Volume 48 Number 63
                    Produced: Sun Jun 26 10:09:42 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brit and kippot
         [Yitzhok Jayson]
Chillul Shabbos Minimization (2)
         [Asher Samuels, David I. Cohen]
Kiddush Levana again
Kiddush Levana and Women (4)
         [David I. Cohen, Mark Steiner, David I. Cohen, Mark Steiner]
Kiddush Levanah - Women
         [Aliza Berger]
Minimizing Chilul Shabbat
         [Michael Mirsky]
Phone and Tefila
         [Aharon Fischman]
Wedding Ring on Index Finger
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
What the sha"tz says aloud
         [Baruch J. Schwartz]


From: Yitzhok Jayson <Paul.Jayson@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 18:14:51 +0100
Subject: Brit and kippot

I have seen the practice of tying a kippa to the head of a baby being
brissed. Is anyone aware of the significance of this is minhag, halacha
or gemara ?

Kol Tuv
Yitzhok Jayson


From: Asher Samuels <absamuels@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 14:28:13 +0200
Subject: RE: Chillul Shabbos Minimization

Is VOIP (Voice Over IP) still new enough that it's considered a shinui
from POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service)?  If it is, then perhaps she
should use the VOIP phone.

Asher Samuels
Jerusalem, Israel

From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 10:16:02 -0400
Subject: Chillul Shabbos Minimization

Andy Goldfinger asked about which phone system would be preferable for a
doctor to use on Shabbat to minimize chilul shabbat when using the

Machon Tzomet in Alon Shevut has developed a "shabbat telephone" using
the grama switch principle.  Our shul installed one for our MD's to use
if they need to do so while present for davening on Shabbat and Yom Tov.

As an aside, Tzomet also developed a "shabbat pen" for MD's to use for
whatever writing they have to do on Shabbat. I am not sure of the
principle employed.

David I. Cohen


From: HB <halfull@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 20:05:22 -0400
Subject: Kiddush Levana again

The original question I asked was " The possibility of saying Kiddush
Levana on Shavos just passed and the thought occurred to me as to why we
do not say it on Yom Tov. In addition, we dont say Kiddush Levana on
Friday nights either.( unless it is the last opportunity, in which case
it may be said without a minyan and even individually.)

A little research indicated that we dont say it on Yom Tov or Shabbos
because of Kabbalistic reasons. See Taz and Maharil etc. but the answers
all appear to be " schvach" to the point that the Ramah doesnt even
refer to them.

Can anyone explain the Kaballah or provide a different answer?"

I have yet to hear an answer.


From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 14:18:41 -0400
Subject: RE: Kiddush Levana and Women

Mark Steiner wrote:

> My rebbe once pointed out to me that, in general, women have been
> obligated by the Rabbis to perform just about every mitzvah they
> originated: Chanukah, Purim, Four Cups at the Seder, etc., even if
> they were time dependent (zman gerama).  Can you think of a time
> dependent rabbinic mitzvah which does NOT obligate women?

> The only one the Mishnah Berurah could think of was:
> kiddush levanah!

What about tefilla which according to most authorities (with the notable
exception of the Rambam) is Rabbinic in origin, and certainly 3x a day
tefilla at specific times is Rabbinic and women are exempt?

David I. Cohen

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 23:54:26 +0300
Subject: RE: Kiddush Levana and Women

It is not at all clear that women are exempt from daily tefilah--the
Talmud says they are obligated in "tefilah."  The simplest understanding
is that tefilah=amida=shemonah esreh.  As much the Mishnah Berura says
that women should be told to "daven" shacharith and mincha.  Maariv is
considered a "reshult" even for men, except that men accepted upon
themselves the obligation to daven maariv and women did not.

There are poskim who say, on the basis of their understanding of the
Rambam, that women need only say an informal prayer, not the formal
shemoneh esreh.  But Reb Haym Soloveitchik points out that the Rambam
holds that Biblical tefilah has three parts: (a) praise to Hashem; (b)
asking for daily needs; (c) thanksgiving.  Since the shemoneh esreh
prayer is the only one in the siddur that fills this criterion, as a
practical matter women have to say the shemoneh esreh.

Mark Steiner

From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 17:00:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Kiddush Levana and Women

I am not arguing that there is some requirement that women pray. And
further, I am not arguing that the obligation may even be from the Torah
rather than rabbinic.

But it is clear that the obligation to pray 3x a day AND at specific
times is Rabbinic. Thus it is a mitzvat asay shhazman grama (a time
bound mitzva) which is Rabbinic in origin and is not obligatory for
women. Praying, yes, praying 3X a day at specific times, no.

David I. Cohen

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 00:25:59 +0300
Subject: RE: Kiddush Levana and Women

Again, what you say contradicts the Talmud, which, according to the
plain meaning, states that DESPITE your correct statement that tefilah
is a time-dependent mitzvah, this mitzvah is an EXCEPTION to the general
rule and women are in fact obligated to say shacharith and minha despite
their being time dependent.  Since I had mentioned the Mishnah Berurah,
it is relevant to point out that this is exactly how he understands the
sugya and therefore obligates women to say the same shemoneh esreh as
men, despite its being time dependent.

Mark Steiner 


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 22:39:35 +0200
Subject: Kiddush Levanah - Women

Martin Stern indicated that women do not say it.

In many communities, women do say it. Martin, please provide sources so
we can begin to discuss it on the list. I will provide sources when and
if I get any time.

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


From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 10:56:37 -0400
Subject: Minimizing Chilul Shabbat

Andy Goldfinger asks which type of phone is better to use on Shabbat for
a physician who has a heter to use one in case of pikuach nefesh -
regular landline or VOIP.  He could have also added cell phone.

