Volume 43 Number 66
                    Produced: Mon Jul 26  5:39:22 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Arousal and Yeridat Hadorot
         [Eli Turkel]
Candle lighting time when husband accepts shabbat early
         [Akiva Miller]
Other gematria such as this?
Shtreimels, again
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
sh'voh noch at the start of a word?
         [Michael Frankel]
Sleeve Length
         [David Oratz]


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 23:23:16 +0300
Subject: Arousal and Yeridat Hadorot

> Does the Rambam state that you may view an immodestly clad, unmarried
> women for her beauty? Besides, tachlis, how many men (in our weaker
> generation) are able to look at a woman's beauty without the slightest
> risk of awakening some passion?

Why in our weaker generation? There are stories in the gemara about
arousal among amoraim. In fact the gemara seems to indicate the more one
learns in the yeshiva the more likely he is to be aroused when exposed
to some woman.

Eli Turkel


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 01:05:04 -0400
Subject: Re: Candle lighting time when husband accepts shabbat early

In MJ 43:53, David Ziants asked <<< on what does R' Moshe Feinstein base
himself, to allow the wife to do malacha when the husband and his
congregation has declared that it is Shabbat? >>>

This is an odd question, because in that same post, he referred to
Joshua Hosseinof's post, which appeared in MJ 43:49, and explicitly gave
Rav Moshe's logic: <<< I've seen the teshuva in Igrot Moshe (Orach Chaim
vol 3 #38), where he distinguishes between people who accept shabbat at
an earlier time as a rule throughout the year because of a minhag, in
which case the wife must follow the husband's minhag, versus the
situation where people only make early shabbat in the summer because
they don't want to eat so late, in which case he says that the wife is
free to light candles at the regular candle lighting time. >>>

Mr. Ziants tried to demonstrate that Rav Moshe was disagreeing with the
Shulchan Aruch, and wrote <<< OC 263:10 talks about the possibility of
the wife doing work after she has lit the candles, but before the
husband declared Shabbat in shul. It is very clear that the husbands
saying of "Barchu" (or "Mizmor...", declares Shabbat for his
household. >>>

I believe that this is a gross misrepresentation of what the Shulchan
Aruch is saying in that paragraph. It actually talks about the
possibility of the wife doing work after she has lit the candles, but
before the *chazan* declared Shabbat in shul, by leading the
congregation in Barchu or Mizmor Shir. This is totally consistent with
the halachos that the whole town must begin Shabbos when the shul begins

That paragraph never mentions the husband at all. In fact, the Rama
explicitly states that even though the wife must begin Shabbos when she
light the candles unless she stipulates otherwise, "but the other
members of the household are allowed to do melacha until Borchu." That
would have been a perfect place to mention whether or not the other
members of the household are allowed to do melacha if it is the
*husband* who began Shabbos early, but no such mention is made.

As I see it, Rav Moshe is not disagreeing with the Shulchan Aruch at
all.  He is pointing out that our situation is not the one which the
Shulchan Aruch talks about. The Shulchan Aruch says that the whole
community must begin Shabbos when the shul gets to Borchu, but it never
said *why* the shul got to Borchu before sunset. Is it for the mitzvah
of lengthening Shabbos, or maybe the reason doesn't matter?

Rav Moshe presumes that the reason why the whole town has to follow the
one single shul if it starts Shabbos early, is that the concept of
"minhag" applies; if the whole community has a single minhag,
individuals are not allowed to differ from it. That why this halacha
does not apply if there are two shuls, only one of which starts Shabbos
early. Are there any MJers who can offer a different logic behind this
halacha? If you can, I'd love to hear it.

And if the reason why the community must follow the shul is because of
minhag, then the wife must follow the husband's minhag too -- but only
if it is a genuine minhag. If the husband chooses to begin Shabbos early
for reasons of convenience, then there's no reason for the wife to be
obligated to do so. If anyone can find a source or a reason why the wife
should be so obligated, I'd love to hear it.

Akiva Miller


From: <chips@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 20:42:55 -0700
Subject: Re: Other gematria such as this?

> In the Yerushalmi, Shabbat 34b in the edition I have, there is an
> interesting gematria. The Talmud there finds a hint at the 39
> categories of work forbidden on Shabbat from the word "eileh" in
> Shemot 35:1, by taking the gematria as follows: Alef is 1; Lamed is
> 30, and Chet is 8, for a total of 39. How about the fact that the last
> letter is a Heh and not a Chet? The Talmud says that the two letters
> are interchangeable as they are close to one another.

