Volume 46 Number 69
                    Produced: Thu Jan 20  5:13:08 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Costs of Wedding (2)
         [Martin Stern, <TLent3192@...>]
Flatbush shiurim: History of Krias HaTorah; History of Tefillah
         [Joseph I. Lauer]
Home cooked meals vs. restaurants
         [Carl Singer]
Non-Kosher substitutes
         [Frank Reiss]
Peanuts (was "On ignoring the decisions of Gedolim")
         [Israel Caspi]
"Personal Piety"?
         [Dov Teichman]
Revach VeHatzolah
         [Neal Jannol]
         [Israel Caspi]
Wedding Expenses
         [H Goldsmith]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2005 08:37:46 +0000
Subject: Re: Costs of Wedding

on 19/1/05 11:20 am, <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller) wrote:
> Chips wrote (and many others have written similarly): <<< Seems to me
> that if one parent(s) is footing the bill than they should have veto
> power. >>>
> I'd have to agree that if the various parties involved are unable to
> come to agreement, the one paying can't be forced to pay for things he
> doesn't want. But it is very unfortunate when things reach that point.

Unfortunately this problem does tend to arise, especially where the
incomes of the two sides and, consequentially, their lifestyles are
rather different. It is sometimes difficult for the wealthier party to
appreciate the financial problems their preferred style of wedding can
involve and so they tend to take offence at the latter's preference for
a more modest affair. This is quite apart from the number of guests
invited since more luxurious halls etc (fixed costs as some posters have
described them) can vary considerably and that one party may have large
travel and accommodation costs if the wedding takes place at the other's
home town.

I have always taken the view that the first thing to do is to decide how
much money one can afford to spend and arrange the celebrations
accordingly.  If the other side wants to spend more, that is their
privilege so long as they spend their own money and don't expect me to
subsidise their standards.  In most cases this has worked out well but,
regrettably, there have been problems on occasion.

As readers will have gathered from my contributions to mail-jewish, I
tend to be rather a firm (stubborn or pig-headed depending on your
views) person who will not be brow-beaten by anyone. We don't have much
to do with those particular mechutanim since we live more than 2000
miles apart but we did invite them to our next two children's weddings
and they came to one.  I don't know if they have made any yet but I
doubt it as we have not received any invitation.

Martin Stern

From: <TLent3192@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 11:35:39 EST
Subject: Re: Costs of Wedding

Akiva wrote-- 
> But it is very unfortunate when things reach that point.  The ideal
> situation -- and it saddens me that this doesn't happen more often --
> is when the parents simply decide how much they have available to
> spend, and then the decisions of how to spend it are made by the
> chasan and kallah.  It is, after all, THEIR wedding.

After having gone through a horrible experience with my machutanim
arranging for a wedding that happened last week I would like to say that
your suggestion is far from ideal. Yes it is their wedding, but if you
have one side footing a huge percentage of the bill and you have parents
on the other side pushing their child that they should get equal
treatment despite not contributing much, you can end up with problems
between the chasson and kallah -each fighting for the parents viewpoint.
The ideal is to keep the kids out the financial arrangements and both
sides should agree with that. This way any animosity between the parents
is not transferrred to the kids.

We had machatanim who first wanted to only pay for FLOP, but get equal
share of the guests despite the fact that FLOP only costs 1/4 of the
cost of the wedding. mThen when my machutin lost his job, i had to pay
everything. They were upset that because I could not afford to play for
FLOP,i cut their list by the proportional cost of the FLOP.  This ended
up to be only 50 people that they could invite. This was on top of the
Lchaim and Vort that they wanted to invite the world without helping out
one bit even if they were rich because they said the RULES say that the
Kallahs side has to pay.  They dragged their son into the fray and now
my daughter who tried to stay out of it was caught in the middle of
messy negotiations. The arrangements are more of a buisness negotiation
between potential partners- and as a lot of you know in business
-sometimes it is good and sometimes it is bad . But keep the kids out of
the arrangements- it could on hurt their marraige if they are caught in
the middle


From: Joseph I. Lauer <josephlauer@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 10:51:21 -0500
Subject: Flatbush shiurim: History of Krias HaTorah; History of Tefillah

    Readers who may be in the Flatbush-Brooklyn College area in the
evenings of January 23 and 30, 2005, may be interested in the following
notice of two shiurim on the "History of Krias HaTorah" and the "History
of Tefillah" to be presented by HaRav Avrohom Lieberman shlit"a.

