Volume 50 Number 88
                    Produced: Tue Jan  3  6:15:00 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Artscroll Women's Sidur
         [Rose Landowne]
Beegday Shabbos
         [Carl A. Singer]
Beegday Shabbos (Shabbos Clothing)
         [Aliza N. Fischman]
Clothing for Tefillah
         [Rabbi R. Bulka]
Hagolas Kelim
         [Elliott Hershkowitz]
A Hanuka/Purim-Mordechai puzzler
         [Nathan Lamm]
Mattityahu = Kohen Gadol?
         [Sammy Finkelman]
Nekudas HaBechira
         [Bernard Raab]
         [Nathan Lamm]
Rabbis in tuxedos
         [Art Werschulz]
         [Nathan Lamm]


From: <ROSELANDOW@...> (Rose Landowne)
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 08:42:02 EST
Subject: Re: Artscroll Women's Sidur

> Someone raised the question here a few months back as to why there's
> such frustration with Artscroll. Well, here's one: A Woman's Siddur
> would be a logical and appropriate place to discuss this
> history. Artscroll has just released such a siddur, and there's not
> one word about this.

Has anyone had a chance to examine the Artscroll Women's Sidur? I
haven't seen it myself, but have seen xeroxed pages, and have seen that
it leaves out Tachanun, explaining that women don't have to say it, and
also discourages women from saying the whole Shema, benching with zimun,
and lighting chanukah candles.

Is the Sidur being promoted strongly? Are girls' schools buying it for
the use of their students?

Rose Landowne


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2006 07:08:00 -0500
Subject: Beegday Shabbos

> I don't dispute Carl's observation, but I often wonder... If someone
> wears the same thing during the week and on Shabbos, where is the Kavod
> Shabbos? 

Exactly.  Community norms in many communities (both for weekday &
Shabbos clothing) make this difference easy to see.

If I own two virtually equivalent (I didn't say identical) suits -- one
(the newer) my "Shabbos" suit and one my vochedik suit -- only I know
that I'm dressing up for Shabbos.


From: Aliza N. Fischman <fisch.chips@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 14:36:39 -0500
Subject: RE: Beegday Shabbos (Shabbos Clothing)

Akiva Miller wrote:

>Carl Singer asked 
>> Any sources on non-chasidish communities today that wear significantly 
>> different clothing (headgear included?) on Shabbos vs. weekday? It 
>> seems, today, in many communities (for the men) it's the same (or
>> similar) black suit / black hat seven days per week.

> I don't dispute Carl's observation, but I often wonder... If someone
> wears the same thing during the week and on Shabbos, where is the
> Kavod Shabbos?  Shouldn't we do something to dress better on Shabbos
> than during the week? I suspect (and hope) that although it may APPEAR
> to be the same style, the individuals themselves do have special
> Shabbos clothes, and they do perceive a difference in the styles.

A close friend of ours had been working at a job where he dressed
"business casual" and so on Shabbos, his suits were his Beegday Shabbos
(Shabbos Clothing).  When he started at a new job, which required him to
wear suits every day, it bothered him that he didn't have special
clothes set aside for Shabbos.  To rectify the situation, he started
wearing a gartel for Shabbos.  That became his way of making it clear
that he was dressed for Shabbos, and not work.  Coming from a family
where many of my mother's cousins are Chassidish, I had only seen this
on Chassidim.  If you know this friend of mine, you know that his family
is as Mitnagid as they come, but he wanted to be sure he wasn't dressed
the same at work as he was on Shabbos.

Aliza Fischman (whose husband is from the same community as Akiva Miller.)


From: Rabbi R. Bulka <rbulka@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 13:46:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Clothing for Tefillah

There has been much give and take recently regarding Shabbat clothing.

There is another less talked about but important matter - the clothing
for regular, "ordinary" weekday davening. As a congregational Rabbi it
is an ongoing frustration that even the best of Yeshiva boys, and
sometimes even their Rabbeim, often come to shul to ostensibly pray
before God in clothing that they would never wear for even a
semi-important occasion.

