Volume 51 Number 49
                    Produced: Tue Mar  7  6:37:23 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Common Mispronunciations
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Counting for a Minyan (6)
         [Harlan Braude, Shmuel Himelstein, Ira L. Jacobson, Irwin E.
Weiss, Esquire, Martin Stern, Ari Trachtenberg]
How to Pasken (Decide) a Question
         [Allen Gerstl]
Maot Hittim
         [Mark Steiner]
Paid "kaddish services"
         [Mike Gerver]


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Mon, 06 Mar 2006 19:47:56 +0200
Subject: Re: Common Mispronunciations

> From the Rosh HaShana prayers: "Hayyom haras olam", pronouncing the
> thav as if it were a samekh, changing the meaning from "today is the
> birthday of the universe" to "today the universe was obliterated".

Living in Israel, my ear is attuned to the mistake mentioned, but there
is one problem with it (as a mistake, I mean).

Since I use Ashkenazy pronunciation (which I believe to be legitimate,
and for which I give no apology), I *do* pronounce the sav at the end of
the word just like a samech. But that does *not* make it at all like
'obliterate', which would be pronounced 'hayom hOras olom', not 'hAras'
(caps to indicate which vowel, not accented syllable).

I am reminded of the baal koreh/kriah who read parashat Balak and said
'ki lo naCHASH' (accent on final syllable) and was yelled at for
changing the meaning of the word (divination to snake).  He, or someone
else there, pointed out that this being an Ashkenaz pronunciation shul
(I believe this happened in Telz-Stone near Yerushalayim), a snake would
have been 'nochosh', but 'nachash', even with a misplaced accent, is
still divination.

Regarding the other "mispronunciations", they seem to me to be somewhat
forced. There must be a difference between mispronouncing what you see
printed before your eyes, and *correctly* pronouncing what you see, but
with a different accent or idiom.

Will we start claiming that people who say 'ahh' for 'R' don't speak
English correctly, just because they are from some particular
geographical area, and that is their accent?

We all know that many Jews grew up pronouncing `ayin just like alef.  I
don't think that means that we can label all of their Hebrew as



From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2006 08:13:33 -0500
Subject: RE: Counting for a Minyan

> few religious families?  Rabbi Wolf promised "bus service" to make it
> easier for the parents.  Imagine their surprise when the rabbi pulled
> up to the door to pick up their kids.

Yes. I remember being a recipient of that particular Chesed of his
(among others)! :-)

> Yehi zichro baruch.

From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Mon, 06 Mar 2006 15:58:45 +0200
Subject: Counting for a Minyan

This entire discussion about whom to count toward a Minyan reminded me
of a story in my "A Touch of Wisdom, A Touch of Wit."

Once Rabbi Pinchas, author of the Hafla'ah, gathered together ten men at
his home to form a minyan for prayer. Even after he had the ten men, he
asked that another be brought, because he felt that one of the ten was
not a believer in Hashem, and he therefore did not want to include him
in the quorum. That particular man sensed the reason for the rabbi's
decision, so he said to him: "Isn't it true that one of the ingredients
of the incense that was offered in the Temple was galbanum resin, which
is also not the most fitting item, yet was included with the others?"
"That is the reason," said Rabbi Pinchas, "that the incense was
compounded of eleven ingredients and not ten..."

Shmuel Himelstein

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, 06 Mar 2006 21:41:19 +0200
Subject: Re: Counting for a Minyan

Esther & Sholom Parnes stated in mail-Jewish Vol. 51 #47 Digest:

      Anonymous posted about # 10 who waited in the hall for #11 to show
      up because # 9 was not shomer shabbat and #10 did not want a
      non-shomer shabbat to be counted in the minyan.

      See responsa of Rav Mordechai Farkash at
      where he quotes the Klausenberger Rebbe among others

Yes.  He says that we cannot be sure what the Klausenberger Rebbe
thought of the proposition that one who desecrates Shabbat in public is
[regarded as though he were] a total gentile.  I don't see how that
strengthens your thesis.

