Volume 47 Number 26
                    Produced: Sun Mar 20 20:16:03 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Cemetery Contacts
         [Gershon Dubin]
Chareidi Characteristics
         [Yisrael Medad]
Correct Spelling of the name "Breuer"
         [Mark Steiner]
Dor Revi'i on monarchy
         [David Glasner]
Measuring time vs. keeping track of time (2)
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, Jeffery Zucker]
Metzitza b'Peh
         [David Mescheloff]
Metzitzah b'Peh
         [Martin Stern]
Separate Seating at Megilla Reading
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Separation at a Funeral
         [Yisrael Medad]
yid'dmu Ka-even (2)
         [Matthew Pearlman, Jack Gross]


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 16:20:23 GMT
Subject: Cemetery Contacts

Does anyone have telephone numbers or other contact information for the
two cemeteries in Bet Shemesh and Har Hamenuchos?  Please reply off
list.  Thank you.



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 20:44:34 +0200
Subject: Chareidi Characteristics

It was reported by Shmuel Himelstein from Yedioth that

"d.  82% of the families have at least one cellular phone, but unlike
the other groups, these phones are not given to young people."

What are defined as "young people"?

Walking the streets of Meah Shearim and Geula fairly frequently in the
past few months, I can testify that the word "not" is wrong.  The
percentage is not as high as secular society but there certainly is a
celluar phone presence, admittedly higher among the 17-18 year olds.

Yisrael Medad


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 00:20:37 +0200
Subject: Correct Spelling of the name "Breuer"

	I wish the participants in this list would learn the correct
spelling of the name "Breuer."  Almost every issue has a new
misspelling.  Thanks.


From: David Glasner <DGLASNER@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 11:57:41 -0500
Subject: Dor Revi'i on monarchy

Apropos of the recent interchange on the relative merits of monarchy and
democracy in Jewish law and philosophy, I thought that the following
comment of the Dor Revi'i on Deuteronomy 17:14-15 might be of interest
to the list.  Herewith my translation from Shivei Aish as posted on the
Dor Revi'I website <www.dorrevii.org>

See the Ramban who was at pains to explain why Moses admonishes "you may
not put a foreigner over you" after saying that the Eternal will Himself
choose the king. If so, the decision about who shall be king is in the
hand of G-d, and He will not choose a foreigner.

And it appeared to our master to explain that there was never a definite
commandment from the Eternal to choose a king.  It was only if the
people would demand a king and would say "I would put a king over me"
that they were permitted to institute a monarchy. And the reason that
the Eternal did not choose a king, but only judges and officers, is
that, as we wrote above, a judge stands under the rule of the people who
chose him and by virtue of whose authority he became the head. It is
therefore incumbent upon him to uphold righteousness and
justice. However, a king chosen by the Eternal is elevated above the
entire people whom he commands. And if so, he inevitably stands above
the laws that are written in the Torah and he need not decide in
accordance with those laws, but may decide according to his own
discretion. For the king may break through fences and no one may resist

So should the people become unruly and depart from a moral path and
should the judges, because they govern according to the precepts of the
Torah and justice and righteousness, lack the power to restrain the
people who will not be disciplined by these precepts, then it becomes
imperative for them to install a king who, breaking any upraised arm,
will impose law and order upon them and discipline them brutally for
their transgressions. As the one chosen by the Eternal to stand in the
breach, his fear and his awe will be upon them, for he will show no pity
in meting out punishment and will do with them as he sees fit. Indeed,
his authority over the people will be upheld only if they believe that
the king, having been chosen by G-d to reign over them, need not conduct
himself with them according to the Torah, whose ways are the ways of
pleasantness. For his selection by G-d has raised him above them so that
he may do whatever he likes with them. As a result, the people will be
too intimidated to disobey the king, because he has the authority to
punish them with cruelty and fury. This is the meaning of "you shall set
over you him whom the Lord your G-d will choose" (som tasim alekha
melekh asher yivhar ha-Sheim Eloqekha bo) from which the Sages deduced:

let fear of him be upon you. And how should it be upon you? Through your
belief that the Lord your G-d has chosen him.

This is in contrast to the judges about whom it says "you shall appoint
for yourself" (titein l'kha), because they are selected by the people
while the king is chosen by G-d by way of a prophet or the Urim and
Thummim. Therefore "som tasim" means that the fear of him should be upon
you owing to your knowledge that the Eternal has chosen him, so that his
power and his authority come from G-d and not from you.

Moses then goes on to warn them not to say that we will not ask G-d and
His prophets to choose a king, but instead we will choose a king from
another nation of whom, because he is a foreigner (ish nokhri), we will
be very fearful, who will administer punishment without pity. If we
appoint a foreign king to discipline us, why do we need a king whom the
Eternal will choose? Concerning such an idea, Moses says: "you may not
do so, for one from among your brothers you shall set as king."

Afterwards, Moses gives a warning to the king and says (Deuteronomy
17:18): "and when he sits upon the throne of his kingdom," i.e., when,
after having eliminated all the evil-doers from the land, his throne is
stabilized and his reign secure, then he too should conduct himself
uprightly to do justice and righteousness and "he shall write for
himself in a book a copy of this law." And from that time, he should see
what is written in the Torah and act accordingly "and he may not turn
aside from the commandment either to the right or the left." For after
he has smitten the wicked with the rod of his mouth and restored peace
to his realm, he will no longer be obliged to act beyond the limits of
the law (hora'at sha'ah).

