Volume 45 Number 18
                    Produced: Thu Oct 14  5:33:59 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Family Seating / Separate Seating
         [Carl Singer]
Kiddush (2)
         [Martin Stern, Bill Bernstein]
Kiddush Customs (3)
         [Akiva Miller, Russell Jay Hendel, Mark Steiner]
Musical Hallel
         [Nathan Lamm]
Noachide implications (was: Abortion)
         [Frank Silbermann]
T'filos Ha-Shachar (2)
         [Alan Friedenberg, Nathan Lamm]


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2004 12:09:58 -0400
Subject: Family Seating / Separate Seating

> 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).

The above is customary at virtually all mixed seating events that I've 
ever been to  -- be they school dinners or weddings

It's   Husband A - Wife A /  Wife B  - Husband B /  Husband C - Wife C / 
 Wife D - Husband D ( Husband A - the table is round)

              D        B             family name
              D        B

              H        W            gender (Husband / Wife)
              W        H

Thus if this is a table of  8,  everyone has their spouse on one side 
and someone of same gender on other side.

Again, reviewing the posting and off-line messages I've received (with
but one exception) it seems pretty clear (I reassert my previous
statement) that family seating was the common practice until recently.

Carl Singer


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 04 Oct 2004 15:23:39 +0100
Subject: Re: Kiddush

      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.

As I wrote previously:

I consulted my rav on this matter who, while he agreed with my analysis
of the underlying halachic controversy, disputed whether there is a
minhag B, which he described as being in reality a ta'ut (mistake), at
all. He held that it should not be encouraged and one should only allow
guests who feel strongly on the matter to do so for reasons of derekh
erets for the reasons in the previous paragraph.

We discussed the point that Bill makes of "mitzva bo yoter mishlucho"
but he dismissed it since being yotsi through someone else making
kiddush comes under the heading of "shomei'a ke'oneh" and is not a form
of shlichut, i.e. it is as if the person hearing the kiddush is saying
it himself rather than appointing an agent to do it for him. Furthermore
he considered "b'rov am hadrat melekh" not to be simply an eitzah tovah
but a halachic category and the only point at issue was whether it
applied in this case, which he opined it did, in which case it is
certainly assur to do otherwise.

Martin Stern

From: Bill Bernstein <billheddy@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2004 09:53:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Kiddush

I did look in a sefer called Avnei Shoham, which discusses such old
chestnuts as "zrizim makdimim l'mitzvas" and "chaviva mitzva b'shaata"
and so on.  One of the articles in fact was on "b'rov am hadras melekh."

The author mentions certain anomalies in the Shulchan Oruch and their
sources and somewhere through the article he discusses the topic of
kiddush.  In that part he cites a sefer called "Aulas Schabbes" (Siman
273 s'k 5) and quotes it as "yet it seems better ("nireh d'adif yoser")
that one should make kiddush himself where he knows how since we say in
regard to all the mitzvas 'mitzva bo yoser mib'shlucho.'"  The Avnei
Shoham goes on and cites other sources that this is not a case of
shlichus (as Mr. Stern's rav said) etc etc.

My point is not to hash out the argument or recommend one side or the
other.  My point is that 1) there is such a minhag (as opposed to the
comments that there was not such a minhag); and 2) That the minhag is
not a "taus" much less an issur, as has been implied several times.

This exchange has brought me only the smallest satisfaction in being
able to substantiate a practice I have personally seen many times.  It
troubles and saddens me that such a practice can so cavalierly be
labeled taus and with the exhortation to tolerate it only for derekh
eretz and not because it might actually be well-founded.  It is
especially so at this time of year when a common d'var Torah revolves
around the 4 species and how although each one is different all are
necessary together to complete the mitzva.

A gut moed
Bill Bernstein
Nashville TN.


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2004 13:41:29 -0400
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 practice is that if I am a guest, and they offer me the option to
make my own kiddush, I very often take them up on that, but for a reason
that I did not notice anyone yet mention.

Namely, some people mumble the words and/or mispronounce them so badly
that at times I'm not sure whether I'm yoztay or not. Sometimes it is
even so bad that I'm sure I'm not yotzay.

Sometimes what happens on Friday night, is that his pronunciation is
actually quite good, but the crowd is large, and he begins the second
bracha before the crowd is done answering "amen". The result is that I
can't hear the beginning of the word "Baruch" (and sometimes I can't
even hear the end of that word!). I discussed this with my LOR, who
confirmed my suspicions: The concept of being yotzay with the Baal
HaBayis has nothing to do with answering "amen", and it has everything
to do with hearing the words that he says. If I can't hear him say a
word, and it is a word which is critical to the bracha -- such as
"Baruch" -- then I haven't heard enough of the bracha to be yotzay.

In a few such cases, I've asked his permission to make my own kiddush
afterward. In one such case it was not really an option, so I made
kiddush and hamotzi again when I got home.

So my current practice is that if the baal habayis does not offer me to
make my own kiddush, I hope for the best. (And if it was a Friday night,
I try to have "Kiddush D'Oraisa" in mind when davening Maariv, so that
the Wine Kiddush is only rabbinic and I have more leeway in cases of
doubt.) But if he does offer me to make my own kiddush, I always accept
the offer unless I've been his guest previously, and I have confidence
that I'll be yotzay when he says his own.

