Volume 36 Number 49
                 Produced: Mon Jun 17  6:26:52 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Artscroll (2)
         [Leah S. Gordon, Seth Magot]
Card-operated Locks
         [Tobias Robison]
Card-operated Locks / who decides for you
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Certificate of Observance
         [Bill Page]
Exception that proves the rule
         [Binyomin Segal]
Kiddush Levanah Note
         [David Ziants]
Kosher food, but what about Shabbat in space
         [Sam Saal]
The Rav zt'l and the study of mathematics
         [I Kasdan]
Siddur font size
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Tehilas Hashem (3)
         [Nachman Yaakov Ziskind, A. Seinfeld, Eli Lansey]
Yeshivat Darche Noam/Shapell's Special 2 Week Learning/Ulpan Program
         [Eliezer Kwass]


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 05:45:02 -0700
Subject: Artscroll

Dani Wassner wrote:

>My biggest complaint with Artscroll siddurim (and machzorim) is their
>seeming blindness to the fact that so many people live in Israel.

Unfortunately, I am not sure this is an accident.  Do you remember the
olden days' Artscroll that omitted the "Prayer for the State of Israel"?
There was a big discussion/controversy and they are pretty anti-zionist.

--Leah Gordon

From: Seth Magot <Seth.Magot@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 07:15:30 -0400
Subject: Artscroll

I have been following (on and off) the discussion about ArtScroll.  Two
things have to be kept in mind when using ArtScroll is that it is
printed for those of us living outside of Israel.  It would be great if
they did print "Israeli" editions, but that has not been their focus.
The second item deals with all siddurim with English (and I suppose any
language other than Hebrew) translations.  It is hard - if not
impossible - to translate word for word between Hebrew and English, and
still have it make sense in English.  Thus any translation is at best a
good interpretation, and that has to be kept in mind when reading the

Seth Magot


From: Tobias Robison <trobison@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 15:02:57 -0400
Subject: re: Card-operated Locks

One way to deal with these locks is to use Duct tape. I cannot see any
halachic problem with the following, but would appreciate comments:

Use many separate pieces of duct tape to cover the mechanism in the door
that closes the lock. Be careful to place the tape so that it can be
removed without damage, and try to minimize any visible tape on the
outside of the door. The lock will be fixed in its open position by the
tape. The many layers of tape will press against the door opening, so
that when you close the door it shuts firmly, giving the impression that
the door is really locking; if someone pulls against the door from the
outside, it is less likely to open.

If you are uncomfortable staying in an unlocked room, you can buy
mechanical devices that make it hard to open a hotel room door. (CYLOR
to see whether using these would be a problem.)

You should also think about whether the room has a motion sensor device
to determine whether to turn the air conditioning on and off. Taping the
door may solve this potential problem (by keeping the A/C off).
Otherwise you may need to cover the sensor.


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 11:21:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Card-operated Locks / who decides for you

In v36n46, Tzadik Vanderhoof asks about card-operated locks:

> [...] I was with a fellow traveler who insisted that not only can you
> not use the card to *enter* your room on Shabbos, but you cannot even
> *leave* your room on Shabbos, even though the card is not needed to
> leave the room!!!  They broke this "shita" to me about an hour before
> Shabbos. [etc.]

and then describes a thorough and painstaking process of investigating
the issues.

My question is this: How far do we have to go to accommodate other
people's more stringent views, when our own are perfectly reasonable?
Suppose someone has asked a shaila about wearing a hearing aid on
Shabbos, and been told that she/he can.  Is someone else entitled to
come up to them and say, "MY REBBE says you can't do that", or, if the
person is an authority him/herself, to say "you can't do that"?  How
much does one have to put up with well-meaning but stricter or incorrect
friends' differing views?  I'm reminded of a very old Jules Feiffer
cartoon, where a couple of unwilling people at an event are being
pestered into doing some activity they don't want to do; the punch line
has them saying "It's we who have the insight who have to make the
allowances"; but clearly the busybodies have managed to bully them into
doing something they don't want or need to do.

