Volume 62 Number 66 
      Produced: Thu, 03 Mar 16 00:31:30 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Concubinage relationship (2)
    [Susan Buxfield  Dr Russell Jay Hendel]
Greetings on a Yahrzeit (2)
    [David Feiler  Perets Mett]
Haftarat Mishpatim: Yitzhak/Yishak 
    [Dr Russell Jay Hendel]
Inane Expression (3)
    [Yisrael Medad   Sholom Parnes  Rose Landowne]
Piyutim (was Tircha d'Tzibbura) 
    [Martin Stern]
Saying an extra kaddish unnecessarily (3)
    [Martin Stern  Steven Gold  Joel Rich]
Tircha d'Tzibbura (3)
    [Yisrael Medad   Martin Stern  David Tzohar]


From: Susan Buxfield <susan.buxfeld@...>
Date: Mon, Feb 29,2016 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Concubinage relationship

Josh Backon wrote (MJ 62#65):

> There is, however, a rabbinical prohibition of living together without
> a ketuba (Rambam Hilchot Ishut 10:7-10).

However a ketuba is not collateral but rather a weak promise to supply the woman
upon dissolution or death at the most basic two simple meals for a period of a
year, approximately a dozen loaves of bread. And if the husband does not have
money but has fields, he can give her the worst one. If he has no fields, he is
not obliged to sell his house and is permitted to leave the woman penniless.

The Bavli also has numerous instances where the woman can forfeit her ketuba
even without behavioral issues.


From: Dr Russell Jay Hendel <rashiyomi@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 1,2016 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Concubinage relationship

Josh Backon (MJ 62#65) wrote:

> The Raavad permits it and this is the view of most poskim (see: Bet Shmuel EH 
> 26 s'k bet). Needless to say, this is NOT one-time casual sex but a permanent 
> living-together arrangement. If the woman is bound up in a living-together  
> relationship and thus no other man can marry her ...

Some clarifications are required here.

1) How is the women **bound**? If there is no kiddushin, no nissuin, no ketubah,
she has the right to break an oral agreement and leave. So she is not really bound.

2) Why can't another man marry her. For example, suppose man M gives a woman W
kiddushin before witnesses and she accepts it. Doesn't that kiddushin override
any other relationship the women has on the basis of at most a verbal agreement?
From the woman's perspective, doesn't her acceptance of kiddushin indicate her
overriding any other oral commitment?

> even according to the Rambam, the woman isn't in the category of kedesha [a
> loose and promiscuous woman]

3) There is a very subtle fallacy here. The way the Rav (Rav Joseph
Soloveitchick) explained it to us (I learned Gemarrah with him and we did
kiddushin) is as follows. According to the Rambam there are two
prohibitions of intimacy outside marriage. 

a) The prohibition of kedesha (roughly, prostitute); 

b) The prohibition implicit in the positive commandment (Issur Asay) requiring

The Rav illustrated this with the sphere of eating. If I eat non-kosher meat I
violate the negative prohibition of eating carcasses (Nevaylah) and I also
violate the positive prohibition requiring ritual slaughter before eating.

So, Josh is perhaps correct that the woman isn't in the category of kedesha (I
am not certain). But the woman and man are violating the prohibition implicit in
the positive commandment requiring kiddushin (according to the Rambam)

Finally I need clarificaiton on Josh's statement 

> The question revolves around whether kiddushin creates an issur [prohibition]
> or is a kinyan mamoni [a financial acquisition].

But Kiddushin has all the characteristics of a kinyan, an act of acquisition.
The way I understand it is as follows: If a person has intimacy without consent
(rape) he has stolen something, namely the use of the woman's body which she
owns (He also violates tort laws since he is causing pain to the woman)  In
fact, noachide law classifies rape under theft. To avoid an act of intimacy
being classified as rape, the man must acquire participatory rights on the
women's body. So he gives her money or an object worth money and in exchange
acquires that right.

Here is the subtlety. After kiddushin they are still not married. Rabbinic law
requires nissuin to allow marital consumation.So according to our practices
today, all the kiddushin does is give a person the right of intimacy with the
woman's body but that right's only conseqeuence is to prohibit others from
having intimacy. So indeed, the kiddushin just establishes prohibition. The
fallacy is, that the kiddushin just establishes prohibition but *does so through
an act of kinyan, acquisition*. Kiddushin is definitely a kinyan - (money is
given and something is acquired!)

Here is a further clarification. It is prohibited (at least rabbinically) for a
man to have intimacy with his wife say while asleep. I would suggest the
following: If an ordinary person has intimacy with a woman while she sleeps, his
act is rape which emanates from a prohibition of theft and has tort
implications. If a man has intimacy with his wife while asleep, he has not raped
her (But he has violated a separate rabbinic prohibition against so doing).

