Volume 36 Number 90
                 Produced: Thu Aug  8  2:46:44 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Baruch Dayan Emes - Petira of Rabbi Dr. Meyer Simcha Feldblum
         [Avi Feldblum]
Birnbaum Siddur
         [Jonathan & Randy Chipman]
Eichah in the AM
         [Elazar M. Teitz]
Eichah Tisha B'av day
         [Beth and David Cohen]
Laundry at the close of Tisha B'Av on a Thursday
         [Steve Katz]
Mei Raglayim
         [Joshua Adam Meisner]
Schar Beteila (4)
         [Andrew Klafter, Shmuel Ross, Yaakov Fogelman, Ben Katz]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 02:16:59 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Baruch Dayan Emes - Petira of Rabbi Dr. Meyer Simcha Feldblum

Baruch Dayan Emes

With great sadness, I report the petira [passing] of my father, Rabbi
Dr. Meyer Simcha Feldblum this morning (Israel time). There will be a
service (although no hespedim, as it is Rosh Chodesh Ellul) at Bar Ilan
University at 2:00 pm Israeli time today, and the burial will be at the
(RCA/YU) Beit Shemesh cemetary at 3:30 pm today. My stepmother,
Dr. Ayala Levy Feldblum, along with my two sisters will be sitting shiva
at my parents home in Petach Tikveh, Israel. I will be sitting shiva in
Allentown, PA [although partially complicated by the simcha of the
wedding of my oldest son, Eli, later this evening (US time)]. I have not
yet spoken with my brother, but I think he wil be sitting shiva in
Sharon, MA.

If anyone desires additional information, we can be reached at
610-435-5650 or 610-216-1257.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Jonathan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2002 09:31:08 +0300
Subject: Re: Birnbaum Siddur

     Various readers have discussed the emendations and corrections
appearing in the Birnbaum siddur.

    I wish to ask a fundamental question: even assuming that Birnbaum
made at least some of his corrections on the basis of logic and careful
analysis of the Hebrew, and not on the basis of old manuscripts or other
precedent, is this necessarily wrong?  It doesn't mean that he
"invented" these changes, but that by means of his own understanding he
reconstructed what he was convinced must have been the original reading,
and that the accepted version could not but have been "minhag ta'ut," a
mistaken or erroneous custom.  There are examples in the halakha of
poskim correcting minhagei taut on the basis of their own understanding,
and not necessarily through sources that their tradition is more
authentic and older?  Like the raeding "ve-kol notzar" rather than
"lekhol notzar" in Yigdal, which dosn't make sense in the context of a
poetic rendition of Rambam's Ikkarim.

     Incidentally, to the best of my knowledge Rav Soloveitchik made at
least one correction to the text of tefillah on the basis of his own
sevara: namely, to add the word "Yom" to "Shabbat" at the end of the
middle brakha of Shaharit for Shabbat, so that the word "bo" would agree
with a masculine noun ("vehanheleinu HaShemelokeinu et yom shabbat
kodshekha, vayanuhu vo Yisrael...").

     My favorite correction of Birnbaum's is in the third blessing of
Birkat Hamazon, where in a footnote (not in the text) he changes
"kedoshenu" to "gedoshenu" (as in the adjective "gadush," meaning full,
overflowing), making the phrase into a series of synonyms ("yadkha
he-mele'ah hepetuha hagedosha vehar'hava...").  Gd's Holiness is
irrelevant in this particular context.

[Note: the text of (at least some of) Eidut Hamizrach has "he-ashira" -
which does follow the context, instead of "ha-kedosha" - which clearly
does not fit into the context.  Mod.]

     But has anyone tried to read the introduction to his Siddur? I
don't have my copy handy, but I recall taht he decribes his methodology
somewhere.  Or, if someone really wants to research, he no doubt behind
some of hs working notes (assuming he's dead, which I'm not sure we know
for a fact either), or perhaps his children could shed some light on the
subject.  (Does anyone know anything about him, when and where he lived
or lives, what he did besides editing the Siddur, etc.?)

