Volume 51 Number 29
                    Produced: Mon Feb 20  6:00:05 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

clothing at tefillah
Dr. Reuven Rudman z"l
         [Perry Zamek]
"Raboysay mir veln benshn" (2)
         [Bernard Raab, Avi Feldblum]
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Tahanun - w/ Torah in the room
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Temple Importance (3)
         [Martin Stern, Jack Gross, Yisrael Medad]
Valentines Day and Halacha (3)
         [Rabbi Meir Wise, David Ziants, Avi Feldblum]
Wearing a gartel (was: Wearing Jackets to Prayer/Clothing to
         [Alex Heppenheimer]
Wearing Jackets to Prayer/Clothing to Tefillah
         [Frank Silbermann]
Who leads / who decides who leads the zimmun ... and when
         [Martin Stern]


From: <skyesyx@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 02:39:52 -0500
Subject: clothing at tefillah

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel that this topic is not worth the
attention it is getting?


From: Perry Zamek <perryza@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 06:17:52 +0200
Subject: Re: Dr. Reuven Rudman z"l

An additional phone number for those wishing to call and extend
condolences: (718) 213-4174 (Direct US number to their home in

Perry Zamek


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 16:45:03 -0500
Subject: RE: "Raboysay mir veln benshn"

>From: <aliw@...> (Arie)
>in MJ 51/24, Immanuel Burton wrote:
> >As a matter of curiosity, if one is eating with enough people to
> >make a zimmun, and someone there wants to bentch and says,
> >"Should we bentch?", should everyone else present try and
> >decide who should lead the zimmun, or should they respond with
> >"Yehi shem..."?
>i think people should be made aware of the problem and avoid a situation
>where someone suggests bentching in a manner which is in itself the
>opening to zimun. one solution i've seen is that someone points out to
>the "offender" that what he just said is sufficient to start zimun so he
>should take care, and THEN everyone else present tried to decide who
>should lead the zimun.

So this solution is: First embarrass the "offender" for his ignorance and 
then proceed to ignore him? So much of our religious observance (and life in 
general) is so tied up with such minutia that we tend to ignore the very 
serious issurim connected with adam lechveiro.

Please forgive us a little mussar--Bernie R.

From: Avi Feldblum <avi@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006
Subject: RE: "Raboysay mir veln benshn"

Bernie, I do not see the problem that you see in Arie's response. It may
very well depend on the way it is carried out, of course. I do not see
any indication of embarrassing anyone by pointing out that a statement
made not with the intention of being halachic call to zimmun may indead
be a halachic call. If in the final sentance the word 'else' was
actually meant, then I would like to understand from Arie what the logic
of excluding the original person from the discussion of who should
bentch was.



From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 05:14:08 +0200
Subject: Tachanun

The Ashkenazic Minhag is generally to lay the head on one's arm for
Tachanun (Nefilat Apayim) is only if there is a Sefer Torah in the room
and not to do so where is no Sefer Torah. The exception is Yerushalayim,
where the Ashkenazic Minhag Yerushalayim (evidently because of the
city's sanctity) is to lay one's head on one's arm even if there is no
Sefer Torah present. See a little Sefer of R' Yechiel Michel
Tekutzinsky, "Sefer Eretz Yisrael."

Incidentally, a great Torah scholar who checked it noted that Sefardim
stopped the practice of Nefilat Apayim a few hundred years ago, for some
reason related to the prohibition against bowing down on stone floors. I
wonder if their bowing daily was like we do on Rosh Hashanah and Yom
Kippur, for in such a case one is forbidden to do so on a stone
floor. Any historian able to comment?

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 08:00:50 +0200
Subject: Re: Tahanun - w/ Torah in the room

My claim, as edited, came out to be:

Carl Singer <csngr@...> stated on Sun, 29 Jan 2006

>> When saying tachnun in the presence of a sefer torah we rest our head
>> upon our arm.

> This is only true for Ashkenazim.

This is not entirely accurate, so I restate it as follows:

Sefardim do not rest their heads on their arms during nefilat apayim.
Ashkenazim rest their heads on their left arm unless they are wearing
tefillin there, in which case they rest their head on their right arm.
Teimanim rest their head on their left arm even if they are wearing
tefillin there.  (Left-handed people do the same, except that their
right is our left, so to speak.)

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 06:30:04 +0000
Subject: Temple Importance

on 19/2/06 02:28, Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...> wrote:
> The Rambam in his Mishneh Torah, Korbanot, Hilchot B'chorot, 3:13, notes
> that "The shorn hair of a b'chor, even one which is blemished, that got
> mixed up with unsanctified shorn hair, even one amongst many thousands,
> all of it is prohibited (to gain benefit from)".
> In other words, whereas in the matter of kashrut, we know of the
> principle of batel b'shishim, in this case, the Rambam writes further
> that this is because "it is a matter of something important and it
> sanctifies all".

Is this not a case of min bemino (something prohibited mixed with the
same sort of thing - in our case hair with hair) which is never batul
(annulled) according to Rashi and Rambam but which we, nowadays, rule
according to Rabbenu Tam to be batul berov (annulled in a mixture where
it is a minority)?

Martin Stern

From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 04:29:09 -0500
Subject: Temple Importance

From: Avi Feldblum <avi@...>
> It is not clear to me that there is any difference between kashrut and
> hekdash in this matter. If something is a "davar chasuv", a "matter of
> importance" then it is not batul b'shishim even in the case of kashrut.

Oops - there's a taaroves of concepts here.

"Shishim" is only relevant to bitul taam - where the substance of the
issur is no longer extent and the only issue is its taste.  At 1:60 it
is assumed to be sufficiently attenuated, at least if it was not
purposely added to affect the taste.

