Volume 55 Number 07
                    Produced: Tue Jun 19 21:30:56 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Expanded definition of Kashrut
         [Janice Gelb]
Handicapped Accessible shule / bimah
         [Leonard Paul]
Kosher Witnesses (2)
         [Stephen Phillips, Dr. Josh Backon]
Pre-Tachanun Viddui: How Widespread? (2)
         [Perets Mett, Akiva Miller]
School Counseling field
Shabbat Zemirot
         [Perets Mett]


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2007 17:16:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Expanded definition of Kashrut

Aliza Berger <alizadov@...> wrote
> Ari Trachtenberg wrote:
> > My bigger concern is that this broader hechsher might eventually be
> > decoupled from the standard kashrut hechsher, meaning that, for
> > example, treif restaurants might be able to get a "hechsher tsedek"
> > that their working conditions are good without getting a hechsher on
> > their actual food.
> I haven't read the whole thread, but just wanted to point out that the
> actual organization in Israel that gives such a "hechsher tsedek" does
> in fact give it to non-kosher restaurants. When they publish a list of
> the restaurants having their "tav teken hevrati" (social standards
> stamp), which they do about once a month in the newspaper, the
> non-kosher ones are asterisked (as are the ones without wheelchair
> access).

It's important to note that the "tav chevrati" in Israel is bestowed by
a nonprofit group called B'Maagalei Tzedek in Jerusalem: their web site
says "Aimed at religious and secular Jews alike, the activities of the
organization are intended to create a better society in Israel by
focusing on social justice."

This is *not* the same thing as the hechsher tzedek that is being
discussed by the Conservative movement which, as I noted previously, is
related only to kosher food establishments.

-- Janice


From: Leonard Paul <lenpaul@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 06:55:24 -0400
Subject: RE: Handicapped Accessible shule / bimah

From: Alex Herrera <odat@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 12:19:11 -0500

> It is humbling to ask for help but that may be why G-d has made me
> handicapped... to teach me humility... to force me to reach out to my
> fellows and ask for help. It also provides an opportunity for
> able-bodied congregants to collect "mitzvah points".
> There is something wrong with the able-bodied ignoring the needs of
> the handicapped. There is something equally wrong with the handicapped
> refusing the able-bodied to lend a helping hand. Your personal
> participation is required... handicapped and able-bodied alike.
> After I recited the blessing for an aliyah, I stepped away and almost
> collapsed. A man reached out and held me up. He put his arm around my
> shoulder and carefully guided me back to my seat. I was grateful. I
> was grateful for the help and for the touch of a caring human
> being... my fellow Jew. And he was given a chance to prove himself
> before G-d and the congregation. He is a good man. I never doubted it,
> but one never knows for sure until one is proven. He passed the test.

I was deeply touched by the words of Alex Herrera . Having had a
neurological tremor since birth, there is much that I cannot do
independently in the course of daily activities. In shul, I am
especially grateful when people kindly offer assistance before I may
even request help.  When I express words of appreciation, the response
is often that it is I who should be thanked for providing an opportunity
to do a mitzvah.

I also thank G-d because my "disability" has led me a rewarding career
as a rehabilitation psychologist with a specialty in vocational
rehabilitation of the physically disabled. It is with great humility and
thanks to G-d that I may have an opportunity to participate in a
patient's journey back to a vocationally productive life.

Leonard Paul


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 13:21:10 +0100
Subject: Re: Kosher Witnesses

> From: Alan Green <rabbialan@...>
> If there are three witnesses to a Mikvah conversion--all male, all
> Sabbth observant, all learned in Torah--but one witness is related to
> the convert through marriage (i.e. as a stepfather), is the conversion
> then invalid?

How can a convert have any Jewish relatives at all? After all, "ger
sh'nisgayer k'koton sh'nolad domi [a convert is like a new born baby]."