      See http://www.beith-din.com/secular.htm

Incredibly wordy with no obvious conclusion.  Can you formulate a

      See responsa of Rav Yehuda Amital at

His summary contains what he refers to a "minhag" that permits such
people to serve as sheliah tzibbur.  This minhag seems to contradict a
specific halakha in the Mishna Berura, 55:46-47, which enumerates the
types of `aveirot that disqualify one from being counted in a minyan.
Which takes precedence?

IRA L. JACOBSON         

From: Irwin E. Weiss, Esquire <irwin@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2006 07:22:21 -0500
Subject: Counting for a Minyan

The practice of the "waiter" is very problematic.  I agree with the
three posters on 51#47 (Batya Medad, Yisrael Medad, Esther & Sholom

What does the waiter do if, during the davenning, one of the other frum
(acceptable to him) Jews has to leave the room for personal reasons?
Does he leave too, so as to destroy the minyan?

The practice of embarrassing other people who may be trying to improve
themselves is completely counterproductive and not necessary from any
reasonable point of view.

Irwin Weiss

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 05 Mar 2006 16:05:54 +0000
Subject: Counting for a Minyan

On Wed, 01 Mar 2006 14:58:23 Anonymous wrote:
> At our "office" minyan today we had an interesting situation.  One of
> our regulars was waiting out in the hallway rather than the room where
> we daven.  When a 10th person showed up, he remained out there.  Not
> until an 11th came (3 minutes later) did he enter so we could begin
> davening.  We had a "new" attendee with us today which apparently was
> the root cause of this situation.  It turns out that the "waiter" will
> not count a non-frum Jew (whatever that means) as part of a minyan so he
> waited outside to keep us from having ten with this other (new attendee)
> Jew counting. I was worried that this situation, if not properly "disguised"
> could greatly embarrass the "9th" -- as it was the "waiter" pretended to be
> fielding a cellphone call.

There is a similar story told of, I think, Rav Chaim Brisker who did not
wish to start davenning because he was not happy about one of the ten
present. Someone remonstrated with him that the Gemara in Ta'anit says
that sinners should be included in the congregation and gives as the
reason that the unpleasant-smelling spice, chelbenah, was included in
the incense used in the Beit Hamikdash. His reply was that there were
eleven spices used in its preparation!

> Also, what is the assumption when a stranger walks into the minyan --
> do we assume he's Jewish, frum, non-Jewish, non-frum -- or do we
> somehow evaluate him based on appearance and mannerisms -- this is
> clearly a very slippery slope.

Perhaps the best thing to do is to greet him and try to engage him in
conversation while waiting. It should be possible to determine if he is
in fact not Jewish and just wandered in to the room by chance. However
it will almost certainly not be possible to check that he is
halachically Jewish.

> How do others handle this -- especially to avoid embarrassing someone.

Obviously one must handle such situations with great tact. The ploy used
in the case mentioned above might not always be appropriate. If the
visitor points out that there is already a minyan, one could probably
assume he is Jewish. He might even say he has yahrzeit that day which
should be sufficient. If one still has doubts, one could say that the
group is waiting for a regular member who should arrive shortly.

Martin Stern

From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Mon, 06 Mar 2006 10:02:23 -0500
Subject: Re: Counting for a Minyan

> From: Anonymous

> I was worried that this situation, if not properly "disguised" could
> greatly embarrass the "9th" -- as it was the "waiter" pretended to be
> fielding a cellphone call.
> How do others handle this -- especially to avoid embarassing someone.
> Also, what is the assumption when a stranger walks into the minyan -- do
> we assume he's Jewish, frum, non-Jewish, non-frum -- or do we somehow
> evaluate him based on appearance and manerisms -- this is clearly a very
> slippery slope.

My understanding is that the halacha demands extending the benefit of
the doubt to assuming that this person is Jewish.  Interestingly, I have
attended Chabad minyanim where a minyan seemed to proceed even with one
or more of the minyan were clearly not observant (e.g. drove to shul and
parked their car right in front of the shul ... on shabbat) - I'm not
sure that they consider this a halachic problem.

Further regarding the benefit of the doubt ... I would argue that it
should also apply to the "waiter" in assuming that he really was
fielding a cellphone call (and possibly miscounted, or didn't realize
that a new face was present).

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


From: Allen Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Mon, 06 Mar 2006 06:33:48 -0500
Subject: How to Pasken (Decide) a Question

My two cents worth:

In 2003 and 2004 I posted on this topic and I appreciated the benefit of
having my understanding enhanced through discussions that followed.

