Volume 38 Number 82
                 Produced: Wed Mar 19  6:02:56 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Baruch Hashem L'Olam (3)
         [Baruch J. Schwartz, Steven Oppenheimer, Jack Gross]
Burial of limbs
         [David Fox]
Chamesh Megillot (2)
         [Seth Kadish, Danny Skaist]
Lo Sisgod'do
         [Moshe Pessin]
Nefilat Apayim
         [Yair Horowitz]
On falling on the left side in the morning for tahanun
         [Mark Steiner]
Pasuk for the name Rachel
         [Amanda Rush]
Pesadich Tropical Fish Food?
         [Francine S. Glazer]
"Sh" and Russian Jews
         [Robert Israel]
Shabbos computer (3)
         [Ari Trachtenberg, David I. Cohen, Yehonatan Chipman]


From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 11:04:32 +0200
Subject: Baruch Hashem L'Olam

Regarding Baruch Hashem L'Olam, in Israel or in the diaspora, for
graduates of RIETS or anyone else, and all similar questions:

In my opinion, if we are talking about a shul, or any regularly running
minyan, or any minyan comprised of people who belong to an organized
community, or anything other than an ad hoc minyan convened on the spur
of the moment, the very notion that the sheliah tzibbur can ever
diverge, in any way, from the established minhag of the congregation is
a preposterous contradiction in terms. A person who cannot bring himself
to daven according to the precise custom of the congregation is by
definition not a sheliah tzibbur. Such a person can neither request the
amud (a bad idea in all cases) nor may he accept it if it is offered to

To me this seems so elementary, and so obvious, and so crucial, that I
never cease to be amazed every time someone alludes to the possibility
of following "one's own minhag" from the amud. To me, the very idea
shows a basic misunderstanding of statutory communal prayer.

Baruch Schwartz

From: Steven Oppenheimer <oppy49@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 22:35:06 -0500
Subject: Baruch Hashem L'Olam

Samson Bechhofer appears to be upset because "there seems to be a custom
- prevalent mainly with graduates of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan
(YU) - that if they personally do not say Boruch Hashem L'Olam ("BHL")
for Ma'ariv, they adhere to this minhag even when they are the Baalei
Tefillah at a minyan which does say it."

I do not know if this custom is "prevalent mainly with graduates of
Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan (YU)."  I do know that Rabbi Moshe
Stern, A"H, the Debrezciner Rav, sanctioned this practice.  See Responsa
Be'er Moshe 7:236.  One could hardly say that Rabbi Stern suggested
customs for the graduates of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan.

Rather, there are different customs and there are halachic reasons for
the different customs.  So when Samson Bechhofer reports that he has
"often said to these fellows that it is not correct to remain silent at
the Omud for an estimated 30 seconds or so in lieu of saying BHL while
the rest of the tzibbur says it," he may be unaware that there is a psak
that recommends just that.

Steven Oppenheimer, DDS

From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 23:26:11 -0500
Subject: Baruch Hashem L'Olam

I distinctly recall that during his aveilus for his mother, the Rov
followed the practice described, when leading Maariv in the dorm Beis
Medrash: He remained silent while the tzibbur said B.H.L., and after
waiting would continue directly with Kaddish.

But it's fair to say it was "his" minyan to lead as he pleased, while
accommodating those of the tzibbur who wished to say BHL.  The same
cannot be said for the average citizen acting as "Sheliah Tzibbur": The
Shatz has responsibility to *lead* the recitation of the berachos.

Yaakov Gross (YC '67)


From: <dfox@...> (David Fox)
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 12:41:07 -0500
Subject: Burial of limbs


I am trying to learn more about the custom/law of burying amputated limbs.

When I was a kid I was told that the/a reason for limb burial (with the
body) and against autopsy is that when the messiah comes one would need
to stand up (facing East) and walk to Jerusalem. This would of course be
difficult if one were missing limbs or other vital pieces.

Does this reflect any traditional sources ? Can you suggest where I
could read more about the Halachos or reasons behind this ?

Todah and Chag Purim,
David Fox


From: <skadish@...> (Seth Kadish)
Subject: Chamesh Megillot

Hi.  Take a look at the introduction to Daat Mikra on Hamesh Megillot for 
the information you need.  What you will find there only confirms what 
most Israelis know, if they davven in a variety of shuls: Not all the 
megillot are said in all edot, besides Ashkenazim.

Esther and Eikhah, of course, are read by everyone.

Ruth isn't read publicly on Shavuot by Sefaradim, but they do say it 
within the context of the tikkun at night.  (The tikkun is read out loud 
by people taking turns.)

Shir ha-Shirim and Kohelet are not read at all.  On the other hand, ShS is 
read publicly out loud by Sefadim every Erev Shabbat before Lehu Neranena.

These things were surprising to us, too, initially.

Seth Kadish

From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 07:30:22 +0200
Subject: RE: Chamesh Megillot

<<Alan Cooper
 He also told me something interesting, namely that when he was growing
up in Poland, the only megillot that were recited in his shul were
Esther and Eikha--"not like the way you do them all here in North
America" was the way he put it Was that practice common, and does it
persist?  . >>

It is the minhag followed by Chabad.. When my father a"h got a job as a
ba'al k'riah, he had to quickly learn the ta'amim for the other 3 since
he had never heard them read.



