Volume 61 Number 28 
      Produced: Fri, 31 Aug 2012 15:55:18 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Berov am hadrat Melekh  (2)
    [Martin Stern  Joel Rich]
City Eruvin 
    [Martin Stern]
Cookie-cutter Davening 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Modesty at the Shabbos Table (2)
    [Martin Stern  Frank Silbermann]
Mourner at the Omud 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Public Prayer (was Accommodating both women and men in shul) 
    [Joel Rich]
Rabbi Doniel Neustadt (2)
    [Gilad J. Gevaryahu  Steven Oppenheimer]
Type sizes in siddurim (2)
    [Perry Zamek  Elliot Berkovits]
When to release the tzitzit after Kriat Shema 
    [Martin Stern]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 30,2012 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Berov am hadrat Melekh 

Keith Bierman wrote (MJ 61#27):

> Martin Stern wrote (MJ 61#25):
>> If I am not mistaken, it was precisely this kind of stiebelisation that was
>> one of the objections raised against the early Chassidic movement.
> Really? Not the halachic issues, but that there would be too many schuls?

Perhaps I did not make myself clear enough when I wrote that this was one of
the criticisms raised against the early Chassidic movement. I never suggested it 
was the principal one but, having found what they considered serious halachic 
points for criticism, its opponents also attacked it for separation from the main 
congregation, mainly because of its adoption of a variant liturgical rite (a 
halachic objection, incidentally).

I apologise for any previous lack of clarity.

Martin Stern

From: Joel Rich
Date: Thu, Aug 30,2012 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Berov am hadrat Melekh 

Perry Zamek wrote (MJ 61#27):
> I just wanted to ask whether the principle of Berov Am applies in all
> circumstances of private minyanim and the like, or only to specific cases 
> (e.g. reading the Megillah on Purim).

It is generally applicable, however see my post in MJ 61#26 on prioritizations in 
life - it is not the only factor to take into account when evaluating different 
courses of action, e.g. one is making a brit and knows that can get a bigger crowd 
(berov am) at 3PM, yet there is another consideration - zrizin makdimin (we do a 
mitzvah as soon as possible) which would argue for a minyan at daybreak.   What do 
you do?

Joel Rich


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 29,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: City Eruvin

Gilad J. Gevaryahu wrote (MJ 61#26):

> The Sefaradim do hold by an eruv built based on the Rambam's shita. It is
> called the Omed merubeh, that is, the eruv relies on physical mechitzot (i.e.,
> walls of at least 10 tefachim high) for the majority of the eruv borders. The
> Ashkenazim rely on tzurat hapetach even for an entire eruv.

The sort of mechitzah-arrangement to which Gilad refers, essentially a
walled city, is one that can be used for a reshut harabbim deoraita since
the walls and gates form an obstruction to any roads running through it.

A tzurat hapetach mechitzah is only valid for a carmelit, on the principle
of "heim amru veheim amru [just as the rabbis forbade carrying in a carmelit
as if it were a reshut harabbim deoraita, so they were lenient in the matter
of the form of the mechitzot that can enclose it]".

Sefardim would also accept an "Ashkenazi" eruv in situations which they
consider to be a carmelit. So when Gilad writes "Sefaradim do hold by an
eruv built based on the Rambam's shita" he is, in reality, only repeating
that, in their opinion, it is not necessary for 600,000 people to traverse
an area daily for it to be a reshut harabbim deoraita.

Martin Stern


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 30,2012 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Cookie-cutter Davening

In MJ 61#26, Stu Pilichowski apologized for his characterization of the
minyan factories as "cookie-cutter davening".

Having used the Zoharei Chama synagogue many dozens of dozens of times if
not more, as well as Zichron Moshe, what does bother me are those who open
the sliding door, slip themselves in where there really is no room - and
less breathing space - (for those unfamilair, in that house of worship
there are several cubicles that hold maybe 12 men) causing great discomfort, say
kedusha or kaddish and then move on.

Yisrael Medad


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 29,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Modesty at the Shabbos Table

Chaim Casper wrote (MJ 61#26):

> Martin Stern (MJ 61#24) quoted Doniel Neustadt who concluded that kiddush may
> not be recited at the Shabbat or Yom Tov table if there is a married woman
> with an uncovered head.
> Halakhically, there are numerous sources that would reject R' Neustadt's
> position, among them the Arukh Hashulkhan, who ruled that a women's uncovered
> head is not ervah

I think Rabbi Casper has misunderstood the Arukh Hashulkhan. What he seems
to be saying is that since such a large proportion of married women no
longer covered their heads, there were grounds to consider that their hair
might, in the circumstances, not be an ervah.

The underlying rationale must be that head hair, in itself, is not an ervah
since unmarried girls are permitted to expose it. It only becomes an ervah
for married women because it is (or rather should be) kept covered and then
is like any other part of the body that is normally covered. In the
unfortunate circumstances prevalent in his time, it was generally uncovered
and thereby was similar to that of unmarried girls.

