Volume 48 Number 43
                    Produced: Wed Jun  8  5:03:54 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Az b'kol (was Re: Mistakes in Torah Reading)
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
Choosing a Rabbi
         [Aliza Berger]
Kiddush Erev Shavuot
         [Jack Gross]
Minyan / Shul [Shul - Hopping]
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Psak w/ w/o sources
         [Carl Singer]
Public Sabbath Desecrators
         [Chana Luntz]
Reliance on psak
         [Joel Rich]
Religious Feminism in Islam
         [David Mescheloff]
Weekday davening
Women playing Instrument in Band
         [Bernard Raab]


From: Joshua Hosseinof <JHosseinof@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 11:26:15 -0400
Subject: Az b'kol (was Re: Mistakes in Torah Reading)

I recall hearing once, though I have never found a written source for
it, that the original text of "Az b'kol" had the words "Ofanim v'chayot"
instead of "Adir v'Chazak".  Apparently, at some point the words "Ofanim
v'chayot" were abbreviated as Aleph-Vav-"-Chet and a later scribe did
not know what the abbreviation was and expanded it incorrectly to "Adir
v'chazak".  From the context, and based on what we say just before
keriat shema, "ofanim v'chayot" makes much more sense, and also solves
your problem of the adjectives behaving as a noun.

See Machzor Vitry 481 "Ofan" where the text is "v'az ofanim v'chayot
mitra'ashim, l'haaritz la-el ne'edar bakodesh, umitnassim leumat sarfei
kodesh, leumatam ..."  - however this appears to be part of some sort of
piyut for a chatan, and does not appear to be referring the regular
kedushah.  The peirush on the siddur of the Rokeach (R' Elazar of Worms
11th/12th century) already uses the phrase "adir v'chazak" - so if this
theory is correct, the change is very old.


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Sun, 05 Jun 2005 15:16:21 +0200
Subject: Choosing a Rabbi

 Carl Singer wrote:
<On that Shabbos, the candidate and his wife joined us for an open Malavah
<Malka, the candidate gave the drosha Shabbos morning, gave a shiur Shabbos
<Afternoon, his wife gave a Shabbos Shiur for women.

Apparently you were actually hiring a rabbi AND a rebbitzen. Nothing
wrong with that, if she is willing. But if that is the situation, then
the contract should be made out to both of them, or perhaps they should
have two separate contracts and salaries, etc. Did the shul in fact do

 Aliza Berger-Cooper, PhD
 English Editing: www.editing-proofreading.com
 Statistics Consulting: www.statistics-help.com


From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 08:37:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Kiddush Erev Shavuot

> ...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

A valid point.

The Chasam Sofer's opinion (if I recall correctly) is that "Chag
HaShavuos", by definition, begins only when the seven weeks of counting
are completed.  The issue is not that accepting Yom Tov earlier will
detract from the completeness of the mitzvah of counting; rather, that
the requisite condition defining the Yom Tov does not arrive until day
49 of the Counting is ended.

That applies equally to Kiddush HaYom in Tefilla and at the table.
However, one (or a congregation) could in principle say birchos k'riyas
sh'ma early (same as any weekday or Shabbos evening), since that depends
not on the date but on the approach of evening; but t'fillas Sheva would
have to wait for nightfall.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2005 12:45:14 +0300
Subject: Re: Minyan / Shul [Shul - Hopping]

Saul Newman stated on Wed, 1 Jun 2005 12:31:07 -0700:

      let's say a typical shul membership is $1000.  let's prorate--
      about half is for davening activities, half for everything
      else. half for him half for her.  that would be about 75cents per
      day, or a quarter a davening.  maybe that should be the nominal
      charge to come in---- less than a newspaper, but more mitzvot....

Let us assume that Shimon is a member of Congregation Beth Shimon, and
Reuven is a member of Congregation Beth Reuven.  Furthermore, each one
davens--at the synagogue of which he is a member--on Shabbat and Yomtov,
as well as Shaharit every week.  (They each pray minha at work, and let
us ignore `Arvit for simplicity.)

Each pays $1000 dues to his shul.

At mid-year, Shimon and Reuven take new jobs, for which the starting
time is no longer convenient for them to pray in the synagogues in which
they are members.  So that Shimon now prays weekday Shaharit every day
at Beth Reuven, and Reuven prays Shaharit every weekday at Beth Shimon.

Should we convince these people that they should pay more for services
received (electricity and `aliyot) than they had been paying before?

How would your answer change if the fact was that the annual dues in one
shul was $1500, and $750 in the other one?  How would your answer change
if learned that one shul had 12 people on the average every morning,
while the other one had 50?

