Volume 46 Number 94
                    Produced: Sun Feb 13  8:52:28 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Calendar question (2)
         [Ira L. Jacobson, Mike Gerver]
Help Required - How To Pay
         [Yisrael Medad]
Kiddush Levana this month (2)
         [Shimon Lebowitz, Martin Stern]
Late to Shul
         [Akiva Miller]
l'elo U'le'elo
         [Yossi Ginzberg]
A Puzzling Story
         [Akiva Miller]
RYB Soloveitchik and mixed seating
         [Sholom & Esther Parnes]
Shabbos Torah sheet distribution (2)
         [Tzvi Stein, Akiva Miller]
'The doubling of anything is a source of bad luck'
Water Fountains and Fauctes
         [Yisrael Medad]


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 14:09:52 +0200
Subject: Re: Calendar question

Mike Gerver stated the following:

      Maybe the best thing to do is to first announce that the molad
      occurs at so many hours, minutes and chalakim after the beginning
      of such and such a day (rather than expressing it as "a.m." or
      "p.m."), and then announcing "The latest time for kiddush levana
      is..." and giving the correct clock time for that time zone, maybe
      rounded off or rounded down to the nearest minute.

I refrain from commenting on the main thrust here, because I do not have
an informed opinion at this moment.  I am also grateful to Mike for his
compliment and do not wish to appear otherwise.

However, I thought that it might be worthwhile to mention that there are
a multitude of customs regarding when one may recite qiddush levana.
For starts, (some) Teimanim will say qiddush levana as soon as the moon
is visible.  Most Ashkenazim who pray Nusah Ashkenaz will wait until 72
hours after the average mold.  Sefardim, Hasidism and others who pray
Nusah Sefard will wait until 168 hours from the average molad.

      if someone does this and makes if available online, they should
      discourage people from announcing the time of the molad in that
      way, and urge them only to announce "the latest time for kiddush

I haven't checked the sources, but we are enjoined that at least we
should KNOW the molad when we recite Birkat HaHodesh.  And announcing it
is rather an effective way to ensure that we know the molad.  I do agree
that, in addition, announcing the latest time that we may say qiddush
levana would be an effective way to ensure that we do indeed recite it.

IRA L. JACOBSON         

From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 09:50:56 EST
Subject: Calendar question

Ira Jacobson writes,

      I haven't checked the sources, but we are enjoined that at least
      we should KNOW the molad when we recite Birkat HaHodesh.  And
      announcing it is rather an effective way to ensure that we know
      the molad.  I do agree that, in addition, announcing the latest
      time that we may say qiddush levana would be an effective way to
      ensure that we do indeed recite it.

I didn't mean that the molad shouldn't be announced at all. I only meant
that it should be announced in the traditional way, as a certain number
of hours, minutes and chalakim after the beginning of a certain day of
the week, and not as a clock time, corrected for time zone and
variations in time of sunrise and sunset. In fact, not only should the
time of the molad be announced, but people should pay attention to it
and remember it. That way, if they are stuck on a desert island, etc.,
they will be able to figure out when the chagim are. But they'll only be
able to do that if it is announced in the traditional way.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2005 21:50:19 +0200
Subject: Help Required - How To Pay

I have returned from my Motzei Shabbat shiur and we were sent to do

The Rambam summarizes the system of paying workers and artisans from the
Temple treasury who are doing work for the Temple and notes (Sefer
Avodah, Hilchot Me'ila, 8:3) that since Hekdesh money cannot become
desecrated and reduced by paying out directly, therefore "(the worth of)
an animal or tallit is transferred to money and the coins are given as
payment and if they wish, they take the animal back from the
contributions of the Lishka".

Now, the problem is that from the commentary of the Mori Kurkos there
based on a Braitha, the initial money which is used for the "transfer"
of sanctity actually belongs to the artisans.  If so, then how does the
artisan make a profit if its his money that sets off the transfer?  As
far as I know, the 'trade-off' should be equal so the Hekdesh can't
exchange the animal for less than it is worth.

Is this truly a "closed circle" or what?

Any help will be appreciated.