Bottom line: I don't see any heter according to any Rishon to have a permissable
live-in relationship without kiddushin.

Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.D, A.S.A., 


From: David Feiler <davidfeiler2@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 28,2016 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Greetings on a Yahrzeit

David Olivestone (MJ 62#64) wrote:

> How come Jewish communities in different countries have developed different
> expressions to use when greeting someone who has a yahrzeit that day?
> In North America, people say: May the neshamah have an aliyah,"(that is, may
> the soul of the departed one move up a notch in heaven).

Just to go off on a tangent from this, I grew up hearing the "long life" or
"arichas yomim" phrase but became used to the phrase "May the neshamah have
an aliya" after living in the USA for many years and never hearing the
"long life" wish uttered there.

When I made aliya I received a pleasant surprise.  One of my ex-US friends
wished me "May your aliya have a neshamah" which I thought was particularly
apt for  the situation.

David Feiler

From: Perets Mett <p.mett00@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 28,2016 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Greetings on a Yahrzeit

Michael Poppers (MJ 62#65) wrote:
> as such, I prefer it to a "May the n'shamah have an aliyah! [may the soul of
> the departed close relative rise]" greeting, which only wishes well for the one
> Jew no longer with us and not for all the others.  

Not so!

The response to "di neshomo zol hobn an aliyo  [May the neshomo have an aliyo]"
is "of ale yidn a yeshio  [Salvation for all Jews]"

[rhymes in Polish Yiddish]

And, unlike David Olivestone (MJ 62#64), I hear this greeting frequently in Israel.

Perets Mett



From: Dr Russell Jay Hendel <rashiyomi@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 1,2016 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Haftarat Mishpatim: Yitzhak/Yishak

Yisrael Medad wrote (MJ 62#65):
> Russell Hendel (MJ 62#64) wrote:
>> ...
>> I would like to argue that this is a deliberate misspelling with intent to
>> nuance subtleties via the literary technique of the pun. 
> Puns are all well and enjoyable but as the Hebrew l'tzachek possesses a sexual
> connotation: 
> 1) in the matter of Yishmael it being homosexual (Genesis 31:9), 
> 2) as regards Potiphar's wife simple licientiousness (Genesis 36:17), or 
> 3) even orgy romping (Exodus 32:6), not to mention idolatrous worship,

Perhaps I should have stated explicitly the use of Yischak vs. Yitzchak was a
pun nuancing the suffering of the exile and implying that although we will have
the last laugh it won't be an intensive laugh (Tzade) but softer laugh.

However in reference to his 3 examples, it is not clear what is his intent when
he writes "enjoyable but as..." and never finishes the sentence. Was he
disagreeing with me and stating that Yischak vs Yitzchak was to avoid sexual
overtones? But if so there would not be just 3 instances of Yischak and it would
not be associated exclusively with return from exile.

With regard to the content of Yisrael's posting: There is an old controversy
whether it is preferred for dictionaries to contain many meanings per word or a
few unifying meaings. The Arab linguists and Jewish scholars influenced by them
preferred many-meaning dictionaries. But since the time of about Rashi a
tendency has developed for unifying meanings.

That being said, Tzachak (Active) means to laugh. Just using the normal meanings
associated with the verbal conjugations, Tzachek (intensive, piel) means
intensive laughter, mockery, or teasing. This teasing is the primary meaning;
other meanings are secondary and not intrinsic. Let us now look at Yisrael's
three examples

1) Rashi already points out (Gen 31:9) that Tzachek in this verse could be
sexual, criminal  (murder) or idolatrous. My position is that Rashi is not
ignorant of which of the three applies but rather Rashi is interpreting
Tzachek to indicate that Ishmael was a teaser and mocker. Sarah tells
Abraham she doesn't want her son Isaac growing up with a teaser and mocker.
The emphasis is not that Ishmael already was engaged in idolatry, murder or
sexual sins, rather the emphasis is "Since Ishmael is a teaser and mocker I
don't want him growing up with Isaac since it could lead to any of these."
I interpret the Rashi to mean that Sarah objected to Ishmael's pesonality
which COULD lead to bad actions.

2) Again: Tzachek means to tease. Mrs. Potiphar did NOT say "Joseph came to have
sex with me" Indeed that wouldn't be believed. If you are a slave (and even if
you are a freeman) you don't walk up to someone and suggest outright having sex.
Rather the meaning of the text is "Joseph came to sport and tease me" 
[Implicit: Is that she suspected that sex would come about] When I raised my
voice [and he was afraid he would get into trouble] he fled leaving his garment
with me."

