Volume 39 Number 70
                 Produced: Sun Jun  8 11:58:21 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Emmanuel Ifrah]
Bicycles on Shabbat
         [Akiva Miller]
Corrections in a text (2)
         [Anonymous, <rubin20@...>]
Ethical Behavior and Halacha
         [Warren Burstein]
Folding Talis on Motzoei Shabbos
         [Emmanuel Ifrah]
forgetting Sefirah
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
The Goals of Judaism
         [Stan Tenen]
Hot water on Shabbat
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
S"T = Sefaradi Tahor?
         [Prof. Aryeh Frimer]
Standing for L'cha Dodi
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
When does one take on Shabbos?
         [Sperling, Jonathan]


From: Emmanuel Ifrah <emmanuel_ifrah@...>
Subject: Acronyms

I have heard at least three different explanations for the samekch-tet

- Usually it is understood as "Sefaradi Tahor". As a matter of fact
original sefaradic families of the Old Yishuv are called "samekh-tetim"
in Eretz Israel (jokingly I guess)

- According to Pr. Bar Asher it is a rather recent explanation that has
its roots it political conflicts in the Old Yishuv, the real meaning of
the acronym being "Seifa Tav"

- Finally, I heard from Rabbi E. M. Teitz that the meaning of
"samekh-tet" was "sin tin", an aramaic translation of the expression
"afar va-efer" (dust and ashes). In this case S"T would be a form of
modesty in the signature. Such was the practice of Hacham Tzvi

Emmanuel Ifrah


From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 09:51:47 -0400
Subject: Bicycles on Shabbat

In MJ 39:52, Leah Aharoni wrote <<< A couple of years ago, when scooters
became the latest craze in Israel, Rav Eliezer Melamed made the following
distinction. If a device is a form of transportation, it can not be used
on Shabbat. If it's a toy, it's permissible. >>>

In MJ 39:56, Ben Katz asked <<< What is the basis for this distinction?

The distinction might be seen in Shemiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa 16:17,
where he rules that a tricycle may be used, but not a bicycle. He does
not give his reasoning explicitly, and right now I don't have time to
look it up.

But I recall once researching his footnotes, and finding sources who say
that if the main use of the vehicle is for transportation, then it is
muktzeh because the usual purpose of this sort of object is to do the
melacha of Hotzaah (outside transportation) --- and that this muktzeh
status remains even if this particular bicucle happens to be inside an
eruv. This problem does not exist for a tricycle which is normally used
indoors (even if right now it would be used outdoors inside the eruv).

Akiva Miller


From: Anonymous
Subject: re: Corrections in a text

>>         Was Rabbeinu Tam unfamiliar with this rule when he prohibited
>> making corrections in the body of a text, and decreed that it be done
>> outside it?
>         Where is this gezeira of Rabbeinu Tam brought down?        

        In his introduction to the Sefer Hayashar.  (He also mentions
that Rabbeinu Gershom cursed those who make textual changes in the
Talmud itself, and writes that his grandfather, Rashi, who made many
textual emendations, always did so in his commentary and never in the
text, as Rabbeinu Tam verified by checking Rashi's Shas.)  In all
likelihood, the "sfarim" he says not to change refer specifically to the
books of the Talmud, but it has become accepted not to make changes in
any text, rather to write the correction on the side or as a footnote.

From: <rubin20@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 12:46:02 -0400
Subject: Re:  Corrections in a text

 Where is this gezeira of Rabbeinu Tam brought down?

Machzor Vitry a basic halachic work for one.


From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 14:56:05 +0400
Subject: Re: Ethical Behavior and Halacha

>From: Yakov Spil <yspil@...>
>There are stories of people from Europe and immigrants to the US early
>on in the 20th Century who kept from their children and close
>acquaintances all of the chesed they did, or the state of their
>finances- to the point that the children thought they were poor- all
>because their parents knew what to keep quiet about.

