Volume 45 Number 47
                    Produced: Wed Nov  3  5:02:14 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aliyot origins
         [Joseph Mosseri]
Hillel (3)
         [Shoshana Ziskind, Paul Shaviv, Janice Gelb]
A Jewish custom?
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Kabbalat Shabbat
         [Nathan Lamm]
Kiddush for Women
         [Ari Kahn]
Modern Orthodoxy (2)
         [Nathan Lamm, Allen Gerstl]


From: Joseph Mosseri <joseph.mosseri@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004 08:50:23 -0500
Subject: Aliyot origins

What is the origin for the aliyot in each perashah as we know it today?
How decided where each aliyah would begin and end?  Where is it 1st

Are these stops universal or are there other traditions and if so why?

Joseph Mosseri


From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004 08:36:10 -0500
Subject: Re: Hillel

First I'd like to answer the other people who responded to my post that
I never said that Hillel didn't serve non observant people well.  First
of all, better something than nothing and I'm all for non frum people
hanging out with other non frum people and maybe even marrying each
other.  Certainly, they have a point that I can't expect real orthodox
services when 1% of the Jewish population is frum.  I wasn't expecting a
lot of services but that there was such an uproar the two times there
was an event which was even loosely resembled an orthodox one.

Also my Hillel experience is mainly on the west coast and the bay area
in particular which definitely is a different experience than a HIllel
near a large Jewish community, as Ari Trachtenberg pointed out.

On Nov 1, 2004, at 5:49 AM, Alexis Rosoff Treeby <alexis@...> 
> The growth of Chabad houses has presented an additional wrinkle--I've
> recently encountered the concept that "Hillel is for Reform and
> Conservative, Chabad is for Orthodox". And that does bother me, both
> because I'm ambivalent about Chabad's role as sole representative of
> Orthodoxy even where alternatives exist(*), and because I think it's a
> good thing for all Jews on a campus--Orthodox and not--to work together
> in certain areas.
> (* - This is not a slight on Chabad or the work that they do; merely a
> dislike of the "Chabad = Orthodox" idea and a preference for a certain
> amount of diversity.)

I can understand this complaint.  Certainly it would be boring if all
Jews turned into Chabadniks right? It isn't Chabad's fault though for
being often the main resource of Orthodox Judaism for college students.

  Also it isn't their aim to turn students into Chabadniks.  The issue I
guess is that they teach things obviously from a chabad slant and it
would be nice if students can learn other traditions.  An important
thing to remember also is that not all people who become frum become
Lubavitchers even if they've become frum through going to a chabad
house.  A lot of people end up going to places like Aish or Ohr Sameach
or Nevei afterward where they find their niche elsewhere in the orthodox

Still I do agree with your points: it would be nice if all Jewish
students could work together in some areas and Jews should be able to be
exposed to other examples of Orthodox Judaism.  The second though only
works if there are other people in kiruv who want to get involved with
college campuses, working alongside Chabad and Hillel.

Shoshana Ziskind

From: <shaviv@...> (Paul Shaviv)
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 2004 23:35:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Hillel

I can't allow the ungracious comment about Hillel to pass. Whatever the
ups and downs of individual situations, Hillel deserves the undying
thanks (aka 'hakoras hatov') of the Jewish people for being a
courageous, consistent and often lonely presence on campuses all over
the world for decades. At the very least, a giver of comfort and a
friendly face; but more often truly inspirational. In our
halachically-fixated age, where too many frum people seem to think that
that is all that matters, we forget the precious value of a warm word, a
comfortable chair, a magazine and a cup of coffee to a human being. (JFJ
remember it very well.)  Ms. Ziskind's posting has prompted me to send a
modest cheque to our local Hillel.

From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 09:33:47 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Hillel

On 26/10/2004, 09:14:08, Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...> wrote:
> The problem with Hillel is that its supposed to be for all Jews.  It
> tends to be good about being for reform or conservative or renewal or
> non affiliated but it often ends up breaking down when it comes to Jews
> who are frum especially in schools with a very tiny frum population
> going (I'm not talking about Brooklyn College for example).

I couldn't disagree more! I went to a university in northern Florida in
a community that at the time only had two synagogues: one Reform and one
very struggling tiny Conservative. The Hillel provided kosher meat for
the entire community (shipped frozen from Miami), services for the
university community (including a mechitza), and a place where the
observant Jews in the area could socialize with each other.  Were it not
for Hillel, anyone even remotely observant would not have been able to
live in the town or go to the university.

-- Janice


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 09:17:23 +0200
Subject: A Jewish custom?

A famous entertainer in Israel was very close to the last suicide
bombing in Tel Aviv. I heard her on the radio saying that because she
was saved she will light candles in a synagogue. I've never heard of
such a custom before, but then again I am generally only acquainted with
Ashkenazic customs.

Are there any Jewish bases for such a custom that anyone is aware of?



