Volume 55 Number 69
                    Produced: Mon Sep 10 20:48:07 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aliyo leRegel?
         [Perets Mett]
Beis Din deciding Rosh Chodesh (2)
         [Martin Stern, Tom Buchler]
Five ideas to help revitalize Orthodox Jewish Administration
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Fruit Juice requires a hechsher
         [Mordechai Horowitz]
Keeping Mezuzos for the Same Room Exclusively
Unwanted "gifts" from Tzedukahs (2)
         [Rose Landowne, Perry Zamek]


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 11:25:26 +0100
Subject: Aliyo leRegel?

Shoshana wrote:

> Leave New York, for example, 24 hours before Shavu'ot. Spend 2 days
> holiday in Jerusalem (perhaps review this?) and go home. All together
> - no more than 4 days.  Certainly longer than whatever time spent in
> Uman.  AND you get to perform a Mitzva from the Torah!!!!

What mitsva min haTorah?  There is no mitsva of aliyo leregel without a
Beis Hamikdosh to bring korbonos.  And there never was a mitsva of aliyo
leregel on residents of chuts lo-orets. Indeed, according to Tosfos
Pesochim 3b, only landowners in Erets Yisroel had a mitsvo of aliyo

> (I'm also sure that if just 20,000 of the Jews in America would come,
> the price of the plane rides would become unbelievable low. Imagine if
> every male religious Jew over 13 came!)

Halevay! This is wishful thinking. Heavy demand leads to increased, not
decreased prices.

Every year the air fares to Tel Aviv double in price for the yomim
tovim, when many people ***do*** travel to Israel.

I have no idea how many fly currently from the USA, but each year 2000
or more people fly from London for Sukkos.

Perets Mett


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2007 12:27:01 +0100
Subject: Re: Beis Din deciding Rosh Chodesh

On Thu, 6 Sep 2007 16:02:04 EDT, <ERSherer@...> (Robert Sherer) wrote:
> I thought that Rosh Hashonah was deliberately made two days after the
> 29th of Elul to obviate any reliance on witnesses who may have sighted
> the moon, but can't travel to Yerushalyim because the holiday is already
> on them Rosh Hashanah is the only holiday on the calendar that falls on
> the first day of the lunar month.

Until the eidim had come and the Beit Din had declared the day to be
Rosh Hashanah they were allowed to travel etc. so that was not a
problem. The same problem would occur on Shabbat but they were allowed
to travel even then to give eidut that they had seen the new moon.

The real reason for two days as explained in Mas. Rosh Hashanah was
based on a problem that once arose when they came late in the afternoon
after the tamid shel bein ha'arbayim had been brought which led to the
levi'im singing the wrong shir.

Martin Stern

From: Tom Buchler <tbuchler@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2007 08:47:19 -0400
Subject: Re: Beis Din deciding Rosh Chodesh

> From: <ERSherer@...> (Robert Sherer)
> I thought that Rosh Hashonah was deliberately made two days after the
> 29th of Elul to obviate any reliance on witnesses who may have sighted
> the moon, but can't travel to Yerushalyim because the holiday is already
> on them Rosh Hashanah is the only holiday on the calendar that falls on
> the first day of the lunar month.

Rosh Hashanah was made two days even in Yerushalayim because by the time
the moon is visible in the proper manner and the witnesses would be able
to come forth to the beit din, it might already be Rosh Hashanah, and
the time for the appropriate korbanot would have already passed.

K'tiva v'Chatima Tovah!

-Tom Buchler


From: <ChaimShapiro@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2007 21:48:34 EDT
Subject: Five ideas to help revitalize Orthodox Jewish Administration

It would have been nearly impossible to think, some twenty years ago, as
our community seemed awash in the modern problems of the late Twentieth
Century and plagued by inaction that the Orthodox Jewish communal world
would reach a point at which we have to wonder if we haven't been
overzealous in our response. We have come a long way since the first few
brave souls answered the call and sacrificed career and reputation to
challenge the status quo. They quite literally changed the landscape of
the Orthodox communal world. We are all much better off because of it.

