Volume 62 Number 06 
      Produced: Wed, 12 Mar 14 05:41:45 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A non-Jewish practice 
    [Isaac Balbin]
Clothing makes the man - Parshas Tetzaveh 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Haredi rally against enforced conscription 
    [Martin Stern]
Kosher without a hechsher 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Laughter Ahead - New Purim Video from The Shmuz! 
    [Rabbi Shafier]
Riding a bicycle on Shabbat 
    [Michael Rogovin]
Shabbos morning Kiddush in shul 
    [Reuven Miller]
Some further occurrences of fifteen 
    [Martin Stern]
Women, Kri'at haTorah and Aliyyot 
    [Aryeh Frimer]


From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Tue, Feb 11,2014 at 04:01 AM
Subject: A non-Jewish practice

Martin Stern (MJ 62#05) needs to use Chukas HoAkum (logically void or
antithetical practices) rather than non-Jewish.

As I wrote previously (MJ 62#04), we do NOT pasken (decide) like the Gro.

If there is a reason, and it's not disrespectful, I would posit a practice would
be halachically fine.


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Thu, Feb 13,2014 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Clothing makes the man - Parshas Tetzaveh

A dvar torah on clothing derived from the Bigdei kehunah (high priest's 
clothing) in parshas Tetzaveh. Also consider the relationship between 
truth (emes), falsehood (sheker), and clothing (beged) throug the Hebrew 
letters of those words.


Parshas Tetzaveh gives the command to make the clothes for the 
KohenGadol. The word for clothing,??? [Beged], is the same root as the 
word for traitor. Clothing is designed to hide flaws and to present the 
image that one wants others to have. A uniform is designed to impress 
the publice with the importance of the office that the wearer holds as 
well as to impress the holder of the office with the seriousness with 
which he must treat his position. Ronald Reagan would always wear his 
suit in the Oval Office and insisted on conducting his business while 
wearing his jacket and tie. It was not to impress others with the 
loftiness of the position, but to show that he took the position with 
the seriousness that it required.

Here are some representative paragraphs from the post.

The three letters of "clothing" (Beged) have similar points applied to 
them. The second, third, and fourth letters of the alphabet are there to 
shield the intrinsic meaning of the person (the "aleph") from the rest 
of the world  The bais has a broad base standing firm and representing 
the "house" (bayis)  in which a person's soul lives. The Gimmel has two 
legs on which to stand ready to stand firm or to move in whichever way 
it must to protect the person. In some ways of thought, it represents 
the material world. The third letter the Dalet, has only one point, like 
the letters of sheker. It too cannot stand alone but symbolizes the 
"door" (delet) through which a person can interact with the world or 
through which the world can perceive the personality of the wearer.

The first clothing that we see in the Torah is that which Hashem made 
for Adam and Chava. It was only after the sin that they required 
external clothing. Before then, the light of their souls was so bright 
that the body was regarded as we regard clothes today.

       Sabba     -          ??? ???        -     Hillel
Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
  <SabbaHillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 4,2014 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Haredi rally against enforced conscription

Last Sunday's haredi rally (30 Adar Rishon / 1st day R.H. Adar Sheni / 2 March)
against enforced conscription strikes me as showing that neither side really
wants to understand the other's position and this has produced a complete
breakdown in communication.

While there almost certainly exist yeshiva students who abuse the system, by
claiming to be in full time learning while doing no such thing, I am sure
they are a minority. That the haredi world does not recognise their
existence and act appropriately is to be deplored since it inflames
anti-haredi prejudice.

However, I think most non-haredim simply do not understand the haredi
perception. First, the haredim see themselves as being the original Jewish
presence in the Holy Land who have been taken over by an alien secular
'invasion' which is bent on destroying their way of life.

They see military service as being the means for implementing this, much as
were the Cantonist decrees of Tsar Nicholas I in 19th century Russia. Before
condemning this as utterly paranoid, one should remember the way the
Mizrachi Jews were deliberately alienated from their religious heritage in
the early years of the State, let alone the earlier treatment of the Teheran
children, nearly all of whom came from an Orthodox Polish background, who
were sent to anti-religious institutions.

The haredi perception may not be entirely accurate but it is sufficiently
well based to make calls for a "universal sharing of the burden" and
"integration into the workforce" sound to them like Orwellian double-talk
for their destruction. Widespread media references to haredim as parasites
living off society without contributing to it add credence to this.

So it is not a matter of military service per se that worries haredim but rather
the perception that the army is used as a way to 'Israelify' young people, i.e.
alienate them from traditional, or as the earlier secular Zionists called it
"golus", mentality. Without that threat I suspect more young men would enter the
work force at an earlier age. The effect of conscription is therefore
counterproductive and tends to keep them in yeshiva indefinitely. This would
seem to be true since it does not happen outside Israel in countries without a
compulsory draft to nearly the same extent.

Only once the non-haredi population understands their fears, and acts to
allay them, will dialogue ever be possible. The alternative is, as Knesset
Speaker Yuli Edelstein said that "the haredi conscription bill will cause a
rift in the nation ... [and] if the result is a civil war, we will not
achieve anything.

What do others think?

Martin Stern


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Thu, Feb 20,2014 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Kosher without a hechsher

Rabbi Aryeh Klapper discusses what he calls products that are "kosher only
without a hekhsher":


But they might be better described as products that would become not kosher if
someone asks for a hechsher.

This situation arises, he says, when an ingredient is nullified, as when
somebody uses Vitamin D derived from shark oil as an additive to milk.

If a hechsher were asked for, it would be a case of bittul issur lekhatchilah,
and such bitul is not valid. If there is not any concern for making sales to
observant Jews, however, then it would considered kosher.


