Volume 55 Number 84
                    Produced: Wed Sep 26  5:59:41 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Avinu Malkenu In Neilah On Shabbos
         [Immanuel Burton]
College Reunions (3)
         [Michael Gerver, Batya Medad, Freda B Birnbaum]
Heter Mechira (3)
         [Mordechai Horowitz, Elhanan Adler, Batya Medad]
Rewriting history?
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Sounding The Shofar At The End Of Neilah
         [Immanuel Burton]
Zionists (2)
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu, Ephi Dardashti]


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 11:22:06 +0100
Subject: Avinu Malkenu In Neilah On Shabbos

As a rule, Avinu Malkenu is omitted on Shabbos.  The reason that I have
heard for this is that it contains requests, and one does not make
requests of Hashem on Shabbos.  If this indeed the case, why is it
recited in Neilah when Yom Kippur is on Shabbos?

Immanuel Burton.


From: Michael Gerver <mjgerver@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 23:47:43 +0200
Subject: College Reunions

Tzvi Stein asks, in v55n83, about people's experiences attending college
reunions on Shabbat. I have attended two college reunions that occurred
mostly on Shabbat, as well as a high school reunion that started before
Shabbat was over on a Saturday night in June, and in all cases I had
good experiences.

Granted, the college reunions were at Brandeis, and included minyanim
and kosher meals, for those who wanted them, but that was only a very
small percentage of the people there, and of the people I was
interacting with.  At the first reunion, the people having kosher meals
ate at the same big banquet hall as everyone else, which allowed people
to sit with their non-observant or non-Jewish friends. I made kiddush
and hamotzi in my room (a dorm room on campus) beforehand. At the second
reunion, there was a separate Friday night dinner for the people who
ordered kosher meals, where everyone made kiddush, but where none of the
other people present were from my class. I did meet some very
interesting people there whom I otherwise probably would not have met,
and there was a chance to mix with my non-observant classmates after
dinner, but I think I prefer the way it was done at the first
reunion. For Shabbat lunch at both reunions, there was a separate table
where you could take kosher food (the meal was buffet for everyone), but
you could mix with other people who didn't keep kosher, and that worked

For the high school reunion, which was also buffet style, there was no
kosher food option as such, but there was plenty of fresh fruit
available, and brand name soft drinks. The logistics were a little more
complicated, since (unlike on the Brandeis campus) there was no eruv,
and I had to walk three miles to the hotel where the reunion was held,
from the place where I was spending Shabbat. But I had previously left a
siddur and some cash in an envelope, addressed to myself, at the hotel
desk, and picked it up once Shabbat was over, so I could daven maariv,
and so I had some money to take the subway back to where I was staying.

I thought all of the reunions were very positive experiences. I was not
observant in high school or college, and wearing a kippa at the reunions
was an interesting conversation starter with several people. One close
friend from high school, who I didn't think was at all interested in
this sort of thing, told me that he was a "non-observant member" of a
certain Orthodox shul, which really floored me.

I had hesitated to go to some of the earlier reunions, because they were
on Shabbat, but I think now that that attitude was wrong. I am still
fond of many of my non-observant or non-Jewish friends from high school
and college, and I don't want to feel that I am a different person now
than I was then, and that I can no longer be friends with them. I feel
this is important. Sometimes the logistics make it impossible, but if
there is a hotel within walking distance, I would go for it!

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 11:12:25 +0200
Subject: Re: College Reunions

It would be like having your picture taken all the time on Shabbat,
right?  It would be food problems, eruv problems, dovening, where?

If all the events are on Shabbat, send them a letter with up-to-date
picture, news, your warmest regards and regrets that it would just be
too difficult to attend.

If there are Motzei Shabbat and Sunday events, then you can limit
yourself to that.  Decide what's more important to you, Shabbat or
college friends.


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 08:26:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: College Reunions

Tzvi Stein asks:

> I was wondering if anyone on the list has experience with attending a 
> college reunion taking place on Shabbos and what they thought of it? 
> i.e. did you find it awkward / uncomfortable and not worth it or was it 
> no big deal?  I am mulling over it... the Shabbos activities would be 
> things like receptions, walking tours, listening to speeches, walking in 
> a procession, etc. and there are hotels within walking distance of the 
> campus.

