Volume 60 Number 49 
      Produced: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 13:38:42 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Another conundrum 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Bar Elahin 
    [Orrin Tilevitz]
Jacob's Ladder Revisited -- An Ecstatic Dream-Work 
    [Mois Navon]
Minhag question 
    [Irwin Weiss]
Not telling someone about a rainbow 
    [David Ziants]
Nut shells' muktzeh status 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Secular courts serving ecclesiastical courts 
    [Yisrael Medad]
The solution to a conundrum (2)
    [David Tzohar  Bernard Raab]
Ya'amod vs Ya'aleh 
    [Chaim Casper]


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Fri, Nov 18,2011 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Another conundrum

Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...> wrote (MJ 60#48):

> Perets Mett <p.mett00@...> wrote (MJ 60#47):
>> This past Chol Hamoed Succos, what mlocho was permitted for a ben chuts
>> loorets (diaspora resident) but forbidden to a ben Erets Yisroel
>> (resident of Erets Yisroel)?
> Preparing for Shabbat Bereshit. Ben Erets Israel cannot, because Friday
> following Shemini Aseret is a weekday. Ben Huts La'arets can because of 2
> days of Yom Tov.

This means when the ben Eretz Yisroel is outside of Eretz Yisroel. Inside
Eretz Yisroel, the native can do melocho of all types and the Ben Chutz
L'aretz must have done Eruv Tavshilin and is restricted to melocho having
to do with food preparation. I would guess that the Ben Eretz Yisroel in
Chutz L'Aretz would still be allowed to do the melocho of food preparation
because the halacha of maris ayin would not apply.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz 


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 23,2011 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Bar Elahin

Brich Shmey, customarily recited before the Torah is taken out, contains the
well-known passage "la al enash rachitzna vela al bar elahin samichna ela
be-elaha dibishmaya"--I do not trust in a human being or rely on 'bar elahin'
but instead on God who is in heaven."

Because translating "bar elahin" literally "son of God" is theologically
problematic, English translations, at least those I've seen (Art Scroll and
Koren), translate the phrase as "angels" which, apparently, it means in the Book
of Daniel. (Others don't say brich shmay at all for this reason. Interestingly
enough, siddur Rinat Yisrael translates it as "bnai elohim.") But that presents
another theological problem: if, as I thought we were supposed to believe,
"angels" are simply agents of God, what is the matter with trusting them?
Abraham did. Samson did. God himself, as opposed to an angel, redeemed the
Israelites from Egypt not because an angel could not have done the same thing
but to put on a show, to manifest the Divine Presence.

The same phrase in Hebrew, bnei ha-elohim, appears at the end of parashat
Breishit, in the context that "bnei elohim" saw that "bnot adam" were beautiful
and married them. In part to avoid the same theological problem, the classical
commentators translate the phrase as "sarim" (princes) or "kedoshim" (holy
people). The idea, as S.R. Hirsch seems to explain, is that humankind had
fragmented into races and the higher race tried to unify people by marrying
down. Why shouldn't it mean the same thing in Brich Shmey? "I don't trust
ordinary people; I don't even rely on princes or rebbes. Instead, I rely only on


From: Mois Navon <mois.navon@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 27,2011 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Jacob's Ladder Revisited -- An Ecstatic Dream-Work

Dear Friends,

Jacob's dream of a ladder reaching the heavens with angels ascending and
descending has captivated the imaginations of religious and secular
thinkers, scholars and laymen alike, serving as the basis for much art and
legend throughout the ages.  What makes it so fascinating is not only the
content of the dream itself but its context, coming on the eve of Jacob's
exile, followed by his exclamations of awe and his puzzling vow.  

By employing modern dream interpretation, we can unravel this tightly wound
mystery, and in so doing, resolve numerous anomalies in the narrative as a
whole.  I hope you will enjoy: Jacob's Ladder Revisited - An Ecstatic
Dream-Work [http://www.divreinavon.com/pdf/JacobsLadder2.pdf].



