Volume 44 Number 35
                    Produced: Sun Aug 22  6:26:47 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brit - kvatter/in
         [Aliza Berger]
Chillul hashem?
         [Tony Fiorino]
Fake Marriages
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Learning Out Loud
         [Stan Tenen]
Melody for Rosh Hashana Mincha
         [Mark Symons]
"Politically incorrect" lanugage
         [Michael J. Savitz]
Sleeve Length
         [Chana Luntz]
"Yir'at Shamayim"
         [Akiva Miller]


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 17:47:02 +0200
Subject: Brit - kvatter/in

Kvatter/in is a Yiddish word. Is there an equivalent word in Hebrew, or
do only Ashkenazim have this custom?

Sincerely, Aliza
Aliza Berger, PhD - Director
English Editing: editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: statistics-help.com


From: Tony Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 13:00:23 -0400
Subject: Chillul hashem?

> From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steven White)
> <snip>
> On the whole I agree with Leah.  Yet I believe the guiding principle
> here must be promoting Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of the name),
> and reducing Chillul Hashem (desecration of the name).  Because of
> that, I can understand the position of someone like Martin Stern, who
> simply registers his view that society's acceptance of the
> SO/partner/unmarried-partner-of-either-sex relationship is itself a
> Chillul Hashem.  That view is appropriate halachically, but there are
> ways to deal with this that don't magnify the Chilul Hashem.

I do not understand how "society's acceptance of the
SO/partner/unmarried-partner-of-either-sex relationship is itself a
Chillul Hashem."  A chillul hashem is when a Jew acts in a way that
desecrates G-d's name.  There may even be a requirement that the act
occurs in the presence of Jews.  This is a halachic category after all,
not a merely descriptive term for behavior that someone doesn't like.

In general I find the expressions kiddush hashem and chillul hashem are
tossed about in a quite imprecise manner.  I seem to recall this issue
being discussed with regard to chillul hashem in the distant past on the
forum, but a search of the archives failed to turn up any substantive
discussion on the topic.  I did find a posting from 1995 from Mordechai
Torczyner with regard to kiddush hashem, where he quotes yevamot 79a:

> . . . I don't think the Gemara in Yevamos 79a has been cited yet
> in response. In discussing the death of 7 members of Shaul HaMelech's
> family for Shaul's deeds, the Gemara asks from the pasuk "Children shall
> not be killed for their fathers" and responds that "Better that 1 letter
> from the Torah should be uprooted, rather than have Hashem's Name
> experience Chillul in public." A similar expression, but in the positive
> (Kiddush Hashem) format, is brought regarding the fact that the 7
> corpses were left hanging all night, violating the prohibition against
> leaving the body of an executed individual "hanging".
>	The Gemara then defines Kiddush Hashem as an action which will
> cause people to say: "Ayn Lecha Umma SheRi'uyah Leedabek Bah KeZu"-"You
> have no nation which is fit to be joined, as this one is." It would
> seem, then that Chillul Hashem is an action which causes people to
> declare that Benei Yisra'el are not fit to be joined.

Not sure the logical inference re: chillul hashem at the end of that
posting is the final word on the subject.  If someone has the critical
sources for this topic (the halachic parameters that define chillul
hashem) stored away somewhere I'd love to see them.



From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 08:09:41 -0700
Subject: Re: Fake Marriages

Anonymous writes:
>daughter is getting married in Jan. '05 and would like to be declared
>independent before that so that she could get more tuition assistance
>which she will not get based upon my income. She wants to get a civil

It seems to me that this is a form of fraud.  From whom is the tuition
assistance?  Do you approve of the match?  If so, why not have the
'real' marriage all at the same time in the fall?  If you do not approve
of the match, can you prevent it and pay for the tuition from your
family's funds, as the school seems to expect?

>marriage at city hall in Sept. 2004 and then get under her future
>husbands health plan and show in other ways that she is financially
>independent. She would keep it a secret and not act as husband and wife

A secret from whom?  Do her friends know?  Do her grandparents know?  It
seems like a really hard thing to keep a secret.  My sister got a civil
license a few *days* before the religious one, but it was a
well-established thing to do so as not to worry about paperwork
afterward or whatever, and she and her chatan were not together during
that time.

>until the official wedding date when she will be religiously married
>under the Chupa. I do not think there is any halachik issur to doing
>this as the marriage license is not a halachikly recognized shtar and
>there will be no ring exchanged. However, I also have legal issues with

Well, but isn't there the whole idea that we don't do formal religious
'betrothals' well before weddings nowadays because of exactly the
temptation to 'act married'?

>this arrangement. Suppose 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. Also, If God forbid, My

I don't think a civil divorce should bother you if a civil marriage
doesn't.  :) If the bride's parent is thinking about a breakup during
marriage plans, I think a prenup is a fantastic idea.

>wife and I and my daughter die like in a car crash (could happen the way
>I drive) he would share in my inheritance with my other children. I

You should have a will, independent of any of these other issues.  You
can certainly list your heirs explicitly, omitting or including anyone
your choose.

>realize this could happen after they are halachikly married but until
>then I do not recognize him as my child. Also I am afraid that these two

You could amend your will after the halakhic marriage, and/or put a
provision in the will about in-laws 'under halakhic marriage to be
determined by Rabbi so-and-so in case of conflict' or something like

>young twentysomethings, who have been "shomer" till now or so i am told,
>will jump the gun because they are unofficially married. The whole thing
>seems wrong to me as something that should not be done by a orthodox

Well, I wouldn't assume that dating 20-somethings would or wouldn't be
sexually active, and I wouldn't assume that the parents of these people
would know either way, but if their sexual activity concerns you, it
seems to me you could have a conversation with them.  If the thought of
such a conversation is unpleasant, then you could just step back and
assume that they are old enough to live by the values you have taught
them.  If you're looking into actual halakhic prohibitions, my
understanding is that two unmarrieds who are with only one another might
not be living in as much official 'sin' as other cases.

