Volume 48 Number 13
                    Produced: Thu May 26  6:19:42 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Counting to a Minyan
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Embarrassment and Rabbinical Prohibitions
         [Martin Stern]
         [Jack Gross]
Kibbud av va'em vis a vis kevod haberi'ot
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Non-frum Jews and minyan
         [Richard Schultz]
Non-frum to be Counted for a minyan
         [David Eisen]
Pesha, Pessia
Shul hopping -- supporting shuls (2)
         [Martin Stern, Batya Medad]
Weaving and Wearing of Tzitzit (3)
         [Jack Gross, Perets Mett, Martin Stern]
Zionist Munkacher Rebbe
         [Allen Gerstl]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 13:08:30 +0200
Subject: Counting to a Minyan

Those of you who have walked through Meah Shearim probably remember the
sign there that reads: "Zionists are not Jews." (Interestingly enough,
the Hebrew on the sign - maybe because Hebrew reads from right to left -
reads in translation: "Jews are not Zionists.")

A relative of mine told me that his dream was to be in Meah Shearim
where there were nine other men waiting for a Minyan, whereupon he would
announce "I'm a Zionist," and would see what would happen.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 10:52:39 +0100
Subject: Re: Embarrassment and Rabbinical Prohibitions

on 25/5/05 10:22 am, Nachum Klafter <doctorklafter@...> wrote:

> as is the prohibition of including a non-observant Jew in an eiruv
> chatzerot, which was encacted to discourage Jews from allowing
> non-observant Jews to live in their immediate apartment complex.  The
> strong likelihood of insulting the non-observant Jew who is banished
> from such a neighborhood, or whose wine is rejected, was certainly
> evident to the Sages, who have nevertheless decreed that we must
> follow these potentially provocative and insulting legislations.

Nachum is not entirely correct in reference to a "prohibition of
including a non-observant Jew in an eiruv chatzerot". The halachah
refers to someone who is "eino modeh be'eiruv, i.e. does not recognise
the concept of eiruv" which is quite different. I tried to set up an
eiruv in my street many tears ago but was prevented by one resident who
was otherwise pretty observant, e.g.  went to shul every day, who told
me explicitly that he did not believe in this chassidic nonsense. There
were some non-observant families in our street at the time who were very
dubious about the matter because of a lack of understanding but were
quite happy to co-operate once I explained what was involved. We must be
careful to distinguish non-observance from anti-observance.

Martin Stern


From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 06:51:25 -0400
Subject: Re: Kaddish

Clearly Kaddish is not a stand-alone.  It either opens, closes, or
separates sections of the congregational service; you cannot simply
assemble a minyan, recite Kassidh "umzist", and part company.  Once the
requisite context is present (commonly, a perek Tehillim was said by a
minyan), I don't see why is it not mandatory.  What logical basis is
there for maintaining that Kaddish may be said, but may also be omitted?
I can understand that limud torah b'rabbim is a "Machayyev"; I don't
grasp how it can be simply a "Mattir" for Kaddish.

As to "tircha": There is nothing preventing one (or many) from leaving
before a Kaddish is begun, even if that leaves the group without a
quorum; the only restriction is *during* a Davar she'biKdusha.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 15:07:37 +0300
Subject: Kibbud av va'em vis a vis kevod haberi'ot

      Again, if your parents offer you food which is truly prohibited
      me-derabanan (and all the more so me-de-oraitah), it is forbidden
      to eat it.  Kibud Av-Ve-Eim is not a dispensation to transgress
      biblical or rabbinic prohibitions.

      However, it is simply not true according the halakha that one is
      allowed to consume food which is "only" rabbinically forbidden in
      order to avoid hurting one's parents' feelings.

How does the rule that kevod haberi'ot dohe mitzvot derabbanan
(overrides rabbinical commandments) apply in this case?

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Richard Schultz <schultr@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 12:18:18 +0300
Subject: Non-frum Jews and minyan

In mail-jewish 48/08, Frank Silbermann <fs@...> writes:

> I was taught that the source for the requirement of ten men in a
> minyan came from the story of the twelve spies sent by Moses.  Two of
> them gave an encouraging report, and ten gave a negative report.
> Those ten evil-doers were referred to as a congregation.  Why base the
> definition of a minyan on such a shameful epsiode?

Take a look at the first verse of Psalm 82.  Then ask yourself what is
the smallest number referred to as an "eidah" (congregation).  That was
the explanation that I got, although I do not have an actual source in
halakhah to prove that this is the actual source of the requirement of
ten men for a minyan.

Richard Schultz                              <schultr@...>


From: David Eisen <davide@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 14:44:38 +0200
Subject: RE: Non-frum to be Counted for a minyan

Yossi Ginzberg wrote:

> So you met an ignoramus. What does that prove, anyway?  Is the
> ignorance of a single person even worth talking about?  FWIW, he may
> have simply misunderstood the reasoning after seeing other people
> making a minyan by asking the obviously observant, who are certainly
> more likely to help out.

I do not believe that it is so clear-cut that one can simply count any
non-observant Jew in a minyan; the psak that I received for the common
occurrence on military reserve duty (miluim), when one needs to include
secular soldiers in order to complete a minyan, was while one indeed can
even count a flagrant Shabbat violator, nonetheless - if such person
would respond in the affirmative that they would violate Shabbat even in
the presence of a distinguished Orthodox Jew (which essentially
indicates that he is not a "mumar l'teavon") then such person should NOT
be counted in a minyan. I would add, however, that if a non-kippa wearer
offers out of his own volition to join the minyan then by all means he
is a worthy participant. Naturally, one needs to consult with his or her
LOR on such matters.

