Volume 55 Number 15
                    Produced: Sun Jul  8  9:40:18 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

New Israeli Educational Stamps Posted Online
         [Jacob Richman]
Semicha Question
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Sephardic Hebrew/English Kinot
         [Ken Bloom]
Statistics Dispel Claims of 'Thousands of Israeli Agunot'
         [Daniel Geretz]
Washing one's hands before davening
         [Carl Singer]


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Jul 2007 05:36:35 +0300
Subject: New Israeli Educational Stamps Posted Online

Hi Everyone!

I scanned and posted on my website the new Israeli stamps 
that were issued in May and June 2007.
I included the stamp itself, the first day cover,
and an English and a Hebrew flyer about the stamp.

- Jerusalem - 40 Years of Reunification

- UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Israel

- Volunteer Organizations

- Israel Prison Service

- Dance in Israel

The new stamps are located at:

If you do not see July 5, 2007 on the top of the page,
hold the control key and press the F5 key to refresh 
your browser.

Have a good day,


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2007 19:45:31 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Semicha Question

Does anyone have information about a Yeshiva Marbitzei Torah, or a
Marbitzei Torah Institute, both in New York?  A mashgiach listed on the
web claims semicha from the former, and the rav hamachshir of a New York
restaurant claims semicha from the latter.

Orrin Tilevitz
Brooklyn, NY


From: Ken Bloom <kbloom@...>
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2007 14:33:04 -0500
Subject: Sephardic Hebrew/English Kinot

It appears that a Hebrew English Tisha B'Av siddur has been published by
Rabbi Shlomo Churba (editor of Siddur Lev Eliezer, which is put out by
Congregation Shaare Rahamim of Brooklyn). It will be available from
Mekor Judaica around the middle of next week.

Ken Bloom. PhD candidate. Linguistic Cognition Laboratory.
Department of Computer Science. Illinois Institute of Technology.


From: Daniel Geretz <danny@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 16:46:44 -0400
Subject: Statistics Dispel Claims of 'Thousands of Israeli Agunot'

Carl Singer wrote:

> Having been happily married for 30 years, I'm an outsider to the agunah
> problem -- but I certainly see it as a real problem for klal Yisroel.  A
> problem that requires serious discussion and halacha-based action.
> Sitting on the sidelines, it seems to me that recent discussion pokes
> around interesting factoids but fails to address the underlying issue -
> there are real live people who are suffering.

Agreed.  Regardless of the dimensions of the problem(s) or what you call
it/them, certainly, there are individuals who are in pain, and the
issues require serious discussion and halachik action.  The pain of
these individuals is shared by their families, friends, communities, and
ultimately, all of klal Yisrael.

However, as a result the pain, emotions run high. It is difficult to
continue (or start) to have a rational discussion about the issues when
accusations and counter-accusations are made.  The high emotions lead to
a situation where conflict becomes more entrenched and all sides become

I think the discussions about nomenclature and statistics don't
necessarily "get at" the heart of the subject.  On the other hand, for
some, especially those emotionally invested in the issue, these "safer"
subjects may be the best they can do at having a rational discussion at
this time, and that's a start.

That said, as far as nomenclature is concerned, I think it is important
to precisely define what we are talking about.  Certainly, our sages of
blessed memory stressed over and over again the Jewish ethos of precise
language.  When JOFA, for example, defines "agunot" as "victims of get
refusal," it concerns me that the definition is an oversimplification
which may hamper JOFA's ability to advocate on behalf of
agunot/mesuravot get.

Simplification of the issues and conflation of terminology may make for
good sound bites and good press -- I believe that a more nuanced
understanding of all of the issues involved, using precise nomenclature,
is one of the keys to a resolution of these very real, very painful,

Kol Tuv,

Danny Geretz


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 05 Jul 2007 08:10:24 -0400
Subject: Washing one's hands before davening

Our shule davens mincha / maariv b'zman - hence somewhat contiguously -- 
depending on when mincha ends and shkiah.
I noticed recently that one of our balabtim exits and washes his hands 
(a second time, as it were) before maariv.
On a recent Shabbos I saw this same between shacharit & musaf.

Although I wash prior to mincha & shacharit -- I never considered doing 
so as above -- what's the halacha and what are the minhagim- and where 
are they  stated?



End of Volume 55 Issue 15