Volume 57 Number 58 
      Produced: Tue, 22 Dec 2009 11:12:33 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Administravia Regarding Global Warming 
    [Moderation Team]
    [Mark Symons]
Bowing at Gadlu 
    [Martin Stern]
Chareidi Internet (4)
    [Mark Steiner  Aliza Berger-Cooper  Yisrael Medad  Stuart Wise]
Global Warming 
    [Mordechai Horowitz]
Hei/Hay ha'olamim 
    [Eitan Fiorino]
I highly recommend the book: Start-up Nation 
    [Jacob Richman]
Judith and Hanuka 
    [D & J Weil]
Litter in shul 
    [Martin Stern]
Spousal Abuse (3)
    [Naomi Graetz  Rabbi Meir Wise  Mordechai Horowitz]


From: Moderation Team
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Administravia Regarding Global Warming

Any discussion of the existence, physical causes and/or consequences
of global warming will be rejected from this forum.  There are
literally thousands of other more appropriate places for those with
opinions on the subject to discuss the science or politics of the

What will be allowed is any expression of Jewish ideas, perspectives,
or halachah. If somebody wishes to express their perspective on Jewish
ideas related to global warming, they will be allowed to briefly state
their assumptions about global warming science.


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Al-Hannissim

It seems to me that it would make more sense if Al-Hannissim (in the 
Amidah) were inserted one verse before, ie before the verse hatov ki lo 
chalu rachamecha ... me'olam kivinu lach. That verse is really a 
postscript to the list of 5 things we thank G-d for in the paragraph 
beginning Modim anachnu lach, introduced by Nodeh lecha u'nesaper 
tehilatecha, the first preceded by the word Al, the subsequent ones by 
Ve'al, ie chayeinu..., nishmoteinu..., NISSECHA sheb'chol yom (DAILY 
miracles)..., NIFLE'OTECHA v'tovotecha she'b'chol eit (thrice daily 
wonders).... .

It would flow better to then move straight on to the SPECIAL miracles of 
this time; also, that way, the introductory Ve'al before Hannissim is 
included in the list.

Once we have finished the list of things we are thanking G-d for, we 
then, with that verse, take a diversion from thanking, and ASK that  
G-d's mercies continue.

With (Ve)Al hannisim becoming a stand alone paragraph, then the Al 
doesn't have a referent. It's now lost its connection to Nodeh lecha. 
("and for the miracles".... what?)

Unless these nissim are regarded as being included amongst the kullam of 
the following paragraph that Gd's name is blessed and exalted for, and 
that is the referent. But that seems unlikely, as that is a new paragraph.

In Birkat Hamazon the problem doesn't arise because Al Hannissim follows 
on immediately after V'al achilat mazon... and is clearly thus the next 
item on the list of things we are thanking G-d for.

Mark Symons
Melbourne, Oz


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Bowing at Gadlu

> In Volume 57 #52, Eitan Fiorino stated:
>> Regarding this discussion - I was
>> told many years ago by an extremely learned fellow that one is permitted to
>> bow during tefila only at the places that chazal were m'taken that this was
>> required, and nowhere else.

Haim Snyder <haimsny@...> wrote:
> According to the compiler of the siddur "Azor Eliyahu" (which is according
> to the nusach of the G"RA), the G"RA held that since chazal stipulated only
> 4 places for bowing, all in the Sh'mona Esrei, one is not supposed to bow
> elsewhere, not for barchu, aleinu nor in the kaddish.

In the language of Chazal, tefillah means shemoneh esrei. herefore when they
ruled that one should not bow anywhere else during tefillah they meant to
restrict bowing during shemoneh esrei to those 4 times. I find it difficult
to understand how the author of the siddur "Azor Eliyahu" can rule as quoted
in the name of the Gra. Is it possible that the author of the siddur
misunderstood the words of the Gra? If he gives a reference to the Gra's
ruling it should be possible to check. Another possibility is that Haim has
misunderstood what is written in the siddur.

Martin Stern


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 05:21 PM
Subject: Chareidi Internet

A point of information.  What is meant by "haredi internet" are the various
Israeli websites (such as mechadre chareidim) that supply "uncensored"
information about the haredi world that is not published in the haredi
newspapers, or for that matter, in any papers.  Secular reporters have come
to rely on these sites.

From: Aliza Berger-Cooper <aliza@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 05:21 PM
Subject: Chareidi Internet

Akiva Miller writes:
> I am not sure what is meant by the "chareidi internet" in this context. My
> guess is that it refers to various filters and other mechanisms designed to keep
> certain content unavailable

Actually, the current pronouncement was against Chareidi news websites,
which often contain gossip and slander (much like, or arguably more than,
any secular media source).

Aliza Berger-Cooper, PhD

From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Chareidi Internet

Those actually interested in reading what is being told to the Hareidi
public regarding the Internet are invited to view the wall posters on
the subject which I photographed and posted on my blog.
For example:
http://myrightword.blogspot.com/2009/12/wall-posters.html (c)
(If you type in "wall posters' n the search tab, you'll be provided with
lots of interesting material)

From: Stuart Wise <smwise3@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Chareidi Internet

Akiva  Miller writes:
> But I  really have no logical argument against those who feel that the 
> risks  are too high. This is not an objective question; it is a matter of
>  opinion.  And my opinion is that while the benefits do outweigh the risks,
>  anyone who thinks that there aren't any risks is mistaken.

