Volume 42 Number 69
                 Produced: Sun May 16  9:49:58 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Perets Mett]
Musical instruments were forbidden in Jerusalem other than drums
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
R' Moshe and Listening to Music
         [Tzvi Stein]
R. Moshe and Music
         [Mark Steiner]
Sheitle and Avoda Zarah (4)
         [Mark Steiner, Menashe Elyashiv, Moshe Kranc, Mike Gerver]
Vocalization of Mordechai
         [Elazar M Teitz]


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 06:41:04 +0100
Subject: Mordechai

Russell Hendel wrote:

> Getting back to Mordechai the Minchat Shai suggests using a Chataf
> Kamatz (otherwise known as a Kamatz Koton) when the cantillation is
> pausal (that is you stop--for example Zakef, End verse, Ethnach etc).
> On connective cantillations one uses the shva.  >

I cannot find this in my ediiton of Minchath Shai.

Can you please give  a reference?

Perets Mett


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Thu, 13 May 2004 16:04:17 EDT
Subject: Musical instruments were forbidden in Jerusalem other than drums

Many correctly cited (MJv42n67) the prohibition of music in Jerusalem,
and that it was relatively recent. I am not sure if it is late 19th
century or early 20th century.

"In remembrance of the destruction of the Temple, the Ashkenazic
rabbinical court of Rabbi Meir Orbach (Spelling?) decreed that it was
forbidden to play musical instruments other than drums. The Sephardim
did not consider themselves bound by the Ashkenazic rabbi's prohibition,
but the Ashkenazim were obligated to obey this prohibition because of
their dependence on funds whose distribution was in the hands of the
rabbis.  Jerusalem's Sephardic Jews continued to play musical
instrument." (Sefer Yerushalayim, Efraim and Menahem Talmi, Tel Aviv,
1958, p. 185). The translation was made for the forthcoming book on
Eliyahu Shwartz life which I am editing.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Thu, 13 May 2004 10:15:35 -0400
Subject: Re: R' Moshe and Listening to Music

> From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
> 1.  About Rav Moshe Feinstein:  It doesn't seem logical that he would
> prohibit music, unless it was a purely personal humra, for the following
> reason:
> In 1959 he wrote a teshuvah dealing with the question of whether or not
> one could listen to or sing at the Shabbat table melodies composed by
> Shlomo Carlebach (he does not refer to him by name, but it's quite clear
> who he was talking about), because Shlomo was beginning to behave in
> ways that were viewed as unacceptable by the frum world.  I don't have
> the reference at hand, but it's in Vol. I of Iggerot Moshe Yoreh Deah.
> He rules that it's permitted, and nowhere suggests that instrumental
> music is assur.

I'm afraid I just don't at all "hear" the contradiction you are trying
to point out.  It seems there is no contradiciton at all.  In the tshuva
I brought up, Rav Moshe is saying that instrumental and radio music is
forbidden all year.  In the tshuva you are refering to, he is dealing
with singing certain tunes at the Shabbos table, which has nothing to do
with intstrmental or radio music (since those are anyway forbidden on

Singing on the one hand, and instrumental music on the other hand, are
two different issues.


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Thu, 13 May 2004 11:44:35 +0300
Subject: RE: R. Moshe and Music

Since a doubt has been raised about this, I now have looked up the exact
reference.  In Orah Hayyim, teshuva 166, written to one of the
participants of this list, Rav Moshe explicitly forbids instrumental
music of all types, including over the radio, except for weddings and
other seudot mitzvah. Even though the Rema permits this, he says one
should follow the mehaber. During the sefira he forbids instrumental
music even according to those who allow instrumental music the rest of
the year.

Mark Steiner


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 08:36:36 +0300
Subject: RE: Sheitle and Avoda Zarah

Concerning Indian hair.

	I will discuss here only the halakhic issues concerning avoda
zara; there are many, many other halakhic issues raised by this scandal,
e.g.  price gouging.  (I won't even begin to discuss the sociological
issues of what is actually a fundamental change in religious behavior
which occurred almost overnight.)  The basic prohibition is concerning,
technically, "tikrovet avoda zara," something that was made an offering
to a god, which is forbidden to use or to benefit from in any way; it is
not permitted to throw it into the garbage either, lest someone else
benefit from it.  As Hazal put it, "throw it into the Dead Sea."

	It is interesting that in 1990 R. Eliashiv shlit"a issued a much
more lenient ruling, which has been published in full, on Indian hair,
on grounds (a) that though the act of shaving off the hair was a
religious ritual, the hair itself was not an offering to the god.
Originally, the hair was thrown into the garbage; later the business
potential of selling the hair was realized; (b) the shaving occurs
outside the temples, in fact human hair is not allowed into the Hindu
temple.  However, the factual information was based on an academic
student of the Hindu religion, whose name was expunged from the
published version of the responsum that I had available.  R. Eliashiv
concludes the responsum by making the ruling conditional on the
correctness of the facts, and calls for further factual investigation of
the Hindu religion.  The present ruling, which I have not seen except
for newspaper advertisements, seems to be based on a fact finding
mission of a London rabbi from the haredi community there.

