Volume 45 Number 12
                    Produced: Sun Oct 10 11:08:59 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Coconuts on the Table
         [Martin Stern]
Kiddish customs
         [Sam Saal]
Kiddush Customs (3)
         [Bill Bernstein, Binyomin Segal, Bernard Raab]
Seating at Weddings (5)
         [Michael Feldstein, Eli Turkel, Avi Feldblum, Yehonatan
Chipman, Gil Student]
Short Shmoneh Esraih Practices
         [Joel Rich]
Wedding customs
         [Mike Gerver]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 03 Oct 2004 09:50:43 +0100
Subject: Re: Coconuts on the Table

on 3/10/04 3:47 am, Carl Singer <casinger@...> wrote:

>> Does this still apply? Surely it is sufficiently well-known that parve
>> substitutes for cream/creamer/milk exist, and therefore the concern for
>> mar'it ayin no longer applies
> Even though parve substitutes today are common, it may still behoove us
> to use a distinguishable container
> Remember that the gemora that sources this uses coconuts as the example
> -- they've been around for a long time -- granted not that common in
> many cultures.

If I am not much mistaken the reference is to almonds not coconuts. In
those times nut milk was very unusual which was the motive for the
gezerah.  Nowadays when pareve coffee whitener is widespread it may no
longer apply, though some types are not kosher which might make it
advisable to put the packet on the table to reassure people.

Martin Stern


From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2004 08:21:20 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Kiddish customs

Another data point?

I follow my father's custom to offer guests the opportunity to make
their own kiddush and defer to my host when I am asked if I want to make
my own kiddush I emphatically defer. My father even defers to me in my
home, something that, at first, startled me.

Sam Saal


From: Bill Bernstein <billbernstein@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2004 08:29:11 -0500
Subject: Re: Kiddush Customs

<< As far as I am aware nobody holds that there is an obligation for
each person to make his own kiddush and davka not be yotsi with the baal
habayit. >>

My impression (and this without sources) is that the obligation stems
from the statement "mitzva bo yoser mishlucho" (the mitzva is greater if
done directly than by an agent).  Further, among chassidim that I have
eaten with this was the general custom, each one making his own kiddush.
I do not believe I have misunderstood Martin.  I infer from his comments
that he really thinks it is "ossur" to do one or the other, despite the
fact that he has not provided any sources that "ossur" doing it one way
or the other.  "B'rov am hadras melekh" is simply an eitza tova, not an
integral part of the performance of the mitzva.

From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2004 01:32:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Kiddush Customs

Martin Stern asked: 
> As far as I am aware nobody holds that
> there is an obligation for each person to make his own kiddush and davka
> not be yotsi with the baal habayit. If this is incorrect perhaps someone
> can quote a source for this opinion.

Obligation not, but a "lchatchila" yes.

The Likutei Mahrich (vol 2, page 351, seder kiddush) discusses the
question and suggests that the reason for each man to make kiddush is
based on "mitzvah bo yoser mbishlucho" (a mitzvah is better done by
oneself rather than through an agent). To support this he quotes the
Eliyahu Rabba (Aleph Resh, in OH 243). He briefly discusses the
alternative possiblity of "rov am" (a multitude...) and suggests that
"rov am" only applies to situations where there is no actual mitzvah
being performed in the utterance. 


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 04 Oct 2004 10:57:26 -0400
Subject: Re: Kiddush Customs

I understand the general principle that one allows the baal habayis to be
motzi all his guests with kiddush, if he volunteers to do so. But there
are a couple of occasions when this seems inappropriate:

 1. When entering the succah for the first time on the first night of
    Succot, everyone feels impelled to make kiddush for himself so that
    he can make the bracha of "leshev ba'succah" which he has been
    waiting all year to fulfil.

 2. At the Pesach seder. At this occasion, in the interest of saving
    time, it has become our custom that all say the kiddush together.

Is this wrong?--Bernie R.


From: <MIKE38CT@...> (Michael Feldstein)
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 18:08:29 EDT
Subject: Seating at Weddings

I met my wife at a mixed seating wedding.

And no less a gadol than R. Aharon Lichtenstein met his wife at a mixed
seating wedding, too.

Too bad about the current situation...I believe the so called "shidduch
crisis" could be greatly alleviated if more couples allowed for mixed
seating weddings.

Michael Feldstein
Stamford, CT

From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2004 21:01:20 +0200
Subject: Seating at Weddings

R. Zachs Zt"l (son-in-law of CC) told boys in YU that at his wedding
they were seated by families arranged so that each man had a man on one
side and his wife on the other side so that no man sat between 2 women
(excluding wives and sisters).

R. Moshe Tendler's (RMF son-in-law) had mixed seating at the wedding.  I
understand that at the wedding of RMF's sons there was separate seating.

Moadim Lesomchah,
Eli Turkel

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2004 10:53:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Seating at Weddings

I'll add the information from my parents wedding, as well as my aunt and
uncle. My maternal grandfather, Rabbi Ephraim Eliezer Yolles, was the
Samborrer Rebbe, so clearly from a tradition standpoint, stemming from
the classical Chassidic traditions.  At the same time, he was the Rabbi
of a shul in Philadelphia, PA and had been in America as a Rav for many
years. These weddings took place during the 1950's in Philadelphia. I
have my parents wedding album, and a clipping of an article from the
Philadelphia Enquirer about my aunts wedding (she is my mothers twin
sister and married about 2-3 years after my mother).

