Volume 56 Number 30
                    Produced: Mon Sep  1 14:28:23 EDT 2008

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Blogging and e-lists - creating a virtual community (2)
         [Freda B Birnbaum, Batya Medad]
Mailing lists & blogs
         [Joshua W. Burton]
Mail-Jewish Community
         [David Curwin]
New Podcast Epsiode: "Flipping Out?"
         [Jeffrey Saks]
A plurality of local customs (2)
         [David Ziants, Akiva Miller]
Prayer for the Country in UK (6)
         [Dov Zakheim, Hilary Hurwitz, Alan Rubin, Jeremy Conway, Freda
B Birnbaum, Jeremy Conway]
Prayer for the country in UK
         [Alexis Rosoff Treeby]
Wearing Tzitzis at Night
         [Guido Elbogen]


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 07:47:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Blogging and e-lists - creating a virtual community

Hooray!  We missed you.  And your absence helps bring into focus the
answer to your question:

> Has the world of the blog-sphere rendered the email discussion list
> archaic?

A resounding NO!

Other people got there first with things I would have said so no need to 

There ARE a few excellent blogs out there, but even the best of them
lack many of the features of a good mailing list.  Perhaps their one
advantage is that they allow for fairly long pieces on a subject, but we
do that here too, occasionally.

The advantages of a mailing list over a blog are also:

- The mailing list comes to me, I don't have to go out there every day and 
poke around.

- It is easy to file things away for future reference, and easy to go back 
and look them up.

I find that the only time I look at a blog is when someone refers to it
in an email and I go look it up, or if I come across it while Googling

Again, it's great to have you back.

Freda Birnbaum

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 05:42:03 +0300
Subject: Re: Blogging and e-lists - creating a virtual community

Welcome back

It was my comment/question at the International Bloggers Convention,
which got Gil Student going against the idea of community.  I have three
active blogs, including one on Arutz 7, and I blog using my full name
and picture.  I stand behind what I write.  I wonder about the halachik
status of those who blog and comment without revealing who they are,
because sometimes things are written which aren't "nice."  There can be
halachik problems with lashon haraa and motzei shem ra.



From: Joshua W. Burton <jwb@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 21:44:37 -0500
Subject: Mailing lists & blogs

A moderated mailing list, especially one joined primarily by personal
invitation, is a salon with a host, while a commented blog is a soapbox
with hecklers.  The two are entirely different in tone, and in the
implied expectations of community and trust.  Blogs are, as suggested by
the soapbox analogy, a lot more visible to casual tourists, but the
really interesting conversation is in the drawing rooms nearby, not out
in the public park.

I've been on mail-jewish since 1989; it's the second-oldest mailing list
to which I subscribe (though the oldest, a closed list, has been running
under one moderator since the early 1970s, so it's not a very _close_
second), and I would be sorry to see it fade away.  But I would be still
sorrier to see it attempt to function for a while as a blog, only to be
drowned out by casual trolls or beaten flat in a valiant attempt to
squelch them.  Social norms are slowly and dearly bought, and too
quickly and easily abandoned.  Don't break up the minyan.



From: David Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 08:19:28 +0300
Subject: Mail-Jewish Community

First of all, welcome back!

I think that even in the age of blogs and social networking, there's
still plenty of room for Mail-Jewish. Blogs can be a great way for
people to express their knowledge or opinions, and the comments can be a
good form of discussion, but the posts are certainly tilted toward the
author, and the comments generally have the problems of anonymity, as
you pointed out.

Social networking sites, like Facebook, are a great way for people to
connect with one another. In fact, just yesterday, I was thinking of
creating a group called "Whatever happened to Mail-Jewish". I'm glad I
put it off, and today created a Mail-Jewish Facebook group. You're all
welcome to join:


But this group too can't replace the mailing list. I'm sure each
subscriber sees something different in the list, but for the past 15
years, I've found it to be a great resource when ever I've had a
question that I couldn't find the answer to myself. As long as it
remains moderated, with a base of subscribers from various backgrounds,
it should continue to serve that purpose for a long time to come.