Yisrael Medad (and other Shilonians of the weekly Shi'ur on Hilchot


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 15:14:30 +0200
Subject: Re: Kiddush Levana this month

> Rosh Chodesh Adar 1 is today on Thursday. Can we m'kadesh the levana on
> Sat. night after Shabbos? References please.

According to R. Phil Chernofsky of the OU's Torah Tidbits in
Yerushalayim, you may!


> The molad of Adar Alef was early morning of last Wednesday. That means
> that the first opportunity for Kiddush L'vana this month is Motza'ei
> Shabbat, eve of the 4th of the month (Feb. 12th). Three days after the
> molad is the starting time for KL according to Minhag Yerushalayim.

It is important to remember that zman Kiddush Levana is ***NOT***
calculated relative to when Rosh Chodesh was.  It (the zman) starts 72
hours (at least according to "3-day people") from the *calculated*
(average) molad, and continues until the halfway point to the next
calculated molad. (One exception to this is if there was a lunar eclipse
- which occurs at the astronomical halfway point - which was seen BEFORE
the calculated end of the time. From what I have heard, seeing such an
eclipse loses the possibility of saying kiddush levana for one who has
not said it).

Shabbat shalom, 
Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 11:56:33 +0000
Subject: Re: Kiddush Levana this month

The crucial time is the molad which was on Wednesday morning at 4h. 56m.
4ch. The Mechaber writes that kiddush levanah can only be said from
seven days after this (Orach Chaim 426.4). However the Mishnah Berurah
(s.k. 20) rules, in line with many acharonim, that it can already be
said after 3 full days, i.e. 72 hours. Some chassidim wait ten days. It
may be said up to fifteen days after the molad O.C. 426.3).

So the answer is presumably that Ashkenazim can be mekadesh the levana
immediately after Shabbat Terumah but Sefardim may not.

Martin Stern


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 13:23:59 GMT
Subject: Re: Late to Shul

Tzvi Stein wrote <<< I did not find the story of someone's store burning
down as punishment for going to shul late, in any way inspring. >>>

I did not interpret the store's burning as a punishment. As I read the
story, the only point being made was that people are too quick to say,
"Hey! At least I showed up!", and they don't realize what they're
missing in their inability to say "I got there on time."

Akiva Miller


From: Yossi Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 20:48:35 -0500
Subject: l'elo U'le'elo

Please forgive the unconventional nature of this posting, ,but I would
appreciate comments and cannot think of a more knowledgeable forum with
open minded intellectuals.

It has long puzzled me that the words "l'elo U'le'elo" (U-less for
Ashkenaz) are added to the mourners kaddish during the Rosh Hashana-Yom
Kippur days.  Considering that we don't change the wording for Shabbat,
why should we do so for the 10 days?

There are several cases where we change wording or behavior because of
special circumstances, i.e. on Yom Kippur we say "Baruch shem" loudly,
on Pesach we skip most of Shema, etc.  In those cases, the presence of
the holiday allows us to take freedoms that are otherwise disallowed, in
other words the "leil shimurim"-like quality of the day protects us.

It just came to my attention that the words of the daily Islamic creed,
and the critical words of the conversion process to Islam, are "L'illalu
u'l'Allah" (per Yossi Klein Halevi).

wIs it too farfetched to think that the fear of being overheard and
misunderstood led to the removal of the L'elo U'le'elo from the daily
recital, and that only because of the elevated holiness of the High
holiday period we re-insert it?


Yossi Ginzberg


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 13:40:13 GMT
Subject: Re: A Puzzling Story

Shmuel Himelstein asked <<< This story has often puzzled me - maybe more
so because today is Rosh Chodesh. How does one indeed draw the line
between davening with real kavanah and yet remembering to add the
appropriate special passages? >>>

My response is (I think) similar to that of Shayna Kravetz, expect that
hers was more poetic, and mine more prosaic:

Why do you distinguish between the "special passages" and the usual
ones? Isn't this a year-round problem?

