Volume 48 Number 24
                    Produced: Tue May 31  4:56:32 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Appointment of a New Rav (2)
         [Martin Stern, Avi Feldblum]
B'not Tzelafchad (2)
         [Nathan Lamm, <rubin20@...>]
GR"A and Psalms
         [D. Rabinowitz]
Gr"a's Psalms
         [Lipman Phillip Minden]
Our "hot" Single-Use Camera
         [Carl Singer]
Qualifications for Ba'al Tefilah
         [I. Balbin]
Some Basic but Overlooked points about Honoring ones parents
         [Russell Jay Hendel]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 09:37:46 +0100
Subject: Appointment of a New Rav

A few weeks ago, our rav announced that he would be leaving us on Rosh
Chodesh Tammuz and our shul executive are in the process of selecting a
replacement. It seems that the shul executive will choose a single
replacement candidate and then submit their choice to the membership (of
approximately 50) to accept (or possibly reject). There has been no
feedback as to what precisely is happening, leading to a feeling of
alienation in the general membership.

On enquiring from one member of the executive I was told that they were
doing this to avoid lashon hara and machloket, having consulted Da'at
Torah from some unspecified source. I wonder if others on mail-jewish
could comment on whether this is the standard procedure and, if not, how
their own shuls handle such matters.

This does not seem to be a completely isolated case since the same lack
of feedback has occurred concerning the plans for a possible rebuilding
of the shul. Could anyone suggest how one might proceed to persuade the
executive of the benefits of full involvement of the whole congregation,
or at least its active membership, in such major matters concerning its
running, as opposed to day-to-day matters.

Martin Stern

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 14:54:18 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Appointment of a New Rav

In shuls that I have been a member of, when the issue of replacing the
Rav comes up, a search committee is appointed by the executive
board. This search committee will in general take input from the
membership, and the expected output would be a slate of potential
replacements, which then typically would be brought in for a shabbat to
basically interview / be Rabbi for the weekend. Following that the
general membership votes on the candidates, with the new Rabbi being
chosen as a result of the voting of the full membership. However, during
the initial search process, there is in general little / no information
being returned to the membership, until they are ready to propose some

The first question I would have is how is the shul executive board is
appointed. If they are elected by the members of the shul, the primary
mechanism you have, once simple direct discussion does not result in an
adequate response, is to vote in new members of the executive that you
feel will be more open with the shul membership. Very often, it can be a
several year process, most often when the executive board are long time
members, but the membership has changed and needs of the new members are
not always aligned with the desires of the older time members. This is
often a difficult issue in some shuls.



From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 16:22:01 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: B'not Tzelafchad

Shayna Kravetz posits that a reading of Rashi suggests that the B'not
Tzelafchad wrote the section dealing with them. While I certainly don't
dismiss the possibility out of hand, I'd suggest that a more likely
reading of Rashi (since, after all, we're not dealing with Ibn Ezra) is
that Moshe should have had the z'chut of teaching this halakha
independently of any actual case, but the B'not Tzelafchad had a greater
z'chut that the halakha was revealed through their specific case. In
other words, that was meant to be the halakha all along, but waited a
few months to be "revealed."

From: <rubin20@...>
Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 22:10:14 -0400
Subject: Re: B'not Tzelafchad

> The most interesting and, to me, startling comment that Rashi makes on
> this episode is the suggestion that B'Tz actually wrote this section of
> the Torah!  If I read him correctly on v. 27:5, after quoting Tractate
> Sanhedrin's idea that the correct ruling on the daughters' question was
> concealed from Moshe--thus forcing him to ask God, Rashi's secondary
> explanation for the verse is: "Davar akheir, r'uya hayta parasha zo
> l'hikateiv al y'dei moshe ela she-zachu b'not tz'lafkhad v'nich'tvah al
> yadan." My translation: "Another opinion: it would have been appropriate
> for this section to have been written by Moshe but the daughters of
> Tzlafkhad were of such merit that it was written by their hand."

