Volume 43 Number 01
                 Produced: Tue Jun 15  6:10:23 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Avode Zore and Hinduism
         [Bernard Raab]
Deliberately Invalid Marriages (2)
         [Leah Perl Shollar, Bill Bernstein]
Duchening on Shabbos Yom Tov
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
Guidelines for Tzedaka
Hat Brims Revisited
         [Bernard Raab]
Lamps on Shabbos
         [Steven Oppenheimer]
Mikva when Husband is not Home
         [Leah Perl Shollar]
The Sheitel Issue
Shiddach Dating Rules
         [Dov Bloom]
Single-handled faucets on Shabbat
         [Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.]
Y'kum Purkan - Who is an Individual?
         [Shimon Lebowitz]


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Jun 2004 16:04:42 -0400
Subject: Avode Zore and Hinduism

> Meylekh Viswanath writes:
>Finally, I am still curious as to exactly how avode zore is defined.

I think frankly, that the definition is like the one given by Supreme
Court Justice Potter Stewart in 1964 when asked to define pornography:
(to paraphrase) I don't know how to define it, but " ...I know it when I
see it".

This has nothing at all to do with the shaitel controversey, but on a
recent trip to India we were taken to a Jaine temple. As explained by
our guide the Jaines are an extremely "frum" offshoot of Hinduism. He
explained that while they had many idols in the temple they do not
believe that the idols are gods but merely representations of ideas that
recall aspects of dieties (or something of that nature). They bring
offerings, bow in reverence, and are careful not to turn their backs on
any of the idols. They do not call it "worship", but like Justice

b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: Leah Perl Shollar <leahperl@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2004 23:21:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Deliberately Invalid Marriages

I have actually wondered about this topic for some time.  It seems (from
a halachic future standpoint) that if a couple is not frum legamrei, and
only marry al pi halacha because that is the only option, then what's to
stop them from simply separating at some point, without a proper get?
If this happens, and the woman then takes up with someone else, the
children will not be allowed to marry most other Jews.  It seems like it
would almost be better not to have valid kiddushin in the first
place...What are the arguements on the other side of the fence?

L Shollar

From: <billheddy@...> (Bill Bernstein)
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2004 21:36:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Deliberately Invalid Marriages

Paul Shaviv querried about the alleged practice in Israel where the
mesader kiddushin would deliberately do something to invalidate the
ceremony.  I suppose anything is possible but it seems incredible to me
that a rabbi would do such a thing.  It is my understanding that there
is a Biblical prohibition against cohabiting with a woman who was not
acquired with chuppah and kiddushin.  If so, then the mesader kiddushin
would appear to be transgressing the Biblical prohibtion of lifnei iver
(placing a stumbling block) since he singlehandedly causes this man to
cohabit with a woman not legally acquired.  I am not sure what could
justify such a practice, if indeed it is happening.

Kol tuv,
Bill Bernstein
Nashville TN


From: Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2004 13:32:41 -0400 
Subject: Duchening on Shabbos Yom Tov

In Vol. 42 #93 Digest, Alan Friedenberg writes:
> The shule where I grew up (and the shule I daven at now) also 
> don't duchen in the "regular" sense when Shabbos and Yom Tov 
> conincide.  The kohanim go up on the bima, say the bracha, and 
> duchening commences. However, there is no "singing part" - the 
> chazan says the words and the kohanim repeat them straight 
> through, without delay.

Based on your description, they absolutely *did* duchan, they just
omitted the singing (chanting actually).  This is one of the cases I
like to cite where the explanation is found in reversing the question -
instead of asking "why don't they chant on Shabbos?", the question is
really "why *do* they chant when it's not Shabbos?".  The answer is that
the chanting is to give the congregation time to recite the supplication
concerning dreams ("Ribbono Shel Olam...").  Since this, like all
supplications, is omitted on Shabbos, there's no need for the chanting

As to why some shuls omit Bircas Cohanim entirely on Shabbos Yom Tov,
that one I have no answer for.  I guess maybe the answer lies within the
larger question that started this thread, of why Ashkenazim restrict
duchaning to just Yom Tov to begin with.

