Volume 61 Number 50 
      Produced: Thu, 08 Nov 2012 09:22:29 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Calling the Kohanim (2)
    [Martin Stern  Yisrael Medad]
Close enough for government work 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Difference in waiting time to have chalavi after meat vs. chicken 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Do not Show Them Favour 
    [Barak Greenfield]
Entering a Church (2)
    [Yisrael Medad   Orrin Tilevitz]
Mechitzah In Shul: Why and How? (2)
    [Katz, Ben M.D.  Michael Rogovin]
Torah Scroll Falling (4)
    [Martin Stern  Yisrael Medad   Josh Backon  Eliezer Berkovits]
Women being instructed in martial arts (2)
    [Martin Stern  Frank Silbermann]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 4,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Calling the Kohanim

Stuart Pilichowski wrote (MJ 61#49):

> Why does the gabbai call the kohanim for duchaning?

There are various customs as to how this is done so I don't think too much
can be read into this. I suppose it is to alert the congregation that the
kohanim are about to duchan so that people can prepare themselves.

> Why is the gabbai silent when there is only one kohen?

If there is only one kohen, the word kohanim would be incorrect but some
have the custom that he calls it out nonetheless.

Martin Stern

From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 4,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Calling the Kohanim

Stuart Pilichowski asks (MJ 61#49):

> Why does the gabbai call the kohanim for duchaning?

Because the Torah obliges a calling Rambam, Mishneh Torah: Hilchot Tefillah
U'Birkat Cohanim, Chapter 14, Halacha 8, (also SA 128:10):

"If there are two or more [priests blessing the people], they do not begin
reciting the blessing until the leader of the congregation calls them, saying

> Why is the gabbai silent when there is only one kohen?

Because the command mentions a plural number of kohanim (Numbers 6:23):

"Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying: On this wise ye shall bless the
children of Israel; ye shall say unto THEM".

As a commentary makes clear: "based on Numbers 6:23: 'This is how you
should bless the children of Israel: 'Say to them...,' our Sages explained
that before the priests bless the people, someone must "Say to them" -
i.e., invite them to recite the blessing. However, since the verse mentions
"them," *Sotah* 38a teaches that this invitation is not extended to a
single priest."

Yisrael Medad


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 5,2012 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Close enough for government work

Hurricane Sandy hit on 13 Cheshvan. The Mabul started on 17 Cheshvan 
after a delay of one week for the shivah of Mesushelach. That means that 
it would have started on the tenth, had not Hashem delayed it to allow 
Noach to "sit shivah". Perhaps we can try to derive a lesson from the 
"coincidence of dates." The Chofetz Chaim and others state that whenever 
a "natural" tragedy occurs, we should examine our deeds and try to apply 
the "punishment" to things that we have done or not done.

This is not to say that we can consider what the victims might have done 
or not done, but that we should use the opportunity to do teshuvah for 
our own actions.

It is also an opportunity for us to perform the mitzvos of gemilas 
chasadim, hachnosos orchim and tzedakah.


Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 5,2012 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Difference in waiting time to have chalavi after meat vs. chicken

Avraham Friedenberg wrote (MJ 61#49): 

> My daughter tells me that some of her sherut leumi roommates wait a
> shorter time to eat chalavi after eating chicken than they do after eating
> meat.  I am aware that chicken was originally considered parve, but I've
> never heard of having a time difference between chicken and meat.
> Has anyone ever heard of such a minhag, and if so, can you tell me what the
> basis is?  (My daughter does not know what the family background is of her
> roommates, except they're not Sfardi.)

It would depend on the actual minhag that they are keeping. There are
people who keep "into the sixth hour" rather than a full six hours. I have
heard of different methods of doing this but do not know enough to discuss
the details. However, it sounds as if some people might have a minhag of a
certain difference and be machmir [stricter] on themselves for actual meat
just in order to remember the difference between meat and fowl.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz


From: Barak Greenfield <docbjg@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 8,2012 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Do not Show Them Favour

Chana Luntz wrote (MJ 61#47), commenting on the Weekly Halacha Discussion by
Rabbi Doniel Neustadt (MJ 61#46):

> To start with the concluding paragraph, since this is the one that leaves
> one with a final impression:

>> Note: People wonder why some of the halachos derived from Lo Sechaneim are
>> often ignored,..

