Volume 37 Number 28
                 Produced: Sun Oct  6 20:03:39 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Artscroll vs. Birnbaum
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
Genderized Eiruv
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
The proper place of mxica in Jewish theology (2)
         [Ben Katz, Yehonatan and Randy Chipman]
question about the end of Yom Kippur
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Talis in Bathroom
         [Nahum Klafter]
Travel on (or close to) Shabbat & Yom Tov
         [Carl Singer]


From: Joshua Hosseinof <jh@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Oct 2002 09:53:29 -0400
Subject: Re: Artscroll vs. Birnbaum

I was recently surprised to learn something at the other extreme of this
topic.  In most Sephardic Machzorim today we add in on Shabbat that
falls on Yom Tov "Elokenu Velokei Avoteinu R'tzeh Na Bimnuchatenu".  I
read in the out of print Sefer Netivei Am (a compilation of Minhagei
Yerushalayim and Beit El according to the Sephardim by Rav Amram
Aburbia), where he complains about the fact that in all the sephardic
machzorim today they are adding "elokenu ...  bimnuchatenu" for Shabbat
that falls on Yom Tov.  Whereas the original Minhag Yerushalayim Nusach
is not to add that line on Shabbat that falls on Yom Tov.  He blames
this occurence on the fact that the most common Sephardic Machzor in
Israel (ca. 1960s) at the time was Tefillat Yesharim which is according
to Minhag Baghdad and that the Chazanim in Yerushalayim don't know any
better.  Today all the common Sephardic Machzorim that I have looked at
have also followed this practice, even the ones that like to closely
follow Minhag Yerushalayim, although the Or Vaderech Machzor does
distinguish between Yom Kippur and the Yamim Tovim by writing for Yom
Kippur that the addition is a "Yesh Nohagim" (some have the custom).

There is a teshuva of Rav Ovadia Yosef in Yabia Omer vol 1 Siman 38 that
discusses this topic at length and it should have some relevance for
those interested in the Artscroll/Birnbaum discrepancies.


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Oct 2002 08:44:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Genderized Eiruv

> From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
> <chaim-m@...> (Chaim) wrote:
>       Yes, Hilchoss Eiruvin apply to women just like they do to men.
>       However, there are families (that I know personally) wherein the
>       Eiruv is Hallachically OK, but the men of the family are machmir
>       on themselves and don't use it.
> While Chaim is undoubtedly correct in that there are families like that,
> I think that what he meant to say, in describing that reality, and this
> should not be construed as applicable to Chaim himself, was that there
> are certain men who will not deign themselves to do certain physical
> labors like pushing baby carriages or carrying pots of hot food from one
> apartment to another and so on that are better left to women to do.  Or
> am I being too machmir?

No, I think that he meant it exactly as he said it.  Normally, the women
will push the carriage because they bring the children to shul later
(say for the end of davening or kiddush) while the men will wear the
tallis when going to shul.  It is not a matter of "deigning" to do
certain acts.  Similarly, in the afternoon when the husband has gone to
mincha the women will often go out visiting taking the children.

I have seen men wearing the talis while pushing the baby carriage.  It
is a matter of considering what is "really necessary" as opposed to a
minor convenience.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz
<sabbahem@...>, Sabba.Hillel@verizon.net


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Oct 2002 07:56:24 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: The proper place of mxica in Jewish theology

>No one on this mailing list will deny that the Prozbol is anything other
>than a legal fiction, and no will deny, moreover, that the Prozbol goes
>completely against the spirit of micva "A".  We freely admit this.  We
>admit that the Torah prescribes a society in which no Prozbol is ever
>made; but we say that our ancestors were violating the Torah (i.e.,
>micva "B"), that this violation was harming our society, and that Hillel
>therefore invented this legal fiction to repair the harm we had brought
>on ourselves by violating the perfect law of God.  If we had not sinned,
>the Prozbol would not have been necessary; but we did sin, and the
>Prozbol was a corrective measure taken in recognition of our sinful

I would go even a step further.  The Torah anticipated the fact that
people wouldn't lend money in the 6th year and exhorted against that
base position.  Nevertheless, people didn't do it, so Hillel had to
"improve" upon the Torah legislation.  (There is no analogy in the yefat
toar case; there the Torah never says it is wrong to take the woman in
the first place, it is just implied.)

