Volume 46 Number 86
                    Produced: Tue Feb  8  6:04:05 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Marrying a Jew
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
         [Y. Askotzky]
Metzitzah- how prevelant is it? (2)
         [J. Kaufman, Stephen Phillips]
Prayer for Medinat Yisrael
         [Edward Ehrlich]
R. Chaim Malinowitz
         [Martin Stern]
RYB Soloveitchik and mixed seating
         [Gil Student]
Slipping Talit
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
Standing for the Prayer for the State
         [Yehonatan Chipman]
Sunday morning women's learning program
         [Stacy Heidecker]
Tallit query
         [Warren Burstein]
Tefilat HeDerech and Car Accidents
         [Jill Shames]


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2005 09:55:29 -0500
Subject: Marrying a Jew

 > One of the forum members, when discussing Conservative synagogues and
 > Conservative Jews, adds: " Would I want my children to marry theirs,
 > definitely not."

In my experience, this point is basically moot.  Rarely do (independent)
children listen to their parents about whom to marry, and if the
intended is halachically Jewish then the parents have no halachically
valid complaint, the halachah being quite clear that an adult has the
right to choose one's mate (subject to that person's express agreement).


Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>


From: Y. Askotzky <sofer@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2005 13:27:40 +0200
Subject: Metzitzah

In Israel, within the Torah community, metzitzah is only done by direct
contact as far as I'm aware. I understand in the US and likely elsewhere
many mohelim do metzitzah with a glass straw, which was permitted some
years ago due to health reasons- mainly for the health of the
mohel. This is the first time I have heard of a mohel affecting the
child. Assuming the herpes was contracted from the mohel and not from
improperly cleaned instruments then no doubt he should find a new line
of work and may have no option because I doubt anyone would want to use
his services. All halachic milah is done with metzitzah- whether with
direct contact or via a straw.

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


From: <D26JJ@...> (J. Kaufman)
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2005 11:03:57 -0500
Subject: Metzitzah- how prevelant is it?

>A baby who just died of herpes infection is suspected of >contracting
>it from a mohel who performed metzitzah b'peh.

I think it is important to publicize that the Mohel was tested NEGATIVE
for herpes and was NOT the cause of this tragedy.

J. Kaufman

From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2005 12:27:08 +0000
Subject: Re: Metzitzah- how prevelant is it?

> From: Abbi Adest <abbi.adest@...>
> A baby who just died of herpes infection is suspected of contracting it
> from a mohel who performed metzitzah b'peh.
> http://www.nbc17.com/news/4154906/detail.html
> How prevelant is this practice? Is it a halachically necessary part of
> brit milah, especially given the known hazards of infection?

I don't know how halachically necessary it is, but here in London I have
seen many Mohelim (including the Rosh Beis Din, Dayan Ehrentreu) use a
glass pipette.

Stephen Phillips


From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2005 15:07:48 +0200
Subject: Prayer for Medinat Yisrael

Nathan Lamm wrote:

>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 power.

The prayer for the State of Israel and its leaders (and similar prayers
for other countries) does not indicate an agreement with the particular
policies of those leaders.

A prayer that opposes the policies of the government is another matter.
Even if everyone in the congregation is opposed to those policies, when
we pray we use the "we" form as a symbol of "Klal Yisrael" - the entire
Jewish people - some of which supports those policies. The prayer for
the State of Israel asks that "orkha v'amatkha" (Your light and Your
truth) be sent to the State's leaders. Is it really necessary to specify
the details of what that truth is?

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Jerusalem, Israel


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2005 16:09:38 +0000
Subject: Re: R. Chaim Malinowitz

> Alexander Seinfeld <seinfeld@...>
> 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.

Who is R. Chaim Malinowitz?

Martin Stern


From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2005 15:04:11 -0500
Subject: Re: RYB Soloveitchik and mixed seating

Yehonatan Chipman wrote:
>I believe that the Rav was referring to the spiritual-metaphysical
>conception of prayer being received favorably...

I understood it as did Prof. Frimer. To phrase it halachically - prayer
in a mixed setting is an aveirah and, therefore, the prayer is a mitzvah
ha-ba'ah ba-aveirah and invalid.

Gil Student


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2005 23:36:31 +0200
Subject: Slipping Talit

bh, shelishi terumah

About the talit slipping off the shoulders
1. Those chains with two clips, if worn high enough, near the neck, will 
prevent slipping
2. snaps: they are small enough not to be noticeable and keep the talit on.
3.  small patches of velcro , male and female,  in the critical areas on 
the shoulder.

  the gyrations to keeping the talit on the shoulders is a natural
exercise practiced by almost all congregants in our shul! So it can't be
that bad!


From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2005 15:55:18 +0200
Subject: Re: Standing for the Prayer for the State

In MJ v46n82, Mark Steiner wrote about visting a certain place in the
Golan where they recited both the Prayer for the State of Israel and,
shortly thereafter, a prayer "to protect them AGAINST those very same
elected officials (particularly Sharon)... to 'counfound their [evil]
counsel'...  He asked: "It seemed to me that there was a certain logical
tension between the two prayers, and it wasn't clear which one Hashem
was supposed to hear...."

