Volume 43 Number 03
                 Produced: Wed Jun 16  6:00:35 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

24 hour candles
         [Rick Blum]
Birkat Kohanim; Gaza
         [Nathan Lamm]
Deliberately invalid marriages
         [David Charlap]
Duchaning on Shabbat
         [Immanuel Burton]
Guidelines for Tzedaka
         [Rephael Cohen]
Information about Shaitels
Naming Customs
         [Douglas Moran]
reactions to Rav Bazak's article
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
Tefilah Nusach
         [Eitan Fiorino]


From: Rick Blum <4at1x@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 09:26:14 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 24 hour candles

I read with interest the submission about 24-hour candles for lighting
fires during yomtov.  Perhaps someone has already mentioned this, but I
have been using four-day candles.  I prefer not to use a 24-hour candle,
since I want to dedicate those for use on Yizkor and yahrzeit.  Instead
I use, for lighting, a candle with no Jewish association whatsoever.
Many supermarkets, in the "Spanish food" section, will carry four-day
candles.  I think they may be called "Novena Candles."  I will buy them
in yellow or green if I can, to further distinguish them from our
candles of observance.  They are in glass and have no fragrance.  Then,
after the holiday, one can cover them to end the flame without blowing
them out with ones breath.


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 06:25:43 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Birkat Kohanim; Gaza

I may have asked this before, but do we know what the rule was
concerning Birkat Kohanim outside the Mikdash when the Mikdash stood?
Were there any "rules" about tefilah b'tzibbur then? Is it possible that
our current mitzvah of Birkat Kohanim (in shul) came about after the
Churban, and so different customs about when it was said developed?

Martin Stern wrote that "In the German Jewish tradition, there is a
specific tune for each one..."

Each what? Each verse? Each Yom Tov? I once attended a conference on
halachos of Kehunah at the Holliswood Jewish Center; Cantor Sherwood
Goffin of Lincoln Square Synagogue (himself a Kohen) spoke on (and sang)
the tunes. (I never knew there were so many.) I seem to recall him
saying that Chabad had a different tune for each Yom Tov, but I may be
confusing it with another topic.

Mr. Stern also wrote: "...during Hallel for the four verses from Hodu
LaShem and the two of Ana Hashem (and on Sukkot for the Hodu at the

Is this what I used to hear at YU?

Also on the tunes: Cantor Goffin told us that the two niggunim most
heard in America are the "Lessin nigun" and the "Victorian Funeral
March." Rav Lessin, zt'l, was the mashgiach at YU for many years and a
kohen; he brought the nigun with him from Europe and it spread around
the country through YU's talmidim. As to the latter...

Rav Nathan Adler, zt'l, was the first (in a way- the first chosen as
such) Chief Rabbi of the UK; he had previously been chief rabbi of
Hanover, in Germany, where the British royal family- including the
monarch at the time, Queen Victoria, is from. When Victoria was about to
deliver her first child, she was visiting the "heim" of Hanover, and was
worried, because a heir to a throne has to be born on native soil. (The
current pretender to the throne of Yugoslavia, for example, was born in
exile London during World War II; the King of the UK declared the hotel
room where he was born Yugoslavian territory for the moment.)  Somehow,
Victoria's problem reached the Chief Rabbi (perhaps they thought he'd be
the only unbiased party), and he offered the advice that she give birth
on a British ship, which would be considered British territory. She was
so greatful for the advice that she made him Chief Rabbi of the UK, and
they became somewhat close. He was a kohen, and she heard his nigun
once, and liked it so much she had it incorporated into the British
Royal Funeral March.  This is one of the two most commonly heard today.

Of course, both Rav Lessin's and Rav Adler's niggunim must have been
considerably older.

