Volume 51 Number 04
                    Produced: Sun Jan 15 11:29:26 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aveilut for parent (2)
         [Stephen Phillips, Joel Rich]
Changing Uses of Shul Space (2)
         [Ari Trachtenberg, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Descent from Noakh
         [Russell J Hendel]
Free Konkordance from Jewish Source MTR
         [Russell J Hendel]
Hilchot Nidah (was: Re: "talking to women" [sic])
         [Perry Zamek]
is Avoda Zara immoral?
         [Akiva Miller]
Kallah Covering Hair After Chupah
         [Martin Stern]
The meaning of 'sic'
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Moving a sefer torah
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Right of the Lord
         [Alex Heppenheimer]
Tahanun Exemptions
         [Ira L. Jacobson]


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 13:14:18 +0000
Subject: Re: Aveilut for parent

Further to what I wrote in Vol 51 #03, I have found further proof that
the Aveilus of 12 months is a matter of Kibud Av VaEim [honouring

The Shulchan Aruch in Siman 344:10 writes:

"One who left instructions [in his Will] that he should not be
eulogized, we listen to him. (But if he left instructions not to observe
Shiva or the laws of Shloshim for him (9) we do not listen to him)."

The Shach in Seif Katan 9 writes that the words in parentheses
(presumably from the Rama) do not apply to Aveilus of 12 months for a
parent in that if a parent leaves instructions that his children should
not mourn the 12 months (as opposed to the 30 days of Shloshim) we abide
by those instructions because the Aveilus of 12 months is one of Kibud
Av VaEim.

Stephen Phillips

From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 08:20:01 -0500
Subject: Aveilut for parent

 Thanks for your responses. It's clear that in my desire to be succinct,
I didn't communicate what I was really asking.  I am aware of the R'
Akiva medrash as well as the 12 months for the meit not being forgotten
and not being "parked"

My questions were:

1. The 7 and 30 day aveilut both have sources in Tanach. I was unable to
find any for the 12 month. Is this correct? If so, why the difference?

2. Is the extended aveilut a rule of aveilut or kavod for the parent
(which page does HKB"H give you a check mark in his record book?)  - if
it's aveilut, why is it different from others that we must mourn & why
12 months?  If kavod, where does the 12 months come from?

3. What is the source for 12 months for settling in and the meit not
being forgotten?  Are they related?


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 09:12:22 -0500
Subject: Re: Changing Uses of Shul Space

> From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
> Someone reported on a shul where this was being undertaken and the space
> to be used for the women was cordoned off with yellow tape for 30 days
> before being allowed to be used...
> Does anyone have any sources on this, and any idea of what the rationale
> for this is?

The most obvious rationale is simply practical ... notifying people
concretely of the change and avoiding embarrassing (or regressive)
situations in which people incorrectly go into the area.

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 15:32:01 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Changing Uses of Shul Space

> From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>

> A discussion recently got going on another list I'm on about the
> procedures involved when it is desired to put a mechitza into a space
> which was previously all-male.  The context is an aging population, a
> creaky balcony accessible only by too many and badly-pitched stairs,
> and a shul whose membership has shrunk sufficiently that all of the
> shul-attenders would fit well into the downstairs section (that is,
> the main shul).

> Someone reported on a shul where this was being undertaken and the
> space to be used for the women was cordoned off with yellow tape for
> 30 days before being allowed to be used.  Someone else reported on
> having seen a similar project in process in another shul.  The
> question arises as to what is the reason for this

I would say that it might be a practical matter of making sure that
everyone gets used to the space so that the men do not forget and walk
into the women's section.  Perhaps it is a method of verifying that the
space set aside is indeed usable as it is and does not have to be
redone.  That is, the men fit into their area and the women into their
area.  It might be too difficult to redo the mechitzah if the number of
rows required or the way the mechitzah is set up was miscalculated.

I doubt it was anything other than a practical method of setting up the
new mechitza.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
<Sabba.Hillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 22:42:03 -0500
Subject: Descent from Noakh

Meylekh Viswanath writes in v50n97 regarding the assertion that one must
believe that the Noachide laws were given prohetically to Noach

>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.

Let us clarify: (a) Rambam, Laws of Kings clearly states that for a Non
Jew to merit the hereafter he must a1) observe the Noachide laws and a2)
observe them BECAUSE they were prophetically given. If he observes them
simply because they make sense he has a share in this world but not the
next.  (In passing the Noachide laws were not given to Noach!  They were
given to Adam!)

(b)Meylekh makes things easy by identifying what bothers him about
acceptance of the Genesis story--the creation of the world in 6 days.
CREATION OF THE WORLD (http://www.Rashiyomi.com/gen-1.htm) I defend the
position that Judaism does not require the belief that God created the
physical world in 6 days. Rather what happened 6000 years ago is that
the first prophet was created. Judaism of course does require belief in
the creation of prophecy.

