Volume 41 Number 79
                 Produced: Thu Jan 15  6:20:41 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Denied entry to Shul (3)
         [Tony Fiorino, Shmuel Carit, <FriedmanJ@...>]
Does potential spouses really have to tell everything
         [Russell J Hendel]
Dressing for shul
         [David Charlap]
Karaite Chanukiah?
         [Stan Tenen]
Parental Responsibility
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Seasons Greetings
         [Aliza Fischman]
Seasons' greetings
         [Jonathan B. Horen]
Sock it to me
         [Irwin Weiss]
         [Gershon Dubin]
Third Temple coming down from Heaven intact
         [Elana Schachter]
         [Sam Saal]
What is Tzedukah
         [Carl Singer]
         [Freda B Birnbaum]


From: Tony Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 11:05:23 -0500
Subject: RE: Denied entry to Shul

Based on your description, I know exactly were you were and I've been
there, even just a few months ago.  I had a totally different impression
of what was happening.  My impression, based on conversations with the
people taking the cameras as well as with a member of the community who
was with me, was that these were security measures. Quite understandable
given the history there and recent events in Turkey. Also, when I gave
them my camera (and cell phone too) they put it in a cubby and gave me a
ticket so that I could retrieve it after tefilah, like a coat-check.
I'm not sure why that option was not offered to you.

Though now that I think about it, I do not recall having to give up my
camera upon entering the museum part of the shul - if so, this would
question whether this is really a security measure.  Perhaps it is more
a question of preventing disruptions during tefilah, not an effort to
hassle tourists or prevent them from praying b'tzibbur.  Given the flow
of tourists through the shul, I'd think that is not an unreasonable
policy.  But again, my experience was they had a place and an organized
way of insuring my phone and camera were safe.

No question the other shul is a friendlier place!  Plus much better


From: Shmuel Carit <cshmuel@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 11:40:40 +0000
Subject: Denied entry to Shul

Certainly in this day annd age even (especially?) shuls must be very
security conscience.

In Istanbul you must fax a copy of your passport at least a day before
gaining entry.

Remember Life takes precedence over all else. Davening with a minyan
pales in comparison to the dangers of just letting anyone go anywhere
they please.

From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 09:10:31 EST
Subject: Re: Denied entry to Shul

> Is it  right to accuse visitors of posing as people who want to daven in
> order to  be able to take photographs and hence not have to buy postcards
> of the  Shul?  Maybe I'm being naive, but I thought that Shuls were meant
> to  be places of worship as opposed to souvenir shops.

Shuls across Europe have been blown up lately and cameras are an
excellent place to hide plastique, not to mention that those who are in
shul davening have a right to their privacy and are probably members of
the local community who are trying to protect themselves from terrorists
while they daven However, it seems they are also allowing the tourists
and the structure to be fair game for terrorists. Such a conundrum, but
I really don't think it has anything to do with postcard sales.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 2004 17:20:56 -0500
Subject: Does potential spouses really have to tell everything

Susan Shapiro, Tzvi Stein, Shoshana Ziskin, all speak about the
necessity of disclosure -- the point was made that "not telling" is

I just want to explore this a little more. Is it really true that you
have to tell your spouse everything about yourself?  Or everything about
yourself that is marriage related?

Consider the well known story of Rav Chiyas wife who had difficulty
having children. The talmud relates that she disguised herself and asked
her husband if the commandment of procreation was on the man or
woman. When he answered, "on the woman", she promply took a sterility
cup. It was only later that he found out. The Talmud does not seem to
indicate that she violated any laws of deception.

I think there is a point here. After all she too is a person She has
difficulty having children. Their marriage is not only about
children. She didnt see anything wrong with removing this attribute of

Let us continue. Consider a women who was divorced once and is seriously
going out with someone. She had been raped a while back but she decides
that if she tells this to her prospective husband it might turn him
off. Is she obligated to tell? If so what is the source of the
obligation? One person said (about Tay Sachs) she has to tell and if she
loses the marriage thats "tough". But in light of the story with Rav
Chiyahs wife maybe she doesnt have to tell. Again: She too is a person.

