Volume 36 Number 28
                 Produced: Tue Apr 30 20:36:56 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Comforting Mourners
         [Gershon Dubin]
Dishes ok next Pesach?
         [Batya Medad]
First Night of Sefirat ha'Omer in Chu"l
         [David E Cohen]
Holocaust & Children Afterwards
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Interruption to the Beracha
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Is this water bottle straw muktzah? (2)
         [Janet Rosenbaum, Andrew Klafter M.D.]
         [Eli Turkel]
         [Eli Turkel]
Shomea K'oneh
         [Mark Steiner]
Tal Umatar
Women and keri'at haTorah
         [Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer]


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 23:00:47 -0400
Subject: Comforting Mourners

From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>

<<It seems like, although someone is a mourner for a full 11 months, 
there is a time after which approaching them and reminding them
of it by giving your sympathies might be worse than not.  Is this
reflected at all in the halacha?  Or maybe I'm totally wrong on 
the psychology.>>

        Ashkenazi practice is for the full 12 (not 11) months.  I have
heard of Sefaradim that desist after sheloshim (first 30 days). There is
*always* room for sensitivity in deciding whether or not to.



From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 07:08:13 +0200
Subject: Re: Dishes ok next Pesach?

1- If I'm not mistaken, there's no bitul b'shishim of chometz.
2- The permitted use of the Pesach dishes the following year, after eating 
less stringently on the 8th day is because what was eaten is ok according 
to law, just not according to some customs or chumras.  The following of 
different customs (like our soon to be Tunisian daughter, b'ezrat hashem) 
will not make her Pesach dishes chametz for us.  We will just have to 
choose our food accroding to their kitniyot content, or lack of.



From: David E Cohen <ddcohen@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 11:26:17 -0400
Subject: Re: First Night of Sefirat ha'Omer in Chu"l

Perets Mett <p.mett@...> wrote:

> The rationale (whether you accept it or not) given is that it is 
> contradictory to perform a seider after counting sefiro, a mitsvo 
> which relates specifically to 16th Nison which is after the date of 
> of the mitsvos of the seider.
> Other opinions disagree and specifically advise counting at the first 
> opportunity in order to fulfil the requirement of 'Temimos' (that the 
> omer counting should be complete)

It seems to me that this is analogous to the issue of sitting in the
sukkah on Shemini Atzeret in chu"l.  In both cases, due to a "sfeika
deyoma" -- a doubt (that existed when the practice of yom tov sheini was
first established) as to what day it really is -- we have to treat the
day as though maybe it is yom tov and maybe it is yom chol (actually
chol hamo'eid).  Of course, we fully observe the yom tov.  In both of
these cases, the particular day of chol that we are concerned that it
might be has a particular observance associated with it.  In both cases,
the "mainstream" practice is to do the chol observance in its normal,
preferred fashion.  But we also see a custom, particularly among
chasidim, to make some change in the manner in which the yom chol
observance is performed in order not to denigrate the sanctity of the
yom tov.

Is there, in fact, a correlation between these two customs?  Do those
people who don't eat in the sukkah on Shemini Atzeret also wait to start
sefirat ha'omer until after the second seder?  Although I have read a
number of justifications for the former custom's departure from the
gemara's apparent conclusion, is there any particular aspect of
chassidic philosophy that would motivate this approach (of being very
concerned for the dignity of yom tov, even at the expense of something
else) in both of these cases?

--David Cohen


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 00:21:50 +0200
Subject: Holocaust & Children Afterwards

At 21:14 28/04/02 +0000, Aliza Berger <alizadov@...> wrote:

      BTW, the hesped introduces another interesting question: Are there
      any recommendations by authorities to have many children because
      you suspect that one or more will be killed in war?

I would doubt that this is a Halachic question but rather one's own
personal attitude.  Why stop at war?  Traffic accidents; earthquakes;
deprivation of sustenance due to poverty are other good enough reasons.

Yisrael Medad


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 10:05:45 +0300
Subject: Re: Interruption to the Beracha

Yisrael Medad wrote:

>I myself am always jolted when davening in Sefaradi minyanim, notably
>the Zoharei Chama across from Machaneh Yehuda, when the Shmoneh Asreh is
>being repeated and there are numerous, 4-5, responses by the
>congregation to certain parts of the T'filah like when mentioning the
>Three Avot, or other parts, to say "bivracha" or such.

