Volume 48 Number 30
                    Produced: Wed Jun  1  5:50:30 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Accepting Psak without reviewing sources
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Heinz Vegetarian Baked Beans
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
"K'vod bat hamelech p'nima"
         [Dov Teichman]
"K'vod bat hamelech p'nima" - what is the p'shat???
         [Paul Shaviv]
Minor Mistakes in Torah Reading
         [Michael Mirsky]
Shaliach Tzibor
         [Nadine Bonner]
Sheitels and drinking water
         [Carl Singer]
supporting shules
Women and contemporary practices
         [Sheldon Chanales]
Women Playing Musical Instrument
         [Orrin Tilevitz]


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 14:14:44 -0400
Subject: Re: Accepting Psak without reviewing sources

 >mentioned?  When you choose someone to be your posek you must abide by
 >those decisions.  To do otherwise would wreak havoc on the halachic

I'm afraid I disagree ... though you rav gives you guidance, I feel (as
I have said before on mail-jewish) that you are ultimately responsible
for your actions...and this does mean (courteously) requesting sources
and verifying opinions.

When I got married, our mesader keddushin ("officiating rabbi") insisted
that, though it was customary for bride and groom not to see each other
for the week before the wedding, it was halacha for the day of the
ceremony.  My wife found this p'sak cumbersome because it interfered
with her photography plans, so she asked me (!) to request the sources
of this halacha from the rabbi, especially since neither of us had a
family custom of separation.  Much to his credit, the rabbi called me
the next day to say that he could not find a halachically binding source
for the separation, although there was a strong customary basis.

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


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 13:59:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Heinz Vegetarian Baked Beans

 >However, in the UK, local production of this product does not have any
 >Hechsher, and as a result of this discussion, yesterday afternoon
 >(26th May)I asked Rabbi Conway - Head of London Beis Din Kashrus Dept
 >- whether Heinz Baked Beanz are kosher and he categorically told me
 >that they are not kosher.

This is rather surprising ... here in the US I have never heard a rabbi
making such a pronouncement (maybe I'm simply travelling in the "wrong"
circles).  The best you can get out of a kashrut supervisor is something
of the sort "we/I do not recommend/supervise that product" ... I suppose
that unless there is clear an unambiguous proof of the treifness of the'
item (e.g. bona fide pork chops), a strong pronouncement might be

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


From: <dtnla@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 18:14:00 -0400
Subject: Re: "K'vod bat hamelech p'nima"

Leah S. Gordon <leah@...> writes:

> It has always struck me as odd that so much importance would be
> attributed to such a small phrase in Psalms, and to such a narrow
> reading of the phrase itself.  I could imagine the phrase meaning
> something totally different than, "women should stay in their own
> Domestic Sphere".  For example, it could mean, "princesses have an inner
> poise and self-confidence".
> <snip>
> Finally, I would suggest to Mr. Teichman that in matters of personal
> attitude, it is not really appropriate for men to presume to tell women
> what we ourselves must be thinking/believing.

I believe that halacha and our Rabbis (who are often male) do have the
right to tell both sexes what are appropriate thought and beliefs, even
on matters of personal attitude.

Regarding the verse in Tehillim (45:14) the interpretation I used was
the interpretation that Chazal have used for expressing the idea that
women's (primary) domain is the domestic one. Why is that verse so often
quoted?  Not because of "sexist social mores", but because promiscuity
has only gotten worse over time, and encouraging more modesty is part of
that battle.

Just some examples I found just by looking at the Toldos Aharon on the
verse for Talmudic/Midrashic references. Shavuos 30a where the gemara
says that it is not common for women to be involved in a dispute in Beis
din based on the verse.

Yevamos 77a where the gemara explains that the Torah forbade Jews from
marrying male converts from Amon and Moav. As the Torah explains in
Devarim (23:5) that they did not offer us bread and water when we passed
their lands when traveling in the desert. The gemara asks, so why forbid
only male converts? the women should have offered bread and water too,
therefore they too are guilty! The gemara answers that it was not
expected of the women to leave their homes and offer water and bread to
the jews because "Kol kevuda Bas melech penima" and furthermore we find
that regarding Sara, the angels who came to visit Avraham did not see
her because she did not leave her tent. See Rashi on this gemara, as
well as on the verse in Bereishis 18:9 where he refers to the gemara in
Bava Metzia 87a that talks about Sara's modesty.

The Yalkut Shimoni on that verse in Tehillim applies the verse to the
famous woman Kimchis who never exposed her hair to the walls of her
house and merited having sons who were Kohanim Gedolim.  The Yalkut also
says that women ought not frequent the marketplace lest a tragedy like
what happened to Dina occur.

I think that it should be obvious that the Jewish outlook of a woman's
role in Jewish life is one where her main focus is a domestic one and
it's all tied in with the concept of Tsniyus (modesty). Its not a rule
that says she must stay home 24/7. Its an emphasis and an outlook on
life. And it's clearly Chazal's idea of what the _proper_ focus of a
jewish woman ought to be.

