Volume 46 Number 13
                    Produced: Mon Dec  6 17:26:54 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Brit - Mother Drinking Wine (4)
         [Harry Weiss, Aliza Berger, Batya Medad, Martin Stern]
Cost of Simchas (2)
         [Anonymous, Khaya Eisenberg]
Important site for travelers
         [Gershon Dubin]
Lateness to Shul
         [Martin Stern]
The law of the land -- as related to monetary issues
         [Carl Singer]
Length of Davening
         [Shmuel Carit]
         [Nathan Lamm]
Roite Bendel
         [Ilana Rosansky]
Seating Problems
         [Martin Stern]
Shul Pet Peeves
         [Shimon Lebowitz]


From: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@...>
Date: Sat, 04 Dec 2004 22:11:17 -0800
Subject: Re: Brit - Mother Drinking Wine

 In our shul we take the Mechitza down for a Bris.  I have been to other
shuls where the bris is in the social hall without a mechitza.

From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2004 09:14:34 +0200
Subject: Brit - Mother Drinking Wine

I had written:
>In your community, how common is it for the mother to
>drink from the wine at her son's brit?

>To which Gil Student answered:

>I've never seen it done and I'm not sure how it could be done, since
>according to the Rama (YD 285:11) the mother is not supposed to enter
>the men's section of the shul.

(The correct reference is 265, not 285.) Two points: (a) The wine could
certainly be brought to the women's section. (b) She could drink the
wine at a brit that does not take place in a synagogue.

Also, as I already mentioned, please see R. Sperber's article in the
first volume of Minhagei Yisrael where he notes that during the geonic
period the mother did drink, and why she was the most appropriate person
to drink. In my conversation with him he indicated that it was fine for
me to drink the wine, and the mohel, who also had smicha (rabbinic
ordination) agreed.

I am still waiting for personal memories of britot, if anyone remembers.

Aliza Berger-Cooper, PhD
English Editing: editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: statistics-help.com

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2004 07:15:01 +0200
Subject: Brit - Mother Drinking Wine

The cup's passed to the Ezrat Nashim, or wherever the mother and other
women are.  It's done in Shiloh and then passed around to the other
women until empty.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2004 06:32:31 +0000
Subject: Re: Brit - Mother Drinking Wine

First, not every brit milah takes place in shul and, even if it does,
there should be no problem in passing the cup to her outside the door.

Second, the custom, as I understand it, is that, after the person who
makes the berakhah has tasted the wine, the cup is sent to the mother if
she is in the same building. There is then no problem of delay since she
will make her own borei peri hagafen on receiving it.

The only time when we rely on the mother to drink the wine in order to
validate the berakhah is on Yom Kippur, if she is still considered
sufficiently ill to be obliged to drink, when nobody else can drink.

Martin Stern


From: Anonymous
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2004 22:18:55
Subject: Cost of Simchas

<FriedmanJ@...> wrote:
> 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...

What strikes me most about this is how a $27,000 wedding is considered
to be run on a "shoestring" budget. This may be the case relative to
what other people are spending, but can you imagine what $27,000 looks
like to a parent in a household *not* pulling in a 6-figure salary?

Actually, as I've watched the discussion on cost of simchas, I'd be
interested also to hear people's thoughts on the high cost of being
Jewish in general; or maybe just the high expectations that seem to go
along with living in a Jewish community. Forget about things like the
price of kosher meat --- how about the cost to buy a house in a Jewish
neighborhood, the cost of shul membership, or the cost of yeshivot for
one's children? What are Jews who are not lawyers/doctors/etc. supposed
to do when faced with these realities?

From: <Skyesyx@...> (Khaya Eisenberg)
Date: Sat, 04 Dec 2004 22:40:17 -0500
Subject: Re: Cost of Simchas

>From Leah Perl Shollar:
> Sumptuary Laws have an old and honored history in Jewish
> tradition...These rabbonim didn't just say "people shouldn't be
> jealous", they dealt with human nature as it is."

Clearly the precedent for sumptuary laws is well-established; however,
rabbonim frequently target areas of transgression which are arguably
"human nature as it is" such as lashon hara and tznius.  Why not focus
on jealousy and competition as well?

Khaya Eisenberg


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2004 21:05:12 -0500
Subject: Important site for travelers

Go to www.zemanim.org and click on the link for air travelers.

No more guessing!

Put in departure city, date and time, and arrival city, date and time
and it will calculate for you the zemanim along the way, alos hashachar
(dawn), hanetz hachama, (sunrise) sof zeman kerias shema (latest shema),
mincha gedola (earliest mincha) and shekia (sunset), as applicable.



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2004 06:59:17 +0000
Subject: Re: Lateness to Shul

on 4/12/04 11:44 pm, Tzvi Stein at <Tzvi.Stein@...> wrote:
>> quoted as saying that he wouldn't try and come on time. This effectively
>> makes him a meizid (deliberate sinner)
> Good G-d!  We are talking about coming a few minutes to davening here!  Get
> some perspective and lay off the harsh judgements, for Pete's sake!!!

