Volume 49 Number 49
                    Produced: Thu Aug 11  4:50:33 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brich Shmeih on Shabbat
         [Stephen Phillips]
Chassidic Stories
"For" the Amud
         [Rabbi Edward Goldstein]
Jews and "ogresses"
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Jews in German army
         [Shalom Carmy]
Jews in WWI
         [Nathan Lamm]
Pidyon HaBen (2)
         [Ben Katz, Nathan Lamm]
Seperation of Church and State (4)
         [Jeanette Friedman, Ed Greenberg, Chaim Shapiro, Michael Kahn]
Visitors in shul (4)
         [Martin Stern, Carl Singer, Akiva Miller, Michael Kahn]


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 19:23:04 +0100
Subject: Re: Brich Shmeih on Shabbat

> From: Joshua Hosseinof <JHosseinof@...>
> Stephen Phillips wrote:
>> My understand of a Teshuva in Yechoveh Daas (Volume 1 Siman 54) is
>> that the justification for saying Brich Shemei on Shabbos (one
>> normally doesn't ask for one's needs on Shabbos) is that it is said on
>> weekdays as well and is therefore part of the service generally.

> I was quite surprised to read this.  Sephardim only say Brich Shmeih on
> Shabbat.  Looking at the teshuva in Yechaveh Da'at, it is a question
> about saying Avinu Malkenu on Shabbat Rosh Hashannah (he concludes yes
> to say it), and Brich Shmeih is one of the example cases brought down as
> something that is said on Shabbat that is a personal request.  The
> teshuva only mentions saying Brich Shmeih on shabbat as a justification
> for Avinu Malkenu on Shabbat.  The teshuva does not address the
> justifications for Brich Shmeih itself, nor does it indicate that Brich
> Shmeih is said at anytime other than Shabbat.

My understanding of the Teshuvah is that something which is said as part
of the regular prayers (Elokai Netzor is an example) may be said on
Shabbos even if it asking for one's needs. So the justification for
saying Brich Shemei on Shabbos ought to be that one says it at all other
appropriate times as well.

Do the the Edos Mizrach Sefardim (i.e. those who follow the psakim of
Rav Ovadiah Yosef) also only say Brich Shemei on Shabbos?

Stephen Phillips


From: <Shuanoach@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 13:35:39 EDT
Subject: Chassidic Stories

I am looking for references for two stories (i think from chassidic
sources) about:

1) a person who didn't know how to daven, so on yom kippur in shul he,
according to different versions, either whistled or said the aleph bet
instead of the text of the tefilot, and was criticized by baale batim
next to him, until the end when it was revealed, in diff. ways in diff.
editions, that his tefilah is the greatest of all those in the shul.

2) Jew from a village has a dream that in the city somewhere, usually by
a bridge, is buried a treasure. Goes to city, there he tells a person
the story. That guy says its ridiculous to listen to such dreams and
anyways, he had a dream that in village is buried treasure in place
X. and he is certainly not going to said village. The Jew realizes this
guy is talking about the Jew's own house so he goes back home and the
treasure is his.

I am looking for BOOKS which have these stories, with, if especially
references to original hebrew books and sources.  Thanks



From: <bernieavi@...> (Rabbi Edward Goldstein)
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 08:31:13 -0400
Subject: "For" the Amud

This comes from the German/Yiddish FARN, meaning 'in front of'.

Rabbi Edward Goldstein Woodmere NY


From: Yeshaya Halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 06:25:00 -0500
Subject: Jews and "ogresses"

Shalom, All:

The late Harry Golden Sr. (author of "Only in America" etc.)  was very
much against using the word "Jewess." He pointed out that nobody ever
called anyone a "Christianess" or a "Protestantess" or "Catholicess."

Using "ess" at the end of "Jew" was a way to dehumanize us. Ogres had
ogresses, lions had lionesses etc.

About the only positive exception that comes to mind is "prince" and

Kol Tuv,
Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


From: <carmy@...> (Shalom Carmy)
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 10:37:02 -0400
Subject: Jews in German army

> Jews served in the German army as a greater percentage (of Jews) than
> nonJews (as a percentage of their groups).  The Germans kept excellent
> records on this but lied about the statistics in order to minimize the
> number of Jews reported as having served.

