Volume 49 Number 99
                    Produced: Mon Nov 14  6:02:09 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brit/giur (3)
         [Asher Grossman, Martin Stern, Akiva Miller]
Chida's Viduy
         [Joshua Meisner]
Curious wording in Tfilla Zako
         [I. Balbin]
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
Kohanim & Cemeteries
         [Chaim Tatel]
Massachusetts / Religious Freedom (2)
         [Ari Trachtenberg, Leah S. Gordon]
Munkaczer and Antizionism (2)
         [Asher Grossman, Perets Mett]
Shabbat/Yom Kippur (3)
         [Menashe Elyashiv, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, Jeff Fischer]
Website for Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants
         [Jeanette Friedman]


From: Asher Grossman <asherg@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 02:02:21 -0500
Subject: Re: Brit/giur

Israel Caspi wrote:

        My question is how can the adoptive father say the b'rachah
      "...v'tzivanu l'hachniso liv'rito shel Avraham Avinu"?  Where are
      we commanded to circumcise a non-Jewish child?  And how can a
      non-Jewish child enter the coveneant of Avraham Avinu?

Actually, the B'racha for the Brit of a ger is different. see Shabbat
137/2, and goes as follows:

The Mohel says: "Vetzivanu al hamila".

The one reciting the B'racha (over the wine) says: "Asher kideshanu
bemitzvotav, vetzivanu lamul et hagerim, Ulehatif mehem dam brit.
She'ilmale dam brit, lo nitkaymu shamayim va'aretz. Shene'emar: Im lo
briti yomam valayla, chukot shamayim va'aretz lo samti. BA"H, koret

To translate: The Mohel's B'racha indeed omits reference to Avraham
Avinu. The other B'racha blesses HaShem for sanctifying us with His
Mitzvot, and commanded us to circumcise the Gerim and draw the Blood of
the Covenant from them. For if not for the Blood of the Covenant, heaven
and earth could not continue to exist. As it says (Yirmiyahu 33/25): If
my covenant is not established with day and night, I have not appointed
the ordinances of heaven and earth."

Gerim are accorder a completely different set of blessings, which
acknowledges their commitment to the Covenant of Am Yisrael and HaShem.

Asher Grossman

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 06:37:38 +0000
Subject: Brit/giur

on 11/11/05 3:43 am, Israel Caspi <icaspi@...> wrote:
> When a non-Jewish infant is adopted, the procedure, based on the gemara,
> is to perform brit milah as soon as possible and then to bring him to a
> mikvah for conversion when he is older and the experience of being
> completely immersed will be less traumatic. This is the procedure even
> if the child is old enough for the mikvah -- i.e., brit milah first,
> then giur.  My question is how can the adoptive father say the b'rachah
> "...v'tzivanu l'hachniso liv'rito shel Avraham Avinu"?  Where are we
> commanded to circumcise a non-Jewish child?  And how can a non-Jewish
> child enter the coveneant of Avraham Avinu?

It is news to me that the adoptive father says this berakhah at
all. AFAIK it is not said at the circumcision (milah, not as yet brit)
of any ger, though we do modify the first berakhah, al hamilah, to limol
et hagerim (Shabbat 137b), implying that it is indeed a mitsvah. Also
the tevilah should take place asap after the milah has healed to avoid
leaving the child's status in limbo.

Martin Stern

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 13:07:43 GMT
Subject: Re: Brit/giur

You are totally correct that such a bracha would not make sense under
such conditions. And in fact, that is NOT the bracha recited at such a

According to the ArtScroll "Bris Milah", page 104, the proper bracha is
"... v'tzivanu lamol es hageirim -- and commanded us to circumcise the

Akiva Miller


From: Joshua Meisner <jmeisner@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 12:55:49 -0500
Subject: Chida's Viduy

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

I unfortunately don't know the answer to your question, but as a side
point, it seems to me that there's no advantage to reading a vidui in a
language that one does not understand, since the purpose is to confess
one's personal sins (perhaps aided by a structure of some sort).
Therefore, if one feels that saying the Chida's viduy would be of help
to them in organizing their thoughts, their best bet would be to read it
in straight English, rather than using a transliteration whose meaning
would be even more foreign to them.

