Volume 54 Number 73
                    Produced: Mon May 21  6:18:07 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Another theory about the bima
Chagigat Chumash
         [Leah Aharoni]
Cost of Synagogue Membership
         [Carl Singer]
Married Women and Hair Covering (2)
         [Rabbi Wise, Martin Stern]
Matir neder in relation to an issur
         [Rabbi Wise]
Nusach of Al HaNissim for Yom Yerushalayim
Sefer Torah Dedication and New Bet Midrash
         [Jacob Richman]
Submerged Bima?
         [Perets Mett]
Unmarried women and kippot?
         [Rabbi Wise]
Women and Kippot
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Zaycher vs. Zecher
         [Joshua Hosseinof]


From: chi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 18:49:27 -0500
Subject: Another theory about the bima

Shalom to All:

Discussions here about the bima have included the fact that sometimes a
bima is on a lower level than the rest of the shul. The popular theory
is that this is a living reference to the verse that says, "From the
depths I have called upon You." Shmuel Himelstein noted that besides the
bima, "Certain Shuls in Spain were built in the form where one had to
step down to the Shul."

Is it possible that the reason for both harks back to times we were
persecuted so badly we literally had to observe our religion in cellars,
hidden away from those who would martyr us?

Kol tuv,
Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi


From: Leah Aharoni <leah25@...>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 12:31:51 +0300
Subject: Chagigat Chumash

Microsoft has a sampling of award templates which you can download and
use in Word. Some of them are very pretty.


Good luck,


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 13:31:09 -0400
Subject: Cost of Synagogue Membership

Let's look at this from the synagogue's point of view -- as a one time

The "synagogue" has bills -- those related to being a building (heat, 
light, janitor, maintenance ....)  --
Those relating to being a religious institution (Rabbi, Chazan, 
activities, kiddish ....)

OK -- so how are these to be funded:
(1) from levying fees of various kinds on those people who use the synagogue
(2) fund raising from outside the synagogue's "community"

For many synagogues category (2) above is nil.    

So the synagogue has to support itself by getting money from those who 
participate in its activities.   (I am carefully NOT using the word 
I don't have the answers -- but here's a bushel basket of questions.

1 - should participants be forced (or coerced or strongly encouraged) to 
be members?
2 - should non-member participants be afforded lesser rights than members?
3 - should fees be based on level of participation?
4 - should fees be based on ability to pay?  (i.e. marginal expendable 
5 - should fees be based on income and family size?
6 - should fees be negotiated, privately, with each individual?
7 - should the financial inability to pay impact rights?
8 - should there be non-financial forms of payment required of all (or 
some) members re: working for the synagogue (clean up, tutoring, 
baby-sitting during services?)
9 - should those determining how much someone should pay look at their 
lifestyle? -- Does it matter that the person pays tuition?  Does it 
matter that the person goes to a hotel for Pesach?  Does it matter that 
this person drives a new car?  Or has a maid / gardener, etc.?
10 - Who should decide the "should's" ?

What is fair?   Does "fair" matter?

Carl $inger


From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Wise)
Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 13:02:38 EDT
Subject: Re: Married Women and Hair Covering

I am sorry that Orrin Tilevitz found my reply simplistic. I was trying
to keep it simple. But may I quote some primary sources that support my
assertion rather than an article in a journal. They are:

1. Piskei Din Rabaniyim Krach Dalet Amud 342 (Bet Din Harabani
Beyerushalayim - Harav Ovadiyah Hodayah uvet dino)

2. Shulchan Arukh Even Ho-ezer Siman 21 saif 1 , saif 2, and simon 115
saif 4

3. Shu''t Igrot Moshe Even Ha-ezer chelek alef simon 57

4. Shu't Chatam Sofer Orach Hayyim simon 36

5. Shu''t Yabia Omer 3 Even Haezer 21

I found his slur on the Lithuanian Jews quite shocking and unacceptable.
My grandmothers and great-grandmothers came from Lithuania and all
covered their hair. I have photos of one wearing a sheitel and her
husband was not a rabbi. When one libels a whole kehilla - it is not
easy to repent (see Maimonides).

Rabbi Wise

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 21:10:15 +0100
Subject: Re: Married Women and Hair Covering

On Mon, 14 May 2007 09:11:10 -0700 (PDT) Orrin Tilevitz
<tilevitzo@...> wrote:

> In response to my observation that married women cover their hair when
> lighting candles or bentshing there's a difference between hiding
> one's hair and donning a headcovering.  I would guess that those
> married women who follow this practice do so even if they are wearing
> sheitlach.

