Volume 54 Number 08
                    Produced: Wed Feb 14  5:37:37 EST 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

'bentsh'ing over mon
         [Rabbi Meir Wise]
Personal Prayers (4)
         [Leah Aharoni, Martin Stern, Akiva Miller, Akiva Miller]
The power of prayer
         [Shoshana L. Boublil]
Purim on the J Site and 95 Purim Hotsites
         [Jacob Richman]
         [Carl Singer]
Talking in Shul (3)
         [Michael Perl, Joshua Goldmeier, David Riceman]
Talking in Shul -- length of davening


From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Meir Wise)
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 02:43:59 EST
Subject: Re: 'bentsh'ing over mon

Perets Mett should look in the meforshim who explain that that is
precisely why the mitzva of bentching comes so late in Torah ie before
the entry to Eretz Yisrael.

Baruch Rofei Cholim - the boy Tzvi Dovid is now recovered.

A young married man with 2 children is undergoing heavy treatment for
the 3rd recurrance of that dreaded disease. His name is


Prayers and tehillim please amongst the other sick of Israel I hope we
can be successful again.


From: Leah Aharoni <leah25@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 12:37:24 +0200
Subject: Re: Personal Prayers

Dr. Aliza Lavi recently published a compilation of women's prayers
throughout the centuries. The book, Tefilat Nashim, includes prayers for
a wide variety of occasions. It became a bestseller in Israel, but I
don't know if it's available abroad. Highly recommended for anyone
interested in personal prayers.

Leah Aharoni
Email:  <leah25@...>

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 14:32:11 +0000
Subject: Personal Prayers

We should all be grateful to Shoshana for drawing our attention to this
important point. Perhaps it takes a woman to see this because we men
tend to be so tied up with our formal thrice-daily tefillot that we
overlook the simple fact that we can communicate with HKBH at any time
not necessarily in the context of insertions in the shemonei esrei.

When I wrote "I believe one should use this facility sparingly and not
for relatively trivial requests (everyone will know what this means in
his or her own personal context - one cannot give generally applicable
guidelines)", I had these insertions in mind and not extemporary
communication with HKBH.

My main objection to excessive use of such insertions is that it results
in the person spending much longer over his or her shemonei esrei which
can cause serious difficulties for other people.

As Orrin Tilevitz (m-j 54#07) pointed out "it is forbidden even to move
in front of some else who is still saying the amida" which can be
inconvenient if someone has to go out for some legitimate reason. If the
person davenning at great length is blocking the gangway or, even worse,
the doorway (assuming that there is space available elsewhere of
course), one would be permitted to push past even if that would disturb
him since he is a "bur birshut harabbim" though most people would be
inhibited by their feelings of derekh erets.

Even more problematic is that one may not sit down within 4 amot of such
a person in any direction. While this would not apply to someone known
to be unwell, or to have difficulty standing for a long period because
of age, it might cause inconvenience to those who are temporarily unwell
or particularly tired though otherwise in good health.

If one wishes HKBH to do what one asks of Him, the very least one should
do is make every reasonable effort to ensure that we are not harming
others as a, hopefully unwanted, side-effect of our prayers.

None of this would apply to the informal extemporary prayers which
Shoshana advocates which would seem a much better vehicle for such

We could also use them to thank Him for all the good things that happen
to us every day as they happen and not merely recite three times "for
Your miracles which are with us every day ..." without thinking of any
specific occurrences.

Martin Stern

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 23:42:26 GMT
Subject: Re: Personal Prayers

R"n Shoshana L. Boublil wrote: <<< ... my mother-in-law ... talks 
about praying to Hashem, talking to Him and asking help -- all day 
long. >>>

It's not that hard, once you get in the habit. Each time I'm in a tough
situation -- even one so minor as hoping that my car will reach the
intersection while the light is still green -- it is not a mere
"hope". I whisper "please", and it becomes a prayer. And when it is
over, if the result I had prayed for occurred, I whisper "thank You". I
suppose I could mention His name, but He knows Who I'm talking to.

Akiva Miller

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 23:45:13 GMT
Subject: Re: Personal Prayers

Someone mentioned <<< the Aruch Hashulchan that one should not make 
ones own prayers (that is insert personal requests during prayer). >>>

Can someone tell me where this Aruch Hashulchan is located? I thought
that it was generally accepted that we CAN add personal requests where
appropriate, especially in Shema Kolenu.