Finally, a brief comment on Gaza:

David Eisen mentioned a call for "the need for a renewed commitment to
establishing a society on the basis of morality, justice and hesed and
less involvement in political issues dealing with security and

Leaving aside the fact that much politics usually lies behind
innocuous-sounding statements like this, and leaving aside what God has
asked of us, I'll just say: Halevai. And Halevai the Arabs and
anti-Semites of this world would allow us to do so. Unfortunately, they

Nachum Lamm


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 10:13:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Deliberately invalid marriages

Paul Shaviv wrote:
> ... some rabbis deliberately invalidate marriages so that the
> kiddushin is invalid in cases where they fear that the couple may not
> obtain a 'get' in case of marital breakdown. (See: 
> http://bloghd.blogspot.com/2004/06/have-rabbis-faked-30-of-israels.html
> ) If true -- astonishing.  What do colleagues on the m-j list think?
> And, friends from Israel -- is it true???

I have no idea if it is true, but if it is, the practice is outrageous,
disgusting, and useless.

Why useless?

I remember reading early on that there are three ways one may perform
kidushin (the first of two steps toward getting married).  One is by
giving a gift with the intent to marry, the second is by a contract, and
the third is by sexual relations (usually understood as only applying
when there is intent to marry.)

Even if the second step of marriage (nisuin) is not performed, one who
goes through kidushin needs to give a get (Jewish divorce) if the
relationship breaks up afterwards.

If these rabbis are invalidating the marriage ceremony, it doesn't
matter.  The first time the newlywed couple sleeps together as man and
wife, they will have officially gone through kidushin and a get will be
required in the event of divorce.

The only thing these rabbis will accomplish is embarrassing everybody
involved.  They will have potentially eliminated the public record of
what has actually happened.  They will still be married even if there is
no longer a way to produce a kosher witness to the fact.

-- David


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 12:46:40 +0100
Subject: RE: Duchaning on Shabbat

I once attended a Q&A session at which the matter of not duchening on
Shabbos was raised.  Two answers were given:

(1) Before duchening, kohaniim would go to the mikveh.  However, as
there is a concern that one may inadvertantly carry one's towel to the
mikveh on Shabbos, kohanim did not go to the mikveh, and so did not

(2) Similar to the above, except that the concern is that one might
inadvertantly squeeze water out of the towel on Shabbos.

These reasons do not apply on Yom Kippur (when carrying and squeezing
are similarly forbidden), as the reason why the kohen would be going to
the mikveh in the first place is on account of having relations with his
wife the night before - such relations are forbidden on Yom Kippur, and
so there is no reason for kohen to be going to the mikveh in the first

If one subscribes to the 'carrying' reason and one assumes the presence
of an eruv in Israel, then this might explain why in Israel there is
nevertheless duchening on Shabbos.

While on the subject of duchening, what is the reason why the Leviim
wash the Kohanim's hands before duchening?  If one reads the section
about the kior (laver) in the Temple, it is clear that the kohanim wash
their own hands and feet.

Immanuel Burton.


From: Rephael Cohen <raphi@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 03:00:52 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: RE: Guidelines for Tzedaka


Daniel Cohn <cohn3736@...> asks:

> Now let me ask a simple question - assume a person makes $50,000 in
> "liable" income, and has $48,000 in expenses (mortgage, car, tuition,
> groceries, bills, etc.) which according to the book Meir quotes would
> not be deductible. So do we make this person give $5,000 to tzedaka
> and incur in a $3,000 debt each year? Or what about someone whose
> income is less than his expenses in a certain year, should he get even
> more in debt in order to give 10% to tzedaka?
> I don't think this makes any sense. [...]

Let's see if we can give it some sense:

Story 1:
Version 1: A person has only 24 hours a day, and he spends n hours
sleeping, m hours working, x hours driving, y hours eating, and so
on. He doesn't have any free time to learn Torah. So he doesn't learn
Torah. And this is ok because he has only 24 hours.

Version 2: That person NEEDS 2 hours to learn Torah every day. Now he
has 22 hours free to sleep, work, drive, eat and so on. And he makes do
with that.

Story 2:
Version 1: A person makes $50,000 income. He spends $48,000 in expenses
(mortgage, car, tuition, groceries, bills, etc.). If he gave $5,000 in
Maaser he would be broke very soon. So he doesn't. And this is ok
because he makes only $50,000.

