Volume 50 Number 05
                    Produced: Wed Nov 16  5:16:10 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Adulterous" (was Shomer Shabbat Ketubah Witnesses) (2)
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, Martin Stern]
Christian Directories
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Curious wording in Tfilla Zako
         [Russell J Hendel]
Davening in a non-denominational chapel (3)
         [Immanuel Burton, Ari Trachtenberg, Paul Azous]
         [Daniel Nachman]
Noah and Da Vinci Code
         [Amnon Melzer]
Starbucks and the 'Holiday' spirit
         [Art Sapper]
Tefillin found--Montreal airport
         [Sam Fink]
Vehakna'ani az ba'Aretz (2)
         [Martin Stern, Ben Katz]


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 15:34:03 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: "Adulterous" (was Shomer Shabbat Ketubah Witnesses)

>From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
>It is like a woman who had relations in between eirusin and kiddushin. 
>She is asur to *every* man including the person who would become her 
>husband once the entire ceremony is finished.  Thus, without the 
>kesuvah, she is asur to her husband in the same manner that she is asur 
>to every other man.

Note that I mistakenly left the impression that this is an issur of
adultery.  I believe that there is a gemarah (mishnah?) that says that
if a woman has relations with her chasan during the time between eirusin
and nisuin, then he cannot reject her for not being a besulah at the
time of nisuin.  I apologize for giving the wrong impression.

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

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 12:16:40 +0000
Subject: Re: "Adulterous" (was Shomer Shabbat Ketubah Witnesses)

on 15/11/05 10:03 am, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
wrote in reply to correspondence initiated by Ari Trachtenberg:

>>> 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 don't understand this at all ... an adulterous relationship is one
>> in which the woman is married to another man; to whom would she be
>> married in this context?
> It is like a woman who had relations in between eirusin and kiddushin.
> She is asur to *every* man including the person who would become her
> husband once the entire ceremony is finished.  Thus, without the
> kesuvah, she is asur to her husband in the same manner that she is asur
> to every other man.

The nature of the issur is different in the case of her husband before
nissuin from any other man, even at that stage.

The problem is that Ari had mistranslated the Rambam who, in fact writes
(Ishut 10,9) that "[regarding] anyone who writes a ketubah for less
[than the amount fixed by the Chachamim (i.e. 100 or 200 zuz)], his acts
of coitus [with her] are [considered] to be acts of fornication

Fornication is not the same as adultery and only carries a penalty of
lashes (probably only rabbinically (makkat mardut) though that is open
to dispute) whereas adultery is a capital offence.

Martin Stern


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 08:32:40 +0200
Subject: Christian Directories

Wow! I launched an avalanche with this topic! First, I didn't know
(having lived in Israel for the past 30 years) about the Jewish
directories. Second, I still think there is a difference. Assuming for
argument's sake that the Jews represent 3% of the US population, there
is a quantitative and qualitative difference between a Jewish directory,
suggesting that the 3% of the population by from its members, and the
97% suggesting that they buy from their 97%. When 3% of the population
buys in a restricted market, that hardly affects the commerce of the
97%. When 97% refrain from buying from the 3%, that can be an end of the
3%'s existence commercially.

Furthermore, no Jewish directory would or could be used to foster
"anti-Christianity", while a Christian directory can certainly be used
to foster anti-Semitism. If you're not on the list, you're part of "the
other," with all the implications of that status.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 22:32:58 -0500
Subject: RE: Curious wording in Tfilla Zako

Just in case anyone is curious the verse "There is no person who does
good and does not sin" according to Rashi on Koheleth is a FRAGMENT of a
compound sentence "When there are no people who do not sin, then don't
pay attention to all the things they say..."
This Rashi changes the intent of the verse...the verse is not saying man
must sin (A Christian idea) but rather giving advise not to "answer" back
if the community in general is bad
Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 12:07:24 -0000
Subject: RE: Davening in a non-denominational chapel

With reference to Stuart Cohnen's posting in MJ v50n03 about davenning
in a non-denominational chapel, I once asked my Rov if this was a
problem, and he said that it wasn't.  Unlike, say, a church, the chapel
does not belong to those worshipping there.  Consequently, if any
idolatrous worship takes place there, this does not make the chapel
unfitting for davenning.  The terminology that my Rov used was along the
lines of the idolatrous worshippers not being able to make the chapel
tameh [ritually impure] as they are not koneh [they do not acquire] the

Given the above, what would happen with a non-denominational chapel in
an airport?  It is likely that at any given time it is going to be in
use by someone, so can one daven there on one's own if there's someone
else in the same room conducting what might be idolatrous worship?

On occasions when I have to daven in an airport that does not have a
Shul, I usually daven by one of the emergency exits, as these are
usually located at the end of a short corridor away from the main

Immanuel Burton.

From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 09:57:36 -0500
Subject: Davening in a non-denominational chapel

 >From: Stuart Cohnen <cohnen@...>
 >Recently, I found a minyan near my office for Mincha. The minyan is
 >davening in a non-denominational chapel of a local hospital. I asked my
 >Rov if I could daven there and was told that I could not . He said it
 >was better to daven "beyichidus" (by myself, without a minyan).  Mention
 >was made of a responsa of Rav Moshe Feinstein...

Rav Soloveitchik z"l seemed to have a different opinion (see mail-jewish
vol 44 no. 82, "Non-denominational prayer rooms",

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

From: Paul Azous <azous@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 22:31:37 +0000
Subject: Davening in a non-denominational chapel

There is a popular book, Sanctity of the Synagogue (by Baruch Levin),
where issues such as praying in a non-orthodox shul, or one that doesn't
have a mechitza, are dealth with. Many poskim, including the Rav
(although I forget Reb Moshe's view), write that one cannot even pray in
a conservative synagogue, as the shul itself has no "sanctity". It is
reasoned that one, therefore, for sure cannot pray in a church, or
non-Jewish chapel.

