Volume 51 Number 06
                    Produced: Tue Jan 17  5:23:17 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bet Knesset & Crosses
         [Shimon Soreq]
Creation of Prophecy
         [N Miller]
If Rashi says ONLY MEANS can there be exceptions
         [Russell J Hendel]
Latecomer's "Hoiche Kedushah"
         [Nachum Hurvitz]
Mandarin Jew! (Who knew?)
Meit not being Forgotten
         [Joel Rich]
Moving a Sefer Torah (6)
         [Martin Stern, E Sherer, Haim Snyder, Menashe Elyashiv, Gershon
Dubin, Joseph Ginzberg]
Wearing Jackets to Prayer/Clothing to Tefillah
         [Samuel Ehrenfeld]


From: Shimon Soreq <shimons@...>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 08:27:07 +0200
Subject: Bet Knesset & Crosses

This is my first posting to the list . I have heard their is a minhag to
arrange the floor in a bet knesset in a way that the tiles don't form a
cross . Our bet knesset had a very intricate floor design , which I
assume was because of this , but I can't find the source anywhere (I
have also heard that in Bnei Brak there are no cross-roads).Does anyone
know of the source?

Shimon Soreq
Sde Eliyahu


From: N Miller <nmiller@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 12:15:02 -0500
Subject: Re: Creation of Prophecy

Russell Hendel writes:
>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.

Whenever I see text in block letters my nerve-endings alert me that a
Truth of the Day is about to be revealed and I prepare accordingly.  In
this case, however, I wonder if it might not be more accurate to say
that Russell Hendel requires that we believe in the "creation of

Noyekh Miller


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 12:33:25 -0500
Subject: If Rashi says ONLY MEANS can there be exceptions

A while back during the "Rashbam" thread I presented an example Gn25-22d
where Rashi interpreted SEEKING GOD as meaning SEEKING PROPHETIC advice.
Ramban demurs by presenting many examples where SEEKING GOD means
PRAYER.  I suggested that one could harmonize Rashi and Ramban by
assuming that neither authority meant their translation exclusively---in
(And I bring verses for that).

One person commented that if Rashi says "this only means such and such"
no one has the right to assume dual meanings.

First: I recently checked the actual Rashi text...Rashi does not state
(Gn25-22d) SEEK ONLY MEANS PROPHETIC SEEKING. He simply lists the
PROPHETIC SEEKING as a meaning. So he is open to dual meanings (and we
can interpret the Ramban's comment as a COMMENTARY vs a DISAGREEMENT).

Moreover I found an example in this weeks Parshah where Rashi says THIS
WORD MEANS ONLY SUCH AND SUCH yet in another place Rashi says THIS WORD
justifies the approach that we can reinterpret a Rashi translation if
there are obvious cases where scriptural lists justify the dual

The Hebrew word is Hey-Beth-Hey. I Gn11-03b and in Ex01-10a Rashi
clearly and unequivocally states that ALL OCCURENCES OF HVH MEAN


I note that Rashi still insists that all occurrences have some
connotation of PREPARATION. But I think it important that he flatly
states: ALL HVH MEANS PREPARATION in two cases and the explicitly
modifies this in a third.

My point here is that Rashi should be read with the KONKORDANCE...Rashi
does not intend to contradict known meanings. (In passing, a secondary
point I am making is that comments I make about Rashi are not off the
top of my head but can usually be justified by difficult Rashi texts)

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


From: Nachum Hurvitz <Nachum.Hurvitz@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 12:39:20 -0500
Subject: Latecomer's "Hoiche Kedushah"

From: Stephen Phillips
> I have never ever come across this, but if I did I know what I would do;
> I'd walk out.This is not Tefilla B'Tzibbur. It's one person trying to
> make his own personal Amidah into a public one. Apart from the Tircha
> D'Tzibbura aspect, everyone else has davened <snip>

Having experienced this "hoiche kedusha" phenonmenon myself:

1) Doesn't take more than 60 seconds or so, as the individual doing it
knows that people are waiting and is not going to dally around. I don't
think that's a huge impact unless your train leaves within 1 minute of
the end of davening. I've never seen any irritation from the other
people in shul when this does happen.

2) Those who may of come late have the opportunity to hear/say kedusha

3) What's wrong with offering a little extra 10 second prayer to G-d,
plus some additional opportunities to say "Amen"?

Just my thoughts
Nachum Hurvitz
Baltimore, MD


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 20:12:51 -0600
Subject: Mandarin Jew! (Who knew?)

Shalom to Klal Yisrael:

Sometimes I stumble upon something totally unexpected. Of course I was
aware of the existence of the Chinese Jewish community, now extinct for
all practical purposes - but a Jewish Mandarin? Who knew? I submit this
in the hope that you too will find this snippet of lost history to be
interesting. (The source is
http://jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=360&letter=C )

Chao Yng-Cheng --

Chinese Mandarin; flourished about 1653. After the sack of K'ai
Fung-Foo, which followed the fall of the Ming dynasty in 1642, the
synagogue there was destroyed, and the Jews took refuge on the north
side of the river Hoang-Ho, having saved the scrolls, which had been
thrown into the water.  Ten years later Chao, who was a Jewish Mandarin
from the province of Chen-Si, was detailed to restore the city, and with
the aid of his brother, Yng-teou, induced the Jews to cross the river
and take up their old quarters, and rebuild the temple in 1653. One
complete scroll of the Law was made up out of the fragments which had
been saved from the waters, and other copies were made from this. Chao
wrote an account of the saving of the scrolls and the rebuilding of the
temple, which was expanded by his brother into a book of ten chapters. A
stone stele dated 1663 was afterward erected, giving the details of his

Kol Tuv,
Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 11:42:51 -0500
Subject: Meit not being Forgotten

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

Apologies for not researching enough before asking. See brachot 58 b and
rashi there. 12months=forgetting is based on pasuk related to loss and
lost objects are announced for 3 regalim=1 year.  Certainly seems
unrelated to meit settling in olam haemet.

