Volume 59 Number 28 
      Produced: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 12:27:52 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Eldest Brothers Marrying Sisters (2)
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz  Elazar M. Teitz]
    [Menashe Elyashiv]
Kaddish Question 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Pizza in Selichot 
    [Yisrael  Medad]
Rambam's change of mind 


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 14,2010 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Eldest Brothers Marrying Sisters

Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...> wrote (MJ 59#27)

> Shoshana (MJ 59#24) asserted that Rabbi Jochanan's giving his sister to Resh
> Lakish is an example of customs of another period when such things are common.
> This is not true. Marriage ALWAYS required the consent of the woman. To marry
> a woman against her will is basically an act of rape, slavery or both. It is
> an extremely serious crime.
> Here is support from the commentary of Rabbi Hirsch: Rav Hirsch notes that
> when Eliezer came to secure Rivkah as a wife for Rivkah, and after asking and
> obtaining permission from Laban and Bethuel, THEY THEN ASKED RIVKAH - >>WILL
> YOU GO WITH THIS MAN<<. Rav Hirsch comments >>This puts to drivel the idea
> that in ancient times women were chattel that could be delivered into a
> marriage without consent.<<
> Indeed, only after she consented, did Laban give her a blessing.

We could indeed say that Rav Yochanan "offered" his sister, but that
it would be up to the sister to approve. Since she probably respected
her brother, she would have given great weight to his opinion and
considered Rish Lakish seriously. Indeed, we see that she accepted him
and that it was a successful marriage. Considering the years that they
were chavrusas, I would say that the "offer" was because Rav Yochanan
saw something in him that would lead to his becoming a gadol. I would
consider this as similar to Rabbi Akiva and his wife.

I could perhaps say that technically my son "offered" his sister to my
son-in-law as he was the one who introduced them as a possible
shidduch [marriage possibility]. The fact that she agreed and that
they are married means that he was correct.

   Sabba  -     ' "    -  Hillel
Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz
From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 14,2010 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Eldest Brothers Marrying Sisters

Dr. Russell Hendel writes (MJ 59#27):

> Shoshana (MJ 59#24) asserted that Rabbi Jochanan's giving his sister to Resh
> Lakish is an example of customs of another period when such things are common.

> This is not true. Marriage ALWAYS required the consent of the woman. To marry
> a woman against her will is basically an act of rape, slavery or both. It is
> an extremely serious crime.

> Why then did Rabbi Yochanan "offer" his sister. My opinion is that he did so
> because he was attacked in the water and under duress tried to make deals.
> Even if you don't assume the attack sexual, the Talmud (BM 84) **explicitly**
> calls Resh Lakish LISTIM (a thief) and explicitly talks about the weapons he
> carried with him. So he jumps in the water and starts attacking a naked man
> who is therefore basically helpless. Under such conditions people try to make
> deals. One offer would be money. Another offer would be a promise not to
> talk. Rabbi Jochanan offer his sister. 


> In any event if you assume (as the Talmud says) that only armed robbery took
> place in the pool you understand what Rabbi Jochanan made comments he
> ordinarily would not make.

First, the Talmud does _not_ explicitly call Reish Lakish a listim in BM 84,
other than R. Yochanan's comment years later, in response to a halachic opinion
stated by Reish Lakish dealing with weaponry, that "a listim knows his trade". 
There is also no mention made that Reish Lakish was carrying any weapon; no
mention of robbery, armed or otherwise; no mention that R. Yochanan was naked;
no mention that there were any threating actions or words on the part of Reish
Lakish.  All it says is that R. Yochanan was bathing in the water, and Reish
Lakish jumped in.  [Rabbeinu Tam and the Rosh (12th and 13th century,
respectively, commentaries on the Talmud) are of the opinion that Reish Lakish
was a scholar who had strayed.  If so, it was most likely that he and R.
Yochanan already knew one another, and would explain Reish Lakish's joining R.
Yochanan when he spotted the latter in the water.]   Any talk of nudity,
weaponry or threats is the product of the reader's imagination.

Furthermore, the offer of his sister's hand is not presented in the Talmud as
fending off a threat, but as an inducement to t'shuva (repentance).  There is
also nothing to indicate that the sister's consent was not sought before the
offer became a reality.  It is also not unreasonable to assume that R. Yochanan
knew his sister well, and was sure that she would accept his recommendation for
a shidduch (match).