> i.e. the start being - it is all due to being overly influenced by the wider
> society, not by halachic norms and different halachic positions.

He didn't start with that thought, he ended with it. He was either melamed
zechus for those who are meikel or was attempting to explain a phenomenon
sociologically. As you say, it was the concluding paragraph; it was not "the start."

>> Possibly, those who are lax follow the opinion of the Rishonim (13) who
>> maintain that this halacha applies only to non-Jews who are active idol
>> worshippers (14).

> Yes indeed, that is one position to bear in mind, for which he quotes - (13)
> Rambam, Sefer Hamitzvos 50; Teshuvos Rashba 1:8; Sefer Hachinuch 426; Meiri,
> Avodah Zarah 20a. He then quotes (14) See Torah Temimah, Devorim 7:2, who
> suggests that these halachos apply only to the Gentiles of the Seven
> Nations. But he does not make it clear that it is not only the Torah Temima
> who says so - but the Hameiri (Avoda Zara 20a) and Rabad (Hilchot Avoda Zara
> 10:6),

But the Ramban in the Mishneh Torah clearly holds that it applies to all ovdei
kochavim, as does the Rashba cited. Tosfos (Avoda Zara 20a, d'amar kra) also
holds that it applies to all ovdei kochavim. And you would then have to
determine (except for the Rashba) whether they meant ovdei kochavim literally,
or all nochrim, and if the former, postulate that Christians today are not ovdei
avoda zara, which is a whole other discussion with opinions on either side.

>> Shulchan Aruch however does not follow this opinion and clearly rules that
>> the laws derived from Lo Sechaneim apply to all non-Jews, including Muslims
>> who are not idol worshippers; the only exception would be a non-Jew who
>> became a ger toshav in the times of the Sanhedrin (15).

> Yes and yet not quite.

Yes, and explicitly so, as you then quote:

> Choshen Mispat siman 249 si'if 2:
> "An oved cochavim who is not a ger toshav, it is forbidden to give him a
> present unless he is acquainted with him or if there is in it a matter of
> darchei shalom."

That's pretty clear, and also obvious that it's referring to any nochri, even
not an active idol worshipper, except a ger toshav.

> And in the Beis Yosef (Choshen Mishpat Siman 249) the Shulchan Aruch writes:
> "And that which Tosphos asks ..."

I'm not sure why you omitted the first part of the Beis Yosef where he explains
that there's a machlokes in the gemara, and he paskens according the opinion
that we may give (gratis) to a ger toshav, but to an akum (implying all other
nochrim) we may only sell (the gemara is talking about meat improperly
slaughtered and hence not consumable by the Yehudi).

> Now in the case of giving presents to an individual in a place like America
> - how often does it ever come up that you have a situation that can
> genuinely be considered a case of a gift that does *not* fall within either
> the category of being acquainted with the person in question, or it being a
> situation of darchei shalom. But by not elaborating on these two exceptions
> (even though they are referred to in the piece) a misleading impression is
> given. 

It comes up very frequently -- in the case of anonymous gifts. These don't
benefit the Yehudi in any way, nor do they effectuate darchei shalom. It is also
important to note that Rabbi Neustadt's list of circumstances in which
gift-giving is permissible is quite in sync with this Beis Yosef -- i.e., if you
know the nochri, or if your giving him the gifts will benefit the Yehudi. This
list is quite prominent in the article, so your criticism for "not elaborating"
on them and your statement about a "misleading impression" are unfair.

> So, how did Rav Kook, Rav Hertzog and all those who support the heter
> mechira (such as Rav Ovadiah Yosef) deal with this question?