What if Shimon and or Reuven did not feel the obligation to pay any more
after the change than before?  What if, as a result, one or both of them
stopped praying in a minyan because of the difficulty or impossibility
caused by the situation?

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2005 07:42:47 -0400
Subject: Psak w/ w/o 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].

That's called effective teaching.  You obviously were someone who he
felt could understand and learn from the sources and the process of
deriving a psak from those sources.

Carl A. Singer


From: Chana Luntz <Heather_Luntz@...>
Date: Mon,  6 Jun 2005 12:43:49 +0100
Subject: RE: Public Sabbath Desecrators

Mark Steiner <marksa@...> writes:

> 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.

I agree with this last paragraph entirely, which is why I phrased my
reference (above) very carefully.  I was not intending to suggest that
the children of such people (the concept of zaro kasher, which comes up
in a range of places) are ineligible for marriage (assuming they
themselves were not MSB's or idol worshippers) but that the individual
in question is - because the individual in question is to be formally
treated as a non Jew, and the extension of the wine prohibition would
seem to be proof positive of the marriage prohibition for them.
Similarly, I do not believe that the wine touched by the children of an
MSB or an idol worshipper is forbidden either, assuming such children
are themselves not MSB's or idol worshippers.  But today, when all
marriages take place between adults, people getting married are either
themselves MSB's or not, and the people with whom the Rabbanut are
dealing who are not frum themselves tend fall within the category of MSB
without more.  What their parents may or may not have done (and what
their children may or may not do) is irrelevant.

>  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.

While I am currently at work and not able to check the Ran etc that you
quoted inside, my reading of such sources is that these intend to make
it clear that despite us penalising the individual as a non-Jew in all
respects if they act in certain ways, including the wine that they touch
(and in my view how much more so to marry such a person), we do not
penalise his/her children if they do not follow in his/her path (eg if
somebody is the child of an MSB and a frum parent, and is brought up by
the frum parent and always lives that way, the fact that the one parent
may act in certain ways is regarded as having nothing to do with the
child).  On the other hand, your reading appears to be what?  We
penalise his and his children's wine but not his and his children's
marriage?  My assumption is that if we say about an individual that
their wine is prohibited, given that the prohibition on wine was enacted
to prevent intermarriage then that individual also is not a suitable
candidate for marriage (yes, the phraseology of the ban is about
daughters, but it is not as though the individual non Jew is OK for
intermarriage and just his daughters are forbidden, which is why while I
gave the literal translation I was careful to translate it more
accurately as intermarriage to indicate that).




From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 08:30:13 -0400 
Subject: Reliance on psak

> > 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

If the mashgiach is known to be a kosher yid, what/who determines
"questionable hashgacha"?  Why am I not entitled to rely on eid echad
neeman bissurin (what removes this chazakah from an individual)?

Joel Rich


From: David Mescheloff <david_mescheloff@...>
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2005 14:41:59 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Religious Feminism in Islam

The following story about an Islamic feminist just appeared in the
Washington Post.


It is enlightening to note the similarities - and the differences - in
the arguments used on the various sides of the issue, to arguments we
hear in discussions on our own mail-Jewish.  What do you think, fellow

Happy Yom Yerushalayim!
David Mescheloff


From: Anonymous
Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2005 08:05:08
Subject: Weekday davening

> 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.

A general questions come to mind from the above -- not picking on
Mr. chips.

Let's say one has a real broigus (disagreement / dislike) for the
politics of a given shul -- may one daven there? Are there issues of
kovoneh, etc.

Personally. As the demographics of our community changed, a local
conservative shul became frum. But it was done with little
menchlichkite: The older, conservative balabtim were expelled
(literally, taking away their siddurs, etc., etc.)

If I attend a simcha there (they have a beautiful catering hall -- built
and paid for by the now exiled conservative balabatim) I make a point of
davening elsewhere, prior to attending.



From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Sun, 05 Jun 2005 02:28:41 -0400
Subject: Women playing Instrument in Band

>From: <RAZLEENERS@...>

>Although obviously not controlling, there is a Tshuvas Harambam that
>maintains that a woman playing a musical instrument is in the category
>of kol isha.

I wonder what the Rambam would have said about a woman playing an
instrument behind a screen, or offstage. I cannot imagine he would have
objected to that. If so, then it is not "kol isha", the voice of a
woman, that he objects to, but rather the sight of the woman, which is
another matter entirely.

b'shalom--Bernie R.


End of Volume 48 Issue 43