Volume 62 Number 44 
      Produced: Sun, 18 Jan 15 01:37:08 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

LGBT "rights" 
    [Martin Stern]
Reciting Adir Bamorom  
    [Eliezer Berkovits]
Seating on planes (2)
    [Harlan Braude  Immanuel Burton]
Tachnun on July 4th 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Tachnun on Thanksgiving 
    [Freda B Birnbaum]
The Paradigm of "In Its Fashion" 
    [Joel Rich]
Uva l'Tzion go'eil 
    [Elazar M. Teitz]
Uva leTsion go'eil  (2)
    [Menashe Elyashiv]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 5,2014 at 05:01 AM
Subject: LGBT "rights"

In a report in the (London) Jewish News


it stated that: 

'Labor's shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said ... compulsory sex
and relationship education, including LGBT rights ... is common sense, not
nonsense ... [and] all schools [should have] to teach gay rights.'

This was in response to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan's edict that 

'faith schools must teach tolerance of lesbian, gay and transgender
relationships' as part of her programme to 'actively promote fundamental British

This followed on from an earlier report


in which it stated regarding the Beis Yaakov High School in Manchester:

'One 9th grade girl reported feeling uncomfortable and upset after
inspectors started telling them that a woman might choose to live with
another woman and a man could choose to live with a man, its up to them.

'An 11th grade girl said: They made us feel threatened about our religion.
... They asked this many times until we answered what they wanted us to say.
We felt very bullied. '

This seems to be a result of Nicky Morgan's having ruled that faith schools be

"penalized for not sufficiently celebrating festivals of other faiths, not
teaching sex education or tolerance of homosexuality ..." 

as part of her program to "actively promote fundamental British values".

This led to an unanounced inspection by Ofsted in which it downgraded the Beis
Yaakov High School for Girls in Greater Manchester for failing to promote Islam
and homosexual rights, despite its admitted academic excellence.


Their report, dated October 27, states:

"There are major gaps in students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development. Students are not provided with sufficient opportunities to learn
about or understand people of other faiths or cultures. The school does not
promote adequately students' awareness and tolerance of communities which are
different to their own. As a result, the school does not prepare students
adequately for life in modern Britain. This means that the school is failing to
give its students an acceptable standard of education."

clearly doubletalk for not encoraging awareness of homosexuality as is clear
from another Ofsted inspection of an Orthodox Jewish primary school in
mid-October which sparked outrage after they asked 13-year-old pupils whether
they know how babies are made and whether they know any homosexuals.

I find such enforced political correctness disturbing and think that Orthodox
Jewish schools tell the honourable lady that they would rather close down than
follow her directions. From a Jewish perspective, it would be a case of "yehareg
velo ya'avor" since there is no way any Orthodox Jew can accept that children
should be taught that homosexual unions are an "acceptable alternative lifestyle".

They might point out that, in so doing, they would be following the "fundamental
British value" of refusing to bow to state authority when it went against their
religious conscience. They might care to quote to her such British examples as
Sir Thomas More who was beheaded for not recognising Henry VIII's divorce and
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer who was burnt at the stake rather than accept Mary
Tudor's reimposition of Roman Catholicism, among many such instances over the

Do others agree that the state should not be allowed to insist on Jewish schools
teaching subjects that clearly go against Torah values and what do they think
should be their response?

Martin Stern


From: Eliezer Berkovits <eb@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 12,2015 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Reciting Adir Bamorom 

Can anyone comment on the propriety of the congregation reciting Adir Bamorom
after the Shatz concludes Birchas Kohanim in the Diaspora (i.e. on a
weekday/Shabbos, not on a Yomtov, after 'Duchening' proper)?

While they are reciting it, they are not listening to the Shatz saying Sim
Sholom, but I thought there was a Chiyuv to listen to every word of Chazaras

I note that in Koren Siddur and one other Siddur the paragraph of Adir Bamorom
is printed only after Duchening proper, adjacent to the paragraph the Kohanim
recite on completion of Duchening. Perhaps it was only meant to be recited then,
while the Sha"tz waited for both to be finished before continuing Chazaras Hashatz?

Eliezer Berkovits


From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 30,2014 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Seating on planes

In MJ 62#43, Martin Stern wrote:

> This could easily be solved if El Al made available the facility, when
> booking, to ask not to be seated next to someone of the opposite sex (some
> ladies might also take up this option). It must have a fair idea how many
> such people are likely on any flight and could easily make this available.
> It would be no more difficult than other airlines providing kosher meals.
> ...
> El Al's failure to make suitable arrangements at the time of booking shows a
> lack of consideration for chareidim, an unfortunate symptom of the growing
> Kulturkampf in Israel which both sides need to do everything to counter.

