Volume 54 Number 21
                    Produced: Thu Mar  1  5:22:28 EST 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Add Minyan Information from GoDaven to your GPS Device
         [Yosi Fishkin]
Beit Din Experience
         [Robert J. Sherer]
Drug abuse (and depression) in the frum community
         [Michael Gerver]
Follow-up on Kiddush Clubs
         [Yisrael Medad]
Mixed Sweating Desired
         [Yisrael Medad]
New Israeli Educational Stamps Posted Online
         [Jacob Richman]
Placing Challa on table rather than  handing it.
         [Marvin Gornish]
Rashi in T'ruma: 13 vs 15 items
         [Mark Symons]
Rav Steinsaltz at ATID
         [Jeffrey Saks]
Talking in Shul, a postscript
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Women and Slaves (was Re: Torah-Centered Judaism)
         [Lisa Liel]
Women's Prayers -- and Havdalah
         [Yitschak Maser]


From: Yosi Fishkin <Joseph@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 09:33:30 -0500
Subject: Add Minyan Information from GoDaven to your GPS Device

I'm pleased to announce a new feature on GoDaven.com - You can now
download a program that allows you to view GoDaven's Minyan information
on your Garmin GPS unit. As you're driving, the GPS can show you where
the closest Minyanim are and provide driving directions to guide you to
any Minyan location. A link to this program is at the top of the main
page at www.GoDaven.com.

Yosi Fishkin, MD
www.GoDaven.com - The Worldwide Minyan Database


From: <ERSherer@...> (Robert J. Sherer)
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 13:13:14 EST
Subject: Re: Beit Din Experience

      As one who is involved in civil litigation in the secular courts,
      I can tell you that the people who lose cases are frequently
      convinced that witnesses, judges, jurors, lawyers, court
      personnel, and everyone else in the world is severely and
      irrationally prejudiced against them.  People who are vindicated
      in court believe that the judges are fair.  That said, sometimes
      the person who should win loses, and sometimes it is the other way

      Irwin E. Weiss,  Esquire
      Baltimore, MD

As one who did civil litigation in the courts of Massachusetts for 42
years, plus federal courts all over the country (I was admitted to
practice in four circuits, I find myself in full agreement with you.

       Robert J. Sherer, ESQ.
        Boston, MA                                  . 


From: Michael Gerver <mjgerver@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 01:49:52 +0200
Subject: Drug abuse (and depression) in the frum community

In responding to Russell Hendel's post in v54n09 (which responded to my
earlier post in v54n05), I cannot add much that hasn't already been
said, very well, by Mark Symons (in v54n10) and Sarah Beck (in v54n14),
who know far more about this topic than I do. But I would like to
address one remark made by Russell, who says

> About to go to doctor: Mike might also agree with me that a person who
> was depressed or who was about to try drugs (or who tried it once or
> twice) is advised to try and solve his problems himself -- thru prayer
> and drugs --- prior to going to the doctor.
> Here I am talking about a person "giving himself one last chance"
> before going to the doctor.

Would Russell suggest that someone who thinks s/he may be suffering from
diabetes should try to treat the condition him/herself, say by changing
diet and exercising more, before going to the doctor, and only go to the
doctor as a last resort? I think not. Certainly there are cases of
diabetes that can be treated without insulin, but doctors are generally
better qualified than patients to make that judgment, and it would be
foolish to take unnecessary risks with a disease that is life
threatening. Why would Russell deal any differently with depression,
which can sometimes be treated without medication, but often requires
medication, and is also life threatening?

It is irrelevant here whether, as Russell says, the "root cause" of the
depression is "improper spiritual habits." Diabetes, the adult onset
kind, can also be caused by improper habits (diet and lack of exercise),
but no one would suggest that diabetics therefore should be reluctant to
go to the doctor for medical evaluation and treatment. Or rather, the
only people who might suggest that would be followers of religions like
"Christian Science," who believe all diseases should only be treated by
prayer, and by changes in behavior. Like followers of those religions,
frum Jews also believe that everything is ultimately in the hands of
G-d, but unlike them, we believe it is wrong to rely on miracles when
regular medical treatment is possible.

