Volume 46 Number 10
                    Produced: Sat Dec  4 21:31:22 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Carrying weapons on Shabbos and Yom Tov
         [Warren Burstein]
Cost of Simchas (4)
         [Andy Goldfinger, <FriedmanJ@...>, Leah S. Gordon, Leah Perl
Jewish groups on Yahoo
         [Art Werschulz]
Kids seeing/imitating Jewish Practice
         [Leah S. Gordon]
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
The Rabbi's Wife Plays at Murder
         [Naomi Graetz]
Stan Tenen Radio Interview Announcement
         [Levanah Tenen]
Tamar, Yehuda and ancient communication
         [Batya Medad]


From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2004 11:11:01 +0200
Subject: RE: Carrying weapons on Shabbos and Yom Tov

What is the definition of a "makom sakana" in which one may carry a
weapon on Shabbat?  Is there a single definition for both muktzeh and
carrying, or does one level of danger permit muktzeh and a higher level
permit carrying?


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2004 07:42:00 -0500
Subject: Cost of Simchas

Regarding the cost of Chasunahs [weddings], I would like to describe the
nicest and most memorable Chassunah that I ever attended.

It was during the '60s in Boston.  I was a graduate student at Brandeis
University.  Two undergraduate students became ba'alei tsuvah [returnees
to Jewish commitment] and were engaged.  Both sets of parents were
extremely hostile to their taking on Jewish observance, and caused
untold problems for them.  Both sets of parents then disowned them, and
tried their best to break up the relationship and interfere with their
wedding.  The students were destitute.

Their Chasunah was held in a friend's back yard.  The relatively small
number of friends and student who were invited (the parents were not
told where or when the wedding was, to prevent their interference)
chipped in to pay for the Simcha.  The "Smorgasboard" consisted of some
pound cake and potato chips.  The wedding seudah [meal] consisted of egg
salad and tuna salad served on paper plates.  The "band" was a friend
playing guitar.

To this day, I remember the dancing, joy, and love expressed on that

From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2004 06:36:02 EST
Subject: Re: Cost of Simchas

Everyone helped with my daughter's wedding, we had 250 guests in New
Jersey, for an all day affair that was a milchig buffet with all the
trimmings for less than $27,000 and that included the dresses, the
suits, the shoes, the flowers, the booze, the shtick, the band, the
benchers, the "party favors" the food, the photos and the videos, the
mesader kedusin, the chuppah, and the notary public for the pre-nup.

If you put some elbow grease in, and you hunt for bargains (yeah, so we
served the food on plastic, and saved about 3,000 right there) and you
do the flowers yourself (I did the centerpieces and the bouquets for the
bride and her "maids:, I decorated the chuppah myself (made out of PVC
piping and given to a gemach afterwards, as was some of the other stuff
we made). You stick to wine, no hard booze, and don't go to a place that
charges a corkage fee.

Oh yeah, we also did the invitations ourselves on our color printer.

I can assure you a good time was had by all, and it didn't look like a
shoestring wedding.

Sodas and Snapple from the cheapest sales you can find.
Wines from Queen Anne (they were having a sale around Pesach, we knew we
were making a wedding, knew how many people, loaded up for Yom Tov and
the Wedding)
Candles by Costco
Flowers by Costco
PVC by Home Depot
Fabric and Shtick from The Rag Shop
Salmon from Banner Fish, see Yossi Piekes
Fruits and Veggies--the market in Hackensack
Cake by Costco
Wedding Cake by Butterflake
The five -piece band, found by my daughter was $1,500.
The photographer charged for film and developing with a little extra.
The videographer is a friend.

From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2004 02:48:16 -0800
Subject: Cost of Simchas

Ari Trachtenberg wrote:
>Teach your kids that money does not buy happinness.  I have found that
>the enjoyment of a simcha is *much* more dependent on the energy of the
>people present than on the amount of money spent (my own wedding being a
>good example)!

