Volume 48 Number 62
                    Produced: Fri Jun 24  6:10:33 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Another Siddur Question
         [Yisrael Medad]
High-Interest Loans
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
Minyan and Sources
         [Mark Steiner]
Our "hot" Single-Use Camera
         [Shaya Potter]
Second wine for guest
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
Wedding Ring on Index Finger
         [Dov Teichman]
What Constitutes a Minyan?
         [Janice Gelb]
Yiddish etymology
         [N Miller]


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 19:49:38 +0200
Subject: Another Siddur Question

Shmuel Himelstein asks:

>Many Siddurim - including Artscroll - indicate which concluding words
>the Chazan should say aloud at the end of every section.
>Is/was there any "standard" for these points, or are they simply
>whatever each printer decided for himself, based on whatever criteria he

Not that I know.

For example, I grew up hearing that in the section of Shacharit
beginning with Hodu lashem kir'u bishmo, the Chazan/Shatz would recite
aloud from v'imru hoshi'ainu for two p'sukim, then again starting at
hasehm tzvakot for three p'sukim and then the concluding two p'sukim but
I'm in the minority and most just recite at the conclusion.

Or, after Kri'at Shma, I'll recite aloud at l'do va'dor until kayamet,
then starting with yotzrainu tzur until selah and very few others do

But that's what I heard and it doesn't hurt (I daven fairly quickly so
most don't get disgruntled).

Yisrael Medad


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 13:00:02 -0400
Subject: High-Interest Loans

>The same thing happened to a friend of mine the other day.  As a result
>he got a letter in the mail offering to lend him money at 15% interest,
>with 4 points -- between two or three times the market rate.  The letter
>was from a "frum" firm.  (Which we determined by location and name of
>principals.)  Clearly they were simply using the delinquent list and
>bulk mailing.

<Here's the halachic question -- may a Jew lend to another Jew under
>these circumstances?

>Carl Singer

Once again Carl has opened up a big issue.

I have always understood that many believe that a big part of the
original basis for anti-semitism was due to Jewish moneylending
practices in the middle ages.

While Jews were forced into the moneylending industry by church rulings
forbidding usury to xtians and by goverment rulings keeping them from
farming and out of the guilds, it still seems to me that a lesson should
be taken.

Recently there have also been several articles in the papers re
"predatory" lending practices, where firms purposely lend money to poor
homeowners unsophisticated enough to borrow to fix up the house, which
they then lose to nonpayment of the mortgage.  I understand from
acquaintances in Lakewood that this has become a popular industry there,
as has slumlording properties in inner-city areas like Newark.

The Halachic and rabbinic responses to this issue should be noted for
future reference- "Aizahu chacham haroeh es hanolad" (Who is wise, he
who sees the future (resulting effects of actions)".

Yossi GInzberg


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 10:08:41 +0300
Subject: Minyan and Sources

        A talmid hakham reminded me at a wedding last night that
R. Moshe z"l referred to the story of the Spies (meraglim) to derive
halakhic conclusions about a subject of discussion on mail-jewish,
namely the concept of a minyan--conclusions not previous noticed in the
poskim.  The law that we need a minyan of 10 for davar shebikdushah and
for a tzibbur is derived from our parasha, Shlach, from the verse which
calls the meraglim "`edah ra`ah," meaning the 10 spies, not counting
Yehoshua and Kalev.  R. Moshe points out that these 10 were not exactly
tzaddikim, in fact they could be called heretics, and yet they still
define kiddush hashem, meaning, that a davar shebikdusha can be
performed BEFORE them.  (If this is correct, you can count them for a
minyan to say kedusha, kaddish, etc.--and this has nothing to do with
the status of these people "today.")  At the same time, 10 heretics
obviously do not count as a TZIBBUR, so that their davenen is not called
tefillah betzibbur (public prayer).

        Obviously, other poskim differ with R. Moshe here, but I find
the analysis itself interesting (the sharp "Litvish" distinction between
what a minyan can DO and what CAN BE DONE before a minyan) and typical
of R.  Moshe z"l.  It is the kind of "sevara" that only R. Moshe could
say, and some rabbonim (of other ethnic persuasions) thought that
R. Moshe himself should not have said it.

