Volume 45 Number 88
                    Produced: Wed Nov 24  5:49:02 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Carrying weapons on Shabbos and Yom Tov
         [Bill Bernstein]
Effective Megillah reading?
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Greetings at holiday times
         [J. B. Gross]
Men on the women's side
         [David and Toby Curwin]
         [Chana Luntz]
         [N Miller]


From: Bill Bernstein <billbernstein@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 22:00:41 -0600
Subject: Carrying weapons on Shabbos and Yom Tov

On a very different site devoted to firearms I got into a discussion
with someone on carrying concealed weapons in Shabbos and Yom Tov
(obviously there are a number of Jews on the boards).  It was my
impression that carrying on Shabbos was obviously forbidden, based on
Shulchan Oruch OC 301:7.  But it should also be forbidden on Yom Tov
because of muktzeh and because it does not fall in the category of
"ochel nefesh."  I think we are agreed that carrying in a makom sakana
should not be an issue but here we are disagreeing on carrying under
normal circumstances in, say, Tennessee, which is a pretty safe place,
relative to some others.  But that is only relatively speaking and I
personally carry concealed weapons during the week.

Has anyone seen discussions of this or knows of any sources?
Bill Bernstein
Nashville TN


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 09:51:18 +0200
Subject: Re: Effective Megillah reading?

> I would like to know if any of you have seen effective, family megilla
> readings. In the other shul in our neighborhood, there are two separate
> readings at night- one "quiet" and one "loud/ for children". I'm
> uncomfortable with that for two reasons (even though I was one of the
> people who initiated it): a) having a "quiet" reading indicates that it's
> somehow "better" than the other reading, and casts a shadow on those who
> attend the loud one, and b) the loud one ends up way to loud for many
> people to be yotzei.

I think this will be very much dependant on the self-discipline of the
congregation, but it IS possible. :-)

In my shul, and many others that I have been to, the general ("family")
megilla reading is fun, loud (enough), and also "kosher".  There are a
few tricks here. The first is to have a gabai at the bima who will make
some sign, such as raising a hand, after a "reasonable" amount of time
has passed with noise. So, when the reader says "haman", and all bedlam
breaks loose, enjoy it! :-) The graggers, sirens, clappers, etc all do
their thing.

BUT... after about 30 seconds (for an early "haman" - the kids have
waited a year for this, those first "hamans" take a LONG time), the
gabai raises his hand. At this point, everyone should quiet down, kids
old enough should have been told to watch for this, and littler ones can
be "shushhed" by parents. 5-10 seconds later there is hopefully quiet,
and the reading goes on.

(I remember watching Rav Druckman stamping his feet alternately until he
thought it was 'enough', and raising his hand to stop the noise).

In the later "hamans", the length of the noise also tends to get
shorter, down to 10-15 seconds (which is a lot more noise than it looks
like in writing).

The second trick to having a good kosher reading is for the congregation
to LISTEN to the entire word "haman", BEFORE starting the noise! There
will be people who 'jump the gun', but it should be STRONGLY
discouraged, and people should know ahead of time that "we do not want
ANY noise till the word is completely heard".

Which brings us to the last point - any time there was doubt that the
people were able to hear the entire word - it should be reread after the
noise. At this reading, it is *forbidden* to make ANY noise, everyone
was "yotze" (fulfilled their obligation) of noisemaking the first time
it was read, this one is "for the protocol".

BTW, we do have a second reading in my shul, and it is much quieter,
but.. it isnt to be "better". It is for all the women who were stuck
home with little kids or other reasons, and missed the first reading. It
is jam-packed with women (in the men's section too!)  who mostly just
want to hear it and go home, so noisemaking is at a very low level.

It isn't even Chanukah yet, and we are discussing Purim. :-)
May we always have only smachot!

