Volume 39 Number 35
                 Produced: Tue May 20  5:38:23 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aylo ve-Aylo
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Candles While Travelling
         [Immanuel Burton]
Chief Rabbis
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
G-d's Incorporeality
         [David Ebner]
RealAudio of Lecture
         [Joseph Mosseri]
Shabbat candles
         [Meir Shinnar]
Shechitah In The United Kingdom
         [Immanuel Burton]
Tachanun (2)
         [Tzvi Briks, Joel Rich]
Tea Lights
         [Immanuel Burton]
YTV and Lida Yeshiva


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 16:31:08 +0300
Subject: Re: Aylo ve-Aylo

Yehonatan Chipman stated:
>Speaking of grammar, one anomaly which has always puzzled me, and
>of which I was again reminded during the reading of Shir Hashirim this
>Pesah: breasts (shadayim) are unique to the female body, but they are
>gramatically masculine ("shnei shadayikh...." and not "shtei" -- in
>three separate verses in Song of Songs).  This is particularly odd,
>given the general rule that all parts of the body that come in pairs,
>and by and large common to both genders, are feminine (einayim,
>raglayim, yadayim, oznayim, etc.)  Any explanation would be appreciated.

The first thing that comes to mind is nehirayyim, nostrils, which is
masculine in gender.

Also, men have breasts, too, although without much purpose, And the
gender of the possessor does not determine the gender of the noun,



From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 09:11:28 +0100
Subject: Candles While Travelling

Volume 3, Chapter 43, Paragraph 4, Section C(1) of the English
translation of Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchosh says that there are
authorities that allow use of electric lights for Shabbos lights,
provided they are turned on for the sake of being Shabbos lights.  Could
one therefore rely on this and use a couple of small torches
(flashlights) when in a hotel?

On a slightly different aspect, Chapter 43, Paragraph 10, Section B says
that a woman who is unfortunately blind and lives on her own should
light Shabbos lights herself, provided that it is safe to do so.

Immanuel Burton.


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 13:04:08 +0300
Subject: Chief Rabbis

The Israeli press reported that for the first time in Israel's history
both new chief rabbis ruled that one is not permitted to shave on Yom
Ha'atzma'ut, because of the sefirah restrictions.

What is interesting about this is who - if anyone - this ruling affects.
It certainly does not affect the Charedim, who don't accept Yom
Ha'atzma'ut or the chief rabbinate. Nor does it affect the Religious
Zionists, who have rejected the new chief rabbis as their sources of
Halachah, relying instead on earlier chief rabbis who are Zionistic,
such as R' Mordechai Eliyahu or R' Avraham Shapira.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the next Shemittah year,
when the new chief rabbis have committed themselves not to permit the
Heter Mechirah - the ruling that permits selling the land and thus
allowing it to be worked. If the Heter Mechirah is not permitted by the
chief rabbis, I believe a competing rabbinate will emerge, with a
competing Kashrut certification that does rely on the Heter Mechirah.

Interestingly enough, I came across in my library a booklet by R'
Ovadyah Yosef, either before he became chief rabbi or while he occupied
that position, in which he defends the Heter Mechirah.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: David Ebner <rebeb@...>
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 13:10:27 +0200
Subject: G-d's Incorporeality

As several readers have pointed out, the Ra'avad himself clearly does
not believe in G-d's corporeality. The editor of Rambam L'Am has
suggested that "gedolim v'tovim mimenu" which is generally taken as
"greater and better than him ( = Rambam)" can be translated as "great
and good people from (among) us maintained this". In that case, Ra'avad
is simply arguing that the belief in G-d's corporeality, though
incorrect, does not mark one as a heretic.  

There is a beautiful explanation by the Chozeh of Lublin ( quoted in
Divrei Torah of R. Chaim Elazar Shapira of Munkacz, Vol. 5, # 20, p. 470
in Jerusalem, 1980 edition) as to the Ra'avad's motivation in this
gloss.  Ra'avad aimed at creating a legal opinion which would rescue all
those fine, but misguided, Jews who had been banished from Paradise as a
result of Rambam's opinion. The Chozeh's explanation takes the power of
law not being in Heaven to Heaven itself!  

