Volume 48 Number 41
                    Produced: Mon Jun  6  5:16:50 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Accepting Psak without reviewing sources
         [Eli Turkel]
Kiddush Erev Shavuot (2)
         [Akiva Miller, Ira Bauman]
Mistakes in Torah Reading too Insignificant to Correct? (2)
         [Akiva Miller, Mark Symons]
Not an ArtScroll mistake exactly, the case of Besamim Rosh
         [Paul Shaviv]
Public Sabbath Desecrators
         [Mark Steiner]
Supporting Shules
victim-blaming / women's locations
         [Akiva Miller]


From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2005 23:35:17 +0200
Subject: Re: Accepting Psak without reviewing sources

> I was always under the impression that the Rav/Bet Din takes
> responsibility for their psak. If the psak is wrong, i.e., the food
> establishment with the Teudat Kashrut was serving non-kosher meat, are
> you saying, Ari, that the individual is guilty of not checking the food
> and kitchen himself?

R. Herschel Schacter has stated that if the masgiach is fully reliable
then your argument is correct. However, if one relies on a questionable
hasgacha with the attitude that it is the "masgiach's sin" if there is a
problem than that logic is faulty and one is indeed liable.

Eli Turkel


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 22:14:49 GMT
Subject: re: Kiddush Erev Shavuot

Joshua Hosseinof wrote <<< I would also add that the "temimot" reasoning
is faulty for another reason ... If you're going to require 49 complete
days at the end of the omer and prevent Shavuot from being brought in
early, then to be consistent you should be doing the reverse at the
beginning of counting the omer by ending the first day of yom tov of
Pesach early. >>>

While I do agree that there's really no need to delay the beginning of
Shavuos, I have to point out a flaw in your argument.

You seem to be suggesting that in order for the first of the 49 days to
be "complete", we ought to count the first day of sefirah as early as
possible. I don't see that as being necessary. When we count that first
day, what we are saying is that "This day, in which we are now, from
whenever it began, until whenever it ends, is the first day." My proof
that this is what we mean, is the fact that during the middle 47 days of
the Omer, no one cares at which point during the night we do the

In other words, in the twilight between the first and second days of
Pesach, there is no act which we overtly do which gives it a distinct
identity as either of the days. If there *was* some act which showed it
to still be the first day of Pesach, then I would agree that this would
impinge on the completeness of the first day of the counting.

In contrast, if we say Kiddush on Shavuos prior to nightfall, that is a
declaration that the 49th day is over, and that is a much bigger injury
to Sefira than simply not counting as early as possible on the first
night. Indeed, it could be argued that if Shavuos is defined as
occurring *after* these "seven complete weeks", then one cannot make
Kiddush that night until the seven complete weeks have been completed,
and might even be a Blessing In Vain if one did so.

Of course, no one does make that argument, but I suspect that the logic
behind it is the source for this whole delaying-Kiddush business. In any
case, I think I've amply demonstrated my point that even those who do
delay Kiddush on Shavuos have no need to "be consistent by ending the
first day of yom tov of Pesach early."

He also wrote <<< It seems clear from all the sources however, that the
main issue, even for Rav Yakov Pollak was kiddush and eating the meal,
and not what time the synagogue says Arvit. >>>

Yes, but please, does anyone know why he makes that distinction? Why
should it be problematic to say "M'kadesh Yisrael v'haZmanim" in Kiddush
before nightfall, yet not problematic to say "M'kadesh Yisrael
v'haZmanim" in Maariv before nightfall?

Akiva Miller

From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 15:08:42 EDT
Subject: Re: Kiddush Erev Shavuot

I understand that the timing of Maariv on the night of shavuos is
attributed to needing 7 complete weeks of the omer.  Yet, why are we
only nit-picking about completing the previous time period when it comes
to sefirah.  Other times, when we bring in the day early we might also
have problems with actual uttterances and we don't pay them any mind.
An obvious case is saying "Vayechulu" Friday night 3 times before
Shabbos begins. In "veshomru" we cite the six days whereupon Hashem made
heaven and earth.  When we say those words, at that corresponding time
of Creation, Hashem was still working full time until the last split
second.  We are careful about 7 weeks of sefirah but not careful about 6
days of work.  Why?  

Ira Bauman


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 21:50:34 GMT
Subject: Re: Mistakes in Torah Reading too Insignificant to Correct?

