Volume 44 Number 52
                    Produced: Mon Aug 30  6:08:35 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Carl Singer]
Ebay & Shabbos (3)
         [Gershon Dubin, Joel Rich, Stephen Phillips]
E-bay on Shabbos
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
Hareidi Press
         [Nathan Lamm]
Stroller Clarification / Eruv
         [Chana Luntz]
Taking the "stricter view"
         [Stephen Phillips]
Un-Halcahic (fake) marriages
Unmarried Girls
         [Chaim Shapiro]


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 06:25:48 -0400
Subject: Chumrahs

    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 divisive.

    I think that is a one-sided reasoning (and somewhat circular, to

    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.

Obviously we're focusing on publicly visible chumrahs (carrying within
the eruv, etc.)

Certainly either extreme is divisive - extremism tends to be wrong.
Take, again, the (Torah) literalists who ended up without fire or light
on Shabbos.

The existence of (or emphasis upon) chumrahs can be divisive.  In
communities without leadership or direction one thinks of that great
theologian Dr. Seuss and feathered caps.  Then again, even extreme unity
is problematic, because any deviation from the norm becomes magnified.

The above are all "group" statements.  As individuals we need to decide
where we stand, and as noted in some postings those decisions should be
based on fear of G-d, not of man.

Carl A. Singer


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 13:24:08 GMT
Subject: Ebay & Shabbos

From: Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@...>
>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.

The heter for this is based on the money going for tzedaka.  I wouldn't
extend it to private moneymaking enterprises.

>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.

Was she there while it was still Shabbos?


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 05:32:25 EDT
Subject: Re: Ebay & Shabbos

> 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.

I'd caution against drawing any concusions from this tzedaka related
practice to other nonmitzvah practices. BTW this extrapolation is the
reason I oppose the practice.

Joel Rich

From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 13:35:45 +0100
Subject: Re: Ebay & Shabbos

> From: Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@...>
> 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.

This just doesn't ring true and there must be more involved that what
you have told us.

For all sorts of reasons (including "Daber Dovor" [not speaking about
weekday activities on Shabbos] and the prohibition of "Uvda D'Chol
[weekday activity]) I cannot see how it is permitted to attand an
auction on Shabbos and bid for items. I have seen Responsa of Rav Ovadya
Yosef about the auctioning of Mitzvos in Shul on Shabbos. I don't think
he gives it a blanket Heter, but allows it where the custom is to hold
such auctions.

You say the auction took place every Saturday evening. Are you sure that
it wasn't after Shabbos?

Stephen Phillips


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 09:20:05 -0400
Subject: E-bay on Shabbos

The sales of honors in the synagogue on Shabbat is no proof to
permitting this, as the Shulchan Aruch specifically allows it for "dvar
mitzva" .

Rabbi Moshe David Steinwurzel z"l, Rabbi of a Flatbush shul , rosh
yeshiva of Bobov and a reknowned Talmid Chacham, allowed me to leave a
bid Friday for seforim at a Sothebys Judaica auction that took place on


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 07:54:56 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Hareidi Press

Yisrael Medad notes the practice of referring to female reporters only
by an initial.

Is this well-known? And do male reporters get first names? If so, isn't
it rather pointless as a disguise, or is some other point being made?

I hope it's not editorializing too much to say that I find this practice
abhorent. It would be very wrong, but at least consistent, if they
didn't hire women.  But to do so, and then do this is wrong on so many

Nachum Lamm


From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 12:13:51 +0100
Subject: Re: Stroller Clarification / Eruv

From: Leah S. Gordon writes:
>I'm not in any way advocating for separation from babies or cessation
>of breastfeeding!!  Just for shared/fair parenting.

But, as I said in another post, that is a different matter.  It is quite
possible for a couple to have negotiated arrangements that involve
shared/fair parenting with a husband not using the eruv and the wife
doing so (which is what is being officially criticised in this thread)
and it is quite possible for a couple to have a marriage in which the
wife does all of the parenting, despite the husband using the eruv.

>But this actually focuses on the issue to me--the problem is really
>with toddlers/preschoolers.  They are the ones who need more
>distracting during davening, or more stroller- using in many cases, or
>less specific-mommy-time but more daddy-time.

>Would you feel better if the discussion were limited to kids between 1
>and 4 years old?  Because that's the age group I was thinking of.
>While it is true that toddlers sometimes need to nurse, it's not
>usually as desperate as a hungry baby.

