Volume 60 Number 12 
      Produced: Thu, 26 May 2011 17:07:06 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Being driven to shul on Shabbat 
    [Shmuel Himelstein]
Halacha when threatened with rape (2)
    [Tal S. Benschar  Martin Stern]
Modim d'Rabbanan (4)
    [Gilad J. Gevaryahu  Michael Poppers  Robert Rubinoff  Chaim Casper]
Obscure midrashim  
    [Rabbi Meir Wise]
Pictures of women 
    [Jeanette  Friedman]
What Day Of The Week Will Shabbos Be In Samoa? (3)
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz  Ed Greenberg  Dr. William Gewirtz]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, May 25,2011 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Being driven to shul on Shabbat

Years ago, I found in the Judaica, First Edition, a reproduction of a
bus/train  ticket to be used specifically by Jews on Sabbath and the
festivals. I assume there was no Mar'it Ayin involved, as all knew about the

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Tal S. Benschar <tbenschar@...>
Date: Wed, May 25,2011 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Halacha when threatened with rape

Re: Gershon Dubin's post (MJ 60#11) about male rape not being subject to the
concept of karka olam, while he is correct that the gemara holds that for a man
ein kishui ha ever ela la daas (roughly, male erections only occur willfully,
not forceably), I think he is confusing two different situations.  In a case
where a man is "forced" to engage in sexual relations in the usual manner, then
indeed that gemara holds that such is not considered "oness"  -- forced. 
However, I think the prior posters were referring to forced sodomy, i.e. anal
sex, and in that context there is no reason why karka olam should not apply.

Tal S. Benschar

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, May 25,2011 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Halacha when threatened with rape

Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...> wrote (MJ 60#11):

> There was a statement in MJ 60#09 that made the logical step from women being
> passive victims (karka olam) to the same applying to men, in an analogous
> situation.
> I wanted to correct this deduction, as the Gemara states clearly that due to
> physiological differences, this does NOT apply to men, and they are never
> considered passive in the context of this halacha.

I fear that Gershon has misunderstood the Gemara which distinguishes between
men and women regarding the requirement to accept martyrdom rather than
transgress a sexual prohibition. The physiological difference to which he
refers is "ein kishui shelo leda'at" [an erection cannot occur without the
person's awareness thereof] but this would only apply to the rovei'a [the
homosexual rapist] and not the nirba' [the male suffering homosexual rape]
in the case of homosexual rape. Therefore it would seem that the principle
of karka olam would apply equally to the latter.

Martin Stern


From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <gevaryahu@...>
Date: Wed, May 25,2011 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Modim d'Rabbanan

Lisa Liel asked (MJ 60#11) the following interesting question:

> Our shul has, up on the front wall, a framed copy of Modim d'Rabbanan.  I've
> seen this particular one all over the place.  There's a note on the bottom
> that says it was donated by the Shlomofs, if I'm not mistaken.

> My question is this.  Every siddur I've ever seen says:
> "...al she'hecheyitanuv'kiyamtanu, ken t'chayenu u-tekaymanu..." 
> ("...because You have kept us in life and kept us going, may You keep us in
life and keep us going...").
> But this wall copy says 
> "...al she'hecheyitanu v'kiyamtanu, ken t'chonenu u-tekaymanu..." 
> ("...because You have kept us in life and kept us going, may You be gracious
> to us and keep us going...").

> I asked the rabbi and the gabbai about this, and they both had the same
> reaction.  They'd never noticed it.  And they had no idea if it was 
> problematic. So I figured I'd ask the brilliant folks here:
> (a) Have you noticed this? 
> (b) Is this problematic? 
I suspected upon reading the question that this a known variant reading. 
Indeed if you look Tefilot Siddur, Lisbon ~1490 Eliezer Toledano (set 1) 
frame page 40 (set 3) frame page 15 of the book at the National Library in 
Jerusalem, the reading of the text is:

"...al she'hecheyitanu v'kiyamtanu, ken t'chayenu u-t'chonenu v-te'esof
galuyotenu le-chatzrot kodshech...."

Gilad J. Geavrayahu

From: Michael Poppers <MPoppers@...>
Date: Wed, May 25,2011 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Modim d'Rabbanan

In response to the query (MJ 60#11) from Lisa Liel <lisa@...> regarding
the text of a framed copy of Modim d'Rabbanan:

BT Sotah 40a apparently has "kein *t'chayeinu* *uschaneinu*," so the "kein
t'chaneinu usqaimeinu" variant isn't surprising.  Based on what RYKaro encoded
in SA OC 127, which variant one uses isn't as important as elements like bowing
together with the shaliach tzibbur/Chazzan as he begins "Modim."