     On the other hand, about the specific issue of "elokeinu velokei
avoteinu" on yomtov: I can see good reason for its omission.  Very
simply, unlike Shabbat, the final paragraph of this brakha begins with
"vehase'inu," which contains what Rav Soloveitchik's once called "birkat
hahag" (see his "Yemei Zikaron)-- that is, a prayer invoking the special
spiritual blessings we receive on each hag, and which is an essential
part of the middle brakha for shabbat and yomtov.  Thus, the invocation,
"elokeinu..." becomes superfluous, as the phrase of address, "Hashem
elokeinu" appears one sentence earlier.  So that leaves the point still
very much up in the air.

Rav Yehonatan Chipman


From: <remt@...> (Elazar M. Teitz)
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 09:50:52 GMT
Subject: Re: Eichah in the AM

It is the minhag, at least among the Prushim in Eretz Yisrael, to read
Eichah in the morning, after Kinos.  It is read from a megillah, but
unlike the evening, when the b'rachah of "al mikra m'gillah" is said,
the AM reading is without a b'rachah.  I never saw it done outside of
Israel, but my father z"l would always read it to himself, not in
public, and taught me to do the same. 

Elazar M. teitz


From: Beth and David Cohen <bdcohen@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 09:02:32 -0400
Subject: Re: Eichah Tisha B'av day

From: "Herbert pick" <hspick@...>

> when i was a teenager in hartford, the minyan that i davened at in the
> young israel of blue hills ave., which was made up for the most part
> of yeshiva student, recited eichah after all the kinot, ashrei, ve-ata
> kadosh and aleinu.
> the standard custom of the perushim in eretz yisrael, i.e. nusach
> ashkenaz according to the gra, is to read eicha at nite from the klaf
> with one bracha (obviously no shehechaynu) and then again in the
> morning as above without a bracha.
> shabbat shalom
> shlomo herbie pick

B'maarava (West Hartford, not Bavel) at Beth David where I grew up, they
did not read Eichah from a klaff, nor repeat it in the morning after

David I. Cohen


From: Steve Katz <katzco@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 12:18:42 -0500
Subject: Laundry at the close of Tisha B'Av on a Thursday

>However, I don't know (but perhaps others do) of a comparable leniency
>to allow laundering clothes, on erev Shabbat, for the Shabbat _prior_ 
>toTish'a B'Av, even though one is allowed to wear fresh clothes on 
>Shabbat during the Nine Days.
>Why would this be?  Is it because for Shabbat Nachamu, Shabbat itself 
>is after the Nine Days, so wearing of clean clothes is more important 
>than for Shabbat Chazon? 

When would one ever not wear clean garments on any Shabbos? 


From: Joshua Adam Meisner <jam390@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 16:59:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Mei Raglayim

> An old yerushalmi once pointed out to me that a well immeadiately
> outside the old city has the name "regel" (or something similar, this is
> a twenty year old memory) and hence mei raglayim would refer to water
> from that well.  As a result, Saul's suggested interpretation would be
> correct.

The source of water being referred to might be Ein Rogel, mentioned in
Melachim Aleph 1:9 as being in the proximity of the place where
Adoniyahu son of David attempted to coronate himself as king in place of
his brother, Shlomo.  R' I. Slotki, in the Soncino Melachim, places it
to the southeast of Yerushalayim, near Siloam.  In the Soncino Yehoshua
(15:7), R' A. Cohen says that it is now called the "spring of Job".

- Josh


From: Andrew Klafter <KLAFTEAB@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 16:04:35 -0400
Subject: Schar Beteila

>From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>

>There is a prohibition on taking money in exchange for Torah, e.g.
>learning Torah or even teaching Torah.  How, then, is it permissible
>for us to pay teachers or kollel students?  In a recent shiur (class)
>the Rabbi spoke of the concept of schar bitul (hard to translate,
>something like "compensation for idle time.")....

>Some lawyers can be payed $500 per hour, or even more.  On the other
>hand, other people do not have marketable skills, and therefore can
>earn little more than minumum wage.  If we are paying the teacher for
>lost potential wages, shouldn't we pay no more that what he could earn
>in the marketplace of jobs?  For some people this would be less than
>what they are payed for teaching or (especially) tutoring?

