Volume 49 Number 35
                    Produced: Thu Aug  4  6:11:20 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brich Shmei
         [Alan Rubin]
Candle Lighting After Childbirth (3)
         [Naomi Kingsley, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, Gershon Dubin]
Kaddish Pronounciation (an issue of time)
         [David and Toby Curwin]
Mishebayrach for the Isha Hayoledets
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Pidyon haBen
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Polygamy (4)
         [Martin Stern, Mark Steiner, Dov Teichman, Andy Goldfinger]
Previous Texts (2)
         [Ben Katz, Lipman Phillip Minden]
Randy Cohen
         [Goldfinger, Andy]
Shaliach for bris
         [Joseph Ginzberg]


From: Alan Rubin <alanrubin1@...>
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 08:48:00 +0100
Subject: Brich Shmei

I would be interested in the opinion of the experts on Minhag Askenaz on
whether Brich Shmei is said before taking out the Sefer Torah on Monday
and Thursday. It is in the Art Scroll Siddur but as far as I remember
not in Singer's.

Thank you

Alan Rubin


From: Naomi Kingsley <rogerk@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 13:05:01 +0300
Subject: re: Candle Lighting After Childbirth

> A colleague of mine told me that she has heard of a custom for a woman
> NOT to light Shabbos candles on the first Friday night after giving
> birth.    Has anyone heard of this custom and its reason?
> Immanuel Burton.

This goes back to the time when women spent 1-2 weeks after childbirth
lying in bed [called "laying in"]. The husband thus lit the Friday night

This doesn't apply nowadays - in any maternity hospital in Israel, 100%
of ambulant mothers light candles.

Naomi Kingsley

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 12:52:01 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Candle Lighting After Childbirth

In various shiurim I have heard the discussion based on the idea that
when a woman misses lighting the candles, she should light an extra
candle from then on.  Since many women would miss the first candle
lighting after giving birth (because of the stresses of child birth) the
custom arose to light one extra candle for each child even if she had
not missed.

As far as I understand the issue, there is no custom to deliberately
skip a candle lighting.

This is based on various discussions that I have head and is not a psak.

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

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 17:11:57 GMT
Subject: Candle Lighting After Childbirth

This custom is a result of the game of telephone.  The reason given for
the (fairly common) custom of adding a candle for each child, is as a
kenass (fine) for missing candle-lighting when the baby was born.

Obviously this is before the modern practice of drive-in births.

That custom itself is similarly a victim of the telephone game, since
the kenass only applies when the omission is wilful/neglectful, not the
unavoidable result of confinement.

So now, when women are usually home from the hospital in time for
candle-lighting unless they gave birth Thursday or Friday (or had
complications), AND there's no wilful neglect of the candle-lighting, lo
and behold, they may not light!

It's actually kind of funny how this evolved.



From: David and Toby Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 22:34:59 +0300
Subject: RE: Kaddish Pronounciation (an issue of time)

> Gilad J. Gevaryahu replied to my posting:
> <<This is also likely, because the GRA was actually against 
> the changes that Stanow and Heidenheim introduced.>>
> The GRA lived between 1720 and 1793, and Stanow siddur 
> "Vaye'etar Itzhak" appeared for the first time in Berlin in 
> 1784 and so the GRA could have come against his siddur; but 
> R. Wolf Heidenheim's (1757-1832)  first edition of his first 
> siddur "Safa Berura," appeared only in 1806, and so GRA 
> couldn't have come against the changes of Heidenheim as GRA 
> died ~13 years before Heidenheim's siddur was first printed.

I looked again at the introduction to "Ezor Eliyahu", and he does
mention that of course Heidenheim's siddur was printed after the GRA
died. But his basic theory is that Nusach HaGra is returning to the "old
siddurim", whereas Stanow (and Heidenheim who followed in his path)
introduced a number of changes into the traditional text. In other
words, a lot of the "changes" the GRA introduced, were simply a return
to the older texts.