There are a few gematrias where the numbers are
'fudged'. Interchangeable letters, off by 1, letter isn't pronounced,
maybe even others.  Primaraly (sp?) due to this, I take gematrias as
being 'cute' and with salt.



From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 16:21:23 -0400
Subject: Shtreimels, again

>If there are paintings in
>existence showing Polish kings wearing shtraymlekh I prefer that
>evidence to my (or Yossi Ginzberg's) imagination.  Moreover, I know of
>no evidence that all rebbeim started wearing them "simultaneously".

There cannot be any pictures of Polish kings wearing "shtreimels", only
pictures of them wearing similar fur hats.  A similarity doesn't really
serve as proof any more than my wearing sneakers means that I can play

The reason I say simultaneous is that the anti- chassidic literature of
the Gra's era objects in general to all the trappings, and I have never
seen any differentiation there between this or that Rebbe who had
different customs.

The vast literature of the many and varous disputes between different
groups of chassidim leads me to believe that were it not a
simultaneously-accepted custom, there would have been polemics written
against it, as there were against the Shpolyer Zeide, Sadigerer Rebbe,
and the Sanzer Rebbe, among others.  In all those cases differences far
less visible than a large fur hat were major issues.

> > the entire concept of Chassidus is to a large extent based on the
> > preservation of old customs and styles.

>Were that the case there would have been no difference in dress between
>hasidim and misnagdim. But the available evidence points in the opposite
>direction. Does Y.G. suggest that the gorgeous white satin knee breeches
>and buckled shoes were worn by, say, Rashi or Rambam?  Or that Reb
>Borekhl got the habit of driving a chariot with 4 or 6 white horses from
>Yankev Ovinu?  I possess photographs of the last two Lubavitcher
>rebbeim, one in a Russian-style shtrayml, the other in his famous
>fedora.  So much for old customs and styles.

I beg to differ.  in fact, one of the major issues for those against the
"litvishe" yeshiva world was that the litvitish boys, when outside the
Bet Medrash, were not visibly different from the "maskilim".  Look at
any old photo of the Mir or Chevron yeshivas, and you'll see bouffant
hairstyles, spiffy modern suits, walking sticks, and white Panama hats.
I am not saying that the Chasidic mode of dress is more authentically
jewish, or that it somehow dates back to the Avos.  I am only saying
that the derivation had to have been slower and far less direct than
some Rebbe waking up one day and deciding to mimic his local "Poritz".
The same would apply to the "authentic" litvish "rok" or long coat.

Re your comment about the last two Lubavitcher Rebbes changing hat
styles: Lubavitch is different in many ways from mainstream Chassidus,
and one of these is their odd connection to Minhag.  On the one hand
they proclaim that Minhag is more important than Halacha, on the other
they change their own minhagim often, witness the last Rebbe refusing to
wear a shtreimel, or the change to not wearing silver Ataros on the
talis that became a custom only when they needed the silver to bribe the
Rebbes way out of prison, or the "shinui Nusach" re the messianic issue.

This incidentally may also be why they don't seem to respect other
peoples customs, such as getting little girls in religious schools to
light Shabbos candles without checking the family customs, or having
Iranian immigrants change from their presumably purer heriditary nusach
to nusach Ari.

Yossi Ginzberg


From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 15:11:35 -0400
Subject: Re: sh'voh noch at the start of a word?

<<From: Jack Gross <ibijbgross@...> :The expection has limitations: 
It applies only when the word occurs without a prefix.  With a prefix 
letter, ShTaYiM reverts to normal behavior.  With most prefices, the Shin is 
rafa (closing the syllable) and the shva is silent ...
Vav: Ush-tei (Gen. 19:30)
Bet: Bish-tei (ib. 31:41)
Lamed: Lish-tey (Ex. 26:19)
 ...while in the sole instance where it appears with a Mem prefix, the
Shin is geminated (degusha), and hence the shva is sounded (na') and the
Tav is rafa: Mish-sh'-thei (Judges 16:28). (Consult your local 