Elie Rosenfeld


From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Wed, 09 Jun 2004 00:32:03 -0400
Subject: RE: Guidelines for Tzedaka

>From: Daniel Cohn <cohn3736@...>
>In his submission on guidelines for tzedaka, Meir brings a comprehensive
>list of what type of income is "tzedaka liable"....

For the record, the list I quoted has probably been printed elsewhere
but I saw it in the Good Book, a multi-featured book the dimensions of a
phone book but from maybe a city of 40,000.  Published by Dr. Bert
Miller in Baltimore, distributed free and containing primarily phone
listings for Jews within the Park Heights Eruv, and advertising.  Plus
many, many other features, like the times of services at most of the O
shuls in Baltimore, all the halachic times for all the days of the year,
what drugstores will deliver on Shabbes without getting paid at the
time, phone numbers of Jewish organization including pay phones at
schools, etc. etc.

I was also wrong when I said it was originally printed on one page.  It
was two public phone-book size pages.  I originally scanned this in and
posted it on another list years ago from the '95-'96 edition.

Daniel, sorry, I can't help you with your question.

As to the point made earlier that it was an insult to consider the
support of adopted children as tsedaka, but not that of biological
children: I didn't write the list, of course, and I don't think I feel
responsible to defend it just because I posted it.  But, I do see
another side of this.  I know I'm shifting the focus, but if someone
adopts a child and spends as much money on hir as on a biological child,
then there is certainly no insult coming from the adoptive parents.  And
I would bet it is hard to find a family where there is a difference in
the amount of money spent on the two kinds of children.

My understanding is that, although it is a great mitzvah to rear a child
one is not the biological parent of, "adoption" in the legal sense
doesn't exist in Judaism.  An adopted boy doesn't lose his status as a
Cohain if his biological father was one, or his need for a pidyan haben
if he is the non-Caesarean first child of a Jewish biological mother.
Conversely, he doesn't become a Kohain just because his adoptive father
is one, and he doesn't have a halachic right to a share of his adoptive
father's estate (but he does still have that right wrt his (Jewish?)
biological father's estate. I assume that Jews have for a long time made
wills that distribute their estates with an equal share to adopted
kids.)  IIUC, basically hir halachic status is as if s/he lived in the
house or next door with hir biological parents, except in practice the
biological parents aren't there and it is the adoptive parents who are
paying the bills, kissing hir good-night, and sitting up at night with
hir when s/he is sick.  So given all that, it would be tsedaka to pay
the expenses, both necessities and beyond that**, for an adopted child.

**Maybe at some point beyond necessities, something one doesn't need at
all like a brand new car at age 16, it's no longer tsedaka, it's just a

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


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Jun 2004 16:48:26 -0400
Subject: Hat Brims Revisited

Almost exactly one year ago (11 Jun 2003), Rabbi Teitz and I had the
following exchange on Mail Jewish (39/80):

From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@...>
>   As for the wide-brimmed hats, that, too, is not so simple.  There
>are Rishonim, among them the Rambam (Shabbos 22:31), who prohibit wearing
>hats whose brim is hard and more than a tefach wide. Our hats, however,
>have as their saving grace that we don't wear them for their brims to
>supply shade, and hence they do not qualify as an ohel.  Again, see the
>Aruch Hashulchan in 301:111.<<

to which I replied:

There is clearly no purpose to a hat brim other than shading the eyes
from the sun and/or rain. We may claim that fashion is the present-day
justification, but this will not hold up, since fedoras are no longer
fashionable in any form. Therefore, this is a design that was adopted
specifically for the "group", and accepting (actually mandating) a brim
size which raises halachic questions is really troubling.

Now, the latest: At a wedding this week, my wife was informed by one of
the women that at at least one yeshiva the bochurim have been instructed
not to wear the wide-brimmed hats on Shabbos, but to acquire hats with
smaller brims for shabbos wear!

Is there anyone out there who can confirm and/or add to this story?


