Volume 53 Number 66
                    Produced: Mon Jan  8  6:39:36 EST 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chumrot (2)
         [Joel Rich, Batya Medad]
My new blog: Good News from Israel
         [Jacob Richman]
Need Restaurant Advice
         [Janice Gelb]
Question on daf yomi - mishna in rosh hashana
         [Moshe Bach]
Rabbainu Tam (2)
         [Gershon Dubin, Joel Rich]
Rabbeinu Tam and Geonic time for nightfall and Shabbos
         [Sammy Finkelman]
"Us" vs. "Them" (2)
         [Joel Rich, SBA]


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007 14:54:53 -0500
Subject: Chumrot

> To be exact, chareidi chumrot do not "enhance" halacha or Judaism, they
> distort it.  I consider myself "Torah observant," or "dati."  I don't
> look to be "modern," so I reject the label "modern" orthodox.  I think
> it insults good Torah-loyal Rabbis who aren't chareidi, to be considered
> second class.  Let's get our priorities straight, Torah, without the
> "qualifiers."

I agree that Torah without qualifiers would be preferable. FWIW Modern
Orthodoxy iiuc means wrestling with the modernity that we find ourselves
in, not that we look to be modern.

Joel Rich

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 07 Jan 2007 21:44:54 +0200
Subject: Re: Chumrot

> Batya, I do not understand how you can make such a broad statement as
> saying that "To be exact, chareidi chumrot do not "enhance" halacha or
> Judaism, they distort it." There may be specific chumrot that you feel
> belong in that category, but there are many others that do "enhance"
> halacha. By making such a generalization, you loose credibility when you
> want to discuss those chumrot that may be a distortion of Halacha,
> rather than a valid chumrah.
> Avi

Maybe I should be more specific, but our thread had been about the
"women in the back busses" and other similar restrictions.  I'd add to
it considering a different hechsher traif, looking for ways to separate
from Torah-observant Jews, etc.  "Collecting chumrot" can be very
dangerous.  There's a danger in this, losing sight of the Torah and
mitzvot.  Just like it's a problem when people consider conflicting
midrashim on the same level as pshat.



From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Sun, 07 Jan 2007 22:04:28 +0200
Subject: My new blog: Good News from Israel

Hi Everyone!

Last week I launched a new blog called:
Good News from Israel
The address is:

As the name implies, I hope to post 1-3 messages a week about good
things happening in Israel.

Please visit the site and pass this message to relatives and friends who
may be interested. Thanks!

Shavua Tov,


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2007 16:08:17 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Need Restaurant Advice

I beg the list's indulgence: I will be traveling to Manhattan for only a
couple of days in mid-February with some non-Jewish friends. I would
like to ask those familiar with the Manhattan kosher restaurant scene to
advise me on the best restaurant (price no object) to which to take
them. We had a bad experience (despite previous good ones for me) at Le
Marais last year so they are understandably wary of my taking them to a
kosher meat restaurant again.  I'd like them to have a good experience
this time.

Please reply *directly to me* rather than to the list.

-- Janice


From: Moshe Bach <moshe.bach@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007 22:49:57 +0200
Subject: Question on daf yomi - mishna in rosh hashana

Question on daf yomi - mishna in rosh hashana - the Leviim "had a
problem" with the songs of praise over the sacrifice

Hi Daffers,

We just learned the well-known mishna in Rosh Hashana 30b: One year, the
witnesses for the new moon arrived late, and the Leviim "had a problem"
(Nitkalkalu, having trouble translating - "messed up?") the psalms they
sang over the sacrifice.  Given what we learned earlier in the mesechta
- that the new moon is visible for the first time only at
sunset-twilight, I am puzzled why the mishna says that the problem
happened "one time."  It would seem that every year should have the same
problem - the witnesses can only arrive at court - at best - close to
sunset.  With the time it takes to examine the witnesses, it would seem
a regular occurrence that the court could not declare the new month -
and rosh hashana in day time.  Help?

maury (moshe) bach
<mbach@...>, moshe.bach@intel.com


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007 16:12:10 -0500
Subject: Rabbainu Tam

> It may be of interest that the precise suggestion followed by this
> poster's neighbors in summer - to bring in shabbos early and then eat
> - but wait till much later at what the poster calls "Rabbeinu Tam
> time" to daven mairiv (OK, ma'ariv), was very specifically and sharply
> rejected by none other than Rabbeinu Tam himself.

