Volume 56 Number 81 
      Produced: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 05:13:20 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Adath Jeshuron 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Asher Yatzar after childbirth (2)
    [Shoshana L. Boublil  SBA]
    [Matthew Pearlman]
    [Menashe Elyashiv]
How many halachic Jews are there? 
    [Ben Katz]
Kaddish after krias HaTorah - to whom does it belong? 
Kosher Meal on a Plane 
    [Stephen Phillips]
Limitations on G-d (3)
    [Yona Newman  Ben Katz  Bernard Katz]
Shavuot on Shabbat 
    [Menashe Elyashiv]
Siddur Page Number Display Board? 
    [Janice Gelb]
Treating fellow Jews as a slave 
    [Leah Aharoni]
Women and Birchat haGomel 
    [Stu Pilichowski]
Women as Rabbis 
    [Leah Sarah Reingold Gordon]
Women Rabbis 
    [Stu Pilichowski]
Zemanei Hayom on the Plane 


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 17,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Adath Jeshuron

Responding to my post on the usage of Nazi examples from Germany,
Martin writes atVolume 56 Number 80 that:
> 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...

Well, I certainly have an argument because I understood his original 
comments to refer to me. If not, I am glad. But I still think Jews 
should refrain from plumbing the depths of unrelated metaphors.


P.S.  And since none of us can alter, influence, change or whatever the 
situation in Manchester (or is there someone out there listening in?), 
nor do more than one of us on the list have a stake in the situation, 
can we get off the topic?


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 16,2009 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Asher Yatzar after childbirth

> Except that there is no such thing. However it is possible that a minyan in
> the technical sense is not required but rather 10 people in order to
> publicize the matter - a bit like reading the megillah. Tsarich iyun.

See KSA 61:2 -  that the requirement is that Hagomel should be said in a
company of 10 men - besides the 'mevorech' [The person making the Beracha. Mod]. 
Also that [lekatchila] 2 of the 10 should be Talmidei Chachomim [Torah Scholars
- Mod] who study/teach Halachos [Jewish Law - Mod] and it should be said within
3 days of the occurrence that triggered the bracha.


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 18,2009 at 01:01 AM
Subject: Asher Yatzar after childbirth

> From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
> On Tue, Jun 2,2009, Batya Medad <ybmedad@...> wrote:
>> The custom here is "benching gomel," since technically, medically and
>> halachikly there are serious dangers to life for the mother.

> This should be halachah rather than custom but it seems that women do not
> generally bench gomel in practice. The main reason seems to be the need 
> for a minyan and that, in former times, women did not go to the large 
> gatherings of men required.

Actually, women did say HaGomel after birth - usually at the Brit, when 
there was always a Minyan.

In fact, it is my experience that the older generation can't figure out why 
women are bashful about saying this beracha in public b/c it is a mitzvah to 
say it.

In Sefardi communiites where Zeved HaBat was celebrated - the mother of a 
daughter would say HaGomel there.

We should also remember that families were larger in the past, and getting a 
minyan for a meal was sometimes easier, so a woman could say HaGomel at 
home, without ever going to shul.

Shoshana L. Boublil


From: Matthew Pearlman <Matthew.Pearlman@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 16,2009 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Esther 

Does anyone know why Esther is traditionally transliterated with "th"
given that the taf has a dagesh?

Matthew Pearlman


From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 16,2009 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Ha-Gomail

As far back as I remember, I never saw a woman say hagomel. This
seems to be a newer practice. What is the difference between child
birth and a flight or sailing? or a desert vacation?


From: Ben Katz <BKatz@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 17,2009 at 08:01 AM
Subject: How many halachic Jews are there?

Leah Aharoni wrote:
> Is anyone aware of any research regarding the numbers of halachic Jews in
chutz > laaretz in general and in the US in particular?

I think the data from the US Jewish population survey of federation is the most
accurate and up to date.


From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 17,2009 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Kaddish after krias HaTorah - to whom does it belong?

The most thorough study and survey of this, by far (or perhaps I should say 
that only such one), appeared in print not that long ago in Yerushoseinu 
(an annual dedicated to Toras Ashkenaz) volume I (Bnei Brak 5767), pages 

In a very comprehensive teshuvoh, including an extremely broad survey of 
sources on the matter (as is his wont, as seen in his other works), in which 
tens of sources are cited, from Rav Amram Gaon to Satmar Rebbe R. Joel 
Teitelbaum, from Gaonic times through Rishonim and Acharonim to the present era, 
Rav Binyomin Shlomo Hamburger shlit"a, shows that historically, this kaddish 
did not belong to just any private citizen aveil (particularly in the 
Ashkenazic tradition, which reserves certain kaddeishim for the shliach tzibbur, 
unlike Sephardim, among whom individual aveilim say kaddish along with the 
shatz), but rather to a representative of the congregation. 

I highly recommend that anyone interested in the matter look at it.



