Volume 41 Number 65
                 Produced: Wed Dec 31  5:38:48 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chofetz Chaim and Bars
Following Temple practice
         [Yisrael Medad]
Good Manners
         [Shalom Ozarowski]
         [Esther Posen]
Nusach at Ad-Hoc Minyonim (2)
         [Gershon Dubin, David Ziants]
Standing for Bride and Groom
         [Shlomo Spiro]
When to Disclose and Tay Sachs (3)
         [Shoshana Ziskind, Tzvi Stein, Susan Shapiro]


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 10:48:28 EST
Subject: Chofetz Chaim and Bars

I posed the question recently discussed here (did the Chofetz Chaim
actually go to bars ?) to Mr. Zalman Alpert, a librarian at the (YU)
Mendel Gottesman library in NYC who is quite knowledgable in such
matters, and he sent me an illuminating response, which I will cite here
(lightly edited) for the M-J audience -

'In Czarist Russia of old there was no soda. Jews as well as non-Jews
ate in Jewish krechmehs, which were bars or inns. Hard liquor was served
with food.  Even sheyne Yidn on the road stopped in these
establishments. Of course large cities had bars like the US, see the
various novels about Vilna shel Maateh written by a Yiddish writer whose
name slips me just now. But if you read DIE MISHPOCHE MASHBER by DER
NISTER you'll see that even sheine yidn were in krechmes on the road or
during a mark (market). In general most Jews were more earthy than
now. Jews drank alchohol, made a lechaim, smoked tobacco and machorka,
used snuff, talked a lot......'

I would like to add that I think part of the confusion stems from us
thinking of bars nowadays and assuming that such/similar institutions
were the same in the time of the Chofetz Chaim in Eastern Europe. While
in bars in the USA today (not that I am a bar-goer, but occasionally I
pass one, etc.) there may be women not dressed modestly, large screen
televisions with immodest scenes, etc., in the time of the Chofetz
Chaim, they were mostly, if not exclusively male establishments (besides
the fact that women dressed more modestly generally), there were no
large tv's or even radios at high volume, etc.

When dealing with such matters, one should always take into account
differing cicrcumstances, as they often hold the key to proper
understanding of things.



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 22:58:37 +0200
Subject: Following Temple practice

      From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
      "why are we encouraged to follow the practice in the temple
      and davka use olive oil in the chanukah menorah?"

a)  if we use it it isn't proper?
b)  since they used knives to sacrifice meat, what do we substitute to
slaughter cows to eat?
c)  we encircle the bimah instead of the altar but with the same four
species and also then areivot.

seems it isn't so cut & dried, to mix metaphors.

Yisrael Medad


From: <Shalomoz@...> (Shalom Ozarowski)
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 18:57:57 EST
Subject: Re: Good Manners

> On the way, I passed a blind man going the other direction, in what
> seemed a very halting and unsure way (I have seen plenty of blind
> people going much faster).  Question: Should I ask if he needs help
> (and mess up my Chanuka schedule), or just assume he will manage
> without me?

Earlier this year, during the aseret y'mei t'shuva, i was riding in a
sherut (taxi service) with a bunch of other guys returning to yeshiva
late saturday night.  we were on pace to get back right in time for the
beginning of slichot.  as we were driving, the sherut driver noticed a
car off to the side of the road with its driver standing outside,
talking on a cell phone i think.  this road was quiet late at night, so
our driver pulled over to ask if everything was ok and if he could help
(the other guy turned out to be fine).  As we started to pull over, one
or two of the guys exclaimed to the driver that "we should keep going
because we have to make slichot in time!"  The driver, who was not dati,
proceeded to give us a mussar shmooze about how helping the guy out
would be a mitzvah de'oraitah (vs. slichot) and quoted us the entire
pasuk of "hakem takim imo."  whether he was technically, halachically
correct or not, the point was clear.

