Volume 58 Number 85 
      Produced: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 16:44:59 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Arthur Hertzberg 
    [Yisrael  Medad]
Domestic Dishwasher On Shabbath 
    [Haim Snyder]
Following the latest version 
    [Gershon Dubin]
Honors in shul (2)
    [Carl Singer  Batya Medad]
    [Michael Frankel]
Origins of Bat-Mitzvah Ceremony 
    [Eitan Fiorino]
Psalm 27 
    [Martin Stern]
Rashi's Daughters (was: WTGs?) 
    [Lisa Liel]


From: Yisrael  Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Arthur Hertzberg

Ira Jacobson wrote in Volume 58 Number 84 that
> I remember that when his magnum opus was in press, "The Zionist 
> Idea," he told his listeners in a lecture I attended that it would 
> cause a revolution among Zionists and in Zionist thinking.  To the 
> best of my memory, it was hardly noticed at all.
Actually, for about 15 years or more, it was the standard text not only
in dozens of University courses but also for Jewish Agency programs
for thousands of participants.  And it is still in use in many courses,


From: Haim Snyder <haimsny@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Domestic Dishwasher On Shabbath

In Volume 58 #76, Immanuel Burton wrote:

> Amongst the questions that I have on this are:

> (1)  What is the reason that dishwashers may not be used on Shabbath even
> with a time-switch?

The problem is "bishul" (cooking). The dishwasher heats the water as
part of its function. One cannot use water that was "cooked" on Shabbat.

> (2)  In what way is Yom Tov different in this respect?

On Yom Tov, one is permitted to cook and boil water as long as one
does not light a new fire to do this. Since the time-switch turns on the
water heater, similarly to turning on a light, this action is not a problem.
"Simhat Yom Tov" (enjoyment of the holiday) allows "malacha l'ochel nefesh"
(work for the purpose of eating and prepartion of food). This is the
difference between "Lo ta'ase kol malacha" (do not perform any malacha) [the
cammandment for Shabbat and Yom Kippur] and "Lo ta'ase kol malechet avoda"
(do not perform any malacha not associated with preparation of food) [the
commandment for Rosh Hashana and the Three Regalim; Hag Hamatzot, Shevuot
and Sukkot].

> (3)  Why is this ruling qualified by the word "domestic"?  Does it imply
> that the Halachah would be different for a commercial dishwasher in a
> non-domestic setting?

I'm not sure, but it is possible that commercial dishwashers do not
heat the water themselves, but use hot water from a different source. The
acceptibility of such a dishwasher would depend on the source of the hot

Haim Shalom Snyder


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Following the latest version

Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...> wrote (MJ 58#83):

> I recall an incident where a student set a cholent to cook
> just before Shabbat (as he had remembered had been done in his Yeshiva),
> and a person who looked up the situtation in Shmirat Shabbat complained
> that the cholent hand to be half cooked (or at least a third cooked
> according to a lenient opinion cited).

> Of course, the Mishnah clearly permits put a *raw meat* cholent to cook
> just before Shabbat with the understanding that there is no incentive to
> turn up the heat for a Friday meal, because it could not possibly be
> ready in time.

A. The assumption throughout the halachos of shehiya vachazara (when/what/how
may prepare hot food for use on Shabbos) is that putting food (e.g. cholent) to
cook before Shabbos is for use on Shabbos morning.  For Friday night, the usual
procedure was hatmana (wrapping the already hot food in insulating material).
The reason one may put up a raw cholent just before Shabbos is stated correctly,
but there are two parts:  that it could not possibly be ready by Friday night
and that it would be ready for Shabbos morning in any event without stirring.

B. Some latter day acharonim (Rav Henkin comes to mind but I believe there are
others) says not to rely on this heter nowadays.



From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Honors in shul

As someone who on rare occasion has gotten the 1st or 2nd Aliyah (no Kohane
present) I can assure you it was no big deal - only an indicator that I'm
one of the older members of my shul and that the deserving talmid chuchum
who sits next to me had been asked to do Maftir.

I also once got to wash the Kohane's hands prior to his dichuning  (no Levi
present and I'm a bechor)  I managed to accomplish this task without
drowning the Kohane or making too big a mess.

The questions re: shul honors and shul membership tends at times to be more
social than halachic.  The Gabbai or Rabbi making the decision is wrestling
not only with the halacha, but also with the social ramifications.

Does one give the benefit of the doubt to someone who lives twenty miles
from shul yet shows up on Shabbos, or does one follow him out the door to
see where he parked his car?

Does said person get "honors" -- does it matter if this person is a BT who
is looking to relocate closer -- does it matter if this person is a major
benefactor -- does it matter that this person is a grumpy old pain vice
being pleasant?

Many of us have seen people whose behavior or status is in doubt get honors
-- Have you been to a Bar Mitzvah of BT family where the grandfather gets an
aliyah and you see he has a pen in his pocket and a cellphone on his belt?
The question remains what do you do in the moment -- and what do you try to
legislate afterwards.