My point? Well I am not advocating not talking about Tay Sachs or
rapes. My point however is that it is not clear cut that prospective
spouses have to tell everything. After all every day people get married
who have not told everything.

I think there is room for more discussion here.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 10:32:23 -0500
Subject: Dressing for shul

Akiva Miller writes:

> I've had a similar difficulty with this halacha. On the one hand, we
> are told to wear our best when we go to speak to the King Of Kings,
> which happens several times a day, every day of the year. On the
> other hand, we are also told to dress extra-special for Shabbos, even
> better than that on Yom Tov, and (IIRC) even better than that on Rosh
> Hashana and Yom Kippur. This sounds contradictory, but I can see two
> ways to resolve the contradiction:

I don't see much of a problem here.

Within the context of "dress as one would before a monarch", there are
higher and lower levels.

One who is accustomed to being in the presence of a king would always
dress nicely while present.  But when invited to a major event, he would
wear much nicer clothes.

If you had an appointment and visited the President of the United
States, you would probably wear a suit and tie for your visit.  But if
you were invited to accompany him to the Kennedy Center for a major
social event, you would wear a tuxedo.

I'm not saying that we should wear a tux on Yom Kippur, but I think the
same general principle applies.  Within the context of clothing
appropriate for wearing before a king, there are still differing levels
of formality.

-- David


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 10:02:09 -0500
Subject: Karaite Chanukiah?

On page 960 of the current facsimile edition of the Leningrad Codex,
there is an illustration of a carpet page: 474 verso.

This carpet page shows what, for all intents and purposes, appears to be
a Chanukiah, with a central column and four arms on each side.

As far as I can tell, no scholar has examined this. The carpet pages are
dismissed as "Jewish art".

The Leningrad Codex is about 1000 years old, and was produced in
Cairo. It is a Karaite codex. It has full Masoretic notes and
vowelization. Since the partial destruction of the Aleppo Codex in Syria
in 1947, the Leningrad Codex is now the oldest complete Hebrew Bible
with Masoretic notes.

My question is, is this illustration actually a Chanukiah, and if so,
and given that the Karaites did not accept Chanukah, why is it present,
and what does it mean?

Unfortunately, due to copyright restrictions, there appears to be no
available illustration of this carpet page on the Internet.

I have scanned it for review purposes, and there is an image I have
prepared on a non-indexed section of our website at
<www.meru.org/1203/474verso.html>. (Please do not duplicate this image
without the proper permissions -- except as "fair usage" for scholarly
review purposes.)

There are also 15 other carpet pages, each more intriguing than the one
before. Several seem to include precursor drawings to the recent
Sephirotic Tree drawings that appear in some books of Kabbalah.

Does anyone know if there are any scholars working on interpreting the
micrography _and_ imagery (together) on these carpet pages?

Many thanks.


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 07:41:37 -0800
Subject: Parental Responsibility

>[is supporting one's children's education tzedakah?]
>My child support payments were deemed to be so (Baruch Sh'patarni!)

I find this comment, both in fact and in attitude, to be shocking.

How can support to one's own child be considered anything aside from
required maintenance?  I shudder to contemplate that there is a gender
issue involved here, i.e. a father has the option or not to support his
children, presumably while a mother does the actual child-rearing and
the bulk of the support [in most cases, because court-ordered child
support settlements do not pay adequately].

Furthermore, I am troubled that a father would exclaim joyously to be
free of caring for his children.

It might be that day school tuition is considered charity in terms of
giving 10%, but that is a whole other issue.  Surely charity is by
nature optional, and child-support, in or out of marriage, is morally
not optional.