I think this is mistranslating of the words "l'hikateiv al y'dei ". The
intent is that it should have been given directly to Moshe without the
query of Bnos Tz, but the were worthy and brought it about. I believe
there is similar language with regard to Yisro.


From: D. Rabinowitz <rwdnick@...>
Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 09:42:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: GR"A and Psalms

If you would like a fairly comprehensive discussion on the issues you
raised, see the recently pulished Shirat Shmuel, by R. Peretz Shmuel
Mantel Bnei Brak 2003 esp. pp. 142-159 where there is an article devoted
to the Gra's opinion by R. Menahem Adler.  The rest of the book is
devoted to the general question of Shir Shel Yom and may have other
discussion that may be helpful.

Dan Rabinowitz


From: <Shuanoach@...> (Josh)
Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 12:13:28 EDT
Subject: Re: Gr"a's Psalms

On the Gr"a's practice with regard to Shir shel Yom, the main source is
Maaseh Rav (by R. Yissachar Ber ben Tanchum) #157. In some of the modern
editions there are notes from later additions and other works too, the
siddur of the Gr"a with commentary by R. Naftali Hirtz. (You might check
there too.) Also, check the different collections of minhagim of the
talmidim and descendants of the Gaon - e.g. Keter Rosh on minhagim of R.
Hayyim Volozhiner and the monograph on R. Hayyim's student, R. Yosef
Zundel of Salant - maybe there is information there. More collections of
minhagei ha-gra are cited in Yeshaya Vinograd's Otzar of all of the
writings of and about the Gaon. (In R. Joshua Heschel Levin's classic
bio of the Gaon, Aliyyot Eliyahu, he often notes minhagim of the Gaon as
well.) Does the Mishnah Brurah discuss this issue- he was Lithuanian?
Also, Rav Moshe Shternbuch, who has written about many minhagei ha-gra,
must have a discussion somewhere. (Check also responsa collections: e.g.
orchot hayyim [spinka], daat torah of maharsham, piskei teshuvot, otzar
ha-shu"t for relevant teshuvot.)

On this issue in general, see the recent article in the periodical
Yeshurun 5 (Nissan 1999): 634-650. (Though from the title it should be
about the Gaon's practice with shir shel yom, it isn't really about the
Gaon at all, except for the first page.)  Hope this helps. Happy



From: Lipman Phillip Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 18:17:43 +0200
Subject: Kaddish

I once was reluctant concerning one of those specially created kadeishim
after a kapitel tillem or a mishna that would't otherwise be said. I
argued with "ein leharbous bekadeishim shelou letzourech" [one shouldn't
increase the number of kadeishim that aren't necessary]. My friend, and
a yekkishe rabbi at that (sigh), answered in total amazement: "But it is
letzourech!", referring to my aveilus. Maybe this is the
misunderstanding that led to increasing the number of kadeishim ad

Lipman Phillip Minden


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 11:11:56 -0400
Subject: Our "hot" Single-Use Camera

> Assuming the situation is the same as single-use film cameras, I would
> be surprised, however, if the clerk knew what you are talking about.

That's the point.  The situation is NOT the same as a single-use film

The single use FILM camera is basically a low quality, cheap to produce
camera with film pre-installed.  Normally processing the film enforces
this "single-use" characteristic as the camera is, in essence, broken
open.  Some parts may be salvaged for re-use at marginal cost savings.
The vendor's economic model is that the sale price of the camera covers
its cost and additional profit will be made from processing -- some such
cameras are even sold with pre-paid processing.

The "single-use digital" camera -- is single use in name only -- it can
be used again and again and thus has residual value.  The vendor's
economic model is based on this repeated re-use with some factor for
loss.  Let's say the camera costs $100 to the vendor.  After five, $20
rentals it has paid for itself (plus profits from the developing.)  To
pay $20 for this $100 camera and convert for your personal use is
clever, but I cannot see maneuvering around the theft issue.

The clerk is a hapless middleman here who, as is pointed out, may not
know what you're talking about.  The owner / vendor is the one to whom
you should make the proposition.  "I will pay you $20 for this camera
and I intend to keep it.  Is this transaction satisfactory to you and do
you agree to it?"  If you have any qualms about the answer then the
point is made.

