Volume 50 Number 97
                    Produced: Tue Jan 10  5:01:21 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aveilut for parent
         [Joel Rich]
Chuppas Niddah
         [Martin Stern]
Davening Attire
         [Tzvi Stein]
Davening Clothes
         [Carl A. Singer]
Definition of Ot(Symbol)
         [Russell J Hendel]
Descent from Noakh
         [Meylekh Viswanath]
Idolators and Hindus
         [Meylekh Viswanath]
Knowing how to Daven aloud
         [Tzvi Stein]
Quotation Source
         [Robert Israel]
Right of the Lord
         [Tzvi Stein]
Sridei Eish
         [Aryeh Gielchinsky]
Tachunun Exemptions
         [Ed "Shmuel" Norin]
Tzedakah Inquiry
         [Paul Azous]


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2006 10:17:56 -0500 
Subject: Aveilut for parent

The source for aveilut of 7 and 30 days are brought down in Rambam
hilchot aveilut but I can't find anything for the 12 months for a
parent.  I would guess it has something to do either with ein hameit
nishtachach min halev for 12 months or that for 12 months the body is
intact and the spirit fluctuates, thereafter the soul is at rest in gan
eden.  Does anyone know of any quoted sources on this?

Joel Rich


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 08 Jan 2006 06:58:12 +0000
Subject: Re: Chuppas Niddah

on 8/1/06 3:02 am, Judy Tudor <judytudor@...> wrote:
> Shmuel Himelstein then helps with:
>> 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 wiser.
> This is a common solution to the Yichud room question, however, anyone
> who has been to many weddings would still notice something is amiss, as
> there will be some changes which cannot be so easily concealed. e.g. The
> Chosson will not give the Kallah to drink from the wine, she will be
> handed the cup by someone else.

I have never seen the chatan pass the kos to the kallah. The usual
procedure, in my experience, is for the mesader kiddushin to give it to
one of the parents who then gives it first to the chatan and then the
kallah, obviating the problem of his drinking from her cup if she were
niddah. There are conventions as to which parent gives the first kos and
which the second but I must admit I have not yet been able to check this
detail. I must admit that I never paid enough attention to it at any
chuppah, even my own childrens', relying on the mesader kiddushin to get
it right!

> They will also not walk away hand-in-hand to the Yichud room.

This need not be too obvious if the kallah makes sure, for example, to
hold her bouquet with both hands or something similar.

> But as a whole, I don't see why there should be such a strong attempt
> to hide the fact that a Kallah is a Niddah. Anyone who observes a
> couple for enough time will know when the wife is a Niddah. You don't
> need to go around announcing it, but there is no need to go crazy
> trying to hide it. It is the going to the Mikveh that needs to be kept
> secret, not the Niddah state - that's a fact of life.

Absolutely correct. This prurient meshuggas seems to derive from the
taboo on menstruation in Western society rather than any authentic
Jewish source.  In any case, why should anyone other than the couple
need to know the kallah's state?

Martin Stern


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Sun, 08 Jan 2006 12:39:52 -0500
Subject: Re: Davening Attire

> From: Rabbi R. Bulka <rbulka@...>
> All I am suggesting is that since davening is being before God, we
> should give more attention to this, and seriously contemplate how our
> dress reflects the profound reality of being before God..

OK, but remember there are 2 kinds of "emphasising" a certain mitzva or
behavior.  If you emphasize it on your own and teach by example, I don't
see any problem with that.  But if it means criticising people and
asking them to improve, even in private, it could have the effect of
discouraging them from coming to shul at all.  I'd rather see more
people in shul even if they are dressed in in "work" or "play" clothes
than have them think twice about coming.

Personally, I like the idea of Hashem saying "come as you are, just come
and talk to me".


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 18:26:37 -0500
Subject: Davening Clothes

> We learn in the gemearra about people who are litterally daving on tree
> tops while they are working.  There are discussions about what they
> should say or delete so not to take away from the time they owe their
> employer.  No where is there any discussion of them changing to special
> clothing to daven.
> People go to shul and daven on their way to work.  A painter or garbage
> collector will not wear a three piece suit to daven and to work.  A
> lawyer will dress diffently than a maintenance worker.  Not all Jews are
> lawyers and doctors (even though that may be the view of fund raisers ).
> We need to learn zecus on those who come to daven before going to work
> rather than saying that they should not daven because they do not
> reflect being before G-d.

I think the issue (or bone of contention) isn't people who wear work
clothes and daven enroute to or from work.  The issue (to me) is people
who dress down for davening.  For example, someone who wears a suit to
work then shows up at davening wearing a torn, dirty shirt & slacks.

(Relative) punctuality is similarly a problem.  Someone who lives by a
schedule, comes to meetings on time, knows that if he's late he'll miss
his bus -- then, with no extenuating circumstances, shows up 10 minutes
late for davening.

Yes -- I'm being judgmental.   



From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2006 23:49:32 -0500
Subject: RE: Definition of Ot(Symbol)

The following definition is taken from Rav Hirsch and is formulated in my
OF THE WORLD (http://www.Rashiyomi.com/gen-1.htm)

>A symbol (OT) is an object or performance that reminds, either thru
>convention or natural association, of some other object or performance.

Rav Hirsch uses this to prove that Tzitzith is symbolic---since the
Bible explicitly mentions that its purpose is to "remember the other
commandments"--that is we see one object and we remember performances.
(Please see Rav Hirsch's essay on Tefillin if you want to do a paper on

Russell Jay Hendel;http://www.rashiyomi.com/


From: Meylekh Viswanath <pviswanath@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Jan 2006 17:39:15 -0500
Subject: Descent from Noakh

At 06:05 AM 1/4/2006 -0500, David Charlap wrote:
>And, of course, this reasoning collapses if you don't believe all these
>cultures were descendants from Noach - but then you're also denying the
>Torah, which makes that line of argument inappropriate for a list that
>assumes the correctness of the Torah.

