Volume 60 Number 33 
      Produced: Fri, 02 Sep 2011 12:40:11 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Anonymity and Hilchot Lashon Haraa, 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Davening without talis and tefilin 
    [Stuart Wise]
Does Halacha require a person to make up a minyan? (3)
    [Martin Stern  Joel Rich  Gershon Dubin]
Facing the Temple Mount in Prayer 
    [Richard Fiedler]
Giving food to someone who said they couldn't feed their children 
    [Rabbi Meir Wise]
Is Bone Charcoal from Prohibited Animals Suitable for Use in Kosher Co 
    [Michael Rogovin]
Ledabber bam 
    [Baruch J. Schwartz]
    [Jeanette Friedman]
New Zealand 
    [Orrin Tilevitz]
Public expression of mourning on Shabbat Chazon (2)
    [Martin Stern  Avraham Friedenberg]
Tzedakah (2)
    [Avraham Friedenberg  Michael Poppers]
Wetting and Rolling Rice paper on Shabbat 
    [Aryeh Frimer]


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 31,2011 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Anonymity and Hilchot Lashon Haraa,

Batya Medad wrote (MJ 60#31):

> In terms of Hilchot Lashon Haraa, when talking about a person, leaving
> out the name is considered worse than using a name. That's because
> those who hear the story start wondering who it is, toying with all
> sorts of possibilities. That wondering, going through a list in the mind
> makes it worse.
> And in terms of the anonymous letter write or commenter, some people
> would try to guess who it is, which can cause the same sort of halachik
> problems.

If this is the case, then....

Not telling people someone is dead causes people to worry that
somebody is dead.

Not telling someone that they have cancer causes people to worry they
have cancer.

Not telling who was accused of pedophilia causes people to be
suspicious of all teachers in all Yeshiva schools.


From: Stuart Wise <Smwise3@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 30,2011 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Davening without talis and tefilin

It's that time of year again when early minyan goers are faced with the  
time for talis and tefilin getting late enough that we start davening without  
them on. Today in shul there was a short debate over whether we should wait 
to put on tefillin two minutes at Boruch She'amar (nusach sefard) or go 
straight through the zman and put them on before yishtabach. The person in 
charge of the minyan said the latter but one person complained and said we 
should wait the two minutes.  Then he made a curious statement when he met 
resistance: OK, the sin will be on your head (presumably for people not putting 
on tefilin at the moment it is permitted).
I wouldn't dare start up with this hot headed guy, but is there a sin for  
doing as he suggests?
Stuart Wise


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 30,2011 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Does Halacha require a person to make up a minyan?

Nachum Binyamin Klafter, MD  <doctorklafter@...> wrote (MJ 60#32):

> If, however, there is a regular time for mincha, for example at 5:30pm every
> day, and this group of people wants to doven an an earlier unscheduled time
> such as 4:00pm, then I think that the people sitting around and learning are
> entitled to doven at the regularly scheduled time of 5:30pm.  I do not think
> they are required to interrupt their learning or other activities in order
> to help people doven at an earlier, unscheduled time.  I think they are
> entitled to doven at the regular later time according to their original
> plans.

So long as there are six people actually davenning, the other four can
simply sit there and answer amen. This allows those six who, for some
presumably valid reason such as having to catch a train or plane, have to
daven earlier to do so with a minyan. To refuse to help out in this way
might be considered a case for kofin al middot Sdom [forcing people to be
helpful when they suffer no loss thereby].

Martin Stern

From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 30,2011 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Does Halacha require a person to make up a minyan?

I suppose every situation is different (and without getting into the issue of 
whether if 10 are present but only 8 are davening is it tfila btzibbur) I would 
say I'm struck by the "stick to the pure halacha" versus the derech hayashar if 
it's not too much of a burden to help others fulfill a mitzvah.

Joel Rich

From: Gershon Dubin  <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 1,2011 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Does Halacha require a person to make up a minyan?

Ralph Zwier <ralph@...> wrote (MJ 60#30):

> It's the advertised time in a shule for Mincha (the afternoon daily prayer).
> There are twelve men currently in the shule. None has davened Mincha yet.
> Seven of the men are learning (or perhaps talking). The other five want
> to begin Ashrei. Is one (or five) of the seven non-daveners required by
> Halacha to daven in order to allow tefilla betzibbur (a public prayer service)
> for the Shule itself?

