Volume 61 Number 44 
      Produced: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 08:14:21 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Blame the printers? (2)
    [Isaac Balbin  Perets Mett]
Halachic "maximums"? (6)
    [Joel Rich  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz  Keith Bierman  Yisrael Medad   Martin Stern  Poppers, Michael]
Keeping The Haftorah Book Open (3)
    [Chaim Casper  Steven Oppenheimer  Yisrael Medad]
Multiple Simultaneous Aliyot (5)
    [Jack Gross  Perets Mett  David Feiler  Menashe Elyashiv  Martin Stern]
Once a year? 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Security vs. welcoming strangers (2)
    [Keith Bierman  Ari Trachtenberg]
The Fox and the Fish 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Ya'aleh veyavo 
    [Martin Stern]
Yom Kippur machzor problem 
    [Tony Fiorino]


From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 13,2012 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Blame the printers?

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 61#43):

> With Shemini Atseret, however, it should have read "bayom hashemini chag
> atseret" and "et hayom hashemini chag atseret", referring to "the eighth day,
> a festival [whose sole purpose is] assembling". Because of the way they did
> their typesetting, the printers seem to have introduced the problem. Has
> anyone any comments on this?

I have a recollection that you should look in the Avudraham. There is a concept
of so-called Torah Hebrew and Mishnaic Hebrew. The Gaon of Vilna in his glosses
on Shulchan Aruch also mentions this concept and sides with Rav Caro against Rav
Isserles on the text of the blessing for separating Challa. The Netziv discounts
the entire Avudraham ....

From: Perets Mett <p.mett00@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 13,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Blame the printers?

In reply to Martin Stern (MJ 61#43):

The Shulchon Oruch (OC 668) says: "Shmini Chag Hoatseres Haze".

What is the origin of the Nusach Ashkenaz "Hashemini"?

Perets Mett


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 12,2012 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Halachic "maximums"?

Stuart Pilichowski wrote (MJ 61#43):

> We're all pretty familiar with chumrot dealing with minimum quantities, such as
> minimum matzah to fulfill the mitzvah at the seder or minimum amount of wine to
> fulfill kiddush. Are there also "maximums", such as maximum water usage for
> netillat yadayim, since water is quite scarce, or maximum speed permitted while
> driving, since high speeds may be dangerous and therefore sakanat nefashot?

Yes but they are variable or (math talk) local maximum-that is each according to
the wisdom of the local halachic authority if the situation arises.  In practice
these are generally set by the local authorities and are "binding" on us by dina
d'malchuta (DMD) or by the laws of partnerships.

Joel Rich

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 12,2012 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Halachic "maximums"?

In reply to Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 61#43):

The discussion of the amount of water is usually framed as part of the 
minimum-required discussion. That is because, when water is scarce or it 
is difficult to keep the bucket full (because of lack of indoor 
plumbing), one is told to use the minimum possible. Similarly, with a 
maximum speed, one would deal with the practical matter of speed limits 
as posted and what is safe in the current traffic conditions.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz

From: Keith Bierman <khbkhb@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 12,2012 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Halachic "maximums"?

In reply to Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 61#43):

Obviously where clean water is scarce one should "havel kol tipah [do not waste
a drop - MOD]" (as the old Israeli public service announcement used to say), but
I'm unaware of a specific halachic maximum. I do recall drashot which urged us
to use close to the minimum in such cases; but that's not the same as asserting
a specific maximum.

As for speed, whether it's dangerous depends on the road and other
vehicles. In much of the US, speed limits are set as a fraction of the
roads designed safe speed. And going slower than the rest of traffic is
also a known hazard (so if everyone else IS going 70mph, on a road designed
to be safe at 85mph, going 55mph is NOT going to improve group safety ..
although if it is the posted speed limit "dinah d'malchutcha" (law of the
land...) might call for sticking to it anyway).

I would think it consistent with halacha to never (intentionally) go faster
than is safe. But since that depends on road conditions, road design, etc.
(race tracks really are pretty safe at speeds of over 150mph ;>) why would
we expect our Sages to invest the effort to establish specific halachic

If the new trend towards computerized driving (or driving assistants)
continues, the max speeds (and the safe following distance ... since that's
largely a question of reaction time, combined with the stopping ability of
the specific vehicle) may well go up.

Other than asserting "never go faster than is safe or legal" what sort
of Halakhic maximum would make sense? What would we base it on?

Keith Bierman

From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 13,2012 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Halachic "maximums"?

Stuart Pilichowski asks are there "maximum" measurements for Halachic

Well, the s'chach for a Sukkah cannot be higher than 20 amot (or about 10
meters) from the floor of the Sukkah.

