Volume 51 Number 77
                    Produced: Tue Mar 28  5:29:29 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Counting Mechalel Shabbos for Minyan
Kitsur Shulkhan Arukh not halakha
         [Saul Davis]
Kitzur not halacha
         [Shoshana L. Boublil]
Shabbos desecrators are idol worshippers?
         [David Charlap]
Tinok Shenishba (2)
         [Dr. Josh Backon, Janice Gelb]
Two Dinim in Minyan (2)
         [Mark Steiner, Mark Steiner]


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 11:32:30 +1000
Subject: Counting Mechalel Shabbos for Minyan

From: Shmuel Himelstein <>

> It's all well and good to debate the question about whether one does or
> does not count a Mechalel Shabbat in a Minyan - if one lives in Boro
> Park or Williamsburg.  What is one to say if he finds himself in a small
> town, where he has been appointed as the rabbi? Is he to Daven by
> himself? Or ..  To me, this is the heart of this entire discussion.

Maybe, maybe not.
But the original poster, IIRC, was talking about a BP/WB situation.



From: Saul Davis <saul.davis@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 16:42:24 +0200
Subject: Kitsur Shulkhan Arukh not halakha

IMHO the (unwarranted) popularity of the Kitsur is twofold. Firstly, the
neat name suggests that you have a short version, a digest, of the full
Shulkhan Arukh. Actually the Kitsur may not be shorter than the Shulkhan
Arukh; word-for-word, at least compared to Orah Hayim, which is most of
the Kitsur, just the Mehaber and the Rama, it might even be longer than
the Shulkhan Arukh! Worst still the popular English translation (cannot
remember when it was written and by who) is called The Code of Jewish
Law, which is an even more misleading name. Why the Kitsur in English
got this name is beyond me. Secondly, it really is simple; it is aimed
at a non-educated public and makes full allowance for this.  Wikipedia
(see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halakha#Codes_of_Jewish_law) correctly
categorizes the Kitsur as a lay oriented digest of Halakha, and writes
more specifically: "The Kitzur Shulkhan Arukh of Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried
(Hungary 1804 -1886), based on the very strict Hungarian customs of the
19th century, became immensely popular after its publication due to its
simplicity. This work is not binding in the same way as the Mishneh
Torah or the Shulkhan Arukh. It is still popular in Orthodox Judaism as
a framework for study, if not always for practice". Indeed as soon as it
was published the Kitsur became a best seller as it still is today. As
far as I can see the Kitsur is the only book of Halakha that you can buy
on Amazon (other than individual volumes of the Rambam)!  Unfortunately
the Kitsur is very widespread and has been translated into too many
languages. There was that brouhaha in Russia last year which just
highlights why it is a pity that the Kitsur is the most popular book of
Halkha and not other more deserving books such as Rambam's Mishneh
Torah, the (real) Shulkhan Arukh, Hayey Adam, Mishne Berura or Ben Ish


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 16:59:34 +0200
Subject: Re: Kitzur not halacha

> From: SBA <sba@...>
> From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
> > This is one case where Sephardic psika (halacha LeMa'ase) is wonderful.  
> > Tonight, my husband and one of his older brothers took turns reading the
> > Megillah at their parents home, as they've been doing for the last few
> > decades.  What is different is that this brother is not considered
> > religious. SNIP 
> > In Sephardi psika, except for an actual Apikorus, every one else can
> > join in a Minyan.  
> A number of years ago, a friend, who used to travel regularly to Japan
> on business, brought back a copy of a letter - by the Israeli Sefardi
> Chief Rabbi at the time - Rabbi YItzchak Nissim, to a Jew living in Kobe
> who had asked him if he should davven in a minyan there - which did not
> have 10 Shomrei Shabbos.  Rabbi Nissim writes that he should rather
> davven at home - in private.
> Obviously Sefardi poskim too have differing views

This is an excellent example of how NOT to read a shu"t.

First of all, the answer depends on the question.  SBA has not brought
fwd the full question.  From the answer I would presume that the
question involved going to a shul on Shabbat for a Minyan made up of
people who drove to shul on Shabbat to partake in this Minyan.  The
answer -- to daven at home, in private, makes perfect sense then.

