Volume 37 Number 09
                 Produced: Mon Sep  9 23:33:49 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

7-day candles
additions to Oleinu
         [Alex Heppenheimer]
Bride and Groom kissing at a wedding
         [Zev Sero]
Candy Sales
Community Standards
         [Carl Singer]
Criticism of the siddurim "Beis Tefila" and "VaYe'etar Yitzchak"
         [Eitan Fiorino]
Pesach and Spring
         [David and Toby Curwin]
"Seating for men only" sign
Telling A Non-Jew on Shabbos
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Too Many Rabbis
         [Ira L. Jacobson]


From: chihal <chihal@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 10:57:53 -0500
Subject: 7-day candles

Shalom Alaychem:

        Regarding the issue of whether people in olden days davened in
the dark on Shabbat -- when my father and mother died, alav hashalem
(peace be upon them), I was given candles that burned for 7 consecutive
days. Ergo, shuls for thousands of years could have had low-tech night
lights without lighting a fire.

   Shana tova um'tuka,
Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi


From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 06:52:17 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: additions to Oleinu

In MJ 36:98, Seth Mandel <sm@...> wrote:

> The Ari said it [the verse "akh tzaddikim"], since he deviated little
> from nusakh S'farad of his day, and the Alter Rebbe when researching
> what could be called "nusakh haAri" picked it up thence.

Actually, the source given in the Lubavitch siddurim is the Maharshal
(R' Shlomo Luria, an older contemporary - and distant relative - of the
Ari). The commentary Shaar HaKollel, by R' Avraham D. Lavaut, gives the
exact citation - the Maharshal's responsa, no. 64 - and quotes him as
deriving this from the Gemara in Berakhot 32b (the same citation as is
found in the Machzor Vitry, which Shalom Ozarowski mentioned in the same
issue of MJ. I don't have the Maharshal's responsa available, so I don't
know whether he based his statement on the Machzor Vitry or whether he
hit on this idea independently.)

The Shaar HaKollel also adds that this verse is in fact _not_ found in
the AriZal's siddur, and that this is indeed why the Alter Rebbe had to
give a source for the idea that it should be recited.



From: Zev Sero <zev.sero@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 14:30:29 -0400 
Subject: Re: Bride and Groom kissing at a wedding

Daniel M Wells <wells@...> wrote:

> BTW were is the source for 'There is a well known principle that you do
> NOT protest violations of Rabbinic law at the time they are being done
> on the grounds that it is better that those who violate it sin in error
> rather than willfully.'?
> b) For all those who hold that negiah is ossur mideraita I do not think
> that your question is valid halachically.

The origin is in the laws of Yom Kippur, and Russell actually quoted it
slightly incorrectly.  It is a *Torah* law that one must add a few
minutes of Erev Yom Kippur to Yom Kippur.  The written Torah says that
one must fast on the 9th of Tishri, and the oral Torah says that this
means one must *start* fasting on the 9th.  But the gemara says that
since this is not written explicitly in the Torah, one should not rebuke
those who break this law out of ignorance, if it is likely that they
won't listen anyway.  This answers your second point as well - even if
such behaviour is a Torah prohibition, it isn't explicitly written, so
the principle applies.

In fact, I'm not sure that it applies at all to actual Rabbinic
prohibitions.  Rabbinic prohibitions exist to protect us from breaking
Torah prohibitions; if someone doesn't know that the fence exists,
aren't they even more likely to come eventually to break the Torah law
that the fence is there to protect?  And if they ignore the rebuke,
what's the worst that can happen?  That they'll be deliberately
disobeying the Rabbis?  True, the Torah does tell us to obey the
Sanhedrin, so in a sense this would make them deliberate violators of a
Torah law, but that's a second-order violation, and it may not justify
not telling them.  But I'd have to look it up to be sure.

Zev Sero


From: <rubin20@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 10:23:35 -0400
Subject: Re: Candy Sales

>Many organizations use candy sales as fund raisers - by either having
>members sell candy door to door, or having a display at work.  Is there
>a problem making a purchase if the organization raising funds is a

It should depend on what activity the church is involved in. If it is
strictly religious it should be forbidden, if they also have charitable
activity it should be permitted. See second Tosfhos Avodah Zorah 13A.


