Volume 45 Number 89
                    Produced: Wed Nov 24 20:19:06 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Effective Megillah reading?
         [Leah S. Gordon]
"Happy Holiday Season"---Bah, Humbug!
         [Mike Gerver]
Lateness to shule - impact on everyone
         [Carl Singer]
Men on the women's side (2)
         [Martin Stern, Carl Singer]
         [Yaacov Fenster]
Rashi and Ruakh HaKodesh
         [N Miller]
Tefillin - Mechitza?
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Two pairs of Tefillin
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Two Pairs of Tfillin
         [Joel Rich]
Where to Stand/What to Face
         [Mike Gerver]


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 02:55:25 -0800
Subject: Re: Effective Megillah reading?

David Curwin wrote, in part:

> I'd like to find a way to have one reading, which will be enjoyable for
> the whole family, yet allow everyone to be "yotzei" and not get out of
> hand.
> Anyone have any success stories or tips?

I commend you for trying to find a solution.  I am a parent of two young
children, but my children are easily spooked by loud noises, and are
also good at sitting quietly in shul.  Therefore, I well understand the
need for a quiet/moderate reading at which families are welcome!

I have a few practical suggestions:
1. Outlaw the super-noisy toys like wooden groggers, air horns, etc.
2. Have a "stop sign" that, when raised, means enough hollering--do a
practice 'Haman' and stopping before any reading has started.
3. Try to engage the older kids (ages 8 and up?) with the idea of
hearing *every* word, and the idea that loud noises are more vs. less
appropriate for different instances of Haman (depending on context)--
sometimes kids of that age are really good at being 'mashgichim' for
good family behavior.
4. Announce in many venues, ahead of time, what the rules/protocol will
be for the reading.
5. Make megillot/seating as convenient/inobtrusive as possible, to cut
down on any ancillary noises.
6. Consider offering an 'emergency' late-night reading so that in case
a parent has to rush out with a screaming child, s/he will know that
there is another option for later and won't feel tempted to stick around
and disturb everyone.
7. Consider offering [free] babysitting for very young babies or perhaps
a 'tot service'...this is problematic, though, for adults who participate
in the childcare and miss the reading.  If the tot service is offered
at a different time than the regular reading, then it is just
an added inconvenience to attend it.

Good luck!!
I am interested to hear how it goes.
--Leah S. R. Gordon


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 03:42:13 EST
Subject: Re: "Happy Holiday Season"---Bah, Humbug!

A number of years ago, when I was living in the US, a non-Jewish
co-worker wished me a "Happy Chanukah" a few days before December 25, in
a year when Chanukah had ended well before that. When I told him
"Thanks, but Chanukah ended a couple of weeks ago," he looked at me
blankly, like he didn't understand what in the world I was talking
about. Maybe he was expecting appreciation for the fact that he had
thought to wish me a happy Chanukah instead of a merry Xmas, and was a
bit put off that I was, instead, mildly criticizing him for it. Or maybe
he thought that "Chanukah" was just the Jewish term for Xmas, and didn't
realize they don't always come at the same time.

Aside from the one or two other Jews who worked there, the only person
at that company who consistently wished me a "Happy Chanukah" at the
right time was an engineer who was Hindu! She knew how annoying it was
to be consistently given holiday greetings around December 25.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 06:41:31 -0500
Subject: Lateness to shule - impact on everyone

Let's say ma'ariv is scheduled for 7:30 PM -- if the minyan is punctual
one can plan accordingly Knowing, for example, that they'll be through
by, say, 7:45.  - they should be home at 8:00 PM to do whatever (eat,
help their children with homework, learn.)

If one has to wait 10 minutes to see if a minyan arrives and then make
calls to generous individuals then ma'ariv will begin at 7:45 ending at
8:00.  That means for those who came on time that they've have now
doubled the time they allocated.  They have spent 15 frustrating minutes
waiting for a minyan, especially if someone needs to say kaddish -- yes,
no doubt, a theorist will say they could have spent those 15 minutes
learning, but perhaps that isn't how they chose to schedule their day.
And finally, they may feel a need to rush through ma'ariv.  The greatest
impact is to those who came on time -- the least, timewise, to those who
were late.

This is even more frustrating with a z'man mincha minyan which, in
essence, cannot be delayed 15 minutes -- do you "give up" and go to
another shule ("oh 5 minutes after you left plony came and we would have
had a minyan if you stayed ....")  Daven individually, etc.

Carl Singer


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 16:52:47 +0000
Subject: Re: Men on the women's side

on 24/11/04 10:49 am, David and Toby Curwin <tobyndave@...> wrote:
> 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!

On the contrary, he would have to leave. If it is the area designated
for women they have the prior right to use it and any man there has to
give way to them. While it is unusual for women to come on weekdays,
they are perfectly entitled to do so.

Among Jews from Germany, there is a custom among many women to come when
they have yahrzeit provided this does not clash with childcare.  We have
in our shul a number of women with this custom and, when they come, the
gentleman who likes to go into the ezrat nashim has to leave. The same
would apply to a woman going 'aus wochen', making her first visit to
shul after childbirth, if that should be on a weekday, or a shabbat
minchah, when women do not usually come.

