Volume 52 Number 08
                    Produced: Tue Jun  6 21:34:43 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Eats Shoots and Leaves ;)
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Kol Kavua vs. Rov (2)
         [Mike Gerver, Abie Zayit]
Women saying kaddish (8)
         [W. Baker, Joel Rich, Carl Singer, Aliza Berger, Rabbi Ed
Goldstein, Joseph Kaplan, PH Minden, Meir Shinnar]


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 03:05:17 -0700
Subject: Eats Shoots and Leaves ;)

In an otherwise perfectly valid post, the Subject heading recently read:
"Subject: Rabbi Sacks New Sefer"
Tee hee.  Maybe we needed an apostrophe.  I'm imagining an angry rabbi
throwing out a book.



From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2006 22:04:25 EDT
Subject: Kol Kavua vs. Rov

Heshy (<hhandls@...>) writes in v52n06,

      I know a definitional difference between Kol Kavua and Rov: Kol
      Kavua is when you create the doubt (you buy from the store) and
      Rov is when the doubt is created without you (the meat is found

      1) What is the reasoning (svara) behind this difference?

I got to shul early this morning (only because I had just flown to a
time zone where it was three hours earlier), and caught the tail end of
the Daf Yomi shiur, where this question came up. I suggested it might be
that Kavua applies in a situation where it is possible that you might
later find out whether the meat is kosher or not (by remembering where
you bought it), while Rov applies in a situation where you can never
find out which store it comes from. You can understand why you wouldn't
want to apply Rov, and declare the meat kosher, in a situation where you
might later find out that it was, in fact, trafe. The rabbi leading the
Daf Yomi shiur said that this might be the original rationale, but that
the halacha does not always work out that way in practice. There wasn't
time, in the Daf Yomi shiur, to go into more detail.

It is interesting that this condition for Rov to be used is similar to
the condition for quantum mechanical interference to occur, as Micha
Berger pointed out in a wonderful posting here on quantum mechanics and
halacha, many (10?) years ago. In a two slit experiment with an electron
or any other particle, there is interference between the two slits only
if the experiment is done is such a way that it is impossible to know
which slit the particle went through. If the experiment is done in such
a way that it is possible to determine which slit the particle went
through (whether or not anyone bothers to make such a determination),
then there is no interference between the two slits, which is analogous
to using Kavua.

In v52n07, Stephen Phillips writes

      If it is not known from which of the shops a piece of meat was
      purchased, that piece is forbidden even though it can be argued
      that it came from the rov [majority].

This statement is misleading, since in the situation where the meat is
found in the street, it is also not known from which shop it was
purchased, and in that case Rov applies. I assume that what he meant is
that it is not known from which shop the meat was purchased because he
forgot, not because it was found on the street.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel

From: <oliveoil@...> (Abie Zayit)
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 05:32:58 +0000
Subject: Kol Kavua vs. Rov

Dr. Moshe Koppel is the expert in this field.

See his article "Resolving Uncertainty: A Unified Overview of Rabbinic
Methods" at

Abie Zayit


From: W. Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 10:33:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Women saying kaddish

> From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
> There is, strictly speaking, nothing wrong with a woman saying Kaddish
> on her own; it sometimes happens in my shul.

Thank you, Norman, for saying this.  During the year I was saying
Kaddish for my Mother, I was taking a class at my shul and the Rabbi
always saw to it that there was a minyan for Maariv after class so I
could say my Kaddish.  The first week, early in my mourning year, I said
it totally alone, quite stumblingly, so the next week the Rabbi said it
with me.  By the end of the term, that was no longer necessary and I had
the skill and confidence to say it alone.  Although this was some 16
years ago, it stays with me as a very comforting memory from a difficult

Wendy Baker

From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2006 21:40:06 -0400 
Subject: RE: Women saying kaddish

> Someone should explain to her in the most tactful and empathetic way
> that it is a much greater zekhut for her parent to do extra chessed in
> their memory rather than say kaddish. Also, even for a son, there is
> no obligation to say more than one kaddish a day though customarily
> they say any that are available.

Interesting assertions -what are your sources?

>> Would it be proper to have a man who is not a cheyuv say all of the
>> kaddishes (ostensibly for her parent) so that she might still say
>> kaddish concurrently with him.
>Surely this would constitute a tirkha detsibbura (inconveniencing the
>congregation) quite apart from verging on reciting a berakhah she'eino
>tserikha (an unnecessary blessing)

Would you say the same for a man who was doing it for 12 months his
departed wife if they had no children

>> There are no male relatives saying kaddish for this person.
> So what. Kaddish is an expression of filial piety and not some magical
> rite which raises the soul of the departed. Where there are no sons,
> there is no real need for anyone to say kaddish. There is far too much
> superstition associated with kaddish (and yizkor) and it is time the
> whole matter is put in perspective.
>Martin Stern

I agree with your last statement but while it's clear a son is
preferable I wouldn't say there's no "need". Any mitzvah done in zchut
of the departed (including getting the congregation to glorify hashem's
name) is "needed" by the departed.

Joel Rich

From: <casinger@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 01:53:14 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Women saying kaddish

Amazingly, mearly everyone seems to be missing the point. 

Everyone seems to jump quickly to remind us of what we all know -- that
women do not have to say kaddish AND that one kaddish per day is
halachically sufficient.

Let's talk to the second point first.  How many men do you know who
would be "satisfied" with saying the bare minimum one kaddish per day.
For example, if there was no minyan until borchu and again after none
after aleynu.  It's not an issue of hiddur mitzvah it's one of meeting
emotional needs.