It appears some of the objections by the rabbonim involved discussions of  
topics that are considered taboo in frum circles, such as marriage  
relationships, abuse, etc. How many people have suffered because these topics 
have been swept under the carpet, Not everyone will seek counseling or help and
the fact that there was a forum that may improve the quality of life seems 
like  a consideration. From what I have heard, the rabbonim made a ruling not 
based on  first-hand experience, which should be a matter of concern. 
Mr. Miller says he has no logical argument against those who feel that the  
risks are too high--but whom are we dealing with? Children? If not, then 
why  aren't adults treated with enough respect to decide things for 
themselves? I  tend to agree with Ms. Friedman on this point
As far as sins worthy of death penalty, from my understanding, even in the  
time of the Bais Ha-mikdash, it was rarely imposed.
Stuart Wise


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Global Warming

In terms of real science I agree with you global warming is nonsense.  
But that doesn't meant that G-d prevents it from happening as a  matter 
of a fundamental principle of Judaism.

There is a famous gemorrah (someone can probably give the exact source) 
where a child falls after listening to his father who told him to climb 
a ladder to send the mother bird away to take the eggs
The gemmorrah asks the question how can the child die when these two 
mitzvot honor thy father and sending the mother bird away both have the 
promise of long life.

The answer was the ladder was rickety.

IE we can't use Torah as an excuse to ignore the physical reality of the 
world around us.

BTW I just found an interesting blog by Rav Slifkin a major Talmud 
Chachom and expert in issues of science and torah at 
http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/ you may be interested in


From: Eitan Fiorino <afiorino@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 05:21 PM
Subject: Hei/Hay ha'olamim

> From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
> As a P. S. to my previous posting, I have now looked at two Ashkenaz
> siddurim: one from 1519 (Prague), and one from 1536 
> (Augsburg)--in both of them the expression hay (not hey) 
> ha`olamim is used at the end of "yishtabah" and other places.

I would expect that very few if any siddurim from before the Shabbtai Sofer's
have the current Ashkenazi "Hei ha'olamim" and that you will find an increasing
percentage of those with this prnounciation until Heidenheim.  Sephardim and
Italians, barely influenced by the two centuries of ultimately successful
efforts to revocalize the Ashkenazi siddur, continue to recite "hay ha'olamim."



From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 07:01 PM
Subject: I highly recommend the book: Start-up Nation

Hi Everyone!

Every fews years I buy a book that turns out to be a great read.
I just finished the new book: Start-up Nation.
The book is about Israel's economic miracle.
You can watch an CNBC video about the book at:


I highly recommend buying and reading the book.
If you can not get the book at your local bookstore, there is 
a link on the page to buy the book online.


Have a good day,


From: D & J Weil <weildj@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Judith and Hanuka

>Not to be completely mundane about this - but did they even have meat
> in the middle of the winter in Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries?

I haven't been following this discussion from the beginning, so I may have
missed something important. However, on the basis of what I have now seen, I
don't understand the question. I assume the discussion is about places where
they didn't have cattle nearby. However, if they had meat at any time of the
year, what was the problem about having it in mid-winter? They knew way back
about preserving meat by salting it or pickling it. And couldn't meat anyway
have been deepfrozen in the ice or snow?



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Litter in shul

The table on which the Sefer Torah is put for reading has the status of
tashmishei kedushah [an accessory to a holy thing]. Surely it is not correct
for people to use it as a dumping place for siddurim and other sefarim let
alone hats, tallit bags etc.

Furthermore is not the practice of not returning siddurim, chumashim etc.
after use, leading to the shul looking as if it were a junk yard, not a
slight on the honour that should be accorded to a place of worship?

Martin Stern


From: Naomi Graetz <graetz@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 05:21 PM
Subject: Spousal Abuse

Beside fully supporting what Leah wrote about spousal abuse in general, I'd like
to remind the readership of MJ that my book Silence is Deadly: Judaism Confronts
Wifebeating (Jason Aronson, 1998) is still in print and used copies are also
available on Amazon. 

Kol tuv, 
Naomi Graetz, 
(who is enjoying the unseasonably warm weather in Israel)
Ben Gurion University of the Negev 

From: Rabbi Meir Wise <Meirhwise@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Spousal Abuse

I'm sorry that Ms Gordon does think that the Baal Haturim is not "a  
universally established commentary" on the Torah! Maybe she can  
explain why it appears in either the full or shorter versions of the  
mikraot gedolot.

As far as peshat is concerned - there are 70 ways to explain a verse -  
but I specifically brought the Baal haturim as he unusually emphasizes  
that it is the peshat which is why I capitalized the word PESHAT.

Perhaps Ms Gordon will explain why her peshat is superior to that of the Baal
haturim and why the verse does not use the easier term "fruit".

Rabbi Wise

From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 21,2009 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Spousal Abuse

Rabbi Wise wrote:
> While we are on the subject the Rabbinate of Israel has published  
> statistics that there are many more women refusing to accept a get  
> (divorce) than there are men refusing to give one!

The chief rabbinates numbers are not accurate. 

Their numbers are based on the fact the charedi rabbis who now run the 
rabbinate refuse to order men who leave their wives an aguna to give 
them a divorce.  Therefore in their logic because the charedi Rabbi's 
have not ordered the man to give his wife a divorce she is not an 
aguna.  And as they typically support the mans demand for the woman to 
give up her rights such as child support they feel its her fault for not 
giving in.

The issue regarding her prayer is a different one.  The fact is we all 
know its a dispute in halacha about creating new prayers.  We can have 
the same discussion regarding the prayer for the state of Israel.  The 
haredi world argues its prohibited to add prayers since the invention of 
the chassidic movement, and the modern Orthodox world typically holds 
you can create new prayers such as the prayer for Israel.

These go to issues within prayer itself.   Can we make additions to the 
private Shmonei Esrei.  My Rabbis says you need to otherwise prayer 
becomes rote, but others totally ban any changes in nusach.  So the 
dispute isn't with the poster but goes to rather larger differences 
within the Torah world.


End of Volume 57 Issue 58