Volume 6 Number 58

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Foreign words in responsa
         [Meylech Viswanath]
Halacha and paychecks.
         [Jacob Mazo]
Logan, Utah
         [Pinchus Laufer]
Question about Sefer of Vilna Gaon
         [Chaim Schild]
Summer housing in New Jersey
         [Michael H. Coen]
Wedding in a shul
         [Zimbalist David]
Weddings in a shul (2)
         [Ezra Tanenbaum, David Rosenstark]


From: <VISWANATH@...> (Meylech Viswanath)
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 93 16:22:39 -0500
Subject: Foreign words in responsa

Steven Friedell to the use of the word *taqa* in a rabbinic responsum,
followed by the word *zr"i*.  Steven conjectures that this refers to 
Hindi sari.  However, I think it is more likely to be *zari*, which 
means brocade, usually gold or silver.  Zari is expensive, which fits
the bill here.  Also, saris are not worn in the middle east, (except
by expatriate Indians), they are probably considered not tsniesdik,
since they have (potentially) expose a swathe of midriff.  I also 
don't think they were worn by Iraqi Jews in India--most of those
tried to remain unIndianized, unlike the Bnai Israel (another sect
from the Bombay area) or the Cochin Jews (from further south).

*rufiyaa* probably does mean rupees; the hindi word is *rupayaa* 
usually pronounced *rupiyaa*.



From: Jacob Mazo <mazova@...>
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 93 12:06:43 -0500
Subject: Halacha and paychecks.

I am curious as to what is the Halachic position regarding employers  
not paying their employees on time (assuming both are Jewish).  I  
seem to remember that this is frowned upon, but cannot recollect  
anything beyond that.  Thanks in advance for your help. 


From: <plaufer@...> (Pinchus Laufer)
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 1993 15:34:55
Subject: Logan, Utah

Does anyone have info on Kosher food, synagogues, etc, for Logan, Utah?
The stay may have to include a weekend.  

Thank You,


From: SCHILD%<GAIA@...> (Chaim Schild)
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 93 09:40:30 -0500
Subject: Question about Sefer of Vilna Gaon

I have seen a number of English compilations of explanations on the Chumash
quote various remazim (gematrias, taamim, and word plays of other types) of
the Vilna Gaon. What sefer are they abstracting them from and who sells it?




From: <mhcoen@...> (Michael H. Coen)
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 93 12:37:26 EST
Subject: Summer housing in New Jersey

This summer I am going to be working at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New
Jersey, and I am looking for a shomer Shabbos/kosher place to live
within walking distance of a shul.  Does anyone know of any such housing
for students/young adults (e.g. a chavera or other communal living
groups) or an apartment that would be available for the summer?  Also,
what Jewish communities are located within reasonable driving distance
of Murray Hill?

Thanks very much.

- Michael Coen (<mhcoen@...>)


From: Zimbalist David <mdzimbal@emubus>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 93 21:27:14 -0500
Subject: RE: Weddings in a shul

In response to a discussion posted by the moderator - 

	Should one have a wedding in a temple?
	The Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society (about 2
years ago) had an article on weddings in shuls.  One partthatt
I found especially interesting is that it appears to be best to have
the wedding (the chupah) outside.  Indeed there are many wedding halls
in New York that have a skylight cut out of the ceiling so that in the
depths of winter, this minhag can be observed.

David Zimbalist
Emory Business School
Atlanta, GA

From: <bob@...> (Ezra Tanenbaum)
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 93 10:12:22 est
Subject: RE: Weddings in a shul

I saw the short note between Avi Feldblum and Mark Panitz regarding
weddings in a synagogue and thought the topic was interesting enough to
expand on.

Roman Catholics (and to some degree many other Christians) believe that
the priest (or minister) has some special status of being closer to god
(the small g is deliberate) and has more holiness than the lay person
which he (or she?) gives over to the lay person when he performs certain
sacraments. Likewise they believe that their buildings have special
sanctity which accrues to the individual when the individual performs
sacraments inside their church. Therefore a wedding performed by a priest
in a church would have greater sanctity than one performed elsewhere,
and a wedding performed by a non-priest may not have the same sacramental
quality.  (Check your local Roman Catholic priest to verify the degree
of sanctity and sacrament of weddings performed by priests and those
performed by others.)

For Orthodox Jews the sanctity of the synagogue is because of our exclusive
use of it for prayer and Torah study, and not because it has a sanctity
which transfers to the user. i.e. the Jew gives sanctity to the synagogue
by praying and learning there, whereas the Christians believe the church
gives sanctity to the person when the person goes there.
Also, a rabbi has no status of holiness and has no privileges that
any knowledgeable Jew (or Jewess - note: except for signing the Ketuva
there would be no halachic problem with a woman "officiating" at a wedding
except for the fact that most weddings are overly rife with controversy
and no sense fanning the flames) could do the same thing the
rabbi does at a wedding.

Note also that most Orthodox congregations don't mind photographers in
the synagogue, while most Conservative and Reform congregations consider
it a disgrace. I think this is related to the same notion that it is
the activities of the people which provides the sanctity to an Orthodox
synagogue and not that the synagogue confers sanctity on the attendees.
Synagogue sanctity is another topic worth exploring.

Note also that a Cohen does have some special sanctity which can be
given to others through the Priestly Benediction, but that's another topic.

Enough digression, back to the main topic:

It has been stated by many Ashkenazic rabbis in the last 150 years that
we should actually avoid having weddings in the synagogue since that
would be borrowing an attitude from Christians and promoting an approach
to sanctity which is not authentic to Judaism. 
Sefardim, on the other hand, encourage synagogue weddings and like to
hold the Huppa (wedding service) in front of the open Aron Kodesh (ark)
with the Torot (Torahs) visible to all. I know a case where a Sefardi
married a Hungarian and boy were there fireworks over this.

In any case, the sanctity of a wedding comes from the participants who
dedicate themselves to a wedding K'Daat Moshe V'Yisroel (According to the
precepts of Mosaic law and the Jewish people). The holiness is provided
by the couple themselves in their dedication to a holy life together.
The ceremony just documents their commitment to each other and to Torah.
There is Kedusha (sanctity) in a Torah marriage, but it is a Kedusha
which comes with the couple when they come together under the Huppa
and dedicate their lives to each other in front of the whole community
of Israel. There is a sanctity after the fact which did not exist before
the fact. Yet the sanctity did not come from the place where the service
occurred, nor from the person performing the service.
( The sanctity comes from the smorgasbord :-)  Happy Purim :-) ! )

Ezra Bob Tanenbaum	1016 Central Ave	Highland Park, NJ 08904
home: (908)819-7533	work: (908)615-2899
email: att!trumpet!bob or <bob@...>

From: <davidr@...> (David Rosenstark)
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 93 13:56:44 EST
Subject: Weddings in a shul

I happen to be very involved with this issue at present and have become
aware of the issues though I don't have the exact marei mekomos.  I have
been told to look up a teshuvah where Rav Moshe Feinstein ZTL writes
that he is unhappy about marriages in a shul b/c of chukas hagoyim
(copying the ways if the goyim). On the other hand, since he does not
consider a Conservative shul a shul one would be able to get married in
a Conservative shul. This would limit Rav Moshe's forbidding entrance to
a Conservative shul strictly for prayer. However, my mesader kiddushin
[lit. the one who arranges the wedding, usually the officiating Rabbi -
Mod.]  would still not go in to the shul even for the chupah. I am
interested in finding this teshuvah and have had no success as of yet.
Does anyone know where it is?  -David Rosenstark


End of Volume 6 Issue 58