David Glasner


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 14:51:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Measuring time vs. keeping track of time

An interesting point that I saw regarding "magic" and the use of
"spells" was that many of the "spells" were really poems set up to
measure the time required for the various steps in a recipe.  Since many
of the potions were brewed up as medicine and the healers tried to keep
them somewhat secret (so they would get paid) they would use code words
for the ingredients.  Thus, (I am making this up), willow bark could be
called "skin of the weeping woman" and the "spell" would be a rhyme to
time how long it should be steeped in the boiling water.

This also was done to keep the superstitious people (especially the
nobles)impressed and too afraid to kill the "witch".

From: Jeffery Zucker <zucker@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 00:35:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Measuring time vs. keeping track of time

My compliments to Mike Gerver on his interesting posting.
Among other things, it clarifies something that has long puzzled me,
namely the use of the phrase "beshaah tovah" (lit. "in a good hour") 
which is embedded in a number of blessings.
It means (of course) "at a good time", i.e. date + time of day, and 
*not* "during a good 60-minute period".

Jeff Zucker


From: David Mescheloff <david_mescheloff@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 04:15:23 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Metzitza b'Peh

Thanks both to Dr. Klafter and to Dr. Fiorino for clarifying what I had
not understood about the vacuum-assisted wound closure (VAWC) technique
I had read about in a news story.  Apparently it is significantly
different from metzitza b'peh, in several ways.

I am not one to reject the desirablity of new knowledge and of progress
- indeed I did note the desirability of using a glass tube for metzitza
to reduce risk of transfer of infection between mohel and infant - I
only argued against rejecting too facilely what chazal said , and urged
being cautious when introducing change.  It is my impression that Dr.
Klafter, Dr. Fiorino and I agree on these general principles.

I noted with interest that in a recent article in the YU Commentator,
summarizing some of the discussion of this issue in recent months, the
author described metzitza as a method aimed at "hastening the healing of
the wound".  According to Dr. Klafter and Dr.  Fiorino, any such
promotion of healing is minimal, nay, negligible, if it exists at all.

Rabbi Dr. David Mescheloff
Moshav Hemed


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 17:04:38 +0000
Subject: Metzitzah b'Peh

on 10/3/05 11:04 am, Frank Silbermann <fs@...> wrote:
> Is this practiced with adult converts?  When I became observant (in my
> 30s), I was told that I would need a drop of blood drawn because my
> circumcision was performed by an M.D. in a hospital on the third day.
> I'm pretty sure Metzitzah B'peh wasn't done the first time, and I
> remember distinctly that it wasn't done the second time.

Basically we hold that the mitsvah is to BE circumcised not to perform
the action of circumcising though there is a dissenting
opinion. Therefore, when the adult is already circumcised, it is only
necessary to draw a spot of blood as a chumra to satisfy the latter and
metsitsah is unnecessary for such an insignificant wound.

Martin Stern


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 11:30:53 -0500
Subject: Re: Separate Seating at Megilla Reading

> From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
> What,if any, separate seating requirements are there for a megilla
> reading outside a synagogue and with no davening involved (other than
> the berachot before and after)?  Consider two possibilities:
> 1.  In one's home; or
> 2.  In a public building (in, say, a library), where the reading is open
> to the public.

My understanding (although I don't have sources offhand - this is really
an oral understanding) is that you only need a mechitza at a permanent
davening place.  Thus, if there is no regular minyan at your home or in
the public building, then a mechitza is not required (although some
separation between men and women might still be needed).

With megilla reading there is the added wrinkle that, according to the
Mishna Brura (from what I remember, again) women have the same
obligation as men.

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


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 20:52:18 +0200
Subject: Separation at a Funeral

cp. <chips@...>
"...I meant specifically when the hespedym were given at the Shul that
was not attached to the cemetary.  Upon further reflection, I can not
recall being at a cemetary burial where there was a definitive
seperation of the genders. For sure I have never seen a mechitza of any
sort for the Major Kaddish said at the end of the burial and I never
recall a Rabbi sheparding the genders to seperate areas."

In Israel, and more specifically in Jerusalem, there is definitely a
purposeful appearance of separation at the cemetary.  Of course there is
no Mechitzah but if one looks at the burial service around the grave,
except for immediate family members, the overwhelming instances that I
have observed and participated in are that men and women stand apart,
even if the groups are but a few feet apart.

Yisrael Medad


From: Matthew Pearlman <Matthew.Pearlman@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 19:10:26 -0000
Subject: yid'dmu Ka-even

Boruch Merzel write "Interestingly, this happens to be the second time
that such a grammatical change was made in the Shira.  The first being
in pasuk 11, where we read "Mi cha-mocha ba-elim Hashem, mi Ka-mocha
nedar bakodesh"

In fact it is the third (unless someone else comes up with another).  In
"ashira lashem ki ga'o ga'a" the gimel in "ga'a" has a dagesh. I am not
sure that I can come up with such a good reason as was given for the
others, however, I was told that it is difficult to pronounce two soft
gimels in a row (if you are Temani).


From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 23:12:24 -0500
Subject: yid'dmu Ka-even

Actually, "Mi khamokha" is the second of three.  The first is "Ki gha'o
g'a'a" -- wherein the first gimmel is rafah as one would expect, but the
second is degusha.  (Astoundingly, this is listed in Mishna Berurah,
although I'd lay odds that its author never encountered anyone who
differentiated between the two forms of gimmel.)


End of Volume 47 Issue 26