The framed copy of Modim d'Rabbanan in my school's Reibel Beis Medrash has
"[kein] t'chayeinu."  Tangentially, schools may be interested in the "[kein]
t'chayeinu" poster available (free reg. required) at
http://chinuch.org/item_details.php?mid=6473 .

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ, USA

From: Robert Rubinoff <rubinoff@...>
Date: Wed, May 25,2011 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Modim d'Rabbanan

Lisa Liel <lisa@...> asked (MJ 60#11) regarding a framed copy of Modim 

I'm pretty sure this is the Sefardi version (not Nusach Sefard).  All of the
posters of this that I've seen have the two names of HaShem written with the
letters one inside the other, which is a Sefardi custom.

As for whether it's problematic, I don't know, but I've seen these posters at a
lot of Ashkenazi shuls.


From: Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...>
Date: Thu, May 26,2011 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Modim d'Rabbanan

With regard to the MJ 60#11 query from Lisa Liel <lisa@...> regarding a 
framed copy of Modim d'Rabbanan:

I checked my wall posters of Modim d'Rabbanan and they all say "ken t'chayenu."
I checked every one of the siddurim in my personal library as well as at shul and 
they all say "ken t'chayenu."

I would have thought I would have found notice of the difference in the Emden 
siddur or the Gra, but I didn't.  Same thing in the Siddur Ari, Siddur S'farad or 
Siddur Sefaradi.  Only "ken t'chayenu."

Is it possible your wall poster is a printer's error?

Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL


From: Rabbi Meir Wise <Meirhwise@...>
Date: Wed, May 25,2011 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Obscure midrashim 

On the subject of obscure midrashim I do recommend the article by my  
late Rebbe Rabbi Dr S B Leperer zatza"l Professor of Talmud and  
History at Jews College. Here is the link

I would have thought that just because we do not understand something  
it is not a reason to ridicule or scorn statements which in the case  
of the midrash were made by Chazal. Let's show modesty and restraint.

Many midrashic statements were made against the background of the  
Hadrianic persecutions and many were anti-Christian polemics. In both  
cases the lessons had to be concealed, coded and sometimes were  
heavily censored.

When the Novi Yechezkiel (18:31) told the people to get themselves a  
new heart - nobody took it literally. Since Dr Barnard in the 60s however - we
can. So here we have the reverse of the trend!

The Talmud (Berachot 59a) talks about a voice whose sound can be heard  
from one end of the earth to the other. None of the commentators took  
it literaly until the invention of the telephone!

There is no reason to assume that other obscure biblical verses or  
rabbinic statements will not take on a more literal meaning with the  
passage of time and the advance of technology.

If somebody after the First World War had written that: "a two headed  
black eagle destroyed millions of people in Europe with a drop of ink"  
- we would understand the allusion. But there is nothing to say that  
people will understand that cryptic statement in a thousand years  
time. But this is what you are demanding of the midrash!

To conclude: whereas the Midrash does not have to be literally true -  
it does teach the truth. It behoves us as Jews to show respect and  
leave the scorn-pouring to the antisemites.

May I also recommend "The Midrashic Process" by Dr Irving Jacobs -  
available from bookshops and on Amazon.


Rabbi Meir Wise


From: Jeanette  Friedman <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Thu, May 26,2011 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Pictures of women

Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...> writes (MJ60#09):

> If there are indeed any sources which declare it forbidden to publish a
> picture of a modestly-dressed woman (as the Sec'y of State was, in that
> photo), I'd like to see it. However, I believe that is totally superfluous
> and beside the point.

> I say this because it seems to me that even if there are no authorities at
> all who forbid the publication of such a photo, it is still something which
> the publishers might choose to do. I am not addressing the ethics of
> doctoring the photo itself. What I am addressing is this: It seems that when
> a portion of the community is perceived as ultra-Orthodox, and they refrain
> from a particular action, others jump to the conclusion that this action must
> be "forbidden", at least according to some authorities.

> On the contrary, I say. It might not be forbidden at all. It might simply be
> that the customers of that newspaper PREFER not to see photos of women, and
> therefore the newspaper caters to their customer base by removing the women
> from photos that they print.

Weeks before the Hilary incident, my mother who wrote a book called 'Going 
Forward' about growing up in her father's "court" and about her brother and 
my father, probably via Wiessmandl's Vaad Hatzolah, saving her and putting 
her on the Kasztner train with the Satmar Rebbe, got a phone call from 
someone who told her she must remove the photographs of the women from her 
book or they won't buy it.  Well the women in the book are my mother, the 
Satmar Rebbetzen, the Strizhever Rebbitzen (the Minchas Elazar's mom) and other 
gedolot.  I told her if she caved she was feeding the beast, and if they 
wanted books without pictures, they could give us an order, pay for it 
upfront, and we would give them a pictureless book ... after all, the women
might get excited from looking at men's pictures ..and I asked her how sick the 
community is when Rebbitzen Fayge z"l has become a sex object.  So she 
checked with the Dynover Rebbe and he told her not to cave in, that there's no 
accounting for Amharatzim (ignorant people --Mod.).
So if the lunatics are taking over the asylum, what does that mean for the  
future of Hareidi Judaism? Burkahs or worse? As I once said, for guys like  
those, women need to be dead and they need to reproduce via parthenogenesis. 
That way there's no problem.