Speaking as an electrical engineer, assuming the computer doesn't have
to be switched on (ie left on all Shabbat so VOIP is ready), I don't see
any difference or preference.  Each one involves lifting the cradle (ie
closing a switch) and sending touch tones to a computer which routes the
call.  For the regular phone, the computer is the telephone exchange
(called a "switch" in the industry).  For VOIP, it's servers on the
Internet (which operate very similarly to a telephone exchange). And the
same applies to a cell phone which uses a radio signal to get to the

The best arrangement would be to install a Gramma-phone which causes the
switch in the cradle to connect by indirect means.  These have been in
use in hospitals in Israel, designed by the Institute for Science &
Halacha (Machon Tzomet).

I believe they use a light beam going on and off.



From: Aharon Fischman <afischman@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 08:36:45 -0400
Subject: Phone and Tefila

My Sister-In-Law and Brother-In-Law recently celebrated the bris of
their son Dov Baruch in Yerushalayim.  Since it was not feasible for my
wife and I (and three kids) to attend, my other brother in law held up
his cell phone so that we could listen to the proceedings.

Sitting in bed at 2:00 AM we found ourselves reflexively responding at
the appropriate points in the service asking ourselves afterwards if
there is any halachik need or prohibition to participate in such a
situation.  I know that one is not yotzei [fulfill the obligation of]
the Megilla via phone but does any chiyuv [religious requirement] still
exist to answer Amen?

Shabbat Shalom,
Aharon Fischman


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 08:25:40 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Wedding Ring on Index Finger

>From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
>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.

I have seen references in secular literature to this custom among
European (German) nonJews among German war brides after World War II.
The reference was to a German war bride of an American soldier who had
the wedding band on the right index finger.  I do not know how accurate
the references are but a google search has shown


Most people wear the wedding band on the left hand. However, some
European women wear the ring on their right hand. Some Scandinavian
women wear three rings, one each for


Also http://www.angelfire.com/biz6/Psyteric/Rings.html

There is some evidence to indicate that, in mediaeval times, if you wore
rings on the left hand, they were for adornment purposes only, whereas
the right hand was reserved for marriage rings. It is not clear when
this procedure was reversed into the tradition we have today

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
<Sabba.Hillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water


From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 14:55:02 +0300
Subject: What the sha"tz says aloud

> Which concluding words should the Chazan should say aloud at the end
> of every section? Is/was there any "standard" for these points?

This is clearly an area in which the oral tradition of expert (!)
hazzanim counts for much. In my reading, and from observation, I have
found a few guidelines over the years:

1. Avodat Yisrael (Baer), p. 30 (section entitle Hanhagat Sheliah
Tzibbur), para. 6, quoted from Sefer Hasidim 251: "The sheliah tzibbur
must take care not to repeat the conclusions of the prayers and berachot
that he recites aloud, that is, not to read to the end along with the
congregation and then go back and repeat them aloud. Rather, he should
pray sufficiently slower than the congregation so that when they finish,
he will be precisely at the section that he is to recite aloud. And he
should make it a deliberate practice to begin such prayer-conclusions as
close as possible to the end (for instance: at the end of 'yotzer or' he
should begin aloud with the sentence 'or hadash' etc.), and not go back
to start way before this, due to tirhat hatzibbur."

This instruction is very clear, and the competent baal tefillah who
gives thought to the matter knows in most cases exactly how to apply it.
Don't say aloud the final clauses of sentences begun above, rather, say
aloud the petition that precedes the conclusion of the brachah. For
example: at arvit begin aloud from "el hai vekayyam" (not umaavir yom,
which connects with what precedes it); from "ve-ahavatkha" (and not from
ki hem hayyenu, which is the end of the preceding section), etc.

2. The logical default rule with biblical verses, such as pesukei
dezimra and kabbalat shabbat (as well as shir shel yom,
ashre-lammenatzeah-uva letzion, etc.): say aloud the last verse in its
entirety, unless it is so closely connected with what came before it
that it makes no sense when said alone. That is why we begin "arbaim
shanah akut bedor", or similarly, "maggid devarav leyaakov" -- in both
cases, two verses before the end (and there are many similar instances)
-- since the final verse alone doesn't constitute an intelligible
statement. Otherwise, reciting aloud a few verses, rather than only one,
is usually not indicated, and would constitute tirhat hatzibbur (and
might also create, as above, unintelligible statements). In other words,
just because you hear the hazzan reading two verses, doesn't mean that
when it's your turn you can read three.

3. Knowledgeable baalei tefillah study carefully the dinim of kaddish,
kedusha and barchu, and know exactly what to say aloud and what not to
say aloud, distinguishing as indicated between the simple kedushah and
the ones recited on shabbat and yomtov. I'm not going into the details

4. In recent years there has been a trend to insist on completing entire
verses rather than stopping in the middle, such as we seem to do, at
least momentarily, in kedushah ("vekara zeh el zeh ve-amar"), and in
vayyevarekh david ("ne-eman lefanekha"--middle of verse) and perhaps a
few other spots. As has been shown on mj before, this insistence is
based on a misunderstanding/misapplication of the rule that we do not
divide any verses that Moshe Rabbenu did not divide, and should be

5. When the hazzan's job description includes the regular or occasional
recital of cantorial compositions, these are part of his role as a
sheliah tzibbur and he should perform them as stipulated. These
sometimes include longer concluding sections. This does not constitute
carte blanche for everyone else, however.

I'm sure we can think of some more, but this is more than enough for one

Baruch Schwartz


End of Volume 48 Issue 63