Volume 45 Number 33
                    Produced: Fri Oct 22  5:47:19 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Are these quotes genuine?
         [Stan Tenen]
Bachur term in Novi
         [Art Kamlet]
Electricity in Israel
         [Perets Mett]
Electricity on Shabbat
         [David I. Cohen]
Elokai Netzor
         [Jeffrey Kaufman]
End of Avodah
         [Nathan Lamm]
Is there a concept of "psak"? (2)
         [David I. Cohen, Eliyahu Gerstl]
Learning on Erev Tisha Be'Av (2)
         [Yael Levine, Tzvi Stein]
Olive Oil
         [Batya Medad]
Seeking any and all explanations for a Minhag Yerushalayim
         [Josh Backon]
State of YU
         [Bernard Raab]


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 08:07:53 -0400
Subject: Are these quotes genuine?

Are these quotes genuine?

1) "The person who accepts tradition without applying his or her own
intelligence and judgment is like a blind man following others." --Bahya
Ibn Paquda

2) "Men like the opinions to which they have become accustomed. . . and
this prevents them from finding truth, for they cling to the opinions of
habit." -- Maimonides, Guide to the Perplexed, 1:31

If they are genuine, are they accurate translations?  And of course,
everything has a context, so can someone provide some context for proper



From: <Artkamlet@...> (Art Kamlet)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 01:16:58 EDT
Subject: Re: Bachur term in Novi

      Whoa, what about Dovid himself? He is referred to as "Na`ar" when
      he confronts Golyas, yet according to many (if not a preponderance
      of most) he was about 27 years old.

At the Akeida [binding of Isaac] Isaac is called a na'ar.  If it is
accepted that he is 37 at that time [he was born when Sarah was 90 and
the sages explain that Sarah died at the time of the akeidah and we know
she was 127] then Isaac is a fairly old na'ar.  And one explanation of
who the two na'arim who accompany Abraham and Isaac, says they are
Ishmael and Eleazar, so even age 37 is not the "record." I realize this
is Torah not Nach, but were Toarh na'arim supposed to be older than Nach


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 08:33:59 +0100
Subject: Re: Electricity in Israel

Ira Jacobson wrote:
> In order to assess the accuracy of this claim, one would have to be
> cognizant of what, if any hillul Shabbat is done by Meqorot.  The IEC
> (Israel Electric Company) tries to minimize its hillul Shabbat, but I
> think that there is no doubt that there is some. Have you any
> information regarding Meqorot?

Without assuming that Mekorot is mechalel shabbos, the pumping equipment
is powered by electricity from Chevrat Hachashmal

I understood this to be the 'inconsistency' claimed by the previous

If one does not want to use the public electricity supply one cannot use
the public water supply either, because that in turn uses the
electricity supply.

Perets Mett


From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 12:25:34 -0400
Subject: Electricity on Shabbat

Perets Mett wrote:

> The electricity issue is one of a different order.  To keep the grid
> running, Jews work on Shabbos. So, as a consumer of electricity on
> Shabbos I am a cause of a Jew working - now, this Shabbos. It seems to
> me to be perfectly legitimate to desist from using such electricity on
> Shabbos.

I know very little about transmission of electricity, but it seems to me
that even if no individual actually made use of electricity on Shabbat (
not even to start your heat in the winter), they would still need to
keep the grid running, so that your individual consumption of
electricity does not a cause a Jew to work. It is the existence of the
grid that does.

David I. Cohen


From: <D26JJ@...> (Jeffrey Kaufman)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 11:53:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Elokai Netzor

 Jeff <jf@...> wrote

> I was reading in the book Path to Prayer that the prayer Elokai
> Netzor at the end of Shemoneh Esray is constituted as Tachanunim. If
> that is the case, why do we say it on <Shabbos and Yom Tov when
> Tachanunim are not allowed?

Good question. Similarly, we can ask that giving a Beracha to someone,
like we do at a simcha, is in reality saying a Tefillah (Tachanunim) for
them. If that is the case how can we give the Beracha on Shabbos? I have
actually asked this question but came up empty handed.

Jeffrey (The other Jeff) Kaufman


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 05:44:03 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: End of Avodah

Yehonatan Chipman writes:
> ...by the way, in terms of hashkafah, the idea of Yom Kippur being a
> day entirely devoted to avodah is an important one...

and, in another post,
> I assume the reason is by way of analogy with the Avodat Hamikdash
> (i.e., hakravat korbonat, etc.) , which stopped at sundown.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the avodah, even on Yom Kippur, stop
at Chatzot?

Also, when referring to singing "Hayom T'amtzeinu," do you mean the full
alef-beit version as found, for example, in the Koren machzor?


From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 12:31:01 -0400
Subject: Is there a concept of "psak"?

Tzvi Stein asked:
> I wondered at the time... suppose I know that I can take maaser
> correctly.  Am I obligated to follow the "psak"?

Unless you know, through your own learning, what the correct psak is,
then, at the very least, you should question your own posek as to
whether you have to follow the posted psak.

David I. Cohen

From: Eliyahu Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 03:25:58 -0400
Subject: RE: Is there a concept of "psak"?

>From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
>If I see such a poster, or hear about it, does that make me obligated to
>follow it?
> [snip]
>I wondered at the time... suppose I know that I can take maaser
>correctly.  Am I obligated to follow the "psak"?

Again see SA,CM25. IIUC, technically such would appear to depend upon
whether the rabbi was considered the Rav of your locality. I once asked
Rav Hershel Schachter (and to be fair to him such was a hurried question
in the midst of various other questioners) as to whether, as to my
personal matters, I would be obligated to follow the unsolicited pesak
of the Rav of a shul if I joined that shul and he told me that according
to the Ramah that I would not be so obligated; I assume (but I did not
further ask Rav Schacter) that such would be because that Rav of the
shul would not be the Rav Ha-Ir.