This is in fact the practice of Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky.


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007 15:11:08 -0500
Subject: Rabbainu Tam

> What I don't understand about Rabbainu Tam is .....  in contrast to
> the Asay lecha Rav (get yourself a -- single -- Rav / Posek) ....
> there are many who hold by Rabbainu Tam for calendar times, but ignore
> his rulings on many other topics, for example, glass dishes (and they
> go into convoluted discussions re: glass, rather than Rabbainu Tam) --
> Basically, I see (an observation on my part and a question -- not a
> criticism) many who pick through rulings (and Rabbi's) like a Chinese
> Restaurant Menu (one from column A, one from column B.)  -- What is
> the rational / legitimacy of this approach -- or is it some striving
> for chumrahs?
> Carl Singer

IMHO the aseh lcha rav is a bit overdone (after all the gemora itself
tells you you can go to another rav as long as you tell him the psak of
the 1st).  We also see many times in practical halacha poskim who defer
to a particular opinion in one circumstance but not to other opinions of
the same source.  IMHO (since I'm not a posek) it goes to the need for a
mesorah and the development of a "halachik heart" to tell a posek how to
pick and choose amongst the relevant sources.

In this case, what do they lose by being more machmir than the din might
be (other than mshum yuhara: and aggravating some others-))

Joel Rich


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, 07 Jan 07 14:15:00 -0400
Subject: Rabbeinu Tam and Geonic time for nightfall and Shabbos

Michael (Mechy) Frankel wrote:

This looks like a very informative article, which I can only follow in
part. I have some comments:

MF> A. The time interval between sunset and tzais hakkochovim
MF> (nightfall, taken as the appearance of three bainoni/intermediate
MF> stars) is given in the g'moroh as 4 mil.

I don't see 4 mil mentioned in the Gemorah in Shabbos (which seems to
ruin from 34b to 35b). I know the beginnning of Shabbos is also
discussed at the very beginning of Berachos. A lot of signs are used for
when Shabbos begins and possibly when is Tzeis HaCochavim but I don't
remember or see anything about mils.

Could you say what Gemorah this is?

MF> (for completeness, there's also a shitoh of 5 mil, but we won't look
MF> any further at that).  The two major definitions of a mil are 18
MF> minutes and, famously by the Gra, 24 minutes.

A mil is actually a unit of distance, not time. If it sounds like the
English word mile, that's because it is mile - the word in latin was
Milia - a thousand - short for 1,000 paces. The Soncino glossary says a
Roman mile is 2,000 cubits (or Amos) In other words a Techum Shabbos. I
remember that is very close to the length of a kilometer. A kilometer is
about .6215 miles - close to teh Golden ratio - about 5/8 of a mile, or
3281.5 feet, which would make an Amah work out to about 1.64 feet or
19.68 inches and an Amah is somewhere around that range.

The mil as a unit of time is the amount of time it would take an average
man to walk that distance.

Now the gemorah in Shabbos 34B discusses what is the shiur (amounmt of
Bein Hashemoshos. This is definitely a much shorter period than the
length of time it takes to go from full day to full night. There are two
traditions that went through Rav Yehuda. According to them, Shmuel said
three Chalakay mil and Rav said two Chalakay mil. The Gemorah reasons
that 3 Chalakay can't mean 3 halfs or three thirds - it has to mean
three quarters and similiarly 2 Chalakay mil means two thirds of a mil.
(In other words it is a way of indicating fractions) The difference
between them is 1/12 (half of 1/6) They didn't have good words for
fractions then.

There is another rule given, which seems to say that when you see light
both at the top and the bottom of the sky (which should be red by then)
it is day, when you see light at the bottom of the sky but not the top
it is Bein Hashemoshos, and when it is equally bright - or not bright -
in both places, it is night.

