Volume 49 Number 95
                    Produced: Thu Nov 10  5:47:48 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Book "Tamim Tihyeh" and Kabbalists
Chida's Viduy
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Kohanim  & Cemeteries
         [David Neuman]
Mabul, brit Noach and current storms
Munkaczer and Antizionism
Ne'emanus of non-shomer-shabbos family members re kashrus
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
New Orleans and G-d's reasoning...
Separation of Church & State - Perspective
         [Robert Sherer]
Simkhes Toyre Lid le-Rivkah Tiktiner - New Publication
         [Yael Levine]


From: <Shuanoach@...> (Josh)
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 13:50:43 EDT
Subject: Book "Tamim Tihyeh" and Kabbalists

I just began reading the book Tamim Tihyeh by R. Yaakov Moshe Hillel of
Jerusalem. He says that he wrote it at the behest of Gedolei ha-Dor (as
you can see also from the approbations) because of the explosion of
"kabbalists", wonder-working "rabbis", and people giving out kemei'yot
(amulets) and doing things like palm reading in the jewish community.
Does anyone know of any particular publicized events of this sort in the
1980s in Israel which aroused the ire of many rabbis?



From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 10:12:52 EDT
Subject: Chida's Viduy

Does anyone know where I can get a translated (preferably
transliterated) copy of the Chida's Viduy?

Thank you,
Chaim Shapiro


From: David Neuman <daveselectric@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 08:43:23 -0400
Subject: Kohanim  & Cemeteries

Does anyone know how a Kohen may go into a cemetery?  And, in which

duvid neuman


From: <CARATSTONE@...>
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 08:02:12 EDT
Subject: Mabul, brit Noach and current storms

The following question is submitted by request of my son

How do rabbanim (or any one else for that matter) explain the situations
in Florida and Thailand last year, and now in Louisiana and Mississippi,
in regards to Bereshit 9:11 when G-d promises that there will never be
another flood that will destroy the earth.  I know it says "Lo yekareit
kol-basar", which technically means that He will never destroy all
flesh, and "lo yihieh od mabul leshachet ha aretz" which means He
wouldn't send a flood that slaughters the earth (destroys the physical
earth).  So if the tsunami and the hurricane don't fall under this
promise because they are not total destruction of all life or the whole
earth, what is the purpose of this brit?


From: <Shuanoach@...> (Josh)
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 13:11:27 EDT
Subject: Munkaczer and Antizionism

does anyone know of any books in which the munkaczer rebbe (darkhei
teshuva or minchas elazar) spell out their views systematically against
zionism (as the satmar rebbe did in divrei yoel)?



From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2005 11:24:31 -0400
Subject: Ne'emanus of non-shomer-shabbos family members re kashrus


A woman I know is totally committed to orthodox Judaism in every way,
after having become baalas teshuva many years ago.  However, her
husband, while respectful and very careful of her beliefs, does not
accept Shabbos observance.  He only eats kosher in the house, and
appears to all eyes to fully observe (out of respect for his wife)
kosher rules at home, but violates the Sabbath rules publicly, not
"l'hachis" (disrespecting) but for his own convenience.

(He is a very honest and respectful person, so perhaps his "ne'emanus"
factor is similar to that R. Moshe Feinstein referred to when he
discussed kashrus of some meat traders who have both kosher and
non-kosher ?)

Is the home halachically kosher, to be permitted to eat there?  Is there
any difference between the wifes halacha and guests?

How about a regular "frum" home where one family member is mechalel

What about where a baalas teshuva or conservative-born person is slowly
accepting new things, and now is kosher and keeps shabbat, but not Yomim

Yossi Ginzberg


From: Anonymous
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 09:56:29
Subject: New Orleans and G-d's reasoning...

Anonymous please.....

On Shabbas, I heard a Shul Rav claim from his pulpit that the disaster in
New Orleans was, at the very least, a message from G-d that the level of
inappropriate behavior in that city had reached the point at which G-d
decided He had to strike the city as a warning to us, as American's to
improve as a people.  The implication was that the Tsunami was a first
warning that was not heeded, so the flooding had to hit closer to home.

I would claim the problems with this approach are myriad, starting with
the fact that NO ONE knows G-ds reasoning for things such as this.  I
would also point out that there have been other logical places for such a
message from G-d that have never been struck, the fact that the epicenter
of immorality in New Orleans, the French Quarter sustained the least
damage and the fact that I heard no Rav (which is no proof as to the lack
of such occurrences) decide that the 9-11 attacks were as a result to a
specific sin.