Akiva Miller


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 07:35:27 +0200
Subject: The power of prayer

Dear sister,

You asked where you as a childless mother come into personal prayer.
You don't have children to pray over, but you spend much of your time in
Tzorchei Tzibbur. How can personal prayer such as I described, in a
previous post, connect with your situation?

You actually answered your own question.  <g>

The true ideal is "caring for the other", or as Rav Dessler puts it:
Hashem Loves us.  His Love is actually His Giving.

He gives to all of us, not just his "sons" (those closer to him by
virtue of their Torah) but to every single one of Am Yisrael, including
the Am HaAretz and others.

True, you don't have an immediate family consisting of children (you
don't mention a spouse), but you do have an extended family -- the
family of Yisrael (and also the family of the world).

While my prayers, as a mother, are to some extent "tainted" by my
personal interests, so that even though my personal prayers always end
"and for Kelal Yisrael", they start with MY family, yours are for
yourself and for Kelal Yisrael from the get-go.

There are many saying in Judaism about the relationship between adults
and children.  Teachers are considered like fathers, as they bring their
students closer to Hashem.  Similarly, a so-called childless woman is
never truly so --everyones children, all those children she helps in so
many public and private ways (teaching, Chesed, baby sitting, public
works) -- are all her children.

While the natural instinct for us as women is to differentiate between
"our" children and others, the greater valour goes to those who can
consider all children to be worthy of Love, of Giving, as their own,
following Hashem's ways.

Shoshana L. Boublil


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 07:28:29 +0200
Subject: Purim on the J Site and 95 Purim Hotsites

Hi Everyone!

Purim, the fun-filled Jewish holiday, falls on the 14th of the Hebrew
month of Adar. This year Purim begins Saturday night March 3, 2007.  (In
Jerusalem it is celebrated one day later.)

The J Site - Jewish Education and Entertainment 
has several entertaining features for Purim:

Purim Trivia
 Why do people eat poppy seeds on Purim ?
 From what tribe was Mordecai ?
 Why was Haman angry at Mordechai ? 
 Who was queen of Persia before Esther ? 
 Esther had another name, what was it ? 
 How many times is Haman's name mentioned in the megillah ? 
 What did the king do when he couldn't sleep ? 
 What does the word "Esther" mean ? 
 How many advisors did king Achashverosh have ? 

The above questions are examples from the multiple choice Flash
quiz. There are two levels of questions, two timer settings.  Both kids
and adults will find it enjoyable.

Purim Clipart (including many new ones added this week)
Whether you need a picture to attach to your "Mishloach Manot", a
picture for your child's class project, a graphic for your synagogue,
Hillel or JCC Purim announcement, the Jewish Clipart Database has the
pictures for you.  You can copy, save and print the graphics in three
different sizes.

Additional Purim resources and games on the J site include:
Multilingual Hangman - Purim
Purim Word Search Game
My Jewish Coloring Book - Purim Pictures
Hebrew Purim Songs with Vowels (Nikud)

The J site has something for everyone, but if that is not enough, there
are now 95 Purim links on my holiday hotsites.  The sites have
everything ranging from laws and customs to games and recipes. Site
languages include English, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, French, Portugese
and German.  All 95 links have been reviewed / checked over the past
week.  The address is: http://www.jr.co.il/hotsites/j-hdaypu.htm

Please forward this message to relatives and friends, 
so they may benefit from these holiday resources.
An early Happy Purim!


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 07:22:35 -0500
Subject: Sakuneh

GIVEN THE FOLLOWING PREMISE - - that a dwelling with only one exit is a
sakuneh. <danger> (I.e., don't argue this point.)

What are the halachick implications?  Specifically:
1 - May you choose to live in such a dwelling?
2 - Must you warn someone lest THEY do so?  

For those who wonder why this question is raised, it's a derivative of a
discussion on a local (Passaic) group re: home-based businesses and
stores.  I'm asking this limited question to avoid questions of civil
law and also of mesirah -- both of which resulted in more heat than

Carl Singer


From: Michael Perl <michael_perl9@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 12:52:32 -0500
Subject: RE: Talking in Shul

Carl comments on the likely cause of talking in shul:

>As a result there are many people we only see on Shabbos -- creating
>great pressure to be social (aka "talk") Although the proper time for
>this might be after davening at kiddish, that's two to three hours

I think it's interesting to focus on the last phrase "two to three hours
away" and consider this with some of the other recent postings on
meaningful prayer, private prayer etc. Could another reason we have
talking issues be due to our current nusach just having too many prayers
and davening taking too long?

