Volume 44 Number 34
                    Produced: Sun Aug 22  6:19:14 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

40 days in after birth
         [Batya Medad]
Adding to Birkat HaMazon
         [Martin Stern]
Beer as Stam Yeinam
         [Elozor Reich]
Fake Marriage
         [Irwin Weiss]
Fake Marriage -- Civil  Marriage
         [Carl Singer]
Matrilineal descent and more
Parent in Charge (eruv) (2)
         [Shoshana Ziskind, Martin Stern]
Prayer a Waste of Time?
         [Joel Rich]
Prayer vs. Learning
         [Martin Stern]
Rinat Yisrael sidur
         [Rose Landowne]


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 13:53:13 +0200
Subject: 40 days in after birth

      A friend of mine recently gave birth. When her baby was about a
      week old, she took him to her workplace (she is a doctor and
      wanted to weigh him there). Some Sephardic people there were
      astounded.  Apparently there is a custom for the mother not to go
      out for 40 days after the birth. Or perhaps the custom is for the
      BABY not to go out? Does anyone know more about this?  One
      question that comes to mind is: Do people who abide by

Never heard of such a thing, and we live in a community with every
"eidah," besides the fact that our daughter is Tunisian by marriage.



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 11:22:51 +0100
Subject: Re: Adding to Birkat HaMazon

on 19/8/04 11:04 am, Ben Katz <bkatz@...> wrote:

> At my daughter's simchat bat celebrations we have modified some
> of the harachamans that are done at a brit and no one objected.

It may come as a surprise to most readers but these harachamans are in
fact a piyut (liturgical poem) by Rabbeinu Avraham Kohen Tsedek only
recited in minag Polen (i.e. East Germany and Eastern Europe
generally). The West German minhag has a different one by Rabbeinu
Ephraim ben Ya'akov (see Baer siddur p. 740) and I presume that the
Sephardim and various Oriental communities also have their own. There is
also an alternative piyut by Rabbeinu Ephraim brought in the sefer
Zocher Habrit (p. 16) for a celebration of the brit of twin boys.

Martin Stern


From: Elozor Reich <lreich@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 11:17:14 +0100
Subject: Beer as Stam Yeinam

Josh Backon  wrote:
> on whether beer and whiskey of
> gentiles is in the forbidden category of Stam Yeinam. The Rambam in
> Hilchot Maachalot Assurot 17:9 indicates that intoxicating beverages of
> gentiles drunk where they sold (e.g. today's bars) is forrbidden. This
> is also mentioned by the TUR YD 112. The RASHBA in Torat haBayit (Bayit
> 5 Shaar 1) mentions that the prohibition of *sheychar* was a minhag
> kedoshim. ..........    "

Although I am not a frequenter of pubs, when needed, here in England, I
rely on the Rosh who states (in Avodah Zoroh) that it was was customary
in "Eretz Ho'Aiy" (i.e. Britain) to drink beer in inns.



From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Subject: Fake Marriage 

An anonymous writer (good decision to be anonymous) proposes that his
daughter get married in a civil ceremony but not live with her husband
for purposes of obtaining tuition assistance, under the guise that she
is independent of her parents, despite the fact that she will not be.
The writer is further concerned about the effect of the civil marriage
on inheritance issues and other economic issues.

 "Supposed they break up before the wedding-they would need a legal
divorce and I am insisting on a prenup as my daughter is the one who has
any real money at this point."...... and "She would keep it a secret".

Hey, I got news for you.......If they marry in a civil ceremony in the
US, it isn't a secret. It is a public courthouse record for all to see.
It is legally binding in the US, and recognized as a marriage for all
civil purposes.