Now let's turn our attention to the woman who is coping with the death
of a parent and feels an emotional need to say kaddish.  Should we brush
her aside telling her, "there, there -- there is no halachic need for
you to say kaddish" or should we endeavor to have a man at the minyan
say kaddish during the minyan so that she, too, can recite it.

Carl A. Singer, Ph.D.
Passaic, NJ  07055-5328

From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 14:31:25 +0200
Subject: Women saying kaddish

I suggest searching the archives. This has been discussed several times,
including as far back as 1993. Also see p. 88 in Joel Wolowelsky's book
"Women, Jewish Law and Modernity" (Ktav, 1997), which quotes R. Ezra
Bick reporting a conversation he had with Rav Joseph B Soloveitchik, in
which R Soloveitchik said a woman can recite kaddish alone.

Aliza Berger-Cooper, PhD
English Editing: www.editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: www.statistics-help.com

From: <bernieavi@...> (Rabbi Ed Goldstein)
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 07:54:02 -0400
Subject: Women saying kaddish

The Rav ztl permitted and required women to say birkat gomel and kaddish
for themselves.  His daughter recited kaddish for the 11 months even
though she had two brothers.  Also, Rabbi Benjamin Szold's daughters
recited kaddish for him.  He had no sons.

Rabbi Ed Goldstein, Woodmere, NY

From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2006 22:09:03 -0400
Subject: Women saying kaddish

Martin Stern wrote about a woman saying kaddish:

> Someone should explain to her in the most tactful and empathetic way
> that it is a much greater zekhut for her parent to do extra chessed in
> their memory rather than say kaddish. Also, even for a son, there is
> no obligation to say more than one kaddish a day though customarily
> they say any that are available.

While this is, of course, the position of some (perhaps even many or
most), there are others who say that it is perfectly permissible for
women to say kaddish.  Indeed, R. Aron Solovietchik writes in one of his
books that one should NOT do what Mr. Stern suggests; that is, one
should not tell women who want to say kaddish that they should not do so
(even tactfully and empathetically).  His reasoning is that (as he
explained it) if we tell women they can't do things that they are
allowed to do, we will lose credibility and they will not listen when
they are told not to do things they really are not allowed to do.

As for women saying kaddish without a man saying it as well.  In some of
the shuls in my community (Teaneck, NJ), it is not uncommon to have
women saying kaddish.  Two rabbis in my community were asked by male
congregants what they should do if there is only a women and no man
saying kaddish.  Both rabbis gave exactly the same answer: 'Be quiet,
listen and answer amein and yehay shmey rabbah."

I am aware that there are others who do not allow women to say kaddish
alone.  But even here, the Teaneck rabbinate is particularly helpful to
women who want to say kaddish.  When my wife was saying kaddish for her
father, she wanted to daven mincha one day in a shul where we usually
did not daven.  She did not know that shul's practices about women
saying kaddish, but she did know the rabbi and called him to ask.  He
told her that women could say kaddish but only if a man is also saying
kaddish.  Then he added: "But our policy is that if a woman wants to say
kaddish and no man is saying kaddish, we ask one of the men to say it so
she can as well.  In fact, we haven't had this situation in a while, so
I'll call the gabbai to remind him."  Which he did, and my wife was able
to say kaddish with no problem.

Quite frankly, had someone told her, no matter how tactfully and
empathetically, that she should not say kaddish and that it is a much
greater zekhut for her parent to do extra chessed in his memory rather
than say kaddish, she would have been deeply hurt.  As I would have been
had someone said that to me during the past almost 11 months that I have
been saying kaddish for my father.

Joseph Kaplan
From: PH Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 12:09:49 +0200
Subject: Re: Women saying kaddish

> Would it be proper to have a man who is not a cheyuv say all of the  
> kaddishes (ostensibly for her parent) so that she might still say  
> kaddish concurrently with him.

Like all quiet mumbling of Kaddesh, it wouldn't make sense, I'm afraid.
The very point, or zechus (merit), of the special privilege to say
Kaddesh is to make people answer. If she says it quietly, nobody will
answer. Even worse if the person doesn't say Yehei... her-/himself, as
I've seen sometimes.

From: Meir Shinnar <Meir.Shinnar@...>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 12:53:48 -0400
Subject: Re: Women saying kaddish

With regard to a woman saying kaddish, when there is no man who is
saying kaddish, there are two real solutions and one fake solution.

1. Pasken like RYBS (given to a bne akiva minyan) and others - there is
   no need for a man to also say kaddish, a woman can say kaddish by

2. If one wants to pasken like Rav Henkin, and require a man to say
   kaddish, what is done at several shuls that I know is that the rav or
   gabbai asks someone who has said kaddish, even if he is not currently
   saying kaddish, to say kaddish for every kaddish that is said (not
   just at the end). (I got this psak from a RW European trained member
   of Moetzet Gdole Hatorah, and have seen many shuls do this.  There
   are some that if a woman saying kaddish is known to sometimes come,
   they will automatically designate someone to say kaddish even if she
   isn't there.

I have never seen anyone knowledgable suggest that this is tircha
dtzibura - because serving the needs of the tzibur is not tircha

Fake solution - tell the woman that her approach to avelut and kibud
horim, and following her rabbis is wrong.  (The appropriate response
means you will have to duck...). My question is whether anyone is
allowed to daven in a place that does this, as this is, bluntly,
mechallel hashem befarhesya by it lack of kavod habriyot...

While I agree that the saying of kaddish has achieved an importance out
of proportion to its real role - this is not the way to educate the

Meir Shinnar


End of Volume 52 Issue 8