Even though I am not of the same opinion of those people, whose opinion
Mark didn't want to cite (BTW, is a description of someone else's s
opinion for informative purposes also a "treif" intrusion into the
group?), I can suggest two answers to resolve the seeming contradiction.

1.  When they ask Gd to send "orkha va-amitkah...," "Your light and Your
    truth" to the PM and so forth, they no doubt have in mind, that in
    wake of this light and truth he will come to his senses and change
    his mind to policies they agree with!

2.  More seriously: hopefully (although I'm not always so sure about
    this here in Israel), in a democracy there is a distinction between
    the state (as an ongoing body politic, in which all its citizens
    participate) and the elected government, which is empowered to make
    laws and policy for the duration of its term, with which one can and
    maybe even should disagree. Now, if, as a religious person, I
    believe that the contemporary State of Israel is of some religious
    significance, I am praying for the state, not for the govt per se
    (except that they should have wisdom to assure the welfare of the
    state and its people, etc.).

    In line with this, in England, where they say "Hanoten teshuah,"
    they pray for the Queen and "All the Royal Family," who symbolizes
    the State and is offically bound to a certain non-partisanship, but
    not for Parliament.  In the US (and in other non-monarchies, like
    France) the President is both Head of State and a partisan figure,
    there might be more of a problem. Maybe if, for example, you
    consider Bush a dangerous fool, you can make a Brisker hilluk, and
    pary for him in his symbolic capacity, but not for what he himself

3.  As for Yakov Fogelman's original question about standing: even the
    most pious Jew doesn't do everything in life because you're
    obligated by halakhah (unless maybe you're R. Simhah Zissel of
    Salant or R. Velvel of Brisk or of their ilk).  Standing is a
    conventional symbol of respect that has taken root in places where
    this prayer is said, and among other things it's simpel derekh eretz
    to the other people in such a shul to stand and not to
    demonstratively remain seating.

Yehonatan Chipman


From: Stacy Heidecker <heidecker@...>
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2005 20:23:39 -0500
Subject: Sunday morning women's learning program

Announcing the Grand Opening of TAHALICH

Tahalich is a skills-building study program geared for women with little
to moderate background in Jewish text, who have a serious desire to
advance their skills and gain the tools necessary to be able to learn on
their own.  Tahalich is open to Jewish women of all ages, both those who
have had the opportunity to spend some time learning in Israel and would
like to retain and build on those skills and to those who have not yet
had the opportunity to do so.

Tahalich will take place on Sunday mornings (9:00 - 1:15) at the Fifth
Avenue Synagogue. A large portion of the time will be devoted to
Chavrusa study- students will be matched up with mentors who will help
them to build their skills level. Class time will be devoted not only to
covering material but also to providing a structure to enable the
student to understand general principle and ideas which pervade all
areas of Torah study.

For more info, check out www.tahalich.homestead.com.

In order to find out more about the upcoming semester(which will begin
Sunday, Feb. 27th) and to experience a taste of the Tahalich program,
please join us for a kick-off day of learning on Sunday, Feb. 13th.

Open House Yom Iyun on the topic of Women and Tefilla
9:00 -9:30        Opening remarks
9:30-10:30        Chavrusa Preparation for Halacha Class
10:30-11:15       Hilchot Tefilla: The Laws of Prayer and How they
                  Pertain to Women -  R' David Wilensky
11:15-11:25       Break
11:25-12:10       Crash course in Basic Biblical Hebrew/ Getting the Facts
                  --  With a focus on understanding the words and
                  structure of Tefilla - Zemira Ozarowski
12:10 -1:00       Lunch and Presentation the Tahlich program
1:00 - 2:00       Chavrusa Preparation for Tanach class
2:00 - 2:45       Sefer Shmuel: Chana and the Power of Prayer --- Danielle

Fee for the day: $10 - advanced registration, $15 - at the door ***Early
Bird Special - $7 if you sign up by Feb. 3rd For more info. and to
register, call Zemira Ozarowski at 212-838-2122


From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2005 15:06:12 +0200
Subject: Tallit query

Was the tallit not a regular garment at the time of the Torah?  How did
people who wore them all day long keep them from slipping off?


From: Jill Shames <jillsensei@...>
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2005 14:14:28 +0200
Subject: Tefilat HeDerech and Car Accidents

I have long harbored questions about the relationship between saying
Tefilat HaDerech and the appalling loss of life and limb on Israel's

With prayers for the speedy and complete recovery of HaRav Yishayahu
Yisrael Rubinstein of Rehovot, severely injured in a car accident that
also claimed the life of his mother, Chaya Bayla z"l, I would like to
pose the following question:

Would the adoption of a more "liberal" standard of saying this tefila
(i.e. say, before departing for a journey as opposed to waiting to be on
the "open road") an appropriate response to the current conditions on
Israel's roads?

If not, does anyone know of a new tefila/Yehi Ratzon composed for this
purpose or a Tehila considered particularly appropriate for expressing
this kavanah?

Jill Shames


End of Volume 46 Issue 86