I offer no Halachic advice, but I would suggest that in addition to
consulting your LOR, that you should see a lawyer in your state, and so
should your daughter, with regard to the legality of claiming
independence in order to obtain financial assistance if the same is
untrue, and the ramifications of the civil, but not "consummated"



From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 07:16:46 -0400
Subject: Fake Marriage -- Civil  Marriage

>From: Anonymous
>  I am dealing with the issue of a fake marriage of a different kind
>that the one discussed and I would appreciate the groups input. My

Perhaps we should distinguish between "fake marriage" and "civil

Back in 1977 when my wife and I were planning to get (halachically and
legally married) on Sunday, July 31st (the 16th of Av) in her family
shule in Michigan, we realized that neither of us lived in Michigan (I
in Pennsylvania, she in Florida.) and there was a 3-day waiting period
for a civil marriage license and our Mesader Kedushin was not from
Michigan ...  So when we went to her parents for Pesach the prior April,
we applied for a marriage license erev Pesach.  We then learned that the
license "expired" (use it or loose it) in 30 days (Oh -- and the only
place to pick up the wedding license on Sunday would have been the
county jail -- true :) So on the first day of Chol HaMoed Pesach we went
to a family friend who was a judge -- he brought in two non-Jewish*
women clerks as witnesses (obviously not Aidim) and with a carefully
worded question or two signed our marriage certificate.  After Pesach we
each returned to our respective states.  My wife was able to use her new
legal status to accomplish several administrative tasks (driver's
license, etc.)  Our legal wedding date remains April 5, 1977.  *Their
religion didn't really matter - but we didn't want this getting out into
the community.  We got married as planned on 16 Av.

It turns out (we learned later) that my Mother-in-law was none too happy
about this adventure.  Mostly because it was new, different and somewhat

That said -- Anonymous sounds a bit like my Mother-in-law, but has taken
this many steps further -- perhaps understandable for the Father of the

1 - The legal issues re: inheritance can be handled by a lawyer.

2 - Is your daughter committing fraud?  Is she essentially breaking
civil law because of her ulterior motive of latching onto his insurance,
etc.  Is this halachically permissible?

3 - If you don't trust your daughter or future son-in-law re: "shomer"
 (I was going to say "hanky-panky") a civil marriage isn't going to
 change that.

4 - As to it's not being something an orthodox couple does -- it's
something many orthodox couples do -- since they hold by the religious
ceremony and not by the civil, they tend to get the civil license at a
time / place convenient for them -- but usually not with the motives you

5 - Mazel Tov.  Sit back, relax, don't start off on the wrong foot (or
perhaps this bit of unwanted advice is too late.) vis your future
son-in-law.  Get your check book ready and enjoy the "real" wedding.

Carl A. Singer


From: Yakir <yakirhd@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 13:56:06 +0200
Subject: Matrilineal descent and more

>  I believe that most rabbis regard this (Matrilineal descent) halacha to 
> be a d'Rabbanan

I have been trying to understand the significance and ramifications of
this (as an intellectual/halachic exercise):

Does it mean that:

1) offspring of a Jewish mother (only) are Jewish d'Rabbanan, not
d'Oreita.  In that case in many cases they will not be obligated to
perform various mitzvot (safek rabanan l'kula, sfek sfeka).  What about
keeping Shabbat, the chiyuv would be d'rabbanan but there would be an
overiding issur og "goy sh'shavat chayav mita").

2) offspring of a Jewish father (only) are non-Jewish d'Rabbanan, not
d'Oreita.  Doesn't make much sense, leads to real problems.

Before anyone takes this pilul further, or points out that it seems
nonsensical, the point I am trying to make is that certain basic (meta
?)  concepts need to be treated not in terms of a standard narrow
halachic viepoint. Again before I am attacked - I do not mean that they
do not need to be viewed in halachic terms, but that we need to be
careful which halachic tools we use in discussing them.

This might also be of relevance to the parallel discussion intermarriage
and is it hypocritical to consider this a more serious "aveira" than
chillul shabbat.


From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 09:13:19 -0400
Subject: Re:  Parent in Charge (eruv)

On Aug 19, 2004, at 6:04 AM, Leah S. Gordon <leah@...> 

>>> <<< ... except in cases of great need which would certainly include
>>> mothers with small children ... >>>
>>> and *fathers* with small children as well, of course.
>> Of course but it is usually mothers who are housebound with infants
>> while the fathers are in shul.
>> Martin Stern
> Akiva Miller, I presume, was noting that it is offensive to assume that
> the mother is the default parent who would have to be housebound in the
> case of a family with young children.  Family structure is not that
> monolithic, thank goodness.

