Volume 53 Number 32
                    Produced: Fri Dec 22  5:36:27 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aguna Idea
         [Immanuel Burton]
The Alphabet in Genesis
         [Levanah Tenen]
         [Sammy Finkelman]
question about Shabbos candle-lighting
         [Leah Perl]
Raising the Spirited Child!
         [Ruchie Bromberg]
Trees and Chanukiot in Airports (2)
         [Leah Perl, Ed Greenberg]
Trees in SEA
         [David Charlap]
Zmanim (2)
         [Minden, Samuel Groner]


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2006 12:28:10 -0000
Subject: Aguna Idea

I had the following idea that might help the plight of women unable to
secure a divorce, either because the husband refuses to give the get
[bill of divorce] for whatever reason, or because the husband has gone
missing: After the chuppah ceremony, the husband should be required to
give the wife a conditional get, the condition being that the get
becomes valid only when a Beis Din declares the wife to be an agunah.
So, for example, if the husband goes missing, the wife can apply to the
Beis Din for aguna status.  Once the Beis Din grants her that status,
the get she was given just after the chuppah becomes valid there and
then, and she becomes a divorcee.

Not being knowledgeable on the ins and outs of the relevant halachos,
are there any problems with this idea?

Immanuel Burton.


From: Levanah Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 20:16:33 -0500
Subject: The Alphabet in Genesis

ANNOUNCING: THE ALPHABET IN GENESIS: A multi-part book of collected 
essays, graphics, and commentary on Meru Foundation research

THE ALPHABET IN GENESIS is an expansion and update of material formerly
included in the hand-assembled "Meru Research Sampler". We have added
long-unavailable material from the early 1990's, and recent essays and
discussions that have not previously been released.  It comes in seven
8.5" x 11" bound softcover volumes, each between 60-100 pages. Six are
printed in greyscale; Volume 1 -- "Graphic Essays" (posters and
illustrations) is in full color. For pricing and contents of each book,
and to order, go to
http://www.meetingtent.com/AlphaInGenesis-Broadsides.2.html .

To read more about what's in "The Alphabet in Genesis," see the Author's
Preface by Stan Tenen at
http://www.meru.org/Newsletter/number36.html#preface.html .

For more updates on Meru Foundation research, you can also view a
half-hour introductory video at
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-208619888961779202 , or listen
to an interview on O-U radio at
http://www.ouradio.org/ouradio/channel/science_or_science_fiction .


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Dec 06 10:23:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Katonti/Kotonti

-> From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>

OT> Emmanuel Ifrah "corrected" Russel Jay Hendel and said that the
OT> Leningrad Codex has simply a geresh rather than an azla gerfesh.
OT> Dr. Hendel is not mistaken.  What Dr. Hendel (and I) call an azla
OT> geresh are what Emmanuel, using sephardic terminology, calls a
OT> geresh.

OT> What Emmanuel calls an azla geresh is what we call a "kadma
OT> ve-azla".

Kadma Ve-azla has to cover at least two words, but in that posuk there
is only one word. An Azla can appear by itself. When it does, it is
called an Azla Geresh.

This discussion has been slightly unclear to me. It sounds therefore,
what what you are saying, that you think Emamnuel thought Dr. Hendel was
saying that there were two trups over that one word.

Incidentally, I do think trup conveys meaning even beyond the separating
and joining of words, and that is one of the purposes of the trup, but I
think the principle purpose there is to slow down or speed up the
reading. Kotonti has the Azla Geresh over it, I think, so slow it down,
and make us contemplate this particular aspect of Yaakov's prayer a
little bit longer, and another example one I thought of especially
(also mentioned by someone else already) was the Shalsheleshes over
Yosef refusing (It is a very long pause there. There is only one word
there in the Torah, so it needs to be slowed down a lot - there are not
several words there so that you can have more moderate pauses.)

But I don't think the rising or the falling in tone has meaning that
directly relates to the words. It''s rather how that will affect the
speed of reading. It attempts to bring out what is in the Torah [ what
somebody really knowledgeable would understand.

It's not Yaakov singing that - it is the Torah reader emphasizing that,
and perhaps celebrating that prayer so that is a lesson for us, if you


From: Leah Perl <leahperl@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2006 09:31:53 -0500
Subject: question about Shabbos candle-lighting

Has anyone heard of the custom of saying "Baruch hu uvaruch shemo" while
circling one's hands over the candles, before saying the bracha. Does
this have a mekor somewhere, or does it fall into the category of minhag
nashim Torah hu?  I'd appreciate any information!



From: Ruchie Bromberg <ruchieb@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2006 10:52:25 +0200
Subject: Raising the Spirited Child!

Hamakor- Hamerkaz Lekeshev verikuz in conjunction with Iriyat Bet
Shemesh is proud to introduce a 5 part lecture series on " Raising the
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Monday, December 25th, 2006
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Vision-Related Learning Difficulties Dr. Robert Lederman
Optometrist-Vision Therapy Specialist

Monday January 22, 2007

Opposing the Opposition of the Oppositional Child Dr. Elliot
Goldberg Developmental pediatrician

Monday, February 5, 2007

The Journey: From Psychology to Biology to Medical Management Dr.
Adi Aran Pediatric neurologist

Monday, February 19, 2007

Your Questions answered

Lectures will take place in Hebrew at Bet Knesset Ohel Yona
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Registration from 8:00pm. Lecture begins at 8:15 pm.
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From: Leah Perl <leahperl@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2006 13:51:47 -0500
Subject: Trees and Chanukiot in Airports

> Rabbi requests Chanukiah placement.  This is bad because it is not
> appropriate to put religious symbols up in a public place in the US.
> We have separation of Church/State.  One could argue that the airport
> is a private concession and not "State" - but airports are certainly
> public to the extent that people need to use them for transport, plus
> the government does have jurisdiction over many facets of air travel.
> One could argue that Christmas Trees aren't religious symbols, but no
> one could argue that a Chanukiah is not.  (Perhaps a dreidel or latke
> would be the equivalent to the Tree.)