If "real kavanah" means getting deeply involved in a close and personal
communication with G-d, pouring out one's heart to Him and telling Him
the things he needs to say -- and I think this is indeed the goal --
then wouldn't one also lose track of which bracha he's on in a usual
situation? Ummm, what am I up to -- R'faeinu or Barech Alenu, I can't

I'm guessing that the answer is that for Kavanah -- just like for
everything else -- the key is moderation. An emotional heart-to-heart
with one's Creator is indeed the goal of prayer, but at the same time,
one should not get so wrapped up in it that he forgets the structure of
that prayer. Chazal set up specific paragraphs in a specific order, and
did so for many specific reasons.

Say each paragraph. Pour out your heart into saying the prescribed
words, and (to the extent that halacha allows) whatever other words and
thoughts you want to add. But don't forget the focus and intent of the
paragraph that you're in. Stay on topic and don't ramble. And then, when
you're ready, go back to the siddur and see what the next paragraph is
all about (whether it is a regular paragraph or a special-occasion one)
and talk to G-d about that one.

Akiva Miller


From: Sholom & Esther Parnes <merbe@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 13:27:19 +0200
Subject: RYB Soloveitchik and mixed seating

I have been loosely following this thread for a while. I apologize if
what I am about to write has been mentioned already;

I seem to recall hearing from a student of Rav JB Soloveitchik that the
Rav's reasoning for banning mixed seating is because of Chukat Hagoyim,
i.e.  not using seating arrangements in shul that are used in the

Shabbat Shalom
Sholom Parnes


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 09:00:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Shabbos Torah sheet distribution

> From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
> In both cases, though, I question the right of any individual to assume
> that his interpretations are worthy of distribution. In the case of the
> kolel, the rosh kolel needed to be told he was embarrassing the
> institution, and the boys work was laudable, but IMHO should have been
> confined to his own family.

This seems (at least for the child) to be a good application for a
"blog", a private website, or a private email list.  That way, the
person gets to express themselves, and whoever is interested can read
it.  Others are spared.

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 13:59:27 GMT
Subject: Re: Shabbos Torah sheet distribution

Yossi Ginzberg wrote about some of the sheets distibuted in his shul:
<<< ... let's charitably call them "substandard" quality divrei Torah
and observations, ... The other was a very strong effort by a growing
young neighborhood boy to produce his own work. ... it was childish but
being distributed to adults. ... I question the right of any individual
to assume that his interpretations are worthy of
distribution. ... Opinions? >>>

To prevent these sort of things, this is what we do at our shul:

I am part of the Parsha Sheet committee. For several years I've been
subscribing to a lot of the email parsha sheets. Each week I pick
between 8 and 10 of them as my favorites, and submit them to the rest of
the committee, which includes the rav of the community. They narrow it
down to about 3 to 5 of the very best. "Best" here is defined not only
by accuracy and literary quality, but also in terms of which messages
this community needs to hear. Occassionally they will also make
editorial changes to correct factual errors or political incorrectness
(as defined by that our rav sees as correct).

Then I take the committee's choices and changes, and format it into a
nice MS Word document. The office prints it for distribution to the
shul, and I send it to a few email subscribers. (Anyone who wants to
join the list, drop a note to me at <KennethGMiller@...>)

Akiva Miller


From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 21:00:16 -0800
Subject: 'The doubling of anything is a source of bad luck'

"According to the Talmud (Pesachim 109b ~ 110b) activities done twice in
a row or in pairs, such as eating, drinking, or passing judgements,
invites the attention of evil spirits once the person leaves his or her

Isn't this discussed in Brochos , around daf 4 - 6 by the Gemora and/or
Rashi ?



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 14:06:58 +0200
Subject: Water Fountains and Fauctes

Just to add to Akiva's posting, there are faucets now in many public
buildings and I would guess hotel & catering hall rest rooms that are
operated only when an electric beam (?) is interrupted by hands being
placed in front or beneath the faucet.  We have these in the new
Menachem Begin Heritage Cnter where I work in Jerusalem and, indeed,
when there's an electric cut-out, one cannot wash one's hands (even if,
and annoyingly so, you've already lathered up with soap first)

Yisrael Medad


End of Volume 46 Issue 94