Volume 58 Number 15 
      Produced: Sat, 22 May 2010 21:56:06 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

adding up the numbers   (2)
    [Russell J Hendel  Elazar M. Teitz]
candle lighting time (3)
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz  Akiva Miller  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
gabbais and yahrzeit (2)
    [Harry Weiss  Daniel Wiener]
kid inadvertently treifs grape juice? 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
mikveh for unmarried women (3)
    [Gershon Dubin  Martin Stern  Freda B Birnbaum]
synagogues with unlikely names 
    [Ira L. Jacobson]


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, May 16,2010 at 06:01 PM
Subject: adding up the numbers  

Yaakov Shachter in v58#14 states
> the fact is that in a healthy, Torah-observant family, the woman is usually
> either pregnant or nursing for most of her childbearing years

Both legally and historically this is not true. Historically in each era and in
each land there have always been many Jewish marriages which only have a few

Legally, under Jewish law, and according to all opinions, a man who has one live
son and one live daughter has fulfilled his biblical obligation to reproduce. If
AFTER fulfilling this obligation the couple does not want to have more children
- for serious economic or psychological reasons - they are permitted, according
to all opinions, to engage in appropriate contraceptive methods (roughly
"appropriate means" that the contraception should a) not destroy fertilized
cells, b) not interfere with the woman's enjoyment and c) not endanger the
woman's health)

I am fully sympathetic to Jay stating that a Jewish IDEAL is to have large
families. But I am not prepared to impose this IDEAL on every Jewish couple.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA http://www.rashiyomi.com/

From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Sun, May 16,2010 at 11:01 PM
Subject: adding up the numbers  

Yaakov Shachter wrote:
> ...But I do know that driving your wife to a secluded beach on
> a warm summer night is much more romantic than driving her to Touhy
> Avenue.
It may be more romantic, but it is wrong halachically.  The husband should not
be the "mikvah lady" for his wife; she should take a female friend.  
He continued:
> Again, there will be people -- less easily identified -- who will be
> pained by what they are about to read...  The halakha is that men who are
> healthy, who do not perform tiring labor, and who are able to come home every
> day for mealtimes (i.e., they don't have to work late at the office -- jfs)
> are obliged to have sexual relations with their wives at least once a
> night....
What is most painful about this paragraph is the misstatement of halacha.  There
is nothing mentioned about healthy men not doing tiring work who come home at
mealtimes.  The word used for those whose conjugal obligation is nightly is
"hatayalim," whose literal translation is "those who stroll."  It refers to
people who have the means for their sustenance without the need to work -- a
coupon-clipper, for example. [To quote the Rambam on the mishna which lists the
obligated frequency, "the idlers, who love rest, doing neither commerce nor labor."]

It is only they who have a nightly obligation, provided the wife wants it; and
if she finds it too much, it certainly need not be a sign of his
inattentiveness.  It is more likely to be a matter of her stamina.  This is
especially true if she works outside the home in addition to doing the
housework, a circumstance not contemplated in the halacha (nor, apparently,
taken into consideration by Mr. Shachter).  As for those who work for a living,
the obligation is twice a week for one whose work is in town and once a week for
a commuter, even though he comes home every day.



From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Tue, May 4,2010 at 11:01 PM
Subject: candle lighting time

N. Yaakov Ziskind <awacs@...> wrote:

Subject: candle lighting time
> Martin Stern wrote:
> > For halachic purposes, all hours are one twelfth of the time between sunrise
> > and sunset [or daybreak and night according to the opinion] and NOT clock
> > hours.
> I thought that for calculation of Mincha Gedola (the earliest time to
> pray the afternoon prayer) one waited 30 minutes after chatzos (midday
> between sunrise and sunset), not 6.5/12 of the time between sunrise and
> sunset, which would be the logical result of using sha'ot zemaniyot
> (hours calculated relative to the length of the day/night).

That is just a way of keeping things simple. That is, once chatzos is
calculated, it is simpler to just add half a clock hour (30 minutes)
rather than calculate what half an hour would be in shaos zmaniyos.

