Volume 37 Number 29
                 Produced: Mon Oct  7  5:00:31 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

19th century political ideas reflected in Torah commentaries
         [Samuel Groner]
Another question on Ne'ilah
         [Paul Jayson]
Bat Kohen
         [Eric W Mack]
Beyond Melitz Yosher (3)
         [Chanie, David I. Cohen, Bernard Raab]
Canvas Sukkahs
Cholent Stain
         [Mark Symons]
Lashon Hara question
         [Paul Ginsburg]
Question About the End of Yom Kippur
         [Michael Mirsky]
S'lach Lanu after Ne'ilah
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Slach Lanu after Yom Kippur
         [Dov Teichman]
Slakh lanu following Ni'ela
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Talis in Bathroom
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
UK's Chief Rabbi's weekly dvar torah
         [David Herskovic]
Yamim Noraim Questions
         [Frederic H Rosenblatt]


From: Samuel Groner <spg20@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Oct 2002 23:36:08 -0400
Subject: 19th century political ideas reflected in Torah commentaries

I am writing my senior undergraduate thesis on how 18th-19th century
political ideas were reflected in torah commentaries.  I am focusing
upon the commentaries of the Netziv and the Malbim (and I may look into
Rav Hirsch as well).  Since there is, to my knowledge, almost no
secondary literature on this topic (if anyone knows of anyone who has
written about it, please, please share that information with me), I am
slowly going through the various commentaries and looking for these kind
of references.  The most known example is the Netziv's comments on
democracy on Devarim 17:14, which was what got me thinking in this
direction.  But if people know of other such examples, I'd be really
appreciative.  I'm just now getting started with the project.

Thank you.

Sammy Groner.
Silver Spring, Maryland.


From: Paul Jayson <P.Jayson@...>
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2002 09:47:12 +0100 
Subject: Another question on Ne'ilah

Bearing in mind the well known takana not to blow shofar on Shabbes, and
that it is therefore muktzeh, what is the halachic basis or
understanding behind the blowing of the shofar on Yom Kippur before
Maariv ?

Paul Jayson


From: Eric W Mack <ewm44118@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 22:17:47 -0400
Subject: Bat Kohen

Are there any restrictions on a bat kohen entering a Jewish cemetery?

Eric Mack
Cleveland Heights, Ohio


From: <crew-esq@...> (Chanie)
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 10:52:52 -0400
Subject: Beyond Melitz Yosher

While it's certainly true that humans are responsible for the sad state
of our environment, health care system and other things, taking Ms.
Friedman's argument to the extreme would blame humans for all deaths, or
in other words, mean that there would be no death if only humans would
stop doing stupid things.

The original issue was who is at "fault" for a child's death. IMHO, the
only answer is G-d knows. Maybe this particular baby died in this
particular way because the bear was displaced due to overbuilding and
pollution-altered weather patterns, but (a) that doesn't address the
issue of why this baby died and (b) it isn't clear that those reasons
are valid. The baby died because for whatever reason, G-d decided that
her time was up, and for whatever reason, her parents and the community
had to experience such a tragedy. Maybe as punishment, maybe as a
nisayon (test), who knows? Each person can make their own cheshbon
hanefesh (soul searching) but presuming to know why someone else suffers
is incredibly arrogant.  As to blaming humans for the conditions that
led the bear to wander into the bungalow colony, keep in mind that
animal attacks have occurred throughout history, even without the recent
building boom in the Northeast and before cars and factories spewed
their pollution.


From: David I. Cohen <bdcohen@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 12:38:45 -0400
Subject: Beyond Melitz Yosher

Jeanette Freidman wrote:

<<I have a completely different take, which is that children who die do
so because the circumstances around them have not been properly
handled. If a child dies of cancer, I blame society for putting more
money into weapons than they do into researching cures for cancer and
other diseases, and also for pollution that causes genes to break.>>

She then goes on to give more examples.

