Volume 55 Number 89
                    Produced: Wed Nov 28  5:20:25 EST 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Avinu Malkenu In Neilah On Shabbos
         [Immanuel Burton]
Dying on One's Birthday
         [Saul Mashbaum]
Heter Mechira
         [Perets Mett]
Issur Kareth - reward/punishment
         [Scott Spiegler]
Leaving Land Fallow
         [Leah S. Gordon]
New Facebook Application: My Hebrew Name
         [Jacob Richman]
Noach Trivium
         [Larry Israel]
Question concerning marriage to Kohen
Requirement of eating at Kiddush
         [Immanuel Burton]
Rewriting history?
         [Perets Mett]
Shofar - Ne'ela
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Sounding The Shofar At The End Of Neilah
         [Immanuel Burton]
Tachanun at brith
         [Binyamin Lemkin]
Tachanun at Mincha
         [Rabbi Meir Wise]
Yona in the fish as a vision
         [David Curwin]
         [William Gewirtz]


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 15:38:06 +0100
Subject: Re: Avinu Malkenu In Neilah On Shabbos

Thank you to Akiva Miller for his ideas in Mail.Jewish v55n85 concerning
Avinu Malkenu in Neilah on Shabbos.  I was recently told of another
possible explanation: The rule about making requests seems to be tied to
doing so in the prayers on Shabbos.  (If one weren't allowed to make
requests at all on Shabbos then one probably wouldn't be allowed to say
a "mi sheberach" for ill people, unless they were life-threateningly
so.)  Neilah is not a Shabbos prayer in that it is not a prayer whose
recital is precipitated by it being Shabbos; it is a Yom Kippur prayer,
and uniquely so.  Therefore, since it isn't a Shabbos prayer, saying
Avinu Malkenu is not a problem.

Immanuel Burton.


From: Saul Mashbaum <smash52@...>
Date: Sat, 06 Oct 2007 22:25:37 +0200
Subject: Dying on One's Birthday

Neither births nor deaths are distributed evenly throughout the year.

For various reasons the death rate during the winter is much higher than
in the summer. Thus one who is born during the winter has a much greater
chance of dying on his birthday than one born during the summer.

Saul Mashbaum


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2007 22:30:33 +0100
Subject: Re: Heter Mechira

Mordechai Horowitz wrote:

> 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 else)

Everyone else works the land????

> 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.

Please pay a visit to Komemiut, the chareidi moshav which has been in
the forefront of shmita observance since the days of the Chazon Ish.

> 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.

That is precisely what they have been doing for the past nine months.
Chareidim world wide have contributed to funds which support farmers who
do not earn money from agriculture during shmita.

Perets Mett


From: Scott Spiegler <scottspiegler@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 22:07:43 -0500
Subject: Issur Kareth - reward/punishment


Do we actually need a discussion with proofs to demonstrate that it is
better to introduce a Jew to non-religious Jewess rather than a
non-Jewish woman?? Is that not just blatantly obvious?

I am surprised however by Rambam's comment that a non-Jewess is
considered as being "at war" with Judaism because she has relations with
a Jewish man.  My suspicion is that 99+% of non-Jewish women who have
relations with Jewish men have no clue that this is even a Jewish
problem, let alone some idealogical challenge to to our faith. I think
there are many non-Jewesses who appreciate some of the cultural
qualities of Jewish men and pursue them purely as personal
choice/preference. There are also non-Jewish women who date Jews because
they randomly have some connection to them through work or personal
interests. I doubt that they are seeking Jewish men. It's more that they
have met a man who happens to be a Jew but could have been something
else. And, if that is so, why make them liable for kares?

Puzzled, Scott


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2007 20:18:08 -0700
Subject: Leaving Land Fallow

With the discussion of the heters for buying Israeli produce in the
shmita year, I was wondering - is there an agricultural problem (not a
halakhic or moral or political problem) with using the land year after
year?  Or, can crop rotations (like corn to soy to clover) take care of
keeping the soil in good shape?



From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2007 16:28:00 +0200
Subject: New Facebook Application: My Hebrew Name

Hi Everyone!

Today I launched a new Facebook application called:
My Hebrew Name

The application lets you lookup your Hebrew name and
display it (in Hebrew with nikud and an English transliteration)
on your Facebook profile.

The direct address of the application is:

If you do not have a free Facebook account yet, you can lookup,
view and print your name via the My Hebrew Name website at:

Feedback is welcome!

Please forward this message to anyone interested in their
Hebrew name. Thank you!

Have a good day,


From: Larry Israel <VSLARRY@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 07 15:18:41 +0300
Subject: Noach Trivium

The first sentence of this week's reading, Noah, has his name three
times.  What other places, if any, in the Bible are there with a
person's name appearing three or more times in one sentence?


From: Anonymous
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 23:11:44
Subject: Question concerning marriage to Kohen

This is more for my curiosity. When the time comes nearer I will ask a

I have a friend who unfortunately went off the derech and had a non
Jewish bf who she lived with at one point. Fast forward a few years and
now she's engaged to a Jew. I was, understandably, overjoyed!  Then our
mutual friend told me that she's in fact engaged to a kohen.  Short of
him finding out that he's really adopted which is probably not the case
am I even allowed to go to the chassunah? Would an Orthodox Rabbi even
agree to marry them?

Thanks for your input.


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 15:45:48 +0100
Subject: RE: Requirement of eating at Kiddush

Regarding kiddush made in Shul, is there anything wrong with this logic:

There is a rule that states, "ain kiddush ello be'mokkom seudah" -
kiddush is valid only in the place where the seudah [meal] takes place.

