Volume 40 Number 99
                 Produced: Tue Oct 28 22:28:48 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aleinu backwards
         [Akiva Miller]
Alzheimer's Disease
The Blessing Of "Who Has Not Made Me A Gentile"
         [Shari Hillman]
Gas Clock for Shabbat?
         [Aliza Berger]
largest (regular) gathering in Jewish world today ? (2)
         [Gil Student, Edward Ehrlich]
Programming, anyone?
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Shidduch Alternatives (5)
         [Rachel Swirsky, Tzadik Vanderhoof, Chaim Tabasky, Steve
Albert, chips@eskimo.com]
Using Water on Shabbat
         [Ari Trachtenberg]


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 09:09:21 -0500
Subject: Aleinu backwards

Several posters have made reference to another tefilah which is
supposedly said backwards, and which is found in Tefilas Haderech and in
Krias Shema Al Hamita. I believe they are referring to the following
three lines, the first of which is from Bereshis 49:18 --

Liyshuasecha kivisi HaShem.
Kivisi HaShem liyshuasecha.
HaShem liyshuasecha kivisi.

Neither of the two latter versions is a "reversal" of the first. "HaShem
kivisi liyshuasecha" does NOT appear here. My perception of the versions
is that if the words would be in a circle, they would stay in the same
sequence, and each of the three versions has a different starting point.
But it does not switch directions.

The significance of all this, I have no idea. I just wanted to clarify
the difference between "saying it backwards" and what we're actually

Akiva Miller


From: Anonymous
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 09:11:53 
Subject: Alzheimer's Disease

My wife and I are in our mid fifties.  She has just been diagnosed with
premature Alzheimer's Disease.  The situation has been devastating to
both of us emotionally, but in addition there are practical
consequences.  For example:

1.  My wife has difficulty keeping the kitchen kosher.  She regularly
confuses milchig (dairy) and fleishig (meat) dishes, utensils, etc.

2.  She sometimes forgets about Shabbos and turns lights off, does
improper cooking activities, etc.

3.  She often forgets to light Shabbos candles (our Rabbi has paskened
that she need not light extra lights as a consequence, since the reason
for her forgetting is medical, not negligent)

4.  Since she is increasingly unable to manage the house, or make
Shabbos, I often have to cook dinners, make Shabbos, clean the house,
etc. and since I also work at a full time job, I am often exhausted and
have difficulty going to my shiurim (torah classes) etc.

I feel that we need help in three areas:

1. Emotional adjustment
2. Halachic (jewish legal) advice
3. Practial advice.

I am seeking people who have experience in these areas, or who know of
resources, especially for observant people.  In addition, are there any
Rabbis with particular experience with Alzheimers?

Any advice will be appreciated.

I would like to ask the moderator to pass on any responses from people
who do not wish to post openly on the list.


From: Shari Hillman <shari_h_613@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 07:02:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: RE: The Blessing Of "Who Has Not Made Me A Gentile"

Bernard Raab wrote:

> An idle question: How appropriate is this bracha for a convert? Are
> they instucted to say something else or just skip it?

I have seen it written that a convert says instead, "She'asani
ger/giyoret" - Who has made me a convert. I don't remember which siddur
I saw it in, though.

In a similar vein, are there sources for permitting a woman to use
"modah" instead of "modeh" in certain prayers (Modeh ani, or in the
neshama s'natata be t'horah he in birchot hashachar)? Are there other
places where individual circumstance may change the specific wording of
a prayer?


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 13:10:06 +0200
Subject: Gas Clock for Shabbat?

Passing near Meah Shearim on the bus, I noticed a sign in a store window
advertising a 'sha-on gaz,' which I can only think of translating as
'gas clock' or 'gas watch.' It's apparently something for shabbat, and
has 'approval of great rabbis' (again according to the sign). Anyone
know what this is? Some kind of timer for the gas stove? But in Israel,
almost everyone uses an electric 'plata' (hot plate).

Aliza Berger, PhD
English Editing: www.editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: www.statistics-help.com


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 10:22:13 -0500
Subject: Re: largest (regular) gathering in Jewish world today ?

Mordechai wrote:
>Just a few (probably around six) weeks ago, shortly before
>Rosh Hashonoh, I was taken aback to see advertisements
>on a few successive weeks for the Breslover Hassidic
>pilgrimage to Uman (in the Brooklyn based 'Jewish Press',
>for one place), claiming that it was the largest gathering of
>Jews in the world today...

This reminds me of the adertisements I saw in The Jewish Press over Chol
HaMoed Sukkos.  In the same issue, there were a few different
restaurants advertising the biggest sukkah in NY.

Unfortunately, I have seen that when lies, even blatantly false ones,
are repeated often enough there are plenty of people who will believe
them.  People need to think a little more critically.

Gil Student

From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 19:37:59 +0200
Subject: largest (regular) gathering in Jewish world today ?

Dani Wassner wrote:

>Speaking "irregularly", there have been demonstrations in Israel
>attracting enormous crowds such as the original anti-Oslo protest
>outside the PM's office (estimated at up to 400,000 people); the protest
>against giving up the Golan in Kikar Rabin (250,000) and the anti-Barak
>at Camp David protest in Kikar Rabin (300,000).

You have to take all these estimates with a grain of salt, since the
source of the estimate is usually the organizers of the demonstration
who have an interest in inflating the number of participants.  The first
really massive Israeli political demonstration was the one that demanded
an official investigation of Sabra and Shatila.  It was held at then
Kikar Malkei Yisrael (now Kikar Rabin) in Tel Aviv and estimated at
250,000 to 400,000.  I doubt if any demonstration in Jerusalem has ever
reached those numbers.