The question that keeps on coming up in my mind is why not make davening
a more meaningful experience by *shortening* it.  Given the length of
our davening (no matter whether it is prolonged) it is hard to have the
"right" kavanah for the entire p'sukei d'zimra, k'riat shema and brachot
before and after and then the amida with the chazara.

Am I correct in my understanding that the reason various prayers
(p'sukei d'zmira) were added over time was to put one in the right frame
of mind for the shema and amida? If so, they may be doing just the
opposite today.

I once heard that there was a minyan in Jerusalem that followed the
halacha as redacted in the G'mara and hence had a very short
davening. Is that true?  I would love to know what are we truly
obligated in and minhag avoteinu aside, what can be changed?

Can we revert to a triennial cycle of Torah reading?

After all, at some point prayers were added over and above the minhag of
previous generations, why are we not allowed to remove some today? I
only see us adding prayers in our times (for Israel, then Tzahal, now US
armed forces in some places, communal mishebeirach for sick) which may
be quite relvant but then some added in the past may not be any longer
(y'kum purkan?)  The lives we lead may or not be at a faster pace than
our ancestors, but I suspect one of the other major causes of talking
and lack of kavanah in general is that the davening is just too long.
Are we forever going to be fearful of being branded reform or
conservative if anything significant is changed for the better?


Michael Perl

From: Joshua Goldmeier <Josh@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 09:03:57 -0600
Subject: Talking in Shul

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>

>The halachos of Kavod Beis Hakeneses are in the same Shulchan Aruch
>that tells you when so I am not sure on what basis you call the one
>Mussar and the other Halacha.

I base them seperatley.  One is the halacha of talking in tefillah and
the other is the typoe of respect for a beis Knesset which dictates what
type of talking is allowed.  The mussar is the fact that most people
here are assuring ANY type of talking at all times.

>> The word haftorah itself means "a break/pause".

>No, it means the end, the end of the Kerias haTorah, as in "Ein
>maftirin achar hapesach afikoman" No seventh aliyas stretch here.

No, you are wrong, Haftorah does only mean end, but also a break, even
in your example, because the seder does continue after the afikoman.
And the fact is, we've gone thru the halachos with my ROV, and haftorah
is a consolation prize.  We have turned it into a big deal and made
Musaf the prize, but it's really Maftir that's the CP.

>For a reason.  Shmoozing is always asur in a Beis Hakeneses, during,
>before and after davening.

Depends on what type of shmoozing.  If all shmoozing is assur, a) why
not just say so?  B) why have halachos about responding to someone
giving you "shalom"?  How could there be halachos of when in tefillah
you are allowed to respond if you are NEVEr allowed to "shmooze"?

>>We need to remember that the concept of shule was twofold when it
>>started and developed throughout history.  The first is a makom
>>tefillah to replace the korbanos

>Stop.  That is what it was supposed to be, what Hashem Himself calls
>Mikdash Me'at.

Hashem does not call it that, people did.  And in the mikdash, talking
was allowed under halachic guidelines.

>> The second is a gathering place on shabbat, where the Jews who all
>> week worked with the goyim, had a place to gather as yidden, with
>> other yidden.  They could daven, learn, catch-up with each other in a
>> setting that was not "goyish" or with goyim

>This is how the "shteebl" evolved.  You are elevating a very much
>bedi'avad function against which generations of rabbonim have railed,
>into a primary purpose.  Which, of course, doesn't make it so. (Except
>of course for the davening and learning part)

That's just your opinion.  The whole shule function is a bidieved.
Railing rabbonim is nothing new and doesn't change the fact that halacha
allows for some talking.

shaya goldmeier

From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 09:24:08 -0500
Subject: Talking in Shul

  It seems to me that, after all of these negative posts, someone ought
to say something positive about talking in shul.  Many of the Jews who
came to America, including some of my grandparents, did so to avoid
being drafted into the Czar's army.  Draft evasion, is, as it were, a
widespread American Jewish custom.

  The halacha is that someone who talks during davening is exempt from
the draft.  Obviously people who talk in shul take this custom of draft
evasion very seriously, and perform it whenever they can.  Surely they
are to be praised for their zeal.

David Riceman 


From: Carl <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 13:49:30 -0500
Subject: Talking in Shul -- length of davening


I think the length and quality of davening is an important topic -- yet
in one sense separate from talking in shul.

Consider that some people talk in shul only five minutes before davening
is set to end.  One might ask, couldn't they have waited another five
minutes -- and apparently the answer is either "no" or that their
choosing to talk is independent of how much time remains until davening



End of Volume 54 Issue 8