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Wed, May 25,2011 at 01:01 PM
Subject: What Day Of The Week Will Shabbos Be In Samoa?

Immanuel Burton <iburton@...> wrote (MJ 60#11):

> I recently read on the BBC's news site that the South Pacific nation of Samoa
> will be switching to the west side of the international date line on 29
> December 2011. Samoa will go straight from Thursday 29 December to Saturday.
> I don't know if there is a Jewish community on Samoa, but if one is there
> when the change is made, will one have to observe Shabbos on Sunday? Is this
> any different from crossing the date line in the course of travel?

I would think that one should leave before the switch and return after
the switch. That would seem to be like traveling between two islands
that are separated by the dateline but are close geographically. It
also brings up the question of people on the east coast of Australia
who do not go into the ocean on Sunday. That takes into account those
who hold that the dateline would go through Australia but is bent
around so that the island continent is in the same day. Thus going
into the ocean changes the day.

This is from memory and I do not have seforim here, so please forgive
any errors. I remember a shiur that spoke about traveling across the
International Dateline. The implication in that shiur was that if one
was traveling in a boat (the "slow boat to China" for example) one
kept Shabbas every seven days *until* one reached a community that had
an established day. At that point, he would treat it as if he had lost
count during his travels and take up the count of the community.

IIRC there is a difference in which direction one goes. If one goes
west ("skipping a day") Shabbos is still on Saturday (not Sunday) and
you have not hurt anything by "switching." If one travels east,
("repeating a day"), I recall that some people would hold that Friday
is Shabbos because it is the seventh day and then Saturday "becomes"
Shabbos. Thus the traveler would keep Shabbos for two days to get back
in sync.

When I had to travel to Asia on business, I was told to travel (going
west) in the middle of the week to avoid problems. I had to go to
Hawaii from the east coast first because of the business involved.
When returning, I actually flew west across Europe to the east coast
of the United States in order to avoid any problems. In that case, the
actual trip would have been about the same in either direction. I was
also told that it is best to travel in the middle of the week (Tuesday
or Wednesday) in order to avoid difficulties on arrival or departure
"too close" to Shabbos.

I found the following audio files:

Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky (given On: Tuesday August 03, 2010)

Rabbi David Horwitz (given On: Thursday October 21, 2010)

I found an article at
which stated (note that it does not deal with Shabbos going east):

------------------------ start quote -----------------------------
Sample Itineraries:

A. Westbound - "Lose a Day" - Qantas Airlines Flight #12
Leave Los Angeles 10:30 p.m. Sunday - Arrive Sydney 6:05 a.m. Tuesday

Except for the end of the flight, this 14 hour flight is through the
night. One davens Maariv in Los Angeles. After crossing the Dateline,
an additional Maariv is not required, even though it instantaneously
becomes the next night. If Sunday night is 32 b'omer, and one counts
sefira in Los Angeles, one counts 33 b'omer, without a bracha, upon
landing in Sydney on Tuesday morning. On Tuesday night, 34 b'omer, and
on the remaining nights of sefira, a bracha is recited. On Chanukah,
if one lights three Chanukah candles on Sunday night, before leaving
Los Angeles, one lights five candles on Tuesday night in Sydney. The
fourth night is "skipped." If a hefsek tahara was performed on the
previous Shabbos, Sunday is Day #1 of the shiva n'kiim, Monday is
skipped, Tuesday is Day #2, etc. Sunday is Day #7, and one goes to the
mikvah on Sunday night.

B. Eastbound - "Gain a Day" - United Airlines Flight #896
Leave Hong Kong 12:40 p.m. Tuesday - Arrive Chicago 2:15 p.m. Tuesday

The sun sets several hours into this thirteen hour flight. It then
rises several hours later. One davens Tuesday's Mincha an hour after
take-off, Maariv after nightfall, and Shacharis after sunrise.
Although the Dateline has been crossed before sunrise, and it is
Tuesday morning again, one davens the Tuesday Shacharis on the plane
and Tuesday Mincha in Chicago. One davens two Tuesday Shacharis' and
Minchas as these laws are governed by cycles of sunrise and sunset,
not days of the week. If Tuesday is 33 b'omer, 33 b'omer is counted on
Monday night in Hong Kong. After landing in Chicago on Tuesday, 33
b'omer is counted again without a bracha. On Tuesday night, 34 b'omer,
and on the remaining nights of sefira, a bracha is recited. If Tuesday
is the third day of Chanukah, three candles are lit on Monday night in
Hong Kong and four candles on Tuesday night in Chicago. Hallel is
recited nine times, as one davens Shacharis on Tuesday morning (the
third day of Chanukah) twice.

