Volume 61 Number 25 
      Produced: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 07:04:16 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Arkaot shel Akum 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Benching gomel (2)
    [Jack Gross  Steven Oppenheimer]
Berov am hadrat Melekh (3)
    [Martin Stern  Chaim Casper  David Tzohar]
City Eruvin (2)
    [Josh Backon  Martin Stern]
Going FROM the Bet Midrash TO the Shul (Was: Berov am hadrat Melekh) 
    [Baruch J. Schwartz]
Minyan Factories -- was benching gomel 
    [Carl Singer]
Type sizes in siddurim (5)
    [Martin Stern  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz  Chaim Casper  Stuart Wise  Elliot Berkovits]
When to release the tzitzit after Kriat Shema 
    [Yisrael Medad]


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 28,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Arkaot shel Akum

I wrote in MJ 61#23:

> Abaye found  someone in Bavel judging cases of divorce and forcing men
> to divorce  their wives. He noted that a certain posuk was used by Rabbi
> Tarfon to say we need to use our own courts but it can also mean not courts
> of ordinary people. The reply was that they are agents of the Sanhedrin
> (in Eretz Yisroel).  But for robbery and murder they weren't given this
> authority.

That should be robberies and wounds (injuries) both of them compensated by money.

I should also add the Rambam derives the mitzvah for courts (in all places) from
"Shoftim V'Shotrim Tetein Lechah bechold shearecha".

A court requires shotrim - the ability to enforce its decisions.


From: Jack Gross <jacobbgross@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 28,2012 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Benching gomel

There really is no requirement that Birkat HaGomel be said at the time of
reading the Torah.  (It is well known that Rav Yitzhak Hutner, when he
arrived safely in New York after the plane highjacking, bentched gomel
immediately, at the airport, in the presence of Rav Moshe Feinstein.)

If allowing multiple recitations at kri'at hatorah on a Monday or Thursday
entails the risk of inconveniencing participants of the minyan -- IMHO the
obvious solution is to defer the recitation of HaGomel (by those who did not
have an aliya) until after the last Kaddish.

From: Steven Oppenheimer <steven.oppenheimer@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 28,2012 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Benching gomel

Rabbi Nosson Gestetner, z"l (author of Responsa Lehoros Nosson and former
Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Panim Me'iros) was asked by someone who travels
frequently and doesn't want people inquiring about his business, whether it
is permissible to fulfill the mitzvah of Hagomel by listening to someone
else make the blessing. He asked:

1. Does the listener have to answer amen?

2. Does the person making the blessing have to have the intention (kavana) to
be motzee the listener (enable the listener to fulfill his obligation)?

3. Does the listener have to have kavana to have the person reciting the
blessing fufill the listener's obligation?

4. Do other people have to see the listener stand near the one reciting the
blessing in order for the listener to fulfill his obligation?

5. Is the mitzvah to recite Hagomel de'oraita (Torah requirement) of derabanan
(rabbinic requirement)?

Rabbi Gestetner explains the following (Responsa Lehoros Nosson 9:6):

The Shulchan Aruch (O. Ch. 219:5) explains that it is not necessary to
answer amen to the Hagomel blessing of the one reciting the blessing in
order to be yotzei.  Since the one reciting the blessing was also obligated
to recite the blessing, the listener fulfills his obligation as long as he
wants to be yotzei and the one who recites the blessing wants to be motzee him,
and the listener need not answer amen.

The origin of this law is the Tur who makes no mention of the requirement
for the one reciting the blessing to have kavana to be motzee the listener.

The Beit Yosef, however, commenting on the Tur, says that according to those
who hold that mitzvot tzerichot kavana (a mitzvah must be done with
intention), the one who recites the blessing must have the intention to
include the listener.

The Perisha explains that according to those who maintain that mitzvot
einan tzerichot kavana  (a mitzvah does not need intention), while the one
reciting the blessing may not have to have kavana to be motzee the
listener, the listener, however, must have kavana.

Magen Avraham explains that only Torah mitzvot need kavana.  Rabbinic
commandments do not need kavana.

Since Birkat Hagomel is rabbinic, kavana is not needed.

Therefore, according to this understanding, kavana would not be needed by
the one who recites the Hagomel blessing to be motzee the listener.