"Arie" wrote <<< what hasn't been touched, (i think) is the punctuation
controlled by the trop itself. ... your average shat"z has a rock of
honey rather than honey from a rock - umitzur, d'vash asbiekah is often
read as umitzur d'vash, asbiekah. if that were in leining, i would call
it out and see it repeated correctly. >>>

That's a great one, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention. My
pet peeve regarding where the meaning is distorted by bad punctuation is
the tune often used for Kedusha in Shabbos Shacharis:

az b'kol
raash gadol
adir v'chazak mashmi'im kol

which translates to my ear as:

Then, with a sound,
A great noise, 
Mighty and Strong make a sound heard...

What is this? Are "Mighty" and "Strong" the names of two of these
angels? When I'm leading the davening, I phrase it like this:

b'kol raash gadol adir v'chazak
mashmi'im kol

with the sound of a noise - great, mighty and strong -
they make a sound heard...

Akiva Miller

From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2005 08:44:40 +1000
Subject: Re: Mistakes in Torah Reading too Insignificant to Correct?

> From: <aliw@...> (Arie)
> common error is in the last aliyah of rosh chodesh - k'vasim b'nei shana
> shiv'a temimim. shiv'a is over a tipcha, and the pause is there because
> temimim refers not only to the k'vasim, but also to the parim and the
> ayil. most times it's read without the pause, either as a mercha, or
> just too fast, meaning that only the k'vasim are temimim. that, too is a
> mistake that we correct in our shul.

In preparing the k'riah last week (Bamidbar), it struck me that, as in
the above example, often (nearly always?) when you have the sequence
(DARGA-)T'VIR-TIPCHA is the first sub-phrase and the
(MUNACH/MERCHA-)ETNCHTA/SOF PASUK is the second. The numerous examples
that made this obvious were in the counting of the tribes, eg the phrase
PASUK). Pausing after the T'VIR would be as if you were saying
Forty-six, (PAUSE) thousand-and-five-hundred!

But in this instance, according to the article by R. Donstadt, it would
seem that there would be grounds for NOT correcting this error, because
it doesn't change the meaning, and the meaning is obvious from the
context, even though it's grating on the ears.

Perhaps the reason that people tend to lain the first sub-phrase as
(DARGA-)T'VIR and the second as TIP'CHA-ETNCHTA/SOF PASUK is that
musically it tends to flow like this, the T"VIR sounding as though it
should be a relatively major pause, whereas the TIP"CHA, the way it's
generally sung, doesn't really have a pausal sound to it, but rather
tends to flow on to the ETNACHTA/SOF PASUK. There is only one ba'al
koreh I have heard whose TIP'CHA incorporates both the sound of a real
pause, together with the sense of needing the SOF PASUK for
completion. The usual way of singing the sequence (in the Eastern
European style) is like this (the musical notes are in brackets after
the trop) T'-VI-I-I-IR (D-C-B-C-D) TIP'-CHA-A (D-E-D) SOF-PA-SU-UK
(D-D-E-C), whereas the aforementioned ba'al koreh achieves the pausal
feel by ending his TIP'CHA a tone lower. He then jumps down 3 semitones
to start the SOF PASUK; this may be to give the necessary greater pausal
feel to the SOF PASUK. It goes like this: TIP'-CHA-A (D-E-C)

Mark Symons
Melbourne Australia


From: Paul Shaviv <pshaviv@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 11:24:23 -0400
Subject: Not an ArtScroll mistake exactly, the case of Besamim Rosh

It is inexplicable to me that the ArtScroll siddur, p. 758, in its
commentary on Simchas Torah, quotes the 'Besamim Rosh' as a source.
'Besamim Rosh' is one of the most notorious forgeries in Rabbinic
literature, fabricated by R. Shaul Berlin in the eighteenth century. It
purports to be a collection of teshuvot of the Rosh, but in fact the
teshuvot were written to give support to many early Reform views. There
is a large literature on the subject. The Chasam Sofer referrred to the
volume as 'kizvei ha-Rosh', instead of 'kitvei ha-Rosh'. (In fairness,
some - but not all - believe that this phrase was the work of a
mischievous printer. It seems to me unlikely that a printer would have
had the chutzpah to interfere with the printed edition of the Chasam
Sofer's teshuvot.)  In recent years, some Sefardim have attempted to
'reclaim' the Besamim Rosh as genuine, but it is at best very
controversial. Were the ArtScroll editors unaware of the issue???