It is also true though that most toddlers can walk - even if they cannot
walk as far as shul.  Remember the case under discussion was where the
wife and husband and stroller were going out for a walk, presumably on a
shabbas afternoon, with only the wife pushing the stroller, and the
husband walking along with a belt key showing he didn't keep the eruv.
If in fact they were going to shul that still doesn't matter, because
once they get to shul, there is no eruv issue that affects the husband
any more than the wife.

So - there are lots of arrangements that can be made that fit into your
shared/fair parenting arrangements which make the husband's use of the
eruv irrelevant.  The husband can go to a hashkama minyan and then
either come home and look after the kids, or if the wife brings the kids
to shul, be in with them in the children's service after hashkama while
the wife goes to shul.  The husband can in the afternoon take out those
kids who can walk (even if not far) to the local park, friends or
wherever (or be downstairs while the wife is upstairs).  The husband and
wife can walk together to the park with the wife pushing and then the
husband takes over and runs around with them and tires them out while
the wife talks to her friends on the park bench.  The husband can look
after the kids extensively on weekdays with shabbas being the wife's
day. etc etc.

I think the point is that if a husband and wife are committed to having
a lot of daddy time, or as much as possible, then they will find
arrangements to accommodate that and all the other things they have to
do, and if they don't they won't.

I remember a telling incident when we went over to friends of ours when
our eldest was small, and my husband got up to change the babies nappy
(which he did a lot of when they were small, because it was the only
thing left he could do, besides bathing which he also did, because I
had, as he put it, cornered all the feeding).  And the husband of the
friends looked a bit discomforted and almost embarressed, and it was
clear he had never changed a nappy in his life.  And his wife shot him a
look and then said explicitly, "I don't mind, it is part of the deal
remember".  And the point is that this wife is somebody who has never
enjoyed working, and went part time even before she had kids, and always
wanted to be just a wife and mother.  And the arrangement she had
clearly made with her husband, quite explicitly, was that she would
handle all that side and he would handle all the money making and that
side, and that was their deal.

And I don't think we should be interfering in other people's deals, so
long as they are happy with them (as this woman clearly was and
presumably him too, except when one of his friends showed him up).  The
greater problem is if and when people are not happy with their deals, or
have not negotiated them in ways that make sense for the couple
concerned.  While many people might have the husband goes to hashkama
deal, that is not going to work if the husband is one of these people
who struggles to get out of bed at the best of times.  But then there
are other ways of ensuring that time is made if, and that is the big if,
the couple feel that that is important and necessary, both for the
couple and for the children.



From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 13:41:04 +0100
Subject: Re: Taking the "stricter view"

> From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
> Many hold by Rabbeinu Tam tefillin -- but let's say we have some who
> hold by 3 different sets ....

Nobody "holds" by Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin, AFAIAA. There are those who
have a Minhag to put them on at the end of the service after taking off
their Rashi Tefillin, but they do so without a B'rocho. Those who do put
on RT Tefillin would no doubt consider themselves Yotzi [have fulfilled]
the Mitzvah of Tefillin if they only put on Rashi Tefillin (for
instance, their RT Tefillin were not to hand).

Stephen Phillips


From: Anonymous2
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 07:49:30
Subject: Re: Un-Halcahic (fake) marriages

> 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?

In a word, no. The civil authorities don't care whether the marriage
ceremony was religious or not. They just want to make sure that it's
acceptable from a civil (legal) perspective. It doesn't matter whether
the ceremony is performed by a judge or a rabbi or anyone else who is
legally permitted to do so. In my children's case, all the rabbi had to
do was sign the civil marriage license under "officiant," the kallah's
(female) friends signed as witnesses, and they were married in the eyes
of the state. The procedure would have been exactly the same if they had
gone to a judge.


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 10:17:25 EDT
Subject: Unmarried Girls

As have posted here before, Davening at a Shteibel as a mid
twenty-something single person years ago, I will never forget the Gabbai
talking to someone saying, let's give the "kids" aliyos today.  As a
single, I was a "kid" while the 20 year old married boy next to me (5
years my junior) wasn't!

While it bothered me at the time I realized that I need not let other
people's perspective annoy me.  The Gabbai did not hold the key to who
is and who is not a kid.  Let him say and do what he wants.

What did annoy me more, is how so many of the men went up to each of us
"kids" and told us the Talis we borrowed looked good on us.  I wanted to
ask the if they honestly thought I didn't know getting married is a good
thing, and their brilliant comment finally awoke me to the realization
that I should start looking.  Not finding one's bashert is a more
serious and more painful issue and these men, as good intentioned as
they may have been, probably hurt a lot of feelings that way.

Chaim Shapiro


End of Volume 44 Issue 52