Let's try another analogy.  I have a good camera (whatever that means)
and I let you use it (perhaps for some charge that is clearly below the
cost / value of the camera.)  It is my understanding that you will
return the camera to me and pay me to process the pictures (digital,
film, whatever.)  If you keep the camera what have you done?

Whether the camera is film or digital, can be converted to multiple use,
etc., is irrelevant.

For embellishment, I could add to the above analogy by putting a padlock
on the camera that prevents the film or digital media from being
removed.  Thus, in effect, making this a single use camera to you.  So
what if you break the lock -- i.e., convert the camera to multiple use
(for you) this has nothing to do with original transaction.

One might posit further, that even if you returned the camera to me --
but took out the film or digital media and processed it elsewhere that
you have violated the agreement.

Carl Singer


From: I. Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Mon, 30 May 2005 11:44:52 +1000
Subject: Re: Qualifications for Ba'al Tefilah

> From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
> An excellent point. Of course we should question these adolescent
> fantasists and, if Eitan is correct, refuse to allow them to act as
> sheliach tsibbur.  There are well established rules about what
> qualities are required and someone who lacks most of them should never
> be appointed.

The Halacha is that Shelucho Shel Odom Kemoisoi (the Messenger is like/
a substitute for the Sender). In many places it is equally inappropriate
to EXclude people from acting as Shluchei Tzibbur because subjectively
one fantasises that they believe that the Shliach Tzibbur thinks he is a
Rock star. The Minyan may be full of people who sing through the prayers
like Rock Stars, enjoying it and rising with it, in that way.  Such a
Sheliach Tzibbur wouldn't be acceptable in some eg stolid Yekkishe
Shule, any more than the Sheliach Tzibbur of that Yekishe Shule would be
an acceptable Sheliach for the Shule of "Rock Stars", and anymore than
Chassidishe ecstatic Davening was acceptable to the early Misnagdim.

Let's not go about casting aspersions on people who might have an
approach to the Davening that is a "tad modern" for some, and "Rock
Star-like" for others. If the person is otherwise a Yirei Shomayim, I
don't give a tinker's cuss if he Davens in a rock-like bombastic style
or if he Davens in a long cold mournful style. You daven where you feel

I guess someone sometime would have objected to the "Opera Singing" type
Chazzonim who thought they were Pavarotti, but of course those
objections shouldn't come from people who choose to Daven elsewhere! If
the people who Daven there like the Operatic performance, it is no less
Kosher than the Rock Star.


From: Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...> 
Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 22:52:29 GMT
Subject: Some Basic but Overlooked points about Honoring ones parents

I am always baffled when postings come (or questions) on conflicts in
honoring ones parents. Jewish law is very clear: There are two
obligations: a) One must provide parental needs (but from their funds)
and b) one must treat parents respectfully. As far as I know there is NO
requirement anywhere to OBEY / LISTEN/ FOLLOW advice of ones parents.

Let me give some examples. A father wants a child to go into business,
or marry a certain type of woman, or not move to a certain city. The
child had absolutely NO obligation to fulfill his fathers
wishes. However, the child is prohibited from insulting his father (I
would suppose saying something like "mind your own business this is
personal" is insulting and disrespectful).

In passing the issue of parental abuse has come up. Many people are
unaware that there is a BIBLICAL prohibition of parents abusing
children. Over and above the general prohibition of abuse (Which comes
from the verse, dont tease or dont abuse in Lv25) a parent who abuses
his child has also violated "dont put a stumbling block before the blind
(since it is inevitable that the child will be disrespectful).

But even when a parent is abusive a child MUST STILL treat the parent
respectfully (Leaving the situation is not disrespectful).

I bring these points up because of the recent thread which seems to act
like there is some problem. I have frequently heard this but after
carefully looking over the sources I can't find a problem: Quite simply
a child can say NO to a parent--he/she however must do so respectfully

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


End of Volume 48 Issue 24