Volume 55 Number 90
                    Produced: Wed Nov 28 23:09:50 EST 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

300 Ways to Ask the Four Questions: From Zulu to Abkhaz (New Book)
         [Dr. Howard Berlin]
Avinu Malkenu In Neilah On Shabbos
         [Martin Stern]
Avinu Malkenu on Shabbat
         [Eitan Fiorino]
Heter Mechira
No Tachnun at a Bris
         [Akiva Miller]
Requirement of eating at Kiddush (3)
         [Martin Stern, Yakir, Gershon Dubin]
Rewriting history?
Shaot Zemaniyot,Alot HaShaHar, & Earliest time for Talet & Tefilin
         [Ken Bloom]
Tachanun at Mincha
         [Martin Stern]


From: Dr. Howard Berlin <w3hb@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 05:20:06 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 300 Ways to Ask the Four Questions: From Zulu to Abkhaz (New Book)

There is a new book that has just been released, titled "300 Ways to Ask
the Four Questions: From Zulu to Abkhaz."

It is a book of the "Four Questions" as written and spoken by native
speakers (also with transliterations) in almost 300 languages (including
Yiddish). It was written by two guys in New Jersey over almost 25 years
and has a forward by Theodore Bikel. It is nicely illustrated and also
comes with two CDs. Further information about it can be found at:


Turn on your speakers to hear the introductory audio when the web site

Disclosure: I had a hand in this (along with several hundred other
contributors), as they used many of the the non-Latin language fonts I
had on a web site I once hosted, but I have no financial interest in the
book whatsoever.

Dr. Howard M. Berlin
Wilmington, Delaware


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 11:21:59 +0000
Subject: Re: Avinu Malkenu In Neilah On Shabbos

On Tue, 9 Oct 2007 15:38:06 +0100, Immanuel Burton
<iburton@...> wrote:
> 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.

That is why one inserts the phrase "Shabbat hi milizok urefuah kerovah
lavo". Incidentally, our previous rav paskened that even such a mi
shebeirach should only be said for critically ill people and then only
an omnibus one for all the sick people together, because of tirkha

Martin Stern


From: Eitan Fiorino <AFiorino@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 08:52:47 -0500
Subject: RE: Avinu Malkenu on Shabbat

> From: Noach Stern <noach@...>
> Last Yom Kippur, the absence of Avinu Malkenu except at the 
> end underlined a central truth for me - the *whole* of YK is 
> a request, of the kind that we would "normally" omit on 
> Shabbat (i.e. the weekday bracha in tephillah of "Selach lanu 
> avinu ki chat'anu, mechal lanu malkenu ki phashanu").
> It seems to me that it is with an appeal to pikuach nephesh 
> that we "override" the Shabbat to allow YK to take place 
> alongside it, as it were. The entry at the last minute of 
> those ancient pleas is not only a cry of desperation that we 
> usually out aside on Shabbat, but it is also a culmination, 
> lending a special emphasis on something so strong as to put 
> Shabbat aside - almost - for a night and a day.
> Perhaps the bracha that seals the weekday "selach lanu 
> avinu/mechal lanu malkenu" is a factor amongst the reasons we 
> refrain from making too much of avinu malkenu on Shabbat - in 
> a way, the bracha is for a benefit which we are not so sure 
> of receiving as this particular Shabbat departs with its 
> somber companion.

Not to rain on this parade of derashot, and perhaps one could argue that
derashot on the siddur are still perfectly acceptable even if they don't
apply to all nusachot - but the Italians and Sephardim say avinu malkenu
on shabbat-YK and on shabbat teshuva.



From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 00:44:47 +1100
Subject: Re: Heter Mechira

From: Perets Mett < >
>> 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.
>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.

Actually Charedi communities have been supporting shomrei sheviis
farmers for decades. In fact this is one appeal that is supported by ALL
Charedi groups worldwide.



From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 18:53:50 GMT
Subject: re: No Tachnun at a Bris

Several posters have described various situations where Tachanun is
skipped, even at a minyan other than the one where the main participants
are davening, or other than the one where the bris will take place.

Try as I might, there is only one reason that I can think of as to WHY
Tachanun would be skipped at those other minyanim, and that is that the
simcha applies not only to the main participants, but that the simcha
overflows even to the other minyanim, and those people too are joyful
about the event. But how does this overflow occur, if the people in the
other minyanim are unaware that the bris will take place?

It seems to me that if the minyan is going to skip Tachanun, then
something should be done to insure that the minyan has at least some
minimal awareness of the simcha. For example, instead of having the
chazan go directly from Chazaras Hashatz to Kaddish, the gabbai (or
someone else) should interrupt, and announce, "In honor of Ploni Almoni
making a bris for his son today at the 7:45 minyan, we too will skip
Tachanun today."

But I've never seen this done anywhere. Has anyone else seen anything
like this? Or am I totally wrong on the reason why the other minyanim
skip Tachanun?

Akiva Miller


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 11:41:20 +0000
Subject: Re: Requirement of eating at Kiddush

On Tue, 9 Oct 2007 15:45:48 +0100, Immanuel Burton
<iburton@...> wrote:

> 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'
> beforehand?

The logic sounds fine unless one is careful to eat the minimal amount of
mezonot to qualify as a seudah (1 beitsah) but less than the amount that
would obligate washing (5 beitsim).

What one must remember in that case is that the kiddush 'seudah' does
not count as the second seudat shabbat for which one must eat bread
specifically and, therefore, one will still have to eat a third meal
(the obligation for which can itself be fulfilled with mezonot unlike
the first and second ones) later in the day after it. This is something
of which too many people are unaware.

