Volume 38 Number 94
                 Produced: Sun Mar 30  8:28:13 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Gemara for women -Rav Yakov Weinberg
         [Ari Kahn]
Haggadah Text - electronic
         [Sam Saal]
High-quality Hebrew typesetting
         [Tom Rosenfeld]
Kavod HaRav
         [Ira Bauman]
Kiddush Club
Kitbag Questions (2)
         [Ari Trachtenberg, Shmuel Himelstein]
Kol Isha
         [Lisa Halpern]
L'Chaim (2)
         [<HLSesq@...>, Immanuel Burton]
SeforimOnline.org Update 03-26-02
         [Sarah Elizabeth Beck]
         [Ephie Tabory]
Tircha D'tzibura
Waiting For The Rabbi
         [Mark Symons]
Women and Gemara
         [Tzvi Briks]


From: Ari Kahn <kahnar@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 18:55:29 +0200
Subject: Gemara for women -Rav Yakov Weinberg

I had the opportunity to discuss this topic with Rav Yakov Weinberg
Zatza"l.  For those who are not familiar with Rabbi Weinberg he was the
Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Yisroel in Baltimore. He was not a member of the
Modern Orthodox camp. I had asked him if he felt there were any times
that the prohibition of teaching woman Gemara could be overlooked, such
as in a case of outreach.  He immediately corrected me and said "nowhere
in Gemara, Rambam or Shulchan Oruch is there a prohibition". He
proceeded to explain that it was not advised in any of these sources but
the careful reader and scholar will note that there is no prohibition,
he explained that "tiflis" is a waste of time and ineffective. He then
told me that he understood ChaZal as saying that Gemara should not be
part of the standard curriculum for women, but individuals who needed to
learn for there own knowledge or Yiras shamayim should learn Gemara, in
such an instance he said that he would be prepared to be the
teacher. (Those who are familiar with the passage in the Rambam will
appreciate his reading of the source and his insight).

Ari Kahn


From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 07:51:56 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Haggadah Text - electronic

I am looking for an electronic version of the Hebrew text of the Hagadah
(including all nikudot/vowels). I do not want to work in Hebrew Windows,
but would like to work in Framemaker (version 5.5.6). I am not looking
for freeware. I have a budget to pay for the file and for a couple of
fonts. Can anyone point me in the right dirfection to buy the Hagadah?

Note: I've already tried Kabalah software.

Sam Saal


From: Tom Rosenfeld <trosen@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 11:40:58 +0200
Subject: Re: High-quality Hebrew typesetting

it seems there was a typo in the url you had in you post. It should have 




From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 13:29:56 EST
Subject: Re: Kavod HaRav

As far as waiting for the rav to finish shemona esrei is concerned, my
feelings are somewhat different than what I have seen so far online.  If
I would ever feel annoyed that I have to wait, I usually look at the
rabbi.  He always seems to be more spiritually and emotionally invested
in his amidah than I was in mine.  I feel envious and chastened that I
let my thoughts roam and finished perfunctorily.  Come to think of it,
I'm glad he davens longer than I do.

Ira Bauman


From: <chips@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 23:16:50 -0800
Subject: Re: Kiddush Club

> Let's redefine terms here: A "kiddush club", as accepted in this
> discussion, is one which typically meets during the haftorah reading,
> and generally proceeds through the Rabbi's sermon; NOT one which meets
> after davening. Was that the case in the Baltimore shul?

They got together between the end of Shiveey and Musaf. I don't recall
when they left and when they came back in. It wasn't a mass exodus
(kitchen was pretty small) and I sat up front.



From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 10:48:12 -0500
Subject: Re: Kitbag Questions

> From: David and Toby Curwin <tobyndave@...>
> What is the Jewish approach to "kitbag questions"?

I have heard of cases of the opposite ... where someone would ask a
rabbi a question and be specifically not given an answer, presumably
because there is no known halachic resolution of the problem.  In
essence, this is the same as being told "don't ask the question".

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

From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 13:11:47 +0200
Subject: Kitbag Questions

David Curwin asks about "Kitbag Questions," i.e., "Is one required to
ask his rabbi if he should act in a certain way, even if there is no
previous statement in halacha or by that rabbi that requires it?"

Without answering his question, I'd like to throw in a famous Yiddish
saying which has relevance:

"Az men fregt, is es treif" - which, translated, states, "If you ask,
it's treif," which I suppose would be equivalent to letting sleeping
dogs lie.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Lisa Halpern <halpern@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 09:37:30 -0500
Subject: Kol Isha

I am interested in the subject of kol isha.  What are the sources of the
prohibition of a woman singing in a man's presence?  Is the prohibition
from the Torah, or rabbinic?  Any information would be welcome.

Thank you,
Lisa Halpern

[As one can imagine, this topic has been discussed a number of times in
the past. From a thread in 1999, see vol 29 number 82
(http://www.ottmall.com/mj_ht_arch/v29/index.html#VEI ) for a posting
from Gitelle Rapoport that includes a number of references. Mod]


From: <HLSesq@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 17:58:56 EST
Subject: Re: L'Chaim

L'chaim as a toast apparently stems from the traditional response to the
question. "savrei moronnon vrabosai" (your opinion gentlemen) that we
still say in kiddush (some will say it only with respect to wine). The
response was l'chaim.  I say lchaim in reponse to savrei in our
ashhenazic shul and was told by a congregant from Iran that it brought
him back to his youth in that country where the whole congregation
shouts out lchaim in response to "savrei".

From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 09:20:06 +0000
Subject: L'Chaim

In Mail.Jewish v38n89, Nadine Bonner asked about the origin of the phrase 
"L'Chaim" as a toast.