        A similar turn of thought (not in the content, but in the kind
of analysis R. Moshe presents) we find on the other hand, where R. Moshe
states that the law of "meisit" (incitor) which appears in the Torah as
one who incites another Jew to worship an idol (and against whom grave
procedural and punitive measures are taken) applies to EVERY
probhibition, not just idolatry.  He derives this from the story of Gan
Eden.  The primeval incitor was the snake in the garden, according to
Hazal, but R. Moshe points out that all he incited Adam and Eve to do
was to eat a piece of fruit, which was forbidden by G-d, and was
therefore not kosher.  (He calls the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge
"maakhalot assurot", non kosher food.)  Hence, R. Moshe concludes, one
who invites another ride to shul on shabbes is an incitor.  (At the same
time he does not condemn a rav who does not turn away sabbath violators,
since it may be possible to teach their children about shabbat, and not
possible any other way--the rav, however, must avoid directly
instructing the family to come to shul.)  You can imagine that other
rabbonim vehemently rejected this analysis, claiming that the "fruit" in
question represented a lot more than kashrus.

Mark Steiner


From: Shaya Potter <spotter@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 17:17:22 -0400
Subject: Re: Our "hot" Single-Use Camera

On Thu, 2005-06-16 at 20:42 -0400, Ari Trachtenberg wrote:
> > From: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@...>
> > The question still boils down to is it a sale or lease.  To me it seems
> > more like a sale.  In a lease the owner always keeps track of who has
> > the property.  Here if one pays cash, there is no record of who own the
> > property.  it is sold in a store as a sale.
> Computer software is leased without the owner's keeping track of the
> property.

just to make a comment, from what I understand, this isn't quite clear
in US law.  i.e. what actual force the EULA (end user license agreement)
actually has.  For example, the right of "first sale" seems to still
apply to this software.

This is one reason many software companies will love the day when they
can actually really rent you software as service that you access
remotely, and as soon as you stop paying the rent, the software


From: Joshua Hosseinof <JHosseinof@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 11:38:38 -0400
Subject: Second wine for guest

I just reviewed the halachot of the Beracha "Hatov v'Hameitiv" from a
sefer on Berachot called "Birkat Hashem" by Rav Moshe Levy of Yeshivat
Kisse Rachamim.  In Vol. 4, starting on page 192 he goes through all the
conditions necessary to be able to say the Beracha Hatov v'Hameitiv on
the second wine.  According to the author there are several conditions
that must be met according to all opinions:

1. That two or more people want to drink from the new wine, and they
also drank from the first wine.

2. The new wine is not the same type of wine as the first wine

3. That they have no knowledge that the new wine is worse than the

4. They do not need to make a Borei Peri Hagefen on the new wine - i.e.
the second wine was on the table already when they said Borei Peri
Hagefen or they had it in mind when they said Borei Peri Hagefen.
(However, Some Achronim say that you CAN make Hatov v'Hameitv on wine
that you are required to make a Borei Peri Hagefen on, such as the 4
cups at the seder - including Magen Avraham, Peri Megadim, and Mishnah
Berurah.  The author disagrees however because there are explicit
statements by Rishonim including Meiri, Sefer Habatim and Orchot Chaim
indicating that when you have to say Borei Peri Hagefen, you cannot say
Hatov v'Hameitiv.  Therefore because of the principle Safek Berachot
Lehakel, we follow the opinion that you can only say Hatov v'Hameitiv
when no Borei Peri Hagefen is required.)

5. They did not finish the first wine completely (they have more of the
same type of the first wine)

Additonally, there are 4 more conditions that are not universally

6. That the wine drinking is during a meal (seudah) (Ginat Veradim Orach
Chaim 1:42)

7. Only if the person drank a revi'it of the first wine and intends to
drink a revi'it of the second wine.  (Kaf Hachaim 175:10)

8. When the change of wine is part of optional wine drinking, and not
part of a mitzvah such as 4 cups of wine at the seder. (Shu"t Beit
Yehudah Orach Chaim #53)

9. If both wines were on the table when Borei Peri Hagefen was said,
then you cannot say Hatov v'Hameitiv when you start drinking the second
wine (Levush 175:1) - Note that this partly contradicts condition #4
above, however, the author shows in footnote 312 on page 204 of the
sefer that many Achronim disagree with the Levush including the Bach,
Taz, Magen Avraham, Eliyah Rabbah.

So far the conditions above are referring to the host.  If you are the
guest, then it is best (lechatchila) if the host place the bottle on the
table and gives permission for the guest to take as much as he wants,
since there is also an opinion that you do not say "hatov v'hameitiv" on
new wine unless you are a partner in it.  (Magen Avraham and other
Achronim).  So if the host indicates that everyone is free to take what
they want of the wine, everyone is equal in the new wine and each person
is free to say Hatov v'Hameitiv.

As you can see, due to the complexity of the many differing opinions
about what conditions actually need to be met in order to say Hatov
v'Hameitiv, you should definitely consult with your Rav to find out
which conditions you should follow and which are not necessary.


