Volume 52 Number 62
                    Produced: Fri Jul 21 10:19:39 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Aseh Lecha Rav" -- "Make," not "Get" or "Take" One
         [Rabbi Wise]
Dr. Abraham Stern z"l
         [Akiva Miller]
Interesting Halachic Question
         [Abe Brot]
Ketubbah of the Preganant Virgin
         [Elhanan Adler]
         [Yehonatan Chipman]
Non-Jewish Body Parts
         [Dov Bloom]
Tunes and Personalities
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Yom Kippur
         [Gershon Dubin]
Zmanim on a plane
         [Mike Gerver]


From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Wise)
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 01:41:30 EDT
Subject: Re: "Aseh Lecha Rav" -- "Make," not "Get" or "Take" One

In response to Ari Trachtenberg

My late, lamented rebbe, the Illustrious Rabbi Dr S B Leperer zatza''l
jokingly commented on the phrase "Aseh (make) lecha rav". He said it
meant - keep firing questions at your rabbi. If he doesn't know the
answer, then he will have to look it up. In this way you will have made
him into a real rabbi!

kol tuv

Rabbi Wise


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 18:48:49 GMT
Subject: Dr. Abraham Stern z"l

I am sad to inform the MJ listmembership of the passing of Dr.  Abraham
Stern, director of Yeshiva University's Youth Bureau, and inventor of
their Shabbatonim, Torah Leadership Seminars, Counterpoint, and many
other programs. Many listmembers are alumni of those programs, including
yours truly, who would not be shomer shabbos if not for him.

His funeral was yesterday (Weds.) in Monsey, with eulogies given by a
grandson (sorry I din't catch his name), his daughter Rifkie, YU
Chancellor Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Zevulun
Charlop, and YU President Richard Joel. The burial was scheduled for
today (Thurs.) on Har Hamenuchos in Yerushalayim.

An excellent article about Dr. Stern and his programs appeared a few
months ago in the Yeshiva University Review, and is available online in
pdf format at http://tinyurl.com/lb72s

His memory will be a blessing, but the souls he created will be even 
more so.

Akiva Miller
Eastern TLS 67-77


From: Abe Brot <abrot@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 23:59:59 +0300
Subject: Interesting Halachic Question

Shmuel Himelstein asks: 

> Last night, the night of Shiva Asar BeTammuz, we flew out from Prague
> at 1 a.m. and landed in Israel at about 5:30 a.m., a 3.5 hour flight
> as Israeli time is an hour ahead of Czech time. Now, the time until
> which one may eat before dawn is about 2:30 a.m. in Prague and about
> 4:20 a.m. in Israel. The question then, is until what time may one eat
> while on the plane?

I was once asked a similar question by a Rav who was leaving Chicago on
the eve of Shiva Assar b'Tamuz and was flying to Israel. I layed out the
approximate route that the plane will fly, and specified about 10 points
on the route, and the approximate time that he will reach each point. I
then calculated the Amud HaShahar for each point and determined that way
when he will cross into "morning". I added a safety-factor and told him
not to eat after a specific time (when he should be passing over

He later told me that some of the observant people on the plane asked to
receive breakfast about 2 hours before landing at Ben-Gurion, which was
before the Amud HaShahar in Tel Aviv. I think that they erred, since
they already passed into "morning" over England about 2 hours before
they ate breakfast.

You can see this phenomenon this time of the year when traveling from
the US to Israel. While over Iceland, England and France you begin to
see light, which disappears as you continue to travel further south.

Abe Brot


From: <elhanan@...> (Elhanan Adler)
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 06:01:05 +0300 (GMT+0300)
Subject: Ketubbah of the Preganant Virgin

> From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
> In response to my posting that a pregnant bride probably ought to get
> 100 zuzim in her ketuba, Rabbi Weiss writes:
> > As we celebrate 350 years of re-settlement in England, I can assure
> > him that no pregnant bride was promised less than 200 zuz. Can he
> > produce a ketuba to support his assertion?
> Well, no, any more than he can produce a ketuba that shows she gets 200
> zuzim; the bride's pregnancy or lack of same is not mentioned in the
> ketuba. I did mention in a prior posting that a gioret gets 100 zuz; I
> can produce a ketuba so providing; and the reason she gets 100 zuzim,
> and not 200, is that she is presumptively a be-ula.

for an example of exactly such a ketubba (Corfu, 1812, from the
collection of the Library of Congress) see:

the bride is described as 'betulta shemimenu nit'abrah' (a virgin, made
pregnant by him) and the amount is 200 zuz.