Yisrael Medad

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Oct 15,2012 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Halachic "maximums"?

In reply to Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 61#43):

The only one that comes immediately to mind is that if someone vows to bring
a korban minchah [meal offering] the maximum quantity of flour he is
permitted to bring in a single one is 60 esronim [measures].

Martin Stern

From: Poppers, Michael <Michael.Poppers@...>
Date: Mon, Oct 15,2012 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Halachic "maximums"?

In reply to Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 61#43):

-- If not extremely wealthy or, chalilah, on one's deathbed (and I believe there
are other exceptions), CHaZaL established the maximum amount one can charitably
give to another as one-fifth of one's income/resources (parenthetically, a
similar max. applies to spending on a given mitzvah, e.g. an esrog [and the
other minim]).
-- One cannot give away his entire harvest to the kohein as t'rumah; CHaZaL
established guidelines, with the max. being one-fortieth.

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ, USA


From: Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 12,2012 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Keeping The Haftorah Book Open

Immanuel Burton asked in MJ 61#43:

> I remember being told once that if one reads the Haftorah from a printed text
> (as opposed to a parchment scroll), one should keep the printed text open
> while saying the blessings after the Haftorah.Is this actually a known
> custom?  If so, does anyone have a source for it?

The Mishneh Brurah (284:1) agrees with the Magen Avraham that preferably, one
should read the haftorah from a klaf (parchment).   If that is not possible,
then one may read the haftorah from a printed version of that book of Tanakh or
from an entire printed Tanakh (the MA and the MB feel that there is more
k'dushah to a complete book of the particular navi/prophet as his entire message
is listed there, not just a partial message).   However, if the haftorah is
available only in the humashim (or haftorah books), then one may be lenient and
use these books if the alternative is to void the haftorah reading completely.

The Rav, Rabbi Joseph D Soloveitchik, zt"l, rejected reading the haftorah from a
printed tanakh or a humash.  The RaM"A had used the term "mitokh ha'k'tav" (from
a written klaf) to describe the source of reading the haftorah.   If it can't be
read from a klaf, then something is missing from the haftorah.   If that is the
case, then everyone must read the haftorah by themselves; one cannot rely on the
haftorah reader to fulfill the listener's obligation.   And so the Rav's feeling
was that the haftorah should be read from a klaf.   

My question is how many synagogues out there use a klaf?

As to whether one must keep the haftorah (whether on klaf, tanakh or humash) 
open when reciting the brakhot: I once closed the tanakh (we use a tanakh for 
the haftorah though there are many readers who prefer the standalone book of
haftorahs) while the haftorah reader was saying the brakhot.  I was corrected by
Rabbi Zev Leff who was a major, long-term rabbi at my synagogue (Young Israel of
Greater Miami), who said the reason for reciting the brakhot is the haftorah in
front of the reader.  As long as the blessings are being recited, one should not
close the haftorah book (klaf, tanakh or humash).    He did not give me a 
source, nor have I come across a written source. 

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

From: Steven Oppenheimer <steven.oppenheimer@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 12,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Keeping The Haftorah Book Open

In reply to Immanuel Burton (MJ 61#43):

Magen Avraham writes in O. Ch. 284:6 that one should leave open the sefer from
which he read the Haftara while making the ending berachot so that it
will be clear to the reader that he is making the blessing on that which he
has just read (keday she'yir'eh veyivarech al mah she'hiftir).   He brings
this in the name of the Shibolay Leket who quotes the Geonim.  This is also
brought down by the Sefer Tanya, Mateh Moshe, Hagahot Maimaniyot, and
Sha'aray Ephraim (9:34).

It does not make a difference if one is reading from a parchment scroll.
The custom is to not remove (or close) the sefer (or scroll) prior to
completing the ending berachot.  This is also true when getting an aliyah
to the Torah.  One should not cover up the Sefer Torah until after
completing the ending beracha (Magen Avraham, etc. as above).

Many people may not realize this and so in actual practice you may not see

It is, therefore, good that you raised the issue so that people may be
more diligent in this area.

Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.

From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 13,2012 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Keeping The Haftorah Book Open

Immanuel Burton (MJ 61#43) asks if one reads the Haftorah from a printed text,
is the custom to keep the printed book open while saying the blessings after the

As far as I know, only if the benedictions are in that book.

If they are in another book or on a special sheet, one can close the book.

Yisrael Medad


From: Jack Gross <jacobbgross@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 12,2012 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Multiple Simultaneous Aliyot

In reply to Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 61#43), this is mentioned in Pri Megadim,
apparently as standard practice in his community.

