Volume 48 Number 40
                    Produced: Mon Jun  6  5:07:32 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Accepting Psak without reviewing sources
         [Yaacov Fenster]
         [Yisrael Medad]
Dena and feminsim
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Kol kevudah bat hamelech p'nimah
         [Paul Shaviv]
Kol Kibbudah
         [Joseph Kaplan]
Kollel Wives
         [Dov Teichman]
Minyan and the Great Divide
         [Stephen Phillips]
Minyan Counting (2)
         [Joel Rich, Aryeh Gielchinsky]
victim-blaming / women's locations
         [Irwin Weiss]
Woman's Role in Jewish Life
         [Tzvi Stein]


From: Yaacov Fenster
Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 15:23:17 +0300
Subject: Re: Accepting Psak without reviewing sources

Allow me to tell you about a totally different experience. The head of
the Yeshiva High School (Midrashiat Noam) that I studied at - Harav
Yehoshua Yogel would almost never give me a straight answer to a
question that I asked him about day to day Halacha. He would always
insist on helping me through the sources to an answer, never just giving
me a straight answer. [OTOH, I know that he did give straight answers to
other people].



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 14:51:10 +0200
Subject: (Anti-)Feminism

Without drawing conclusions or supporting this or that view, may I point
out, as regards the feminism discussion thread the list is going
through, a comment by the Ravad on the Rambam at Sefer Korbanot, Hilchot
Chagiga 1:1 that when the Rambam writes that women too are obligated to
participate in the mitzva of "simcha" for the Pilgrimage Yom Tov (one
out of the three elements: chagiga, reiyah and simcha), what is meant is
that the woman "should be happy not in the sacrifice but in the
happiness that she enjoys with her husband in that she ascends [to the
Temple Mount inner precinct] and he will be happy with her".

The Mahari Korkus there deliberates what would be the case if she has no
husband, would she be obligated nevertheless to be "happy" in the sense
of a feeling or also the bringing of a korban shlamim, if I understood

Yisrael Medad


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 09:47:46 EDT
Subject: Dena and feminsim

> > The Yalkut also says that women ought not frequent the marketplace
> > lest a tragedy like what happened to Dina occur.

> Surely no one in the modern era would *ever* suggest that a woman's
> presence in a public area is to blame for a sexual assault.  To
> suggest this is tantamount to victim-blaming.  No woman asks for or
> deserves a rape.  I think that it was Golda Meir who, when a curfew
> for women was suggested as a way to avoid rapes, replied that clearly
> it was the men who needed a curfew!

I am not understanding your point, Leah.  If I tell my wife not to go
out after dark by herself because of the danger, or when I advise my
wife to carry a flashlight to check her car before entering it at night,
I am not BLAMING her for any horrible thing that may happen G-d forbid.
I am offering advice to help protect her!

I didn't study the reference form the Yalkut, but why presume it is an
admonishment against women as opposed to a piece of advice geared toward
protecting women in Europe, especially at that time when Jews were so
subject to the whims of the non Jews in the area.

This, I think is the problem with modern feminism.  I may be right or I
may be wrong in my interpretation of the Yalkut.  But the standard
feminist view is too quick to presume that men are looking for ways to
keep women down, either intentionally or as a reflection of societal
norms.  I find this insulting as a husband and a father of a daughter, a
female for whom I would give my life and want nothing but the absolute
best.  Most men respect and hold no animus toward women.  Why presume

Chaim Shapiro


From: Paul Shaviv <pshaviv@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 11:15:18 -0400
Subject: Kol kevudah bat hamelech p'nimah

I am slightly bemused by Jay F. Schachter's broadside against my posting
on the p'shat of Ps 45:14, 'Kol k'vudah bat hamelech p'nimah'.  (As far
as I notice, I was the only commenter on the meaning of the pasuk in the

1. I didn't suggest for a moment that the p'shat invalidates the
well-known 'drush' on tznius, even though it is based on a misquote of
the pasuk..

2. Mr. Schachter is quite right that, like many other psukim, by now the
'tznius' connotation has a valid life of its own.