Elhanan Adler
Deputy Director for Information Technology
Jewish National and University Library
Email: <elhanan@...>, elhanana@savion.huji.ac.il


From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 14:12:26 +0200
Subject: Re:  Mokhiah

    Just a small point of fact about the debate over R. Ovadiah Yosef's

    R. Ovadyah is a public figure: a former Chief Rabbi of Israel; still
regarded by many as the "Rishon le-Zion"; main posek of Sephardic Jewry
in Israel (and without?); the spiritual head of a political party, and
as such one who has played the role of "king-maker" in Israeli politics
generally, viz. instructions he gives the Shas delegates about coalition
decisions, no-confidence votes etc.  Hence, it seems naive to describe
what he says in his weekly shiurim as "private."  He's no ordinary rabbi
speaking informally to his congregants; everyone knows that journalists
listen to his broadcasts, and report anything "interesting" or
"colorful" he may say.

    Besides all that, there is an interesting law concerning lashon
hara, that anything said or done in the presence of three people is
presumed to be known publicly, and its retelling does not constitute
lashon hara.  (see Rambam, Hilkhot Deot 7.5, based on Arkhin 17) In that
sense, any sermon or shiur given in any synagogue is "public."

     Yehonatan Chipman


From: Dov Bloom <dovb@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 07:54:18 +0300
Subject: Re: Non-Jewish Body Parts

Michael Rogovin wrote:
>Recent exhibits at museums had plasticized human bodies.  Cohanim, both
>above and below bar mitzvah age, should be cautioned about entering any
>of these museums (although the remains are highly unlikely to be
>Jewish, many are strict about this, even with non-jewish bodies or body

Why be "strict" about this? Only deceased Jews cause tum'ah beOhel. A
non-Jew does not imparts 'tum'at met' in an Ohel nor does he transmit
tum'ah when alive .  So if you don't touch in the museum it seems
OK. The mechaber says the cohanim have the custom of not stepping on
graves of goyim, but this isn't the case in museums.

Dov A Bloom


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 08:51:14 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Tunes and Personalities

In a posting referring to Shlomo Carlebach's "Mimkomcho", Ira Jacobson

> To what extent should the personality, beliefs or behavior of a
> composer influence the use of his or her works in our prayers? Do we
> borrow from anyone and everyone, with the assumption that music is
> pure, or do we hold that the composer's (or previous user's) lifestyle
> or beliefs can make his music tref? Or are there any considerations I
> have not mentioned that would make my point either valid or otherwise?

This issue has been much discussed in Israel in the secular context, as
to whether the Israel Philharmonic should play the music of Richard
Wagner.  One problem is that a major exponent of the theory that music
is pure is, I recall, Daniel Barenboim, who has turned into a
major-league Israel hater.  So one consideration is, who is asking the

 IMHO, speaking as an experienced baal tefilah trained to insert nigunim
where appropriate, music of davening is not pure because it evokes
things.  If a tune will evoke in the congregation-- for whatever
reason--images inconsistent with that of the prayer, it shouldn't be
used.  The question ought to be, in the first instance, what the
congregation will think when they hear the tune.  So, for example,
except perhaps on Shimchat Torah or Purim, I would never use any
classical music in davening, no matter what the composer's midot, unless
I was reasonably sure that nobody would recognize it as classical music.
Similarly, on yamim nora'im, I am careful to pick tunes whose origins
fit the mood of the piyyut I'm applying them too.  I want the
congregation's mind on the davening even if they start thinking about
the tune.  For the same reason, given the potential of controversy, I am
not sure that I would use a recognizably Carlebach tune (there are tunes
that were composed by Reb Shlomo but have become so popular that nobody
remember he composed them) at a minyan at a Jewish feminists'