The same goes for the nullification of one's vows (hataras n'darim) and
the nullification of one's chametz (i.e., the kol chamira paragraphs),
which are also merely formulas that are useful to express important
ideas, rather than being ritual t'fillos that have special inherent
value when read in Hebrew (like those that are listed in the 7th (8th?)
perek of Sotah.

- Josh


From: I. Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 09:00:45 +1100
Subject: Curious wording in Tfilla Zako

Unfortunately, I'm usually in a rush when I say Tfilla Zako before Kol
Nidrei (and yes, I'm aware of opinions that say it should be said after,
or some parts omitted). This year I noticed the phrase Kimat Ein Tzadik
Bo'oretz Asher Ya'aseh Tov Velo Yechto [there is *almost* no Tzadik in
the land who does (only) good and did not sin".  This struck me because
the Pasuk says "Ein Tzadik Bo'oretz Asher Ya'aseh ... " [there is *no*
Tzadik in the land who (only) does good and no bad."

I was always under the impression that humans are fallible, and
irrespective of who they are, nobody leaves this world without [at least
one] sin.

I was reading from an Artscroll Machzor.


From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 21:14:15 +0200
Subject: Kabbalists

Josh asks about

	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?

During that time, there were TV news reports on the dozens of people
lining up outisde Rav Kaduri's apartment among other similar phenomenon.

Yisrael Medad


From: Chaim Tatel <chaimyt@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 15:53:33 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Kohanim & Cemeteries

David Neuman <daveselectric@...> asked: 
>Does anyone know how a Kohen may go into a cemetery?  And, in which

Unfortunately, I do have an answer.

My mother, ob"m passed away the second day of Chol HaMoed Sukkos (last
month).  As my family are kohanim, we had to get a plot in the "new"
section of the cemetery, next to the fence.

To get to the plot for the levaya (funeral), we had to enter the
cemetery on the only road wide enough to accommodate us. Meaning, it had
to be at least 16 feet wide so we could walk down the center and not be
within 4 amos (~7 feet, aka 2 meters) of any graves.

My mother's plot is around the corner and to the right of this road. As
we turn the corner, there are graves on the right, but not on the left,
so we walked on the grass on the left side.

In order to set up the shuros (processional rows that the mourners to
exit between) also had to be in the grass. Future funerals of kohanim
could be interesting as this new section fills up.

We can now visit by standing outside near the fence.

Chaim Tatel
(still in sheloshim)


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 09:52:15 -0500
Subject: Re: Massachusetts / Religious Freedom

> From: <ERSherer@...> (Robert Sherer)
> who observe Shabbos don't go shopping on Saturdays. This year, the
> Tax-Free day was two days, Saturday and Sunday.

Yes, but Sunday was Tisha B'av ... and no amount of yelling and
screaming was able to change that.  One wonders what the real reason for
the tax-free extension was.

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>

From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 18:57:38 -0800
Subject: Massachusetts / Religious Freedom

While I am the first person to brag about our progressive laws here in
Massachusetts (e.g. how students/etc. are guaranteed certain workarounds
for chagim), there is one problem with Robert Sherer's claim below:

"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."

Alas, the particular weekend chosen was Tisha-B'av....  I remember it
quite well, since it was just a few months ago!  Eh, what does
"tax-free" really mean anyway, since officially the sales-tax is
supposed to be paid by the seller; s/he could always just not pass it on
to the customer anyway, so it's kind of a fake idea (though admittedly
the government gives the sellers a good reason not to charge the extra
percentage to customers by not charging it ab initio).

