Volume 48 Number 87
                    Produced: Thu Jul  7  4:36:34 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Answering from the hallway (2)
         [Arie, Martin Stern]
Debbie Rennert  A'H
         [Michael Poppers]
Debbie Rennert Correction
         [Chaim Shapiro]
early Maariv
         [Joel Rich]
Jewish drinking events
         [Edward Ehrlich]
Rosh Yeshiva or Communal Rabbi
         [Saul Mashbaum]
Secular translation of the Torah
         [N Miller]
Secular Translation of the Torah
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Secular Translation of the Torah / Disturbing trend in Jewry
         [Evan Rock]
Treatment of a worker -- was second job / volunteering
         [Nadine Bonner]
         [Jeanette Friedman]
Working for the Jewish press
         [Nadine Bonner]


From: <aliw@...> (Arie)
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 23:27:42 +0200
Subject: Re: Answering from the hallway

in mj 48/84, IMFuchs wrote:

>I would have to check out, but I think that in an established shul,
>one may be able to include those, say in the ezras noshim, to 
>"make the minyan".  (Answering amen, etc., is not a problem 
>even for one who is walking outside the shul in the street -- 
>assuming the area permits him/her to say the words).  In a 
>makeshift/temporary shul, all 10 men must be in the same room.  
>(In just such a situation, a simple archway may be considered a 
>separate room.)  This problem arises often, and deserves a proper 
>and thorough look in to the sources.  I have not done so recently 
>and am quoting from memory -- this cannot be relied on for p'sak.

check out o"h 55, 13 and on. seems to me that the guy (or guys) in the
ezrat nashim don't join except bish'at had'chak, and if you're in an
open doorway but were the door closed, you'd be outside, you're not
counted for the minyan. the principle - everyone in the same room even
if they can't see each other - like the bima or a big bookcase in the

i was once a regular in a struggling minyan and the latecomers always
went to the ezrat nashim, and when we got to bar'chu, we would round
them up so we would have a minyan in the ulam.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Jul 2005 12:14:51 +0100
Subject: Re: Answering from the hallway

on 6/7/05 10:36 am, I wrote:
> I can't remember the exact source at present but I recall that one can
> count for a minyan people in different rooms provided they can see each
> other; perhaps another contributor can provide it. This applies as much
> to shuls as ad hoc minyanim. Therefore a tsurat hapetach (archway)
> should certainly not present a problem, nor even a real doorway provided
> the door is open. As regards the ezrat nashim, it might depend on the
> nature of the mechitsah.

I have now found quite an exhaustive discussion in Hatephillah Betsibbur
by R. Yitschak Ya'akov Fuchs ch. 4 par. 19 (p. 157) which brings sources
from the Rishonim and Acharonim for and against and then the decision of
the Mishnah Berurah in s.k. 52 on Shulchan Arukh s. 55 to allow
combining people besha'at hadechak in separate rooms provided some of
each can see some of the others. The problem of a mechitsah is discussed
in par. 16.

Martin Stern


From: <MPoppers@...> (Michael Poppers)
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 10:23:05 -0400
Subject: Re: Debbie Rennert  A'H

In M-J V48 #85, CShapiro noted Mrs. Rennert's passing.  Her maiden name
was Erreich, and her brother (sorry, don't know his full first name) and
parents (Herta and Sol Erreich) are sitting shiv'ah this week at her
brother's house, 220 High Street in Passaic, NJ (see
http://tinyurl.com/9bzbr).  May we not have occasion to transmit news of
this nature in the future.

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 09:42:29 EDT
Subject: Debbie Rennert Correction

At least one of the Yisomim of Debbie Rennert A'H, feels strongly that
the incorrect news accounts of the tragic accident that took their
mothers life be corrected.  It was Rabbi Rennert himself who pulled out
the seven children from the fiery, smoke filled car, not local police.
I regret and ask for Mechila Gemorah for any pain I may have caused the
Yisomim by paraphrasing local news accounts.  Updates will still be
regularly made on the WITS website, www.witsyeshiva.com any donations to
the family can still be made to the Keren Devorah Fund C/O WITS

Chaim Shapiro


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 07:58:25 -0400 
Subject: early Maariv

>>> Note that there are those who say that even davening alone is not
>>> good enough if there is no minyon in the community that accepts
>>> Shabbos at the later time.
>>Who gives a psak contrary to that?
>IIRC, Rav Moshe's p'sak on early summer davening seems to say that a
>person can accept shabbos later as long as the minyon is only davening
>early for convenience.  As an example, if the community minyon is early
>in the summer in order to allow the children to eat.  OTOH, if the
>community accepts Shabbos early all year round, as in Yerushalayim, then
>that is the local minhage and must be accepted by everyone.
>Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz

I think you are thinking of R'Moshe's tshuva regarding whether a woman
has to accept shabbat early if her husband has.

Joel Rich


From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 22:17:03 +0300
Subject: Jewish drinking events

H. Goldsmith wrote:

>I was very disturbed to see an ad in a Jewish newspaper for the "Scotch
>Whisky Tasting Extravaganza," to take place in three locations in the
>New York area. For a $50 admission charge, one can taste "Fifteen of
>the World's Finest Scotch Whiskies," presented by a world-renowned
>Master Distiller.
>In my humble opinion, these kinds of events can lead to terrible
>tragedies - specifically drunk driving accidents/deaths... 
>In addition, there is the potential for a chillul Hashem in front of
>the non-Jewish workers at these venues when they witness Jewish people
>drinking and getting drunk.

