Volume 57 Number 79 
      Produced: Sat, 23 Jan 2010 22:10:44 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Charedi Internet (2)
    [Carl Singer  David Tzohar]
Davning one's own nusach in a "foreign" environment 
    [Aharon Fischman]
Naming a baby 
    [Stuart Pilichowski]
Prayer for Women Murdered By Their Spouses 
    [Eitan Fiorino]
Relying on Eruv 
    [David Ziants]
Shabbat Elevators 
    [Martin Stern]
Spousal Abuse (3)
    [<FriedmanJ@...> Carl Singer  Shoshana L. Boublil]
What do Chaz"al say about the man the Xtrians believe is Mashiach? 
    [David Ziants]


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Wed, Jan 13,2010 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Charedi Internet

Of course we can come up with long lists of prohibited - or at least
questionable - uses of most technologies and most situations.

The fundamental concerns that I have center more around what this says of
those involved - both the leadership and the followers:

What is a leader saying when he (or she) prohibits something  that has both
positive (or innocuous) usage as well as questionable, "sinful" or dangerous

An absurd extreme example consider that a leader might decree a ban on hand
grenades  in one's tallis bag.
A more relevant example would be banning all English language books for
those who are less than 12 years old.
Now let's extend that by banning all English language books for everyone.

And what is a follower (or followers, aka, society)  saying by adhering to
the ban, and / or socially isolating those who do not adhere.


From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Thu, Jan 14,2010 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Charedi Internet

Mordechai Horowitz is mistaken if he thinks that most charedim are ignoring
the ban proclaimed by gedolei tora [Torah leaders --MOD] on the use of the
internet. In the kollel where I learn the day the ban was proclaimed the
avreichim [Newlywed yeshiva students --MOD] stopped using the internet. I hear
the same from my charedi neighbors.  The real problem is that
sites of shiurei tora [Torah classes --MOD] have been discontinued along with
those of questionable content from the perspective of tzniyut [modesty --MOD]
and lashon hara. People must have self control but the halacha has always tried
to build fences around the temptations of the yetzer ha ra [evil inclination
--MOD]. The forbidden temptations of the internet must be dealt with.  IMHO the
way to do this is not cherem [censure --MOD] but chinuch [education --MOD]. An
example of this is the website GuardYourEyes.


From: Aharon Fischman <afischman@...>
Date: Wed, Jan 13,2010 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Davning one's own nusach in a "foreign" environment

Birshut Rabbi E.M. Teitz;

I grew up in Elizabeth, NJ - which at that time followed Ashkenazi minhagim.  I
went to a camp which followed Nusach Sefard and I was unsure how I should daven.
I asked Rav P.M. Teitz what I should do and he told me anything that is public
follows the minhag of the shul any thing that is done beyechidus (alone) can
follow your minhagim that you are used to.  This was about 25 years ago.

Aharon Fischman


From: Stuart Pilichowski <stupillow@...>
Date: Wed, Jan 13,2010 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Naming a baby

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
> AFAIK the parents decide the name for which they are credited with special
> siyata dishmaya [heavenly guidance] and do not disclose it to anyone else.
> Unfortunately meddling grandparents try to pressure them in their choice.
> This is terribly wrong. While they might make a suggestion, this should be
> done in the most tactful and non-threatening manner possible. Personally I
> have never done so. Not disclosing it in advance is one way to avoid such
> pressure.

I believe it was Paysach Krohn, amidst a debate between parents and grandparents
what to name the baby, who said, "old enough to have a baby, old enough to name
a baby."

Stuart Pilichowski
Mevaseret Zion


From: Eitan Fiorino <afiorino@...>
Date: Wed, Jan 6,2010 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Prayer for Women Murdered By Their Spouses

In M-J V57#72, Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...> responded to me:
> I am unaware of any any sociopolitical agenda connected with 
> prayers for cholim. In fact, I believe the names are publicly 
> announced is so that individuals who hear their names will 
> pray for them.

"Sociopolitical" means, according to Merriam-Webster, "of, relating to, or
involving a combination of social and political factors."  I think there is no
doubt that the insertion of a prayer for cholim has nothing at all to do with
the statutory obligations regarding prayer, but rather is motivated by social
and communal factors/concerns.  Hence, I would maintain such prayers have
indeed been inserted into the shabbat seder hatefila [prayer service --MOD] for
sociopolitical reasons.

However, if one feels "social and/or political agenda" is a more fit phrase than
is "sociopolitical agenda" in the original context, I would not disagree.

