Volume 61 Number 29 
      Produced: Wed, 05 Sep 2012 02:02:40 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Educational Stamps, Websites and Videos for the Jewish New Year 
    [Jacob Richman]
Modesty at Shabbos table 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Modesty at the Shabbos Table 
    [Martin Stern]
Rabbi Doniel Neustadt (2)
    [Martin Stern  Stephen Phillips]
Type sizes in siddurim 
    [Daniel Geretz]
When to release the tzitzit after Kriat Shema 
    [Kalonymos Nachtvogel]
Yisrael amekha 
    [Martin Stern]
Zu darka shel Torah? - Is this the way of the Torah? 
    [Frank Silbermann]


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 3,2012 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Educational Stamps, Websites and Videos for the Jewish New Year

Hi Everyone!

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year 5773, begins 
Sunday night, September 16, 2012.

I scanned and posted on my website the new Israeli stamps 
that were issued in September 2012.

I included the stamp itself, the first day cover, 
and an English and a Hebrew flyer about the stamp. 

- Festivals 2012 - The Month of the Tishrei
Rosh Hashanah, Tashlikh
Yom Kippur, Kol Nidrei Prayers
Sukkot, Bear the Lulav

- Thanks to Them - Senior Citizens Contribution to Israel

- 100 Years - Hadassah 
The Women's Zionist Organization of Ameica

- The Highest and Lowest Places on Earth
Israel-Nepal Joint Issue

- Tourism - Visit Israel
Rosh Hanikra

- IPA - International Police Association, Israel - 50 Years

The new stamp images are located at: 

I also uploaded the images to Facebook.
The Facebook address is:

The Jewish Trivia Quiz
has 55 multiple choice questions about Rosh Hashana.

Which special prayer is said in the days before Rosh Hashana ? 
Which group of foods is customary to eat on Rosh Hashana ? 
What are the other three names of Rosh Hashana ? 
How many times is the shofar sounded during Rosh Hashana ? 
Which food is it customary NOT to eat on Rosh Hashana ?

The above questions are examples from the multiple choice 
Flash quiz. There are two levels of questions and two timer 
settings. Adults and children will find The Jewish Trivia Quiz
entertaining and educational.

Rosh Hashana Clipart
Whether you need a picture for your child's class project, 
a graphic for your synagogue, Hillel or JCC New Year
announcement, the Jewish Clipart Database has the pictures
for you. You can copy, save and print the graphics in
three different sizes. 

Rosh Hashana Cool Videos
The list has 173 cool Rosh HaShana videos.
There is something for everyone.

To learn more about Rosh Hashana , I posted on my website 
74 links ranging from laws and customs to games and recipes.
Site languages include English,  Hebrew, French, German, Italian, 
Portugese, Russian and Spanish.


Last but not least, the 3 Year Jewish Holiday Calendar 
is located at:

For best printed results use the Acrobat PDF file.
When printing the PDF file use the print option "fit to print margins".

Please share the resources. Thanks!

Shana Tova - Have a Good Year!


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 29,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Modesty at Shabbos table

Eli Turkel (MJ 61#26) anticipated what I had to say. I noticed the same
contradiction between where the rule about covering the hair applies and where
Kiddush is said.

> Question: May Kiddush be recited in the presence of a married female guest
> whose hair is not covered?

Martin Stern (MJ 61#23) quoted The Weekly Halacha Discussion as answering:

> According to Torah law a married (1) woman must cover her hair whenever she
> is outside her home (2)"

The only argument that it applies also in the home is from the Zohar.

Where is Kiddush said? Inside the home!!!

So how can it say:

> if a married lady with uncovered hair is sitting at your Shabbos table,
> Kiddush may not be recited. This halacha applies to one's own wife, sister,
> mother, daughter and granddaughter as well."

Wife, too? Where there is a question about the wife, it's whether she is there
at all or not, because it might reduce his concentration for Shema or Shemonah
Esrei. Which is not a question when this is about Kiddush, since it is a
santification or marking of Shabbos, and not a prayer, although it may be a
brachah WHERE HE IS TRYING TO BE MOTZEI HER! And maybe others.

Besides that, it claims that uncovered hair in an married woman is
ervah because any part of the female body that is usually covered (at least in
the circles he goes in) becomes ervah.