At a kiddush in Shul, mezonos product such as cake is used to satisfy
this rule.

If this is the case, then one is effectively being 'koveah seudah' on
the mezonos.

If so, shouldn't one have to wash one's hands with 'al netillas yodaim'

Immanuel Burton.


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2007 22:35:35 +0100
Subject: Rewriting history?

Shmuel Himelstein wrote:

> 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,

Not many but **most**, and they outvoted the religious members.

> 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 movement?

My wife's great-grandfather, the Kamenitser Magid, was a leading member
of Chovevei Zion, and held hundreds of droshos on their behalf. When the
Zionist movement was established, he recognised it for the poisoned
chalice it was, and severed all links.

Perets Mett


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2007 11:34:55 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Shofar - Ne'ela

Many years ago, we had to be at a local beit kenneset for yom kippur. My
father, seeing the type of people, asked the rav to delay the shofar to
after arvit, because he was sure that there would be a stampede and
almost no minyan for arvit. The rav said that he had to think of it, in
the end he said that we could not change the order. Of course, everyone
stampeded out...What is the problem of delaying the shofar? The tur says
to blow after arvit, this is also minhag teman. If people think that the
shofar means that the fast is over, well, they are mistaken. One can
feed weak people, also children under 12/13 (i had a 11 & 12 fasters
that ate between shofar & arvit). This is a bigger problem in israel,
because most places have birket kohanim in the 2 minutes before sunset.
Isru hag sameah


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 15:33:05 +0100
Subject: Re: Sounding The Shofar At The End Of Neilah

> While it is permissible to blow the shofar at Neilah if is not yet
> Tzeit Hakochavim (nightfall) even on Shabbat as you pointed out, the
> problem is that there are many uneducated people who are at Shul on
> Yom Kippur who assume that the fast is over when they hear the shofar.
> Therefore, while halachically the shul was certainly allowed to blow
> the shofar at that point, from a public policy point of view it was
> probably better that they delayed it until it was truly tzeit
> hakochavim.
> Rav Mordechai Eliyahu gives the above advice under the Halachot of
> Neilah in his Machzor Kol Eliyahu.

Does Rav Eliyahu advise where the best place to blow the shofar is if
one hasn't done so at the end of Neilah?

That apart, I find the logic of this baffling, especially if one holds
that the shofar is blown in order to accompany the Shechinah [Divine
Presence] as it returns to Heaven.  This return to Heaven is at the end
of Neilah, and so blowing the shofar later is more or less irrelevant as
the Shechinah has already gone.  Given Rav Eliyahu's advice, it would
seem preferable to sound an irrelevant shofar blast rather than educate
the uneducated by teaching them that the shofar being sounded does not
mark the end of the fast.  Should this really be the case?

Immanuel Burton.


From: Binyamin Lemkin <lemkinrealty2@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 05:20:19 +0200
Subject: Tachanun at brith

Rav David Bar-Hayim who usually is poseq like the Rambam holds that one
should say tachanun on all days except those specifically enumerated by
the Rambam. The day that a brith is being held is not one of the
exceptions enumerated.

                                                    Binyamin Lemkin


From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Meir Wise)
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 02:07:43 EST
Subject: Re: Tachanun at Mincha

My first rabbinic post in the late sevenites was in a large nusach sfard
shul (made up of many defunct shuls) in the East End of London commonly
called Nelson street. There they did not say tachanun any day at mincha!
When I ask why they answered that the previous rabbis/rebbes held that in
a town as large as London there was bound to be a simcha most days!!!

Rabbi Meir Wise, London


From: David Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 08:30:23 +0200
Subject: Yona in the fish as a vision

Joseph Ginzberg asked if there are any "mainstream authorities" that say
that the story of Yona was a vision.

Elyakim Ben-Menachem mentions this view in his introduction to the Daat
Mikra edition of Yona. He quotes the Rishon Rav Yosef Kaspi as saying
that there are those who claim the first two chapters of Yona were in a
prophetic dream. R' Kaspi does not say who are those who believe this.

Ben-Menachem says this may be based on the Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim
(2:47, [2:46 in my edition]), who doesn't mention Yona, but discusses
how the stories of many other prophets were "only" visions. The Rambam
also mentions Avraham in this context, but not the Akeida -- rather Brit
Bein HaBetarim.

Ben Menachem also offers a suggestion as to why the vision specifically
had Yona swallowed by a fish. The meaning of the word Ninveh is "neve
dag", "fish abode", since nun = dag. The ancient symbol of the city was
a fish in a house. So when Yona refused to go to the "fish", God brought
the fish to him.

David Curwin
Balashon - Hebrew Language Detective


From: <wgewirtz@...> (William Gewirtz)
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 03:27:01 +0000
Subject: Zemanim

as to the other responses to the questions around alot and misheyakir.

D. Cohen: The history of the luach in Israel is fascinating and as u
observe is the legacy of R. Tuchitzinsky. the reason for a fixed 72 for
alot in the US is much more a matter of conjecture.  I have an elaborate
explanation on its origin in the US and Europe.  Regardless, it is very
difficult to justify despite widespread support.

J. Hosseinof: Two of the alternatives u mention 96 minutes (4 * 24) and
90 as 5*18 are difficult to resolve with any of the texts of the gemara
in pesachim 94 and (most) major opinions of rishonim.  90 is 4 * 22.5
according to almost all Rishonim, not 5*18.  I do not dispute that your
numbers appear in various seforim, they are just very problematic.

dr. william gewirtz


End of Volume 55 Issue 89