We are before God, but our dress surely does not reflect that. How many
people really dress up to daven? We need to stress such levush as a
basic necessity of standing before God. A hat from the neck up, and
shlump from the neck down, is simply not appropriate.

Rabbi Reuven Bulka,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


From: <EEH43@...> (Elliott Hershkowitz)
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 15:35:48 EST
Subject: Hagolas Kelim

We have an annual community "hagolas kelim Sunday morning" at our home
just before Pesach .  The physical setup is simple a one burner stove
and a 15 gallon pot.  These are easy to come by from any restaurant
supply, beer making supply or large Italian market -they use the same
rig for tomato sauce.  Items are placed in a wire basket for immersion.
I made my basket from a piece of 1/2" x 1/2" hardware cloth.  The stove
is fueled on propane from a grill tank.  I have a plumbers torch for
leebun.  A garden hose with a hand nozzle serves to fill the pot and
cool the objects as they are removed.  We serve both Ashkenaz and
Sefarad communities.

It pays to have a copy of "Hagolas Kelim," by Rabbi Zvi Cohen, handy and
a Rav nearby or, at least, near the phone.  If you are more generous you
can put out a screw driver for removing handles, some steel wool for
scrubbing the last spots and some paper towels.

Usually the Rabbis in the shuls we serve speak about the process a week
before so people can prepare the items they intend to move.

Elliott Hershkowitz


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 16:02:38 -0600
Subject: A Hanuka/Purim-Mordechai puzzler

Shalom to Klal Yisrael:

Now that Hanuka is " been there, done that", here's a Purim puzzler (at
least to my poor brain).

Mordechai was appointed prime minister by the king, and thus was the
second in command of some 120 lands. This kingdom was quite powerful.

According to Jewishencyclopedia.com, the Targum Sheni (to Esth. ii. 6)
states that Mordecai, after having been carried away by Nebuchadnezzar,
returned to Jerusalem, and was again deported by Nebuchadnezzar in the
second captivity (comp. II Kings xxiv. 14 et seq.; xxv. 11, 21).

Given his vast prime ministerial power and the fact that Nebuchadnezzar
was dead, I don't understand why Mordechai didn't convince Achashvayrus
to let us Jews return to Israel en masse. Can anyone educate me?

Kol Tuv,
Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 08:16:17 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Kiddushin

Martin Stern states that yichud is an aspect of the two witnesses
"observing" kiddushei biah. I believe he is incorrect:

There are three ways of performing Kiddushin/Erusin- Kesef, Shtar,
Biah. Chazal strongly discouraged the last, and we don't really know how
to do it by Shtar.  Our only form of Kiddushin these days is by Kesef
(specifically, a ring, although it need not be so).

Nisuin is performed by a couple setting up a household
together. Originally, this was quite literal: After a year or so of
Erusin, they would literally walk into their new house. Nowadays, we
have symbolic houses at the ceremony: The Chuppa, a Tallis, the Yichud
room.  We do all three to fulfill all opinions. There's a common belief
that the Yichud room has something to do with sexual relations. This is
incorrect: It is symbolic of the couple beginning life as a household.
Of course, what the couple does in the room is their own business, but I
don't believe the witnesses have to have in mind that they are getting
intimate. If so, the marriage of a few of my friends who I've served as
an Eid Yichud for would be invalid, chas v'shalom.

The only doubt that arises in my mind is the fact that there's no actual
yichud if the bride is a niddah.  Why? The couple will be alone together
when she is a niddah in the future.

Nachum Lamm


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 06 13:07:00 -0400
Subject: Mattityahu = Kohen Gadol?

