Volume 46 Number 30
                    Produced: Mon Dec 27 21:11:08 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Agunot - Aviad HaCohen
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
Checking Tefillin AND Old Sifrei Torah
         [Bill Bernstein]
Cost of Simchas (3)
         [Tzvi Stein, Chaim Shapiro, H. Goldsmith]
The Dubner Maggid's 200th Yahrtzeit: Correction
         [Moshe and Elise Kranc]
History of the "Hadran"
         [Jon Baker]
Jewish World Review
         [David Maslow]
Life Insurance - Lack of Bitochon ? (4)
         [Reuben Rudman, Stephen Colman, Batya Medad, Martin Stern]
         [Nachman Yaakov Ziskind]
Teaching Positions in Israel
         [Batya Medad]
Watches and Tefillin
         [Moshe Goldberg]
Wedding Rules - FLOPS
         [Janice Gelb]


From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 13:37:16 +0200
Subject: Agunot - Aviad HaCohen

Just to let the listmates know that Aviad informed me that is preparing
a detailed retort to the opinions which consider his approach nigh

Yisrael Medad


From: Bill Bernstein <billbernstein@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 09:28:22 -0600
Subject: Re: Checking Tefillin AND Old Sifrei Torah

The two threads here recently bring up an interesting question.  When
more precise methods and tools are available than what was available are
we obligated to use them?  Are we even allowed to use them?  For
example, many have mentioned the requirement of squareness in the batim
of tefillin. But if one were to use a precise enough micrometer he would
find that not a single pair of tefillin is exactly square.  Similarly,
with sifrei Torah, with a precise enough check not a single one would
likely be kosher.

So my question is, where both halakha and tradition have decreed a
certain standard or method, can we use some other method that might be
more precise?

Bill Bernstein
Nashville TN


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 08:44:17 -0500
Subject: Re: Cost of Simchas

> From: <FriedmanJ@...>

> the chuppah outside, where the petunias I had grown myself from baby
> flats and the chuppah I built with the help of my husband made a
> wonderful impression, so that my daughter didn't feel like she was being
> deprived. I did the centerpieces with flowers from Costco and vases from
> The Rag Shop. I made the bride's bouquet and took every dried and silk
> flower arrangement from my house, and my patio pots from the back porch
> to make this look good. Why should my daughter look like she is a
> pauper, why should I shame my family?

So the only alternatives are (a) be incredibly creative and industrious
in order to make the chasuna look much more expensive than it really is
(b) saddle yourselves with crippling debt to pay for the real price of
an expensive chasuna or (c) make your daughter feel deprived, look like
a pauper, and shame your family?

I find it incredibly sad that we Jews are doing this to each other.

From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 22:15:27 EST
Subject: Cost of Simchas

Dov Teichman, paraphrasing a lubavitcher rebbe says that there should be
no limits on spending for simchas for rich people

      Because, in proportion that they spend on themselves, they will be
      generous when giving tsedaka as well

What is the logic behind that?  On what is it based?

Chaim Shapiro

From: <HHgoldsmith@...> (H. Goldsmith)
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 22:13:28 EST
Subject: Cost of Simchas

One way to cut down on the cost is to include on the reply card the
option of the guests only attending the chuppah. Many people are
hesitant to indicate this in their reply, but end up leaving before the
main course is served. If guests felt comfortable choosing this option,
it may greatly reduce the number of people staying for the meal, which
is a large part of the cost of the wedding.

H. Goldsmith


From: Moshe and Elise Kranc <mekranc@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 11:09:08 +0200
Subject: The Dubner Maggid's 200th Yahrtzeit: Correction

The OU Israel Center has graciously agreed to host this event. So, here
is the new improved announcement:

Please join us to commemorate the

200th Yahrtzeit of the Dubner Maggid

Rabbi Jacob Krantz z"l, the renowned preacher, commentator and teller of
Jewish fables

Date: Saturday night, Jan 1, 2004 at 8:30 PM
Location: OU Israel Center, 22 Keren HaYesod St., Jerusalem

 Moshe Kranc, a descendant of the Dubner Maggid, and author of The
Hasidic Masters' Guide to Management (www.hasidicmanagement.com)
 David Zucker, author of Voice of Weepers: Commentary of the Dubner
Maggid on the Book of Lamentations


From: <jjbaker@...> (Jon Baker)
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 23:39:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: History of the "Hadran"

From: Yael Levine <ylevine@...>

> I am seeking references concerning the history of the nusah appearing at
> the end of the masekhtot of the talmud, also known as "hadran". I am
> particularly interested in the nusah "Yehi razon...she-tehe Toratkha
> umanutenu ba-olam ha-ze ve-te-he immanu la-olam ha-ba". The first
> portion of this ma'amar appears in BT Berakhot 16b, and I'm interested
> in knowning when the remaining part was formulated.

You're in luck, in part.  A recent book, Yoma Tava Lerabanan (Moshe
Dinin & Chayim Goldberg, 5764) addresses the whole Hadran thing.  It's
not a history, unfortunately, more marshaling of teshuvot on the
halachot of siyum, and a collection commenting on the text of the

The Hadran is older than I had thought.  Rav Hai Gaon asks about the Bar

That's about all I could glean on the age of that passage.

