Volume 46 Number 05
                    Produced: Thu Dec  2 21:50:02 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

         [Avi Feldblum]
Carrying weapons on Shabbos and Yom Tov
         [David Charlap]
"Echo effect" (2)
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu, Perry Zamek]
Kashrus of Old Tefillin
         [Martin Stern]
Lateness to Shul
         [Janice Gelb]
         [Leah Perl Shollar]
Seating problems
         [Eitan Fiorino]
Shul and Fixed Seats
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Solutions to make Davening more Meaningful
         [Martin Stern]
Sources for Responsa CD


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2004 21:19:18 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Administrivia

After a notice to the membership that we might be off the air for a two
week period, we just had an unscheduled break due to a connectivity
failure over the last day. But we are back and will be on the air
through Sunday. I'll see Monday evening whether I will have reasonable
connectivity and what amount of mail-jewish will get done over that two
week period.



From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 11:21:10 -0500
Subject: Re: Carrying weapons on Shabbos and Yom Tov

Bill Bernstein wrote:
> 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.

First off, as you mentioned, if there is a real need to carry weapons
(because you're likely to be in danger from people/animals) then we have
a whole 'nother discussion.

If they are not necessary, I would assume that they are completely
forbidden on Shabbos.  Halacha is full of examples of important and
arguably necessary objects that you can't carry on Shabbos (your house
keys, a shofar, an umbrella, etc.)  In some cases, other halachot have
been rabbinically modified to accommodate this (e.g. not blowing shofar
on Shabbos, so someone shouldn't accidentally carry it.)

Given this, it would seem incomprehensible that carrying something
unnecessary (like a weapon in a safe neighborhood) could be permitted.

Now, for Yom Tov, it's a different story.  Carrying on Yom Tov is
generally permitted.  If I remember correctly, the concept of muktzeh
only applies on Shabbos, not Yom Tov.  So carrying weapons on Yom Tov
might be technically permitted.

But I would argue that doing so really violates the spirit of Yom Tov,
and it would be preferably to not carry weapons on Yom Tov unless there
is an actual need to do so.

If your sole reason for carrying them is that you carry them during the
week, that's a stronger reason to not carry them - Shabbos and Yom Tov
are supposed to be separate/different/above the rest of the week.
Weekday activities in general should be avoided, even if they are
technically permitted.

-- David


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 09:18:08 EST
Subject: "Echo effect"

Perry Zamek (NJv46n01) writes:

>I find the same problem at times, particularly when the congregation
>drowns out the end of the Chazan's bracha with their too-early "amen"
>(usually in the last bracha of shemoneh esreh, before Hallel). I don't
>think you can answer amen under those circumstances.
>As for Yehe Shemeh Rabba in Kaddish, IIRC the Mishnah Berurah rules that
>you can respond Amen only if you hear "Ba'agala Uvizman Kariv Ve'Imru
>Amen". "Yehe Shemeh Rabba", on the other hand, can be said even if it's
>echoing what everyone else is saying.

Rabbi Yehudah stated: Whoever has not seen the Diuplaston (double
gallery) of Alexandria, Egypt has not witnessed the glory of the Jewish
People. (Sukka 51b) It was a beautiful palatial building whose center
was raised to form windows. Inside there were seventy-one golden seats
to represent the great Sanhedrin. At times, the congregation numbered
twice the amount of the Exodus of the Jewish People from Egypt
(1,200,000!).  The prayer leader would have placed in front of him
different scarves/flags. When it was time for the congregation to answer
Amen, he would wave the appropriate scarf/flag. [copied with minor
correction from the www]

The synagogue was so gigantic that flags were needed to communicate
during the prayers. This imply both for Amen and for "Yehe Shemeh
Rabba."  So, I am not so sure what is the source for "I don't think you
can answer amen under those circumstances." when the Talmud itself gives
the above story, that it was done exactly that way in the largest shul
in Alexandria. Admittedly, it was not "echo" but rather a direct
communication with a flag since without a microphone a very large crowd
cannot hear the chazan directly, but the tzibbur did not hear "Ba'agala
Uvizman Kariv Ve'Imru Amen," they only saw the special flag for this

Gilad J. Gevaryahu

From: Perry Zamek <perryza@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 17:14:55 +0200
Subject: Re: "Echo effect"

Gilad refers to the synagogue of Alexandria in suggesting that one may
answer amen even though one does not hear the end of the bracha.

I would suggest two possible responses:

1. Even in Alexandria, the chazan would be heard by people standing
close by. The indication of the end of the bracha by means of flags was
to benefit those who were located (significantly) further away. This is
different from the case that I mentioned, in which the chazan's voice is
drowned out, and people are answering amen without even hearing the end
of the bracha. This itself is problematic (I think it's called an "Amen
Hatufa" [snatched Amen]).

2. There is a mishnah (Berakhot 8:8) that states that, if one hears the
end of a bracha from a Jew, amen may be answered, but not if the person
reciting the bracha is a Kuti [Cuthean], unless one hears the whole
bracha (and is then sure that the bracha was made to God and not to the
idol on Mt. Gerizim). By extension: What if one only heard the beginning
of the bracha? Yes, it's a bracha to God, but which one. Since Amen
implies acknowledgment of the truth of the bracha, answering amen to
only the first part of the bracha seems to be out of place.

Perry Zamek


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 14:18:02 +0000
Subject: Re: Kashrus of Old Tefillin

on 29/11/04 11:36 am, Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...> wrote:

> HB noted that a Sofer suggested that *most* tephilin written 30 - 50
> years ago were never kosher to start.

