Volume 41 Number 83
                 Produced: Fri Jan 16  6:19:18 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Being Denied Entry To A Shul (2)
         [Kenneth G Miller, Michael Kahn]
Chanukah and Christmas
         [Bernard Raab]
Entering a church
         [Carl Singer]
Left at the Church? (4)
         [Zev Sero, Meir, Michael & Bonnie Rogovin, Yisrael Medad]
NA != please
         [Lou Rayman]
order of service on a ta'anit
         [Jack Gross]
Reasons to go into a Church
         [Tzvi Stein]
The Slow Davener


From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 10:59:10 -0500
Subject: Re: Being Denied Entry To A Shul

In MJ 41:74, Immanuel Burton wrote about a security guard who would not
allow him to enter a shul for mincha/maariv because of his camera.

Among his questions were <<< Is there a Halachic basis on which our
being denied entry to daven with a minyan can be defended? Is the way we
were treated compatible with Hachanasas Orchim [receiving of guests]?

Historically, it has been considered acceptable for the shul's officers
to throw out disruptive individuals, such as those who are talking
during the service. I would imagine that a person who is deemed to be a
potential physical threat would certainly fall into this
category. That's what security guards are for, and in general, when
they're on the job they're performing the mitzvah of pikuach nefesh.

On the other hand, the threat posed by an individual who is doing
nothing more than carrying a camera, is very different than the threat
posed by, say, an agitated person with his finger on the trigger of a
gun. It is the job of the shul's rabbi and the security personnel to
determine what level of threat justifies excluding a person from the
minyan. I'd like to think that in Mr. Burton's case, the rabbi of that
shul did agree to the security rules.

<<< Bearing in mind that it is not unfeasible for tourists to have
cameras with them, should a Shul which seems to attract tourists have
some sort of depository where they can leave their cameras during
services? >>>

That is a wonderful idea. I hope Mr. Burton suggested it to the people
of that 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. >>>

I really don't understand the security threat which is posed when a
person wants to photograph something. Maybe the photos would help a
criminal plan his crime or something. I really don't know, that's not my
field. But this is far from the first time that I've heard of a ban on
cameras for security reasons, and so I presume that the concerns are

Akiva Miller

From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 12:23:42 -0500
Subject: RE: Being Denied Entry To A Shul

At first I thought they didn't want cameras in the shulle out of a fear
of terrorism. (Terrorists take pictures to help them familiarize
themselves with the area.) But then I read that they let you in as a
tourist with your camera. If you were denied entry out of money making
concerns then its disgraceful.


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 13:31:41 -0500
Subject: Chanukah and Christmas

>From: Douglas Moran
><snip>The problem is, alas, December.  Not only are our children
>inundated with the usual secular cultural insanity of Christmas--somewhat
>amplified by being in a more Christian area--but Christianity permeates
>the schools to such a degree that they don't even understand they're
>doing wrong.  My kids came home with a colored picture of "Pere Noel."
>Leaving aside the obvious answers ("Make Aliyah"), what is one
>to do?  I know that many people may be tired of this problem, but it is
>very acute for our family, and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

As someone who grew up attending public schools in an era when the
sensitivity to other cultures was basically non-existant, I was *forced*
to sing Christmas carols in class. The teacher put her ear to my mouth
to make sure I wasn't just mouthing the words without singing! I never
told my parents because I didn't want to go to Yeshiva where my older
brother was being beaten by the Rebbeim. I was happy most of the year,
although pretty miserable in December. I don't recall similar problems
in High School or College, except for one December in College when the
German teacher decided it would be good to sing some German
carols. Although there were many Jews in class, she asked my permission,
apparently deciding somehow that I was the "official" in charge of the
Jews. I was amused and gave my permission and it was fun. She was wise
enough to avoid the religious carols, sticking to "O Tannenbaum" and
other winter songs.

I think you are doing everything right and your children will grow up to
be outstanding and committed Jews.

b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 14:50:11 -0500
Subject: Entering a church

> Can I elicit comment on, short of grave situations, when one might not
> deem it inappropriate to venture into a church?  In our day, in which
> type of church, for which purposes?

When I lived in suburban Philadelphia, our polling place was the social
hall of a local church.  Obviously one could have chosen to use an
absentee ballot, but this didn't seem to a problem for the community.

I recall, also, that there was a non-sectarian (Montessori) pre-school
that was a tenant (not affiliated) with a church.

Carl Singer


From: Zev Sero <zsero@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 00:44:22 -0500
Subject: Re: Left at the Church?

Daryl Vernon <ck872@...> wrote:

> Has anyone encountered a synagogue such as in one small Ontario town,
> where many decades ago a church building was converted, so to speak,
> this having been fairly easy for correct directional orientation & lack
> of grosser inappropriate prior embellishment?

This isn't uncommon.  I know of several shuls that used to be churches.

There is a building in the East End of London that was originally built
in the 17th or 18th century as a Huguenot church, then in the 19th and
early 20th century it was the biggest shul in London, and now it's a
Bangladeshi mosque.

Zev Sero

From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 19:38:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Left at the Church?

>Has anyone encountered a synagogue such as in one small Ontario town,
>where many decades ago a church building was converted, so to speak,

Well, it's only been two years, and it's probably not much like your
small Ontario town, but there is a C congregation in Dallas, Plano
actually, that bought its building from a church that went bankrupt.  I
don't think Orthodox would have any trouble doing the same.  One can't
sell a shul building to a church, but the opposite is fine.  Lowering
the level, vs.  raising the level iirc.  Apparently it had pretty simple
American colonial architecture, and no remodeling but the name was
necessary outside, and it was easy to remove whatever was inside.  And
the price was low to begin with, I was told.

