Volume 36 Number 37
                 Produced: Tue May 28 23:16:35 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

3 days before Shavuot (2)
         [Jonathan & Randy Chipman, smeth]
Kiddush Levanah Note
         [Michael J. Savitz]
Laining in EY for those from Chutz L'Aretz
         [Michael J. Savitz]
"old" tefillin
         [Y. Askotzky]
Rashi and Ruach HaKodesh (4)
         [Chaim G Steinmetz, Stan Tenen, Joel Rich, David Herskovic]
Saturday Nite Taxi (3)
         [Perry Zamek, Dani Wassner, <ari@...>]


From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 13:35:46 +0300
Subject: Re: 3 days before Shavuot

In v36n34, Michael Savitz writes:

<<In Ex. 19:15, which we just read on Shavuot, Moshe tells the people,
"Be ready [to receive the Torah] after a three-day period; do not draw
near a woman."  Based on this text it would seem logical for people to
commemorate these events by practicing abstinence during the 3 days
before Shavuot - preparing for zman matan torateinu the way that bnei
yisrael prepared for matan torah itself, so to speak.  (More logical
than, say, eating dairy foods on Shavuot itself.)  Is this an actual
custom that is practiced anywhere?>>

To which I would answer:
"Lo dai lekha mah she'asrah Torah?"
(which translated into English means:  Isn't that which the Torah
prohibits sufficient for you?

Yehonatan Chipman

From: smeth <smeth@...>
Subject: 3 days before Shavuot

No.  See Mateh Efrayim 583, in the Elef Hamagen, Note 33, about the dangers
of abstaining when it is not necessary.


From: Michael J. Savitz <michaelj@...>
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 23:32:48 -0400
Subject: Kiddush Levanah Note

> Given the fact that Kiddush Levanah is generally not said together but
> with each person reciting it as he comes outside, different people start
> and end at different times. As the Ashkenazic custom is to turn to three
> people and wish them "Shalom Aleichem," it often happens that a person
> is approached to answer "Aleichem Shalom" while he himself is still in
> the midst of the Blessing (which begins Baruch Ata ...Asher bema'amaro
> and ends "Mechadesh Chodashim"). I recently asked a local Rav whether to
> answer in the middle of reciting the blessing should be considered an
> hafsakah - interruption, and he said it is indeed such, and that one is
> not permitted to answer at that time.

I asked this same question of a Rav, and received a similar answer.  In
addition, I was told that it was permissible to interrupt any _other_
part of one's own kiddush levana (i.e. the hallelukah before the
Mechadesh Chodashim bracha and everything after the bracha) to answer
"aleichem shalom" to someone else, even if one is in the middle of a
pasuk.  As for what to do if one is in the midst of reciting the bracha
when approached with a "shalom aleichem", so as not to appear rude when
not responding, the Rav suggested pointing to the bracha in the siddur
(or on the card, etc.) to make it clear what you are doing.

I would think that, kal vachomer, there would be no problem responding
to the kaddish at the end of K"L as long as you had finished the
Mechadesh Chodashim bracha.  In my experience I am _always_ still
reciting K"L when they get to kaddish, even if I'm the first one out the


From: Michael J. Savitz <michaelj@...>
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 23:53:31 -0400
Subject: Laining in EY for those from Chutz L'Aretz

> Someone recently inquired about hearing Parshas Naso this coming week in
> Eretz Yisroel (where shuls will lain Behaaloscha, having lained Naso on
> the past Shabbos which was the second day of Shavuos in Chutz laAretz).
> My son tells me almost any Yeshiva with American students will be having
> their own laining (upstairs or wherever) of Naso and Behaaloscha so they
> will be caught up.  I suggest that the reader inquire at any Yeshiva, or
> post where he lives/is staying and someone will have a specific
> suggestion.