What value is expressed by giving the impression one is poor when one is
not?  It's one thing to give charity privately, but one isn't allowed to
give away all of one's income, so what did the parents do with the rest
of it?

To: <mail-jewish@...>

From: Emmanuel Ifrah <emmanuel_ifrah@...>
Subject: Folding Talis on Motzoei Shabbos

The "Sefer Taamei ha-Minhagim u-Mekorei ha-Dinim" brings two reasons for
this practice:

- In order to perform a mitzva as soon as shabbat is finished (Maharil)

- Because some "klipot" otherwise remain stuck on the tallit and
represent a danger (Sefer Hanhagot Adam)

Amongst many sepharadic communities tallitot are folded during shabbat
even without shinuy (a pratice based on the halachic conclusions of
their masters).

Emmanuel Ifrah


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 15:08:33 +0200
Subject: Re: forgetting Sefirah

      So here is how to use the Internet to remember sefira, at least
      some time during each day (a good example of "better late than
      never!").  Sign up for the "Counting The Omer Reminder List", Send
      a blank message to <sefira-subscribe@...>

      This of course only helps on those days when you actually check
      email, it won't 'pop up' during your Shabbat dinner.  ;-) It
      *does* send emails on Shabbat too, as the disclaimer says:

My successful counting this year is thanks to the email reminders and
"Orange" cell phone service 9am and 9pm.  Just hearing the signal on
Shabbat was enough; no need to touch or even look at the phone.



From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 06:51:07 -0400
Subject: Re: The Goals of Judaism

With all due respect to those who believe that Torah is only for Jews,
isn't the goal of Judaism that we become "a light unto the nations"?
Isn't our goal not only to help ourselves, but to be examples of how, in
so doing, others can also help themselves?

This is why, when the public sees a Jew do something that is definitely
not a light, it makes us all feel so bad.  We are the people who sustain
the action of learning (Samek-Gimel-Lamed, "segulah"), and thus, by so
doing, make ourselves examples of people who learn to make good choices.

Hag sameach Shavuos.



From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 12:25:36 +0300
Subject: Re: Hot water on Shabbat

Leah Aharoni stated:

      2. Marc Shapiro suggested creating a digital timers that would be
      set to work weekly to lower water temperature before Shabbat.
      There is a similar product on the market that assures water
      temperature of below ~50 degrees C (~120 degrees F). It is
      recommended for constant use by Israeli Family Care Stations for
      reasons of child safety. 50 degrees is still slightly above Yad

I could be wrong, but I think this product, when necessary, adds cold
water to water that has already been heated excessively.

In which case it would not solve any halakhic problem



From: Prof. Aryeh Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 17:04:20 +0200
Subject: S"T = Sefaradi Tahor?

    Below is a letter I received from my long-time friend and Sefaradi
Tahor Prof. (of Tanach and Midrash at Harvard and Bar Ilan) James
(Yaakov) Kugel (originally Kaduri).  In it he responds to the suggestion
that S"T' seems to mean is that "the writers family was not among the
Marronos (who contrary to popular literature, were look down upon in
there times, as Jews who would pretend to forsake Torah for material
wealth, as opposed to going in exile).  Hag Sameah!

        Aryeh Frimer


Dear Aryeh,

    Permit me to express some doubts about this answer. I am certainly
no expert on such matters, but what I remember hearing is that the
original meaning of S.T. had nothing to do with Sefardim -- it stood for
something else entirely (simana tava?). It is true that, after a while,
some Sefardim starting using it to designate themselves, i.e., the
Jewish exiles from Spain -- but not, I think, as opposed to conversos
(i.e., the so-called "Marranos," though this is not a very polite word
in Spanish).  After all, conversos pretty much remained in Spain, at
least for a century or two; what need was there for the exiles, who by
definition weren't in Spain, to distinguish themselves from them?
Rather, I suspect that this use of S. T. was intended to preserve the
memory of those who were descended from exiles as opposed to those whom
they called the "ezrahim," that is, the Jews who had always lived in
Berber North Africa or Egypt etc. and never been in Spain. These people
may have become Sefardim by minhag, that is, they eventually joined the
synagogues of the Sefardim and/or adopted the prayers and halakhic
rulings and general learning of the Spanish exiles, but they
nevertheless were not genetically descended from exiles -- so they were
not "tehorim."