This statement presupposes a specific interpretation of "separation of
Church and state" that not all share.  You are saying the this concept
prohibits the public display of religious symbols.  What the concept
means, as I understand it, is different: that there is no
state-sponsored religious.  In many countries in the world there is a
state-sponsored religion (or was at one time).  E.g. Catholic countries,
Russian-Orthodoxy, etc., In these countries, the head of church and the
head of state were one and the same.  This is what led to religious
coercion.  Prohibiting public displays of religion is more along the
lines of Communist theology.  (And yes, I mean "theology").  Freedom of
religious worship, however, is just that -- the freedom to openly be
whatever one is, and worship however one does (assuming these don't
contravene the laws of the state).


From: Ed Greenberg <edg@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2006 18:16:10 -0800
Subject: Trees and Chanukiot in Airports

On Erev Chanukah (11 AM last Friday) I took a friend to the Las Vegas
airport. My friend Bill is blind, and rather than surrender him to the
mercies of the airport employees, I offered to guide him to the gate
myself. As a result, I had the privilege of going through security and
visiting the secure area.

In the secure area, out at the far end of the tram by D gates, I found a
large Chanukiah, with nine electric lights lit.

Christmas being so ubiquitous, I never noticed how heavily decorated the
airport was, but there were some decorations.

Perhaps in Las Vegas, they are more adept at getting along.

I do not know how many Chanukiot are in LV airport.



From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2006 09:55:09 -0500
Subject: Re: Trees in SEA

Leah Sarah Reingold Gordon wrote:
> 1. Trees are placed in airport.  This is bad because it is yet another
> public display of one particular religion (or set of religions) in a
> space shared by all of us. ...
> 2. Rabbi requests Chanukiah placement.  This is bad because it is not
> appropriate to put religious symbols up in a public place in the US.  We
> have separation of Church/State. ...

This is a fiction that many people like to repeat, giving the impression
that it has a basis in law.

The Constitution does not demand that religious symbols be absent from
all public places.  It doesn't even demand that religion be absent from

The first line of the First Ammendment (the so-called "establishment
clause) says:

	Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
	religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

Please note the wording.  It says that there may be no law establishing
a state religion.  Court opinions have extended this to also prohibit
laws that favor one religion above all others.  It does not say religion
should be absent.  It says that if you permit one, you must permit them

And notice the second part - "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".
It is just as unconstitutional to pass a law banning Christmas (or
Chanuka) displays.

The concept of "separation of church and state" is just that - a
concept.  It is often used as a simple solution when permitting all
religions is politically incorrect or impractical, but it is not
mandated in any way.  The fact that the ACLU disagrees changes nothing.

> 3. Airport refuses to discuss/negotiate the issue. ...
> 4. Airport summarily removes Trees. ...
> 5. Airport employees "protest" ...
> 6. Rabbi/lawyer threatens lawsuit. ...

You've got the sequence of events backwards.  The rabbi's lawyer
mentioned the possibility of a suit after being given the legal
runaround for several days.  I got the impression that this was because
of the rude treatment, not because of the menorah, and definitely not
because of the trees.

The airport decided to remove the trees after the suit was "threatened",
even though nobody was demanding their removal.

> By the way, I have no objection to people and businesses doing whatever
> decorations they like on their private property. ...

Except, apparently, when that private business gets enough customers
that you consider it public.

Do you also believe a shopping mall is a public place, even though it is
100% owned and operated by a corporation, with no government

> And, there is a signficant movement right now to move *away* from the
> "Happy Holidays" because some Christians apparently think that it was an
> annoying concession to (who else?) the Jews, and that it's time to go
> back to "Merry Christmas" universally.  I was irritated enough at the
> "Happy Holidays" when everyone knows it's just really Christmas, but at
> least that formulation was an allowance that there might be some
> non-majority people out there.  The backlash that I hear now on the
> radio etc., "Why can't my kids make paper stockings in public school?
> This anti-Christmas has gone too far...." is a scary harbinger of
> majority intolerance IMO.

And demanding a religion-free public square is just feeding the fires of
this intolerance.

-- David


From: Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2006 12:23:55 +0100
Subject: Re: Zmanim

> I was somewhat taken aback about two other zemanim posted. One was for
>  a regular mincha/kabalas Shabbos ONE HOUR after candlelighting

As a Yekke, I might see this Kabbalat Shabbat novelty more from the
outside :-) , but I have often wondered about this. You can say Maaref
shell Shabbes after kiddesh and eating, and according to some, maybe
even Minche after the shkie. But how can you explicitly be mekabbel
Shabbes after the shkie?!

I can't imagine this is even allowed, giving the impression that until
Lechu nerannena or Lehe cho doho di, it isn't Shabbes yet. This is all
the more dangerous as a late Kabboles Shabbes/Maaref is more typical of
shuls that cater for a mixed public of observant and less-observant

Lipman Phillip Minden

From: Samuel Groner <samgroner@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2006 10:03:22 -0500
Subject: Re: Zmanim

I think S. Wise may have mistakenly left off a few key words from the
bottom line of his post about minyanim at unusual times in Boro Park.  I
think what he meant to say was "The bottom line: There is almost no
excuse not to daven with a minyan, during the week or on SHabbos, IF YOU

Sammy Groner


End of Volume 53 Issue 32