Version 2: That person NEEDS to gives back to Maaser $5,000. He still
has $45.000 free for his expenses (mortgage, car, tuition, groceries,
bills, etc.). And he makes do with that.

The question is what your priorities are, and your Bitachon (trust) in
the One who gives your income in the first place. It sounds like you do
not think Versions 2 make any sense. I do not think Versions 1 make any


Rephael Cohen


From: <perzvi@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 15:48:30 GMT
Subject: Information about Shaitels

Even though I can't verify this I was told that the Lubavitcher Rebbe
counciled the owners of Freeda's wigs against using Indian hair when
this issue first came up.


From: Douglas Moran <dougom@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 10:55:23 -0500
Subject: Re: Naming Customs

At Tue, 08 Jun 2004 17:05:15 +0200, Batya Medad wrote:

>>married kids wanted to name baby boys after "grandpa" and were told by
>>very respected poskim that they couldn't use the exact name, since it's
>>also the father's, and he's (ad meah v'esrim) still alive.
>> This minhag apparently does not apply to Sephardim. I know a family
>True.  that's why I emphasized that our neighbors are "very machmir,
>ashkenazim."  Most sephardim and yeminites name after living
>grandparents.  The big problem is in the "mixed" marriage.  Some keep
>both minhagim, meaning naming kids after both live and dead relatives,
>while other search for names not yet used in the families.

I've actually wondered what the minhag is for middle names, as opposed
to first names.  So for example, what if one has a child and names him
Yitzchak (after a deceased grandparent), but wants to honor a living
grandparent by giving him (say) Yosef as a middle name?  Does anyone

Another question is, what is the naming minhag for a ger?  The usual
minhag rule of thumb for gers, so I learned, is that you follow the
(what the heck is the plural?  minhagim?) minhagim of your rabbi:
Sephardic rabbi, sephardic minhagim; Ashkenazi rabbi, ashkenazi
minhagim.  But is that true for all minhag, I wonder?


PS - Apropos of nothing, I notice that an online wordfinding/crossword
game called "Bookworm," must have been written by a Jew.  Words such as
"ger," "mitzvah," and so on are accepted by the program!  I haven't
tried too many others, but I was surprised at how many "Jewish" words it


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 17:15:18 +0200
Subject: reactions to Rav Bazak's article

yom hamishi shelah

Rav Bazak writes that our situation today in Israel may be compared to
when Moshe told the Jews, after it had been decreed that they would not
enter the Land of Israel, not to wage war against their enemies.  ANd he
also cites Jeremiah who told the Jews to accept the yoke of Babylonia
and not resist.

1. The case of the ma'apilim and Moshe was a direction transgression of
the words of a prophet.  Today we have no prophet and we are not sure
what to do, but we do know that there is a direct prohibition against
giving up any part of Eretz Yisrael.

2. In the case of Jeremiah, he only commanded to Jews not to resist, but
has veshalom to tell them to leave Eretz Yisrael voluntarily!

3.  We see here how insidious the Left's propaganda is, that even a
rabbi who was always a staunch supporter of the right wing of religious
Zionism has now turned in their direction.


From: Eitan Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 09:47:37 -0400
Subject: RE: Tefilah Nusach

> From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
> Perets Matt wrote:
> "In matters of tefilo chasidim frequently adopt the psak of 
> the mechaber..."
> 	This is absolutely true, and I have wondered why for 
> many years. The bias towards the mechaber (against the Remo) 
> exists even in halakhot which apparently have nothing to do 
> with the overt controversies between hassidim and 
> misnagdim--e.g. the role of kabbalah.  An example of this is 
> the answering of "amen" after "barukh hashem hamevorakh 
> le`olam va`ed," where the hassidim answer "amen" in 
> accordance with the mechaber.  There are many other examples, 
> but this one is so innocuous and irrelevant to the disputes 
> concerning hassidism that I think a deeper investigation 
> would be in order.

My understanding is that the Eastern Ashkenazic/Chassidic nusach
(including nusach ari) specifically emulated elements of the Sephardic
nusach because that was the nusach of the Ari and his circle prayed.



End of Volume 43 Issue 3