Akiva Miller

From: Russell Jay Hendel
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2004 16:30:29 -0400
Subject: RE: Kiddush Customs

A few clarifying points:

1) If no one else (besides the host) is making Kiddush I do not make my
own kiddush since that would delay the meal. This is a real
concern...after all both children and adults are anxiously waiting to
eat and dont care to hear someone else sing (On the other hand if other
people are making kiddush then I assume the atmosphere is more relaxed)

2) Re: "It is better to do the commandment yourself" I would respond
that it depends on the nature of the commandment. For something like
charity it is better to do it yourself. But the essence of the mitzvah
of Kiddush is to REMEMBER the Sabbath. Hence if the host makes the
Kiddush then everyone at the table is REMEMBERING the sabbath---there is
no added extra value for you to personally echo the rememberance (By
contrast there is say extra value in you personally handing the money to
a poor person).

Russell Jay Hendel; <rjhendel@...>, http://www.Rashiyomi.com/

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2004 19:48:57 +0200
Subject: RE: Kiddush Customs

I do not have the likkutei mahariah, and I do not understand the
position ascribed to him.  When one person "makes kiddush" for the
assemblage, he is not an "agent" (shaliah) of the individuals.  On the
contrary, "shomea` k'`oneh," it is as though each person said the words
himself or herself.  There are rishonim who hold that it is not
permitted to listen to kaddish while saying the shmoneh esreh, in the
same way that it is not permitted to speak while praying!  Even if we do
not go so far, I do not understand the relevance of the "agency" concept
here.  Since I'm sure the author of that esteemed work knew everything I
have written, there must be a missing piece of the argument.  Perhaps
the LM held that drinking the kiddush wine itself is a mitzvah on the
individuals, and that the mekadesh is the agent of them all to drink the
wine, but this seems farfetched.  My own studies of the subject have
persuaded me that what is important concerning the wine is not the
drinking, but the blessing (boreh pri hagafen); the drinking becomes
necessary as an effect of the blessing.  This blessing, too, just as the
kiddush benediction, is said by all, as it were, via the rule of shomea

During the seder, I believe that many families have the custom of saying
the kiddush along with the baal habayit.  This might have to do with the
requirement on the individual to drink the kiddush wine as one of the
four cups, yet the matter is not clear to me, since one could still
listen to the baal habayit making the berachot and then drink one's own

Mark Steiner


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 06:28:00 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Musical Hallel

There were old Ashkenazi customs to play music during tefillah (not at
times when melacha was assur, of course). In Prague, Kabbalas Shabbos
was performed with musical instruments.

Nachum Lamm


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 06:42:44 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Noachide implications (was: Abortion)

> Stephen Phillips <admin@...> wrote: Perhaps, though,
> the Christian "pro-lifers" have a point.  I always thought that the
> prohibition of killing as one of the 7 Noahide Laws was absolute and
> that non-Jews could not rely on the din of "Rodef" [a pursuer].

I recall reading on MJ about ten years or so ago that gentiles _could_
kill in self-defense -- but unlike Jews were not permitted to kill in
defense of another.  Is that the underlying principle here -- that the
gentile woman could rely on the din of the Rodef, but not the gentile
abortionist?  (I suppose that a gentile woman whose life was in danger
from a pregnancy could take an abortion drug; presumably a doctor would
be permitted to clean up.)

What are all the details and special cases concerning gentiles and
killing?  (The issue would seem to impact a whole lot more than our
position on abortion, starting with a Jew's preferred policies with
regard to law enforcement and our response to violent crime.)

Frank Silbermann	New Orleans, Louisiana 		<fs@...>


From: <chips@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2004 13:53:06 -0700
Subject: Re: Seating

> >In addition, I heard a wonderful story about the CC from Harav
> >Gedaliah Schwartz...
> The story is not relevant for this discussion. There is a big
> difference between a private meal in one's home and a wedding.

and what constitutes being a "private meal" ?


From: Alan Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 05:32:06 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: re: T'filos Ha-Shachar

Normally, my shule said brachos up to "gomail chasadim tovim l'am
yisrael."  Then they said from "lolam y'hay adom" through Shema to the
end of the paragraph that begins "ata hu hashem elokaynu" and ends
"l'aynaychem amar hashem."  Then we said "ayzehu m'komon" and "rabbe
yishmael omer" until kaddish.  There's a great deal more in there - the
parsha of the akayda and many karbonos included.  We said them only
three days a year.


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 06:34:58 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: re: T'filos Ha-Shachar

Alan Friedenberg wrote:
[See above]

There are many minhagim, particularly in yeshivos, that do not say
everything between Brachot and Pisukei D'Zimrah. (Some actually begin
with Barchu, but say everything privately.) The yeshiva I first went to
skipped straight to Rabbi Yishmael. I recently got a copy of the United
Synagogue (UK) siddur, which does not include the parsha of the akeda or
the ketoret at all, and only includes what you wrote above (plus the
tamid). I believe the Gra did not say korbanot.


End of Volume 45 Issue 18