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2002 23:30:57 EDT
Subject: Re: Community Standards

      My question is this: What happens when you move to a new
      community--or even to a new shul in the same neighborhood? Do you
      now have to adopt the chumrot and the kulot of your new rav, or,
      as I believe is more often the actual case in practice, do you
      continue what you were taught previously and only ask about new

Let me ask a related, but more general question:  What issues (halachas?)
fall under the domain of community standards, which are considered
individual.  This may cause for a refinement of CYLOR  (consult your
local orthodox Rabbi.)

Carl Singer


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2002 23:45:26 EDT
Subject: Criticism of the siddurim "Beis Tefila" and "VaYe'etar Yitzchak"

<<From: David and Toby Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Are there any (widely) available articles or books discussing this
controversy? Cohen brings many prominent rabbis in his criticisms
including R' Yaakov Emden and the Noda B'Yehuda. Were there other major
rabbis who defended these siddurim?>>

Please allow me to make some important points, as follows....

1) Rav Cohen shlit"a (who did an excellent job with 'Eizor Eliyohu')
wasn't breaking new ground with his remarks. I think Rav Yaakov Emden,
for one, spoke even more strongly on the topic, over two hundred and
fifty years ago.

2) I don't know how correct it is to say that "some of our most familiar
parts of the liturgy" were "instituted by figures who received such
criticism.", when, IIRC, most (if not all) of what they did was in the
category of 'grammatical emendations', rather than introduction /
institution of totally new pieces.

3) Not long after the second edition of the siddur 'Eizor Eliyohu' was
published, an excellent work appeared, which, I suspect, may be the most
extensive published in this area. I refer to the beautiful, widely
circulated, new edition of the sefer 'Luach Eresh' of Rav Yaakov Emden
(Otzreinu 5761), which is accompanied by a comprehensive introduction
and related works, in a volume of over 600 pages. It is a lengthy
treatise by Rav Emden dedicated to discussing and clarifying the proper
text of the siddur.  It is most comprehensive in discussing the
different sides and angles involved. It is the place to go to learn

4) If you look carefully, I believe you will find other examples of
changes instituted by individuals without universal agreement that later
became widespread, thanks to the help of the printing press - so much
so, that old ways of doing things became almost totally forgotten. We
discussed some such cases recently in Mail-Jewish with regard to
additions to shir shel yom revi'i, shir hama'alos after eating and
Oleinu. The power of the (printing) press should not be overlooked, nor
underestimated. Although one perhaps more often hears about that with
regard to the news industry (e.g. re the situation with Israel, etc.)
(the expression 'the third [?] estate' is used, IIRC), the same goes for
the power of the press in other non-news areas / applications, such as
in religion and prayer.



From: Eitan Fiorino <tony.fiorino@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 13:25:14 -0400 
Subject: Mendelssohn

> With no meaning of disrespect to the poster, I feel 
> Mendelsohn should not be quoted in a forum which 
> accepts the validity of hallacha. Mendelssohn, at
> least in part, started the erosion of hallachic observance 
> among Klall Yisroel.

I don't know the original context in which Mendelssohn was quoted.  But
I do know this comment is a-historical.  Mendelssohn may have advocated
for the full participation of Jews in secular society, but to blame the
haskala on him (even in part) is absurd (let's not even get into the
question of the uniformity and level of halachic observance prior to the
haskala).  Moreover, Eastern European Orthodoxy, which viewed the German
model of Orthodoxy with suspicion (and thus was probably not influenced
even slightly by Mendelssohn) had to fight its own battle against the
haskala (not to mention against secular Zionism and socialism). Whether
either approach (German vs. Eastern European) was successful probably
depends a lot on how you define success . . .

-Eitan Fiorino

Equity Research Analyst - Biotechnology
Citigroup Asset Management, 100 First Stamford Place, Stamford, CT 06902
Phone: (203) 961-6238, Fax: (203) 602-6045


From: David and Toby Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2002 00:06:22 +0300
Subject: Pesach and Spring

(This was sent to the list in January, but never made it through. I know
the discussion isn't active any more, but I think some of the points are
still important.)

Answers to many of the questions brought up on the list about Pesach
falling in the spring, the connection to Easter, and the historical
development of the both the Jewish and non-Jewish calendars can be found
in an excellent entry in the Encyclopedia Ivrit. Avraham Frankel wrote
the entry "Luach" and it discusses all these issues.

