Volume 36 Number 75
                 Produced: Sun Jul 21  0:17:50 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Anaheim Minyan? (2)
         [Sheldon Meth, Allan Baumgarten]
Bayit Ne'eman b'Yisrael
         [Yaakov Ellis]
Better is frummer?
         [Gershon Dubin]
Cantillation for 3rd perek of Eichah
         [Ariel, Devra]
carrying ID on Shabbos
         [Emmanuel Ifrah]
DNA and Chazokoh
         [Stephen Phillips]
Fertility Drugs
Frum Divorce rate
         [Marc Meisler]
Jewish "Amish Country"
         [Jeffrey Saks]
Jewish cemetery in the city of Kerman, Iran - in danger of desecration
         [Shlomo B Abeles]
Nusach of Siddur
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Shir Hashirim
         [Steve Weisberg]
Shir shel Yom Revi'i
         [Joshua Adam Meisner]
What is Peshat
         [Shalom Carmy]


From: Sheldon Meth <smeth@...>
Subject: RE: Anaheim Minyan?

Shmuel Himelstein asks about a daily Shacharit Minyan in the Anaheim,

A related question: If anyone is going to DARPATech and would like to
form a Minchah/Ma'ariv minyan, please contact me (<smeth@...>) so I
can start a roster.

-Sheldon Meth

From: Allan Baumgarten <baumg010@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 23:16:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Anaheim Minyan?

I suggest:

Beth Jacob Congregation Irvine
3900 Michelson Dr
Irvine, CA 92612-1765
Phone: (949)786-5230
Rabbi Landau, Rabbi Geiger

Allan Baumgarten
952/925-9121 Fax 952/925-9341


From: Yaakov Ellis <jellis@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 22:06:06 -0400
Subject: Bayit Ne'eman b'Yisrael

Anyone who had gone to a frum engagement party, sheva berachot or
wedding has probably heard the phrase "Bayit Ne'eman b'Yisrael" (or
bayis ne'eman b'yisroel if you prefer) probably in the context of
"Avraham and Sarah (fill in the names) should build a bayit ne'eman
b'Yisrael". I have heard many people say this, but I have never really
gotten a clear explanation on what it means. Why are we wishing people
to build a trustworthy house? why not a "bayit maleh Torah v'chessed
b'Yisrael" (filled with Torah and kindness) or some other appropriate
blessing? Is there a source for specifically saying this beracha?

Yaakov Ellis


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 19:34:35 GMT
Subject: Re: Better is frummer?

Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...> writes:

> Agreed...that is what is most important, and often gets lost in the
> trends of daily practice.  It is also important to differentiate
> legitimate chumrot from illegitimate ones, in this case touching
> the tree.

Who said touching the tree was an "illegitimate" chumra?  The problem
was in not distinguishing between din and chumra.

What parameters do you envision for determining "legitimacy" of a



From: Ariel, Devra <Dariel@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 14:14:25 +0300
Subject: Cantillation for 3rd perek of Eichah

I went to Camp Ramah in Wisconsin for almost a decade, and we always
read Eichah with a special trope for the 3rd perek. But here in Israel I
haven't run across it at all. So I add my hopes that someone can shed
some light on this subject. What I have learned, but don't remember
where, is that the 3rd perek is different than the others in a number of
ways. It's also more upbeat than the other four prakim. It's written in
1st person. It's built differently. This may have something to do with
the different cantillation.

Devra Ariel
Ma'aleh Adumim


From: Emmanuel Ifrah <eifrah@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 11:07:12 +0200
Subject: Re: carrying ID on Shabbos

In mail-Jewish Vol. 36 #70 , Eric Stieglitz asked the following question:

> During my current research for a vacation that I may be taking this
> year, I've found that quite a few countries require all people to carry
> some form of identification at all times, and that no eruv exists.

> I'm curious what people in these communities do in these situations.  Do
> they not comply with the law in order to comply with halakha?  Might
> there be an exemption in halakha for situations like this?  Or might the
> local authorities "understand" the situation?

In France, by law, one is supposed to carry with him at all times some
form of ID papers (ID card, driver's license or passport).  However, I
know of no Orthodox Jew in France who actually carries an ID with him on

Basically, if you do not mess with the "public order" and the policeman
you're dealing with is a normal person, there is no reason to be asked
for your papers.

The bottom line is that if a cop stops a Jew on shabbat and asks for his
ID form, the Jew can always explain that it is shabbat and invite the
cop to follow him home so that he can show his ID form.