I respectfully submit that we have reached a time where we must
challenge the status quo once more. The question is no longer who WILL
serve our communal needs as much as who SHOULD serve our communal
needs. We no longer need to recruit reluctant leaders to solve our
problems, we need leaders who are more reluctant to try to create
organizations to solve our problems.

Too much of our communal muscle is spent competing for the same Tzedaka
dollars from the same people by organizations purporting to solve the
same problems. We are all inundated by solicitations, fundraisers and
phone calls from organizations, each of whom present itself as THE most
important organization responding to THE most pressing communal needs.

I would like to suggest a shift in paradigm. While it will always be
necessary for an organization to aggressively pursue funds, I firmly
believe that the true success of an organization comes when funders
pursue them. Tzedaka is not a zero sum game. Individuals and communities
can be moved to give more than they ever imagined. We need to realize
that the best fundraising opportunity for any organization is not in
their glitzy marketing or their fancy Chinese auction prizes, but in
providing the best, most creative and appropriate programs that address
the pressing needs in the Jewish community.

An organization that is recognized for its creative, cutting edge,
prescient programs will not have to sell itself while conducting its
proactive fundraisers. It will literally have donors calling them to
become involved. Everyone wants to be on a winning team.

I do not believe in offering criticism without some form of practical
solution. In that spirit, I would like to offer the Jewish communal
world five of my personal ideas that I believe can be used to help
transform the organization that uses them from another name in the crowd
to a leading light in the Jewish administrative world. Hopefully, the
implementation of these ideas will spawn more creative and effective
ideas that will take our organizations to the next level.

1) A National Purim Pledge: Many college campuses use a simple pledge
form to dissuade students from driving under the influence during spring
break. The pledge acknowledges that most people who drive drunk do not
believe they are impaired when doing so. To help avoid those lapses in
judgement, the college pledge contains three components. These same
components can be applied to the Purim context. First, the undersigned
agrees not to operate a vehicle if they have had ANYTHING to drink on
Purim. Second, the undersigned will not get into a vehicle with anyone
who has had ANYTHING to drink on Purim. Third, the undersigned pledges
to make safe transportation arrangements before Purim.  Participants in
the pledge can be entered into local and national raffles for their
participation. Recruitment can be done at the national, communal and
Yeshiva level. Special prizes can be offered to those who sign up their

Stickers with the Purim Pledge and the sponsoring organization can be
given to participants to place in their cars or on their keys and in
shuls as reminders. Peer pressure is extremely important in the success
of the program. A full page ad promoting the success of the program and
listing the signators will provide the impetus for even more
participants in the following year.

2) The Great Yeshiva Smoke Out. This would be a very similar pledge
style program. Instead of focusing on drinking and driving on Purim,
students would pledge NOT to use tobacco products for an entire
year. The recruitment and incentive drives can be structured based on
the Purim Pledge model with the addition of an annual Lag B^^Omer
smoke out barbecue celebrating the achievements of those who
successfully fulfilled the pledge for a full year.

3) International Forum on Jewish Education: We are familiar with the
great International lectures prepared annually for Tisha B^^Av and
the first night of Selichos and shown at shuls around the world. Modern
technology allows for an even more powerful presentation. Using
videoconferencing technology, an international interactive forum on
Jewish education can be held that allows the active live participation
of communities across the world. National leaders in Jewish education
could give short presentations in each linked community and then help
moderate an International dialogue on Jewish education. An annual event
can be scheduled for the Sunday before Shavous with the Maar Hamakomos
from each lecture being made available for Shavous night learning.

4) Spiritual Nourishment Tzedaka Cards: Tomchei Shabbas has been very
successful in raising funds at supermarkets. It is logical that a person
is more willing to provide food for the less fortunate while he is
purchasing food for himself. Many supermarkets have scan ready cards
that add Tzedaka donations in several different denominations to their
food bill while they are checking out.

Jewish bookstores can have similar Tzedaka cards available to their
shoppers as well. People would be more willing to provide spiritual
sustenance to the less fortunate while they are purchasing spiritual
sustenance for themselves. The funds collected can be used to provide
Torah education to those who would otherwise attend Public Schools OR
for the purchase of religious objects such as teffilin and mezzuzahs to
people who otherwise could not afford them.