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@...>

From: Yehonatan and Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Oct 2002 17:36:16 +0200
Subject: Re:  The proper place of mxica in Jewish theology

In MJ v37n22, Jay F Shachter <jay@...> submitted a rather wordy
essay on the issue of mehitzah.  The salient points of his argument may
be summarized, in his own words, as follows:

<<Rabbinic measures taken in recognition of our sinful practices must
not be confused with certain commandments in the Torah itself which are
believed to be "concessions to human nature"...  What we fail to admit,
what we fail in many cases even to realize, is that our holy Torah does
not separate the sexes, not even in the Beyt HaMiqdash.  The separation
of the sexes is a Rabbinic measure much like the Prozbol, necessitated
not by human nature, but by a decline in public morality which might
very well be reversed in some future generation....  We know that for
hundreds of years, men and women were not separated in the Beyt
HaMiqdash; we know that the Sanhedrin instituted separate men's and
women's sections only when the Sanhedrin began to see a decline in
public morality and an increase in frivolity unsuitable to the Beyt
HaMiqdash, and which had not existed in generations past.  Far from
looking at the mxica as a symbol of the Jewish nation's heightened
spirituality, we should look at it as a shameful reminder of our failure
to reach the level of spirituality that is expected of us by the Torah
and which our grandfathers and grandmothers regularly achieved; and we
should look forward to the day when a reconstituted Sanhedrin will
abolish it together with the Prozbol.>>

In brief:    mehitzah is a rabbinc ordianance, and hence not a sign of
striving for superior sexual morality, but a sign of its decline.

      Unfortunately, he fails to quote a single Rabbinic source to prove
his claim. Rav Moshe Feinstein's famous teshuvah, found in Iggerot
Moshe, Orah Hayyim, Vol. 1, sect. 39, and reprinted in the book on
mehitzah, "The Sanctity of the Synagogue," is based on the premise that
mehizah -- i.e, the principle of separation of the sexes in holy
convocations -- is in fact de-oraita.  He infers this in a round-about
way: namely, that during Sukkot, for the occasion of Simhat Beit
ha-Sho'eva, they used to make a "tikkun gadol," a great change in the
setup of the Temple -- namely, the erecting of wooden galleries for the
women in the Temple Courtyard used for the simhah, so that the sexes
would not mingle. Since the plan for the Temple is specified in the
Torah, and in Nevi'im, they would not have been entitled to make such a
change if it were not itself justified by a Torah principle.  (I think
the sugya in Sukkah which tells of this change also quotes a Torah verse
in support of this same idea).

    (An aside: it is very important to understand that there are many,
many laws that are defined by Hazal as being of Torahitic status which
are not explicitly written in the Torah; see Rambam, Talmud Torah 1.12
for the definition of mikra; and I cannot elaborate here)

    If you don't like this argument, you'll have to take on, not myself,
but Rav Moshe.

    Yehonatan Chipman, Yerushalayim


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 08:52:22 -0400 
Subject: RE: question about the end of Yom Kippur

Neil Normand asks why we say "slach lanu" in the maariv immediately
following yom kippur.

I once heard an answer to this in the name of Rabbi Vavad ZT"L of

We are only responsible for aveiros (transgressions) that are in our
control.  Thus, if a person forcibly takes my hand and uses it to turn
on a light on Shabbos, I am not liable.  (This would be called a case of

We have free will.  But -- our range of free will may not truly be as
great as we think.  We are influenced by habit, and other psychological
factors.  Thus, a given person may truly have the free will whether or
not to put a coin in a charity box, but this particular person may be on
a psychological level in which it is not really within his range of free
will to donate $1,000 to this charity.  The goals of tshuvah (return)
are two fold.  Firstly, to correct our actions; we are all familiar with
this.  But there is a second goal -- to raise our spiritual and
psychological level so that more challenging matters become within our
range of free will.

