Volume 36 Number 36
                 Produced: Mon May 27 21:20:12 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Breaking a Dish
         [A.M. Goldstein]
Call for Papers
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Fifty Year Kaddish Limit (2)
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad, <ERSherer@...>]
A Good Reason for calling Sefer Shmuel, Shmuel
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Old Tefillin
         [Asher Samuels]
"old" tefillin
         [Y. Askotzky]
Saturday Nite Taxi
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Tourists' Minyan
         [Saul Davis]
When does Shabbos start
         [Leona Kroll]


From: A.M. Goldstein <mzieashr@...>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 10:50:31 +0200
Subject: Breaking a Dish

What is the origin of the mothers of the chatan and kala breaking a dish
together prior to the wedding?  What are the customs in regard to this
act: when done, where done?  What is its significance?  Does it have to
accompany formal t'naim [conditions beyond what is written in the
ketuba]?  (Indeed, how imperative are t'naim between the two families?
Do they have halakhic backing?)

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


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Subject: Call for Papers

I've just received this announcement from JOFA (Jewish Orthodox Feminist
Alliance) and been asked to help publicize it.  The event looks quite

Freda Birnbaum

JOFA (Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance) invites submissions for its
Fourth International Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy, entitled,
"Discovering/Uncovering/Recovering Women in Judaism," to be held
Saturday evening November 9 - Sunday November 10, 2002 in New York
City. The conference will explore women's invisibility in Jewish ritual,
halakha, and culture, paying particular attention to the implications of
such concepts as tzniut (modesty) and kavod ha-zibbur (women's public
presence and community sensibilities) on private relationships, public
policy, and Jewish religious discourse.

Suggested topics and themes may include: How have women been "covered"
both physically and metaphorically in Jewish culture and religion? Why
has covering of women been considered so necessary in our tradition? How
has "covering" been used as a strategy by both men and women? How has it
influenced public policy, particularly in how the boundaries between
halakha and public policy are defined? How has this affected women's
roles in the community? In marriage? How does the concept of modesty
create a culture of invisibility? Why are some women so enticed by it?
What impact has this culture of "covering" had on the Jewish educational
structure and on how we raise our children, and how can discovery and
recovery change this? How do these concepts define public and private
spheres along gender lines? As Orthodox Jewish feminists how can we
effectively uncover/recover/discover our bodies, voices, experiences and
religious roles? What recent shifts in social mores/education/secular
factors have led to an increased willingness to explore and demand
rights/rituals/celebrations (whether new or historical)? What has
been/will be the impact of including women's voices in terms of communal
decision-making (e.g. use of funds, eruv)? Has the acceptance of women
into positions of power increased the awareness and acceptance of those
women even more on the "margin" (e.g., single women, lesbian women,
childless women, abused women)? How does the desire to be part of a
community and communal norms impact our behavior?

We invite proposals for individual short papers and panel presentations.
We especially encourage the submission of topics that lend themselves to
interactive discussions and workshops. Please submit a short abstract of
your proposed presentation, as well as a brief CV by June 15, 2002.
Proposals can be sent to the JOFA Office, 459 Columbus Avenue, Suite
329, New York, NY 10024.  Attn: Fourth Annual International Conference
or via fax to 212-753-6054 or via email to <conference@...>


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 19:27:31 +0200
Subject: Fifty Year Kaddish Limit

as i am responsible for the 50 year limit subject, as per what I was
told by Rabbi Elchanan ben-Nun, I wish to inform all that he is busy
looking for a written source and I reminded him for the umpteenth time
this past Shabbat.  I hope no one out there is approaching the 50-year
cut-off but I trust he will either have a source soon or give up.  He
has a very good memory so something must have catalogued itself away
there.  Be patient.

Yisrael Medad

From: <ERSherer@...>
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 15:10:05 EDT
Subject: Re: Fifty Year Kaddish Limit

    Re: Saying Kaddish. I have never heard of such a (fifty-year)
limitation.  My father's mother died when he was 24. He lived to 77, and
I recall that he kept her yahrzeit and recited the kadesh as long as he
was able to go to shul. He was nifter in Shvat and her yahrzeit was
shortly before Pesach. I know other men who parent died when they were
very young who still keep the yahrzeit more than 50 years later.

    Parshas Naso. At the Bostoner Rebbe's shul on the second day of
Shavuous (Shabbos), an early Mincha was announced at which the entire
Parshas Naso was read for the benefit of those going to Israel during
the following week.


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 09:24:20 EDT
Subject: Re: A Good Reason for calling Sefer Shmuel, Shmuel

Russel Hendel writes (v36n35):

      Finally we come to the issue of alternate names. Note that books
      in the prophets are always named by themes (Judges, Kings, the 12)
      or by prophets. Hence we could not name the book Chanah (as Janet
      suggested) since she was not one of the 7 public prophetesses.

Chanah WAS one of the seven public prophetesses. "Sheva neviot man hu?
[=Who are the seven prophetesses?] Sara, Miriam, Devorah, Chanah,
Avigail, Huldah, and Esther" (Megila 14a). Since the Chanah is one of
the public Prophetesses the book could have been named after her, but
our rabbis chose the name Shmuel (id.).

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Asher Samuels <asher.samuels@...>
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 09:38:08 +0200
Subject: Old Tefillin

Working on the assumption that there at least parts of old tefillin are
potentially usable, does anyone know of a sofer in or near Jerusalem who
specializes in repair jobs?