R Nehemiah had another period - and this is where you clearly see it is
unit of time that it takes to walk a certain distance - he had half a

MF> R. Tam #5 (R. Moshe Feinstein, IM, OC, cheileq 4, #62).  R. Moshe
MF> famously presecribes 50 minutes as the appropriate sunset-nightfall
MF> interval in NY (with a suggestion that bnei torah and other y'reim

There are times published Agudos Anshei Mamod and other calendars (which
seems different for the end of Shabbos than eoither time given on the
register slip in Moishe's grocery store and other places. Candlelighting
time seems to be the same everywhere

This calendar for instance had Shabbos December 29 beginning at 4:19 and
ending December 30 at 5:28. This week it was 4:24 and 5:33. The late
Rabbi Phillip (Pinchas Tvi) Singer ZT"L said these times on the calendar
came from a decision of a group of Rabbis. They all got together and
decided on these times.

MF> take on themselves the chumroh of 72 minutes, as was the common
MF> practice in Europe.  he evidently came from one of those localities
MF> which had not changed to Gaonic system).  However R. Moshe
MF> implicitly explains this within the context of a Rabbeinu tam
MF> shitoh. i.e. were he still in Europe, the correct R. Tam figure
MF> would have been 72 minutes.  But 72 minutes needs to be translated
MF> to the NY latitude, where it becomes 50 minutes - but this is really
MF> a Rabbeinu Tam time. On the other hand, while in principle R. Moshe
MF> acknowledges that one should be able to do m'lochoh for 3 1/4 mil
MF> after sunset (though he translates the mil as well.

Notice here the difference between 3 1/4 and 4 is 3/4. It is that 3/4
that is Bein Hashamoshos.

MF> 4 mils in Europe equal 72 minutes, but 4 mils in NY equal 50
MF> minutes.  So a NY mil = 12.5 minutes, so all the time intervals
MF> contract proportionately), he also advises us that it is appropriate
MF> in the US, with its admixture of practice from so many different
MF> formerly unitary communities, to take on the chumrohs of both R.
MF> Tam and the Gaonim. So, as a chumroh - no work after sunset, even
MF> though this is in essence a RTam shitoh. (actually he tells us
MF> not to do work starting 18-20 minutes before sunset as a tos'fos).
MF> So you see, we are all Rabbeinu Tam now.

Now the thing here is, after his wife died, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein used
to light the candles at home and the take the bus to shul. Did he light
very early?

I don't think so. What is going on is that, in principle, we could do
Melachah way after Shekiah.

The really key point is not to use two different ways on Fridayt and
Motzai Shabbos, so that you do Malachos at the same time both days.

The chumrahs are actually how long do you wait after Shabbos (In
actually, most of the time we stop before Shekiah - there is a kind of a
heter for quite some time afterwards it would appear.


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007 15:05:17 -0500
Subject: "Us" vs. "Them"

> Pessimistically,
> Shmuel Himelstein
> P.S. In this realm, I'd like to convey an idea which occurred to me
> years ago. I was puzzled how the different groups of Jews will accept a
> single person as Mashiach. If he's a Lubavicher, Satmar will have no
> truck with him, and vice-versa, and so on for all the other distinctive
> groups. The answer to this problem lies, I believe, in the manna, where
> Chazal say that whatever a person wanted it to taste like was what it
> tasted like for him or her. Thus, the solution of the Mashiach problem
> is simple: to Lubavichers he will be a Lubavicher, to Satmars, a Satmar,
> etc.  Q.E.D.

Shmuel-perhaps a more on point comparison would be from mgilla 13 on
mgilat esther 2:15 (vathi esther nosait chen beini kol roeha) - amar rav
elazar mlamed shelkol echad vechad nidmeh lo kumato {esther looked to
each as if she was from his nation)

Joel Rich

From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2007 14:22:38 +1100
Subject: "Us" vs. "Them"

Or as was the case with Queen Esther "kol echod nidma lo ke'umoso..."



End of Volume 53 Issue 66