Certainly the mother need not be at home the entire time anyway.  I
think the husband should be in shul and during that time if there's
nobody else to watch the small child the mother should be with her
child.  After shul certainly the wife should be able to get out a little
bit especially if its a long summer day and she'd like to visit friends.
Then, certainly, the husband should stay home with the baby while she
gets out.  Of course if you follow the eruv you would have more options.
We don't have an eiruv in my community so that's moot.  I personally,
don't mind staying home with baby.  Also Friday nights in the winter we
have women's shiurim at night after the meal and some of the times I
went to the shiur and my husband watched the baby.  That was a nice
compromise, IMHO.

Btw, I also don't understand the mentality of someone who won't use the
eiruv but will let their wife use the eiruv.  Personally, I would want
my spouse to be on the same "wavelength" as myself. Certainly if they
had children it would be extremely confusing for them.

Shoshana Ziskind

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 11:30:18 +0100
Subject: Re: Parent in Charge (eruv)

on 19/8/04 11:04 am, Leah S. Gordon <leah@...> wrote:

> Akiva Miller, I presume, was noting that it is offensive to assume that
> the mother is the default parent who would have to be housebound in the
> case of a family with young children.  Family structure is not that
> monolithic, thank goodness.

Women have no obligation to attend communal prayers whereas men do. At
other times it may be possible to apply the concept of gender-equality
but it is incorrect to do so in regard to shul attendance. Therefore
women will tend to be default parent who would have to be housebound for
a couple of hours, which is all I meant in previous postings.

Martin Stern


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 08:19:16 EDT
Subject: Prayer a Waste of Time?

      How does that jive with the issue, that the original posting
      claimed that many/ most of the Gra"s contemporaries were learned
      but considered prayer a waste of time?

I haven't followed the thread, but it seems fairly clear that our
priorities are declared to the world by how we spend our most valuable
and perishable commodity; our time. Certainly the Gra and his talmidim
prayed, but more than likely in their calculation of how much time to
spend praying took into account the much higher priority (to them) of

IIRC there is a story brought down in Nefesh Harav that R' Chaim was
asked by his talmidim why he prayed so quickly, doesn't the gemara tell
us to pray at the speed we count our money(assumedly carefully,slowly
and methodically they thought) He answered that he counts his money
quickly too (IE lower priority use of time)

BTW for those who say the Gra davened quickly so it's ok for them as
well- how do you spend the "time saved"?

Joel Rich


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 11:36:05 +0100
Subject: Re: Prayer vs. Learning

on 19/8/04 11:04 am, David Riceman <driceman@...> wrote:

>> From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
>> This is probably a polemic position against Chassidism with its greater
>> emphasis on prayer as opposed to learning and must be taken with a pinch
>> of salt.
> A previous poster previously complained that accusing contemporaries of
> the Gra of preferring study to prayer is "nervy".  Don't you think that
> accusing R.  Haim Volozhin of lying (even if you call it "a polemic
> position") is also "nervy"?

In no way would I accuse R.  Haim Volozhin of lying, all I meant was
that he used slightly strong language because of the current
situation. There is ample precedent for this, for example the decision
by Chazal to use specifically a tevul yom for the parah adumah to
counter the Sadduceean position.

Martin Stern


From: <ROSELANDOW@...> (Rose Landowne)
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 09:07:45 EDT
Subject: Re: Rinat Yisrael sidur

      In order not give misinformation on this issue, although I trust
      Rabbi Tal's siddur spelling Rashei, I directed the question to
      Prof. Asher

I'm behind on my mail, and know this was from a while ago, but I just
wanted to point out that in the late 1960's, while teaching in Machon
Gold, Shlomo Tal (and he was also the head of the school at the time)
the editor of the Rinat Yisrael sidur, was known as "Mar Tal", not

Rose Landowne


End of Volume 44 Issue 34