Volume 57 Number 05 
      Produced: Sun, 16 Aug 2009 00:11:42 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A Rule 
An Incorrect reference? 
    [S. Leiman]
Commandments [was "1879 book"] 
    [Perry Dane]
Halacha Yomi - new site 
Kadish yatom together (2)
    [Martin Stern  Martin Stern]
Main vs. sub minyan 
    [David Ziants]
midivrei sofrim 
    [Martin Stern]
Moser (2)
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz  "Frankel, Sheila E."]
Seudat Savlanut 
    [Neal Jannol]
Tevillas Keilim 
    [Alan Rubin]
Welcome Home to the New Olim (and 322 pictures) 
    [Jacob Richman]
Woman saying kaddish 
    [Martin Stern]


From: S.Wise <Smwise3@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 13,2009 at 04:01 PM
Subject: A Rule

While I can sympathize with her frustration during her experience, I think  
she should keep in mind that she created her schedule that gave her such a  
narrow window to spend at the kosel; there are lots of schools and 
seminaries  that have schedules, too, and cannot consider every population 
consideration;  and there is no excuse for their rudeness, but no reason to
judge an entire segment of the society based on this experience.
Yes, tourism is bread and butter, but so are the seminary students who live 
 a year there and spend a lot of money on top of the $20,000 just for the  
opportunity to attend and live there, so give them a little slack, OK?


From: S. Leiman <szl@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 13,2009 at 01:01 AM
Subject: An Incorrect reference?

The Kol Bo passage appears in the Feldheim edition (ed. by R. David Abraham,
second edition, Jerusalem, 2009), vol. 1, column 310.

Shnayer Leiman


From: Perry Dane <dane@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 13,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Commandments [was "1879 book"]

Shmuel Himelstein wrote:

> [In the] 1879 book, "Curiosities of Judaism," by Philip Abraham ... the author
> notes that a certain common Christian school book omits "the second
> commandment," "to accomodate the pictures and images of the Roman (Catholic?
>- SH) worship, and the tenth is split to make up the number."

Lest anyone get the wrong idea:

         (1) Neither Catholics nor anybody else omits the prohibition 
on idols or graven images from the Ten Commandments.  Catholics, as 
well as us Jews, combine it with "you shall have no other gods before 
me."  It might therefore only appear to be omitted in a "shorthand" 
or "headline" version of the Ten Commandments.  Many Protestants and 
Orthodox Christians, however, treat the prohibition as a separate 
commandment, which they enumerate as the second commandment.  Hence 
the 1879 author's puzzlement.

         (2) There are several other differences in the way the Ten 
Commandments are enumerated, such as whether "I am Hashem your God" 
is treated as a separate commandment (Jews) or as only one part of 
the First Commandment (Orthodox Christians, Catholics, and Lutherans) 
or as a preface before the actual Ten Commandments (most 
Protestants), and whether the two prohibitions on coveting are 
treated as two commandments (Catholics and Lutherans) or as a single 
commandment (most other traditions, including Jews).

         (3) The actual Biblical text, however, is of course the same 
across the board.  That original Biblical text does not, of course, 
come with numbers attached.  And since there are 14 or 15 separate 
imperative statements in the text, it is not surprising that 
different traditions would break up the text in different 
ways.  (Some argue that the Catholic enumeration is actually based on 
a Jewish scribal tradition.  But there's no need to get into that 
here.)  For a side-by-side comparison, see



From: NACHUM SOKOL <rskl@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 26,2009 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Halacha Yomi - new site

I started a halacha-jewish law website several months ago, and it has
developed a respectable following in a short period of time. My website is

Thank you!



