Volume 51 Number 79
                    Produced: Wed Mar 29  5:44:14 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Counting for a Minyan (4)
         [Nathan Lamm, Martin Stern, Dov Teichman, <chips@...>]
Counting Mechalel Shabbos for Minyan (2)
         [Jay F Shachter, Ari Trachtenberg]
Sephardic psika
Two Dinim in Minyan
         [Martin Stern]
Yotzer Or Uvoreh Choshech (4)
         [Martin Stern, Perets Mett, Arie, Nathan Lamm]


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 05:49:20 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Counting for a Minyan

In response to Leah S. Gordon's post regarding the extensive discussions
attempting to count various kinds of men for a minyan without touching
on women:

I don't discount her feelings, or those of any women, when reading about
this issue. I am reminded, for example, of what Rayna Bayta Berlin (wife
of the Netziv) said to the young Baruch Epstein regarding "Shelo Asani

However, she is neglecting one important point that forms the basis of
the whole discussion: Every Jewish man is required to pray with a
minyan. No Jewish woman is. Therefore, there is a solid basis to wonder
whether a man who is, say, a Mechallel Shabbat might count, while most
would not even wonder about any women.

The only exceptions to this, of course, would be a man who is a Cheresh,
Shoteh, or Katan. To compare, has anyone seen serious discussions about
including male Ketanim in a minyan? Of course not, urban legends about
"holding chumashim" aside. The first two categories, especially the
first, are logical areas of exploration.

However, there is not just one woman at question here.  There are also
nine men who have to be yotze with a proper minyan, one of ten people
similarly obligated.

Nachum Lamm

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 14:18:51 +0000
Subject: Re: Counting for a Minyan

On Mon, 27 Mar 2006 02:31:10 -0800 Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
> I have read with some distress, posts back and forth about who "counts"
> for a minyan.  Specifically, there seems to be an attitude that it is
> <Snip>
> I cannot express easily how painful it is for religious, involved,
> Jewish women to read about how the tiniest shred of minyan interest is
> enough to count a male Jew.  It seems that poskim over the years have
> <Snip>
> I can't understand why Rabbis look for all kinds of excuses to work
> around the halakha and count men who break shabbat, men who may be
> handicapped in ways that would curtail minyan participation, men who may
> commit crimes or serious sins...but never in two thousand years have
> they considered that maybe looking for ways to count women would be a
> good idea.  And I'm not even really saying that the rabbis have to find
> that the answer is "yes," but just that they should be *looking* for a
> way to make the answer "yes" for us - at least as hard as they look to
> help the men who drive to shul.

Perhaps Russell J Hendel's posting in the same digest "Mechallel Shabbos
and Minyon--What about repentance?" is the answer. It is just possible
that the male transgressor could have done complete teshuvah at the
moment he entered shul but a woman can never halachically become a male
whatever surgeons may claim to be a 'gender reassignment'.

Martin Stern

From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 16:06:10 EST
Subject: Re: Counting for a Minyan

Leah S. Gordon <leah@...> writes:
[See above quote]

Firstly, I don't think our poskim had/have an anti-female bias.  The
fact that women are never entertained as possibly being able to make up
a minyan, might indicate that the answer is a clear "no".  Perhaps it's
more black and white than entertaining counting non-observant men in a
minyan where there is more room for halachik leverage with different
opinions allowing more room for leniencies in different situations.

Are there opinions from Rishonim, Acharonim (pre-women's lib) that would
allow a woman to form a minyan that would allow a contemporary posek
room to find leniency?

Dov Teichman

From: <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 20:46:49 -0700
Subject: Re: Counting for a Minyan

> I cannot express easily how painful it is for religious, involved,
> Jewish women to read about how the tiniest shred of minyan interest is
> enough to count a male Jew. 

	There seems to be a qualifier or two missing here. From my
association with religious women the sentence should have been 'for A
religious, involved, Jewish woman' , perhaps 'for SOME religious,
involved, Jewish women'.

	Heck, I can't convince women to do a Mezumen when `benching`
among themselves much less get them to come to any Mincha.



From: Jay F Shachter <jay@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 10:59:09 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Counting Mechalel Shabbos for Minyan

In mail.jewish v51n71, Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...> wrote:
> 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?

The scenario implied by Mr. Himelstein, wherein a town lacks ten
Shabbat-observant adult Jewish men, is easily dealt with.  In such a
case, no one is a Mxallel Shabbat Bfarhesya (public Shabbat desecrator),
because there is no "Bfarhesya".  To desecrate Shabbat "publicly" means
to do so, not in front of goyim, but in front of shomrey Torah u-mitzvot
(religiously observant people).  Lacking such people before whom to
desecrate Shabbat, no one in the town acquires the status of a public
Shabbat desecrator, and, consequently, all adult Jewish men (and, when
appropriate, women) can be counted for a minyan.  The rabbi, therefore,
does not have to worship by himself.

The above reasoning is more than pilpul; it is how the central synagog,
and the kosher restaurant, and the miqveh, and other Jewish
institutions, of Sofia, Bulgaria (where I spent three very interesting
weeks this past November -- ask me about it sometime) function, as I was
told in private conversation with its Rabbi, Bekhor Kakhlon, he should
live and be well.  They could not function otherwise.

Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
Chicago IL  60645-4111
<jay@...>  http://m5.chi.il.us:8080

From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 13:09:52 -0500
Subject: Re: Counting Mechalel Shabbos for Minyan

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
> What the good rav **concludes** there, after we have studied all his
> masa umatan, is that he allows the Kohen mehallel Shabbat to **join
> other kohanim** in blessing us, but if he is the **only** Kohen, we
> convince him to go out, so that there will be no blessing by any Kohen.
> (I would point out--to the best of my knowledge--that the commandment
> for Kohanim to bless is de'oraita if there are at least two Kohanim (Ko
> tevarKHU), but only derabbanan in the case of a single Kohen.)

I'm not sure I follow the logic.  If it is a rabbinical injunction for a
lone kohen to bless, then I would imagine we would be more lenient if if
there are no kohanim around, and less lenient if there were other
kohanim present?

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


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 21:19:47 +1000
Subject: Sephardic psika

From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
>> 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. -SBA
>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.  ...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)...
> 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

So are you saying that Sefardi psika allows 1 or even up to 4 mechalelei
Shabbos - but not if they make up the majority of the minyan?
[Insulting 6 people is OK?]



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 13:21:18 +0000
Subject: Two Dinim in Minyan

On Mon, 27 Mar 2006 14:53:54 +0200 Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
> 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).

The requirement of ten adult males for a davar shebikdusha is based on
the eidah of ten spies excluding Calev and Yehoshua. This might indicate
that we do not require ten exceptionally righteous individuals but it is
difficult to extrapolate to include people who brazenly desecrate
Shabbat as an act of rebellion against HKBH. Where one draws the line to
include or exclude any individual is an exceptionally difficult matter
and might well vary depending on the circumstances.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 13:36:20 +0000
Subject: Re: Yotzer Or Uvoreh Choshech

On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 00:31:18 +0200 <aliw@...> (Arie)
> the Ram"oh on O"H 59/4 says you should say birkat yotzer quickly
> (implying, i guess, also quietly) to finish it before the shat"z so that
> you can answer amen to his b'racha (implying, i guess, that the shat"z
> says it out loud).
> two comments
>  - in my experience, most sh'lichei tzibbur do NOT say it out loud;
>  - my family minhag is to wait for the shat"z to say the b'racha, answer
> amen, and then say the b'racha. my friends humor me when they daven for
> the amud and say the b'racha out loud, knowing i'm waiting to say amen.

It sounds as if Arie is confusing the phrase "Yotzer Or Uvore Choshekh
 ..."  immediately after Barekhu with the conclusion of the berakhah
"... Yotzer Hameorot". The latter should always be said aloud by the
shats and the Rema quoted is recommending that one should complete one's
private recitation of it before he does so. It is incorrect to say amen
after "Yotzer Or Uvore Choshekh ..." since that would be an interruption
in the middle of a berakhah.

Martin Stern

From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 13:14:38 +0100
Subject: Re: Yotzer Or Uvoreh Choshech

Arie wrote:
[Same quote as above]

I have difficulty in following Arie's comment.

The brokho of Yoster Or finishes with the words "borukh ato H' yotser

Every baal tfilo I know says these words out loud. (If a baal tfilo does
not say these words out loud he should be replaced.)

The RMO (no hey in RMO) advises us to finish the words yotser hameoros
before the shats in order to answer omein.

None of this has any relevance to the original query, which was about
saying the **first** line of the brokho out loud (not the last).

There is no possibility of saying omein at that point (after "uvoirei es
hakoil") since it is not the end of the brokho (and indeed it is a
hefsek - interruption - to answer omein at that point).

Perets Mett 

From: <aliw@...> (Arie)
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 14:51:09 +0200
Subject: Re: Yotzer Or Uvoreh Choshech

R' Perets, i hope you doing as well as possible, and i wish you well.

to the point, i believe the mechaber and the ram"o (i  accept your
correction that a translation of an aleph should not have a heh at its
end) refers davka to the opening b'racha of birkat yotzer or, and not
as you say, to the end of the b'racha, yotzer ham'orot.

when i lived in the u.s., i could walk into any shteibel on shabbat, and
the yotzer or part of the bracha would be said by the shat"z, (although
in israel for the most part even the shteibels already daven quietly
until Kel adon) the tzibbur would answer amen and then would start the
back and forth of shat"z - tzibbur, pasuk by pasuk from hakol yoducha
through lit'chiyat hameitim.

what's more, tefilla k'hilchata, in bringing this halacha, specifically
refers to p'tichat hab'racha, after which he talks, in a separate
paragraph, about chatimat hab'racha.


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 06:52:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Yotzer Or Uvoreh Choshech

Arie mentions an opinion of the Ramah about saying Amen to the Bracha of
Yotzer Or. I'm not sure this can be correct: After all, the Bracha does
not actually end until "Yotzer HaMeorot," many paragraphs later. (I
wouldn't be surprised if it's the longest Bracha there is, especially on
days when Yotzrot are added.) One should not say Amen to the one line
after Barchu, as it is not a complete Bracha. (In a similar vein, one
does not say Amen to "HaMa'aver Shena MeEinei" until after "HaGomel
Chasadim Tovim," or Amen to "La'asok B'divrei Torah" (if one hears it)
until after "HaMelamed Torah."

Of course, the Ramah may have a different opinion on such Brachot.

Nachum Lamm


End of Volume 51 Issue 79