Volume 54 Number 87
                    Produced: Sun Jun 10  8:49:17 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aphorism Question
         [Daniel Geretz]
"Beis Din Tzedek Umishpot"
         [Nachman Yaakov Ziskind]
Bicycle on Shabbat
         [Avinoam Bitton]
A big Yetzer Hara?
         [Charles Chi Halevi]
A conundrum
         [David Ziants]
Drug Therapy vs. Chesed Revisited
         [Sarah Beck]
Married Women and Hair Covering
         [Joel Rich]
Married Women and their Hair
         [Rabbi Wise]
Neir Shel Shabbat Kodesh
         [Daniel Z. Werlin]
Par, Shor and Bakar
Pious Jews
         [Rabbi Wise]
Synagogue Kosher Restaurant Link
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Women and Head Covering
         [Aliza Berger]


From: Daniel Geretz <danny@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2007 10:46:27 -0400
Subject: Aphorism Question

I recently heard the following Hebrew aphorism "Im yaish makom balev,
yesh makom babayit" - When there is room in the heart, there is room in
the house.

Has anyone else ever heard this - does anyone know where it originated?

Thank you,
Danny Geretz


From: Nachman Yaakov Ziskind <awacs@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 12:13:53 -0400
Subject: "Beis Din Tzedek Umishpot"

for the Brooklynites out there:

In the lobby of the court building at 141 Livingston Street (AFAIK
entirely owned / used by the NYS unified court system), there is a
passageway (leading to a locked door) with the following plaque on it:
"Beis Din Tzedek Umishpot".

Anyone know what's up with that?

Nachman Yaakov Ziskind, FSPA, LLM       <awacs@...>
Attorney and Counselor-at-Law           http://ziskind.us


From: Avinoam Bitton <avib@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 08:00:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Bicycle on Shabbat

> From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
> Several people have suggested that the reason not to ride bicycles on
> Shabbos is the chance that one might come to fix it. This is the reason
> behind the prohibition on musical instruiments, but I thought that it is
> NOT used for any other prohibitions.
> If one wants to use this as a reason to personally refrain from some
> activity on Shabbos, that is fine. But are there any other examples of
> where we are *forbidden* to use a device that is currently in fine
> working order?

I have read a of a Rav who discussed the issues of bike riding on
Shabbat at length with Rav Ovadia Yosef, who proceeded to raise and then
refute numerous objections to it.(Similar to his teshuva on Shabbat

When asked why then he would not publicly give a heter for Shabbat bike
riding, Rav Yosef was quoted: "If I did they would stone me".

Avinoam Bitton


From: Charles Chi Halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 20:28:33 -0500
Subject: A big Yetzer Hara?

Shalom to Klal Yisrael:

Baruch C. Cohen asks, 
>Does anyone have any insight to the maxim: "the higher one's level, the
>greater their evil inclination." Does this mean that the Gedolei HaDor
>of our time have a greater Yetzer HaRah for the sins that entice us
>regular folk?

I like to think that what this means is simply that the greater the Jew,
the harder the Yetzer HaRa (Evil Inclination) has to work to tempt him
and her. Think of it as a sort of mechanical or electrical principle:
the greater the resistance, the more "force" is necessary to move
something or somebody. I don't think these fine Jews carry more evil,
demonic seeds, as it were, than those afflicting you and I.  This, then,
would apply not only to G'dolay Ha'dor (leaders of the generation), but
to any and all Jews who rise above the common denominator.

Kol tuv,
Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2007 10:12:18 +0300
Subject: Re: A conundrum

From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
> Is it possible to be religious and Zionist without being a "religious
> Zionist" as portrayed by the followers of Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook?
> When I joined Bnei Akiva in South Africa in the 1950s, the Religious
> Zionist movement was much different from what I believe it became
> after the Six Day War in 1967. Indeed, the founder of the Mizrachi
> movement, Rabbi Jacob Reines, along with three of his colleagues,
> wrote in 1902, "As to those who fear that the Zionist doctrine
> contains an element appertaining to the Redemption and the coming of
> the Messiah and is apt to destroy a principle of our Faith, they are
> totally mistaken. Zionism has no connection with Redemption. Its
> purpose is solely to ameliorate the lot of our unfortunate brethren."
> Such a view would not countenance acts which are taken so cavalierly
> today, with the attitude that they are now permissible because we are
> in the era of the Messiah, and without any regard as to where the
> chips may fall.
> I am very much afraid that "religious Zionism" has moved far afield
> from that view, and thus I return to my question: Is it possible to be
> religious and Zionist without being a "religious Zionist"?

