Volume 45 Number 81
                    Produced: Mon Nov 22  7:01:09 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Introduction to Birkhat Hamazon (2)
         [Andrew Marks, Shimon Lebowitz]
Lateness to Shul (3)
         [Shimon Lebowitz, Martin Stern, Harlan Braude]
Please say tehillim for
Proper decorem in a Beit Keneses
         [Gershon Dubin]
Query re Shmuel Shraga Feigenzohn
         [Allen Gerstl]
Room for Two Tefillin
         [Natan Kahan]
Whatever happened to Bilhah and Zilpah? (5)
         [Tzvi Stein, Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer, Wendy Baker, Shimon
Lebowitz, Freda B Birnbaum]
Where to Stand/What to Face
         [Batya Medad]


From: Andrew Marks <machmir@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 11:34:30 -0500
Subject: Re: Introduction to Birkhat Hamazon

<On the other hand I am disturbed by those that intoduce the bentschen
in yiddish esoecially when they know nothing of yiddish.>

On a more humorous note, I have a friend who tells me that he used to
invite people to bentch with the phrase "Yo, let's go."  And somehow
people knew what he meant.


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 18:51:17 +0200
Subject: Re: Introduction to Birkhat Hamazon

And I have said "OK, let's bentch", only to have my sons reply "Yehi
shem... ".

But then I do it again with the same terminology you use. :)

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 19:05:52 +0200
Subject: Re: Lateness to Shul

> Chas VeShalom to think that Rav Moshe would condone someone disturbing
> someone else's Kavanah - regardless of the reason. I may not fulfill my
> "Ben Adam LeMakom" at the expense of my "Ben Adam LeChavaro"
> (There is a well known story that Rav Moshe was called out of the Beis
> Medresh for an important phone call that he needed to take, but refused to
> pass in front of someone who was davening Shemone Esrei.)

I believe that story is a Bein Adam laMakom story, not leChaveiro at
all. The prohibition of passing in front of someone praying is because
of haShem's presence there, and exists even when the person in question
doesn't mind or is oblivious to your passing (e.g. with eyes closed).

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 16:53:09 +0000
Subject: Re: Lateness to Shul

on 21/11/04 12:52 pm, <D26JJ@...> wrote:

> When someone comes late to shul, he need not disturb anybody. If he
> stays in the back and davens softly, it is not my business at all.

This is true except for the principle of "kol Yisrael areivim zeh lazeh
- all Jews are accountable for each other". This implies that if one Jew
acts improperly and another can do something to help him see his error
and refrains from doing so, the latter shares the former's guilt. If as
a result of this correspondence, more people become aware of the
non-ideal practice of coming late to shul, it will have served a useful

> The fact that a shul is a public place does not give me the right to look
> down upon and judge unfavorably my Brother Jew. I do not check his
> kitchen to see if he follows the Hasgachas that are to my liking, nor do
> I quiz him about his learning schedules, or whether he is careful in
> Loshon Harah, or which Rav he asks his questions to. It is just not my
> business.  If it disturbs me that someone comes late than I should
> strengthen my resolve to come on time and try to lead by example. It
> might just catch on.

The whole point of this discussion should not be seen as criticising any
particular person but rather the attitude that coming late to shul is a
matter of little consequence. For any particular individual, there may
be special mitigating circumstances which partly or, in some cases,
totally excuse lateness. However, each and every person knows whether
any apply to himself (as opposed to herself since women have no
obligation to come to shul in the first place) and, if not, whether he
can improve.

> I used to be critical and had little tolerance for what I considered
> inappropriate behavior in shul and I agonized over it a long time.
> Finally I realized that if someone were to observe me all day long with
> comments and criticism I would melt away. I have many weak areas that
> those "shul misbehaviors" might be strong in. We all have to improve
> somewhere.  Davening in shul had suddenly become much more rewarding for
> me.

The obvious lesson to this anonymous poster should have been how could
he share his new-found insight with others so that they will be
motivated to abandon their erroneous ways because, however tolerant one
might be and however much one might wish to be melamed zechut (judge
one's fellow generously), coming late to shul, as a regular practice in
the absence of any special compelling reason, is still not right.

The comparison is to a shogeg (someone who sins because of lack of care)
who has to bring a korban (sacrifice) as opposed to a mit'aseik (someone
acting under compulsion) who does not require any atonement.

As Beruriah put it "Hate sin not the sinner" but, by implication, she
might have added "but don't pretend that the sin is not a sin".

Martin Stern

From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 10:04:49 -0500
Subject: RE: Lateness to Shul

> I think this is very dependent upon what "out loud" means - I
> think all would agree that whether one is in synch or out of
> synch with the tzibbur, "at the top of one's lungs" is
> probably wrong.  But merely vocalizing one's reading in a way

This reminds me of one of my earliest experiences at YU back in the late
70's. I was accustomed to a relatively quiet davening at my home
synagogue, where folks in the seats would daven, at most, in a soft

I was seated in front of someone who I would later learn was a
well-known talmudic scholar. Things were going along pleasantly until we
reached the Shma. I almost fell out of my chair when he belted out the

I do recall once passing a building in Yerushalyim around Ma'ariv time
where the whole kehilla rang out the Shma at the top of their lungs. I
was informed that this was their minhag.

As the saying goes, different strokes...