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 12,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Kadish yatom together

David Ziants wrote: 
> With respect to Martin's preference of only one person saying kaddish
> yatom [Mourner's kaddish --MOD] at a time, I think the problems with this are
> well known, for example this might mean someone who has a chiyuv [obligation
> --MOD] not saying kaddish as there are too many people. Another problem is
> that we often find people saying kaddish who do not have a real chiyuv, for
> example for a parent-in-law or for a brother or sister or for a child
> (lo alainu - that none of us should ever fall into this situation).
> These people still want to say kaddish but their priority is low if
> there are others who are contending for a spot to say kaddish for a parent.
>  How can such a congregation deal with this?

There are clear rules of precedence listed, for example in the Kitsur
Shulchan Aruch. If someone does not qualify to say a kaddish as a result,
they do not have an obligation. In such cases, NOT saying kaddish becomes
the mitsvah.  The trouble is many people have some fixation on reciting
kaddish which drives out the much more important mitsvot such as the
overarching one of submission to halachah even when it conflicts with one's
private desires.

The Chatam Sofer even wrote that someone who 'steals' the kaddish from the
person halachically entitled to say it achieves nothing - the kaddish goes
on the soul to which it should and not on the one he wishes to benefit.

Martin Stern

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 12,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Kadish yatom together

On Mon, Aug 10,2009, Ben Katz <BKatz@...> wrote:
> While I usually agree with the learned Martin Stern, I take exception to his
> last comment "chadash assur min hatorah (religious reform is strictly
> prohibited)".  To the best of my knowledge, this comment, with its meaning of
> "religious reform is strictly prohibited" originated with the Chazon Ish and
> is a clever play on words by a gadol hador, but is by no means a universally
> accepted axiom, to say the least.

As it happens, this use of the halachic ruling that refers, in reality, to
the prohibition of eating the new grain crop before the bringing of the
korban omer [barley offering --MOD], or nowadays the first day of Pesach, is due
to the Chatam Sofer as part of his campaign against the Reform movement in the
early nineteenth

Martin Stern


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 13,2009 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Main vs. sub minyan

As chiyuv [someone obligated to say kaddish] during year [after passing 
away of parent], I find myself being sha"tz [leading the prayers] even 
when not in my neighbourhood. Today, I found myself in a kanyon 
[shopping mall] in one of the big cities (i.e. not my local) which has a 
little shul and before it starts getting dark, especially during holiday 
time, this turns into a minyan factory i.e people tend to flock for 
mincha and one mincha follows straight after another. The people who 
gather together are very ad-hoc, tend not to have any sort of communal 
associations and are complete strangers to each other, except of course 
that we are all Jews.

So I expressed that I am a chiyuv to a few people who had started 
gathering with me, and so it was comfortable for me to go to the amud 
[prayer stand] when the next minyan would start.

There is a sign up explicitly saying that the nusach [prayer rite] is 
according to that of the sha"tz, and so being nusach ashkenaz, I took a 
relevant siddur to lead. Everything went fine until it came to tachnun 
[the supplication prayer towards the end].

When I sat down for this, a group of people started saying vidduy 
(confession) out aloud and then slightly later someone else led into 13 
middot (attributes) which is very much a public prayer but is not part 
of nusach ashkenaz at mincha time.  This belongs to nusach sephardi 
(middle eastern) or maybe also nusach sepharad (based on chassidic 
nusach).  At that time, I had already stood up and reached "vaanachnu lo 
nayda ma na'aseh" ("we will not know what we will do") verse which I 
said at the same volume as the others and I think the hint was received 
that something was not right, because everyone seemed to be ready to 
answer kaddish titkabel (am sure those who needed completed tachnun 
afterwards) and there also seemed to be compliance of every one saying 
alaynu together.

I might have told a similar story (can't remember whether I posted that 
on this forum or somewhere else) when I was saying kaddish eight years 
ago, but the situation then was slightly different as the minyan factory 
of that time possibly consisted of more people who worked in the nearby 
shuk [market] and were possibly regulars to that shul. In this 
situation, almost everyone seemed to be the summer holiday shoppers' type.

My question to this forum is, was there a case of lo tiggoddu [forming 
separatists groups] here, and was my reaction in order?  Should I have 
been more sensitive to the make-up of the population of the minyan?