On the other hand, it is a distortion of his position to claim that he
allowed married women to go bareheaded, as some would like to claim.

Martin Stern

From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 29,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Modesty at the Shabbos Table

Lisa Liel wrote (MJ 61#26):

> Frank Silbermann wrote (MJ 61#24):
>> Martin Stern  wrote (MJ 61#23):
>>> I thought the latest issue of Weekly Halacha Discussion by Rabbi Doniel
>>> Neustadt (Ki Teitsei) ...  Many theories have been postulated as to why
>>> some women, although meticulous in the observance of other mitzvos,
>>> are lax in regard to covering their hair. Some do not cover their hair at 
>>> all and others do so only partially.   It must be stressed that this
>>> practice is roundly condemned by all poskim.  There are no halachic
>>> authorities who permit a married woman to leave her hair uncovered.
>> This is only true if one limits the definition of "poskim" and "halachic
>> authorities" to rabbis widely praised by the haredi community who have 
>> published tshuvot or halachic codes dealing with this subject.
>> It is not true if the terms "poskim" and "halachic authorities" include less
>> famous local Orthodox rabbis or even famous ones who did not publish their
>> tshuvot.
> I have to disagree.  When I was living in Efrat in the late 90s, Rabbi 
> Shlomo Riskin (who I don't think anyone is going to accuse of being 
> chareidi) had an article in a local paper in which he made it abundantly 
> clear that married women have to cover their hair...

And what does this prove, except that some / many / most nonharedi
rabbis also hold that position?

> It isn't that there are poskim who permit; there aren't.  It's that laypeople 
> find ways to permit it for themselves

For the record, my first "Local Orthodox Rabbi" poskened to me and my wife
that if the husband's family custom is for the woman to cover her hair,
then the wife was obligated to do so, and if not, then she was not obligated.
(It was not his family custom for the wife to cover her hair, so his wife did
not do so, even though her own mother did cover her hair.)

In no way am I claiming that this Orthodox rabbi was one of the Gedolei haDor,
nor am I claiming that he could any widely recognized published code of Jewish
law for his opinion.  But he was not a layman, and I presume that he received
this opinion from his teachers.

If I had to guess, I would speculate that his position may have been based on
oral teachings by Rabbi Josef Soleveitchik. I would also guess that he might
have learned it via a Rabbi Aryah Frimer (who once participated on this list).
But again, this is just a guess.

Therefore, I stand by my earlier comment about what Rabbi Doniel Neustadt wrote.

Frank Silbermann              Memphis, Tennessee


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 29,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Mourner at the Omud

David Tzohar wrote (MJ 61#25):  

> The idea of a Chiyyuv, that mourners are obligated to lead the dovening is
> a relatively late minhag.

Chaim Casper responded (MJ 61#26):

> The RaM"A in YD 376:4 says that a mourner should daven on the weekdays if he
> knows how but not on Shabbat and the Yamim Tovim. The Sha"kh (376:14) and the
> Pit'hei T'shuva (376:8) argue whether the avel can daven on the Yamim Nora'im
> and Yom Tov.

I thought that ordinarily a mourner was specifically not supposed to daven at
the omud during Shabbos and Yom Tov but if it was for the benefit of the
congregation then yes.

What he is saying here is that there is no reason for the mourner NOT to daven,
but the problem is he won't be high quality or will make mistakes or maybe
shouldn't be the person selected etc. since he said "if he knows how".

It is not, then, something to do with showing signs of mourning on Shabbos and
Yom Tov? That would clarify things a great deal for me if that is correct.


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 30,2012 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Public Prayer (was Accommodating both women and men in shul)

At the end of a wonderfully detailed analysis Chana Luntz wrote (MJ 61#27):

> So I confess I am at a bit of loss as to why, based on the sources, women do
> not indeed go more often to shul. However the reality is that it is not
> customary for women to go, except on shabbat and yom tov, and indeed shuls
> may have historically been built, and, at least in certain circles, continue
> to be built which may in fact preclude women from gaining the benefits of
> tephila b'tzibur that are set out in the gemora and cited in the Rambam, the
> Shulchan Aruch, and all the poskim.

See the post and comments here:  


concerning what I call the "first mover" syndrome.

Joel Rich


From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <gevaryahu@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 30,2012 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Rabbi Doniel Neustadt

Martin Stern wrote in (MJ 61#27) about Rabbi Doniel Neustadt:

> that Rabbi Doniel Yehuda Neustadt is Rav of Young Israel of Cleveland Heights,
> Ohio

This information is outdated.

Some 3 to 5 years ago  Rabbi Doniel Yehuda Neustadt moved to Detriot, Michigan
and assumed the position of Rosh Vaad haRabanim in Detriot. This position is
like Chief Rabbi of the city.

A biographical item of importance is that he is the grandson of Rabbi Yaakov

Gilad J. Gevaryahu

From: Steven Oppenheimer <steven.oppenheimer@...>
Date: Fri, Aug 31,2012 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Rabbi Doniel Neustadt

I just wanted to provide an update for the information regarding Rabbi
Doniel Neustadt that was provided by Martin Stern (MJ 61#27).