From: <ERSherer@...> (Robert Sherer)
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 12:16:32 EDT
Subject: Separation of Church & State - Perspective

   I am also old enough to remember the "Blue Laws" in Massachusetts. A
constitutional attack on these laws has usually been brought under the
so-called "Establishment Clause" of the First Amendment, which commands
that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion
 . . . ." which, to the members of the First Congress, meant the creation
of a religious body ("the Established Church") which became the official
religion of the country. An example of this is the Church of England
(known as the Episcopal Church in America), which King Henry VIII
established in his kingdom because the incumbent Pope refused to let him
divorce one of his wives, the Roman Catholic Church then being the
Established Church. Of course, an established church, or the government
which established it, can be as tolerant as it pleases (compare today's
UK and Saudi Arabia). There is no problem and it is probably a good idea
to keep governments out of the business of operating a religion. The
problem comes when people try to use the Establishment Clause to
establish atheism or something called "freedom from religion". Let me
give you an example: In 1950, the Town of Dover, Massachusetts, faced
what it considered a problem. It seemed that one of the orders of the
Catholic Church wanted to build a seminary (to educate and train young
men to become priests) on land that the church had acquired in Dover. As
quickly as it could, the selectmen of Dover called a Town Meeting to
amend the town's zoning law. The amendment, which the town meeting
quickly adopted, related to what non-residential property could be built
in a residential district. One of the non-residential uses permitted in
a residential district under the amendment was "education, provided it
is not religious or sectarian . . . "  In other words, Northeastern
University could buy up as much land as it could in the Town of Dover,
but Lubavich Yeshiva was outlawed. The Massachusetts Legislature quickly
adopted an amendment to Chapter 40A of the General laws, the chapter
which authorizes each of the state's municipalities to adopt zoning
laws.  The amendment imposed a limitation on the zoning powers of the
cities and towns by adding the proviso "that no such ordinance or by-law
shall prohibit or limit the use of land for educational or religious
purposes."  As soon as the amendment took effect, the Attorney General
of Massachusetts brought an action in the court against the Town of
Dover to declare the anti-religion provision in its by-law null and
void. Several years later, another Catholic order (Sisters of the Holy
Cross) wanted to build a girls' college in Brookline. The Town of
Brookline brought its case against the order, arguing that it was
unconstitutional as a violation of the Establishment Clause for
Massachusetts to favor religion by protecting it from being restricted
out by the zoning. The Supreme Judicial Court avoided the First
Amendment issue by noting that "Sisters is acting in its educational

   Of course, nobody, other than the people who walk to shul, wants to
have a shul in his immediate neighborhood, and people who would talk of
the Constitution as guarantor of "freedom from religion" are not our
friends and should be viewed carefully as allies. The outcome in favor
of Sisters of the Holy Cross saved Maimonides the time and money for
bringing its own case. Last year, Massachusetts allowed the public and
the merchants a one-day exemption from the sales tax. It was a huge
success for the merchants and the public who thronged the stores where
merchandise was sold and bought without adding 5% to the price for sales
tax. Unfortunately, last year, the one day chosen was a Shabbos. When
the Legislature proposed another such tax-free day this year, our people
on Beacon Hill were alert to note that Shomrai Shabbos were denied the
benefit of this bargain day, especially in the summer months when
Shabbos isn't out until too late for religious Jews to get to the
stores. It required nothing more than informing people that those of us
who observe Shabbos don't go shopping on Saturdays. This year, the
Tax-Free day was two days, Saturday and Sunday.

Robert Sherer
Brookline, Massachusetts, USA

* I was an associate with firm representing Sisters of the Holy Cross
and worked on the case, aware that Maimonides School, which my sons
attended was going to building its new building within less than a mile
from the site involved in the case.


From: Yael Levine <ylevine@...>
Date: Wed, 07 Sep 2005 19:55:09 +0200
Subject: Simkhes Toyre Lid le-Rivkah Tiktiner - New Publication

I am pleased to announce the publication (Hebrew) of "Simkhes Toyre Lid
le-Rivkah Tiktiner", by Yael Levine (32 pp.) [=Simchas Torah Song by
Rivkah Tiktiner].

