Volume 43 Number 10
                 Produced: Sun Jun 20  7:31:17 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

24 hour candles
         [Shari Hillman]
Alernate uses for "banned" Sheitels (2)
         [Ken Bloom, Carl Singer]
Avot keeping the mitzvot
         [Brandon Raff]
Prayer when the Temple Stood
         [Russell Jay Hendel]
Psalms and Parshiyot
         [David and Toby Curwin]
reactions to Rav Bazak's article (2)
         [Michael Rogovin, Gershon Dubin]
Story Origin
         [Tzvi Stein]


From: Shari Hillman <shari_h_613@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 15:31:32 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 24 hour candles

A recent post said:

" 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 may have no Jewish association, but they certainly have a religious
one. Those candles are lit by Catholics - a novena is a Catholic
ritual. The Catholic Encyclopedia on-line defines it as "A nine days'
private or public devotion in the Catholic Church to obtain special
graces...Through the novena to Our Lady of Lourdes, through that to
St. Anthony of Padua or some other saint, the faithful seek and find
help and relief." The candles usually have a "picture" of a saint on

I don't know what the halacha is regarding appropriating ritual objects
from another faith for utilitarian use by Jews, but something feels
wrong about this to me. It's not quite the same as the Indian
hair/sheitel question, and as always CYLOR, but I wouldn't recommend
using such candles.


From: Ken Bloom <kabloom@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 09:54:42 -0700
Subject: Re: Alernate uses for "banned" Sheitels

Carl Singer <casinger@...> wrote on June 15, 2004:
> Some of you may be aware of programs such as "Locks of Love" where
> people donate hair to be used in making wigs for cancer victims.
> Although it would not be as graphic and worthy of news coverage as
> burning sheitels on (was it) Lee Avenue -- would their be any issues of
> hannoh (deriving benefit) if women who felt their sheitels were "treif"
> donating them to a cancer related charity ....OK don't take the tax
> deduction.

We had a rather long argument about this on soc.culture.jewish.moderated
as people tried to claim that we're better people if we donate it rather
than burn it. (Please look at the archives on Google news to get a
better idea of what was said there).

It is my understanding that the torah regards donating something as a
benefit to the donor, regardless of tax deductions, etc... because of
the Mitzvah fulfilled through donation, and because of the merit accrued
through donation. Thus, if one is forbidden to benefit from something,
then they are forbidden to benefit by donating it.

A similar case to compare this to (that more people would be familiar
with) is the case where one found unsold Chametz during Pesach. The same
halachic principles are involved in whether the Chametz could be donated
as whether the sheitel could be donated.

From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 13:36:56 -0400
Subject: Re: Alernate uses for "banned" Sheitels

[Carl is responding to Ken's post above. Mod.]

Yes -- I was worried about that aspect, because of the hanoh associated
with doing a mitzvah.  Was anyone able to devise an halachic work

But then again there was hanoh from the PUBLIC burning -- the resultant
publicity was no accident and it (a) served to further certain political
(?) anti-sheitel views for those who would ban all sheitels, stam, (b)
it served to communicate the need to burn one's sheitel, and (c) it
served as a demonstration by certain communities (or individuals) that
they're especially machmir.

Carl A. Singer
70 Howard Avenue, Passaic, NJ  07055-5328
<casinger@...> ; www.mo-b.net/cas


From: Brandon Raff <Brandon@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 10:38:51 +0200
Subject: Avot keeping the mitzvot


Does anyone know the source for the the concept that the Avot, the
Patriarchs, kept all the mitzvot in the Torah. Could you also include
textual examples for this concept.



From: Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 15:56:49 GMT
Subject: RE: Prayer when the Temple Stood

Nachum Lamm (v43n3) raises the fascinating question of what the status
of Priestly blessings (and more generally prayer) was while the Temple
actually stood

There is actually a beautiful essay by Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch
entitled SHMONEH ESRAY (You can find all Rav Hirschs essays translated
into English in Feldheims edition of Rav Hirschs COLLECTED WORKS--most
of the symbolism articles are in volume 3 and this volume can also be
purchased separately)

Rav Hirsch fully discusses the SHMONEH ESRAY(Daily Prayer). He offers
many novelty and dispells several myths. For example, a common
interpretation of the Talmudic statement that PRAYERS CORRESPOND TO
SACRIFICES is that FOR EACH UNIT of sacrifice there was instituted a
UNIT of prayer. Rav Hirsch goes a step father: Rav Hirsch interprets the
correspondence to apply not only to the UNIT OF SACRIFICE/PRAYER but
also to their COMPONENTS. That is, Rav Hirsch shows how EACH ORGAN of
the sacrifice that was offered corresponds to ONE BLESSING in the Daily
Prayer (e.g. the first organ offered was the HEAD; this clearly
corresponds to the first of the middle blessings--the supplication for

Getting back to our issue, Rav Hirsch deals with the popular Talmudic
statement (based on a Biblical verse in Hosea) that PRAYER SUBSTITUTES
FOR SACRIFICES (That no longer are made since the temple was destroyed).

Rav Hirsch prefers the translation PRAYER COMPLEMENTS SACRIFICES

Rav Hirsch in fact cites Talmudic sources showing that there were
Synagogues AT THE TIME of the Temple!! Just as the PRIESTS offered the
sacrifices, and just as the LEVITES Sang on the offerings, so too the
Lay ISRAELITES participated in the sacrifices by having synagogue
prayers that coincided in time with the sacrifices. These prayer
services were called MAAMADOTH (literally STANDINGS).

