Volume 52 Number 27
                    Produced: Sun Jun 25 11:18:48 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Disproportionate emotional impact
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
History of the Mourner's Qaddish
         [Elazar M. Teitz]
Jewish Blogs (2)
         [David Charlap, Medad]
Kaddish additions
         [Mark Goldin]
Kaddish and German Minhag
         [Mark Goldin]
Minhag Ashkenaz re Kaddish Recitation and Changing Minhogim
More on qaddish by sons and others
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Religious intolerance (was Kaddish - adding verses)
         [Martin Stern]


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 10:13:15 -0400
Subject: Disproportionate emotional impact

I have long wondered at the oddity of people's disproportionate
emotional reactions to certain halachic issues, and this has been highly
visible here lately with the interminable discussion of women and

Why does kaddish carry such psychic weight to aveilim? The entire origin
of kaddish is shrouded in mystery and less than a major mitzvah issue.

Why is eating ham or bacon so much "worse" than eating shrimp or

Why is marrying "out" so much less acceptable than, say, chilul shabbat?

Why is a womans wearing slacks or her style of hair-covering so much
more important than her level of knowledge or committment to kashruth or

I am familiar with the kabbalistic and "drash" answers to the above
(pigs put their "kosher" feet out when they sleep, marrying a shiksa
means that future generations will be lost, etc.) as are most people,
but certainly those most likely to make the above distinctions are not.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Yossi Ginzberg


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 15:46:36 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Hashkama

What is a hashkama in some places, is the norm in other. If one wants to
say shema, on time, with the berahot, this is the right time. In our DST
it is not so early. Back in the pre-DST in Israel, it was rare to find a
Magen Avraham minyan; they started at 6:15 on a June Shabbat. However,
many set prayer time on a set time, like starting time at work or class.
This can cause praying way after the halachic time.


From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2006 21:21:18 GMT
Subject: Re: History of the Mourner's Qaddish

Jay Schachter writes:

<The historical reality is that the recitation of the Mourner's 
Qaddish by individual mourners, was, at first, only practiced by 
underage minors -- people who could not legally function as the 
Shliax Tsibbur, because their age legally disqualified them.  They 
were allowed to recite the Mourner's Qaddish in lieu of being the 
actual Shliax Tsibbur.  If a mourner was an adult male, he would 
serve as the actual Shliax Tsibbur; a mourner who was a minor could 
not do so, and so would recite the Mourner's Qaddish instead.  The 
recitation of the Mourner's Qaddish on the part of adult male 
mourners is, historically, a more recent phenomenon.>

     The obligation to recite kaddish is independent of the presence of
mourners.  Its saying is mentioned in the Tur (14th century), before the
association of kaddish with mourners.  That it was said either by minors
or by adults who could not serve as shaliach tzibbur is mentioned by the
Mishnah Brurah, quoting the L'vush (16th century).  This doesn't leave
too much time for it to have been said by minors but not adults.
(Furthermore, not every adult could serve as a shaliach tzibbur.  In
fact, many couldn't daven at all, which is why the Amidah is repeated by
the shaliach tzibbur in the first place.  By what logic would it have
been given to a minor, but not to an adult who did not know enough to be
a shaliach tzibbur?)



From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 10:32:34 -0400
Subject: Re: Jewish Blogs

Chaim Shapiro wrote:
> I a very interested in hearing the perspective of members of this list
> have toward Jewish blogs and what role they feel it may play in the
> future of Orthodox Judaism.

I see nothing wrong with them.  I agree with the Chabad philosophy that
modern technology should not be rejected, but should be used for a holy

If Jews want to use blogs for learning Torah, that's a great and
wonderful thing which should be encouraged.

I'm sure some will point out the huge number of blogs that are not
Jewish and may even be hostile to Judaism, but as far as I'm concerned,
that's irrelevant.  We don't avoid all books simply because some are
written by evil people or have offensive content - we instead exercise
care in deciding what books we and our children should read.  I think
the same standard should apply to blogs and to the internet in general.