The objection brought by the Beit Yosef in the name of Rabbeinu Yonah, that
a mitzvah that has no action other than a verbal declaration must have
intention does not apply since Rabbeinu Yonah was speaking of a case where
the one reciting the blessing did not have intention to even fulfill his
own obligation.  In our case, however, the person reciting the
blessing fully intends to fulfill the mitzvah because he himself is
obligated to recite the blessing of Hagomel.

Therefore, in our case where the listener has kavana to fulfill his
obligation by hearing the blessing being recited, he should be yotzei even
if the one reciting the Hagomel blessing does not have the intention to
include the listener.  (Ideally, the one who recites the blessing and
the listener should both have kavana).

The Shulchan Aruch (219:3) wonders whether one fulfills the mitzvah of
Hagomel by reciting the blessing without a minyan and concludes that in the
event that it was recited without a minyan, it would be desirable to
repeat the blessing again, without G-d's name, in the presence of a minyan.

A person has up to thirty days to recite the Hagomel blessing (M.B. 219:8,
Shittah Mekubetzet Berachot 54b).  This is also the pesak of Harav Ovadiah
Yosef.  One should only delay the blessing in order to have the opportunity
to recite the blessing in the presence of ten men (minyan).

See the following link to read the Lehoros Nosson responsum:


Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 28,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Berov am hadrat Melekh

Stuart Pilichowski wrote (MJ 61#24):
> If "Berov am hadrat Melekh" was a serious halachik / philosophical factor
> and consideration than the gedolei yisroel would've decided to enact and
> enforce an institution of Central Synagogues rather than every Yankel and
> Shemril opening another shul / breakaway and thereby duplicate costs,
> expenses and services.

If I am not mistaken, it was precisely this kind of stiebelisation that was
one of the objections raised against the early Chassidic movement.

Martin Stern

From: Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 28,2012 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Berov am hadrat Melekh

Many wrote on the subject of B'rov Am Hadrat Melekh (MJ 61#22-24). I know that
many men will join with nine others after shalosh seudah to daven ma'ariv.   It
certainly is quicker and more expedient than going to the nearest shul or beit
medresh.   But allow me to point out that the Mishneh Brurah rules that it is
better to daven with a minyan of 100 than a minyan of 10 precisely because of
B'rov Am Hadrat Melekh.     If so, shouldn't these impromptu minyanim be used
only in an emergency?  

Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL

From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 28,2012 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Berov am hadrat Melekh

The discussion of of "berov am hadrat melech" centered on the practice
of splitting up large minyanim to enable more than one Chiyyuv be

Correct me if I am wrong but AFAIK there is no chova for a mourner to
be Shatz, only that he recite kaddish yatom.  The idea of a Chiyyuv,
that mourners are obligated to lead the dovening is a relatively late
minhag. Therefore it is obvious that it is preferable  to doven in a
large minyan, i.e. berov am, than to break up into smaller minyanim so
that more mourners can act as shatz.

David Tzohar


From: Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 29,2012 at 01:01 AM
Subject: City Eruvin

Martin Stern (MJ 61#24) mentioned the problem of an Eruv in large

The problem is definition of a public domain (reshut ha'rabim m'doraita).
The following decisors ruled that a public domain must be 16 amot wide
(about 24 feet) and 600,000  traverse it daily: 

Rashi in Eruvin 6a; ROSH Eruvin Perek Alef Siman 8; Tosfot Shabbat 64b; RAAVYA
Siman 216; R. Sar Shalom Gaon in Tshuvot haGeonim  Chemda Genuza Siman 70;
TUR OC 303 and 325 and 345; Rema;  TAZ OC 345 s"k 6; Magen Avraham OC 345 s"k 7;
GRA in OC 345 s"k 11; Chayei Adam Klal 49 Din 13.

The problem? The Rambam didn't require 600,000 people traversing the
area but any street 16 amot wide is reshut harabim d'oraita.  Ditto
for the RIF, the Ramban Shabbat 57a; Ramban on Eruvin 59a; the RAN
Shabbat 57a; Tshuvot haRashba Chelek Alef Siman 724; the Meiri; and
the RIVASH Siman 7. And that's the consensus in the Bet Yosef TUR
Orach Chaim 345 as well.

That's why Sefardim don't "hold by" the eruv.

Josh Backon

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 29,2012 at 02:01 AM
Subject: City Eruvin

Robert Israel pointed out off-line:

> I don't have a comment on the points raised in the article itself, but just
> to note that you included a complete article from Jerusalem Post, minus
> only the photo and the author's name! I don't know how the legal issues of
> copyright play out here, but surely "Whoever repeats a thing in the name of
> the one who said it brings redemption to the world".