   Sabba   -     ' "    -   Hillel
Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
<SabbaHillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water
From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Thu, May 6,2010 at 03:01 PM
Subject: candle lighting time

David Ziants wrote:
> So how is the line drawn between "convenience sake" and "tosephet
> shabbat" [= adding more to shabbat to enhance shabbat]? Surely,
> even if it is more convenient for me to bring in shabbat early
> because of the children, I also benefit from tosephet shabbat? In
> view of now following the more lenient position, must I now have
> in mind:- "don't want spiritual benefit of tosephet shabbat"?

Perhaps "convenience" is the wrong word to use for this situation.

If there are authorities who say that the whole family must begin Shabbos when
the husband/father does, then we must try to understand why they feel this is
so. To my very UNlearned mind, their reasoning is that halacha dictates that the
family follows the minhagim (customs) of the husband/father.

But there are things which I do that are minhagim, and there are other things
which I do simply because I like to do them, or because I am in the habit of
doing them. For example, if I choose a particular design or picture for my
tefillin bag, are my sons obligated to have that same picture on theirs?
Certainly not! If their taste is for a different sort of design, surely they can
use it, and we will all receive mitzvah-credit for enhancing and beautifying the
tefillin. I'd say that even if someone's taste is to consider an unadorned
velvet bag as most honorable and dignified, then there's no accounting for
taste, and Hashem will surely consider his actions in the spirit intended.

Many other examples abound. One person prefers beef on Shabbos, and another
prefers turkey. Surely each will get credit for the effort and devotion he puts
into it. And my point is that this works even if the practice has not been
formalized into a minhag/custom which would be binding on the rest of the family.

So it seems to me that one does NOT have to have an express intention to avoid
the *mitzva* of starting Shabbos early. It is sufficient that he is not adopting
this practice as a personal and binding custom. (And of course, the fact that he
does this only in the summer, is adequate proof that he is not doing it on a
permanent basis.)

Akiva Miller

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Thu, May 6,2010 at 04:01 PM
Subject: candle lighting time

David Ziants wrote:
> Although, often my wife manages to light candles before I return from
> shul, this is not always the case. I find it strange to come back from
> shul and it is not yet shabbat in the house. This seems to be even more
> "awkward" than the scenario of Menashe Eliyashiv above.
> Am interested to hear how others feel about this situation.

Originally, I lived in a community that did not start an "early"
Shabbos, so that we would give the children supper and put them to bed
immediately after Kiddush. Once we started having "early" Shabbos, if
I got home before my wife lit candles, I would either stay in a
different room or take a short walk so that my wife could finish and
make Shabbos without feeling rushed or awkward. This only occurs if
the time for the latest candle lighting is later than the time that I
would get home. Since the children are now grown and out of the house,
my wife has usually lit the candles and is visiting a neighbor when I
get home, so I go and pick her up.

One of our neighbors told of one time (when he lived on the West
Coast) coming back with the children from "early" Maariv (Evening
Service) and seeing the rabbi washing his car (since he was going to
the "late" davening). Apparently, the children never looked at him the
same because they were not old enough to understand the situation.

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


From: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@...>
Date: Fri, May 7,2010 at 10:01 PM
Subject: gabbais and yahrzeit

> From: Elimelekh Milton Polinsky <miltonpo@...>:
> Three questions on davening priority for yahrzeit:
> 1 - Scenario: yahrzeit bo bayom [on that Shabbos] is on shabbos:
> a. Does the yahrzeit observer have the right/priority to daven for the 
> omud [act as prayer leader] or get an aliyah or maftir on the shabbos before?
There are numerous rules on this (some are listed in the Artscroll siddur 
quoting the Mogen Avraham  Shulchan Oruch - Orech Chaim 282 and the Beur 
halcaha Orech Chaim 136).  There is also the Sefer Hagabai out of Kiryat 
Arba which is very good.  There are lists put out by various Rabbis for 
their kehilot.   I think someone published Rabbi Muskin from YICC's list.

Yahrzeit on that day does have priority for an aliyah but less than a 
bridegroom or bar Mitzvah.   There is no absoute right to maftir though that 
is common.  It is often customary for that person to daven mussaf.  There is 
no chiyuv to daven before the amud for anyone on Shabbat.  It would also 
apply to someone with Yahrzeit the coming week, though the aliyah is just 
customary and not required.

> b. Does the yahrzeit bump an avel's [mourner in the year after a parent's 
> death] right to daven on the preceding motzaei shabbos?

Strictly speaking no, but many shuls do give that to someone with a Yahrzeit 
in the coming week.

