Volume 36 Number 44
                 Produced: Sun Jun  9 12:20:12 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Kiddush Levanah Note
         [Jonathan & Randy Chipman]
Shabbat Z'mira
         [Ilana Saks]
Statute of limitations on Kaddish?
         [Jonathan & Randy Chipman]
Where Were You Shavuot Night?
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Women and Kaddish
         [I Kasdan]


From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Wed, 05 Jun 2002 17:26:20 +0300
Subject: Re: Kiddush Levanah Note

In MJ v36n39, Shalom Krischer <PGMSRK@...> asked: ,

<<Why would [answering shalom aleikhem] be considered a hafsakah?  It
would seem to me that since answering "Aleichem Shalom" is part of the
ritual (even if only by custom, but then again, aren't most rituals just
custom?) then there is no Hesech Hadaas (breaking of train of thought)
and as such, should be no worse than the (classic) case of someone
washing (on Shabbos) and then noticing there is no salt/knife, and
"asking" for it?>>

    In the case you mention, of interrupting between washing and
ha-motzi, one is interrupting between two brakhot, each one of which is
complete onto itself, but which have some relation and are normally
recited without a pause.  Here, the interruption is within the text of
the berakha itself.  "Asher be-ma'amro," like any other berakha,
consists of invocations of Gd's Name and His attribute of Kingship --
"Shem" and "Malkhut" -- followed by the specific contents, describing
the thing for which we are praising God, and concluded by a hatimah, a
summary ending in which Gd's name is repeated (Barukh atah Hashem....).
The interrelation among all these elements is much closer; to interrupt
it really severs the integrity of the blessing itself.

    True, it is permitted to do so in the middle of Birkhot Kri'at
Shema, but only under relatively special curcumstances.  Also, perhaps
because these are very long brakhot, one can perhaps choose a hiatus
between sentences to interrupt when need be.  Or perhaps one has already
said Shem, Malkhut, and some contents, so it is as if one has already a
full, but truncated form of the blessing (my speculation).  Anyway, I
see that halakha as a kind of "exception that proves the rule."

    Rav Yehonatn Chipman, Yerushalayim


From: Ilana Saks <lonnie@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2002 09:40:51 +0200
Subject: Re: Shabbat Z'mira

Although the psukim quoted in z'mirot are usually relevant and knowing
their original context greatly enhances the meaning of the z'mirot,
sometimes the writers of z'mirot quoted psukim from Tanach even if the
context is not relevant (This is true by the way also of Biblical
commentators.)  See, for example, in the zemer "shimru shabtotai" the
phrase "isha el achota litzror l'galot..." which is taken Vayikra 18:18
- which talks about a prohibited sexual relationship.  Similarly in the
same zemer, the phrase "maharu et hamane" which is a play on Esther 5:5
"maharu et Haman".  Try though I may I have not been able to find a
connection between these verses and Shabbat (Alternatively if someone
does know of a connection I'd love to hear it).  In these cases it seems
that the language of Tanach was so much ingrained in them that it was
part of their natural vocabulary (A phenomenon which is not uncommon
today in Israel where even non-learned Israelis quote Tanach and Talmud
without fully realizing that they are doing so)

All that having been said - in the case of "V'Sham Yanuchu Y'giay Koach"
it might be that allusion is to the World to Come which is refered to as
"Yom shekulo shabbat u'm'nucha l'chayei olamim"

Shabbat Shalom,
Ilana Goldstein Saks
Efrat, Israel


From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Wed, 05 Jun 2002 16:34:17 +0300
Subject: Re: Statute of limitations on Kaddish?

Dear Michael Shafner,

    My question has elicited many responses from people who have related
to it as a practical halakhic query.  I should make it clear that I
wrote the question out of intellectual curiosity: I had heard of this
custom from two or three people, and wondered whether there was any
basis to it.

    In the interim, I am willing to state, halakha me-ma'aseh, that
there is certainly nothing wrong in continuing to say Kaddish after the
50th yahrzeit; I personally do so for my two grandfathers; and this is
certainly the minhag of at least a good part of Klal Yisrael, if not
indeed of the majority.  What requires proof and documentation is
whether there is in fact any support for doing the opposite.  Yisrael
Medad informs me that Rav Elhanan Ben-Nun of Shiloh is looking for

   Rav Yehonatan Chipman, Yerushalayim


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 08:47:40 +0200
Subject: Where Were You Shavuot Night?