In all fairness to El Al, judging from articles I've read about airline industry
software, I think we're being overly optimistic about how simple matter it would 
be to modify the reservation algorithm to include a fellow passenger sexual 
preference feature.

From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Fri, Jan 9,2015 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Seating on planes

In MJ 62#43 Martin Stern wrote about reports of problems caused by chareidi men
objecting to being seated next to women on planes:

> This could easily be solved if El Al made available the facility, when
> booking, to ask not to be seated next to someone of the opposite sex (some
> ladies might also take up this option).

How would this be implemented in an online check-in process?  Who's going to
re-program El Al's check-in Web site and databases to include this extra seating
preference?  And how are the booking preferences going to be cross-referenced? 
And what about other airlines who code-share with El Al?  What about booking
through third-party sites such as Expedia or Travelocity?  And what happens if,
given the numbers of men and women on a given flight, it's not possible to seat
one person according to their preference?

> The situation is completely different from that of gender segregation on
> buses which the Israeli Supreme Court ruled illegal, since on aeroplanes,
> unlike buses, one books a specific seat rather than the right to any
> available one.

I don't think one does book a specific seat on a flight, but a preferred seat,
and one can be moved when on board.  This happened to me once when I booked a
seat in the rearmost row, only to be told by a member of the cabin crew after
take-off that the rearmost row was reserved for cabin crew to rest, and that the
row had been offered to passengers in error.

> Of course those not bothering to make use of such a booking option should
> not be allowed to demand a change of seat once they board. If they cause any
> trouble, they should be removed from the flight as would happen to a
> passenger who was drunk or otherwise disorderly. There is no reason why
> boorish behaviour, by chareidim as much as by secular people, should be
> tolerated.

So should people who insist that women move from their seats (even if the women
got there first) be removed from the plane if they insist on imposing their
seating preferences on other people?  Come to that, should the airline and the
other passengers be encouraged to sue such disruptive passengers for loss of
time on account of the flight being delayed, and any other losses caused by
their disruptive behaviour?  May one really behave badly at the expense of
hundreds of other people?  If it wrong to insist on one's right when it affects
other people, then in effect one doesn't have the right in question.

> Is it not time for everybody to accept that others have different lifestyles
> to which they are entitled?

Surely there are limits to this.  What if I prefer a misanthropic lifestyle and
insist of not having anyone sit within three seats of me in any direction? 
Would I be allowed to insist on my own little oasis of empty seats?

This leads me to the main points that I would like to make.  I am not clear what
prohibition there is with sitting next to a person of the opposite gender on a
flight, but if one believes that there is indeed a strict prohibition against
this and one's flight is not absolutely necessary, then is one allowed to put
oneself in a position where one might transgress a prohibition?

Although it is admirable to accommodate other people where possible, doing so in
Halachic matters may not be so simple.  I have several times come across the
concept of being yotzei le'chol ha'dayos [fulfilling all opinions], but this may
actually be fundamentally problematic.  For example, say that there is a
situation which requires a quantity of wine.  Five sources rule that 86ml is
sufficient, and one source rules for 112ml.  So, in order to satisfy all
opinions, a norm of 112ml is established.  This, however, means that the
minority opinion has prevailed over the majority, possibly in breach of Exodus
23:2 concerning following the majority.

In the Tisha B'Av story, the Sanhedrin debated as to whether to offer the animal
sent by Caesar as a peace offering to be brought in the Temple, but which Bar
Kamtza had purposefully blemished.  The majority opinion was to offer the animal
anyway, even though blemished animals may not normally be offered this one
should be in order to avoid war.  There was a single, minority opinion (Rabbi
Zecharia ben Avkolos), who said that people will then think that blemished
animals may be brought in the Temple.  When the Rabbis suggested killing Bar
Kamtza so that he wouldn't report to Caesar what would happen, Rabbi Zecharia
ben Avkolos objected by saying that people would then say that those who make
blemishes in sacrifices will be killed.  Rabbi Yochanan then said that the
excessive carefulness of Rabbi Zecharia ben Avkolos caused the destruction of
the Temple, and our subsequent exile in which, almost 2000 years later, we still
find ourselves.  Look how disastrous it was to be excessively careful!

If not being seated next to a person of the opposite gender is a preference and
not a prohibition, then in what way may one insist on one's preference at the
expense of other people?  And precisely what obligation do airlines have in this
respect?  And if it's wrong for me to sit next to a woman, how can I insist that
another man take my place if that's the only option?

Does Judaism work on a principle of rights or on a principle of obligation?  For
example, whereas I have an obligation to give terumah to a Cohen,  any given
Cohen does not have a right to turn up and take the terumah from me; I can
choose which Cohen I give the terumah to.  As another example, do I have a right
to life, or is it that you have an obligation not to kill me?  And ultimately,
how does one address an issue in which there are two mutually exclusive rights?
 If the only way to accommodate a man who does not want to sit next to a woman
is to ask my wife to swap seats with that man, then why should I have to give up
my right to sit with my family? (Or do I not have a right to sit with my family?)