See for example Teshuva 1:35 in R. SZ Auerbach's Minhat Shlomo with
respect to the permissibility of offering food to a Jew who does not
know how to make Berakhot. In that Teshuva, RSZA qualifies that he is
not speaking about any Jew whatsoever but he is referring to an
important Jew who albeit does not observe Torah and Mitzvot but
nonetheless has a love for Torah, is a supporter of Torah institutions
and is one's guest.

B'virkat HaTorah,
David Eisen 


From: <bsbank@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 08:56:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Pesha, Pessia

> From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
> A few weeks ago, I had a ride with one of our local rabbis, who's a
> bit of a linguist.  In "making conversation" he mentioned to me that
> the name Pessia is really Batya, derived from Bassya and considering
> the close relationship between p and b and the vowels.

FWIW, my mother's name was Peshe, spelled (on her K'tubah) Peh, Ayin,
Shin, Ayin, although those who knew her called her "Peshy."

Also, one of Shalom Aleichem's books is called "Mottel Paysie Dem


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 11:37:48 +0100
Subject: Shul hopping -- supporting shuls

on 25/5/05 9:45 am, Carl Singer <casinger@...> wrote:
> The shuls that I belong to (that is have membership / pay dues) now have
> a large influx of observant (frum) people who daven there but do not
> choose to "join" and pay membership, take part in maintaining the shul,
> etc.  [We are not talking of people who cannot afford to pay or are
> physically unable to help.]
> Would anyone like to venture into exploring the halachic obligations of
> people who daven at a given shul and the halachic responses the shul
> leadership may take to deal with the those who "pray but don't pay."

This is a growing problem here as well especially in the sort of shuls
that run a 'minyan factory' system on weekdays. Many young people do not
seem to have the concept of having a makom kevua and these shuls are
facing financial problems in consequence. This seems to show a lack of
sense of communal responsibility but, hopefully, these young men will
'settle down' and join, and pay dues to, one shul once they have found
the one which most suits their temperament.

One such shul in our neighbourhood has put up notices asking such
'visitors' (in reality regular attenders) to pay each time they come but
I do not know whether anyone has taken any notice. I would imagine that
once one becomes a regular in a shul one is halachically obligated to
contribute just as someone who moved to a town was obliged to pay his
communal taxes once his residence was established. Unfortunately these
matters are no longer enforceable in present-day voluntaristic

Martin Stern

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 14:44:52 +0200
Subject: Shul hopping -- supporting shuls

We have a situation that our neighborhood shul, the small Ashkenaz Ramat
Shmuel neighborhood shul is the one with weekday mincha-arvit dovening.
People come from all over the yishuv and even the surrounding area.
I've found myself in "tremps" rushing to catch last mincha, which is
great for me, since we live very close by.  Many people who travel
around the Shomron and Binyamin know about it.

You guessed it.  We're the poor shul with few members and no "big
donors."  But I wouldn't change things, since it's better to have the
shul in use than a gorgeous rich empty edifice.



From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 10:48:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Weaving and Wearing of Tzitzit

>> We have medieval paytanim who praise their wives as "great weavers of
>> tzitzit".  They couldn't have woven them if they weren't wearing
>> them.


It is true that someone who refuses to wear Tefillin is regarded as
unfit to write their parshiyot, just as one who is naturally exempt from
the mitzvah (whether by reason of gender or nationality).  But that does
not imply that someone innately exempt (for either reason) who
voluntarily observes the Mitzvah becomes eligible to write them.

Women are p'turot [exempt] from tzitzit, and may l'chatchilla wear a
four-cornered shawl without them.  The Poskim are divided as to whether
women are eligible to create (spin the thread or tie them) Tzitzit.  (At
issue may be whether the restriction w/r/t tefillin relates to its
"lishma" requirement (which Tzitzit shares), or specifically to imbuing
"kedushat tefillin" (an aspect absent from Tzitzit).)

If a woman chooses to be "einah metzuvah v'osah", it has no bearing on
eligibility to create them.  It remains subject of the machloket poskim.

From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 10:57:10 +0100
Subject: Weaving and Wearing of Tzitzit

Why not?

I should imagine that all mediaeval weavers were women. And Jewish wives
would surely weave begodim to put tsitsis on. (Tsitsis of themselves are
not woven - the talis they are attached to is.)

Perets Mett

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 10:37:03 +0100
Subject: Re: Weaving and Wearing of Tzitzit

I presume that the term "great weavers of tzitzit" is a mistranslation
since tsitsit are only spun not woven.

Alternatively the reference is to the weaving of four cornered garments
to which tsitsit can be attached. In the latter case, I cannot see the
logic which precludes women from weaving garments which will be worn by
men. Ben presumably is basing himself on the principle that someone not
involved in a mitsvah cannot exempt someone who is, which can be
extended to spinning tsitsit for mitsvah use if women are exempt.

As I am not familiar with the particular piyuttim to which Ben alludes,
could he perhaps provide references.

Martin Stern


From: Allen Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 10:47:25 -0400
Subject: RE: Zionist Munkacher Rebbe

I believe that same "Zionist Munkacher Rebbe", in the mid-sixties
published special editions of masechtot, Beitzah (titled as "Masechet
Yom Tov") and Rosh Ha-Shanah with a Modern Hebrew perush-translation (a
forerunner of Steinzaltz). The Beitzah volume has excellent quality
Aramaic grammar charts by a professor from Bar-Ilan and IIRC the Rosh
Ha-Shanah volume has biographical- historical charts. So it seems he was
an innovative modern Torah educator as well as a Zionist.

Are there any published biographies of him?



End of Volume 48 Issue 13