Volume 41 Number 31
                 Produced: Tue Dec  2  6:33:00 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Are we obligated to reproach the ill mannered
         [Carl Singer]
"Out of Fashion" Halachos (2)
         [Jack Gross, Gershon Dubin]
Sha'atnez and Chazaka
         [Martin Stern]
Shabbat elevators?
         [Batya Medad]
Sheva Berachot for Avel
         [Martin Stern]
Standing for bride and groom
         [Carl Singer]
Tal U Mattar (3)
         [Joshua Hosseinof, Elazar M Teitz, Kenneth G Miller]
         [Mike Gerver]
Top coats over kittels under the chuppah
         [Asher Samuels]
         [Nathan G. Lamm]


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 07:41:18 -0500
Subject: Are we obligated to reproach the ill mannered

I got a private email as follows in response to my earlier posting:

>      Regarding rude yeshiva students, you wrote >> I've thought at times
> of asking a rude bocher what yeshiva they went to -- but why prolong the
> encounter.<<
>   I think you have a Torah obligation to do it, because the
> Torah says "You shall surely reprove him".

I'm intrigued -- from an halachic viewpoint -- is this an "it takes a
village" -- that is we are ALL responsible for this person's hinuch.  Or
does this fall (only) onto his parents or teachers.

Part B -- At what age (or stage) is my "yeshiva bucher" an adult re:
hinuch -- Bar Mitzvah -- Marriage?  What of an adult?

Carl Singer


From: Jack Gross <ibijbgross@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 16:27:42 -0500
Subject: Re: "Out of Fashion" Halachos

> From: Perry Zamek <perryza@...>
> ...the answer I was given was that the avelim (i.e. the newly-married son
> or daughter, who is now an avel) are willing to forgo the week of Sheva
> Brachot (mechilah/waiver).

The 7-day celebration period is an obligation the groom as toward the
bride (read this week's parsha). Where the groom is the Aveil, he is not
in a position to waive it, absent the bride's consent.  Such cases are
sufficiently rare that I believe there cannot be a "prevalent" practice
or presumption.

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 13:09:22 -0500
Subject: "Out of Fashion" Halachos

From: Perry Zamek <perryza@...>
<<I was recently at a Sheva Brachot, and the discussion turned to the
issue of where a parent dies (God forbid) on the day of the wedding. The
general halacha seems to be that we hold the wedding, but not the full
week of sheva brachot, although in a specific case that was quoted, Rav
Soloveitchik ruled that the whole week of Sheva Brachot should be held
before the shiva.  This ruling, of course, is in line with the Gemara in
Ketubot (4a).>>

I don't know why anybody would be talking of such things at a sheva
berachos, but in the cases that I am aware of (2, rachmana litzlan),
both went the full sheva berachos.  I wonder if people were speculating
or if a real pesak halacha was quoted.

<<Question: in what other circumstances (not necessarily connected with
avelut/mourning) do we invoke an implied mechilah?>>

Not standing up for a parent who enters the room.



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 20:39:59 +0000
Subject: Re: Sha'atnez and Chazaka

David Riceman wrote:

> To pick an example I heard from our Moderator, the Mishna lists a huge
> number of potential treifos.  Shochtim check animals for only one of
> those, relying on a presumption that the others are uncommon.

I think this analogy is valid. Most animals do not have a treifah in
their lungs but a significant minority do so we check for it whereas
most other treifot are so very rare that we do not. The same applies to
clothes. There are a significant proportion of jackets which have
sha'atnez in the form of linen stiffening and wool felt collar linings
even if the main material and lining are synthetic according to the
label so they require checking whereas, for example, cotton shirts very
rarely, if at all, have any extraneous material in them and do not.

Martin Stern 


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 18:28:48 +0200
Subject: Shabbat elevators?

I'm still feeling the effects of 9 flights up and 9 flights down from
this past Shabbat in a hotel.

After decades of considering the "Shabbat elevator" rather "wimpy," we
are getting older, and I'm curious if it's a psak for a hetter to be
used by those incapable of walking.  Or is it a psak for even the



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 20:26:36 +0000
Subject: Re: Sheva Berachot for Avel

Perry Zamek at <mljewish@...> wrote:

> I was recently at a Sheva Brachot, and the discussion turned to the
> issue of where a parent dies (God forbid) on the day of the wedding. ^
> I asked why, in general, we do not follow the view of the gemara, and
> the answer I was given was that the avelim (i.e. the newly-married son
> or daughter, who is now an avel) are willing to forgo the week of Sheva
> Brachot (mechilah/waiver). It seems that this is another case of implied
> mechilah.

