Volume 45 Number 69
                    Produced: Mon Nov 15 21:42:16 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Hannukah and Halloween
         [Joel Rich]
Kiddush (by/for women)
Lateness to Shul (6)
         [Carl Singer, Tzvi Stein, Minden, Jack Wechsler, Ben Katz,
May One Wish non Jews a Merry -mas? (4)
         [Abbi Adest, Martin Stern, Janice Gelb, Tovia Lent]
Tal U-Matar
         [Bernard Katz]
Tanakh Translations
         [Nathan Lamm]
Turn the other cheek
         [Carl Singer]
Turning off an electric oven on Shabbat
         [Daniel Gross]
Yes, we have bigger problems
         [Ari Trachtenberg]


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 09:38:10 -0500
Subject: Re: Hannukah and Halloween

See Rabbi D. Sperber's excellent series "Minhagei Yisrael" volume 2 page
227 where he discusses the sources for this "custom" - while it's been
continually debunked, it seems to have a life of its own (hmmm-perhaps
HKB"H is paskening through history????  oops that's another discussion!)

Joel Rich


From: Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 13:36:39 +0100
Subject: Kiddush (by/for women)

(Concerning the discussion about obligation on the same level)

This is why I add "Sovro itesi!" before kiddesh. I think this should be
so even in case you hold there is an issue of tznies when a woman
actually does make kiddesh.

ELPh Minden


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 07:32:04 -0500
Subject: Re: Lateness to Shul

When you get up off of the floor and stop your polemics -- I invite my
Shabbos guests and I am in no way subsidizing their meal.  However, if
they CHOOSE to come an hour after the agreed upon time (under ordinary
circumstances) they would likely find my family and the other guests
already eating -- and they would likely apologize for coming late.

In an attempt to make your point you've confounded kiruv with an issue
of timeliness.  What distinguishes the people who come late is not that
they are "conservadox" or "at risk" -- they are from throughout the
spectrum -- it's that they do not place value on coming to shule on time
and CHOOSE to come late.  Why shouldn't a Rabbi privately encourage /
teach / explain to them the benefits both to themselves and to the
kahilla of their attending the entire davening.  You label this as
"rebuke" or consider coming to shule on time to be only a "policy" -- so
we have little common ground for discussion.


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 08:08:14 -0500
Subject: Re: Lateness to Shul

> The main distinction is between large communities with many shuls and
> those with only one. In the latter lateness on shabbat has to be
> tolerated much more and, on weekdays, one has to be glad that anyone
> comes at all to make up a minyan.  In the former, on the other hand,
> someone who realises he will be late for his regular shul has the
> option of going to a different one which starts later.

By the way, in my shul, people are just as late on weekdays as Shabbos,
and we also welcome them and certainly don't criticise them.  We've even
had people come in after davening was finished just to schmooze and
drink coffee.

I think the vasly different approaches we've heard boil down to "what is
the purpose of a shul and a community?"  I think there was a time in
Jewish history when stern reprimands in shul would be effective and had
a positive effect.  But I think that time has long past.

Also, to address your later point.... if you are late for your own
shul's minyan, "just" davening in a later minyan is not as simple as you
make it seem.  Even if there is a later minyan, are all shuls
inerchangable?  Speaking personally, having gotten used to my shul, I
find it quite hard to daven in any other shul.  Part of the reasons for
this are the attitudes we've seen expressed on this topic.  I used to
try to go to a later minyan when I was late for mine, but I found it was
counterproductive and just brought me further from Hashem, rather than
closer, so I just go to my own shul late.

From: Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 13:36:34 +0100
Subject: Lateness to Shul

A long-time idea of mine is distributing eleeyes [calls to the torah]
before the shatz starts, which might help at least on days when the
torah is read.

- In smaller communities, this might not help much regarding kouhnem and
leveeyem, in very small ones not at all.
- In some places eleeyes are distributed weeks in advance, and there's
often an issue of donations or auctioned rights.

- Ever heard of a shool/minyen where this is done?
- Chiyoovem are a minneg, not a din. Would it be allowed for the board
or the rabbi to issue a takone [decree] saying people lose their chiyuv?

ELPh Minden

From: Jack Wechsler <wechsler@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 21:26:20 +0200
Subject: Lateness to Shul

on 12/11/04 10:31 am, Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...> wrote:
> It is well established that the Almighty does not need our prayers.
> As such, when we are praying we are doing it for our own sake or for
> the sake of our community.

Harav Nebenzhal from Yeshivat Hakotel in his shiur on Parshat Toldot
brings the idea that says entirely the opposite.HBKH needs our prayers
in order to bring about what he wants to bring about in this world.He
wants to help us ,to give us what we need etc. but in order for hashem
to bring this about we have to commit our tephilot to ask hashem. For
the complete shiur (highly recommended) see Yeshivat Hakotel's web site.

Any Comments !

Jack Wechsler

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 17:44:31 -0600
Subject: Re: Lateness to Shul

The whole problem with this thread is that I think we all have enough to
do improving ourselves without looking at others and figuring out how to
improve them.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>

From: <Joelirich@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 09:40:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Lateness to Shul

> These are men with families who we very much need to keep in the fold
> for their own sake as well as that of their families and our
> community.  Looking askance at them when they walk into shul late is
> guaranteed to do the exact opposite of that.

All according to the time and place-but keep in mind what you may be
teaching everyone else-that coming on time or late, talking or not....
are all a matter of personal preference (I'm sure someone has said -it's
my minhag to come late :-)

Joel Rich


From: Abbi Adest <abbishapiro@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 18:04:04 +0200
Subject: May One Wish non Jews a Merry -mas?

