Volume 46 Number 84
                    Produced: Mon Feb  7  6:22:24 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Beauty in Marriage, Etc.
         [Stan Tenen]
Context-sensitive expression (was Grammar Question)
         [Mark Symons]
Plastic Coverings (5)
         [Yehoshu Zvi Colman, S. Wise, Carl Singer, Chaim Tatel, Yisrael
& Batya Medad]
Prayer for Medinat Yisrael (2)
         [Nathan Lamm, Jack Gross]
RYB Soloveitchik and mixed seating
         [Yehonatan Chipman]
Seudat Purim on Friday (2)
         [Martin Stern, Alexander Seinfeld]
Tallit query
         [Abie Zayit]


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 14:08:15 -0500
Subject: Re: Beauty in Marriage, Etc.

Beauty, like other words in Torah, can be understood from its root 
letters.  The letters of a root specify the underlying functional meaning 
from which the various and divergent idiomatic meanings (later) descend.

Beauty is Yod-Pe-He.

Yod, of course, means "hand", and stands for the function of our hand -- to 
point and to express our personal volitional choices.

Pe means "mouth" or "face".

When we put the two together, the root Yod-Pe expresses the idea of the 
singularity and commonality of "will" and "face".  This is the underlying 
functional meaning of beauty in Torah.

This beauty is familiar to us, because it is also a quality of a 
tzaddik.  A tzaddik is said to be toku k'varo ("his outside is like his 
inside", which of course implies total intellectual and emotional integrity).

A person who is toku k'varo, like a person who is Yofe, is the same inside 
and out, without a "poker face" separate from their true intentions.  A 
beautiful person's will is openly expressed on their face, without 
modulation or deception.

This person expresses the quality of Emet, a Name of God.



From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2005 21:12:24 +1100
Subject: Context-sensitive expression (was Grammar Question)

Shimon Lebowitz wrote:

> I never heard the term "context-sensitive expressionist" before, but my
> favorite example of it would have to be Shmuel's rhetorical question to
> Shaul: "U-Meehhhhhh kol hatzon hazeh", "what"/"meeehhh" is this sound of
> sheep. (Shmuel I, 15:14)

Another one is "R-u-u-u-u-u-u-uach" (wind) which appears in a few

Mark Symons


From: <StephenColman2@...> (Yehoshu Zvi Colman)
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 06:12:24 EST
Subject: Re: Plastic Coverings

> From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
> I've quite a few times disparagements of families who check out
> potential shiduchim by checking if they use a plastic covering on
> Shabbos.  I've even heard of some who must find out if it's a
> "thick" plastic or a "thin" plastic.  I agree it's a meshugas, but
> I'm curious as to what the reason is, from the point of view of
> those who care about it.  What is their logic? Is plastic "good"
> or "bad" and why?  Same question for "thick" vs. "thin".  If
> anyone can fill my in, I'd appreciate it.

I am surprised at your query. This is Pashtus (so obvious) !! It is all
to do with Hachnosas Orchim and spilling of wine/soup/chrain (assuming
the family is Ashkenaz) on a white tablecloth. If there is no plastic
covering, and a guest spills one of the aforementioned (or ethnic
alternatives) on the newly starched tablecloth, there is a major
potential for embarrassment for all concerned, and more than likely, the
host will bite his tongue (possible issur shabbos involved here if blood
is drawn) and will spill his own wine/soup/chrain (or ethnic
alternatives) to make the guest feel better. Now this itself could be
another cause of chillul shabbos if by so doing the white tablecloth
gets coloured by the spillage - as this would be beMeizid (purposely
spilt).  Therefore, by NOT having a plastic covering, it shows a lack of
consideration for the feelings of a guest as well as not being too
concerned at possible chillul shabbos chas Vesholom. On the other hand,
by using a plastic covering, this alleviates all problems with one
simple move. A spillage won't stain = no embarrassment to
guest. (Although there is of course the potential problem of soaking up
the spillage with a tissue/squeezing/colouring the tissue with red
wine/chrain etc etc - but at least there is no embarrassment of guest
and this does give cause for additional divrei torah at the shabbos
table in disscusing the Halochos involved). Now as to whether a thick or
thin plastic is used, thi is also obvious and I am sure is brought by
Rashi/Tosfos or at least is mentioned by the YeTZaC shlita. Thin plastic
tears easily and the use of it again shows that the baal habos is not
focused enough on the importance of avoiding potential chilul
shabbos. Translated into shidduch terms - do you want your son/daughter
to marry into such a family ? Having made 4 wonderful shidduchim (my
mechutonim probably don't agree) I can state publically but shamefully
that my wife will not use a plastic tablecloth on shabbos - but, of
course, we are makpid only to use white wine and white chrain, and do
not invite anybody over the age of 50 and under the age of 18 to avoid
the more obvious causes of spillages. A more relevant cause for concern
in shidduchim, is how many entries the chosson and kallah get on
'onlysimchos.com'. Too many - and you need to have a massive wedding
with hundreds of extra guests (obviously everybody who sent in an entry
MUST get an invite) Too few - and one must ask oneself - Why ?
Vehameivin Yovin

Yehoshu Zvi Colman

From: <Smwise3@...> (S. Wise)
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2005 22:15:17 EST
Subject: Re: Plastic Coverings

It is probably not worth wasting time wondering about this.  It is
considered inelegant to use plastic.  Thin, dispoable tablecloths look
cheap, and I guess reflect on the user.  The thick ones look more
permanent.  There is no getting beyond this silliness--just consider
yourself lucky to marry into such a family to which these issues matter.