From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004 07:16:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Kabbalat Shabbat

Martin Stern mentions a practice of the chazan only going to the bimah
for Lecha Dodi, and back for Barekhu. What about Mizmor Shir and Hashem


From: Ari Kahn <kahnar@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004 16:14:20 +0200
Subject: Kiddush for Women

Regarding Ms. Farkas Berdugo's query regarding women saying kiddush see
Mishna Brura 193:5, where the Mishna Brura advocates woman saying the
kiddush quietly to themselves. My impression is that the custom for each
person to say his (or her) own kiddush was the chassidic custom while
the litvishe custom was to fulfill ones obligation together with the
host - and avoid an unnecessary bracha. See Shulchan Oruch section 271:2
and the Beur Halacha. One can fulfill kiddush according to many
authorities with a more minimal declaration perhaps even saying "shabbat
shalom" therefore even when a person would say the kiddush silently
perhaps it is better to omit the bracha and only say the verses, and
therefore avoid unneeded brachot.

Ari Kahn


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004 07:13:18 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Modern Orthodoxy

A few comments on Bill Bernstein's post.

-I should start by agreeing with him on his point that to many people,
"modern" means "shvach." This is used in different ways- by non-Modern
Orthodox to denigrate it, and by "shvach" people to justify
themselves. But neither is correct.

-He quotes R. Dessler's observation that few gedolim were created in
German Orthodoxy. There are two points to be made about this:

First, Modern Orthodoxy today *does* create gedolim who were educated
secularly. Just note, for example, that almost all YU Roshei Yeshiva
went to YU themselves (or, sometimes, to another university).  Germany,
on the other hand, had a different system of education. There were no
institutions that combined both fields, so someone who had a solid
secular education would find it difficult to learn Torah as well, while
someone who wished to do the latter usually would go to Eastern Europe,
where, of course, they would not get a secular education. Studies have
been made concerning how, for example, this impacted the later religious
development of the "Hirschian" community.

Second, one may well ask what percentage of Jews are *meant* to be
gedolim. Perhaps German Orthodoxy created just as many gedolim as were
needed, and did a fine job of creating religious baalebatim, as R.
Dessler points out himself. But to me, a system where everyone who is to
be frum *must* be a talmid chacham while the rest fall by the wayside is
wrong both practically (and, thus, religiously) and historically.  (As
Meir Shinnar points out, there are certainly grounds to posit that
"classical" Orthodoxy was closer to what we'd call "modern," although
I'm not sure the line can be drawn as clearly as he does.)

-Finally, Mr. Bernstein states that "Today it is rare to find a rabbi of
any stature (at least in my experience) who views exposure to secular
culture as anything but deleterious to obsevance, much less as enobling
in its own right."

With all due respect to Mr. Bernstein, his experience may be quite
limited indeed. I have no problem finding many rabbis of stature for
believe just that.

Nachum Lamm

From: Allen Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 2004 15:40:24 -0500
Subject: RE: Modern Orthodoxy

Bill Bernstein <billbernstein@...> On  Fri, 29 Oct 2004 Wrote

>I think a more productive distinction is offered in the Michtav M'eliahu
>v.3 where he discusses a seminary in Israel based on the Berlin model.
>He posits two approaches, the "Frankfort" approach and the yeshiva
>approach.  These are his terms, not mine.  The Frankfort approach is to
>encourage learning in a university as "lechatila"--a positive good.  The
>downside, he says, is that few, even when they studied in the yeshivas
>of Lithuania and Poland, become "gedolei baTorah."  The up-side is that
>few members of the community abandon observance.
>On the flip side the yeshiva approach is to "ossur" all university
>learning and concentrate on producing gedolei haTorah. ...
>Today it is rare to find a rabbi of any stature (at least in my
>experience) who views exposure to secular culture as anything but
>deleterious to observance, much less as enobling in its own right.  Yet
>that, imvho, is the distinction between "Modern Orthodox" and anything

I agree with the above being one of the hallmarks of the difference
between MO-Centrism and RW Chareidism.  I greatly miss the "rabbi[s] of
statuture" of the past who viewed secular culture (or more to the point
"secular" education) as being positive and even enobling. (I was however
heartened by Rabbi Dr. Sperber telling the group that to spoke to on his
recent visit to Toronto that some great Talmidei chachamim in Israel who
are Centrists.)

While discussing these various differences between MO-Centrism and
RW-Chareidism, let me also add the phenomenon of chumrot that I
previously commented on as another hallmark of that difference.

Between April and July of 2003 I had a discussion in this forum that was
mainly with Binyomin Segal. We discussed the definition of Modern
Orthodoxy.  In the course of the discussion I proposed that one
important factor was that of Chumrot.  I then took the position that
Chumrot were a manifestation of a view that there was an absolute
"Platonic" halacha, what I callled "halachic realism" versus what I
termed "halachic positivism" , that there were several possible answers
to an issue of halacha that were all correct from the viewpoint of HKBH
but that the practical halacha was based upon the pesak of
chachamim. Binyomin Segal was of the view that rather than looking to
such legal philsophical aspects of chumrot we should have regard to the
inner motivation of the person practising such chumrot and that the
machmir in many cases was attempting to pefect his service of HKBH.

Although there is no necessary reason why someone who has a positive
attitude towards general culture may not be a machmir (for whatever
reason) or someone who has a negative attitude for that matter can not
be a meikil, it is more likely that the former person will have a
negative attitude towards general culture. His/her lifestyle makes such
involvement more difficult. So that person who did not per se devalue
general studies and general culture may due partly perhaps to cognitive
dissonance (as his/her lifestyle may not seem in step with general
culture) adopt such an attitude.  As usual its all a compex mix and the
differences between MO-Centrism and RW-Chareidism are not so much a
stark divide but a continuum.



End of Volume 45 Issue 47