We can't include pictures but the omission of Rabbi Shlomo Brody's name was
an oversight during the copying process. I shall be more careful in future.
Thanks for pointing this out.

Martin Stern


From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 29,2012 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Going FROM the Bet Midrash TO the Shul (Was: Berov am hadrat Melekh)

In my neighborhood a Shabbat afternoon shiur that moves weekly from house to
house has been taking place uninterrupted since the establishment of our
community. I call it "The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Shiur in Efrat"
(the reference, for you Broadway fans, is to Guys and Dolls). This devoted group
of men and women always follows the shiur with Arvit, which takes place at the
same venue as the shiur itself.

The shiur is often given by a guest lecturer, and I have been invited in this
capacity many times -- at least once a year. I stipulated from the outset that I
was perfectly willing to come and give the shiur, but that I would conclude and
leave in time to go to the shul to daven there and would not remain to daven
with the members of the shiur in their private minyan. When I first made this
stipulation, many years ago, I backed it up on the basis of the sugya at the
very end of Brachot (also found at the end of Makkot), in which we hear about
the desirability of going FROM the Bet Midrash where one is learning TO the shul
to daven when davening time arrives, rather than remaining where one is to daven
there -- a halacha anchored in the midrashic reading of the verse etc. (Psalm
84:8). For those unfamiliar with this, I suggest looking it up.

No one in the shiur has ever objected to my terms, and even when my leaving
could conceivably jeopardize there being a minyan, instead of prevailing upon me
to remain the members have always made the extra effort and gathered a few extra
neighbors (of which there are plenty) instead. On the other hand, in the almost
thirty years that this shiur has been in existence, not a single member of the
shiur has ever followed my example and joined me, not to mention that the
suggestion that the group as a whole do so -- finish learning, get up and walk
the minute and a half to the shul to daven with the tzibbur -- has never once
come up.

Private minyanim, it seems, have now become a completely acceptable alternative
to going to a Bet Knesset to daven. I grieve over this, but as my experience
would seem to indicate, no one is budging.

Baruch Schwartz


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 28,2012 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Minyan Factories -- was benching gomel

Stuart Pilichowski  MJ#62 #24 writes:

> Seems to me there's been too much fixation on minyan being a "factory."
> AAMOF, there are a proliferation of just that very thing on the market
> today: "Minyan Factories."

> You must begin exactly on time and, of course, end precisely on the button
> otherwise the people attending will have their work / personal schedules
> messed up. As important as those factors are - it doesn't leave much room
> "heartfelt" tefillah. You rack up your mitzvah points. Thanks for
> participating. See you at the next round.

I believe the posting is a bit harsh and overstates things -- implying that
a minyan which has a precise start and end time should be designated as
part of a minyan factory and that such a minyan precludes "heartfelt
davening." -- people have a right, perhaps an obligation to make some order in
their lives.  Whether davening takes them 30 minutes or 90 minutes, they should
not be inconvenienced by unexpected delays or additions (or for that matter
excessive speed.)

I do not believe that keeping davening to a reasonably precise schedule or
a precise target end time equates to a lack of kavanah or "heartfelt"
tefillah.  To the contrary, these minyans may involve serious reflection
and have no room for idle chatter, etc.

For example, I recall a 10:00 PM Ma'ariv minyan at the Philadelphia Yeshiva
-- it began on time (as the clock struck) and ended on time -- thus
allowing those of us who learned in the daf yomi which followed to start on
time, and for those who davened elsewhere to know when that would be.

The other use of the term "minyan factory" refers to a shul that has
several minyanim -- this also can be a positive.  Someone whose work may
not permit a firm schedule knows that he can go to such a shul and "find" a
minyan to meet his needs.

Carl Singer


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 28,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Type sizes in siddurim

Avraham Friedenberg wrote (MJ 61#24):
> Why are so many all Hebrew siddurim printed using multiple type sizes,
> ranging from gigantic down to tiny (and almost impossible to see)?  Why do
> printers continue to do this?  Any ideas?

AFAIK the reason is so that the user can easily distinguish parts of the
text, such as ya'aleh veyavo, that are only inserted on special occasions
from what is said all the time.