Jack Gross

From: Perets Mett <p.mett00@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 13,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Multiple Simultaneous Aliyot

In reply to Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 61#43), Mishna Bruro quotes the custom of
calling up two people at a time. I recall that, when I was in the Sunderland
Beth Hamedrash for Simchas Torah, they followed this custom. They were called
up:  Yaamdu ploni ben ploni uploni ben ploni.

Perets Mett

From: David Feiler <davidfeiler2@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 13,2012 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Multiple Simultaneous Aliyot

In reply to Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 61#43):

That is commonly done in UK United Synagogue shuls (These are Orthodox, not
Conservative as in the USA - MOD).  Those who choose not to go to a parallel
Kriat haTorah at a side location for an individual aliya can get called up as a
group, usually by seating block.

David Feiler
Syracuse, NY

From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 14,2012 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Multiple Simultaneous Aliyot

In reply to Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 61#43):

See A. Yaari's comprehensive book on Simhat Torah. He collected all the 
known customs of ST, including calling more than one for a ST aliya.
BTW, I had over 100 people at the vatikin minyan. With 3 Torah scrolls, we 
finished all the extra aliyot in 15 minutes. The regular minyan, with 
maybe 50 people did not split up for the extras, and the total time for 
the Torah reading was ...an hour and a half! I do feel that gabbaim, wherever 
they are, should try to save time.

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Oct 15,2012 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Multiple Simultaneous Aliyot

Stuart Pilichowski wrote (MJ 61#43):

> I heard that in Manchester, England on Simchat Torah in order to save time
> ten people go up to the Torah for an aliyah at the same time.
> Ever hear of such a thing?

In the shul I used to go to in Manchester, they called up all the Cohanim
together and then all the Levi'im together - it was said to have been the
custom they had observed in Germany. Otherwise people were called up
individually. I don't know what they do any more since the new rabbi has
uprooted the minhagim of the shul.

I have heard of another shul in Manchester, where one of my sons is a gabbai
which does call people up in groups by the tables at which they sit.

I think this is an excellent practice since calling everyone individually is
terribly time-consuming and, to put it mildly, boring. The result is a
complete breakdown of kavod beit hakenesset as people chat among themselves
and not pay attention.

If I could I would call up groups as follows:

1. Kol hacohanim
2. Kol halevi'im
3. Kol ba'alei battim
4. Kol habachurim
5. Poloni im kol hane'arim
6. Chatan Torah
7. Chatan Bereishit

and finally Maftir.

What do others think of this proposal?

Martin Stern


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 13,2012 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Once a year?

Elazar Teitz writes:

> Aharon could not have entered the Holy of Holies on a daily basis prior to
> the death of his sons, because it wasn't until the day they died that he became
> a kohein.

This, of course, only relates to the actuality of the event. I was referring to
the principle in theory: 'Was there a specific "once-a-year" entrance or was
there more than once-a-year?'

Yisrael Medad


From: Keith Bierman <khbkhb@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 12,2012 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Security vs. welcoming strangers

Leah S. R. Gordon wrote (MJ 61#43):

> Something happened in my shul on Yom Kippur that I thought was handled
> really well, but I am curious to hear other perspectives.

Sounds to me like it was handled very well.

Our schul has more like 300 people on shabbat (when there isn't a simcha)
and a huge number for the Yomim HaNoraim, and while there is usually a
modest police presence for Y"HN (mostly to guide traffic, since sadly all
too many drive to schul; I'll note that some local churches have the same
sort of police coverage weekly -- it seems our local secular authorities
think it wiser to invest a little time/$$ ahead of time and minimize the
number of accidents), we don't have any formal bag checks or anything like
that. We do have a fair number of people (even on shabbat) who carry cell
phones (doctors and others who doubtless have legitimate reasons, and
teenagers who don't)...so I wouldn't have thought twice about someone
texting (although if they were near me, I might have suggested they do it
someplace more private; more than once I've gone to the men's room to find a
doctor dealing with some patient issue).

A schul I used to belong to would frequently get a homeless person or two.
Whether they were actually jewish or not was unclear, and clearly they
really wanted to stick around for kiddish. Our rule was as long as they
kept quiet (one fellow clearly had some mental health issues and when he
wasn't on his medication wasn't welcome) we'd accomodate them as best we
could. If they were jewish, at least they were keeping some connection
going. If they weren't, at least we were providing some comfort to a
"traveller". They never asked for an aliyah, and we never offered ... so if
they were really Elijah perhaps we missed the boat.

Obviously, we live in an era full of various dangers, and appropriate
amounts of caution are sensible. But turning away those who need a
connection (no matter how tenuous at first) seems to me to be a graver
issue than the possible hazard. Obviously, if the person were acting
very suspiciously (like leaving the backpack and running for the exit) I'd
probably react differently.