One could just as easily argue that if money had not been spent on
weapons, then we would have all been exterminated in World War II or the
Arabs would have destroyed Israel in 1948, 1967 or 1973, so we would not
have survived long enough to enjoy the benefits of your theoretical
cancer cure. I'm sorry, but arguments like this are overly simplistic,
and, frankily, I think they are more political than is warranted on a
list of this nature.

She also wrote:
<<It is my belief that when Hillel said Now Go And Study to the Gentile,
he did not mean him to study Talmud alone at the expense of all else. He
meant study the world and make it a better place. That meant we were
supposed to invest more money in health care than we do in weapons, it
meant we should stop pollution and clean up our air water and food so we
don't give our children cancer, etc. etc. etc. >>

Do you have any source or basis for your "belief" other than a political
predeliction? In halachic Judaism, I always thougt that we base our
intepretations on our mesora and sources, not on "how we feel" about

David I. Cohen

From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Oct 2002 13:21:41 -0400
Subject: Beyond Melitz Yosher

Overall I agree that it is egregious to attribute all calamities to a
vengeful God, but Friedmen seems to think that all is in the hands of
man.  We live in a dynamic and uncertain world of great NATURAL conflict
over which we have only limited control. God put man in the world with
the command "v'chivshuha" (Gen.1;28) "to subdue it". The clear
implication is that this is a task which can never be completely
fulfilled.  We are still trying to learn how to fulfil this comandment
with wisdom and insight. But conflicts between man and beast or between
man and Earth (e.g.  Earthquakes, global warming) are inevitable as long
as we live on earth. We do NOT control all. That is why we still pray
for rain and for God's mercy in all things.

Kol Tuv--Bernie Raab


From: Anonymous
Date: Thu, 3 Oct 2002 22:27:52 EDT
Subject: Canvas Sukkahs

Now that Succahs is over -- I can post this one -- A local Rav paskened
before Yom Tov that Canvas Succahs are not kosher.  Something about
walls flapping, etc.  -- it certainly helped sales of new ones.

Does anyone have related information - halachik background, other such


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Subject: Re: Cholent Stain

What is the basis of the practice of wearing a tallis while eating Shabbos
lunch anyway?

Mark Symons
Melbourne Australia


From: Paul Ginsburg <GinsburgP@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 12:40:54 -0400 
Subject: Lashon Hara question

Is it forbidden to talk about another person's negative qualities to a
trusted colleague for a constructive purpose, such as learning how to
deal with that person better, or is that lashon hara?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Paul Ginsburg


From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
Date: Thu, 03 Oct 2002 22:39:56 -0400
Subject: Question About the End of Yom Kippur

In regard to the question as to why we say "slach lanu" in the Maariv
amidah right after Neilah:

Other than the obvious reason that it's part of the weekday amidah and
now it's a weekday, I've also thought you could suggest the following.
We just finished an inspiring Neilah, received kapara, and it's not 5
minutes later and we're already racing through the Brachot and Shma to
get through Maariv so we can break our fast!  So "slach lanu avinu ki
chatanu" already so soon!

Michael Mirsky  


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Fri, 04 Oct 2002 04:53:07 +0400
Subject: S'lach Lanu after Ne'ilah

A poster commented on the fact that immediately after Ne'ilah we already
asked Hashem for forgivenness in "S'lach Lanu." I've very often been
disturbed about the Davening of Ma'ariv after Yom Kippur, which in many
cases has been a "rush job," to get to eat. Maybe that's why we need to
ask for forgivenness.

Imagine if Hashem judged our Yom Kippur behavior based on the Ma'ariv
after Yom Kippur....

Shmuel Himelstein


From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Wed, 02 Oct 2002 12:57:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Slach Lanu after Yom Kippur

I was more troubled by this question in light of the Mishna in Krisus
6:3 where Rebbi Eliezer states that one may bring a voluntary asham
talui everyday because there is always the possibility that one has
sinned, and it was said about Bava ben Buti that he would bring an asham
talui every day except on the day after yom kippur, he said that he
would have brought an asham talui on that day too but the Rabbis told
him to wait one day until at least he had a doubt that he had sinned. We
see that there is a concept of waiting a while after yom kippur to start
asking for atonement again on the new clean slate. 