Asher Samuels
Tel: +972-58-741670

From: Y. Askotzky <sofer@...>
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 23:43:39 +0200
Subject: "old" tefillin

> If a person receives tfilin at age 13, should he automatically get new
> tfilin when he's, say, 60?  when does tfilin become "old"?  I would
> think that if a certified sofer stam checks tfilin, he can correct any
> errors in the klafim; he can replace straps; he can touch up corners,
> etc.  And since every seven years, tfilin should be checked, there's no
> question of "lechatchila".  Just keep checking until either a sofer
> tells you the klaf can't be fixed anymore or the box falls apart.
> Remember, the tfilin they found from the Bar Kochba period, still looked
> pretty good.
> Yisrael Medad

Tefillin that have been used for years may very well be in good
condition and meet the preferable halachic standard. However, in most
cases, the many older tefillin that have been brought to me are of
inferior halachic quality or have batim that have become very worn or
the lettering has faded beyond repair making them either unfit for use
or not kosher lechatchila- even with repair. In some cases, the tefillin
never met a preferable halachic standard and in some cases its due to
time and use.  Of course, a qualified tefillin expert can gauge the
present quality and halachic status of the tefillin and if the tefillin
are reparable. MY main point was that for one who wants to fulfill the
mitzvah of tefillin at a preferable halachic level, "lechatchila", this
may likely not be possible with older tefillin due to the reasons
mentioned above. Many new tefillin that are available also do not meet
the preferable halachic standard! The issue of halachic levels -
mehudar, lechatchila and bedieved, certainly apply as it does with any
mitzvah such as tzitzis, lulav, etc.

To keep checking tefillin sometimes is not practical and will not
guarantee that some well worn tefillin will not become passul in between
exams. We can't see inside to know if one letter has faded or cracked to
the point of becoming unfit. One would not want to be wearing tefillin
to find out that they are unfit as he may have been wearing then as such
for year? 2 years? more? In such situations the tefillin expert will
generally suggest that the tefillin not be used. Also re: waiting until
the batim fall apart- if we all were tefillin experts and knew exactly
at what time a worn pair of tefillin is kosher and when its is
considered to have fallen apart then perhaps they can be used. However,
since thats not the case then we certainly cannot use them until they
have fallen apart!  I also wonder if we drive our cars until they breaks
apart in the middle of the highway or use a pair of pants until they are
full of holes?

A few clarifications:
1) Many textual errors cannot be repaired and when they can be repaired
does not mean that the letter now meets the preferable halachic standard.
2) Some batim repairs are not possible on older batim, which are
generally dakos or peshutim batim.
3) There is no clear cut halachic obligation to check tefillin expect
under certain circumstances. (Nevertheless, tefillin should be checked

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


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 20:21:50 +0200
Subject: Saturday Nite Taxi

[The Halacha, and its Poskim, never fail to astound]

Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, writing in Kol Tzofayich, No. 172, Ba'Ha'alotcha
notes that when entering [in Israel] a taxi on Saturday nite following
the Shabbat, one should say to the driver, if he is Jewish, "Baruch
Hashem that HaKadosh Baruch Hu has given us the Shabbat and has
separated the ordinary day from the sacred day = hamavdil bein kadosh
l'chol", with the intention of being motzi the driver and thereby
permitting the driver, who may have not made Havdala, to do a m'lacha
which otherwise would be prohibited as well as prohibited to the
customer to order him to do the work.

Yisrael Medad


From: Saul Davis <saul9728@...>
Date: 26 May 2002 10:44:58 -0700
Subject: Tourists' Minyan

I have been following with interest all the Behalothekho versus Nosso
problem. I cannot see any problem in reading a extra parsha for those
that missed it.

My parents came from xuts-laarets (out-of-Israel) for Shavuoth and
stayed in a hotel. On the Shabbath following Shavuoth (second day for
the tourists) there was a tourists' minyan. This seems to be totally
wrong (my father did not participate).

(1) Second day in Israel should be kept bexadrie xadarim (= in secret)
and (2) except for the qriath hatora, which in any case caused problems
as we know, and hallel there is almost no difference in the service. So
why the tourist minyan?!

Saul Davis


From: Leona Kroll <leona_kroll@...>
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 00:43:52 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: When does Shabbos start

for the sake of clarity, i think it is worth pointing out that those
Jews in Europe who did bring in Shabbos 30 minutes after sundown- and it
was certainly not all Jews in Europe, it was those who held by the shita
of Rabbeinu TAm, also held that melachos were forbidden until 72 minutes
after sundown Saturday night.  i was told by my rav years ago that for
the sake of achdus, and to avoid moris ayin, a decision was made by
Gedolim that in America, where people from Hungary (where they largely
held by Rabbeinu Tam) can be living right next door to someone from a
kehilla that brought Shabbos in 18 minutes before sundown, in America e
should bring in by the earlier opinion and leave Shabbos by one of the
"late" opinions- either 60 minutes after or 72 minutes.

He also made the point that those who held by Rabbeinu Tam, and if i
remember properly it was that the new day begins at three stars, lit
canldes at 18 minutes before that time.

Thanks for posting the web link- i'm looking forward to reading it.


End of Volume 36 Issue 36