Volume 49 Number 85
                    Produced: Tue Aug 30  6:20:10 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Attending a Church Service
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Davening Attire (2)
         [Jeff Kaufman, S Wise]
         [Nathan Lamm]
Eyewitness Account of Death of Yeshiva Boy
Jewish Community in Denver
         [Carl A. Singer]
Mezuzah Question
         [Tobias Robison]
Non-Jewish Translation
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Obligation for Tefilah with Minyan (2)
         [Joel Rich, Akiva Miller]
Rav Kook on the 'ochel bosur' posuk in this weeks sedra
Soft Matzos
         [Asher Grossman]


From: Ira L. Jacobson <iraeljay@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 11:12:46 +0300
Subject: Re: Attending a Church Service

Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...> stated on Sat, 27 Aug 2005 19:56:57

      I think it is possible that at least certain forms of Christianity
      are avoda zara for Jews, but in any event, in response to my
      shaila, I was told that one could attend a church service--in this
      specific case, a funeral mass--for business reasons, e.g., the
      funeral of a business acquaintance.

I can tell you for sure that Harav JD Soloveitchik did not go in to a
Conservative Temple to attend the funeral of a friend--a Conservative
clergyman who attended the Rav's shiur.  Rather, he stood outside, where
I saw him.

Regarding churches, l'havdil, I have heard numerous times that the Rav
forbade entering a church, but I never heard it directly from him.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Jeff Kaufman <sterlingtouch@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 08:14:23 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Davening Attire

> BTW do you think someone who was halachically appropriately dressed
> according to his tradition who approached the kotel to pray for the
> first time in a state of awe and was interrupted by someone to tell
> him his dress wasn't appropriate would have found the incident a great
> inspiration?

On the topic of telling someone they are wrong - I was once told by a
friend who was sitting shiva, that a person came to be "menachem aveil"
and pointed out to her that she "tore k'riah" incorrectly.  Now I have
no idea what the halacha dictates, however, I can tell you she certainly
got no "Nechama" from this person.

Jeff Kaufman

From: <Smwise3@...> (S Wise)
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 18:38:33 EDT
Subject: Re: Davening Attire

      Very moving story and if this speaks to you, that's fine since you
      should do what works for you.  Our discussion is around what
      halacha requires of us, you're speaking about what you perceive
      the reasons to be and what you percieve the implications to be.

      BTW do you think someone who was halachically appropriately
      dressed according to his tradition who approached the kotel to
      pray for the first time in a state of awe and was interrupted by
      someone to tell him his dress wasn't appropriate would have found
      the incident a great inspiration?

      Joel Rich

It's difficult to separate halachah from custom. Some people may think
shorts, sandals and a muscle T-shirt are appropriate attire, but is that
how one should stand before Hashem?  Just a reminder that the original
anecdote that prompted this had to do with davening for the tzibbur.  I
have yet been a to a shul where anyone who just came to daven was asked
to alter his attire.  Not sure what you're driving at with your last
comment, but since it was my first time there I appreciated the
guidance, and would hardly start engaging in an aimless discussion on
what is appropriate dress.  If the Bais Hamikdash were erected and it
was the first time we appeared, I would hope people would dress in a
respectful fashion.  Somehow, sockless and sandals doesn't scream out
respectful, nor do T-shirts with an off-color Bart Simpson expression in
a word balloon.  But once you leave it subjective, that's what you;re
bound to get.  As I wrote in response to a private message on this
topic, I would prefer to follow the example of the gedolim and listen to
their guidance.  That is my personal preference.  But I do think the
reasons people present for dressing jacketless, sleeveless, sockless and
whatever does not come from a conviction that this is a proper way to
dress, it's comes out of convenience.

S. Wise


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 06:24:23 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Esther

Re: Asher Grossman's explanation of the aggada on Esther.

Granted, he is correct when he posits that the Gemara is dealing only
with halakha. However, I don't quite see how one can state that Esther
was living in a "gilded cage" with no chance of escape- and that she
submitted to Achashverosh because her life was at risk- and then say
that she then slept with Mordechai every night. I'm sure harem security
was tighter than that- and even if they could avoid it, they were
certainly risking their lives there- why not elsewhere?


From: <aliw@...> (Arie)
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 23:24:49 +0200
Subject: Re: Eyewitness Account of Death of Yeshiva Boy

I saw this account on aish.com on Friday and printed it out. When I went
today to be menachem aveilim, I gave the printout to Perets, who had not
seen it. I also gave him a note from Avi, and told him I felt I was
there on behalf of the whole list.



From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 16:41:47 -0400
Subject: Jewish Community in Denver

It's been a long time since I've visited.  Any current information on
the Jewish Community in Denver?

Carl Singer


From: Tobias Robison <tobyr21@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 17:16:59 -0400
Subject: Mezuzah Question

There is also a secular legal component to this issue. When you sell a
house, there's an assumption at law (in many jurisdictions) that you are
selling the house itself plus anything permanently attached to it, such
as piping and wiring, and possibly also fixtures inside that are nailed
to the house.

If you plan to sell your house and take the mezuzot with you, your
lawyer might advise you to make that explicit in the contract.