The Va'ad Mishmeret STAM examined a very large number of tefillin and
mezuzot produced at the time in Israel some years ago and found the vast
majority, including those that appeared to bear a Rabbanut certificate
had never been kosher. Similar results were also found when examinations
took place here in Manchester. One might say of them that they were not
worth the paper they were printed on!

Martin Stern


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 09:28:52 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Lateness to Shul

Carl Singer <casinger@...>
> Why is it that when one invites non-Jews or not-yet-frum Jews to, say, a
> bar mitzvah, they show up at the time listed in the invitation -- it's
> almost comic when the only people who are there on time are guests and
> those who "don't know any better."

I don't think this is a fair comparison for several reasons:

* One is more likely to make a special effort for a particular occasion
than for a daily or weekly occurrence

* If you perceive yourself as someone else's guest at a special event,
you are more likely to make a special effort to come on time

* Non-Jews are used to religous services that last only an hour or a
little more so it would probably not occur to them that coming late is
an option!

-- Janice


From: Leah Perl Shollar <leahperl@...>
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2005 10:23:15 -0500
Subject: Re: Rashi

> : Rashi's "I don't know what this means" is proof of his greatness, not a
> : means of proving he was fallible.
> What conclusion(s) should we come to when Rashbam [Rashi's grandson] opines
> that Rashi doesn't know what a passage means?

Why limit the question to Rashbam just because they are related?  What
about when the Ramban says "v'aneno nachon"?  Ramban says clearly in his
intro to his peirush that "lo mishpat hebechora" -- Rashi gets the
'double portion' of the first born.  He always quotes him first, but
often says he's wrong.  The answer is: BOTH are correct!  As Rashi
himself says, when he compares the words of Torah to a rock that splits
into many slivers.  All are true rock, but each looks different.  Or, as
Ramchal says on his letter on aggadata, that something can be true in
one set of parameters and not in another.  They are not contradictions.
When it comes to halacha lemaaseh, one can only DO one
(e.g. Hillel/Shamai vis-a-vis how we light the menorah) but BOTH have a
valid point from which they operate.  Rashbam's quibble with Rashi is
that there are places where he feels Rashi deviates from the strict
pshat (which he does) and that his explanatory style is totally pshat.

Leah Perl


From: Eitan Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 10:32:22 -0500
Subject: Re: Seating problems

Somehow these conversations about shul behaviors, no matter what the
specific context, seem to result in the the worst assumptions and
jusdgements being made about the internal states of the alleged
"transgressors' - in this particular case, those who take aisle seats.

I think that earlycomers take aisle seats not because they lack derech
eretz or are lazy but because those are for many the most desirable
seats, mainly because of significantly more freedom of movement.  I
think most people who take aisle seats (be it in shul or on an ariplane)
think the trade-off of having to stand up to allow others to enter and
leave is well worth having a few extra feet of space on one side.

I'm sure I will hear back from the shul police about these folks
clogging up the aisle, which is a secondary issue and is an accusation
that can be leveled at some, but not the majority of folks who sit in
aisle seats.



From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 11:49:00 -0500
Subject: Re: Shul and Fixed Seats

Avi Feldlum wrote:
 >If one went as a visitor to the main Broyers shul in Washington Heights,
 >you had a situation where everyone who was a regular had a well defined
 >makom kavuh - fixed seat, and it would be viewed as extremely offensive
 >for a visitor to sit in that seat. Your safest mode was to stand behind
 >the seats, until one of the regulars would point you to an "open seat".

I have been the victim of cases when a person, often arriving late to
shul (ironically enough), would kick me, as a visitor, out of my seat
because it was his "makom kavua" [permanent place].  Besides being rude
and unwelcoming, it is also highly embarrassing and establishes an
emnity between fellow Jews (both of which are clear Torah prohibitions).
As such, it would seem to me that if you are not present in your makov
kavua or somehow leave a place-saver (e.g. your Tallit or Tallit-bag),
you must necessarily behave as if you have forfeited it for that



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 14:06:05 +0000
Subject: Re: Solutions to make Davening more Meaningful

on 29/11/04 3:06 am, Stuart Pilichowski <cshmuel@...> wrote:

> I'd advise anyone that gets bored with the davening or begins to have
> shplikas to ask (demand?) that the Rabbi begin using his pulpit to talk
> about the tefillot instead of the parsha.

This is an excellent idea but an even more effective approach might be
to arrange a shiur on tefillah between minchah and ma'ariv (in summer),
or after ma'ariv (in winter) every weekday. This might have the
disadvantage that the ladies might miss out, though they should be told
they are welcome to come if they are able. For those who cannot manage,
they could ask their husbands to tell them what the rav had said over
supper, which would mean that the latter would really have to pay
attention. If they have any queries they could relay them through their
husbands which would boost the rav's morale no end, knowing that his
words were getting through.

Martin Stern


From: Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 17:11:48 +0100
Subject: Sources for Responsa CD

Dear list members,

I wonder what is the most affordable (kosher) way of getting hold of the
Bar-Ilan CD-ROM: Is it better to buy it in some small shop in Israel, or
online, or directly from BI University? Maybe an older version
second-hand (where?), and then the update? Not that I don't respect
their work, but in absolute terms, it seems so much money for a plastic

Eliezer Lipman Phillip Minden

[Note, I have seen it being offered on a regular basis on E-Bay, and the
source is reliable. This is the most current version, and it typically
about 50% of standard retail. Still pricey, but if you are going to buy
the current version, a good alternative. Avi]


End of Volume 46 Issue 5