Volume 51 Number 95
                    Produced: Tue Apr 11  5:07:59 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Age and Fasting
         [Sam Gamoran]
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Counting for a Minyan (3)
         [Janice Gelb, Annice Grinberg, Mordechai Horowitz]
Flourescent Lamps
         [Eli Turkel]
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
The Satmar Rebbe
         [Jeanette Friedman]
Scholarship and Spending
         [Frank Reiss]
Seder Start Time (2)
         [Saul Mashbaum, Mike Gerver]
Selling Chametz
         [Eli Turkel]
Tinok Shenishba: One who knows NOTHING about Judaism
         [Stephen Phillips]


From: Sam Gamoran <SGamoran@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 14:34:41 +0300
Subject: RE: Age and Fasting

In Mail.Jewish v51n91 Immanuel Burton writes:

> I don't think that a cohen who is not fasting would be allowed to
> duchen at mincha on a fast day.  The reason why there is duchening at
> mincha on a fast day is not inherent to the fast day as such, i.e. it
> is not the fast day that precipitates duchening.  Ordinarily there
> should be duchening at mincha in general, but since there is eating
> and drinking on most days, cohanim don't duchen in case they had drunk
> any wine.  On a fast day, however, the cohanim would not have eaten or
> drunk anything, and so they are permitted to duchen.  I would imagine
> that a cohen who is not fasting would be in the same category as all
> cohanim on non-fast days, and so wouldn't be allowed to duchen at
> mincha.

One could argue that a cohen who is only eating/drinking because of a
health problem would not to eat/drink more than absolutely necessary to
remove the danger to their health and would take care to avoid wine
davka on a fast day.  On that basis it might be permitted for them to


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2006 05:31:17 -0700
Subject: Contradiction?

Doesn't anyone except me see the inherent contradiction here?

I mean, am I supposed to accept Batya's statement:

>background.  As I wrote before, Rabbi Wolf, zatza"l, considered
>including non-frum men in a minyan as a way of bringing them into
>observant Judaism.  The idea that regardless of their observance they
>are accepted as Jews is of the utmost importance.  Just that
>acceptance--"You count!"--can be the key.

and then immediately forget that content because some women think (as
Shoshana writes):

>obviously is reflected in my response but I think of myself as an
>official part of the community even if I don't count for the minyan.  I

These statements cannot both be true.  Women do not have different
self-consciousness/self-esteem from men in my experience.  This is why
it is important to question/struggle with a choice not to count women.

If it makes men feel like part of the community to "count" then it makes
women feel like not part of the community to "not count".

--Leah Sarah Reingold Gordon


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2006 18:34:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Counting for a Minyan

Stu Pilichowski <cshmuel@...> wrote:
> Has it ever occurred to those objecting to the "women in a minyan issue
> being ignored by the Rabbis" that by their silence the Rabbis were
> offering their hashkafa that women belong at home bringing up their
> children in the Jewish derech? That by counting women in a minyan they
> would have to leave their homes to participate in minyanim in shul?
> (Perhaps after or before child rearing responsibilities the question to
> the Rabbis could set in.)

This is indeed the standard reason given that women are not
obligated. However, as you note, the reasoning breaks down in relation
to women who have no children for whatever reason (not married yet,
married with no children, children have grown and are out of the house).
If the primary reason was related to child-rearing responsibilities
(leaving aside a gender responsibility discussion), one would think that
the release from the obligation would only apply when a woman had this
other, more pressing obligation.

-- Janice

From: Annice Grinberg <annice@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 13:08:01 +0200
Subject: Re: Counting for a Minyan

No, it hasn't and for several reasons, including:

a) Not all women marry
b) Not all married women have children
c) Men also have (or should have) child rearing responsibilities


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2006 12:27:05 -0400
Subject: RE: Counting for a Minyan

If that were the issue then it would be equally prohibited for women to
go to work to support their husbands in Kollel. After all the women are
supposed to be home.