Stephen Phillips

From: Dr. Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 16:05:29 +0300
Subject: Re: Kosher Witnesses

We seen in Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat Siman 7 that all who are
ineligible as witnesses due to being related to the plaintiff or
defendant are ineligible to serve as a Dayan on the Bet Din. In addition
those who either despise or intensely love the person at the Bet Din are
also ineligible to serve as judges. The list of relatives (both Toraitic
level and rabbinic derivatives) are listed by the Aruch haShulchan CM 33
# 1. One type is "krovei ishut" (or relative by marriage). However, one
can testify for one's brother-in-law's daughter's husband [the husband
of the daughter of your wife's brother]. More specifically, in-laws can
testify (husband's father vs. wife's father).

The next question is even if the 3rd witness was ineligible, would it
invalidate the conversion ? Let's analyze a case at a Chupa where one of
the witnesses was found (after the fact) to have been related (in the
2nd degree) to the bride. The Chatam Sofer (Even haEzer Chelek Alef 70)
validated the kiddushin due to "anan sahadi" an halachic concept. [In
the analogous situation of the conversion: "everyone" knew that she was
going to Tevilat Giur].

Last but not least: In Hilchot Gerim in Shulchan Aruch YOREH DEAH 268:3
while all aspects of the gerut (kabbalat ohl mitzvot, mila, tvila) have
to be in front of a Beit Din of 3 who are "ksherim ladun", this is
l'chatchila [I forget the correct English translation: what should be
done in the first place].  However, if the tevila was done (b'diavad:
[ex post facto ??] in front of only 2 judges (or as the Mordechai
indicates, in front of relatives!!) the tevilat gerut is valid. However,
kabbalat ohl mitzvot *does* require a Bet Din of 3.

So as far as Tevila Gerut is concerned, IMHO there isn't any problerm,
And it's possible there isn't any problem with the kabbalat ohl mitzvot
due to what I wrote above in paragraph #1.

I do find it strange that the 3rd member of the Bet Din placed himself
in such an awkward position. I find it hard to believe this was an
Orthodox rabbi. If this wasn't an O Bet Din, then your question is moot.

Josh Backon


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 11:57:09 +0100
Subject: Re: Pre-Tachanun Viddui: How Widespread?

Art Werschulz  wrote:

> ArtScroll (Ashkenaz, chu"l) says that "some congregations" say viddui.
> Moreover, the fact that said viddui is on pages 119a/b would lead me
> to guess that this pair of pages is a later insertion into the
> ArtScroll siddur.  ISTR it not being in an older printing of
> ArtScroll, but this could be my memory playing tricks on me.

> Finally, the chu"l version of Siddur Rinat Yisrael says (pg. 79) that
> in Eretz Yisrael, vidui and the 13 Middot are recited before tachanun.

> So how widespread is the practice of reciting viddui every day before
> tachanun?

Very widespread.

Indeed minhag Ashkenaz in chu"l does not generally say viduy before  
tachanun, but everyone else does.

All varieties of nusach Sfard, edot hamizrach etc have viduy before  

Perets Mett

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 12:25:04 GMT
Subject: Re: Pre-Tachanun Viddui: How Widespread?

Art Werschulz asked about the Vidui which some say before Shacharis.

> ISTR that viddui was not being mentioned in the Birnbaum siddur (I no
> longer have a copy of same, so I can't double-check).

You do remember correctly. It's not there.

> ArtScroll (Ashkenaz, chu"l) says that "some congregations" say
> viddui. Moreover, the fact that said viddui is on pages 119a/b would
> lead me to guess that this pair of pages is a later insertion into the
> ArtScroll siddur. ISTR it not being in an older printing of ArtScroll,
> but this could be my memory playing tricks on me.

You are correct. It is not in the first editions. (In front of me is my
treasured "First Edition, First Impression - August 1984".) There are
also a few other a/b pages at the end of Shacharis which were added

I don't know exactly when these pages were added, but I think it was in
the "Second Edition". Many other changes were instituted at the same
time. Among the most significant (to me) was the change on page 692, in
the opening paragraph to Birkas Kohanim. The first edition had the
standard Ashkenaz text of "V'se'erav Alecha", but the later versions
begin with "V'say'arev L'fanecha", which seems to me a more Nusach
Sefard text.

