Volume 57 Number 16 
      Produced: Wed, 02 Sep 2009 17:02:47 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

2 hour amida 
    [Tzvi Stein]
Attending shul on Yom Kippur 
    [Akiva Miller]
eggs shelainu 
    [Dr. Josh Backon]
    [Ari Trachtenberg]
Litter in Israel 
Not living in Israel 
    [Shmuel Himelstein]
not saying Tachanun on Pesach Sheini 
    [Martin Stern]
    [Martin Stern]
OT: 25 Years in Israel and Historical Events 
    [Jacob Richman]
Taslich when there are no rivers or streams (2)
    [Joseph Kaplan  Alex Heppenheimer]
yefat toar 
    [Martin Stern]


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 1,2009 at 10:01 AM
Subject:  2 hour amida

2 hour amida?  How is that possible!!??   I think I remember Yom Kippur
silent amida being no more than 10 or 15 minutes... Are you talking about
the chazan's repitition?


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 1,2009 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Attending shul on Yom Kippur

In the thread "Line jumping at the kotel and anywhere else", Jeanette friedman

> Can I send someone else to shul for me on Yom Kippur?  After all,
> I really don't want  to stand through a 2-hour amida amid the
> stink of smelling salts when I am fasting and have a headache --
> maybe I can get a special dispensation so I can stay home in bed
> because someone else is "confessing" and asking mechila for me?

Martin Stern responded:

> I always thought that women were exempt from public prayer so
> why does Jeanette feel the need for a special dispensation to
> stay at home? She does not need a proxy to pray for her on Yom
> Kippur - all she needs to do is to pray at home if she feels
> better able so to do.

While it is true that women are exempt from public prayer, and therefore women
do not need any "dispensation" to pray at home, I'm sure everyone will agree
that it is better to pray in shul.

Many people think that the advantage of praying in shul lies in the parts of the
service which are present only there and not at home, such as Kaddish, Kedusha,
Torah reading, and other parts. The rabbis teach us that these prayers are
important, but that the *main* advantage lies in the concept that when one says
his/her prayers together with the others, they are more powerful and more
acceptable to G-d.

On the other hand, I feel that this should not detract from the fact that the
shul-only prayers are also special and important. Even if one argues that they
are less important than the "public prayer" aspect, they still do have an
importance which should not be ignored.

And on Yom Kippur, it seems to me that one of the main shul-only prayers is the
public confession.

Depending on how you count it, we say the confession (vidui) between 8 and 11
times on Yom Kippur:

On Erev Yom Kippur, we say it privately at mincha.
At maariv, it is both private and public.
At shacharis, it is both private and public.
At musaf, it is both private and public.
At mincha, it is both private and public.
At the special Yom-Kippur-only Ne'ilah service, shortened versions are said both
privately and publicly.
(That's eight if you only count the full version on Yom Kippur itself, or eleven
if you count them all.)

There are many excellent books out there about the Yom Kippur prayers, and many
explanations of why we say this confession both privately and publicly. The main
point I want to make is that someone who prays at home on Yom Kippur misses out
on the public confessions.

This can be for any reason. Whether we're talking about a bedridden patient who
has no choice, or a woman who (as Martin suggested) legitimately avails herself
of the option to pray at home, or (at the other extreme) a man who simply
doesn't want to bother to go to shul. Either way, this person will miss out on
these important parts of the Yom Kippur service. Or perhaps I'm mistaken. Does
anyone know of any authorities who write about what to do in such a situation?
If someone is at home for one of these services, I can't imagine that it might
be wrong to say the confession a second time, but I also doubt that the second
one would have the "value" of being a public, community-based confession. Does
anyone know of any rabbis who have spoken or written about this?

Akiva Miller


From: Dr. Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 1,2009 at 03:01 PM
Subject: eggs shelainu

Art Werschulz wrote:
> The insert contained in a Masbia meal said "our unique manufacturing process
> eliminates the halachic question of 'overnight' eggs".  (The breakfast meal
> contained an omelette.)
> What's the issue here?  Thanks.

This is based on a gemara in Nidah 17a and l'chatchila [a priori --MOD] one
shouldn't leave shelled eggs, and peeled garlic and onion overnight [Kaf haChayim
115:72; Chelkat Yaakov YD 39; Minchat Yitzchak VI 74) unless part of the
vegetable is left attached. B'diavad [after the fact --MOD], if there is hefsed
meruba [great lost --MOD], it's permitted [Minchat Yitzchak IV 108; Shevet
haLevi VI 111].