From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 17,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Kosher Meal on a Plane

Frank Smiles wrote:
> A kosher meal (the hot part) was delivered in a plastic bag.
> Inside the plastic bag there was a single wrapped in foil meal with chicken, >
so it was double wrapped. However the plastic bag was full of hot liquid. The >
plastic wrapping was one cover with all kinds of kosher stickers on it. I
> guess the juice from the chicken got out so the plastic bag was sealed but
> full of hot juice.
> So there was hot juice (only sealed with one cover - the plastic bag ) and
> then a meal (with one covering of aluminum foil on it). I figured this is not
> called double wrapping because the the juice was only wrapped once. This never
> happened before. Usually the second wrapping is over a dry piece of tin foil.
> So was I right not to eat the chicken. I do need to lose weight anyway. Has
> this happened to anyone else.

As no-one has stepped up to answer Frank's question, permit me to do so.

I think the answer in such cases is generally that b'dieved [post facto] one may
eat the meal, and for the following reasons:

If there were only a single wrapping we are worried that the meal will be cooked
in the same oven as a non-kosher meal and that some non-kosher food will
splatter onto, and be absorbed by, the wrapping of the kosher meal, thereby
rendering the wrapping non-kosher and it in turn will render the meal itself
non-kosher (assuming that the amount of non-kosher food that splattered was more
than a sixtieth in volume as against the kosher food).

This absorption can only occur between food and food or between food and keilim
[utensils]. As between one keili and another, in most cases no such absorption
can take place. So by having a double wrapping one alleviates any problems,
because even if non-kosher food splatters onto the outside wrapping it can go no
further because it cannot pass between the two wrappings.

So what if one's meal is delivered with only one wrapping? There is a principle
in kashrus that "ein mach'zekinan lir'eiusa" [we don't assume the worst has
happened]. We don't assume that non-kosher food splattered onto the wrapping.
Indeed, this is unlikely as even the non-kosher meals are probably heated up in
the wrappings. And even if the non-kosher meal wasn't wrapped up, we don't
assume that any splattering was more than a sixtieth. Finally, maybe the
wrapping got punctured AFTER the meal was taken out the oven

I can understand someone not wanting to eat their kosher meal in such
circumstances, but (as I am not rendering a p'sak [ruling]) it would be a good
idea for anyone with concerns about this to consult with their Rav before they fly. 

Stephen Phillips


From: Yona Newman <yona_n.geo@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 16,2009 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Limitations on G-d

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz wrote:
> Similarly, the torah states that only the pig has split hooves
> and does not chew its cud.  This is emes and will not change.
May I point that this is from Veyikra Shemini 11:7 and on the same verse the Or
Hachayim says (my translation) "that at the moment he doesn't chew the cud but
if his nature changes in the future and he does start to chew the cud, then he
will be allowed to us for food."

To me this implies that (potentially at least) things can change.

Yona Newman
Ra-anana, Israel

From: Ben Katz <BKatz@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 16,2009 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Limitations on G-d

> From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
> ... Similarly, the torah states that only the 
> pig has split hooves and does not chew its cud.  This is emes and will 
> not change.

The Torah does not use the word "only".

From: Bernard Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 16,2009 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Limitations on G-d

Ari Trachtenberg asked:
>   What does it mean for G-d to be "kol yachol" (omnipotent). Clearly, it seems
> that He may impose upon Himself restrictions ... but what prevents Him
> from changing these restrictions later on?

Akiva Miller replied:
>   . . . we do not need to worry that He might change His mind, because He
> made a committment not to.

And Hillel Markowitz replied:  
> Hashem is emes (truth), thus when He "gives his word", it is a fixed 
> decision and indeed becomes part of the "laws of nature" ...  Once Hashem
> said that another flood would not come, then it is part of the laws of nature
> that Hashem maintains in existence ...

The question and the answers raise a number of interesting questions. But on the
question of change, let me note that the traditional view--or at any rate the
view held by Philo and the Rambam (amongst others)--is that Gd is immutable.
What this means is that Gd cannot undergo any real or intrinsic change. So (on
this view) the idea that Gd could change His mind doesn't make sense.

In Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah, the Rambam says: "He is not found within time, so
that He would possess a beginning, an end, or age. He does not change, for there
is nothing that can cause Him to change" (Ch 1, Halacha 11). And in the Guide,
the Rambam says: "And herein His being wholly changeless in every respect
achieves perfection, as He makes clear, saying: 'For I the Lord change not' [Mal
3:6], meaning that He undergoes no change at all." (Part I, Chap 11).

Obviously, there are lots of passages in Tanakh that suggest otherwise. E.g.,
some pesukim depict Gd as becoming unhappy because of human sin and, as result,
deciding to do something about it--in particular, deciding to flood the world
(Ber 6:5-7).  But on the view that Gd is immutable, these are supposed to be
understood metaphorically. It is worth noting, moreover, that it would difficult
to reconcile a literal reading of such texts with the idea that Gd is omniscient
and, in particular, knows our free actions. (If Gd learns something new, then
before that He was not all-knowing, unless the new item could not have been
foreknown. But if Gd knows our free actions, there does seem to be anything that
could not have been foreknown by Gd.)