The Otzer Dinim U'Minhogim (which a friend of mine looked up for me as I 
have mislaid my copy) has the following to say on the matter:

There is a similar phrase in Shmuel A', 28:6, when it says 'ko lechay"
(thus to life??).  There's a story about R' Akiva who said something
similar over every glass at a party (Shabbat 67b), and something similar
in Yerushalmi (Brachot Chapter 6, 8).

Reason 1: From Mishlei 31:6 it seems that wine is a drink for "marey
nefesh" (the bitter in soul) so you wish lechayim to say that one wishes
to drink from joy rather than mourning.

Reason 2: One gives wine to someone who is being led out to be executed.
 And after examining witnesses one says "savri maranan" and they say
 "lechayim" or "lemita".  So, at kiddush, the shliach tsibbur says
 "savri maranan" and one says "lechayim", i.e. the wine glass should be
 for life.

Reason 3: Wine brought a curse in the days of Noah.  So one says
"savri", i.e. I have it in mind to drink in such a way as not to bring a
curse through getting drunk, and people answer "lechayim".

Reason 4: (Tikkunei haZohar): one wants to make clear that wine drunk in
joy is connected to the tree of life and not the tree of death which was
the vine that Adam sinned through.

He also says that Ashkenazi (in the meaning of 'German') people say
"lechayim" before the bracha, while Polish people drink a bit and then
say "lechayim".

Immanuel Burton.


From: seforim-announce <support@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 17:53:49 -0500
Subject: SeforimOnline.org Update 03-26-02

SeforimOnline.org Update 03-26-02

We have updated sefer #7, The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela translated
by Marcus Nathan Adler, with the original scan of this edition. The
previous OCRed version has been removed. The scanned copy includes two
introductions to both the English translation and the Hebrew original,
the English translation with English notes, the original Hebrew text
with Hebrew notes, plus many photos of the original manuscripts and an
additional map. Please download this newely added sefer. It still
remaines catalogued under number 7. 

Best Regards
SeforimOnline.org Staff


From: Sarah Elizabeth Beck <sbeck@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 21:34:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Shidduchim

>From where I sit there is no shortage of chances to meet, whether by
>shidduch or in the well-chaperoned hallway. So what gives? 

Many, if not most, of my peers want a companionate marriage. It's not a
matter of some notion of romantic love marching in from Chretien de
Troyes. There they are, perhaps sadly, free of delusion. But, love quite
aside, can one "decide on" a best friend? That is what some who hear
"just marry, love grows!" feel they are being told to do.

However it took root among us, is it realistic, never mind desirable, to
expect "modern orthodoxy" to REJECT the idea of spouse as boon

As Johnny Cash says, "my good wife and them kids of mine'll/Get new
shoes come picking time." Words evocative, for yid and goy alike, of a
certain kind of union (at the contemplation of which I myself am not
innocent of frisson, whether of desire or horror I leave the reader to
guess). But this ideal is a very difficult sell in some parts of our

Sarah Beck


From: Ephie Tabory <tabore@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 23:31:48 +0200
Subject: Tircha

> Is it "tircha", however, if the whole congregation chooses to act
> differently from the norm, albeit within the confines of halacha?

How do you define "the norm" if you say the whole congregation is acting
differently from it?


From: Anonymous
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003
Subject: Re: Tircha D'tzibura

A congregation I know has a rabbi and a shadow rabbi. There is some
friction between them. The chazan waits for the oficial rabbi to finish
when only he is there or when he and the shadow rabbi are present. There
is an unofficial arrangement between the rabbis, established over time,
dividing the services. On shabbat, the official rabbi attends the second
minyan and the shadow rabbi attends the early minyan. During the week,
the roles are reversed.

Now comes the problem: When both rabbis are present, they tend to take
longer so that one will not finish shma or shmone essreh before the
other.  The shadow rabbi on shabbat often serves as chazan and tries to
sing and take longer so that (in the perception of the congregants), the
other (official) rabbi will have to wait to start the second service
(late). The synagogue has a standing decision that the early minyan is
to complete the service by the official starting time of the later
minyan, and they have "faster" chazanim daven when there is such a
need. Unless the shadow rabbi is the chazan, and then there is nothing
the congregation can do. (The shadow rabbi also likes to daven out loud,
even saying parts of shmoneh essreh out loud. The braver congregants
some times say "shuh." It is sometimes hard to tell whether the chazan
is the chazan or the shadow rabbi is because of his chanting along with
the chazan. Tircha tzibura? How does one tell a rabbi that the
congregants are irked by his behavior?)


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Subject: Waiting For The Rabbi

<< how, then, can the Rabbis of many, if not all Shuls, justify haviing
the Tsibur wait for them to finish Shema and the Amidah, which at least
on days when Musaf is davenned can take perhaps five to ten minutes in
all?    Meir >>

I think it's amazing that we have become so conditioned to davening
going quickly that we consider waiting for 5 minutes in this situation
to be an intolerably long time, whereas we have much greater acceptance
of and tolerance for commercial breaks in television programs and
intervals in performances and sports events.

Mark Symons
Melbourne Australia


From: <Brikspartzuf@...> (Tzvi Briks)
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 00:34:04 EST
Subject: Re: Women and Gemara

Nashim datotehen Kalot refers to the work women did in the past,ie
taking care of the home, the children, etc It does not refer to the
intellectual capacity of Jewish women, which is just as sharp if not
sharper than most Jewish men.  Gemara is ideal for all Jews, women and
men.  The question is, if you have time its an ideal way to pass the
time away.  What if you don't?  Give me Kabbalah and Mishna.

Dr. Tzvi Briks
New Rochelle, NY


End of Volume 38 Issue 94