Volume 59 Number 87 
      Produced: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 15:08:35 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A Chanukah thought 
    [Martin Stern]
    [Ira L. Jacobson]
From The Jewish World Review 
    [Jeanette  Friedman]
Halachic sexism 
    [Carl Singer]
Kibbutz Dati  (2)
    [Ben Katz]
Kotel No-Go 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Query about prayers in the wake of the Carmel fire 
    [Yael Levine]
Reflections On The Solutions In France 
    [Yaakov Shachter]
    [David Tzohar]
Video on gay Orthodox Jews 
    [Mordechai Horowitz]
Why is there no angel to protect us from underneath? 
    [David Ziants]
Yemenite Taamei Hamikra 
    [Shmuel Himelstein]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 6,2010 at 11:01 AM
Subject: A Chanukah thought

In Al Hanissim we say "masarta gibborim beyad challashim [You gave over the
mighty ones into the HAND of the weak ONES] ..." It struck me that the
phraseology is strange and it should read 'biydei' in the plural rather than
'beyad' in the singular. Probably the pshat [simple reason] is that the
words 'challashim' etc are not true plurals but rather collective nouns.
However, perhaps bederech drush [homiletically] one could say that the
singular is used to indicate that the Jewish people were completely united
like a single person and that was the reason why they were successful. Had
they been split into factions, as happened in the latter days of the
Chashmonaim, they would not have been able to overcome the Greeks. I have
never seen this explanation and wonder anyone has met it. If it is valid it
would be a lesson for our own times.

Martin Stern


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 29,2010 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Ezrach

Michael Frankel stated (MJ 59#86):

>Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...> wrote (MJ 59#85):

>> "Ezrah Tzarfati" is a French citizen.  "Ezrah" is a regular noun (in 
>> nifrad), and "Tzarfati" is an adjective.  As I said, the meanings 
>> are nearly identical. But the parts of speech differ..

> I don't think so. while "ezrach" is indeed a noun in the construct state, the
> stand alone non-s'mikhus form of the noun is "ezroch", with 
> qomotz.  As in "kol ho'ezroch ya'aseh kokhoh es eileh.." (B'midbor 15:13).

Mechy Frankel is of course right that the vowel under the resh in 
ezrah is a qamatz gadol, but, unlike your loyal servant, he is not 
using the standard forms of transliteration (Academia LaLashon 
Ha`Ivrit and Library of Congress), which transliterate qamatz gadol 
as "a".  And het as "h".



From: Jeanette  Friedman <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Fri, Dec 10,2010 at 07:01 AM
Subject: From The Jewish World Review


"Rabbi Judah says: Whoever does not teach his son  
a trade or profession teaches him to be a thief."

---  Talmud

Jeanette  Friedman, EIC
The  Wordsmithy


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 29,2010 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Halachic sexism

I believe the underlying "structure' is missing.  Stating the obvious (?)

The birth of a boy requires a bris on the 8th day (barring complications).
It is customary for grandparents to attend AND participate.  This IS a time
dependent mitzvah -- so much so that the mohel may even violate certain
Shabbos restrictions (such as carrying) if necessitated by unforeseen
circumstances  -- not only that, but he would carry openly!

The birth of a girl requires a naming which may occur any time we layne the
Sefer Torah.  It is customary for grandparents and extended family to shep
nachus -- but attendance at the naming tends to be optional.

The judge's response was, indeed, clever -- but reflects a lack of
understanding of the underlying situation.



From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 29,2010 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Kibbutz Dati  

David Ziants wrote (MJ 59#86):
> Kibbutz HaDati on the whole has become more Torani [give emphasis to stricter
> practice and Torah learning] over the decades.

There have been interesting pragmatic changes over the years in all 
stripes of kibbutzim.  A neighbor who was born and raised in Kibbutz 
Yavne reports that although the kibbutz served kitniyot derivatives 
(like soy oil) on Pesach, due to pressure from members whose children 
don't accept the psak have offered more stringent menus some years, so 
the kids and grandkids would visit.


From: Ben Katz <BKatz@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 29,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Kibbutz Dati 

David Ziants <dziants@...> wrote (MJ 59#86):

> As a side remark from what I observe, Kibbutz HaDati on the whole has become
> more Torani [give emphasis to stricter practice and Torah learning] over the
> decades.

I still enjoy using the radical Yom Ha-atzmaut machzor published by kibutz
ha-dati in the 70's.  They included a Torah reading as well as inserting the
first generic line of al ha-nissim into the amidah.