Dovid Ebner


From: Joseph Mosseri <joseph.mosseri@...>
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 08:55:33 -0400
Subject: RealAudio of Lecture

If anyone is interested this is the RealAudio of the lecture I gave.

Joseph Mosseri on April 2, 2003
"Torah - Ancient Relic or Living Law: A Sephardic Rabbinical Approach"

This lecture is not meant to be used as Halakhah leMa'aseh!  I am only
scratching the surface here and there is much to be studied and examined
in order to paint a more complete and clearer picture of the matters at

Joseph Mosseri


From: Meir Shinnar <Meir.Shinnar@...>
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 09:39:13 -0400
Subject: Shabbat candles

WRT to lighting Shabbat candles not at the place of the meal, see
TaShma, Minhag Ashkenaz Hakadmon.

He has a chapter on shabbat candles, where he argues that the minhag
ashkenaz, documented in 13-15 century sources, allowed for lighting
shabbat candles not at the shabbat table.  He suggests that the real
basis for the two shabbat candles (something that doesn't exist in gmara
or geonic literature) is that due to the long day in northern Germany,
the minhag was to accept shabbat while it was still light, and therefore
the shabbat candle was no longer needed for light at the table, but
related instead to kvod hashabbat, so a second candle was added.  He
brings (IIRC) a repsonsa from the Maharam Mirottenburg allowing lighting
candles at a different location than at the meal, and a tshuva from the
Maharil (14th century) that dealt with the minhag that women who went to
the mikva on Friday night (and therefore frequently weren't home when
shabbat started) would light their shabbat candles at shul.

What role these tshuvot have in current halachic practice is, of course,
a different issue.

Meir Shinnar


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 09:41:44 +0100
Subject: Shechitah In The United Kingdom

There was an article in The Times today (15th May 2003) concerning a
threat to shechitah (and halal) in the United Kingdom.  Under European
animal welfare regulations, all farm animals must be stunned before
slaughter, though shechitah and halal are exempt from this requirement.

The Farm Animal Welfare Council, which is appointed and funded by the
British Government, has concluded after a 4-year study that shechitah
and halal methods are inhumane.  (Yes, I know, we've all heard this
before.)  The Council is therefore insisting that shechitah and halal
methods be brought into line with the mainstream regulations of

The Council has cited scientific evidence which suggests that cows and
poultry take up to two minutes to lose consciousness after their throats
are cut, while for sheep it is between 14 and 70 seconds.

Are there any shochtim on this mailing list who can state from
experience how long it takes for cows, poultry and sheep to lose
consciousness at the time of shechitah?

Finally, the URL of the article in question (which was valid today) is:


Immanuel Burton.


From: <Brikspartzuf@...> (Tzvi Briks)
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 00:08:02 EDT
Subject: Re: Tachanun

Concerning the Tachanun, I would venture to ask Yisrael Medad, that if
there is a Simcha like a Bar Mitzvah or a Chatuna, at the Mincha before
the event no Tachanun is stated.  Would you classify this as a Chag or
Shabbat?  Is it also true that if Mincha is stated late so that it is
past the normal Zeman or there is a Shul meeting or there is a pressing
Dati event, isn't Tachanun also passed over?

Tzvi Briks

From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 20:45:17 EDT
Subject: Re: Tachanun

<< In mail.jewish v39n21, Joel Rich asked if anyone knows the reason why we
 don't say tachnun at mincha on the day before tachnun is not said.

 I looked this up in The Encyclopaedia Of Jewish Prayer by Macy Nulman
 (published by Jason Aronson Inc, 1993).  It cites Ta'amai Ha'Minhagim
 (by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Sperling), paragrapah 128, and states that
 tachnun is omitted at mincha on days preceding festivals - which are
 listed as being Rosh Chodesh, Purim and Chanukah - so that people won't
 forget to say Ya'aleh Ve'Yavo or Al Ha'Nissim in maariv.