Your definition of s'char bitul (usually phrased as "s'char beteila") is
correct.  The Talmud set a sort of minimum wage which was to be used for
s'char betaila, and the standard selected (if my memory is correct) is
based on the price people are paid to guard crops which grow produce.
That must haven considered a minimum wage job in the times of the

Interestingly, according to the halacha at the time of the Talmud,
doctors may only receive s'char beteila.  So, why is it permissable for
doctors, including Orthodox Jewish ones, to accept so much more than
s'char beteila nowadays?  Rabbi Moshe Feinstein writes that in our
society it is so difficult and competitive to become a physician that
the entire society, defacto, has forfeited its right to freeze physician
fees at s'char beteila and has given physicians license to be very well

As far as Torah study, there is a prohibition in receiving money for
TEACHING Torah, but not for learning Torah.  There are many precedents
in Jewish history for supporting Torah scholars--the tribes of Issachar
and Zevulun, Maimonidies was supported by his brother, etc.  There have
been others who have felt that it is more appropriate for a Talmid
Chacham to support himself, but this does not relate to the question of
maximum wages.

Nowadays, it is impossible to determine s'char beteila.  The minimum
wage set by the government would make it impossible for a Jewish family
to survive.  A Jewish family where one wage earner receives minimum wage
would certainly be below the poverty line, and would also qualify for
medical assistance, and Welfare income supplements.  Furthermore, when
Kollels are started in various cities, the teachers of the Kollel are
offered money to entice them to move there and take the risk of starting
an institution.  There jobs involve MUCH more than simply teaching
Torah.  The same can also be said for Yeshiva educators, who have
administrative duties, counseling duties, fundraising duties, etc.  I am
not a halakhic authority, but I can't imagine why there would be any
limits on what Roshei Kollel can be offered by a community to come
there.  Perhaps Bar Mitzvah tutoring would be an example of a situation
where s'char beteila would apply, but there is no uniform standard for
the wage now, (and I've never heard of anyone receiving an obnoxious
amount of money for Bar Mitzvah lessons.)

From: Shmuel Ross <shmuel@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 03:18:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Schar Beteila

   Ah, but how would we know what the teacher might be able to earn if
he weren't teaching in the first place?  By focusing on the small
picture -- this person currently has no marketable skills, and therefore
his time isn't worth more than minimum wage -- you miss the larger
point, which is that he might have *developed* marketable skills if he
hadn't been busy teaching.  If somebody had the potential to become a
high-salary lawyer, but instead opted to teach, wouldn't it seem
reasonable for him to be compensated for the salary he might have
gotten, even though, in fact, he never did develop those skills, being
too busy studying and teaching Torah?


From: Yaakov Fogelman <top@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 15:45:21 +0200
Subject: Schar Beteila

I heard Rav J. Soloveichik ridicule applications of schar batala to
concepts of what the Torah teacher might earn IF he had an occupation; it
applies only to actually taking one away from his work to teach or judge
you. Otherwise, the whole prohibition of teaching or learning for money
disappears, for everyone could be doing something else! Besides recording
such legal prohibitions, Rambam delivers a passionate discourse against the
practice, calling it destructive chillul hasem, in his commentary on Avot,
not to make the Torah a spade to dig with. Tho, at the end of shmita
v'yoval, he exempts a scholar who is really on fire from pursuing a living,
it is clear that he does not allow him to take money for his Torah (see
commentary in Mosad HaRav Kook edition)

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 09:51:39 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Schar Beteila

>From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
>There is a prohibition on taking money in exchange for Torah, e.g.
>learning Torah or even teaching Torah.  How, then, is it permissible for
>us to pay teachers or kollel students?  

        According to the Rambam it is not.  That is why he never took
money for any of his communal Jewish activities and that is why he was a
doctor, becasue one needs a trade to earn a living.  This notion of
supporting kollel students is a recent phenomenon.  All of the great
sages of the Talmud were simple laborers, except for a few who were
independently wealthy and didn't have to work.

        Teachers are different, because they are doing a job.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph. 773-880-4187, Fax 773-880-8226, Voicemail and Pager: 3034
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


End of Volume 36 Issue 90