As far as halacha is concerned I know of a teshuva by R. Ernest
Gugenheim zt"l who was the head of the Rabbinical Seminary in Paris for
years (it is published in a book called "Les Portes de la loi. Etudes et
responsa").  If I remember right, in this teshuva he says that if one is
forced to carry and ID form on shabbat he can do so be-derekh shinuy,
e.g. by inserting the form in one's hat inside band.  I would have to
ask, but I imagine this teshuva corresponds to the period of the war or
is merely a "theoretical" teshuva, because again I know of no one who
carries an ID form with shinuy on shabbat just because one could be
asked to produce it by the police.

Emmanuel Ifrah (Paris, France)


From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 19:21 +0100 (BST)
Subject: DNA and Chazokoh

I've just been listening to a tape of a Shiur by Rav Frand about "Soklin
VeSorfin Al HaChazokoh" [Lashes or death penalty are given on the basis
of an assumption] - see, for example, Shulchan Aruch Even HoEzer Siman

To give an example of how this works, if a man and woman live together
and they tell everyone that they are brother and sister, then after a
period (usually 30 days) a halachic assumption arises that they are
indeed brother and sister. So if later on they say that they are not
really brother and sister and want to get married, we don't allow them
to do so.  Furthermore, if the woman gets pregnant by her "brother",
then they are liable for the death penalty for incest.

My question is, can DNA testing be used to put aside the Chazokoh
[assumption]? I see that in MJ Volume 35 Number 32 various authorities
were quoted as prohibiting DNA testing generally, but I wonder whether
it could be used in a case such as I have described.

Stephen Phillips.


From: <AUNTIEFIFI@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 21:01:35 EDT
Subject: Re: Fertility Drugs

WRT to mandatory use of fertility drugs: the writer questioning the
continued usage is assuming that the family is, indeed, continuing to
use them.  With the tremendous costs relating to fertility drugs and
testing (you must go through elaborate and expensive testing each time
you want to try to conceive), it is NOT safe to assume that they are
using drugs each time.  It has been noted that after the use of
fertility drugs, some patients respond naturally after usage and
therefore conceive without the stimulus of drugs.  If multiple births
have a genetic foundation in their families, they may continue to have
twins, triplets, etc. without any help.  One should NEVER assume
anything like this.  It is not only a very private situation for the
family, but talking about it can be very painful for them not to mention
loshen horah for the author !


From: <mmeisler@...> (Marc Meisler)
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 16:36:15 -0400
Subject: Frum Divorce rate

I was having a discussion with someone at work and the question came up
of why Orthodox Jews are not allowed to have physical contact
(specifically hugs) with members of the opposite sex.  I explained that
it was to prevent temptation of leading to anything more, but the person
did not find that sufficient.  They felt that if a person saw a friend
they haven't seen in a long time, there was nothing wrong with a quick
hug because it will for sure not lead to anything.  Does anybody have
any stronger reason I can give this person?  As part of our discussion,
I also explained that I thought that as a result of these laws that we
have, the frum divorce rate was lower than that of the population at
large.  I was not believed on this issue either.  Does anyone know of
any statistics on this issue?

Thanks much.

Marc Meisler


From: Jeffrey Saks <atid@...>
Subject: Jewish "Amish Country"

Anybody know of availability of kosher food (besides the obvious packaged
products available nation-wide in supermarkets), synagogues, or things of
Jewish interest in "Amish Country" (=Lancaster County, PA)?


From: Shlomo B Abeles <sba@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 16:11:43 +1000
Subject: Jewish cemetery in the city of Kerman, Iran - in danger of desecration

It has been brought to my attention that the historic Jewish cemetery in
the city of Kerman, Iran (about 500 kilometres south of Teheran, is in
danger of immediate destruction.

According to background information I have received, the city has a
functioning Jewish community with a Shul, Rav and Shochet.

Last week bulldozers broke through the walls of the Jewish cemetery with
the city officials informing community leaders that the cemetery must be
exhumed as they plan to create a park in its place.

If there are any listmembers who have contacts with Iranian officials
anywhere, or have any ideas on how to stop this desecration, please
contact me (ASAP) so I can pass on their ideas to Asra Kadisha and the
other organisations who are trying to halt this action.

Shlomo B Abeles


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 16:33:14 +0300
Subject: Re: Nusach of Siddur

Rav Yehonatan Chipman, of Jerusalem, made the following statement:

>Another example of merging or conflation of the two traditions: The
>last of the middle blessings of the weekday Amidah ends in Ashkenaz with
>the phrase "ki atah shome'a tefilat amkhha Yisrael berahamim."
>Classical Nusah Sefarard (i.e, that used by Jews from North Africa and
>Asia Minor) reads: "ki atah shome'a tefilat kol peh."  The "Hasdic Nusah
>Sefarad" combines the two: "ki atah shome'a tefilat kol peh amkha
>Yisrael berahamim."  A line by line comparison of Siddurim of these
>three types will yield many other examples.