Joel Rich


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 20:06:17 +0000
Subject: Re: Moving a Sefer Torah

on 15/1/06 4:29 pm, Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...> wrote:
> 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?

Yes. I cannot quote texts but I have seen on several occasions a sefer
torah taken to a shiva house when it could not be used three times even
with shabbat minchah.

Martin Stern

From: <ERSherer@...> (E Sherer)
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 13:05:17 EST
Subject: Re: Moving a Sefer Torah

    So, what do you do when the Shiva is not going to run a full week
but will be cut short by a Yom Tov? Do we not bring in a Sefer for the
one (or two) days that you need it

From: <Haim.Snyder@...> (Haim Snyder)
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 01:39:21 +0200
Subject: Re: Moving a Sefer Torah

In Vol 51 #04, Shimon Lebowitz asked about moving a sefer torah to a
place where it not going to be read three times.

My understanding is that a sefer torah can only be moved to a "makom
kavua" (permanent place) which is defined in two different ways.  One is
a place where it will be read three times.  The other is to an "aron
kodesh" (holy ark), which is the permanent place for a sefer torah to be

Based on the second definition, many shuls have mobile arks that are
brought to the house of mourning and then the sefer torah is brought and
placed in the ark.  In this manner, there is no need to daven minha on
Shabbat in the mourner's home and, therefore, there is no question of
public mourning on Shabbat.

Haim Shalom Snyder

From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 14:49:22 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Moving a Sefer Torah

Some hold that the Tora should be read 3 times, if there is not an
additional reading (e.g. - fast day, Rosh Hodesh, Hanuka), it is read at
Shabbat Minha. Others hold that there is not a minimum amount of
readings.  And others hold that the Tora is not read in the mourner's

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 14:14:48 GMT
Subject: Moving a Sefer Torah

It's common knowledge, but with no basis that I'm aware of. Rav Moshe
Feinstein is quoted as holding that the requirement, meant for the
respect of the Sefer, is that it have a "place"; i.e. not be left laying
around on a table.


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 11:21:22 -0500
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.

I have a very small antique personal Torah scroll that I normally keep
at home. I asked specifically about this halacha from Rabbi Moshe David
Steinwurzel a"h, a great scholar who was the Rosh Yeshiva at the Bobover
Yeshiva in Boro Park, as well as a congregational Rabbi in Flatbush,
where I lived at the time.

He ruled that if the moving was for the honor of the Torah scroll, the
"reading three times" rule was irrelevant, i.e., I could take it to the
synagogue for Simchat Torah without reading it there.

I also asked him specifically if I could take it to work for reading at
mincha on fast days, and he said that this too was for the honor of the
Torah (using it on occassion) so it was okay.  He applied the reading 3
times rule only where it was moved for the honor of the people, i.e. at
a shiva house, where the mourners were able to get a minyan if they had
a scroll, or at a home minyan for a simcha.

Yossi Ginzberg


From: Samuel Ehrenfeld <samfeld@...>
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2006 19:48:41 -0500
Subject: Wearing Jackets to Prayer/Clothing to Tefillah

It's always a pleasure for me to read the posts of Chana Luntz, and I
look forward to them.  She always has an interesting perspective and her
posts are well-researched and well-written.

I feel the same about her post in Vol. 50, No.94, and enjoyed her
discussion of the history of dressing for tefillah, and the subsequent
halachic discussion.  But I was surprised by some comments she made
towards the end of her post:

"Today, if somebody gets an invitation for an audience with the Queen or
the President, one feels (and probably is) on some level important, and
the dressing up associated with that is part and parcel of that feeling.

"But in the days when Kings and Queens were not just about pomp and
ceremony, but held real powers over people's lives - people who went to
beg for something important did not necessarily dress up for the
occasion. That may have been for the royal court, but if anything an
ordinary person asking for mercy was expected to stress the distance
between the asker and the asked, and humble clothing would seem far more
conducive to that."

I recall parshas Miketz (from 3 weeks ago) where we read about Yosef
being called to Pharaoh.  "Vayegalach vayechalef simlosav vayavo el
Pharaoh."  ("And he [Yosef] shaved [or cut his hair] and changed his
clothes and he came to Pharaoh.")  Rashi says on the spot: "Mipnei kevod
malchus" ("for the glory of the king").  Sforno goes even further: "Ki
ein lavo el shaar hamelech bilevush sak" ("for it is not appropriate to
come to the gate of the king in sackcloth) (paraphrasing from Megillas
Esther)."  Even though it's possible to argue that Yosef's case was not
one of "an ordinary person asking for mercy" (but maybe it was), the
message from the commentaries seems to apply.

What do you think, Chana?

Shmuel Ehrenfeld


End of Volume 51 Issue 6