But, covering the hair is not at all done with unmarried women. Where
do you get such a notion that the same body part is ervah in some
women and not in others?? This is such an absurdity I don't think his sources
would bear him out. (aside maybe from the latest generation)

When you say the visibility of a certain body part is ervah, it's ervah for
everyone. Do we say a Jewish woman wearing a bikini let's say is ervah, but it
is not ervah if a non-Jewish woman does? Somebody maybe should tell the
Chassidim in Williamsburg. No need to worry about women on bicycles - it's not
ervah because they're not Jewish. No need to worry about advertisements - those
women are probably not Jewish. Or not married at least.

You can have ervah because of the situation, but when you talk about
what a person usually sees, that is irrespective of whether the women
are Jews or non-Jews. But he has it only being ervah in the case of
married Jewish woman, not unmarried women and not gentiles. You can't
have that.

And if there was a difference between unmarried and married women in
terms of ervah because of the social situation, I'd think the
situation with unmarried women might be more ervah than with married
women, since a married woman is usually a little like the daughter of
the king to a peasant, in the sense of being unavailable, IF THE MAN

And furthermore, you see in the Mishnah in Bava Kamma 8:6, and in the
Gemorah at the bottom of 89b and top of 90a and also 91a at the
bottom, that exposure of hair of a married woman has to do with
dignity, and not with ervah.

The difference between where a head covering was supposed to be worn and
where not was whether this was in her home (where who she was is known
to anyone who would see her) and whether she was outside, NOT whether
or not she was in a place of bodily privacy.

All of this comes from a misunderstanding of what the purpose of the
covering of the hair is or was. If you don't know why, you start to
think the reason is ervah, and you disregard the question as to why
that should not apply to unmarried women above a certain age, because
that's at least a smaller question than as to why you have it at all.

And you accept natural looking wigs because you think ervah is
something halachically defined, and has nothing necessarily to do with
anything anybody actually experiences.

I think we can see from some places in the Gemorah (like some place
where what it means when a non-Jewish shifchah uncovers her hair is
discussed - maybe somebody who went through Daf Yomi will identify the
Gemorah) that the purpose of covering the hair was to let strangers
know that she was married, and there never was a question of requiring
a divorce but only of permitting one without paying the kesubah. One
Rabbi (at the end of Kesuvos I think it is) had critical words for the
type of man who would not divorce his wife if she didn't cover the
hair but nowhere was it remotely thought to be required.

You need to remember, there were no wedding rings in those days. This was the
only outward sign of marriage.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 2,2012 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Modesty at the Shabbos Table

Frank Silbermann wrote (MJ 61#28):

> 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.

I find Frank's interpretation of this ruling strange. According to him, his
LOR said "she was not obligated" to cover her hair NOT that "she was
permitted" to leave it uncovered in public.

While a woman normally adopts the customs of her husband on marriage, this
does not apply AFAIK to specifically female matters such as how many candles
she lights on Friday night. Covering the hair in public is a halachic
requirement which, unfortunately, many otherwise observant women seem to
neglect and not merely a family custom so it would seem, a fortiori, wrong
for her to go against her ancestral practice.

What this LOR might have been ruling was that, if her husband objected to
her covering her hair in the house when no strangers are present, or shaving
her head as is done in some chasidic circles, she should do as he wishes so
as not to be 'repulsive' to him. A husband's wishes might possibly override
Dat Yehudit [custom] but NOT Dat Moshe [halachah].

Perhaps Frank should consult the rabbi to clarify his ruling.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sat, Sep 1,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Rabbi Doniel Neustadt

May I thank Gilad and Steven (MJ 61#28) for updating the information on
Rabbi Doniel Yehuda Neustadt. I had merely copied what I wrote from what was
written in his most recent book that I had available, "The Daily Halachah

Martin Stern

From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 3,2012 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Rabbi Doniel Neustadt

Gilad J. Gevaryahu wrote (MJ 61#28):

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

I believe he is married to R' Yaakov Kamenetsky's granddaughter and that he was
responsible for the editing of R' Yaakov's D'rashos on the Torah, "Emes L'Yaakov."

Stephen Phillips


From: Daniel Geretz <danny@...>
Date: Sat, Sep 1,2012 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Type sizes in siddurim

Perry Zamek writes (MJ 61#28):

> 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!

I learned to daven from the Shilo siddur, and as a first grader, I spent an
inordinate amount of time worrying that somehow a page was missing from my
siddur.  I just was unable to figure out why the type size would change from
one page to the other.

