Volume 49 Number 45
                    Produced: Tue Aug  9  5:31:43 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aveil as Unwanted Sheliach Tzibur
         [Martin Stern]
Borders of Israel
         [David Charlap]
Disengagement ethics
         [Eliyahu Shiffman]
Disengagement Ethics
         [David Charlap]
Making Threats you dont intend to keep
         [Emmanuel Ifrah]
Pressure to get Married
         [Russell Jay Hendel]
Tune for "Eli Tziyon"
         [David Cohen]
Visitors in shul
         [Bernard Raab]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 09 Aug 2005 09:47:11 +0100
Subject: Re: Aveil as Unwanted Sheliach Tzibur

I hesitated to reply before consulting my rav about how to deal with
this problem in practice. His opinion was that the only thing a visitor
could claim of right was an aliyah on the day of his yahrzeit though he
could not push aside a member who was an equal or greater chiyuv e,g a
chatan on the day of his wedding or a boy who became bar mitsvah that
day. He was not sure whether one would be obliged to make a hosaphah on
shabbat to accommodate him.

As regards davenning, nobody has the right to impose himself on the
tsibbur and a gabbai would be perfectly entitled to refuse to allow him
to do so. If the person, and his ability to act as shaliach tsibbur, is
unknown, it is probably prudent not to allow him to do so to avoid the
sort of problems Orrin encountered. This would apply on weekdays and,
even more so, on Shabbat or Yomtov when, in those shuls which employ a
chazan, it is generally accepted that even regular members do not take
the amud when they have yahrzeit.

Martin Stern


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Mon, 08 Aug 2005 18:57:53 -0400
Subject: Borders of Israel

In last week's parsha (Ma'asei) God tells Moses the borders of Israel.

It is very interesting to compare these against the modern borders of
the state of Israel.  It doesn't extend nearly as far south (most of the
Negev is not included), but it extends much further north (including
most of Lebanon, some of Syria and possibly even a small piece of

Which brings to mind an interesting question.  With regard to the
halachot that are different between Isral and galut (like Shmita and
keeping an extra day of Yom Tov), which way do you practice if you're

  - A place that's in modern Israel, but not in Torah-Israel (like Elat)

  - A place that's not in modern Israel, but is in Torah-Israel (like

-- David


From: Eliyahu Shiffman <sunhouse@...>
Date: Mon, 08 Aug 2005 21:03:50 +0200
Subject: Disengagement ethics

One questiion I have with respect to the disengagement is, given all the
current halachically-based objections to the disengagement plan, why was
there little or no halachic objection publicly expressed when PM Ehud
Barak took Israel out of southern Lebanon in 2000?  I would have thought
that, if leaving Gaza presents a halachic problem, all the more so would
leaving southern Lebanon present one, since its status as part of Eretz
Yisrael is more definite than is Gaza's.  Is the reason based on the
fact that only the IDF was in control of southern Lebanon (that there
were no civilian settlements)?  Or is this inconsistency based on
emotional and/or politically factors?

Eliyahu Shiffman
Beit Shemesh, Israel 

From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Mon, 08 Aug 2005 18:41:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Disengagement Ethics

I won't begin to speculate on whether Israel's current policy is within
halacha or not, but one particular law comes to mind that might be

If an army lays siege to a city and demands that a specific person be
given over, the city is supposed to give that person over.  The premise
being that the person commanding the army has a score to settle with
that individual, and it is wrong to endanger an entire city over a
personal matter.

On the other hand, if an army lays siege to a city and demands that a
person be given over, without naming anyone in particular, the city is
supposed to refuse and fight the army.  The premise here being that the
person commanding the army is simply interested in killing Jews, not in
settling a real grievance.  Furthermore, you are not permitted to kill
an innocent person, even if doing so may save the lives of thousands.

Clearly, this law is more complicated than my simple summary, but they
concept may still be applicable somehow to today's situation.