Unfortunately I have forgotten where to look for your question, but, the
book itself should lead you in the right direction for the source.



From: Daniel Nachman <lhavdil@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 11:23:15 -0600
Subject: Re: Marriage

From: Michael <mordechai@...> wrote:
>  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.

I couldn't agree more with this last point.  Michael pointed out the
situation of the chatan and kallah who are heading in different
directions religiously.  There's another issue to consider with BTs -
that in their enthusiasm of becoming observant, some may not be as smart
as they might otherwise be about finding a compatible match.  I know two
people who "married into" as part of their BT journey, and later found
themselves in mariages that they deeply regretted.  Friends of BTs would
do well to make sure the kallah is looking at the actual chatan and not
just his hat.

(And vice-versa, of course, if that makes any sense.  :-)

D. Nachman


From: Amnon Melzer <amnon.melzer@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 16:45:14 +0200
Subject: Noah and Da Vinci Code

>  Da Vinci Code makes much of the 'fact' that Noah was an albino. Any
> one familiar with a midrash that might say the same thing?

I have no insight into any Jewish sources, but perhaps the confusion
comes from the organization NOAH, an acronym for National Organization
for Albinism and Hypopigmentation.

Amnon Melzer


From: <asapper@...> (Art Sapper)
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 12:35:28 -0500
Subject: Starbucks and the 'Holiday' spirit

Steve Goldstein wrote:
> The Starbucks I frequent, in Livingston, went way out in decorating
> for xmas this year.  ... I asked my Jewish barista why there were no
> Chanukah decorations in this highly Jewish patronized store and she
> responded that it's Starbucks policy that only xmas decor is to be
> displayed.  ...  Everyone should go to Starbucks.com and lodge a
> complaint and then maybe they'll listen.

With all respect, such complaints should not be made, for they would
imply that Hanukah should be celebrated as if it were a major Jewish
holiday, on a par with Xmas for non-Jews.  But that would be false to
the message and purpose of Hanukah.  Hanukah at its core celebrates
Jewish difference and separateness.  Jews fought and died to keep
Judaism and Jews from being Hellenized, and it is their victory that the
holiday celebrates.  Asking a merchant to mark Hanukah alongside Xmas --
turning Hanukah into chrisnukah -- falsely equates the two and detracts
from Hanukah's core message and purpose.  In addition, elevating a minor
holiday in this way implicitly denigrates Judaism's major holidays.

 Finally, I question the propriety -- not to mention the wisdom -- of
pressuring a perhaps non-Jewish proprietor to celebrate a Jewish
holiday, even a major one, such as Pesach.


From: Sam Fink <samfink@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 09:02:12 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Tefillin found--Montreal airport

A tallis and two pairs of tefillin were found in the Montreal airport,
apparently belonging to a Joel (Yoel?) Rosenfeld or Raisenfeld (or
similar spelling).  If anyone knows of such a person, please have them
contact me, and I would be more than happy to return them!

Sam Fink


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 12:26:35 +0000
Subject: Vehakna'ani az ba'Aretz

on 15/11/05 10:03 am, Jay Horowitz <ggntor@...> wrote:
> I am curious to hear approaches to the controversial Ibn Ezra found on
> this week's parsha. (The verse in question is Breishit, 12:6.)
> In sum, Ibn Ezra notes: (rough translation) "one possibility is that the
> kna'anim were conquering the land at this time, but if this isn't the
> case, I have a secret explanation and the intelligent would be silent"
> (yesh li sod ve'hamaskil yidom). The tsafnat paneach explains the
> semi-obvious "secret" as "lefi zeh nir'eh she lo katav Moshe zot
> ha'milah b'kahn," and goes on to explain that it doesn't make a
> difference whether Moshe wrote the word or whether another prophet such
> as Yehoshua wrote it as they were both prophets.
> I imagine that this interpretation is troubling to many of us and I
> would love to hear some alternate explanations of the pasuk itself or of
> Ibn Ezra's comments.

The problem only arises if we believe that the author of the pasuk is
Mosheh Rabbeinu. This is clearly heretical since the doctrine of Torah
min haShamayim means that we believe that the actual author is HKBH and
Mosheh Rabbeinu merely wrote it down at His behest. Since He is not
constrained by time, he can order the writing of what from Mosheh
Rabbeinu's perspective might seem a statement which he could not have
uttered. IMHO, this answers all the problems of this nature, such as
Og's bed and Mosheh Rabbeinu's death, raised by the Ibn Ezra vekhol
hameivin yavin.

Martin Stern

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 07:41:58 -0600
Subject: Vehakna'ani az ba'Aretz

         This is a perfect example of someone not wanting to read the
words that are there, but the words that one wishes were there.  Ibn
Ezra said what he meant.  There is a long list of commentators who
understood him that way, not just Bonfils (the author of the Tzafnat
Paaneach -- see Marc Shapiro's recent book on the Rambam's 13 essentials
of judaism and his original torah umada article).  There were a minority
of rishonim who believed that it was possible that small additions could
be made to the Torah after Moshe's time.  Orthodox scholars such as SZ
Lieman have written and spoken about this.  One may disagree with this
approach, as do most, but one may not deny that these opinions ever
existed within authentic, rabbinic judaism.

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@...>


End of Volume 50 Issue 5