There is on the market a gadget that one clip onto the seat in front of one to
prevent the person in that seat from tilting the seat back.  Maybe there's a
market for a screen that one clip on to one's arm-rest to act as a mechitzah.

Immanuel Burton.


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 30,2014 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Tachnun on July 4th

On Carl's relating (MJ 62#43) that an American Rabbi, quoting from his father,
said that HaKoras HaTov dictated that Americans should not say Tachnun on July
4th, I can only add to that the refusal of too many Orthodox Jews in Israel who
insist on saying Tachanun on the state's Independence Day.

Yisrael Medad



From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 30,2014 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Tachnun on Thanksgiving

Michael Rogovin asks (MJ 62#43):

> [...] I recall Rabbi Shlomo Riskin speaking once at Lincoln Square (he 
> was visiting from Efrat) and if I recall correctly, he suggested that 
> tachanun was reshut and that American Jews have much to be thankful for 
> in terms of the freedom in this country and that, therefore, there were 
> days for which Tachanun could be omitted. I forget if he was referring 
> to July 4, Thanksgiving Day or both. Perhaps those who attended LSS when 
> he was rabbi recall what his actual practice was.

I don't remember what he said about July 4 (quite possibly he did include 
it with Thanksgiving), but he definitely said, even before he went to 
Efrat, "no Tachanun on Thanksgiving".  He also said one should [or could? 
I'm pretty sure I recall "should"] make a festive meal.

I have assumed that over the years, in Israel, he does say Tachanun when 
it is Thanksgiving in America, but, I do not know this!

Freda Birnbaum, 


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 30,2014 at 06:01 AM
Subject: The Paradigm of "In Its Fashion"

Yisrael Medad(MJ 62#43) asked concerning 

> seemingly external elements that influence the Halacha 
> ...
> What defines k'darko?  A place? A period of time?  A community's practice?
> General practice?  Is this element limited to foods or can it be applied to
> other aspects?

It applies in many circumstances (e.g. dress, language).  I seem to remember
that back in the days when we were less self-aware these things just "seeped in"
unnoticed and thus were not a flashpoint for the charge of "non-Torah" influences.
The question I always wondered about is about the first people who practiced a
new practice (e.g. wearing a black fedora when no one else did, went skiing
...). They
presumably acted outside accepted current practice, yet when enough people do
it, it became OK.  Did the first movers retroactively get koshered or did they still
act incorrectly in retrospect?

Joel Rich


From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 30,2014 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Uva l'Tzion go'eil

Martin Stern asked (MJ 62#43)

> Has anyone else come across this or know any other reason for the omission
> of Uva leTsion on Shabbat and Tom Tov?"

Of course, it is not omitted on any day of the year.  On Shabbos and chagim, it
is merely deferred to Mincha, instead of being said at the end of Shacharis.

In a commentary, Nehora Sh'leima, on the siddur, the reason for the change on
Shabbos is explained by the fact that the Divine attribute of Din [judgment] is
suspended on Shabbos.  As the time for its reinstatement nears -- in the
afternoon -- Uva l'Tzion is recited as an antidote. He cites no source.



From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 30,2014 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Uva leTsion go'eil 

In MJ 62#43 Martin Stern asked:

> I have always wondered why we do not include Uva leTsion in shacharit on
> Shabbat and Tom Tov.

Uva leSion is said at the conclusion of Shaharit so that even those that do not 
learn, should have a mini-learning by saying some pesukim. There is no need for
that on Shabbat & Yom Tov, because of the Haftora reading

From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 30,2014 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Uva leTsion go'eil

Martin Stern writes (MJ 62#43):

> I have always wondered why we do not include Uva leTsion in shacharit on
> Shabbat and Yom Tov...
> Time considerations seem too trivial to be an explanation.

He could have added to the question that in any case we say it for Mincha.

What I found was that the Kolbo and Rokeach, Para. 362, eliminate it because of
"bothering the congregation" ("toreach ha-tsibbur") since the elderly and the
nursing mothers would suffer if the service would extend for too long a time and
I presume they included the sermon in that period.

The Abudaram on the Tur, O"H 295, writes that the reason for saying it at
Mincha is that since the people would come later to synagogue for sermons
and lectures which usually "ended with verses of sanctity and redemption",
it was decided to add, in Aramaic, that prayer at Mincha and that is why
that first verse is omitted on Motzei Shabbat.

>From this, we can see that time, then, is not trivial.

Yisrael Medad



End of Volume 62 Issue 44