Volume 51 Number 81
                    Produced: Wed Mar 29  6:02:25 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chazaras Hashatz
         [Hyman Schaffer]
Hiking on Shabbat
         [I. Balbin]
Lay-Person Selling Chametz
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Minyan: Biblical or Rabbinic?
         [Chana Luntz]
Portable Eiruv for Camping
         [Mike Gerver]


From: <hlsesq@...> (Hyman Schaffer)
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 13:04:55 -0500
Subject: Chazaras Hashatz

  In recent times, it is no longer unusual to hear the shaliach tzibbur
say Hashem s'fosai tiftach and yihiyu l'ratzon out loud during chazoras
hashatz. The shulchan aruch and ramoh in OC 123:6 write concerning
whether the shatz should say these psukim (with at least the GRA
concluding that he should say both during the chazoras hashatz), but it
is unclear whether the intent is that they should be said aloud as any
other part of the chazoras hashatz (seemingly in accord with the view of
the gemara that they are part of the tefilla) or should be said in an

  This past Shabbos, our rabbi emeritus, returning from a rabbinic
conference attended by, among others, several Israeli chief rabbis and
chief rabbis of several European communities,implicitly criticized those
who have started saying the psukim aloud by observing that no shatz at
the conference did so.And, truth be told, when I learned to daven for
the amud, from a musmach of the Chofetz Chaim yeshiva, he did not tell
me to do so, nor did he when he acted as shatz.(As far as I recall,
neither did the Rav) So, as far as I can tell, this practice seems to be
a recent innovation. Does anyone have any information on how this
halacha is supposed to be implemented (ie, saying aloud or in an
undertone) or experience from older Roshei Yeshiva or pulpit rabbis as
to how they conducted themselves?

Hyman Schaffer


From: I. Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 08:55:07 +1100
Subject: Re: Hiking on Shabbat

> On Sun, 26 Mar 2006 18:36:16 EST <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver) wrote:
>> If you want to go for a hike on shabbat, you can twice as far if,  
>> before shabbat,

I'm not aware that hiking on Shabbos is permitted, irrespective of
Eiruvin considerations.


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 06:23:39 -0800
Subject: Lay-Person Selling Chametz

Mark Symons writes:
>The general way of selling one's chametz is to give one's rabbi
>power-of-attorney to do so. But is there a suitably worded form
>available that would allow one to sell directly to a non-jew eg your
>If this is regarded as too halachically complex for a lay-person to do,
>then surely it is no more complex than the concept of chametz,
>especially the "chametz that tends to adhere to the surface of pots"
>etc, which I imagine would have to be explained to the non-jew buying
>the chametz from the rabbi.

I thought the issues were in terms of making sure that the sale is
totally valid and that the person has access to his/her ("your")
chametz, which I agree should be something we can manage on our own, but
it is honestly a lot easier to depend on the Rabbi.

BUT, I did ask and got permission years ago, to sell my office-based
chametz to a nonJewish colleague.  I actually gathered up the stuff and
he gave me some money (73 cents I think) and he said, "I am going to
keep this, and who knows if I'll agree to sell it to you or anyone
else."  He said this in answer to me explaining both how the "sale"
usually works but that in halakhic fact, it needs to be a real sale.
And he took my things to his cubicle: e.g. my hot-pot, oatmeal packets,
mug, whatever.  After the chag, I think he'd eaten some of it :) but
agreed to sell me back the hot-pot.



From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 23:18:31 +0100
Subject: RE: Minyan: Biblical or Rabbinic?

Mark Steiner writes
> Chana Luntz wrote: 
> > Interestingly though, the most explicit statement I am aware of that
> > indeed minyan is d'rabbanan is found in Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah
> > (hilchos avadim) siman 267 si'if 79): "It is permitted to free [a
> > slave] for a dvar mitzvah even m'divreihem [ie d'rabbanan] like if
> > there is not 10 in the synagogue one can free his slave and thereby
> > complete the count of ten".
> I believe we must distinguish between two issues: (a) what constitutes a
> minyan; (b) what is the obligation to pray with a minyan.  There is no
> contradiction in saying that (a) is a Torah definition, only in a minyan
> do we have the mitzvah of kiddush hashem; (b) the obligation to pray
> with a minyan, even though there is a Torah fulfillment of a mitzvah
> therein, is only an obligation d'rabbanan.

I am assuming when you say the mitzvah of kiddush hashem, you mean the
classic definition of the obligation to allow oneself to be killed
rather than to violate a halacha (ie the primary derivation of "toch")
with that mitzvah only applying if in front of ten.  That indeed may
well be a Torah derivation (Nor do I believe that the Ran, whom I
previously quoted, when he says that the derivation "toch" "toch" is an
asmuchta b'alma meant the derivation that required ten for the mitzvah
of kiddush hashem in this sense, as that was not the matter he was
discussing but rather the mishna in megilla which lists the requirement
of ten for various aspect of davening).

Rather what is being discussed is the requirement to have 10 when saying
borachu, kaddish and kedusha and to pray with a minyan, all of which are
rabbinic obligations, all of which are listed in the mishna in megilla,
not where the torah obligation of kiddush hashem is discussed in
Sanhedrin, and hence, as the Ran says, the derivation from kiddush
hashem is an asmuchta b'alma.

Now you appear to be saying that we can separate the abstract concept of
minyan from the obligation for which that minyan is deemed constituted -
even though making up the minyan is not in and of itself a mitzvah.
While that is an interesting idea (although it would seem to be in
contradiction to the Ran) I struggle to see how that distinction by
itself results in any practical terms.