Actually, the response to the names of the three avot is "`alehem
hashalom," while the comment on mashiv haru'ah umorid hageshem (or on
morid hatal) is "livrakha."  And the response to umatzmi'ah yeshu`a is

I find these last two so compelling that I have adopted the practice of
reciting them myself (b'li neder), although this practice of mine has
been known to attract stares from people who don't know me.

Of course, those Ashkenazim with whom I daven and who have the minhag of 
talking during hazarat hashatz don't really notice <g>.



From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 07:58:35 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Is this water bottle straw muktzah?

Aliza N. Fischman <fisch.chips@...> writes:
> identify this whistle though.  I went in to see what was going on.  It
> was the straw from the water bottle!  My daughter was playing with the
> (seemingly non-muktzah) straw and blowing into it.  It was making the
> whistling noise I described above.  My question is, when separated from
> the water bottle, is the straw muktzah?

No.  Separated from the water bottle, the straw can be used as a straw
and so it is not muktza.  Even something totally not muktza like food
utensils (which you're allowed to fiddle with purposelessly) can be used
to violate shabbat (e.g., banging a spoon on a water glass), and yet
aren't muktza.  By contrast, something like a rock which is totally
muktza (no uses at all) has a permitted use when used as a paperweight.
Likewise sissors are muktza since their main use is melacha, but you can
use them to cut food on shabbat.


From: Andrew Klafter M.D. <andrew.klafter@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 11:31:38 -0400
Subject: RE: Is this water bottle straw muktzah?

No, it is not Muktza.  The straw is a Kli SheMelachto L'Heter (a device
which is generally used for an activity which is permitted on Shabbos.)
Your daughter is not allowed to make such noises with it on Shabbos, but
her doing so does not render the object muktza.  This is discussed very
clearly in Shmiras Shabbas K'Hilkhata by Rabbi Newirth at the beginning
of the Chapter on Mutktza.  According the the Halakha, she would be
allowed to play with the straw even when she is not using it as a straw.
She simply shouldn't use it as a whistle.  May you succeed in raising
happy, healthy b'nos u'bnei Torah!

-Nachum Klafter


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 09:07:04 GMT
Subject: Probability

Moshe Koppel writes
<Around 1920 there was a great deal of work done on foundations of
probability. The underlying issue was that probabilistic statements
seemed to come in two flavors: those which meant something like "the
What is interesting is that at just about that time Rav Elchonon
(Kovetz Shiurim, Baba Basra, #83) defines the difference between Ruba
D'Issa Kaman and Ruba D'Leisa Kaman almost precisely as the
difference between the two types of probability statements. >

Other people have noted similarities between Brisker Torah and Kantian
philosophy. In both cases it is unlikely that the rabbis heard directly
of the secular theories. Either the time was ripe for such theories or
else the secular theories were brought to the bet medrash by people
knowledgable in secular studies and slowly were accepted without
realizing the origin of the ideas.


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 16:25:53 GMT
Subject: Rashi

>AFAIK, the argument between Rashi Hakadosh and Rabbeinu Tam
>is a repeat of the argument between the Babylonian Talmud and
>Jerusalemite Talmud; i.e., Rashi Hakadosh decides like the TB
>Rabbeinu Tam decides like the TY.

Why is Rashi called haKadosh and Rabbenu Tam is not


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 07:44:12 +0300
Subject: Re: Shomea K'oneh

    The principle of shomea k'oneh appears in the Talmud, tractate
Sukkah.  It was the practice that Hallel was not said by the worshipers
(who for various reasons could not), but by a reader (makre).  However,
the worshipers would respond to the reader periodically.  The Mishnah
says they responded with "halleluy-ah".  Others say they would respond
by repeating the first verse of the chapter.  This is the source for our
repeating "Hodu Lashem..." after the first four verses of the last
chapter of the Hallel.  Responding is called in Hebrew "oneh."

    The Talmud then argues that "shomea-ke-oneh", meaning that if a
person just listened to the reader it is equivalent to responding to him
by "halleluy'ah" or "hodu lashem".  From this alone it would not follow
that somebody who listened to the reader is considered as though he
himself were the reader!  However, the Talmud argues that shomea ke-oneh
from a case mentioned in the Bible, in which the people listening to the
Torah reading were considered as though they themselves had read the
Torah.  You might say that the principle that he who listens is as
though he said the words himself is a stronger principle than shomea
ke-oneh, but this principle seems to be accepted, to the extent that
whether you are permitted to stop in the middle of the amida prayer to
hear kedusha is actually a dispute among the rishonim, some saying that
listening to kedush is like interrupting your prayer with speech!  And
then, by abuse of language, even the stronger principle is called (in
the rishonim) "shomea ke-oneh" which is what, in my opinion, causes the
confusion about terminology.