Another, more subtle, change appears on page 686, in the Musaf for Yom
Tov. The newer editions say to add "Retzeh bimnuchasenu" on Shabbos, in
the paragraph following Yismechu B'Malchuscha. That does not appear in
the old editions, because standard Ashkenaz is to include this only in
the following paragraph, V'Hasienu.

I wish Artscroll would publish a book about all these details and why
they decided each way. It does appear that Artscroll is at least
slightly receptive to consumer response, because in all the early
editions, every Amidah included "Mashiv haruach umorid hageshem", but
the most recent editions concede that "Some say: hagashem".

Back to the topic of the OP...

> Finally, the chu"l version of Siddur Rinat Yisrael says (pg. 79) that
> in Eretz Yisrael, vidui and the 13 Middot are recited before
> tachanun. So how widespread is the practice of reciting viddui every
> day before tachanun?

IIRC, when I was at Ohr Somayach in the 1970's, which davened Ashkenaz,
we said Vidui and the 13 Midos, but only on Monday and Thursday, as part
of the long Tachanun. Here in the USA, I have been in only two or three
shuls which say it, and they too, only on Monday and Thursday. I don't
think I have ever seen, anywhere, an Ashkenaz shul which said it on a
day other than Mon/Thu.

The various groups in Nusach Sefard and Edot Hamizrach say it much more
often, but I am not familiar with the minhagim of specific groups.

Akiva Miller


From: <HHgoldsmith@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2007 19:49:48 EDT
Subject: School Counseling field

Would appreciate any feedback on the job opportunities, qualifications
and financial renumeration for someone with a Masters in School
Counseling (in a Jewish school only). Thanks.


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 12:22:20 +0100
Subject: Re: Shabbat Zemirot

Joshua Hosseinof wrote:

> Does anyone know the reason why the zemirot in Ashkenazic benchers are
> usually divided by category of Friday night, Shabbat morning, Seudah
> Shlishit.
> ...
> Looking at the text of the zemirot, one can see that some of the
> Shabbat morning zemirot have the words "Yom Hashabbat" which gives a
> hint as to the reason for some of the songs.  My question is more as
> to who made the classification and when, as opposed to why.

The reason why the zemiros for minhag Ashkenaz are printed in three
groups is because it reflects the widespread Ashkenazi customs of having
different zemiros, more or less, for the three meals.

This is no way answers how this custom arose, but it seems to have been
around for many centuries.

Most of the zemiros we sing do not seem to be particular to any one of
the Shabbos meals, so it would be interesting to know how the custom
arose of singing specific zemiros at each meal.

The only zemiros, AFAIK, which are definitely specific to the meals are
poems of the Arizal, one for each of the Shabbos meals.

I don't think the words 'yom hashabbos' give a clue at all.

For example, Kol Mekadeish (Friday night) contains the words 'beyom
hashabbos; another Friday night zemer commences 'yom Shabbos kodesh hu';
Ma Yedidus includes 'yom Shabbos im tishmoru'.

Ko Ribon and Tsur Mishelo have no obvious connection to Shabbos, but
there is a tradition that R' Israel Najara (composer of Ko Ribon) sang
his composition at the Shabbos morning meal!

Tsom-o Nafshi, traditionally sung on Friday night, appears to be ibn
Ezra's introduction to Nishmas.

Ko Echsof is widely sung on Friday night, but Slonimer chasidim sing it
at shalesheedes (the third meal).

Strangely, very few zemirelekh include lokeil asher shovas, which is
sung on Friday night.

For the morning zmiros:

Chai Hashem has no direct reference to Shabbos, nor does Boruch Hashem
yom yom (which is often divided into two, with part sung at the morning
meal and the rest at the third meal)

In summary, almost every zemer which mentions Shabbos at all mentions
yom Shabbos, which means the whole of Shabbos and not just the daylight

Perets Mett


End of Volume 55 Issue 7