    Joseph I. Lauer
    Brooklyn, New York




in memory of
R' Moshe Alexander ben R' Tevel Nachum z"l
R' Chaim ben R' Menachem Mendel z"l
HaIsha Esther bas R' Aharon z"l

Presented by

PART I - Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 8:00 p.m.

History of Krias HaTorah

* Learn about its origins, history, and minhagim
* Discover how it evolved from the times of Moshe Rabbenu
    through Talmudic times to its present format
* Study how the parshios were named and divided

PART II - Sunday, January 30, 2005, 8:00 p.m.

History of Tefillah

* Learn how it evolved from the times of Anshei
    K'nesses HaGedolah to its present format
* Trace the development of the Siddur
* Understand how the different nuschaos came about

The shiurim will IY"H take place at:

3017 Bedford Avenue (Right off Avenue I)
Brooklyn, New York

Under the leadership of
HaRav HaGaon Rav Shmuel Zev Friedman shlit"a

Separate Seating for Women

Free Admission
Maariv at 9:00 p.m. after the shiur
Sponsored as a z'chus for a refuah sh'leimah
for Pinchas ben Chanah Mindel
For further information call 718-951-8631 


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 08:02:19 -0500
Subject: Home cooked meals vs. restaurants

> So saying that he "never ate pizza" meant that he only ate home-cooked
>  food from kosher kitchens. 

For many of us growing up outside of major Jewish communities, there
were virtually no kosher restaurants and the only food eaten was from
our own home or possibly a neighbors.  I honestly cannot recall EVER
going to a restaurant with my parents.  None were available and going
out for meals was (therefore?) not part of our social fabric.

Carl A. Singer, Ph.D.
Passaic, NJ  07055-5328
See my web site:  www.ProcessMakesPerfect.net      


From: Frank Reiss <freiss47@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 09:18:05 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Non-Kosher substitutes

The contemporary Jewish philosopher Yeshiyahu Leibowitz insists one is
keeping kosher only if one eats kosher food solely in order to fulfill
God's commandment and not for any other reason at all. On Leibowitz's
view (he is following Maimonides here), the more tempting bacon is, the
more valuable avoiding it is. Others, however, contend that one ought to
train oneself not to desire non-kosher food, or that motive is
altogether irrelevant.

Since only Jews are commanded to keep kosher, most authorities agree
that there is no merit in non-Jews keeping kosher (Leibowitz's analysis
would mean that it is impossible for non-Jews to do so) and kashrut has
no moral significance in itself (although particular rules, such as the
requirement that animals be slaughtered painlessly, may).


From: Israel Caspi <icaspi@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 09:34:46 -0500
Subject: Peanuts (was "On ignoring the decisions of Gedolim")

Richard Schultz <schultr@...> wrote "...I remember being at a
synagogue in the U.S. at which the rabbi (by and large fairly liberal,
btw) was discussing laws of Pesach, and he stated 'if your family has a
tradition of using peanut oil on Pesach, then you may continue doing
so,' with the clear implication of 'if you come from a family of
apikorosim. .  .' -- since nearly every family in the U.S.  has such a
tradition, why would the statement need any qualification at all?"

If I remember correctly, what your "fairly liberal" synagogue rabbi said
is exactly R. Moshe's p'sak.  R. Moshe spoke of European communities
some of which did and some of which did not have the custom of eating
peanuts (which, for reasons beyond my own limited botanic knowledge, are
somehow not true legumes).  I'm pretty sure there was no implication --
at least not on R. Moshe's part -- that those whose tradition it was to
eat peanuts are somehow apikorsim.  It was just a matter of historical

And then there's the additional issue of the permissibility of the
by-products of legumes.  According to those who make this distinction,
corn oil and corn syrup is OK while corn itself, as a legume, is not.
(The Rabbinate in Israel, for example, while maintaining the minhag of
not eating kitniyot, nevertheless allows (at least under certain
circumstances) margarine made with oil from legumes.  There was also a
problem several years ago with Israeli food products manufactured --
again with the Rabbinate's approval -- with corn syrup: the U.S.
"rabbinate" did not agree with the Israeli Rabbinate, the result being
that the Israeli manufacturers who wanted to sell in the U.S. had to
change their product's formulation to accommodate the requirements of
the U.S. "rabbinate."