I would note, incidentally, that depression cannot be due entirely to
"improper spiritual habits," since there is known to be a strong genetic
component to variances in the incidence of depression, within
populations. But even if depression were caused entirely by bad habits,
that shouldn't make anyone reluctant to get medical treatment for it.

The attitude that Russell expresses toward depression, substance abuse,
and perhaps other forms of mental illness, is unfortunately very common
in the frum Jewish community, possibly more common than in the rest of
society, and can have tragic consequences. It is important that people
in the community be educated about the importance of getting appropriate
medical treatment for such conditions, and of not attaching any stigma
to getting such treatment.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 20:04:12 +0200
Subject: Follow-up on Kiddush Clubs

According to a recent release of the British Medical Association, in
Scotland "alcohol is cheaper than bottled water" (*).  As such, don't
men who participate in Kiddush clubs and imbibe generous amounts of
fancy brands of Scotch and whatnot feel maybe now a bit silly that the
Scots are making such an enormous profit on Jewish social customs.

(*) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=63738



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 21:13:17 +0200
Subject: Mixed Sweating Desired

Re: the issue of mixed seating on buses, we have another opinion that
was published in the Jerusalem Post which I think is relevant to the
matter and I ask, is his premise correct?

Haredi women don't want mixed seating

Sir, - ... I understand that separate seating sections are not general
on your buses, only in areas where there is a demand for it.  Has it
occurred to those against segregated seating that religious women are
not forced to sit apart but may not wish to sit with the men - just as
men and women sit separately in Orthodox synagogues? I wonder whether at
Reform temples in the US, with mixed seating, they have separate
restrooms for men and women, or whether there is a single, unisex one.


Any comments?

Yisrael Medad


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 08:11:39 +0200
Subject: New Israeli Educational Stamps Posted Online

Hi Everyone!

I scanned and posted on my website the new Israeli stamps that were
issued in February 2007.  I included the stamp itself, the first day
cover, and an English and a Hebrew flyer about the stamp.

- The Development of the Negev and the Galilee
- Physical Education and Sport in Israel
 Physical Education in Schools
 The Wingate Intitute
 Sport for All
-  Israel Educational Telivision
 Krovim Hrovim
 Ma Pit'om
 No Secrets

The new stamps are located at:

Happy Purim!


From: <marvinbesimchah@...> (Marvin Gornish)
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 11:43:13 -0500
Subject: Placing Challa on table rather than  handing it.

Has anyone heard of the minhug that Shobbos, when the Bal HaBayis makes
a motzie for the rabbim, he does not hand the challah directly to the
others. Rather, he places the pieces of challah in front of them or
places them on a tray. My wife says she saw it someplace, however, she
doesn't remember where. She said it may have to do with serving an avel



From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 14:51:46 +1100
Subject: Rashi in T'ruma: 13 vs 15 items

One of Rashi's comments on Exodus 25:2 is "The 13 items listed were
needed either for the building of the tabernacle (presumably including
the vessels) or for the priestly garments". However there are actually
15 items listed. 2 explanations that I have come across to resolve this
contradiction are: 1. T'cheilet, argaman and tola'at shani (blue, purple
and crimson yarns) are only 1 item, not 3, because they are all wool. 2.
Avnei shoham (lapis lazuli) and avnei miluim (other stones for setting)
are not counted because they were given only by the n'si'im (tribal
leaders) whereas Rashi is only counting the items donated by everyone.

But it seems to me that there is a much simpler explanation. Of the 15
items listed, the Torah already tells us the purpose of 2 of them - oil
("for lighting") and spices ("for the anointing oil and aromatic
incense"). So Rashi only has to tell us about the purpose of the
remaining 13.

Comments? Do any of the commentaries on Rashi make this point? I wanted
to check Rosenbaum and Silbermann but I can't my Sh'mot volume.

