Volume 57 Number 08 
      Produced: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 07:30:23 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A Rule (2)
    [Marilyn Tomsk  Yisrael Medad]
Chadash assur min hatorah 
    [Meir Shinnar]
Internet and Lashon Ha-ra 
    [Harlan Braude]
Is "Nusach Ari" synonymous with "Nusach Sepharad" 
    [David Ziants]
MOFET JTEC newsletter 
    [Reuven Werber]
Rosh HaShanah 2009 & the Rambam 
    [Richard Fiedler]
Skipping Tachanun 
    [Akiva Miller]
Tevillas Keilim 
    [Martin Stern]
The Missing Hekesh 
    [Martin Stern]
Welcome Home to the New Olim (and 453 photos) 
    [Jacob Richman]


From: Marilyn Tomsk <jtomsky@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 16,2009 at 03:01 AM
Subject: A Rule

S.Wise wrote:
> 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?

I'm sorry but you are mistaken.  We had to reserve our places on the Jewish tour
months ahead.  Our tour manager had us leave the hotel early to visit the Wall
and then the Kotel.  As it happens our President Bush was visiting to celebrate
Israel's 50th Anniversary and blocks were closed off all over for his safety. 
We didn't know this was going to happen.  Our bus had to detour all over to
reach each hotel picking up those of us on the tour and then take us to the
Wall.  There were traffic jams and waits everywhere.  It was quite a walk from
where we were finally dropped off to the Wall.  The program was scheduled, each
day and as it was we were too late to travel to the Jewish Museum later and so
we lost that chance.  

But the students were already there at the Wall.  They were rude and they were
selfish.  In fairness they should not have taken up the first row against the
Wall, but left it free, no chairs, so that two lines from each side could have a
chance to go up to the Wall and then leave.  The Wall doesn't just belong to the
students.  It belongs to all of us.  The adults in charge should have realized this.

An even better idea is to have one line on the left go up to the Wall and move
across the Wall to the right, then up the aisle to the back.  That gives more
people the chance to reach the Wall and it is quicker.  People can spread out
along the Wall, pray and then leave their message in the Wall, if they wish and
then leave.  There really needs to be two rows of no chairs at the front.  After
they finish, each person needs the space, to move in back one row, and out to
the right to the line, to go out.  It gives everyone the chance to go to the
Wall and to pray.  This is fair to everyone.  The logical thing to do.  A simple

A few students did remain in their seats praying a long time and then went up to
the Wall.  Again in fairness the students should take their turn standing in
line with others and should not hog the Wall for long prayers.  That was not
fair.   This should change in Israel.  Two clear rows in front by the Wall would
change the situation.

No one has answered, who made up that rule that Jewish women/girls have to keep
moving in enemy territory.  This is crazy in a narrow packed crowd and a
nuisance.  When was this rule made, by whom and why?  

If Israel doesn't care about the tourists, who come from all over the world and
often it is a once in a lifetime trip and at sacrifice for many, then maybe we
could stop going and stop feeding the hand always held out, that bites us.  In
this Recession this is happening as less are traveling.

Marilyn Tomsky

From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 13,2009 at 06:01 PM
Subject: A Rule

In regard to Marilyn Tomsky's point re the "punch in the back", if she should
ever live here, she'd know that's par for the course at the bank, the post
office and the bus queue.

Who are these students to whom she refers?  What day was it in May - Yom
Yerushalyaim?  Are they Israelis or visiting students that were there for the
same reason she was?  Maybe it was her guide's fault for picking the wrong day
or time or the scheduling?  Shouldn't he share some responsibility?

Her line: "The Jewish students could come at any time and certainly not when
tourists came in full.  That was unfair." is inappropriate.  God and the
Kotel waits for everyone at anytime.

If anything, I guess her situation disproves that there is room for all in



From: Meir Shinnar <chidekel@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 19,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Chadash assur min hatorah

I am not sure what upsets Mark Steiner.  However the chatham sofer's innovative
use of the phrase in opposing all changes in minhagim did not occur in a
historical vacuum - the chatham sofer was involved with a vigorous fight with
reform - which instituted many changes, but starting with minhagim.
Recognizing this is not historical reductionism - but places the chatham sofer
as a public figure involved with a public dispute over how to deal with modernity.

This does not mean that we just read his tshuvot as historical documents - they
are read as halachic documents and the power of halachic reasoning stands on its
own.  The historical context may illuminate why he chose some positions over
others - but that is a different issue. 