From: Anonymous
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 10:19:08
Subject: Please say tehillim for

Leah Perl Shollar wrote:

> The second Jew in two days has been stabbed in Antwerp.  The first, a
> father of three, died last night. [...]
> Please say tehillim for Moshe Yitzchak ben Basya Chaya Sara.  He is in
> critical condition.  (And a 27 yr old father of 5 kids).

Nothing I can find to say would be appropriate to the horror of the
situation over which tehillim are being requested here.  Obviously,
saying tehillim is one of the things we humans can appropriately do in
these circumstances.

However, I respectfully take exception to Leah's attempt to justify the
need with respect to the parental status of the victims.  Would her plea
that we should say tehillim be equally urgent if the victims were
middle-aged, single people, or even married people, without children?
Is it less tragic when nonparental, and especially nonmarried, adults
are struck down?  Can anyone identify halachic sources that
differentiate individuals' worthiness of their fellow Jews' care based
on whether they are children or adults, or on whether or not adults have

> Perhaps if each of us took on one mitzva for achdus with Jews around the
> world, that would show Hashem that we can be united together WITHOUT
> stabbings and attacks -- united just because we are and should be one
> people.

Precisely my point.


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 08:28:59 -0500
Subject: Re: Proper decorem in a Beit Keneses

<<With regard to Martin's comment "A shul is not meant to be a social
gathering but a place where we can gather as a congregation to
communicate with HKBH," my father-in-law is quite fond of quipping to
shhhers "it's not called a beis hatefila, it's called a beis

There is a Gemara that says that one of the causes of the downfall of
baalei batim is that they call the Beis Keneses a "Beis Am", meaning,
with all due respect to your father in law, that they consider it a
place of social gathering instead of prayer.

The halachos of what one may not do in a Beis Keneses are quite strict;
the kedusha of a Beis Keneses is greater even than that of a Beis

It is also appropriate here to mention that someone who speaks in a Beis
Keneses is referred to in Shulchan Aruch as "Gadol avono mineso" which,
as Rav Matisyahu Solomon points out, is more strict than the same phrase
the way Kayin expressed it, since Kayin said it as a question (is my sin
really so great?), while the talker in question IS in fact, guilty of a
sin so great as to be unbearable.

Not something to be taken lightly; a Mikdash Me'at requires respect.



From: Allen Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 04:01:24 -0500
Subject: Query re Shmuel Shraga Feigenzohn

Dan Rabinowitz <rwdnick@...>
>Shafan HaSofer was a "maskil" as were many others that worked at the
>Vilna Romm press.  There was an article in HaMayyan aournd 10 years ago
>(don't have the exact cite now) that discussed various alterations that
>this group effected on the Vilna Shas.  .  .  .
>Fiegenzohn also wrote another book titled Alvonoh shel
>Torah against Christianity.  Furthmore he also editited the Otzar
>haTeffilot, in which, although they are few and far between makes some
>very interesting comments.

I much appreciate the above information; however it has only piqued my
interest more.  In order to track down the above-referenced article and
then request a copy from a library that has it, I need further

What is the full name of "HaMayyan" (which I assume is a periodical) and
who publishes it.



From: Natan Kahan <datankan@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 19:28:52 +0200
Subject: Room for Two Tefillin

Martin Stern writes:
> This custom is quite common amongst the Teimanim who make a point of
> having rather small tefillin in order to be able to fit both on at the
> same time.  It is mentioned (I forget the exact reference) that there is
> room on the head for two tefillin.

The source Martin Stern if referring to that there is room for two
tefillin is: OH 34:2.  MB (SK 5) states that this was the ARI's Z'L
minhag (see Sha'ar Hatsiyun 5 where he references his source for this as
being Sha'ar Hakavanot, Inyan Tefillin, techilat drosh 6).


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 10:12:41 -0500
Subject: Whatever happened to Bilhah and Zilpah?

In Israel, I once had a boss named Bilha (not frum).

From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 15:36:53 +0200
Subject: Whatever happened to Bilhah and Zilpah?

ASimpleJew asks: "Why don't you ever meet a Jewish girl with the name Bilhah
or Zilpah?"

You're in the wrong country! The name Bilhah and Zilpa are not uncommon
in Israel.

Dr. Aryeh A. Frimer
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University,Ramat Gan 52900, ISRAEL
E-mail: <FrimeA@...>

From: Wendy Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 10:46:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Whatever happened to Bilhah and Zilpah?

I have often wonderd why these two women, mothers of 4 out the tribes,
are not considered "imahot."  We do know that Leah and Rachel regarded
the children of these two as, somehow, to their totals, giving Rachel 4
and Leah 8 of the tribes, but that somehow doesn't parse for me.  We
don't know much about these women, but they did contribute their genes
to our people.

Wendy Baker

From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 19:05:37 +0200
Subject: Re: Whatever happened to Bilhah and Zilpah?

> Why don't you ever meet a Jewish girl with the name Bilhah or Zilpah?
> Whatever happened to Bilhah and Zilpah?

My wife knows of women with both of those names.

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp

From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 14:24:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Whatever happened to Bilhah and Zilpah?

Actually I HAVE occasionally run into people with the name Bilhah as one
of their names.  And I knew a lady, now deceased, who would be well over
100, whose name was "Pesha bas Bilhah".

Freda Birnbaum


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 06:39:55 +0200
Subject: Where to Stand/What to Face

Not walking in front of someone dovening Amida can be very difficult if
the person is standing in a doorway or facing the "closets"/boxes in the
teachers' room.  It's a two way street.  It's very important to choose a
spot that won't inconvenience others.



End of Volume 45 Issue 81