Volume 60 Number 98 
      Produced: Fri, 20 Jul 2012 15:41:26 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Break Anti-halachic Shul Habits 
    [Martin Stern]
Mourner's kaddish by a non-mourner 
    [Joel Rich]
Question re: Yekke Minhagim 
    [Martin Stern]
Seating etiquette 
    [Martin Stern]
Women and tallitot (2)
    [Zvi Greenberg  Michael Rogovin]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 19,2012 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Break Anti-halachic Shul Habits

This article appeared in this week's (Matot-Massei) Torah Tidbits [and can be seen 
via http://www.ttidbits.com/1008/1008.txt --Mod.]:
Many years ago, we had from time to time a feature called B.A.S.H. which
stood for Break Anti-halachic Shul Habits. Featured prominently was
the following topic, one that seems to be so flagrantly disregarded that I
decided to present it again.

One may not walk in front of someone who is in the middle of the Amida. Most
explain this prohibition as disturbing the davener. But according to some
sources, the reason is that it is disrespectful to the Sh'china, the Divine
Presence, which "stands" in front of the davener.

So first of all - pay attention not to walk in front of someone saying the
Amida - even if it is inconvenient or annoying to have to wait.
What follws from all this is that a person must be careful where he/she
chooses to stand for the Amida. Be sensitive to others and avoid
inconveniencing them by your standing in the wrong place. Mutual
sensitivity goes a long way.

Martin Stern


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 19,2012 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Mourner's kaddish by a non-mourner

To make a long story short: a son-in-law whose parents are both alive (and whose
wife only has one brother - who could not say kaddish that day) asked someone
else to say kaddish for his mother-in-law that day.

On this topic, the OU Vebbe Rebbe responded:
The main issue has to do with the Kaddish following Aleinu at the end of the 
tefilla (and in a few places, during Shacharit). That was instituted to give 
mourners who are not able to be the chazan the opportunity to recite at least 
that Kaddish and thereby elevate the souls of their departed parents. Thus, 
poskim write that when one whose parents are alive says Kaddish, it may look as 
if a parent has died, and we refrain from this in order to "not open our mouth 
to the Satan."
At the time, I noted:
However the Rama (132:2) requires Kaddish after Aleinu, even if no mourner is 
present. He also says if no mourner is present, someone else should say it (even
someone with parents, if the parents don't object).

I wonder:
1) Given that saying kaddish for a parent is a din (law) in kavod (respect) for
the parent, and a s-i-l is chayav (has a requirement) in kavod for in-laws,
wouldn't it be better for a s-i-l to say it (not even getting into the whole
source, which is a medrash involving Rabbi Akiva where it is clear that a
"stranger" is not as good as a relative (and then wouldn't a daughter be still

2) How does al tiftach peh lesatan (do not open [your] mouth to the Satan) 
outweigh the massive schar (REWARD) of getting a kahal (community) to say yhei 
shmei rabbah (may God's great name...)?

3) What advice would we give a parent who asks should they give permission to a
s-i-l to say kaddish in this situation?

4) Why don't we say al tiftach if one parent is still alive?

Joel Rich


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 18,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Question re: Yekke Minhagim

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 60#97):
> Martin Stern replied in MJ 60#96 to my MJ 60#95 submission:
>>> On a weeknight he had Yahrzeit and, based on his request and
>>> the "pecking" order, he davened for the amud for ma'ariv.
>>> But being a Yekke whose minhag is that only one person says Kaddish
>>> for the tzibbor -- since someone else in attendance was
>>> saying kaddish he, himself, did not say kaddish -- only responded.
>>> I certainly respect his decision -- but I'm wondering how one might
>>> look at this re: minhag hamakom -- as the minhag of our shul is that
>>> all mourners recite the kaddish in unison.
>> There are two aspects to this problem:
>> 1. As regards the congregation, I can't see how the fact that he
>> did not say kaddish could be a violation of minhag hamakom since
>> it would not be obvious that he was departing from it - after all,
>> not everyone who has the amud is an aveil or has yahrzeit. Those
>> not knowing the facts would have assumed that the person saying kaddish
>> could not fulfil the role of shliach tzibbur and so he was doing so instead.
> I wasn't at all concerned with him violating (if there is such a thing)
> Minhag hamakom -- I was looking for an "out" so that he might say kaddish
> given his locale.