From: Yael Levine <ylevine@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 08:53:24 +0200
Subject: Learning on Erev Tisha Be'Av

Tzvi Stein wrote:

>I've heard a similar argument about the custom of not learning most
>material on Erev Tisha B'Av.  Since many people would otherwise not
>learn at all, the argument goes, let them learn what they want. 

Are you referring to Tisha Be'Av at night, or yet to Erev Tisha Be'Av
after hazot ha-yom?  Who expressed this opinion? Not learning on Erev
Tisha Be'Av after hazot ha-yom is a minhag, and I have seen opinions
permitting it.  


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 03:42:40 -0400
Subject: Re: Learning on Erev Tisha Be'Av

Yes, Erev Tisha Be'Av; custom = minhag


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 07:06:57 +0200
Subject: Re: Olive Oil

> ...to one where I feel comfortable: what type of hechsher, if any, is
> required for pure old fashion stone pressed olive oil?

In actuality none.

http://me-ander.blogspot.com/ <http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/>


From: HB <halfull2@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 17:52:40 -0400
Subject: Seeking any and all explanations for a Minhag Yerushalayim

I was at a levayah on Motzei Yom Kippur in Yerushalayim and I noticed
several things. The Hesped was said in the street in front of the
deceased's former Shul followed by Kaddish.  Keriah was performed right
there. The deceased was then carried by pallbearers from the Shul all
the way to in front of his former home. Along the way at every Shul that
was passed another Kaddish was said by the deceased's sons. As you can
imagine in a trip of 3 blocks there must have been 10 Kaddaishim said.

What I noticed as very unusual was the following:

1) The sons of the deceased were not allowed to go to the cemetery for
the interment.

2) Women were discouraged from going to the cemetery  for the interment.

3) The wife of the deceased although allowed to go to the cemetary was
discouraged from doing so.

4) Seudas Havrua was eaten after a call from the cemetery that interment
had been completed

5) During the procession in the streets from the deceased's former shul
to his former house the sons of the deceased were made to walk in front
of the body rather than behind it (as in a Levaya) until after the body
was taken by hearse to the cemetery. However the wife and siblings and
all the other mourners walked behind the body as in a typical Levaya.

Can anyone shed some clues as to the reasons for the above. I am sure it
is Kabalistically related but any and all explanations would be



From: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 05:41:25 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Shemot

The prohibition of erasing the name of God is discussed in the talmud
(Shevuot 35a, Sofrim 4:4) and the Shulchan Aruch (YOREH DEAH Hilchot
Sefer Torah Siman 276:13 in the Rema ["lachen nizharin shelo lichtov
shem b'iggeret, v'yesh nizharin afilu b'mila 'shalom' shelo ligmor
ktivato"]. The names that are forbidden to be erased are the 7 names of
God (in Hebrew). (YD 276:9). Uttering the names of God in the vernacular
is discussed in the Nimukei Yosef in Nedarim 7b (on the *shamta* of Rav

There is a difference of opinion regarding the non-Hebrew (vernacular)
names of God. Those that permit its writing include the SHACH YD 179:11
and Chidushei R. Akiva Eiger YD 276:9 ( "v'im ktuvim b'sh'ear leshonot
dinam k'kinuim"). (See also the Pitchei Tshuva YD 276 #11 who brings
down the interesting question of the Chavot Yair 106 on someone who
writes a vernacular name of God (e.g. 'Gott" in German) in Hebrew
letters [ktav ashurit]).

Those that prohibit include the Urim v'Tumim 27:2 and the Netivot
Hamishpat 27:2 (in Choshen Mishpat).



From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 02:54:04 -0400
Subject: RE: State of YU

>From: Nathan Lamm
>1. The article is riddled with simple factual errors that even people
>not in YU at the moment, let alone a student, should realize. Many of
>these bear directly on the thesis of the whole article, and so it should
>be judged in that light.

The article in question raises some serious allegations regarding the
premier institution of Modern Orthodoxy in America today and for the
last 70+ years. If there are factual errors which "bear on the thesis of
the whole article", it might have been important to reveal these in
detail rather than to adopt a dismissive attitude that is simply
disrespectful.  Even worse, is the resort to hinting at a "history" in
an ad-hominem attack, point 2 below, which tends to infuriate so many
with its smug attitude of "insiderness". All we need to know,
apparently. is that:

>2. The author is well known for writing pieces such as this. Apparently,
>there's some personal history/agenda here that's not really touched on
>in the piece itself.

[I would suggest reading the response of the editor of the Commentator
that was written in to the web site that carried the original article
and was referenced in a recent issue. Mod.]

>3. Most importantly, people have been bemoaning "the end of YU" from
>various angles for decades. It hasn't happened. From a personal
>perspective, the complaints are always exaggerated. On Sunday night, I
>heard a talk by Richard Joel, president of YU. He was asked specifically
>about this point, and he gave numerous examples of how civil discourse
>is at YU, and how news reports (such as this one) blow things well out
>of proportion or even reality.
>Just to give one example: When Mr. Joel was chosen as president, there
>was actually a Tehillim rally on campus led by the Roshei Yeshiva. And
>yet, within a short amount of time, at his inauguration, all of them
>quite proudly led the academic procession. Give people a chance to talk,
>and conflict tends to disappear. Of course, lack of conflict doesn't
>sell newspapers or magazines, even the online variety- hence this

Many of us are rooting hard for Mr. Joel to succeed. What this incident
illustrates is that either Mr. Joel is a superb diplomat, or he caved
completely to the Rabbis and assured tham that they will retain veto
power over all important student issues and activities. Time will

b'shalom--Bernie R.


End of Volume 45 Issue 33