Dov Teichman


From: Paul Shaviv <pshaviv@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 13:44:56 -0400
Subject: "K'vod bat hamelech p'nima" - what is the p'shat???

1. The actual / accurate text (Tehillim / Psalms 45:14) is: "... kol
k'vudah [NOT 'k'vodah'] bat melech p'nimah..."

2. The p'shat of this is obsecure, although it is often quoted as a
support for the principle of tzniut - "The glory of the king's daughter
is within", or variants of that. Interestingly, the ArtScroll
translation (ArtScroll Tanakh, p. 1475) avoids this meaning.

3. I would like to suggest a completely different meaning. 

B'kitzur: The Psalm seems to be about the marriage of a princess,
perhaps allegorically.  The root KVD may mean 'wealth', as in Bereshit:
"v'Avraham KAVED me'od = and Abraham was very wealthy". In Middle
Eastern culture, the bride often had the silver or gold coins of her
dowry sewn into her headdress, which surrounded her face. Think Yemenite
or Bedouin brides. I propose that the pasuk in Tehillim means: " All the
wealth of the princess is around her face" (p'nimah - a locative 'heh'
suffix with 'panim = face'). Note that v. 13 refers to her face as well.
Look at the context -- it fits!

-- Paul Shaviv, Toronto


From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 14:00:17 -0400
Subject: Minor Mistakes in Torah Reading

Bill Page asked for examples of minor errors which don't need to be

To add to his list, in most cases we don't correct if the accent is put
on the wrong syllable (ie. first syllable - mil'aiyl, or last syllable -
mi'lra) as long as the meaning isn't changed.

But there are a few famous cases where the meaning *is* changed and
needs to be corrected.  For example, in Vayetze when Yaakov Avinu comes
to the well and meets Rachel, he speaks with the people there.  He asks
if they know Lavan and they anser they do, and "v'hinai Rachel bito
*ba'AH* im hatzon".  The accent on ba'ah is on the second syllable,
meaning she is *coming* with the sheep - present tense.

He continues talking with them about rolling the rock from the well, and
then the Torah says "v'Rachel *BA'ah* im hatzon".  Accent on first
syllable -means she had come.

So the gabbai needs to know a bit of dikduk to catch those.

Michael Mirsky


From: Nadine Bonner <nfbonner@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 10:20:16 -0400
Subject: Shaliach Tzibor

I've been reading people's complaints about the "rock star" shaliach
tzibor, but I have a different complaint. When I come to shul on
shabbos, I like the tfilla to be uplifting--otherwise I might as well
stay home and daven in quiet, since I am not obligated to be
there. About twice a month, we have a shaliach tzibor who races through
the davening as if someone had a knife at his back. No tune--just a
monotone drone for the entire davening. Last shabbos I arrived at my
usual time, which is usually at the start of the Torah reading, and they
had finished musaf already. I suggested to my son-in-law that we publish
the names of the shaliach tzibor in the weekly pre-shabbos newsletter so
I can decide if it is worth coming on not.

I understand that during a weekly minyan, people are hurrying off to
work and can't linger over davening. But I don't think that shabbos
davening should be a race to the finish. I would prefer a "rock star" or
old-fashioned chazzen to the monotone speed-davener.  Any comments?


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 10:52:31 -0400
Subject: Sheitels and drinking water

Not that long ago there was much media attention to two crises in the
frum community --

After much heat and little light -- what is the current halachic status
of (a) sheitels and (b) NYC drinking water.

Oh .... and what might we have learned in looking back re: the halachic
process, the media, business considerations and religious politics ?

Carl Singer


From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 22:38:48 -0700
Subject: Re: supporting shules

> [...] And more pointedly, some shuls might not get a minyan if they
> depended only on their members.  And some people davening there pick
> that particular shul precisely to try to ensure that there will be a
> minyan there.
>The latter's argument could very well be that THEY are doing a service
>to the shul and therefore reduce their obligation to help support it
>financially.  [...]

This actually applies to me. I am not a member [as some of you may
recall] of the shul that I attend during the week and it is not a
secret.  At a meal someone complained about my using the shul and not
providing any financial support and a person who is a part of the shul
administration said being that I often make the minyan and participate
in other aspects of the service, there was no need.


From: Sheldon Chanales <schanales@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 13:45:51 -0400
Subject: Women and contemporary practices

One could suggest to Dov Teichman that even he does not practice Judaism
"as it as been practiced for thousands of years". Alternatively, one
could ask whether Dov, to avoid engaging in heresy, would support
confining our mothers and wives to the home and market, not allowing
them to work outside the home or participate in communal activity, and,
of course, not teaching them any Torah whatsoever (i.e., Judaism as it
was practiced thousands of years ago).

Sheldon Chanales, Esq.
New York, NY 10016


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 14:35:33 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Women Playing Musical Instrument

Is there any halachic problem wiith a woman playing a musical instrument
for a mixed audience, say as part of a band at a wedding?


End of Volume 48 Issue 30