To the best of my recollection of the scholarly literature, this is the
story.  After many comments about Jews avoiding military service, the
government did a study, in the middle of the war. The results were that
Jews were doing their share and more, both in numbers and in risky
assignments. The government did not lie. They simply did not release the

A similar situation existed in the US during World War II.


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 06:56:46 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Jews in WWI

Hillel Markowitz writes,

> Rabbi Wein in a recent tape of the month pointed out that Jews served
> in the German army as a greater percentage (of Jews) than nonJews (as
> a percentage of their groups). The Germans kept excellent records on
> this but lied about the statistics in order to minimize the number of
> Jews reported as having served.

Ben Hecht was a correspondent in Germany immediately after World War I,
and notes with irony that only once in that tumultuous and economically
depressed period did he hear of "Jews" as a separate group. His chauffer
passed a cemetery and asked if he'd like to see it- it was for Jewish
war dead. He was told that while Jews were 1.5% of the population, they
accounted for 3% of the dead. He then goes on to discuss how less than
twenty years later, the country could try to kill all of the Jews in

Nachum Lamm


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 18:59:55 -0500
Subject: Re: Pidyon HaBen

         Why does the first born son of a woman who is a bat kohen or
bay levi NOT have a pidyon haben?  This is the only example of "yichus"
(status, as oppossed to religion) following the mother.  I know the
shulchan aruch brings a pasuk to justify this, but the logic of the
limud has never been satisfying to me.

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: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 06:52:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Pidyon HaBen

Fenella wrote:

> If the mother has no previous, normally delivered children then Pidyon
> Haben is needed.

It should be pointed out that this should be "previous children". If the
first child is born through a c-section, it is still the bechor, and
while no pidyon is needed, a second child born naturally does not need
one either, as it is not the bechor.

> Also if the father is a Levi (or, in a different scenario, a Cohen)
> there is an exemption.

Also, if the mother is a bat Kohen or bat Levi, there is no pidyon. Some
versions of the ceremony begin, "Ishti HaYisraelit yalda li..."

You can begin to see why the ritual is so rare: Half of families (on
average) will have first born girls.  About ten percent of the
population or more is a Kohen or a Levi; even allowing for marriage
within the shevet, that cuts out about 15% more. Allowing for ever more
common C-sections and miscarriages (or abortions) eliminates more.

Nachum Lamm


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 17:41:21 EDT
Subject: Re: Seperation of Church and State

      Neo-paganism is growing by leaps and bounds in this country.

No, it's not. Evangelical Chrisitianity and Islam are.


From: Ed Greenberg <edg@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 05:21:25 -0700
Subject: Re: Seperation of Church and State

> Everyone on this list knows what will happen if the wall between
> Church and State gets broken in this country.  At least they do if
> they've ever read a history book.  It's possible to hold fiercely
> strong religious views without trying to insinuate them into the laws
> of the only country ever created in which everyone is supposed to be
> safe from the religions of others.

Anybody who would like to visualize this would need only to read a
novella called "If This Goes On-" by Robert Heinlein. It's found in two
books, "Revolt in 2100" and also in "The Past through Tomorrow."

We Jews are in there, though hard to spot, and so are some other
regularly suppressed folks.


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 09:48:19 EDT
Subject: Seperation of Church and State

Lisa Liel provides a rather alarming perspective on what would happen if
the Wall between Church and State is breached in this country.  I must
remind her that the "wall of separation" is based on Constitutional case
law, and is NOT found in the Bill Of Rights.  What's more, she says,
"Would you like to see 'In God and Goddess We Trust' on your money if
they (Neo Paganist) some day become a majority?"  The logical problem is
that it does say "In G-d we trust" on our money currently and Lisa who
calls for a full wall of separation, not only acknowledges that such a
phrase is acceptable, she decries its alteration.  That is hugely

Truth is the US is a religious country with many religious traditions
that do NOT challenge our freedom.

