Volume 48 Number 76
                    Produced: Thu Jun 30  6:15:56 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

20 Sivan (2)
         [Sharon and Joseph Kaplan, Martin Stern]
Maariv and Shavuot (3)
         [Orrin Tilevitz, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, Chaim Tabasky]
Second Job / Volunteering
Way for a cohen to enter a cemetery
         [Gershon Dubin]
A way for a cohen to enter a cemetery
         [Shoshana Ziskind]


From: Sharon and Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 07:28:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 20 Sivan

Rabbi JJ Schacter has a wonderful lecture on the fast of 20 Siva.
Unfortunately, I no longer have the handout, and my memory is vague on
some of the details.  But it began because of the murder of 31 or 32
Jews in Blois in France at the time of Rabbenu Tam (who instituted the
fast).  The Jews were killed as a result of a blood libel.  It didn't
catch on but was reinstituted after the Chelminiski ravages.  There is a
poster from Europe from before WW II in Yiddish which still refers to
it.  It becomes important in the debate about whether to commemorate Yom
Hashoah; that is, can additional days of mourning be established, or are
all tragic events to be commemorated on Tisha B'Av?  Rav Moshe Feinstein
refers to it in a teshuva on this issue.

Joseph Kaplan

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 11:27:59 +0100
Subject: 20 Sivan

This ta'anit was originally instituted originally by Rabbeinu Tam for
the French kehillot after the martyrdom of the Jewish community of Blois
who were all burnt alive in a pit on that date in 1171.

The primary sources on the massacre are Rabbeinu Ephraim ben Ya'akov of
Bonn, a payyetan and one of the Ba'alei Tosaphot, a younger contemporary
of Rabbeinu Tam, and his brother Hillel, author of the selichot for 20
Sivan which describe the event.

Rabbeinu Ephraim in his Sefer Zichronot, reproduced in Jacob Marcus'
"The Jew in the Medieval World" pp. 127-30, writes that they chanted
Aleinu as they were being burnt and it seems likely that this caught the
popular imagination and the custom of saying of Aleinu at the end of
davenning arose from it (Baron "A Social and Religious History of the
Jews" vol. 4 pp. 137-8 and footnote 60 on p. 307).

The Sefer haRokeiach siman 324 (page 221 in my edition) writes "and then
they say aleinu leshabeiach" as if it has become a standard custom in
many communities to say it at the end of shacharit. This is, in fact the
earliest reference to the custom. The Rokeiach lived from 1160 to 1237
and was a boy at the time of the Blois martyrdom. The Meiri (Perpignan,
1249-1316) in his commentary on Berakhot (p. 118) notes that it was
added so that "just as one should arrive in shul some before the
beginning of davenning, so one should remain back for a while after its
end and so they instituted saying shir mizmor (?) or aleinu".

Over the centuries, after the expulsion from France in 1391, it would
seem that the ta'anit fell into abeyance until the Cossack massacres of
1648-9 in the Ukraine, led by Bogdan Chmielnitzki, which led to the
decline of Polish Jewry. The major community of Nemirov fell to the
Cossacks on 20 Sivan and was completely annihilated and it was decided
to mark the tragedy by reinstituting the ta'anit. With the passage of
time, its 'popularity' has declined as the remembrance of those
massacres also dimmed and was overtaken by others.

Martin Stern


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 11:19:22 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Maariv and Shavuot

Perhaps I am missing something.  According to what I understand to be
the position, expressed on this list, that davening Maariv early does
not cause one to bring in shabbat early (say, soon after plag hamincha),
by what halachic act does one bring in shabbat early? I had always
thought it was either maariv or mizmor shir leyom hashabbat, and if it's
the latter, then obviously davening maariv is irrelevant.  If it's the
subjective act of accepting shabbat, could I really drive home from shul
before shkia after Friday night maariv?

Also, if saying shehecheyanu ("lazman hazeh") early is a problem with
making kiddush on yom tov early, then it would extend to making kiddush
early on Friday night erev Rosh Hashana or Shemini Atzeret (if one eats
in the sukkah); but as I recall, shemirat shabbat kehilchato does not
list these as days when one may not make kiddush early.

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 07:38:13 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Maariv and Shavuot

>From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
>OTOH, that which the Shulchan Aruch says has long confounded me, as I am
>unable to find a unifying principle which might explain some various
>halachos which appear contradictory to me. Bear with me, please, as I
>But saying Maariv and Kiddush on Erev Yom Tov afternoon --- Shavuos, for
>example! --- is very different than saying Maariv and Kiddush on Friday
>afternoon. This is because the Shabbos prayers don't explicitly require
>Shabbos to have begun, while the Yom Tov prayers do explicitly include
>the phrase "b'yom Chag HaShavuos HAZEH" - just like in Shehechiyanu!
>There is no way to say Maariv or Kiddush on Shavuos without accepting
>the day. And if that is done earlier than required, it will cut off the
>end of the 49th day.
> ...
>But my logic is wrong. Two paragraphs ago, I suggested that one could
>say Maariv and Kiddush on Friday afternoon while stipulating that he
>does not want Shabbos to begin yet. The problem is that the Shulchan
>Aruch 263:11 says that "if an individual went and said the Shabbos
>prayers on Friday afternoon, he has accepted Shabbos and is forbidden to
>do melacha, even if he says that he does not want to accept
>Shabbos". And the Mishna Brurah there (263:50) explains simply, "Even
>though some holds that a stipulation works for candle lighting, davening
>is different, because he mentions the holiness of Shabbos in it."
>So what's the answer? As I wrote in the very beginning, there seems to
>be a contradiction here.
>If I can't mention the One Who makes the Shabbos holy unless that
>holiness is already present, or is becoming present, then why can I
>mention the One Who separates between holy and ordinary, and between
>Shabbos and the six days of work, even in a sitation where that
>separation will not occur until a few hours in the future?
>And if I can say Havdala without affecting the status of the day, I
>ought to be able to say Kiddush without affecting the status of the day.