They relied on minority opinions in the Rishonim about lo sechoneim generally,
plus heterim that applied specifically to the "no transfer of land" part of the
halacha, such as it being for the benefit of Jews' settling the land, in order
to make a yishuv and/or medinah possible. Do you find where they say that, in
general, a Yehudi can give a nochri a free (anonymous) gift?

> But the implication is very much with the more charedi position of rejecting 
> the heter mechira - and without careful reading one might miss exactly how
> controversial R' Neustadt's stance is. I would have guessed that most
> people on this list, if asked to site themselves either with the Chazon
> Ish's camp emanating out of Bnei Brak, or with that of Rav Kook or Rav
> Hertzog, would choose the latter, and certainly when I was in the States
> many years ago, I would have said the same for Young Israel, but perhaps
> things have changed.

Rabbi Neustadt didn't talk about the heter mechirah. Your attempt to paint his
article with the brush of "charedi" (as if that were a bad thing) because it
incidentally gives weight to the opinions prohibiting the heter mechira is
improper. There are many arguments for and against the heter mechirah and the
issue of lo sechoneim is just one of them. As far as "camps", as you put it,
well, the Netziv and Rav YD Soloveitchik (both great-grandfather and
great-grandson), for example, were opposed to the heter mechirah -- which "camp"
would you put them in?

> Again, while the relevant sources are quoted, there is a slant here in
> favour of a more "Torah only" view.

What view would you propose to take in a discussion of halacha?

> And of course again there has to be another side. Because the Torah im
> derech eretz world in its widest expression, and the philosophy of RSRH and
> those who follow and expand on him involves embracing the best of the 
> non-Jewish world.

That's not "another side." Are you suggesting that Rav Hirsch didn't take a
"Torah only" view of halacha, even as he advocated Torah im derech eretz and
learning from the nochrim? We most certainly take a "Torah only" view when it
comes to deciding halacha, and then we apply the concept of learning from the
broader world within the halachic framework that has been constructed.
Parenthetically, it is ironic that you cited Rav Hirsch as being on the "other
side", knowing that he was opposed to the heter mechirah. I wonder what "camp"
he falls into.

> if you follow the narrow reading advocated by R' Neustadt, Chazal and 
> prominent rishonim such as the Rambam violate an issur d'orisa.

These questions have been asked and answered over and over. For example, the
Rambam had high regard for the philosophy espoused by Aristotle, but wasn't
personally praising the individual. To suggest that the plain meaning of the
Rambam and Shulchan Aruch has Chazal (and the Rambam himself!) violating an
issur d'oraisa is a bit far-reaching.

> this synopsis appears problematic, despite it also being accurate both in
> terms of citations and with regard to a particular world view.

One wonders if you would have found his accurate article so problematic had you
shared his world view.



From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 4,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Entering a Church

Martin (MJ 61#49) suggests we comment of Rabbi Chaim Kanterowitz's views on this

a) I would have been interested if he had delineated, or not, any difference
between a Catholic Church, a Protestant Church or a church that does not display
even a cross.

b) I would have also been interested if he had discussed a difference, if any,
and why or why not, between a church in Eretz-Yisrael or in the lands of the Exile.
Yisrael Medad

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 4,2012 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Entering a Church

In MJ 61#49 Martin Stern posts, for discussion, R. Kanterowitz's unsurprising
psak that it is forbidden to enter a church absent extraordinary circumstances,
such as a community emergency.

I used to think so too. Then I asked my rav, Rabbi Jacob Kret, z"tl, whether it
was permitted to enter to attend a church funeral of a business acquaintance. He
relied that it was -- one may go in for business purposes. And then a friend
loaned me a copy of "The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in
the Heart of the Vatican", by Benjamin Blech and Roy Doliner, at least one of
whom is an Orthodox Jew and which, it seemed to me, could not have been written
without their spending a lot of time in the Sistine Chapel.