- Tobias D. Robison
Princeton, NJ, USA


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 09:22:14 +0200
Subject: Non-Jewish Translation

David Ziants said:
> In my opinion, proud Jews should make it clear that even their
> translation of "mizmor ledavid, h' ro'i lo ehsar" is off limits to us.

Can you clarify what you find offensive/wrong in that particular
translation? While I never say tehillim in English, I have heard 'the
L-rd is my shepherd' enough times to know most of it by heart, and I
don't see offhand where it strays from the 'pshat' (correct meaning) of
the psalm.

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 07:15:45 -0400
Subject: RE: Obligation for Tefilah with Minyan

>         I double checked last night to be sure.  The word the mechaber
> uses is "Yishtadel" not "Chayav".  I maintain that it is better but most
> certainly not obligatory. 
> Ben Z. Katz, M.D.

You might want to look at igrot moshe O"C 2:27 the paragraph beginning
"vein ldayek mlashon yishtadel" (and one should not deduce from the use
of the word yishtadel(try)) where R'M Feinstein deals with your
objection(bottom line-it's mot a complete requirement but a strong ,
strong preference)

Joel rich

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 13:09:14 GMT
Subject: Re: Obligation for Tefilah with Minyan

Regarding praying with a minyan, Gershon Dubin wrote <<< How about
Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 90:9? There most certainly is an
obligation. >>>

Ben Katz responded <<< I double checked last night to be sure.  The word
the mechaber uses is "Yishtadel" not "Chayav". I maintain that it is
better but most certainly not obligatory. >>>

I fully expected Ben to make that response, so I waited, and now that he
has done so, I'll add my two cents:

I consider that halacha of the Shulchan Aruch 90:9 to be somewhat
ambiguous, perhaps deliberately so. My translation of it would be:

"A person should make an effort (yishtadel) to pray in the synagogue
with the congregation. If he is forced (that he is unable to pray when
the congregation prays), and similarly, if he was forced (and did not
pray when the congregation prayed) and now prays alone -- even so, he
should pray in the synagogue."

Ben's comment is that the Shulchan Aruch COULD HAVE written "A person is
obligated (chayav) to...", but because he chose a different word, it is
clear that there is no obligation.

But this ignores the fact that the same author described the alternate
situation as "forced". The only excuse for praying alone is if he was
*forced* to miss it, or already missed it. Anything less is not a valid
excuse, and from this perspective, we are indeed *obligated* to pray
with the minyan.

In Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 2:27, Rav Moshe Feinstein shows that praying
with the minyan is indeed an obligation, and he explains how far one
must go to meet that obligation, namely, that if one would have to
travel farther than a 'mil' (2000 cubits), then he is indeed
exempt. Then in the third paragraph there, he writes:

"One cannot interpret the phrase 'A person should make an effort to pray
in the synagogue with the congregation' in paragraph 9 to mean that this
is merely a good thing, because this term is also used to describe
obligations. Since the great difficultly of traveling farther than a
'mil' is a valid exemption, one might say that other difficulties which
arise are comparable to being farther than a 'mil'. But since one has to
make this judgment himself, to say that a certain thing makes A too
difficult to do, but does not make B too difficult to do, that's why the
Shulchan Aruch used the phrase "A person must make an effort". The point
is that person must not be lenient, comparing each and every difficulty
to being further than a 'mil', but should be strict on the many
occasions where it is not clear to him that this is a *great*
difficulty, and judge it with all due deliberation."

Akiva Miller


From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 21:10:06 -0700
Subject: Rav Kook on the 'ochel bosur' posuk in this weeks sedra

For those of you familiar with Rav Kook's teachings concerning this
posuk, why does the goal of obtaining a status that would obviate the
need for meat only apply to Jews? The base of his "lecture" is that
nature and mankind did not require meat eating and in the future would
not - but then he discusses the issue from a purely Jewish point of



From: Asher Grossman <asherg@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 01:52:34 -0400
Subject: Soft Matzos

I've gotten several responses to what I wrote about the history of
Matzos, mainly asking for sources.

The main source regarding the original Matzos would be any Yemenite
family, which still practices or at least remembers practicing the old
customs from Yemen. It is well known (although not always acknowledged)
that the Yemenite Jews have preserved the customs of old in the most
accurate forms. It is by them that we can still find ovens like those
mentioned in the Mishna/Gemarah, and some Yemenite families still bake
their own Matzos in this fashion.

More specific information was taken from a booklet, which has been
circulated before Pesach, which deals with the question of machine
matzos. The author, who has received Haskamot from several poskim,
raises questions regarding the machine matzos made now, and claims that
there are problems which are specific to the new breed of machines used
today.  As an introduction to his booklet, the author brings a detailed
history of Matzah-making, which details what I have written. I don't
have this booklet at hand, and so cannot quote its name or the name of
the author.  However, it was widely circulated before Pesach and will
probably be circulated again. If I can find a copy of it, I'll post the

All in all, a soft Matzah makes more sense. To start with, think of
Koreich, but add in the original piece of meat from the Korban Pesach.
Try to do that with a cracker, then think along the lines of a
Yerushalmi Shawarma, wrapped in a pita. Which sounds more like the real
thing? There are more examples to be found.

Asher Grossman


End of Volume 49 Issue 85