According to our way of looking at things, if someone else has priority for
kaddish, then one does not have any chiyuv at all. The rule is that where
there are two candidates, one acts as shliach tzibbur and the other gets the
kaddish as a sort of consolation prize. So, as far as the visitor was
concerned, he did not even have the right to say kaddish.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 19,2012 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Seating etiquette

Joseph Kaplan wrote (MJ 60#97):

> Martin Stern commented (MJ 60#96):
>> This is a very important distinction. In a shul with fixed pews, people keep
>> their tallit, tefillin, siddur etc. in their desk, and it is inconvenient if
>> someone else 'squats' in it."
> My shul just recently built a new sanctuary with fixed pews; previously we
> had movable chairs.  However, since the shul policy is that no one has an
> official makom kavu'ah (even though many men and women sit in the same seat
> every week, no one is asked to move if they sit in such a seat), the rule
> is that no one is to leave a tallit or siddur etc. in the desk.  When the
> shul is cleaned motza'ay Shabbat, any such items left in the desk are
> removed to the coatroom.

This may be fine where there is a valid eruv but, for those who do not have
this facility, it is much more convenient to leave one's belongings in one's
desk on Friday evening and take them home on motza'ei Shabbat.

However, it can happen that one may not daven in the same place then
because, for example, one is having seudah shlishit with friends who live
some distance away and there would not be enough time to return to one's
usual shul for ma'ariv. After all, one would not want to come late r"l [Rachmana 
lizlan, "G-d, save us" --Mod.]!

In any case why should it be necessary to clean out the desks right after
Shabbat when it is well known that attendance during the week is much lower
and the items would not get in anyone's way?

Martin Stern


From: Zvi Greenberg <haroldzgreenberg@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 19,2012 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Women and tallitot

Leah S. R. Gordon wrote (MJ 60#97):

> If you were going to a Spanish church, would you really insist on wearing
> your kippa?

A Catholic friend of mine told me that he had never been in a
synagogue and asked me to take him.  As we went in the door, I gave
him a kippa to wear and said that I hope he doesn't mind wearing it.

"No problem." he said. "The Pope wears one."

Harold Hershel Zvi Greenberg
Eilat, Israel

From: Michael Rogovin <mrogovin118@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 19,2012 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Women and tallitot

It would be a good start for everyone to agree that everyone has a minimum
standard for what is acceptable to wear at the kotel (or anywhere else). No
one should frame the argument as: the kotel belongs to all Jews and
therefore if I want to wear x at the kotel, I have a right to do so.  Just
like the haredi Rabbi who administers the kotel space, I have a line that
should not be crossed, so does Leah Gordon. Our lines are just different,
but they exist.

Some activities, however legitimate some Jews may feel they are, should
not take place at the kotel, even if they are legal and (at least according
to some) appropriate in other public places. The same of course is true for
other public places, like the Knesset, the Lincoln Memorial and Central
Park. The fact that these shared, special places "belong to all" does not mean
that the government can't create and enforce standards upon behavior and dress
which, while generally legal and permissible for other locations, are not 
permitted in these places. That means compromise.

While I may think that the haredi community needs to compromise more than
they currently do (including at the kotel), we must all understand that
sensitivity to others means that just because halacha permits something
does not mean I must do it, nor that I should do it, especially at the
kotel. It goes without saying that failure to abide by such sensitivities
does not create license for any form of abusive language or action.

Kol tuv,
Michael Rogovin


End of Volume 60 Issue 98