Volume 54 Number 91
                    Produced: Tue Jun 12  6:22:54 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Beis Din Tzedek Umishpot (3)
         [Ed Greenberg, <rubin20@...>, Harry Zelcer]
Bicycle on Shabbat
         [Bernard Raab]
Confidentiality of Therapists
         [Russell J Hendel]
The Higher Ones Level the Greater their Yetzer Hara
Married Women and Head Covering
         [Tzvi Klugerman]
Neir Shel Shabbat Kodesh
         [Alex Heppenheimer]


From: Ed Greenberg <edg@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 18:57:52 -0700
Subject: re: Beis Din Tzedek Umishpot

> 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?

141 Livingstone Street seems to be privately owned. See

The cite comes from a page called

Google is our friend :)


From: <rubin20@...> <rubin20@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2007 00:21:11 GMT
Subject: Re: Beis Din Tzedek Umishpot

Building is not owned by the NY court system, it is owned by frum
Yidden, who rented it to the court system. They recently converted a
unused portion into a beautiful Bes Din, complete with a court room, two
conference rooms, a library/court room, office, waiting room etc. It
houses the newly established Bes Din Tedek U'Misphat. Bes Din Tedek
U'Misphat is a recently established Bes Din, composed of some of the
leading Dayanim in the NYC area. It is attempting to provide a high
standard of experienced unaffiliated Dayanim for Din Torahs.

From: Harry Zelcer <hzelcer@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 14:01:49 -0500
Subject: Beis Din Tzedek Umishpot

This is a new beit din under the auspices of Rabbis Hillel David, Yaacov
Horowitz and Yisroel Reisman,

See Hakirah, volume 4, "Two Models of Alternative Dispute Resolution" pp.
109 - 110 for more details.

Best wishes.

Heshey Zelcer


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 19:33:31 -0400
Subject: RE: Bicycle on Shabbat

>From: Avinoam Bitton:
>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".

Perhaps R' Yosef thought that the issue was too trivial or frivolous for
him to take a stand which might be viewed as controversial. However,
there are real-world situations for which such a heter would be far from

Last winter, my wife and I spent some time in a large (several thousand
units) senior condo community in southern Florida. There are several
such with the same basic configuration: The community is totally
"gated", i.e., fenced and enclosed, with limited access. A large
orthodox shul sits at one end of the community. Units at the other end
can be well over a one-mile walk to the shul. Although the orthodox are
a minority in the community, they are numerous enough to skew the real
estate market. Units close to the shul are in greater demand and command
higher prices. It is not uncommon that residents who start out with
units at some distance from the shul will eventually, as they age, want
to move closer. Many are not necessarily financially priviledged, and
this can be a hardship.

Adult tricycles are seen in these communities, and, if they could be
used on Shabbat, I suspect they would be much more common. In many
cases, this would alleviate a serious problem. For seniors in such
communities, maintaining social contacts is crucial, and, as we know,
the shul is a key part of this equation, even more so in such a
community. From my observation, nobody was riding a tricycle to
shul. Moreover, the reluctance to "stand apart" is a much stronger
factor than it might be in a more heterogeneous community.

I suspect that the reason tricycles are not more common is that there
is, in fact, another form of transportation that most residents prefer:
There is an extensive network of free buses which follow regular routes
inside the community. They stop at preset bus stops and residents can
get on and off at any such stop. They are all driven by non-Jews, of
course. They are supposed to stop at every designated bus stop whether
anyone is waiting there or not. In practice, I noticed that this was not
strictly adhered to, but surely it can be enforced for Shabbat if the
community insisted. Is this really very different from Shabbat
elevators, which are now so commonly accepted? I have been told that one
Rav of one such community hinted or perhaps stated that these internal
buses might be used on Shabbat, but he was so vigorously attacked for
this position (by whom I am not sure--perhaps even by residents who
already were comfortably established in nearby units!), that it was
never really "poskened".

Clearly, these are not trivial or frivolous issues, and I fear that we
are not always as accepting of change, even when change may be
halachically justified, when our own interests are not directly at

--Bernie R.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 20:49:36 -0400
Subject: RE: Confidentiality of Therapists

In a recent posting I cite original Jewish sources showing that breaking
confidentiality is important in any therapeutic process.  Janice doesnt
agree. She thinks the confidentiality is ABSOLUTELY necessary in order
to facilitate dialogue.

So allow me to refute Janice by re-citing the example I previously cited
in a professional setting. Let us pretend I am a therapist. I have been
seeing Isaac for two years. Isaac is married to rivkah but has numerous

One day Isaac confides that he has had many enjoyable conversations with
Rachel at Shule Kiddush and likes her taste in clothes. Upon prompting
he admits he has considered the possibility of an affair with her and
thinks she is interested.

silence is needed to facilitate communication.

Really? I think I have heard more than I wanted to. Here is how I would
handle it. At shule Kiddush I approach Rivkah and break the confidence.
Rivkah knows I am Isaacs therapist but is shocked at the intended
adultery. I then tell Rivkah that I think I can save her marriage and
tell her what to do.

