Volume 54 Number 77
                    Produced: Mon May 28  7:03:35 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bicycle vs Tricycle on Shabbat (5)
         [Shimon Lebowitz, David Ziants, Richard Fiedler, Rabbi R.
Bulka, Perets Mett]
Cost of Synagogue Membership
         [Bernard Raab]
Cost of Synagogues/Bimah-Amud
         [Morissa Rubin]
Married Women and Hair Covering (2)
         [Emmanuel Ifrah, Avi Feldblum]
Married Women and Hair Covering (Aruch Hashulchan)
         [Dovi Jacobs]
Psychotherapy and Jewish law
         [Chaim G Steinmetz]


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 18:49:55 +0200
Subject: Re: Bicycle vs Tricycle on Shabbat

From: David Curwin <tobyndave@...>
> In Shmirat Shabbat K'Hilchata (16:17) it says that riding a bicycle on
> Shabbat is forbidden, but a tricycle is permitted. Does anyone know the
> reason for the distinction?

I remember seeing in a different book (I think it was in "Halachos of
Muktza") that a tricycle is basically a "toy", but an adult bicycle is a
"means of transport", and, among other things, is used for travel
outside the 'tchum' (boundary of permitted shabbat travel outside a


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2007 07:53:13 +0300
Subject: Re: Bicycle vs Tricycle on Shabbat

It is explained there, that since a three-wheeler is seen as a toy, it
is permitted (in a place where they do not allow tricycles, one cannot
be lenient).

The main problem with a bicycle, I understand, is the tires - but I see
that Shmirat Shabbat K'Hilchata also forbids bicycles that are for
little children (I would assume the tires are similar to that of a

I understand the reason a bicycle is not allowed is that one might come
to fix the tires - or maybe a bicycle with a punctured tire is muktze
(cannot be handled on shabbat and yom tov) and thus one is put in a
position where one is expected to leave it lying around in the street
where others can take it - a situation that will be very difficult to
cope with. I cannot substantiate this with a source, but I think I might
have heard one of these reasons from the local Rav.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim

From: Richard Fiedler <richardfiedler@...>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 17:55:15 +0300
Subject: Re: Bicycle vs Tricycle on Shabbat

I am doing this by memory but I suggest you look at his sources which are
very conflicting.The Ben Eish Chai gives a heter for cycling l'zorich
mizvah I believe even without an eruv.
This heter is confirmed by Rav Ovadia Josef how concludes with but don't
do it as it will upset some Rabbis.

From: Rabbi R. Bulka <rbulka@...>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 13:58:01 -0400
Subject: Re: Bicycle vs Tricycle on Shabbat

Regarding the matter raised by David Curwin, with tricycles there is
hardly a danger of going beyond the t'hum Shabbat - the Shabbat frontier
border.  Not so with a bi-cycle.

There are other issues, including the gadgets that are on these
"vehicles," but the border is the main generic concern.

Be well.

    Rabbi Reuven Bulka,
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2007 05:55:24 +0100
Subject: Re: Bicycle vs Tricycle on Shabbat

He means a children's tricycle, which is meant more as a toy than a
method of transportation.  I don't think he would allow a full-size

Perets Mett


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 17:28:09 -0400
Subject: RE: Cost of Synagogue Membership

>From: Carl Singer 
>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?

A friend of mine was the Executive Director of a large Conservative
Synagogue in the 60's and 70's. He tried to institute a paymernt program
that he called "Fair Share", which he tried to define for each member
based on such criteria as Carl lists in Point 9. The program was viewed
as very imaginative and advanced by synagogue directors at the time and
was observed closely for results. The results were disappointing and the
program was ultimately abandoned. Members simply refuse to be told what
they can afford to donate for synagogue or any charity.

As a long-time Board member of many synagogues and now president of a
small shul in a urban suburb (translate: many apartment buildings as
well as private homes), I am struck by the inherent imbalance in giving
in support of our shul. Many of our members are widows who live simply
but donate generously. Some members donate sizeable sums but, to be
proportional, should be donating much more (judging from the Point-9
items). And then there are those (thankfully few) who attend every free
function, kiddush, Rabbi's classes, lectures, movies, etc., without a
single voluntary contribution.

If any MJ-ers have any ideas/experience in how to balance the ledgers, I
would be grateful to hear them.

--Bernie R.


From: <morissa.rubin@...> (Morissa Rubin)
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 20:21:34 +0000
Subject: Cost of Synagogues/Bimah-Amud

Several of the recent posts have discussed synagogue "edifice complexes"
and the various considerations that congregations consider when
building/purchasing their physical home.

Our synagogue, Kenesset Israel Torah Center, (OU affiliate in
Sacramento) just completed a sanctuary that took years of planning and
creative, unusual arrangements to get built. The project relied on not
only on the usual building pledges and monetary contributions, but also
donations of labor and materials. Many members contributed hours of
"sweat" equity.  It was a stretch for our community, but the major
motivation for undertaking the project was to create a place where our
community could hopefully grow. I like to think it is a hiddur mitzvah.

Regarding recent posts about a raised bimah and lowered amud, another
issue we have dealt with is designing those areas to be accessible to
all (i.e., handicap compliant). Designing a bimah with ramps at the
required gentle slope takes a lot of space! I'm wondering if others
have come up with innovative solutions.

If you ever are visiting the capitol of California or the Lake Tahoe
area (we are 2 hours by car), call our shul, we'd love to host you.

Morissa Rubin


From: Emmanuel Ifrah <emmanuel_ifrah@...>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 13:42:36 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Married Women and Hair Covering

> SBA wrote: [...] See the MB:75.10. [...] Those whose Hebrew is good
> enough should look it up for themselves. They will see how the holy
> Chofetz Chaim categorically and fiercely speaks out against any
> practice of uncovering hair.