I do not know enough to analyze the dividing line between Rabbi
A.Y. Kook and Rabbi Reines at that time, but from what the poster
writes, they seem to have opposing concepts of Religious Zionism of
their generation. Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook (son of Rabbi A.Y.) based his
zionist philosophy on the teachings of his father, but he seems to be
more radical on our relationship to the secular world than his
father. For example there is the famous picture of Rabbi A.Y. on the
podium at the opening of the Hebrew University, whereas the philosophy
of Merkaz HaRav (Kook) yeshiva, when I was in one of their satellite
yeshivot, seemed to be anti anything to do with university.

I personally feel comfortable with the normal modern religious zionist
relationship (i.e State of Israel as beginning of sprouting of
redemption + a modern outlook), but if a movement is needed for being
"religious" and being a "zionist" but not "religious zionist", then I
think the Po'alei Agudat Yisrael (PAI) concept supports this. They are
religious and chareidi and being advocates of working the Land and
building the State they are possibly entitled to the definition of being

PAI cannot allow zionism to be a concept of the Torah because of the
Chatam Sofer's philosophy of nothing new is allowed. They can be
Zionists separate from Torah because they adapt Rabbi Shimshon Rephael's
Hirsh philosophy of Torah Im Derech Eretz (Torah with livelihood) where
part of the Derech Eretz is Zionism. (I use the word "adapt" here
because Rabbi Shimshon Rephael Hirsh was far from having anything to do
with the Zionist movement or the aliya movements of his E.European
contemporaries). This is completely different to the Torah V'Avoda
(Torah and Work) of B'nei Akiva and Po'alei HaMizrachi, where the "Work"
is an imperative of the Torah rather than "together with" the Torah.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Sarah Beck <beckse@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 09:38:17 -0400
Subject: Drug Therapy vs. Chesed Revisited

A question for Russell--

As I asked in a previous email, how would your approach address
schizophrenia? This is a common test case for a mental illness that is
primarily influenced by biological factors and only secondarily
influenced by environment. Here are the DSM-IV's criteria for diagnosis,


I am not asking to be a nudnik or to push an agenda, as I am a big
advocate of "whatever works." I genuinely want to know your thoughts on



From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 08:47:54 -0400
Subject: Married Women and Hair Covering

> THIS IS THE KEY ISSUE.  Many practises evolved in very observant
> communities as a result of sincere piety that are not necessarily
> "halachically" correct.

Let me take one last try at this topic. I would agree with your
statement if you define ""halachically" correct"" as meaning looking at
the issue at hand through the lens of a later generation where there has
been a coalescence around an alternative position to the one taken by
that community (and apparently sanctioned by its rabbinic leadership)

Let me give but one example.  What is the bracha on (what we now call)
grape juice? If your (great)grandparents lived in the US in the early
20th century, it was not borei pri hagafen. We can discuss why on
another occasion but remember - freedom of the press belongs to those
who own the press (not meant negatively but if a great posek chooses not
to write a sefer, does that make his psak lesser?)