However, it is a bizayon to the chatham sofer to ignore a major part of his own
spiritual activity that he viewed as important - and to view references to this
as somehow denigrating him

Meir Shinnar


From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 16,2009 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Internet and Lashon Ha-ra

I read a thoughtful article written by Rabbi Yair Hoffman on this topic 
published on the Hirhurim blog 

The feedback posted by readers of news items on "yeshivishe" sites is often 
quite polar, either condeming that which the news item describes or the news
item itself (ie: its very publication.)

Despite my personal view on the role of the media in Jewish life, I realize 
that this is not a simple matter, even having studied the works of the Chofetz

(...and yes, I know: 'ask YLOR')


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 18,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Is "Nusach Ari" synonymous with "Nusach Sepharad"

Among the ashkenazim there are a number nusachot in addition to the 
standard "nusach ashkenaz". [nusach = prayer rite]

Among them is "Nusach Ari" and also "Nusach Sepharad".

Both received popularity with rise of chassidism and are said to based 
on kabballa.

Are these nusachot indeed synonymous?

For example, Siddur Rinat Yisrael Nusach Sepharad says it is *based* on 
Nusach HaAri. "Based" might imply "not synonymous".

If they are not synonymous, what are the main differences?

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Reuven Werber <reuw@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 9,2009 at 01:01 AM
Subject: MOFET JTEC newsletter

A new edition of the MOFET JTEC newsletter highlighting thirty new Jewish 
Education items added to the MOFET JTEC Jewish Education Portal  has been 
published. It can be accessed online here: 
People interested in Jewish Education are invited to subscribe to the 
newsletter on the Portal homepage -  http://jtec.macam.ac.il/portal/

Reuven Werber
The JTEC Portal Team
The MOFET  Institute


From: Richard Fiedler <richardfiedler@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 23,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Rosh HaShanah 2009 & the Rambam

Rosh HaShanah 2009 will begin at sunset Friday, September 18. The  
lunar conjunction, the event when the earth, moon and sun, in that  
order, are approximately in a straight line, will be in Jerusalem at  
21:45 DST on September 18.

Rambam Hilchot Kiddush HaChodesh  1-3
The moon is hidden every month and cannot be seen for two days, less  
or a little more, one day before the conjunction and one day after the  
conjunction. It is seen in the West in the evening. The first night  
when the moon is sighted in the West after being hidden is the  
beginning of the new month.

Rambam Hilchot Kiddush HaChodesh 5-2
When there is a Sanhedrin, the monthly calendar is established  
according to the sighting of the moon. When there is no Sanhedrin, the  
monthly calendar is established according to the calculated calendar  
that we follow now, and the sighting of the moon is of no consequence.

Witnesses would not have been able to see the moon on Friday night for  
sunset was before the lunar conjunction.

Saturday, September 19, 2009, the sun will set in Jerusalem at 18:40  
DST. The moon will be 21 hours old, on the young side for a sighting,  
unlikely but possible. 1.20% of the moon will be visible, dim but  
possible for a sighting. However the moonset will be 18:48 DST only 8  
minutes after the sunset making it impossible to be seen in the  
twilight. To understand why this is so use this link files.me.com/ 
richardfiedler/sx915x. The path of this moon takes it below the  
African Continent. Generally in September the path of the moon is in  
the southern hemisphere making sightings in Jerusalem more difficult.

Witnesses would first be able to see the moon on Sunday night but this  
is only an interesting footnote, because months cannot have more than  
30 days.

Rambam Hilchot Kiddush HaChodesh  1-3
If witnesses are not accepted on the thirtieth day then Rosh Chodesh  
will be on the thirty-first day, with no further need for witnesses,  
for there are no lunar months longer than thirty days.

The Molad of Tishrei  for Hebrew Year 5770 is 16 hours and 853 helekim, 
10:47 Saturday Morning September 19. The calendrical rules establish  
Rosh HaShanah at the beginning of the Hebrew day (starting with  
sunset) upon which the Molad of Tishrei falls. This is subject to  
Rabbinical Postponements. In 2009 there are no postponements.

Rambam Hilchot Kiddush HaChodesh 5-2
When the calculated calendar is followed there will be times when the  
sighting would be on the calculated day and times it would be one day  
before or after.