Actually, the Chafetz Chayim wrote a booklet entirely dedicated to this
subject, consisting in 8 chapters, halachic an aggadic. It is called
"Geder Olam" ("The Eternal Fence" or "The World's Fence") and can be
found in the Complete Writings of the Chafetz Chayim. I personaly own a
copy of "Geder Olam" printed in Fes (Morroco) in 1960. So much for the
international influence of the Chafetz Chayim...  Actually, the
situation was somehow different in Morroco since some respected poskim
(some of which later became respected poskim in Eretz Israel as well),
ruled that hair covering was not mandatory in our days. The rabbis'
wives who were seen with their hair uncovered were not ignoring halacha
but respecting some of the local poskims' decision. It should be noted
that this opinion regarding hair covering was not universal.

Emmanuel Ifrah

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2007 06:58:53 -0400
Subject: Married Women and Hair Covering

It appears to me that we have probably three related topics under
discussion here, and being clear on what one is replying to is important.
The three topics I see are:

1) A historical question: What was the common practice of married women
in Lithuania regarding covering their hair after marriage?

2) A halachic question: In a place where the common practice of married
women is to not cover their hair, is there a prohibition on men (and
possibly women) to say Shema in the presence on a married woman with
uncovered hair

3) A halachic question: In a place where the common practice of married
women is to not cover their hair, is there a prohibition on a married
women to go out of her house with her hair uncovered?

While it is clear that the three questions are related, each can also be
addressed individually. My understanding of this most recent version of
the discussion, gained momentum when Rabbi Wise stated that answering
item 1 as claiming the historical reality in Lithuania in pre-WWII times
was that a significant percentage of the observant community married
women not covering their hair was a slander on the community. Several
people have responded with sources or individual information that
supports the historical claim that a significant percentage of the
Lithuanian pre-WWII observant community married women did not cover their
hair. I will add my fathers statement to me of the same. Even within the
observant and rabbinical families in the Lithuanian pre-WWII community,
many/most married women did not cover their hair. I am not aware of any
specific percentages that are known, but I think that the historical
question is clear that there were at least significant percentages of the
community that did not cover their hair. The specific quotes to the MB
and the Aruch Hashulchan were to support this historical question. I
think that the Aruch Hashulchan is clear that the practice was

The quoted Aruch Hashulchan then deals specifically with item 2. He
clearly views the practice of married women going with their hair
uncovered in the manner of unmarried women as a sin and tragedy. However,
once this practice has become common, he rules that a married womens
uncovered hair is no longer considered as a regularly covered place and
it is permissible for a man to say the Shema in her presence. The Aruch
Hashulchan clearly holds that the standard of "regularly covered" is not
absolute, but is determined by the current common practice. I have not
looked at the MB, but my memory/impression is that the MB disagrees with
the Aruch Hasulchan on this point, and rules that even if the practice
has become common, it is forbidden to read the Shema.

Item 2 is specific to the question of whether the uncovered hair is
"erva" in regard to saying Shema in it's presence. Item 3 is the more
general issue of the obligation on the women. Quotes relating to "overet
al daat yehudit" / "violating Jewish practice/law", as I understand it,
relate to this third item. I would be interested in references that
pasken like the Aruch Hashulchan in item 2, that specifically address
item 3.

Avi Feldblum

From: Dovi Jacobs <dovijacobs@...>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 23:01:49 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Married Women and Hair Covering (Aruch Hashulchan)

In light of the recent interest in women's hair covering in Lithuania and
what the Aruch Hashulchan wrote on this issue, I have posted the text of
the relevant siman (Orach Chaim 75). Please see the Orach Chaim index:


In other Aruch Hashulchan news, after a long hiatus I recently finished
Hilchos Taanis online, and I've now started Hilchos Yom Tov.

Unfortunately I was only able to finish about a quarter of Hilchos
Pesach by this past Pesach, but God willing I hope to finish everything
left in the third chelek of Orach Chaim (Yom Tov, Chol Hamoed & Pesach)
by Pesach next year. Then maybe misc. halachos in Yoreh Deah. Others are
of course welcome to join in!

Dovi Jacobs


From: Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@...>
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 23:06:02 -0400
Subject: Psychotherapy and Jewish law

> Meir Shinnar <chidekel@...> wrote
> There is a famous tshuva of the Noda Biyehuda about a student who,
> when he lived with his rav, slept with the rebbitzen.  Later, when he
> moved away, he did tshuva. He asked whether he was obligated to tell
> the rav - because the rav was forbidden to live with his wife, as she
> had committed adultery.

> The Noda Biyehuda, leading 18th century posek, ruled that he shouldn't
> tell - and furthermore, even if he did tell, the husband was under no
> obligation to believe him - and therefore the halachic status wouldn't
> necessarily change.

WADR, Dr. Shinnar is misquoting the NB, who in that tshuva (Orach Chaim
# 35) concludes that the student is obligated to tell the husband (who
by that time was his father in law!), and that would be the case even if
he was not the one who slept with her, even more so when he is the one
causing the sin, that he is obligated to tell.

The NB goes one to discuss whether he has to go to the beis din of that
town (he concludes no), and whether he has to divulge that he was the
one who actually sinned with his wife, or whether it suffices to tell
the husband that his sife sinned (he concludes he should since that
would make the story more convincing to the husband, and would cause
himself embarrassment - which would help his atonement).

Chaim Gershon Steinmetz


End of Volume 54 Issue 77