This is actually an example of the blundering of siddur printers.  R'
Daniel Goldschmidt points out (in Siddur Tefilas Yisroel, among other
places) that the Nusah Ha'ari was not crystallized simultaneously in all
congregations.  The siddur printers did not understand the significance
of the parentheses that were initially used to indicate variant
readings, and they then left them out in later editions, causing the
creation of a new version that was mixture of two versions among Polish
Hasidim and had never existed in any congregation, such as the
ungrammatical "tefillas kol peh amekho Yisroel berahamim" and the even
stranger "bishlomekho b'rov `oz vesholom," particularly when it was
placed at the end of the Sholom Rov benediction.

Certainly an excellent example of kol hamosif gore`a (initially
referring, of course, to the `ayin at the beginning of `ashtei `esre).

The siddur to which I refer is one of the few examples of a hassidic
nusah siddur that sepaartes the variant raedings so that it is
virtuially impossible to combine them in the way that "standard"
siddurim have them.  For example, "b'rov `oz vesholom" comes before
"bishlomekho," and the directions are clear to recie one or the other
(but not both).

The Beis Yisroel of Gur, on the other hand, when asked by a young man
which of the nus'ha'ot is accurate, instructed the young man to pray
from whichever siddur he had and not to worry about the shibushim.



From: Steve Weisberg <nydecs@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 09:39:44 +0300
Subject: re: Shir Hashirim

Maybe I missed something, but I haven't seen anybody mention that the
Rambam's approach to Shir Hashirim is clearly based on a more literal
approach, including all the symbols. This is seen at the end of the Laws
of Tshuva where Rambam states that "all of Sh'sh' is an allegory to the
love of G-d" the highest level of relationship of man to G-d. So by
ignoring the profound expression of love expressed, ArtScroll misses
this approach completely, unless you read the footnotes where the
literal is explained, if I'm not mistaken.

As Rav Lichtenstein is fond of pointing out, either approach to Sh'Hsh'
does not imply this approach exclusively. If Spensor could write the
Fairy Queen with multiple *intended by the author* levels, then Shlomo
Hamelech could as well.

BTW, this Rambam is in my opinion consistent with other exegesis of his,
whereby he doesn't delve into the all the details, but takes the unit as
a whole. So, for example, the Rambam did not think much of darshening
why the Menorah had 7 lights nor why all the detail work.



From: Joshua Adam Meisner <jam390@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 22:47:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Shir shel Yom Revi'i

	A possible rationale for adding the three extra pesukim to the
shir shel yom of Yom Revi'i could be a desire not to end the shir shel
yom with a negative connotation - "And He turned against them their own
violence, and with their own evil He will cut them off; Hashem, our G-d,
will cut them off", similar to what is done for other public readings
(megillos/haftaros) involving inauspicious endings.  Hence, we add some
number of pesukim from the next kapitle, in order to finish on a more
positive note.
	Although the negativity in this case is against our enemies, the
same can be said for the last passuk of Yeshaya (read on Shabbos Rosh
Chodesh) which is not ended on.

- Josh


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 23:43:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: What is Peshat

>       The answer to this question is not as obvious or as straight
>       forward as it seems. Ignoring issues of translation, what is the
>       "simple, literal meaning of the text."

On many occasions Rashi says "peshuto k'mashmao=the peshat is identical
with the obvious meaning.

This implies that on other occasions peshat is not identical with the
dictionary meaning.

> If one has no notion of the intensity and variety of romantic love, then
> the Artscroll approach makes some sense. If one senses the joys and
> despair of human relations, and uses them as a metaphor for the exalted
> love of G-d, then the "literal" translation will be understood for what
> it is, a hint at a parallel experience on a higher plane. By ignoring
> the literal, by fearing it, we will lose a depth of spirituality.

When the ArtScroll first appeared, it seemed to me that if the Tanakh
itself could use the literal language of physical love, relying on oral
tradition to clarify proper interpretation . (This, despite the fact
that Targumim constantly remove the vehicles of metaphor throughout

Over the years, having seen how insidiously the rejection of Torah
she-b'al Peh has penetrated liberal circles, it seems right to me that
Torah she-b'al Peh be proclaimed as vigorously as possible, without
apology and without winking and nodding and otherwise distancing
ourselves from normative Orthodoxy.


End of Volume 36 Issue 75