 No mention was made in The Encylopaedia of omitting tachnun at mincha on
 Friday or Erev Yom Tov, presumably because maariv on Shabbos and Yom Tov
 have a special Amidah, as opposed to the weekday Amidah with additions.
 Perhaps omitting tachnun at mincha on the days before Rosh Chodesh,
 Purim and Chanukah spread to mincha on the days before other days when
 tachnun is not said?

 I do not have a copy of Ta'amai Ha'Minhagim, and so have not been able
 to look up the original source to see what's written there.

 Immanuel Burton.  >>

He includes erev shabbat and yom tov in the list. His source is
"matzati"!!!  I still don't understand why this would allow the
nonsaying of tachanun when it should be said

Joel Rich


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 12:19:03 +0100
Subject: Tea Lights

Recent postings about Shabbos lights have suggested using tea lights.
Contrary to popular belief, these can start fires, and care should be
taken as to where they are lit.

I once saw a documentary about domestic fires.  The makers of the
programme demonstrated how a tea light placed on a plastic surface,
which in the their case was the top of a television set, can cause the
plastic to melt and ignite when the tea light burns down.

When my father lights a yahrzeit candle he places the glass containing
the candle on an upturned glass plate.  This arrangement helps to
diffuse the heat from the candle away from from the table top as the
candle burns down.  Perhaps this should be taken into account if you
don't have a "proper" tea light holder.

Immanuel Burton.


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 05:29:06 EDT
Subject: YTV and Lida Yeshiva

<< From: Eugene Bazarov <evbazarov@...>
Not only is Rav Reiness' Yeshiva important for the history of Day
Schools, it is very important for the history of black-hat Yeshivas in
the U.S.. Rav Reiness' Yeshiva was called "Torah Ve'Dass". And the most
influential black-hat yeshiva was/is Torah Ve'Dass. Following Rav
Reiness' derech, they were one of the first cheders to have secular
studies and hence were able to get a lot of students. What was - and
remains - banned in Israel and Europe (i.e. a black-hat high school with
secular studies) is accepted in the U.S. because of Rav Reiness! The
founders of Yeshiva Torah Ve'Dass were followers of Rav Reiness. And
hence most black-hat yeshivas in the US follow Rav Reiness' derech
(except chasidisher yeshivas and some high schools in Lakewood.)

E.V. Bazarov >>

While I don't think that Yeshiva Torah Vodaas of Brooklyn, New York in
the USA is 'the most influential' right wing Yeshiva and might take
issue with some other details above, nevertheless, Mr. Bazarov is
definitely onto something.

The name alone is a tipoff, in fact. The name Torah Vodaas (Torah and
[presumably secular] knowledge) is actually very close to the 'Torah
Umadda' (Torah and knowledge) motto of Yeshiva University ! Names of
institutions usually reflect visions of their founders - they are not
usually picked at random out of (even black) hats - rather they are
products of deliberate choices.

One of the important figures in the early days of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas
was Rabbi Zev Gold, at that time a Rav in the Williamsburg section of
Brooklyn where the new Yeshiva was located, later an important leader of
the Mizrachi religious zionist movement and signatory of the Israeli
declaration of independence, IIRC. It is said that he gave the name to
the new institution. I think that he may have been a student of Rabbi
Reines at his Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in Lida. That Yeshiva closed around
1915 I believe (presumably WWI was a factor). Yeshiva Torah Vodaas of
Brooklyn started a short while later - in 1917, IIRC. In the early
years, instruction at YTV was, in fact, interestingly, 'ivrit be'ivrit'
(or perhaps ivris be'ivris). A few years later, things at YTV started to
change. The arrival of Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, a more
'traditionalist' leader there, was the beginning of many changes. The
language of instruction was changed, a Mesivta was established, and the
institution acquired a hassidic tinge, among other things.

Bits and pieces on the early history of YTV have appeared in recent
years in scattered locales. Perhaps some historian will write about it
at greater length in the future.



End of Volume 39 Issue 35