From: Moshe Pessin <mypessin@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 11:42:59 +0200
Subject: Re: Lo Sisgod'do

    both igros moshe and minchas yitzchak discuss the issues. r' moshe
fienstien's opion is that anything needing a tzibbur must be said in that
shcules nusach.
    the halacha is as the yeshiva bachurim said to seperate the tefillin
wearers, when i lived in the staes and put on tefillin on chol hamo'ed(as a
resident of eretz yisrael i was told to adopt the local custom of refraining
from wearing them) i too was separated behind a mechitza. I was extremely
tolerent of those wishing to follow the halacha. we should remember the
pasuk by bil'aam who said that klal yisrael were sochen l'shvatav, each
shevet was separate yet united in achdus in serving H' not mixed together so
as long as both sides are striving to serve H' even though one is put behind
the mechitza it is in no way not tolerant.


From: <Ggntor@...> (Yair Horowitz)
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 19:48:29 EST
Subject: Nefilat Apayim

Are there any sources that speak about which arm a lefty should fall on 
during Tachanun of Maariv? (In the morning it is the left side because the 
tfillin are worn on the right) Thank you,

-Yair Horowitz


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 14:28:13 +0200
Subject: Re: On falling on the left side in the morning for tahanun

    I didn't ask whether there is such a custom (I know there is), the
question was about lo sisgodedu--i.e. following that custom in a
synagogue where everybody is falling on the right side (in the morning).
I have heard that a famous rav used to do this.

Mark Steiner


From: Amanda Rush <frosty@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 09:34:29 -0500
Subject: Pasuk for the name Rachel

Shalom all:

If it is possible, could someone provide some psukim for the name Rachel, in
other words, Reish-lamed?  Thanks, and shalom.


From: Francine S. Glazer <fglazer@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 19:12:04 -0500
Subject: Pesadich Tropical Fish Food?

My family got a fishtank (freshwater tropicals) last summer.  I looked
at the fish food ingredients today and realized that it's chometz.  Any
suggestions on what we can feed them over Pesach that won't foul the
tank and kill the fish?

Fran Glazer


From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 16:58:09 -0800 (PST)
Subject: "Sh" and Russian Jews

This question is from my son Hillel.

Many sources seem to indicate that many Russian Jews couldn't properly
pronounce the "sh" sound (saying "sin" instead of "shin").  What would
be the reason for this?  Certainly it's not true of Russian Jews today,
and the Russian language has a "sh" sound.  Does anybody have an

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2003 11:11:00 -0500
Subject: Re: Shabbos computer

 >From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
 >What do you all have to say about the following scenario?  Before
 >Shabbos, someone who has broadband Internet service (i.e. it does not
 >tie up the phone line) could browse to a "news" site (e.g. cnn.com) that
 >happens to automatically refresh itself every once in a while.  They
 >could also turn off their screen saver (or leave it off if they never
 >use one anyway)...

 >At first glance, this would seem to be "more permissible" than leaving a
 >TV or radio on, from the standpoint of "maras ayin", because whereas the
 >sight of someone watching a TV or listening to a radio on Shabbos may
 >cause an observer to assume that it was turned on recently (thus in
 >violation of Shabbos), seeing someone looking at a computer screen would
 >not cause them to assume that the computer was turned on recently...
unless the screensaver was not on, in which case most people will assume
that the computer was used recently.

I think that the marat ayin issues with watching TV or computer are a
stretch, at best.  The most honest reason for not having the TV or
computer functioning on Shabbat is that they destroy the unique
atmosphere that Shabbat provides ... the peaceful time for focusing on
family and community absent outside distractions.

Kol tuv,
Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>

From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2003 11:18:47 -0500
Subject: Shabbos computer

I have two reactions to Tzadik Vanderhoof's question about reading news
on a computer screen left on over Shabbat.

First, the marit ayin (appearance of impropriety) implications are not
so simple as Tzadik would have us believe since his assumptions that one
would not mistake a person looking at the screen for someone
manipulating the computer is, at best, wishful thinking. the sound issue
seems to me to be irrelevant to permissability, because something
forbidden because of marit ayin is equally forbidden even in the most
private areas of ones permises.

Secondly, although looking at a computer screen might not be a technical
violation of a negative precept, it is most probably in violation of
fufilling the positive commandment of "kavod Shabbt" honoring the
Shabbat by pursuing this weekday activity. Obviously one must check with
his LOR, but the situations where there is a need to view constantly
updated news on Shabbat would seem to be few and far between.

David I. Cohen

From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Mar 2003 10:06:26 +0200
Subject: Re:  Shabbos computer

I heard Rav Soloveitchik ztz"l speak in sarcastic terms of those who use
a Shabbat clock for watching televison.  His objection was not based on
marit ayin, but upon "uvdin dehol" -- that is, of it being an act of an
essentially weekday mode or nature, which is forbidden rabbinically on
the basis of Isaiah 58:13.

I'm quite sure the Rav would have equally disapproved of your above
suggestion.  Why do you need to be tuned in to the news on Shabbat,
anyway?  One of the points of Shabbat (and of other mitzvot) is to
educate our sensibilities to see what's important in life a bit
differently, and to be less obsessed with the type of things with which
we occupy ourselves during the week.  Evenb if, say, war breaks out in
Iraq, there's nothing that you can do about it, so what does knowing
about it help?

    Needless to say, these objections do not apply to emergency
situations that might directly affect your practical behavior.  During
the 1991 Gulf War, Isareli radio had a special "Shabbat station" on
which blank sound was broadcast unless there was a missile attack, in
which case all of the necessary instructions came through on it.
Shabbat servers were encouraged to keep a radio on all Shabbat tuned to
this station.  (But sirens were sounded throughout the country anyway,
which functioned as a prearranged signal to follow a certain drill).  No
doubt the same procedure will be repeated in the forthcoming war.

   Yehonatan Chipman


End of Volume 38 Issue 82