This would be an issue for such a yeshiva only if they had students who
arrived from Chutz La'Aretz during the preceding week.  On the other
hand, it would continue to be an issue for students arriving any time
between Shavuot and Shabbat Parshat Balak (Chukat-Balak in Chutz
La'Aretz), a span of 5 weeks.  So one catch-up double leyning will not
necessarily take care of everyone; you would need to have a double
leyning on each of these 5 shabbatot where someone had arrived from
Chutz La'Aretz during the preceding week.

In 1999 Shavuot was also Friday-Shabbat, and I arrived at Yeshivat
Darche Noam (aka Shapell's) between Shavuot and Shabbat Parshat Balak.
DN has plenty of North American (and British, and South African, and
Australian...) students, yet I don't remember there being any catch-up
double leyning, even though I arrived at the start of the Summer Zman,
when many others were arriving the same week.


From: Y. Askotzky <sofer@...>
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 23:52:31 +0200
Subject: "old" tefillin

> No, but he may well use his grandfather's Sefer Torah, kiddish cup,
> chanukia, siddur, Megila, wristwatch....

Agreed! However, an old, worn, out of style and embarrassing pair of
trousers would not be worn. Kal v'chomer, minimum, kosher tefillin should
not be used, assuming that is the case!

> One compromise solution is to fix-up the old tefillin, have the son use
> them for his first aliya, and then keep them in storage for the next son
> or as a back-up pair, etc. That gives a sense of tradition without
> compromising neither the delicate tefillin nor the pursuit of the mitzva
> min ha-medadrin.

As a back up pair for the family, thats great! However, once he is
obligated in mitzvos, he should preferably wear a lechatchila, kosher
pair, which may exclude his grandfather's tefillin. If he has no other
tefillin available then he could use them as backup as this is a
classical case of a bedieved situation.

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


From: Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@...>
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 15:26:09 -0400
Subject: Rashi and Ruach HaKodesh

> From: Andrew Klafter <KLAFTEAB@...> 

> 2. There is an often quoted opinion in books by Lithuanian kabbalists
> as well as by chassidic masters that any book which was universally
> accepted throughout klal yisrael as part of the the basic required
> staples of Torah learning (e.g. Shulchan Aruch, commentators in
> Mikraot Gedolot, etc.) are ALL written with ruach ha kodesh.  (I'm
> sorry that I don't have sources at hand for this-i'm at my office.)

See Tumim (R' Y Eibshytz) in his notes on "Tokfei Cohen" end of Siman
124 where he writes concerning the Shulchan Aruch and the Ramo that many
Halochos are learned from nuances in their language, also there are many
qustions and answers concerning their words which they didn't have in
mind while writing, however there was "Ruach Hashem" in them while
writing and therefore their language is exact in Halacha even though
they didn't intend it etc.

Chaim G. Steinmetz

From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 15:47:22 -0400
Subject: Re: Rashi and Ruach HaKodesh

>From: Milton Polinsky <milton@...>
>Moshe Idel discusses some interesting sources regarding the origin of
>this belief in Rashi's ruach hakodesh in his book, Kabbalah: New
>Perspectives, pp. 237 - 239.
>He quotes a Kabbalistic work, Sefer ha-Meshiv, written during the
>generation preceding the expulsion from Spain, which says(Idel's
>translation with some summarization and comment):
>When you pronounce the secret of the great name, immediately the force
>of the "garment" will descend downward, which is the secret of Elijah,
>who is mentioned in the works of the sages(i.e.  Eliyahu was able to
>traverse this world and above by donning a garment when he came down to
>this world).

The "secret of the garment" comes from meditation on the Name of God,
because it is a facsimile of Ain Sof, handed down from Adam Kadmon,
complete with 248 positive and 365 negative mitzvot.

The geometry of Ain Sof appears in the letter-sequences at the beginning
of B'reshith.  It is the katonot passim given by Jacob to Joseph, and it
is woven as a ReSHeT (net, network) in B'ReSHITh.

