Volume 43 Number 21
                 Produced: Fri Jun 25  6:23:38 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Deliberately Invalid Marriages
         [Allen Gerstl]
Quoting Pesukim
         [Michael J. Savitz]
Rav Bazak and Rav Meidan
         [Joseph I. Lauer]
Source for ATBa"Sh
         [Daniel Werlin]
Story Origin
         [Leah Perl Shollar]
Tanya Vocalization - The Accurate Version
         [Gershon Rothstein]
What does passim - ketonet passim - mean
         [Meir Possenheimer]


From: Allen Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 15:42:10 -0400
Subject: RE: Deliberately Invalid Marriages

Here's my "two cents worth" as to this discussion:

An Anonymous member wrote:

>         Our sages taught us that those who lack the knowledge of "tiv
>gittin v'kidushin," meaning "the quality" or "the fine points" of the
>laws of the marriage and divorce processes, should have no business with
>them.  Given some of the misstatements and mistaken assumptions that
>have permeated the recent discussion of deliberately invalidating
>mariages, perhaps the prohibition should be extended to the discussion
>of those points on-line.

I assure everyone that I don't have the slightest expertise in this
area; however my purpose in writing is only to point out that there are
important opinions of prior major poskim that must be considered by
current poskim.  Ofcourse the horaah of a posek who has considered prior
opinions and come to a reasoned conclusion is a binding pesak (see
e.g. SA:CM25 i.e. as long as there is no taut be-devar mishneh etc.-
error as to a halacha that has been conclusively decided in the Mishnah,
Gemarah or codes) But the point is that such a case is not amenible to a
cook book solution but must be dealt with in accordance with the gravity
that such demands. I therefore take issue with the approach of the
yeshiva rebbe quoted in a later posting below. The point is the halachic
decision making is not an intellectual game.

>There were other statements made about marriages being retroactively
>undone by disqualifying the witnesses. Would that it would be so easy!
>The cases in which a marriage is shown to have been void because of the
>total absence of kosher witnesses are few and far between.  ...  .  .

Well said, yashar koah!

>Keith Bierman <Keith.Bierman@...>
>When I was studying in Israel, I recall asking my Talmud Rav about the
>situation with Agnot. He observed that there is no fundamental problem
>"because we can always find a flaw". This was, I thought, a great
>example of how a Posek could (and should) act in individual cases to
>prevent a terrible injustice. However, it did seem to me that we have a
>"process" flaw, in that increasing numbers of such cases occur.

But some poskim such as Rav Henkin and Rav Price WOULD disagree that you
can "always find a flaw" I again take issue - not with the humaneness of
your Talmud Rav but with the attitude that there must ALWAYS be a way to
achieve a desired result by manipulating the halacha.

>Working to ensure that every wedding has such a glaring flaw that it
>won't take such a Hacham to discover how to (and determine that they
>should) invalidate the wedding is a procedure that will not be seen by
>the non-observant as the compassitionate act on the part of the
>Rabbinate that we perceive it to be.  .   .   .

Others may view such a well-intentioned effort as nevertheless wrong and
even futile.

>Surely there has to be a better way...(and perhaps determing that in
>our generation, cival divorce *is* sufficient (although not the favored
>approach) or some other solution.

Reform tried that.  There is no halachic source for such an
approach. The halacha is meant to be applied humanely and applied to the
realities of this world with all of the exigencies of this world; but
there is still a halachic system which has its own principles and as
such it is not endlessly manipulable. As broadly as we may wish to draw
those limits there still are limits.

>Surely it is a matter of greater >*human* import (halacha between
>people ; ... wigs.


><BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)

>.  .  . "anan sahadi" (see: SHU"T Chatam Sofer Eevn ha'Ezer I 100)
>since those present (guests) saw the groom giving the bride a
>ring. . . .  So this entire scenario of deliberately invalidating a
>marriage ceremony doesn't make sense.

Thank very much you for this source.

>It doesn't solve any problems. Civil marriage and marriage done by non-
>Orthodox clergy have no validity since there was no "k'dat Moshe
>v'Yisrael".  (Tzitz Eliezer XVI 52; Yabia Omer VI Even Ha'Ezer 1).

Thank you again for this source but I wonder whether Rav Henkin and Rav
Price would not consider such marriages as similar to civil marriages
and hence binding in halacha. I recall Rav Gedaliah Felder, z"l (a
musmach of Rav Price) remarking with his characteristic humour, in a
shiur, that if we start invalidating C marriages, perhaps the Aggudas
Harabbonim will start invalidating OU marriages etc. I assume that what
he really meant in all seriousness was not to elevate the halachic
status of C rabbis but to refer to the civil-marriage-validity concept
of his rebbe.

>Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
>on 17/6/04 11:39 am, Eitan Fiorino <Fiorino@...> wrote:
>> Thus, even if the kiddushin were to have been intentionally invalidated,
>> there remains the problem that at least according to some Israeli
>> poskim, a get is needed anyway.  So the whole venture is levatalah
>> anyhow.
>[MS:]The requirement of a get in such circumstances is only as a chumra. If
>none is given the children born subsequently to the woman from some
>other man are not treated as mamzerim and this is what the whole idea of
>invalidating marriages is meant to avoid.

Not according  to Rav Henkin and Rav Price .

>[From "another Poster", actually me, ACG:]
> > A major thrust of Rav Price's discussion is the fact that extra-marital
> > relations are forebidden and that there is a chazakah (general maxim)
> > that "ein adam oseh beilato beilat zenut" (a person prefers that his
> > relations should not be immoral).
>[MS:]Does this chazakah really apply nowadays except in very restricted
>circles like strictly Orthodox Jews and most problems in this regard are
>with other sectors of society?

Why not? These couples want to be married, not merely to have relations or 
live together in a temporary arrangement.


I don't want to fall into the error of which I was complaining, that is
of "sagely" commenting on a complicated area of halacha in which the
effects can have very grave consequences.  My point in citing Rav
Price's opinion was both to illustrate the complexity of these halachot
and the fact that no one, myself included, can merely say that "Where
there's a halachic will, there's a way" (or for that matter say the
opposite- that everything's assur).  There are no facile solutions to
complex problems and non-experts, even those with semicha, cannot merely
assume that there is a cook-book method of solving such problems without
serious research on a case by case basis by poskim.



From: Michael J. Savitz <michael.savitz@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 09:38:56 -0400
Subject: Quoting Pesukim

David Waysman <waysmand@...> wrote:

<<Tangentially, we chant Ets Chaim Hi when doing Hagbahah, a clear
reference to the Torah, but if you check out Mishlei, the Ets Chaim is
NOT the Torah, but rather Chochmah, or Wisdom. Is it not misleading to
deliberately misquote the passuk ?>>

But don't we "deliberately misquote" pesukim all the time?  E.g. when
returning the sefer torah to the aron, we say "Hashiveinu Hashem eilecha
...", implying that we are asking HKBH to return us to the Torah (which
we are putting away), when the original context of the pasuk from Eicha
is far different.  Or, in the "13 Midot", we end with "v'nakei",
implying that Hashem cleanses sins, when the original reads, "v'nakei lo
y'nakeh", meaning that Hashem emphatically will *not* (under some
conditions) cleanse sins.  Or, "acharei rabim lehatot" is used as
textual support for the proposition that we should follow the majority,
when the original context is that we should *not* (under some
conditions) follow the majority.  No doubt many other such examples
could be adduced.


From: Joseph I. Lauer <josephlauer@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 12:15:06 -0400
Subject: Rav Bazak and Rav Meidan

    Rav Amnon Bazak has published a response to Rav Yaakov Meidan's article
in Yeshivat Har Etzion's weekly Dak Kesher.
    It may be found at
    Joseph I. Lauer
    Brooklyn, New York


From: Daniel Werlin <Daniel.Werlin@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 10:48:27 -0400
Subject: Source for ATBa"Sh

Many of you are no doubt familiar with the ATBa"Sh mneumonic for quickly
reckoning on which day of the week various holidays will fall [for the
curious, I've appended the details below].  The earliest citation I've
been able to find is in the Tur, OC 428.  But clearly the mneumonic
could have come into use much earlier.  Is anyone aware of an earlier
citation for the mneumonic?

As a bonus question, in recent years, the mneumonic has been extended to
include Yom Ha-Atzmaut (although the Knesset and the Rabbanut keep on
fiddling with which day it will be observed); who first noticed/recorded


ATBa"Sh - by matching up the first and last letters of the Hebrew
alphabet, the day of most of the major holidays can be calculated.  The
first letter corresponds to the day of Pesach and the second letter
corresponds to the holiday which falls on the same day of the week as
that day of Pesach.