5) Apple Picking before Rosh Hashana: This is a great interactive
Chinuch opportunity for shuls, schools and communities. The Malchus of
Hashem is one of the primary focuses of Rosh Hashana. What better way is
there to teach your child how Hashem provides for us than to take him to
see first hand how Hashem produces the apples he will use at the Rosh
Hashana table. Participating children can see how the apples grow and
physically pick their own Rosh Hashana apples. As an added bonus, apple
trees need to be cross pollinated. Without insects like bees, there are
no apples.  Can there be a better way to illustrate Hashem^^s command
of the world as well the importance of the apples and honey Minhag than
to allow our children to discover that there are no apples without
insects like bees, and no honey without fruit like apples? Most orchards
have their own bee colonies. Many even offer glass bee colonies that
allow the visitor to watch the bees in their hives.

Please take these ideas and use them. It is my fervent hope that the
successful implementation of these ideas will lead to the creation and
implementation of more creative and effective ideas that will revitalize
and refocus the mission in the Jewish communal world.

Chaim Shapiro


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2007 07:10:06 -0400
Subject: Fruit Juice requires a hechsher

My local Kashrut board is starting to require all fruit juices to have a
hechsher in their establishments.  My Rabbi didn't know why there were
doing it.  Has anyone heard of anyone suggesting making this change an
know the reason?


From: Yakir <yakirhd@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2007 14:10:22 +0200
Subject: re: Keeping Mezuzos for the Same Room Exclusively

>Does anyone know the basis / origin of the custom to keep mezuzos for
>the same room exclusively even after having them checked?

I have not heard of this but it is reminiscent of, and possibly related
to the issue that when re-assembling the Mishkan all the boards and even
Adanim ("foundations / board-holders") where re-placed in the same
position each time and "kept their place".

IIRC the GR"A uses this precedent to rule that a tallit should always be
put on the same way such that each of the four tzizit groups is always
in the same position.  (This is one of the reasons for various forms of
special indicators on the top of the tallit - so one can tell which is
the top and which is the bottom).

Shabat Shalom,
Shana Tova,
-- Yakir


From: Rose Landowne <Roselandow@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 08:25:51 -0400
Subject: Re: Unwanted "gifts" from Tzedukahs

> It seems to me to be a clear case of "Matono Shelo Al M'nas LeHachzir"
>A gift given without any expectation that it will be returned.  Any
>expectation would need to be communicated, and failing such a
>communication, clearly Zochin Le-Odom --- man acquires it.  Surely, the
>intention is to influence you, through the gift, to donate to a
>particular cause. There is no notion of conditional Kinyan by Hamshocho
>or Hagboho (acquisition by handling the goods) I suggest that if
>someone feels uncomfortable they can write to ask that the gifts not be
>sent in the future.

I've heard that a good return on a direct mail campaign is 1%. That
would indicate that they do not expect a high rate of response, so it
can not be considered a Matana al m'nat lehachzir.

  Maybe it is different in the case of the tzedakas which call first to
ask if they can send the envelope (though those usually do not include a

Rose Landowne

From: Perry Zamek <perryza@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2007 14:18:44 +0300
Subject: Re: Unwanted "gifts" from Tzedukahs

I would add that, in a couple of cases that I am personally familiar
with, the wording of the accompanying letter was "in appreciation of
your past support" (in these cases, the letters were only sent to people
who have given in the past).

Experience has shown that these gifts do, in fact, often generate a
donation in return (in a number of instances, from people who had not
given to these particular organizations for a number of years).

Economically speaking, the financial return from a charity mailing
campaign needs to more than cover the costs of the mailing: printing of
the letter and the inserts (including the gift), list management,
envelope stuffing, postage, return postage (reply paid envelopes), and
the actual writing of the letter (a professional skill). Once the donors
are familiar with the name of the organization, they (or a significant
proportion of them) will continue to give regularly.

Shana Tova,
Perry Zamek


End of Volume 55 Issue 69