    According to my analysis, it would seem to follow that someone who
is "oneh" WITHOUT "listening" would also fulfil his obligation.  In
Alexandria, the shul was so big that they had to wave flags to tell the
people when to answer "amen."  According to my analysis those who
answered "amen" without hearing the blessings were accounted as having
fulfilled their obligation to pray.  Nevertheless, there are many
commentators who would not agree with this conclusion, saying that you
can't prove anything from Alexandria since the people who couldn't hear
had no option to hear and the best they could do was to answer "amen" on
schedule, and therefore the matter remains tentative.


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 14:32:38 +1000
Subject: Tal Umatar

From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
> Why are the references to dew and rain in G'vurot (Morid HaTal and
> Mashiv Haruach U'Morid HaGeshem) said at different times of the year,
> whereas in Birkat HaShanim (V'Ten Tal U'Matar) they come together? Ie
> why not say VeTen Tal when you say Morid HaTal and VeTen Matar when you
> say Mashiv Haruach UMorid HaGeshem?

See the first mishna in Mesechteh Taanis where some of these points are



From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 10:54:32 +0300
Subject: Women and keri'at haTorah

Any attempt to suggest that women are obligated in keriat haTorah based
on the minority view of the Magen Avraham, O.H. sec. 282, no. 6  (See
also R. Masud Hai Rokei'ah, Ma'ase Rokei'ah, Hilkhot Tefilla 12:17;
Mishna Berura, sec. 282, no. 12; Birkei Yosef, sec. 282, no. 7; R. Jacob
Meshullam Ornstein, Yeshu'ot Ya'akov, sec. 282, no. 4; R. Zvi Hirsh
Grodzinsky, Mikra'ei Kodesh, sec. 4, no. 1, Sha'arei Kedusha note 1; R.
Hillel Posek, Resp. Hillel Omer, sec. 187) flies in the face of the vast
majority of Rishonim and Aharonim who rule that women are freed from
such an obligation. See: Tosafot, Rosh haShana 33a, s.v. "Ha"; Rosh,
Kiddushin 31a; Meiri and Ran on Rif, Megilla 23a, s.v. "haKol Olim";
Sefer Avudraham, Sha'ar haShelishi, s.v. "Katav haRambam zal"; Sefer
haBatim, Beit Tefilla, Sha'arei Keriat haTorah 2:6; Beit Yosef, O.H.
sec. 28, s.v. "haKol" and Derisha ad loc.; Alim LiTrufa, supra, note 85;
Resp. Orah laTsadik 3; R. Shalom Mordechai haKohen Shvadron, Resp.
Maharsham, I, sec. 158; Resp. Mate Yehuda, sec. 282, no. 7; R. Hayyim
Joseph David Azulai, Kisei Rahamim (complete edition, Jerusalem: 1959),
Masekhet Soferim 14:14 Tosafot s.v. "sheMitsvah" and 18:4, Tosafot s.v.
"she-haNashim"; R. Jacob Emden, Mor uKetsiah, O.H., sec. 417; Arukh
haShulhan, O.H. sec. 282, no. 11; Resp. Yabia Omer, VII, O.H., sec. 17,
no. 4 and VIII, O.H., sec. 54, no. 7; Resp. Yehave Da'at, IV, sec. 23,
note 1; Yalkut Yosef, II, Hiyyuv Keriat haTorah veTiltul haSefer Torah,
sec. 9 and footnotes 6 and 11; R. Isaac Yosef, Kitsur Shulhan Arukh
Yalkut Yosef, O.H. sec. 135, no. 9; R. Moses Stern (the Debriciner Rov),
Resp. Be'er Moshe, VIII, sec. 85; R. Efrayyim Greenblatt, Resp. Rivevot
Ephrayyim, VI, sec. 153, no. 21; R. Yisroel Taplin, Orah Yisrael, sec.
2, no. 8; R. Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, cited by R. Yisroel Taplin,
Ta'arikh Yisrael, sec. 17, no. 3, note 5*; Rabbi Jacob Ariel, Alon Shir
haMa'alot, Parashat Bereshit 5761, Olah keHilkhata


End of Volume 36 Issue 28