Volume 40 Number 78
                 Produced: Thu Oct  2  6:49:53 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Children in Shul on Yomim Noraim
Civil Ceremonies
         [Carl Singer]
Is the airline food kosher?
         [David Ziants]
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
         [Shalom Kohn]
Wearing Tefillin While Driving
         [Gil Student]
         [Perets Mett]


From: Anonymous
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2003 09:15:15
Subject: Children in Shul on Yomim Noraim

An Open Letter to Parents Who Bring Small Children to Shul on the Yomim

Davening on Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur is lengthy, significantly longer
than davening in your average shul on your average Shabbos morning.
Many children -- good children, sweet children -- do not have the
patience or ability to sit quietly for that length of time.  Some shuls
have the resources to make it comfortable for mothers or fathers to
bring pre-shul-aged kids: Some shuls have in-house babysitters.  Others
have lobbies or other areas where parents (typically mothers) congregate
with their kids -- so that they can pray "in shul" without actually
being in the shul, where the kids would disrupt others.

But many shuls, in particular shtieblach such as the one where my family
davens, do not have such resources.  And they ask parents not to bring
children to shul.  Yes, as a result many women with children do not get
to daven in shul during Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur while their kids are
small.  There are many good reasons not to bring non-silent children to
shul, and most of them are self-evident.  One of the less evident
reasons is that, from a chinuch [education] standpoint, bringing a
restless, chatty kid to shul teaches the kid that shul is a place to
talk.  But that is not the point of this letter.

I am writing this letter to the mother who brought the adorable, bubbly,
and incessantly noisy little child to my shul on Rosh HaShana.

On the first day of Yom Tov, you came to shul with your three-year-old
kid in tow.  Throughout davening, your child talked, and you Shhh!ed.
It was disruptive, and finally -- midway through Mussaf -- you bundled
the kid up and walked home.  But then, on the second day of Yom Tov, you
were back!  With your kids!  Other parents dropped in for a few minutes
and left as soon as their kids got unruly.  You stayed.  It came time
for Shofar.  Someone made an announcement asking parents of noisy kids
to please take them home; there would be a second blowing of the Shofar
later in the afternoon for all those who missed it in the morning, so no
one would be precluded from fulfilling her obligation.  You stayed, even
though your kid chattered through this announcement.

Let me tell you something about myself.  I am an unmarried adult woman.
I love kids.  Being around kids gives me nothing but pleasure, in spite
of the fact that I will almost certainly never have kids of my own.
There are many people like me in your community.  There were several
people just like me in the small congregation davening with you on Rosh
HaShana.  We were, thank Gd, there with our parents; speaking only for
myself, I was there (and not in another shul) because it would have
caused my mother great pain not to have me with her in shul on the Yomim
Noraim.  But Yom Tov is not the easiest time of year for unmarried
adults.  You want to daven with love, without bitterness, without anger
-- and this is a challenge, and this is something that I work on a lot.

Back to Rosh HaShana.  The shul is quiet.  The Rov blows Shofar.  And
then, between sounds, your kid begins chattering.  Again.  And you begin
Shhh!ing.  Again.  And my concentration is utterly, totally, completely
shattered.  And I resent the fact that you -- with your life in three
dimensions, with a family of your own, a full member of the community,
all the things that I may never, ever have -- have disrupted my davening
through your selfishness.  And I feel angry that you -- who are not 22,
who got married "later" yourself, who ought to remember the pain -- do
not know better.  And then, of course, I start to cry, because it hurts
me that I am thinking these thoughts even though I work so hard *not* to
have these thoughts crowd my davening.

The women who never really see me artfully ignore the fact that I'm
standing there with tears rolling down my face.  The little girls who
always stare at me ("Gee, why isn't she wearing a shait'l?") continue to
stare.  You are completely oblivious.  My mother clutches my hand.

Please.  If your kids aren't old enough to sit quietly through davening,
don't bring them to shul.  If your kids are disrupting people's
davening, they may be causing people untold pain.  This is really,
really not good -- not for the person in pain, not for you, not for your

A g'mar chasima tova.


From: Carl Singer <csngr@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 20:26:55 -0400
Subject: Civil Ceremonies

> Not true.  One reason, at least in the states, for having a civil
> ceremony before the religious, is to be able to file an immigration
> petition for a spouse to start the time running on what can be a long
> process now-a-days,.  There are also other reasons to accelerate the
> legal status of marriage to obtain certain civil benefits.
> Hanno D. Mott

EXACTLY!!!  Hanno has it right.

Neither my wife nor I were residents of the state in which we were going
to get married (she had moved away from home for college, etc.) and our
Mesadur Kiddushin was an out of state Rabbi.  We were both in town for
Pesach, so eruv Pesach we got a civil license.  Then discovering that it
had to be "used" within 30 days, we visited a family friend who was a
judge and completed the civil paperwork -- ceremony would not describe
it -- the "will you abide by" was replied with a "at some future date"
and the two witnesses were two non-Jewish women on the Judge's staff.
The paperwork was signed an we then both flew back to our respective
cities of residence.  In the 3 or so months between this event and our
actual wedding, my wife was able to use her new legal status, to update
banking, car insurance and other such items.


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2003 23:00:49 +0200
Subject: Re: Is the airline food kosher?

Concerning my recent posting the need to check the the latest kashrut
updates as well as obtaining the Jewish community's kashrut list as
another poster mentioned, I forgot, to mention something that is
especially relevant when in airports and in duty free shopping areas

Manufacturing processes differ from country to country, and often the
food being sold might not be manufactured in the same country that the
local kashrut guide assumes. The "yetzar hara" (= evil inclination)
finds it very easy to trip one up when the product is written in the
guide "kosher" but the scope of the guide does not include the version
from that particular country where the product was made.