I don't have such a mathematical mind, but I'm sure that those MJ
readers who do will gain a lot from this article. In the end, he says
that the issue for concern is related to the fact that the average
length of a year in the 19 year cycle is 6 minutes longer than the
actual solar year. (For comparison, the Julian calendar which preceded
the Gregorian one, was off by 11 minutes a year). Because of this we now
have 3 years in the 19 year cycle where the full moon of Pesach is not
the first one after the equinox. In the centuries to come this will
happen four years out of the cycle, and later five. He rejects the calls
to reform the calendar so Pesach falls in "Chodesh HaAviv" (the month of
spring). His rejection is based on the idea that the term "Chodesh
HaAviv" is based on agricultural considerations, not astronomical
ones. He claims any changes in the calendar won't be needed for at least
1000 years.

While his comments are enlightening, I don't know how much halachic
weight they have, or if that was his major concern. It could be that
there are halachic authorities who were or are concerned about "Chodesh
HaAviv" and it may still be an issue that needs to be dealt with sooner
than Frankel recommends.

-David Curwin
Efrat, Israel


From: <chaim-m@...> (Chaim)
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 18:06:28 +0300
Subject: Re: "Seating for men only" sign

It occured to me, as a limud zchus in chodesh Elul, that perhaps the
intent was to minimize, as much as possible, women congregating at the
tables they would be seated at, in view and ear-shot of men customers.
IOW, if the women aren't permitted to sit in the Pizza shop, then they
would presumably buy the food and leave, without creating the social
event (talking, laughing, etc) that usually occurs at a meal.

Ksiva veChasima Tova,


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Sep 2002 15:29:13 +0300
Subject: Re: Telling A Non-Jew on Shabbos

Bill Bernstein made the following statement:

>So I am trying to imagine the scenario where it is, say, 6:30 in
>December and dark (at least in my part of the country).  The power goes
>out and in whatever way it happens a non-Jew happens by and relights it
>in the Jewish home.  All the lights in the dining room, living room etc
>are now on.  Now what?  Move into the basement? Does everyone put on
>blindfolds until morning?  Close your eyes (no peeking)?
>The whole thing sounds absurd.  It seems more reasonable that you are
>not accountable for the non-Jew's actions where you had no effect on
>them.  Further, the non-Jew must be getting some additional light,
>however brief, and thus some benefit.

Not only does it sound absurd, but that is not what the halakha

To avoid misunderstanding, I wish to qualify what I had stated earlier.

A Jew is not required to leave his own house just to avoid deriving
benefit from the non-Jew's melakha, as we learn from the Rema in Orah
Hayyim 276:1.

And furthermore, the Mishna Berura 276:13 qualifies this by pasqening
that a Jew may indeed derive benefit from the light as long as his
activity would have been possible without the added light, albeit more

Therefore, if it is *possible* to read in the house with the light
coming in from outside, *even with difficulty*, then the Jew may read
with the light that has just been turned on by the non-Jew.



From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Sep 2002 15:23:03 +0300
Subject: Re: Too Many Rabbis

David Olivestone asked:

>What happens when you move to a new community--or
>even to a new shul in the same neighborhood? Do you now have to adopt
>the chumrot and the kulot of your new rav, or, as I believe is more
>often the actual case in practice, do you continue what you were taught
>previously and only ask about new situations?

If I may, permit to make the question a bit broader.

In Europe, Jews lived in homogeneous communities with uniform minhagim
When they immigrated to America and to Israel, this was ordinarily not
the case (although obviously in some communities it was, such as
Wiiliamsburg or Washington Heights).

The question as I see it is whether one's understanding of halakha and
minhagim should continue to be based on what he received from his father
and grandfather, or does one draw a line on the past and begin basing
his observances on the particular synagogue he happens to be attending
at any particular time, and the spiritual leader there.  And thus face
the prospect of varying his observances rather frequently by moving, or
on the basis of the whims of synagogue boards of directors who hire and
fire rabbis as they see fit.

And a broader question in the same area is whether one can say yet that 
there is such a thing as "Minhag America"?



End of Volume 37 Issue 9