   - jon baker    <jjbaker@...>     <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker> -


From: David Maslow <maslowd@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 11:03:39 -0500
Subject: Jewish World Review

The Jewish World Review website generally had very interesting and
unusual essays on Jewish topics, including a series by Rabbi Dr. Abraham
Twersky.  However, its secular political articles and cartoons, IMHO,
tilt very hard right.  Its effectiveness as a kiruv instrument would
probably be greater if it expressed a broader spectrum of political

David E. Maslow, Ph.D.
Chief, Resources and Training Review Branch
National Cancer Institute


From: Reuben Rudman <rudman@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 13:25:26 +0300
Subject: Re: Life Insurance - Lack of Bitochon ?

Yehoshua Berkowit asked:
> I would appreciate hearing from anyone who can cite an article or any
> other sources that discusses the issue of life insurance policies and
> the what may appear to be a lack of "bitachon" (faith).

There is a book titled "Insurance in the Halachah" by Rabbi Menachem
Slae published by the Israel Insurance Association, Tel Aviv 1982.  This
was translated from the Hebrew "HaBituach BaHalachah" published by the
same organization in 1980.  Chapter X is titled "The Attitude of Halahah
to Insurance:...Does Insurance Imply a Lack of Trust in G-d?"  Each
chapter has many sources (it relies heavily on the BarIlan Responsa
Project, now known as the Bar-Ilan Judaic Library on CD), including one
that is relevant to this question: Rabbi Moshe Feinstein,z"tzl, Igrot
Moshe, Orach Chaim 2:111.  The conclusion reached by the author, based
on many rabbinical responsa, is that insurance is a sensible business
practice.  The bitachon is that one believes s/he will be able to pay
the annual premiums!  (see p. 208)

From: <StephenColman2@...> (Stephen Colman)
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 05:48:42 EST
Subject: Life Insurance - Lack of Bitochon ?

I would refer you to Shaalas Utshuvas Iggres Moishe (Rav Moishe
Feinstein zt'l) Aroch Chaim (beis) simon Kuf Yud Alef where he discusses
Life Insurance and comes out with a ruling that it is NOT a lack of
Bitachon but should be considered a 'maaseh parnoso' (similar to earning
a living and providing for one's family with its daily bread) and should
therefore be encouraged.

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 11:00:26 +0200
Subject: Life Insurance - Lack of Bitochon ?

About twenty-five to thirty years ago, I was told by a descendant of
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein that he considered life insurance a requirement.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 09:07:46 +0000
Subject: Re: Life Insurance - Lack of Bitochon ?

Since death is one of the few certainties in life, lack of bitachon
(trust in G-d) has no relevance to life insurance. Taking out a policy
is more like saving money to give to one's dependents when one dies. A
more relevant question might have been other forms of insurance which
are against events which may never happen. I don't think there is a
bitachon problem here either because such policies are more akin to a
group of people agreeing to help each other out in the case of fire,
theft etc. but there may be other ways of looking at them which raise
such questions.

Martin Stern


From: Nachman Yaakov Ziskind <awacs@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 21:24:50 -0500
Subject: Reuven

Posted for a friend:

How does one reconcile parshah Vayeitze's chronology that Reuven was
conceived after Yaakv married Rochel with parsha Vayechi's statement (as
explained by Rashi) that Reuven was conceived from the first drop of
Yaakov's strength?

Nachman Yaakov Ziskind, FSPA, LLM       <awacs@...>
Attorney and Counselor-at-Law           http://ziskind.us
Economic Group Pension Services         http://egps.com
Actuaries and Employee Benefit Consultants


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 11:07:03 +0200
Subject: Teaching Positions in Israel

From: <EngineerEd@...> (Ed Norin)
> My children are looking to move to Israel.  They are both looking for
> teaching positions.  Does anybody know of any web postings for Israeli
> teaching positions?  Are there any other non-web lists that can be
> accessed by a phone call?  I would appreciate any help either on or off
> list.

The address for English teachers is Ask Etni <ask@...> and the site
is etni.org



From: <mgold@...> (Moshe Goldberg)
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 09:33:38 +0200
Subject: Watches and Tefillin

Is a watch (or a watchband) a "chatzitza" [barrier] that blocks the
strap on hand Tefillin? That is, does the watch have to be removed, or
can the strap cover it? Does it matter if the strap is leather,
imitation, or metal? I have seen some people who remove their watches
before putting on Tefillin, others who do not.

Are there available sources on this?

Moshe Goldberg


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 19:37:40 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Wedding Rules - FLOPS

> One thing that helped was to divide the guest list into three parts --
> balancing number of guests in Groom's Family and Bride's Family, and
> then strongly urging a downsizing of the Bride & Groom's friends
> (contemporaries.)

One way to enable friends of the bride and groom to come in larger
numbers might be to limit the "level" of family who are invited; that
is, to say only relatives to first cousins, for example.  It might not
make an exact even number on both sides but it helps in situations where
parents feel duty-bound to invite relatives not because they really even
know the bride and groom or are that close to the parents but because
there is a fear of hurt feelings if they are not invited. Being able to
put it neutrally as an agreed-on rule sometimes helps.

-- Janice


End of Volume 46 Issue 30