Furthermore, there is a medrash (not sure where) that comments on the
verse which refers to sukkos "And you shall take for yourselves on the
first day..." (Vayikra 23:40) - "This is the first day of reckoning for
sins," meaning the first day of sukkos is the first day of the new year
for sins because during the 4 days between yom kippur and sukkos, who
has time to sin? 

In terms of answers, i've seen a chassidish explanation that only after
reaching such a high level after ne'ilah can we fully appreciate how
great God is, and how bad it is to have sinned against him, so a new
deeper tshuva is needed.

I recently saw a very nice explanation in a sefer on prayer written by a
Rabbi from the Ponovezer Yeshiva (i dont have the sefer onhand right
now) saying that this question was asked to his mashgiach who replied
that we need to ask for tshuva now during maariv right after ne'ilah
because, in contrast with the previous 24 hours, our minds are now
focused on very materialistic physical things (i.e. eating). 

Dov Teichman


From: Yeshaya Halevi <chihal@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 09:56:04 -0500
Subject: Slakh lanu following Ni'ela

Shalom Aleikhem:

	Neil Normand asks <<If we have just been granted forgiveness at
the end of Yom Kippur at the end of Neilah, then why 5 minutes later
when we are davening ma'ariv do we say in the shemona esreh, S'lach Lanu
Avinu Ke Chatanu, forgive us because we have sinned.>>
	I think the answer is becausee that we don't ask for individual
forgiveness, but we use the plural form "forgive *us.*" We recognize
that not everybody has been granted forgiveness, and thus we have to ask
forgiveness for all Jews.

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 17:46:08 +0200
Subject: Re: Talis in 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 bathroom.

What is the "strength" ("tokef"?) of the prohibition on taking a
*bracha*, which probably doesn't even have the Name spelled out, into a

I am familiar with a d'Oraita (Torah prohibition) which forbids
*erasing* any of several Names, but what is involved in, not erasing,
but taking into a bathroom?  Not taking a Name, but, words of a

While the bracha to be pronounced is itself a Rabbinic decree, and
therefore I assume any Rabbinic prohibition could in fact be a 'hefsek',
I am not familiar with the prohibition.

Shimon Lebowitz                     mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel                   mailto:<shimonl@...>
http://members.xoom.com/shimonl/    IBMMAIL: I1060211


From: David Herskovic <crucible@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 23:45:47 +0100
Subject: UK's Chief Rabbi's weekly dvar torah

Readers may be interested in subscribing free to a weekly commentary on
the sedre called Covenant and Conversation by the UK's Chief Rabbi
Jonathan Sacks .

The link to subscribe is


From: Frederic H Rosenblatt <fredr@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Oct 2002 09:02:24 -0700
Subject: Re: Yamim Noraim Questions

 >> (III) Finally - and this is only a question for those who use Nusach
 >> Ashkenaz - in general, the passage of "Befi Yesharim" is so formulated
 >> that the first letters of the second word in each phrase together spell
 >> out "Yitzchak" (Yesharim, Tzaddikim, Chassifdim, Kedoshim). In Nusach
 >> Sefarad, the third letter of each third word in turn spells out "Rivka."
 >> That is not the case in Nusach Ashkenaz. However, I've seen that many
 >> Ashkenaz Siddurim, specifically for the Yamim Noraim, follow the Nusach
 >> Sefarad arrangement, thus spelling out "Rivka." Does anyone know why the
 >> Nusach should be changed specifically for the Yamim Nora'im? And to take
 >> it a step further, if one davens Nusach Ashkenaz on a regular basis,
 >> should he make that switch on the Yamim Nora'im?

Birnbaum does use the "Rivkah" ordering all year round.

Conversely, the year-round ordering in the ArtScroll is "Habarak".  Is
This merely coincidence, or is there a connection between Yitzchak and 


End of Volume 37 Issue 29