From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 13,2012 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Security vs. welcoming strangers

Leah S. R. Gordon wrote (MJ 61#43):

> Then a third person approached him and said, "That guy is texting on his cell
> phone!" which the witness apparently feared might be setting off a device
> of some sort.  But the bag had been checked, so he said so, and that was
> that, Neila ended, and we didn't see him again.  He also asked a friend of his
> to be extra friendly/welcoming to the new guy so that for sure his only
> experience wouldn't be with someone demanding things of him.

I sometimes get this "kind" treatment from flight attendants, maybe because I
look (and am) middle-eastern.

I was a greeter at Young Israel (Brookline) for a while, and it was a great task
... getting to know people you don't know (sometimes long-time members of the



From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 14,2012 at 09:01 AM
Subject: The Fox and the Fish

David Greenberg wrote (MJ 61#43):

> I had heard this parable many times, but its appearance in the daf yomi
> was the first time I had ever read it firsthand from the source. I was struck 
> when I noticed the details of the statement Rabbi Akiva attributes to the fish;
> "We'll live together, __ as my ancestors lived with your ancestors ___." It 
> seems like a pretty clear reference to an evolutionary concept.
> Can anyone share sources that discuss this portion of the parable? I am
> aware of Maharsha's exposition of the allegorical aspect of this statement -- 
> that the fox (the idolatrous nation of Rome) is reminding the fish (Bnei 
> Yisrael) that their forefathers worshipped idols just like (Rome) did, 
> leading to the destruction of the Beis HaMikash. But I am anxious to see 
> what, if anything, the sources say about the corresponding literal aspect of 
> it.

I originally started using this when I wound up on a newsgroup dedicated to
countering the missionaries. In that case the implication was that the fox
was actually trying to get some free meals by tricking the fish into
killing themselves. Once they had entered his den, they would have become
his supper. This was an oblique reference to the tactics that the
missionaries are still using to trick Jews into converting to avodas zarah.

I also was referring to the fact that the missionaries called themselves
"fishers of men".

       Sabba     -          ' "        -     Hillel
Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 10,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Ya'aleh veyavo

On Chol Hamoed and Rosh Chodesh we say 'Ya'aleh veyavo' in 'Retsei'. Unlike 'Al
hanissim', which has the theme of thanks for Divine providence in common with
'Modim', 'Ya'aleh veyavo' and 'Retsei' seem to have little in common.  Even with 
regard to inserting havdalah in 'Chonein da'at' on Motsa'ei Shabbat, the Gemara 
feels the need to justify itself, almost apologetically, with the comment "Im ein 
havdalah da'at minayin [If there are no distinctions, how can there be 

Does anyone have any idea what is the connection between 'Ya'aleh veyavo' and 
'Retsei' and why Chazal chose to insert it there rather than elsewhere in
Shemoneh esrei?

Martin Stern


From: Tony Fiorino <afiorino@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 12,2012 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Yom Kippur machzor problem

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 61#43):
> Stuart Wise wrote (MJ 61#42):
>> Thanks again, Martin, for taking the time for your most interesting
>> explanation (MJ 61#41). I am sure printers are responsible for many
>> more of the problems, like varying font sizes
> They also more or less invented the so-called Nusach Sfard by putting
> together Sefardi and Ashkenazi texts in a rather random manner. 

I am not sure the nusach sfard can be considered simply an invention of the
printers.  The chassidim specifically wanted to emulate the nusach of the Ari
(although, if I recall, the Ari's father was Ashkenazi but grew up in his
Sephardic uncle's house and may have used both Ashkenazi and Spanish-Portuguese

>> Were it only that someone or ones had the courage to revise all our
>> prayer-related texts!
> All attempts to do so, even just to correct obvious errors that crept in
> through mistakes in typesetting (e.g. printing 'or' instead of 'ur' in the 
> pizmon 'Ki hinei kachomer' in Kol Nidrei), run up against the widespread
> conservatism prevalent throughout the Orthodox world. 

I have to disagree with Martin here.  I really think the lessons learned from
history are that prayer customs can be changed quickly and easily.  Look at the
influence of the sfat kabbalists (kabalat shabbat and hakafot on simchat torah)
or the wholesale revocalizing of nusach ashkenaz in the 18th/19th century (a
process driven by grammatical notions of the maskilim that assigned a priority
to "pure" Biblical Hebrew over mishnaic/rabbinic Hebrew).  Even in our day, 
there is the phenomenon of the Artscroll siddur.

The key factor, at least today, is simply widespread uptake by shuls (perhaps
most importantly, having a large "chazzan's" edition).

Shabbat shalom,



End of Volume 61 Issue 44