Chaim Shapiro

From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 23:06:40 -0500
Subject: Re: Seperation of Church and State

>Would you like to see "In God and Goddess We Trust" on your money if
>they some day become a majority?  Would you like to see divorce made
>absolutely illegal, and remarriage prosecutable under bigamy laws, if
>Catholics become a majority?

If the "church" ever took over in America it would be the Protestant


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 10:22:53 +0100
Subject: Re: Visitors in shul

on 10/8/05 9:51 am, <D26JJ@...> (Jeffrey Kaufman) wrote:

> I do usually wear a hat for davening but I did not have it with me
> when I hurried to catch the last Mincha before Shkia at a popular
> "Minyan Factory" in Flatbush (where on occasion I get to daven for the
> amud). The gabbai (knowing that I am a chiyuv) offered me the amud. I
> politely declined explaining that I did not have my hat with me. (The
> shul requires the shat"z to wear a jacket, hat and gartel - they
> supply the gartel) Three people graciously offered me their hats. Two
> of them fell over my ears and one sat on the top of my head like a
> little tin cup. I told them that all these hats look foolish on me
> therefore I could not wear any of them. Someone said that no one cares
> what it looks like. I told him that if we wear a hat because of Kavod
> it is certainly not "kavodik" to look like a fool. I did not go to the
> amud.

Why did Jeffrey not simply wear a tallit? This is the minhag in many
shuls for minchah and, in some, also for ma'ariv even after night,
because of kavod hatsibbur. He could have put over his head which would
have been at least as good as wearing a hat. Even if always wearing a
tallit for minchah was not the local custom, surely it is only that it
is not necessary to do so, not that it is never to be done, so this
should have not raised any objection, especially if the circumstances,
as in his case, were obvious.

Martin Stern

From: Carl Singer <csngr@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 08:37:24 -0400
Subject: Visitors in shul

> Perhaps a welcoming notice should be put up as, I believe, is done in
> Carl's shul which can 'warn' visitors of any unusual 'major' local
> minhagim. For example, I have suggested that my shul draws visitors'
> attention to our minhag that only one person says each kaddish and that
> they should speak to a gabbai if they wish to say one. More minor
> variations are best left out in order not to overburden visitors.

To clarify, we have a sign for our 7:00 AM Shabbos minyan that states,
(1) Welcome, (2) We begin Schochayn Ahd at 7:25 -- more informative than
detailed minhagim.

We rely on the gabbai to advise a guest schatz of minhagim.  But I've
seen shuls with a spec sheet of sorts (for example, the Chassan will
repeat the entire Modim, aloud) for the shatz.

Carl  A. Singer Ph.D.
Passaic, NJ 07055-5328

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 11:04:31 GMT
Subject: Re: Visitors in shul

Jeffrey Kaufman wrote 

> I told them that all these hats look foolish on me therefore I could
> not wear any of them. Someone said that no one cares what it looks
> like. I told him that if we wear a hat because of Kavod it is
> certainly not "kavodik" to look like a fool. I did not go to the amud.

I am very glad to hear of people who are taking this very reasonable
approach. One of my pet peeves is when a person feels that it is
important to wear a jacket for such situations, and puts on some sort of
windbreaker or football jacket. It usually seems to me that he'd look
more dignified without it.

Also, if someone else took the trouble to wear one of these garments and
I was lacking them, I'd be extremely hesitant about borrowing from
them. Why is my mitzvah more important than theirs? I'd rather let
someone else be the chazan. Even if I was in avelus, I'd prefer the
zechus of letting him have his own hat, over the zechus of leading the
shul while he wears just a yarmulka.

Akiva Miller

From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 23:03:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Visitors in shul

I daven in a yeshiva which does not tolerate anyone who even thinks of
not following their minhagim in tfilah. In their summer camp many
"outsiders" are unaware that only the shatz says magen Avos Friday
night. If someone starts saying it out loud the whole Beis Medrash
shushes them.

Incidentally, this yeshiva does not say Brich Shmay.


End of Volume 49 Issue 49