My wife who wears a sheitel, or some other hair covering, at all times
does not put a further covering over her sheitel as Orrin supposes for
'religious' activities. I think this is a peculiarly chassidic practice.

Martin Stern


From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Wise)
Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 13:14:54 EDT
Subject: Re: Matir neder in relation to an issur

Sex outside marriage!

Chana Luntz is corrrect (and there is no need to be so reticent Chana!)
Sex outside marriage is forbidden and hence a neder would be superfluous
and un-necessary.

Rabbi Wise


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 02:25:17 +1000
Subject: Nusach of Al HaNissim for Yom Yerushalayim

From: Binyamin Lemkin
> The nusach may be found at www.machonshilo.org

Not quite sure how the Hungarians ('Hagrim', according to the Tishbi)
got in there right between the the Yishmaelim and the Amalekim...

And BTW who, or which, Amalakim are they referring to?



From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 00:53:30 +0300
Subject: Sefer Torah Dedication and New Bet Midrash

Hi Everyone!

On Sunday afternoon, May 20, Ma'aleh Adumim celebrated the dedication of
a new Bet Midrash located at the S'deh Chemed school and the dedication
of a new Sefer Torah.

I took pictures of the celebration and posted them at:

When the first page comes up, press the F11 key on the top of your
keyboard for a full page view.  Use the icon buttons on the bottom of
each page to navigate.

Enjoy the pictures and have a 
Happy Shavuot!
Chag Sameach!


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 06:06:48 +0100
Subject: Re: Submerged Bima?

Orrin Tilevitz wrote:

> What ever happened to the submerged bima, to which I was introduced
> many years ago in Tsefat?  The theory is excellent--mimaamakim
> keraticha--I call upon you from the depths.  Does any shul have one
> nowadays?

If a bima means a raised place, a submerged bima is a contradcition in

Mr Tillevitz may be confusing two things:

1 Some shuls have a lower place for the baal tfila to stand - mimaakim
(from the depths). For example, the floor of the Golders Green Beth
Hamedrash was built on a slope so that the front, where the chazan
stands, is the lowest part of the shul.

2 The shulchon (reading table) on which the Torah is read is customarily
located on a bima (belemer in Yiddish), which is a platform raised above
the level of the congregation, so that the Torah is in a higher place.

These are two separate things.

Perets Mett


From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Wise)
Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 13:10:36 EDT
Subject: Re: Unmarried women and kippot?

Further to Susan Kane's posting. The Rambam who was accepted as the
authority in Yemen did not make any difference between married or
unmarried women as note by Rav Ovadiyah. My father-in-law who is
Yemenite tells me that girls from the age of three covered their hair.

It is interesting that in his teshuva, Rav Ovadiyah does not disprove
the Rambam or quote any opposition, but says that the Rabbis who founded
the Beis Yaakov movement did not insist on unmarried girls covering
their hair. With respect to him, I found that a strange support for his

Rabbi Wise


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 21:26:00 +0300
Subject: Re: Women and Kippot

David Curwin <tobyndave@...> wrote in mail-jewish Vol. 54 #71

      In the Mishna (Ketubot 5:8) it says that a husband is obligated to
      provide a kippah for his wife's head.

Rashi explains this as a scarf that the husband provides once a year.
Kehati also calls it a scarf.

Incidentally, I have found an alternate reading, in which the word is
not kippa kaf pe heh, but rather kaf pe het.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Joshua Hosseinof <JHosseinof@...>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 23:46:19 -0400
Subject: re: Zaycher vs. Zecher

Mechael Poppers wrote:

> Josh, are you adding "(so it is pronounced 'bene')," or does that come
> from RAvBaM?

The exact citation in Shu"t Rabbeinu Avraham Ben Harambam is Siman 79
Question and Teshuvah Bet.

I'll do my best to translate:

"The reason they did not inlcude the phrase 'Bene Yisrael' among the
itemized list [of places where one must be careful to not slur words
together in kriat shema], is because we pronounce the end of the word
'Bene' with the vowel 'patach' like an Aleph, and not like "Chirik" with
a Yud, even though the word is written with a Yud, and we pronounce the
beginning of "Yisrael" with a Yud sound just like it is written, and
since the pronounciation is the important factor here, this case is
different [and hence not included in the Gemara's list], since there is
no concern that anyone could make a mistake with these two words [and
slur the words together]."

The one glaring question here is why Rabbeinu Avraham ben Harambam calls
a Tzere a Patach.  See Rashi Bemidbar 6:5 "Pera" where Rashi refers to a
Segol as a "Patach Katan".  This seems to indicate that the names of the
vowels as we know them today were not necessarily the same long ago.


End of Volume 54 Issue 73