Someone came to me (ashkenazi english speaker) to convey that he felt I 
should have had the courtesy to give more time to let the sub-minyan 
finish their thing.  He thinks that more than half the people there at 
the time wanted vidduy/13 middot. I disagreed profusely because:

a) It is very explicit how the nusach is determined for that place, and 
nusach ashkenaz is not inferior to any other nusach.  Even in my own 
community, I often have to explain, especially to sephardim, why nusach 
ashkenaz do not do "after barchu" on Monday and Thursday, and not all 
"nusach ashkenaz" is "nusach sepharad", etc.

b) When I am in a shul, which is a nusach to my own, I try and not make 
a show of doing my own thing. For example, if every one is sitting down 
for kaddish, I also say seated (but if there are some local people 
standing I understand that me also standing ought to not be offensive).  
I agree, though, that this can sometimes be harder when not in a 
community setting.

c) The people there could have stayed to do 13 middot after the official 
minyan had finished, and before the next minyan.

d) Like the minyan before mine, the minyan after mine was (at least by 
the chant of the person leading then) aidot hamizrach (sephardi - middle 
eastern communities) and so it is fair that this minyan could be 
something different.

e) If the table is turned and it was an aidot hamizrach sha"tz and there 
were ashkenazim in the minyan who wanted something that they do not 
usually do - an example I can think of now is haphtora [reading from 
prophets] on a ta'anit tzibbur [public fast day] - then would they allow 
this easily?

In any case, by the fact that there was compliance after tachnun (could 
have had a barrage of "lamnatzaiach" people [who insert this psalm 
before alainu and do kaddish yatom after this] as happened  eight years 
ago somewhere else), I felt that the people involved felt guilty of this 
behaviour. Do I also have something to feel guilty about? If I had given 
more time, I would have given in to anarchy.

Has anyone written anything extensive on this anthropological issue 
among our communities?

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim,


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 2,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: midivrei sofrim

Orrin Tilevitz wrote:

> Arukh Hashulchan at Yoreh Deah 120 cites Rashba in Torat Habayit as
> understanding Rambam to mean that it is derabanan (rabbinic only).  (Arukh
> Hashulchan disagrees.)

I was only commenting on the moderators translation of "midivrei sofrim"
not the substantive point that Orrin was making. Sorry if that was not

Martin Stern


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 13,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Moser

Francine Weistrop wrote
> I have been reading the various discussions about the rabbis arrested
> in New Jersey and the word "moser" was used in several references.
> While I think I understand the terminology, I would be interested in
> both a broad and a narrow interpretation of this term as it applies in
> general and in this case in particular if that can be done without
> defaming anyone involved.

A "moser" is an informant. The problem is that it used to be that
people would be killed for even the most trivial crimes, especially if
they were Jewish.  Taxation was not a matter of a predefined law as it
is nowadays, but a matter of how much the "tax farmers" could gouge
out of the people. They guaranteed a fixed amount to the ruler and
kept whatever above that they could collect. Thus, someone who turned
in a "criminal" was actually like a thief or murderer rather than a
citizen upholding the law.

The daf yomi (daily page of the talmud) of July 17 and 18 (Bava Metzia
83b - 84a - ArtScroll pages 83 b1 - 84 a1) discusses the matter of a
policeman.  In that section Rav Elazar the son of Rav Shimon bar Yochai
once gave advice to a policeman on how to detect criminals. As a
result he was appointed (and did not dare refuse) as a policeman

"The reader of the letter should deliver it."

He was criticized because the thieves were killed and responded "I am
ridding the vineyard of its thorns".  The footnotes in the Art Scroll
talmud page 83b2 discuss why he held that he was allowed to do this
and what were the extraordinary circumstances involved.