Re; Yael Levine Katz <ylkpk@...> on the 3 days before
Shavuot writing:-

      I remember reading in the name of the ARI - perhaps in Sefer
      Ha-Hezyonot - that when one of his students didn't come to the
      learning on Leil Shavuot he commented that most probably it was
      because of his wife's tevillat mitzvah.

of course, he could also have been off somewhere else "prophesizing the
revealing of a new prophet".  it was Shavuot night that Natan of Gaza
went into ecstasy, disrobed and fainted in his presentation of Shabtai
Tzvi, even though this was in the synagogue

Yisrael Medad


From: I Kasdan <Ikasdan@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jun 2002 13:24:30 -0400
Subject: Women and Kaddish

Regarding Carl Singer's question about women and Kaddish (Re:
mail-jewish Vol. 36 #39):

Rabbi Reuven Fink's article "The Recital of Kaddish by Women" in the
RJJ's Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society (XXXI, Spring 1996),
constitutes a comprehensive discussion of the subject matter.  That
article should be read in conjunction with the letters to the editor by
Rabbi Yehuda Henkin and Rabbi Joel Wolowelsky, that were published in
the next edition (XXXII, Fall 1996), and to which Rabbi Fink responded.
See also the follow up to Rabbi Fink's reply by Rabbi Henkin in his
"Equality Lost" (Urim) at pages 54-65.  And see also Rochelle Millen,
"The Female Voice of Kaddish," in Jewish Legal Writings by Women, p.181.

In addition, see Sefer Taarich Yisroel by Rabbi Yisroel Taplin (Lakewood
NJ 1999) at page 515 note 34 wherein he lists and briefly reviews the
opinions on both sides of the issue.  The additional sources (beyond
those in the above sources) found in that footnote include Rabbi Chaim
Kenievsy, shlita, who prohibits a daughter (adult or minor) from
reciting the mourner's kaddish [(even) from the ezras nashim, in unison
with men on the other side of the mechitza] and Rabbi Chaim Pinchas
Sheinberg, shlita, who permits the recitation in the women's section
(ezras hanashim). 

I would like to suggest some additional thoughts on the matter, which
may explain at least part of the dispute between the modern day poskim
(see points 5-6, below) regarding women's recitation of kaddish. 

1. What we called the "Mourner's Kaddish" really is the "Orphan's
Kaddish" -- i.e., "Kaddish Yasom" that was added after the Aleinu at the
end of davening.  

2. Rabbi Fink explains (at page 24) its origin as follows : "Originally
Kaddish was recited seven times each day -- three recitations during
Shacharit, one  after Yishtabach, one after Tachanun and after U'vah
le-zion. It was only at a later time that the kaddish after Aleinu was
added, ostensibly because of the proliferation of orphans." [All
footnotes omitted.] 

See also Rabbi Nosson Scherman's Overview to the Artscroll publication
""Kaddish" at page xxii, where he notes that while the "effect of
Kaddish was well known in the time of the Talmud" [and had even much
earlier origins], nonetheless, "the custom for mourners to recite
Kaddish began in the Middle Ages  . . ."

3. It would seem that Kaddish Yasom was enacted, or became an accepted
minhag, in order to bring y'somim (orphans) to shul so that they would
not be lost to Judaism (Yahadus) -- even though once there they could
not act as a sh'liach tzibbur and thus recite the *requisite* kaddishim
during the davening  which were known to have a beneficial "effect"
(using Rabbi Scherman's word) on the departed.  

Indeed, the seminal source for recitation of kaddish for the departed
and its effect on the departed is the story of Rabbi Akivah (some say,
R. Yochanan ben Zakkai).   See, e.g., Remah, Yoreh Deah 376,4, citing 
Rabbeinu Bechai and others.  According to the story, which is found in
various sources [one of which is translated in the Artscroll "Kaddish"
publication at xxi-xxii], Rabbi Akivah taught an obviously irreligious
and unschooled orphan to recite the Barchu and the Kaddish and brought
him before a tzibbur in shul (or a beis medrash) to do so, which saved
the boy's father from the (further) throes of gehenom.  
Moreover, Rav Yosef Henkin, z'tl, as brought down by Rabbi Fink, alludes
to the "kiruv" -- so to speak -- aspect of Kaddish as well: " . . .
coming to shul to say kaddish serves as an educational purpose whereby
the child might develop warm feelings for Judaism and thus is drawn to
Judaism  . . ." [Fink, at 35]

4. Rabbi Yaacov ben Moshe haLevi Moeillin, the "Maharil" (d. Germany
1427) was asked (Shu't Maharil Chadashos, siman 28) why  a katan (minor)
is allowed to recite the Kaddish Yasom -- after all, kaddish is a davar
shebikdusha, which requires a minyan of of ten adult men, and minors are
not counted in that  quorum.   

