Volume 47 Number 27
                    Produced: Sun Mar 20 20:48:43 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

book ownership
         [Aliza Berger]
Brief Recapitulation of Purim
         [Nathan Lamm]
Cell Phones Redux
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Folding the Tallis on Shabbos (5)
         [Nathan Lamm, Steven Oppenheimer, Mike Gerver, Steven
M.Kapnick, Bernard Raab]
Metzitzah B'peh
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Other Habad groups
         [Yehonatan & Randy Chipman]
Seudat Purim Erev Shabbat
         [Yisrael Medad]
Sports and theaters, then and now
whole world=eretz yisrael?
         [Aliza Berger]


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 11:45:10 +0200
Subject: book ownership

What is the origin of the custom of writing "LaHashem Haaertz Umelo'ah"
when writing one's name in a book to signify ownership? Why books and
not other articles you might lend out (chairs come to mind)?

Sincerely, Aliza
Aliza Berger-Cooper, PhD
English Editing: www.editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: www.statistics-help.com


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 20:44:17 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Brief Recapitulation of Purim

Isn't the ideal answer to this the Book of Esther itself? It's
relatively short, an "easy read," and gives pretty much the whole
story. It's even a good answer for a curious non-Jew, if they have a
Bible handy. (The Catholic version is longer, but not by much.)


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 11:34:25 -0500
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Redux

> From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
> "The 'kosher' phone carries a stamp signifying its approval by
> rabbinical authorities, who will recommend haredi community members to
> take out contracts with MIRS Communication.
> "The Motorola handsets have been modified to disable internet access,
> SMS text services and video and voice-mail applications."

Does the phone also disable itself on Shabbat and Yom Tov, tell you when
to daven, and make sure you wash your hands before motsi?  This kind of
blatant consumerism is no less dangerous to Judaism than the internet.



From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 20:50:47 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Folding the Tallis on Shabbos

I'm not quite sure why this would be allowed only if the tallis was to
be used within the day: Folding isn't necessary to use it again.

I can think of a couple of answers as to why this is allowed:

1. Even if we fold it with precision, folding a thick piece of cloth
such a a tallis will never be crease-perfect. In fact, the creases the
tallis has are usually not where we fold it anyway.

2. It's something of a bizayon to stuff a tashmish shel kedushah back in
a bag for ten hours or so. A similar halakhic point is made about
wrapping the tefillin *before* beginning Musaf on Rosh Chodesh (pace

From: Steven Oppenheimer <oppy49@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 22:09:34 -0500
Subject: Folding the Tallis on Shabbos

Alan Friedenberg wrote:
> Can anyone tell me why one WOULD be allowed to fold a tallis on Shabbos?

Rabbi Moshe Feistein, z"l wrote a responsum permitting folding a tallit
on Shabbat, replacing it in the tallit bag and bringing it back home
even if one will not use it again until the next day.  If one is going
to daven someplace else the next day, it would seem that this would be a
violation of hachana (preparing from Shabbat for a weekday) and if one
were to daven the next day in the same shul, then it would seem to
involve an activity that is not needed, and would be appear to be a
violation of tircha (an otherwise permissible activity that is not
allowed because it has no Shabbat purpose).  Furthermore, one is not
allowed to fold a garment on Shabbat.

He suggests that there are people who are concerned that someone may
take their tallit or use their tallit and perhaps damage it and,
therefore, they are allowed to take it home to protect their property.
Since they are allowed to take the tallit home, they may fold it up (to
avoid wrinkling it) and place it into the tallit bag to enable them to
carry the tallit more easily.  This, of course, presupposes that there
is an eruv which allows one to carry.

This answers the issues of hachana (preparing for a weekday) and folding
a garment on shabbat.  This is allowed because he is protecting his
property and not preparing for chol (weekday).  Folding is permitted to
allow him to bring the tallit back in a comfortable maner (by placing it
the tallit bag) that will not damage (wrinkle) the tallit.

For more details, see Iggerot Moshe, O. Ch. chelek 5, siman 20.

Steven Oppenheimer, DMD

From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 18:17:32 EST
Subject: Folding the Tallis on Shabbos

Alan Friedenberg asks, in v47n22,
> Can anyone tell me why one WOULD be allowed to fold a tallis on Shabbos?