	R. Moshe Sternbuch shlit"a of the Eda Haredis has been agitating
about this issue for many years.  In his teshuva, which I have not
studied but glanced at, he points out as a side issue, that if avoda
zara (including tikrovet) is offered for sale, the proceeds of the sale
are also forbidden--technically this is called tefisat damim.  (This is
a concept also familiar from the laws of shvi`it.)  Thus, one would not
be allowed to accept change from a seller even in buying from him a
synthetic wig.  A final "problem" he mentioned is that although an idol
itself can become permissible in benefit (mutar behana-ah), if the idol
worshiper himself defaces it, say, by chopping off the nose (this is
called "bitul")--an offering to the idol cannot be cleansed in any way.

	Ukrainian hair, anyone?  There is a Habad rabbi who calls
himself the chairman of the "Ukraine kashrus commision" who is giving a

Mark Steiner

From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 09:33:07 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Sheitle and Avoda Zarah

After the rulings of Rabbis Elyashiv, Wosner, K'reliz and others, hardly
no wigged women could be seen in the Haredi areas. Of course, those that
follow R. Yosef and the Old Yishuv never used wigs. The weekend
newspapers were full of articles, and advertisments from importers
claiming that their wigs are "kosher"...

I heard from a reliable source that this is not a new story, it has been
known for 15 years but no one checked it out. It also was reported, that
many non-indian wigs have indian hair mixed in.

R. Sternbuch ruled that even money from a wig store is idol money
i.e. if you bought something permissible, don't take change.

As it has been known that many Rabbis are against long wigs etc. but
many wig users did not heed to them, will they use this opportunity to
ban non modest wigs?

What is going on outside of Israel?

From: Moshe Kranc <mekranc@...>
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 07:48:50 +0200
Subject: Re: Sheitle and Avoda Zarah

My sister-in-law in Kiryat Sefer tells me that all the women in her
Haredi city have stopped wearing the human hair wigs, but are also not
throwing them out just yet - they're hoping for some authoritative word
that will somehow allow them to preserve their considerable investment
in human hair wigs.

IMHO, we have a unique situation here - an entire city where every house
has avodah zarah in it. Perhaps we should declare Kiryat Sefer an Ir
Hanidachat, and start buying marshmellows for the public bonfire? At a
minimum, we should dispatch the Michelin Guide of his time, Rabbi
Yonatan (who claimed to have sat on the site of an Ir Hanidachat), to
file a report.

I must admit, I am getting so much pleasure from this story of avodah
zarah that I may need to burn my own computer as well.

In a Purim mood,

Moshe Kranc

From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 03:37:23 EDT
Subject: Sheitle and Avoda Zarah

In discussing this topic in v42n68, Avi says

> If Hinduism is Avoda Zarah, (idol worship)

It seems to me that the issue hinges around this question (I was going
to say "this question is the crux of the issue"...), and if there is a
halachic solution which will avoid costing sheitel owners and dealers
millions of dollars, it will involve answering this question in the
negative. People who were talking about this in my shul this Shabbat
(after davening, of course) did not seem to take this possibility
seriously, but I think that a good case can be made for it.

Certainly many Western-educated Hindus would, if asked, vehemently deny
that Hinduism is polytheistic, or involves worshiping idols. Instead, I
imagine they would say that Hinduism is monotheistic, and that the
different Hindu "gods" are just different aspects of the way G-d relates
to the world, similar to the sefirot in Judaism. Similarly, they might
say that the statues in their temples do not have any "kedusha," but are
just meant to inspire the worshippers or help them concentrate in their
prayers, similar to the role of pictures of famous rabbis that one not
infrequently finds in synagogues on the back and side walls, and yes,
even the front walls. (Admittedly having statues of famous rabbis would
not be acceptable in synagogues, but would such a prohibition apply to
Bnei Noach, if the only issue was that it was a three-dimensional statue
rather than a two-dimensional picture? I don't think so.) I'm pretty
sure I remember a book that I think is called "The Jew and the Lotus,"
quoting a Buddhist as saying something like this about the role that
statues of Buddha play in Buddhism, but I can't find the book on my
shelf now, so I may be remembering this wrong.)

There may be other Hindus, Western-educated or not, who would take a
different view of things. But, given the huge amounts of money at stake,
which I suppose would not even be covered by insurance, maybe a serious
investigation should be made of the question of whether Hinduism is
avodah zarah. If the conclusion is that it is not, there might be other
benefits to the Jewish community as well, for example in regard to
relations between Israel and India, which have greatly improved in
recent years.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 09:02:41 -0400
Subject: Re: Vocalization of Mordechai

<R. Mordechai Breuer discusses this in appendices to his editions of
Tanach. It simply indicates that the schwa is not silent, and is to be
pronounced as the reader would pronounce a schwa (na`).>

        Why should such an indication be necessary?  It is the second of
consecutive sh'va'im, which is automatically a sh'va na.


End of Volume 42 Issue 69