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


From: Sharon <shani716@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 09:50:01 +0200
Subject: Greetings at holiday times

   Following the thread on what responses to people who wish us Happy
Holidays or Merry-----:

      Having worked most of my life among non-Jews (Occupational
Therapy) in both outlying towns and those closer to major Orthodox
populations, it is my experience that a very high percentage of non-Jews
think that everyone celebrates Xmas and Easter, they truly have no
comprehension that the opposite is true. Realize that to many non-Jews,
holidays may not be considered "religious", even though they are, which
may make it easier to understand, regretable but a fact. I therefore
have always taken it, not as an affront, but an opportunity to educate,
much the same as in Shabbat/kashrut. I have found most people very
interested in the real explanation of kashrut/Shabbat/holidays (as
opposed to a non-observant Jew's explanation and practice), ie kosher
food is not blessed by a Rabbi/etc.

    For many years I worked in a large therapy department represented by
4 major religions. We were all comfortable enough in our own religion
and had enough respect for each other to discuss food/holidays/practices
and be able to wish each other Happy Holidays and have "holiday" parties
absolutely committed to everyone's participation and enjoyment. There
was rarely a week when someone wasn't celebrating something and there
was always food being brought to work with patients and staff enjoying
together, on whatever level each wanted. To take food a step farther,
all food was edible by patients with multiple diagnoses also---there was
never a statement "you can't have this because you're a diabetic".

    My favorite story is coming to work one morning the week before
Pesach, the area manager arrived to announce a BIG meeting for the end
of the day. One of the Hindu therapists told him it would be better to
have it at lunch time because "Shani has to leave on time to clean her
kitchen for Passover".  He already knew we were an exceptionally close
group, recognized the respect we had for each other and promptly changed
the time. This is also not to say that everything was rosy as there were
those outside our department who never understood how we were able to
manage this way, but I think were secretly jealous.

    While it is true that there are not many people as fortunate as I,
being comfortable in one's own lifestyle and being committed to respect
for others never hurts any relationship; educating can create more
positive attitudes among people we share this world with.


From: J. B. Gross <yaabetz@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 23:21:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Love

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
> ...
> [Yaakov] as well as the Torah constantly refer to Rachel as his wife,
> Leah is rarely if ever referred to as such.

Off the bat, at least once this week:
"Vayyikach et sh'tei nashav v'et sh'tei shifchotav..." [and he took his
two wives and his two maidservants...]


From: David and Toby Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 07:49:12 +0200
Subject: Men on the women's side

From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>:
> One of the ballabtim in our shul... he makes a point of staying behind
> the mehitzah, separate, while doing so.

If I understand this correctly, this is a real pet peeve of mine. Often
for no apparent reason men will choose to daven on the women's side if
there are no women there. This is naturally more common during the
week. But obviously if a woman would choose to come - she'd be stuck!

-Dave Curwin


From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 17:38:42 GMT
Subject: Mikveh

Martin Stern  writes:

>The crucial point is that min hatorah, there are two quite
>distinct situations for a woman who experiences uterine
>bleeding - niddah and zivah - and these have completely
>different dinim. In particular, a niddah counts seven days
>from the beginning of the flow and, provided it has ceased,
>immerses on the night after this seventh day, whereas a
>zavah counts seven clean days if she experiences three
>consecutive days of bleeding and immerses on the seventh
>day by day. Because of the difficulty of distinguishing the
>two states, women took upon themselves to keep the
>stringencies of both, i.e. they count seven clean days after
>the termination of every bleeding episode and immerse only
>in the night afterwards. This is quite clearly a self-
>contradiction but Chazal agreed to it so that her daughters
>should not be confused and immerse by day for niddah when
>we revert to the distinction between it and zivah with
>the reestablishment of the Temple b"b and once again can
>eat terumah and kodshim which require ritual purity.