It should be noted, however, that a question like this posted to
Mail-Jewish will produce a biased result.  The fact that we're all
communicating via e-mail means we don't consider computerized
communication to be prohibited.

-- David

From: Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 07:03:38 +0200
Subject: Re: Jewish Blogs

There's a vibrant and constantly growing world out there/here in Jewish
blogs.  Some are more "cultural," but many are by dati/chareidi males
and females, which discuss halacha and parshat shavua.  Some of us have
no problem with identifying ourselves, while others keep it a mystery.
Frequently halachik issues are "discussed."

There's also, Havel Havelim, a "floating" blog anthology of interesting
Jewish/Israeli themed posts every week.

http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/ ; http://me-ander.blogspot.com/
http://samizdatblogfree.blogspot.com/ ; http://shilohpics.blogspot.com/ 


From: Mark Goldin <goldinfamily@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2006 16:58:50 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Re: Kaddish additions

Does anyone know the origin of "ve'yatzmach purkanei v'karev mishichei"
as in the Sephardic version?  Was this part of an "original" version of
kaddish lost to Ashkenazim, or a Sephardic addition?

Mark Goldin


From: Mark Goldin <goldinfamily@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2006 08:31:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Kaddish and German Minhag

>>From: Lipman Phillip Minden <phminden@...>
>>- The old minneg, still practised by some Yekkes, is that one and only
>>one person says kaddesh. This is not a question of different minhogem -
>>not only is this the original one, but it is the only one that makes
>>sense: The sha"tz' most important role is to prompt the tzibber to
>>answer "Yehei shemei^"! Sefardem nowadays have several people say
>>kaddesh in unison, but even if - in contrast to your typical Ashkenazic
>>mumblers - they're really unisono, still one might ask if "trei kole"
>>are OK. Every mourner should be happy to be able to answer kaddesh,
>>which is much more important than saying the shatz part. (Goes without
>>saying that the shatz is part of the tzibber and should answer as well.)

This may or may not make the most halachic sense, but for today's
mourners allowing everyone to say kaddish makes much more sense.  Many
come to shul, and make a point of arriving punctually, so they can say
every kaddish.  Some are unable to act as sha"tz, and in any event, if
there are several chiyuvim in the community one may only get the
opportunity to be shat"tz infrequently.  I would hazard a guess that
many mourners would not come regularly for very long if the German
minhag were the predominant one, and we would lose many a kiruv

In the story about Rabbi Akiba that was repeated here a few days ago,
the son of the sinner is taught both the kaddish and borchu, making it
clear that leading the congregation as sha"tz was most meritorious.
Nevertheless, this shouldn't devalue the other beneficial aspects of the
kaddish, most of which have been described in this excellent thread.

Mark Goldin
Los Angeles


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 03:25:23 EDT
Subject: Minhag Ashkenaz re Kaddish Recitation and Changing Minhogim

> .......only one person recites each kaddish..........  This was the
> original minhag Ashkenaz which was preserved in many shuls of German
> origin.
> Martin Stern

Martin is correct. The authentic Ashkenazic minhag is that only one
person says kaddish at a time. This is maintained today, not only in
German-Jewish ('Yekke') Shuls, but by some others as well. Such is the
minhag of Telshe (Lita), continued in the Telshe Yeshiva today (more or
less). I was told that that was (and presumably is) the practice at the
famed Be'er Yaakov Yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel as well. The Gesher Hachaim,
not a Yekke either, writes strongly in favor of that practice. I believe
it is practiced elsewhere too (perhaps readers can give more examples).

Some Ashkenazim years ago thought that they would 'improve' things, by
allowing more than one person to say kaddish simultaneously, adopting a
different practice in place of their own, and abandoned this ancient
minhag. However, in hindsight, seeing the chaotic and disorderly way
kaddish is recited by legions in many places today (I think the saying
'too many cooks spoil the brew' is relevant here, as well as 'a camel is
a horse made by a committee'), I think it is clear that that was a
serious mistake, and that remaining faithful to the old minhag was the
proper course of action. I have davened in places with various minhogim
and, from what I have seen, the single-sayer model of kaddish-saying
promotes much greater orderliness and kavonnoh, generally speaking.