> 2 - Does a yahrzeit observer for a grandfather, father-in-law, uncle or 
> any other relative, that would not qualify him as an avel, bump an avel from 
> the omud [have higher priority to act as prayer leader]? What are the minhagim
> [customs --MOD]?
The right to daven before the amud or have an alyah are only for a yahrzeit 
for parent, not for the above nor for a sibling, wife etc.   None of those 
would bump an avel.

As a gabbai  for almost 30 years and having just finished the year for my 
mother this past week, I would often let someone who is not a true chiyuv
[requirement --MOD] to daven over me, just to keep peace in the shul.

From: Daniel Wiener <ppman@...>
Date: Mon, May 10,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: gabbais and yahrzeit

Motzaei shabbat [departure of the Sabbath --MOD] davening the week prior 
to yahrzeit is for the yahrzeit of the neshama yesaira [additional soul of 
Shabbat --MOD]. It does not take precedence over any real hiyuvim [mourners in
the year after the death of a parent or on a parent's yahrzeit -- MOD].

One is entitled to a regular Aliya on the day of yahrzeit for a parent (as
opposed to maftir) and not maftir which one can get the previous shabbat. 

There is no bumping of a real avel [mourner for a parent] who gets precedence bo
bayom [on that day] for davening - whatever the day by a pseudo-yahrzeit (i.e.
not for a parent). 

Not being a baal tefila [melodious], I have never asked to daven for the amud on
shevi'i of pesach and yom kippur- my yahrzeits for my parents. 

These are the accepted minhagim in my area of Yerushalayim and according to my

Dan Wiener


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Thu, May 6,2010 at 04:01 PM
Subject: kid inadvertently treifs grape juice?

> my shul rabbi, whom I consulted, said to throw out the juice (already
> done), and that the cup did not need kashering.I don't fully understand
> why it didn't need kashering.

Because the issur [prohibition --MOD] that would be there (due to avodah Zarah
[foreign worship --MOD]) is not based on the same reason as kashrus issues.
There is nothing actually different about the wine.

But also, because this kind of thing doesn't require kashering.  The same
thing would be if an insect fell in the cup - and an insect is acually in
some ways more of a problem than pork.

If there is an insect in something - all you have to do is take out the
insect and a little material around it - you wouldn't even have to discard
the wine. Now most people wouldn't do that - use the wine -  unless it was a
big bottle and/or the only wine that would available before it was needed.

And even if it the issue you were thinking about was Chametz and you want
to use the cup on Pesach the cup does not actually need kashering. As the
late Rabbi Philip Harris (Pinchas) Singer asked back to someone who asked
this question - on what basis would it need kashering (or words to that

The person didn't have an answer.  Not that I guess the person asking would
know all halachah, but possibly because he was waiting to hear if there was
some kind of a special consideration.

There isn't any basis for kashering  because the wine is cold and we don't
really have an issue of absorption unless it is hot or there is a change
between hot and cold. Washing it out well is otherwise enough.  The only
thing is, people are more careful and most Kashrus agencies -  because it is
lechatichilah [in the first instance MOD] and because it is for many people -
are more careful still, except maybe when it is a choice between doing something
and not doing anything at all.

There are certain things that are in principle permissible but we don't do
this most of the time because it would give people a bad feeling. One
example is kashering something from meat to dairy or vice versa.  This isn't
done - it would confuse people and everything - but if dishes are kashered
because of Pesach then they can be switched from dairy to meat or vice versa
at the same time.


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sun, May 16,2010 at 03:01 PM
Subject: mikveh for unmarried women

> First of all, we learned in the case of Amnon (son of Dovid Hamelech)
> and Tamar, that originally, unmarried women actually did go to the
> mikvah.

Of course they did.  The need to be tahor-ritually pure, was in force at
that time for eating portions of the sacrifices, or, in the case of a
kohen, additionally for teruma or chala, not strictly for sexual relations as it
is nowadays.

These "gifts to the kohen" or the portions of the sacrifices, were shared
in each instance with the family including unmarried daughters (only;  married
daughters were subject to their spouse's status).  

In fact, the Talmud describes a person's recollection of when he was a
child and his father used to pick him up from yeshiva to go to the mikva prior
to eating chala.  He recalled that his nickname as a
result was "Yochanan the chala eater".


