Volume 45 Number 36
                    Produced: Mon Oct 25  6:05:25 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brich Shemay
         [Nathan Lamm]
clop for "U'lchaparat Pasha" (2)
         [Batya Medad, Eliezer Minden]
Help with a minyan
         [Nathan Lamm]
How to tell if it is a Leap Year
         [Yitzchak Scott-Thoennes]
Lulav (3)
         [Eliezer Wenger, Tzvi Briks, Ken Bloom]
Olive Oil
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
State of YU (2)
         [Anonymous, Nathan Lamm]
Tefillat HaDerech
         [Ken Bloom]
Who is Modern Orthodox
         [Mordechai Horowitz]


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2004 21:26:12 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Brich Shemay

Yehonatan Chipman notes an issue with a line in Brich Shemay; there is,
as it happens, one more overall objection, as some object to anything
from the Zohar, and omit it entirely (and try to omit other Kabbalistic
influences from teffilah as well).

[Question: Do those people skip Kabbalat Shabbat and do not do Hakafot
on Simchat Torah? Avi]


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 06:11:58 +0200
Subject: Re: clop for "U'lchaparat Pasha"

> There are times when banging on the desk etc is the only means available
> to remind worshippers of changes. Specifically, before the Shacharit
> amidah, when no interruption of any kind is allowed after "Ga'al

When I hear banging it throws me totally "out of kavana" and there's
less of a chance I'd remember anything.  If halachikly permitted, it
could be the job of a couple of the quickest doveners to suddenly say
the "key words" out loud, like how some say during Rosh Chodesh

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

From: Eliezer Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 11:54:41 +0200
Subject: Re: clop for "U'lchaparat Pasha"

> From: Lawrence Myers <lawrence@...>
> There are times when banging on the desk etc is the only means available
> to remind worshippers of changes. Specifically, before the Shacharit
> amidah, when no interruption of any kind is allowed after "Ga'al
> Yisroel" the accepted method to remind about Ya'aleh Veyavoh is to
> bang.

Who says a klop is not a hafsoke?

There are opinions that permit certain interruptions in certain
situations, even announcing page numbers, and there are ways to
circumvent this (sometimes controversial), such as letting the shames
say the tefille before beyochid, or having a not-yet-bar-mitzve child
make the announcement in question. But is there really a difference
between a klop and a verbal announcement?

Eliezer Lipman Phillip Minden


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2004 21:32:56 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Help with a minyan

I hope I don't sound too cynical, but I've been on the receiving end of
"just one more" requests when, in fact, there were only five people or
so thus far.  Especially if someone already has already davened, I can't
see why he should be expected to stay, particularly for a longer service
like Shacharis.

In addition, of course, a minyan needs a certain minimum of people
actually davening with it.


From: Yitzchak Scott-Thoennes <sthoenna@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 00:47:03 -0700
Subject: How to tell if it is a Leap Year

> There's a very simple way to figure out, in any given year, whether it
> is going to be a leap year.

What I find an easier way is:

Start with the year.
Optionally, subtract any multiple of 19 such as 5700 or 5757.
Multiply by 7.
Add 1.
If the remainder when divided by 19 is less than 7, it is a leap year.
Otherwise, it is not.


From: Eliezer Wenger <ewenger@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 00:23:46 -0400
Subject: Re: Lulav

Regarding the comment of Immanuel Burton 

> Rather than engaging in such acrobatics, I have adopted the practice
> of holding the lulav only, reciting the blessing and then picking up the
> esrog the right way round.  I was rather bemused one day to be
> challenged by someone about this, as he seemed to think that the way the
> mitzvah is fulfilled is to hold the esrog upside down until the blessing
> has been recited and then turn it round, and that one can't fulfill the
> mitzvah the way I was doing it!

The way that I. Burton does it is the practice of Minhag Chabad and can be
verified by the Luach Colel Chabad, if his challenger needs a source.

