Volume 43 Number 04
                 Produced: Wed Jun 16  6:12:09 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Commendable on the part of the Jewish Community"
         [Alan Friedenberg]
Deliberately invalid marriages
         [Gil Student]
Duchaning on Neila Yom Kippur
         [David Ziants]
Duchaning on Shabbat
         [Bernard Raab]
Mikva Night and Invitations
         [Michael Rogovin]
Moving a Lamp
         [Michael Mirsky]
One-handle water faucets on Shabbat (2)
         [Shmuel Norin, Michael Mirsky]
Procedural aspects of following wig psak
         [Carl Singer]
Story Origin
         [Jeffrey Saks]


From: Alan Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 05:24:37 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: "Commendable on the part of the Jewish Community"

Ester Posen wrote:

"Once Rav Elyashiv has decreed that we should not wear Indian hair wigs
there was instant, literally overnight global action to comply with the
decree to stop wearing indian hair wigs. This is really commendable on
the part of the Orthodox Jewish community. So this whole issue is more
about emunas chachamim then avodah zorah."

I'm not sure why Ms. Posen used the word "commendable" in this
situation.  After all, aren't these women simply following the dictates
of a halachic ruling?  Isn't that something that's expected, rather than

If one of these women discovered something traif in her kitchen, would
she say, "Let me finish it first?"  Of course not, and throwing it away
isn't commendable - it's halacha.  If a man takes a mezuzah down to
paint and notices it's obviously pasul, would he say, "I don't have time
to buy a new one.  I'll put this one back up for a few days until I can
go to the sofer."  Again, going to the sofer for a new mezuzah isn't
commendable, it's halacha.

My point is that there is no difference between a box of traif cereal, a
mezuza, and a shaitel - the cost is immaterial.  Halacha is an
expectation that Hashem has from us, and it's not commendable (IMHO) to
follow Hashem's dictates simply due to the expense.



From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 15:42:26 -0400
Subject: Re: Deliberately invalid marriages

 From what I've been told, this was once not uncommon in America.

Gil Student


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 01:57:56 +0300
Subject: Duchaning on Neila Yom Kippur

>From Yehonatan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>:
... snip
> On Yom Kippur, it is customary in most places to begin Neilah much
> earler than outside of Israel, so as to finish all the selihot and reach
> Birkat Kohanim before sundwon.  "Avinu Malkeinu" is then stretched out
> to fill in the time till the final "Sheimot" and Tekiat shofar.
... snip

In my shul, duchaning is seen as such an important aspect of the
tephilla, that most of the selichot at Neila are put off to after
repetion so that "nesiat kapayim" is done on time.

One or two selichot (with 13 middot) are said in the repetion; straight
after the repetion the remaining selichot are said; then "Avinu
Malkeinu" very slowly.

I personally feel there is a bit of an anticlimax with this order,
despite this is seen here as preferable, halachicly.  Any thoughts...

(No doubt, the many selichot in the ashkenazi repetition came as a
filler for the long sh'kiya period in ashkenazi countries, where
duchaning was not considered so important, and piyutim was.  In Israel
the priorities are opposite - generally based on the principles of the
gr"a (= Vilna Gaon).

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 00:24:56 -0400
Subject: Duchaning on Shabbat

>From: Perets Mett:
>The singing part isn't part of nesias kapyim anyway. it is inserted to
>allow time for the community to say the tekhine.  On Shabos, when we do
>not say tekhines, there is no point in the kohanim singing.

What I am starting to see in some shuls is the following phenomenon: The
congregation is bored with or uninterested in saying the tekhines and
instead sings along with the kohanim. Sometimes this is to help along
the kohanim who may be shy or poor singers, and sometimes this just
because it's more fun or more satisfying. Either way, the minhag seems
to be changing. Anyone else seeing this?


From: Michael Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 12:45:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Mikva Night and Invitations

> I think no one at all is supposed to know (except the husband, wife,
> mikva attendant, and any rav who had to be asked about nidda issues).

Many MJ contributors to this thread have commented (or it was an
unstated underlying assumption) that a woman should certainly not inform
anyone other than her husband that she was going to mikvah.

Now I am about to get into deep trouble on the list with the following
radical thought...(which is my own and not shared by my wife)

Why are we so hung up on the notion of other people knowing when a woman
goes to mikvah? Let me tell you my assumption: every married woman of
childbearing age is sexually active and goes to mikvah regularly. Thus
at any given time, since I do not know when a woman is a niddah (not
that I care in any case), I could assume (though I don't really think
about it) that there is a 50-50 chance that she could have sexual
relations with her husband that night. Whether she does or not something
I really do not think about. Even if I knew for certain that she was
going to mikvah on a particular night, I don't know how late she or her
husband is coming home (assuming it is not Shabbat), whether either is
not feeling well, whether either is tired (especially after working all
day at the office or with the kids or cooking or etc.), whether they
will have a "spat" or any other reason why, despite being able to, they
may choose not to have initmate relations that night.  And if they do,
kol hakavod. Guess what: married people have sex (this may come as a
shock to some) and Judaism thinks its a great thing (another big
shock). Chazal were not shy about this fact and wrote about it. It is a
part of our humanity. I do not dwell on what other people are doing or
when, just because I know that they can or might. If I know that someone
is going to mikvah, all I think about (if I think anything at all) is
that oh, she is observing a mitzvah. Then I return to Star Trek,
politics or whatever trivial thought I was preoccupied with previously.