I would guess that the mistake is in your initial assumption that the
Shabbos prayers do not "explicitly require Shabbos to have begun" Since
the bracha of "mekadesh Hashabos" is called kedusha hayom, it would
appear that this bracha (Who santifies the Shabbos) in the present tense
is indeed explicitly accepting the sanctity of the day.  Thus, it cannot
be said unless the sanctification has already taken place.

Alternatively, the acceptance of Shabbos has occured earlier with
"Mizmor shir leyom hashabbos".  That is, the paragraph of tehillim that
is said on shabbos is an implicit recognition that the day is already
Shabbos.  Perhaps the analogy can be drawn to the shir shel yom which is
tied to the Leviyim in the Bais Hamikdash acknowledging the particular
day.  Thus, while the amidah may not contain the explicit recognition of
the day, there is in the kabbalos shabbos tefillah and explicit
recognition of the day.

Either of these ideas may tend to explain the apparent paradox that you

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

From: Chaim Tabasky <tabafkc@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 16:49:27 +0200
Subject: re: Maariv and Shavuot

Two approaches:

In Pesachim 105a the gemara considers the relationship between the
beginning and ending of Shabbat. "Shabbat Kova'at" that is Shabbat
begins by itself, without need of our declaration. The change is
automatic in regards to several halachot. No untithed food can be eaten,
even in circumstances which would be allowed on weekdays. We cannot
continue eating a meal started earlier without kiddush. At the end,
however, Shabbat continues unless something stops it. One may continue
eating seudah shlishit without making havdalah.

Since "Shabbat demands kiddush" as it were, so kiddush demands kedushat
Shabbat. Shabbat will come anyway, so the early kiddush is meaningful if
it generates kedusha. OTOH motzei Shabbat does not automatically
generate anything, so the announcement that Shabbat is ending does not
have to generate "chol".


Both kiddush and havdallah stem from "Zchor et yom haShabbat l'kadsho" -
mention the Shabbat to snanctify it. Sanctification is a necessary
corollary of kiddush, not the declaration per se.



From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 08:25:17 EDT
Subject: Re: Second Job / Volunteering

I just came back from a press association conference where a handful of
freelancers learned that we are an endangered species hovering on the
edge of extinction because editors no longer want to pay for our
stories--cause all those people out there want to write for free. (Many
of them just express their personal opinions and glory in the ink.)

Here's the reality: It essentially means that those people who are
writing for newspapers for free are stealing the food and rent money
away from the professionals who have been working hard to make a living
at it for at least 25 years. Now, instead of story assignments, we get
editors calling us in emergencies to fill their bar/bat/wedding
celebration section at $30-50 a pop.  No one pays to sniff out
investigative stories (like the rabbi and child abuse story that was
squelched until an editor moved to town and heard about it).

Each year there are less and less column inches left for freelancers to
fill. And we are talking Jewish freelancers for Jewish media here. Not
the "real" world. No freelancer purely freelances anymore because it's
becoming impossible to eat, let alone pay for medical coverage, which is
$25,000 a year for two middle aged people.

And that fact doesn't make retirement likely for any of the Jewish
freelancers I know who write for Jewish papers--and are working twice as
hard to make the same amount of money they made five years ago.

So those of you who write for free--be aware, you could be ruining other
people's lives. Some of those people, and I met them, are over 70 years
old and without the income...well, you can guess the rest.


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 15:41:06 GMT
Subject: Way for a cohen to enter a cemetery

It has been brought to my attention that I cited Orach Chaim 326; it
should be 362.  Interestingly, the titles are off by one letter also,
mechitza vs. rechitza.

From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>

<<1. A kever -- most of the area throughout a bais kevaros -- is metammei
those who are situated vertically above it.  So how would the people
forming the circle around the cohen constitute a barrier between the him
and the kever on which he stands?>>

Correct; it does nothing for a cohen's potentially standing ON a kever.
It works, for those who say it does, to be a mechitza so the cohen does
not come within 4 amos of a kever.



From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 11:50:46 -0400
Subject: Re: A way for a cohen to enter a cemetery

At the Lubavitcher Rebbe's ohel they don't use people they have a
constructed box which the kohanim use.  They are surrounded by the box
and not people.

I agree that you need to CYLOR though.

Shoshana Ziskind


End of Volume 48 Issue 76