Volume 44 Number 43
                    Produced: Thu Aug 26  5:15:14 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ebay & Shabbos
         [Jonathan Baker]
Frummer,  Chumras, Parasites
         [Harlan Braude]
Husband's Minhag
         [Jay Bailey]
Melody for Rosh Hashana Mincha
         [Art Werschulz]
Prayer "vs." Learning
         [Nathan G. Lamm]
Taking the "stricter view"
         [Carl Singer]
Transliteration Correction
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Un-Halcahic (fake) marriages
         [Israel Caspi]
Yirat Shamayim
         [Nathan G. Lamm]


From: Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 08:03:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Ebay & Shabbos

Carl Singer:

> Well -- what happens if there's a 5-day auction starting on Thursday --
> the auction will not end until Tuesday, but depending on what and when
> others bid, my bid may ratchet up on Shabbos.

There is no issur, AFAIK, on participating in an auction on Shabbat or
Yom Tov.  Even shuls that don't have "shnuddering" (sale of aliyot) most
of the year, may auction off big honors, such as opening the ark at
Neilah, or distributing Atah Hareita verses.

Where my parents summer in The Mountains, the local big Saturnight
attraction is the auction house.  The wife of R' Gornish (a major local
rav) was there every Saturday evening after they bought their house,
buying furniture.  As long as *you* aren't writing anything, apparently
it's fine.

So having a machine participate for you, would seem even less of a

   - jon baker    <jjbaker@...>     <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker> -


From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 08:23:49 -0400
Subject: RE: Frummer,  Chumras, Parasites

> If I choose to hold by something (which you may wish to call 
> a chumrah) am I in any way better or frummer -- (adjective 
> deleted!) NO!
> With all due respect to the lengthy treatises on this topic 
> -- fundamentally the "more is better" phenomenon whether it 
> is driven by Yirai Shemayim, by a limited understanding of 
> halacha, by social pressures or by personality traits is divisive.

So, from this point of view, one might reasonably conclude that while
adhering to a 'chumrah' doesn't make one better than one who doesn't,
avoiding 'chumrahs' makes one better, since by so doing one avoids being

I think that is a one-sided reasoning (and somewhat circular, to boot!).

We need to consider our own feelings of inadequacy (justified or not)
often expressed in knee-jerk, negative reactions to the behavior of
others, or we, too, risk being divisive. That includes dismissing those
who take upon themselves 'chumrahs'.

Once one concludes that chumrahs are bad no matter what the motivation,
one has merely moved from one side of the 'divisive' scale to the other.


From: Jay Bailey <JayB@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 12:20:58 +0300
Subject: Husband's Minhag

S. Wise solves the eruv-or-not dilemma like this:

>"In my opinion, out of respect for her husband, she should abide by his
>custom when it comes to anything halachic.  To do otherwise is to
>minimize the role of the husband/father when it comes to determining
>the derech of the home, which traditional is the male figures.  What
>does it show the children, if the mother departs from the father's
>custom--and then where does the freedom of choice end?"

I'll let the more feministly-adept among us take him to task for the
Fiddler-on-the-Roof mindset, but I just wanted to point out a few purely
logical flaws in an approach like this:

1) In some families, this specific decision would allow the husband to
go to shul, a shiur, etc., and thus spend much of his time out. Having
his wife cooped up without being able to take children out the door
seems a little unfair when the argument is "where does freedom of choice
end"?  Sounds eerily Muslim. All the more so when this lack of access to
the outside world is the same as the rest of the week.

2) This general approach doesn't work when the wife happens to have
studied (in a seminary, in school, on her own) and the husband has equal
or less education and understanding of things like halacha and minhag.
It seems sort of odd to allow him nonetheless to dictate the "derech"
unilaterally. Hey - even Tevye got his wife's okay about marrying off
the girls.

Dictatorial relationships work nicely when one party has no aspirations
for...anything. I'd hope this isn't the goal of any marriage. And it
need not be, as Mr. Wise proves with his own (contradictory to his
position?) anecdote about cholov yisrael.