Now granted, I am not proposing broadcasting when one is or is not doing
this or that or any other sordid details, and certainly not advocating
the kind of public sexuality that pervades contemporary culture. I do
think that tziut is important (though it is more than than the length of
one's skirt). But I do think that that we have gone beyond private and
have turned a mitzvah surrounding something that is normal and wonderful
into something that is secretive and mysterious, even bad. It should be
matter of fact, like any other mitzvah. Furthermore, I think that in
some communities it is not observed as much as it should be and that
part of the reason is that it is shrouded in secrecy.

I also think that part of the problem is how we understand niddah. The
unfortunate translation of unclean for tamai gives niddah a bad rap. I
was taught that tamai is a time for withdrawal and reflection. In this
case, it is a time to withdraw from the intimate elements of the marital
relationship and reflect on the relationship as a whole, such as an
opportunity for the couple to focus on how they communicate with each
other. This is a whole other topic, but I bring it up because how we
think of mikvah is related to how we think of niddah and sexuality.

So I see nothing wrong with, if asked, a person saying she will be late
because she has to go to the mikvah. I don't think we need to have
unmarked hidden entrances, I don't see why if I am driving my wife I
have to park around the corner, etc. And I think that for safety and
other reasons, the practicee of not going during the day ought to be
revisited, though there may some other issues that might be implicated
beyond tzniut for that.

OK, let the flaming begin...



From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 16:27:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Moving a Lamp

 >> 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)>
 >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?

The book was published by Feldheim in 1981.  R. Bodner is from Lakewood,

On p 213, footnote 15, He says that he heard this from R. Feinstein
(directly??) and says to look at R. Feinstein's tshuva at the end of
Sefer 11.  He also quotes a reference in Shmirat Shabat K'Hilchato by R.
Neuwirth, which in Perek 13, footnote 103 quotes R. Auerbach

Michael Mirsky


From: <Engineered@...> (Shmuel Norin)
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 12:42:56 -0400
Subject: Re: One-handle water faucets on Shabbat

> From: Leah Aharoni <leah25@...>

> Lately, I've noticed a problem with the use of one-handle water
> faucets  on Shabbat. 
> I have never heard this issue discussed. Is there a problem using
> one-handle faucets on Shabbat? how do other people "handle"  this
> issue? 

I follow my Rebbi, Rabbi Shlomo Singer on Passaic NJ.  He turns down the
hot water temperature setting before Shabbot starts.  The temperature
should be less than that which would feel hot (~40C or 104F).  Than you
can use hot or cold water on Shabbot. 

Shmuel Norin

From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 16:32:30 -0400
Subject: Re: One-handle water faucets on Shabbat

 >Lately, I've noticed a problem with the use of one-handle water faucets
 >on Shabbat
 >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?

Yes, this is something we should be careful about.  Your description is
accurate, and unless the handle is turned to the extreme right (Cold)
before turning on the faucet, a mixture of hot and cold water will be
drawn from the pipes.  This results in some cold water being drawn into
the hot water boiler (tank) and is just as assur as turning on a single
hot water tap on Shabbat (because of bishul).

Obviously this isn't a problem on Yom Tov, as bishul is allowed.



From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 07:43:34 -0400
Subject: Procedural aspects of following wig psak

Seth hits on a vital point.  Many have bemoaned the loss of structure
that communications has facilitated.  (This forum among them.)

The "sheitel scare" is only the most recent manifestation.  Normally,
one deals with their congregational or community (shtut) Rav. (Period.)
If this Rav doesn't know or feels out of his depth he can seek other

This traditoinal halachic approach has been trampled as young men
quickly grab their telephone and call their (former) Rosh Yeshiva.  I
know from personal experience that one such Rosh Yeshiva, a Gadol HaDor,
pushes such matters back to the community Rav.

Here's one for you -- forget about wig burning or throwing your wig into
storage -- what if you're a wig merchant -- your house and car may be
the result of these ill-sourced wigs.  Do you burn them?  Give them

Carl Singer


From: Jeffrey Saks <atid@...>
Subject: Story Origin

There's a motif in various stories about rabbis (all seem to be early
modern) that goes something like this:

A baby is crying, but the father doesn't hear because he's very
engrossed in Torah study, until a third party (child's grandfather or
mother) enters and points out that the baby's crying, to which the
person replies that he literally didn't hear the child because of his
immersion in Torah study. Often followed by rebuke from the third party
that one must always hear the cry of a child, and/or if he doesn't hear
they cry of a child it indicates something's wrong with the learning.

This seems to be a well-worn story which has been adapted/adopted and
told about an array of rabbis (like all good stories, everyone wants to
appropriate it for their own heros). More than once I heard the story
with R. Hayyim Soloveitchik as the grandfather/hero (but, hey, those are
the circles I travel in). There's a version told in Chabad with the
grandfather/hero being R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi, admonishing his son,
the second rebbe, Dov Ber (apparently this was the version of the story
which the most recent Lubavitcher Rebbe z"l would tell). Others seem to
make the hero the third rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek.  In an Artscroll
biography "Reb Elyah: Life and Accomplishments of Rabbi Elyah Lopian"
the story appears (end of chap. 7) with Reb Simcha Ziseel of Kelm being
admonished by his wife.

QUESTIONS: Can anyone identify the earliest print version of this story?
Do you know of other versions?

Please reply directly to <atid@...> (as well as on-list).
Jeffrey Saks


End of Volume 43 Issue 4