--Leah Sarah Reingold Gordon


From: Aliza Fischman <fisch.chips@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 07:34:51 -0500
Subject: RE: Seasons Greetings

"Happy Festivus" actually comes from an episode of "Seinfeld" and holds
no significance.  As you say, it is mainly used as a joke.

From: Jonathan B. Horen <horen@...>
Subject: Re: Seasons' greetings

> Seasons' greetings works. In fact, there are all kinds of jokes
> circulating about this. Around here we use "Happy Festivus," not sure
> what it means precisely, but it sounds like Happy Partytime, and
> everyone who hears it grins and says, "kewl."

My brother's sole connection to Yahadut is watching "Seinfeld", and he
once gave me a detailed resitation of an episode concerning "that
season".  B'kitzur, Seinfeld 'n Friends wanted a holiday with no
religious connotations -- good for Jews and non-Jews, alike -- so they
created one, called "Festivus".

It's true what they say, that "Life imitates Art" (or, in this case, TV).


From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 09:05:34 -0500
Subject: Sock it to me

On the issue of appropriate dress for the Shaliyach Tzibbur, or the
congregation in general, I heard that once there was a "Modern Orthodox"
congregation in Baltimore where on Erev Yom Kippur some men had the
custom of wearing tuxedos.  Since tuxedos are quite formal, but also
very uncomfortable, I always felt that this was consistent with
"Veinesem es nafshoseychem" (You should afflict your souls).  (Excuse
the poor transliteration).

Irwin E. Weiss, Esq.
Suite 307, 920 Providence Rd, Baltimore, MD 21286
410-821-5435 ext. 111


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 09:31:29 -0500
Subject: Tehillim

From: <AUNTIEFIFI@...> (Mimi Markofsky)
<<Does anyone know of a text that would teach the lay-person how to say
tehillim? The Artscroll series does not have very specific information
for those who don't already know how and which items to say.>>

How?  Slowly and carefully.  As you say Tehilim, you will find certain
parts that "speak" to you uniquely.  Bookmark them and come back to
them.  There are guides for which ones to say when, but nothing can
substitute for you own feelings.


To: <mail-jewish@...>

From: Elana Schachter <elana@...>
Subject: Third Temple coming down from Heaven intact

Can someone in this illustrious and knowledgable group tell me the
source of the fact? midrash? gemara? that the third temple will descend
intact from Heaven? Any information about the timeline would be
interesting to me also: will this happen before or after Mashiach is
revealed? Before or after tchias hameisim?



From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 09:54:20 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Vegetables

Rabbi Gedalia Walls <gedaliawalls@...> asked:
>Would anyone eat lettuce without checking it first?

By eye, of course not. By electron microscope, of course

Sam Saal


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 08:02:37 -0500
Subject: What is Tzedukah

Carl Singer wrote:
>> Not in agreement or disagreement with above -- but I have 2 questions:
>> Is supporting one's children in Kollel tzedukah?  
>> For that matter, is paying yeshiva tuition tzedukah?
>> -- I'm speaking of halachik definition of tzedukah -- 

I think I need to clarify my question

 -- are the above, and examples such as cited in the replies tzedukah 
vis a vis tithe?

Child support,  tuition assistance,  paying for medical school?  

Carl Singer


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 07:17:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject: You/Thou

In V41N74, Nachum Lamm comments:
> English doesn't have a polite/casual second person.  "Thou" (and "thee,"
> and "thy," and so on) is singular, and "you" was originally reserved for
> plural. The former has fallen into disuse, and the latter is now used
> for both. This has been something of a loss: "Thou shalt not kill"
> conveys "Lo Tirtzach" perfectly; "You shall not kill" doesn't quite do
> so.

This seems a perfect example of what the sociologist of religion Peter
Berger calls "the reverential archaic" (I can't recall in which book he
said this, unless it was in a lecture.)  The use of an older form of
language sounds more authoritative.

Freda Birnbaum


End of Volume 41 Issue 79