Jay Bailey


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2004 22:11:06 -0400
Subject: Melody for Rosh Hashana Mincha

Hi. Mark Symons <msymons@...> writes:

> 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"?

Here's how I have been taught for mincha on Shbbat, Rosh Hashanah, and
Shalosh Regalim.  YMMV, as they say.

(1) For Ashrei through the Chatzi Qaddish following Uva LeTziyon: If
    it's Shabbat, use the "Shabbat Mincha Melody"; if not, use the
    weekday melody.

(2) If it's Shabbat, use the weekday melody for the Torah Service, from
    Vay'hi Binsoa through the Chatzi Qaddish.

(3) For the Reader's Reptition of the Amidah: Use the weekday melody for
    Avot, Gevurot, and the Qedusha.  Switch over to the special tune for
    the day (be it the Shabbat Mincha tune, the Yamim Noraim tune, or
    the Shalosh Regalim tune) at Ledor Vador.

(4) Tzidqadeta, Qaddish Shaleim, and Aleinu are sung using the weekday

BTW, some of our mitpallelim sing Yimloch to the special tune of the
day, rather than the weekday tune.  I usually don't have too much of a
problem with this on Shabbat, because for some reason, I don't find it
all that hard to keep the jump of one fifth (that occurs in the Shabbat
mincha tune) in my head and ear while singing Yimoloch to the weekday
tune; maybe it's because I've had a lot of practice.  OTOH, when it
comes to Rosh Hashanah or the Regalim, I find the transition pretty
difficult; after hearing the kehilla singing the special tune for
Yimloch, I find it difficult to sing the weekday tune for Yimloch and
then switch back to the special tune for Ledor Vador.  Under these
circumstances, I have tended to make the transition at Yimloch.

Art Werschulz
(GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y?  Internet:
<agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet: Columbia U. (212) 939-7060, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: Nathan G. Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2004 20:18:04 -0400
Subject: Re: Prayer "vs." Learning

Joel Rich writes:
>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)"

As the story tells it, at least, I think the point is being missed: The
Gemara means that if one counts one's money carefully, one should give
equal attention to prayer. Clearly, the lesson for R' Chaim should be:
Pray as carefully as you learn.

Nachum Lamm

[If the quoted material is correct, do you feel so sure of your
interpretation to tell R. Chaim he is wrong? Avi]


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 07:34:57 -0400
Subject: Taking the "stricter view"

> I am most grateful to them for their clarification that there exists
> more than one Rishon who holds with the 600 000 criterion. However it
> does not weaken the fact that this is a point of dispute in halachah, on
> which, as he points out, there is good reason to take the stricter
> view. This is especially true in view of the fact that the 16 amot
> criterion fits in better with 'common-sense' sense, otherwise, there
> would not have been any reshuyot harabbim until very recently. Thus Meir
> Shinnar's claim that being strict amounts to mechaze keyohara -
> appearing arrogant is unfounded. On the other hand one should not imply
> that taking the more lenient opinion is a sign of being less frum; one
> cannot assess other people's needs which are crucial to this
> problem. Contrary to his assertion, it is not a case of a psak that
> eruvin are or are not permissible in general. As Eliezer concludes:
> "That it is commendable and that a y'rei shamayim should refrain from
> using an eiruv where possible is stated in that same Biur Halacha, and I
> doubt that anyone can accuse the Chafetz Chaim of any action or
> statement that would "serve to divide k'lal Yisrael.""

There are limits and boundaries.  Taking the stricter view can only be
meaningful only with an accepted scope of halacha for with halachic

Let's say we had a group of people who chose not to use fire on Shabbos
and thus spent Shabbos without light (and without chulent.)  Would we
call these people more machmir or more meritorious -- or consider them
outside the pale.

Or let's say that some people choose not to meat because they no longer
hold that we know how to do kosher schita -- would they be consider more
machmir or simply vegetarians.

Many hold by Rabbeinu Tam tefillin -- but let's say we have some who
hold by 3 different sets ....