Another thought about this is that we have a klal (principle) that 'tov
miat bikavonnoh meharbos bilo kavonnoh' - a small quantity with proper
intent is preferable to a larger one without it (Shulchan Oruch Orach
Chaim, in beginning, regarding certain prayers). Human nature being what
it is and human frailties being what they are, when people are saying
large numbers of kaddeishim, they often tend to 'rattle them off',
quickly, in a rote manner, especially if they are only one of a group
and don't stand out so much. When kaddish is said less often, the sayer
is in the spotlight as the one and only person in that role, and people
have to wait their turn to say it instead of taking it for granted, I
think the recitation becomes more of a special event, and it is more
often graced with more kavonnoh (quality replacing quantity).

Finally, I think this case can also serve as a cautionary tale in
general re the dangers of changing minhogim, even if
well-intentioned. There is something called 'the law of unforseen
consequences' that must be taken into account, in addition to halochos
commanding adherence to ancient minhogim. I think that those who stuck
to the original minhag here should be applauded for their steadfastness
and that others should consider reverting back to that old way.



From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 06:17:55 +0300
Subject: More on qaddish by sons and others

A popular guide to the halakhot of mourning is "Penei Barukh," which
compiles the various pisqei halakha on the subject. Chapter 34 there has
two paragraphs that are relevant to our study of the possibility of a
daughter's reciting qaddish­for a parent only, and only if there is no
son to recite qaddish.  (Otherwise, there is no such possibility.)

      20.  The primary benefit of qaddish is its recital by the son for
      his father and mother.  [Note by ILJ: Here "ben" means "son" and
      not "son or daughter."  And qaddish is recited for a parent and no
      one else.]  If he did not leave a son, but [only] a daughter, some
      hold that the daughter may say qaddish in a minyan in her home,
      but all posqim disagree with this and have written that she may
      not recite qaddish, even at home, even if her father has ordered
      that she do so.  If she wants to benefit her father she must be
      strict in all prayer times--both in synagogue and at home-- and
      she should be attentive to qaddish [being recited by others] and
      answer "Amen" with fervor.  The One Who Knows Thoughts (Yode`a
      Mahshavot) will regard this as though the daughter had recited
      qaddish and fulfilled her father's command.

      If she is a minor, there are places where she may recite qaddish
      even in synagogue after `Aleinu and after the Daily psalm, or
      before "Barukh She'amar."


      24.  If he did not leave a son and not a son of sons, some say
      that his father should recite [qadddish], and if there is another
      [present] who mourns his father or mother, they should compromise,
      so that he will recite some of the qaddishim and the other mourner
      will say other qaddishim, other than the qaddish after `Aleinu,
      which belongs to the mourner [of a parent] alone.  Some state that
      the [deceased's] father has no rights when other mourners are

All the statements are documented with copious footnotes citing the
array of posqim who hold each shitta, and the interested reader is
invited to study them.

Incidentally, a popular article on the subject that I came across refers
to recollections of bubbies and telephone calls with rabbis.  This is
not to be mistaken for halakhic decisions. 

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: <md.stern@...> (Martin Stern)
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 11:52:24 +0100
Subject: Religious intolerance (was Kaddish - adding verses)

On 2006/06/21 Wed PM 02:37:43 BST, Jack Gross <jbgross@...> wrote:
> 3 verses were added in Kaddish Tiskabel 
> and until some years ago most siddurim had it - 
> and quite a few peopleactually said it [lav davka Yekkes].
> I wonder why it all stopped?

This probably part of the general dislike of 'Yekkishe' minhagim among
the Yeshiva world. Our shul of German Jewish origin is at the present
time being taken over by such a clique who are doing their utmost to
erase its minhag which is leading to considerable ill-feeling. They seem
unwilling to compromise on anything and are hell bent on driving out the
original membership, having got rid of some 15% in about a year.

Can anyone explain what motivates his sort of religious vandalism? Do we
all have to be clones of some Yeshivishe model?

Martin Stern


End of Volume 52 Issue 27