Volume 50 Number 93
                    Produced: Wed Jan  4  7:02:54 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Changing pronunciations / words
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Congrgational Response in Uva Letzion
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Kiddushin - Avoiding a Chuppas Nidah
         [Stephen Phillips]
Kiddushin when bride is a Niddah
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Outreach Efforts by Chassidim
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Question not about homophobia
         [Paul Azous]
Quotation Source
         [Yisrael Medad]
Sex Change
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Talking to women
         [Joel Rich]


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2006 22:44:42 +0200
Subject: Re: Changing pronunciations / words

Carl A. Singer stated the following:

      Similarly, wording variations -- we had someone during brochas say
      "shelo asahni nachri" rather than "shelo asahni goy" -- also
      likely a more authentic wording --

I don't know what is more authentic in that blessing, but I do know that
the uncensored gemarot use the word "goy" where the censored ones say

This may be an indication of authenticity in gemara, in any event.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 09:36:04 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Congrgational Response in Uva Letzion

  The kedusha in uva letzion (kedusah desidra), like the kedusha in
birkot kriat shema and the amidah, has three parts, "kadosh", "baruch",
and "yimloch".  In the second two, each part is logically a
congregational response to something the sheliach tzibur says.  In uva
letzion, "kadosh" and "baruch" are similarly logical responses to the
sheliach tzibur.  By contrast, "yimloch" simply follows the Aramaic
translation of "baruch".

Question: assuming one is saying kedusha desidra in uva letzion
responsively at all (as to which I understand there are different
customs) should the sheliach tzibur say the verse preceding "yimloch"
aloud to elicit a response?  I notice that the Art Scroll siddur has no
indication here, while it does at the verses preceding "kaddosh" and
"baruch".  But the seeming alternative, that the congregation on their
own say "yimloch" together (and the Artscroll siddur has this verse in
bold as well, to indicate that it is said aloud) seems less than
satisfactory, or likely.


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 11:42:53 +0000
Subject: Re: Kiddushin - Avoiding a Chuppas Nidah

> From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
> I've always wondered how this works in practice. I knjow people try to
> time it but that can't always work. How does one account for the lack of
> yichud as for tznius reasons if nothing else one does not want it
> "advertised" that the bride is a niddah.

I believe that they get a prescription from a Doctor for some form of
medication (the Pill?) that controls the vesses cycle. They stop taking
the medication at a certain point so that the vesses will definitely
occur on a certain number of days thereafter. This point will be the
number of days before the wedding so as to allow for a Hefsek Tahara and
Tevilla in the Mikva.

Stephen Phillips


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 13:39:56 +0200
Subject: Kiddushin when bride is a Niddah

Janice Gelb wonders "how this works in practice. I know people try to
time it but that can't always work. How does one account for the lack of
yichud as for tznius reasons if nothing else one does not want it
"advertised" that the bride is a niddah."

As I understand it, the couple indeed goes to the Yichud room, but in
this case a small child is already there, and stays with them throughout
the time. Thus there is no Yichud, but no one at the wedding is the

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 15:23:02 -0500
Subject: Outreach Efforts by Chassidim

Alex Heppenheimer writes:

> As a Chabadnik, I appreciate the compliment. However, this statement is
>not really correct nor fair: it ignores, among others, the outreach
>contributions of Bobover Chassidus in Galicia during the interwar years
>[interview with Rabbi Moshe Landau, in The World that Was: Poland (1997:
>The Living Memorial, dist. Mesorah Publications), pp. 69ff], and of the
>Bostoner Rebbe, shlita, in America since the '60s [Hanoch Teller, The
>Bostoner (1990: Feldheim), p. 18]. No doubt someone who's more familiar
>than I with the various branches of present-day Chassidus would be able
>to give more and better examples.

I think we might also add the Satmar Rebbe (R. Yoel).  I don't know too
much of the history, but I believe that he built the Satmar movement out
of people broken by the Holocaust.  He, almost literally, saved the
souls, minds and bodies of thousands of people.  The Bostoner Rebbe once
said: "The Satmar Rebbe is a great artist -- he paints neshamas

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: Paul Azous <azous@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2006 18:00:34 +0000
Subject: Re: Question not about homophobia

In response to questions about the use of the term "beztalmo", I
apologize for its use instead of "kirtzono". The use was simply a
passive mistake, due to my use of a similar term shortly before writting
the post.