On Yom Kippur, we do tshuvah for all aveiros for which we are
responsible -- those within our range of free will.  (Which might not be
known accurately to us).  At the end of Yom Kippur, we are on a higher
level.  We now become responsible for avieros that previously were above
our free will range.  We begin the new year with a tshuvah process for
these new aveiros.

(The above is my recollection of Rabbi Vavad's position.  It may not be
accurate or well stated, since I heard this 35 years ago.  Any errors
are mine, not Rabbi Vavad's).

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: Nahum Klafter <KLAFTEAB@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 09:52:49 -0400 
Subject: RE: Talis in Bathroom

>From: David Glasner <DGLASNER@...>
>My understanding of this question goes back to what I believe I heard
>from R. Simcha Wasserman on the subject about 40 years ago when I was a
>bahur in his yeshiva.  Even though, it is appropriate to take off the
>talit before going into the bathroom, the question arises do you make a
>brakhah on the talit when you put it back on.  The answer, as I recall,
>is no, because you would only make a brakhah if you were not allowed
>halakhically to wear the talit in the bathroom.  Since you are allowed
>to do so, you may not make a new brakhah.  If you had not been allowed
>to wear the talit in the bathroom, you would have been required to make
>a second brakhah even though it was your intention to put it back on
>after coming out of the bathroom.  It would seem, at least
>superficially, that if your talit has the brakhah written on it, that
>you would indeed have to make another brakhah after coming out of the

See Aruch HaShulchan 8:20, where this question is discussed.  Rabbi
Wasserman's logic is the reverse of the Aruch HaShulchan, who argues
that to take off the tallit when NOT required to do so should REQUIRE a
new bracha, kal vachomer.  He compares this to the case of tefillin,
where one is obligated to remove them before entering the bathroom, and
is reasoning is that an optional removal is a greater hefsek

(Incidently, the Aruch HaShulchan is somewhat ambiguous in this sa'if
about whether the tallit is allowed to be worn in the bathroom, but in a
later siman (21:6) he explicitly says it must be removed before entering
the bathroom because it is a garment dedicated solely for prayer.  This
was pointed out to me by Rabbi Elazar Teitz.)

nachum klafter


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Tue, 1 Oct 2002 16:16:07 EDT
Subject: Re: Travel on (or close to) Shabbat & Yom Tov

      So as long as the ticket is pre-paid (so business transactions
      won't be performed) and you're seated (so you don't cause the
      train to be delayed) and the conductor has already punched your
      ticket (so you don't cause him to do work on shabbat), then I
      don't see how simply sitting on the train will cause any melacha
      to be performed.  The arguments against using vehicles like
      bicycles and cars don't apply because you're not in any way in
      control of the train's operation and you would not in any way be
      involved with the repairs if it should break down.

And getting off the train and then home -- is there an eruv, carrying,
etc.?  (I presume this is what is alluded to in other email re: wallets
& briefcases.

I wouldn't dare pasken nor suggest that someone spend Yom Tov in Penn
Station -- but I again recall a lesson learned from Rabbi Shmuel
Kaminestky - he was telling of visiting an old Jew in NYC on a Friday
morning, and this Jew chided him that he shouldn't travel on Fridays --
Clearly commuting to / from work has become a necessity of life -- but
then what's a reasonable time both practically and halachikly to avoid
most problems.

Let's say my normal commute home is 1 hour during rush hour.  Does this
mean that it's OK for me to leave work exactly 61 minutes before Shabbos
(let's take into account the 18 minutes, etc.)  Let's say we've done
some statistical analysis and we can say that 99% of the time the train
arrives with 70 minutes (variance of 10 minutes) then should we leave 71
minutes before.

I recall colleagues who've run late and parked their cars, locked
wallets in trunk and walked the remaining distance -- I bet they wish
they had left 5 minutes earlier.

Beyond "engineering solutions" (and one can't be too smart, with
accidents, bad weather, etc.) -- I don't like rushing into Shabbos and
try to allow 2X time if forced to meet or be away from my (home) office
on Friday.



End of Volume 37 Issue 28