Certainly my examples above may be taking an argument to a ridiculous
extreme (or at least would be seen as such by many) -- but where are the

The above posting mentions "the 16 amot criterion" -- do you want to
hazard a guess as to what that amounts to.  Consider that there are no
less than 5 common opinions (likely more -- but these are the primary
ones I learned in studying eruv) re: what this measurement is.

Let's look at 10 amot -- the usually accepted maximum distance that can
be spanned in an eruv.

One Rabbi (whose name I don't recall at the moment) says it's 48cm thus
10 amot is 15 feet 9 inches

The Chozen Ish says 57.6 cm (in one source) and 58 cm (in a second
source) thus 10 amot is 18 feet 11 inches or 19 feet.

Reb Moishe Feinstein says that (in one source) that 15 inches is 4
tefachs thus 57.15 cm and 10 amot is 18 feet 9 inches In another source
he says that 11 inches is 3 tefachs thus 55.88 cm and 10 amots is 18
feet 4 inches.

It would be absurd to make any comparison re: the piety of the Chozen
Ish or Reb Moishe -- or any of our gedolim for that matter -- but we
somehow have this linear thinking of more is better.  So in this case,
where "less is more", or "less is better."  If I hold 47 cm I'm the
strictest of all!  And I have no halachic basis for what I'm holding.

How do we compare these numbers?  Unfortunately, the answer is "with
malice" -- Strong letters come out for and against an eruv based on such
measurements.  There's a booklet floating around Passaic that says the
Passaic eruv is faulty.  Reading the booklet carefully, we see that the
author (who is not from Passaic) based his ruling on a stylized map
published in a telephone book (by which basis he paskens that certain
streets are straight) and that he NEVER VISITED Passaic.

And NO ONE is accusing the Chafetz Chaim of any ACTION that would "serve
to divide k'lal Yisroel" -- that's an absurd debating point.

The fact remains that k'lal Yisroel is more divided by various chumrahs
and rulings than it is united by same.

Carl A. Singer


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 13:17:02 +0300
Subject: Re: Transliteration Correction

      "chevrato l'chayim" = his life's partner and the lady's name.

I think hevrato is his company, while haverto is his lady-friend.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Israel Caspi <icaspi@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 05:45:14 -0500
Subject: Un-Halcahic (fake) marriages

From: Anonymous2
> ...Let me suggest that if your daughter does this, that she have it done
> by a rabbi, who is perfectly able to be the legal "officiant" at a civil
> ceremony.

Actually, to the best of my knowledge -- in the U.S. at least -- a
clergyman of any religion is technically **not** "able to be the legal
'officiant' at a civil ceremony."  The civil authorities are prepared to
recognize as valid a wedding ceremony conducted by a clergyman in
accordance with the clergyman's religion.  If they receive a marriage
certificate signed by a clergyman they will assume that that is the case
and not require an additional ceremony performed by a judge (or the
like).  On a practical level, since the clergyman's signature on the
marriage certificate will not be challenged, you can get away with this
kind of "false marriage."  Under that circumstance, isn't asking a rabbi
to officiate at an un-halachic "marriage" tantamount to asking him to go
beyond his authority and to misrepresent what, in fact, has happened?

Israel Caspi


From: Nathan G. Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2004 20:38:01 -0400
Subject: Re: Yirat Shamayim

Akiva Miller writes:
> 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.

I believe Mr. Miller is missing the irony of the original comment- of
course that's what Yirat Shamayim *really* means, but in practice often
it is not.

Elozor Teitz writes:

> That it is commendable and that a y'rei shamayim should refrain from
> using an eiruv where possible is stated in that same Biur Halacha, and
> I doubt that anyone can accuse the Chafetz Chaim of any action or
> statement that would "serve to divide k'lal Yisrael."

Of course, no one would deny the Chofetz Chaim made his decisions based
on Yirat Shamayim, but can we say the same of all making the claim

Nachum Lamm


End of Volume 44 Issue 43