From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 14:35:28 EDT
Subject: Re: Wedding Ring on Index Finger

The Maharam Mintz says that ring is placed on index finger because of
the concept "ain maavirin al hamitzvos" (we don't pass over mitzvos) and
even though the thumb is really the first finger the groom will bump
into, it is not normal for women to wear a ring on the thumb, (rather
it's the way a man wears a ring (!) and therefore not appropriate under
the issur of Lo Silbash).

Kneses Hagedolah says that in olden times women wore wedding rings on
that finger, so even though today it's not common, the custom remained.

Nachalas Shiva says that index finger is the most visible finger and
therefore everyone will see that she is married.

Likutei Mahariach says that when the Tikkunei Zohar talks about wedding
rings it connects a ring with the letter Zayin, therefore, the groom
will first pass over the 5 fingers of the bride's left hand (since she
is on his right) and then the 7th finger is the index finger of her
right hand.  Thus alluding to the letter zayin.

Another allusion brought is in Psalms chapter 19 that talks about grooms
in verse 6. If you count the words from verse 8 through 11 on your hand,
the name of Hashem always corresponds to the index finger, and in verse
11 the word "Zahav" corresponds to the index finger alluding to the idea
that the gold ring belongs on that finger.

Other seforim such as the Ben Ish Chai mention a custom to place the
ring on the middle finger, as we find that tefillin straps are wrapped
on the middle finger alluding to marriage between us and God. He
concludes that the general custom, however, is to place the ring on the
index finger and the word "Etzbah" in chazal usually refers to that
finger. Although, I once heard that Yemenites marry with coins or gold
and not a ring, although I can't confirm if it's true.

I'm sure there are many more reasons but these are what I have found.

Dov Teichman


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 17:57:17 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: What Constitutes a Minyan?

Martin Stern <md.stern@...> wrote:
> It was reported in the UK Jewish press recently that the last
> remaining bastion of male chauvinism in the UK Masorti (Conservative)
> movement has fallen into line and will henceforth count women for a
> minyan.

Regarding the phrase "has fallen into line" (and ignoring the "male
chauvinism" dig), I don't know how the Masorti movement works in the UK
but in the the US Conservative movement, while approved teshuvot by the
Committee on Jewish Law and Standards represent official halakhic
positions of the Conservative movement, rabbis have the authority as
marei d'atra to consider the Committee's positions but make their own
decisions as conditions warrant. Not all Conservative synagogues in the
US count women for a minyan.

-- Janice


From: N Miller <nmiller@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 12:38:09 -0400
Subject: Yiddish etymology

Bernard Raab writes:
 >It seems likely to me that the meaning you cite for 'shtadlones' is a
 >corruption of the original meaning of "shtadlan" as someone who
 >appeals to government power. Unless you have a Hebrew source for this
 >word, I would still suspect the German origin is correct.

Very well, here's the evidence so far:

shtadlan is listed as a Hebrew word in Even-Shoshan, the Megiddo, and
the Avinoam.  It is listed in the Niborski-Neuberg and Jacobson
dictionaries of Yiddish words of Hebraic-Aramaic origin.  Finally, it is
listed in Ernest Klein's magisterial etymological dictionary of Hebrew
as follows:

shtdln m.n. MH interceder, intermediator, pleader.  [Short for mshtdln
or hshtdln, from hshtdl (=he strove , endeavored; he made an effort),
Hith. of shdl.  For the ending see agential suff. _n. cp. shdln.]
Derivatives: shtdlanut, shtdlni.

So much for Hebrew sources.  But it seems only fair to apply the same
test to Bernard Raab's 'Staatlan'.  Alas, I look for it in my Duden and
find it not.  I make inquiries and receive blank stares.

So the matter comes down to this: it's perfectly possible that shtadlan
is a gussied-up faux-Hebrew word that stems from Bernard Raab's
non-existent or at best hypothetical German word.  Lexicographers are
known to copy from one another, so one can't rule out that possibility.
As the ancient Jewish joke went: it's the uncertainty of it all!

But hold!  I have another idea.  Imagine for a moment the crisis
experienced by Yeke shtadlonim at the time of the gradual emancipation
of Jews in western Europe.  What would have been more natural than for
the Jack Abramoffs of the day to seek a Germanic origin for their
calling--just as Jack Abramoff went to a (willing) rabbi for a
certificate as a "Scholar of Talmudic Studies" (see Washington Post for
details)?  As my bobe might have said: flimflam blaybt flimflam.

Noyekh Miller


End of Volume 48 Issue 62