Volume 50 Number 83
                    Produced: Fri Dec 30  5:46:14 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

160 pictures of the Chanukah 5766 Aliyah
         [Jacob Richman]
Common Law wife
         [Rabbi Meir Wise]
Contribution to Judaism
         [Michael Kahn]
Latecomer's "Hoiche Kedushah"
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Rabbi Rapoport's book
         [Dov Teichman]
so what is the Biblical Hebrew for 'slave'?
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
The Term "homophobia" and Some Questions
         [Russell J Hendel]
tricorns (three-cornered hats) and Jews


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 13:06:19 +0200
Subject: 160 pictures of the Chanukah 5766 Aliyah

Hi Everyone!

Congratulations to the 250 olim who made aliyah today
from the USA and Canada.

I was at the airport to greet the new olim. It was the first time that I
went to such an event. It was great!!  I was also given permission to
accompany the press to take pictures right near the airplane.

I posted on my website 160 pictures in a gallery format.  When the first
page appears, press the F11 key to view the full length of the
pictures. To move from page to page, use the navigation buttons on the
bottom of the screen.

The address is:

Please forward this message to relatives and friends so they can also
enjoy viewing the pictures of this special Chanukah event.

Chag Sameach,


From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Meir Wise)
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 07:51:56 EST
Subject: Re: Common Law wife

The definitive work on this subject was writtten by the late Rabbi Dr
(Eliyakim) Getzel Ellinson zatza"l of Bar Ilan University. It was his
PhD, later a book, entitled "Nesuin shelo kedat Moshe Veyisra'el"
published by Dvir. He was the author of the famous Ha'isha vehamitzvot

Whilst we normally pasken like Reb Moshe Feinstein zatzal to avoid an
increase in mamzerim, nevertheless in Israel when a couple live together
as man and wife and are presumed to be so by kosher, adult Jewish
neighbours, this could be problematic.

Rabbi Meir Wise


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 01:52:37 -0500
Subject: RE: Contribution to Judaism

>Hasiddim are often the most reactionary of all Jews and as a movement
>(with the usual exception of Habad) have not made any new contribution
>to Judaism in recent years (about a century). Eg today the hassidik
>yeshiva is hardly any different from the litvishe yeshiva and the roots
>of the movement, outreach to the simple Jewish masses, is all but lost.

The derech halimud, or aproach toward learning continues to be very
different in chasidish and livish yeshivos. In America, kollel has made
less inroads among chasidim than it has among Litvish.

Outreach does exist amoung the Litvish community, although it may not
exist to the extent that you may feel it should. Examples of Litvish
Kiruv groups are Partners In Torah, Gateways, and Oorah, to mention
three that come to mind. When I was a bochur in Lakewood I used to
travel with a bunch of other Lakewood Bochrim and kollel members on
Monday nights to Manalapan, N.J. a half hour drive, to learn with a non
frum Jew in a kiruv center. Lakewood Women would also go there to learn
with non frum women. Simmilar weekly programs exist all over central
NJ. A friend of mine went weekly to learn with a non frum person in
Tom's River, NJ.  Such programs also exist in Brooklyn. A network of
Kiruv schools, staffed by Lakewood people, called Shalom Torah Center's
also exists in NJ.

You speak of a lack of "new contribution to Judaism" lacking on the part
of frum people. Litvaks and chassidim contribute to Judaism by
practicing it daily and passing it on to their children. They contribute
to Judaism by building yeshivas, mikvaos, manning mental health hotlines
for frum people (talk about an innovation!) and grapple with ways to
deal with the Singles Crisis. They also innovatively grapple with the
problem of teens who go off the derech ny establishing such
organizations as Priority One and MASK. Yeshiva Ohr Yitzchok is a
yeshiva dedicated to giving even the most estranged frum teen a place to
call home.

The plethora of sforim being produced is another example of the
contribution frum people make to Judaism.