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, May 18,2010 at 03:01 AM
Subject: mikveh for unmarried women

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz wrote:
> First of all, we learned in the case of Amnon (son of Dovid Hamelech)
> and Tamar, that originally, unmarried women actually did go to the
> mikvah. 

This should not come as a surprise to anyone. So long as the Temple stood
and sacrifices were brought, it was necessary for anyone who wished to enter
its precincts, or eat the portions allocated to the owner of the sacrifice,
had to be tahor [ritually pure] and so had to immerse in a mikveh.

Even after the Temple's destruction, this would have been necessary for
those in a cohen's family when eating terumah [a portion of the crop
separated and given to the cohen] which certainly continued for some
considerable time thereafter. This it would not have been so uncommon for
unmarried women to be able to remove their niddah status. That would
incidentally remove the strict sexual prohibition.

However nowadays termuah is no longer consumed because it is assumed that we
are all tmei'ei meit [ritually impure by corpse contamination] and this can
only be removed by sprinkling with the waters of the red heifer which is no
longer available. As a result, the only purpose of immersion in a mikveh is
to permit sexual activity and, in consequence, unmarried women are, to say
the least, discouraged from so doing.

Martin Stern

From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Tue, May 18,2010 at 08:01 AM
Subject: mikveh for unmarried women

Martin Stern notes:
> The whole discussion of concubinage in the Rishonim [earlier mediaeval
> authorities] is based on the assumption that the concubine does observe
> the rules of family purity and therefore there is no problem of
> intercourse with a niddah.
> It is not impossible that the concubine could attend a mikveh without
> those in charge being aware that she is not fully married.  I believe
> some single women in Modern Orthodox circles who are having a steady
> ongoing sexual relationship do so already!

I suppose the women think they are getting away with something but
actually it's the men who are getting away with something.  Why are these
guys stringing the women along and not getting married?  And why are the
women falling for it / putting up with it?



From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 22,2010 at 11:01 AM
Subject: synagogues with unlikely names

In addition to names previously noted on Mail Jewish, such as 
the Holy Blossom Temple, and besides the Corpus Christi synagogue and 
the Church Street Shul I mentioned in Lynn, Massachusetts, there are 
Church Street Synagogues all over the United States.

This includes synagogues with that name in Chicago 
New Haven (http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-12585259.html), North Adams
(http://cbi.homestead.com/History.html), and Lynchburg 

Also in London (a former U.S. colony) 
(http://www.jewishgen.org/jcr-uk/London/EE_fournier/index.htm, closed 
in the 1920s), and in Sheffield
(http://www.jewishgen.org/jcr-uk/Community/sheff4/index.htm, also closed some
time now) and enough other places with Church Street Synagogues to make it a
possible subject for someone for a doctoral 

**Another hint for a dissertation to be written is with regard to the 
slippery slope of women, synagogues and synagogue names.  I quote 
some highlights (http://www.cbiweb.org/chapterfive.html) regarding 
the Church Street Synagogue of the Berkshires:

* Right before the move into the Church Street Synagogue the Orthodox 
practice of   separate seating for women was discontinued.
* 1961 - The board voted to to [sic] offer non-voting membership to 
all widows and single women over 21 years of age.
* 1963 - After many months of discussion, the proposals offered by a 
special committee to extend membership to women was [sic] defeated.
*  1968 - Bernard Lenhoff moved to amend the constitution to give 
women the right to vote. The board took no action on this.
*  1969 - The board instituted individual Bat Mitzvahs.
*  1969 - President Albert Taskin appointed Harry Melcher as chairman 
of a "blue ribbon committee" to "recommend machinery" by which to 
extend membership to women.
*  1970 - After a third reading, an amendment to the constitution was 
passed by the general membership to admit women as members.
*  late 1970s - Rabbi Winter instituted the practice of counting 
women toward the minyan.
*  Sukkot, 1978 A group Bat Mitzvah was held after a two-year period 
of study that instituted full religious privileges to women. 
Participating were Amely Smith, Barbara Bashevkin, Lucy Kronick, 
Selma Sabin, Sonia Lebowitz and Carolyn Kaplan.
*  2006 - The President and Acting Presidents of Congregation Beth 
Israel and a majority of the Executive Committee are women.



End of Volume 58 Issue 15