Volume 39 Number 72
                 Produced: Mon Jun  9  5:11:39 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bicycles on Shabbat (2)
         [Sam Saal, Shimon Lebowitz]
Bracha on Tefila shel Rosh
         [Ben Katz]
Counting Early
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Folding Talis on Motzoei Shabbos (2)
         [Maurice Wieder, smeth]
         [Jonathan Hasleton]
         [Danny Skaist]
Marranos vs. conversos
         [Mike Gerver]
         [Stan Tenen]
Umbrellas and New Gezerot (4)
         [Elazar M Teitz, Carl Singer, <chips@...>, Chaim Tatel]
Yom Tov Nusach Hatefillah
         [Martin D. Stern]


From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2003 13:03:55 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Bicycles on Shabbat

Michael Rogovin <rogovin@...> wrote:

>While bicycles need regular maintenance, they do not need to be fixed or
>adjusted at all before each ride (except perhaps for a race or all day
>tour, and even then it is just a precaution). You get on and
>ride. Contemporary bikes rarely have chains that break or fall off ...

As a long time avid cyclist and long distance rider, I think this is not
quite true. For example, because a modern bicycle's brakes are
controlled by cables, everyone getting on a bicycle should, at least,
check the braking action before every ride. Often, this is almost
unconscious: You pull on the brake levers as you get on and stop
immediately if you feel something out of the ordinary.

Further, I'm not sure how this effects the question, but every person
must wear a helmet when cycling. Putting on a helmet involves adjusting
the fit. This may be no more shabbat inappropriate than adjusting the
belt of your slacks (or skirt). Anyone who rides a significant distance,
over time, sees the importance of wearing a helmet. I have, and wouldn't
ride around the block without it. While not particularly relevant to
this topic, I have long been concerned about the boys from a local
yeshiva that I see riding their bikes. I rarely see them with
helmets. Also rare is to see them riding bikes that fit (seat and/or
handlebars clearly the wrong height, for example).  Frighteningly, I
have seen many riders oblivious to automobile traffic: riding the wrong
way in traffic, running lights, not signalling....

We are required to guard our lives (shmor et nafshoteichem), bicycle
riding is great exercise, but only if done safely.

Sam Saal

From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Sun, 08 Jun 2003 23:32:49 +0200
Subject: Re: Bicycles on Shabbat

Akiva Miller said:
> 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.

This distinction also appears in Rav Y P Bodner's "Halachos
of Muktza". He writes: 
   Two wheel bicycles are considered *keilim shemelechtam le-issur* and
   may be moved *letzorech gufam umekomam* only....  Children's
   tricycles ... are not muktza at all.

In a (Hebrew) footnote he expands (my translation):
   So I heard from Rav Moshe [shlit"a] who explained to me that bicycles
   are *meyuhad le-hotza'a* and therefore are *keli shemelechto
   le-issur* and are forbidden even in an eiruv.

I have only written some of what is in the book on this topic, but
hopefully enough to show the main point.

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 10:31:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Bracha on Tefila shel Rosh

>There is an intersting Shagas Aryeh on this, including the question of
>whether a one armed person puts on the tefila shel rosh. (I'm at work so
>I'm sorry I do not have the citation).
>David I. Cohen

         How does a one armed man put on tefillin shel YAD?


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 16:59:54 +0300
Subject: Re: Counting Early

Michael Kahn  stated:
>Simmilarly, only if early kablas shabas means it is REALLY shabbos for
>him, then he may count.

It is really Shabbat with regard to all the positive and negative
mitzvot concerned with Shabbat.

Regarding the daily mitzvot connected with time, we must recite Qeri'at
Shema again after the stars come out, and count sefira only after the
stars are out.



From: Maurice Wieder <maurice@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 13:27:47 -0400
Subject: RE: Folding Talis on Motzoei Shabbos

I once heard that a Satmar Chassid once asked his Rebbe if it was indeed
a Segulah for Shalom Bayis and the Rebbe responded that washing the
dishes after Shabbos was an even better way to insure this.