I could not agree more...and I was at the wedding in question!  ;)


From: Leah Perl Shollar <leahperl@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 12:08:17 -0500
Subject: Re: Cost of Simchas

> I have heard a great deal in recent years about excessive spending by
> the affluent and its effects on middle-income families.  Efforts to
> address this problem have largely focused on encouraging wealthier
> families to streamline their simchas.  What is underemphasized, in my
> opinion, is the kin'ah [jealousy] and the unfortunate need to "keep up
> with the Joneses" on the part of those who cannot afford to compete.
> [snip]
> We work hard to educate our children and students about tznius
> [modesty], lashon hara [evil gossip], and various middos [character
> traits].  Wouldn't it be useful to devote some of that time to
> encouraging them to work on the trait of jealousy, and to teach them
> that you don't need to have everything everyone else has?
> Khaya Eisenberg

Yes, people should focus on not violated the tenth commandment, but -
Sumptuary Laws have an old and honored history in Jewish tradition.  The
Vaad 4 Aratzos enacted them, the Noda B'Yehuda enacted them,
et.al. setting in place amounts one may spend on each type of simcha,
number of pieces in a band, amount of people at meal...etc., There were
sumptuary laws that dealt with how much jewelry a woman may wear outside
her house, whether and how much fur may be worn, and so forth.  These
rabbonim didn't just say "people shouldn't be jealous", they dealt with
human nature as it is.  Another similar type of issue has to do with our
burial customs.  During the era after the destruction of the 2nd BHM"K
so many people could not afford a 'proper' burial with all the niceties,
that people were abandoning their dead by the side of the road.  It was
not until Rabban Gamliel insisted upon a plain and simple burial for
himself, that this became the accepted practice. (Moed Katan27b)

Leah Perl


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2004 10:05:00 -0500
Subject: Jewish groups on Yahoo


David Grossman has been running some Jewish groups on Yahoo for a
while now.  Full information is available at

Anyway, he sent the following announcement out, which I'm spreading
around, for the benefit of those who are interested in Divrei Torah.
The term "man" in the second paragraph may be considered to be a
placeholder for a generic Jewish Homo sapiens. :-)


We are re-instituting our venerable Tisch group. Its new direction will
be the Dvar Torah.

As you surely know, few things can strike more terror in the hearts of
man than a request by the Gabbai to give a Dvar Torah the following

You have two options when that happens:

1. You can argue with the Gabbai that his very request represents

2. You can share your ideas for a Dvar Torah with the Tisch group.

Our first Dvar Torah project on the new Tisch group will be the
connection between Chanukah and the dreams in Mikketz.

Join the Tisch group at http://www.geocities.com/jewishgroups

Let me know if you have any problems subscribing, and I'll try to

David Grossman


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2004 02:45:05 -0800
Subject: Kids seeing/imitating Jewish Practice

Tzvi Stein wrote:
>My kids never see me davening at home either.  We have these things in
>our house called "doors" that kids can't see through.

I'm not sure that this is such a great thing.  My kids see us davening,
and they are eager to "daven" from a young age--what is the chinuch
[education] goal of hiding one's observance from one's children?

(Some may remember that mine is the toddler who likes to sing the
Simchat Torah hoshanot...and he also likes to go get one of the
wedding-souvenir benchers and sing 'Siman-tov, Mazel-tov'.  As his mom,
of course, I find it adorable. :) )

I did think it might have been a bit over the line when my two-year-old
and six-year-old made a set of "kiddush cups" out of shampoo-bottle-lids
in the shower and pretended to say kiddush....

But kids really learn a lot through watching and imitating.  I remember
with my own sisters, having imaginary seders, pretend shuls with
davening, etc.  (Whichever of us was pretending to be our father would
shuckle and say, "Be quiet I'm davening; be quiet I'm davening"--though
I don't remember my father actually saying that to us--he brought us to
shul from a very young age, and taught us to be quiet such that he
wouldn't have had to say "be quiet" that much.)

--Leah S. R. Gordon


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2004 13:58:41 +0200
Subject: Re: Nittel

In many circles the Dec. 25 eve is called the small nittel, as opposed
to the Jan. 6 one, which is caleld the great nittel.  The difference is,
of course, based on which religion was most prominent in the area of
Europe from which they came.