Joel Rich


From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Wise)
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 10:11:05 EDT
Subject: Re: Married Women and their Hair

I am impressed by Michael Broyde's obscure sources to be "melamed
zechut" on those married women who did/do not cover their hair. Although
Ken Bloom's inference from the Ben Ish Hai Bo para 8 , 10 is clearly a

Let me just repeat some well know sources from world renowned Poskim:

1. Shulch Arukh Even Ha-Ezer simon 21 seif 1 ,2
2. Shu''t Noda Beyehuda  Tanina 26
3. Shu''t Chatam Sofer Orach Hayyim 36
4. Igrot Moshe Even Ha'Ezer 1, 58 & 114 (for the Ashkenazim)
5. Yabia Omer 3 Even Ha-Ezer 21 (for the Sefardim)
6. Piskei Din Rabbaniyim 4: 362 (for the rabbis)

Finally the Yaavetz (Rabbi Yaakov Emden), the Be'er Sheva and the Chatam
Sofer all wrote that our mothers were distinguished from the
non-Jewesses by covering their hair. Our wives and daughters should be
similarly distinguished.

Rabbi Wise, London


From: Daniel Z. Werlin <dzwerlin@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 20:39:05 -0400
Subject: Neir Shel Shabbat Kodesh

I recently heard for the first time the Lubavitch blessing over lighting
candles on Shabbat: lehadlik neir shel shabbat [ok: shabbes J] kodesh.

Admittedly a very small change from what I had previously assumed was
the only version (lehadlik neir shel shabbat), but somewhat startling
because I had never heard any variation.

A little research turned up a debate over neir shel shabbat vs. neir
shabbat vs. neir shelashabbat, but nothing regarding shabbat kodesh.

Siddur Otzer ha-Tefilot (vol I, Hebrew page 295, in the Iyun Tefilah
commentary) implies that the text of the blessing is not even found in
the gemarah.

Is anyone aware of the origin and reason for the Lubavitch version (and
of any other variations)?

Dan Werlin


From: <chips@...>
Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2007 21:51:36 -0700
Subject: Re: Re: Par, Shor and Bakar

I recall that Par , Shor and Bakar related to different ages and sizes
of domesticated cattle and that "ox" and "bull" were not accurate



From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Wise)
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 02:24:57 EDT
Subject: Re: Pious Jews

In response to Dr Ben Katz - I'm not sure how you would define a pious
Jew. Surely this is part of the problem. Apparently one's wife need not
cover her hair and still remain "pious" Does she need to cover hers
arms?  Does she still have to go to the mikvah?

Interestingly the Gaon of Vilna was called Hagaon Hechassid miVilna -
The pious one. He said that he was just a "kosher" Jew and that a kosher
Jew kept ALL the laws of the Shulchan Arukh.

Rabbi Wise


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2007 12:24:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Synagogue Kosher Restaurant Link

If a shul website posts a list of "kosher" restaurants with no
disclaimer (i.e., nothing saying "the consumer is responsible for
finding out if it's really kosher"), does the shul implicitly endorse
their kashrut?  Or, may a shul simply post a list of "kosher"
restaurants (or link to such a list) with such a disclaimer, effectively
saying "consult your LOR"?  In other words, if a shul website posts a
list of "kosher" restaurants, does the shul have responsibility to
determine that these restaurants meet the shul's kashrut standards?

These questions arise because a prominent MO shul in Manhattan for many
years posted a list of selected kosher restaurants on its website.  The
list didn't seem to include any with iffy hashgachot and had no
disclaimer.  The website now instead links to an outside website that
claims to list all "kosher" Manhattan restaurants by their hashgacha,
including hashgachot that no Orthodox rabbi would likely recommend.  The
shul's website posts a disclaimer that says the outside website, "lists
any restaurant under 'hashgachah.'  It is up to each Kosher consumer to
decide whether or not to hold by that hashgachah."  And, upon inquiry,
it turns out that the original list wasn't the shul's at all; it was
prepared by an outsider and simply copied (with permission, I guess),
and the shul denies any responsibility for its contents.



From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2007 10:34:37 +0300
Subject: Women and Head Covering

I think that some of the resistance on the part of women today to
covering the head is that the reason behind the very same act (kipah) in
men is fear of G-D, while women's covering the head is expected because
of MEN'S reaction. Doing something because of G-D seems worthy of
respect, while doing something because of other people seems degrading
(despite all the Orthodox attempts at apologetics about modesty). I
wonder if some Orthodox women who do not currently cover the head would
consider doing so for the reason of fear of G-d.



End of Volume 54 Issue 87