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 13,2010 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Kotel No-Go

According to this republishing:


Rav Elyasjiv, son-in-law of Rav Aryeh Levine, forbids going now to the 
Kotel on Shabbat due to the lessening of a security problem which 
vitiates the need for the street cameras which could be construed a 
causing hillul shabbat (shabbat desecration).

Will this go the way of the Shabbat Elevator controversy?

Yisrael Medad


From: Yael Levine <ylkpk@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 5,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Query about prayers in the wake of the Carmel fire

I'd be interested in hearing if anyone was present on Shabbat in a shul where
they recited a prayer or prayers concerning the Carmel fire, victims and/or the
wounded, and if they have what to relate.

Yael Levine


From: Yaakov Shachter <jay@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 14,2010 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Reflections On The Solutions In France

Emmanuel Ifrah <emmanuel_ifrah@...> wrote (MJ 59#52):

> The main issue in Paris is that most of buildings are now closed by
> one or two electromagnetic doors.
> There are generally a number of technical ways to overcome this
> situation, but they are not always usable as they sometimes include
> a dose of Chillul Ha-Shem (as when partially blocking the locking of
> the door).

If you live in Paris, in an apartment building, and everyone in your
household leaves your apartment on Friday night, or on Saturday
morning, or both, to go to synagog, or to visit another family, then
you will have difficulty getting back into your apartment building
when you all come home.  But the same is true in any other city,
unless you are the kind of Jew who carries your housekeys on Shabbat.
However, certain solutions available in other cities, such as wearing
your housekey as a tieclip, are not available in Paris, where the
apartment buildings, by and large, can be opened from the outside only
electrically, although they can be opened from the inside

One obvious solution is to have Gentile servants in your household who
will come downstairs and open the door for you when you come home from
synagog.  A less costly solution is to invite a Gentile to share your
Shabbat meal, tell him (or, mutatis mutandis, her) your building's
combination, and arrange to enter the building when he does.  When he
presses your building combination to open the door he will be doing it
for his own sake, not yours, because he wants to eat at your table,
but you will then be permitted to follow him into your building,
benefiting from his act, which he did for his own sake, just as if you
were on a ship that docked on Shabbat, and the Gentile sailors tied
the ship to the dock on Shabbat, because they wanted to get on shore
(this solution is unavailable on Yom Tov, because you are not allowed
to invite a Gentile for a meal on Yom Tov, although you may invite him
for, e.g., a game of chess).

There are many other solutions that could be found, and it is an
interesting theoretical question, but the readers of mail-jewish,
however, do not, practically speaking, need to be told what they could
do, if they lived in Paris.  If they lived in Paris, they would have
plenty of time to come up with a solution, and plenty of Jewish
neighbors who could be asked what solutions they use themselves.  A
more practical question is what to do if you do not live in Paris, but
you are going to visit Paris, and you need to be there over Shabbat,
or Yom Tov.  As a public service, then, if any of you need to spend
Shabbat in the area of the South-West suburbs of Paris, such as
Vincennes, or Saint-Mand, or Montreuil, I recommend the Htel Le
Ruisseau, on 137 avenue Gallini, in Saint-Mand, telephone number 01
43 74 02 39.  First of all, the establishment is both a hotel and a
restaurant, and you get to the hotel by walking thru the restaurant,
and the restaurant doors are always open, so you don't have to worry
about opening electrically-operated doors.  There is no problem, in my
opinion, with appearing to be walking into a non-kosher restaurant,
which is normally forbidden by Jewish law, because everyone knows that
one has to walk thru the restaurant to get to the hotel, so you are
not giving the appearance of patronizing a non-kosher restaurant.
Second of all, and more to the point, they know about Jews in that
hotel, and they make many accommodations for them.  For example, if
you tell them that you are a Sabbath-observant Jew, they will keep the
stairway lights turned on all Shabbat, so you won't be activating
lights just by walking up the stairs.  And they do many other things
for their Sabbath-observant clientele (or, perhaps I should say,
clientle), such that the end result is that you can spend Shabbat or
Yom Tov comfortably in that hotel without violating Jewish law.
Presumably they do this so they can get business from all the Jewish
visitors to that area, and I am happy to help them do so, by
advertising their existence on mail-jewish.

Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
6424 N Whipple St
Chicago IL  60645-4111


From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 28,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Shuckling

Do you sway when you pray? An almost ubiquitous expression of Orthodox
Jewish prayer is "shuckling, i.e. moving the upper body while standing in
prayer. The two major styles are rocking back and forth or swaying from side
to side. Rocking back and forth can be a problem for men since the friction
with clothing can cause physical arousal. There are those who say that it is
more mechubad (appropriate) to stand perfectly still as one would if he were
standing before a king. I myself sway from side to side. I have found that if
I sway at the rate of approximately 70 times per minute, near the pulse rate
at rest, the motions of the body become the rhythm of prayer. In this way it
is possible to attain a higher state of consciousness that enhances kavvanah.
I would be interested if anyone knows of textual sources for shuckling, and
if there are different traditions in different communities or at different
historical periods.

