Volume 38 Number 74
                 Produced: Sun Mar  2 22:44:45 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Kiddush Clubs
         [Akiva Miller]
Kiddush clubs
         [Normand, Neil]
Local Kashrut and related Communal Responsibilties
         [Beth and David Cohen]
Misheberach for Choleh/ah/anit
         [ben katz]
Mishloah Manot question
         [Joseph Mosseri]
Prayer Times
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Reishit tsmichat geulateinu
         [Joseph I. Lauer]


From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 16:59:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Kiddush Clubs

In MJ 38:68, Russell Hendel wrote: <<< if we cant find a perfect solution
to all 5 issues maybe we should acknowledge that Kiddush club members are
solving some but not all of the problems >>>

Of the issues he raised in that post, I only see one which is "solved"
by these "Kiddush clubs". Namely <<< one is prohibited from abstaining
from eating past noon on Shabbath. ... [If] a shule has a Rabbi who
gives long sermons and the congregation cant get out till after noon
 ... then a member of the Kiddush club who indulges has been saved from
Rabbinic violation. >>>

This is accurate, but I would add a few points:

 -- It only applies to certain combinations of what time the service
ends, the time of local "noon" (which is an hour later in summer),
whether or not the shul has a regular kiddush after davening, and how
long it takes to walk home. For example, it would not apply to my shul,
which (starts at 8:30 and) usually ends around 10:30 to 11:00, and where
very few people live more than a half hour's walk away. It would
certainly not apply in the summer (when "noon" is at 1 PM), or when the
shul has a *regular* Kiddush. Do these "Kiddush clubs" meet even under
such conditions?

 -- If the above *does* apply, one can very easily avoid this half-day
fast by drinking even a small amount of water before davening.

 -- If one needs food or drink more frequently (and I certainly do agree
that there are people in this category) he can make his own little
kiddush in some unobtrusive place. Turning it into an occasion for
socializing goes way beyond a solution for the "half-day fast" problem,

I must also take this opportunity to mention that several people have
complained about the rabbi speaking. I am among those to whom this is
the main part of going to shul on Shabbos. I don't get to any shiurim
during the week, and I look forward to some inspiration on Shabbos. My
choice among several neighborhood shuls is based mostly on this
consideration, and am always disappointed when the Rav is out of town or
under the weather.

I understand that in some shuls the Rav's speech might seem (or be)
interminably long. So I will repeat my suggestion that if a drink of
water before davening is insufficent, individuals can make their own
little kiddush and eat in some unobtrusive place. To make a public
"kiddush club" insults the Rabbi and congregation, not to mention
insulting the Haftara and Hashem, not to mention setting a terrible
example for impressionable children (of all ages). -- In my opinion,

Regarding teenage drinking, Frederic Rosenblatt asked in MJ 38:70, <<<
We weren't talking about banning alcohol at the "real" kiddush, after
davenning is over and refreshment is appropriate, were we? We have a
bottle of whisky, and some drink a l'chaim (a few drink two), but I've
never seen children or teenagers tempted. What about wine for kiddush in
the home? It used to be assumed when I was younger that exposure to
moderate, responsible drinking was safer than complete lack of
exposure. >>>

This is an important question. In my opinion, what he describes at home
and at the "real" kiddush may indeed count as both moderate and
responsible. But it seems to me that what goes on at the "Kiddush Clubs"
is neither moderate not responsible. They walk out of shul en masse, and
if anyone thinks that their main intention is to avoid fasting, they're
probably fooling themselves. Too many times several of these individuals
have come back for Musaf and disturbed the services from their alcohol.

Akiva Miller

From: Normand, Neil <NormandN@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 13:24:40 -0500
Subject: RE: Kiddush clubs

With regard to the first point Ben made about the length of Shabbat
services and the suggestion for Heichi Kedushah. I am aware of one
community that every shabbat does Heichi Kedushah for Mussaf. This is
based on a Tshuvah of the Rambam(it is found in the back of the Rambam
L'Am volume of Sefer Ahava) that justifies it because the people will
not be paying attention to the SHATZ and be engaging in idle
talk. Additionally Tosfot in Berachot 26b comments that the reason why
the Shemona Esreh on Shabbat is only 7 berachot is to keep the length of
the services shorter.


