Volume 46 Number 49
                    Produced: Tue Jan  4  6:32:52 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bread at Seuda Shlishit
         [Akiva Miller]
Checking Sifrei Torah
         [Y. Askotzky (STAM)]
Feet together by Kaddish
         [Prof. Aryeh Frimer]
It's Greek to me
Late to shul v. work
         [Nathan Lamm]
Men (not) wearing wedding rings
         [Carl Singer]
Refusal to Grant Aliyot
         [David Charlap]
         [Jeffrey Kaufman]
Smoking Ban
         [David Charlap]
Tardiness in Tefilah
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
Wedding Rings (2)
         [W. Baker, Joel Rich]


From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 11:05:40 -0500
Subject: RE: Bread at Seuda Shlishit

Mark Steiner wrote <<< The Shulhan Arukh states that if one is "very
satiated" then (rather than forcing himself to eat bread, which itself
is not the right thing to do on shabbat) he can eat other things, even
fruit, but preferably cake. >>>

Yes, it does say that, but I've never understood it. Cake is much more
*convenient* than bread (since it doesn't require washing or benching),
but that's not the factor mentioned, which is satiety or fullness. If
one is too full to eat a kezayis of bread, isn't he also too full to eat
a kezayis of cake? If one does have enough room to eat a kezayis of
cake, can't he eat a kezayis of bread instead?

Akiva Miller


From: Y. Askotzky (STAM) <sofer@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2005 18:15:38 +0200
Subject: Checking Sifrei Torah

To clarify one matter, the purpose of the computer exam is exclusively
to check for textual errors including misspelled words, extra or missing
letters. The computer program cannot and may not be relied upon to check
for incorrect letter forms. It may pick up a few such problems but only
because it has problems identifying the letter so will put it under the
group of potential errors called substituted letters. There are myriad
possibilites of incorrect letter forms, some make the letter not kosher
and ireparable, some not kosher yet repairable and others are kosher but
a lower level of kashrut/hiddur and are often slight variations. This
requires the expertise of a trained examiner- one who has trained under
the direction of an expert posek of STaM. My personal experience with
checking 1000's of mezuzahs and parshios has been that 99% of what the
computer identifies as problems in letter forms are false and 99% of the
time misses the actual lletter form problems.

kol tuv,
Yerachmiel Askotzky, certified sofer & examiner
<sofer@...>  www.stam.net  1-888-404-STAM(7826)  718-874-8220


From: Prof. Aryeh Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 14:33:30 +0200
Subject: Feet together by Kaddish

The Shulkhan Arukh in OH 95:1 for the Amida and in 95:4 and 125:2 for
Kedusha indicates that one's feet should be held together. I have not
found any similar source by Kaddish, though I believe the general minhag
is to do so.  Does anyone know of a source? What about Borkhu?

Dr. Aryeh A. Frimer
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 52900, ISRAEL
E-mail: <FrimeA@...>


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 11:02:38 -0600
Subject: It's Greek to me

Shalom, All:

Yes, I know Hanuka has come and gone, but apparently a question was
lurking in my subconscious and just popped up.

In the Hanuka song/hymn Maoz Tzur, there's a verse that begins
(free-hand translation) "Greeks have gathered against me, just as in the
days of the Hashmoneem." I have no problem singing that while
comfortably perched in America, Israel or anywhere else, but now wonder
just what do Jews in Greece sing? Never mind the symbolism or the fact
that idol-worshipping, anti-monotheism Greeks are the reference point,
not modern Christian Greeks - Jews in Greece are a tiny minority, and
one must be careful not to needlessly tweak the tail of the majority.

Our history is all too replete with bad-intentioned people deliberately
misconstruing our faith. This verse sung while in Greece could easily
fuel anti-Semitism there.

Are there any Greek Jews or other knowledgeable people on the
mail-jewish list who can shed some light on this tardy "Festival of
Lights" question?

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 09:19:38 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Late to shul v. work

I'm not sure if the simple point about sleep has been raised. Basically,
people arrive at work on time because they've already been up for a
while, perhaps even to shul. However, shacharit is often the first thing
one goes to in the morning. Particularly if a minyan is at, say, 6:15 or
so, it's not always a simple matter to arise and get to shul. Even if
one goes to an 8:30 minyan on Shabbat, for example, waking up may not be
such a simple matter.


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2005 11:11:04 -0500
Subject: Men (not) wearing wedding rings

> I've actually heard that wearing a wedding ring makes life somewhat
> "easier" for a man who works in a professional setting. Personally, I
> don't buy it, as this supposes that women throw themselves at unmarried
> men (and *only* unmarried men), and married men without rings can't
> control themselves (and those with them can). But this is certainly on
> the minds of some men, and, likely, their wives, and thus might be an
> incentive for them to do so.

I think the issue is that in a society where most married men wear
wedding rings, people who are not aware of "frum" practices may have
doubts or questions about a married men who does NOT wear one.

It's not an issue of women throwing themselves at unmarried men (a
rather naive thought.)  It's just another way that this frum person
appears to be different than his colleagues.