S. Wise

From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2005 06:40:16 -0500
Subject: Re: Plastic Coverings

It's probably easier to assign "blame" to the table covering than to say
something more concrete -- like "your son / daughter has the manners of
a cow ...." or "went to the wrong yeshiva."  or "we just don't feel
comfortable with YOUR kind of Yiddin."  Perhaps then the table covering
and other such reasons are generic euphemisms for "we don't think this
shiddach will work out."

Carl Singer

From: Chaim Tatel <chaimyt@...>
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2005 19:45:11 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Plastic Coverings

Funny you should ask.......

When my daughters were "in the parasha," as they say, they would tell us
stories of questions their friends were getting, such as the plastic one
you mentioned. Some people like plastic, because it shows the family
doesn't waste money. Some don't like it, because they think the parents
are "cheap." Same idea "thick" vs "thin."

Also, with the same logic: 
Bringing juice to the table in a carton vs a glass pitcher.

My sister was recently asked if her son has a cell phone. My nephew was
rejected because he doesn't (apparently he's not in the 21st
century). The girl's parents should have pursued this further; his
father has two that he can use when needed. His Rosh Yeshiva doesn't
want the boys to have cell phones as they interfere with their learning.

Go figure.....................

From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2005 13:47:52 +0200
Subject: Re: Plastic Coverings

IMHO, re: the importance of plastic covering and shiduchim, if one of
your kids is being considered by such a family, it would probably be a
good idea to veto the shidduch.  Obsessing on such norishkeit is a sign
that they'd be inflexible about minhagim and chumrot.

Shabbat Shalom,


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 05:35:40 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Prayer for Medinat Yisrael

Responding to both Mark Steiner's and Bernard Raab's points about
tensions in Israeli politics:

I don't see what the issue here. As an American, for example, I see no
conflict in being patriotic and loving and praying for my country- and
at the same time, taking an active role against my government, just to
take one example, by voting against an incumbent president (I've done
this at least once, and vote against incumbents in other offices on a
regular basis). Israel is a democracy as well, of course. So why is
there any tension when residents of the Golan Heights stand and
respectfully say a prayer for the Medina and at the same time say
another prayer against its government? Why has "the State...lost its
meaning religiously" merely because one disagrees with its government?
By this logic, one must always blindly follow whoever happens to be in

The "philosophy to the Neturei Karta," by the way, would reject any
Jewish state, even one composed completely of religious Jews and living
in strict accordance with the Torah, unless Mashiach had arrived. Of
course, one may wonder what "Mashiach arriving" means in that context,
but that's for another day.

Nachum Lamm

From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 06:06:59 -0500
Subject: Re: Prayer for Medinat Yisrael

No contradiction.  The first prayer asks that our governing brothers see
the light, the second requests protection from their present oppressive
designs.  ("Hatzileini na miyad achi...")


From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 21:42:45 +0200
Subject: Re:  RYB Soloveitchik and mixed seating

In MJ v46n80, Aryeh Frimer writes about Rav Solovetchik ztz"l's position
re mixed seating synagogues.  Among other things, he writes:

<<the Rov writes: "any prayers offered there are worthless in the eyes
of the Jewish Law."  I understood this to mean berakhot le-vatala. But
you are correct in noting that it was my extrapolation.  I still believe
this to be an accurate presentation of the Rov's view.>>

I believe that the Rav was referring to the spiritual-metaphysical
conception of prayer being received favorably.  In Mishnah Berakhot 5.5,
it is told that when R. Hanina b. Dosa prayed for sick people he knew
who would live and who would die, and he explained that he "knew" when
his prayer was accepted and when it was rebuffed.  Rambam brings a
similar concept in Hilkhot Tefillah 8.1, where he says that the prayer
of the community is "always heard"; hence a person should always try to
pray with a minyan; similarly, a person only has assurance that his
prayer will always be heard when it is recited in the synagogue.

Presumably, the Rav's comment means that these virtues of tefillah
betzibbur and of kedushat bet hakneset do not apply to prayer uttered in
a mixed-seating synagogue.  I don't see him necessarily implying one way
or another about whether the individual has fulfilled the mitzvah of
prayer if one says Shemonah Esreh there, nor that it is brakha

Yehonatan Chipman    


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2005 11:15:07 +0000
Subject: Re:  Seudat Purim on Friday

on 4/2/05 10:22 am, Sperling, Jonathan <jsperling@...> wrote:
> SA Orach Chaim 695:2 and the Mishna Berura ad loc say that the Seudah
> should be eaten in the morning, before chatzot hayom.  I do not believe
> there is any reason why one cannot deliver shaloch manot after, rather
> than before, the seudah (other than zerizim makdimim, perhaps).

On the contrary, the main purpose of mishloach manot is to give some
food item for the Seudat Purim and so they should be sent early, in the
morning, so as to be available by then. However one only needs to send
one parcel, containing two items of food, to one friend to fulfil the
mitsvah so, if there is not enough time, one does not need to send to
everyone as in 'normal' years. The same applies to matanot laevyonim
which are also meant to provide the poor with the wherewithal to have a
Seudat Purim only, in this case, one must give one gift to each of two

Martin Stern

From: Alexander Seinfeld <seinfeld@...>
Date: Sat, 05 Feb 2005 23:46:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Seudat Purim on Friday

R. Chaim Malinowitz begins his Friday Purim seuda with 9 other men in
the late afternoon; when the time comes they make kiddush; somewhat
later they davven maariv.

Alexander Seinfeld


From: <oliveoil@...> (Abie Zayit)
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2005 08:53:12 +0000
Subject: Tallit query

Avi Heller asked how to keep a tallis from constantly slipping off.

Strategically placed velcro works wonders for my kippa, and would probably
help your Tallit, as well.

Abie Zayit


End of Volume 46 Issue 84