Volume 51 Number 31
                    Produced: Wed Feb 22  7:35:42 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Benching in a hurry
         [Joel Rich]
Bitul, Hekdesh and Kashrut
         [Shalom Kohn]
Cases where issur d'rabbanan + shinnui = mutar?
         [Daniel Nachman]
Clothing at Tefilla
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Drawers and gartels
Perfect Mis-understandings - Standing for Torah Readings
         [Ben Katz]
Rashi question
         [Lisa Liel]
Sheva Brakhot
         [Mark Steiner]
         [Eli Turkel]
Use of technology
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Who leads / who decides who leads the zimmun ... and when
         [Perry Zamek]
Yitro, Moshe's father in law
         [Ben Katz]


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 08:26:12 -0500
Subject: Benching in a hurry

> At all too long wedding meals, people are often seeking 2 more to answer
> so they can bench and run (escape?)
> Carl Singer

Warning! Warning! Danger! Danger (reference for lost in space fans only)

Weddings offer a great challenge in terms of brachot (especially those
with a smorg)
1.Do you wash before the smorg, before the meal or both?
2.If before the smorg, what do you do about benching if the chuppah etc.
lasts more than 72 (or so) minutes?
3.if before the meal can you leave without benching with a minyan that
all sat down with you at the same time?
4.Is the sheva brachot a key element of being msameach the chatan and
kallah which is the prime purpose of being there?

1 Consult your halachik authorities
2 Consult your halachik authorities
3 Consult your halachik authorities
4 Consult your halachik authorities

Joel Rich


From: Shalom Kohn <skohn@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 12:10:41 -0600
Subject: Bitul, Hekdesh and Kashrut

A bit of confusion (to my mind) seems to have been generated by R.
Yisrael Medad's comparing the general rules of bitul b'rov to his
citation of the Rambam in his Mishneh Torah, Korbanot, Hilchot B'chorot,

>"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)".

There are different issues here.  As some have noted, per the language
of the Rambam, the shorn hair was stated to be a "davar chashuv"
(important thing) and therefore would not be batel even with respect to
kashrut or other prohibitions.  The Ra'avad adopts the same conclusion,
but attributes the ruling to "davar she-yesh lo matirim" (something
which could become permissible) because one can redeem the hair of the
bechor, so the rationale of "why have this in a prohibited way (b'issur"
(via bitul) when you can have it in a completely permissible manner."

A second consideration, however, applies to something whose enjoyment is
prohibited, like hekdesh or avoda zara.  In that circumstance, the fact
that the object may be subsumed in the mass (via bitul) for purpose of
allowing each item in the mass to be used does not change the fact that
if one each of an admixture of 100 permissible and 1 impermissible item,
he has benefitted by having a 101st item, and thereby in effect
benefitted from a prohibited item.  In the case of idolatrous items, for
example, the gemara tells the person to destroy the value of what has
been mixed in (yolich ha'na'ah le-yam ha'melach).

The text of the Rambam appears consistent with the foregoing, but he is
making an additional point on account of the "important thing".

Shalom L. Kohn


From: Daniel Nachman <lhavdil@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 20:44:10 -0600
Subject: Cases where issur d'rabbanan + shinnui = mutar?

I was discussing the topic of muktze with someone and it suddenly struck
me as odd that moving muktze al achar yad (moving muktze "in an unusual
way") is permitted on Shabbat, even for the purpose of protecting the
muktze.  Applying the shinnui (change in the usual way of doing things)
to the d'rabbanan prohibition of moving the muktze voids the prohibition
completely, and the act is mutar (permitted).

In hilchot Shabbat, we have the concept of melechet machshevet, so that
acts that might ordinarily be considered issur d'oraita (forbidden at
the level of Torah), become issur d'rabbanan (forbidden rabbinically
rather than at the level of Torah) when done in an unusual way (leaving
aside the question of what exactly constitutes an unusual way).  So for
cases where it is permissible to break Shabbat, we try to do the
forbidden act with a shinnui so that only a gezeira is broken rather
than the Torah melacha.  Or in circumstances where a d'rabbanan may be
broken but not a d'oraita -- to help a very sick person (choleh she'aino
bo sakana), for human dignity (kavod habriot), etc. -- we perform the
act with a shinnui, which renders it patur (forbidden by Chazal rather
than by the Torah), and thus permissible in these extenuating
circumstances.  This is because, in order to be a Torah violation, the
act has to meet the standard of being an "act of craftsmanship,"
(melechet machevet) and one aspect of that standard is performing the
act efficiently -- i.e. in the usual way.  If the act isn't done in the
usual way, it doesn't meet the standard of craftsmanship, and is thus
not considered "work" according to the Torah.

But as far as I know, there is no parallel concept for issurim
d'rabbanan.  Usually, when something is forbidden d'rabbanan, doing it
with a shinnui doesn't make it any less forbidden (right?).  So why is
moving muktze different?  And are there other cases where doing an issur
d'rabbanan with a shinnui renders the act mutar?

D. Nachman


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 08:15:26 -0500
Subject: Re: Clothing at Tefilla

Aharon Fishman writes:

"I had a friend who wore a Grey hat to daven in.  His reasoning - the
makorot [sources] he found seemed to imply that he should wear a hat.

The sources never said a 'black' hat."

I live in Baltimore, and the Orthodox community runs a volunteer
citizens' patrol called the "Northwest Citizens' Patrol."  Each evening,
there are between nine and eleven cars with two way radios and
volunteers patrolling the community, and one car, the "watch commander,"
who has a uniformed policeman in his car.  The basic rule is that if you
see anything, you radio the watch commander and he drives over with the
policeman to handle the situation (you are not allowed to get out of
your car).

