Volume 48 Number 90
                    Produced: Sun Jul 10 17:53:34 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ban on Rabbi Slifkin's Book/Secular translations of the Torah
Banned Books
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Business in Conflict
         [W. Baker]
early Maariv
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Failure to rebuke (was "Kiddush Levanah - Women")
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Halacha and Business Competition
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
Kiddush Levanah - Tamuz
Kiddush Levanah - Women
         [Saul Mashbaum]
Rosh Yeshiva or Communal Rabbi-(was Accepting Psak)
         [Carl A. Singer]
Secular translation of the Torah
         [Ben Katz]
Treatment of a worker
         [Nadine Bonner]
         [Ira L. Jacobson]


From: Fred <fredd@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2005 07:19:31 -0700
Subject: Ban on Rabbi Slifkin's Book/Secular translations of the Torah

Does anyone know the email address of Rabbi Aharon Feldman of Nir Israel
in Baltimore?


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2005 15:30:29 EDT
Subject: Banned Books

David Charlap wrote (MJv48n89)

> Now, I am not going to say that a "bad" (however you want to define
> it) translation should be banned, but I do think you must know the
> author's background and agenda before reading such a book, in order to
> (hopefully) be able to realize when you're reading editorial content.

Banned books are more likely to be read than ignored books, as current
banned Jewish books experience tells us. If a book is full of
falsehoods, just ignore it, and if someone asks you about it tell him
your finding and why one should not use it. Such books will also get bad
book reviews, and are unlikely to be used. But if you make a big deal
about them, you are effectively marketing them. Also, books full of
falsehoods are unlikely to get endorsements (haskamot).

It is my view that throughout history dealing with the problematic
content on a point by point refutation proved to be more effective than
ad hominem (pejorative treatment of the author rather than with the
content), or charamim (against the author or the book).

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: W. Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2005 13:00:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Business in Conflict

> From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
>> So from a halachic perspective, I think the discussion should be on what
>> are the guiding principles (I propose "hasagas gevul" as at least one)
>> and how well can we define / elaborate those principles.
> Along this line can someone elaborate on the halachic basis for an
> existing merchant to object to a new merchant opening nearby.

Has anyone else noticed that in Israel there seems to be only one
supermarket per neighborhood.  When I was last there, as few years ago,
I asked my daughter about this and she sid they don't permit markets to
compete that way.  Can anyone enlighten me as to whether this is an
economic-political or a religious policy?  Of course, for all I know, it
may no longer be true, I did notice that competeing supermarket
companies were not really competing in the neighborhoods on the outskirts
of Tel Aviv like Kiryat Ono, Ganei Tiquvah, etc.

Wendy Baker


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2005 23:02:06 -0400
Subject: Re: early Maariv

> From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
>>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.

As I recall the tshuva, Rav Moshe after discussing the wife, deals with
the husband who is also wants to wait for the zman (such as arriving in
the mountains later than the minyon though well before the final zman).

I believe he states in both cases that they may accept shabbos later.

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


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2005 14:36:55 +0300
Subject: Failure to rebuke (was "Kiddush Levanah - Women")

      I have said kiddush levanah outside Orthodox synagogues in the US
      and in Israel, and no one ever stopped me.

Or to put it another way, "lo ra'iti" is not a proof.

Which reminds me.  In the shul I prayed in this morning, I would say
that over half the men were wearing their head tefillin in such a way
that, as the Mishna Berura says:

1.      It is as if they did not put on tefillin;
2.      They said a berakha levatala (at least those who say (al mitzvat
3.      They are resha`im.

Now I am unhappy with myself, also, for being one of those who "no one
ever stopped me."  However, I have seen the issue discussed in print,
and people seem to be very wary about this sort of criticism (in which
they may conclude that for fifty years they had effectively never put on
tefillin), so "who am I . . . ?"

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2005 14:28:08 +0200
Subject: Re: Halacha and Business Competition

From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
>Jeanette Friedman wrote:
>> 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.

>This sounds great and wonderful in theory.  In practice, this attitude
>produces disastrous results.
>For instance, when I first moved to the Washington DC area, there were
>only three kosher restaurants in the region, and only one of them was
>any good.  The local vaad wouldn't allow any other restaurants to open,
>because they were afraid that it would drive the existing 3 out of
>business.  So the community was forced to either never eat out, or wait
>for a long time at the good restaurant, or eat lousy food.
>Eventually, this attitude must have changed, because there are more
>kosher restaurants now.  And, contrary to everybody's fears, none of the
>original three went out of business.
>So where do you draw the line between competition and "driving anyone
>out of business"?

It's not the same thing at all.  Did the new restaurants give away the
food for free?

the situation described is how someone is deprived of his parnasa,
because someone else, even if it's from the best of intentions, is
giving the service for free.  So why should someone pay if they can get
the same service for free?  There goes the parnasa.