    Surely a chatan cannot be mochel since "chatan domeh lemelekh, a
bridegroom is compared to a king" and "melekh shemachal al kevodo, ein
kevodo machul, if a king wishes to forego his honour nevertheless his
honour is not forgone (San. 19b)"

    Martin Stern


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 11:21:40 -0500
Subject: Standing for bride and groom

> From: .cp. <chips@...>
> I was at a wedding Sunday in the West Coast of the USA where they
> announced at the beginning of the Chupah that the `minhag hamokom` was
> NOT to stand for the groom or bride.
> sure enough, some East Coasters (but none of them professional rabbis)
> knew they knew better and did stand for groom/bride.

I recall stories of people standing / sitting like popcorn as various
Rebbaim were called to deliver Sheva Bruchas (apparently one wouldn't
want to stand for other than "Their own" Rabbi.) The only agreement was
that all stood for Chusen & Kallah.

Two questions:

(1) re: Minhag hamakom -- what is the makom -- the community, the shule,
    the catering hall?  Seriously, one should not be / do different than
    the "klal" -- but what defines the klal.

I guess, also, as a correlary -- what if there's simply an annoucement
made at the beginning of the Chupah -- "The bride and groom respectively
ask that you not stand up for them."  (No mention of Minhag hamakom) --
should one not acquiesce to one's host's wishes.

(2) At what point does one stand from the Chusen / Kallah -- when they
    first are seen at the back of the hall (about to march in) when they
    are nearby, when they pull even with your row?  This may seem
    trivial, but nonetheless a question.

Aside -- how did you now they were East Coasters -- were they facing the
wrong way :)

Carl Singer


From: Joshua Hosseinof <jh@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 22:27:55 -0500
Subject: Tal U Mattar

In the luach for this year I see that it says Tal U Matar is started on
the 6th - meaning the Arvit of Motzaei Shabat.  It would have been the
Arvit of December 5th, except that is Shabbat, and there is no Barech
Aleinu in the Shemoneh Esreh for Shabbat.  2003 is one of the "December
5th" years.  The general rule is that the year before the Gregorian
Calendar leap year will start saying Tal U Matar on Arvit of December
5th, all other years its Arvit December 4th.

The calculation is based on the fact that outside of Israel (and outside
of the immediate vicinity of Israel) we start Tal U Matar 60 days after
"Tekufat Tishrei" - the autumn equinox.  So September 21 + 60 days gives
you November 21st.  Add 10 Days for the conversion from the Julian
Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar (in the year 1582) gives you -
December 1st.  Add 1 day each for the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 (which
were not leap years) gives you December 4th (or December 5th in the year
before the leap year).

Starting in the 22nd Century it will become December 5th or 6th, 23rd
Century will be December 6th or 7th, etc.  In the 19th Century it was
December 3rd or 4th.  The 20th and 21st Centuries both use December 4th
or 5th, because the year 2000 was a leap year.  The years 2100, 2200,
and 2300 are NOT leap years, hence we lose a day of Tal U Matar each

In other words, the halacha for Tal U Matar outside of Israel is still 
tied to the Julian Calendar. 

From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 13:33:37 -0500
Subject: re: Tal U Mattar

<This year -2003- when do we begin to ask for rain outside of Israel?
December 4, 5, or 6.
If possible please explain why.>

For the purpose of Tal Umatar, halachah considers the year to be exactly
365.25 days long.  The request for rain was to begin on the 60th day
after the autumnal equinox by that calculation, which is December 5 --
and since the day begins the night before, we thus start at Ma'ariv on
December 4.  There are two exceptions.  Obviously, if the 4th is Friday,
since the b'rachah in which Tal Umatar appears is not said, the start is
deferred until Motzaei Shabbat, December 5.  The second exception is in
the December immediately preceding the secular leap year.  Each year,
the equinox is six hours later in the day than the previous year,
because the year's length is a quarter-day more than a whole number of
days.  Having accumulated three quarter-days, the time of the equinox is
after more than half the day has passed, and thus the start of Tal
Umatar is delayed one day, to December 5th's ma'ariv.  In a year such as
this, in which it should be the 5th because of the impending leap year,
but the 5th comes on Friday, it is perforce delayed to the sixth.