There has been a halachic revolution in the role of women in modern
times.  Women used to not formally learn Torah.  Then came the Beis
Yaakov revolution, and women began to learn Torah in a formalized
setting just like their brothers did.  True women focuses on Tanach and
practical halacha while the boys learned Gemorrah.

Then more recently with the support of gedolim such as Rav Soleveitchic
Z"L we now see women learning Talmud.  It's only a matter of time before
we see a Talmudic version of Nechama Leibowitz.

Clearly in the Torah world today the women's role is as community leader
and not just in the home.  How many shuls have the Sisterhood raising
the money, running the Kiddush and sponsoring the scholar in residence?
Is the school's Chinese Auction run by the fathers or the mothers in
your childrens school?

Personally I think the original poster is wrong to this she is less of a
Jew because she doesn't "count" in a minyan.  Halachically that
certainly is not true anymore than me being less of a Jew because I
cannot duchan.  Yet I do understand where her feelings are coming from.
But I also know I've heard enough Jews, including Rabbis make some of
the most disgusting chauvinistic remarks I've ever heard.  There are
many areas where we have adopted non Jewish bigoted values (such as anti
African American racism) and called it Torah because the Rav expressed
the same bigotry.


From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 13:06:24 +0200
Subject: Flourescent Lamps

> Assuming that the glowing filament is the only aspect of violating
> Shabbos.
> I seem to remember learning that the act of closing a light switch can
> be considered putting the finishing touch on a construction - which is
> also a Torah-level violation.  If this is true, then it would be
> prohibited to close a light switch even during a power outage.

The opinion of Chazon Ish is that opening a circuit is construction
(boneh). The general consensus is that it is a shitat yachid and some
take it into account and others do not.

Even according to CI it is problematical what happens if the electricity
is off. R.Shlono Zalman Auerbach assumes then everyone agrees that there
is no problem since one is not turning the switch into an active (live)
circuit. Others seem to diagree.

kol tuv
Eli Turkel


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2006 08:14:48 -0400
Subject: kinder-spiel

>When my grandfather spoke with the SR, before the SR agreed to take
>care of the incident, his response was that (apologies in advance for
>mangeling the Yiddish) - dos is kinder shpeilin - this is "youngsters"

"Kinder-spiel" means juvenile, akin to childs-play. It does not mean
literal, so the ages of the people involved is irrelevant to the issue.

While I personally believe that the NK are far more a "rodef" than Rabin
ever was, I will admit to having met R. Amram Blau, founder of the
group, many years ago.  His true earnestness and purity of belief made a
amazing impression on me, as it did on so many.

His funeral was attended by thousands of people from all the types found
in Jerusalem, simply for this reason- purity of mind, or perhaps
single-mindedness, combined with boundless love for fellow-man (even if
misguided) is amazing and is felt by everyone one comes in contact with.

Yossi Ginzberg


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 08:08:39 EDT
Subject: Re: The Satmar Rebbe

You should know that all the crazy things about what they say about

the rebbe himself was a mensch. he spoke with respect to women, he knew
the ways of the world and didn't make fast decisions. He was a nice man.
His wife was even nicer. She was a very special lady.

Yeah, actually, I met them more than once.Decent, thoughtful people.
The wedding presents they gave me are in my china closet.

The chassidim? the "riff raff?" they advocate the destruction of Israel.
He hated the Zionists, but never advocated the destruction of the State,
nor would he sit with killers of Jews.


From: Frank Reiss <freiss47@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 13:31:34 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Scholarship and Spending

I send my daughter to girls Yeshiva HS, on scholarship. My daughter
wants to be in Israel for Yuntiv. The flt. cost is more than
double. Would this be fraudulent of me? Would there be a price aspect,
or is any such trip, out of bounds?