From: <Danmim@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2005 09:22:13 EDT
Subject: Re: Kiddush Levanah - Tamuz

for tamuz can we mkadesh lvanah this saturday night or is it to early?


From: Saul Mashbaum <smash52@...>
Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2005 12:51:38 +0200
Subject: Re: Kiddush Levanah - Women

FWIW, when I was an NCSY advisor a long time ago, we always said Kiddush
levana if possible Motzaei Shabbat at a Shabbaton, and the boys and
girls participated. Although there were good-natured jokes about
worshipping the moon, and probably some kids grumbled about having to
say yet another prayer, for the most part the prayer was well-received.

I have good reason to believe that some of the girls who learned about
kiddush levana at NCSY Shabbatonim 35 years ago say it to this day.

Saul Mashbaum


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2005 07:16:55 -0400
Subject: Rosh Yeshiva or Communal Rabbi-(was Accepting Psak)

> If a person of one minhag (e.g. Chassidic, Sephardi, non-Chassidic
> Ashkenazi) resides for the time being in a small community where the
> only local rabbis available are of a significantly different minhag,
> then phoning a rabbi of one's own tradition may be appropriate.  It is
> my experience that few rabbis are well acquainted with the minhagim of
> other movements (and may even attribute differences in practice to the
> other movement's error).

I believe a blanket statement is not applicable.  

If it's a private issue related to a specific minhag (should I say "xyz"
next Tuesday) one would likely need a specific source for the psak.
Even in this case as a courtesy the local Rabbi might be asked and he
would defer if it was beyond his ken.

If it's a public, communal issue then the local rabbi (singular) where
you daven should be consulted.

It's quite unfortunate that some Rabbi's consider themselves part of
"movements" and like politicians on the stump pronounce that other
"movements" are in error.

Carl Singer 


From: <bkatz@...> (Ben Katz)
Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2005 19:52:55 +0000
Subject: Re: Secular translation of the Torah

Robert Alter is a pioneer in the literary approach to Tanach, which
means treating the text of the Tanach as a unit, and not trying to
dissect the text as many other scholars have attempted to do for > 200
years.  He is an EXTREMELY careful reader of texts and one can learn a
lot from reading him, as I am in the process of doing.  Will one find
side comments of a nontraditional nature? Yes.  If that bothers you,
then you shouldn't read it.  Interestingly enough, when his first book
(The Art of Biblical Narrative) came out, over 20 years ago, he was
called many things, including a "crypto-fundamentalist".  It seems to me
that he puts a bit more "standard scholarship" into his commentary these
days, just to show that he is not ignorant of that approach.

 BTW, I am currently in Israel, coaching the USA karate team.  The
karate events are 7/13 and 7/14.  If anyone is interested, please come.
You will see some great athletics and you can meet me!


From: Nadine Bonner <nfbonner@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2005 09:31:56 -0400
Subject: Treatment of a worker

Carl Singer wrote:

> For an employer not to quickly and properly pay an employee IS an
> halachic issue.  Reneging on an agreement to increase wages after a
> period of time falls into that category.

If the employer doesn't have the money to pay more, what is your
solution?  Fire another worker? Cut everyone else's salary?

The publisher could easily have told Janice that her work was
substandard and he didn't feel she deserved a raise. Instead, he was
honest and said he couldn't afford to pay her more. She wasn't a
slave--she had the option to leave and take another job. Which she did.

In the popular Talmudic tale that we use to teach our children to judge
people favorably, an employer cannot pay his worker at the end of the
harvest, and the worker returns home with nothing. Later, when the
employer is able to recoup his finances, he turns up at the worker's
door with food, drink and payment.

Perhaps had Janice stayed on the job, he would have paid her more had
things improved. But we have to assume that his intentions were
honorable when he promised her a raise--he just didn't have the money to
pay her.

Nadine Bonner


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2005 14:59:16 +0300
Subject: Re: Yitgadal-yitgadell

Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...> asked whether perhaps "HITPAEL

      Toby (v48#82) states "there are many examples of hispael where the
      meaning is not reflexive"

Rabbanit Toby is, of course right.  Russel is giving us a somewhat
imaginative derush.  My comments and Toby's were rather linguistic.

I could probably provide tens if not hundreds of examples with the
hitpa'el constructuion is not at all interactive.

I have already given the dictionary definitions of qof dalet shin in
binyan hitpa`el, in which about two thirds are neither reflexive nor

Similarly in Aramaic.  There are three reflexive forms, 'itp'el,
'itpa`al, and itaf`al.  The one that interests us at present is
'itpa`al, which has both passive and reflexive meanings.  An example of
its reflexive sense is in itqad'shat (Nedarin 50a), she betrothed

If I understand this correctly, Mr. Guggenheim, as cited by Eitan
Fiorino <AFiorino@...>, is not very accurate in his
understanding of this binyan in Aramaic, in claiming that it is only

IRA L. JACOBSON         


End of Volume 48 Issue 90