3. My comment had nothing to do with the homiletic meaning of the pasuk;
it was an opportunity to try and elucidate p'shat and real meaning of a
difficult verse in Tehillim, which even a quick look shows has caused
difficulty to traditional and non-traditional translators and meforshim.
But, I suppose nowadays it is quasi-heretical to take an interest in
such things ....

Paul Shaviv, Toronto


From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 13:32:40 -0400
Subject: Kol Kibbudah

Jay ("Yaakov") Shachter's argument that the literal meaning of kol
kibbudah bat hamelech pnimah is irrelevant to the issue of a Jewish
woman's role does not go far enough: that phrase, no matter what its
interpretation, is irrelevant to that issue.

The verse in Psalms is not a halachic statement about this issue.
Rather, the rabbis issued halachic statements about how Jewish women
should and should not act, and used the verse in Psalms as a homeletic
support of their halachic statements.  So if someone wants to argue that
halacha mandates that a Jewish woman's role is in domestic matters, and,
for example, their saying kaddish violates that role, then proper
halachic authority should be cited to support that argument; not a
non-halachic verse.  The problem, as i see it, is that some of the
halachic statements are so extreme on this issue (eg, the Rambam's
statement that women should not leave the house more than once in 30
days), that it is easier to quote a pasuk and make a broad
generalization from it, that to deal with the nitty gritty.

And one (or maybe two) comments on women saying kaddish.  I come from an
Orthodox community where two weeks ago, on Shabbat, my daughters were
sitting behing three women saying kaddish (a mother and two daughters),
and next to and in front of two other women saying kaddish.  So it's not
that unusual in my community, and is becoming more and more common as
time goes on.  And even more personally, my wife (and her sister) said
kaddish at least once a day for two of the past five years on the loss
first of their father and then their mother.  (Their two brothers said
kaddish three times a day.)  So it pains me when I read blanket
statements that doing so is wrong.  One can say, of course, that it is
not done in their community, or that their LOR does not permit it in
their shul, but to say that it is wrong is painful to those who find
great comfort in saying kaddish as part of their aveilut.  And no less
an authority that R. Ahron Soloveitchik z"l made the point that rabbis
should not tell their women congregants not to say kaddish if they
desire to do so, because, as he wrote, if we tell women they can't do
things that they are allowed to do, they won't listen when we tell them
not to do things they truly cannot do.  (Obviously a paraphrase of R.

I have yet to hear anyone criticize a woman who does not say kaddish for
a parent; it would be ridiculous to do so.  Sensitivity would dictate, I
believe, that the same is true in situations where women have chosen to
say kaddish.

Joseph Kaplan


From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 08:18:08 EDT
Subject: Re: Kollel Wives

Based on the Kollel families I know, the wives still perform the
"traditional" domestic duties, in addition to working and bringing in a
primary source of income. That is the sacrifice that (I hope) they
considered when entering this type of arrangement in order to allow
their husbands to learn Torah.

Dov Teichman


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 13:42:38 +0100
Subject: Re: Minyan and the Great Divide

> From: Chana Luntz <chana@...>
> Bill Bernstein <billbernstein@...> writes inter alia:

 >>>Then you write << I do not know whether this is a statement of halacha
 >>>l'maaseh or a restatement of the classic sources in Shas and poskim.>>

> And IM Fuchs responds:

 >>What is the difference between halachah l'maaseh and the classic sources
 >>in Shas and Poskim.  What are poskim if not those who teach us halachah

> The reason why this is a serious question is that, in my experience, I
> am yet to meet a Rav who poskens like the classic sources in Shas and
> poskim (although it may be that there are those on this list who do).

As ever, I am in awe of Chana's lomdus (I recall she mentioned in a
posting that she was married and worked for a large law firm. How does
she get the time to avail us of her knowledge and wisdom?)

But I think that that maybe she has missed the point here. All the
sources she quoted, Chazon Ish, Rav Moshe Feinstein, etc., pasken on the
basis of the "classical sources in Shas and Poskim." Just pick, for
example, any Teshuvah in Yabia Omer.