When I lived in chul [outside of Israel] "Happy Holidays" seemed to

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 13:51:55 +0000
Subject: Re: May One Wish non Jews a Merry -mas?

on 15/11/04 12:26 pm, Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...> wrote:

> As December 25th aproaches, I was wondering, may one wish a gentile
> collegue a Merry ....?

As far as I can remember the Gemara states that one may greet non-Jews
on their holidays 'mipnei darkei shalom - to foster amicable social
relations'.  Only today, I greeted a Moslem storekeeper in our
neighbourhood with their traditional formula 'Id mubarrak' which means
'a blessed festival' in Arabic (cognate to Mo'ed mevorakh). The only
problem is whether using the name of a particular festival might involve
enunciating the name of an avodah zarah - pagan deity. I am not sure
whether this applies to the upcoming one on 25 December but perhaps
someone else can provide suitable references.

Martin Stern

From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 09:59:20 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: May One Wish non Jews a Merry -mas?

This does not precisely answer your permissibility question, but I have
found that in discourse around that time of year, "Happy holidays" works
perfectly well and I don't think anyone notices the difference.

-- Janice

From: Tovia Lent <sld11@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 09:58:57 -0500
Subject: May One Wish non Jews a Merry -mas?

why bother to get into semantics. I answer everybody with Happy Holiday.
This way i do not have to figure out whether someone celebrates Chanukah
christmas or Kwaanza. This way I gently rebuke those who wish me a Merry
Christman despite the fact that I wear a kippah at work

          Tuvia Lent M.D.


From: Bernard Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 12:14:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Tal U-Matar

 What is the halacha concerning Tal U-Matar in the Southern Hemisphere?
 Do Jews living in the Southern Hemisphere add VeTen Tal U-Matar to the
 week day Amidah? If they do, where in the Amidah do they add it and
 when do they start saying it?

 I understand that in the 17th century, the Jews living in the
 Portuguese colony of Recife, in Brazil, struck by the fact that it made
 no sense to pray for rain during Brazil's summer, consulted Rabbi Chaim
 Shabbetai of Salonica. As I understand the matter, Rabbi Shabbetai
 ruled that: since outside of Eretz Yisrael, the appropriate time to add
 Tal U-Matar to Birkhat haShanim is from the 60th day of the autumn
 season until Pesach and since a person should not pray for rain at a
 time when rain would be harmful for him, the Jews of Brazil should
 never say Tal U-Matar in Birkhat haShanim; and since during the months
 of Nisan through Tishrei prayers for rain may be recited in Shome'a
 Tefillah, the Jews of Brazil could say Tal U-Matar in Shome'a Tefillah
 if the need arose.

 Is this the prevailing custom in Brazil? Is this the custom elsewhere
 in the Southern Hemisphere?

 Bernard Katz


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 06:04:28 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Tanakh Translations

Don't get me wrong- I like the Jewish Study Bible (not a "new
translation" per se) very much, and find it a valubale resource. I'd
just like to point out that it almost certainly fails the "kashrus" test
Noyekh Miller mentions, again, not that this keeps me from recommending
it to all.

As was pointed out by another poster, The Living Torah was completed by
three volumes of "The Living Nach."  As it happens, the translator of
the Neviim (apart from Trei Asar) is Professor Dr. Yaakov Elman of
Yeshiva University, who's also a contributor to the JSB. The Nach
series, while fine, is not as good as R.  Kaplan's original on a number
of levels. Just to pick one example, there's only an index to Neviim
Rishonim.  Also, Moznaim was much more restrictive in using "non-kosher"
sources for Nakh than R. Kaplan himself was for the Torah. For example,
where R. Kaplan even quoted classical sources, the Vulgate, and King
James for sources of the meanings of words, there's not even a mention
of the Mesha Stele in the commentary to Melachim. It seems to me that
"radical" ideas are "snuck" into the Nakh by citing the Da'at Mikra
series. For example, to paraphrase: "The Navi Yoel is said to have lived
in period X [sometime in Sefer Melachim, with source]. Others say that
this Yoel is the son of Shmuel mentioned in [pasuk, with source].
Finally, some say that Yoel lived in the time of Bayis Sheni (Da'at
Mikra)." As it happens, it's the final possibility that's the most
likely. Needless to say, The Living Nakh doesn't touch on questions of
when, for example, Yonah or Daniel may have been written, as the JSB
(and, I believe, Da'at Mikra, at times) does.

If anything, the JSB is good to have as a supplement to "frum"
commentaries that exclude, inexplicably, much valuable historical,
literary, and other information that doesn't pass the "kashrus" test.


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 07:52:13 -0500
Subject: Turn the other cheek

From: <chips@...>

>> turn the other cheek (a Christian concept, btw)
>  Are you sure? Because I'm pretty sure the concept is mentioned at least
> twice in the Neviyim Achronym.

Nonetheless, it is today considered a fundmental Christian concept and
associated Christianity.



From: Daniel Gross <gross@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 08:45:25 -0500
Subject: Turning off an electric oven on Shabbat


For a while I was wondering about the following (i might have already
posted such a question here):

Is it permissible on Shabbat to turn the knob of an oven to zero, while
the oven is switched off by its thermostat. How similar (or different)
is it to switching off lights during the period when a shabbat clock
(shaon-shabbat) has disconnected all electricity, which seems to be
permitted -- lechatchila.

Also, would there be a difference between shabbat or Yom Tov?

appreciating any thoughts,



From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 10:18:08 -0500
Subject: RE: Yes, we have bigger problems

I would take issue with the subject line.  The mitzva of (correctly)
rebuking an errant Jew together with the mitzva of not hating a fellow
Jew in your heart are central to an understanding of a large number of
our problems as Jews (including, chiefly, the senseless hatred that
caused the destruction of the second temple).  I have yet to find a
person, either historical or modern, who knows how to do these properly.



End of Volume 45 Issue 69