Volume 62 Number 05 
      Produced: Tue, 11 Feb 14 01:49:10 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A non-Jewish practice (3)
    [Martin Stern  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz  Moshe Poupko]
Is this the truth? 
    [Martin Stern]
Riding a bicycle on Shabbat (3)
    [Ari Trachtenberg  Steven Oppenheimer  Dov Bloom]
Shabbos morning Kiddush in shul 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
The correct way to wear Tefillin shel Rosh 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
The more things change ... 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
The Year of Formation (2)
    [Martin Stern  Katz, Ben M.D.]
Womb Transplant 
    [Yisrael Medad]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 2,2014 at 05:01 PM
Subject: A non-Jewish practice

In reply to Stuart Pilichowski, Meir Shinnar, Isaac Balbin and David I.
Cohen (MJ 62#04):

It was not the delay in burial per se to which I took exception. Obviously
waiting a day so that world leaders could attend was meant to give honour to
the deceased. What I had written (MJ 62#03) was:

> Lying in state is a non-Jewish practice which has no place in a Jewish state.
> Those who wish to honour the deceased would do better to attend the funeral
> or, if this be impossible, visit his grave after interment.

Martin Stern

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Mon, Feb 3,2014 at 12:01 PM
Subject: A non-Jewish practice

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 62#04):
> Martin Stern wrote (MJ 62#03):
>> Lying in state is a non-Jewish practice which has no place in a Jewish
>> state. Those who wish to honour the deceased would do better to attend
>> the funeral or, if this be impossible, visit his grave after interment.
> I would differ with his characterization and change "non-Jewish" to
> "non-halachic".

I think that the point is that he is not being "honored" because of his
connection to Jews, Judaism, or Halacha but in an attempt to mimic the way
the goyim treat their political leaders (whether they deserve it or not).
If (L'havdil - to make a definite separation) it was someone like Rav Ovadya
Yosef Z"L, then a delay might have been understood. However, we see that
there was no need for a delay in his case (and the cases of other gedolim),
there really was no need for a delay here as well.  Making a phony delay
for political theater so that foreign politicians who actually hated him
and are trying their best to destroy his country could "pay their respects"
is not really proper.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz

From: Moshe Poupko <mopo@...>
Date: Tue, Feb 4,2014 at 02:01 PM
Subject: A non-Jewish practice

Isaac Balbin wrote (MJ 62#04):

> When R' Chaim Ozer Grodzenski died on a Friday, they couldn't decide whether to
> bury him on the Friday or wait until the Sunday, after which more people would
> know and his funeral would be more honourable.

Small correction: It was when the Chafetz Chaim died on a Friday that R'
Chaim Ozer Grodzenski in response to a question of burial telegrammed to
have the funeral on Sunday for the reason Isaac Balbin gave.

Moshe Poupko


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 27,2014 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Is this the truth?

In my submission "The significance of fifteen?" (MJ 62#03), I wrote:

> I pointed out in my essay on the Shema (A Time to Speak, pp. 76-77), after the
> removal of the word emet, there are fifteen words (veyatsiv ...) used to
> describe it. The former's removal might be meant to draw our attention to
> this.

Another idea occurred to me regarding why we remove the word emet from the
berachah emet veyatsiv (or emet ve'emunah at ma'ariv) and attach it to the last
paragraph of the shema.

In the final pasuk of the paragraph we find the phrase Ani HaShem Elokechem
repeated. While it makes perfect sense to say, I am HaShem your G-d who took you
out of the land of Egypt, it is strange to find the first three words repeated
at the end with no corresponding reason.

Perhaps one might understand this as a reference to the work we must do on
ourselves in recognizing HaShem. As the joke would have it, taking the Benei
Yisrael out of Egypt was accomplished in seven days, but it took forty years
of wandering in the midbar to take Egypt out of the Benei Yisrael!

This line of thinking suggested to me a possible reason for adding the word
emet to the end of this pasuk. It might be viewed as an notarikon [acronym]
for Et-eretz Mitzraim Totziu [you shall remove the land of Egypt (from
yourselves)], suggesting that the whole pasuk should be understood to mean:

"Just as I am HaShem your G-d who took you out of the land of Egypt to be your
G-d. so I am HaShem your G-d (who commands you to) remove the (impure influence
of the) land of Egypt (from yourselves)!"