The dispute nowadays involves whether the people arrested are of such
a danger to the community that they must be removed from the community
(as "thorns from a vineyard"), whether one can use the secular
authorities (because their powers are properly limited by law), if the
publicity in the matter would cause more harm to the Jewish community
than trying to handle it quietly, or if there is a means of handling
matters without involving the secular authorities.

This is only a very brief summary of some of the issues involved. I am
sure that everyone can come up with different possibilities in the
matter. Each case is different and needs to be analyzed in depth.
Since all we know is what we see in the news, I cannot state what
would or would not have been proper in a particular case. I have seen
cases where the correct thing to do was notify the authorities and
cases where it appears that the matter should have been handled

Unfortunately, people who are actually guilty and should be turned in
will use the concept of "moser" to avoid their deserved punishment. On
the other hand, there are people who will misuse the concept of
protecting the community to turn in people who should not be, when the
matter is better handled privately.

I will leave it to the reader to come up with particular cases that
should or should not be turned over to the secular authorities.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
 <SabbaHillel@...>   | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water

From: "Frankel, Sheila E." <sheila.frankel@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 13,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Moser

There is an excellent shiur, given by Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz, entitled: On
the Topic of Mesira. It is available for download in MP3 format (or you can
listen to it online) from YUTorah

Sheila Frankel


From: Neal Jannol <njannol@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 13,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Seudat Savlanut

I was reading the back of the "Shaagat Aryeh" - a book
of legal questions and answers famous for its deep logic.  In the back are
some short tales about the Rabbi of Metz known as the Shaagat Aryeh and in
one story, there is a wedding to be held on Sunday and Shabbat Afternoon
there is a "seudat savlanut" at the time of the third shabbat meal,
apparently some sort of meal in honor of the upcoming wedding.  What exactly
is this custom and is it still done today.   

Neal B. Jannol


From: Alan Rubin <alan@...>
Date: Sat, Aug 15,2009 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Tevillas Keilim

I note various posts on tovelling 'dishes'.  Now most of our dishes are
made of china.

Now I have not gone into the halacha myself and am away from access to
seforim [(Jewish) books --MOD] but I note that the OU site
posts that china should be tovelled without a bracha but there is
also this site
which quotes Aruch Hashulchan Y.D. 120:29. saying that this is not needed.

A local Dayan is quite firmly of the opinion that china need not be
tovellled and will tell this quite firmly to people he meets going to
the mikvas keilim [ritual bath for utensils --MOD].

Alan Rubin


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 4,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Welcome Home to the New Olim (and 322 pictures)

Hi Everyone!

On Tuesday morning, August 4, 2009, I was at Ben-Gurion airport to
greet the new olim that made aliyah from North America to Israel.

There were 238 olim on the flight including 63 singles 
(55 joining the IDF) and 36 families with 113 children.

The youngest oleh in the group is 3 months old and the 
oldest oleh is 75 years old. The flight also included 4 dogs and 
3 cats.

I took 322 pictures of the exciting event and I posted them online at:

I also posted the 322 pictures on Facebook for name tagging.
There are two sets of pictures and they are both located in my
Facebook photo section at:

If you have a Facebook acccount and you are in the pictures or 
see someone you know, please feel free to name tag the pictures.

May the aliyah from all over of the world grow and bring 
more Jews back to their homeland, Eretz Yisrael.

Enjoy the pictures and have a good day,


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 2,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Woman saying kaddish

On Sun 2 Aug '09, David Ziants <dziants@...> wrote:

Subject: Woman saying kaddish

> I think Rav Yitzchak Shlit"a from the Yeshiva here, Birkat Moshe, says
> that a woman should only say kaddish if there is also a man saying, and
> then she should follow along with the man in a modest fashion.

Since it is only to give nachat ruach lahen [satisfaction of the spirit for them
--MOD] and has no halachic significance, it would not matter that nobody heard
or answered them individually. So it would probably be OK even in shuls
following the
original minhag Ashkenaz of only one person saying each kaddish.



End of Volume 57 Issue 5