Martin Stern

From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 07:29:19 -0500
Subject: Men on the women's side

Sometimes (because our shule has a rear entrance directly to the women's
side) someone who's late will go there to put on their tallis &
tephillin without disturbing others.  This was an early, weekday,
schacharis minyan that rarely if ever has a woman.

But I agree with Dave's sentiment.  This past Sunday evening was my
wife's grandmother's Yahrzeit so we both went to ma'ariv at a different
local shule.  I suggested we go early because there are some men who,
for whatever reason, tend to daven in the women's section -- she
"parked" there about five minutes before davening began and that pretty
much kept men out -- with the exception of someone who was learning back
there -- only at "borchu" did he jump out into the men's section.  Also,
during davening, a few latecomers barged through a back door into the
women's section and quickly turned around.

But this points out one other thing -- one should probably not position
themselves next to an entrance doorway in such a manner that anyone
coming late will have to cut in front of them while they are saying the
amidah.  I recall the tale of a Rosh Yeshiva who physically moved a
bocher who was davening in an aisle and thus blocking others,

Carl Singer


From: Yaacov Fenster
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 22:38:55 +0200
Subject: Re: Rashi

Samuel P Gorner wrote:
>Noyekh Miller writes, "Great as he was, where is it written that [Rashi]
>was infallible?"
>This reminds me of the discussion we had here on mail-jewish in May 2002
>regarding whether Rashi had Ruach Hakodesh ("divine spirit").  See the
>archives at 36:31-47.
>If Rashi on Chumash WAS written with Ruach HaKodesh, that would explain
>its infallibility.

This brings to mind the weekly Parasha of Toldot from a week and a half
ago. In Chapter 28, verse 5, Rashi says "I do not know what it teaches
us" about the words "Mother of Yaacov and Esav".



From: N Miller <nmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 15:02:12 -0500
Subject: Re: Rashi and Ruakh HaKodesh

Sammy Groner reminds us of an earlier discussion of ruakh hakodesh and

"If Rashi on Chumash WAS written with Ruach HaKodesh, that would explain
its infallibility."

This reminds me of a recent post (45:78) from Perets Mett--someone I
hate to differ with--on psak, in which he writes:

"Chazal say that a dayon who judges honestly becomes a shutof to HKBH in
the Creation".

Am I the only reader of this list who finds such views at least
questionable?  I sometimes get the feeling that the way some people
think of gedolim is lehavdil elef havdoles comparable to the Roman
Catholic tradition.  It is at any rate a disturbing tendency to those
like myself who prefer to look at our tradition in a thoroughly rational
way, where deference follows demonstrated excellence, not complacent and
self-serving formulas that prejudge the issue.

Noyekh Miller


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 03:02:09 -0800
Subject: Tefillin - Mechitza?

With regard to a man using tefillin differently than expected,
Carl Singer wrote:

"...we are like many congregations hetrogenious in background and personaal
minhagim - he makes a point of staying behind the mehitzah, separate,
while doing so.  Simply because he is following a different practice..."

What does this mean?  He is in the women's section???


[Correct, and is referring to a situation where there are no women in
attendance. The impact this has on a woman who does come is discussed in
earlier posting in this issue. Mod]


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 10:53:37 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Two pairs of Tefillin

I wrote a piece in the Bar Ilan Parashat Shavua page (parashat Ekev,
5764). I explained the history of the 2 pairs, and the various
opinions. I also mentioned that a few leading Mitnagdim Rabbis put
R. Tam Tefilin at their late years. (it is in hebrew)


From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 05:41:12 EST
Subject: Two Pairs of Tfillin

A few quick points:

1. Why by tfillin is there a need to keep both the accepted lhalacha
(Rashi) and not accepted(Rabbeinu Tam) vewrsion? IIRC the GRA pointed
out that to fufill all the opinions you'd need 32? 64? pairs of
tfillin. why is this mitzvah different from others ?

2. For those who mentioned individuals who wear 2 pairs and keep them
covered-it's an interesting calculus as the general rule brought down in
S"A O"C 27:11 (see also the kitzur 10:1) is that rfillin shel rosh are
to be uncovered ("and alll the nations of the world shall see). Thus
here being concerned over a secondary completion takes precedence over
the primary ancillary rule.  not saying it's wrong, just an interesting

Joel Rich


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 03:54:40 EST
Subject: Where to Stand/What to Face

Martin Stern writes, in v45n85,

      I remember a rav mentioning at a public shiur such a case of a
      young man on Yom Kippur who insisted on davenning an extremely
      long shemonei esrei in such a place that nobody could pass him. He
      went and picked him up bodily and moved him out of the way!

A friend of mine saw the same thing done for a slightly different reason
many years ago at 770 Eastern Parkway, Lubavitch headquarters in Crown
Heights. The floor was always packed with people, but when the Rebbe
zt"l needed to pass through, for example to get an aliyah, people would
somehow move aside and make a wide path for him, so he wouldn't have to
elbow his way through like everyone else. (They called this "Krias Yam
Suf.") On one such occasion, one of the bochurim was still davening
shmoneh esreh, and was standing right in the middle of the open path,
and wouldn't move out of the way. The other bochurim picked him up and
moved him to the side.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


End of Volume 45 Issue 89