Was this year, 2009, an anomaly? Using criterion established by  
astronomers and in particular maps published on the University of  
Utrecht website by Dr. Robert Harry van Gent, an astronomer, data was  
evaluated from 1999 through 2018. Without including Dehiyyot,  
rabbinical postponements, 16 of the years were 2 or 3 days before any  
possible sighting by witnesses. Never during this period was it  
possible to see the New Moon on the evening of the first day of Rosh  
HaShanah. Even with the Dehiyyah Molad Zeqen the New Moon would not be  
seen. Only with the Dehiyyah Lo ADU Rosh would the New Moon be seen  
and then  only on 2 of the 20 days. Recognizing that the Dehiyyah Lo  
ADU Rosh is related toward issues like the burial of the dead over Yom  
Kippur rather than issues pertaining to the sighting of the New Moon  
one can conclude calculation system of the Hebrew Calendar was  
designed to preclude the sighting of the New Moon.

A link to an excel file with the data files.me.com/richardfiedler/ljb8a1

BaHaRaD stands for 2 days 5 hours and 204 helekim (parts). It is the  
date of the mythical Molad shel Tohu, the first Molad at the time of  
creation. It is an arbitrary constant central to the calculation.  
Interestingly if the Molad shel Tohu was assumed at simply 4 days,  
like the moon was created at the end of the fourth day, then the  
calculated system becomes in conformance with the logic of the Rambam.  
In such a case the majority of times of Erev Rosh HaSahanah will be  
coincidental with the time of the first possible lunar sighting.


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 19,2009 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Skipping Tachanun

In the thread titled "Main vs. sub minyan", Ira L. Jacobson referred to a

> shul where the shaliach tsibur does not say tahanun at
> minha -- not on a day or in a situation where tahanun is
> not to be recited, but in a shul where people are taking
> time off from work and wish to save time -- that ...

I have never before heard of an opinion which allows one to omit tachanun simply
to save time. Does anyone have a source for this?

Akiva Miller


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 16,2009 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Tevillas Keilim

Alan Rubin wrote:

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

While one should always follow the ruling of one's local rabbi, it seems
clear that there is some dispute as to whether our china nowadays comes
under the category of earthenware, which does not require tevilah, or,
because it is fired at such a high temperature, it is considered to be a
form of glass that does require tevilah miderabbanan [according to rabbinic

Since this is certainly a safeik derabbanan [doubtful case in rabbinic law]
it is clear that no berachah should be made.  I suspect that the Dayan whom
Alan mentions may have meant this since there can be no harm done in
tovelling china and doing so gets one out of the safeik derabbanan. For
those who wish to be super-scrupulous, the procedure would be to tovel china
only when tovelling other, preferably metal, utensils.

Incidentally, there is an opinion that, for these purposes, aluminium is not
considered to be a metal since it is not listed in the source text (Bam.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 16,2009 at 03:01 AM
Subject: The Missing Hekesh

While Russell has summed up the problem and possible solutions, he seems to
have omitted to explain why Rabbi Yishmael should have subsumed the widely
used Hekesh under the heading of Context, by which he presumably means Davar
halameid mei'inyano, which is quoted by name much less frequently.

There are some further problems with Rabbi Yishmael's enumeration on which I
would welcome Russell's and anyone else's comments:

1.  Why does Rabbi Yishmael combine Binyan Av mikatuv echad with Binyan Av
mishnei ketuvim when Hillel, in his 7 rules, lists them separately?

2.  Why does he include rule 10, Kol davar shehaya bikhlal ... shelo
ke'inyano ..., when it appears to be included as the converse of rule 9, Kol
davar shehi bikhlal ... shehu ke'inyano ..., and which in any case gives no
information as to how the halachah is determined (yatsa lehakeil

3.  Why does he combine Davar halameid mei'inyano with Davar halameid misofo
when they appear to be very different modes of inference?

Martin Stern


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 19,2009 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Welcome Home to the New Olim (and 453 photos)

Hi Everyone!

On Wednesday morning, August 19, 2009, I was at Ben-Gurion airport to
greet the new olim that made aliyah from North America to Israel.

There were 366 olim on the flight including 61 singles (including
22 joining the IDF) and 67 families with 168 children.

The youngest oleh in the group is 7 weeks old and  the oldest oleh 
is 88 years old. The flight also included 6 dogs and 1 turtle.

I took 453 pictures of the exciting event and I posted them online at:

I also posted the 453 photos on Facebook for name tagging.
There are three sets of photos and you can access the albums via:

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

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

Have a good day,


End of Volume 57 Issue 8