Carl Singer


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2005 12:11:43 -0500
Subject: Re: Refusal to Grant Aliyot

Yisrael Medad wrote:
> David Charlap wrote:
>> ...but heavy-handed tactics (like demanding money for admission, or
>> publicly snubbing those who don't pay up) is just as likely to
>> cause the person to go daven somewhere else, or by himself, or not
>> at all.
> let's get back to the original posting of mine and not carried away.
> i was relating to a case where the schule's Annual General Meeting
> voted on a certain sum of money (a democratic vote), and the person
> never asked for special discounts but simply ingored the requests for
> payment of properly authorized membership dues.

That's fine.  So send him a letter asking for payment and don't renew
his membership if he doesn't pay.  As a non-member, charge him extra for
any shul activities other than davening - like admission to classes or
secular/social activities.

To extend this into the davening itself (refusing aliyot, or refusing
admission) is simply wrong.

I realize that you weren't talking about refusing admission, but there
are synagogues where this happens.  Especially for the major holidays.
I personally know several people who were physically denied entrance to
a shul on Yom Kippur, because they were not paid-up members.

Admittedly, this was not an orthodox congregation (no orthodox shul I
know of has ever done this), but the practice still disgusts me.
Services should not be changed into fund raisers.

If the community is uninterested in paying for the huge lavish
buildings, then maybe the board of directors should've considered that
before constructing the building.  If there are enough people willing to
pay for the building, then there's no need to try and force others into

Either way, public humilitation of those unwilling (or worse, unable) to
pay serves no purpose other than to create hatred and hostility in the

-- David


From: <D26JJ@...> (Jeffrey Kaufman)
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 12:24:31 EST
Subject: Re: Smoking

Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...> writes

>In the latest Efrat magazine, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin discusses the
>following question: If one sees a friend smoking, is one permitted to
>take his or her cigarette pack and throw it away, or is that Bal

>He rules clearly that it is permissible and may be imperative to throw
>away the cigarettes, because of the demonstrated effects of cigarette
>smoking on one's health.

It may not be Bal Tashchit, but why is it not Gezailah? If there is no
widely accepted ban on smoking, do I have the right to take away
someone's property?  BTW, If I see someone eating not-kosher food, am I
allowed to take it away from him?

I once heard a shiur from Rav Reuven Feinstein where he said that
although Rav Moshe did not necessarily assur someone who is already
smoking from before the health risks were made public, Rav Reuven did
say that there is no Heter for anyone to "Start Smoking" today.

Jeffrey Kaufman


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2005 12:18:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Smoking Ban

Bill Bernstein wrote:
> More, has there ever been a ban on behavior because of health reasons
> that was widely followed?  The list of things found in the Rambam is
> interesting in part because no one does this.
> I do not see any benefit that would come from a ban.

More to the point, a formal "ban" is unnecessary.

It is already (and always has been) against halacha to knowingly do
anything that will damage/injure your body.  That's why we're not
allowed to get tattoos, or have unnecessary surgery, or consume
poisonous substances.

Given that smoking tobacco is well-established as a dangerous activity,
with very well-known health consequences, and very few (if any) health
benefits, it should automatically fall under the category of prohibited
without any overt "ban".

Given that we go out of our way to avoid other physically-harmless
activities simply because of a tradition of "danger" (like eating meat
and fish with the same fork), it boggles the mind that anyone would ever
consider smoking halachically acceptable.

-- David


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2005 16:10:37 +0200
Subject: Tardiness in Tefilah

bh yom rishon  vaera

I have followed with interest the discussion about coming late to
services.  It seems to be that it occupied an inordinate amount of cyber
space and I wondered why .

An old Ostrovsker hasid one told me that the Baal Shem Tov used to say
that if one saw someone committing a misdeed it is a sign that he should
look to see if he has not the same flaw

I am not a psychologist but it seems to me that it is possible that
those who notice others coming late to services and find it so wrong are
perhaps envious.  They come on time because of the imperative to daven
with a minyan, but deep down in their subconscious they too would like
to enjoy sleeping in.  So when they see others doing it riles them no


From: W. Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 12:40:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Wedding Rings

When I was attendign a women's College, nearly 50 years ago, we had a
young professor of Economics.  Between the first and second semester he
began to wear a wedding ring.  We congratulated him on his mariage, but
he told us that he had been married for a while, but decided it would be
easier to wear a ring while teaching at the women's school.  I imagine
he had some incidents he woudl have preferred not to have in the future.

Wendy Baker

From: <Joelirich@...> (Joel Rich)
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 10:44:16 EST
Subject: Wedding Rings

 > When the issue is raised by "more frum" friends, I always
 > ask them if their wives wear wedding rings. The usual answer is yes. I
 > then ask them for the source of this practice in chazal.

 See Tikkunei HaZohar #5 (p. 20b in the edition with biur HaGra), cited in 
 Rama on Even HaEzer 27:1.

 David Riceman  >>

Dear David,

Yes, I'm aware of that, that's why I said chazal. But does the use in
Jewish custom predate that in the outside world? Interesting is why
didn't the gemora mention this practice at least once? From what little
internet based research I did, it seems this practice was extant in the
outside world well before that time.(see below)


The Egyptians are credited with the origin of the wedding ring some
4,800 years. Twisting plant material such as hemp into rings and
bracelets, they believed, were linked to an immortal love with no
end. These rings were worn on the fourth finger of the left hand based
on a belief in vena amoris, or love vein.  It was believed that this
vein connected directly from that finger to the heart, thereby linking
the couple's destiny.


End of Volume 46 Issue 49