So I'd venture that while to enter a church simply to enjoy the scenery or the
air conditioning may be forbidden, entering with a business purpose or for
academic interests may be a different story.


From: Katz, Ben M.D. <BKatz@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 4,2012 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Mechitzah In Shul: Why and How?

A few brief comments on Martin Stern's long posting on mechitzah (MJ 61#49):

1. The great tikun (fixing) described in the Temple of separating the ezrat
nashim (where men and women were permitted) from where only men were permitted
was instituted on simchat beit hashoayvah, a time of unparalleled frivolity.
2. It sounds like Ezra read the Torah on Rosh Hashanah to men and women together
(Neh. 8:1-2).

3. It sounds like men and women worshipped together in the Temple (Judith 4:9-12).

4. At least according to some opinions in the Talmud (Sotah 40b-41a), the King
read the Torah (during hakhel) in the women's court.

5. There seems to be no archeological evidence of a mechitzah in nearly 100
synagogues excavated  from the Roman Empire or Israel in the first seven
centuries of the common era; only 5 of those synagogues had balconies and there
is no evidence that they were exclusively the provenance of women.  We also know
that many women attended synagogue (eg Sotah 22a, Avodah zara 38a-b).  See Lee
Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, 2nd ed, chapter 14.
6. There is no mention of mechitzah in hilchot beit kenesset (laws of the
synagogue) in the shulchan aruch (Code of Jewish law).

From: Michael Rogovin <mrogovin118@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 7,2012 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Mechitzah In Shul: Why and How?

It seems to me that the prevalent view on mechitza does not follow Rabbi
Feinstein's approach  (discussed in MJ 61#49) and that mechitzas are lower
(50") or simply a physical barrier (e.g. the Jewish Center in Manhattan
where women are in a clearly separate section but I would not describe the
barrier as a mechitza in the traditional sense). The reality has changed
and women, particularly in modern orthodox shuls, have a strong desire to
see and hear the service and are not dressed inappropriately by MO
standards. 66" tall solid barriers are simply not acceptable to men and
women in most (or at least many) MO shuls.

Michael Rogovin


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 4,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Torah Scroll Falling

Stuart Pilichowski wrote (MJ 61#49):

> During hagbaah (raising of the Torah) this past Shabbat the lifter lost
> control of the left, heavy side of the Torah and the Torah fell to the ground
> (the left part only). What to do?
> We were advised by the Rabbi to proclaim a private fast, search and mend our
> ways and it couldn't hurt to give tzedakah. Has anyone heard of this practice?

There is a detailed discussion of all aspects of this problem in chapter 43
of Mikra'ei Kodesh - Hilchot Kriat Hatorah by R. Zalman Druk (Wagshall,
5746) . Briefly, he states the source for fasting when a Sefer Torah is
dropped is to be found in the Mishpatei Shmuel brought by the Magen Avraham
O.H.44, s.k. 5. There are various considerations that have to be taken into
account such as whether it fell fully or partially etc. and Stuart would do
well to consult this work

> In falling, part of the seam opened. The sofer (Torah scribe) came after
> Shabbat to repair the seam/stitch. He suggested making sure that for lifting
> the Torah the seam is always in the middle when the Torah is lifted and raised
> for all to see. 

I always thought that this was the standard procedure. It certainly
minimises the risk that the seam will split. In a lighter vein, might I
suggest that in the mitsvah of Kriat Hatorah the word 'kriat' should always
be understood as being spelled with an aleph and never with an ayin!

> The ritual committee decided from now on there would be back-up and a guard
> to make sure this doesn't reoccur. Of course, the gabbai has to ensure he asks
> only qualified, experienced lifters to perform hagbaah.
I believe that the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue in London (and probably
elsewhere) only give hagba'ah to members of a special society 'de los
levandores [of the lifters]' who are well versed in doing it without mishap.

Martin Stern

From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 4,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Torah Scroll Falling

Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 61#49) describes a situation and notes what "the Rabbi"
advised them to do. He then asks "Has anyone heard of this practice?"