Eliezer Wenger

From: <Brikspartzuf@...> (Tzvi Briks)
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 00:16:47 EDT
Subject: Re: Lulav

Either method of holding is OK

Tzvi Briks

From: Ken Bloom <kabloom@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 00:04:35 -0700
Subject: RE: Lulav

To my knowledge, the reason for acrobatics is to ensure that the mitzvah
is *not* fulfilled before the bracha is said - one says the bracha with
the etrog held in the wrong direction, then fulfills the mitzvah by
turining the etrog over to the right direction. Perhaps some authorities
hold that it is preferable to hold the etrog while saying the bracha,
leading to this practice.

Rav Ovadia Yosef holds that the proper procedure is the one that you
follow (i.e. no etrog acrobatics.)

--Ken Bloom


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 09:33:19 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Olive Oil

We used to buy olive oil from the arabs, before Pesah some one would
check if the oil press was clean. After a few years of business, the
grocer sent the oil to be checked. The check showed some % of machine
oil!  Some time ago, I sold honey. I asked the LOR for a hechsher, and
he said that honey does not need one, but he gave me a hechsher for the
non knowing mahmirim. However, I did find that one of the hive owners
work on Shabbat. So, I stopped selling.


From: Anonymous
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 15:59:17
Subject: State of YU

> My oldest daughter spent two years at Stern College after seminary.  The
> first year she lived in the dorm. By the second year she was
> married. Her biggest complaint about the dorm was the group of girls who
> were not interested in being observant. They played the radio on Shabbos
> (before they were stopped) and posted inappropriate photographs on the
> walls in their rooms, which caused their roommates to seek other
> accommodations. Obviously the school isn't moving that far to the right
> if they are accepting these students and not expelling them. She had her
> own crowd, including a group of friends from seminary who gathered once
> a week for a shiur, but she discouraged her sister from attending Stern
> for this reason. And she didn't.

I'm not sure that I understand the sentiments above.  Are we expecting
Stern College to somehow screen / test / admit students based on their
hashkofa -- several thoughts come to mind.

1 - Would such screening be legal for a public university? 

2 - Could it be effectively implemented -- there are children from "good
homes" and "good schools", etc. who may fall off the derech.

3 -  Is it in the best interest of the school to do so?

4 - What is the "right mold" -- I recall distinctly that everyone to my
right is a reactionary and every to my left is a bleeding liberal.
Seminary / yeshiva provides your children with an opportunity to learn
with people along a much narrower bandwidth -- university may seek to
make them aware of a larger secular society.

5 - If this is so critical -- Why don't seminaries serve their clientele
by offering serious secular education and college degrees (the answer
should be obvious.)

6 - Dorming with people who are not yet or no longer observant is a
great kiruv opportunity -- one can shut one's door these situations or
one can see that opportunity.

7 - Since I completed my college in the 70's I have perhaps an obsolete
perspective -- but I didn't blame my college because there were students
smoking dope -- the college certainly didn't condone or tolerate such
activity but it happened.  Perhaps this analogy is a bit rough.

It seems that most of the discussions I hear about YU (and I am NOT an
alum) and other institutions seems to begin with an opinion or an ax to
grind and then some anecdotes or "data" to support that opinion.

Is anyone ready to tackle Touro and its phantom degree programs.  I know
of a 21 year old woman who had a Masters in Education from Touro (after
only 3 years post high school.)  She and Touro had used every angle and
scheme to get credit for high school classes taken, life experience, you
name it.  One slight problem -- this women with a MASTERS in Education
had NEVER stood in front of a classroom and taught (not even as a
student teacher, if this was a requirement, it was somehow waived or

From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2004 21:43:57 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: State of YU

Abbi Adest takes exception to my comments on the Tehillim rally. I'd
like to clear up a few points:

I'm sure I was just as offended as she was by the rally and the
underlying causes of it (although I'm not sure I'd take the analogy as
far as she did).  However, I was reporting Richard Joel's response to it
(and other similar events), not mine. Certainly, he may have been being
diplomatic. But the rally was held before he met with any of the Roshei
Yeshiva, and he himself said that he saw their presence at the
investiture as an affirmation of respect and good feelings. All
discussions that they held followed the rally, and as bad as it may have
been, it seems to have been smoothed over.