Cohen mentions two books by Rav Haim Kraus - "Brachot HaChaim" (1979)
and "Michalkel Chaim B'Hesed" (1981) that discuss Stanow's deviations
from the text. Does anyone have access to these books? Perhaps they can
shine further light on this issue.

-Dave Curwin 


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 10:36:14 -0400
Subject: Re: Mishebayrach for the Isha Hayoledets

Carl Singer wrote:
> In naming a baby the father (usually) participates, but anyone could
> make a mishebayrach for the isha hayoledets (the woman who recently gave
> birth.) 

I think it would be entirely inappropriate for anyone other than the
husband/father (or, if possible the new mother herself) or a direct
emissary thereof to mke such a mishebayrach ... just as tradition holds
it inappropriate to enquire about a man's wife in his absense.

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 10:39:16 -0400
Subject: Re: Pidyon haBen

> From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
>>From: <Danmim@...>
>>Does a Jewish man married to a geyoras [convert] and has a son who is
>>the first born to mother and father need a pidyon haben? Can you quote
> Yes - see Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah, Siman 305 Seif 20.

My understanding is that the son not only has to be a first born but
that the delivery has to be a normal (i.e. non C-section) delivery as
well (this rules out many first-borns).

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 12:16:37 +0100
Subject: Re: Polygamy

on 3/8/05 10:42 am, <meirman@...> (Meir) wrote:
>> From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
>>> Remember that polygamy is a rabbinic prohibition, but not
>>> forbidden by the Torah.
>> This is not strictly correct, polygamy was only outlawed for Ashkenazim
>> by the Cherem of Rabbeinu Gershom some thousand years ago
> So for Ashkenazim it is a rabbinic prohibition, no?

It is a gezerah and does not have the force of an issur
derabbanan. Later generations do not have the power to introduce such

>> and this was only until the end of the sixth millennium, which ended
>> some 765 years ago
> I think the fifth millenium ended then.

I apologise for this unfortunate counting error. I should have written
"until the end of the fifth millennium" or "until the beginning of the
sixth millennium".

> I had heard that the cherem was for 1000 years and ended just 4 or 8
> years ago.

That is not what I have been led to believe. Could Meir possibly give
his source.

Martin Stern

From: Mark Steiner <ms151@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 08:50:56 -0400
Subject: RE: Polygamy

	I find it quite interesting that, as far as I know (and I
checked this with two talmidei hakhamim who know "shas" backwards and
forwards) there is no evidence whatever of polygamy among the Tannaim or
Amoraim, despite the plethora of legal discussions of polygamy.  To put
it another way, I (and, more importantly, my informants) cannot come up
with a single Tanna or Amora who had more than one wife (at a time).

Mark Steiner

From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 08:30:39 EDT
Subject: Re: Polygamy

<<There are several Jewish families in Israel with two wives.>>

Correct me if i'm mistaken, but I have always heard that the Baba Sali
had two wives.

Dov Teichman

From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 09:16:14 -0400
Subject: Polygamy

A true story about a Freudian slip:

I once attended a talk by a certain Rabbi.  At one point, he meant to
say "monogamy" but he slipped and said "monotony."


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 10:49:52 -0500
Subject: Re: Previous Texts

>From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
>Having purchased the new Siddur Maharal, I found that the editor makes
>comparisons with other siddurim of that time period and notes that a
>siddur published in Prague in Reish-Ayin-Vav which should be 1516 (I
>hope), for example, instead of v'lamalshinim (slanderers) in the Shmoneh
>Esreh prayer, has a different text, in this case, v'lam'shumadim
>My question is, can one today adopt earlier texts as they become
>available through research or must one keep with the text one has