In my previous comments I was summarizing an article round in the Jewish
Bioethics by Rosner and Bliech.

Now, in regards to the status of one who had a sex change there are
several sources, the earliest that I know of being Rabbenu Hananel (whom
ibn Ezra quotes in his commentary on Viyarkra 18:22).  He says that a
man who had created an artificial vagina by means of surgery and had
entered into sexual intercourse with another man constitutes sodomy. He
thus holds that no sexual identity change occurs. (Some modern poskim,
particularly the Tzitz Eliezer, do hold that a sexual identity change in
fact transpires).

As for a woman acquiring the male characteristics via surgery, Rav Yosef
Palaggi (Yisef et Ehav 3:5), a 19th Century rav, holds that no divorce
is necessary in order to dissolve a marriage, as the identity of the
person is now changed. I am sure there are other opinions on this
matter, however I would have to look them up.

In regards to the berachot in the morning, the idea that shelo asani
isha or sheasani kirtzono can or cannot be said by one who had
transsexual surgery is derived from the machloket highlighted between
Rashi and Rambam, that being whether a Ger should say shelo asani goy or
not.  Rambam, as many of you know, maintain that a Ger cannot say shelo
asani goy, as this Ger was born a goy. Rashi disagrees, and maintains
that it is a beracha of thanksgiving for Hashem making this Ger bound by
the mitzvoth.

It is reasoned by the author of this article, Rabbi Bleich, though of
course not a psak, that Rashi might hold that transsexual surgery would
allow the former male to pronounce shelo asani isha in the morning. As
noted this is in contradistinction to the Rambam's understanding, at
least how this article surmises.

Lastly, the origin of the sheasani kirtzono alludes me. Shelo asani isha
and gshelo asani goy are of Talmudic origin. That is for certain. When
kirtzono was actually formulated I do not know.  However, prior to its
current usage, the phrase "nohagu hanoshim" was used, and from what I
have learned it was said without a beracha. The earliest source I know
of this is from Rav Yaacov Emden's siddur (and someone has also
mentioned in the Avodas Yisrael siddur as well).



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2006 22:01:01 +0200
Subject: Quotation Source

I found this:

The story is told of King Louis XIV asking the philosopher Pascal for 
some proof of a supernatural force in the world. "Why, the Jews, your 
majesty," Pascal answered. "The Jews."

Yisrael Medad

[As I think I mentioned in the original posting with the request for the
source, I was able to find that on several Aish related web sites, but
with attribution. Do you have any attribution for where the story
arises? Avi]


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2006 18:10:18 -0800
Subject: Sex Change

I wonder about the applicability of "one who lost his private parts in
battle" to the idea of a so-called "sex-change operation".  I mean,
woman != man - penis ....

OTOH, I suppose we do apply the discussion in the Talmud about someone
getting pregnant from semen-in-the-bath to the issues of
donor-insemination, so maybe this is the way we have to look at modern

BTW I find it enormously heartening to have read of men asking (and
getting!)  permission to replace the "shelo asani isha" bracha.  I, too,
think that every explanation/interpretation for that bracha, that I've
been told, has been apologetics at its worst.  But I never until now
heard of any O men seeking alternatives, and that is great.

--Leah S. R. Gordon


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 05:45:51 -0500 
Subject: Talking to women

> It may be difficult for many of us ingrained with secular values to
> comprehend this guy's attitude, but in essence he is just applying the
> mishna in Pirke Avot which says
> 'Al tarbeh sicha im ha-Isha'
> Don't speak to a woman more than is absolutely necessary.
> Daniel

I agree with your premise but in a broader context if any of us went
back to the talmud (or shulchan aruch) and made a list of all statements
which have not been accepted in practice throughout the generations by
halachik Jews (and at least de facto by their leaders) it would be eye

For example, do you listen to music(see sotah 48a ff)?
Joel Rich


End of Volume 50 Issue 93