From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Sat, Nov 26,2011 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Minhag question

>From where comes the minhag that if one has, God forbid, a death in the family,
that one sits in a different place then his usual place in shul, as a sign that
something isn't right?

I noted that in the Haftarah for Machar Chodesh, which we read today, there
is in verse 27 a Samech [indicating a paragraph break - MOD] in the middle of
the sentence .... Saul is having a big festive meal for Rosh Chodesh (New Moon)
and he notes a chair with no guest .... Distress results. How come David isn't
there, he wonders? The seating order is not normal.

I don't know if this is the reason for the Samech in the middle of the Pasuk
(sentence), but, in any event, when not everyone is there and seated in a normal
way, Saul senses that something is amiss. (It would be like if you had plans for
15 people for Thanksgiving and someone didn't show up ..... Where could they be?
Is there something wrong?)

Now, I sort of doubt that this is the source of the minhag. So, what is the
source of the minhag?

Good Chodesh to all.

Irwin Weiss


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sat, Nov 19,2011 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Not telling someone about a rainbow

My daughter is in kitta bet [=grade 2] of a State Religious Torani school.

She sometimes comes home with halachot [laws] and ideas that I had not 
yet learnt - or maybe I did learn once, but had forgotten.

This evening we saw a rainbow, and I told her that there is a rainbow 
and we need to say a b'racha. She immediately corrected me, that her 
teacher taught her, that it is forbidden to tell others if there is a 
rainbow because the person who tells "rolls his sin over to the person 
who is being told" as the rainbow is connected with the dor hamabul 
[generation of the flood] and the sins that caused the flood.

Not sure whether the above was mainstream thinking, I looked the law up 
in the Shulchan Aruch (Orech Chaim 229:1) and it says there that one 
should not look at the rainbow too much. The Be'er Haitev (Rav Yehuda 
Ashkenazi ztz"l - Judge of Tiktin) comments on this that it makes one's 
eyes dim. Did scientists think this way in his time? (According to 
today's science this would be true concerning a sun eclipse.) The 
Mishneh Berura (Rav Yisrael Meir HaCohen from Radin aka the Chafetz 
Chaim) quotes from the Chayei Adam (Rav Avraham Dantzig) that it is not 
worthwhile  to tell one's friend because one brings dibba [bad words or 
bad thoughts - I think is the best translation] (on dor hamabul I 
assume). What my girl was taught is more in-line with this reasoning and 
I feel more comfortable with this, than with the "scientific" reasoning 
of the Be'er Haitev.

My questions are:-

Is the concept "rolling of the sins over from one person to another" 
("m'galgel hacheit" are the words of my daughter and I assume from the 
teacher) mentioned in any of the sources?

What is/are the earlier source(s), from which the Chayei Adam brings 
this halacha?

Are there dissenting opinions among other acharonim [later scholars] or 
rishonim [earlier scholars], who do not accept this as halacha (for 
example, there are some halachot that are based on aggadic statements  
and not everyone says that this has to be accepted as halacha)?

What about the specific situation when I want to educate my children to 
say the b'racha on the rainbow? Must I wait until they notice and tell 
me, before I can encourage them to say a b'racha?

The issue seems to go against the principle that we want to help each 
other have opportunities to say a b'racha - is this discussed anywhere?

Looking forward to responses.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sat, Nov 19,2011 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Nut shells' muktzeh status

As the Rambam makes clear (for example, Hilchot Shvitat Yom Tov 2:12), shells of 
nuts are muktzeh on Shabbat as well as Yom Tov.

Checking the Shmirat Shabbat K'Hilchata, 22:36, it is suggested that 
they can be removed from the table by pushing them with a knife or other 
implement such as a dry napkin or shake out the table cloth altogether.  
Or consider them as despicable and then even hands can be used.

However, as many know, at a Shalom Zachor, for example, sitting around 
the table (at least in Israel) one finds many eating nuts and the shells 
are placed into an empty cup or bowl.