There are no sexual overtones whatever in the entire incident as related in the
Talmud, and attempts to read them into the discussion are more reflective of the
interpreters' attitudes than the Talmud's.   



From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 14,2010 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Kaddish

A known "story" about Kaddish: Some one came to a too many Kaddish place, 
told them that it is better to kept to the normal number of Kaddishim. 
Why? Because that is the halacha. Hey, you said a halacha, Rebi Hannanya 
ben Akashya omer....Yitkadal


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 14,2010 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Kaddish Question

Daniel Geretz <danny@...> wrote (MJ 59#27):

> Something that I have noticed increasingly lately is the practice by some
> shlichay tzibbur (prayer leaders) to alter the traditional (Ashkenazic)
> melody for a kaddish in order to say the word "amen" before the congregation
> does.
> This practice seemed to be confined to the last "amen" in the full kaddish
> at the end of an Amidah, which IIRC from my younger days, used to be sung by
> the shaliach tzibbur as "v'imru a-a-men", the amen being sung by the
> congregation at the same time. Now, it seems increasingly prevalent that the
> shalicah tzibbur will sing "v'imru amen" quickly, leaving the congregation
> to finish out the melody by singing "amen."

> My question is: Does this practice have any basis in halacha, and if so,
> can someone please point me to the appropriate sources?

The question involved is whether or not the "Amen" is part of the
bracha or not. Since the shliach tzibbur is giving the instruction
"and say Amen", then the tzibur needs to hear the entire instruction
in order to respond. Thus, saying Amen at the same time as the chazan
would be an "Amen Chatufah". An example of a place that discusses this
(with sources) is


Sunday, September 30, 2007

When and Where to Answer Amen
"Amein Chatufah" - The Snatched Amein:

When one responds "Amein" prior to the completion of the prayer it is
referred to as an "Amein Chatufah", or a "Snatched Amein", this being
the case as the person responds "Amein" when it is not applicable. In
order for the "Amein" to count for a person to be considered as if the
person truly responded "Amein" - in addition to reciting the word
"Amein" properly (not "Uman", "Umein", etc., perhaps unless such is
the manner in which the person regularly talks in general) - the
person must wait until the one reciting the blessing has completed the
final word of the blessing.

An example where this might not apply would be in birkat hamazon
[prayer after meals], int the prayer "U'v'nei Yerushalayim" where the
person saying the prayer answers amen to his own prayer. That is
"Boneh B'rachamav Yerushalayim amen". I was instructed (by my LOR)
that when the leader of the mezuman says this out loud, he is to pause
between "Yerushalayim" and "Amen" as the Amen is not part of the
bracha but is an answer. As a result, everyone should say that Amen

I hope that this explains the situation adequately.

   Sabba  -     ' "    -  Hillel
Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz 

From: Yisrael  Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 14,2010 at 11:44 AM
Subject: Pizza in Selichot

Just in case anyone thought I was kidding (MJ 59#26) the word pizza is found in:

ma'an ta'an b'pizza l'hashiv mah emtza (Minhag Polen and Minhag Litta 24, line 13)


shuva ailai v'ashuva amar b'pizza (Minhag Polen 35 and Minhag Litta 32, stanza 7),

both on Erev Rosh Hashana


From: Chana <Chana@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 14,2010 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Rambam's change of mind

Avi Walfish wrote (MJ 59#26):

> I continue to argue that, however you cut or slice it, the Rambam -
> following the Mishnah Berakhot 3:3 - is mixing up two categories: those
> who are excluded from certain mitzvot because they are time-bound (i.e.
> women and slaves) and those who are excluded from the same mitzvot,
> because they have no mitzvah obligation at all (i.e. minors); consequently
> - those whose obligation, when it exists (whether from the Torah or rabbinic)
> is a addressed to a "bar mitzvah" (one who bears mitzvah obligations),
> together with those whose mitzvah obligation is rooted in educational
> concerns. Calling both of these rabbinic may narrow the gap, but it doesn't
> close it. I don't think that narrowing the gap is a serious enough
> exegetical gain to warrant reading into the Rambam something which he
> should have said, had he intended it, namely that the obligation upon women
> to which he is referring here differs from the one he referred to earlier
> in Tefillah 1:1-2.