         The beracha Velamalshinim/velameshumadim has probably been the
most (self)censored text in the entire siddur ("sheham mishtachavim
lahevel varik umitpallim el al lo yoshiya" in aleinu probably being the
second).  Whether to go back to an "original" text largely depends on
your approach to modernity and scholarship, although this is not
consistent.  There was an article years ago in Tradition about the
approach of the Chazon Ish to manuscripts (generally against; he felt
that if people hadn't learned the texts for hundreds of years that they
were unreliable).  Renat Yisrael of course adds back the sentence in
aleinu despite the fact that it hasn't been in Ashkenazi sidurim for
generations (Rav Tal also does other "scholarly" things like giving the
correct text of Yedid Nefesh based on the author's handwritten copy in
the JTS Library, yet does not "correct" some of the other errors
Birnbaum corrected in his siddur, eg "echad/acher" in the beraitta of
Rabbi Yishmael), and even ArtScroll puts the verse in parentheses in at
least some editions of their siddurim, surprisingly (for me).

         A similar question can be asked re techaylet.  Even assumming
the one we have today is 100% correct, there are those oppossed to
reintroducing a minhag that has been lost.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>

From: Lipman Phillip Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 13:51:00 +0200
Subject: Previous Texts

Yisrael Medad asked:
> [...]
> instead of v'lamalshinim (slanderers) in the Shmoneh Esreh prayer, has a  
> different text, in this case, v'lam'shumadim (apostators).
> My question is, can one today adopt earlier texts as they become  
> available through research or must one keep with the text one has  
> currently.

In fact, there is reason to hold you aren't yotze with the current
censured version!

Here's the correct version (subject to revision) as a foretaste of the
Brautmann Tefille, the preperation of which has only just begun:

Lameshumodim al tehi tikvo, vechol haminim kerega yoveidu, vechol oyvei
amoch meheiro yikoreisu, umalchus zodon meheiro te-akeir usshabeir
usmageir, vesachnia kol oyveinu bimheiro beyomeinu. Boruch ato h',
shoveir oyvim umachnia zeidim.

(Never mind the web-compatible transcription.)

In general, I think the answer is complex. Some of the factors to consider
- causes of the change
- valid difference in minhogem vs. minneg shtus and minneg toes
- issues of poresh min hatzibber, yuhre

Lipman Phillip Minden


From: Goldfinger, Andy <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 09:07:30 -0400
Subject: Randy Cohen

    [ Part 1, Text/PLAIN  26 lines. ]
    [ Unable to print this part. ]

Orrin Tilevitz quotes Randy Cohen:

"In the discussion of homosexuality, I and others have cautioned against
imposing current secular sensibilities on halacha.  Randy Cohen's "The
Ethicist" column in the 7/31 NY Times Magazine section graphically
illustrates the yawning chasm between the two." 

For those people who are not familiar with Randy Cohen, he writes a
column in the NY Times Magazine in which he answers ethical questions. 
It is not quite clear what qualifications he has for doing this.

On one occasion, a woman wrote that she was involved in a business
meeting with an Orthodox Jew.  She was offended by the fact that he would
not shake her hand due to religious regions, and he explained that he
does not touch women other than his wife.  She asked Mr. Cohen whether
she would be ethically justified in canceling her contract with the man's
company due to this offence.  Randy Cohen answered that she certainly was
justified in cancelling the contract, that the man's behavior was indeed
offensive, and that there is no justification for what he did.


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 11:18:22 -0400
Subject: Shaliach for bris

>  This last Rosh Hashana, R. Wozner of Bnei Brak was a shaliah (agent)
>for a father who went to Uman, instead of being at his son's brit.

With difficulty restraining myself from commenting on that particular
father, I just want to mention a precedent:

Rabbi Savitzky, the current Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Vodaath in Brooklyn,
who was a student in the Jerusalem Brisk Kollel at the time (about 30
years ago) when his son was born, sent his wife home to the US to have
the baby, resulting in his not being at the bris.

He made the Pidyon Haben in Jerusalem, without the baby or the mother
being present.

FWIW, travel was much more difficult back then, and she hadto leave at
least a month before and stay some time after.

Yossi Ginzberg


End of Volume 49 Issue 35