(c) Aside from the above one need not believe every Jewish fable however
it is IMPORTANT that one have a consistent method of interpreting the

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


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 23:11:09 -0500
Subject: Re: Free Konkordance from Jewish Source MTR

Shmuel v51#2 mentions free Konkordance on a Christian site. Several
times it has been pointed out here and other email groups that Mechon
Mamre has a free Konkordance, Talmud, Rambam, Yerushalmi with a nice
search engine that is dos based and is as good as any windows
engine. Please visit http://www.Mechon-Mamre.org/ for details. MTR
stands for Mishneh Torah Rambam and is a great tool



From: Perry Zamek <perryza@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 13:33:17 +0200
Subject: Hilchot Nidah (was: Re: "talking to women" [sic])

Shayna in Toronto wrote:
>Unless the question was asked at the time or unless the halachah in
>question is one that is clearly sex-dependent (men don't get pregnant or
>menstruate, women don't have seminal emissions or impregnate men), <snipped>

I think that Shayna is wrong on one point - women do have seminal
emissions. This is the reason for the minimum of 5 days in the nidah
state before counting the 7 clean days, even if the menstrual flow has
ceased earlier.

Perry Zamek


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 12:55:44 GMT
Subject: Re: is Avoda Zara immoral?

Last week, I wrote:
> I understand that in most governments and cultures, treason is the
> most serious of all crimes, because it undermines the entire
> government authority, and thus places all of its citizens in
> jeopardy. Avodah Zara is the ultimate treason, because it undermines
> the Highest Authority. This is the message of this prohibition: When
> someone prays to an idol, he is not merely foolish, but he is a
> traitor of the worst kind.

Yesterday, I began to question this logic: In a regular case of treason,
the citizens are in danger because we have no assurance that the foreign
power will be benevolent to us. There might even be a reasonable
presumption that they will be harmful to us.

But one might say that none of that applies to a case of Avodah Zara,
where the idol is truly powerless. We have nothing to fear from
it. Perhaps, as the original poster asked, it is a mere case of foolish
allegiance, and nothing more.

I resolved this question as follows: Switching allegiance from the True
G-d to a false god is indeed a very dangerous step. The True G-d has
told us many important things about what we must (and must not) do in
this world. It is my belief that these are not mere whims of His, but
that they are an instruction manual which we use to keep the world
running in its proper manner. If we abandon G-d to serve a false god,
then even though the false god has no real power, the abandonment of the
*instruction manual* could result in very real and tragic consequences,
G-d forbid.

Thus the explanation of treason, I think, is still valid, and those who
would lead us away from G-d and His Book are traitors (witting or not).

Akiva Miller


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 12:24:26 +0000
Subject: Re: Kallah Covering Hair After Chupah

on 12/1/06 10:16 am, Bracha Sebrow <brachasebrow@...> wrote:

> That is why some people have the custom for the kallah to wear her wig
> from the start of the wedding, so that you don't have any problems
> with the hair not being covered when she becomes Aishet Ish.

Surely this goes against the Mishnah (Ketubot 2.10) which accepts the
evidence of someone who, as a child, saw the kallah went under the
chuppah wearing a veil and with her hair uncovered, as sufficient to
prove she was a virgin and thus entitled to a ketubah of 200 zuz.

Martin Stern


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 04:43:53 -0800
Subject: The meaning of 'sic'

Shoshana Ziskind writes:
>I find it very distressing to see a [sic] after a quote from our
>sages. In fact I only included it in the subject line since it was
>there before.

Perhaps I wasn't clear about using 'sic' after a quote.  I meant it in
the generally accepted meaning of the notation, i.e. short for 'sicut'
in the Latin, meaning 'it was just like this in the original quote
[whether or not I agree with it here]'.  This is not at all distressing;
why would it be?



From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 16:15:46 +0200
Subject: Moving a sefer torah

It seems to be common knowledge that a sefer torah is not moved to 
a place where it will be used less than three times. For example,
I have often been told that mourners have a minyan for Shabbat 
mincha, to allow them to have a sefer for the Mon and Thur of the
week of shiva.

Is this 'rule' for real?
Are there opinions that disagree?

Thank you,


From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 16:52:20 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Right of the Lord

In MJ 50:97, Tzvi Stein replied to a post of mine:

>> 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.

Indeed they didn't tolerate this outrage, and at various times they
responded using both of the alternatives that you mention.

Submitting to death: The Gemara that I cited continues by explaining
that the danger (the word "sakanah" generally means something
life-threatening) is precisely that tznuos (women who are extra careful
in matters of modesty) would give up their lives under such conditions.

Rising up in armed revolt: I cited several sources that state that this
is precisely what the Chashmonaim did when faced with such an
edict. Needless to say, that can't have been an option in all times and
places, nor would it have been realistic for all people.

Kol tuv,


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 08:57:51 +0200
Subject: Re: Tahanun Exemptions

Ed "Shmuel" Norin stated:

> 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:

> Shabbot
> Chanuka
> Rosh Chodesh
> afternoon before Chanuka
> afternoon before Rosh Chodesh

I don't think that the day being Shabbat is an exemption from Tahanun.
Rather, on a day that one would otherwise say Tahanun, one says
Tzikos'cho at Shabbos Minha.  If not, then not.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


End of Volume 51 Issue 4