-- David


From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Mon, 08 Aug 2005 20:30:27 -0400
Subject: RE: Making Threats you dont intend to keep

From: Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...>

>Over and above Davids point that sooner or later someone will call your

Were a teenager who walks to school in front of my house to do something
bad, I would not try bluffing him.  The same kids are here 180 days a
year for three years. But at the other extreme, there are other people I
will never see again, or they will only have one opportunity to do
something bad to me.  There may even be times when I know I can
intimidate someone.

>... STAY **FAR** AWAY FROM FALSEHOOD applies to certain court
>situations: e.g. If your friend owes you $100 and is reluctant to pay
>you shouldn't sue for $200 so that he will confess to half. Similarly
>if 3 people are owed money, then two of them should not claim to be
>disinterested witnesses to a loan to the third party so that they can
>back the money that is rightfully theirs To be fair these items apply
>to courts but perhaps we can learn from them in other situations

I do see the similarity, but another difference is that the examples you
give are about money, and my concern is self-protection, either physical
or in this case emotional.  Though I have thought about this before, the
particular example that started this off was given in a non-Jewish
newsgroup, in which a freshman girl, S2, in college was taken out to
dinner by her uncle, encouraged by him to drink, taken back to his hotel
room, where she fell asleep and woke up in the morning naked, having no
memory of what happened.  The uncle, the blood aunt's husband, said
nothing.  When the girl's family found out, it was divided: the mother
didn't want to take sides, the grandmother was on the aunt (and uncle's)
side.  Ten years later she still does not know what happened to her, but
her mother has invited this man and his wife, the aunt, to the youngest
sister's wedding.  No one thought he would accept, but they did, and for
the sake of argument, he's been disinvited but laughs and says he's
coming anyway.  They live in another city.  The bride and a third sister
know what happened and none of the three sisters want him there.
Placing guards at the church doors and the doors where the reception is
to be, or calling the police when he comes, will damage or ruin the
wedding, and cause many people to know what may have happened to the
middle sister.  A small threat might be enough from a big man, but from
women in their 20's maybe only a big threat is intimidating.  If,
ch"vsh, the sisters were Jews, would they be allowed to threaten to tell
this guy's wife what happened, to break his legs, or to kill him (later)
if he came to the wedding?.  Would the rule be different for gentiles?

If the guy is a rapist, it's going to take a lot of fear to make him act
the way he should. They're not going to actually do any of these things.
They'll probably get the minister to try to or the police to get him to
leave if he shows up, and one or all three of the sisters will feel sour
or worse for the rest of the wedding day, and maybe much longer for the
girl who woke up in his bed.

<meirman@...>  Baltimore, MD, USA


From: Emmanuel Ifrah <emmanuel_ifrah@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 01:47:24 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Polygamy

On the issue of polygamy, Mark Steiner wrote:

> 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).

In "Olelot" (chapter 5), R. Reuven Margaliot comments on a text from the
Yerushalmi Yevamot (4:12) about a man who, as a yabam, married the wives
of his 12 brothers and hence ended up with 13 wives. This man is
identified by R. Margaliot as being Bar Kappara.

As an aside, polygamy did exist until very recently in North Africa and
particularly in the most traditional communities. However, cases of
polygamy have always been presented to me as exceptionnal.  When
families with 2 wives immigrated to Israel, they were recognized as
legal based on the "personal status" rules.


From: Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 01:22:06 GMT
Subject: Pressure to get Married

There seems to be disagreement towards my idea that pressuring someone
to get married is a violation of "thou shall not covet". Let me change
the approach: Is there a prohibition--Biblical or Rabbinical? Is it
completely allowed? For example, would the pressurer be violating the
prohibition of causing emotional anguish (Lo Tonu). In passing I dont
believe my arguments have been fully answered: For example I argued that
if the man "acquires" then the women must be "selling" (presumably the
right to have relations to her). This is an argument of content: One
person attempted to refute this with a language argument since the
Talmud speaks about the women "being acquired(passive)" However
interesting the Talmudic language is I dont see how that refutes the
argument of content. But for the moment I would like to reverse and ask
if anybody believes there is some prohibition.  

