Volume 56 Number 80 
      Produced: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 20:14:01 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A mathematical conundrum 
    [Michael Frankel]
Being Called a Rabbi 
    [Russell J Hendel]
Gabbai's Prerogative (2)
    [Orrin Tilevitz]
How many halachic Jews are there? 
    [Leah Aharoni]
The Adas Yeshurun of Manchester 
    [Martin Stern]
Two pairs of Teffilin 
    [Menashe Elyashiv]
Unfortunate Examples 
    [Martin Stern]
Wearing a Yarmulke to Work 
    [Annice Grinberg]
What triggers a Kaddish 
    [Martin Stern]
Why is Shavuot never on Shabbat? 
    [Guido Elbogen]
Women and Birchat haGomel 
    [Rose Landowne]
YU musmachim to Conservative pulpits 


From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 14,2009 at 03:01 PM
Subject: A mathematical conundrum

Martin Stern wrote:
> Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...> wrote:
> > 6 + 1 also equals 3(mod2) gets you to all the other odd numbers
> > too. 
> In mod2 arithmetic there are only two numbers 0 and 1 so 6+1 is a
> meaningless operation in it.   Martin Stern

I do not believe this is correct - the congruence class of equivalent integers
is not limited by the value of the modulus - perhaps you are thinking of base 2
arithmetic where indeed integers greater than 1 have no meaning within the
formalism? or some other formal definition of "mod2 arithmetic" than the one
used here (basically that a=3Db(mod N) means dividing either a or b by N will
give the same remainder)?  - any remarks of mine should be tempered by the fact
i am more of a user/manipulator of mathematical forms but not the sort of formal
mathematician that would be up on definitions so i stand open to any correction.

Mechy Frankel

[Note: after review, we believe this discussion is getting to far off the
mail-jewish relevant discussion and any further purely mathematical discussion
should be taken off line. Mod/AYF] 


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 14,2009 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Being Called a Rabbi

I agree with Mordechai. The issue with women being called a Rabbi has
never been "Are they intelligent - Can they arrive at a correct

We can approach this apodictically..... judges on courts must be men and to
the extent rabbis resemble judges (not all of them do), rabbis must be men.

However we can also approach this conceptually. THIS MAY BE unpleasant
but the sole issue is "CREATING A GENDER ATMOSPHERE." The real reason as
far as I am concerned is that we want to send a message that certain
things should be done by men (like leading the community) and certain
things should be done by women (like raising a family).

Some people may avoid this "message approach", but that IS the issue. 

And...considering the high divorce rate today and the fact that in some
countries the average child has 1 parent maybe we should discuss this

Russell Jay Hendel http://www.Rashiyomi.com


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 16,2009 at 12:01 AM
Subject: Gabbai's Prerogative

> Is there a source for having it [kaddish after layning] said by a mourner? Or 
> having it said by the person who gets the last aliya? Or both? Without sources 
> or an established minhag [custom], one should be reluctant to make a change 
> even if it feels good.

Shaarei Ephraim, one standard reference work for halachot of Torah reading, 
says at 10:9, "After they finish the sidrah, they cover the Torah with a 
garment and the sheliach tzibur says half kaddish. And it is customary that if 
that last oleh has yahrzeit on that day then he gets to say this kaddish. And 
some have the custom to do so if the last oleh is a mourner during the year for 
a parent."

From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 16,2009 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Gabbai's prerogative

From: David I. Cohen <bdcohen@...>
> Stuart Pilchowskiwrote:
>> > Concerning one practice that I've tried to further is giving a mourner
>> > the final aliyah before kaddish so he can say the kaddish- and not
>> > the baal koreh or the shachrit chazan.
> It is my understanding that originally this chatzi kaddish [half kaddish] was
> said by the baal shacharit [leader for the morning prayer], but was changed
> (due to the inconvenience of re-calling the baal shacharit back) to having it
> said by the baal koreh [Torah reader].  Is there a source for having it said 
> by a mourner? Or having it said by the person who gets the last aliya? Or
> both? Without sources or an established minhag [custom], one should be
> reluctant to make a change even if it feels good.

>From Ishei Yisrael (hilchot tefilla) 38:40 by Rav Hayim Kanievsky:

<< After reading the portion, the Torah Reader says Half Kaddish... >>

In Footnote 120 he addresses the issue of an avel saying this kaddish:
See Shaaray Ephrayim 10:9 - custom that last person who is called up 
says it if he has Yartzeit or an Avel in 12 months for father or mother. 
Sdei Chemed 163 in name of Agudat Ezov says that this Kadish belongs to 
mourner. Eleph HaMagen on Mat"e (?) laws of Kaddish 3:3 even if avel did 
not receive aliya then, he can say kaddish here.

Also see shevet halevi responsa Section 8 163 (3).

