Volume 43 Number 74
                    Produced: Fri Jul 30  5:21:09 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Attending a nonJewish Wedding
         [Batya Medad]
Cole Porter's reference
         [Martin Stern]
Dor Yesharim
         [Shoshana Ziskind]
Just Speaking for oneself (2)
         [Carl Singer, Jay Bailey]
The Kohen Sign
         [Martin Stern]
Lubavitch Practice for newbies
         [Joel Rich]
Lubavitch Respecting Nusach
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Meshullachim during Tefilah
         [Immanuel Burton]
Other gematria such as this?
         [Moshe and Elise Kranc]
Respect for our differences
         [Carl Singer]


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 14:22:11 +0200
Subject: Re: Attending a nonJewish Wedding

> of attending a nonJewish wedding (two nonJews marrying each other)
> during the "3 weeks" i.e. the time of mourning preceding 9 Av.

More problematic.  In Israel the catering halls offer great deals during
the 3 weeks, and people I know were invited to a Bar Mitzvah, the boss's
son, on 2nd of Av.  They're sfaradim and were told by their rabbi that
they could make an appearance, since it wasn't the week of...



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 11:43:15 +0100
Subject: Cole Porter's reference

on 29/7/04 10:38 am, Leah S. Gordon <leah@...> and Shayna
Kravetz <skravetz@...> wrote to correct my misquotation of Cole
Porter's song of the 1930s:

"In days of old a sight of stocking was absolutely shocking but now, who
knows, anything goes".

and believe the correct quote from his 1930 musical _Anything Goes_ is:

"In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
was looked on as something shocking.
Now Heaven knows...
Anything Goes!"

I was quoting from memory rather than the text of his song but the
differences do not seem to make any substantive difference to the

I am still convinced that even he would be appalled at what has
transpired over the last 70 years where we have 'progressed' from a mere
stocking covered ankle to almost complete nudity in public. Pe'or seems
to be winning in its attempt to destroy the essence of modesty.

Martin Stern


From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 06:00:39 -0400
Subject: Re: Dor Yesharim

On Jul 29, 2004, at 4:47 AM, HB <halfull2@...> wrote:
>> 1 What genetic testing should people of marriageable age do prior to
>> entering into a "search" (dating or shiddach) for a spouse.
> It appears to me that with the enormous difficulties encountered today
> in having shidduch dating set up, if the young couples waited to have
> "genetic compatibility matching" of any sort done prior to the start of
> dating the entire religeon might disappear in one generation. My
> children underwent the Dor Yesharim testing but the "genetic
> compatibility matching" is normally done prior to getting married- not
> prior to the first date.
> http://www.aish.com/dating/wisdom/The_Genetics_of_Dating.asp''

I couldn't disagree with you more.  Not using Dor Yesharim at the
beginning probably would not help bring about more shidduchim and if
anything, could only add to the tsurus these people are experiencing.
Okay its a long shot but let's say you finally after many years meet
someone who seems to be your zivug. Everything is going well. Okay let's
get engaged. Okay so now you do Dor Yesharim and find out that G-d
forbid you're not "compatible". Something is wrong. I would be
devastated personally.

I don't see what's wrong with making it a part of the shidduch process.
People have no problem making other factors part of the shidduch process
(height, weight etc) why is this such a problem? If people find out
before they date that there might be an issue it doesn't even tell them
much because they test for more than one disease nowadays and given that
the likelihood of not being compatible is often minimal I can't see how,
G-d forbid, "the entire religion might disappear in one generation".
(Of course your question could be, given that its minimal why use it at
the beginning? My answer is : a) once you're tested its very easy to get
2 numbers and call them each time b) its very unlikely there's a problem
but that won't make the couple very happy will it?

IMO, unless you only date one or two times (like Satmar) before getting
engaged it makes more sense to check a match out with Dor Yesharim at
the beginning.

