Volume 50 Number 96
                    Produced: Sat Jan  7 22:17:28 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Carl A. Singer]
Congrgational Response in Uva Letzion
         [Gershon Dubin]
Contradictory chumras
         [Joel Rich]
A Hanuka/Purim-Mordechai puzzler
Is it antisemitic to say that Jews observe halacha?
         [David Charlap]
Kallah Covering Hair After Chupah
         [Michael Mirsky]
Knowing how to Daven aloud
The loud kedusah
         [Joel Rich]
Sun revolves around Earth (3)
         [Bernard Raab, Ben Katz, Reuben Rudman]
"talking to women" [sic]
         [Leah S. Gordon]


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 18:29:25 -0500
Subject: Change

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

The issue I wish to address is CHANGE, per se -- How do synagogues deal
with change (or variance from their established minhagim / wording,


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 22:23:16 -0500
Subject: Congrgational Response in Uva Letzion

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>

> 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.

I believe it's the Avudraham who says not to say that pasuk out loud, as
it appears to be giving precedence to the pesukim from Neviim (the first
2) over that from Chumash.  The usual kedusha is not a problem since we
use a pasuk from Kesuvim.



From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 08:12:53 -0500 
Subject: Contradictory chumras

> While growing up, I was taught that Orthodox and Conservative Jews put on
> a yarmulkah to pray or recite a bracha.  Later, I learned that it had
> become the practice of the Orthodox to wear a yarmulkah all the time, so
> as to be always ready to recite a prayer or bracha.
> Frank Silbermann        Memphis, Tennessee

To the best of my knowledge this is not the reason - note that male
eidot hamizrach Jews until very recently (AIUI) did not keep their heads
covered all the time.  While male head covering has become generally
accepted, it's original sources in the talmud are more of a midat
chassidut(pious practice).  I have a lengthy source sheet from a tikkun
leil shavuot I once did on the topic which I can fax if you're

Joel Rich


From: <ERSherer@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 11:51:33 EST
Subject: Re: A Hanuka/Purim-Mordechai puzzler

> 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?

How many of the Jews opted to return to Israel when the opportunity to
do so was give?


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 10:30:28 -0500
Subject: Re: Is it antisemitic to say that Jews observe halacha?

Frank Silbermann wrote:
> Richard Schultz <schultr@...> :
>> ...Which demonstrates that (at least on yom tov) they are obeying
>> the halakhic rules about not dressing like goyim ...
> Ben Katz:
>> Jews are often depicted in unusual headgear to differentiate them 
>> from non-Jews in medieval art as a mild form of antisemitism.
> So we have halachic rules requiring us to wear clothes that
> distinguish ourselves from goyim, but it's (a mild form of)
> antisemitism for gentiles to say we do this???

There are rules about dressing like the rest of the world.  (The
specific nature of these rules left to another discussion.)

It is not antisemitic for the non-Jewish world to take note of this.

It is, however, antisemitic for them to pass laws forcing Jews to wear
specific distinctive clothing.  Especially when their mandated clothing
is different from what the Jewish community has chosen to wear.

It is right and proper for Jewish men to choose to wear kippot and felt
hats.  It is antisemitic if the secular government tells Jews that they
must wear pirate hats instead.  Both are different from the secular
world, but one is by choice and the other is by decree.

-- David


From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 21:36:07 -0500
Subject: Kallah Covering Hair After Chupah

I looked through the MJ archives and I don't see an answer to my
following question.

I can only remember one frum wedding I've been to where the Kallah
covered her hair at the reception after the Chuppa.

Why is that?  Isn't she an Aishit Ish at that point?  Or does the
requirement not apply until after that night?



From: <chips@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 22:41:07 -0800
Subject: Re: Knowing how to Daven aloud

> This never happens in modern times, because there are no
> ten Jews prepared to admit that none of them knows how to daven aloud
> and that they must simply pray without a prayer leader.

Well, I sure wish people would admit it. It has gotten so bad where I
frequently daven that I leave the `beis medresh` after kedusha when
certain people are the `shliach tzibur` and take a walk, timing it to
come back for `modym`. Hearing a wrong way of saying words so many times
can (and did to me) lead one to say it wrong themselves when doing their
own praying.



From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 08:21:42 -0500 
Subject: The loud kedusah

From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
> 3. Group decision to say loud kedushah because of serious lack of time:
> hazzan says first two brachot aloud everyone else reciting with him
> silently, then join for kedushah and recite with him until ha-el
> haqadosh. (MB 124:9 comments that they should say le-dor vador and not
> atah kadosh; see also Ishei Yisrael 24:10 fn 41 and 33:3 fn. 20.) [Rema
> 124:2; MB 124:7] In this case it's advisable for at least one person not
> to pray first three brachot with the hazzan, so he can say amen to them.
> Rema 124:2.(MB 124:10--the one saying amen can also be a minor).
> 4. Group decision to say loud kedushah because of less serious lack of
> time. This method is preferable to the above [except in the view of the
> Kaf Ha-hayyim 124:10 who likes the first method better], if a few more
> minutes remain: hazzan says first two brachot aloud, everyone else stands
> silently and says amen to his brachot, joins for kedushah responses,
> listens until ha-el haqadosh, says amen. Hazzan continues from there
> silently, everyone else starts from the beginning. [MB 124:8; Arukh
> Hashulhan 232:6]


1. in many places it seems IMHO serious lack of time has been defined
down from there's only a few minutes to the sof zman tfilla to we don't
want to miss any of the smorgasbord.