From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 08:18:19 EST
Subject: Re: "Personal Piety"?

Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...> writes:

<<The folowing is an excerpt of an account of Rav Shteinman's recent trip
to the U.S.:      ..............

What do you all make of that?  It seems that the writer of the account
intended it as a form of praise to Rav Shteinman, but to be honest, it
made the opposite impression on me.  I found it downright disturbing and

What's so disturbing? You've never heard of asceticism or fasting in
Judaism?  In my book, here is a man who has spent (at least) the last 70
years sitting and learning, i'm sure he knows what he's doing.

Dov Teichman


From: Neal Jannol <njannol@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 08:41:06 -0800
Subject: Revach VeHatzolah

Practicing for reading the Megillah, I got stuck on the phrase by which
Mordechai tells Esther that if she does not approach the King, then
"Revach VeHatolah" - loosely translated as salvation and deliverance
will come to the jews from a different source.

At that moment in the megillah, it seems the jews are in a totally
defensive position - and what could Mordechai be talking about, unless
he is either (a) bluffing Esther or (b) telling Esther that if she does
not do it, Hashem will intervene and, as the rest of the phrase goes,
her and her father's house will perish.

Then it hit me - the only side characters (other than Hatach) mentioned
in the megillah more than once were Harvonah, Bigtana and Teresh.
Harvonah is one of the persons closest to the king in a position much
like the assasins were.  All of a sudden, at that second party, Harvonah
pops in with the idea to hang Haman - what was Harvonah doing there.

I think an interesting subplot was that Mordechai, having learned of the
method available to kill the king from the assasins, kept that secret, and
then recruited Harvonah to perhaps assasinate the king and/or Haman - once
Harvonah saw Haman in trouble, he acted on his own to dispose of Haman,
rather than carry thru the plot hatched by Mordechai.  

Just a thought - this board has been particularly heavy as of late. 


From: Israel Caspi <icaspi@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 09:38:34 -0500
Subject: Smoking

Re: Smoking, Bill Bernstein <billbernstein@...> wrote: "I will
add that the argument "were X alive he would say Y" to be among the
least persuasive.  No one, even a close relative or student, can know
what someone would say in any given situation.  One might be able to
extrapolate from other situations, but it is a guess at best."

While that may usually be the case, there are exceptions: R. Tendler
worked so closely with R. Moshe in preparing the scientific data on
smoking as well as the other material considered by R. Moshe before
making his p'sak, that R. Tendler's claim was that he knows what
additional factors R. Moshe was looking for in order to make his ban of
smoking absolute.  Because that data was unavailable at the time,
R. Moshe made his p'sak less than absolute.  But now that the data is
available, R. Tendler had no doubt what R. Moshe would have done
(presumably because R. Moshe told him what he would do if the data was
more complete).  Therefore, R. Tendler's statement is neither
extrapolation nor guess-work.


From: <HHgoldsmith@...> (H Goldsmith)
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 14:16:34 EST
Subject: Wedding Expenses

      From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>

      By offering several options on the response card, I reduced the
      number of reserved seats and meals by almost 20%!

      Printing was of two sets of response cards. For close relatives
      and friends I sent a regular card, with only "will" or "will not"
      attend. For the many others I sent a card that offered "will
      attend full affair", "Chuppah only", "simchas Choson v'kallah

Why have two sets of response cards? Just send the latter one to all
invited guests. Sometimes even relatives and close friends are not able
to stay after the chuppah, or may want to come later in the evening for
whatever reason for the Choson v'Kallah only.


End of Volume 46 Issue 69