I am tempted to rehash those discussions but because of time constraints
I will just make reference to the following:

The SA in CM25 describes the difference between a Devar Mishnah (a
settled law) and Shikul HaDaat (matters not settled and left to the
understanding of the individual posek).  Again, IIUC, the discretion of
the posek to pasken according to his analysis becomes fettered because
of another concept - Sugya DeAlma, which IIUC is a concensus as among

Within the above framework, IIUC, Rav Moshe in a famous teshuvah in
Egrot Mosheh YD v.I:101 explained that a qualified posek who had clear
proof of the correctness of his opinion was not bound to follow an
opinion of even a well-known Achron or even of some of the Rishonim
provided that his pesak did not differ from the nosei keilim
(commentaries) on the SA and provided that the matter at issue was of
urgent importance.



From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2006 16:03:10 +0200
Subject: Maot Hittim

					Erev Rosh Hodesh Adar 5766

To all my friends on mail-jewish,,

	It is once again the season of the year when we think of the
poor of Jerusalem and maot hittim.  Over the years I have had the
privilege of participating in this mitzvah, I have been struck by the
continuing generosity of the Jewish people all over the world,
generosity towards fellow Jews they do not know and never will (the
highest form of charity).

	Though in many ways, the economic situation of the State of
Israel has improved over the last few years, this improvement has passed
over the poor, including even the working poor.  This paradoxical
situation has led to a greatly increased gap between rich and poor in
our country, and has placed a moral burden on those able to help.

	Of course, there are many ways to help, and many charity funds.
Our Kupat Ezer was founded by the Gaon and Tzaddik, R.  Dov Eliezerov,
of blessed memory, soon after he was appointed Rav of the Katamon
district after the State of Israel was founded.  This was not, of
course, the first act of chessed that the Rav z"l performed.  Even
before the State, Rav Herzog appoint our Rav to be the "chaplain" of the
Latrun prison, where the British incarcerated the leaders of the Yishuv.
Leaving his family every Shabbat, our unforgettable Rav would spend it
with the prisoners, many of whom were embittered with Judaism.  Somehow
the Rav found his way to the hearts of everyone.  When he asked me,
years later, to help him with his work, I could not refuse.  But our Rav
is also asking each and every one of us to continue his holy work, and
try to make sure that there is no Jew, no matter how poor, who cannot
sit down to a seder with all the requirements.  Our hardworking gabbaim,
have their only reward for dealing with hundreds of heartrending
requests, the touching letters of gratitude that come in after Pesach,
thanks to you.

	Please send your generous donation to the Kupat Ezer, c/o Mark
Steiner, 23 Kovshei Katamon Street, Jerusalem Israel.

	On behalf of the `aniyei yerushalayim,

	Mark Steiner


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Sun, 5 Mar 2006 19:16:44 EST
Subject: Paid "kaddish services"

Ira Jacobson writes, in v51n44,

      Just to bring up a real happening, when a young man (with both
      living parents) wished to say qaddish for his departed maternal
      grandfather in Tel Aviv some years ago (and his parents agreed),
      his rave aske Rav Yitzhaq Yedidya Frankel zt"l, then the Rabbi of
      Tel Aviv.  Rav Frankel forbade this.

When my maternal grandmother, who had no sons, passed away 18 years ago,
my mother asked me to say kaddish for her, and it was fine with my
father, so I did. It did not occur to me that there was any shayla to
ask, and perhaps even Rav Frankel would have allowed it in that case,
since it was my mother who asked me to do it, not vice versa. Certainly
none of the rabbis at the shuls I went to, who knew the situation, said
that I shouldn't do it. (At one shul, I was told not to say kaddish
d'rabbanan if there were real aveilim present.)

I did attempt to arrange for paid "kaddish services" as well, not
instead of saying kaddish myself, but in addition, in case I missed some
days.  But the yeshiva I contacted (one whose hashkafah I thought my
grandmother would have approved of) was unable to find anyone to do
it. And I did not feel right doing it through a different yeshiva whose
hashkafah I did not think my grandmother would have approved of.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


End of Volume 51 Issue 49