I thought the prohibition was only on folding the tallis (or a
tablecloth, etc) along existing creases. During the week, I fold my
tallis repeatedly in half, and that's where the creases are located. On
Shabbos, I fold my tallis repeatedly in thirds, and I know, from the
fundamental theorem of arithmetic (that every integer has a unique set
of prime factors), that none of the folds I make on Shabbos will fall
exactly on any of the existing creases from during the week. Admittedly,
there are also faint creases visible from the folding I do on Shabbos,
but I am hoping that those don't count.

I actually benefitted from those faint Shabbos creases, once. I used to
keep my tallis in shul, and once there was a crazy guy who would steal
people's tallis bags from shul, while leaving the tallises. I was able
to positively identify my tallis by the faint creases at locations of
1/3, 1/9, etc., of the width and length of the tallis.

Another time, when I was visiting a city that had no mechitzah and wore
my tallis to shul on Shabbat morning (so I didn't have my tallis bag
with me), I left my tallis on my chair while I went to have
kiddush. When I came back to put on my tallis and walk to where I was
staying, my tallis wasn't there. Someone suggested that maybe it had
been put away with the shul-owned tallises. I looked there, and found a
tallis that looked very similar to mine, and I would have assumed it was
mine, but it didn't have faint creases at 1/3, 1/9, etc. I assume
someone else, wearing a similar tallis, had taken my tallis by mistake,
and didn't notice the faint creases. The president of the shul urged me
to take the similar tallis instead, which I guess he was authorized to
let me do since it would otherwise have belonged to the shul, so I did.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel

From: Steven M.Kapnick <rsmk@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 15:17:55 -0500
Subject: Folding the Tallis on Shabbos

My understanding of the Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchoso is that if one folds
a Tallis "against" its creases (without making a new crease), or folds
the Tallis in any other manner avoiding any creases - but still in a
respectful manner, this would be permissable L'chatchilah on Shabbos

Shimon Kapnick

From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 17:29:17 -0500
Subject: Folding the Tallis on Shabbos

According to my Morah-D'Asroh (who is a very neat person but
nevertheless does not fold his tallis on Shabbos, and may prefer to
remain anonymous) this prohibition applies to folding the tallis along
previously-established folds, apparently to avoid the possibility of
smoothing out a wrinkled tallis. Since my tallis in shul has no such
folds (it is apparently a type of wool which will not hold a crease) I
sort of fold it away after davening. Other reasons might be:

you are an obssessive-compulsive neat freak
you are concerned for the appearance of the shul
you may not return for mincha-maariv
you cannot stand a wrinkled tallis
you don't want to return to find your tallis on the floor
your mother taught you to clean up after yourself

b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 13:42:56 -0500
Subject: Re: Metzitzah B'peh

Any ideas of the admissibility of using a thin tube with capillary action 
to perform mouth-less meziza?

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


From: Yehonatan & Randy Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 17:21:22 +0200
Subject: Other Habad groups

Yisrael Medad asked:

<<What other Chabad group existed outside those that viewed the Rebbe
Rayatz not their Rebbe before WW II?>>

I once asked Rav Steinsaltz abot this orally (on Shabbat, so I couldn't
record his answers).  He said that the Tzemah Tzedek (the first
R. Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch, the third rebbe) had seven sons, all but
one of whom became rebbes.  (But the important thing in Habad is not the
ancestry, but the system of Avodah based on the Tanya).

   From what I've been able to reconstruct, these were (not in
chronological order): 
1.  R. Shmuel  ("The rebbe Mara"sh", the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe)
2.  R. Yehudah Leib, (1808-1867), founder of the dynasty of Kepost, the
most important non-Lubavitch Habad group, which continued until WW2.
3.  R, Barukh Shalom, who was the grandfather of R. Levi Yitzhak
Schneersohn, the father of the late Rebbe (the "Ramash", d. 1994).  He
stayed in Lubavitch, but wasn't a rebbe.
4.  R. Hayyim Shneur Zalman, known for his ecstatic avodah of prayer.
5.  R. Yisrael Noah of Niazenm, known as a gaon in revealed Torah (i.e,
Talmud & halakha) and was the author of several volumes of teshuvot 
6.  R. Yosef Yitzhak, who married the daughter of the Trisker Rebbe, and
became the Admor of Avarotsch.  (spellings of place names are all
largely guess work).