David Curwin
Balashon - Hebrew Language Detective


From: Jeffrey Saks <atid@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 14:40:15 +0300
Subject: New Podcast Epsiode: "Flipping Out?"

There is a new installment of ATID's Jewish Educators Book Club Podcast
available free from the iTunes Store or at:

In this month's installment: A discussion with Rabbi Dr. Shalom Berger,
co-author of "Flipping Out?: The Impact of the Year in Israel" - asking
questions and discussing the force of Torah study in Israel, and the
roles of teachers in American high schools and yeshivot and seminaries
in Israel in this very impactful educational experience.


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 11:01:46 +0300
Subject: re: A plurality of local customs

From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>

> I was reading an interview of Rabbi Marc Angel in a recent edition of the
> Jewish Press.
> He tells a story that while he was a student at Yeshiva University he
> learned that it was improper to say "Baruch who o' baruch Sh'mo" during
> kiddish as this constitutes a hefzek (interruption.)  His story
> continues that upon returning home he convinced his Father to
> discontinue the family custom of so saying.  Much later he learned from
> reliable sources that this IS the custom of Turkish Jews (he is of
> Turkish ancestry) -- ironically his Father had passed away and it was
> too late for him to apologize.

Concerning "Baruch who o' varuch Sh'mo" it is well known and well
practised within "frum communities" that there are places where one
shouldn't answer, for example in b'rachot of k.sh'ma, being a hefsek

Where I grew up in the UK (and this was typical in many United Synagogue
shuls in England) a lot of people would answer this at that point, to
such an extent that it would be impossible to explain to an older person
that it is halachically wrong, because he would just rebut that it is
his (family/community) custom.

The question then is, where did this mistaken custom start? Did it start
in the East End of London, or did they do this also in E. Europe?

David Ziants

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 16:41:56 GMT
Subject: re: A plurality of local customs

I wrote:
> the way it is presented in the article, the customs of Rabbi
> Angel's father were in the small minority. Most authorities
> indeed hold differently.

Emmanuel Ifrah commented:
> The fact one is not familiar with a minhag does not mean that
> this minhag is "in the small minority". I think that the
> origin of this kind of opinion is no different from the
> origin of racial prejudice: ignorance.

"The way it is presented in the article", Rabbi Angel found exactly one
sefer to support his father's custom, namely the Minhagei HaChida. He
also found strongly-worded comments from the Baba Sali in the notes of
that same sefer.

Please explain why you don't think that this consitutes a "small

For the record, my post did not suggest that this opinion should be
ignored, not because of the small number of authorities who hold that
way, nor for any other reason. My point was that it is unreasonable to
expect a typical teacher to be aware that the opinion exists.

Akiva Miller


From: Dov Zakheim <zakheim_dov@...>
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 22:03:47 -0400
Subject: Re: Prayer for the Country in UK

In the UK they do say the prayer for the Queen. They name Prince Philip,
Prince Charles, and then all the royal family (this is United Synagogue
and Federation shuls). When the Queen mother was alive, she too was

From: <HILA@...> (Hilary Hurwitz)
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 07:47:01 +0300
Subject: RE:Prayer for the Country in UK

There is definitely a prayer which mentions the Queen in England - said
at least in all the United Synagogue shuls

"He who gives salvation to kings and dominion to princes, may he bless
our Sovereign lady Queen Elizabeth, Phillip Duke of Edinburgh , Charles
Prince of Wales and all the Royal family ...."  I could repeat the rest
of it too - and that is after 28 years of living in Erets Hakodesh.  But
the last time I was there in 2007 they still said it.