Aleph - Tav:	The first (aleph) day of Pesach is the same as Tisha b'Av
(Tav = Tisha b'Av).
Bet - Shin:	The second (bet) day of Pesach is the same as Shavuot (Shin
= Shavuot).
Gimmel - Resh:	"	third		"	is the same as Rosh Hashanah
(Resh = Rosh Hashanah).
Daled - Kuf:	"	fourth		"	is the same as Simchat Torah
(Kuf = Keriat Hatorah).
Hey - Tzadi:	"	fifth		"	is the same as Yom Kippur
(Tzadi = Tzom Kippur).
Vav - Pey:	"	sixth		"	is the same as *last year's*
Purim (Pey).
Zayin - Ayin:	"	seventh		"	is the same as Yom
Ha-Atzmaut (Ayin = Atzmaut).

Dan Werlin


From: Leah Perl Shollar <leahperl@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 17:12:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Story Origin

> From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>

> Whenever certain members of my community start off a story and it
> contains a combination of the following words:
>     De (a local variant of "the")
>     Previous  (optional) -- or "erhshter"  i.e. first, etc.
>     Rebbe  (Lubavitch, of course, by context)

I'm assuming that some of this was said tongue in cheek.  Why Lubavitch
"of course"?  There are certainly 'maases' told of Rabbeim of other
groups, and even (gasp!) of Litvishe Greats, and Mussar Gedolim.  But
you don't have to take my word for it; check out some of Artscroll's
books on the subject

[Just a quick note, as I had considered this point prior to putting
through the posting. I decided to allow it to go through as it seemed
that the context refered to by Carl may have included the local context
of where he was along with the use of the added term "previous" /
"erhshter" which while it too could refer to other dynasties, is most
common in use with the Lubavitch dynasty. Mod.]

>     Oht Gezukt  (said, or my properly,  once said)  -- or --  Oht
>     ____    (any verb here will do)

I believe you mean 'hut' gezokt?

> I classify the story as fable.  BUT -- and this is (I believe)
> important, I see that the story provides guidance, chizuk or comfort
> to the teller / adherent.

Listen to some of Rabbi Berel Wein's tapes, and he will tell you 'legend
has it that...' about many figures other than Chassidic Rabbeim (and
certainly other than Lubavitch itself).  He always points out that 'even
if the facts are not true, the story is'.  Or as he puts it: "They don't
tell these stories about you and me."

E.g. the story of Rashi's mother, and how a niche hollowed in the wall
for her to shelter her pregnancy from a Crusader soldier...and many many

These stories (hopefully) instill within their listeners emunas
chachomim, love for Torah scholars and scholarship, and a dugma chaya of
what a person can and should be.

L. Shollar


From: Gershon Rothstein <rothsteing@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 16:36:05 -0400
Subject: Tanya Vocalization - The Accurate Version

On Jun 16, 2004, at 7:37 AM, Edward Black  wrote:

> Is anyone aware of a text of all or part of the Tanya in vowelled
> Hebrew (Tanya Menukad) being available either in hard copy or anywhere
> on the Internet?

I received this as the accurate story of why the Tanya is not vocalized.
I assume that it is correct but have no personal information on the



you can pass along this Correct Version, taken from Kitzurim V'He'aros
l'sefer Likutei Amarim of the Tzemach Tzedek, p. 125, reshima ches,
written by the Frierdiker Rebbe:

The Rebbe Rashab told me, in the name of his father-in-law who was a son
of the Tzemach Tzedek, who heard it from the Tzemach Tzedek:

In my youth - said the Tzemach Tzedek- I wanted to vowelize the Tanya
and divide it into verses, and when I decided to do so, I had a dream
that night, that I was learning the laws of writing a Sefer Torah and a
question came to me about a Sefer Torah that was written properly except
that it had vowels and was divided into pesukim.  After a long pilpul, I
said it was fine.  And when I got up, I got the hint.

That day, I had to see the [Alter] Rebbe about something, and as I
crossed the threshold to leave, he said to me: A Sefer Torah that is
vowelized and divided into verses is pasul, because the entire Torah
consists of names of G-d that are combined in various combinations.


From: Meir Possenheimer <meir@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 22:39:28 +0100
Subject: Re: What does passim - ketonet passim - mean

Stan Tenen writes:>
> The tallit is presaged by the ketonet passim (_STRIPED_ tunic) that
> Jacob gives to Joseph.

For the record, it is by no means universally accepted that the word
'passim' means stripes, see Rashi Bereishis 37:3 who explains it as
meaning 'fine wool'.


End of Volume 43 Issue 21