Traditionalist frum people do not see Judaism's vitality as being
contingent on creatively crafting new theological ideas. To the
contrary.  It sees the perpetuation of timeless ideas given to us by
chazal, Rishonim, and Achronim as the source of Judaism vitality. In
this sense it differs from the modernist preoccupation with the "new and


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 18:34:00 +0200
Subject: Latecomer's "Hoiche Kedushah"

No doubt all men have experienced this. They daven Minchah with a
Minyan, and after it's all over, some latecomer gets up and starts
reciting the Shemoneh Esrei aloud, so that he can "get in " the Kedushah
he missed. Of course, everyone present has to stop what he's doing, in
order to answer.  Or does one have to?

It seemed to me that such behavior is inappropriate, inasmuch as it
would seem to me to be a classic example of Tircha D'tzibura - an
imposition on the community's time (and some people are clearly
learning, or planning to learn at that time, and their plans are

And what happens - and this is not that uncommon - when the person
starts his recital after Shki'ah? Is one still required/supposed to

I'd be interested in any Halachic bases for either condoning or
condemning such actions.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 07:41:27 EST
Subject: Re: Rabbi Rapoport's book

      In any case, full advance disclosure to the prospective
      bride is mandatory, rendering such a marriage unlikely.

Oh how I wish that had been the rule 40 years ago. I wish it would be
the rule today, too.


From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 09:24:11 EST
Subject: Re: Shtraimels

Saul Davis <saul.davis@...> writes:

> As far as I am concerned the shtreimel (and bekeshe, spodik, kapota
> etc.)  is a non issue. People can wear what ever they want. Do not
> suggest that there is something innately Jewish or religious about
> shtreimelech. I have even heard that wearing a shtreimel in the summer
> is mesiroth nefesh, when it can, and should, be simply be removed from
> the head when the weather is too hot!

There is a story told about the Satmerer Rebbe:
The Satmerer Rebbe (Reb Yoel) stated in the name of his father (the
Kedushas Yom Tov of Sighet) that he did not know the reason Chassidim
wear Shtraimels, however, since he sees that every hair of the fur in a
shtraimel annoys the modern people; it is a clear indicator that there
is holiness to it, and we must continue to wear it.

By the way, the Shtraimel is considered a Shabbos Levush not only among
Chassidim, but it is also Minhag Yerushalayim among the Prushim, the
students of the Gra who made Aliya 200 years ago. It is recorded that
even the Chazon Ish wore a Shtraimel when visiting Yerushalayim. Rav
Elyashiv shlit"a, Rav SZ Auerbach zt"l both wear/wore
Shtraimels. Neither is Chassidic.

If you wear a suit on shabbos, isn't it proper to honor shabbos thereby
and to wear in all weather, even if it's uncomfortable? You might wear a
lighterweight suit, but its still a suit.

So what makes that any different than a Shtraimel? If that is your
Shabbos clothing it should be worn in all weather, and that is mesirus
nefesh for that person.

> Once hasiduth was an almost revolutionary, renewal movement in
> Judaism - sadly no more.  Hasiddim are often the most reactionary of all
> Jews and as a movement (with the usual exception of Habad) have not made
> any new contribution to Judaism in recent years (about a century). Eg
> today the hassidik yeshiva is hardly any different from the litvishe
> yeshiva and the roots of the movement, outreach to the simple Jewish
> masses, is all but lost.

How do you define "new contribution to Judaism"?

Dov Teichman


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2005 21:12:26 +0200
Subject: Re: so what is the Biblical Hebrew for 'slave'?

Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...> concluded on Sun, 25 Dec 2005
09:42:09 -0500

      Since the Hebrew root Ayin Beth Daleth can have such a wide
      spectrum of meanings it does not make sense to say it means WORKER
      but not SLAVE.  Again: It can refer to temple service (This is a
      biblical usage as in the verse "and the levite shall SERVE, THE

      The proper procedure in this case is the following: (a) There is
      no Biblical word that EXCLUSIVELY means SLAVE.

Russel's discussion here seems to use the term "word" where others would
refer to a root.  Does anyone claim that `eved means anything other than
slave or servant?  Whether figuratively or literally?

On the other hand, the root `ayin bet dalet leads to many words, such as
le`abed (to process,or to work as a transitive verb), but so what?