(Prior to 1900, the date was December3. Since 1900 was not a civil leap
year, it changed to December 4.  Likewise, since 2100 is scheduled to be
a non-leap year, if we will chalilah still be in galut, the date will
change to December 5th on a regular basis.)

Elazar M. Teitz

[Similar replies have been sent in by a number of readers including:
	 Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
	 Caela Kaplowitz <caelak@...>
	 Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
	 Robert Rubinoff <rubinoff@...>
	 Nathan G. Lamm <nelamm18@...>

From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2003 08:22:56 -0500
Subject: Re:Tal U Mattar

[Initial portion removed by Moderator, similar to above replies. Mod.]

There is some slight practical relevance to the Dec 5 beginning even
this year. The halacha is that if a person is saying the Shmoneh Esreh
and finds that he accidentally lapsed into saying the regular weekday
paragraphs, he should not immediately stop, but should continue with
whichever brachah he is in, complete it, and *then* continue with the
special text for Shabbos. This situation does happen to people
occasionally, but we usually catch ourselves rather soon. One could ask:
What happens if he has already begun this bracha? Which text should he
use to complete it?

I know that the poskim do discuss this situation, but I don't remember
what answer they give. One possibility is that since the community has
not yet begun saying Tal Umatar, he should not begin it on his own. The
other possiblity is that if one *did* say it earlier it would be okay
b'dieved, so now when the time *is* appropriate, and the community has
simply not yet started because it is Shabbos, he *should* say it in this
unusual case.


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 15:48:36 EST
Subject: Techelet

      First, the dye claimed to be techelet by the Radzyner chassidim is
      essentially Prussian blue and probably does not come from the
      cuttlefish ink but from the chemical processing to which it is

I wasn't talking about the Radzyner techelet, but the techelet that has
become available in the past ten years or so, which comes from the
marine snail Murex trunculus.

As for everyone who pointed out that the meter, and hence the nanometer,
is an arbitrary unit of length with no halachic significance, and hence
it doesn't matter if the absorption peak of techelet is at 613 nm, all I
can say is-- sheesh. Actually I can say two other things. 1) My
colleague at work, Dani Shatz, pointed out that, if techelet really does
have its absorption peak at 613 nm, this would prove that the metric
system is in some sense a halachically preferred system of measurement,
with a special kedusha lacking in the English system. 2) The metric
system is not a completely arbitrary system. The meter was originally
defined as (and is still very close to) one ten-millionth of the
distance from the North Pole to the equator. The planet Earth, as the
location of Eretz Israel, Jerusalem, and the Beit Hamikdash, and as the
home planet of humanity, certainly enjoys a special halachic status, for
example the Jewish calendar is based on the rotaton and revolution of
the Earth, not on other planets. So it should not be surprising if the
metric system, based on the size of the earth, also enjoys a special

BTW, a couple of readers were confused by the fact that 613 nm is in the
orange or red-orange part of the spectrum, not in the blue. If techelet
absorbs orange light, then the reflected light, which is depleted in
orange, will be blue, which is the color opposite orange on the color

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Asher Samuels <absamuels@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 22:16:43 +0200
Subject: Top coats over kittels under the chuppah

The one explanation that I heard is that one wears the kittel as a sign
of one's pure status on the wedding day ... and one wears a top coat
over it so as not to be a "show-off" of one's status.

Asher Samuels


From: Nathan G. Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 13:50:11 -0500
Subject: Topics

Re: "Out of Fashion" Halachos: If both sides of a tefillin strap were
black, it would be difficult to determine which side were to face out
(one particular side has to).

Re: Tekhelet. The 613 nanometer fact applies not to the Radzyner
tekhelet but to the Murex Trunculus one, and is reported in various
publications of the P'Til Tekhelet organization (www.tekhelet.co.il).
And as for the nanometer being man-made: So, for that matter, is
gematria, from where the concept of "613" is derived.

Nachum Lamm


End of Volume 41 Issue 31