I sense some ambivalence about the marriage as a whole.  Does your
daughter realize that there are ways aside from marriage of
'establishing independence'?

--Leah S. R. Gordon


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 11:04:57 -0400
Subject: Re: Learning Out Loud

The reason why it's necessary to speak out loud is based on our
neuropsychology. It has been demonstrated that when a person puts a
genuine smile on their face, they feel happy. Why is this so? The reason
is that the same neurotransmitters that enable us to produce a genuine
smile are those that produce a feeling of happiness. Usually, the
process works the other way, when a happy feeling leads to a smile. But
the smile can also come first.

The teaching, na'aseh v'nishma, speaks to this. <smile>

It's not possible to deeply understand at the brain-organization level
without doing. When it comes to words, these can't be just words in
one's head. They have to be spoken. Speaking the words leads our
neurochemistry in the same way as putting a smile on our face does. And,
it's this change in neurochemistry -- at the deepest level of brain
organization -- that carries the "science of consciousness" that changes
the way we live and view the world.

When we don't "do" (speak) the words, the deep learning effect is

There is a considerable body of modern scholarship that touches on this.
It's now known that all of cognition is based on body
movement. (Corballis, et al.) It is also known that all of mathematics
is based on body movement.  (Lakoff, et al.)

It's not clear how "loudly" a person must speak. After all, the majority
of people actually micro-move their vocal chords even when they're not
voicing their words. It's an automatic response. Merely reading without
any physical movement doesn't do the job. We already know
this. (Everyone I've spoken with is aware of the fact that when Berg's
"Kabbalah Centre" sells massively expensive editions of the Zohar and
tells people to merely "scan the text without reading it", that this is

So, na'aseh v'nishma is real, and psychologically valid, and thus
necessary. I'm sure our sages understood this.



From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 23:20:04 -0700
Subject: Melody for Rosh Hashana Mincha

Re the Ashkenaz Nusach (as in melody) for Rosh Hashana Mincha: what I am
familiar with is to do the Shabbat Mincha melody for ashrei, uva
l'tsion, chazi kaddish, avot, g'vurot, kedusha till yimloch, and to move
in to the Yamim Noraim melody only from either yimloch or L'dor vador.

Could M'viney Nusach please comment on this?

And also re Shabbat Mincha itself - I have heard 2 versions for avot,
g'vurot and kedusha - 1 is to do these in the standard weekday nusach
(and to use the shabbat mincha nusach before and after), the other is to
also do these in the Shabbat mincha nusach. Which is more "authentic"?

Mark Symons
Melbourne, Australia


From: Michael J. Savitz <michael.savitz@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 11:33:48 -0400
Subject: "Politically incorrect" lanugage

Ken Bloom <kabloom@...> wrote:
<<On a partially related note, if anyone thinks that we need to avoid
using "politically incorrect" language so as not to offend someone, you
obviously haven't been paying attention to what "Palestinian
freedom-fighers", and "Palestinian militants" have been doing in the
field of PR with their language. Just like we hope to convey to the
world that the Palestinian-arab terrorists are trying to destroy Israel,
we also want to convey Torah to the world. And that needs to start by
calling a spade a spade.>>

On the issue of language and the Arab war against Israel, I would like
to commend an excellent article by Prof. Lewis Glinert of Dartmouth,
entitled "The Language War," which appeared in the Jerusalem Post
earlier this year and may be read here:



From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 17:49:47 +0100
Subject: Re: Sleeve Length

Ari Trachtenberg writes:
> From: Chana Luntz <chana@...>
>>>But then there is the issue of erva and the saying of the 
>>>Shma.  If a person cannot say the Shma in front of a 
>>>person showing a tefach ...

>I have been loosely following this "sleeve length" discussion and was
>mostly surprised the the conversation seems to be implicitly directed
>towards women and girls alone.  Many of us men publicly expose our
>upper arm every morning when we put on teffilin at the start of prayer.
>Is there a halachic basis (I am aware of the social one) for the
>difference in notions of erva [loosely "nakeness"].

There is indeed a different halachic basis for the difference in notions
of erva.  The same term is used, but different parts of the body are
caught by the definition of erva for a woman than for a man - this is
crystal clear from the sources.  So that, for example the definition of
what is erva for a woman is discussed in Shulchan Aruch Orech Chaim 75,
what is erva for a man is in the main discussed in the previous siman
(74).  Similarly the portion of Brochas 24a that has been the subject of
the sleeve length discussion phrases itself "X b'sha erva" [such and
such in a woman is ervah].  As I brought in one of my postings, some of
the rishonim explain the reason for needing a specific statement "shok
b'sha erva" [the thigh of a woman is erva] as being because for a man
that area is not erva, so a specific statement was needed to show that
for a woman it is, but that is not to imply that those who held for a
different reason (ie that less than a tefach of a woman's shok is erva)
disagreed with the basic halacha of fundamental difference.



From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 16:20:27 GMT
Subject: re: "Yir'at Shamayim"

Shmuel Himelstein quoted someone else <<< He said that the problem of
our generation is that everyone is afraid of what the other person will
say. They even have a name for this phenomenon: they call it "Yir'at
Shamayim" >>>

I disagree.

Yir'as Shamayim is not fear of what he (with a lower-case h) will
say. It is fear of what He (with an upper-case H) will say.

Akiva Miller


End of Volume 44 Issue 35