We are probably just going to have to disagree on this.  To me the logical
flow of perek 1 includes women, so if he had intended this reference to
merely be a repetition of what he had written earlier, plus adding in an
entirely different category, he should have said it.   To me it is
significant that not even the Magen Avraham is prepared to be categorical
that this is actually what the Rambam means in the way you are, saying
"efshar shegam hachachamim lo mechayav yoter" [it is possible that even the
Chachamim did not obligate more].

> I have two objections to this argument. First, the principle of of *kol
> d'tikun rabbanan k'ain d'oraisa tikun* is far from universally applied,
> and your examples actually tend to demonstrate the reverse of your
> position: the gemara Pesahim 108a-b explains that women are obligated in
> 4 cups at the seder because *af hen hayu b'oto haness [they were also in
> the miracle]*. In other words, the fact that they are biblically obligated
> in other Torah mitzvot of seder night would not in and of itself be a
> sufficient reason to obligate them in the rabbinic requirement of 4 cups.
> Similarly rishonim deliberate whether or not women are obligated in *lehem
> mishneh* on Shabbat, and do not take it for granted based on your reasoning.

Sorry, the four cups is in fact the counter example, not the example I
wanted to bring, as it is definitely an independent rabbinic mitzvah, that
was definitely me slipping up here. 

I will try and bring some other examples from Pesach, which, it would seem
to me on your understanding of the Rambam, would mean women are exempt to
try and show what an enormous can of worms you are opening.

The Rambam states (Hilchos Pesach u'matza perek 6 halacha 10) that women are
obligated in eating matzah (and this is derived as originally a Torah
obligation in pesachim 43a).  He then goes on to say in halacha 7 - that
from the rabbis one may not have anything after the matza.

Now presumably according to you, this does not apply to women, as there is
no specific reference.  Similarly, presumably any shiurim that are rabbinic
can be disregarded by women as not applying, as all the add ons to this
mitzvah do not apply.  So can women eat it after chatzos (or maybe even alos
hashachar)?  Can women eat less than the rabbinically mandated shiur?  

Now lets go back to shabbas. The Rambam says hilchos shabbas perek 30
halacha 1 - that there are two things said regarding shabbas from the Torah,
and two from the rabbis that were explained in the prophets.  The two from
the torah are zachor and shamor [guard and remember] and the two from the
rabbis that were explained in the prophets were kavod and oneg [honour and
pleasure].  He then goes on to list various of the obligations that come
under the category of kavod and oneg.  Now he doesn't mention specifically
that women are included in these various mitzvos (with the exception of
candles elsewhere) so surely we must conclude on your reading that in fact
the Rambam excludes women from all of these obligations.  I agree that there
is a (much later) debate about lehem mishna but the reason why, in my view,
this is not particularly relevant is because the discussion is about whether
this is really linked to Shabbat, or whether it is an independent rabbinical
mitzvah linked to commemorating the manna.  But under your view, all of oneg
and kavod obligations are in fact not obligatory, except where specifically
spelled out. 

> The second objection is more fundamental: if we were to apply the
> priniciple of *kol d'tikun rabbanan k'ain d'oraisa tikun* to our case,
> this would actually undercut your main argument. *Kol detikun* would have
> the following result - just as Torah law differentiates between time-bound 
> and non-time-bound commandments, so too rabbinic law will make a similar
> distinction (see how Tosfot applies the principle in commenting to the
> aforementioned gemara in Pesahim).

No, that is the point, and why the reference got in about the four cups,
when it shouldn't.  There are two cases within a few pages in Pesachim which
bring up this principle.  The first is the four cups and the obligation of
women in it.  Now the four cups are an independent mitzvah instituted by the
Rabbis, it does not have its source in the Torah and thus, under the general
principle, women are exempt, and the Rabbis needed an independent reason,
that of af hen b'oto hanes [they too were included in the miracle] to
include them.

The second case is that of eating matza itself.  The discussion there is
about whether there is a Torah obligation on a blind person to eat matzah
(where there is general agreement that the rabbis would have instituted the
rabbinic obligation in the same manner as the Torah obligation).  What also
appears to be derived from there is that today the obligation to eat matzah
is rabbinic.  Now if you are right, then since the obligation to eat matzah
on the 15th of Nissan is a rabbinic mitzvah dependent upon time, and the
rabbis do not necessarily institute in accordance with the way things are
under Torah law, women should logically be exempt from eating matzah at all,
today (when we have no korban pesach) on the night of pesach. And surely
when the Rambam mentions that women are obligated in matza, he is talking
about the torah obligation, not what we do today (and he just omitted to
tell us this, just as he omits to tell us that the prayer obligation of
women is just the d'orisa one).  Thus it would seem, according to your logic
in the Rambam, that women have no such obligation today.