The blog "Hirhurim", by Gil Student, contains a post now on this

Hirhurim - Musings <http://hirhurim.blogspot.com>  -

We say in the "Al Ha-Nissim" addition to prayers that the lead player in
the Hanukah story was Matisyahu ben Yohanan the High Priest. The
question is whether this Yohanan, Matisyahu's father, was the famous
Yohanan the High Priest or not. It is not entirely clear whether the
term High Priest is going on Yohanan or Matisyahu. And even if it is
going on Yohanan, it is unclear whether he is the Yohanan the High
Priest mentioned in the Talmud, who served for 80 years and became a
Sadducee at the end of his life. There are three positions on the
identity of the famous Yohanan the High Priest: 1. The Rambam
(Introduction to Commentary to the Mishnah) and Roke'ah (Hilkhos
Hanukah) are of the view that he was the son of Matisyahu, of Hanukah
fame, evidently named after his own grandfather. 2. Sefer Yuhasin (1:16)
and Seder Ha-Doros (2:Yohanan Kohen Gadol) state that Yohanan the High
Priest was Matisyahu's father and is the one mentioned in the "Al
Ha-Nissim." 3. Later scholars, including Doros Ha-Rishonim (part 2 p.
442) and Toledos Tanna'im Ve-Amora'im (vol. 2 p. 688), are of the view
that Yohanan the High Priest was the grandson of Matisyahu and the son
of Shimon. R. Matis Kantor, in his The Jewish Time Line Encyclopedia,
has an interesting appendix on this subject. (1/1/2006 6:33:30 PM)


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2006 14:54:53 -0500
Subject: Nekudas HaBechira

>From: Tzvi Stein :
>If you may allow me to offer some constructive criticism, I don't think
>your response to him was proper and here's why.  Everyone ... me, you,
>your co-worker, the gadol haDor, etc. struggles within their own
>"nekudas haBechira"... the place where their choice lies.  <snip>
>From: Orrin Tilevitz
>In fact, the issur of melacha (e.g., driving a car) on Shabbat is
>technically more stringent than that on Yom Kippur, because the former
>is punishable with death by stoning and the latter is punishable only
>by karet.  But I'm not sure that matters here or that it's appropriate
>to point this out to a nonobservant (not necessarily nonreligious) Jew.

Having been properly chastized by both Tzvi and Orrin, who both make
some very compelling points, allow me to point out that I felt
constrained that I had no authority to offer a halachic ruling to
actually govern behavior, but that I could perhaps initiate an awareness
of the larger issues as a semi academic exercise. Plus, I knew that this
was a gentleman who routinely violates Shabbos and kashrus without a
moment's thought, so how could I deal with this single issue without
attempting to bring some larger context? Of course he wasn't interested
in the larger context, but I had to do what I could do--c'est la vie.

b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 08:23:53 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Perushim

Mordechai mentions non-Chassidic shtreimel wearing. Of course, Rav Kook
(part Chassdic, part Litvish) wore a fur hat as well. Many Rabbanim in
Lita did, but that's probably because it was cold.

I question this line, though:

"I think such headgear [in Vilna] was basically limited to people of
means and influence - e.g. the rabbinical and communal elite, rather
than being an obligation among all mature males, as among certain

I have the feeling it's become an "obligation among all" Chassidim only
in affluent America. European Chassidim wore caps, hats, ordinary fur
hats- whatever worked and whatever they could afford.


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 09:56:53 -0500
Subject: Rabbis in tuxedos

Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...> writes:

: At Kehillath Jeshurun, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the Rav,
: his assistants, and officers of the shul (at least them, maybe others
: as they desire) wear formal morning clothes (cutaway, ascot, top hat,
: etc.)  on Shabbos, and tuxedos on yom tov.

and Richard Schultz <schultr@...> responded:

> Which demonstrates that (at least on yom tov) they are obeying the
> halakhic rules about not dressing like goyim: etiquette forbids the
> wearing of formal evening clothes (e.g. a dinner jacket aka "tuxedo")
> before 6 p.m.

But the KJ Rav (etc.) were wearing formal *morning* clothes, not formal
*evening* clothes.  So they *were* following the standard etiquette.

BTW, the president of the Great Shul in Sydney, Australia wears a top hat. 

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: agw STRUDEL cs.columbia.edu
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7060, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 08:19:50 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Tricorns

Ben Katz writes:

> Jews are often depicted in unusual headgear to differentiate them from
> non Jews in medieval art as a mild form of anti-semitism.

In fact, they had to *wear* special hats (akin to "Jewish badges" in
other areas and eras) in many places. The artwork is therefore true to
life.  However, the tricorn dates from an era when this was no longer
the case.


End of Volume 50 Issue 88