(a) is one allowed to purposefully create a muktzeh 

(b) what does one do with a cup like that rather than simple 
shells on the tablecloth?



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 28,2011 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Secular courts serving ecclesiastical courts

I found this news item which impacts on Halacha:

The High Court in London is being asked to enforce the decision of the 
Beth Din, the court which decides civil or religious issues among 
Orthodox Jews. The Beth Din awarded Gateshead businessman Jerry Fried 
more than £1 million in December 2009, when it ordered company director 
David Zadok Baumgarten to pay Mr Fried £920,550.43. Mr Fried is also 
seeking interest of £109,558.11.

Mr Fried says he lent £920,550.454 to Mr Baumgarten but that a dispute 
arose between the two men over the payment of dividends amounting to 
£330,490.21. They agreed to take their dispute to arbitration, and 
agreed to abide by the Beth Din's decision, a High Court claim says. But 
Mr Fried accuses Mr Baumgarten of failing to pay the money ordered by 
the Beth Din, and in an unusual move, has turned to the High Court, 
where he is seeking to enforce its decision.

Any thoughts?
A proper move?
Correct decision by the Beth Din?
Will this have ramifications in other areas - divorce, conversion?


Yisrael Medad
http://www.myrightword.blogspot.com/ // http://www.ymedad.blogspot.com/


From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Sat, Nov 19,2011 at 01:01 PM
Subject: The solution to a conundrum

In reply to the question:

"What activity is prohibited on chol hamoed but permitted on shabbat?"

Martin Stern <md.stern@...> wrote (MJ 60#48):

> Work done by a non-Jewish contractor (not an employee paid for his time)
> doing building work on one's property when it is chuts letchum and no Jew
> can get there on Shabbat or Yom Tov, i.e. no marit ayin is possible. On Chol
> Hamoed there is no restriction on travel so marit ayin is a problem. 

This isn't exactly an activity, but aveilut which is forbidden on chol
hamoed is observed on shabbat.

David Tzohar

From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 21,2011 at 01:01 PM
Subject: The solution to a conundrum

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 60#48):

> I wrote (MJ 60#46):

>> Here is another conundrum:
>> What activity is prohibited on Chol Hamoed but permitted on Shabbat and Yom
>> Tov?
> Since I have had several offline queries, this is the solution:
> Work done by a non-Jewish contractor (not an employee paid for his time)
> doing building work on one's property when it is chuts letchum and no Jew
> can get there on Shabbat or Yom Tov, i.e. no marit ayin is possible. On Chol
> Hamoed there is no restriction on travel so marit ayin is a problem.

Of course, a non-observant Jew could very well see the work being done on your
property on Shabbat and cynically conclude that you are the typical religious
hypocrite that he already suspects you are.

I have found marit ayin to be a highly subjective phenomenon. My best
illustration of this was the time that my wife was given a prescription by her
doctor on Friday afternoon with instruction to begin taking the medication
immediately. Since it was already candle-lighting time, and our pharmacy was
directly opposite our shul, I took the prescription with me on my way to shul.
The medication would be ready for pick up on my way home from shul. Of course,
this meant that I would be seen going into the pharmacy on Shabbat just as
everyone was leaving the shul, so my concern was with marit ayin. I consulted
our LOR, a highly respected posek ha'ir. His response: "What are you worried
about? Everybody knows you -- nobody will think you are being mechalel Shabbos."
Would that it were so!

Bernie R.


From: Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...>
Date: Fri, Nov 25,2011 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Ya'amod vs Ya'aleh

Please forgive me if this question has been addressed before.
When we call someone up to the Torah why do we say, "Ya'amod (Ploni ben
Ploni)"?  After all, it is called an aliyah, so shouldn't we call him up
by saying, "Ya'aleh (Ploni ben Ploni)"?

B'virkat Torah,
Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL


End of Volume 60 Issue 49