Whereas I understand that what the Rambam means here is also that women are
included in the rabbinic mitzvah of matza, and that the Rambam's inclusion
of women in the obligation to eat matzah, without needed any  reference to
"af hen b'oto hanes" or any explanation is because of the principle of ko
d'tikun.  Do you understand women to have an obligation to eat matzah on
first night pesach today?  If so, what is the source for this Rambam or

> Applying that to the Rambam under discussion would yield the following
> result - had prayer, as a Torah command, been time-bound, women would
> have been exempt; they are obligated only because it is not time-bound.


> Therefore - using the principle of *kol detikun* - when the rabbis added
> a time-bound component to prayer, they exempted women from it.

What seems at first blush the unusual thing about prayer is that it is a
case of non-time-bound from the Torah becoming time-bound by the rabbis
(although even the Rambam's non time bound is really kind of time bound,
since it is a once a day obligation, even though he says it is not time
bound).  I keep trying to think of another clear example, but so far no
luck.  All the other cases we are discussing are commandments which are time
bound but women were included anyway by the Torah (usually because of the
link to a negative prohibition which then drags in the positive one despite
its time bound nature).  But in the case of the latter, when the rabbis then
refined and detailed how the positive mitzvah was to be performed, women
were included in those details.  It is only where they get into separate
mitzvah territory that the rule regarding exemption occurs.  So, the
question to my mind is, is the mitzvah (of prayer or whatever) that the
rabbis instituted a separate independent mitzvah, or is it a detailing and
explicating of the Torah mitzvah?  Again to my mind, the whole elaborate
explanation that the Rambam gives in perek 1 of hilchos tephila is
explaining that this is a detailing and explicating of the Torah mitzvah.
Otherwise why does he need all of the explanation that when they were exiled
they couldn't speak properly and struggled with prayer - so that the rabbis
had to step in and make sure the Torah mitzvah was done right by putting up
fences and limits, one of whose fences and limits were time.  So, again to
my mind it naturally applied to women too, who were equally in difficulty
vis a vis language etc.  That is, I understand that we do not have a
separate Torah obligation of prayer on the one hand, and a separate
independent mitzvah of prayer from the rabbis.  Had indeed there been two
separate mitzvos, then women would have been exempt.  With one mitzvah that
was refined and defined and details included (such as shiurim, which, even
when eating, always have an aspect of time boundness attached to them) then
women are also bound by the shiurim, both in space and in time.

> This is, again, a very large topic, and I think you have overstated
> your case and the Rambam is far less of a "purist" than you present him.
> Even though the Rambam moved more towards freeing himself from geonic
> positions, the cases where he actually does this are not that frequent, 

I agree it is a large topic.  Just to add though, here is a quote on the
matter which was brought by R' Micha Berger on the Avodah list recently

Googling, I found this English translation of the aforementioned igeros
[Igeros haRambam, Silat ed. pg 305, 647] by R' Marc Shapiro:

    This confusion that people have with regard to the Perush HaMishnah
    is entirely due to the fact that I corrected it in places. The Creator
    knows that most of my mistakes were due to my having followed Geonim,
    z"l, such as Rabbeinu Nissim in his Megilas Setarim and Rav Chefetz,
    z"l, in the Sefer HaMitzvos, and others whom it is difficult for me
    to mention. (pg 305)

    That which is codified in the chibbur [i.e. the Yad -mb] is
    undoubtedly correct, and so we wrote as well in the Perush HaMishnah,
    and that which is in your hands [an early version of the Peirush
    haMishnayos -mb] is the first version which I released without proper
    diligence. And I was influenced in this by the Sefer HaMitzvos of
    Rav Chefetz, z"l, and the mistake was in his [analysis], and I just
    followed after him without verifying. And when I further evaluated
    and analyzed the statements [of Chazal], it became clear that the
    truth was what we recorded in the chibbur and we corrected the Perush
    HaMishnah accordingly. The same happened in so many places that the
    first version of the Perush HaMishnah was subsequently modified, tens
    of times. Each case we had originally followed the opinion of some
    Gaon, z"l, and afterwards the area of error became clear. (pg 647)


End of Volume 59 Issue 28