Hilary Hurwitz

From: Alan Rubin <alan@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 09:02:55 +0100
Subject: Prayer for the Country in UK

Dr. Howard Berlin asked

> As many times as I have been in the UK, I have, sad to say, never been
> to shabbat services in London. Does anyone know if the prayer for the
> >country mentions the Queen (Elizabeth II) by name?

Indeed it does. The standard prayer used in United Synagogues mentions
(from memory):

Our Sovereign Queen, Queen Elizabeth
Philip Duke of Edinburgh
Charles Prince of Wales
And all the Royal Family

Elizabeth the Queen Mother was mentioned when she was alive and so was
Princess Diana. During the time of the breakup of the Wales' marriage
and with publication of accounts of their adultery Charles and Diana
were often dropped and I am not sure whether Charles is always included
these days. In more 'right wing' shuls where the whole prayer is given
in Hebrew the text might just be 'HaMalka Elizabreth v'chol mishpachta'.

Alan Rubin

From: Jeremy Conway <jeremy.conway@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 09:07:06 +0100
Subject: Prayer for the Country in UK

The full length version of the Prayer for the Royal Family refers to
"Our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth; Philip, Duke of Edinburgh;
Charles, Prince of Wales, and all the Royal Family."

The shorter version refers to "Our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth, and
all the Royal Family."

Some congregations say the entire prayer in Hebrew, and refer simply to
"Et HaMalka V'Et Kol Mishpachtah".

I have heard that there is a community which Hebraicises the Queen's
name and refers to "HaMalka, Elisheva HaShniyah".

Note that not all congregations recite the Prayer for the Royal Family.

Kol Tuv,
Yechiel Conway
Leeds, England.

From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 07:50:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Prayer for the Country in UK

IIRC, the old Adler machzorim (still to be found, though not as the main
one in use, in at least one shul in my neighborhood), referred to
several of them by name -- I seem to remember King George!)  Next time
I'm there, I'll check.

Freda Birnbaum

From: Jeremy Conway <jeremy.conway@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 13:05:11 +0100
Subject: Prayer for the Country in UK


Janice Gelb writes:

> I always wondered what happened when Charles and Diana got divorced --
> did shuls paste over the names with a new set? I look forward to
> hearing from actual UK residents."

I cannot remember whether or not Princess Diana was still included in
the prayer after the divorce from Prince Charles or whether they were
included separately.  It is possible that Princess Diana was still
included until her death.  After that, there will have been 3

1.  To refer to "Charles, Prince of Wales."
2.  To refer to "The Prince of Wales".
3.  Simply to refer to "Our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth and all the
Royal Family." 

Kol Tuv,
Yechiel Conway
Leeds, England.

From: Alexis Rosoff Treeby <alexis.rosoff@...>
Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 11:51:14 -0400
Subject: Re: Prayer for the country in UK

In the United Synagogue, a prayer for the Royal Family is said. It names
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and Prince Charles (and finally the
Royal Family in general) and is said following the Torah reading and
preceding the prayer for the state of Israel. It is my understanding
that in right wing shuls (which do not use the Singer siddur) such a
prayer is not said, but perhaps a member of the Federation or Adath can
confirm this.

Alexis Rosoff Treeby
(recently returned from 4 years in NW London)


From: Guido Elbogen <havlei.h@...>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 14:39:54 +0300
Subject: Re: Wearing Tzitzis at Night

 From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>

> This makes me wonder what he would say about a single man who does not
> have a regular tallis, and is in the habit of saying a bracha on the
> tzitzis when he puts them on -- perhaps such a person should *not* put
> them back on at night?

The MB states that if a man does not marry, he can go his whole life
without "Lehitatef BeTzitzit"!

The custom of single talit-less post bar-mitzvah men arose so as not
embarrass those unable to purchase this expensive commodity back in Lita
(Lithuania), Hungary and the surrounding nations..

But today when they are relatively cheap, it's hard to understand why
such a minhag has become entranched as if its a minhag instituted by the
Knesses Anshei Gedola.


End of Volume 56 Issue 30