>this having been fairly easy for correct directional orientation & lack
>of grosser inappropriate prior embellishment?

You lost me here. :) 

<meirman@...>  Baltimore, MD, USA

From: Michael & Bonnie Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 09:43:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Left at the Church?

The Young Israel of New Rochelle, NY is in a former Catholic Church. I
believe that, like most such buildings, the floor plan is in the shape
of a cross and probably required removal of numerous architectural
features (perhaps a long time member is on the list and can give
details?). They have been there for many years but are now building a
new facility.

The Community Synagogue on East 6th Street in the East Village of NYC is
the former St. Mark's Lutheran church. I believe that the conversion
involved replacement of stained glass windows, removal of fold-out
kneeling platforms and addition of a mechitza (the pews are still there)
as well as adding the aron etc.

As an aside, the Community Synagogue building has an interesting, if
tragic, history. On June 15, 1904 over 1,000 people - affecting nearly
every family in the church, most of them women and children - lost their
lives on New York City's East River when their steamboat, the General
Slocum, burst into flames and sank. They were on an annual Sunday church
outing.  The distraught survivors eventually sold the church to Jews who
converted it to a synagogue. The German enclave in the area quickly
dissolved, since most survivors and their relatives were unwilling to
remain in the neighborhood (most to the upper east side area known as
Yorkville (ironically near the area where the ship actually sank). I
believe that this was the single largest loss of life in a disaster in
NYC until 9/11. See www.general-slocum.com. There is an annual
commemoration of the disaster.

Michael Rogovin

From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 20:40:40 +0200
Subject: Left at the Church?

      Daryl Vernon <ck872@...> wrote: ...when one might not
      deem it inappropriate to venture into a church?  In our day, in
      which type of church, for which purposes?

My second place of employment in Israel in 1971 was the Jerusalem
Municipality's Torah Education Department which was headed by the
scholar (and gentleman) Rav Yaakov Gellis.  He told me that when
Yerushalayim was liberated in 1967, he visited the Old City including
even the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  He told me that in Chutz
La'Aretz he would never do that because that is their land but Eretz
Yisrael is ours and he viewed the Church as temporary.  He told me that
there was one section where one must enter, and because of the low
ceiling, you are actually forced to "bow" as it were.  This, though, he
was not prepared to do.

His solution?  He walked in backwards.

Yisrael Medad


From: Lou Rayman <ligboo@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 08:30:49 -0800 (PST)
Subject: NA != please

in v41n77, Russell explains how the Hebrew NA (nun, alef) means PLEASE.
I dont think its that simple.

Onkelos in Chumash and Targum Yonasan in Navi consistently translate NA
as "K'AN" (chaf ayin nun) = NOW. This is true in Beraishis 22:2 (The
request/command of the Akeda), and 27:19 (Ya'kov, disguised as Esav,
asking Yitzchak to eat).  See 27:3, where Yitzchak asks Esav to go hunt
for some food: V'Atah (with an ayin) Sa Na Chailecha (Now, take <NA>
your weapons), Onkelos renders both Atah and Na as k'an.

In Navi, the first (I believe) example is Yehoshua 2:12 - Rachav asking
the spies to spare her and her family.

So, while Na indicates a request (as per Rashi on 22:2), it also
indicates a sense of urgency - Please do this NOW.  I think this is most
clear in Bamidbar 10:31, Moshe asking Chovav (aka Yisro) not to leave -
"Al Na Ta'azov O'sanu" - Dont leave NOW, because now is when we really
need you as a guide in our trip.

p.s. Russell, what is your source for linking this NA with NA=raw?

Kol Tuv,
Lou Rayman


From: Jack Gross <ibijbgross2@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 23:58:02 -0500
Subject: Re: order of service on a ta'anit

>From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
>avinu malkenu

Selichos and Avinu Malkenu originated as recitations by the sha"tz, and
so are appended to the repetiton; whereas Tachanun is in the nature of
individual (silent) supplication by each individual.  Hence Selichos and
Avinu Malkenu are placed adjacent to the recital of Tefilla by the
sha"tz, and only then is Tachanun said.

Selichos were originally part of the sixth b'racha of Tefilla (or
perhaps _replaced_ the normal nasach thereof: the "S'lach lanu ..."
intro line replacing the usual "S'lach lanu" that opens the beracha, and
"v'al y'akkev chet v'avon..." [omitted from current editions] leading
into the chasima).  When the practice developed to omit s'lichos from
the body of Tefilla, they were given the next available slot.

To: <mail-jewish@...>

From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Subject: Reasons to go into a Church

When I was living in western Ohio, my assigned polling place (i.e. place
to vote) was in the local Baptist church, which was probably the largest
building around.  When I asked about that, I was told that there is a
distinction between the various parts of the church.  Since the voting
took place in a "vestibule" or entrance hall area rather than the
"sanctuary", it was permissible.  Also, it would be very clear to an
observer why I was going in.


From: <chips@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 19:35:59 -0800
Subject: Re: The Slow Davener

> Addressing only the second point -- as we have such a person in our
> congregation.
> If this person davens loudly enough for others to hear and is always "on a
> different page" what is the appropriate response to this disruptive
> situation?

	And who, pray tell, rules that *anyone* is allowed to daven that
loudly, especially at a minyan?



End of Volume 41 Issue 83