As I remember, in the original posting, the lateness of the rabbis meant
there was no minyan at the designated starting time and this was not
just a matter of a few minutes. In any case, someone who has pointed out
to him that he has done something wrong and reacts by saying that he
would not correct that behaviour is, by definition, a meizid in that
particular sin.

Martin Stern


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sat, 04 Dec 2004 22:56:44 -0500
Subject: The law of the land -- as related to monetary issues

The following dialog took place this evening on a local internet group:

    Message 1:
    Can anyone out there tell me from their recent personal experience a
    ball park figure as to how much it would run to install a new
    bathroom using contractors from the <name of city> vicinity?

    Message 2:
    A licensed contractor with all permits, or not?  Makes a huge

My question -- is there an halachic issue with NOT getting city permits
-- dino d'malchuso dino

Carl Singer


From: Shmuel Carit <cshmuel@...>
Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2004 06:29:27 +0000
Subject: Length of Davening

At the shul where I used to daven we stopped the tefillah when the noise
level was too much. The excuse always was that the people are antsy
because daveing is too long and they begin conversations.

That seemed like an ok excuse except when it came to shabbat afternoon
mincha. We still had to stop the chazan in his repetiton of the shmoneh
esray because of the talking. Mincha's only a half hour. What's the
excuse there? 'Just had to discuss and review the shabbos lunch table
divrei torah?

Clearly it's the approach and respect people have for tefillah.

Stuart Pilichowski
Mevaseret Zion


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2004 20:25:27 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Nittel

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

If this is a reference to the Julian calendar, I find it hard to
believe. In countries where the Church followed the Julian calendar, the
secular authorities did as well (until about 1917), so Christmas always
fell on December 25th, even if December 25th in, say, Russia was January
4th, 5th, or 6th in the West. (For that matter, V'sen Tal Umatar would
always fall on November 21st or 22nd in these countries.)

One possibility: January 6th is Epiphany, also known as "Twelfth Night"
(of both the Shakespeare play and the famous song fame). It's been
suggested that no-learning customs of Nittel originated in Jewish fears
of being out and about on Christmas Eve; Twelfth Night features even
more riotous celebrations (as opposed to more sober ones on the 25th),
so the danger would have been greater.

Nachum Lamm


From: Ilana Rosansky <ilana@...>
Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2004 10:29:31 +0200
Subject: Re: Roite Bendel

>From: Leah Perl Shollar <leahperl@...>
>> How do we explain the practice among the Orthodox which appears to be
>>  specifically prohibited by the Tosefta? I noticed that we discussed it
>>  briefly in
>>  http://www.importersparadise.com/mj_ht_arch/v27/mj_v27i04.html#CZ but
>>  would like to bring the issue back as now it became more abusive with
>>  Kabbalah centers selling it as a cure all-protect all for Jews and
>>  Christians, and for hefty fees to boot.

First of all, that's Kabbalah Centre's (Berg)

>The other part of it is the merchandizing of what should theortetically
>be something spiritual (not that we are approving of the practice
>itself...)  I was in a hair accessory store with my daughters, and there
>on the counter was "Kabbala string!  3 for $10!  Ward off bad karma" and
>other such drivel.  The exploitation and consumerism associated with
>Kabbala now, is very sad.

Yes, it's a long-time practice to ward off the evil eye. Said to help a
mother and baby. Many people put a red bendel on baby carriages etc...
Indeed, Jewish bookstores/gift shops in the States have red bendels for
sale in a teeny little zip lock baggie.  But also, when you give
Tsedakah at the Kotel, some of the women give you a red bendel in
return. One lady, who sits up the stairs on the way to the Cardo, gives
a red bendel with a blue 'ayin' (literally and eye) threaded on, against
the ayin ha-ra. I was just there a week or so ago and she is still

Ilana Rosansky


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2004 08:48:23 +0000
Subject: Re: Seating Problems

Apropos of this discussion, we had a visitor in our shul this (Sunday)
morning who just stood in the back aisle by the entrance. I made a point
of greeting him and suggested a few seats which I knew would be
unoccupied but he turned them down and stayed there, where he got in the
way of people going in and out the door. I did not press the point but
what would others do?

Martin Stern


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2004 09:18:02 +0200
Subject: Shul Pet Peeves

> This has been driving me crazy for years.  People who walk into a
> crowded shul (often late for davening) put on their Talis swinging the
> Talis over their shoulder with such reckless abandon for EVERYONE else. I
> have been hit by more strongly swung Tzizis from people saying the Bracha
> on their Talis then I care to count!

I heard a story about a hassic rebbe (IIRC, R' Natan of Breslav) who was
asked by his students what kavanot (spiritual thoughts) he thinks while
putting on his talis.

His answer: "I concentrate on not hitting anyone with my tzitzis".

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


End of Volume 46 Issue 13