Volume 56 Number 22
                    Produced: Tue Jan  1 22:21:52 EST 2008

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Astronomical Sunrise vs Viewed sunrise - The emotional beauty (3)
         [<chips@...>, Akiva Miller, Avi Feldblum]
Characteristics of Frum Businesses (2)
         [Batya Medad, Bernard Raab]
Frum First Network
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Tachanun depression
Wine and Shmittah
         [Avi Feldblum]
Wine and Shmittah - Interesting Question
Z'manim - Two floors of a tall building
         [David Ziants]


From: <chips@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2008 11:31:15 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Astronomical Sunrise vs Viewed sunrise - The emotional beauty

> So far so good. Now take the typical mail jewish reader. They probably
> do not daven in a naytz minyan (Sunrise minyan). Suppose one day they
> want to daven at sunrise. What should they do. Pray at astronomical
> sunrise?

   Oh, I think a lot more MJ readers daven "naytz" than the supposition.
For instance, at this present time aren't all the "naytz" times in North
America between 7 and 7:30 ? I would think (hope?) there are many,many
minyan's that plan their Amida accordingly .

   That being said, I do think the point of the post has merit. There
seem to be many poskim that would hold you go by sight if you do not
know otherwise, and this might be a situation where ignorance would be

   My main question is: if you do Amida a few minutes too early are
there any real negative consequences ?

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2008 17:53:47 GMT
Subject: Re: Astronomical Sunrise vs Viewed sunrise - The emotional beauty

Dr. Russell J Hendel wrote:
> Now take the typical mail jewish reader. They probably do not daven in
> a naytz minyan (Sunrise minyan). Suppose one day they want to daven at
> sunrise. What should they do. Pray at astronomical sunrise?
> My own thinking is that if you are going to pray at surnise once we
> might as well do it in such a way so as to create a vivid memory both
> physical and emotional of what reverence and awe is like. So I would
> recommend watching the sky change its hues and at the first ray of
> light praying.
> True the code of Jewish law is biased towards astronomical
> sunrise. But even so-it is not required and most of us dont do it. Why
> lose the golden opportunity to experience awe.

If the person is looking for an emotionally uplifting prayer experience,
I would agree with Dr. Hendel.

But if, as he wrote, "they want to daven at sunrise", then they most
likely want to do it in the way Chazal say to do it.

Akiva Miller

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2008
Subject: Re: Astronomical Sunrise vs Viewed sunrise - The emotional beauty

Russell starts off this posting by stating:

> In responding to one of my postings, in which I stated that one should
> wait till one sees the sunrise over tall buildings and trees
> vs. praying at the actual sunrise time, one person pointed out that
> all poskim (deciders of jewish law) have interpreted sunrise to mean
> astronomical sunrise.

> Well I know this but I still insist that my position is strong and
> tenable. Let us analyze. EVEN according to those who believe prayer is
> Biblical everyone holds that the TIME of prayer (Sunrise) is Rabbinical.
> The Talmud derives it from a Psalmic verse "They will revere You,God,
> like they revere sunrises; [there nostalgic moments like] the facing of
> the moon throughout the ages"

In the previous issue, in one of his posts on the Moabite issue, Russel
ends with:

> I find it appaling that only a handful of people are participating in
> this thread.

Earlier in that post, he says:

> What happened in Moab. No one knows. True there is a midrash that says
> Bilam advised sending the woman after the Jews. But that doesnt mean
> that Moabite woman were blood thirsty animals having affairs for the
> sake of invoking Gods wrath. Rather, they took it as an opportunity to
> have some fun and meet some people who really care and show
> sensitivity. Why do I say this. Because it is common sense and no
> alternative makes equal sense.

These comments are typical of a number of the comments he has made in
many posts. I will take this as an opportunity to explain why I am one
of those who do NOT participate in his threads. In the first quote
above, he accepts the position that the overwhelming majority of the
poskim disagree with his position (this may or may not be true, but this
is not relevent to my comments). He does not proceed from the position
that there may be a minority of poskim that he bases himself on, and
give the reason he agrees with these poskim, rather he posits that he is
better able to understand the real intention of the Torah and Gemarah,
and as a result, his position is strong and tenable.

A similar situation is seen in his postings concerning the events in
Moab. Despite the complete lack of any early sources to support his
position, and in clear contradiction to all the existing midrashic
sources available, not only does Russell feel that he knows exactly what
occured in Moab but that his interpretation is "common sense and no
alternative makes equal sense".

Independent of the details in this case, where I personally feel that
his interpretation makes no sense and that the position of the midrashic
sources make ample sense, I see no reason to enter a discussion where
the entire body of midrashic and halachic sources are tossed out the
window, and one posits that their independantly derived interpretations
are strong, tenable, common sense and no other position makes equal
sense. That to me is not part of shakla v'taryah, has minimal to no
overlap to my understanding of limud hatorah - torah study. As such, I
see no value in engaging in discussion.

Avi Feldblum


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2008 20:42:26 +0200
Subject: Re: Characteristics of Frum Businesses

Well, I can't stay quiet any longer.  Outside of shomerei Shabbat
bakeries, butchers, restaurants and the like, I don't think we're
halachikly required to pay too much attention.

Now, for my story.

When I announced to my parents that I was going to be religious, keep
Shabbat, eat Kosher, the only things we knew about, my father went

"My daughter's not going to be a goniff!"
"A goniff?  What are you talking about?"
"When I started my career in the NY State Insurance Fund I checked
businesses.  Every time I went into one owned by religious Jews, there
were cheating and stealing." 