Rabbi Moellin  replied that minors cannot assist adults in fulfilling
their obligations (i.e, can't be "motzi" the adults) in d'varim
shebikdusha [such as the Barchu and other obligatory Kaddishim enacted
by the Rabbonim to be recited by the sh'liach tzibbur].   

However, the Kaddish Yasum, said the Maharil, is not obligatory and thus
minors may recite it ("aval kaddish ze lav davar sh'bechovah hu;
hilchach y'cholim ketanim l'omro").  Moreover, he explains, this kaddish
was an "addition" and is not a requisite part of the davening ("tosesfes
v'lo chovah"). In other words, the minor who recites the kaddish is not
acting as a sh'liach tzibbur and thus is not doing so to fulfill
another's obligation to hear and respond to a kaddish (that having been
accomplished via the adult sh'liach tzibbur during the davening). 

[As to whether a katan can also lead the Barchu at the end of davening,
see Sefer Iyunai Halachot, by Rabbi D. Y. Tzvi Rabinowitz (Bnei B'rak),
perek 12, "Din Yasum Katan b'Kaddish u'Barchu" wherein he cites some
poskim who would uphold the practice provided that the adults present
had already heard Barchu (and thus fulfilled their obligation through
the sh'liach tzibbur) earlier.] 

5. With regard to women, the Tzitz Eliezer (vol. 14:7), cited by Rabbi
Fink (at page 32 of his article), prohibits women from reciting kaddish
because, in part (using Rabbi Fink's words): "this might lead to
confusion on the part of those present who might quite naturally assume
that if it is permissible for her to recite the kaddish, it must also be
that she can be included in making up the minyan required for the
recitation of kaddish."  

6. On the other hand, Rabbi Aharon Soloveitchik, z'tl, according to
Rabbi Fink, "argues that in the battle for equal rights for women in
synagogue participation the demand is currently for women to be called
up to the Torah for aliyot.  Therefore, if the Rabbis do not concede the
recitation of the kaddish to women, the women then might come under the
influence of non-traditional rabbis.  The lesser of the two evils is to
allow women to recite the kaddish." [Fink, at 37, n. 8.]  

Similarly, on the lenient side, Rav Henkin zt'l says (as described by
Rabbi Fink) that "one should not push away young girls (just as one
would not push away young boys from the opportunity to get closer to
Jewish practice." [Fink, at 35.]   

7. Perhaps the arguments of the Tzitz Eliezer on the one hand, and Rav
Soloveitchik and Rav Henkin on the other, are rooted in the original
basis to allow a katan to recite the "additional/non-obligatory" kaddish
(per the Maharil, above).  

8. In this regard, we know that an eishah (woman) and  katan (minor) are
sometimes found in a comparable category regarding matters pertaining to
davening.  See the mishnah at Brachos 20a and 20b (regarding k'riyas
shema and t'fillah), and Megila 23a (regarding "hakol olin leminyan
shiva  . . .").  

9. Thus, 

When the takanah/minhag of adding the Kaddish Yasom first arose, we may
ask if it was enacted for the category of *all* who could not
participate as a sh'liach tzibbur -- i.e., a katan (minor) and an eishah
(woman), alike -- since its purpose was to draw to shul, and hence
closer to Judaism (Yahadus) *all* those in the "disadvantaged" category
of being unable to benefit the departed by reciting the *requisite*
kaddishim during the davening as a sh'liach tzibbur, and since it was
known that this kaddish, unlike others, was not the normal, *required*
davar shebikdusha that would be unsuitable for a katan and eishah to
recite to be motzi others 


was the takanah/minhag of reciting the *"additional/non-obligatory"*
Kaddish Yasum permitted solely to a katan but not an eishah, since only
the former (post-Bar Mitzvah), but not the latter, eventually would be
able to be counted in the minyan quorum and be able to participate as a
sh'liach tzibbur -- thus mitigating any possible "confusion" as to why
the katan would be allowed to recite what ostensibly is a davar
shebikdusha that under normal (requisite) situations he would not be
permitted to recite as a sh'liach tzibbur helping others fulfill their

10. Under this construct, Rav Henkin and Rav Soloveitchik hold the first
opinion, while the Tzitz Eliezer holds the latter.


End of Volume 36 Issue 44