2. If you go with 4 rather than 3 it seems you don't have tfilat
hatzibbur at all and if 10 with the chazzan no tfilla btzibbur for
anyone (and never for the chazzan) unless you say that starting at
different times is still btzibbur.  I'd be particularly interested in
any sources on these issues

Joel Rich


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 11:12:25 -0500
Subject: Re: Sun revolves around Earth

>From: Ari Trachtenberg :
>I hope you'll excuse me for pouncing on such a seemingly trivial point,
>but it has historically been the source of significant theological
>acrimony.  The sun does, in fact, revolve around the earth, albeit in a
>very strange, erratic orbit.  Thus, it is only mathematically simpler
>(but no more correct) to say that the earth revolves around the sun (in
>an ellipse).

In fact, in a two-body situation (e.g. Sun-Earth) the mathematical
description is identical whether you assume that body A revolves around
body B or the reverse. The problem with the solar system is that there
are all those other objects moving around the sky in seemingly erratic
orbits; that is, until Copernicus suggested that they all revolved
around the Sun, and then these orbits became very simple ellipses with
the Sun at one focus. With this model as a starting point, it is
possible to do what phycisists call a "coordinate transformation" and
place the Earth at the center of the solar system (and incidentally at
the center of the universe). Now the description of the planetary orbits
bacomes much more complex mathematically, but they should, in theory,
describe planetary motion just as accurately as does the solar-centric

All of this would be of purely academic interest, except that there is
at least one frum physicist, Prof. Herman Branover, (with whom Ari seems
to agree) who feels that we are theologically obliged to regard the
Earth as the center of the universe, and he quotes the late Lubavicher
Rebbe as having said that the RebonoShelOlam did not promise to create
the world in a mathematically simple way.

The "the source of significant theological acrimony" which Ari refers to
is of course the Catholic church in the 16th century, when they treated
Galileo as such a pariah. Since then, however, in order to keep from
becomong irrelevant to the educated classes, the church has accepted the
apparent reality of the solar-centric model, and has moved on. Are we
now prepared to defend a move back to the dark ages of pre-scientific
enlightenment? Just wondering...

b'shalom--Bernie R.

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 11:23:25 -0600
Subject: Re: Sun revolves around Earth

>From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
[Same quote as above]

While technically correct, Dr. Trachtenberg's comments are irrelevant.
Yes, the sun makes a tiny "revolution" around the Earth, the center of
which is inside the sun itself.  However, when this fact, cited by
Dr. Trachtenberg, is usually brought up, it is by those who want to show
that the chachamim were correct when they believed the sun revolves
arround the Earth.  But the chachamim did not percieve the sun revolving
around the Earth the way modern physicists do; they thought of it the
way every thinker in antiquity did.  For all practical purposes the
Earth revolves around the sun.  And the fact that the chachamim were
wrong about the way they pictured the universe is in no way insulting,
the same way it is not insulting that the Rambam not only could not
conceive of an airplane, but uses that as an example (a chariot of iron
flying through the air - see the shemonah perkaim) of why the
imaginative faculty is faulty!

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@...>

From: Reuben Rudman <rudman@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 17:21:16 +0300
Subject: Re: Sun revolves around Earth

From:  Ari Trachtenberg,         Boston University
[Same quote as above]

It is interesting to note that that these comments have a long history
in Seforim (i.e., religious texts in Hebrew).

The first sefer to mention the Copernican Heliocentric Theory was
written by David Gans in about 1612 but was not published until 1712.
(This is the same David Gans who was a talmid of both the Rema and the
Maharal and who translated some astronomical texts for Tycho Brahe.  He
also wrote the well-known history sefer called Tzemach David.)  A number
of the first editions of that sefer, Nechmad v'Naim, that have survived
are of interest in that the pages and diagrams on which this topic was
presented were cut out (literally, physically cut out) of the book. (I
have two such copies.)

In 1797, Pinchas Eliyahu Hurwitz wrote a well-known sefer on science
(and Kabbalah), Sefer Ha-Berit, in which he presents a primer for the
"sefer-reading" public on basic science as known in his day (second
expanded edition in 1807).  This sefer has a very interesting
history,and went through many editions, with the most recent edition
published c. 1990.

After a long, detailed discussion of the competing astronomical theories
(Geocentric vs. Heliocentric), Gans concludes by telling us that we
should accept the Geocentric Theory (sun moving around the earth)
because the two theories are equivalent and, even though the
calculations are easier for the Heliocentric Theory and it is currently
accepted (c. 1800) by scientists, the accepted Jewish approach was based
on the Geocentric model. So we see that Ari's comments (which, of
course, are scientifically valid and well known) was recognized by
Jewish religious authors 200 years ago.

Reuben Rudman                          
Professor of Chemistry                


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 17:49:21 -0800
Subject: "talking to women" [sic]

I respectfully request, again, that all posters remember that not every
reader/writer of M.J is male.  Therefore, please give subject headings
such as "men talking to women" instead of meaningless ones like "talking
to women".  Perhaps Avi can help us make sure that the subjects meet
this request.

After all, I plan to talk to women with abandon....

Sometimes I think I'm shouting into the void about this issue, but it is
really important because statements that assume maleness on M.J exclude
us women from the community.



End of Volume 50 Issue 96