Any comments, anyone?

Martin Stern


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 2,2014 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Riding a bicycle on Shabbat

> Michael Rogovin wrote (MJ 62#04):
> Dov Bloom wrote (MJ 62#03):
>> The bicycle tires may get a hole or the chain may break -- Anyone who rides
>> knows this, hence the prohibition shema yetaken kli (in case one might 
>> repair it).
> Well, I rode recreationally on streets and bike paths for many years and
> never once had to repair a tire or broke a chain. Yes it happens to serious
> riders who go on biking trips where they ride for hours on end and for many
> miles a day. But I don't think that is what we are talking about, since to
> do that in most places would take one outside a eruv or techum.

The eruv in Boston is roughly twenty square miles large ... plenty of room to
getting stranded very far from home!  As a regular bike-commuter to work, I can
tell you that wheel flats are a regular (though unpredictable) occurrence
whenever you drive on roads.  I also often have spokes break (though I maintain
the bike reasonably well), although one can still ride on a broken spoke (with
some adjustments).

> A stroller could break too...

True, and that can be a serious problem.  If you've pushed a stroller 3 miles to
a friend for lunch and a wheel breaks, you have a very serious incentive to fix it!

Consistency and reasonability are factors in deciding halacha, but so are wisdom
and social sensibilities.



From: Steven Oppenheimer <steven.oppenheimer@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 2,2014 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Riding a bicycle on Shabbat

The majority of poskim have not permitted riding a bicycle on Shabbat.  Rav
Yosef Chaim, the Ben Ish Chai and author of Responsa Rav Pealim, did permit
riding a bicycle on Shabbat were there is an Eruv (Responsa Rav Pealim 1:25). 
To my knowledge,  this is a da'as yachid (a solitary lenient view). Rav Ovadiah
Yosef defends the authenticity of Rav Pealim's pesak, but does not pasken that
it has been accepted.

*Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.*

From: Dov Bloom <dovbbb@...>
Date: Mon, Feb 3,2014 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Riding a bicycle on Shabbat

Michael Rogovin (MJ 64#04) and I (MJ 64#03) seen to have a machloket bametziut [a
factual dispute] which relates to a halachik issue. 

Mr. Rogovin relates his experience with a well kept bicycle in an urban area,
almost never having to be repaired. My experience from childhood, adulthood and
parenthood is a lot of patching tires, filling tires and continuous chain
repositioning and repair. I guess Michael just buys better bikes. 

I suppose poskim would say `lo plug' and anyway halachik practice developed
decades ago ... before the expensive well made modern bikes.

At any rate there is certainly a difference between bicycles which are usually
self repaired and fixing a musical instrument  - (nowadays as opposed to David
Hamelech harp times), done by professionals. (or how about preparing
phamecuticals which nowadays is not even done by pharmacists 99.9% of the time-
that leads us into a whole new prospective thread)


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Tue, Feb 4,2014 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Shabbos morning Kiddush in shul

There was an interesting article in Hirhurim (Torah Musings blog) about shul
kiddushim. At first glance, it might appear it might appear everybody might be
doing something wrong, contrary to Halacha.


The bottom line seems to be in a comment by Aryeh Lebowitz, which is something
actually that I heard, that what is eaten at the shul and the meal at home with
Hamotze can be combined, and the Kiddush does not need to be repeated. (unless
this is done for other people, in which case the original cake is lost) Aryeh
Lebowitz cites Minchas Asher Pesachim (what is that ?) page 355.

There are other ideas:

1) That of R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, that the kiddush in shul is no kiddush and
the food is no meal. But you can eat before kiddush if it is cake (because it is
still a sort of kiddush?)

2) That of R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, that it is kiddush, and a meal, but you
should try to make the mezonos over two pieces of cake, which must amount to at
least a kezayis, and the subsequent lunch at home is the 3rd Shabbos meal.

3) A Chabad source may have a variation of this, saying no, the shul kiddush is
the third meal, which does not require bread, and kiddush should be made at home
and that will count as the second meal, and the the order of the daytime meals
is not me'akev.

4) That of R. Moshe Feinstein, that it is not kiddush and not a meal, but once
you say kiddush, you can eat, even if it is not cake and not a kezayis, that is,
even if you don't wind up eating, and don't intend to eat any bread there, but
you must repeat kiddush at home over challah or bread.

