Volume 44 Number 22
                    Produced: Tue Aug 17  6:04:40 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adding to Birkat HaMazon
         [Dov Cooper]
Apostasy, "Outmarriages" and the Error of Shiva (2)
         [c.halevi, Meir Possenheimer]
Dairy bread and english muffins
         [Leah Aharoni]
Dairy Cakes (2)
         [Daniel Lowinger, W. Baker]
Learning Out Loud
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
nusach Ashkenaz and nusach Ari
Rabbi Naftoli (Tsvi) of Ropczyce
         [Perets Mett]


From: Dov Cooper <dbear@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 10:34:51 +0300
Subject: Adding to Birkat HaMazon

In anticipation of our (be sha'ah tova) brit [circumcision aka "bris"],
I'm interested in putting together a handout with the ceremony and
birkat hamazon. [grace after the meals] making some changes to the text
usually found in the traditional birkonim [aka "benchers" books with
birkat hamazon]. Some of my wife's relatives are "strongly" halakhic and
we're not interested in offending them if there's no halakhic basis for
our changes.

So, before printing anything up, I'm wondering what the halakha is
regarding adding or changing words to the Birkat HaMazon? What's the
status of adding "Ha'rachaman" for the State of Israel, IDF, etc. ?

What about adding a phrase about the imahot [foremothers - sarah, rivka.
rachel and leah] (to appear before the avot [forefathers - avaraham, itzhak
and ya'akov]?

Could you direct me to where I can find the answer (which could also
double as a way to respond to questioning relatives).

Thank you for your help.

Dov Cooper
22/1 Betar Jerusalem 93386 Israel
H: +972-2-671-2955  C:+972-54-472-2948

[Just a quick note that there are likely two different responses based
on where you are making the changes. Making a change in the 4 core
brachot of birchat hamazon will likely be frowned on, while making
additions in the added portions following the 4 brachot is more likely
to be viewed as possibly acceptable. I'll leave to the list members to
eloborate / bring sources. Mod.]


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 16:05:02 -0500
Subject: Apostasy, "Outmarriages" and the Error of Shiva

Shalom, All:

I quoted Rabbi Alfred J. Kolatch, who wrote that sitting Shiva for an
apostate >>is based on a misunderstanding.... Rabbenu Gershom ben
Yehuda, known as the Luminary of the Diaspora (Meor Ha'Gola), sat Shiva
for his son who had converted to Christianity.<< Importantly, he did not
sit Shiva, Rabbi Kolatch noted, when the son became an apostate, but
only after he had died. If the great Rabbenu Gershom did not sit Shiva
even when his son rejected Judaism, I stated, there is no reason to sit
Shiva when a son or daughter intermarries (God forbid). The more we keep
in touch with such a person, the more chance there is that we can have a
positive influence on him/her, or his/her children.

Josh Backon wrote that >>According to halacha (Yoreh Deah 340:5 in the
Rema) there is no Aveilut for a Mumar ["aval ragil la'asot aveira EIN
mitablin alav; vechol she'kein al mumar l'avodat kochavim] (see also
mechaber in YD 340:5].<<

The Yoreh Deah was written by the distinguished sage Rabbi Joseph Caro,
who lived 1488-1575 C.E., while the illustrious Rabbenu Gershom preceded
him as one of the Reeshoneem (the "first ones") who lived ca. 960-1040
C.E. This means Rabbenu Gershom pre-dates the Yoreh Deah by about 500
years. (Rav Caro was one of the Akharoneem, the later sages).

Since the position of normative, Orthodox Judaism is that previous
generations had a better understanding of halacha than later generations
-- especially after 500 years -- I do not understand how the eminent
Akharon Rav Caro in the Yoreh Deah could overrule a super-scholar sage
who preceded him by some 500 years: and not just any sage, but Rabbenu
Gershom himself (not that Rav Caro was chopped liver ;). Furthermore,
Rabbenu Gershom was lauded by Rashi himself, among the greatest of the

Perhaps the answer lies in Josh's citation of the Yoreh Deah's
terminology, >>vechol she'kein al mumar l'avodat kochavim<<, {translated
as "and certainly not (to mourn) one who apostatizes to idolatry
(literally, worshipping stars)}." Since many authorities do not classify
Christianity as idolatry -- despite its icons and Trinity -- we can
conclude that the Yoreh Deah does not disagree with Rabbenu Gershom's
sitting Shiva for his son who converted to Christianity.

Kol Tuv,
Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi

From: Meir Possenheimer <meir@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 23:08:01 +0100
Subject: Re: Apostasy, "Outmarriages" and the Error of Shiva

Josh Backon writes:
> According to halacha (Yoreh Deah 340:5 in the Rema) there is no Aveilut
> for a Mumar ["aval ragil la'asot aveira EIN mitablin alav; vechol
> she'kein al mumar l'avodat kochavim] (see also mechaber in YD 340:5].

I rather think Josh is confusing the issue. The source he brings refers
to when the mumar actually dies.  Mr Stern's posting relates to when the
person marries out, at which point the parents see themselves as having
lost their child and demonstrate the fact by sitting Shiva.