One should preferably not depart Sydney on Sunday as, according to the
Chazon Ish, it is Shabbos shortly after take-off, when the plane
begins flying northeast over the Pacific Ocean. If one flew on Sunday,
one should not do any melacha d'oraisa until nightfall. It is
preferable that one should not depart from Australia (to fly east
toward America) on Friday. L'maaseh, if one departs on Friday, one
must keep Shabbos from before sunset until crossing 144.8W longitude,
when it is Friday again according the all opinions, including the
Gesher Chaim.

In the summer of 1894, the Rav of Melbourne, R' Avraham Abir
Hirschwitz, traveled by ship from Sydney to Auckland, New Zealand, and
San Francisco. The details of his trip and psak were published in 1908
in his sefer, Shailos U' Teshuvos Beis Avrohom. Perhaps at the time,
those studying this sefer thought this is halacha she'aino nogaya
l'maaseh, non-practical, non-relevant law. Little did they realize
that less than one hundred years later Jews from all over the world
would fly this route on a regular basis, and the laws would become
more relevant than they could ever imagine.
--------------------------- end quote ----------------------------------

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz

From: Ed Greenberg <edg@...>
Date: Wed, May 25,2011 at 01:01 PM
Subject: What Day Of The Week Will Shabbos Be In Samoa?

In response to the query of Immanuel Burton <iburton@...> regarding
Samoa (MJ 60#11):

In the BBC article Immanuel referred to (apparently, 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/world-13334229 -- Mod.), I read that 119 years 
ago, in 1892, Samoa swapped the other way.

I wonder if there was a psak (Rabbinical ruling) back then.


From: Dr. William Gewirtz <wgewirtz@...>
Date: Wed, May 25,2011 at 11:01 PM
Subject: What Day Of The Week Will Shabbos Be In Samoa?

In response to the query of Immanuel Burton <iburton@...> regarding
Samoa (MJ 60#11):

There are a number of fundamental questions that bear on this issue. Consider 2
cases, the first with 3 sub-cases and the second with 2 sub-cases.

FIRST CASE: Most assume that the dateline is defined in halakha: 

a) 180% from Jerusalem - the opinion of R YM Tukatzinsky, 

b) 90% (either continent conforming - the opinion of the Chazon Ishor 90%
precisely - the opinion of R. M. Lapidus and often assumed to be that of various
Brisker), or 

c) about 135% - the fascinating opinion of R. D. Shapiro.  Under this scenario,
the day of the week is defined by geographic location, not local custom. Were
that the case, a change in custom would have no consequence.

Regardless of the angle in the particular sub-case, I find all of these
positions rather implausible and prefer a mechanism where local custom
determines the day of the week halakhically. (I will explain this position in
detail in a forthcoming paper.)

Under that scenario, the issue you raise with Samoa is entirely relevant.  I
would argue that since you count 7 days from Shabbat to Shabbat, it CANNOT be

But now this SECOND CASE has 2 sub-cases. 

a) Establishing the day of the week requires a halakhic community. One could
argue that unless a halakhic community practices a particular way, the place
has NO halakhic status. A visitor would ostensibly continue his previous
practice. Assuming no halakhic community in Samoa, there is no associated
halakhic day of the week. On the other hand, 

b) if you argue that any group can establish the day of the week, then I would
again assume it cannot be changed. This would mean that Alaska should celebrate
the Sabbath on Friday, since in 1867 the day of the week changed as Alaska went
from Russian to US ownership.

So to summarize, under any of the three popular halakhic datelines, what mere
mortals do is of no consequence. Assuming custom can only be established by a
halakhic community and assuming Samoa (and Alaska for that matter) does not
have one, the place has no halakhic day (travelers behave by continuing the
practice of their previous locale). Again, an act of the government is
irrelevant. However, if one assumes any community can establish the day of the
week, your question is very important. My view, not entirely provable, is that
it cannot be changed. My personal view is that the day of the week depends on
the local custom of a halakhic community and, once established, cannot be 

Le'zecher Nishmat Rav Uri Dasberg, who died tragically in a car accident earlier
this week in Gush Etzion. He invited me to a shiur on the dateline given
at Encyclopedia Talmudit earlier this year discussing a letter on this topic
from Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer to the Chazon Ish. Rav Meltzer argued strongly for
the second approach.

William Gewirtz


End of Volume 60 Issue 12