Rabbi Neustadt is the Yoshev Rosh of the Vaad Harabbonim of Detroit and the
Av Beis Din of the Beis Din Tzedek of Detroit. He may be reached at

Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.


From: Perry Zamek <perryza@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 29,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Type sizes in siddurim

Carl Singer (MJ 61#26) wrote of the "Prayer Book, for Jewish Personnel in the
Armed Forces of the United States" which is provided by "The Commission on
Jewish Chaplaincy of the National Jewish Welfare Board" (there was a similar
prayer book for members of the British Commonwealth forces, issued under the
auspices of Chief Rabbi Brodie).

The reason for the abbreviated format for Mincha is twofold: 1. Such siddurim
had to conform to paper rationing requirements during WWII; and 2. Such siddurim
had to be as portable as possible for Jewish soldiers in the field, carrying
full pack, weapon, ammunition, rations and so on. Compactness was an advantage
in such a case.

There are a number of approaches to sizing in recent years - Birenbaum took the
approach that all text should be of equal size, and readable. Rinat Yisrael uses
three sizes for type (apart from the instructions), with less frequently recited
passages in the middle size type (also used for the opening and closing brachot
of the amida on Shabbat, since these are familiar from the weekday text, as
opposed to the middle bracha, which is in the larger type). Artscroll also
varies sizes, probably using a similar set of considerations. 

These are in contrast to older siddurim which used more arbitrary sizing, as
Perets Mett indicated (possibly because pages were being set in type in
parallel, and by different people!). I used to have a Shilo siddur, in which one
of the brachot of the Shacharit Amida was split over two pages, and was in two
different typeface sizes on the two pages!

However, having worked in typesetting for some years, I reserve my biggest
complaints for siddurim using a Frank Ruehl typeface in which the thick and thin
parts of the letters are so different that the effect is of the whole text being
in a bold typeface. 

Perry Zamek

From: Elliot Berkovits <eb@...>
Date: Thu, Aug 30,2012 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Type sizes in siddurim

Perets Mett wrote (MJ 61#26):

> Stuart Wise (MJ 61#25) wrote:
>> 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.
> (and others wrote similarly)  
> If only that were true.
> There seems to be no correlation between type size and "importance".
> I have just opened  a typical sidur at Kabolas Shabos.
> Lechu Neraneno is printed in large bold
> Shiru lashem in a smaller type
> Hashem moloch large (not bold)
> Mizmor shiru lashem small
> Hashem Moloch large
> They are all equally significant, so why the change in type size?
> In Maariv, the first brocho (maariv arovim) is larger than the second (Ahavas
> olom). Why?
> In Shmone Esre, Ato Kidashto is bold-is it more important than the rest of
> Shmone Esre?
> I find this totally haphazard and a distraction.
> As far as people with vision problems is concerned, my mother observes that 
> the
> occasional additions - Yaale veyovo, al hanisim - whose text people might be
> less familiar with are printed smaller than the surrounding text, when they
> should really be larger.

Indeed. I always found this strange phenomenon to occur specifically
with 2 of the most popular printing presses - Miller and Eshkol.
Miller's font is beautiful, but the sizing appears completely haphazard
and is thus irritating. Also, there is no accentuation of Mile'el/Mil'ra
nor Sheva Na, which is not helpful. It is thus slightly odd that these 2
should be the Siddurim most prevalent in Shuls (at least the Shuls I have
been to).

That was part of my interest in the Siddur I mentioned in a previous
post - Aliyos Eliyahu - where the choice of fonts and sizing has clearly
been done with some thought. E.g. all Tenach excerpts throughout the
Siddur (i.e. Pesukei Dezimrah, Parshas HaAkeidah, Shema) are in the same
font (and, I believe, size) - Koren. It makes for a much better

(The dilemma I have is that I was given a leatherbound Miller Siddur as
a Bar Mitzvah present by a family member who did not have much money,
and I would feel guilty not using it daily, despite my reservations
about it.)

Eliezer Berkovits


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Aug 31,2012 at 04:01 AM
Subject: When to release the tzitzit after Kriat Shema

Steven Oppenheimer wrote (MJ 61#27):

> Martin Stern wrote (MJ 61#26):
>> Yisrael Medad (MJ 61#25) presented a clear kabalistic explanation as to
>> why the tzitzit are released at "lo'ad."
> This *is* the explanation offered by the Ya'avetz in his siddur and I cited
> this in my post.  Still, the Ya'avetz instructs us to kiss and release the
> tzitzit at "lo'ad kayomet."
> That should clear up any misunderstanding.  I am sure the Ya'avetz understood
> the kabalistic nuances.

I agree with Steven that the Ya'avetz must have understood the kabalistic
nuances for releasing the tzitzit at "lo'ad kayomet" but I, and probably
most Mail Jewish members, do not, so we would be most grateful if he would
try to explain them to us as simply as possible.

Martin Stern


End of Volume 61 Issue 28