IIRC Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach addresses this.  If the alternative will be to 
daven with a full minyan of ten, then no.  If one can daven (even if he has the 
option to daven with a full minyan later) and thereby afford the five the 
opportunity to do at least at this minimum level of communal prayer, he should do 



From: Richard Fiedler <richardfiedler@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 30,2011 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Facing the Temple Mount in Prayer

Recently at Menachem Zion Shul in the Old City Rav Zilberman happened to join us 
in Shacharit over 
several days. Rav Zilberman runs a very popular Haredi, Lithuanian educational 
facility in the Jewish 
Quarter with young students coming from near and far. Thus I am confident that he 
will have great 
influence on what happens at the Kotel.

He markedly davens in a direction which is not toward the Kotel but toward a 
presumed location of the 

BTW he also wears Tekhelet on his Talit and is seen most times during the day 
wearing his Tefillin.



From: Rabbi Meir Wise <Meirhwise@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 30,2011 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Giving food to someone who said they couldn't feed their children

Chazal already taught us how to avoid charity fraud in Baba Batra 9a.

"If someone asks for food then one should provide food. If someone 
asks for money you should make enquiries."

Hence certification nowadays.

I was once approached by a bejewelled, heavily made up woman in
Jerusalem claiming that her children needed milk. I offered to buy
milk but she said she wanted money!

Once in London as I was filling petrol in a garage I was approached by
a non-Jew who might have been an addict who says he was starving. I
told the cashier to let him put any food and drink he wanted on my bill.
The cashier said: you are so clever, you Jews!
So it was a Kiddush Hashem and a fulfilment of the verse:

 "for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the
nations ..." (Deut 4,6)

Having said that, the Midrash says:

"Let us thank the (charity) fraudsters for without them we would not be
able to stand on judgement day. That is, they justify our refusal to

Reb Chayyim Volozhin already asked his Rebbe the Gaon MiVilna why he
didn't put on the tefillin of Rabbenu Tam. Several answers are reported.
The Halacha is like Rashi according to  all. We don't light chanuka candles
like Beit Shammai. Hence the Gaon who wore tefillin all day did not want to
lose a moment  of the mitzva. If one starts altering the order of the
parshiyot then one would have  to put on 24 pairs of tefillin!

It's late so I'll stop at two answers!

Kol tuv

Rabbi Wise

The English translation of Megilat Sefer by Rabbi Jacob Emden is now
on Amazon! Hurrah!


From: Michael Rogovin <mrogovin118@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 30,2011 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Is Bone Charcoal from Prohibited Animals Suitable for Use in Kosher Co

Charcoal (natural hardwood lump) is made by heating wood in the absence of
oxygen until it carbonizes and is black and brittle. It can then be lit and
heated until it is red hot and used for cooking in a charcoal grill. It
burns hotter and faster than charcoal briquettes and adds a woody, smokey
flavor to food. It is possible to create char-fuel for a grill using other
materials that contain carbon, for example corn husks, which then infuse a
corn flavor to grilled foods. A well-known farm-to-table restaurant has been
experimenting with making "bone-char", grilling lobster on charcoal made
from charred lobster shells and grilling pork using charred pig bones. The
bones may have been previously cooked, so that when they are lit for the
grill, this is the third time they are "cooked" or have had heat applied.
They claim that the bone-char infuses the grilled meats and fish with
additional flavor.

Query: Is charcoal made from bones of prohibited animals (shellfish, pig,
etc.) permitted for cooking? On the one hand, bones are not themselves
explicitly prohibited and are certainly inedible once charred (no form of
charcoal is edible). On the other hand, they would be used specifically to
impart the flavor of non-kosher food onto kosher food through vapors
released by heating the bone char (for the 2nd or 3rd time).


From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 30,2011 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Ledabber bam

Martin Stern (MJ 60#30) asked about the words ledabber bam in the second paragraph of Keriat Shema.