My answer is: yes.  In fact, that is the Halacha as far as I know, and
moreover, the incident is remarkably similar to this one: 


And he also notes what the sofer/scribe "suggested" and then asks Any
suggestions from the olam (world) at large?

My answer is: sounds good to me.

Yisrael Medad

From: Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 5,2012 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Torah Scroll Falling

In reply to Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 61#49):

The Magen Avraham (Orach Chayim 44:5) mentions the custom of the one who dropped
the Sefer Torah to fast (and BTW even when it fell with its cover on) [*afilu
b'nartikan*]. The Iggrot Moshe OC III #3 indicates that onlookers can fast for a
day or give tzedaka.

BTW in our shul in Jerusalem when there is a very heavy (or non-balanced Sefer
e.g, beginning or end of the Sefer) we call out the heavy artillery and get
young Gideon, 6'4", 250 pounds of solid rippling muscle. 

Which reminds me of Moishe who gets Hagba and almost drops the Sefer Torah. He's
terribly embarrassed and for 6 months doesn't enter the shul. Every day he works
out at the gym pressing weights and barbells. Finally, 6 months later he feels
he's ready. Comes Shabbat morning, he walks into the shul during Kriyat haTorah.
The gabbay sees him and motions for him to come to the Bima. Moishe does a
terrific Hagba and then asks the gabbay how he did, The gabbay replies, "NOT BAD
FOR SHLISHI !!!"  :-)

Josh Backon

From: Eliezer Berkovits <eb@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 5,2012 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Torah Scroll Falling

In reply to Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 61#49):

The sofer is doing no more that repeating the Halacha in Shulchan Aruch
which states that 'Hagolel tzorich she'yaamidenu keneged hatefer,' to
reduce damage if it tears. I understood that despite using the word
Hagolel, the Mechaber was referring to the act of Hagbaha [as well as
Gelilah] for his - Sephardic - custom would be for *one* person to lift
and then open and show the Sefer Torah to the Tzibbur. 

The implication is that for Ashkenazim it is the Magbiah, not the Golel,
who should align the Sefer along the Tefer before lifting, to avoid risk
of tearing. Not, as some seem to erroneously read the Shulchan Aruch
literally, to mean that it is the Golel who needs to adjust it, as this
makes no sense in terms of precautions against tearing.

Eliezer Berkovits


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 4,2012 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Women being instructed in martial arts

Yisrael Medad (MJ 61#49) asks:

> whether women should perhaps receive military training, or, at least martial
> arts training, in one form (in the IDF) or another, [so that she should be able 
> to defend herself] if removed/taken by force ... in order to turn her into a
> non-Jew [rather than causing her father to have to go beyond the techum on 
> Shabbat to rescue her].

There is a lot to be said for this suggestion in the current situation
though a woman would have to become quite expert in the martial arts to be
able to compensate for her lesser physical strength.

However Yisrael's implicit criticism of the Mishnah Brurah (306:14) for not
even entertaining such a possibility is not entirely fair. In the latter's
social milieu, the practice of martial arts by Jewish men, let alone women,
was almost unheard of and it was also rare even among non-Jewish women.

Martin Stern

From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 4,2012 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Women being instructed in martial arts

Yisrael Medad wrote (MJ 61#49):

> The connection would be: in order to prevent this situation [kidnapping by 
> idolators -MOD], would her being trained in the martial arts have been
> a lesser prohibition and thus she could perhaps been able to save herself?

Shouldn't we first establish that there _is_ such a prohibition, and if so, its
parameters and extent?

The issue of military service aside, if there was a prohibition of women
learning weapons-use on the grounds that a weapon is an object (a K'lee)
pertaining to men, that would not obviously apply to the open-handed martial
arts, nor to defense with a walking-cane (even old women use these) or kitchen
knife, and arguably it would not even apply to a pink-handled LadySmith revolver.

Frank Silbermann                     Memphis, Tennessee


End of Volume 61 Issue 50