Can anyone expand on this?


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Tue, Feb 4,2014 at 01:01 PM
Subject: The correct way to wear Tefillin shel Rosh

I found an article, entitled The Transformation of Contemporary Orthodoxy:
Another View by Mark Steiner, in Vol. 31 No. 2 of Tradition (Winter 1997).

It was one of two articles in response to "Rupture and Reconstruction: The
Transformation of Contemporary Orthodoxy by Professor Haym Soloveitchik
(Tradition 28:4, Summer 1994).

In it the author writes:

> I might add another striking change in Jewish observance, the wearing of the
> tefillin shel rosh far back on the head, in such a way as to have no part of the
> tefillin sticking out over the hair line.
> This change has affected virtually all segments of the haredim, although I have
> seen photographs of major hassidic rabbeim in the past and present whose
> tefillin jut into the forehead, which leads me to believe that the practice in
> Poland was to interpret the law that tefillin should be above the hairline in a
> much less stringent manner (a possibility of a more lenient interpretation of
> the law is mentioned but dismissed by the Mishna Berura in his Bi'ur

Is this correct? It looks like it should be, especially, since most Tefillin
shel Rosh sold nowadays with the kesher, do not seem to be designed to fit
naturally (considering the knot back should fall in a slight depression) on the
head the way it is being said.


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Mon, Feb 3,2014 at 06:01 AM
Subject: The more things change ...

Rabbi Sorotzkin in Oznayim LaTorah (Insights in the Torah) points out that
Hashem was able to ask for "kol ish asher yidvenu libo" [every man whose heart
motivates him] to give in order to build the Mishkan [Tabernacle] However, even
He had to set up a tax (the half shekel) in order to support the maintenance and
the daily sacrifices. 

Rabbi Sorotzkin states that there was a major convention of the rabbis of Europe
to discuss raising support for the yeshivos of Polish Lithuania. At the same
time, Rabbi Meir Shapiro was raising funds for his Yeshiva in Lublin with no
problem. Rabbi Sorotzkin states that he was sure then that once the building was
complete, Rabbi Shapiro would have the same trouble with his upkeep. Indeed,
this is what happened.

We have the same trouble today. People can spend millions building the
structures, but have a great deal of trouble paying the monthly heating bills,
the teachers' salaries, buying the food for the daily lunches, etc.

Even G-d has to deal with human nature.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 2,2014 at 05:01 PM
Subject: The Year of Formation

Yisrael Medad wrote (MJ 62#04):

> In the Rambam's discussions of fixing time, he uses the term "year of
> formation (yetzirah)" to describe what preceded the first year of creation
> (briah), as, for example, in Hilchot Kiddush HaChodesh, Chapter 10 Halacha 3,
> (even though most translations use the term "creation")
> ...
> As this reflects on the philosophical inquiry of whether there was "existence"
> prior to creation, do anyone on this list have resource material references
> discussing this?

As I understand it, the Rambam means by the term "year of creation" the
first counted year starting on the first Rosh Hashanah which was on the
Friday on which man was created.

The "year of formation (yetzirah)" is the 'fictitious' (or non-existent)
year preceding creation which included the first six days of creation which
is used to make the calculations simpler - and does not reflect in any way
on whether there was any sort of existence before creation.

Martin Stern

From: Katz, Ben M.D. <BKatz@...>
Date: Mon, Feb 3,2014 at 12:01 AM
Subject: The Year of Formation

In reply to Yisrael Medad (MJ 62#04):

This gets into the whole issue of creation ex nihilo (yesh ma-ayin) vs. eternal
matter.  Whereas Rambam's position on this matter is arguable (see Herbert
Davidson, Maimonides' Secret Position on Creation), two of Rambam's intellectual
disciples, Ralbag (Gersonides) and ibn Kaspi clearly believes in eternal matter.


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 2,2014 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Womb Transplant

Further to my previous submission (MJ 62#03), according to an article sent to me
by Ari Zivitofsky: Uterine Transplantation and the Case of the Mistaken
Question, by Edward Reichman in Tradition, Vol. 37, No. 2 (Summer 2003), the
conclusion is that "any organ, once transplanted, assumes the identity of the

Yisrael Medad



End of Volume 62 Issue 5