From: Saul Mashbaum <smash52@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2006 14:06:40 +0200
Subject: Re: Seder Start Time

J Zangvil <j.zangvil@...> wrote:
> "I am guessing that the obsessions with time, like the obsession with
> measurement, is an advent of the Artscroll era".

I am well aware that for many well-meaning and basically committed
people, determining the minimal measurements required for such things as
matza and maror means dealing with trivialities, and for some borders on
the ridiculous. This is not at all the case; these requirements are
fundamental and significant.

Although not everything can be quantified, for those which can be,
measurement is usually very important. I doubt anyone would care to
drive over a bridge constructed without attention to the engineering
principles which insure that it is capable of sustaining the traffic
which crosses it, or to fly in a plane constructed withiut painstaking
measurements of all its components. I doubt we would care to eat a cake
made by someone who believes that as long as all the necessary
ingredients are present, it doesn't matter how much of each one is in
the cake. In each of these cases, the use of measurements is by no means
an irrational obsession, but an essntial and necessary component.  This
is true of many of the mitzvot as well. Granted, the performance of
mitzvot is not exactly the same as constructing a bridge or making a
cake.  Nevertheless, regarding measurements, the analogy is sound.

There is considerable halachic debate about what exactly the minimal
amounts needed for the mitzvot of the seder are. That such minmal
amounts exist is beyond dispute.

Chag kasher v'sameah.

Saul Mashbaum

From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 09:28:50 EDT
Subject: Seder Start Time

Janet Zangvil asks, in v51n92,

      I am guessing that the obsessions with time, like the obsession
      with measurement, is an advent of the Artscroll era.  What do
      people think?  When did issues like measurements and times start
      being mentioned in haggadot?

This is only a single data point, so not very useful, but in 1974,
shortly before the first Artscroll book was published, I asked a shayla
about starting the seder early, and was told to wait for tzeit
hakochavim. Or, now that I think of it, maybe I was just told to wait
until it got dark, and understood this to mean tzeit hakochavim. Or
perhaps I didn't care exactly what "dark" meant, which might prove
Janet's point. I don't really remember. Certainly Janet is right about
the obsession with measurement. I don't remember anyone in those days
discussing eating a whole shmurah matzah at one sitting.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 13:56:46 +0200
Subject: Selling Chametz

>> within them is sold. (This is a good example of why one
>> should not undertake a private sale.)

>Another good reason might be making certain that the buyer really isn't
>I worked for many years with a Catholic woman of Irish descent who would
>take on occasional tasks I was working on that the group needed to be
>done on Shabbos. I thought I knew this person fairly well, until one day
>we were discussing family and she mentioned her maternal Jewish
>grandmother. (Gulp!)

Unfortunately such mistakes also happen to professionals. There is a
story of a group in Bnei Brak who sold their chametz for years to an
Arab from an Arab village. When the arab dies they found out he had a
Jewish mother.

Eli Turkel


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 13:25:26 +0100
Subject: Re: Tinok Shenishba: One who knows NOTHING about Judaism

> From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
> Anyhow the teshuva that Rav Ovadiah quotes (Chelek 1, Orech Chaim siman
> 29) the question reads as follows "in our minyan there are one or two
> who are mechallel shabbas b'farhesia and not only because of their work
> because even when what they do is finished, they do not even make
> kiddush and havdala is it permissable to be metztaref them to a minyan?"

> On the other hand the teshuva you quote, while we don't have the
> question, is a ruling about whether one is allowed to bury a fellow who
> was not circumcised close to other Jews, or whether he is required to be
> buried further away.

> Now the answer in the first case is: One who wants to be lenient and
> count people like this for a minyan, have on whom to rely.

> And the answer in the second case is: No somebody like this must be
> buried a distance away from other Jews.

Possibly the second teshuva is more to do with the Halacha in YD Siman
362:5 about how certain types of persons (wicked, or even mildly wicked)
should be buried away from righteous Jews (at least 4 amos away).

Stephen Phillips


End of Volume 51 Issue 95