The author (HK) says he heard in name of Rav SZ Auerbach zatza"l that 
this kadish's main purpose is for neshamot that do not have someone 
saying kaddish, but someone who is not baal koreh or last oleh should 
not go up specially to say this kaddish. See Mili d'Avot Orech Chayim 2, 
that an  avel should not say this kaddish on Shabbat as he is precluded 
from being sha"tz and this kaddish is said in Shabbat tune  (something I 
do not see so much in Israel - DZ), see responsa Tashba"tz 3:181 that a 
minor should not say this kaddish. See Shaarai zevulun 9:6
I translated/transcribed the above pretty quickly and so hope I did not 
err in this.

I heard and also read somewhere else (cannot remember where I read now) 
that this kaddish primarily belongs to the ba'al koreh to say.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Leah Aharoni <leah25@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 15,2009 at 07:01 PM
Subject: How many halachic Jews are there?

Is anyone aware of any research regarding the numbers of halachic Jews
in chutz laaretz in general and in the US in particular?

A while back I heard about a Charedi-sponsored study that put the
number of halachic Jews in the US at under 3 million. I would
appreciate if anyone could provide a source for this evidence.

The immediate implications would be for the derabanan/deorayta status
of hamitzvot hatluyot baaretz.

Thank you in advance,

Leah Aharoni
Email: <leah25@...>


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 12,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: The Adas Yeshurun of Manchester

On Wed, Jun 3,2009, Meir Wise <meirhwise@...> wrote:
> As far as the Adas is concern. Yes it was founded by Yekkes many years
> ago but it is a failing shul.

While this may be true of it now, it was not so before the takeover took
place three years ago. It had not been growing but it did attract occasional
new members and its numbers were relatively stable. It filled a niche in the
religious market place which could have been exploited to attract
professionals who found the chassidishe or litvishe shuls not entirely to
their taste, and were more at home in the Torah im Derech Erets environment.
> People from outside Manchester should refrain from insulting the
> community (for which they cannot repent according to the Rambam). It
> is a growing, warm, vibrant and welcoming community

Is Meir referring to Manchester generally or the Adas Yeshurun specifically?
If it is the latter, I think he is either mistaken or misinformed.

> Or does Martin Stern want them to finish on Rosh Hashanah at 5pm
> and go on to mincha like the Sassover Shtieble in Golders Green?

We always managed to finish on RH by 13:20 though I would have preferred to
start earlier in order to be able to say the piyutim with greater kavannah.
On YK we never had any problem of finishing late either.

> Anyway what happened to the status quo pre-ante - those later additions
> do not occur in the Machzor Vitry or the Maharil (the oldest versions
> of the nusach ashkenaz) not to mention the fact that Rashi, The Tosefos,
> the Maharam MiRottenburg, The Or Zarua and the Rosh never said them!

I fear that Meir is not entirely correct. Most piyutim (including those said
in a few places throughout the year on Shabbatot) are mentioned in the
Maharil and other early works like the Arugat Habosem; some are actually
mentioned by Tosafot. The selection used varied to some extent from place to
place, and only became standardised with the advent of the printed machzor,
but most were written, and said, by Rishonim. Incidentally the Machzor Vitry
represents Minhag Tsarfat (North France) which differed slightly from Minhag
In any case, it is not so much to the details of precisely what is or is not
said that I object but the high-handed way the changes were made and the
treatment meted out to anyone who made the slightest comment. I would have
been quite happy to listen to any arguments and, if they were cogent, I am
sure I could have been convinced. Meir's suggestion that I am some sort of
restoration Bourbon is entirely incorrect. Everything could have been
settled amicably if there had been a willingness on the part of the rabbi to
use persuasion and reasoning rather than brute force. The fact that he had
no previous experience with a congregation added to the problem (or perhaps
was its cause). That he should claim that his halachic rulings were not open
to question even by a world-renowned Rav like Dayan Berger does not show a
degree of humility that one might expect from a true leader (as exemplified
by Mosheh Rabbeinu)

Martin Stern


From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 11,2009 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Two pairs of Teffilin

I wrote on this in hebrew, and it was translated at:
To sum it up: there are 2 ways to lay R. Tam Teffilin: either at the
end of Shaharit, or to have very small Teffilin that can be layed
together. But if you have time, read the article.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 12,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Unfortunate Examples

On Sun, May 31,2009, Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...> wrote:

> I am sure that if Martin has been arguing with his fellow congregants in
> the manner he did above by using Nazi-related metaphors, then I can now
> understand the opposition to him.
> Quite a regrettable choice of historical parallel even if he descends
> from German Jewry although I am not sure the Blackfoot Indians would
> have been a better choice.

Despite Yisrael's comment, I have no argument with my former fellow
congregants but only with the small clique of no more than about 6 persons
who have highjacked the shul and changed its ethos by means more reminiscent
of those used by totalitarian regimes in the 20th century than rational

I have challenged the permissibility of this in BD [rabbinical court] but their
reaction was to refuse to accept its ruling.

