Volume 38 Number 98
                 Produced: Mon Mar 31  6:03:29 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chadash Assur min Hatorah
         [Ben Z. Katz]
Kavod HaRav
         [Meir Possenheimer]
Meut Hadorot
         [Ben Z. Katz]
Modern Orthodox
         [Bill Bernstein]
A Novel Approach to Timing for Shma &SA
         [Russell J Hendel]
         [Binyomin Segal]
         [Eli Turkel]
Tircha d'Tzibura
         [Michael Kahn]
women learning gemmorah
         [Mordechai Horowitz]


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 22:50:26 -0600
Subject: Re: Chadash Assur min Hatorah

>the chasam sofer is perhaps the most explicit example - his famous line
>"chadash assur min hatorah" (lit. "new is forbidden by torah law") - is
>simply a statement of this rule. he certainly knew that chadash was not
>assur (except in the limited sense of new grain before passover)

	I agree, but I think you are missing the point here.  He was using this
limited rule as a pun,  probably for what he really believed

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


From: Meir Possenheimer <meir@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 23:06:32 +0100
Subject: Re: Kavod HaRav

> From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
> 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.

No one is objecting to the Rabbi's taking longer than anyone else. The
halachic point at issue, and which seems to be missed by so many of the
comments submitted, is whether or not it is to be regarded as tircha
d'Tsibura for him to have the sheliach tsibur wait for him to finish.

> 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.

Baruch Hashem, our Shul happens to comprise Ba'alei Batim who are Kovea
Itim Latorah, who do know what they daven and who do not daven "so
quickly".  And, to my way of thinking, once most of them have finished,
it is surely time for the Shatz to continue, be it on a weekday when
people have to go to work, or on a Shabbos. I do not think that waiting
for a protracted length of time instils in the tzibur any additional
kovod for the Rav. If anything the practice which I have come across in
other Shuls where the Rav has an "arrangement" whereby the Shatz in
instructed to continue, either when he is seen to be bowing down for
Birchas Hoda'a, or when enough of the mispallelim are ready, is more
conducive to k'vod haRav.



From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 23:05:50 -0600
Subject: Re: Meut Hadorot

The Rambam didn't believe in the notion of "meut hadorot".  He believed
that the Talmud is authoritative because it was accepted by all Jews
(not because the Jews then were smarter than the Jews now).  Rambam
realized that certain aspects of human thought, eg the tendency to
idolatry, were more of a threat in more ancient times than they were in
his day.  See Menachem Kelner's book "Maimonides on the decline of the
generations and the nature of rabbinic authority" SUNY 1996.

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


From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 15:52:21 -0600
Subject: Modern Orthodox

The discussions about what is or isnt Modern Orthodoxy are always
interesting because, imo, no one knows what it is.  Normally I see it
used merely as a synonym for "shvach", or less than exacting in
observance.  Any attempt to associate the term with an institution or
other movement simply seems to fall short.  In all, the term means
whatever the speaker wants it to mean, for either good or bad.

A more meaningful distinction, I think, is between the way different
people relate to the "outside world."  One camp (I guess commonly termed
chareidi although this is misleading) holds to the "am levadad yishkon"
(Num 23:9).  We have nothing to learn from the outside world and they
preferably will have nothing to do with us.  That world is a threat to
Jewish survival and a source of constant temptation and tumah.

The other view is the "or lagoyim" view, that interaction is not only
desirable but one of the foundations of Jewish existence.  We are able
to filter out the bad elements but in any case it is impossible not to
be influenced by the world in some way.  In the opposite way, we have
opportunities for kiddush haShem, that when we behave in ways sanctioned
by the Torah others will see it and the status of the Jewish people and
HaShem will be raised in the world.

This distinction cuts across the normal groupings that are based on
appearance and so on.  They are both valid and I suspect that they have
always existed in a natural tension in Jewish history.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 14:25:02 -0500
Subject: A Novel Approach to Timing for Shma &SA

Avi, Perry, Yitz and others discuss (eg v38m89) the issue of how long we
should daven shma and Shmoneh Esray and who should determine it.

I would like to add 3 points.

First: There is a beautiful shule in Long Beach NY, Bachurey
Chemed--membership requires not being married The shule was built to
give non-married people some "Say" in the davening. All davening and
leining is done by non-married teenagers and children.

