Volume 43 Number 02
                 Produced: Tue Jun 15  6:27:02 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Deliberately Invalid Marriages (2)
         [Andrew Marks, Michael Perl]
Erev 17 Tammuz
Labor Unions
         [Tzvi Stein]
Lubavitcher Rebbe and Psak
         [Leah Perl Shollar]
Mikva on Friday night
         [Kenneth G Miller]
One-Handle Faucet
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
Time for Mincha
         [Mark Steiner]
Time for Minchah
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Y'kum Purkan
         [Dov Bloom]
Y'kum Purkan - why said individually in Shul ?
Request: Apartment available: Tel Aviv
         [Ephraim Tabory]


From: Andrew Marks <machmir@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 03:26:46 -0400
Subject: Re: Deliberately Invalid Marriages

This is pretty much true.  In fact, I can tell you from personal
experience: on my last trip to Israel, there was a wedding in the hotel
lobby.  As soon as they got to the important parts, all of the frum
looking people left the room, presumably so that there would not be
kosher edim besides the edei kiddushin.

Now, if I remember correctly, the edei kiddushin are b'chezkas kashrus,
so they count as valid witnesses until they are challenged, so the
wedding is kosher.  However, should the couple get a divorce, and should
the husband refuse to give a get, the beis din can then go in and
challenge the credibility of the edei kiddushin (and there are plenty of
opinions, that when combined properly set the bar way too high for
pretty much any witness to be kosher) and thereby annul the marriage and
prevent an aguno issue.

Similarly, Orthodox Jews in America are usually advised (very privately)
to look away during the important parts of non-orthodox weddings for the
exact same reason.  Though, to be fair, I don't know why it wouldn't be
suffient to just have people have in mind to be in the same kat of edim
as the bride's mother, for example.

To be fair, your daughter has most of the facts straight, but she's
reached the wrong conclusion.  One thing she's missing is that a wedding
is valid until challenged, and because of mamzerim, agunot, and simple
issues of eshet ish, the rabbinate and the halachic community as a whole
have been forced to find ways to prevent these huge issues.  Another
small thing she has confused is not that there is concern of mamzerim
arising from the marriage at hand, but from a possibly later marriage
following a possible civil divorce.  One of the leading rabbis of the
previous generation (unfortunately I forget who exactly) once remarked
that given any aguna, he can find a heter.  Almost always (in fact, I
know of no exception) that heter consisted of nullifying the marriage on
some halachic ground.  The fact of the matter is that there are enough
machmir oppinions that they can be combined to invalidate any marriage
(who says chumras can't add to kullahs?).  This just makes the job much
easier on the beis din and means that it won't involve nearly as much
embarrassment for the bride, groom, their families, and the edim.

So, in conclusion, these aren't "faked" marriages.  They're technically
kosher.  They just won't stand up under scrutiny if the beis din needs
to to find the woman a heter.  That is not to say that no marriage has
been performed in such a way to be invalid from the start, but this is
the first I've heard of it, and it would require, for example, being
sure that there are not two frum jews watching the ring being given with
intent to be their own independent set of witnesses (it's that kavana
issue that we use to prevent the edei kiddushin being in the same kat as


From: Michael Perl <michael_perl9@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 05:02:26 -0400
Subject: RE: Deliberately Invalid Marriages

There seems to be a growing opinion in favour of this type of practice
in Israel.  I recently attended a speech by the venerated Professor
Moshe Herr in London. He is professor of Talmud at Hebrew University and
in London on sabbatical.

His speech concerned the schizophrenic legal system in Israel today due
to it being a system combining halacha, British and Ottomon law. He
focused on the laws of marriage and turned to the modern split between
so-called religious/irreligious in Israel today and then proposed a
novel solution. On the issue pertaining to marriage, there should be two
channels that citizens can choose to go by..the traditional one under
the auspices of the rabbanut and a 'civil' one where there is no
kiddushin/ketubah type ceremony.