I once knew someone who got it into his head that you "couldn't carry on
Yom Tov".  Don't ask...

Seriously, how does one negotiate such things?

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: Bill Page <Page@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 09:40:15 -0400
Subject: Certificate of Observance

In today's online issue of Ha'aretz, I read of a proposal in Israel by
the head of the Haifa religious court "which would require as a
condition of conversion the issuance of a certificate of commandment
observance, similar to a driver's license. If it were proven that the
convert in question failed to observe commandments faithfully, the
certificate would be revoked."

What is the halachic basis for a conditional conversion?  


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 16:52:35 -0500
Subject: Exception that proves the rule

> A correspondent recently brought a certain Halachah as an "exception
> that proves the rule." I know that Mail Jewish is not an English
> language forum, but would nevertheless like to point out that in the
> above expression the word "prove," as used here, originally meant to
> "test." The point is that if there is a rule and an exception is found,
> it then "tests" to see if the rule is indeed one, or whether the
> assumption underlying the rule is incorrect. In Halachah this is
> certainly the case. If there is a rule and there is an exception, it
> either means that the rule is incorrect or that the exception is simply
> not a member of that rule class.

I admit to not recalling my source, but my understanding of "the
exception that proves the rule", that i read somewhere, somewhen, is
that it is exactly like "mikllal lav, ata shomeah hein"

an example would be if a sign said, "No parking on Monday" this
exception proves that parking is allowed the other days of the week.

Contact me via my NEW address


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 22:43:31 +0300
Subject: Re: Kiddush Levanah Note

There is a small point that needs to be corrected on my posting
explaining the difference between "hefsek" in a b'racha and "hesach
hada'at" between hand-washing and "hamotzi".

Concerning the b'racha of kiddush l'vana, the examples in my posting
might not be right:
> One doesn't interrupt a b'racha of this style for even "k'dusha"
> or "barchu". How much more so for answering "aleichem shalom",
> even when this is part of the liturgy.

The "interruption tables" at the front of Siddur Minchat Yerushalayim
states that for "k'dusha" and "barchu" (together with "y'hei shmai" and
"amen" after "d'amiran b'alma v'imru" in kaddish, and "amen" after
"hakel hakadosh" & "shome'a tefilla" in hazarat hashatz) are the o n l y
things that one i s a l l o w e d to interrupt a b'racha of this style
(a "long b'racha").

This law is almost similar to the law of interrupting in the middle of
the chapters and b'rachot of k'riat sh'ma and in the middle of the full
hallel, with exception that saying with the congregation the words
"modim anachnu lach" is permitted in these two cases but not in the
middle of a "long b'racha".

One is not allowed to interrupt the b'racha of kiddush l'vana for
anything else though, and what I wrote (also explained by other
postings) still stands.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 07:08:58 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Kosher food, but what about Shabbat in space

A recent article in the London Sunday Telegraph ("Rabbis Debate when
Space Sabbath Occurs" May 27, 2002) discusses the upcoming space shuttle
trip by an Israeli astronaut. While there have been other Jewish
astronauts, Col.  Ilan Ramon is the first to ask for Kosher food (which
will be accommodated).  He is also the first to ask a Shayla about
Shabbat in space.

The article quotes two Rabbis: Rabbi Levy Yitzhak Halperin and Rabbi
Jonathan Romain.

Rabbi Halperin, "ruled that the colonel should be relieved of his
obligations because he will not be experiencing Earth time."

"Rabbi Romain, who heads the Maidenhead synagogue, said: "Some rabbis
say that because he will be in space, Earth rules don't apply. But my
view is that, as you can't exist in space without re-creating Earth like
conditions -- using oxygen, for example -- you should observe the same
routine as you would on Earth."

"Rabbi Romain did, however, offer a different way out of Col. Ramon's
difficulty. "His fellow crew members are unlikely to appreciate him
taking time off during what is likely to be a very intense mission,
especially as it might endanger their lives," the rabbi said. "There is
a Jewish principle which says that saving life takes precedent over all
religious rituals, so on those grounds he could be relieved of his

I found this strange. I would have thought - as was discussed years ago
in mail.jewish - that you pick a point on the globe and use that as a
point of reference for your own time.. This is similar to what one must
do at one of the poles on earth.