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: <slefkowitz@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 22:33:56 -0500
Subject: survey

A couple of recent threads motivate a request to do a survey (even though
the survey questions are not quite the same as the discussion topics).

First, the disclaimer: This is not a statistically valid survey.

Question 1,  What is the typical length of Shabbos morning services?

  (of course, this varies from week to week. Assume, nothing special is
going on. Not Rosh Chodosh, no unusually big Bar Mitzvah. If the Rabbi
usually speaks, assume he speaks, etc).

   Maybe, also specify what nusach you daven.

Question 2  What is the Rabbi's salary (total compensation)?

  If you don't know exactly, but have a general idea, you can specify a
 Maybe also specify: size of shul and years of service of the Rabbi.

Please send replies to <slefkowitzoh@...>
I will record only the numeric responses and then delete the e-mails.
If there is sufficient response to be interesting, I'll post the


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2005 23:38:36 -0500
Subject: The Term "homophobia" and Some Questions

Daniel in v50n79 cites some modern Rabbinical opinions that only full
homosexual relations is Biblically prohibited. He cites another rabbi
that other things are prohibited but probably Rabbinically.

Fortuantely Daniel points out that if we can speak about Sabbath
Descecration why can't we speak about homosexuality. Accordingly I
thought it proper to state the prohibitions and issues.

A good source is Rambam Forbidden Intercourse. Chap 24 deals with
non-full relations. The Rambam cites the Sifrah on Lev 18. Here are some

(A) According to all authorities there is a biblical prohibition "Dont
do like the Egyptians did." This is a general catch all. For example
lesbianism which is not a capital crime is nevertheless Biblically
prohibited from this.

(B) The Rambam opens the chapter by citing the verse "Don't [even] come
near to uncovering nakedness" (This is an introductory verse to a series
of "dont uncover nakedness"). Hence using ordinary adult discretions it
is reasonable to interpret "dont come near" as referring to acts other
than "uncovering nakedness" (Full relations).

However the Bible doesnt specify what "coming near is." The Rambam
simply says "We dont get near to forbidden relations AT ALL." According
to Rambam even necking is Biblically prohibited because of Don't come

It is true that Ramban disagrees. But I do not see the Ramban as
eradicating an entire verse. I rather see the Ramban disagreeing that
ANY ACT of nearness is Biblically prohibited. The Rambam mentions
"relations by organs" which presumably could refer to oral sex or other
heavy relations. I cant see the Ramban as disagreeing with this (because
it would erase the simple meaning of the verse). However there is
definitely a controversy whether a passionate good night kiss is
Biblically or Rabbinically prohibited)

(C) Finally several discussants have brought the idea that
"homosexuality" refers to "homosexual feelings" vs "homosexual acts"
Jewish law is VERY clear (and according to everybody) that feelings of
sin are never classified as "prohibited (either rabbinically or
Biblically) (except for idolatry which is an act of worship).

To sum up: Feelings are not prohibited (I guess even if willful and
provided they dont lead to acts); full relations are a capital crime;
heavy acts are Biblically prohibited as a negative act according to my
reasoning and, according to the catch all, "Dont do like Egypt" are
prohibited according to everybody. Passionate kissing (the Rambam lists
two criteria---deriving benefit from hugging and nearness of flesh) is
either Rabbinically or Biblically prohibited.

Hope the above helps
Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 22:19:01 EST
Subject: tricorns (three-cornered hats) and Jews

 From: Saul Davis <saul.davis@...>
>.......Jews have copied the headgear of the local upper-classes and kept
>it even centuries later.......... I saw in a Sefardi shul in Nice,
>France, the shamash wearing a tricorn (like Napoleon wore)!

I recently read an interesting dissertation on the Noda Biyehuda by
Rabbi Dr. David Katz. In it (p.533-4) he cites a report re the headgear
of Prague Yeshiva students circa 1800. The more traditional students
wore three-cornered hats, while the adherents of haskalah wore cylinder

I have also seen Jews depicted in such hats in old pieces of art.

Does anyone have any more information about the history of the tricorn
among Jews ?



End of Volume 50 Issue 83