And MA has high enough property/state-income taxes that the sales taxes
are kind of low.  Without even getting into the fact that big-ticket
items (cars?) were exempt from this tax-free thing.

But back on the original topic, I still think the less government messes
with religion, the better.  And I'm not actually sure why the opinion
was stated that people would like not to live near a shul (or church?).
My impression is that a house of worship usually raises nearby property
values unless something is awry (e.g. lots of loud rallies or crazy



From: Asher Grossman <asherg@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 02:19:34 -0500
Subject: RE: Munkaczer and Antizionism

The Munkaczer Rebbe, the Minchas Elozor, didn't write a specific book
against Zionism (along the lines of the Satmar Rebbe's "Al HaGe'ula VeAl
Hatmura"). However, his views are printed in various places among his
Seforim. You'll find quotes in his "Sha'ar Yisoschor", in various places
in the 9 volumes of "Divrey Tora", and in the Sefer "Darkei Chaim
VeShalom" - a collection of his customs, which was published after his

Most of his Seforim can be found online at

Asher Grossman

From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 12:55:12 +0000
Subject: Re: Munkaczer and Antizionism

You can find the views of the Munkaczer Rov (the Minchas Elozor) on
Zionism - and the Aguda - in his "Divrei Torah" (published in Bratislava
and probably reprinted more than once since).

Perets Mett


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 11:10:12 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Shabbat/Yom Kippur

> From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
> The following thought came up in discussion with a friend recently:
> When Yom Kippur falls on Shabbos, what is there to stop one from
> starting Shabbos early, making kiddush, having a Shabbos meal, benching,
> and only then bringing in Yom Kippur?  What one gains from this is the
> opportunity to make at least one Shabbos kiddush.
> One problem with this procedure could be the lighting of the Yom Kippur
> candles, but could this be achieved as follows: Light two sets of
> candles, and say the Shabbos blessing over one of them.  When the time
> comes to start Yom Kippur, say the Yom Kippur blessing over the other
> set.

When Yom Kippur falls on Shabbat, one cannot accept Shabbat early and
not Yom Kippur, as they enter together. So no early Shabbat meal or
Kiddush.  There is not a problem of Yom Kippur Kiddush because it does
not exist.  However, there is no need for a Shabbat meal, as this part
of Shabbat is cancelled. Almost all minhagim do not say Kabbalat
Shabbat, even those that say it on Shabbat-Yom Tov. The Ben Ish Hai &
Kaf Hahayim wrote that there is no Neshama Yetaira on Shabbat Yom
Kippur,therefore, in the Birkat Hamazon of Mosaai Shabbat Yom Kippur,
say magdil, not migdol, because it is not a Seuda Riviit.

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 12:01:37 -0500
Subject: Re: Shabbat/Yom Kippur

I would say that "bringing in Shabbos early" would also start the
halachos of Yom Kippur.  It would be the same as any Yom TOv that occurs
on Shabbos.  AS soon as you as "started" Shabbos, it is halachically the
next day.

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

From: Jeff Fischer <jf@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 22:58:38 -0500
Subject: RE: Shabbat/Yom Kippur

One problem I can see you having if you did that is the problem of
saying Kol Nidre since it has to be done by Sh'kiah / Shabbos so if you
accept Shabbos early you will have a problem with Kol Nidre, hence the
fact that we say Mizmor Shir leyom haShabbos AFTER Kol Nidre, not
before, even though you might say Tadir veSheayno Tadir Tadir Kodem.

The problem with the candle lighting is that once you lit the Shabbos
Candles and accepted Shabbos, how are you going to light candles for Yom
Kippur?  Unlike other Yomim Tovim, you can not like candles from an
existing flame on Shabbos.



From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 23:07:46 EST
Subject: Website for Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants

Please let everyone know that there is now a website for Holocaust
survivors and their descendants.  it's www.americangathering.com



End of Volume 49 Issue 99