Sam Saal         <ssaal@...>
Vayiphtach HaShem et Pea haAtone


From: I Kasdan <Ikasdan@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 20:57:00 -0400
Subject: Re: The Rav zt'l and the study of mathematics

Can anyone point to a written source discussing (or even mentioning)
what I believe was the Rav zt'l's high regard for the study of
mathematics? Thanks in advance.


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 13:57:53 +0200
Subject: Siddur font size

The advantage of a uniform font size is that there are no value
judgements as to which particular paragraph is more important. Some
Siddurim, for example, have the Pesukei d'Zimrah Hallelukah paragraphs
in different font sizes. Are we to attribute importance to the font
size? A recent Siddur I have goes one step further. Evidently because of
some external considerations, it has the first part of a certain passage
in a certain font size, but when you turn the page for the continuation,
the font size is smaller than the first one. Are we to atrribute this to
any rational decision about relative iomportance?

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Nachman Yaakov Ziskind <awacs@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 10:06:54 -0400
Subject: Re: Tehilas Hashem

| From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
| Does anyone know the source for saying the verses starting "Tehilas
| Hashem Yedaber Pi" after "Shir HaMa'alos" in bentching?

Chabad siddurim have it; the seder of tefilos was arranged by the Alter
Rebbe (a/k/a the Baal Hatanya) according the Lurianic rite. It is well
known that the Alter Rebbe was meticulous in his editing of the
siddur. That clinches it for me.

Nachman Yaakov Ziskind, EA, LLM         <awacs@...>
Attorney and Counselor-at-Law           http://yankel.com
Economic Group Pension Services         http://egps.com
Actuaries and Employee Benefit Consultants

From: A. Seinfeld <aseinfeld@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 02:44:26 -0700
Subject: Re: Tehilas Hashem

This would seem to contradict the halacha (MB 179:1-2) that one should
not speak between mayim achronim and bentching, no?

      One note of interest is that according to the Otzar Hatefelot,
      mayim acharonim are poured following the completion of these
      pesukim, there is another pasuk that seems to be right after / as
      part of mayim acharonim, then an additional pasuk, and if
      bentching on a kos, one final pasuk before the start of the zimun.

From: Eli Lansey <elansey@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 02:01:12 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Re: Tehilas Hashem

Tzadik Vanderhoof wrote:
> I'm wondering if there's a real siddur maven out there who can attest
> that it was found in some siddur compiled by a Gadol.

I don't know about a siddur *compiled* by a Gadol, but a friend of mine
who ate with Rav Aharon Lichtenstein related that Rav Lichtenstein says
those 'additional' psukim at the end of Shir HaMaa'lot.


From: Eliezer Kwass <kwass@...>
Subject: Yeshivat Darche Noam/Shapell's Special 2 Week Learning/Ulpan Program

Announcing the Yeshivat Darche Noam/David Shapell College Bein Hazmanim
Learning and Intensive Ulpan, July 28-August 8

This summer, we are inaugurating a special pre-Elul zman two-week
program that will include Torah studies, as well as an Intensive Ulpan
taught by Rabbi Shlomo Eitan. This will give new and continuing students
an opportunity to hone their Hebrew skills during their "summer
vacation."  There will be no additional cost to Shapell's students
(including those joining during Elul zman) for participation in this

Three meals per day will be provided, as well as one or two afternoon
tiyulim. Daily schedule will be:
9am-1pm- Intensive Ulpan (2 levels) with Rabbi Shlomo Eitan
1 pm - Lunch
1:30 pm - Mincha
2-4 pm - Preparation and Shiur

Please email the Darche Noam Israel Office, <darnoam@...> by
Monday, June 17th to indicate your intention to participate in this
program. Without, sufficient interest, we will not be able to offer this

Special Bein Hazmanim Learning and Intensive Ulpan
Darche Noam Institutions


End of Volume 36 Issue 49