Volume 6 Number 52

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brit Mila
         [Eric W. Mack]
Conservative Blessing
         [Eliot Shimoff]
Conservative Minyan
Orthodox minyan in a non orthodox synagogue (4)
         [Benjamin Svetitsky, Leon Dworsky, Martin Lewison, Frank
         [Ira Robinson]
Weddings in a Shul
         [Mark Panitz]


From: <ce157@...> (Eric W. Mack)
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 93 14:53:06 -0500
Subject: Brit Mila

 What is the basis/source for not "inviting" someone to a brit?

Eric Mack and/or Cheryl Birkner Mack


From: Eliot Shimoff <shimoff@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 93 14:56:00 -0500
Subject: Conservative Blessing

Ben Pashkoff quotes: 
> "Note 37: Feinstein restricts contact with Conservative or Reform
> institutions in a number of responsa. He even forbids answering "amen"
> to a Conservative rabbi's blessing. IM OH 2:50,51; OH 3:21,22 See
> Robinson, "Because of Our Many Sins," pp 40-41."

This reminds me of a problem I ran into on a Tower flight to Israel.  At
dawn, the first minyan gathered at the back of the plane (to the dismay
of the smokers who wanted to sleep a little more).

"Who wants to be the shatz (Shliach tzibur, i.e., lead davening)?"  "Is
there a chiyuv (e.g., a person saying kaddish, who has priority for the
honor)?"  Finally, one guy -- rather modern looking -- volunteered.  He
started with brachot -- and instead of the traditional "she'lo asani
goy," he adopted the Conservative (I think) "she'asani y'hudi."  Instead
of "shelo asani eved," he recited "she'asani ben-chorin."  Instead of
"shelo asani isha," he recited "she'asani ki'r'tzono."

Now the back of a 747 doesn't really provide space for a break-away
minyan.  And the rest of the nusach (to the best of my knowledge) was
not likely to vary from the standard.  And there was no sure way of
asking a rav; just pick on some meshullach and assume that a beard and
payot assure status as a posek?

There was a lot of grumbling -- from the daveners as well as from nearby
passengers who didn't like being so rudely awakened.

In the end, this guy stopped serving as shliach tzibur at Mizmor Shir,
and davening continued uneventfully.


From: <turkel@...> (Turkel)
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 93 13:48:11 +0200
Subject: Conservative Minyan

    Ben Pashkoff speaks about praying in a non-orthodox or conservative
minyan. I recall from my days in Rav Soloveitchik's shiur that he made
a differentiation between non-orthodox and conservative (i.e. belonged to
one of the conservative or reform movements). He would not allow any
participation in a conservative or reform shul even if there were no women
there and said that it was better to daven alone at home. However, for
a non-orthodox but non-affiliated shul the rules were less stringent.
Again for details speak to your local orthodox rabbi.
      By the way, I heard recently from Rabbi Feitman in Cleveland that
the latest phrase is 'your local orthodox competent rabbi".



From: Benjamin Svetitsky <FNBENJ@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 93 08:56:59 -0500
Subject: Orthodox minyan in a non orthodox synagogue

The original question on this topic mentioned Congregation Torah ba-Midbar
in Santa Fe, NM.  The p'sakim quoted are general, not specific.  The
minyan meets in a separate building which is exclusively for its use, and
which is a hundred meters away from the main Reform temple.  In any case,
the minyan's arrangement is several years old and has prior approval from
a large number of poskim, since the community is exemplary in yirat
shamayim.  I wonder that a guest in the community permits himself to
question matters so basic to its existence, and to voice doubts in
a public forum.

[I think it is valid to try and understand what the halakha is in a
general sense, even if it is some specific case or event that trigers
the questions. My reading of the original question was, there exists a
tshuva from R' Moshe which I have not seen and I observe the following
practice in particular. At first glance they appear to be in opposition.
Can anyone either clarify exactly what the psak was, are there poskim
that disagree, what are the different circumstances between the psak and
the observed situation. This question has generated some good and
interesting replies. Mod.]

Ben Svetitsky

From: <ljd@...> (Leon Dworsky)
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1993 10:56:15 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Orthodox minyan in a non orthodox synagogue

Here in Durham, NC, (home of Duke University) we have the *Durham
Orthodox Kehilla* which is a member of the *Union of Orthodox
Congregations of America*.  We are quartered in a building owned and
operated by a Conservative congregation.  We are small, (about 35
members) and could not afford a location of our own even if we wanted
one.  But WE DO NOT.

We all pay dues to the same treasurer for the general overhead, and
anyone sits on the board of directors of the overall group regardless of
their affiliation.  The treasurer maintains a separate column for
donations made to the Kehilla from mishabarachs, visitors, and in honor
of this or that.  These funds our own members spend as they see fit
(books, help for individuals, redecorating, tallasim, etc.).