Bernard Katz


From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 16,2009 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Shavuot on Shabbat

Our fixed calander does not have Shavout or Hoshna Rabba on Shabbat.
But it seems that the rule of lo adu rosh [Rosh Hashana does not occur on the
first, fourth, or sixth days] was set in 2 stages. First,
lo du rosh (= Rosh Hashana not on wed or fri because of Yom Kippur).
In the Talmud we find only the Yom Kippur - friday or sunday problem.
Later on the "a" was added because of Hoshna Rabba on Shabbat. To
prove this - piyuttim [liturgical poems] have been found in the Cairo genizah
for Motsai Shabbat [when Shabbat ends] the night of Rosh Hashana. 
These are Eres Israel piyuttim, and in those days they kept only 1 day. If so,
Hoshana Rabba (& Shavout) did fall on Shabbat.


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 18,2009 at 12:01 AM
Subject: Siddur Page Number Display Board?

My congregation is trying to devise a compromise between 
constantly calling out page numbers for visitors and disturbing 
people's kavanah. We thought we might try to purchase a board 
that we could mount that would display page numbers but the 
search on the Internet is proving surprisingly difficult due 
to the multiple uses of the terms "page number" and "display."

Does anyone have one of these at their shul? If so, could you 
kindly send me details, and especially what these are generally 



From: Leah Aharoni <leah25@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 16,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Treating fellow Jews as a slave

Rabbi Yitzchak Silver has put out a book that focuses exclusively on
halachot of bein adam lechavero [between people]. It's called Mishpatei Shalom
in Hebrew or The Code of Jewish Conduct in English.

I found it very refreshing that someone has finally approached human
interactions from a halachic perspective, instead of leaving it as a
"soft" hashkafic [philosophical] pursuit. For some reason, unless someone is
learning Choshen Mishpat, bein adam lechavero is just not seen as halacha.

Incidentally, Rav Silver will be speaking in Kochav Yaakov (near
Jerusalem) tomorrow Wednesday night at 8:30 PM (for women only),
followed by a concert. If anyone is interested, please contact me
off-list for more information.


Leah Aharoni
Email: <leah25@...>
Skype: leah.aharoni


From: Stu Pilichowski <cshmuel@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 17,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Women and Birchat haGomel

> From: Rose Landowne <Roselandow@...>
> 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.

When men return from a plane trip they often times recite birchat hagomel.

I've never seen or heard of women reciting gomel upon returning from a plane
trip. For example, a business trip where her husband wasn't with her and recited
the bracha and had her in mind to be yotzei.

Is this just an example of women being modest / staying in the background / not
calling attention to themsleves?

Stuart Pilichowski 
Mevaseret Zion, Israel 


From: Leah Sarah Reingold Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 17,2009 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Women as Rabbis


You may be writing this just to tempt me into the discussion.  :)
If so, it worked.

The argument that there are Male Things (like leading) and
Female Things (like childcare) is gradually becoming less common
in the modern world, for which I am thankful.  However,
it is a common statement, often from men who have a vested
interest in maintaining their power/rights in the status quo.

Whether or not you would like such a thing sociologically, we don't
have a contemporary basis for it halakhically in the
sense that women are "allowed" to be doctors, astronauts, lawyers,
teachers, etc.  So to draw the line at judge/rabbi seems silly, if
it is based only on that notion of propriety.

However, I do think you have stumbled on the real issue here.  As long
as the current rabbinate jealously guards their ranks against
interlopers who dare to be female, the issue won't go very far in the
Orthodox world.

--Leah Sarah Reingold Gordon


From: Stu Pilichowski <cshmuel@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 17,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Women Rabbis

The goal of Orthodoxy is to study Torah and become a great scholar. This
requires years of study and dedication. For a woman to follow this track would
mean giving up much of family and home life. 
I don't believe it's comparable to a career in the secular world, where one can
divide one's time and compartmentalize. Individual women can become exceptions
to the rule of women giving birth to many children and being the mainstays of a
household and trying to achieve talmidah chachama [wise student] status. But as
a general rule it simply can't follow for Orthodoxy to push great scholarship as
a goal for women.
This of course doesn't negate women continuing advanced Torah studies the same
way men do; with or without smicha [rabbinic ordinatio]; with or without
advanced Judaic studies degrees. 
Stuart Pilichowski 
Mevaseret Zion, Israel 


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 16,2009 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Zemanei Hayom on the Plane

We travel to the USA from Australia by usually leaving in the morning. After
a few hours it turns dark and - we actually go back in time - by arriving in
LA the same morning - earlier than we left Australia.

AFAIK, everyone davvens [prays] Shachris [the morning service] again, ie, twice
the same day.

Thus, in your case we would have davened Shachris again upon arrival.

OTOH,  it has been said that a prominent NY posek rules that one needn't say
the same tefilah [prayer] twice for the same day.  I don't know of anyone who
follows that psak [ruling].



End of Volume 56 Issue 81