I understand Mr. Goldsmith's fears but they might be exaggerated. I
attended two wine tasting festivals held in Jerusalem over the past few
years. They were very pleasant and civilized evenings with no signs of
raucous or drunken behavior and attended by both observant and
non-observant Jews. I arranged for my wife to be the designated driver
since I have a strict rule not to drive if I've drunk more than one
glass of wine. (Of course, you only take a sip or two at each stand, but
the combined intake can be well over a single glass.)

Please keep in mind, if you decide to attend this annual event, that
both Kosher and non-Kosher wines are served. Each stand is clearly

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Jerusalem, Israel


From: Saul Mashbaum <smash52@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Jul 2005 15:55:55 +0200
Subject: Re: Rosh Yeshiva or Communal Rabbi

David Maslow <maslowd@...> wrote

>In MJ 74, Carl Singer mentioned the ease of long distance psak instead
>of relying on the communal rabbi.

and wrote about this phenomenon.

R. Herschel Schacter, rosh yeshiva of RIETS, in the course of a lecture
to YU alumni in Israel, bemoaned the common practice in Israel of
bringing questions to R. Elyashiv instead of the local rav. (I am
convinced that he referred specifically to R. Elyashiv because of the
locale - Israel; he would have made the same point in the States,
referring to a different rabbinic figure). He emphasized that
R. Elyashiv is an eminent posek, but the established practice until
recently (long after telephone communications made long-distance psak
feasible) has been to refer questions to the local posek, and this is
what should, in his opinion, be done.

Saul Mashbaum


From: N Miller <nmiller@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Jul 2005 10:35:13 -0400
Subject: Secular translation of the Torah

cps. wants to know  "is it permitted to even read this book?

Before I grant permission I'd like to ask first: what's a secular

Noyekh Miller

From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 10:34:58 EDT
Subject: Secular Translation of the Torah

MJv48n86 brings the following:

> The following URL points to the article: New Light on the Torah - A
> review of "The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary" by
> Robert Alter. Review by Jaroslav Pelikan. Robert Alter is Professor of
> Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California,
> Berkeley and author of the 1981 book "The Art of Biblical
> Narrative". Mod.]
> http://www.claremont.org/writings/crb/summer2005/pelikan.html
> Where to begin? Well, how about : is it permitted to even read this
> book?

My question is the opposite. Can we afford not to read texts where
knowledge can be found? After all, Prof. Robert Alter is a serious
Biblical scholar. I do not know if he is frum or secular, but I am sure
that each of us can learn from his scholarship. Censorship never
improved Judaism.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Evan Rock <theevanrock@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 08:18:59 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Secular Translation of the Torah / Disturbing trend in Jewry

chips @eskimo in his or her submission asked: " Where to begin? Well,
how about : is it permitted to even read this book?"

This question points to a disturbing recent trend amongst the Jewish
people.  Fear of reading!!!  Fear of ideas!!!

We are a people who have had no problems pointing to our greatest
leaders be they, Moshe, Aharon or David and show them as being human,
with warts and all. We haven't had need to deify our thinkers and
leaders.  Now we are finding ourselves in a situation where Shir ha
shirim is NOT being translated from the original Hebrew!!!  Lest it be
misunderstood. We have a situation where we are appointing thought
police to tell us what to read and what to think.

How alarming.  We avoided this behavior in medieval Europe yet today in
the 21 century we are going backwards.

Evan Rock


From: Nadine Bonner <nfbonner@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 09:41:58 -0400
Subject: Treatment of a worker -- was second job / volunteering

With all respect to Carl, I don't think halacha is ever much of a factor
in the secular Jewish press.  The issue with Janice was more of a labor
dilemma than a halachic problem--will giving the workers more money
force the business to close and leave everyone out of a job?

In Janice's case, she was correct in her position--she deserved more
money.  But the publisher was also correct--he WAS on the verge of
bankruptcy. He was fortunate that a couple of years later Atlanta
enjoyed a Jewish population boom, and he was able to sell a dying paper
to a much more professional news organization.

Nadine Bonner


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 08:24:05 EDT
Subject: Re: Volunteering

      What if you form a charity which drives people to doctors
      appointments (for free, of course.) -- I'm using this example
      because driving a vehicle is, unlike writing well, pretty much a
      generic skill.

      So your charity now drives people who otherwise would have used a
      taxi or car service (or public transportation.) -- you are taking
      parnuseh (income) away from others who provide this service for a

      Is there a conflict?

      Furthermore, to make things more interesting -- those who do this
      service for a fee need special licensing, inspections,
      certification, insurance, etc.  -- as a volunteer you do not have
      (need?)  the same.

      Finally, you could have accomplished the same end result by
      forming a charity (g'mach?) that provides funds for those who need
      to take the taxi / car service.

If Plony, the cab driver in Monsey is making a living driving people to
the doctor and the hospital, and suddenly the service is provided for
free by others, that IS DISGUSTING. What they can do is raise funds so
the poor people don't have to pay him, but he should be paid. Driving
him out of business and making his family starve is a bigger aveyrah
than paying him to take them to the doctor.

Driving anyone out of business--if they are honest and hardworking and
deliver quality, to me, is a criminal act.


From: Nadine Bonner <nfbonner@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 09:16:02 -0400
Subject: Working for the Jewish press

As I said in my previous post, working for the Jewish press means
virtually working for free. Not many good writers are willing to do
this. So a paper has to hire the best writers it can find. Who still may
not be very good.  And, again because of the pay scale, they are usually
very young and inexperienced.

Do you need to be Jewish to write for the Jewish press? Not really. You
just need to learn the ropes. When I was a sportswriter I had to cover
water polo. Had I ever played water polo? Never. But I did some reading
and investigation and learned to write about it.

A good reporter can cover almost anything. A bad reporter is a bad
reporter, whether Jewish or not.

Nadine Bonenr


End of Volume 48 Issue 87