One also has to ensure the manufacturing date on the package is after
the date, if a product has recently changed status from not-kosher to
kosher, or (if relevant for you) from milk to parev.

For example:

1. After Eight Mints is parev (afaik) when manufactured in the UK and
after a certain date, but is milk if manufactured elsewhere in the
world, or in the UK and before this date.

2. Mars Bars: I think that this 100% kosher (non-supervised milk) if
manufactured in most countries, and these are endorsed by the Israeli
Chief Rabbinate when exported to here. Someone (of authority) told me
that there might be a problem with those manufactured in Poland. A
private Rabbi has his name on the Polish variety, but the Israeli Chief
Rabbinate do not endorse this (does anyone have any more details on this

I mentioned in my posting the "Luach" kashrut appendix for Holland,
which is written in Dutch, and since then my wife reminded me that there
is a "tourist" abridged guide in English, on the Web at: www.nik.il

G'mar chatima Tova,

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 19:40:34 +0200
Subject: Simanim

Returning to a subject I opened, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu's strictures on
the time of eating of the Simanim, I saw in the Bar Ilan weekly portion
sheet (there are so many of them) that there are actually two textual
variants that may solve the problem.

In Horayot 12A, the Simanim are to be but seen (l'maychazi) whereas in
Kritut 6A, they are to be eaten (l'maychal).  I presume that if one goes
according to the first version, there's really no problem of filling up
oneself to satiation or when to say a grace.

Y. Medad


From: Shalom Kohn <skohn@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 10:00:13 -0500
Subject: Ushpizin/Ushpizot

On the subject of whether we invite "ushpizot" into the sukkah:

This may depend on the reason for "ushpizin."  Although the popular view
is that we are inviting the avot and great Jewish leaders (thereby
raising the question, for those of that sensibility, whether imahot
equally should be invited), it occurred to me last year, after some
inquiry, that this is backwards.

In brief, here is why: (1) It is a core concept that the sukkah
represents the presence of the shechina (which in chassidic thought
enables us to reexperience the annanei hakavod [clouds of Glory] that
preceded the Jews in the desert; (2) In kabbalistic thought, the
shechina is represented by ten attributes, of which the first seven are
the sefirot recited as part of the Omer (chesed etc.) (the other 3 are
the divine attributes of C"habad); (3) Each of these seven sefirot
reflects an attribute of the Divine; (4) Each of these attributes,
moreover, corresponds to a particular quality of one the avot and other
leaders (for example, Avraham represents Chesed, or kindness; Yitzchak
represents Gevurah, which is similarly associated with Pachad; etc.; (4)
There is a bit of a dispute of exactly who represents which of the
various sefirot after the 3 avot, but subject to a bit of variation in
opinions, the 7 sefirot are associated with the 7 ushpizin (as I recall,
this dispute leads to a variation in minhag as to the order of the later
ushpizin); and (5) (and this is the key point) when we "invite" the
ushpizin, we are not inviting Avraham etc. as individuals, but rather
are welcoming the presence of the shechina, and on that day, focusing of
that one aspect of the Divine presence.  That is the reason that the
ushpizin prayer mentions inviting the one "guest" together will all the
others, because we welcome the shechina's presence in all its aspects,
but highlight one characteristic each day.

If one accepts that ushpizin is a metaphor for the various aspects of
the shechina, it would seem to end the inquiry as to the issue of

May all enjoy a shana tova and shna't shalom, and be graced with the
presence of the shechina and all of Hashem's blessings.

Shalom L. Kohn


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 13:50:19 -0400
Subject: Re: Wearing Tefillin While Driving

<chips@...> wrote:
>Is there any indication anywhere that frum Jews hold like this opinion?
>I've yet to see anyone put on tefilin after Yishtabach and then take
>them off right after finishing Amidah.

That is because they do not want to be interrupt between pesukei
de-zimra and the blessings preceding kerias shema, and they want to keep
their tefillin on until after "u-va le-tziyon".  Some take tefillin off
after "u-va le-tziyon" but that can be so disruptive to the service that
most wait until after the last kaddish so they can properly answer amen
and say "aleinu" with a little kavanah.

I have seen "yechidei segulah", such as R' Hershel Schachter, wear
tefillin for some time after davening to learn Torah.  But he obviously
believed that he could maintain a guf naki for that time or he would not
have done it.

Gil Student


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 08:45:55 +0100
Subject: Re: York

 Yehonatan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...> wrote:

>     If I may extend the discussion somewhat to other sites where Jews
> are not supposed to go: I have heard that the entire city of York, in
> the English midlands, 

York is not in the Midlands - it is in Yorkshire.

> is under a herem, and Jews are not supposed to live there, or even sleep
> overnight (but may visit for a few hours?).

I first heard of this 'cheirem' about 50 years ago, but I have never
seen it substantiated.

It is true thought that Jews will avoid staying overnight in the city of

As an interesting aside, some years ago, a Jew who had to change trains
in York decide to visit the old Jewish cemetery there, only to discover
that Sainsbury's were building a car park for their supermarket on the
site.  His timely discovery led to negotiations as a result of which the
rest of the cemetery was protected by building a deck over it. The bones
which had already been exhumed were collected and reburied, in York, by
the Manchester chevra kadisha.

The night after the kevuro, York Minster was struck by lightning.

Perets Mett


End of Volume 40 Issue 78