From: smeth <smeth@...>
Subject: Folding Talis on Motzoei Shabbos

Sefer Minhag Yisroel Torah Section 9 on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim
Siman 300 (translation mine):

"The Magen Avraham on this Siman [writes:] 'the Maharil had a Shabbos
Tallis which he used to fold every Motza'ei Shabbos in order to be
immediately involved in a Mitzvah.'  In the Kittzur Shelah it is written
in the name of the Maharil that one should fold the tallis when the
Shatz begins 'Veyhi noam' to show that until now it was forbidden to do
melachah (see there).  The Ohr Zaruah in the Likuttei Maharitz Chayos
[writes] that one who studies the Maharil will see that he does not say
to fold the tallis when he says 'veyhi noam' nor is the reason to show
that until now melacha was forbidden, rather it is as the Magen Avraham
writes, in order to be involved in a Mitzvah immediately.  He also
writes that it is not correct for one to be engaged in any activity
while one says 'viyhi noam' and the kedushah [following], even something
light.  From the seder [siddur?] of the Magen Avraham it appears that
one should fold it after Havdalah; it is also written in the Siddur
Derech Hachayyim that this is the minhag.

"The mekubalim have writted that it is a sakanah [danger] to leave a
tallis unfolded [presumably after Shabbos].  If he forgot and did not
fold it and the night [of Motza'ei Shabbos] passed, then when he dons it
the next morning he should first shake it out.  Similarly writes the Ben
Ish Chai on Parashas Noach, that one should personally fold his tallis
and not give it to an attendant to fold, for this is difficult for his
mazel.  In the Ta'amei Haminhagim 947 in the Kutreis Acharon, he brings
from the Sefer Toledos Menachem that one who wishes his wife to have
long life should fold his tallis on Motza'ei Shabbos, because the woman
brings the tallis to the Chassan, and from here comes the [practice of
being] meticulous about watching the tallis and folding it immediately
after Shabbos in order to show that he doesn't hope for another tallis
that another woman would bring him, chas vesholom."

Regarding omens in general, see the Maharsha on Horiyos 12a (appears
under 12b, "man deba'I lemeida e masik shata").  It is summarized in the
Art Scroll Gemara, 12a4, note 49.


From: Jonathan Hasleton <nigbostrils@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2003 17:11:11 +0100
Subject: Journals


How do I go about subscribing to Journals such as

Torah U-madda
Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society

and also where can I get hold of back issues


Jonathan Hasleton
(Manchester, UK)


From: Danny Skaist <danny@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2003 09:16:31 +0200 
Subject: l'omer/b'omer

<<What is the halachic difference between 'la-omer' and 'ba-omer'?  The
Rav z'l taught to say the latter, and I was once explained the
difference, but have totally forgotten and cannot ask the person. 
Rabbi Ed Goldstein >>

I don't think that there could be any halachic difference.  The halachic
requirement to count is to say "today is such and such" , (that's why we
answer "yesterday was..." ).  Once you finish those words you have
fulfilled the requirement and anything following should have no
"halachic" significance.  Mentioning "omer" or the weeks, is not
included in being yotzeh.

All the different ways of counting always start with "today is such and



From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2003 18:22:31 EDT
Subject: Marranos vs. conversos

Charles Halevi writes, in v39n71,

> please be advised that -- contrary to what many of us
>  learned -- the word "marrano" is an insult. It means "pig," "swine,"
>  "filthy," "dirty" and "filthy dirty pig."

This is indeed true, but the earlier etymology of the word "marrano" is
also interesting. It was borrowed by Spanish from Arabic "mukharam,"
meaning "forbidden," a natural enough word to designate pigs in a Muslim
country. The Arabic word, which comes from the same Arabic root as
"harem," is related to the Hebrew word "cherem."

This is one of about 250 entries so far in the book I have been writing
on English and Hebrew words with common origin (see the last paragraph
of my posting on "Hebrew and English cognates" in v38n33).

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Sun, 08 Jun 2003 08:33:29 -0400
Subject: Stunning

It has been suggested that both local requirements to stun cattle, and
kosher slaughter requirements, might be satisfied, if the stunning were
after kosher slaughter.

The problem is that stunning is what is likely spreading, or
exaggerating the spread, of "mad cow disease" (BSE; vCJD) in humans (and
in animals that consume feed from the stunned animals).

There is a summary of the situation on pages 6-7 of New Scientist, 31
May 2003.

As one of the things listed in their "what to do now" box, New Scientist
lists "stop abbatoirs using stun guns that can scatter brain tissue onto
parts of the animal eaten by people (The US is considering this)."

The New Scientist article is credited to Debora Mackenzie, in Brussels.