In a later post you write:

>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).

But then, unlike your previous post you have a problem with precisely
the halacha that I brought, where the Shulchan Aruch states clearly that
freeing slave may be done even for a rabbinic mitzvah (d'var mitzvah
m'divrehem) like if there is not 10 in the shul and the slave is freed
to make up the 10 and enable the mitzvah of davening to take place.  But
according to you, this is not a rabbinic mitzvah at all, it is a
rabbinic obligation, but the mitzvah that is then accomplished is from
the Torah, thus undermining a whole strand of rishonic discussion on the
subject of freeing slaves, based on the action of Rabbi Eliezer.

> 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.

That would seem to suggest that, according to you, if one fulfils what
you acknowledge to be a full fledged rabbinic mitzvah, then the merit
derives only from the legislation of human beings?

It seems to me that the underlying premise of this is in dispute with
the understanding that the obligation for any rabbinic mitzvah is based
on the Torah obligation of "lo tasur" (D'varim 17:11)[you shall not turn
aside] , which is the basis upon which the gemora in Shabbas 23a holds
that we are able to say on any rabbinic mitzvah "asher kidishanu
b'mitzvotav vitzivanu" - who has sanctified us with you commandments and
commanded us [to light channuka lights in the case the gemorra is
discussing there].  In that one statement there is both your
sanctification and your Torah command.  But you seem to be saying that
there is no sanctification or command in the general case, only in the

The understanding that one can say both kidishanu and v'tzivanu by any
rabbinic mitzvah, is of course the source of the famous question as to
why is it that we do indeed say safek d'rabbanan l'hakel [we go
leniently in the case of doubt for a rabbinic mitzvah] in any case, when
every rabbinic mitzvah is really a Torah mitzvah?  (the classic answer,
given, I think by inter alia the Mecshech Chochma, is that this is
because that too is what the rabbis legislated, ie they required
precisely this distinction to be made).

So this seems to me to be no different from any other case.  If the
Rabbis instituted a particular mitzvah, such as kedusha, and required as
part and parcel of that mitzvah that there be a minyan, then the
requirement for that minyan is Rabbinic. If somebody were then to break
into that minyan and hold a gun to one of the participants heads and
demand that they violate halacha, the torah obligation of kiddush hashem
might then come into play, and part and parcel of that is a Torah
requirement of minyan. The fact that there is a related Torah mitzvah
does not make the rabbinic mitzvah a torah one, any more than the fact
that the existance of a torah mitzvah to take a lulav on first day
sukkos makes the taking of the lulav on the remaining days of sukkos any
less rabbinic (and so on and so on). And the rules about what to do in
cases of doubt follow the rule of which kind of taking it is.

Where I thought you might pick me up on is the argument that while
minyan is rabbinic, perhaps the psul of a mechalel shabbas b'farhesia is
from the Torah, really making them in a d'orsia sense like a non Jew.
Note however that Rav Ovadiah holds not (see Yabiat Omer Yoreh Deah
siman 11) - and despite the fact that this would seem, as Rav Ovadiah
brings, to be a machlokus rishonim, it seems pretty conclusive that we
do not posken this way (as I think you and I discussed previously on
this list).

Chana Luntz


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 15:48:08 EST
Subject: Portable Eiruv for Camping

Martin Stern writes, in v51n78, about establishing a tachum shabbat for a
camping trip, that is not centered around the place you are planning to
spend the night,

      This is completely INCORRECT. One can only use one of the eiruvei
      techumin and then only if one said when setting each of the four
      up that it would only be an eiruv if it is decided on shabbat that
      it and none of the others is one. Without such a condition one
      becomes a 'chamar gamal' and cannot go anywhere outside the
      enclosed area of one's camp.

I think you misunderstood what I meant, and, since several other people
had the same misunderstanding, I guess I didn't say it clearly. I was
not suggesting setting up several eruvei tachumim and deciding on
shabbat which one to use, or even using more than one of them. I was
suggesting, if you decide before shabbat that you want to hike in a
certain direction on shabbat, establishing a single eruv tachumim a
little less than 2000 amot in the direction you plan to hike. You can
then go another 2000 amot beyond that eruv. However, the total range
over which you can hike is still only 4000 amot, since you cannot go
very far at all in the opposite direction from your campsite. (If the
trail goes diagonally, or winds around, then the total length of the
hike can be even longer.) As Martin points out, if you can't make up
your mind before Shabbat, and you have time to go around setting up
extra eruvei tachumim, then you can keep open the option of deciding
which direction to go until you begin your hike on shabbat, as long as
you make this condition before shabbat. Once you decide which eruv to
use, of course, you cannot use the others.

      Also hanging it on a tree makes it inaccessible on Shabbat
      (mishtameish be'ilan) and invalidates the eiruv. What Mike
      presumably meant was that it should be left UNDER a tree (or some
      other convenient safe place).

I did not mean hanging it from a tree at too great a height to reach. I
meant suspending it from a tree, at a height that you can reach from the
ground, so that animals have a harder time getting at it. If you leave
it exposed on the ground, so that animals are likely to eat it before
Shabbat, I would think that might invalidate it, since there would not
be a chazaka that it was still there when Shabbat began. Not that
suspending it from a tree is any guarantee that animals won't eat it. I
remember the squirrels in my parents' backyard doing amazing acrobatic
feats to get at the birdseed in the supposedly squirrel-proof birdfeeder
they had suspended from a tree.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


End of Volume 51 Issue 81