Are there issues? Of course, there always are. But to focus on them
disproportionately, I believe, is to gloss over the great good being
done- and with actual amity- at YU all the time.

In response to Nadine Bonner's post: Certainly, issues such as those
encountered by her elder daughter exist (and, in fact, are actively
being addressed). However, I'd be curious as to what better alternative
her younger daughter chose. I should stress that I don't mean to present
YU as the "best of a bad lot"- far from it, as the previous paragraphs
attest. But the issues she lists would be much greater at most any other

Nachum Lamm


From: Ken Bloom <kabloom@...>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2004 23:58:07 -0700
Subject: Tefillat HaDerech

I live in Davis, CA, a 6 mile wide town surrounded on all sides by
fields. Travel to the nearest town in any direction involves travelling
through at least 5 miles of fields. This is generally done on a very
busy 65 mile per hour highway in a car, or on a train.

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (the sefer I am able to consult on this issue)
explains that Tefillat HaDerech should be said when travelling a journey
of at least 4 kilometers, and should be said preferably 1 kilometer away
from the city. (A city being defined by a certain density of houses, a
requirement which Davis, CA quite clearly satisfies.) However in the
time of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, travel at high speeds was generally

Under what circumstances does one say Tefillat HaDerech? Is the
requirement based on the travel time, or is it based on the travel
distance. Does the presence of very busy roads have any bearing on this?

Please cite sources.

--Ken Bloom


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 11:02:12 -0400
Subject: Who is Modern Orthodox

[This is referencing the State of YU thread. Some editing of this
posting has been done by the Mod. Mod.]

The essential thesis of the article is that Modern Orthodoxy should be
about keeping shabbos and kosher but otherwise holding strong to the
values of secularism.

Lets look at one of the issues raised in the article.  The Rabbeim who
opposed Joel Roth were holding strong to Modern Orthdox values.  Joel
Roth is a brillian wonderful fundraiser.  Joel Roth also believes in
pluralism.  Pluralism means that halacha has a vote not a veto on the
life of the Jewish commnity.  As the head of Hillel, an organization
that may be hostile to Orthodox Judaism on many cases, he actively
promoted non halachic Judaism.

Let's compare this to the Rav's known opinions.  He held that we could
work with non Halachic movement on secular issues (ie Israel political
activism, Soviet Jewry et al) but not religious issues. He ruled that a
Jew should miss hearing shofar rather than go into a non Orthodox shul.

 While he allowed Rabbi Riskin to become the Rabbi at the then Lincoln
Square Conservative Synagogue, the shul had to immediately drop
conservative from its name, and Rav Riskin was not allowed to daven
their until they put up a mechitza (he davened before services) and he
gave Rav Riskin a set period of time to get a mechitza put up or he had
to leave.

This is similiar to our earlier discussion of Life on the Fringes.
While their are legitimate issues with the direction of YU, we can't be
looking to those who have left the fold of Modern Orthodoxy to define
what Modern Orthdoxy is.

So what are the issue YU have never successfully addressed.  The
university follows a haredi model of secular education.  By that I mean
the University is treated as essentially seperate from the Beit Medrash.
Torah UMaddah means we need to integrate the two.  We should have Bible
as literature with Rashi.  Students at YU should be familiar with how
biblical intrepretion have affected western civilization, western
literature and culture.  They should also be experts on traditional

They should be able to study both in the same class room with the same
Rebbe.  They should be studying evolution and Breishit together.  They
should be studtying the relationship between Torah and Science, not
treating them as totally separate entities, where you ignore Science in
Morning shiur and laugh at the Rebbeim in Biology 101.

It's a hard challenge, and MO is failing it.


End of Volume 45 Issue 36