Rivkah bat Meir Tiktiner (d. 1605) was the first Jewish woman to compose
a book, the Yiddish musar work for women "Meineket Rivkah" (Rebeka's
Nursemaid). This book was published in two editions, the first was
issued in Prague in 1609. Rivkah Tiktiner is buried in the ancient
Jewish cemetery in Prague, though she arrived there at an unknown date
from Poland.

Rivkah Tiktiner also composed a Yiddish song, "Simkhes Toyre Lid." This
song, consisting of eighty lines, is a hymn of praise to The
Creator. The motif of the future redemption, including the banquet of
the righteous, figures prominently in the second part of the song. The
dates of the composition of both "Simkhes Toyre Lid" and "Meineket
Rivkah" are unknown. Two undated editions of "Simkhes Toyre Lid" have
reached us, which were most probably published in Prague in the
seventeenth century.

The Yiddish version of "Simkhes Toyre Lid" was published in a critical
edition by Chone Shmeruk, first in an article on Rivkah Tiktiner which
appeared in 1978, and subsequently in an updated version in his book
"Sifrut Yiddish be-Polin," published by Magnes Press in 1981. In
"Simkhes Toyre Lid le-Rivkah Tiktiner," the Yiddish critical edition by
Shmeruk is reproduced. This is followed by a Hebrew translation, carried
out in conjunction with Dr. Boris Kotlerman; This is the first Hebrew
translation of "Simkhes Toyre Lid". References to the motifs appearing
in the song are also included.

"Simkhes Toyre Lid" was chanted by women when they decorated the Torah
scrolls prior to Simhat Torah. (See A. Ya'ari, Toldot Hag Simhat Torah,
Jerusalem 1964, p. 464). Despite the fact that in actuality this song
was recited by women, its content is of a general nature, and it is
therefore suggested that its recitation be renewed, and the song be
reclaimed in our time by both men and women alike.

The Yiddish text of "Simkhes Toyre Lid" and its Hebrew translation
appearing in "Simkhes Toyre Lid le-Rivkah Tiktiner," are prefaced with a
scholarly introduction concerning Rivkah Tiktiner and her works. The
introduction commences with the biographical information known about
Tiktiner. A Yizkor prayer in her memory is published for the first time
from the manuscript "Kuntress Beit Knesset Altneushul bi-Prague" (Jewish
Museum of Prague, ms. 113). This prayer is the only known source which
makes mention of her husband. His personal name appears in the prayer.
However, the manuscript is defective in this place, and it is not
possible to discern it.

The introductory chapter also compiles for the first time the evidence
concerning learned women in Prague. Most interestingly, on several
inscriptions in the ancient Jewish cemetery there is reference to women
who devoted their time to Torah study. One of these learned women was
Rivkah (d. 1579), aunt of R. Isaiah Horowitz, the Shelah. Additional
learned women were Feigele Katz, daughter of the Maharal, and mother to
Hava Bacharach. The latter was uniquely learned, and her grandson, R.
Ya'ir Hayyim Bacharach, wrote in the introduction to his book of
responsa "Havot Ya'ir" that he chose this title in her honor. (This work
contains, inter alia, the first responsum concerning women and the
recitation of kaddish). R. Ya'ir Hayyim Bacharach also related in the
preface to this work, in the name of his father, that after her husband
passed away, the Shelah wished to marry her. She, however, chose not to
remarry "in honor of her husband."

"Simkhes Toyre Lid le-Rivkah Tiktiner" is available at the following
locations in Jerusalem: Lichtenstein bookstore on Straus St. near Kikar
ha-Shabbat; Judaica Book Centre on 5 Even Israel St., off King George
St.; Hevruta Book Store on 16 ha-Lamed Hey St. in Old Katamon; Nissan
Levi Store on 9 Keren ha-Kayyemet St., Jerusalem. The price of the
booklet is NIS 20.

Mail orders in Israel are accepted directly from myself at NIS20 + NIS 5
for postage.  Orders from abroad may be placed in one of several ways.
Orders may be placed directly from myself. The copies will be sent
airmail for NIS 20 + NIS 15 postage and handling (payable in shekalim).
Bulk orders (5 copies and above) are payable in dollars (checks only).
Orders abroad may be placed with Sifrei Yerushalayim payable in foreign
currency. Please contact Sifrei Yerushalayim for further details: Email:
<jerbook2@...> or Tel.: 972-2-6433580.


End of Volume 49 Issue 95