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Honors in shul

Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...> wrote (MJ 58#81)

> A Chabad shul I used to daven in used to have a Shaliach Tzibur (prayer
> leader) who lead Musaf after driving to shul.

> The Young Israel, with a Chofeitz Chaim Haredi Rabbi, I daven in used to
> have a gabbai for the daily minyan who drove to shul on shabbos."

Today there is a large vibrant Orthodox Jewish community in Great Neck,
a Jewish Day School and high school, dozens of synagogues, kosher
stores, supermarkets and restaurants.  Now, for those who remember Great
Neck in the early-mid 1960's this is really a shock.  At the time, there
was one poor Orthodox synagogue, two Reform and one Conservative.  There
weren't many totally shomer Shabbat families in that Orthodox shul.
Rabbi Efraim Wolf took the job as rabbi in the middle 1950's when there
wasn't a full minyan of Shomer Mitzvot families.  He welcomed every Jew
into the shul, to be active members.  Even into the 1970's gabaiim and
sisterhood presidents weren't shomrei (keepers of) mitzvot.  At some
point, the tipping point, Great Neck became a magnet for young frum

This never would have happened if Rabbi Wolf hadn't honored everyone
willing to step into the Great Neck Synagogue.
Batya Medad, who credits Rabbi Wolf's outreach and investment in youth
activities and NCSY with introducing me to Torah life.


From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Hungarian

Ben Katz <BKatz@...>  wrote (MJ 58#81):
> Steven Oppenheimer <steven.oppenheimer@...> wrote (MJ 58 #77): 

>> Szighet was in the county of Marmarosh and technically this was
>> Transylvania.  As was common in Chasidishe homes, Yiddish was spoken
>> at home.  However, education was financed by the government and so learning
>> Hungarian was compulsory, even in Cheder.


A little more complicated, especially for the generation (I'm guessing) you
might be familiar with who would have lived in Romania. After WWI, Marmorish
(and Transylvania) was transferred to Romania - actually the northern half of
Marmorish was transferred to Czechoslovakia. At the beginning of WWII, both
halves of Marmorish were transferred back to Hungary. After WWII, back to
Romania - except, I think the northern part which went to either Russia or the
Ukraine. My memory of some of these high frequency oscillations starts to go vague) 

> That is why so many Jews of Hungarian origin speak Hungarian among
> themselves, even if they also speak Yiddish. When my grandfather got
> together with his Hungarian cronies, he spoke with them in Hungarian.
> Furthermore, they all had Hungarian names in addition to their Hebrew names...

This all sounds quite peculiar to me.  My own experience is quite the opposite.
 Sigheters spoke Yiddish, and pretty much only Yiddish. 
Obviously there were many Sigheters (though not my father a"h) who could
speak fluent Hungarian (they were, after all, living in that country - at least
until 1918), but Yiddish is what was used on the street and in the home, and
whenever I would see old Marmorishers when I was a child they always spoke
Yiddish.  Not to be confused with non-Marmorish Hungarians (and even some
non-Marmorish Transylvanians) who did indeed speak Hungarian amongst themselves.  


> My maternal grandfather, A"H was born in Szighet into a Chasidishe family.  
> (My sandek was the Szigheter Rov who later became the Satmarer Rov).  ..


I assume you included that bit to validate your Marmorish-Sigeter creds to
bolster your assertions re language claims. However, I can take the same tack as
the Sigheter rebbe was also present at my own bris.  He wasn't sandek because
he was outranked by his uncle R. yoel who did sandek honors (and I've
occasionally wondered at what he might have thought at how that particular job
of his worked out. Probably not his only faliure). as a bit of a historical
anecdote I'll share that the Satmarer and Sigheter got to my bris courtesy of a
great uncle who was the only family member with a car and was dispatched to
Brooklyn to bring them. As he drove them they were in the back seat discussing
the ongoing UN debate on the prospective recognition of the Israeli state.  My
great uncle reported that the Sigheter commented that it looked like the
Zionists were going to be successful, whereupon the Satmarer angrily rounded on
his nephew and said in a tone of disgust "you too?" (in yiddish of course),
conveying his irritation that any such "success" should be anticipated.  In
fact, the Sigheter - who later assumed the name of Satmarer when his uncle
passed on (and there are ironies there, since the real family job had always
been running Sighet, not Satmar, a place of exile in the boonies), never
received the same respect his uncle had, and one of the multiple complaints
about him was that he just went through the required qanoi motions, but his
heart really wasn't in it. 


I have thought that the only time the Satmarer and Sigheter (as well as a number
of less prominent rebbelech, the barterer, lapisher,..) ever set foot in
Washington Heights was at my bris, but "Oppenheim" is such a wonderfully
washingtonheightsy/yekke sort of name - I should ask if perhaps you might also
hail from there, in which case I might be wrong about chasidish visits to WH. 