Josh Backon


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 1,2009 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Inquiry

Evan Rock wrote:

 > In the light of the periodic reports of money laundering and other
 > white collar crimes within the Orthodox communities in the U.S.A. have
 > there been any responsas as to what the frum communities responses
 > should be?
 >Are there questions and answers regarding cheating by students in 
 >Orthodox universities?

I'm not sure that this requires a responsa.  Both are clearly wrong, are
they not?  Are there any possible halachic grounds for cheating, whether
in an Orthodox or non-Orthodox university?



From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 31,2009 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Litter in Israel

Litter?  Some neighborhoods of Yerushalayim are disgustingly filthy, and some of
  the  residents of American extraction are driven to distraction by their  
littering neighbors. Garbage attracts disease and rats, for those who do  not
understand that.

Four or  five years ago, I was walking down Shmuel Hanavi, when a boy threw a
soda  cup out of a car window into the street in front  of a 
bus stop. I picked  up  the cup and threw it back in the car.  He, all of 
about 10 years of age,  cursed me to die, called me a  name, and threw it back 
out the window. I threw the  cup back into the  car and asked him if his 
mother taught him to do that. The   people  at the bus stop applauded, but I 
guarantee you that the little  boy is alive and well, older and not wiser and
still throwing his garbage in the   gutter....

All I can say  is ichsa.

jeanette friedman


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 2,2009 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Not living in Israel

Martin Stern wrote:
> It is precisely this sort of uncouth behaviour that puts many of us 
> off from living in Israel. 

And THIS is what keeps them from making Aliyah? For that reason they are
willing to forgo all the Mitzvot (commandments) of Eretz Israel? For that
reason they are willing to overlook the Gemara in Ketubot that "one who
lives outside Eretz Israel is as if he were engaged in idolatry"? 

As my wife has often said (and we made Aliyah 34 years ago), the same way we
don't ever make a calculation as to whether it pays to keep Shabbat but do
so because Hashem commanded it, we should not make any calculations about
whether or not to make Aliyah - and certainly not a calculation based on the
"civility" of the people.

And may I add that Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook once said: "So many people have
a Cheshbon (calculation) as to why they are not moving to Eretz Israel. One
has children who go to college, another wants a better retirement package
... We should take a lead from the Torah, that before the Jews entered Eretz
Israel with Yehoshua, they first killed the King of Cheshbon..."

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 2,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: not saying Tachanun on Pesach Sheini

Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...> wrote:

> The old Ashkenaz custom was to say tahanun on Pesah sheni,
> because without the Temple, this day has no meaning. However, the Hasidim
> took on the Sepharadi custom not to say,and so did the GRA talmidim that
> came here 200 years ago.

Omitting tachanun on Pesach Sheini is based on the opinion of the Pri
Chadash which seems to have been widely accepted in Eastern Europe and
congregations hailing from there but not by those from Western Europe.
Neither R. Yosef Karo nor the Rema mention it.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 2,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Nusachot

On Tue, Aug 25,2009, Rabbi Meir Wise <Meirhwise@...> wrote:
> Shlichim came from eretz yisrael with printed siddurim which were
> nusach Ari/sfard. there was no printing in Yemen - siddurim and all
> seforim were hand copied. The wealthy and some rabbis purchased these
> siddurim in the belief that they were more correct and holy as they
> came from Israel. Thus many adopted nusach "shami" meaning "there" ie
> Hebron where the printing press was.

The word "shami" does not mean "there" but rather "Syrian" from the Arabic
word for Syria "ash-Sham", strictly meaning "the north land" as opposed to
al-Yaman - the south land".

These words are probably related to the Hebrew words "s'mol - left" and
"yamin - right" which is the way they would appear on maps with East at the
top of the page as was the custom in the Middle Ages.

The final lam in "shamal" was probably lost by confusion with the Arabic
definite article "al" attached to the following word e.g. shamal-Hijaz
(north of the Hejaz) becoming misread as sham-alHijaz.

Martin Stern


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 1,2009 at 07:01 AM
Subject: OT: 25 Years in Israel and Historical Events

Hi Everyone!

25 years ago (August 30, 1984) I made aliyah to Israel.
It was the best decision of my life and I highly recommend it.

Over the past 25 years many historical events have taken 
place in Israel. I made a list of the events that left an impression
on me and I posted them at:

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

Have a good day,


From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 1,2009 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Taslich when there are no rivers or streams

> It might even be preferable to say tashlich at some other time to avoid
> these unseemly social gathering that tend to take place.

"Social" yes; "unseemly" no.  When I go to tashlich, in addition to seeing
people say the appropriate prayers and follow the traditional customs, I see
people having an opportunity to wish shana tovah and chat with friends who
daven in a different shul; I see friends who have been out of touch over the
summer having a chance to catch up with each other; I see young men and
women having a chance to meet, to talk, to socialize and, yes, even to flirt
a bit. All of which seems to me like a wonderful way to start a new year
(together, of course, with tefillah, teshuva and tzedaka).

