Volume 49 Number 96
                    Produced: Thu Nov 10  6:08:01 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Christian phone directories - very disturbing!
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Mode of Dress and Tefilah
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Non Observant Witnesses
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
Public Schools and "dejudaizing" Jewish Children
         [W. Baker]
Q re story of early 20th century rabbi declaring matzoh treyf ov er
         [Rich, Joel]
Reasons for Denying Aliyos
         [Jeanette Friedman]
See my shiny new bicycle
         [Frank Silbermann]
Shomer Shabbat Ketubah Witnesses
         [Asher Grossman]
Shul Ritual Objects Needed
         [Warren Burstein]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 13:53:04 +0200
Subject: Christian phone directories - very disturbing!

I noticed - thrown in as an aside in another item of either the
Jerusalem Post or the HaAretz English paper - that over 100 America
communities now publish "Christian Phone Directories." That would seem
to me to be the equivalent of the "Don't buy Jewish" - carried out to
its extreme by the Nazis (before they got around to simply killing all
the Jews).

Does anyone have any further input about this nefarious trend?

Shmuel Himelstein


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 11:04:20 EST
Subject: Kaddish

Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...> wrote:

<In the second part of kaddish, are the dalet in yit'hadar and the lamed
in yit'halal properly with a kamatz or patach (or is it a kamatz for one
and patach for the other)?  Art Scroll has a kamatz in both places;
Birnbaum and an Eidot Hamizrach sidur I looked have a patach in both
places; my trusty A. Hyman Charlap sidur sometimes has it all three
ways; and all three ways appear in transliterations on the Web.>

The earliest printed Ashkenazi Kaddish that I know off, Selichot Piva de
Sako  1475 has Patach, NOT KAMATZ for both. I am unsure if this is the
correct Latin spelling of the printing place, as the place of printing is
still in dispute.  See the page for yourself at


Also the same is in the Machzor Minhagei Rome 1486. See the page for
yourself at:


Please note that the nikkud of the both texts appears to me to be
manual, after the printing of the book. I do not know when and who added
the nikkud.

I have asked the help of a nikkud expert who said that both nikkudim are
correct, that is, it could be either Patach or Kammatz, but going by the
oldest printed text I prefer Patach as Birenbaum has. Rinat Israel of
Shmolo Tal has Kamatz for both.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Michael <mordechai@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 08:46:57 -0500
Subject: Marriage

>From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
>I am NOT disputing Michael's concern. However I do want to point out the
>"other side." That is: If they are at least DISCUSSING IT then there is
>room to believe that the marriage (and spiritual growth) will work out.
>Let us be realistic: Husbands and wives DISCUSS "which way to follow"
>all the time. I think a marriage is more in danger when these issues are
>not discussed.

I understand Russell's statement.  I want to make it clear I don't want
to get to much into the specifics of this marriage, not knowing the
specific people involved.

As a more general note their often can be a problem when a person first
starts to get interested in becoming religious.  They aren't Shomer
Shabbos, so a observant person won't/shouldn't marry them because they
aren't observant enough.  So they date in the secular world they
considering are leaving and get involved with people who aren't
interested in moving in a religious direction.

In this case I'm not sure if they are discussing it, or if the chosen
wants a kosher marriage and his kalla told him she insists on having non
observant witnesses on the ketuba.  If thats the case it's not a
discussion but a conflict.  If its a real discussion and she just wants
to know if she can have her non observant friends sign a kosher ketuba
for a kosher marriage its a different discussion.  It's also different
if he really doesn't care if the marriage is kosher but was just asking
to see if he could do it as well as have non kosher witnesses.  There
are alot of specifics I don't know of this case that would impact the

For us in the observant community we need to consider this in the
context of our culture that you must be married.  I think their is a
point in a potential baal teshuva's live where they aren't in a personal
position to be married.  We need to make sure not to pressure people in
the midst of this potential lifestyle change to get married.


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 10:03:38 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Mode of Dress and Tefilah

>From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
>Well, we know that when the Jews left Egypt, they were wearing kapotas
>and streimlach, and the kids were wearing chasish caps.  If you don't
>believe me, I can show you the pictures that my kids bring home from
>school.  Also, I have pictures proving that Avraham Avinu wore a round
>bowler type black hat.

I remember those coloring book pages as well.  Dasan and Aviram were
cleanshaven and wore business suits (without a vest).

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


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 22:26:20 +0200
Subject: Non Observant Witnesses


Regarding Mr. Nudleman's dilemma of signing non- observant witnesses to
the ketubah to give them honors.

Traditional weddings have a tenaim signing before the hupah.  The tenaim
today does not have validity. It is merely symbolic. Yet signing the
document is still considered an honor.  Why not have the non observant
witnesses sign the tenaim?


From: W. Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 15:08:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Public Schools and "dejudaizing" Jewish Children

I don't want to just repeat all of the excellent post of the history of 
American education regarding Catholic and Jewish immigrant children in the 
19th and early 20th centuries, but do keep it in mind.

By the time most of the Jewish Eastern European immigrants arrived and
their kids went to school a large proportion of the NYC teaching staff
was Irish, usually ladies, who were "good Catholics.  Although the bible
translation used in school assemblies even until the early 1960's when I
was teaching in NYC high schools, the staff was no longer the monolithic
Protestant base it had been earlier, but was, essentially Christian.