From: Steven Oppenheimer <oppy49@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2004 23:09:50 -0400
Subject: Lamps on Shabbos

> I looked this up in "The Halachos of Muktza" by R. Yisroel Bodner.  He
> says that an electric light which is switched on is likened by some
> poskim to a lit oil lamp, and has the following rules:
> - it can't be moved (he quotes R. Moshe Feinstein and R. Auerbach)

rp replies:
>hmm, somehow I missed this in the 70s & 80s. Guess all my teachers
>didn't think the 'some' was enough to counter the rest in this
>case. Never heard of not being able to move a lamp. Does anyone know
>where RavMoshe's discussion is?

There seems to be some confusion here.  Rabbi Bodner writes at the end
of his sefer on Muktzeh (in the Hebrew section) that he asked HaRav
Moshe Feinstein, zt"l a number of questions.  He writes (question #11)
that regarding a lit electric lamp, Rav Moshe told him that according to
the law one may move it, but since it is similar to a lit candle, and
people may make a mistake, it should not be moved.

However, Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen, in his sefer on Muktzeh, writes that
he personally observed Rav Moshe move a lit electric lamp on Shabbos.
He also quotes Rav Auerbach, zt"l as agreeing in principle that it may
be moved on Shabbos. (see Minchat Shlomo 1:14)

So - who is more authoritative?

Steven Oppenheimer, DDS


From: Leah Perl Shollar <leahperl@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2004 23:03:45 -0400
Subject: Re: Mikva when Husband is not Home

> [...]So this sailor's wife would go to the mikvah
> only when her husband is home (every six months or whatever).  And the
> all tha halachos that apply the mikva (counting days, etc.) also only
> apply prior to when she is actually planning to go to the mikva that
> month.

How can she keep track of her calendar days if she doesn't count?


From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Wed, 09 Jun 2004 02:50:29 -0400
Subject: The Sheitel Issue

For quite a bit of background on the sheitel issue including some about
how it resurfaced, check out:


BTW, I apologize greatly for not using my last name here, especially
when everyone else seems to.  I've used the same email address
everywhere since my start on the net and elsewhere I've antagonized a
few people a bit, and because of the nuts on other parts of the net, and
that I was at the time the recent victim of more than one crime in real
life, I decided to firmly separate my internet identity from my real
one, except for my first name, and except for a few I email directly, or
those I talk to on the phone or meet in person.  I'm not worried about
any of the posters here, of course, but most lists have people passing
through who don't post.

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


From: Dov Bloom <dovb@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Jun 2004 23:20:14 +0200
Subject: Re: Shiddach Dating Rules

><<Boy must wear suit & hat -- regardless of planned event.>>

If the event is a baseball game, can he wear a baseball cap?  


From: Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq. <khresq@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Jun 2004 22:35:26 -0400
Subject: Single-handled faucets on Shabbat

Leah Aharoni asks how others deal with the issues of a single-handled
water faucet on Shabbat.

Now that we have just redone our kitchen, we have single handled faucets
(manufactured in Israel by Hamat, BTW).  So just before light-up time,
when we go through the routine of taping the switch on the refrigerator,
we simply shut off the hot water supply under the sink so that only cold
water is available.

Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.
East Northport, NY 11731
E-Mail:  <khresq@...>


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 07:06:04 +0300
Subject: Re: Y'kum Purkan - Who is an Individual?

> The accepted practice is that an individual does not complete the Y'kum
> Purkan (two plus one) but only recites the first section.  

> If one has exited the synagogue
> (to call in his kids, to relieve himself, et al.)  and returns after the
> prayer has been recited, and the congregation is already into Ashrei, for
> example, does he recite all three or just the first section?

I admit that I never asked about the details of "alone" before.  I
simply assumed that since the wording of the first which refers to
talmidei chachamim is in the 3rd person (yevarech yatHON, yapish
chayaiHON...) it can always be said, but the second, which refers to
*this* congregation (kehala kadisha hadein) is in the 2nd person
(yevarech yatCHON, yapish chayaiCHON...)  must be "addressed" to a

So, if I am late, or busy, or whatever, and get to the second after the
rest of the shul, I do say it, but if I am sick at home (or alone in the
army, in the days I did miluim [reserves] and had no minyan) then I do

The 3rd paragraph, mi shebeirach, while not in 2nd person, definitely
refers again to *this congregation* and has no meaning alone, but why
deny the tzibur a bracha just because I am late getting to it?

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp


End of Volume 43 Issue 1