To communicate, the patrol uses police codes.  Thus "number one" refers
to a white person, and "number two" refers to a black person.  For
example, you might hear, "I saw a purse snatching by a tall number one
person in a brown jacket."

In an now famous episode, one patrol member was stationed near a shul
that had an evening lecture.  As the crowd came out, he radioed: "I see
a large group of number one people in number two hats."

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 06:13:13 -0600
Subject: Drawers and gartels

Shalom to All:

Yossi Ginzberg noted that >>Back in the late 60's R. Moshe Feinstein
ruled that the elastic in one's underwear was sufficient to fulfill the
obligation of separating the upper and lower body for prayer...<<

As a non-gartel guy, I wonder why that distinction didn't occur during
the centuries when people's underwear was secured by a drawstring; hence
the phrase "drawers" for undies.

Kol Tuv,
Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 11:32:15 -0600
Subject: Re: Perfect Mis-understandings - Standing for Torah Readings

         Despite the arguments of Rabbi Wolpoe to the contrary, Rambam
clearly says NOT to stand just for the 10 commandments because it seems
to imply that one part of the Torah is more important than others.  In
shuls where the Rabbi gets that aliyah I believe the situation is
mitigated, because one is then standing for the entire aliyah, to honor
the rabbi (in sephardi shuls it is lovely to see a whole family stand
when the father gets an aliyah); one is not getting up in the middle of
the aliyah, which might imply that part of the aliyah is more important
than the rest.  I have been in shuls where the rav will specifically say
NOT to stand (eg for shirah, the 10 commandments, etc.) and, as a
Maimonidean, I believe this is a laudable practice.

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: Lisa Liel <lisa@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 11:30:16 -0500
Subject: Rashi question

A friend of mine asked me about this, and I came up more or less empty.
I've asked it elsewhere, and still haven't gotten a solid answer.

Bava Metzia 84a.  In the 14th line of Rashi from the end, d"h "pagyon".
Rashi gives a single word as an explanation.  It's spelled
alef-shin-peh-yud-chupchik.  He doesn't say it's laaz, so I'm assuming
it's not, but the only weapon-oriented thing that starts that way means
quiver, and a pagyon is supposedly a dagger.

Does anyone have any idea what this means?



From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 15:19:13 +0200
Subject: RE: Sheva Brakhot

I found a teshuvah by R. Shlomo Kluger, one of the greatest respondents
in the last few hundred years (Reb Moshe used to be happy if his opinion
agreed with his), who makes the following definitive points about sheva

(a) Sheva Brakhot is not part of birkat hamazon (therefore, after the
seven days are over, if the meal ends at night, no sheva brakhot are
said--this is different from the prayer retzeh which is said even if the
meal ends late after shabbat).

(b) It is permitted to leave before sheva berakhot--i.e. wherever you
would be able to leave a regular dinner before birkat hamazon is recited
in public, you can leave at a wedding.

(c) Even the Mishna Berurah says that you can bensh with three rather
than ten if you have to run out to do a mitzvah.  My brother-in-law, one
of the important figures in Bnei Brak, agreed with my thesis that to get
a good night sleep so that one can daven or learn (didn't ask him about
work) probably is certainly a mitzvah.  The Arukh Hashulhan goes further
and says that you don't have to wait when they stretch out a meal

Conclusion: if you participate in a zimmun, you can't participate again
in a zimmun.  This has, however, nothing to do with sheva berakhot.

Mark Steiner


From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 11:59:42 +0200
Subject: Tachanun

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.)>>

Unless your Brisk in which case you always rest the head on the left
hand even if the are wearing tefiillin there (and again reverse for

Eli Turkel


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 08:18:36 -0500
Subject: Use of technology

A wonderful use of technology:

My son in law teaches in a yeshiva in Brooklyn (NY).  One of the eighth
grade students is ill and is currently in the hospital for lengthy
treatment.  He has been very depressed, bored, and misses school (!).
The school has put a web cam in the class, and he now is "attending"
class via a lap top in his hosptial room (and is happy!).

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: Perry Zamek <perryza@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 13:58:20 +0200
Subject: Re: Who leads / who decides who leads the zimmun ... and when

Ira L. Jacobson  wrote:
>Martin Stern <md.stern@...> stated :
>         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.
>My understanding is that if two are in a hurry they may ask a third to
>join them (under certain circumstances), but not that one may ask two
>to join him.

There is a difference in the halacha between the two situations:

1. If two wish to bench, they can impose their will on a third person,
who has to interrupt his meal to answer zimmun (up to the end of the
first bracha of birkat hamazon)

2. If one wishes to bench, he can only request that two others interrupt
their meal to answer - they are under no obligation to accede to his
request.  I'm not sure, in the second case, what the individual's
options are if the other two refuse to join his zimmun - since he is
under an obligation of birkat hamazon with a zimmun, is he forced to
wait until they have finished (even if he has to run and, say, catch a
train?), or may he bench on his own (and thereby break up the zimmun)?

Perry Zamek


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 13:08:36 -0600
Subject: Re: Yitro, Moshe's father in law

>From: o7532 <o7532@...>
>On a somewhat tangential note, the whole business consulting aspect of
>the suggestion surprises a bit.  Why didn't Moshe think of it already.
>What does this imply about da'at Torah on some matters.  Why did Moshe
>not have to bother checking with God here.  Why so many, 13.1% of the
>population when we hear of not one disputation hereafter.  And, why
>1000, 100, 50, 10.  Why 50.

         Precisely because of the difficulty of imagining 13% of the
population being judges, Ibn Ezra believed that "saray alaphim" meant
one who had 1000 people working for him (eg a large beaurocracy) and
that there were only 12 "saray alaphim",. i.e. the heads of the tribes.

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@...>


End of Volume 51 Issue 31