Martin Stern

From: Yakir <yakirhd@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 12:32:21 +0200
Subject: RE: Requirement of eating at Kiddush

Logic is correct up to the distinction between the different shiurim and
types required.

Thus one should be careful not to eat too much cake etc. at a kiddush
(not a consideration observable at most kiddushim).

This is a / the / possible (choose your own) reason for kugel at a
kiddush.  It is "mezonot" but not baked and thus does not qualify for
netillat yadayim/birkat hamazon.  (That's the theory anyway).

-- Yakir.

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 14:28:02 GMT
Subject: Requirement of eating at Kiddush

From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>

<<Regarding kiddush made in Shul, is there anything wrong with this logic:
If so, shouldn't one have to wash one's hands with 'al netillas yodaim'

Difference in the shiurim.  Kevias seudah for kiddush bimkom seudah is
kebeitzah; for netilas yadayim/hamotzi/birchas hamazon it's several
beitzim.  Quote from Rabbi Neustadt's halacha page



Washing hands, reciting Al netilas yadayim and reciting Birkas ha-Mazon
are required when eating an amount of cake (16) that constitutes kevius
seudah, i.e., an amount of mezonos that has the halachic status of
eating a regular meal (as opposed to a snack). When one eats such a
substantial amount of cake, we treat the cake as a substitute for bread.

There are several opinions as to the amount of cake which is necessary
for kevius seudah. Some poskim rule that 8.8 oz. of cake is an amount
which may be considered as a standard kevius seudah. Ideally, one should
avoid eating this amount of cake so as not to enter into a halachically
gray area (17). In practice, however, Al netilas yadayim and Birkas
ha-Mazon are not recited (18) unless one eats an amount of cake equal to
the amount of bread he would eat at a main meal, which is about two
rolls or five pieces of bread, or about 18-20 oz. of cake. This is a
very rough estimate (19) and the actual amount varies according to the
differences in eating habits between men and women (20), different age
groups (21) and different locales (22).

Another disagreement among the poskim is how to calculate the amount of
cake necessary for kevius seudah when cake is eaten together with other
foods at the same sitting.

Some hold that the entire amount must be composed of the cake (23)
itself. Other foods eaten at the same sitting do not count (24).

Some hold that other foods eaten at the same sitting do count--but only
if a minimum of 8.8. oz. of cake is eaten. The other foods are counted
towards the larger amount required for kevius seudah mentioned earlier

Some hold that other foods, like chopped liver or tuna fish, eaten along
with mezonos items that are bread substitutes, like crackers, bread
sticks or egg matzah, are also included in the amount for kevius
seudah. But pastries etc., which are eaten before or after the other
foods, do not combine with the other foods to form a kevius seudah (26).

Some hold that all foods eaten at the same sitting, whether eaten with
the cake or not, are counted towards the amount for kevius seudah
(27). According to this opinion, even a small amount of cake eaten at a
kiddush or buffet dinner will combine with the other foods to form a
kevius seudah.

I'm back

If you read this machlokes carefully, it will be obvious that one must
be very careful with this shiur, and in fact it's preferable to eat all
the mezonos one intends to, and make a beracha me'ein shalosh, before
eating other goodies at the kiddush.



From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 00:51:13 +1100
Subject: Rewriting history?

Perets Mett < >
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.

Have those who claim that the original Zionists were compatible to our
religion read Herzl's diaries? Where he discusses mass conversion of
Jews to Catholicism?



From: Ken Bloom <kbloom@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 08:44:28 -0600
Subject: Re: Shaot Zemaniyot,Alot HaShaHar, & Earliest time for Talet & Tefilin

> We are all aware of Sha'ot Zemaniyot but how do we calculate Alot
> Hashahar based upon Sha'ot Zemaniyot?

According to R' Ovadia Yosef, Alot HaShachar is 72 dakot zemaniyot (1.2
sha'ot zemaniyot) before hanetz hachama. These sha'ot zemaniyot are 1/12
of the time between hanetz hachama and shkiat hachama.

We also need to compute tzait hakochavim. For the purpose of the
earliest time to say sh'ma at night, and the end of shabbat, R' Ovadia
Yosef uses 13.5 dakot zemaniyot, but that figure is only valid in Eretz
Yisrael, and he told my rabbi, R' Daniel Raccah in Chicago, to use
whatever accepted opinion is used here -- so we use 50 fixed minutes.

For the purpose of computing zemanim according to the Magen Avraham
(which should be used lechatchila for sh'ma in the morning), Tzait
HaKochavim is 72 dakot zemaniyot after shkiat hachama, symmetric with
alot hashachar. When computing zemanim according to the Magen Avraham,
these dakot zemaniot are the same as those computed above (based on
hanetz hachama and shkiat hachama), thus leading to the paradoxical
result that in order to compute zemanim according to the Magen Avraham,
we begin by computing the sha'ah zemanit according to the GR"A.



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 11:30:30 +0000
Subject: Re: Tachanun at Mincha

On Wed, 28 Nov 2007 02:07:43 EST, <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Meir Wise) wrote:
> 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!!!

I doubt if that was the real reason. Many chassidim do not say tachanun
since they usually daven minchah after sunset, after which, for some
reason I have never really understood, they hold it should not be
said. In the few case where they daven early they omit it meshum lo

Martin Stern


End of Volume 55 Issue 90