    Quite apart from distinguishing themselves from others, the Sefardim
thought it a badge of honor to have come from this wonderful center of
Jewish learning -- maybe that's one reason why the Rambam used to sign
"Moshe b. Maimon ha-Sefardi."

    Kol tuv, hag sameah lekhullam, Jim

Dr. Aryeh A. Frimer
Ramat Gan 52900, ISRAEL
E-mail: <FrimeA@...>
Tel: 972-3-5318610; Fax: 972-3-5351250


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 15:20:25 +0300
Subject: Re: Standing for L'cha Dodi

Yisrael Medad (who came to Israel on the same ship as I did)  stated:

>Further to the issue raised by Ira Jacobson, the custom to stand, I may
>presume, comes from the behavior of the AriZal.

The claim is that the author of Lekha Dodi specified that it be recited
standing.  I have seen this claim in the Belz annual lu'ah, for example.

But I would like independent confirmation.



From: Sperling, Jonathan <JSperling@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 11:26:28 -0400
Subject: Re: When does one take on Shabbos?

This response to Carl Singer's question is qualified by the facts that I
am not a posek and that all my seforim are currently in boxes.

Per Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 263:12, if the shul in town davens early
erev shabbos, all members of the community must accept shabbos when the
shul does.  The shul is considered to accept shabbos upon reciting the
last verse of Lecha Dodi (bo'i b'shalom) (I recall reading this latter
point in Shmiras Shabbos K'hilchasa, vol. II.  I don't have access to it
but it has a chapter on kabbalas shabbos which addresses this issue in
detail).  Therefore, candles must be lit and melacha by all members of
the community must cease no later than when that portion of the davening
is reached in shul. 

Mishna Berura there states, however, that this applies only if there is
only one shul in town.  If there is more than one shul in town, one need
only follow the minhag as to when kabbolos shabbos is of the shul that
one attends, even if one's own shul constitutes a minority of all the
shulgoers in town. 

R' Moshe Feinstein (Iggros Moshe, O"C(3) 32) posits that this rule may
only apply when kabbolos shabbos is early because of a minhag to
increase tosefes shabbos.  Where kabbolos shabbos is early because
people don't want to change their dinner hour from what it is during the
week -- i.e, when early kabbolos shabbos is a summer-only event -- he
suggests that this early kabbolos shabbos may lack the status of minhag
and therefore may not be binding on the community. 

In that same teshuva, R' Moshe writes that while the community's early
acceptance of shabbos is binding on women (who presumably are not in
shul), a husband's individual early acceptance of shabbos is not binding
on his wife.  I emphasize again, however, that I do not have my seforim
at hand and that no one should rely on my characterization of the
teshuva without reading it themselves.   

The answers to Carl's questions therefore would appear to be:

1.  Licht benching is no later than when one's shul reaches the last
verse of Lecha Dodi. 
2.  Individuals not attending services must cease melacha as of when the
shul in which they daven reaches the last verse of Lecha Dodi. 
3.  Family members have the same rule as #2.
4.  If there are two minyanim, the relevant minyan is the one in which a
family member is davening (I recall but can't confirm that this is what
SS"K says). 
4a.  All of this may not apply per R'Moshe, in which case those not
attending shul must light candles and cease melacha as of
candle-lighting time, or if one's shul has a year-round practice of
accepting shabbos before candle-lighting for purposes of having extra
tosefes shabbos, then by the time one's shul is mekabel shabbos. 

I would, however, encourage anyone interested in these questions to look
at the above-referenced chapter of Shmiras Shabbos K'hilchasa, and in
particular at the sources cited in the footnotes there. 

Jonathan M. Sperling


End of Volume 39 Issue 70