Mark Symons


From: Jeffrey Saks <atid@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 10:30:23 +0200
Subject: Rav Steinsaltz at ATID

Please join us for ATID's 9th Annual Winter Conference

in dialogue with
MRS. MALKA PUTERKOVSKI, Midreshet Lindenbaum

What's In, What's Out, Who Decides?
Implications for Mitzvat Talmud Torah and for Curricula

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 at 7:00 PM
Menachem Begin Heritage Center 
6 S.U. Nachon Street, Jerusam 

The discussion will be held in Hebrew. 
RSVP to 02-567-1719 or <office@...>
For details or directions: www.atid.org 

Rabbi Chaim Brovender, President, ATID 
Rabbi Jeffrey Saks, Director
Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions 
Tel. 02-567-1719 * Fax 02-567-1723 


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2007 20:24:10 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Talking in Shul, a postscript

Various recent posts have asserted that one should be permitted to
converse in shul, particularly from Ein Kelokeinu on, because shul is an
important social gathering place.

I attended a public hearing the other day on proposed NYC Parks
Department regulations that would permit dogs to run, unleashed, in vast
unfenced areas of the City's parks before 9 A.M. each day.  Speaker
after speaker testified that this would permit dogs and their owners to
socialize, and that this was a very important goal.  (I'm not making
this up; these regulations are almost certain to be adopted.)  Perhaps
dogs should be permitted to be brought to shul after Ein Kelokeinu, so
that they can socialize as well.


From: Lisa Liel <lisa@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 12:15:08 -0500
Subject: Women and Slaves (was Re: Torah-Centered Judaism)

On Fri, 23 Feb 2007 08:53:21 -0500 (EST), Jonathan Baker wrote:
> 2) As to the specific point, no, eved cnaani is *not* the same kind 
> of slavery as practiced in the American South.  For one thing, the 
> slave has to convert, and has the same obligation in mitzvot as a 
> woman (since his time is not his own, no timebound positive 
> mitzvot).

WADR, this isn't entirely true.  Women are obligated in some time-bound
positive commandments that an Eved K'naani is not.  The phrase "she-gam
hen hayu b'oto ha-ness" is applied to women, but not to avadim.



From: Yitschak Maser <semaser@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 19:11:34 +0100
Subject: Women's Prayers -- and Havdalah

In 54:06 Shoshana L. Boublil  wrote:

> But actually, when discussing this issue with my mother-in-law (for
> example), she talks about praying to Hashem, talking to Him and asking
> help -- all day long.  As she cooks, she prays that the food will be
> good, and healthy and help her family....As she cleans she prays for
> their health...As she does laundry, she prays for their success and
> health...  and so on, throughout the day.  Perhaps, not only women,
> but men as well need this kind of prayer, besides the regular set
> times, as part of Shiviti Hashem LeNegdi Tamid.

In 54:12 Carl Singer wrote:
> Can anyone add insight into the various prayers or recitations that
> women say after havdallah.

Among the "techinah" yiddish prayer books for women is one called A Naya
Shas Techinah Rav Pninim, published by Aharon Flahr, Brooklyn. It
contains 91 prayers by Geonim un fun nashim tsidkoniyos.  Although
undated, the book is from the early-mid 40's because it begins with a
prayer for the "medinah", blesses its President Franklin Delano
Roosevelt and prays for an end to terrible wars and the safe return for
our children from overseas.

>From the Table of Contents, in addition to what one would expect, women
then said special prayers for Monday and Thursday, for Jerusalem after
davvening, for baking challah, for taking challah, on erev rosh chodesh
and each specific Rosh chodesh, and there was a tefillah tsu a ayin
harah ab shprechen. There were also prayers to be said during Kriyas
haTorah, a separate prayer for almost every parsha.

It's a book is filled with Yiddish emotion and heartfelt intensity.

Surprisingly, the Table of Contents does not mention among the 91
prayers any for Havdallah.

Kol tuv
Yitschak Maser
Montpellier, France 


End of Volume 54 Issue 21