There was a large attempt to "Americanize" the immigrant kids, teaching
them "manners" correct English usage, hygiene and other "necessary"
skills that they would need to function in the new world.  Often, as we
still find today, the kids were the bridge for the parents entry in to
the American world.  I don't know, as I have not heard from my Father or
others of his generation (he was born in NYC in 1897) about
prosyltizing, per se, but there was a large tendency, NOT discouraged by
the schools, to throw out the "baby with the bath water,", or to drop
the "old world" Orthodox religion for something more American.  This was
assisted by many "uptown" Jews who were largely of German, rather than
Eastern European origins, and who were involved in Reform as a "more
American" form of Judaism.  The settlement houses were staffed and
financed by such Jews and many kids happily went along, getting out of
the "onerous" observance that they thought should have been left behind
in the "old country."  I believe that this was a common pattern of
immigrant groups, although in most cases it was cultural not religious
patterns that were dropped, as the families were largely Christian to
begin with.

It is important to remember that each immigrant group, as it assimilated
looked down on the newer arrivals as ignorant, unwashed, and , probably,
mentally defective.  This still was going on during my teaching years
regarding Hispanic and African American immigrants form rural areas.
The proverbial "they" who couldn't possibly learn, etc.  I was fortunate
to be inoculated against this because of my first teaching job in the
Bronx.  We had a large group of African American students who were the
grandchildren of the Pullman porters, whose kids had become civil
servants and teachers, etc.  These kids I taught were the ones who were
upwardly striving.  Looking for extra assignments for extra credit so
they could attain the 85% average then necessary to gain admittance to
the City Colleges, that had earlier educated my Father's generation of
poor Jews.  It was crystal clear to me that the issue was cultural, not
genetic when students I later encountered had bad work habits,
anti-intellectual attitudes, etc.

I think this attitude, of not being able to separate newness from
religion or , as now, race, was the problem that so many groups suffered
from in their early years.

Wendy Baker


From: Rich, Joel <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 08:07:01 -0500 
Subject: Q re story of early 20th century rabbi declaring matzoh treyf ov er

> From: <casinger@...> (Carl Singer)
> In the mid-19th century (in Europe) Rav Yisroel Salanater, a gadol haDor,
> when too ill to perform his annual supervision of the baking of matzoh
> was asked by his talmidim what they should look for when they did the
> supervision.
> The response was to make sure that the baker does not yell at the
> almonehs (widows) who were working for him.

2 explanations:
1. If their middot were questionable how much more so the
matzot (use this for your spiritual friends)
2. If the workers are afraid of the owner they won't tell him when they
make mistakes and thus chametzdik matzos will be sold(use this for your
rationalists friends)

Joel Rich


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 13:11:24 EST
Subject: Re: Reasons for Denying Aliyos

> Does anyone know about halakhic grounds for denying aliyot to men
> and/or the actual practice in Orthodox shuls today?

Men who beat their wives and refuse to go for counseling are denied
kibudim, men who beat their children, recalcitrant husbands....in other
words, perpetrators of domestic violence are being barred in some shuls.

And yes, people know who they are in many cases. Especially the rabbi.



From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 08:18:29 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: See my shiny new bicycle

>       I don't know anyone that would agree with anyone "who publicly
>       scolded" anyone. What are we coming to? Do we need to offer
>       classes in menschlichkeit?
Jeanette Friedman (<FriedmanJ@...>) in V49 N93:
> The answer to that loaded question is that >YES< we DO have to offer
> classes in menschlichkeit, because there is very little left in the
> Jewish community at large.

I've been told that Derikh Eretz means "good manners."

New Orleans never had a Jewish high school, so people asked me why I
sent my oldest daughter to high school in Memphis, Tennessee instead of
Brooklyn I would reply, "To learn Torah v' Derich Eretz."

When they asked, "Couldn't she get that in New York?", I jokingly asked
in mock amazement, "Derekh Eretz in New York?  Since when?"  :-)

Come to Memphis, Tennessee and experience frumkeit with Old South manners!

Frank Silbermann	(formerly of New Orleans, LA, now in Memphis, TN)


From: Asher Grossman <asherg@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 02:21:03 -0500
Subject: Re: Shomer Shabbat Ketubah Witnesses

There have been a few answers posted, which pointed out that R.
Nudelman's question is in regard to the Ketubbah - not the actual

While, indeed, the validity of the Ketubba has no connection with the
validity of the marriage itself, the Ketubba is a valid and binding
legal document, detailing various financial obligations (and some
behavioral ones too), to which the husband commits himself. If it is
signed by invalid witnesses - it is invalid. The rules for valid
witnesses are clear, and just as you wouldn't have a 1st degree relative
signing the ketubba (e.g a brother or uncle) a non Shomer Shabbat
witness is also not a valid witness.

If there is no valid ketubba it is not just a simple matter of not being
allowed to live under the same roof. The Rambam in Hilchot Ishut 10,9
makes it clear that they are not allowed to cohabit, and, if they did,
it would be considered adulterous. I doubt anyone will wish to begin
his/her married life under such circumstances, and (without delving into
mysticism) to have their children conceived in such circumstances. So
while the validity of the ketubba will have no direct bearing on the
validity of the Kiddushin, it definitely has bearing on the marriage

Asher Grossman


From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 19:08:40 +0200
Subject: Re: Shul Ritual Objects Needed

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
><morissa.rubin@...> (Morissa Rubin) stated on Tue, 08 Nov 2005
>      We are looking for a Ner Tamid. Does anyone know of any shuls that
>      are remodeling and might have one they will no longer be using?
>      or have other suggestions as to where to look. Though our building
>      is modernish we'd love to have either an antique or tradtional
>      looking lamp.
>In a book published some years ago, it was stated that the use of such a
>light in certain synagogues is actually a Frankist custom and should be

Did the charge of Frankism it relate to any Ner Tamid, or only to an
"antique or traditional looking lamp"?  In all synagogues, or only in
"certain synagogues"?

I would have been happy to offer the first poster my shul's Ner Tamid,
were it not for her preference for antique/traditional (and the minor
detail that I don't have the right to give away shul property).  A
photograph of the item in question can be found at


End of Volume 49 Issue 96