Shoshana Ziskind


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 07:37:29 -0400
Subject: Just Speaking for oneself

    As a (layman) representative of the Modern Orthodox branch of
    Halachically dedicated Jews you mention, I'm going to respond with
    (what I'd hope) a response that represents the thinking of a lot of
    American as well as "dati leumi" Orthodox Jews here in Israel.

Not to quibble -- but the writer may self-classify if he so wishes --
but represents only himself.  (I'm not addressing the content of the
post -- only this introduction.)  I speak only for myself -- I expect
the same of others.  I'm especially troubled when leadership speaks
because they somehow use the weight of my membership as credential for
their content.  As a minority we need to be careful of such things.  --
I don't mean for this to be especially harsh, just a "point of order" so
to speak.

I remember, long ago and far away, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (May, 1970
to be exact.) when I was going through basic training there was another
Jewish soldier in my outfit.  Goldberg (not his name, but it will do)
who had a very Jewish name (unlike Singer), who spoke with a heavy New
York accent -- unlike Singer who's from Cleveland.  Goldberg didn't keep
kosher or Shabbos.  ... and he was more than happy to share his views
about same with non-Jews.  Goldberg's eating bacon & eggs, Singer's
eating an apple.  Goldberg sneaks off to the PX while signed out for
Friday night services; Singer goes to services -- Goldberg gets caught,
Singer's going to services in the future is in jeopardy.  It was about
then that I solidified my stance that nobody speaks for me -- and I
speak only for myself.

Carl A. Singer

From: Jay Bailey <JayB@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2004 08:11:59 +0300
Subject: RE: Just Speaking for oneself

Sorry, Carl, I should have used more precise wording. I didn't mean
"representative" in the sense of an official rep - this was why I added
the parenthetical modifier. I simply meant "as a member", which would
have been a clearer term to employ. While I am actually certain that
many would agree with me (simply because I know the communities I've
been a part of for a couple decades), I wouldn't presume to represent
those who rightfully don't.

- J


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 11:51:04 +0100
Subject: Re: The Kohen Sign

on 29/7/04 10:47 am, David Shabtai <david.shabtai@...> wrote:

> Similarly, a female Kohen will be able to give any "Kohen genes" to her
> children just as effectively as her male counterpart.

We are talking about the Y chromosome which can only come from the
father, so absence of a "Kohen gene" on it should be conclusive evidence
that the presumed kohen is not one. Its presence however would not be
conclusive since such genes would also be passed on to challalim and

Martin Stern


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 08:17:40 EDT
Subject: Lubavitch Practice for newbies

      3) The Lubavitcher Rebbe believes that it is appropriate for all
      women and girls over three to light Shabbos candles. This appeal
      was always directed at non-religious people, with no established

      4) The folks who were induced to daven Nusach Ari in general were
      those who did not have a strongly established minhag for tefillah
      (that they were congnizant of). There are Kabbalistic reasons to
      eschew Nusach Ashkenaz for Sephard; likewise Sephard for
      Ari. Many/most of my Iranian Chabad friends daven Nusach Sephard
      (citing their minhag as the reason);

WADR I can tell you anecdotally of people who were chozer btshuva who
know full well where they came from and with a minimum of checking could
have found out (if they already didn't know) their family/town minhagim
of tfila, candles, tfillin but practice Lubavitch minhag.

  It was explained to me a number of years ago by a Lubavitch Rabbi that
Lubavitch is "the crown jewel" of judaism and so if someone is not
PRACTICING a firmly established minhag, they should practice Lubavitch
as everyone will eventually.  No value judgement being made by me on
this, I'd appreciate hearing from an authoratative Lubavitch source if
this is openly(or behind the scenes) Lubavitch doctrine.

Joel Rich


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 08:40:57 -0700
Subject: Lubavitch Respecting Nusach

>4) The folks who were induced to daven Nusach Ari in general were those
>who did not have a strongly established minhag for tefillah (that they

I will add to this that when we were living in a place where Chabad was
the only dati synagogue, not only did the local Chabad Rabbis respect
that we davened Ashkenaz, but they *went out and bought* siddurim for us
in our nusach to have in their shul (no eruv, plus they don't hold by
city eruvim anyway).