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: David Cohen <ddcohen@...>
Date: Tue, 09 Aug 2005 00:14:31 -0400
Subject: Tune for "Eli Tziyon"

Way back in MJ Vol. 29 #35 (August 3, 1999), there was a discussion
about the tune of "Eli Tsiyon," stemming from a report that R' YB
Soloveitchik had mentioned that it is intentionally the same as the
nusach used for "beneih veitekha ke-va-techilah" and other such passages
in the yom tov davening.  He can also be heard singing it this way in
Boston in 1978 at http://www.613.org/rav/ravtish7852655.ram.

At the time (in what I believe was my very first mail-jewish post), I
noted that this did not quite match the tune that I had always heard,
though it was close.  I wrote:

> My personal guess (only a guess, without any evidence to back it up)
> is that that's how Eli Tziyon was always originally sung back in
> Europe, and somehow over the years, it's changed into the song with the
> steady rhythm that we know today.  It's close enough that it's pretty>
> easy to see how that could have happened.  Does anybody have any
> recollection of, or know of Eli Tziyon commonly being sung like that
> anywhere?

Six years later, I think I have an answer, thanks to the just-published
Volume Two of Sholom Kalib's "The Musical Tradition of the Eastern
European Synagogue."  The tune that I am familiar with is labeled as the
"East Central European (Galicia/Czechoslovakia/Hungary) nusach," while
the way that R' Soloveitchik sang it is labeled as the "Eastern European
nusach."  Thus, while the East Central European nusach seems to have
become more popular in America (probably because it can be more easily
implemented as a rhythmic song), it is not surprising that R'
Soloveitchik, who came from Eastern Europe, sang it the way that he did.
Interestingly enough, on that recording from Boston, the congregation
seems to mostly respond with the East Central European / American

May we merit seeing discussions of the tune for "Eli Tsiyon" become of
historical interest only.



From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 08 Aug 2005 16:56:43 -0400
Subject: RE: Visitors in shul

>From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
>We live in a very mobile society (fact) and a very insensitive one
>(opinion.)  And one with many diverse davening minhagim (fact.)
>It is not uncommon to have visitors at davening.  Some visitors are
>sensitive to being in a "strange" place and are careful listeners.
>Others step boldly in as if they're davening in their home base, or
>worse yet -- as if everyone else's nusach is wrong.

In a year of aveilus it is common to visit many shuls with differing
minhagim. For example, twice a week my schedule was such that I davened
in a chasidishe minyon in the afternoon. They never offered me the amud,
which was fine with me, and it was easy enough for me to recite the
kaddish with their nusach. I felt and still feel that it is a measure of
arrogance to insist on your own nusach in such a circumstance. But once
my effort at accommodation was an utter failure:

I was in a strange shul (more like a "shtiebel") for the first (and
only) time. The gabbai asked if there was a chiyuv present. I looked
around and, seeing no others, I raised my hand. He looked me over, and
declared that I needed a "hittel", a hat, to cover my kipah, and he
scurried off to find one. He returned with a battered, stained, and
generally disreputable-looking black hat. I inspected it and decided
that I would rather forego the honor than to put that on my head. A very
nice-looking and well-dressed young man observed this exchange, and
offered me his very beautiful hat. I declined with copious thanks, but
he was insistent.  His hat was a size too small, but he was so insistent
that I had to agree to take it. At that point, the gabbai gave me a
"gartel" and offered to tie it for me. Impressed though I was with their
efforts to accommodate me and to perform this beautiful mitzvah of
hachnasat orchim, at that point I started to feel that I was
impersonating someone else, and had to decline the honor. Was I wrong?
Is there a "Randy Cohen" in the house?

b'shalom--Bernie R.


End of Volume 49 Issue 45