Martin Stern

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 28,2012 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Type sizes in siddurim

In answer to Avraham Friedenberg (MJ 61#24): 

Many siddurim use different fonts in order to separate different parts 
of the davenning or to show parts that are not said every single time 
(such as changes due to rosh chodesh). I have also seen siddurim that 
state that a single uniform font for every paragraph actually may make 
it more difficult to read. Some siddurim have changed fonts in different 
paragraphs in order to ensure that the paragraphs do not have to be 
split across pages, or that a particular section can start at the 
beginning of a page and end on a page without having to much blank space.

I am sure there are other reasons, but these are some that I have 

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz

From: Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 28,2012 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Type sizes in siddurim

Avraham Friedenberg in MJ 61#24 asks about the siddurim with different sized
types.   One of the innovations that Philip/Paltiel Birnbaum put into his siddur
(which was the #1 used Orthodox siddur with English translation in the US if not
the world until the ArtScroll came along) is that all type be the same size.  As
he says in his introduction (pg xxi):

"For no sound reason the pages of the Siddur are broken up b several type sizes
which have a confusing effect on the eyes of the reader....The variation of type
sizes frequently causes mental stumblling and interferes with the proper
appreciation of the Siddur."

Alas, ArtScroll has reverted to the old style of different sized lettering much
to Birnbaum's chagrin.

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

From: Stuart Wise <Smwise3@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 28,2012 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Type sizes in siddurim

In answer to Avraham Friedenberg (MJ 61#24):

I think you will find that in the past 25 years or so, there has been a  
great effort to standardize the font size, even though older versions continue 
to be reprinted with the different sizes. Why they varied in the first 
place, I don't know but it seems as if the prayers regarded as more important 
were larger, maybe to make it easier for people who had vision problems, or 
just to distinguish them for their importance, while those recited less 
often were relegated to smaller type. 
I found it equally irritating that some siddurim would not repeat certain  
tefilos, and instead refer to a page number where it can be found. That I  
imagine had more to do with saving on printing costs.
Anyway, those are my 2 plus 2 cents

Stuart Wise

From: Elliot Berkovits <eb@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 29,2012 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Type sizes in siddurim

In answer to Avraham Friedenberg (MJ 61#24): 

I always assumed it was to introduce variety and make Davening a little
more 'exciting'. I have a siddur, Aliyos Eliyahu, published about 10
years ago, which has a profileration of fonts (Koren, Vilna and at least
2 others). It is a much more exciting experience than the monofont
Hadassah employed so extensively by Artscroll. {The above was written
partly tongue in cheek} 

On a related point, I have long wondered why many Siddurim state on the
cover page, 'BeOsiyos Gedolos Meod' even though much of the Siddur
itself is printed in microscopic-sized font. Is this not a little

Eliezer Berkovits


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 28,2012 at 04:01 PM
Subject: When to release the tzitzit after Kriat Shema

Steven Oppenheimer wrote (MJ 61#21):

> Many of us remember from yeshiva ketana that we were taught to release the
> tzitzit after "lo'ad kayomet." However, newer siddurim such as Artscroll
> instruct one to release the tzitzit after "ne'emanim venechemadim lo'ad".
For those who have no interest in Kabbalah, you can stop reading here.
The Rashkov edition of the Ari Siddur explains that the word "l'ad" has
gematria 104 (Lamed=30, Ayin=70, Dalet=4). It thus equals half of the
gematria of the Hebrew word kodkod [crown of the head], 208 (Kuf=100,
Dalet=4, both repeated), which is itself ven [understand as a command] and
also ben [son], both 52 (Beit/Veit=2, Nun=50) quadrupled. All this refers to
the four sons, whereas the two previous words, malchuto [His kingdom] and
emunato [His faith], represent Leah and Rachel, respectively.
Elokim [God's name indicating judgment] when spelled out, i.e. each letter
is replaced by its name (e.g. alef becomes alef lamed peh) in two
iterations, i.e. this process is repeated (to give alef lamed peh lamed
mem dalet peh heh) contains 52 letters. These four expanded spellings are
called the four "sons of G-d" (4x52 =208 i.e. 4 times Elokim is kadkod, the
seat of Keter, the first sefirah).  There are two that originate through
Chochmah and two that originate through Binah (the second and third sefirot
If there is a better reason to kiss the tzitzit other than at l'ad, well,
let us know.
Yisrael Medad 


End of Volume 61 Issue 25