Volume 39 Number 32
                 Produced: Fri May 16  6:32:04 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Kiddush on YK (2)
         [Alex Heppenheimer, Mark Steiner]
L'Cha Dodi
         [Yisrael Medad]
Making of a Godol
         [Mark Steiner]
The Meitcheter Illui
         [Chaim Mateh]
PSAK vs ADVICE---banning of a gadol
         [Russell J Hendel]
R' Feivel Cohen
         [Gil Student]
Tachanun (2)
         [Martin D. Stern, Jeff Fischer]
Vegetarianism (2)
         [Ari Kahn, Jack Gross]


From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 10:18:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Kiddush on YK

In MJ 39:26, Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...> wrote:
> > (b) I forgot to add the obvious point, to my story about Reb
> > Yisroel Salanter making kiddush in public during a cholera 
> > epidemic, that this happened on Yom Kippur.  I suppose that all
> > readers understood this.
> I was not familiar with this story, do you happen to know if the YK
> in question was also a Shabbat?
> The reason I ask is that I have heard that when health requires
> eating on YK, one should *not* make kiddush, unless the day happens 
> to also be Shabbat. The reason I was given is that the takana of 
> Chaza"l (enactment of the sages) to make kiddush over wine was never 
> intended to include YK.

The reason you mention is given in Shulchan Aruch Harav (618:18); I
don't have a printed copy available right now, so I don't know what his
source is.

Note, though, that he makes no distinction between weekday and Shabbos.
This would be in keeping with his statement in 271:1 that the Biblical
obligation of Kiddush is satisfied by just verbally mentioning the
holiness of Shabbos, which we do by saying Vayechulu after Maariv. This
latter point is actually the subject of a dispute among Rishonim (see
Beur Halachah, sec. 271 s.v. Miyad, for the details); so I don't know
whether there are any later halachic authorities who do in fact make
such a distinction.

As for the story with R' Yisroel Salanter: There was a major cholera
epidemic in much of Eastern Europe during the summer and fall of 5608-09
(1848), and a number of contemporary halachic authorities corresponded
with each other over the question of whether people should fast on the
17th of Tammuz, the 9th of Av, and Yom Kippur. I don't know whether this
is the same epidemic referred to in the story - such outbreaks were
common at the time - but if it is the same one, then Yom Kippur of that
year indeed fell out on Shabbos.

Assuming that this is the case, this would mean either: (a) that RYS was
of the opinion that there is a difference between weekdays and Shabbos
re Kiddush on Yom Kippur, or (b) that he made Kiddush not because it was
required, but just in order to underscore and publicize the importance
of his action. (My understanding is that this took place during the
daytime of Yom Kippur, not the previous evening after Maariv. If that's
the case, then there was no possibly unnecessary berachah to worry

Kol tuv,

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 14:33:32 +0200
Subject: Re: Kiddush on YK

> I was not familiar with this story, do you happen to know if the YK in
> question was also a Shabbat?

> The reason I ask is that I have heard that when health requires eating
> on YK, one should *not* make kiddush, unless the day happens to also be
> Shabbat. The reason I was given is that the takana of Chaza"l (enactment
> of the sages) to make kiddush over wine was never intended to include
> YK.

    There are a number of versions of the story, and according to most
versions, RIS' actions met with strong opposition among the rabbis of
Lithuania.  He apparently wanted to dramatize his strong belief that it
was forbidden to fast during an epidemic.  Hence, I would hesitate to
draw halakhic conclusions from this story.


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 19:37:09 +0200
Subject: L'Cha Dodi

In a previous posting, I mentioned the recent publication of a book on
the piyut of L'Cha Dodi and its Kabbalistic interpretation by Reuven
Kimmelman.  Well, I was in on of my favorite bookstores in Geula today
and lo and behold, I discovered another book published Chanuka a year
ago (5762) which is a Kabbalistic text on L'Cha Dodi entitled "L'Cha
Dodi Likrat Kallh: Bi'ur El Chaftzei HeChayim", with charts, kavvanot,
et al.

Y. Medad


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 17:44:21 +0200
Subject: Re: Making of a Godol

This is a reply to Eli Turkel who wrote:

> Having read portions of the book I did not find that the author wishes
> to highlight faults in RAK. Rather he mentions that most bochurim at
> that time read secular literature etc.