I went to my 25th reunion at Antioch College (soon to be OBM, though
there are efforts to keep it open) in 1990, and was very happy to have
done so.  It was scheduled for Fri-Sun preceded by a work-project the
week before for those able to attend, where we helped renovate an aging
dorm.  I brought along a lot of cheese and crackers and relied on the
local grocery for fruit, juice, etc.  I found it highly worthwhile,
though I haven't been able to make it to subsequent ones.  I found the
work-project time to be very good in getting to spend time with people.

On the other hand, I have not been able to make it to most high-school
reunions as they schedule them for a Saturday night in October, and
either it's during Tom Tov or in a place too far away to get to after
Shabbos, and IMO not worth staying in a hotel for, though for the 25th I
did manage to stay with family nearby, and get someone to drive me there
after Shabbos.

I felt that the 25th was a significant enough milestone to make the
effort, and I DID have fond memories of college.  (But every time I pass
my old high school I feel like bensching gomel -- minus fond memories of
one or two teachers.)

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>
"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2007 16:17:20 -0400
Subject: Heter Mechira

The fight appears to between those who have no connection with those who
work the land itself (ie the charedim) and those who do not (ie everyone

Most people suspect if their were charedim working in the fields who
were going to lose their jobs or more than a year because of this rule
the charedi Rabbis would rule differently.

My question is, from the community that wants to ban the heter mechira,
what steps are they taking, what sacrifices will they make, to support
the financial well being of those farmers and other businesses affected
by the heter mechira.

It seems to me that Kollels and yeshivot holding by the heter mechira
should make sacrifices by not eating meat and chicken and giving the
money saved to support farmers.  Great gedolim from the charedi
community should be organizing fundraisers to financially support
kibbutzim and moshavim harmed by this ruling.

It's easy to be strict when the ruling affects the other guys
livelyhood.  If the anti heter mechira camp wants respect of the average
Jew they need to make sacrifices themselves for this ruling

From: <elhanan@...> (Elhanan Adler)
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 10:53:33 +0200 (GMT+0200)
Subject: Heter Mechira

Akiva Miller wrote:

> Rav Spector's support for the Heter was NOT unequivocal. He imposed
> several conditions on his support. One, that the rabbis of Yerushalayim
> would also agree to it, which they did not.
> ...

see the scanned letters of Rav Yitzhak Elhanan to harav Shmuel Mohliver

In the second letter he clearly states that he is aware of and ignoring
the protest to him by the rabbis of Jerusalem "velo heshavti lahem klal"
(I did even reply to them)

Elhanan Adler
Deputy Director for Information Technology
Jewish National and University Library
Email: <elhanan@...>, elhanana@savion.huji.ac.il

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 11:18:07 +0200
Subject: Re: Heter Mechira

Honestly, I don't think it's right for rabbis who do not live in Eretz
Yisrael to posken on Eretz Yisrael issues like shmitta and heter
mechira.  And while I'm at it, I don't think they have the moral right
to posken on whether someone should make aliyah, since they haven't, and
yishuv Ha'Aretz is considered a mitzvah.



From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 10:54:51 +0200
Subject: Rewriting history?

Perets Mett claims that: "The Zionist movement was founded as an
irreligious alternative to Torah Judaism."

I suggest that he reread the history of the Zionist movement again. From
its very earliest days it had a religious component and religious
members.  Granted, there were many Zionists that were not religious, but
to say that the movement was founded as "an irreligious alternative" is
a gross calumny against all the religious Jews who supported it from its
earliest days. As early as 1903 the religious members became a distinct
faction within the Zionist movement, taking upon themselves the name of
"Mizrachi." And may I remind Perets about the Hovevei Zion, a primarily
religious movement which in many ways was a forerunner of the Zionist

Unless everything I've learned about Zionist in my 67 years is wrong
(and frankly, I doubt it!), the Zionist movement was founded to supply a
place of refuge for the Jews over the world who were in dire
distress. That, by the way, was the logic behind the failed "Uganda
Plan." And to repeat a rather well-known truism which Perets seems
unaware of, Herzl came up with the idea of the Zionist movement because
of his coverage as a newspaper reporter of the Dreyfus trial. Can Perets
explain how "offering an irreligious alternative to Torah Judaism" would
have saved Dreyfus or others in the future? On the other hand, a Jewish
homeland would serve exactly such a purpose.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 16:29:37 +0100
Subject: Sounding The Shofar At The End Of Neilah

The Shul were I davenned this Yom Kippur finished Neilah a minute or two
before the end of Yom Kippur.  Rather than blow the shofar during the
Kaddish at the end of Neilah, they waited till the Kaddish after the
Amidah in maariv.