First, as he correctly senses, the use of the infinitive + lamed (ledabber) here is not "to speak of them", 
i.e. in order to speak of them, but rather as a gerund: "by speaking of them". This use of the infinitive 
with lamed is very common in Biblical Hebrew; if you have a Gesenius grammar book you'll see a whole 
list of very well-known examples in paragraph 114o. 

So, the verse means "You shall teach them ["these words of Mine", mentioned in v. 18] to your children 
by speaking of them [i.e. reciting them] when sitting at home, traveling, going to bed and rising [i.e. at 
all times, constantly]".

As for Martin's specific question, "does it mean that the father should teach his children by speaking 
about the mitsvot at all times, or that the result of his teaching should be that the children speak about 
them at all times," once one recognizes that the sense of ledabber is gerundic, one realizes that the 
father is the one who is commanded to speak "these words of Mine" all the time--not the children, who 
are the listeners and learners, here and throughout Devarim. 

Theoretically this might perhaps be a question about the placement of the etnahta: if the former sense 
were intended, why shouldn't the etnahta be before the word ledabber, so that it would be clear that 
the adverbial phrases "when sitting at home, traveling, going to bed and rising" all modify ledabber? 

But the answer is that syntactically, the gerundic infinitive is properly connected to the main verb of the 
clause, which is velimmadtem. Therefore, the etnahta comes after ledabber bam, making velimmadtem 
and ledabber into a single verbal phrase: main verb + gerundic infinitive, preceding the etnahta, and 
reserving all of the modifiers for the second half of the verse, after the etnahta.

And if one looks at the similar verse in the first para. of Shema, Deut. 6:7, one sees the same thing--
even though a finite verb is used (vedibbarta) and not an infinitive. "You shall rehearse them [i.e. these 
words that I command you this day, mentioned in the preceding verse] to your children and you shall 
speak of them [etnahta] when sitting at home, traveling, going to bed and rising [sof pasuq]". All of the 
modifiers come after the words vedibbarta bam, indicating that the two verbs, veshinnantam and 
vedibbarta, constitute a single verbal phrase and the modifiers all pertain to the entirety--just as in the 
verse Martin inquired about.

Baruch J. Schwartz
Department of Bible
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jerusalem 91905 ISRAEL


From: Jeanette Friedman <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 30,2011 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Misquotation?

There  are different versions of the quote but Martin Stern's (MJ 60#32) is totally 
off [subscribers are urged to compare it with Jeanette's one below to understand 
the misquotation- MOD].  

First they came for the _communists_ , (USHMM says  "socialists)
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. 
Then they came for the _trade unionists_ ,
and  I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. 
Then they came for the _Jews_,
and I didn't speak out  because I wasn't a Jew. 
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for  me.


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 1,2011 at 02:01 PM
Subject: New Zealand

According to the Auckland Hebrew Congregations website, there is an "eastern 
suburbs shtiebel." Does anyone know where this "shtiebel" is, whether it has 
regular shabbos davening, and whether it follows normative Orthodox practices? A 
contact would be helpful too. My email to the main shul office in Auckland has 
gone unanswered (I have not yet tried calling).

Orrin Tilevitz


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 30,2011 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Public expression of mourning on Shabbat Chazon

Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...> wrote (MJ 60#32):
> One person responded to Martin's point, that those who bring in Shabbat
> early can justify singing Lekhah Dodi to the tune of Eli Zion because at the
> time they sing Lekhah Dodi, it is still technically a weekday and hence
> aveilut b'farhesia would not apply.   But those who daven b'zman will wind up
> singing Lekhah Dodi to the tune of Eli Zion AFTER shkiah which can be argued
> as being Shabbat even though they have not yet said either Mizmor Shir L'yom
> HaShabbat or Borkhu.   Can we be melamed zekhut on their behalf?

I don't think aveilut b'farhesia AFTER shkiah, but before night, is a
problem since, in aveilut, we always follow the lenient opinion so even
those who daven ma'ariv after night will be singing Lekhah Dodi during bein
hashmashot [twilight period].

Furthermore we greet aveilim who come to shul on the Friday night during
shiva, entering immediately before Mizmor Shir L'yom HaShabbat, with
"Hamakom yenacheim etchem ...", as on a weekday, and not "Shabbat Hi
milenacheim ..." which would be appropriate if bein hashmashot were
considered Shabbat completely.

