ramo adds that this law applies
even to engaged people (meshudeches) and that even sleeping in the same
house(without yichud) is a problem because the groom may see the bride
without makeup, etc. and she will not look as pretty and he will lose
his attraction to her and wedding will be called off. I forget the exact
wording but this is what the Ramo states and this is how it was
explained to me by Rabbi Herschel Shechter from YU when I asked him
about this law.

Dov Teichman

From: Shaya Potter <spotter@...>
Date: 25 Dec 2001 23:39:51 -0500
Subject: RE: Hosting Marriageable boy/girlfriends

Being someone who is of the age where its nogeah, and many of whose
friends have recently gone through it, I would say, even if there's no
"Halachik" basis, the reason most of us would do this, is because of
propriety.  It would be inappropriate for the girl (or guy) to sleep in
the same house if other options are available.


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001 08:14:36 EST
Subject: Kaddish

Another option
> often used in cases like this is to hire someone to say kaddish, often
> someone associated with a yeshiva or kollel who does it to raise money
> for the yeshiva. I tried doing that when my grandmother died, but wasn't
> able to find anyone, at least not from a yeshiva that I thought my
> grandmother would have wanted me to donate money to.

Permit me to add my usual uninformed opinion.  There is clearly a
special link between parent and child when saying kaddish(i like to
think of yaakov/binyamin -nafsho kshura bnafsho - his soul is bound up
in his soul) as demonstrated by the source aggadata for the child saying
kaddish for the parent(synopsis- R' Akiva meets a wandering soul who
can't "make it" in the world to come until R' Akiva teaches his
unlearned son to say kaddish for him) If parent/child weren't key, why
didn't R' Akiva say kaddish and save himself a lot of bother?   If a
child isn't available, I'm told it's preferable to pay someone who needs
the money to do it rather than asking a volunteer since the "credit" for
the charity redounds to the benefit of the deceased. 

Kol Tuv,
Joel Rich


From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 22:22:16 +0200
Subject: Re:  Peanut oil

Meir Shinnar wrote in v35n73 that <<there are two separate issues
involved in using peanuts and peanut oil on Oesah: 1) Is the halachic
definition of the term kitniyot identical to the botanical definition of
legume....  2) Even for real kitniyot, there is a difference between
derivatives of kitniyot and kitniyot themselves...>

     I would like to add that I heard Rav Soloveithcik ztz"l present an
identical analysis at a shiur he gave at the Boston Hevra Shas in the
early 1970's.  Regarding the second point, what is referred to in
halakhic literature as "mei kitniyiot," he mentioned a long list of late
19th century aharonim who were lenient, including R. Yitzhak Elhanan
Spector and the Natziv (although not R. Hayyim of Brisk).  He therefore
concluded that, given that there are two separate sefekot (doubts)
involved,a strong case can be made for using peanut oil, and this was
the justification for doing so in the earlier era of US Orthodoxy, when
it was in fact widely accepted as THE oil for Pesah.

   Yehonatan Chipman,Yerushalayim


From: A.M.Goldstein <mzieashr@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 14:04:36 +0200
Subject: Reaction to Intermarriage

Carl Singer asked:
>Explicit or tacit social acceptance is of concern -- would you (silently
>or otherwise) boycott an inter-faith wedding?

Yes.  And I have done so on more than one occasion: "actively" not go.
This act of protest on my part, though, did not stop me afterwards from
staying in touch with the people concerned or even from sending them
Jewishly oriented gifts.

It would be interesting to conduct a survey of the list members on Carl's

A. M. Goldstein
Editor, Focus; University of Haifa
Tel.: 972-4-8240104
Fax:  972-4-342104

From: S Meth <smeth@...>
Subject: Reaction to Intermarriage

I have been taught the response to intermarriage is "dochek b'semol,
umekarev b'yemin" (push away with the left hand, but bring closer with
the right hand): do not recognize the marriage in any way, shape or form
(e.g., don't address them as "Mr. and Mrs.," don't attend any "family"
function, etc.); but do not be distant from the Jew involved - attempt,
in a non-confrontational way to convince him/her to terminate the


From: Alexis Rosoff <alexis1@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 04:03:21 -0500
Subject: Re: Response to Intermarriage

On Tue, 20 Nov 2001 17:03:31 +0200, Moshe and davida Nugiel wrote:
|> I have recently heard the following argument, and I would like the Mail
|> Jewish readership to send their comments.
|> Is there validity to this view?

The problem with it is that it makes inherent assumptions: that family
disapprova worked in the past, that its absence is to blame for rising
intermarriage rates, and that if we were to return to it, there would be

As someone who is very close to the centre of the intermarriage
phenomenon (I'm 24 and was raised in a non-religious home) I disagree,
IMO the biggest factor in the rise of intermarriage as a phenomenon has
been social change--in both the Jewish and non-Jewish communities. In
the past, it was much less likely that a non-Jew would be willing to
marry a Jew, so even if one were unopposed to intermarriage, the
likelihood of it becoming more than a theoretical possibility was much

On a personal level I think the most important factor is individual
commitment to one's Judaism. It is no coincidence that the Orthodox have
the lowest rates of intermarriage and the unaffiliated the highest.
(Modern Orthodox Jews have a slightly higher rate than Haredi Jews, but
much lower than Conservative.) While debate about whether or not other
religious approaches can successfully impart a strong sense of one's
Judaism is beyond the scope of this list, it's certainly true that
Orthodoxy has done this successfully. A person will look for a marriage
partner with the qualities s/he finds important. If they have a strong
commitment to Judaism, they will want a partner who does, and will make
the effort to find such a partner. If they do not value their Judaism,
no amount of disapproval will help. (My sister is currently dating a
Catholic, and the repeated objections of parents and grandparents have
had absolutely no effect. My sister has said flat out that she doesn't
consider Judaism particularly important. Maybe in past generations,
people listened to their parents, but they sure don't today.)

The only real solution to intermarriage is to make people want Jewish
spouses. Otherwise, they're not going to understand why they should go
to the extra effort of finding a Jewish mate, when there are so many
more available non-Jews.


To: <mail-jewish@...>

From: Nuss Seif <NUSSEIF@...>
Subject: Shliach Tzibbur

Is there any halachic justification for a yahrtzeit for a parent to take
precedence over someone in the shloshim for a parent to lead the
minyan????  Both living in same community and regular members of shul???


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 07:40:59 EST
Subject: Standing for other people's recitation of Kaddish

      I myself, do not stand while other people are saying Kadish since
      it makes my Polish born Mother uncomfortable.  Most likely a

This is a new one for me -- and MY Polish born Mother.  Does anyone have
sources or additional information --

Carl Singer


End of Volume 35 Issue 79