    I was not referring to the stories about secular literature .  Reb
Nosson has a number of stories whose purpose (I'm not guessing, I asked
Reb Nosson) is to demonstrate that Reb Aharon z"l was arrogant and
unwilling to listen to the opinion of others, even other gedolim.  As
for "balebatim" who challenged him in a shiur, you can imagine.  Other
members of the family told me that this was Reb Yaakov's opinion of Reb
Aharon as well, i.e. they added stories.  (I should add to give a
balanced picture that Reb Yaakov z"l definitely considered Reb Aharon,
and not himself, the godol hador in the US--R. Shurin told me this
explicitly.)  I will not relate these stories here because I see that
there are readers who hold that it is forbidden to read these stories,
because a number of gedolim have banned the book on grounds that it
tends to diminish respect for the gedolim it describes (which it I think
does, certainly in the case of yeshiva bochrim who are trained to
believe that gedolim do not have the kind of faults that lesser mortals

    Consistent with Reb Yaakov's beliefs, I believe that Reb Nosson
erred and maybe even sinned by not pointing out that those very
character traits were what made it possible for him to ignore all the
pundits who told him that a yeshiva like Kletzk was impossible to
recreate in materialist America.  One man's arrogance is another man's
steadfastness.  Hopefully he will straighten the record when and if he
ever gets to publish the rest of this monumental work and deals with the
American period of Reb Yaakov and Reb Aharon, these two great friends.

Mark Steiner


From: Chaim Mateh <chaim-m@...>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 20:48:48 +0200
Subject: The Meitcheter Illui

In vol 39, #25, Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer wrote:

<<The Meitcheter Illui, R' Shlomo Polatchek, taught at Lida before coming to
RIETS, where he served as Rosh Yeshivs from '22 to '28.>>

Just for the historical record, the grandson of the above Ilui, whose
name is also Shlomo Polatchek, lives here in Rechovot Israel, and I had
the pleasure of working in the same company/department with him for at
least 10 years.  It seems that illui-ness runs in the family.

Kol Tuv,


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 09:10:30 -0400
Subject: PSAK vs ADVICE---banning of a gadol

Joseph Rosen in v38n21 speaks about the psak not to read the making of a
gadol(This is done in the context of discussing respect for gedolim).

I would like to raise the question whether the statement of gedolim
(banning the book) is a psak or advice.

After all psak (Jewish legal decision) is normally associated with which
items may be eaten, whom you can marry etc.

A Gadol or Rabbi may suggest a certain cause if very worthy but that
does not make his comments a psak. Similarly a Gadol may say that
certain statements in a book are slanderous or heretical. But that is
totally different than saying that he prohibited (as law vs advice) the
book. AFter all I read many heretical statements every day and sometimes
hear slander (and walk away from it).

Dont get me wrong. I see nothing wrong with Josephs position that these
are Gedolim and their words should be taken seriously. But I question
whether they intended their words as Psak.

Thus I would like to raise the issue of which items Gedolim have
jurisdiction over. Clearly eg if a gadol tells me I shouldnt eat too
much candy on shabbos that is not a psak(jewish decision) but rather

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


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 16:07:43 -0400
Subject: R' Feivel Cohen

I was searching through the 'net and came upon these old posts in
Mail-Jewish that I can comment on.  These are regarding pesakim from R'
Feivel Cohen that he gave while I was a member of his shul (I've since
moved twice).  He frequently begins (or at least in those days he did)
his Shabbos morning derashah with a devar halachah that is always
interesting and not infrenquently controversial.

Vol. 19 no. 15 (2 April 1995)

>Rav Feivel Cohen claims that there is no problem with the crockpot.

I heard him say to the entire shul that crockpots are problems because
of hatmanah and that the only possibility of using them on Shabbos is to
put something on the bottom so that the pot is raised significantly
above the rim.  Otherwise, he said, they are assur.

Vol. 22 no. 44 (19 December 1995)

Melech Press wrote:
>the heter of kdeirah al gabei kdeirah [pot on top of pot]: Rav Feivel
>Cohen, a prominent Brooklyn Moreh Horaah, publicly prohibited it some
>time ago. I haven't heard of any other comments from recognized

Gershon Dubin wrote:
>In writing?  I'd be very interested in the specifics.