From: Leah Aharoni <leah25@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 21:05:20 +0200
Subject: Dairy bread and english muffins

Rav Eliezer Melamed addressed the dairy bread issue in his halakha
column in the Parshat Ree issue of Me'at Min Haor (a weekly parshat
hashavua publication). He writes there that it is permissible to bake
and eat dairy bread if the loaf is small enough to be eaten in one meal
(or one day). The gzeira does not apply in such a case.


From: Daniel Lowinger <Daniel.Lowinger@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 08:49:12 +1000
Subject: Dairy Cakes

Halacha is actaully in tune with reality. Judaism does not try and make
it harder for the torah abiding Jew. There are many chumaras
(stringencies) which can be applied in all areas of Judaism - we don't
apply them because we know where to draw the line. A classic example is
the prohibition applied to wine of Goyim being not kosher. People would
say that the same prohibition should be applied to beer and the like of
today however as the Rabbinic prohibition was only applied to Wine it
stays there, so too with milchig bread.

In the kosher world it is buyer beware...with so many brands out there
people shouldn't always assume that a seemingly kosher product will meet
all requirements of each individual kosher consumer.

From: W. Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 16:17:49 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Dairy Cakes

Just some history here, first hand.

In my youth,(1940's and 50's) Most bakery and home cakes were dairy.
The bakery had several special parev cakes.  I particularly remember a
lemon coconutsponge that my Mother always had me gt if we had unexpected
guests for dinner.  All the ruggelach and coffee cakes were dairy, or at
least considered so by ty expended family and most home bake coffe cakes
were also.  My Mother would also make a lovely sponge cake for meat
meals.  Now it is almost impossible to find those lovely dairy
minidanishes and ruggelach of my youth unless you make them yourself.
The scarcitly of butter during WWII omn the US and the increasing
availabilit of parev maragrine and white shortnings like Crisco and
Spry, and the general cheapness of these products compared with butter
led to a change in commercial and even home baking so regular, non-songe
cake parev cakes became available and even the norm.

Batya, by the 1960's the non-dairy fat revolution ws over and the
non-butter fats hd won, so you were able to get non-sponge ckes , parev
at the bakery or home made.  They never tsted as good, but were
available for meat meals.

Wendy Baker

> From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
> 	Since (at least until very recently) people always assumed that
> 	cake was dairy, there was no issue of people getting confused.
> 	There's no
> Huh?  So what was served on Shabbat, for dessert?  In the '60's, a good
> 40 years ago, I remember being served cakes.
> And who are "people?"  Guess we come from very different worlds.


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 16:43:30 +0200
Subject: Learning Out Loud

bh, yom rishon shoftim

The gemara Eruvin 54 implies that the proper way of learning torah is to
use one's voice while studying torah.  Indeed the Gaon and the Tanya SA
( end of Cap 2 of Hilkhot Talmud Torah) maintain that one does not
fulfill the mitzvah of talmud torah without pronouncing the words.  Does
anyone know of some mefarshe hatalmud, rishonim or aharonim who deal
with this? I remember reading in a mefaresh that Gentiles read silently
in contrast to Jews who have a tradition of saying the words they study.
Any of the beki-im can set me straight?  Thanks in advance.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 17:31:41 +0300
Subject: Re: Meshulach

I had asked a question or two about the use of the word meshulah
in the discourse that has been carried on of late here on Mail-Jewish. 
In other words, do the beggars who come to the shuls in my area every day
fit into the MJ definition of meshulahim?

Regarding shadar as used to denote the emissaries sent from Eretz Yisrael
to the Diaspora, in particular North Africa--in the Middle Ages--I was
indeed under the impression that the word was written SHD"R, as an
abbreviation for SHeluha DeRabbanan.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 05:15:46 EDT
Subject: nusach Ashkenaz and nusach Ari

<< From: Nachman Yaakov Ziskind <awacs@...>
> 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. >>

The poster makes it seem like there are only reasons (given by various
Hassidim) for people to change away from nusach Ashkenaz, but there are
no reasons to change to it or remain faithful to it. That is not
correct.  Halocho teaches us that we should not change our ancestral
minhag (al titosh toras imecho). For Ashkenazic Jews that encompasses
davening nusach Ashkenaz. Halocho is what is supposed to guide the
actions of a Jew. If an Ashkenazic Jew follows the way of Rashi, Tosfos,
Tur, Rama, etc., and davens nusach Ashkenaz, he is doing what he should
rightfully do and should definitely 'stay the course', and not deviate
from it.



From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 12:47:29 +0100
Subject: Rabbi Naftoli (Tsvi) of Ropczyce

The Bostoner Rebbe (of Boston) shlito is the son-in-law of Rabbi 
Naftoli Ungar

Perets Mett

Yisroel Medad wrote:
> Rabbi Ed Goldstein wrote:
>> R. Naftali Ropshitz ztl/hyd (I think this is correct) was the father 
>> in law of the current Bostoner Rebbe shlita
> Don't think so.
> He died in Lanzut, Galicia (now Poland), 1827.  Almost 180 years ago.
> Maybe another Naftali Tzvi?


End of Volume 44 Issue 22