I subsequently looked this up in the Mishnah Berurah in Hilchos Yom
HaKippurim, Seder Tefillas Neilah (723:6), paragraph 12 of the Mishnah
Berurah, where it is written that the shofar is sounded to accompany the
Shechinah [Divine Presence] on its return to Heaven (as it were), and
that it is permissable to blow the shofar even if it Shabbos, provided
that it is not obviously day.  Given that we finished a minute or two
early, it was not obviously day, and so the shofar could have been blown
then.  The Mishnah Berurah then goes on to say that blowing the shofar
does not count as a melachah [a forbidden act of work] but as a "maaseh
chochmoh", and so there aren't any Halachic problems with blowing the
shofar at that point on Shabbos.

How common is it to delay the blowing of the Shofar if neilah has
finished early?  Is doing so wrong?  After all, if the shofar is blown
so as to accompany the Shechinah, then blowing it after maariv is too
late.  Furthermore, if one is going to blow the shofar at the end of
maariv, what's the optimum point?  During the Kaddish after the Amidah?
Immediately before reciting Le'Dovid Hashem Ori?  Or at the very very

Comments anyone?

Immanuel Burton.


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 11:38:00 EDT
Subject: Zionists

Perets Mett (MJv55n83) wrote:

> This is disingenuous in the extreme.
> 1 The Zionist movement was founded as an irreligious alternative to 
> torah Judaism
> 2 The leadership of the Zionists was in the hands of the anti-religious.
> So, yes, MOST Zionists.

Amongst the early Zionist one can find Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalisher (whose
name was incorporated into the name of Kibbutz Tirat Zvi) who published
his book Derishat Zion (1862).

Tirat Zvi (lit. Zvi Castle) is a religious kibbutz in the Beit She'an
Valley in Israel. The kibbutz was founded in 1937 as part of the "tower
and stockade" campaign in the territory of the Palestine. They came from
two groups: Kvutzat Shachal and Kvutzat Rodges. It is named for Rabbi
Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, one of the fathers of the Zionist Movement and one
of the leaders of Hovevei Zion. (Wikipedia) [My father was one of the
founders in 1937]

Another important Religious Zionist who actually made aliyah in his
later years is Rabbi Yehudah Alkalay (1828-1879). Amongst his important
books are Shalom Yerushalayim (1840), Minchat Yehudah (1843), Shema
Israel (1856), Sefer Chaim (1857).

Yehuda Solomon Alkalai (Yehudah Ben Shlomo Alkalai, Judah Alkalay)
(1798-1878) was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia in 1798. Along with the
Ashkenazi Rabbi Zvi Kalischer of Prussia, the Sephardic Alkalai was an
early forerunner of Zionism, despite the popular impression that Zionism
is the creation of Ashkenazi Jews.

So, the sentence number one above is simply incorrect. Herzl followed
some of the early Zionist leaders, such as these, and help found the
political Zionism. He was successful, and that is the reason why many of
us are alive today.

Some of the political leaders were also Religious Zionists such as Rabbi
Meir Berlin (Bar Ilan), so sentence number two is an one sided at best.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu

From: Ephi Dardashti <ephidardashti@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 12:48:58 -0400
Subject: Zionists

In response to:

> 1 The Zionist movement was founded as an irreligious alternative to 
> Torah Judaism
> 2 The leadership of the Zionists was in the hands of the anti-religious.
> So, yes, MOST Zionists.
> Perets Mett"

Please include in the list of these despised and evil Zionists, those who
inspired them:
The yearnings of Isaiah,
The voices in Tehilim,
Ha Rav Kook (zt"l),
Shai Aganon (zt"l),

All this sinat hinam, where does it stem from? It is not as if life in
the shetlels of Europe and the mehellahs of North Africa and the Near
East was so wonderful and perfect that people were not shaving their
peot and looking out of the box for solutions within strong links to our
moreshet.  Please stop whining, we have enough voices in Ahmadinejad and
the Neturai Karta to spread this sinat hinam.

Wishes for the success of the Zionist/Jewish enterprise byamenu,
Ephi Dardashti


End of Volume 55 Issue 84