The Rabbi of the Conservative group, Steven Sager, (a graduate of the
Reconstructionist Seminary) is not, and does not consider himself, *our*
Rabbi, but is our staunchist supporter and greatest booster.  We would
not exist except for him - we started as a Shabbat minyan at his

The advantages of having our own sanctuary, dairy kitchen,
out-of-towners hospitality room and meeting room in the same building
with a much larger group are numerous.  There are social functions,
lectures, a fully traditional cemetary and Chevra Kaddisha, etc.
associated with the whole group that we as a small group would not have
the numbers to support. Conversely, we sponser Shiurs on subjects that a
Conservative group might not have - open to, and attended by, all.

As to dovening in such a location: Over the years (we are in our
Bar-Mitzvah year) we have had numerous degrees of *machmer* men and
women at our services.  Because of Duke University, Un. of N. C. at
Chapel Hill (12 miles away), Duke Medical Center and numerous
international research facilities in the county (Galaxo, IBM,
Burroughs-Welcome to name a few) visitors are constantly coming here
from all over the world (makes it a very interesting place to live).  We
have had Lubavitch, Sotmer, Agudas and Knit Kippuh jews doven with us
for Shabbat, Yahrziets and Rosh Hashanah.  Shomer Shabbat Israelis are
almost a constant.  When two Rabbis who are on the staff of the UOJCA in
New York were here, they also dovened in our *shtebel*.  On the other
hand, a Rabbi from the Lakewood Yeshiva, who was in the area, would not,
and advised others against it.

So..... All I can say is: pick your own posek, but CAREFULLY.  One thing
we all can agree on, is that you should not go from Rav to Rav until you
get the answer you want.  Better yet, don't ask.  The Torah tells us not
to cut ourselves off from the congregation of Israel.  Go doven and
[NOTE: If you have a Rav you go to for questions of Halakha (and we all
should) it is proper to ask that Rav and go by his psak, that is my
understanding of the halakhic requirements. - Mod.]

Leon Dworsky    <ljd@...>

From: <milst1@...> (Martin Lewison)
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 93 08:28:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Orthodox minyan in a non orthodox synagogue

I found Ben Pashkoff's quote from Daughters of the King in v6n47 very 
interesting, especially the section about separate rooms with mechitzot
within non-Orthodox synagogues.

It interested me because I know of a community where *the* Orthodox shul
is *inside* the Conservative synagogue!  Of course, the frum shul has a
separate entrance, which might be what makes it permissible.  But the
two do share some facilities, e.g., restrooms.

-Martin Lewison

From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 93 15:19:02 -0500
Subject: Re: Orthodox minyan in a non orthodox synagogue

When I was a graduate school at UNC@Chapel Hill (and just beginning
to develop an interest in Judaism), I sometimes attended Beth El
Synaogoge ten miles away in Durham, North Carolina (just down the
street from Duke University).

This is an "egalitarian Conservative" shul, with a "right-wing
reconstructionist" rabbi (i.e. he likes traditional practices).  When he
was a new rabbi, he noticed that several older members, who were
generally active in the synogogue and quite observant in the home never
attended services.  They explained that they stopped attending years ago
when the mechitzah was first removed, but kept their membership so as to
remain part of the Jewish community (at the time, there might not have
remained a single Orthodox shul in all of North Carolina).  The
reconstructionist rabbi suggested they form an Orthodox minyan in the
small unused shul downstairs.

By the time I moved away, the Orthodox minyan was drawing almost as good
attendance as the Conservative service, including many younger people
(mostly from Duke U. and UNC).

Frank Silbermann        <fs@...>
Tulane University       New Orleans, Louisiana  USA


From: <ROBINSO@...> (Ira Robinson)
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1993 19:56 EDT
Subject: Query

I am seeking information on the authors and publication dates of the
following two books: Beis Halevi and Daas Kedoshim (on hilchot sefer
torah).  Any help will be appreciated.
Ira Robinson


From: <mpanitz@...> (Mark Panitz)
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1993 12:07:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Weddings in a Shul

[Mark and I exchanged email messages, the portion we felt should go to
the list is below. The part marked MP is Marks question, the paragraph
starting AYF: is my reply. AYF, Mod.]

MP: Do you have to have a wedding in a temple?

AYF: Many observant Jewish weddings that I have gone to are not in a temple
or shul. There is no Jewish equivalent to the Christian concept of a
"church wedding". What is needed is only two valid witnesses, and it is
highly recommended that a Rabbi or someone well versed in the laws of
marriage be there to "arrainge" matters.


End of Volume 6 Issue 52