For my parents wedding, my grandparents walked down the aisle with my
mother. My father came to America after the war and had lost all his
relatives in the war. He was "walked" down the aisle with all the
bochrim (boys) from his shuir (talmud class). I thought that was very
interesting.  One point about that, was that there was likely not as
much insistance on things being changed due to "the other side's
minhag", although my father may have insisted on some items.

As far as the table pictures I have in the album, they are all mixed
seating. There are only several such pictures, so it is very possible
that the rabbonim there may have been seated differently, I have no
direct way to determine. I would have to say that it was either all
mixed, or at a minimum most likely largely mixed.

My uncle came from a Chassidic family in Antwerp. The focus of the
newspaper article was that this wedding was going to be different than
anything that Philadelphia had seen before, with the men and women
seated totally seperately. The newspaper claimed this was the first time
that had been done in Philadephia. While newspaper claims are often just
that, it is valid, I think, to assume that such events must have been
very uncommen. This also supports what I saw in my parents album, in
that if there had been a significant portion of seperate seating just a
few years earlier at my parents wedding, it would not have been such a
big deal. It was also identified as being a request of the groom's
family.  In walking down to the chupa, the groom was walked down by the
two fathers and the bride by the two mothers.

Avi Feldblum 

From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Fri, 01 Oct 2004 12:17:23 +0200
Subject: Re: Seating at Weddings

Bernard Raab wrote:

<<Do bride and groom walk to the chuppa with their respective parents OR
groom with (both) fathers and bride with (both) mothers.  I have never
seen or heard of this. Has anyone?>>

Avi mentioned that he has seen this.  Let me add that this is the
"official" custom in Jerusualem, if not throughout Eretz Yisrael -- but
recently more and more families that I've seen have taken umbrage and
"rebelled" against this, each set of parenst doing "Shushvinut" or

There are all kinds of questions that come up in either event, such as
the idea that in all events it has to be married couple doing this
honor.  What if one parent is dead, or if both are alive but divorced?
Many parents understandably feel affronted by not leading their own
children down the aisle. When I married for the first time, to a young
woman who was orphaned from her father, her mother and her uncle
accompanied her.  When we, after our divorce, married off our own son,
we both led him to the hupaph, since we could hardly ask him to choose
between his father and his mother.

Sometimes having man-man woman-woman can be useful, as at weddings where
there are no close relatives (e.g., at times among ba'alei teshuiavh who
becoem estranged from their parents, or weddings in middle age), where
close frinds may assume this role. The above minhag alleviates awkward
problems of negiah, etc. 

   Yehonatan Chipman

From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 14:35:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Seating at Weddings

>In addition, I heard a wonderful story about the CC from Harav Gedaliah

The story is not relevant for this discussion. There is a big difference
between a private meal in one's home and a wedding.

Gil Student


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2004 11:57:33 EDT
Subject: Short Shmoneh Esraih Practices

> I do however seem to recall hearing that Rav Soloveitchik held that in
> a heicha kedusha minyan one should start saying shemoneh esreh at the
> same time as the chazzan.

This would be consistent with The Rav's position that the chazarat
hashatz is tfilat hatzibur - the prayer of the unified congregation - a
separate entity from tfila btzibur which is the private prayer of 10
individuals said at the same time.

Given the seeming popularity at work at at smachot of "short" shmoneh
esrai's (ie not repeating the whole prayer out loud) I'd point out 2
items to those in a position of responsibility 1. See O"C 124:2 for the
circumstance (shaat hadechak-with an example) before determining whether
your need qualifies(probably fairly rare) and 2. think about the tfilat
hatzibur aspect

Ptka Tava,
Joel Rich

[Note: As I understood it, the Tefilat HaTzibur aspect that the Rav held
was intrinsic to the repeatition of the Amida, was what led him to rule
that one should stand with ones feet together for the repeatiton of the
Amida, just as for the ones individual recitation of the Amida. The
requirement to start with the Shaliach Tzibur when doing a "heicha
Kedusha" I think came directly out of the Tshuvat haRambam (responsa of
the Rambam) that discussed his implementation of this as the regular way
of davening at a certain point, due to the excessive talking during the
repeatition. Avi]


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2004 17:13:38 EDT
Subject: Wedding customs

Regarding the minhag of the two fathers walking the chatan down aisle
and the two mothers walking the kallah, vs. each one being walked by his
or her own parents-- Around the time I got married, in 1974, I heard a
cute story about this from R. Chaim Citron, who was then a Chabad House
rabbi in Berkeley. The story is that there was a couple about to get
married, and each of their families had a different minhag in this
regard. They each wanted to follow their family minhag, and kept arguing
about it.  Finally they asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe what to do. He
replied that minhagim are very important, but there is one thing more
important than minhagim, and that is the Torah. And shalom bayit is
required by the Torah, so is more important than either of these two
minhagim. He did NOT tell them which minhag to follow at their wedding!

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


End of Volume 45 Issue 12