While you are correct regarding the distinction between a nidah and a
zivah d'orisa [under Torah law]:

a) in fact the Chachamim were the ones who prohibited going to mikvah
during the day lest she then have relations and then she see blood and
they come to a safek d'orisa prohibition (see Nida 67b) [this was a
maklokus with R' Shimon who did not prohibit going to mikvah in the day,
but the Rabbanan forbad].  This ban was specifically stated to be a ban
instituted in our days ie when women are considered to be safek zivos
[possibly a ziva and not a nida] and relates to the nature of ziva (ie
the fact that a part of a day can be considered like a whole day for
ziva but the immersion can be invalidated if she sees during the
remaining part of the day).

b) the Chachamim then further banned going on the eighth day during the
day (see again Nida 67b) because of the education of the daughters who
might see her mother going on the eighth day and think it was the
seventh day and then go herself on the seventh day (in violation of the
ban referred to in a) above).

As well as not being the reason that Chazal gave for the ban, I find it
unlikely that indeed the reason is "so that her daughters should not be
confused and immerse by day for niddah when we revert to the distinction
between it and zivah with the reestablishment of the Temple b"b and once
again can eat terumah and kodshim which require ritual purity."  When we
have a Temple a woman with the status of "ziva gadola" is required to
bring a korban [sacrifice], while she is not if she is a nida or a ziva
katana.  In order to establish whether or not a woman has an obligation
to bring a korban, women will in fact have to know and be very careful
of the distinction, indeed they will not only have to know the
distinction between nida and ziva, but between ziva katana and ziva
gadola, which we are not careful about anymore.

c) The minhag that women took on was to wait seven clean days after any
emission of blood, even one as small as a mustard seed (Megila 28b, Nida
66a).  This does effectively mean that nida bleeding is treated as ziva
bleeding, but more fundamentally it means that we have eliminated the
distinction between a ziva katana (one who sees blood on only one or two
days) and ziva katana (one who sees blood on three days running) Rashi
does bring as a reason there in Megila as being because women were not
always able to distinguish between the days in which only nidah can
occur and the days in which only zivah can occur. But the minhag has, as
I have outlined, more far- reaching implications than that.  Note that
the whole question of the days of nida and days of ziva gets one into a
very complex area.  There is in fact a maklokus between the Rambam and
other rishonim regarding how one counts the days of ziva and nida
(according to the Rambam, it is almost impossible to know whether one is
in the days of nida or the days of ziva, because one has to keep track
of the count going from the day of a girl's very first period, when she
is 12 or so) and how easy it is to get back on track.  If in fact it is
impossible (or very difficult) to get back on track, then it is not in
fact true that women, by having taken upon themselves to wait seven
clean days even for a mustard seed, have by doing so taken on themselves
to treat themselves as possible zivos, but the status of possible ziva
is a genuine safek that arises anyway due to the loss of the count.

>In view of these facts, though we do not usually allow immersion before
>night, in the extenuating circumstances of leil shabbat, some
>communities allowed it provided the woman did not return home before
>nightfall proper.

In view of these facts, one should then reading Rav Moshe's teshuva,
where he brings the reasons he find to justify immersion before night on
leil shabbat, but given the basic source (the ban as per the gemora on
Nida 67b) it is not as straightforward as you are suggesting.



From: N Miller <nmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 14:08:53 -0500
Subject: Re: Translations

I thank Alex Heppenheimer for his thought-provoking comments.  For the
moment I intend to focus on tohu v'bohu and leave the eshel for another

>I don't currently have access to the supercommentaries on Rashi, but I
>would suggest that he chose the rendering "tohu = astonishment" for its
>simplicity: it avoids the duplication of "tohu" and "bohu" being
>near-synonyms, and it doesn't require the introduction of Aristotelian
>philosophical concepts regarding matter and form.  (Which, of course,
>also makes it suitable for a contemporary translation - nothing to do
>with Rashi's "infallibility" or any other such concept.)

Questions.  If tohu and bohu are near-synonyms, how does it "simplify"
matters to distort the plain meaning of the text by translating a noun
as an adjective, where the translation is the result of what some call
speculative etymology?  (And what happened to the connective v'?)  As
for avoiding Aristotle, I wasn't aware that it has been decided to do
so; I rather suspect that the people at Artscroll will be astonished
(tohu?) when they learn how hip they are.  In any event, I don't
understand how one does an end-run around Aristotle by translating only

Noyekh Miller


End of Volume 45 Issue 88