I don't quite understand why "social gatherings" has, for some, taken on a
pejorative connotation.  It certainly hasn't for me. Personal story:  My
family moved into Far Rockaway in August 1952.  So on RH, we followed the
crowds down Beach 9th St. to the ocean for tashlich.  Someone who knew my
parents said: "Let me introduce you to the Rosenfelds; I think you might hit
it off."  And they did, so much so that for more than the next 50 years the
two couples, and their families, enjoyed the closest of relationships.
Thank you tashlich for that "social," though far from "unseemly,"

Joseph Kaplan

From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 1,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Taslich when there are no rivers or streams

In MJ 57:14, Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...> wrote:

>the custom of Tashlich is based on the verse--which
>we recite as the center of the Tashlich ceremony--"vetashlich bimtzulot yam kol
>chatotam" [may their sins be thrown into the depths of the sea]. There is also
>the verse in Kohelet "kol hanechalim holchim el hayam" [all streams go to the
>sea]. IMHO, they key ought to be not a body of water or the presence of fish--in
>which either case, a stagnant body of water fed by stream but emptying solely
>through evaporation, or a fish tank at the local pet store should suffice--but
>either the sea or water that will wind up there.My understanding was that the
>presence of fish was necessary only to avoid the problem of bal tashchit
>[needlessly throwing away food] when you dump crumbs into the water...

I haven't come across any reference to the verse from Koheles in this context,
so I'm not sure of the relevance of it.

Mishnah Berurah (583:8), summarizing the comments of Pri Megadim and Magen
Avraham, specifically states that "it is preferable for there to be live fish
there, as a symbol that the evil eye should have no power over us, and that we
should be fruitful and multiply like fish." He also cites "kesovim"
(manuscripts? perhaps Kabbalistic ones) that say that it can be at "a river or a

R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi, in his siddur, goes even further: he gives the
preferred place of the ceremony as "a well or a spring"(neither of which have a
direct connection to the sea -and note that "a well" is listed first). He gives
the Kabbalistic reason that "water refers to [the Divine attribute of] kindness,
and also fish [who have no eyelids] hint at [Hashem's] open eye." So evidently
for him, too, the importance of there being fish at Tashlich has nothing to do
with feeding them crumbs, and there's no need for the water to be running or for
it to eventually drain into the sea.

>I am told that most of Borough Park goes to a small pool, supposedly fed by a
>natural spring, outside of some yeshiva, but I've always worried about the
>accumulation of sins there jumping right out back at me.

Then maybe this will reassure you. Shaar HaKollel (a commentary on R' Shneur
Zalman's siddur, by R' Avraham D. Lavut, aprominent 19th-century posek) observes
(43:15) that it's unusual for RSZ to explicitly state Kabbalistic ideas in his
siddur, but that here he did so because the Arizal explains that the "depths of
the sea" mentioned in the verse refer to a spiritual concept,however "the
populace mistakenly think that they are throwing their sins and transgressions
into the river, and many mock this; therefore the Rebbe wrote a Kabbalistic
reason that is applicable to all." In short, then, there's no "accumulation of
sins" in this pool,or in any other terrestrial body of water at which Tashlich
is recited.

Kol tuv,


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 2,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: yefat toar

On Tue, Sep 1,2009, Susan Kane <suekane@...> wrote:
> What if she refuses to convert?

In that case she goes free.
> Can you convert someone to Judaism against their will?

If someone does not voluntarily accept the Ol Malchut Shamayim [yoke of
heaven] in its entirety the conversion is invalid ab initio so, a fortiori,
a forced conversion obviously cannot be valid.

> And do we imagine that the attractive captive studied and learned everything
> she needed to know to become a Jew?

Strictly speaking knowledge of Judaism, as opposed to a commitment to its
beliefs and observances, is not required (as we did at Sinai where we said
"na'aseh - we will do" before "nishma' - we will listen).

That we put applicants for conversion through a rigorous training is to
ensure their commitment, something that was less necessary in previous days
when conversion to Judaism might be treated as a capital crime by the
non-Jewish authorities. In those days only someone who was sincere or
someone who was insane would apply and it would not be too difficult to weed
the latter out. 

Nowadays there are many reasons someone might apply to become Jewish such as
the wish to marry a Jewish person or, in Israel, to take advantage of the
many benefits of being Jewish so sincerity can no longer be taken for

Martin Stern


End of Volume 57 Issue 16