Not so fast diqduq breath.  the general art of applying a prefix is
rather more eclectic than the "rule" cited above might have it.  nor are
all prefixes, statistically, created equal.  For instance, the prefixed
bais-cum-chiriq is (almost) invariably problematic. Looking at the third
letter is rarely helpful since (when a begedkefet) it is almost
invariably rofeh despite the second letter's invariable lack of
dogeish. E.g.  contemplate "be'g'vul", or be'sh'gogoh" where the lack of
a second letter dogeish chozoq inclines readers to a second letter noch,
while the lack of a third letter dogeish qal would steer them to a
second letter noh.  Probably most diqduqists would tell you to pronounce
it as noch (though not me.  this is also one of those general instances
- along with command and construct forms - that some like to identify as
the so called sh'voh m'racheif, - as though artificially expanding a
taxonomy to throw a bunch of disparate problems into one bin with a new
label explained anything).  A prefixed lamed can go either way, while a
prefixed mem will almost invariably produce a sh'voh noh under a
dogeished letter or an unambiguous sh'voh noch in a completely "regular"
manner.  A prefixed "U" is an entirely different machloqes. while most
baalei q'ri'oh would (un)pronounce the next letter as noch (as the
presumed masorah from the gra would have it), the invariable lack of
dogeish qal in the third letter (when begedkefet) leads others to
articulate noh.

Mechy Frankel				W: (703) 845-2357
<Michael.frankel@...>			H: (301) 593-3949


From: David Oratz <dovid@...>
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2004 22:25:24 +0200
Subject: Sleeve Length

My impression is that the members of this list come from the various
different groups of Orthodox Judaism and share a commitment to Halachah.
Now one of the issues that divide what is loosely referred to as modern
Orthodoxy from Chareidi Orthodoxy is sleeve length. The latter are very
strict about sleeves reaching at least to the elbows, whereas the former
permit [up to] a handbreadth (TEFACH) above the elbow. After extensive
research, I have found no basis for sleeves that EVER go above the
elbows. I'd llike to share my understanding of the matter, and I would
love to hear from anyone if there is a contrary source that I am

It is my understanding that there are two totally different but loosely
related laws involved. The first is the ruling of Shulchan Aruch (Orach
Chaim 75) that a TEFACH of a normally covered part of a woman's body is
"ERVAH" (loosely translated as nakedness). Now the obvious implication
is that less than a TEFACH is not ERVAH.But this ruling is found in the
Laws of reading SHMA. All that it states is that one is permitted to
recite SHMA in the presence of a woman revealing less than a TEFACH of a
normally covered part of her body, but not in the presence of a TEFACH
or more. Nothing whatsoever is said regarding what a woman is permitted
to reveal. In fact there is a strong implication to the contrary: That
it is NORMALLY covered!

The second is a ruling of Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 115:4) which is
based on a Gemara in Ketubot 72a-b which I will summarize for the sake
of clarity. The Mishnah there (72A) discusses those women who through
their actions pull themselves away from the right to be protected by a
Ketubah marriage contract. Among them are women who go against DAT
YEHUDIT, which Rashi explains are the customs which Jewish women took
upon themselves from time immemorial (Meiri adds: For extra TZNIUT
-modesty). One of the examples the Mishnah gives for this is a woman who
"weaves in the marketplace." The Gemara (72b) explains that this refers
to a woman who reveals her ZROA to men. (The minimum definition of ZROA
is the part of the arm above the elbow). This explanation is cited as
authoritative in the above cited Shulchan Aruch. Now it is my
understanding that if this is a definition of "weaving in the
marketplace" it even refers to one who wears sleeves to her elbow that
in the process of weaving publicly ride up and reveal part of the area
above. Even without that explanation, there is a clear source that
prohibits a woman to reveal her upper arm to men, a source that
considers this a basic requirement of Jewish female modesty, and a
source that is codified in Shulchan Aruch.

The sources that I have seen do not seem to allow any loosening in the
basic DAT YEHUDIT requirement of Chazal -- and if they did, why stop at
a TEFACH above the elbow? In the middle of last century, many Jewish
women wore even shorter sleeves. (As to the famous Aruch HaSHulchan
regarding hair, that too is in the section dealing with those parts
considered ERVAH for reciting SHMA, and it is abundantly clear that he
considers it totally wrong for married women not to cover their hair.)
It is to the credit of the educators of the sixties and seventies that
the truly short sleeves popular at that time are relatively rare in
Orhodox circles today. These educators, however, had to be very
careful. I am personally aware of at least one principal of a Brooklyn
girls yeshivah who in the sixties lost his position within a year
because of requiring "too strict" a dress code, including sleeves to the
elbow. Most educators of the time decided to stick to what allowed them
to teach Torah to girls: Less than a tefach. Yet it was only to remove
THEIR prohibition, not a blanket permission for the girls! Now those
girls are today's mothers (and grandmothers) and some of them do not
understand why their daughter's school is "so stringent."

Again, I will be happy to hear of any source of which I am not aware ,
but one respectful request: Please let's stick to sources (preferably
primary), and not, "My Rabbi says.... and he is a musmach of..." or "I
think it should be ..."


End of Volume 43 Issue 66