Why do I presume that this may have been the case?  B/c it is in Kyoto
-- not a Jewish center; B/c the answer to "daven at home" is a standard
one in the case where the minyan is comprised mainly of those that drive
to shul (especially from the POV of Israeli poskim).

Also, even if the case were indeed for a daily minyan, the question, as
presented, does not assume a majority of Shomrei Shabbat.  Again, it's
hard to tell without actually reading the question.

Also, while the bottom line is important, it is important to read why
the rabbi reaches his psika.  What factors were involved.

To go from this vague and inexactly quoted question and answer to the
presumption that not all Sephardi rabbis follow the view I noted in my
original post -- is an enormous leap.

I do know from practice in most (I can't testify to all) Sephardi shuls,
they accept traditional jews as members of a minyan.

In any case, I would prefer to err on the side of Bein Adam LaMakom,
rather than insult someone and err on the side of Bein Adam LaChaveiro
(which isn't an issue with the question quoted, b/c if he stays home,
nobody can definitively say why he didn't join the minyan, in contrast
to the case presented where his reluctance to accept his fellow jew is
blatant, obvious and very public).

Shabbat shalom,
Shoshana L. Boublil


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 17:48:39 -0500
Subject: Re: Shabbos desecrators are idol worshippers?

SBA wrote:
> In response to this, and to those who [to their own detriment] do not
> consider the KSA as posek enough for them and also re RSB's post re the
> Sefardi lenient opinion on mechalelei Shabbos, let me quote from no less
> a [Sefardi] posek than the Rambam himself - in Hilchos Shabbos - in his
> final halacha [30:15]:
> "...The Shabbos is a sign between HKBH and between us forever.
> Therefore one who trangresses other Mitzvos is included amongst the
> Rishei Yisroel. However one who descrates the Shabbos publicly, is
> considered an idol worshipper in all matters..."
> Seems clear enough to me.

Well, then, since I'm not 100% shabbos observant, I guess you believe I
should start eating pork, working 7 days a week, and accept the local
church's offers to pray to Jesus with them?  After all, if Rambam
considers me an idol worshipper in all matters, then there's no point in
my trying to keep any mitzvot whatsoever, right?  Do you also believe
that all those Chabad rabbis that want me to become more observant at my
own pace are completely wrong?

I have many friends and relatives that have virtually abandoned Judaism
specifically in response to people that share this opinion.  I don't
think you realize the tremendous damage you are doing to all of Israel
by telling people that they are worthless if they aren't 100% perfect.

-- David


From: Dr. Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 16:44:42
Subject: Tinok Shenishba

                 TINOK SHENISHBA:

   *Tinok shenishba* is discussed in the gemara in Shevuot 5a and
   Shabbat 68a,b; Rambam Hilchot Shegagot 7:2 and Rambam Hilchot Mamrim

   Carefully read the definition of *tinok shenishba* as codified by the
   Rema YD (Hilchot Ribit) 159:3 "she'eino yode'a mitorat yisrael KLAL"
   [emphasis mine}; the Chazon Ish YD 2 s"k 16 simply refers to not
   carrying out (20th Century) of *moridim velo ma'alin*.

   The lenient opinions of the Binyan Tzion 23 and the Melamed l'Ho'il
   Orach Chaim 5 regarding Mechalel Shabbat b'Farhesia who concede that
   today (referring to the mid-1800's) it may be considered b'Tzin'a
   (done in private) rather than b'farhesia if it's done for financial
   reasons was with regard to Edut (testimony) in a Bet Din. In
   addition, the type of Chilul Shabbat then (opening up of a business)
   was much less severe than driving a car.


   The Meiri in Sanhedrin 90a defines an apikorus as one who doesn't
   follow the Oral Law and one whose rulings cause others to sin
   ["v'chen machti'im ha'rabbim afilu l'dvarim kalim"].  He also
   explains the phrase *megaleh panim batorah shelo k'halacha" as one
   who uproots a mitzva by explaining it allegorically. The Yerushalmi
   in Peah 5a explains the phrase as someone who denies TORAH MIN
   HA'SHAMAYIM [Hashem giving the Chumash verbatim to Moses at Sinai].