This is what I've been able to piece together, from what I remember of
what Rav Steinsaltz told me, plus info from a littel book about rebbes
that a friend read me over the phone.

In addition, and before that in time, there was a split during the
lifetime of the Mittler Rebbe, when Rav Aharon of Starasseloje, a close
disciple of the Alter Rebbe, propounded a much more mystical approach to
some basic theological questions.  See Rahel Elior's book, "Torat
ha-Elohut bedor hasheni shel Hasidut Habad" (Magnes, 1982).

I also remember once speaking with a young man who grew up in a group in
Monsey NY called the "Malakhim" ("Angels"!), who were also a
non-Lubavitch hasidut based on Habad, that practiced a very strict type
of religious discipline. I don't know where it comes from or where they
fit in.  I'll try to ask Rav Steinsaltz if I see him in shul.

As for the dispute between the late rebbe and his brother-in-law, Rav
Gur-Aryeh, that's a whole other story, and I don't know what it's all
about, beyond the fact that after the Rebbe's death there was a law suit
brought by Gur-Aryeh's son concerning the ownership of an extensive
library from Lubavitch: viz., did it belong to the family or to the

Kol tuv,
Yehonatan Chipman


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 20:32:45 +0200
Subject: Seudat Purim Erev Shabbat

In the Shabat b'Shabato parsha daf this week, Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon,
Rav of Kehilat Alon Shvut Darom and a Ram in Yeshivat Har Etzion, writes
that the seuda of Purim should begin within the time framework of
Shacharit, that is by the mid-day point, but that it can begin as late
as the 10th hour (source: MB 695:10) which is approx. 14:50.  The Arukh
HaShulchan (249:7) asserts that it is enough to begin by this later time
but one should not satiate one's appetite because of the oncoming

There is a minority opinion that one continues the Seuda into the
Shabbat and in practice, when Shabbat enters, the challot are covered,
Kiddush is said but without the blessing over the wine, Kabbalat Shabat
is said, meal continues and at least a kazayit of bread is again eaten,
but it is suggested (MB 271:2) that a beitza of bread be eaten.  After
the meal, Birkat HaMazon and then Arvit.

There are several problems in this approach - (a) Al HaNisim in grace;
(b) not davening in a minyan as everyone else is in schule having
practiced the majority opinion; (c) the Ar"i demands that Kiddush be
said after Arvit (Kaf HaChayim 271:22).  The Meiri insisted that this
minority opinion should be the custom.

Yisrael Medad


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 20:50:46 -0600
Subject: Sports and theaters, then and now

Shalom, All:

Dov Teichman noted that >>Regarding Sporting events and theaters and the
like, I know many Orthodox Jews go, yet all I have seen who write on the
matter forbid it. See Avoda Zara 18b where Theaters and Circuses are
described as a "Moshav Leitzim."<<

If I'm not mistaken, when the G'mara (Talmud) was written, theaters
quite often featured plays where pagan gods and idolatrous Greek and
Roman culture permeated plays. Furthermore, Greek sporting events were
held in the nude, and circuses then meant gladitorial murder and/or
cruelty to animals being killed.

This being the case, modern plays and all sporting events are a far cry
from some 2,000 years ago. I know some people can't handle the sight of
a woman in a bathing suit, or even basketball shorts, but doesn't this
leave lots of room to enjoy many other sports, even if you're haredi
(Ultra-Orthodox)? Ditto for non-sexually oriented, clean language plays.

Kol Tuv,
Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 14:35:07 +0200
Subject: whole world=eretz yisrael?

I recently read on another list, with no annotation, the idea that it's not
necessary to make aliyah (move to Israel) because when the Messiah comes,
the whole world will become Eretz Yisrael. The poster suggested that each
person try to "elevate" religiously the place where they live, rather than
consider making aliyah. What is the source of this line of thought?

(I confess this idea insulted me, as someone who made aliyah! Suddenly what
I did is worthless?!)

Sincerely, Aliza
Aliza Berger-Cooper, PhD
English Editing: www.editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: www.statistics-help.com


End of Volume 47 Issue 27