With the latter, the only halachic issue is that one is not fulfilling
the positive mitzva of kiddushin and there would be no halachic issue
with the children. I was surprised to learn that even if this couple
split up, there would be no future concerns of mamzerut as no get is
required (implied by Paul's comment below) He even quoted a precedent
for this: When the soviet system took hold in Russia early last century,
I think he said Rav Twersky (?) but nevertheless a well-known rav issued
a decree saying that any rabbi that is God-fearing would no longer be
m'sader kiddushin as under the new legal sytem then, there could be no
assurances that in the future, they would be allowed to obtain a get
should it be required.

Clearly, the problem starts when one person who went through the
traditional system and divorces without a get wants to marry someone
else through the civil channel.

My initial reaction was to reject it as it severed an important link
with Judaism for a secular Israeli. But thinking about it more, anyone
who has attended a secular wedding in Israel sees the irrelevance of the
chuppa to the gathering and the difficulties the couple have to endure
in dealing with the politics of the rabbanut. Myabe no link is better
than one leaving a sour taste.

Surely it is better to have this, even with its problems, than
well-meaning rabbanim who purposely but deceptively invalidate

Any thoughts on this?


From: Yakir <yakirhd@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 10:39:05 +0200
Subject: Erev 17 Tammuz

What is the status of the night of (before) 17 Tammuz ?

Does it have the status of the "3 weeks" or do they start with the fast,
i.e. in the mo(u)rning.
What about other fast days (e.g. 10 Tevet) ?
e.g. can one go to a concert on "erev" 17 Tammuz ?


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Subject: Labor Unions

Does anyone have any information about the halachic issues (if any) with
regard to joining a labor union, even if you could get a job just as
easily without joining?


From: Leah Perl Shollar <leahperl@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2004 23:25:13 -0400
Subject: Re: Lubavitcher Rebbe and Psak

> >If there had been any association with Avodah Zara, the Lubavitcher
> >rebbe would certainly have smelled the Klipah (unholiness) associated
> >with the sheitels -- given his well-known supernatural powers of
> >observation and intuition -- and he never said anything about it to my
> >knowlege.

I was under the impression that we did not use kabbala to arrive at psak
halacha; in addition (speaking as a Lubavitcher) the Rebbe never said
that he was a poseik -- in fact, in cases of complex shaalos, he told
people to consult a poseik expert in such matters.

Given the story with the oven in the gemara, it seems clear that halacha
rests 'down here'.

L Shollar


From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 01:46:31 -0400
Subject: Re: Mikva on Friday night

Several people have written that it is wrong for a woman to go to the
mikveh while her husband is out of town.

I have no idea what the logic is for this. Can someone explain it to me?

There have been several occasions when I was away on business when my
wife was scheduled to go to the mikveh. She went on time.

If she waited until I got home, then upon my arrival, we would have
still been forbidden to touch or pass things to each other for quite a
while.  This would be a few hours if I got home in the morning or
afternoon, or a full day (or even more) if I got home at night. Who
wants that headache?  For what purpose? Why not just go when she is

(I hope no one gives the answer as being "If she goes to the mikveh,
she'll be more likely to commit adultery." With all due respect, that
sounds pretty ridiculous to me: A woman can be trusted to be faithful if
she's a niddah, but might stray from her husband if she goes to the
mikveh? I can understand having such fears if a *single* woman goes to
the mikveh, but a *married* woman? I don't think so.)

Akiva Miller


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 08:05:37 -0400
Subject: One-Handle Faucet

>In a two-handle faucet, a different handle opens cold/hot
>water. However, in a one-handle faucet water temperature is adjusted by
>moving the handle to the right or to the left. Therefore, unless the
>handle is pushed to the extreme position, some hot water is mixed in.
>I have never heard this issue discussed. Is there a problem using
>one-handle faucets on Shabbat? how do other people "handle" this issue?

In Israel around Pesach time in 2003, a "Kol Koreh" in the name of Rabbi
Wosner, Av Bet Din of Bnei Brak, forbid the use of the single-handle
faucets on Shabbat, lest one accidentally use a bit of the hot water.