 ....So, if the cattle researchers know that stunning is likely making the 
"mad cow disease" problem worse, doesn't it seem a bit disingenuous to 
impose this form of slaughter over kosher slaughter?  It seems natural to 
inquire as to what the motive might be.



From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2003 18:25:17 -0400
Subject: Re: Umbrellas and New Gezerot

The statement was made that

        "it is the norm in Orthodoxy not to carry an umbrella on shabat
even tho if already open there is no halachic reason not to.  And no,
you are not creating an ohel around you, otherwise certain wide brimmed
hats might not be allowed :-)."

        The first statement is an outright error .  Whether the umbrella
is open or not is irrelevant if it is being carried, since a new area is
protected against rain or sun with every step the person takes. And yes,
it _is_ creating an ohel, if its purpose is to protect from rain or sun
-- see, e.g, the Aruch Hashulchan 315:12, who states, "An umbrella is an
absolute ohel, and it is prohibited to carry it even in one's yard [i.e.,
where there is no problem of carrying on Shabbos--EMT], since it is made
exclusively to protect and to cover up from the sun and the rain."

        As for the wide-brimmed hats, that, too, is not so simple.  There
are Rishonim, among them the Rambam (Shabbos 22:31), who prohibit wearing
hats whose brim is hard and more than a tefach wide. Our hats, however,
have as their saving grace that we don't wear them for their brims to
supply shade, and hence they do not qualify as an ohel.  Again, see the
Aruch Hashulchan in 301:111.

From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 08:40:26 EDT
Subject: Re: Umbrellas and New Gezerot

           This is an interesting but controversial statement.  For
      example, it is the norm in Orthodoxy not to carry an umbrella on
      shabat even tho if already open there is no halachic reason not
      to.  And no, you are not creating an ohel around you, otherwise
      certain wide brimmed hats might not be allowed :-).  And no, it is
      no more boneh than closing a door is boneh a wall.

Two other thoughts

1 - umbrellas can be expensive -- and they are mechanical to some extent
-- so we're back to "bicycle" issues

2 - rain is a blessing from HaShem -- should we shield ourselves from
same, vs: a coat which simply allows us to stay dry.

Carl Singer

From: <chips@...>
Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2003 23:40:08 -0700
Subject: Re: Umbrellas and New Gezerot

>  From Shemirat Shabbat 25:15
> "The leaders of the genrations decreed (geder gacru gedole hadorot) that
> one should not open an umbrella on shabbat or yomtov (and also a house
> sunshade - shimshia) similarly one should not fold them and not use them
> even id they are already open before shabbat.  However a garden shade
> that is in the ground or a cover to a pergola or on a view window can be
> opened and folded"

And yet, even though the exact same reason why an open umbrella is in
actuallity is OK to use on Shabos is why baby carriages are OK, baby
carriages were not banned.  Worse , nowadays baby strollers and
carriages come with easy takeoff covers and no one has banned their use
on Shabos even though they do involve ohel building and are really
mutzka once taken off.


From: Chaim Tatel <chaimyt@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 12:43:19 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Umbrellas and New Gezerot

Ben Katz stated:

>......This is an interesting but controversial statement.  For example, it is
the norm in Orthodoxy not to carry an umbrella on shabat even tho if already
open there is no halachic reason not to.  And no, you are not creating an ohel
around you, otherwise certain wide brimmed hats might not be allowed :-).>

Very interesting comment.
When I was in Cleveland 35 years ago, there was a well-known Rav there
who wore a very wide-brimmed hat. Many folks considered this in the
realm of ohel and wondered how he could wear it on Shabbos. Today, you
see this as the "Standard" chareidi-style hat. The last time I tried to
buy a narrow-brim hat in Brooklyn, the salesman had a problem with my
request, stating that "the current style is wider-brims."



From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin D. Stern)
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2003 03:41:29 EDT
Subject: Yom Tov Nusach Hatefillah

    When a Yom Tov falls on a weekday, Ashkenazim use the weekday
formulation of the first berakhah before shema, "Hameir la'arets - Kel
barukh ", whereas Sefardim use the same one "Hakol yodukha - Kel Adon"
as on Shabbat, missing the paragraph "laKel asher shavat" up to
"Hamanchil menuchah - beyom shabbat kodesh", which is clearly
inappropriate. I have not seen any explanation of the rationale
underlying the two customs. Can anyone provide one?

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


End of Volume 39 Issue 72