From: <graetz@...> (Naomi Graetz)
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2004 17:09:07 +0530
Subject: The Rabbi's Wife Plays at Murder

I am pleased to announce the publication of my latest book, The Rabbi's
Wife Plays at Murder (Beersheba: Shiluv Press, 2004). It is available
directly from me. For mail delivery to the U.S., the price is $12.95 (+
$4.05 p/h) or $17. In Israel, the price is 60 NIS (+ 5 NIS p/h). If you
are on the BGU campus, you can arrange to pick up your copy directly
from me.  Here is the back cover description:

 Professor Toby Kramer, the ambitious head of the Women's Studies
 Program at her local college, reluctantly admits to being Rabbi Daniel
 Kramer's wife. Her favorite pastime is playing tennis. Tanned and
 slender, she looks like an athlete, radiates confidence and projects an
 aura of professionalism. Then into the calm and organized life she
 shares with her husband enters Gordon Lieberman, a philanderer and
 former tennis partner, asking for help. Gordon is not only in
 trouble. He is trouble! Within days of his arrival, the Kramers and
 their small group of friends are exposed to runaway wives, murder,
 divorce, and domestic violence. As Toby seeks the murderer, and tries
 to protect the innocent, her enquiries lead her to an unflinching look
 at her values and recognition that all is not as it seems in her staid
 and quiet Jewish community.

Questions of morality and justice are at the center of this provocative
suspense novel.

In The Rabbi's Wife Plays at Murder, Naomi Graetz decided to adhere to
the old advice of writing about what she knows - - life as a rabbi's
wife. She combines likable characters with a superb mystery plot, while
offering the reader a voyeuristic peek into modern Jewish life.


From: Levanah Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2004 11:30:42 -0500
Subject: Stan Tenen Radio Interview Announcement

On Thursday/Friday December 9/10, Stan Tenen will be the featured guest
on "Coast To Coast AM with George Noory", a live national overnight
radio interview program broadcast throughout the US and Canada, and also
available world-wide via XM Satellite Radio, and on the Internet via
streaming audio (for a small fee). The interview starts at 11 PM
_PACIFIC_ time, Thursday Dec. 9, and runs for three hours.

For those of us on the East Coast, that's from 2 AM to 5 AM on Friday
morning, Dec. 10. Stan and I will be drinking lots of coffee. <smile>

"Coast to Coast AM" is a call-in show, with a very large audience. Most
listeners (and callers) will be new to our work, and be unfamiliar with
Judaism, so Stan would welcome questions from a more Torah-oriented
audience. (Note: "Coast to Coast AM" appeals to a broad general
"night-time" audience. Its commercials may include ads for a number of
products, religions, and ideas often not suitable for young people.)

If you have your own e-list, please pass along this announcement -- and
thank you! <smile>

To call in to "Coast to Coast AM" from North America:
Western of the Rockies: 1-800-618-8255 (toll free)
Eastern of the Rockies: 1-800-825-5033 (toll free)
First time caller: 1-818-501-4721
Wild Card line: 1-818-501-4109 (anyone can call)
These numbers, and international access phone numbers for those of you not
in the US or Canada, are also listed on the "Coast to Coast AM" website at

For information on receiving this show via streaming Internet, go to

For a list of radio stations in US and Canada that broadcast "Coast to
Coast", and a link to XM Satellite Radio information on the show, go to

Levanah Tenen, Meru Foundation
Meru Foundation  http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2004 12:31:08 +0200
Subject: Re: Tamar, Yehuda and ancient communication

"Akiva Miller asked (v46i02) why Tamar does not tell Yehuda that she is
pregnant by him before others notice that she is pregnant.  Akiva
suggested (with reservations/doubts) that maybe Tamar did not
immediately realise she was pregnant."

 From the pshat, Tamar and Yehuda weren't living in the same house.  She
obviously had freedom of movement where ever she was waiting to marry
the next son, or she wouldn't have had been able to set herself up to
trap him.  and he, like his father with his mother, had no idea of with
whom he was sleeping.

It makes no sense to think that Tamar didn't know she was pregnant when
others did.  She was a woman in control of her destiny.

It's very possible that Tamar had no intention of informing Yehuda until
after the birth, when she would present him with his possessions, or she
may have even been saving them to meet him again if she hadn't conceived

Remember that besides G-d's speaking/communicating with someone,
communication was very slow in those days, no sms, fax, email, phone




End of Volume 46 Issue 10