Yossi Ginzberg


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 08:20:21 +0300
Subject: RE: Time for Mincha

In thinking about mincha, two questions need to be asked:

(a) Can the mincha service be after "shki`ah"?

(b) When is "shki`ah"?

As for question (a): the Mishnah (Berakhot 4:1) limits mincha till
"erev", which Rashi interprets "till dark."  So does the Shulhan
Arukh--mincha is "till night [laylah]."

The Gaon, however, (cf. Shnot Eliyahu on Berakhot), reads "erev" as
meaning "sunset."  Cf. also Rashbam on Bereshit: vayehi erev.

As for question (b)--it is well known that R. Tam hypothesized that
there are two "shki`ot"--and the second one is about an hour after the
first one (what we call "sunset").  According to this view, even if we
would read "erev" as meaning "shki`ah" we could still "daven" mincha
well after sunset.  The Gaon, however, vigorously rejected R. Tam's
concept: for him, shki`ah is sunset, period.  For him there is no
possibility of mincha after sunset--if we combine his view on mincha
with his view on shki`ah

I should mention that in the "Breuer" community in Washington Heights
routinely helld mincha services considerably after sunset.

Mark Steiner


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 10:14:38 +0300
Subject: Time for Minchah

A forum member writes:

"The situation currently in Europe and America is that most (but not
all) chasidim have retained the Eastern European minhog of davening
mincho after shkio, whereas most (but not all) non-chasidishe
'ashkenazim' have adopted the chumro of davening mincho before the

Am I missing something? Is requiring one to daven Minchah before Shkiyah
just a Chumrah? I thought that allowing one to daven Minchah after
Shkiyah - if permitted at all - is a Kulah.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Dov Bloom <dovb@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 12:28:41 +0200
Subject: Re: Y'kum Purkan

The first yekum purkan is for "maranan ve Rabbanan", so applicable for
anyone anywhere. The second is for the "kahala kadisha hadain" , the
third in Hebrew for "kahal hakadosh haze". For someone davening
beyehidut-alone , there is no kahal for the "ze" to apply to, so he
skips it. As long as you are in the kahal, it is relevant. It doesn't
make sense to demand saying it "lock step" with the kahal as kedusha ,
two minutes later is still a kahal, there just has to be a kahal or else
we are saying nonsense.

Another thread maybe - should we say "asher beBavel " nowadays when
there are no talmidei chachamim there? How about Baer ( Avodat Yisrael)
reccomendation to say "ve-di bechol ar'ah galvatana" - we should pray
for the chachamim in Erets Yisrael and in the whole diaspora.

The Sephardim dont say these Yekum Purkans. Because they are
anachronistic? Well, I heard in a real Sephardic congregation, I think
the Spanish-Portuguese in Manhatten, say a Mi-sheberach for our brothers
"nemaikim bemartafei haInquisittsia" (launguishing in the dungeons of
the Inquisition). Hows that for anachronisim?

>The accepted practice is that an individual does not complete the Y'kum
>Purkan (two plus one) but only recites the first section.  The Art
>Scroll instructions for example read: "an individual praying alone,
>etc".  But who is an individual and what is "alone"?  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?

Dov A Bloom


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 05:24:23 EDT
Subject: Y'kum Purkan - why said individually in Shul ?

Reading Mail-Jewish a short time ago, I was reminded of a question I
have had for some time, as follows.

Why does the tzibbur (individually) say either 'Y'kum Purkan' at all
(and the following 'mi shebeirach' which concludes 'vichol mi sheoskim
bitzorchei....'), when it seems from their texts that they were made to
be said by a shliach tzibbur, and the congregation's part would be
limited to answering omein, as their texts conclude with 'vinomar omein'?



From: Ephraim Tabory <tabory@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 06:51:17 +0200
Subject: Request: Apartment available: Tel Aviv

Apartment available: Tel Aviv

 From August for a year. Furnished, two bedrooms, Near Ibn
Gvirol/Jabotinsky.  Contact: <tabore@...>


End of Volume 43 Issue 2