David Tzohar


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 29,2010 at 12:01 AM
Subject: Video on gay Orthodox Jews

Lisa wrote (MJ 59#85):

> That is both absurd and offensive.  You might as well have pointed out in
> 1881 that being Jewish caused a lower lifespan

Homosexuality is an illness Torah is not an illness.

Lisa continues:

> JONAH is quackery.  Harmful quackery.  People who have been subjected to
> their medieval practices have attempted, and in some cases succeeded, in
> taking their own lives.

No proof provided of course.  All you are doing is trying to demonize 
those who help the mentally disturbed people who enter the dangerous 
homosexual lifestyle that the Torah prohibits.  People converted to the 
homosexual lifestyle need help to get out of it.  And because groups 
like Jonah are extremely successful at it you seek to criminalize their 
actions and demonize anyone who supports their successful work.

The Torah leadership fully supports their work:

"Rabbinical Council of America Rabbis may refer any individuals within their
congregations who are dealing with unwanted same sex attractions or any families
who have a member thereof facing such an issue. Please contact them if you need
referrals for therapists who specialize in working with this population or for
programs that may be of assistance. JONAH's numerous support 
groups may be of value to congregants, either for those struggling with 
the issue and/or for their families. 


Rabbi Noach Weinreb Aish HaTorah:

"JONAH has been at the forefront working with young Jewish men to help them
properly understand the roots of their homosexuality and do Teshuva through
realizing that these activities do not truly represent their true selves. I
commend Mr. Goldberg and his staff at JONAH for waging this fight and the
services they provide for the many individuals looking for help for this
particular struggle.


Its obvious you have an agenda to try and justify this immoral and dangerous 
behavior.  I'm quite confused why the moderators allow your participation in our
discussion any more than they would someone who had a goal of demonizing shabbos
observance.  What you support is worse as people who keep shabbos don't die
young from their behavior as homosexual behavior kills its followers.

No Torah Jew can support such a lifestyle any more than we can someone with a
"innate" urge to molest children, rob banks or any other immoral behavior. 
Torah obligates people to overcome immoral inclinations not to give in to them.

Jonah offers many services.  Their site gives quite a big on their support services


Every Jew has an obligation to fight those promoting the radical gay 
agenda.  It is the enemy of Torah and we must utterly defeat it.


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sat, Dec 11,2010 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Why is there no angel to protect us from underneath?

This question came from my first grade daughter as she was starting 
saying more pesukim [verses] as well as the b'racha "hamapil" with 
k'riat sh'ma al hamitta [prayer before going to sleep].

In the "b'shaim Hashem Elokai yisrael" sentence (this is not a pasuk from 
Tanach as far as I can see), the reciter asks Hashem [G-d] of Israel for 
angelic protection on 5 sides of him/her where "on top" figuratively is 
the shechina [define presence] (i.e. Hashem is ultimately in charge of all 
the malachim [angels/spiritual messengers]) and on each side - right, left, in
front and behind - a different angel. I imagine that each malach has a special
attribute that makes his side most appropriate. I am sure that a kabbalist would
have detailed explanations for this.

Her question is:- why do we not ask for underneath protection?
(She even tried to make up something "mitachtai..." but I told her that 
it is an ancient prayer that we have no authority to change.)

I started my own research with help of morainu harav Google, and he came 
up with the following link (in Hebrew):-
which draws a parallel to the midrash "pirkai d'rebbi eliezer" chap 4. 
Here, the shechina is in the middle, and the malachim (actually the 
names are of angle groupings) are around her in each of the four directions.

This midrash, though, describes a spiritual constellation with relation 
to the Divine (many of the piyutim in the machzor [holyday prayer book], 
especially on Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur relate to these type of 
constellations) and although the imagery is similar to that in the 
prayer before going to sleep, this midrash does not describe Divine 
protection of the human.

So the author of the prayer managed to (quite rightly) put the shechina 
"on top" but why did he not contrive a request for protection underneath?

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 9,2010 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Yemenite Taamei Hamikra

This past Shabbat we spent in Eilat, and the Baal Kriyah was a Yemenite. I
was curious to see if the Yemenite Taamei Hamikra are to be found on the
Internet, and indeed they are - with each verse followed by its Targum. The
site is 

Shmuel Himelstein


End of Volume 59 Issue 87