This mind-set isn't limited to boys in yeshiva, it affects many of us in
other circumstances too; we need to train ourselves to constantly keep
our eyes open for these kinds of opportunities when we walk in the
street.  It's not an easy feat.

      The real question seems to be whether there is some halachic
      _preference_ for bein-adam-lachaveiro over bein-adam-lamakom.
      Faced with the either/or (but not both), does bein-adam-lachaveiro
      really 'trump' the other mitzva?

I would just note the possible relevance of the principle of "efshar
l'hei'asot al y'dei acherim," that in some such scenarios (if one is
already going to do another mitzvah) one should not specifically go out
of his way if there is "someone else to do it."  The major problem with
this logic is (as it is known in social psychology) the "Bystander
Effect," where many people might witness someone in need of help and no
one does anything to help, since they all assume that out of all the
people around, "someone else will do it."

I can't comment regarding an actual Halakhic analysis, but it's an
important topic that comes up constantly and is very worthy of further

Shalom Ozarowski


From: Esther Posen <eposen@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 10:27:53 -0600
Subject: RE: Kollel

There is one tacit assumption being made that I am convinced is
statistically wrong.  Most men learning in kollel are not being
supported by the community.  In fact, they are being supported by
private funds usually provided by family.  The Lakewood "kollel check"
is laughably minimal and could not pay the monthly food bill of a couple
with no children.  It is also traditionally years behind schedule.  So
very few people (expept perhaps your own son-in-law) are learning off
your dime.  This is not true of the small community kollels out of town,
however those kollelim service the community and the men that learn in
them provide community service while in kollel.

So whether you like the life style or not, whether you find the system
flawed or not, if you are not donating money to a kollel or a fellow in
kollel noone is living off your money without your consent.



From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 12:59:45 -0500
Subject: Nusach at Ad-Hoc Minyonim

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
<<The moral of the story: Don't try being sheliach tsibbur for a minyan
with whose nusach your are not completely familiar>>

When I was a chiyuv I found this to be sound advice even if you ARE
familiar with the nusach.  Every shul/minyan has its quirks, the speed
at which they expect you to daven, policy (for nusach sefard) about
tachanun for mincha, etc.


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 22:06:29 +0200
Subject: Re: Nusach at Ad-Hoc Minyonim

Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...> wrote:
> When I was a chiyuv I found this to be sound advice even if you ARE
> familiar with the nusach.  Every shul/minyan has its quirks, the speed
> at which they expect you to daven, policy (for nusach sefard) about
> tachanun for mincha, etc.

The point is that at an ad-hoc minyan, rarely are these issues known
ahead, or decided up-front. It is usually the sha"tz himself that sets
the pace and nusach.

Sometimes there might be a tension between an official policy and the
expectations and attitude of the people who are there at any particular
time (who might not even know there is an official policy).

To give a hypothetical, but possible example :- 
The official nusach policy of the place might be the nusach of the
sha'tz because the person who originally set up the "mincha factory"
requested this; yet at this particular time, there are a number of
men who feel "lamnatze'ach must be said because we don't believe
in saying kaddish yatom after aleinu".

When I was sha"tz at a minyan factory, there were three different nusach
siddurim resting on the amud (the amud is always used there - and not
the bima - even if the sha"tz is sephardi!!!), so I assumed the choice
was open; and my gut feeling is that is what their official policy is.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Shlomo Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 20:33:54 +0200
Subject: Standing for Bride and Groom

bsd, 4 Tevet

There was a posting about standing when the bride and groom are taken
down the aisle to the chupah

In Yabi'a Omer prt 6 Eh sec 8 R. Avadiah Yosef says that it is proper to
stand at Erusin.

The background of this custom is the Mishna in Bikkurim 3:3 that states
the workmen of Yerushalyim stopped work and stood up to greet the
pilgrims who brought bikkurim.  The R''av says that from here stems the
custom to stand when the child is brought in to be circumcised.