I was there and heard him say it to the entire shul.  He started off
with a stirah in the Shulchan Aruch and said, I think based on a Pri
Megadim, that the only heter of kedeirah al gabei kedeirah is if there
is food in the blech and the water that is inside the "kedeirah blech"
is not sufficient for this even if you drink some of it (I'm not sure
why he quoted the Pri Megadim on this and not rishonim).  I remember
this clearly because I was learning in R' Hershel Schachter's kollel at
the time and he was, at least at that time, the rabbinic authority
supporting the "kedeirah blech".

Some other interesting comments I remember from R' Feivel Cohen's
Shabbos morning divrei halachah: Thanksgiving is assur, even for Bnei
Noach; Sukkah mats are assur because they are chavilos; "Unless you ar e
a talmid of the Chazon Ish" (direct quote) you have to keep two days of
Shabbos in Hawaii.

Gil Student

I received this in response to my e-mail:

>You are quoting R' Feivel b'mahadura kama.  With regard to the sechach, he
>did say that he thought it should be asur because of khavilos, but he was
>mevatel his view  when Rav Elyashiv permitted them.
>With regard to the crockpot, you quote mahadura basra.  R' Feivel said that
>he felt that the crockpot should be mutar and he had discussed it with R'
>Shlomo Zalman, who agreed.  When later R' Shlom Zalman apppeared to have
>reversed himself, R' Feivel said that one should elevate the liner out of
>respect for Rav SZ's view.


From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin D. Stern)
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 07:25:04 EDT
Subject: Re: Tachanun

<< But, the holiday must be from the night through the day.  If not, this
rule doesn't apply.  An example would be Pesach Sheni, where the korban
is sacrificed only in the time of late afternoon of the day.  So, while
on Pesach Sheni itself, one does not say Tachanun, one would recite it
on the previous day's mincha.>>

The general Ashkenaz custom, in Western Europe at least, was to follow the 
Shulchan Aruch and say Tachanun on Pesach Sheni and not omit it as the Peri 
Chadash ruled. A better example of would have been Erev Rosh Hashanah and 
Erev Yom Kippur where Tachanun is not said even at shacharis because of the 
extra holiness of the Yamim Noraim but this holiness does not stretch back to 
the minchah preceding them.

Martin D. Stern
7, Hanover Gardens, Salford M7 4FQ, England
( +44(1)61-740-2745
email <mdsternm7@...>

From: Jeff Fischer <abagabai@...>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 09:05:23 -0400
Subject: RE: Tachanun

The most likely reason why Tachanun is not said the afternoon before is
because since, in a lot of cases, we are preparing for the Yom Tov during
that afternoon, so the simcha extends itself to that afternoon so they do
not say Tachanun.

Jeff Fischer


From: Ari Kahn <kahnar@...>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 22:24:20 +0200
Subject: RE: Vegetarianism

  Lastly, I dimly recall someone quoting Rabbi Kook as saying that in
the Messianic era we will bring sacrifices/offerings of grain, not
meat. Can anyone verify that?

Olot RAIH (Raayah) Rav Kook's commentary to the siddur volume one page
292, his reasoning is that as knowledge of God spreads in the messianic
age men will climb a level of spirituality. When this happens animals
will also climb and posses understanding, consequently it will then be
inappropriate to sacrifice animals. His starting point was that
presently in this world, animals do not possess knowledge hence they
were elevated by placing them on the altar.

As an aside, despite rumors to the contrary Rav Kook was not a
vegetarian, his son Rav Zvi Yehuda was. In fact based on the
aforementioned passage one can argue that in today's world eating meat
by shechita and using as part of oneg Shabbat or Holiday feast will
elevate the animal which presently has no other means of spiritual

Ari Kahn

From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 07:45:28 -0400
Subject: Vegetarianism

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi wrote, inter alia:

>  The Torah in D'vareem/Deuteronomy 12:20 allows us to eat meat even if
> it isn't a sacrifice, but calls it a "ta'aveh," a craving. This is
> hardly a ringing endorsement.

"Craving" (with its negative connotation) is not necessarily the meaning
of Ta'avah.  Turn the page to 14:26.  All foodstuffs upon which one may
redeem Kesef Maaser Sheni fall within the Klal of the identical phrase,
"(asher) t'avveh nafsh'cha".  Should one subsist on water, salt, and

Yaakov Gross


End of Volume 39 Issue 32