From: Rabbi Shafier <rabbishafier@...>
Date: Thu, Feb 27,2014 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Laughter Ahead - New Purim Video from The Shmuz!

Purim is a time to celebrate and be happy. Sadly, though, too many times that
joy is marred by tragedy. We all share in the loss when someone young or old is
needlessly injured in an alcohol related accident.

The Shmuz is proud to present Dumb Ways to Drive, a hilarious new video which
packs a powerful message.

Please help me get this public safety message out to the broader community by
sharing it withyour friends!

Wishing you a joyous and safe Purim,

Rabbi Shafier


From: Michael Rogovin <michael@...>
Date: Tue, Feb 11,2014 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Riding a bicycle on Shabbat

Responding to Ari Trachtenberg, Steven Oppenheimer & Dov Bloom (MJ 62#05).

Lots of things break and need repair. The question is how one uses them. I can
understand the preference for a bright line restrictive ruling, but I think one
should at least acknowledge what we are talking about. Commuting with a bicycle
or going on a bike tour is different from recreational riding around a
neighborhood. I have no doubt that a commuter would experience many problems,
but I think it is unlikely that in Teaneck, for example, which has an eruv, that
I would encounter most of those problems if I rode to shul or a friends house,
even if a mile or two away. And even if I did, how would I repair the bike
without tools (which are muktsa so I would not have them)? More likely, I would
walk the bicycle to a safe place and lock it. 

I can come up with many scenarios that would create problems, but I believe they
are unlikely in most situations.  I would prefer to give the populace more
leeway to act appropriately, but that is not the traditional approach by most
rabbis. At least understand that it is a fence and not a prohibition per se.

I do think that the issue that Dov raises about pharmaceuticals is valid. In
fact, I believe that the fact that the rationale for prohibiting use of
medications is based entirely on an anachronism is reason enough for a
revisiting of the prohibition. I do not expect to see it happen anytime soon though.
Michael Rogovin


From: Reuven Miller <reuvenbbz@...>
Date: Tue, Feb 11,2014 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Shabbos morning Kiddush in shul

Sammy Finkelman wrote (MJ 62#05): 

> 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 
> mealsis not me'akev.

My understanding is that the Chabad minhag is dafka not to eat a shiur of
a meal at seuda shlishit. They bring kabbalistic sourses for this.

Reuven Miller


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 9,2014 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Some further occurrences of fifteen

Previously (MJ 62#03) I mentioned the possible significance of the number
fifteen as representing an ascent in holiness. Some more instances that I have
noticed (all according to Minhag Ashkenaz) are, when words connected by a makeph
[hyphen] are treated as single words:
1. the number of words in the Yehi ratson said at the end of the Beraita deRabbi
Yishmael and Elokai netsor at the end of shemoneh esrei,

2. the number of words in the conclusion of Yishtabach (Keil Melekh ... Chei
haolamim), making it an unusually long short berachah,

3. the number of words in Tsur Yisrael at the conclusion of Birkhot Kriat Shema,

(all these are at the ends of major sections of Shacharit which may be
especially significant as I pointed out previously)

4. the number of words in Nekadesh, the introduction to Kedushah (except at Mussaf),

5. the number of Birkhot Hashachar.

In addition, one might note:
1. the number of pesukim included in the mezuzah (6+9),

(perhaps this reflects the higher degree of holiness of a Jewish home over the
outside world)

2. the number of words in the three pesukim of birkhat kohanim (3+5+7).
Furthermore it would seem that even in passages where a smaller number is
explicitly stated, there might really be fifteen items. Two such situations
that spring to mind are:
1. the thirteen hermeneutic rules in the Beraita deRabbi Yishmael, where two
contain distinct subrules (numbers 3 and 12) that might more reasonably be
listed separately,

2. the eleven spices in the incense, to which a further 4 ingredients are
recorded (apart from the kippat hayarden added by Rabbi Natan).

The thirteenth century Chasidai Ashkenaz were assiduous in counting the number
of words and letters in the tefillot so it is possibly significant that the
number fifteen appears in so many places in the liturgy which is heavily
influenced by their ideas. In this they were continuing an ancient tradition as
the Gemara states "the early Sages were called Sofrim because they
counted the number of letters in the Torah" (Kid. 30a).

In view of all this, are these occurrences fortuitous or do they have significance?

Martin Stern


From: Aryeh Frimer <frimera@...>
Date: Fri, Feb 14,2014 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Women, Kri'at haTorah and Aliyyot

You are cordially invited to read our recent article:

"Women, Kri'at haTorah and Aliyyot" by Aryeh A. Frimer and Dov I. Frimer,
Tradition, 46:4 (Winter, 2013), 67-238

available at


This in-depth article discusses issue of calling women to the Torah, with an
appendix on Partnership Minyanim. In the the course of the paper, we discuss
the parameters and obligation of Keri'at ha-Torah and Haftarah, the role
played by the Ba'al Keri'ah, the definition of Kevod ha-Tsibbur, whether a
community can set aside Kevod ha-tsibbur, she'at ha-dehak situations,  and
the rules of kevod ha-beriyyot and nahat ru'ah le-nashim.  The footnotes
document extensive discussions the authors had on a plethora of related
issues with leading posekim and scholars, not recorded elsewhere.

Insights and Comments gratefully received.

Kol Tuv

Aryeh and Dov Frimer

Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan 5290002, ISRAEL
E-mail: <Aryeh.Frimer@...>

Prof. Dov I. Frimer
P.O.B. 48180 Malcha
Jerusalem 91481 Israel
E-Mail: <dfrimer@...>


End of Volume 62 Issue 6