> So... How do we get out of the problem, ie how do we "kvetch" a heter.

That's the point. All the sources you have quoted consider the laws
regarding a Mechallel Shabbos BeFarhesiah to be what the Halacha is.
How could they say otherwise? What they have done, however, (and this is
clear from what Chana has brought down) is to remove the vast majority
of today's non-practising Jews from the category of a Mechallel Shabbos
BeFarhesiah, etc. that would prevent them from being part of a Minyan,
etc.. If most of Jews at the time of (say) Rav Yosef Karo had been like
those of today, then presumably he might well have come to the same
conclusions as our Poskim.

Kach Lefi Aniyas Da'ati (IMHO).

Stephen Phillips


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 11:19:22 -0400 
Subject: Minyan Counting

>   Someone (I'm sorry I forgot who) wrote:
>> Regarding a davar shebikidusha (such as Kaddish, Kiddusha, and Barchu)
>> a mechalel shabbos can be counted, but he may not be counted for
>> Tifelah B'Tzebur
>How do the criteria differ between being able to be "counted for saying
>devarim she'bekedushah" and " counted for tefilah betzibur?"
>   Aliza Berger-Cooper, PhD

Well one difference according to R' Moshe (I'm sure this isn't what you
were looking for) is that someone who has already davened the amidah is
counted for devarim shebikidusha but not for tfila btzibbur (i.e. if
there are 10, 2 of whom have already davened, then they say kaddish and
kedusha but those davening the amida do not get credit for tfila

Real Inside baseball stuff but I love it
Joel Rich

PS R' Ovadya Yosef disagrees and says they do get credit

From: Aryeh Gielchinsky <agielchinsky@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 13:01:40 -0400
Subject: Minyan Counting

>> Regarding a davar shebikidusha (such as Kaddish, Kiddusha, and Barchu)
>> a mechalel shabbos can be counted, but he may not be counted for
>> Tifelah B'Tzebur

>How do the criteria differ between being able to be "counted for saying
>devarim she'bekedushah" and " counted for tefilah betzibur?"

one of my Rabbis suggested that according Rav Moshe you 'might' not say
other things in davening which require a minyin such as Chazaras

Aryeh Gielchinsky
President of the Yeshiva University Physics and Engineering Club, retired


From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 08:44:52 -0400
Subject: victim-blaming / women's locations

Leah Gordon comments that: "Surely no one in the modern era would *ever*
suggest that a woman's presence in a public area is to blame for a
sexual assault.  To suggest this is tantamount to victim-blaming."

Leah is, of course, correct.  The rub is the use of the phrase "the
modern era".  The Mullahs in Iran would say exactly that a woman's
presence in the public area, particularly without proper dress, is the
cause of a rape.  They would say this in the year 2005.  But, they do
not live in "the modern era."

Irwin E. Weiss, Esq.


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 08:53:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Woman's Role in Jewish Life

> From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
> > 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
> If this is the case, then I don't understand how the chareidim can
> support sending their wives out to work.  Either the women are home,
> supported in every which way or if a woman is expected to "bring in the
> bacon," (yes it's a poor choice of phrase,) she shouldn't be restricted.

You have hit the nail on the head of a big contradiction in the Chareidi
world.  Many people believe that this "role reversal" where the wife is
totally supporting the household so the husband can "sit and learn", is
without precedent in Jewish history and is a source of many "shalom
bayis" issues.  One example of the problems it causes is a power
struggle over control of the family financial decisions.  But apparently
the prevailing view is "Talmud Torah Kneged Kulam" ... the opportunity
for the husband to learn Torah full-time outweighs any drawbacks.  That
view has, for whatever reason, captured the societal norms, especially
in Israel.

However, one should point out that there are differences of opinion
regarding this within the Chareidi world.  In particular, there are
Chasidish and Sefardi authorities that oppose the practice of the wife
supporting the household.


End of Volume 48 Issue 40