Much more could be said. I highly recommend reading this essay. While I
havent directly answered the original question (Were the priestly
blessings made while the temple stood) I have pointed out the useful
fact that prayers in general did not REPLACE sacrifices but rather
always complemented them.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: David and Toby Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 20:42:01 +0300
Subject: Psalms and Parshiyot

Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...> asks:

"Many years ago I saw, in one of those small plastic-covered pocket
Siddurim that are so popular in Israel, a list of Tehillim to be recited
for each of the weekly Torah portions.  Does anyone know anything about
such a tradition?"

Prof. Nahum Sarna in his book "On the Book of Psalms" discusses this
issue (pages 15-19.) He first discusses ancient sources showing how the
Book of Tehillim can be divided into five parts. For example, in
Kiddushin 33a, the five parts of Tehilim are referred to as
"chumashim". In Midrash Tehilim, it says "Moses gave Israel five books
of the Torah, and David gave Israel five books of the Psalms."

Sarna then goes on to say that "just as the Psalter was divided into
five 'books', so it was also subdivided into sedarim after the manner of
the Torah". He is referring to the custom in Eretz Yisrael of finishing
the reading of the Torah every three or three and a half years. That
meant that instead of the 54 parshiyot that we are used to (from the
Babylonian tradition), there were around 150 sedarim - just like the
number of Tehilim.

Finally, he states that "several attempts have been made to uncover
connective themes and key terms or phrases linking a particular psalm to
a specific weekly prophetic and/or Torah reading. While many of these
suggestions are persuasive, they cannot be regarded as decisive."


From: Michael Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 10:47:25 -0500
Subject: Re: reactions to Rav Bazak's article

"... 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....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."

MJ is a discussion group for halacha, not politics, and I fear that this
thread may lead to unfortunate digressions, but I trust Avi will keep us
in line.

[I will try to, but at the same time I think a reasoned and thoughtful
discussion on this topic can be productive. Maybe I am dreaming or
hallucinating, but we will give it a try. Avi]

The halachic question of whether or not giving up any part of Eretz
Yisrael has been hijacked for quite sometime by the Gush Emunim
movement, among others in the religious settler camp (and its
supporters). My own politics has tended toward support for settlement
generally, though not always in specific areas, such as Gaza. However, I
am not writing about the current proposals for dealing with the shtachim
(territories acquired in 1967), but rather about what the Troah has to

(1) It is not clear that Gaza has the same legal status as Eretz
    Yisrael. It was never part of biblical Israel to the best of my

(2) The prohibition of transferring the land applies to the sale of land
    (which is why there is always a controversy over the heter for each
    shmita year, although that issue was largely resolved in the dati
    leumi camp years ago when Rav Goren endorsed the heter, if somewhat
    reluctantly). It is not at all clear that it would apply to issues
    of sovereignty, which is a totally different legal character than

(3) The prohibition applies to idolators, not (or at least not
    necessarily) to non-Jews. A transfer to Christians and Muslims,
    whatever else their status might be, would not, therefore, be
    subject to the prohibition

(4) Numerous poskim, including Rav Joseph Soloveitchik and Rav Ovadia
    Yosef, have opined that giving up portions of Eretz Yisrael is a
    political decision, or to the extent that it is halachic, it is a
    calculation of pikuach nefesh which is a political decision to be
    made by the elected government, not self-appointed rabbis.

As to the comment about the rabbi being influenced by leftist politics,
the same can be said about the influence of rightist politics on other
rabbis and the poster. Ideally, halacha is halacha and is not influenced
by politics, but that is rarely the case when it comes to Midinat
Israel. But it is unfortunate when some declare opinions that follow
their political point of view objective and everyone else's
politics. This poisons both political and halachic discourse and is very
dangerous for both.

Kol tuv,

From: <gershon.dubin@...> (Gershon Dubin)
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 13:20:11 -0400
Subject: reactions to Rav Bazak's article

From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>

<<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>>

No he does not say that.  

He questions whether our state of connection to Hashem justifies the
position that you state so unequivocally, that "we do know that there is
a direct prohibition against giving up any part of Eretz Yisrael" or are
we in fact not deserving of having the land to that extent.  He

As to the aforementioned truism, several significant poskim have said
that given a real chance of peace (and the political issue of whether
this is or will ever be the case is irrelevant here) one may certainly
give up land.

Reread the article. And BTW read Rav Meidan's reaction to it the
following week (sorry no URL's).

<<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.>>

He has not turned, but clearly you deny him the right to reach his
position through thinking through the issues and hashkafa but insist
that he "toe the line".



From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 18:45:14 -0400
Subject: Re: Story Origin

I can't really address the particular "baby crying" story, but it does
call to mind a problem I have with stories of this type, including
various "miracle" stories.  It seems quite common for these stories to
have many versions and be told about many different people.  Many people
in the frum community don't seem to see that as a problem, because,
after all, the story has an "inspiring lesson" that is independent of
the details.  But for me, it's a big problem, because whenever I hear a
story like that, the potential for "inspiration" is totally lost,
because I tend to doubt its veracity.  Maybe it's just my journalistic
bent, but I place a great deal of importance on *truth*, as in what
really, actually hapenned, not the various creative meanings that some
seem to impart to the word "truth".  I've gotten to the point where I
generally assume that these "stories" are false, unless it either
hapenned directly to the person telling it to me, or they can tell me
the (short) chain of "retellers" leading back to that person it hapenned


End of Volume 43 Issue 10