> The prayer for the government is mandated by 
> the gemara. You will see, in 19th-century machzorim for 
> Eastern Europe, page-long prayers for the czar, czarina, and 
> their various relatives, mentioned specifically by name. They 
> are without doubt there purely because of the fear of not so 
> mentioning them. 

I think any prayer aimed at a political institution can appropriately be
categorized as having been written or recited for sociopolitical reasons,
regardless of who authorized or requested that the prayer be recited.

> > I have to add, just to satisfy my personal myth-busting agenda, that 
> > despite the claims of the Or Zarua which begin with the Tosafist, 
> > paytan and crusdade witness R. Ephraim of Bonn, unetana tokef was not 
> > composed Rabbi Amnon of Mainz; there was no Rabbi Amnon who was 
> > martyred in early medieval Ashkenaz.
> My post specifically referred to a "legend", and while that 
> legend obviously isn't on your mind, I'll bet you it's on the 
> mind of many who say the prayer.

I did not mean to imply you cited it as fact; I in fact wanted to elaborate on
your reference to it as legend.



From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Thu, Jan 14,2010 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Relying on Eruv

There has been a certain amount of discussion on using an eruv around a 
neighbourhood or town and to this I would like to add my personal story.

Since, in Israel, it is very rare to be in a place where there is no 
eruv (unless one is camping or sometimes in the army, etc.), I realised 
that I ought to give my two young sabra [= Israeli born] children a 
practical  lesson on the issue. Especially it could happen one day that 
we might spend a Shabbat in chu"l [=outside Israel], in a place where 
there is no eruv.

We were Shabbat guests in the neighbourhood of a city in the Central 
region of the country where the edge of the eruv is very close to the 
street and is a wire which one can go under - on the other side being a 
field. (This is not the situation in my own city, as the eruv is next to 
a less accessible dirt track towards the bottom of a valley and is much 
made up of fence.)

So I explained to the kids that we can only carry things (that are 
permitted to handle) because of the wire and posts that goes around the 
city and if we leave it's perimeter we mustn't carry anything in our 
hands or pockets, etc. My little girl could keep her head band on as it 
is like clothing and I could also continue wearing my watch (it is not 
the old clockwork type that might be problematic). So we took everything 
out our pockets and hands and put it on the side, and then I said now we 
can walk the other side of the wire after double checking that we are 
not carrying anything. It was a great exercise and we went under the 
eruv wire a few times to reinforce that what we are doing is completely 

This way, the kids will not have the misconception that "one is not 
aloud to cross the tzurat hapetach [= wire or bar across posts]". 
Ironically a local chareidi [= ultra orthodox] looking family with the 
regalia of hats and jackets and with also baby strollers (and so they 
obviously relied on the eruv) passed by, and from their body language I 
had the impression that they were thinking "what you are doing is 
forbidden - or not quite right - on shabbat". Before they could say 
anything to me I explained the purpose of my exercise, and I hope they 
(now) also do not have any misconception of what the tzurat hapetach is 

Since this is a neighbourhood that is partially chareidi, there are lots 
of sub-eruvim there - I suppose some people only rely on their own 
section. I also had a hard time explaining to my six year old girl that 
not every time we cross a wire we have to take things out our pockets.

What do subscribers on mail-jewish think of my exercise?

One response I received (from a local friend) was on the lines of that 
why is is it necessary any more than I am going to teach my family how 
to shecht [= slaughter according to halacha] a chicken or kosher it with 
salt afterwards? Actually, of my generation of girls becoming bat-mitzva 
(early 1970s), learning how to salt and rinse meat for koshering was a 
basic part of their curriculum in the UK. I also disagree on the 
comparison to shechting a chicken, because shechting is something that 
nowadays is only left to the experts.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Jan 13,2010 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Shabbat Elevators

On Sat, Jan 9,2010, Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...> wrote:
> I booked a room in a hotel for shabbat on the 11th floor, fully prepared to
> walk up and down. When I got there I found out that not only was the entrance
> to the stairs, on the way up, accessible only with a magnetic card (and the
> bemused hotel staff was more than happy to swipe me in), but I couldn't get
> out of the stairwell without a magnetic card. So the choice was having the
> staff swipe me into the elevator (and push the button) or staying in my room
> all of the shabbat.