The hair is known to be extant (b'ein, as they say), just not locatable,
so any hair in the mixture may be that one.  If bitul applies, the shiur
is chad b'trei.

From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 23:15:43 +0200
Subject: Temple Importance

Avi, our chashuvadika moderator, is absolutely correct when he writes:

 >It is not clear to me that there is any difference between kashrut and
 >hekdash in this matter. If something is a "davar chasuv", a "matter of
 >importance" then it is not batul b'shishim even in the case of kashrut.

I should have clarified that I was "talking drush" and not Halacha in
the sense that I was pointing out that whereas today many would normally
classify a piece of wool, even one strand from an animal, as not that
important and certainly not as important as the concept of keeping
kosher, it actually is not so. Of course the laws of kashrut and mixing
are complex but I wasn't going into specifics.

Yisrael Medad


From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Meir Wise)
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 02:50:08 EST
Subject: Re: Valentines Day and Halacha

The Gaon Rabbi Nachum Rabinovitch, Rosh Yeshivat Maale Adumim, former
Principal of Jews College, London in a ruling to the Jewish Students of
the University of London (UJS, Hillel) issued through me - then their
Campus rabbi, in 1979 forbade them to celebrate Valentine's day due to
it's origin.

Rabbi Wise

From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 10:11:37 +0200
Subject: Re: Valentines Day and Halacha

> Thus, eating chocolate on Valentine's Day and even giving chocolate to
> another, so long as there is not notation of why such is being giving, is
> clearly permissible, even if one disagreed with the analysis above and
> thought Valentine's Day was still a Christian holiday  The same can be
> said for any activity intrinsically of value, such as a husband expressing
> his love of his wife, or giving flowers to a beloved -- each of which
> would be a nice gesture all year round.
> Conclusion
> I think it is the conduct of the pious to avoid explictly celebrating
> Valentine's day with a Valentine's day card, although bringing home
> chocolate, flowers or even jewerly to one's beloved is always a nice idea
> all year around, including on February 14.

Why do we need to celebrate their day, when we have our own tu-be'av

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel

From: Avi Feldblum <avi@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006
Subject: Re: Valentines Day and Halacha


I do not see R. Broyde as ever saying that we "should" or have any
"need" to celebrate "Valentines Day". The question that was raised was
whether it was halachically forbidden to "celebrate" it. His conclusion
is that it is not forbidden to "celebrate" it, but that a ba'al nefesh
should not "celebrate" it explicitly, e.g. with a card that expresses
the concept of celebration, but that doing something nice for ones
spouse is a positive thing, whether it is on Feb 14th or any other day.

A better question may be to better understand whether there is an
intrinsically Jewish day on the calendar for these activities, and if
so, to understand why it has fallen into dis-use. If appropriate, one
should then advocate for re-instituting it.

Avi Feldblum


From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2006 19:01:40 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Wearing a gartel (was: Wearing Jackets to Prayer/Clothing to

In MJ 51:28, Carl Singer asked:

> Here's one I never heard before -- during an informal discussion of
> wearing a gartel when davening -- one of my colleagues asked another
> why a belt (worn ordinarily) wasn't sufficient.

> The response was that one is supposed to wear an additional garment
> when davening and that the gartel fulfilled this requirement.

> Any sources?  The responder is Lubavitch -- something I add only re:
> where to look.

This is clearly stated in Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 91:2 (my
translation): "One must wear a gartel (Heb. ezor) while praying, even if
he has a belt (to hold his pants up - Mishnah Brurah sec. 5) such that
his heart doesn't see his private parts; this is in order [to fulfill
the dictum], 'Prepare [yourself to meet your G-d, O Israel]' (Amos

Mishnah Brurah (sec. 4) qualifies this ruling as applying only to
someone who regularly wears a gartel throughout the day, though he
concludes that it's a mark of piety ("middas chassidus") to put one on
for davening regardless.

Also, Rama (91:6) cites Tur to the effect that in peacetime, "one should
adorn oneself with nice clothing for prayer."  Possibly this was your
colleague's source for the idea that there's a general rule about
wearing an additional garment during davening.

Kol tuv,


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2006 21:13:36 -0600 (CST)
Subject: RE: Wearing Jackets to Prayer/Clothing to Tefillah

Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...> V51 N28
> I'll apologize and retract my use of the word "laziness", but I am
> doing so in order to underscore my opposition to the idea that
> "familiarity breeds comfort" and "an easing of formality" are positive
> things.

Nevertheless, it seems to me that there ought to be a way to dress for
davening without dissipating one's time, attention or money -- whatever
the standard.

For example, there are stage costumes which look like suits with jacket
and tie but which are really just one-piece zip-ups, which one can put
on over other clothes (for fast costume changes between acts).

One can have such an outfit made and keep it in the shul to step into
before davening and out of it afterwards.  Doing so will also satisfy
any requirement to wear a special garment dedicated for prayer.  One can
meet any appearance requirements with such an approach without imposing
on one's between-prayer style of dress, and without taking up time that
could better be used for good deeds, Torah study, rest, or earning a

Frank Silbermann	Memphis, Tennessee


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 06:37:03 +0000
Subject: Who leads / who decides who leads the zimmun ... and when

on 19/2/06 02:28, Carl A. Singer <casinger@...> wrote:
> In an ad hoc situation there's usually some group discussion.   I do
> recall someone trying to "rush" the benching - they have to leave so
> they ask someone else to lead the benching -- the issue being when, not
> who -- I guess it's less onerous to force the issue of "when" without
> also grabbing the "who".

Surely the correct procedure for someone in a hurry is to ask if two
others will join him to answer the zimmun with the intention of
continuing to eat.  He then benches and goes and they bench later when
they have finished eating.

Martin Stern


End of Volume 51 Issue 29