Next day Rivkah (Who wants her marriage preserved) meets with Rachel.
Rivkah dresses and conversse like Rachel. Rachel then flirts with Isaac
who suggests an affair. Rivkah shows up at the place of the affair,
dressed up like Rachel. Afterwards Isaac finds out about it.

Let us carefully explore what might happen. Here is a possible dialogue
between Isaac and me at our next session: ISAAC: You double crossed me
and broke my confidence. ME: COrrect. Do you know why? ISAAC: You admit
it. I have no respect for you. I am going to switch therapists to
someone I trust. ME: And he would be silent and allow you to have the
affairs you want. ISAAC: (Silent and thinking). ME: I saved your
marriage and Rachel's marriage...I protected your confidence...after two
years I found out you want a good conversationalist and someone well
dressed..I told that to your wife who wants to please you. ISAAC: Still
silent. ME: Kindly explain to me how **I** broke your confidence. On the
contrary I am your friend. I protected your marriage and gave you the
things you are afraid to ask for. ISAAC: But we cant continue like
this. You are making highly personal decisions for me. ME: Correct. I
therefore suggest you start bringing your wife so we can have group
sessions. Your only problem is that you dont tell her what you want. You
saw she gave it to you. I think in another month you will not need any
more therapy and will be all cured provided you bring your wife here for
a few more sesssions.

Now someone kindly tell me how the above is a violation of Jewish,
Professional or psychological ethics. I think the above the Torah way to
behave. I also think the above the Torah way to PROTECT confidence.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2007 02:45:04 EDT
Subject: The Higher Ones Level the Greater their Yetzer Hara

From: <azqbng@...> (Baruch C. Cohen)
> Does anyone have any insight to the maxim: "the higher ones 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? When I think of a Tzaddik, it's hard for me to imagine
> that he has the same if not greater Yetzer HaRah to succumb to the
> temptations and distractions that plague our generation.

See Even Shleima 4:11 (a compilation based on teachings of the Vilna
Gaon), 4:11, where it says that that when someone reaches a higher
level, there is relief from that foe.

Additionally, a maamar Chazal that 'tzadikkim yetzer tov shoftan,
reshoim yetzer hora shoftan, beinonim zeh vizeh shoftan', comes to mind.

Also relevant would be the definition of 'yetzer hora'.



From: <klugerman@...> (Tzvi Klugerman)
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 23:08:20 -0400
Subject: Married Women and Head Covering

I missed Rabbi Broyde's piece but in looking at the recent posts I would
like to draw attention to a mishna in Baba Kama where a woman receives a
judgement against a man who caused her to uncover her hair in public. In
the 8th chapter which deals with personal damages, the sixth mishna
enumerates damages which are dealt with under the rubric of boshet,
embarrassment. A case is discussed where a man uncovered the hair of a
woman.  Judgement was re against the individual for the boshet. The
guilty party arranged for a sting to occur where the woman in another
instance demonstrated that there was a price at which she was willing to
uncover her hair. Rabbi AKiva upholds the judgment to the effect that he
declares one can bring embarrassment upon themselves but others cannot. 
I can infer from this case that although it is within a woman's
prerogative to uncover her hair, normative halachic opinion in the time
of Rabbi AKiva was that it was unbecoming. This level of shame was to the
extent that if another uncovered a woman's hair in public they would pay
damages for the embarrassment. 

Tzvi Klugerman


From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 20:19:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Neir Shel Shabbat Kodesh

In MJ 54:87, Daniel Z. Werlin asked:

>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)?

There's a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l (published in Likkutei
Sichos, vol. 14 pp. 377-378, and in fuller form in his Igros Kodesh,
vol. 6 pp. 124-125), in which he deals with this question among several
others. He writes (my translation - any errors are mine):

"As of yet I have not found a source for this. It seems to me that it is
 not part of the formal nusach [wording of the prayers]; my proof for
 this is that where there is a concern about [unwarranted] interruption
 we do omit the word 'kodesh,' as in the wording of the [blessing for]
 lighting Shabbos and Yom Tov candles [where the phrasing is "lehadlik
 neir shel Shabbos veshel Yom Tov"]. The fact that (where there is no
 concern about interruption) we add the word 'kodesh' - this is how my
 mother-in-law, the Rebbetzin [Nechama Dina, widow of R' Yosef Yitzchak,
 the Previous Rebbe] shlit"a, recites the blessing; she has this by
 _tradition_ [emphasis in original] from the generations before her, and
 presumably this was the custom through successive generations in the
 families of our Rebbes. There is a well-known statement in the Rashba's
 responsa..., that we should not reject a tradition followed by the
 older women of our people, despite six hundred thousand proofs to the

[Whether this last statement applies across the board, as with the
recent discussion on MJ about married Jewish women in parts of Eastern
Europe not covering their hair, is another matter, and one about which
I'm not qualified to offer an opinion.]

In the Hebrew edition of Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa, ch. 43 note 152,
there's a list of references to other places where the version "...shel
Shabbos Kodesh" is discussed, although I don't have those sefarim to
check what they say.

Kol tuv,


End of Volume 54 Issue 91