Volume 60 Number 93 
      Produced: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 10:14:28 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A Unique Iranian Custom? 
    [Martin Stern]
Copyright Law & Its Limitations 
    [Joshua Schulman]
Knuckles or Fingertips 
    [Yisrael Medad]
New Divrei Torah 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Seating etiquette 
    [Martin Stern]
Silent shliach tsibbur 
    [Martin Stern]
Welcome Home to the New Olim (and 300 photos) 
    [Jacob Richman]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 4,2012 at 04:01 AM
Subject: A Unique Iranian Custom?

I saw an interesting article in the Jewish Press last week:

[or http://goo.gl/aAWnu --Mod.]

> A Unique Iranian Custom
> By:     Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen
> Published: June 28th, 2012
> Question: It is known that some sephardim generally arrive at a simcha a few
> hours subsequent to the time noted on the invitation. Is there any logic
> behind this custom?
> Answer: Years ago, while serving as a rav in Los Angeles, I, together with my
> wife, went to a bat mitzvah celebration at the home of a prominent Iranian
> friend. The event was called for 7 p.m. We arrived shortly after 7:00 and were
> escorted to the backyard of the venue where there were tables and chairs for
> at least 500 people. Yet, to our shock and amazement, not a single person was
> there.
> Thinking that we had come on the wrong date, I informed the person who had
> escorted us that I had probably made an error and that we were departing. As
> we were about to leave, I was told that the party was in fact taking place
> that evening.
> Noticed my puzzlement, the host himself came forward to speak with me. He said
> that the satan visits every happy event in order to create an ayin hara and
> mar the simcha. To counter this, all invitations announce the simcha for at
> least an hour prior to the time when the event is really scheduled to begin.
> When the satan arrives at the scheduled time and sees no one there, he figures
> he is wasting his time -- it's a "no-show party" -- and leaves. The guests,
> however, know in advance that the event won't begin until at least an hour
> after the official time and therefore only arrive after the satan has already
> departed.
> Not wishing to provide the satan with an opportunity to mar the simcha, my
> wife and I departed and returned two hours later -- just in time for the
> beginning of the festivities.

I have noticed that this custom is not restricted to 'some Sephardim' and it
is the exception for simchas to start on time. I have, in fact, long stopped
going at the time of the invitation to avoid being the only person present
for over an hour. At several weddings we came about an hour and a half late
and found that waiters were still laying [setting in US English] the tables.

Do any mail-jewish readers have any comments?

Martin Stern


From: Joshua Schulman <yechielyisroel@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 8,2012 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Copyright Law & Its Limitations

I recently purchased the excellent Sefer HaMafteach, which is an index to
Talmud Bavli, and it was written on the first page that "any means of
reproducing the information in this sefer is assur [forbidden - MOD] and
illegal." Further, "this prohibition will be strictly enforced by a Beis Din and
Secular Court." Rav Nissin Karelitz says in the opening of the sefer that it has
been "Divinely ordained that Daniel Retter write this work and to infringe upon
his exclusive right to sell it is improper because he has invested time,
effort and money into it."

I began to wonder if this prohibition applied to a single page for personal
use. Additionally I wanted to know if I could copy each daf I required by
hand and then take a photo of the paper I wrote it on (even though this
would be essentially the same thing as taking a photo of the book itself)
or if I could say each daf I required and record myself as I said it.

I did some research and found that "Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and Eliezer
Waldenburg hold it is mutar lechatchila [permitted ab initio - MOD] to make a
photocopy of a couple pages of the sefer (such as if you have to go to a
wedding and cannot bring in the entire sefer) because it is pashut minhag haolam
[the generally accepted custom - MOD] that even though it says in the copyright
in the beginning of the book that not even one page can be copied, one is
permitted to ignore this aspect of the copyright providing it is for personal
use since the publisher and author know at the time of printing that they will
not be able to enforce people against making one photocopy. Rav Shlomo Zalman
Auerbach goes on to say it is a mitzvah to make photocopies as mareh mekomos
[references -MOD] of a couple pages when giving a shiur to students." (Rabbi
Aryeh Lebowitz; 45 min. into the shiur

As far as secular law is concerned, it is legal to take a couple of
photos of a book for personal use (especially for scholarly purposes) after
one copy has been purchased, as it falls under the Fair Use Clause.

I contacted the author/copyright holder Daniel Retter and he told me it "was
not" permitted to take a photo of even a single page for personal use. I
also contacted the publisher Feldheim and they told me it "was" permitted.

The question I have now is; what can I do and what can I not do?

-Josh Schulman


From: Yisrael Medad <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 28,2012 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Knuckles or Fingertips

Sanford Lefkowitz (MJ 60#92) asked if anyone knows how the practice of performing
mayim achronim on the fingertips rather than the knuckles developed?

I wouldn't be surprised if its origin is in the lack of napkins and the
desire to avoid too much water to dry off.

Yisrael Medad


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 9,2012 at 08:01 PM
Subject: New Divrei Torah

I have posted new divrei torah for Shlach, Chukas, Balak, and Pinchas at 
http://www.sabbahillel.blogspot.com (the URL of my private blog that I use to post 
divrei Torah).  Comments welcome here or there.

For P'Pinchas:
Can a father inherit from a son? 

For P'Balak:
Balak & Nasser, Midian & U.A.R. 

For P'Chukas:
Miriam's Miracles 

For P'Shlach:
Shlach - Yehoshua and Kalev 

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz 


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 4,2012 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Seating etiquette

There seem to be two traditions regarding shul seating:

1. Members are allocated specific seats, and visitors are expected to ask
where there is a free place (makom kavua); and

2. Anyone can take any seat, and it is impolite to ask someone to move (kol
hakodem zacha).

Unfortunately, a lack of appreciation of these divergent practices leads to
discord when those from one type of shul attend one of the other. How can
such problems be minimised?

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 4,2012 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Silent shliach tsibbur

This morning (Wednesday), an elderly member had yahrzeit and acted as shliach
tsibbur. Unfortunately he was so quiet that he was almost totally inaudible
and it was only with difficulty that I managed to hear him at least during
chazarat hashats when everyone else was silent.

At the end, on my way out, I made a point of standing right next to him for
the last kaddish and even then could only just make out what he was saying.
I asked other people whether it was my hearing that was at fault but they
all agreed that that was not the problem.

I did not want to upset the gentleman but I felt that those running the shul
should not have allowed him to be shliach tsibbur in the circumstances. What
do other readers think?

Martin Stern


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 12,2012 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Welcome Home to the New Olim (and 300 photos)

Hi Everyone!

Congratulations and welcome home to the 229 new olim that 
made aliyah to Israel from North America. The NBN aliyah charter 
flight arrived in Israel on Thursday morning and included 99 children in
38 families and 59 singles. The youngest oleh in the group is 6 months old
and the oldest oleh is 86 years old. The flight also included 6 dogs.

I took 300 photos of the exciting, historic event and I posted them 
online at:

I also posted the 300 photos on Facebook for name tagging.
There are two sets of photos and you can access the albums via:


If you have a Facebook acccount and you are in the photos or 
see someone you know, please feel free to name tag the photos.

May the aliyah from all over of the world grow and bring 
more Jews back to their homeland, Eretz Yisrael.

Have a good day,


End of Volume 60 Issue 93