In the Yerushalmi ad loc.  Rabbi Yose ben Rabbi Bun says "See how
important a mitzvah in its time is, for workmen are not permitted to
rise for a talmid hakham yet for the performers of a mitzvah they rise."

The Mordechai in Shabbat Sec 422 states that the Maharam of Rotenberg
used to stand during a milah and the Shilte Hagiborim says that the
above Yerushalmi is the source.

  I think that is the reason we stand for Vayvarekh David, for those who
perform the mitzvah of tzedakah at that point.

One may extrapolate that bringing the bride and groom to the hupah is no
less of a mitzvah than bringing bikkurim, since hupah is the beginning
of the great mitzvah of peru urevu.

To: <mail-jewish@...>

From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Subject: Re: When to Disclose and Tay Sachs

BS"D; Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...> wrote:

>The discussion of disclosure reminds me of similar discussions on the
>Tay-Sachs issue. The issue is not just one of disclosure (certainly if
>you have Tay-Sachs you should disclose to a prospective partner). The
>issue is WHEN you disclose.  Do you disclose BEFORE you go
>out?...perhaps they wont go out with you. Do you disclose during the
>dating period?-- perhaps they will abstain from going out
>further. Disclose at the time of engagement?  ..but that is
>unromantic. Disclose after the wedding...but that is anticlimactic.

First of all the safest way to test is by using dor yesharim.  This way
both parties are given numbers and you find out if everything is shiech
that way.  You call them with both your numbers and if both of you have
Tay Sachs, G-d forbid they tell you the match isn't shiech. Of course
then you know there's an issue but you don't know where the issue is.
It might not be Tay Sachs for all you know but it could be canavans.
This way is designed to elminate the need to have to disclose this
information.  If you do know you have Tay Sachs first of all you need
both people to be carriers, G-d forbid, and that is very rare.  Instead
of mentioning it all have that person go to dor yesharim.  If they say
this isn't a workable match you don't have to tell them this you just
say "its not shiech" which could mean practically anything.  You only
have to be tested but checking the numbers out with dor yesharim should
be done at the BEGINNING of shidduchim rather than the end.  If possible
it should be handled before they even go out but definitely before
you've become too attached to the person.

In summary, don't disclose because it might not be necessary at all.
Not only that if you go do dor yesharim it covers not just Tay Sachs.
Nowadays unfortunately there are more than just Tay Sachs that we need
to worry about.

-Shoshana Ziskind

From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Subject: Re: When to Disclose and Tay Sachs

Disclosing something after the wedding or during the engagement period
is not just "unromantic" or "anti-climactic"... it is outright
deception.  The proper time to disclose something is during the dating
period, the only time when the information could be of any practical use
to the other party.  If that results in losing out on a possible
engagement, I hate to say it this way, but TOUGH.  Nothing gives you the
right to deceive another person, especially someone you want to share
your life with.  Shidduchim come from Hashem and Hashem is not going to
give you a shidduch that can only be obtained through deception... just
like parnassa.

WHAT is necessary to disclose and WHEN during the dating period are,
however, valid subjects of discussion.  If it is something that is bound
to come out during the marriage, it is NOT an option to wait till that

As for Tay-Sachs, I think it should not be necessary to disclose that at
all, as long as both parties to the shidduch undergo testing and
determine that BOTH are not Tay-Sachs carriers.  Being a carrier does
not have any health implications at all, for the carrier or their
children, as long as the spouse is not also a carrier.  The "Dor
Yesharim" organization conducts testing in exactly this manner, and all
shidduchim should use it.

From: <SShap23859@...> (Susan Shapiro)
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 13:57:22 EST
Subject: When to Disclose and Tay Sachs

I believe it is recommended that a test is run before the couple meet
(in a Shidduch situation) via Dor Yesharim.  I think their information
says that they will not run the compatibility on a couple who are
already married.

***Susan S - San Diego***


End of Volume 41 Issue 65