In my experience, Lubovich people have been friendly and accepting and
very supportive of all kinds of Jews.

--Leah S. R. Gordon


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 10:27:42 +0100
Subject: RE: Meshullachim during Tefilah

I have started going to a different Shul having recently moved home, and
noticed a sign on the door of the Beis Hamedrash requesting that
tzedakah not be collected during davenning, but that one should wait
till afterwards to collect.

With regards to collecting during davenning itself, I suppose the other
side of the story is that the meshullachim want to make the best of a
gathered crowd.  I would think that after davenning people are in a rush
to get to work, etc.  Perhaps some rationalisation of the
collection/distribution process is needed.

I have noticed a tendancy for meshullachim not to say "please" or "thank
you", and would like to suggest that as people have an obligation to
give tzedakah, others have come to expect it as their right to receive
it, and so perhaps don't need to be polite about it.  I don't think the
concept of rights exists in Halachah as such - for example, one has an
obligation to stand for older people, but can an older person claim
one's seat on those grounds?  One has an obligation to give, but I don't
think he can claim.

If one has already given one's 10% to tzedakah, does one indeed have to
give more whenever meshullachim come round?  I have a friend whose
brother was being plagued by meshullachim ringing on his doorbell more
or less constantly that eventually he had to put up a sign saying that
donations are not given at the door.  I think that those meshullachim
who behave in perhaps not quite the best possible way ruin things for
the others.

My brother told me that in Mexico City collecting in Shuls is not
allowed, and that the Shuls organise collection themselves, and that
meshullachim approach the Rov with their requests.  Can anyone confirm

One other point I would like to raise concerns meshullachim who ask for
more.  This has happened to me several times, i.e. rather than say
thank-you they have demanded more.  Is such a request acceptable?
Contrast this with a person who once rang at my door collecting for a
non-Jewish charity.  For some reason, the sum total cash that I had in
the house was twenty pence, so I gave him that, and apologised that I
couldn't give him more.  His answer was, "Don't worry, it's still money,
and every bit helps".  (And yes, I know that one can't draw general
rules from individual cases.)

One meshullach who approached me in the street and to whom I gave some
coins said that he'd seen banknotes in my wallet and that I should give
them to him.  Is a demand along the lines of, "I saw banknotes in your
wallet and I want you to give them to me" a breach of the 10th
Commandment, i.e. Thou shalt not covet?

Immanuel Burton.


From: Moshe and Elise Kranc <mekranc@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 12:10:07 +0200
Subject: Re: Other gematria such as this?

I heard (the tail end of) a lecture by Professor Shlomo Na'eh on Tisha
B'Av that might shed some light on this. He contends that there were
more sounds in ancient Hebrew than there are letters. He uses this, for
example, to explain why some words containing the letter 'chet' have
radically different and unrelated meanings - they're really two
different roots, with different pronunciations, that ended up getting
written the same way, for lack of a more precise way to write them.

Seen in this light, perhaps 'heh' and 'chet' are interchangeable in
gematrias because their sounds are close to one another, and they can be
interchanged in gematrias because both of them are not the actual
letter, only approximations of the real sound.

Food for thought,
Moshe Kranc


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 07:53:41 -0400
Subject: Respect for our differences

> 3) The Lubavitcher Rebbe believes that it is appropriate for all women
> and girls over three to light Shabbos candles. This appeal was always
> directed at non-religious people, with no established minhag.

It goes both ways -- I have a friend who grew up Lubavitch in an "out of
town" frum, but non-Lubavitch environment -- and has many bad memories
of same.  But schools and shules tend to run over minority minhagim
often without great malice.  Additionally, we need to distinguish
between what leadership believed and what lay practices.  "On paper" an
organization and its leaders hold and proclaim X, Y and Z. (In this
instance only proselytizing the non-religious with no established
minhag.)  In practice, the organization is made up of individuals who
may not be conversant with the organizational position or practices.

Carl A. Singer


End of Volume 43 Issue 74