   The Tshuvat HA'RASHBA VII 179 in the name of Rabbenu Yonah states
   that someone who willfully violates the sabbath or who doesn't
   believe in *divrei Chazal* [the Oral Torah] is a MIN and his touching
   wine places it in the category of Yayin Nesech [prohibited to drink]
   (see also the Nekudot haKesef YOREH DEAH 124]. The Mishna Brura 55
   #47 writes that anyone who doesn't believe in the authority of the
   Oral Law can't make a *minyan* or can't serve as a chazan [Mishna
   Brura 126 #2] (see also the Biur Halacha 216 d"h "hamevarech


  On the other hand, one has to temper the above with the definition of
  "chezkat kashrut" [i.e. in whose home one may eat in] by the Aruch
  haShulchan 120 years ago (AH YD 119 #11): Someone who puts on tfillin,
  prays 3 times a day, does Netillat Yadayim before eating, and
  inculcates in his family to be observant.

  In the final analysis, the posek has to weigh in all the above factors
  before deciding if the person fits the category of "mechalel shabbat
  b'farhesya" or not.

Josh Backon

From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 08:39:05 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Tinok Shenishba

Tsvi Lieber <tlieber@...> wrote:
> The closest parallel is the opinion that reform and
> conservative marriages are not considered to be acceptable halachically.
> This may be viewed as terrible in its philosophic implications but on
> the other hand, in the case of children of extramarital affairs or
> children of remarriages without a get for the first reform/conservative
> marriage, it may very well prevent the possibility of mamzerut.

I hope I am misunderstanding this response: do you really mean to be
implying that Reform and Conservative Jews are more likely to have
extramarital affairs? Also, for your information, Conservative rabbis
are absolutely forbidden by the movement to perform a second marriage
without a religious divorce.

-- Janice


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 14:13:56 +0200
Subject: RE: Two Dinim in Minyan

Further to my short discussion of the "two dinim" in minyan: (a) what is
the definition of a minyan (which is a Torah definition); (b) what is
the obligation to pray with a minyan (which may be "only" rabbinic), I'd
like to make some more comments:

1. Even if the OBLIGATION to pray with a minyan is rabbinic, the MITZVAH
accomplished (kiddush hashem, tefillah betzibur) is certainly considered
a Torah fulfilment (the famous distinction between a Torah obligation,
vs. a Torah fulfilment, alleged to be a "Brisker" distinction, but is
obviously much, much earlier).  This is clear from many passages in the
Talmud, where it is assumed that the merit of teflliah betzibbur does
not derive from legislation of human beings.  Kiddush hashem is
certainly such a mitzvah, though it is only obligatory in certain cases,
as in obligatory martyrdom.

2. Only adult Jewish males can be counted towards a minyan--and have an
obligation, whatever its source, to pray with a minyan.  But a woman,
for example, who prays with the minyan, according to R. Hershel
Shachter, has exactly the same merit as the men in shul, her tefilah is
bound up with that of the rest of the community.

3. What is wrong with saying kaddish, kedusha, etc., without a minyan?
There is, astonishingly, very little written about this.  Is there any
"sin" involved in getting up and saying kadosh, etc., without a minyan?
I humbly suggest that since the Torah says, "I shall be sanctified in
the midst of the community (edah) of Israel," someone who attempts to
say kedusha without an edah, is nullifying a positive command to
sanctify hashem ONLY ion such a manner.  The last sentence is not based
on any written source, so must be read skeptically, even by me.

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 14:53:54 +0200
Subject: Two Dinim in Minyan

        I have, in my posting, mentioned in passing two functions of
minyan: kiddush hashem (as in kedusha) and tefillah betzibbur (praying
with a community).  R. Moshe has a very controversial teshuva, where he
distinguishes between these two functions.  Sanctifying the name of G-d
is done not BY the community, but BEFORE a "community," or edah in
Hebrew.  Prayer is communal ACT.  In the case of sanctifying the Divine
Name, which is done before an edah, this edah need not be righteous,
since the paradigmatic 'edah" was the Spies (meraglim) who, R. Moshe
points out, were far from being righteous (except for two of them).
Hence he rules that a Sabbath Desecrator can be one of the ten of a
minyan for the purpose of saying kedusha.  However, a mehalel shabbat,
who has separated himself from the fundamentals of Judaism, does not
count in a minyan for the purpose of public prayer, which the community
performs as a unit.  This is, as I say, a real "R. Moshe" argument, and
it did not fall unnoticed by his detractors (and he had them).


End of Volume 51 Issue 77