 From Rashi's commentaries, particularly the Rashi on the
Mishnah/Gemarah of Ain Dorshin in Hagigah, which includes part of the
story of Rabbi Akiba, it's possible to see that Rashi must have been on
to the letter-sequences at the beginning of B'reshith and their deep
meaning, and the experience they engender when internalized.  This
knowledge and experience is consistent with Ruach haKodesh, and not
likely possible without Ruach haKodesh.


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 09:49:53 EDT
Subject: Rashi and Ruach HaKodesh

 > In response to a few posters who point out that from the aspect of
 > halacha we have the principle of 'lo bashamayim he', then the question
 > that comes up is what practical difference does it make whether or not
 > Rashi wrote his commentary via Ruach Hakodesh. If you say that this
 > applies only to halacha and not parshanut, then how can Ramban, Ibn
 > Ezra etc disagree with Rashi if they accept that his commentary was
 > written with Ruach Hakodesh.

> AFAIK, there is no practical difference. I call him Rashi Hakadosh out
> of recognition (, respect, fear, awe, etc.) of the fact, not because
> it's "practical".

IMHO the use of certain appellations is generally not meant to have
"practical" implications but rather to get us to think about the
individual in question and take a lesson - Why is it that Yosef is Yosef
hatzaddik, the shlah is hashlah hakadosh.....? We are to delve into
their lives and works and learn from their midot (just as R'YBS pointed
out concerning Pirkei Avot and why there is always a specific name
attached to each thought/story) 
 Joel Rich

From: David Herskovic <crucible@...>
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 16:23:52 +0100
Subject: Rashi and Ruach HaKodesh

Since Rashi himself doesn't tell us that he wrote with ruach hakodesh I
suppose it's all really speculation and assumptions. However, I'd be
interested to know what the definition of ruach hakodesh is. Would
'divine inspiration' be an accurate translation? And if so, is anything
that couldn't have been produced without divine inspiration, lehavdil,
if you wish, from ode to joy to any great work of art, a product of
ruach hakodesh?

Dovid Herskovic


From: Perry Zamek <jerusalem@...>
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 09:53:52 +0200
Subject: Saturday Nite Taxi

Yisrael and Batya Medad  wrote:
 >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.

Reb Aryeh Levin ztz"l used to simply wish the [taxi or bus] driver
"Shavua Tov". The driver's response of "Shavua Tov" would serve the role
of Havdala. [This story is found in one of Simcha Raz's books on Reb
Aryeh; I think the second one.]

On a different note, some drivers would be offended by the "religious
preaching." Reb Aryeh's idea would seem to offend no one, since "Shavua
Tov" is the accepted greeting for Motzaei Shabbat.


Perry Zamek

From: Dani Wassner <dani@...>
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 11:33:37 +0200
Subject: Saturday Nite Taxi

Actually, I learned from Rav Daniel Schreiber of Yeshivat Har Etzion
that it is sufficient to say "shavua tov" and therefore promting a
"shavua tov" response.

Dani Wassner,

From: <ari@...> <ari@terratrade.net>
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 10:05:47 -0400
Subject: Saturday Nite Taxi

    [ The following text is in the "iso-8859-1" character set. ]
    [ Your display is set for the "US-ASCII" character set.  ]
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I read somewhere (but as always, I forget exactly where) that it is sufficient to wish a bus driver after Shabbat "Shavua Tov"- on the assumption that he will say Shavua Tov back, thereby fulfilling the Deoraita (Torah) obligation of Havdala on Motzai Shabbat.

On another note- what about riding a bus that starts right after Shabbat ends- it's pretty obvious that the bus driver had to get his bus ready on Shabbat- are you allowed to ride it?

Ariel Ozick
The above email represent the author's views alone.

Yisrael Medad Writes that:

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.

mail2web - Check your email from the web at
http://mail2web.com/ .


End of Volume 36 Issue 37