So I promised my father that I'd stay honest and still keep Shabbat and
eat kosher.


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2008 15:17:54 -0500
Subject: Re: Characteristics of Frum Businesses

>From:  (Leah S. R. Gordon)
>Without exception, in my experience, every kosher/Jewish grocery store
>has had higher prices, ruder service, dirtier floors, less-convenient
>hours, less parking, fewer carts/baskets, surlier cashiers, and a more
>"entitled" attitude than my local goyish supermarket.  Often (and how
>this escapes city code is beyond me) the aisles are too narrow for a
>stroller or wheelchair, to boot.  ...
>And then let's talk about kosher restaurants, which only survive with
>their gas-station-cum-college-dorm ambience because they know that
>people like us have to go there or not go out to eat at all.  It was
>much better when we lived in the Los Angeles area, and I imagine there
>are exceptions in New York (though none I have patronized), but here in
>the Boston area we have a choice of rushed service, no service, rude
>service, slow service, or trying to make it into the city to the one
>decently-run place during limited hours.

What you are experiencing is classical economic theory at work--nothing
to do with frumkeit or lack thereof. In Los Angeles and New York there
is enough competition to raise the average level of service and
quality. In Israel, where I am now on an extended visit, the kosher
supermarkets are at the highest level seen anywhere in the States, and
we just returned from a white-tablecloth restaurant with superb food and
service. That has everything to do with the level of competition in this
town (Raanana), where there are literally dozens of kosher restaurants
at every level of cost and service.

Just pray for the continued growth of the the observant

Bernie R.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2008 09:39:37 +0200
Subject: Re: Frum First Network

It's entirely possible that I am missing something here, so I will ask
about a simplified case and see if we cannot generalize.

I have a son-in-law who is a lawyer (and also frum).  Could there be any
possible objection to my preferring to use his services, assuming that
the area is one that he specializes in?

In other words, I see a general rule that we should support those
closest to us, whether they be family, friends, members of our shul or
just members of the religious community.  All other things being equal,
of course.  And perhaps even a bit unequal; perhaps the principle of
paying up to one-sixth more comes into play.

If this rule is acceptable to the majority of MJ readers, then the
question seems almost trivial.

Or am I missing something?

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: <Smwise3@...> (S.Wise)
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2008 15:46:35 EST
Subject: Re: Tachanun depression

Yisrael Medad writes:
> Without recourse to theology, but from my own political ideological
> orientation, I strongly criticise the way the Tachanun has reinforced
> the most negative of Jewish national characterisitcs which, I presume,
> only strengthened what I call "The League of the Trembling Israelites"
> and perhaps led to the sorrowful meekness of Jews, for the most part,
> especially during the Holocaust.  I am referring to the phrase:
> "nechshavnu latevach yuval" which although having roots in Tanach
> (Yehsayhu 53:7; Tehilim 44:23; Yirmiyahu 12:3), is an original
> composition using the words of Tanach but in a new fashion.

Forgive me, but I disagree that reciting "depressing" passages will
eventually influence one's thinking -- considering how davening becomes
rote and a good number of people either don't understand or take time to
concentrate on the meaning of the words, it seems there should be
nothing to worry about.



From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2008
Subject: Re: Wine and Shmittah

Saul Mashbaum in discussing practical applications of wine produced
during shmittah said that for the Seder, if he is using wine that has
kedushat shviit (holiness of shmittah) that he does not use it for the
second cup. He lists this as something he is not sure if really
required. This morning, our shul Rabbi gave a shiur on Shmittah and the
practical applications (focus was mainly on people outside of Israel,
since that is his audience, but also covered a number of issues mainly
applicable to those living in Israel). In discussing examples where the
halachot about how to handle items with kedushat shviit will trump
regular practices, he brought the two examples of Saul, stating clearly
that one may not overfill the havdalah cup and one may not spill out
wine for the 10 makkot. One may of course do as Saul does, and not use
such wine for the second cup. But if one does, then one may not spill it

One other interesting point he brought up, but did not have all the
research to pinpoint the scope. It appears that Israel is now a
significant player in the world market for certain types of flowers, to
the extent that they may have about 30% market share for some
flowers. If that is correct, he says that creates a miut hanikur - a
significant minority status, and during shmittah, such flowers are
forbidden to be purchased.

A quick Internet search indicates that while Israel flowers are a
significant portion of the EU imports, they have decreased as a
percentage from 2000 where they may have been at the 30% mark to a
significant lower number now. I was not able to find any good
numbers. If anyone has additional info, I would be interested.

Avi Feldblum


From: <chips@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2008 11:49:39 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Wine and Shmittah - Interesting Question

> [...]
>  (especially since nowadays shemittah is rabbinic in nature),

It is? Does Shemittah need a declaration like Yovel ??


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2008 23:12:48 +0200
Subject: Re: Z'manim - Two floors of a tall building

A number of people corrected me. It should be: Rav Sh'lomo Zalman Aurbach

David Ziants wrote:
> ...snip...
> Rav Sh'muel Zalman Aurbach (I think it was him) was once posek that 
> two baby boys that were born at the same time, one on a low floor and 
> one on a high floor, at Haddassa Ain Kerem hospital, were not 
> considered born on the same day.
> ...snip...

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


End of Volume 56 Issue 22