Pesukay DeZimrah is done by children under bar-mitzvah.  A child recites
a verse and the congregation responds etc. Such a responsive approach to
Pesukay Dezimrah encourages a leisurely pace. Note however that this
standard does not involve a Rabbi but rather the standard is established
by the normal pace of people reading

Second: There are in fact business studies on the "best pace" to
accomplish results. The ideal pace is 2.1 words per second. This can
also be derived from the Rambam (and is on the Mail jewish
archives). Rambam says that Kriat Shma and blessings takes 6 minutes
which would give 360 seconds as the ideal pace. Counting the words in
Kriat Shmah(if we count hyphenated words as 1 vs 2) gives us the 2.1

Third: So I would like to suggest that we combine these
approaches. Either (as is done in some shules) we can recite Shma word
by word out loud OR we can impose ON BOTH THE CONGREGATION AND RABBI a
standard of 2.1 words per second.

Using this standard we have that Kriat Shma takes exactly 100 seconds
(Since there are 209 hyphenated words in Shma (248 actual words)). Thus
I would suggest that we simply require Chazanim to alot 100 seconds for
shma (And a similar approach to davening).

I believe this would solve all problems of proper waiting and
respect. In other words if a Rabbi took longer then 100 seconds he would
be perceived as violating norms. If a Rabbi took less then the chazan
should still wait till 100.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.com/


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 11:31:20 -0600
Subject: Re: pigeonholes

Tzadik Vanderhoof  asked

> Does anyone else share my impression of Israel that there are an
> extremely small number of "pigeonholes" that all Jews must cram
> themselves into?
> ...
> It seemed like there were actually quite a number of people who
> *didn't* fit into any of these 3 pigeonholes, including a lot of
> "Anglo" olim, but no matter how many of them there were, Israelis
> couldn't relate to anyone without first cramming them into one of
> these 3 pigeonholes, whether they fit or not.

My experience in Israel (admittedly many years ago) as a student was
much as Tzadik suggests. In fact, my experience was that you were
assumed to be a "crazy American" if you did not fit into one of the
pigeonholes. So that there was in fact an additional category "crazy

Perhaps my favorite experience in this regard was going into a sefarim
store and trying to buy "Vayoel Moshe", "Eim Habanim Smecha", and
"Ayelet Hashachar". The salesman could not understand why anyone would
want all of those.



From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 08:39:17 GMT
Subject: Tanach

"We are thus left with two interesting, and no doubt interrelated,
questions: How did our Tanakh come to be arranged as it is?  And how and
when were the five megillot grouped together?  I join Alan Cooper in an
appeal for information, and especially scholarly bibliography on the

Shneur Leiman has an extended article on this issue.  In an earlier work
he also oints out that the common assumption that Neviim is "higher"
than Ketuvim is due to Rambam and is not in the gemara. He points out
that in the Rosh Hashana davening the order of the pesukim is

Prof. Eli Turkel,  <turkel@...> on 03/31/2003
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 15:07:06 -0500
Subject: Re: Tircha d'Tzibura

Everyone's talking about waiting for the rabbi to finish Shmonah
Esrai. I had the opposite experience. I was once part of a summer
S.E.E.D. (Jewish outreach program) in an out of town community. The
rabbi said he didn't understand why members of our group daven so
long. Funny.


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 23:12:11 -0500
Subject: women learning gemmorah

>i have never read the psakim permitting it and would be curious to know
>their reasoning. my opinion has been based on learning the classic
>sources, therefore as the majority holds, there is no halachic place
>for gemmara.
>5)the arguement that minority opinions have become majority ones is
>ridiculous. first please spell out were this has been the case, instead
>of a nice sounding it's been done. second it's irrelevant in the first
>place, as long as the monority remains that then it is not the halacha,
>therefore to follow it is wrong. if in 50 years the majority of poskim
>permit it then you have an arguement.

Outside of the Sanhedrin their is no concept of majority rules.
Halachic Jews don't go counting up the Rabbi's to determine what to

Their are plenty of Torah scholars who support women learning.  It's an
insult to the Torah to degrade those scholars who hold that way.  The
idea that the Rav was not a gadol in his own right is apikorsus.  This
type of insult has no place on this list.


End of Volume 38 Issue 98