Considering the population of Israel is today about six million, all of
these demonstrations (both on the left and right) indicate an incredibly
high level of political involvement among the Israeli public.

P.S. The LOUDEST gathering of Jews is clearly the crowd at a Maccabi Tel
Aviv basketball game at Yad Eliyahu.

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Jerusalem, Israel


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 18:44:42 +0300
Subject: Programming, anyone?

Without going into the pros and cons of computerized dating, I wonder if
there is any computerized database to match up people who are seeking
Chavrutas, based, for example, on criteria such as location, language to
be used, subject to be learned, degree of proficiency, time available,

If such a database exists, I'd like to have a pointer supplied to it.

If it doesn't exist, this is a fantastic opportunity for a computer
programmer to really benefit the Torah community. Maybe each community
should maintain its own database.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: <swirskyr@...> (Rachel Swirsky)
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 11:08:22 -0500
Subject: RE: Shidduch Alternatives

> the rabbi will not say anything negative about the man due to it being
> "lashon horah"

The Chofetz Chaim says specifically that it is not loshon harah to give
someone information about a potential shiduch.  It is considered
l'toeles and is in fat a much bigger problem to let someone go into a
shidduch with inaccurate information.  


From: Tzadik Vanderhoof <tzadikv@...>
Subject: Shidduch Alternatives

I was quite shocked to hear that a rabbi was "telling everyone" that
they could not warn a woman that the man she was considering dating had
been abusive to his previous wife because of lashon hara, and I was even
more shocked that "everyone" was apparently obeying.

Of course it goes without saying that in the vast marjority of cases,
one should listen to one's rabbi without challenging him, but I think
ultimately each person is responsible for his own actions.  If you know
in your heart and mind that what you're being asked to do is dead wrong
and is bound to cause great suffering, I don't think it should be such a
simple matter for you to shrug helplessly and point to your rabbi.  The
correct course of action would seem to be to first throughly review the
halachos of loshon hara as they apply to shiduchim... there are many
seforim available for that.  Then one should go to the rabbi and give
him an opportunity to convince you (using halachic sources, not
intimidation) that it's really forbidden to warn her. If he's unable to
do that, you are obligated by the Torah to do what you know to be right.

The rabbi is there to teach and apply the Torah, but it is Hashem who we
are ultimately answerable to, not the rabbi.

From: Chaim Tabasky <tabaskc@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 20:47:06 +0200
Subject: Shidduch Alternatives

Anonomous wrote:

> OR when their references are checked out with a local rabbi, the rabbi
> will not say anything negative about the man due to it being "lashon
> horah". I have also been on the other side of this---seeing a women
> dating a man I KNOW is abusive, etc and the rabbi has forbidden anyone
> from saying anything to the unsuspecting woman.

In Yechave Da'at, vol. 4 #60 Rav Ovadia Yosef discusses the case of a
doctor who is aware of a man who has an illness which would disqualify
him from receiving a driver's license. The man intends to see another
doctor for his medical, one who doesn't know about the disease. Rav
Ovadia rules that the first doctor is obligated to inform the
authorities of the patient's condition, as he may endanger the lives of
others by receivint the licence. Rav Ovadiah explains that the
prohibition "lo ta'amod al dam re'echa" - Do not stand by while your
fellow man's blood is shed overridews the prohibition of lashon
hara. Furthermore, this applies not only when life is at stake, but in
the event of a business deal with a shady partner, where monetary loss
is the possible result, one is obligated to inform one's fellow of the

See also Minchat Yitzchak vol. 6 #139.

I find it appalling that anyone would place the problem of lashon hara
above the responsibility to save a woman from a potentially abusive


From: <Salbertjewish@...> (Steve Albert)
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 03:52:51 EST
Subject: Re: Shidduch Alternatives

There are some free national shidduch services for Orthodox Jews, run by
real people working as shadchanim.  One is Simcha Link, which is
sponsored by the Chicago Chesed Fund and advised by Rav Shmuel Fuerst
shlita.  Another is Invei HaGefen, sponsored by the Agudah.  Contact
information is available at
or feel free to e-mail me.  (I've met Rav Fuerst, and my wife's aunt
works for Simcha Link, so I know the organization fairly well and can
recommend it highly.  I understand that Inve Hagefen, located in New
York, was patterned after it.)

Kol tuv,
Steve Albert

From: <chips@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 09:08:56 -0800
Subject: Re: Shidduch Alternatives

>  I have also been on the other side of this---seeing a women dating a
> man I KNOW is abusive, etc and the rabbi has forbidden anyone from
> saying anything to the unsuspecting woman.

Huh? 1st off, I'd have told the woman regardless of what any Rabbi 
said. Secondly, how is putting a person in danger overriden by 
loshen hara? 



From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 11:20:22 -0500
Subject: Using Water on Shabbat

It has occurred to me through some recent discussions that the use of
"city" water should be questionable on Shabbat, for the reasons outlined
below.  Does anyone know of people who do not?

1) Opening a water faucet is akin to closing an electrical circuit in
that water is permitted to flow from higher potential to lower potential
through a conduit. (the final "hammer blow" on a creation, or

2) Water can be used to make productive work, including fire, through
the use of a water wheel (for example), as can electricity through the
use of a resistor (in light bulbs).

3) In high-rise buildings, water is almost always delivered by
(electrical) pump to a higher elevation for use when the faucet is
opened [this causes water problems, for example, during power outages].
Protracted water usage will inevitably operate this pump.

4) Water is almost always pumped in from outside locations.  If there is
no eruv, then opening a faucet could cause water to move from a public
domain into a private domain.  In addition, water will inevitably be
heated as it enters a household if the outside temperature is low
(related to the problems of heating on Shabbat).

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>


End of Volume 40 Issue 99