Please read Rav Hirsch on this who suggests that Potiphar did not believe his
wife; if he had, he would just kill Josesph. Undoubtedly, Potiphar knew his wife
and Joseph and knew that his wife was a tease (see the Rashi's on the incident)
and knew that Joseph didn't treat people like this.

3) Regarding the Egel incident, we again emphasize the teasing mocking nature of
Tzachek. Perhaps orgy is best. They worshiped the calf, they were in the mocking
teasing mood and you can infer that some went on to sin (For example they
murdered Chur; they already worshipped idols; undoubtedly some had sex; but the
main point of the verse is the mocking derision)

Bottom line: Tzachek means mocking, teasing, derision. It doesn't mean murder,
idolatry or sex per se. However, it does connote behavior that can lead to these
things. Returning to the three verses with Yischak as opposed to Yitzchak, the
softer Sin is to indicate a lack of mocking when we return from exile, the
lightness due to our suffering.

Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.D; A.S.A; 


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 28,2016 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Inane Expression

Harlan Braude wrote (MJ 62#65):

> I recall being baffled by the greeting "boker ohr" (literally "morning light") I
> heard regularly when I lived on a Kibbutz back in the 70s...To my way of
> thinking, the expression seems inane..."

If I am not mistaken, that is an adaptation of the Arabic greeting "sabach
a-chir", or "abul khayr", meaning "good morning" which is responded to by "sabach
a-nur", meaning "[may it be a] a morning of light".

Not inane in my consideration.

Yisrael Medad


From: Sholom Parnes <sholomjparnes@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 28,2016 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Inane Expression

In reply to Harlan Braude (MJ 62#65):

I always related to "boker ohr" as praise to G-d and an acknowledgement to Him
for creating light and bringing the morning.

Compare to the Yiddish expression wishing somone, "a lichtiger tahg [light
filled day]".

Sholom J Parnes
Hamelech David 65/3
Efrat 90435 ISRAEL

From: Rose Landowne <Roselandow@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 28,2016 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Inane Expression

In reply to Harlan Braude (MJ 62#65):

The greeting Boker Ohr, as an answer to Boker Tov, is a play on the verses of
creation where G-d creates the Ohr, and sees it as good (Ki Tov).


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 28,2016 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Piyutim (was Tircha d'Tzibbura)

Ira L. Jacobson wrote (MJ 62#64):

> Reuven asks Shimon, "Why does the Rav always take so long to finish davening,"
> to which Shimon answers, "Maybe he says every word."

As we are now approaching Shabbatot of the Arba Parshiot, when many
congregations say piyutim, this is even more apposite. While the regular
davenning is relatively familiar, the piyutim are written in a style very
difficult to understand, full of obscure allusions and strange word

In the days before printed siddurim existed, I presume they were said aloud
by the shatz and everyone else listened. Possibly they might then have been
able to pick up what they meant.

Why is it that nowadays they get said at a breakneck speed at which I cannot
believe anybody can possibly say all the words, let alone have the faintest
idea as to their meaning. If anything they require saying much more slowly
than the much more familiar parts of the liturgy - I find I can never
complete saying the words in the allotted time. Any comments on this

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 28,2016 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Saying an extra kaddish unnecessarily

David Tzohar wrote (MJ 62#65):

> Unfortunately, since I am in shloshim for the passing of my daughter Esther
> z"l, the subject of saying Kaddish is very relevant to me.

May I wish David "Hamakom yenacheim otekha betoch sh'ar aveilei Tzion
viYrushalayim" and that he and his family be only have semachot in the

> We had a big argument in our shul (Young Israel of Armon Ha netziv) on whether
> to say Kaddish after Alenu after already having said it after Shir lamaalot
> essa einai. Our gabbai who is of Iraqi extraction said it was an "extra
> Kaddish" and should not be said.

This is the general custom among Sefardim and the Eidot Hamizrach who never
say a Kaddish after Alenu.

> I claimed that it is written in the nusach sfarad siddur that Kaddish Yatom is
> said after Aleinu. I asked my posek, R' Yochanan Ben-Pazi, who said that it is
> the minhag of all Ashkenazim, including nusach sfarad, to say Kaddish Yatom
> after Aleinu.

Nahara venahara ufashtei [all rivers go their appropriate ways i.e. all
variant customs are equally valid]. It is always better to give way tha get
into machloket [dissension] especially in these matters as clearly stated in
the Kitsur Shulchan Arukh 26:22.