 A second question, which I think Ira is really asking, is whether the
composer's lifestyle can make the music treif irrespective of whether
the congregation recognizes it, on the theory that our prayers are being
offered to Hashem.  A possible analogy is that, for example, only kosher
animals may offered as sacrifices.  I think it depends, in part, on when
you're using the tune, where in davening you're using it, and on just
how impure the composer was.  As an example of the former, I'd be very
careful in chazarat hashatz on yamim nora'im, or in the piyutim after
maariv at Kol Nidre.  As for the latter, consider the story of how Rabbi
Meir would learn Torah from Elisha ben Avuya as the latter was riding a
horse on Shabbat.  Whatever his lifestyle failings, Reb Shlomo was known
in parts of the yeshivishe community as a gaon, the "prodigy of
Lakewood", and hundreds of Jews owe their connection to Judaism,
directly or indirectly, to him.  I doubt I could stomach using a Michael
Jackson tune in davening (if I knew one), but Carlebach tunes are not in
the same class.


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 18:42:09 GMT
Subject: Yom Kippur

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>

> The fact of the matter is that it wasn't known till relatively modern
> times that the further North or South you go that the days change in
> length (I believe the Vilna Gaon was the first Jewish rabbinic
> authority to note this phenomenon), and I don't believe it was much
> appreciated until the advent of standard time after the civil war that
> a date line was necessary.  I would love to be corrected if I am
> mistaken.

In order to correct you, I need to understand.  What does the lenght of
the day have to do with the date line?  The date line dates (sorry) from
the realization that the world is round. So, using examples familiar to
us Yankees, if it's now 1:00 PM in New York (it is), it's noon in
Chicago, 11:00 AM in Denver and 10:00 AM in Los Angeles.  The further
west you go, the earlier time it is.

(This is true whether or not you "change the clock" since one could
conceivably call it 1:00 PM all over the world, thereby having it noon
in Chicago, sunrise over the Pacific Ocean, and evening in Asia, all at
1:00 PM, if you care to do it that way)

Keep going around the world in the same direction, taking off one hour
each 1/24 of a globe circumference, until you come back to New York.  It
is now 1:00 PM.

Yesterday. Hmmm.

So some arbitrary point needs to be determined where the day, not just
the hour, changes, so as to prevent forward or reverse time travel
depending on which direction one is headed.

What's this have to do with the length of the day?



From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 21:31:56 EDT
Subject: Zmanim on a plane

Tzvi Stein writes, in v52n57,

> The part about "point on the earth" is important to stress.  That
> means that just because you can see the sun from the plane does not
> necessarily mean it is "daytime" for you.  If the sun appears to be
> rising from the plane, then directly below you, it is dark.  You must
> wait sufficient time after that for the sun to be visible from the
> earth below in order to do "daytime mitzvos".

I'm glad to hear this, because I was recently in a situation where it
was relevant. In the middle of June, I took a direct flight from San
Francisco to Paris, which took the great circle route (Manitoba,
Hudson's Bay, Baffin Island, Greenland, England), leaving about 4 pm and
arriving in Paris at about 11 am.  The route just grazed the Arctic
Circle, but did that a couple of hours after local midnight, so I
figured the sun would set as seen from the ground. But I was not sure if
it would set as seen from the plane, and in fact, it did not, but grazed
the horizon, and was probably visible only because of atmospheric
refraction. I wasn't aware that what counts is what is visible from the
ground, and since I wasn't sure whether I would see the sun set or not,
I asked a shayla about when to daven ma'ariv. I actually had to ask
three rabbis before I found one who could answer the question. He said I
should wait until close to, but before, local midnight, and then daven
ma'ariv if the sun hadn't set yet. As it happened, the sun went behind a
cloud that was close to the horizon, and I thought it had set, and
quickly davened ma'ariv. But then it was visible again, and stayed close
to the horizon for a while, so it was clear that initially it had only
gone behind a cloud. But if what Tzvi said is true, then it seems I did
actually daven ma'ariv b'zman, since the sun would no doubt have been
below the horizon from the ground directly below me (though I doubt if
the stars would have come out). That's nice to know!

By the way, I took a nice sequence of pictures of all this, which I can
send to anyone who wants it. They are 14 megabytes in total.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


End of Volume 52 Issue 62