I still have the siddur, and in that particular case, the whole Shacharit
Amida is set in a fairly large typeface except for one page.  That page has
the "Nachem" bracha on the bottom.  Probably what happened is that the
siddur was originally typeset without it, and then they went back and
realized they had forgotten it.  In order to add it in, they had to re-typeset
the page (otherwise, all of the subsequent pages would have had to have been
re-typeset as well).  Remember, these siddurim were published in ancient
times prior to the widespread use of word-processing and computer-aided

Personally, I favor a consistent typeface throughout, a la Birnbaum.

Daniel Geretz


From: Kalonymos Nachtvogel <kalnacht@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 3,2012 at 09:01 AM
Subject: When to release the tzitzit after Kriat Shema

Steven Oppenheimer wrote (MJ 61#21):

> A while back, the question was raised as to when is it appropriate to let
> go of the tzitzit after kriat shema.  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."
> What is the proper way?

I would like to suggest that it is assur to take one's tzitzis in hand
during the bracha before the Shema and equally assur to release them
during the bracha after the Shema.

I'm not trying to create a chidush: the halacha is unequivocal that
one is not allowed to do anything, not even the mindless action of
walking, while making a bracha. Ideally, one should not be holding
anything either. Grabbing, releasing and certainly thinking about the
subject removes one's focus from the words of the bracha (unless one
completely pauses in the middle of the bracha, which then is an

See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 183 + Mishna Berura + Biur HaGra 183:24.
(walking is allowed under certain circumstances  - Orach Chaim 183:11,
with Mishnah Berurah 36)

Moreover, a pause of more than 3 seconds is considered an
interruption: Orach Chaim 206:3, with Mishnah Berurah 12, Sha'ar
Hatziyun 13. Someone fumbling for their tzitzis could easily exceed
this limit.

Rather, since the tzitzit are not needed until the 3rd paragraph of
the Shema, one has the entire first 2 paragraphs to take them in hand,
and one should release them either at the end of the 3rd paragraph
(preferred, so as not to be holding them during the next bracha) or
after saying "ga'al Yisrael" at the end of the next bracha.

The fact that many people have these customs, and that they have been
enshrined in some siddurim, does not alter the fact that they go
against hilchos brachos. To worry at all in the middle of a bracha
about grabbing and releasing one's tztitzis harms the kavana of the
bracha, i.e., the ikkar of the bracha. The brachos are a Takana
d'Rabanon, and a minhag against a d'Rabanon is a minhag shtus
(especially if it renders the bracha into a bracha l'vatala, which
puts the action in the category of issur d'Oraisa).

My 2-bits, as my grandfather would have said.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 4,2012 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Yisrael amekha

At the beginning of both Sim Shalom and Shalom rav we find the phrase
"Yisrael amekha" and towards their ends "amekha Yisrael". Has anyone seen
any explanation for the reversal of the words Yisrael and amekha or does
this not have any significance?

Martin Stern


From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 4,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Zu darka shel Torah? - Is this the way of the Torah?

Shmuel Himelstein wrote (MJ 61#17):

> In the hagiographic praises heaped on one of the recently departed Gedolim,
> we are told that he was so devoted to his Torah learning that he basically
> reserved all his time and mind to Torah learning, to the extent that he did 
> not know the names of some of his children.  We are also told that he had no
> contact with his children during the week, except that on Shabbat he would
> take a walk with a different one of them each week - during which they did not
> converse. His children felt it was a great enough privilege just to walk with 
> him. ... in my books of stories about Gedolim, I (read) hundreds of such 
> stories. ... is this really what the Torah expects of us?
No.  We are told that God will not ask us, "Why were you not like Moses?"
Rather, God will ask why you did not reach your potential.
> (With respect to the first Gadol above, how could he rule on Jewish law
> when he was totally out of touch with the world around him?)

My guess is that the writers of codes of Jewish law described practices, customs
and interpretations of the Law as actually practiced (and therefore reflecting
the real world).  Gedolim such as the one described above made it their business
to know everything about what was previously said or decided to determine
how Rabbis of the past would likely have decided edge cases which they
were never asked.  Doing so does not require one to be in touch with the world.
(It may be inevitable that people who are geniuses at something might be
well below average in other areas.  We see this in great chess players
and mathematicians all the time.)
Of course, most people do not go to Gedolim for their practical questions;
they go to their local Orthodox rabbi.  HE is the one who needs to be in touch
with the world around him, if necessary sometimes to give a psak that is
not normative but which nonetheless has a halachic basis.  The phenomenon
you describe becomes a problem only when the Gedolim are asked to make
every little decision for people.  In that case, people will follow a misguided
path until continuing to do so becomes infeasible.
Frank Silbermann               Memphis, Tennessee


End of Volume 61 Issue 29