Martin Stern


From: Annice Grinberg <annice@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 16,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Wearing a Yarmulke to Work

Many years back, a young man I knew, who was looking for a job at a
prestigious accounting firm in the U.S., solved this problem in an
innovative way: he wore a toupee on top of his full head of hair.  He got
the job, and continued wearing the toupee while he worked there.  (He now
lives in Israel, and doesn't have any problem wearing his kippa at work.)



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 12,2009 at 10:01 AM
Subject: What triggers a Kaddish

On Tue, Jun 9,2009, Menashe Elyashiv wrote:
> Saying Kaddish for the sake of saying Kaddish has no benefit for the deceased.
> I have seen some that mumble to themselves a Mishna and then say Kaddish
> - the Kaddish itself is a Yatom.

That was the punch line of my article titled Kaddish Yosom - The Orphan
Kaddish (Jewish Tribune, 12 Nov. '87) which is included in my book "A Time
to Speak" which should be appearing in the USA in about a fortnight (in
Europe and Israel about a month later).

Martin Stern


From: Guido Elbogen <havlei.h@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 16,2009 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Why is Shavuot never on Shabbat?

Here is another way of expressing some of the previous ideas on this topic.

According to the Midrash, creation began 25 Elul, and Adam, 6 days later on
Friday at the 14th hour.

Until Hillel II, Roshei Hodesh & Roshei HaShanah were determined by the Beit
Din according to witness testimony of the new moon sighting.

With Hillel II becoming the Nasi, he put into effect a calendar with fixed
and "unalterable" rules. He determined that 25 Ellul creation year belonged
to year 1, and Adam's creation on Friday at the 14th hour (after 6pm the
previous evening) would now be considered the calculated molad of year 2.

If Hillel's calendar would have been in effect in that year, Adam would have
been created 29 Elul year 1, and Rosh HaShanah year 2 would have been on

The date of Succot was biblically fixed 15 Tishri, and that of Pesach, 15
Nisan while the biblical date of Shavuot was fixed at exactly 50
days counting from 16 Nisan.

According to Hillel's calendar extrapolated backwards and thus not in
effect, Yeziat Mizrayim, was midnight Yom Hamishi, Wed/Thursday,15 Nisan in
year 2450 and Shavuot 6 Sivan Friday (the same as this year!). However the
midrash holds that Shavuot was on Shabbat.

Before Hillel, Shavuot could fall on 6 or 7 Sivan depending on Beit Din
determining the length of Nisan and Iyar at 29 or 30 days not necessarily
Additionally, according to the RaMBaM, there are different opinions as to
which year should be classed as year 1.

a. The year that contained 25 Elul and which is the currently accepted
calendar. Thus year 2 signaled Adam's creation.

b. Year 1 was Adam's creation.

c. The age Adam would have been.when created ie age 0 and thus was year
zero. A year later aged 1 was year 1. This is the way the biblical and
talmudical year count and as such 2 years separate the current calendar ,
putting yeziat Mizrayim and thus Adam's age (if he would still be living) as
2448 and not 2450 as at present.


From: Rose Landowne <Roselandow@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 15,2009 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Women and Birchat haGomel

> The problem is that in practice most women do not ever bench gomel  
> [say the prayer after experiencing danger], certainly not after returning from  
> a journey over the seas or deserts or after recovery from illness. This is  
> probably because the berachah needs a minyan and, in former times, a woman  
> would have been embarrassed to appear in public for this purpose.

In the modern Orthodox communities I am familiar with it is quite  
common for women to bench gomel after childbirth, surgery, or auto  
accidents.  The rabbi calls for attention, while the Torah is still on  
the shulchan, and the woman says the beracha from the women's section.

Rose Landowne


From: <chips@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 15,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: YU musmachim to Conservative pulpits

> Carl A. Singer wrote:
> "(In a manner similar to
> that of many Y.U. Smicha Rabbis of yesteryear who were encouraged to
> take Conservative pulpits.)

> David Cohen wrote:
> YU musmachim were never encouraged to take Conservative pulpits,
> although
> some did.  The confusion occurs because during the 40's, 50's and 60's,
> there were nominally Orthodox synagogues with mixed seating.

> Carl A. Singer wrote:
> "never" is a powerful word.  I know of Y.U. Musmachim who would disagree
> with your statement -- let's see what others recall.

I knew a YU musmach who was encouraged to take a Conservative pulpit, and
according to him he was not the only one back in the 50s and 60s. But the
situation was not quite so simple.

There were certain criteria that had to occur:
 *   the person was known in the community
 *   the Conservative synagogue had a strong "traditional" membership
 *   the mixed seating arrangement was less than 10 years old.
Basically they were encouraged to take the position as an attempt of kiruv.
The YU placement office promised that if the person felt after a couple of
years that the synagogue was not going to become Orthodox, they would take
care of him.

IIRC, it was these situations when they would subsidize the salary for [a]
small minyan for the Rabbis who left Conservative pulpits. Eventually the
subsidy program expanded to the first timers as well.


End of Volume 56 Issue 80