But is this necessarily part of what's accepted as "correctness of
Torah?"  My understanding is that "correctness of Torah" applies to
halakhah, primarily and some other parts, such as God's giving of the
Torah.  Do I have to accept the recounting of the generations in
Bereishis as teaching us a history lesson?  If so, we would also have to
accept the "six-day" creation story.

I don't think I need to believe either to be a good Jew or to be a part
of this list.

Meylekh Viswanath


From: Meylekh Viswanath <pviswanath@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Jan 2006 17:58:03 -0500
Subject: Idolators and Hindus

At 06:05 AM 1/4/2006 -0500, Ben Katz wrote:

>We all know extremely moral atheists and idolators (eg Hindu's, most of
>whom are not monotheists, even in a loose, Christian sense).

I don't know about the loose or the strict Christian sense, but I know a
lot of Hindus who are strict monotheists -- that is, they believe that
there is only one God and he/it/she is noncorporeal.  Christians may or
may not be monotheists, but most Hindus I know are; they may also be
idolators, if you define an idolator as somebody who uses an idol for
purposes of worship.  At the same time, they are not ovdei avoda zara,
since it has more to do with monotheism than using idols for worship.

R. Goldberg was quoted early January on this list (Volume 46 Number 73) as 

> The only readers who take the Torah both literally and unidimensionally
> - who are fundamentalists - are non-Hebrew readers.  . . . The only text
> that counts is the original, whose Hebrew is multi-layered in a way that
> is alien to the English language.

I don't know if I agree with R. Goldberg, but I would paraphrase him in
this context to say: "Most Jews who call Hindus ovdei avoda zara are
non-Sanskrit speakers; they are working with a double translation -- one
from Indian languages to English (on the part of the Hindu) and from
English to Hebrew (on the part of the Jew)."

Meylekh Viswanath


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Sun, 08 Jan 2006 13:05:20 -0500
Subject: Re: Knowing how to Daven aloud

> From: <chips@...>
> 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`.

I've heard of some shuls that insist that any shliach tzibur must first
attend a course on proper pronunciation and pertinent halacha.


From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2006 00:28:53 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Quotation Source

  Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...> wrote:

> 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."

I don't know where the story comes from, but I can tell you what Pascal
actually considered the existence of the Jews to be proof of, and it's,
shall we say, a significantly different interpretation...  See Pascal's
"Pensees", paragraph 640:

   It is a wonderful thing, and worthy of particular attention, to see
   this Jewish people existing so many years in perpetual misery, it
   being necessary as a proof of Jesus Christ both that they should
   exist to prove Him and that they should be miserable because they
   crucified Him; and though to be miserable and to exist are
   contradictory, they nevertheless still exist in spite of their

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel 
University of British Columbia            Vancouver, BC, Canada


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Sun, 08 Jan 2006 12:48:02 -0500
Subject: Re: Right of the Lord

> From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
> In MJ 50:90, Nathan Lamm wrote:
> > R' Meir Wise points to the concept of the "Right of the Lord"
> > as the reason for certain practices relating to marriage.
> >
> > I recall reading that, in fact, fictional depictions not
> > withstanding, such a concept never existed. [snip]
> I'm not really sure that this is correct. The Gemara (Kesubos 3b) refers
> to a "time of danger" which caused the customary date for weddings to be
> moved up from Wednesday to Tuesday, and identifies the danger as due to
> a decree that "any virgin married on a Wednesday must first submit to
> relations with the local ruler."

Personally, I could never comprehend how Jewish communities actually
tolerated this inconceivable outrage.  I would think that they would
submit to death, or rise up in armed revolt, rather than submit.  But I
cannot put myself in their shoes.


From: Aryeh Gielchinsky <agielchinsky@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 2006 13:31:20 -0500
Subject: Sridei Eish

I recently bought a new 2 volume Sridei Eish. One of my friends claims
there was controversy about the Sridei Eish and not all of his letters
were published. Is anyone familiar with this?

Aryeh Gielchinsky
President of the Yeshiva University Physics and Engineering Club, retired


From: <engineered@...> (Ed "Shmuel" Norin)
Date: Sat, 07 Jan 2006 23:01:42 -0500
Subject: Tachunun Exemptions

There are many times in the calendar that we don't say Tachanun. 
Sometimes, these exemptions overlap.  Last month at Mincha on Saturday
30 of kislev we were exempt for five reasons:

Rosh Chodesh
afternoon before Chanuka
afternoon before Rosh Chodesh

Is five the most CALENDAR exemptions possible?  Do not count people
related exemptions such as a groom, mourner, bar mitzvah, brit person at
the minyan.

Ed "Shmuel" Norin


From: Paul Azous <azous@...>
Date: Fri, 06 Jan 2006 06:05:10 +0000
Subject: Tzedakah Inquiry

I have just finished a lively debate with some friends regarding whether
it is a mitzvah - counting towards the ten percent that should be given
annually - if one gives tzedakah to a non-Jew. I have learned that
giving tzedakah is a mitzvah between Jews, and that giving Tzedakah to a
non-Jew is mainly because of 'darchei shalom' and therefore does not
'count' towards the ten percent. Am I wrong? Any clarafication, with
Talmudic or code sources would be most appreciated.



End of Volume 50 Issue 97