Perhaps one should avoid booking into such a room but one cannot always
foresee all the problems that might arise. Therefore this might well be the
sort of 'special need' situation that I have referred to previously. I would
suggest that Orrin discuss this scenario with his CLOR rather than rely on
the opinions of us less than qualified people but I would imagine that he
might be able to find reason to be lenient in these exceptional

Martin Stern


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Wed, Jan 6,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Spousal Abuse

In M-J V#67, Nathe London <nathelondon@...> wrote:
> Does anyone know of an explanation as to why Adam did not disarm Chava
> to stop her beating him?

Prove to me please that that was the case. Prove to me that she beat him 
up until he ate. Please do not give me a medrash. I would appreciate a 
different source to support this allegation. 
And Russell, I am sorry. But where did Rashi get the idea that she poked  
him with a stick until he gave in? I really don't see that one either. And 
yes, excessive teasing is definitely abusive.

From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 10,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Spousal Abuse

Jeanette Friedman has a chip on her shoulder.  And I say this as a most
positive statement, having known her and her current husband for many years --
she's been there and she knows the communities, very well.
She speaks from first hand not from theory.

No matter how insular or integrated - there are serious problems and issues
within our communities -- we cannot close our eyes, hold our breath and
count to ten in hopes that these issues will go away.

The quite natural desire to avoid and / or hide problems is something with
which we must cope.

The mixture of open and private discussion and action to deal with these
situations -- and they may be life and death situations -- is something that
needs to be addressed by trained professionals.   Having smicha does not
necessarily provide such training.

A "milder" example.

Those in education and other fields are aware of "mandatory reporting" laws
-- as a "mandatory reporter" one is required, by law, to report, for example
child abuse, or children at risk.     I know a Principal of a school who
based on her professional training saw such an instance.  Upon going to the
Dean of the school, the Dean - a well respected Rabbi - hesitated and was
circumspect.  The Principal got the Dean to agree to contact a certain Gadol
HaDor -- the immediate response from this Gadol was "YOU MUST REPORT!"
How many others would answer in the same manner.


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 17,2010 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Spousal Abuse

> Jeanette Friedman wrote:
> So in Kallah classes, as we teens were being prepared to be good teachers
> and housewives, NO ONE taught us that if our new husbands began smacking 
> us around and abusing us, we should immediately walk out the door never to
> return

Jeanette, I would like to tell you, as an experienced Kallah guide that 
things have changed.

They aren't perfect - but they are better.

For example, I know of a case where a prominent Rebbetzin realized during 
the Kallah classes that the groom was hitting the bride (pre-marriage!).

She immediately took action - including canceling the wedding and getting 
the young bride counseling.

This case-study is taught by this Rebbetzin in her course for kallah guides.

Here in Israel, there are far more organizations involved in bride 
counseling than anytime in the past.  Also abuse hotlines are publicized 
everywhere (especially in women's public restrooms).  It doesn't solve every 
problem, but the fact that we are hearing about so many cases nowadays says 
that people are more aware, and hopefully, more helpful.

All the best,

Shoshana L. Boublil


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Thu, Jan 7,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: What do Chaz"al say about the man the Xtrians believe is Mashiach?

What do Chaz"al (our Rabbis of Blessed Memory) say about the man the Xtrians
believe is the messiah?
For us, as Jews, it is very clear cut that the Mashiach [= anointed descendent
of King David who will bring G-d's salvation] hasn't come yet because no person
has completed the tasks Mashiach is supposed to do.

I am asking what chaz"al say about the real man that existed rather than the
"mythological" version that is based on earlier avodot zarot [= pagan worship
and/or denying the uniqueness of G-d]. My understanding is that history scholars
make such a distinction between the real "historical" man and the way the man
was portrayed when the cult was taken over by the Romans a century later and
turned into that religion that is known as Xtrianity.

The background to my question is that there are some Modern Orthodox Rabbanim
who perceive that man as a normal Jew who kept Torah and mitzvot, was a
charismatic teacher and he wasn't to blame that he was turned into a false
Messiah. Do they base themselves on any early Jewish sources or did they just
make this up to appease Xtrians?

Yet it seems the gemarra (in the uncensored editions) refers to him as yesh"u, 
which can be interpreted negatively. I think that these Modern Orthodox
Rabbannim claim that the 'yesh"u' that is mentioned in the gemarra has nothing
to do with the man whom the Xtrians believe is the messiah, but was a different
person who lived at a slightly later period.  Also there is reference in the
(uncensored editions of the) gemarra of "otto ha'ish" [= "that man"], without
mentioning any name.

Can anyone explain this dilemma more precisely?

Please could you CC your posts to me privately as well as sending to
mail-jewish. Especially on this subject, where not everything might be published
because of censorship issues.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel 


End of Volume 57 Issue 79