Martin Stern

From: Steven Gold <steveng1058@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 28,2016 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Saying an extra kaddish unnecessarily

Martin Stern states (MJ 62#65):

> According to strict halachah, one kaddish a day, let alone per tefillah,is

Please provide the source for this "strict halachah."

Steven Gold

From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 28,2016 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Saying an extra kaddish unnecessarily

In reference to David Tzohar's sad loss (MJ 62#65):

Having been there for at least part of this discussion (lo Aleichem) regarding
the kaddish for our dear niece z"l, my immediate reaction was how interesting it
is to try to understand the halachic process when meta-values clash and who gets
to make the final call?

Joel Rich


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 28,2016 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Tircha d'Tzibbura

Stephen Colman wrote (MJ 62#65):

> One of my pet hates is davenning the amidah next to somebody who is davenning
> loud enough for me to hear ... I always find a 'shsh' more disturbing than the
> actual cause of the problem, so there is often nothing I can do ... Very
> annoying though, and most inconsiderate.

>From experience, try taking out a sefer and loudly turn pages, murmuring and the
like.  After all, learning Torah is at least equal to davening - if the man
expresses any annoyance afterwards.

And while we're on the subject, in my shul I've experienced two additional problems.

One is someone who insists on stepping out of his aisle seat, and davening
Amidah in the aisle,blocking it so that people trying to pass coming in or out
can't.  I have taken to gently brushing past, making sure his shoulder is
touched, and this after asking him several times to keep out of the aisle
(everyone else manages to daven nicely in their assigned seat and he shouldn't
take over the space of a seat and (at least) a half.

The other is with Bratzlaver Hassidim in our shul.  I have publicly warned them
in my role a "presidenteh" that they get one clap per Amidah. Asked why, I
responded with the tale of the man who stayed awake all night waiting for the
second shoe of the neighbor on the floor above to drop. I said if I know only
one clap is coming, I can then got on with my own davening.  In one extreme
instance, one guest was especially annoying in this fashion (I do not hold by
what is written in Likutei Mohran 44-46 and in the Minchat Elazar 1:29) and
after the 30th clap, and a few minutes into the repetition of the Amidah, I went
over and placed my hand in between his which woke him out of his deep devotional
trance, and stopped the clapping.

Yisrael Medad


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 28,2016 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Tircha d'Tzibbura

Stephen Colman wrote (MJ 62#65):

> Yisrael Medad wrote (MJ 62#63):
>> Tircha d'Tzibbura [causing the public consternation and bother] is not really
>> attended to properly, as noted by Orrin Tilevitz mentioning an "invariably
>> the 9th person is dawdling". He, IMHO, is causing a tircha d'tzibbura.
> Whatever your usual pace of davenning, it is vital to be considerate to the
> other mispallelim. If I am davenning in a small minyan of only 10-12 men, I
> will daven faster than if I was in a larger congregation so as not to cause
> the minyan to have to wait for me (although somebody has to be the last one
> finished in any minyan :)).

If only everybody took this to heart!
> One of my pet hates is davenning the amidah next to somebody who is davenning
> loud enough for me to hear. This is usually always a visitor - and often a
> more choshuv [important --Mod.] looking gentleman. I always find a 'shsh' more
> disturbing than the actual cause of the problem, so there is often nothing I
> can do but try to concentrate even harder on my own Tefillah. Very annoying
> though, and most inconsiderate.

I wholeheartedly agree with Stephen on this. As someone who suffers
age-related hearing loss, I find it difficult to hear what people say to me
when there is a lot of background noise such as in a street with a lot of
traffic. I have hearing aids but they magnify all sound so they do not help
much in this respect.

Similarly, I often cannot hear the shatz, especially during pesukei dezimra
when it seems everybody else is davenning loudly, and he is davenning in an
undertone, so I have no idea where he has reached. On the other hand there
always seems to be someone who 'screams' his davenning sitting in my
immediate vicinity which I hear completely distinctly.

At least where I daven nobody talks during chazarat hashatz so I can answer

Martin stern

From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Mon, Feb 29,2016 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Tircha d'Tzibbura

In my opinion there are many congregations who take the idea of tircha d'tzibura
much too far. For instance the question of saying mishebeirach l'cholim between
aliyot latorah. There are many minyanim who insist that every mitpalel say his
own mishebeirach from his place, even though the idea is that the whole
congregation participate in the prayer for the cholim. In my own shul (Young
Israel of Armon haNetziv) the gabbai reads out the names of all the cholim and
cholot from a prepared list and the congregation says Amen. This takes 5 minutes
at the most and I think this does not cause any tircha d'tzibura.

David Tzohar



End of Volume 62 Issue 66