From: Beth and David Cohen <bdcohen@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 08:41:34 -0500
Subject: Local Kashrut and related Communal Responsibilties

<<From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
I liked Arthur Altman's (<arthur_altman@...>) description of
Dallas Kosher. I wonder if others might post descriptions of their
community's local supervision.
Rather than ask "is hechsher X reliable?" this self-identification could
help the mail.jewish community to learn about smaller kosher supervisory
Sam Saal         <ssaal@...>>>

Every year Kashrus magazine publishes a list of hundreds of symbols for
Kashrus agencies around the world which includes contact information,
background of the responsible Rabbinic authority, standards used and
much more.

We keep that annual issue of the magazine as a year-round reference.

David I. Cohen


From: ben katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 13:11:24 -0600
Subject: Re: Misheberach for Choleh/ah/anit

>From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
>Re text of misheberach for choleh/ah.
>2. A question. If someone (male) has had an organ/other body part
>removed, how can they be referred to as having 248 eivarim (limbs?
>organs? bones?)  and 365 gidim ("sinews")?

Regarding the latter question: Many on this list might disagree, but it
is clear these numbers are meant symbolically and not factually.  (First
of all, there aren't 248 bones according to anatomists.)  As we all
know, 248 is the traditional number of + commandments, 365 the number of
negative commandments.  Probably what chazal are saying is that halacha
encompasses our whole bodies.  (Furthermore, even the 365 for the number
of negative commandments itself may be symbolic of how we have to keep
halacha every day.  And yes, even though we keep a lunar calendar, it
was well-known in the ancient world that the solar year was 365 days.
That is how long the flood lasted.  see rashi ad loc.)


From: Joseph Mosseri <JMosseri@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003 02:04:20 -0500
Subject: Mishloah Manot question

As a child I was taught by all my Yeshivah teachers that in order to fulfill
the missvah of Mishloah Manot certain criteria must be met.
The item in question is this. I was told that the mishloah manot must
consist of at least two different berakhot!
I was taught this time and again. I asked people that went to different
schools at different times and they were all taught the same thing??????
What is the source for this????
It's not in the Megilah, or the Gemara, or HaRaMBaM, or Shoulhan 'Aroukh, or
anyplace else where I have searched.
Can anyone help to demystify this?????
Thank you,
Joseph Mosseri


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 23:38:13 +0200
Subject: Prayer Times

as a spin-off from Kiddush Clubs, Carl Singer asked these:
      -- how long is davening in various communities
      -- do you start with "Brochas" or with "Borchu"
      -- do any have a break for kiddish prior to Mussaf?   --
      -- is it customary to daven at home and eat breakfast prior
      to coming to shule?

in Shiloh,
if Shabbat morning davening pushes two hours, someone (either the Chazan,
the Bar Mitzva boy's family showoffs or even the Rav) is being tardy
as for everyday, 30-35 minutes and Mon. & Thurs. 40.

we start with Hodu or Mizmor (how can you start with Borchu?)  (btw, if
I need a quick start, there's a minyan in Kiryat Moshe, next door to Rav
Eliyahu's minyan, which says Korbanot at about 5:50 and at 6:00, they
start and inish no later than 6:20 - 6:25.

no break.

no breakfast, at most coffee/tea and cake.


From: Joseph I. Lauer <josephlauer@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 12:46:23 -0500
Subject: Reishit tsmichat geulateinu

    In MJ 38:71 (2/27/03) Mark Symons <msymons@...> asked:

> Does anyone know where the phrase "reishit tsmichat geulateinu" (in the
> Israeli chief rabbinate's version of the prayer for medinat yisrael)
> comes from, and how it came to be given such hashkafic importance?