> Mr. Oppenheimer's summary of Hungarian history is incomplete. When Hungary
> emancipated Jews in the mid-19th century, most of her subjects were not
> Hungarian (more were German). Thus the government began a program of
> Magyarization.  Jews were a good group for this because they had no 
> territorial ambitions in Europe and were glad to be given rights.  Thus many >
Jews started speaking Hungarian at home as their first language (they may 
> have spoken Yiddish too but Hungarian was primary) ..

Again, what applied to Hungary, which had more than a half million Jews by
mid-nineteenth century did not apply to Marmorish which at that time probably
had only about 10,000 Jews in the whole region, many of whom came from adjoining
Galicia and were - and stayed - Yiddish speakers. Indeed, so embedded was
Yiddish in their daily culture that flash forward 150 years and the descendents
of these Marmorish Hungarians tenaciously keep Yiddish alive even today.  And by
the way, the emancipation of the Jews really had to wait till the latter part of
the 19th century (with a big push after the great Jewish congress of 1869). A
mid 19th century emancipation lasted just until the
rebellion of 1848 which attempted to confer it, was quickly crushed.

>As Yogi Berra used to say, "you can look it up".

Just so. 

Mechy Frankel



From: Eitan Fiorino <afiorino@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Origins of Bat-Mitzvah Ceremony

Michael Rogovin <mrogovin118@...> wrote in v.58 #80:

> Thus while confirmation predated bat mitzvah ceremonies, the 
> bat mitzvah itself is likely to be of American origin. In any 
> case, it was not adopted widespread until at least the 1960s 
> or 1970s AFAIK.

As was mentioned by at least one other posting in this thread, in Italy a bat
mitzvah ceremony long preceded the bat mitzvah of Mordechai Kaplan's daughter in
the US.  This ceremony (generally called something like "la cerimonia della
maggiorita religiosa delle giovanette" - "the ceremony of young girls reaching
the age of religious adulthood") and began in the mid-1800s, having become
established in most communities in Italy by the turn of the century.  It is
fairly clear that the sentiment driving these ceremonies was the presence in the
surrounding Catholic culture of confirmation ceremonies that were for boys and
girls, and the corresponding lack of any formal marking of the transition of a
Jewish girl into her religious adulthood.  Of course Italian Jews have always
assumed a far more accommodating posture with regard to their broader cultural
environment than did/do Ashkenazim, and moreover did not face the sociological
burden of needing to circle the halachic/policy wagons against the threat of
Reform (no doubt these two factors are not independent), so the entire issue was
far less controversial than among Ashkenazim. Not without controversy, but of a
different order of magnitude.  In any case - to the extent that the sine qua non
of a bat mitzvah is the marking of a girl becoming obligated in mitzvot, then
one would definitely identify these as bat mitzvah ceremonies, despite looking
different from the bat mitzvah ceremony that originated in America in the 20th

One can read a number of letters regarding these ceremonies written in the
Italian Jewish newspaper il Vessillo Israelitico around the close of the 19th
century at http://digilander.libero.it/parasha/varie/batmizva/indice.html. 
Google translate does a decent enough job so that one can get the idea.



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Psalm 27

Carl Singer <carl.singer@...> wrote (MJ 58#83):

> The ubiquitous Art Scroll siddur specifies that "from Rosh Chodesh Elul
> through Shemini Atzeres Psalm 27 .... is recited." (At the conclusion of
> Shacharis & Maariv.)
> The common Nusach haGrah siddur omits this

In those siddurim used in pre-war Germany in which Psalm 27 was printed (many
did not even include it), the superscription read "In many congregations
this is said ..." (my free translation) implying that it was not a universal

Martin Stern


From: Lisa Liel <lisa@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Rashi's Daughters (was: WTGs?)

On Thu, Aug 19,2010 at 06:01 AM, Rose Landowne <Roselandow@...> 
wrote (MJ 58#83):

> On Aug 19, 2010, at 3:37 AM, Wendy Baker wrote (MJ 58#81):

>> Martin Stern (MJ 58#79) wrote:

>>> I have just one query: what does the acronym WTG signify? The only thing
>>> that came to my mind in the context of "adult daughters [who] are a little
>>> Modern" was "wearing tight garments" but that seems unlikely in 
>>> the context of eleventh century Northern France!

>> WTG stands for Women's Tefilla Group, something I doubt existed in eleventh
>> century Northern France, but does exist today.
> Interesting supposition, but maybe not true. Though it's not reliable to learn
> history from historical novels, the series about Rashi's daughters, (which I
> assume must have been researched with historical sources) talks about the
> literate daughters of Rashi going to the synagogue to lead the women's prayers
> for those who couldn't read. I wonder what the process was...

You shouldn't assume.  Those books are polemics, and the author makes 
it clear that she sacrificed historicity for the sake of the 
story.  They aren't as bad as The Red Tent, but that's a really low bar.



End of Volume 58 Issue 85