Paul Shaviv,  Toronto


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 18:13:30 +0300
Subject: RE: Public Sabbath Desecrators

Speaking of public sabbath desecrators, in an otherwise useful
contribution, Chanah Luntz writes:

>...in these days when nobody expects that wine will actually be offered
>as a libation to idolatory, the reason for the prohibition on touching
>wine vis a vis a non Jew is "mishum bnotechem", ie literally because of
>their daughters, or for fear of intermarriage.
>Thinking this through however this points to what would seem to be an
>obvious consequence from this halacha.  Somebody who falls within this
>category is not the sort of person who is eligible for marriage (to the
>extent that a gezera that was enacted to prevent intermarriage applies to
>them), nor are their brochas a brocha.

        Not only is this not an obvious consequence, but it is entirely
false.  The gezera "mishum bnotehem" does not apply to a MSB (public
sabbath desecrator), AND NEVER DID.  The Ran in Hullin (4) (as quoted by
the Binyan Tziyon below) states that even a Jew who worships idolatry
makes wine forbidden DESPITE the fact that it is permitted to marry his
children; the Arukh Laner (whose teshuva in Binyan Tziyon hadashot 23 I
quoted recently) makes the easy inference to a MSB (mechalel shabbat
befarhesya, public sabbath desecrator): his wine is forbidden EVEN
though it is permitted to marry his children.

        The reason for this, as the Ran and the Binyan Tziyon point out,
is that Hazal legislated that we treat a MSB or an idol worshiper
FORMALLY like a non-Jew, as he is not within the fold, but not his
children.  I doubt that there is a single source that says otherwise.

        Thus, the question of whether a rabbi should officiate at a
wedding where one or both sides are MSB has nothing to do with how we
treat his wine.

        The Binyan Tziyon then goes on to raise the question of whether
a MSB today (not, by the way, an apostate Jew) should be classified in
the same way as the Talmud did, since today, he says, many of the MSB
actually make kiddush before going to work, or attend shul, thus
testifying to their belief in the Creator.  I don't regard this as
"kvetching out a heter", as Chanah puts it, but perfectly valid
reasoning (for a gadol hador, the only ones who are permitted to make
analogies and distinctions where the poskim are silent).  Of course, the
Binyan Tziyon does say that someone who avoids such wine is to be
congratulated, but somebody who drinks it is not to be condemned.

        I also have a comment on the Hazon Ish's "heter."  The famous
Hazon Ish in which he states that today's secularists must be treated
with love, rather than executing them (moridin...), does not necessarily
apply to any other halacha.  The issue is that we have lost the power of
persuasion and rebuke (a statement made already by R. Akiva), not
because a secularist today is any different from then.  He even treats
certain errors in hashkafa, having no obvious connection with the
Rambam's 13 Principles, as serious enough to disqualify the person from
giving testimony in a bet din.

        I end with an interesting story.  I was once asked by Boaz Cohen
of JTS whether I kept shabbos.  I asked him why he wanted to know.  The
answer was that he wanted me to serve on a bais din to give a get to a
woman.  I was then about 18 years old.  I made the argument for myself
(which was dismissed by my rebbe) that if I didn't serve, he might end
up with a MSB and the get might not be valid.  From this we see that
even the Conservative movement regarded (then) a MSB as less than

Mark Steiner


From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 20:03:54 -0700
Subject: Supporting Shules

>i would like to ask cp what his rationale is for NOT supporting the shul
>he uses financially.  if it is that he cant afford it i could understand
>the rationale.

   You can ask all you want. Only answer I would give here is 'politics'
and that they really don't want me as a member.  Despite the size of the
community, it is the only game in town (and I don't mean it in the
positive Atlanta way) during the week. If the management did decide that
one had to pay to attend, I would stop attending.  Ironically enough, I
am one of the extemely few that does pay a fee to the place that I
attend when I go for Shabos and YomTovim.


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 21:29:08 GMT
Subject: Re: victim-blaming / women's locations

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

Leah Gordon responded <<< 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. >>>

Suppose I said that people ought not ride in cars without fastening
their seatbelts, lest they get seriously hurt in an accident. Would that
also be tantamount to victim-blaming?

Akiva Miller


End of Volume 48 Issue 41