    This response will only touch on the origin of the phrase in the
prayer and some of the controversies surrounding its authorship.
    The authorship, background, past and current usage (and non-usage)
of the Prayer for the State of Israel in its various forms and of the
phrase itself, as well as its significance, have been addressed in
lectures given by Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter.  Rabbi Schacter, the former
Rav of the West Side Jewish Center in Manhattan, is now Dean of the
Rabbi Joseph B.  Soloveitchik Institute of the Maimonides School
[Rambam] in Brookline (34 Philbrick Road, Brookline, MA 02445-6099).
    If Rabbi Schacter is a member of this list (or if a list member will
bring the query to his attention), it would be a public benefit if he
would contribute to the list his thoughts and insights on the subject. 
In the meantime, I provide the following. 
    On April 21, 2002, Rabbi Schacter delivered an address on "The
Contemporary Significance of Religious Zionism" in which he discussed the
origin of the Prayer for the State of Israel and its composers, the late
Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog and Shmuel Yosef Agnon.
    Rabbi Schacter also distributed photocopied materials dealing with
the origin of the prayer and the phrase and a list of articles dealing
with the subject.  The list included: Bernard M. Caspar, "Reishit
Zemichat Ge'ulateinu", in Tradition and Transition: Essays Presented to
Chief Rabbi Sir Immanuel Jakobovits, ed. Jonathan Sacks (London, 1986),
107-16; translated (in Hebrew) in Shanah-bi-Shanah (Jerusalem,
5749/1988), 251-62 [by HaRav Moshe Dov Caspar under the title "HaIm
HaBitui 'Reishit Zemichat Ge'ulateinu' Mabia M'Silah LiGeulah?"; and
Gilad Strauss, "Ha-Mekorot le-Tefillah li-Shlom ha-Medinah", Shma'atin
28:104-05 (Sivan-Elul, 5751):83-88.
    While Rabbi Caspar's essay states (Shanah-bi-Shanah, p. 251) that the
prayer was composed in 5708 in the Council of the Chief Rabbinate in
which Chief Rabbi Herzog sat, its note 4 (p. 253) indicates, based upon a
written communication from Rav Yaakov Goldman, who had served as the
personal secretary to Rav Herzog, that: (1) the prayer was composed by
Rav Herzog but that the draft was shown to Shai Agnon, who suggested the
insertion of the phrase "Reishit Zemichat Ge'ulateinu", and (2)
somewhat similar phraseology had been used by Chief Rabbi A.I. Kook in a
letter to Lord Rothschild regarding the Balfour Declaration.  The note
also indicates that Zvi Yaron, author of Mishnato Shel HaRav Kuk
(Jerusalem, 5739), had stated (p. 311) that Rav Kook had often used the
phrase "Reishit Zemichat HaGe'ulah" long before the establishment of the
State of Israel, but that Yaron had not supplied supporting citations.
    After hearing Rabbi Schacter's address, I discovered another
reference to the composition of the phrase and sent it to him on April
29, 2002.  I understand that he has referred to it in subsequent
    The reference was in the first page of a long essay by Rav Herzog
dealing with the problem of a Get possibly given under coercion, "B'Inyan
Ch'shash L'Get M'Usah".  The essay was reprinted in Osef Maamarim Mitoch
Chovros HaDarom L'Tsiyun HeAsor HaRishon -- Collected Essays from
HaDarom in the First Decade of its Publication, p. 42 (RCA, New York,
5726/1966).  In the second paragraph of the essay, Rav Herzog refers, in
part (in Hebrew), to the State of Israel, "Shehi K'mo SheKinitiha
B'Nusach HaTefilla SheYasadti 'Reishit Tz'michat Geulatenu'" ["which is
as I entitled her in the text of the prayer that I established 'Reishit
Tz'michat Geulatenu'" (my translation)].  Thus, Rav Herzog claimed for
himself authorship of the phrase.
    As an aside, what Rav Herzog wrote in the full paragraph is
interesting in light of the ongoing controversy regarding "religion" in
the State of Israel (again my translation):  "Thanks to G-d we have been
privileged that in the State of Israel which is as I entitled her in the
text of the prayer that I established 'Reishit Tz'michat Geulatenu',
there is a flourishing of pride for the laws of the Holy Torah [Yesh
Tz'michat Keren L'Mishpat Torah HaKedoshah], as does not exist in the
Exile [Mah SheEin Kein BaGolah].  In the area of personal status,
marriage and divorce [Ishus Nissuin v'Gerushin] the Rabbinical Courts
have exclusive authority."
    Whether the authorship of the phrase "Reishit Tz'michat
Geulatenu" has been definitively established, as well as the question
of its "hashkafic importance", I must leave to others, while again
expressing my hope that Rabbi Schacter will contribute his thoughts and
insights on the subject.
    Be well!
    Joseph I. Lauer
    Brooklyn, New York


End of Volume 38 Issue 74