Martin Stern

From: Avraham Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 30,2011 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Public expression of mourning on Shabbat Chazon

Martin Stern writes (MK 60#30):

> Secondly, Eli Tsion itself is sung on Tisha be'Av when we stand up
> towards the end of the recitation of the kinot and, if anything, its lively
> tune, and reference to birth pangs that herald an imminent > birth, carries
> the message of hope that the galut will end (cf. the Gemara at the end
> of Makot).

In Israel, I agree, it is a lively tune.  In the shule where I grew up in
the States, Eli Tzion was sung much slower and was quite mournful.  Perhaps
it was because the Rav had learned in Europe and was a Holocaust survivor.

Avraham Friedenberg
Karnei Shomron


From: Avraham Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 30,2011 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Tzedakah

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 60#30) in response to Carl Singer (MJ 60#29):

> He lists various situations to which I would like to add the fellow
> who comes up to you in shul and loudly demands a donation:

> 1.  after you have put on your tefillin shel yad but are just taking
> the shel rosh out of the bag

> 2.  during birchot kriat shema

> 3.  while you have your hand over your eyes while saying the first verse
> of the shema.

> 4.  while you are in the middle of shmoneh esreh

> 5.  during chazarat hashats (even to the shliach tzibbur)

> OK, I have not actually seen case 4 but the others have really happened
> on several occasions. I just wonder why they cannot collect at more
> appropriate times such as during Psukei Dezimra or Ashrei/Uva Letsion. I
> have yet to see any who were on the verge of collapse from starvation for
> whom pikuach nefesh [danger to life] would justify interrupting (and in such
> a situation money might be too late, they would need food on the spot -
> imagine their reaction if one offered them a sweet!) so it appears that we
> are being expected to do so purely for their convenience.

I personally won't give at all while I am davening.  Davening is one of the
few quiet times I have during the day, and while I appreciate the fact
that they need (or an organization needs) the money, giving it to them while
I am davening or 30 minutes later really won't make a difference.  That being
said, almost all those collecting wait until davening is over before they
begin their spiel.  I don't know if this is official shule policy or
politeness, but I, for one, appreciate it.

Avraham Friedenberg
Karnei Shomron

From: Michael Poppers <MPoppers@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 30,2011 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Tzedakah

In MJ 60#32, Art Werschulz wrote:
> Chaim Casper writes (MJ 60#31):
>> ...the mehaber paskins that we should give tzedakah before the start
>> of davening while the Sha"Kh suggests giving tzedakah when we say the pasuk,
>> "v'ha'osher v'hakavod milfanekhah v'atah moshel bakol....." Yet the closest
>> thing I have seen to a universal custom for tzedakah is that a representative
>> of the kehilah goes around collecting during hazarat hashats. 
> When I've attended the JEC morning minyan (Elizabeth NJ), I seem to remember
> that a representative of the qehilah (usually a youngster) goes around
> collecting at "v'ha'osher v'ha'qavod".

In my experience, it is usually a youngster (for purposes of chinuch) but not 
always, and (with rare & unplanned exceptions) not just at Shacharis, but also at 

At KAJ/"Breuer's," where I grew up, a member of the Synagogue Committee went 
around w/ a pushke during chazaras haSHaTZ.  The shul was built with wooden 
tz'daqah boxes by each main inner door, but apparently they were rarely utilized 
(at least, as a youngster who checked them every so often at the end of 
davening out of curiosity -- their doors weren't locked -- I only once recall 
seeing coinage inside; certainly possible that a member of the Shul 'cleaned them 
out' before I checked...). 

All the best from 
-- Michael Poppers via BB pager


From: Aryeh Frimer <frimera@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 30,2011 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Wetting and Rolling Rice paper on Shabbat

Has anyone heard of a psak regarding wetting and using Rice paper Sheets on 
Shabbat for wraps?

Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 52900, ISRAEL
E-mail (office): <Aryeh.Frimer@...> or FrimeA@biu.ac.il
E-mail (home): <FrimerA@...>


End of Volume 60 Issue 33