Volume 62 Number 68 
      Produced: Tue, 15 Mar 16 12:22:00 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Ayin hara 
    [Joel Rich]
Blocking the Aisle (was Tircha d'Tzibbura) 
    [Carl A. Singer]
Halachically married without civil marraige (was Concubinage relations 
    [Carl A. Singer]
Inane Expression 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Mishloach manot inflation 
    [Martin Stern]
Of samech, tsadeh, and shin/sin (2)
    [Martin Stern  Arthur G. Sapper]
Saying an extra kaddish unnecessarily 
    [Martin Stern]
Tircha d'Tzibbura 
    [David Tzohar]
Transgendering (was Can a woman become a man and get an aliyah?) 
    [Yisrael Medad]


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Thu, Mar 10,2016 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Ayin hara

As far as I know, the only place that the Shulchan Aruch quotes a specific ayin
hara as a reason for a Halacha is in O"C 141:6 where he doesn't allow two
brothers to get consecutive aliyot for this reason.  Anyone heard any reason why
this is the case? Also the later commentaries struggle with the scope of this
halacha. Any insights on the nature of this ayin hara would be appreciated.

Joel Rich


From: Carl A. Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Mon, Mar 7,2016 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Blocking the Aisle (was Tircha d'Tzibbura)

Yisroel Medad notes a problem (MJ 62#66):

> 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...

I recall reading of a Rosh Yeshiva who was less gentle then you -- he physically
removed a bocher from the aisle so he and others could pass. (I do not have sources)

*Carl A. Singer, Ph.D.Colonel, U.S. Army Retired*


From: Carl A. Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Mon, Mar 7,2016 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Halachically married without civil marraige (was Concubinage relations

Ms. Buxfield states (MJ 62#67):

> Even today, a real pilagshut (no civil marriage) relationship is not common
> since most authorities do not recognize a civil union between heterosexual
> couples leading to a forfeiture of tax relief.

I should apologize in advance if I am taking the above out of context -- I
haven't been following the pilagesh discussion and I got up from Shiva only this

BUT -- apparently in certain American communities (monogamous) couples are marrying
halachically but eschewing a civil marriage -- this affords the "unwed mother"
and her children several welfare benefits as the husband's income is not of
relevance -- there being NO civil husband.

I will not discuss either the legality or halachic permissibility of such an

*Carl A. Singer, Ph.D.*


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Mon, Mar 7,2016 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Inane Expression

Yes, the greeting "boker or" can be found at Genesis 44:03 as Russell Hendel
points out (MJ 62#67).

The question, though, is that perhaps that should be read there as "boker, or"
i.e. "morning came - and light appeared".

Yisrael Medad


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Mar 9,2016 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Mishloach manot inflation

As we approach Purim, adverts for overpriced mishloach manot packages appear.
One I saw this week was headed with a package (apparently consisting principally
of single malt whiskeys) for ONLY 349.99 ($500), though it did have some more
'modest' offerings priced as 'low' as 19.99 ($28) inconspiculously placed at
the bottom of the page.

These adverts suggest to readers that the traditional home-produced presents
consisting of more wholesome foodstuffs might be an insult to the recipient who
would think the sender did not value him or her enough to merit a choshuve
matonah [significant present].

This can only result in people not sending mishloach manot rather than be
considered stingy - the absolute contradiction of the true purpose of the mitzvah.

Apropos of this what other members of mail-jewish think of these comments by
Rabbi Doniel Neustadt in his Weekly Halacha Discussion for Parashat Vayikra this

Question: What is the proper amount and type of food that should be sent for
mishloach manos?

Discussion: Mishloach manos can be any combination of two kinds of food (24) or
one food and one beverage (25) or two kinds of beverages (26) ... 

Moreover, one does not fulfil the mitzvah properly if all he sends is a small
piece of food etc. since manos is defined as a portion which is considered
worthy of serving others ... 

Other poskim require that one send no less of a meal (in volume) than one would
normally serve a guest (33). A wealthy person who sends inexpensive items of
food does not fulfil the mitzvah properly, for in order for mishloach manos to
be considered as an expression of friendship, its cost must be relative to the
sender's wealth (34). Similarly, one who sends inexpensive food items to a
wealthy person does not fulfil the mitzvah properly, since such items are
worthless in his eyes and unappreciated by him (35).

24 O. C. 695:4. The opinion of the Ben Ish Chai (Tetzaveh 16) not to place the
various kinds of foods on one plate or bowl, since the plate or bowl combines
them into one kind of food, has not been accepted by the poskim; Halichos
Shlomo 2:19, Orchos Halacha, note 36; Teshuvos v'Hanhagos 2:346.

25 Mishnah Berurah 695:20. Water or seltzer are not considered beverages
concerning mishloach manos; Koveitz Halachos 17:9.

26 Aruch Hashulchan 695:14. Other poskim recommend that at least one of the
items be a food.
33 Rosh Yosef, Megillah 7b; Eishel Avrohom 695; Aruch Hashulchan 695:15. See
Tzitz Eliezer 14:65.

34 See Sedei Chemed, Purim 8.

35 Beiur Halacha 695:4, s. v. chayav, based on Ritva and Chayei Adam.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Mar 7,2016 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Of samech, tsadeh, and shin/sin

Jack Gross suggested (MJ 62#64):

> Following on from the discussion of the spelling of Yitzchak / Yischak (MJ
> 62#63):
> Compare the sequence of Yud through Tav in our alef-bet with the sequence
> JKLMNOPQRST in the Latin alphabet.
> ...
> 5. The place of Shin/sin is occupied by a letter (S) whose shape appears to be
> derived from our Tsadeh. (Perhaps they rejected the Shin shape, as too similar
> to the W that was eventually appended)

This cannot be the case - the letter W did not exist in the Latin alphabet
since the Latin language did not have the w-sound. In fact, it also did not
originally distinguish the two forms of the semivowels I-J and U-V, and this
explains why W is called double-u though its shape would have suggested a
more appropriate name would have been double-v. The W was only introduced in
Germanic languages, which needed to distinguish it from V, in the Middle

Martin Stern

From: Arthur G. Sapper <asapper@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 8,2016 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Of samech, tsadeh, and shin/sin

Martin Stern (MJ 62#67) is entirely correct in saying that the Semitic alphabet
from which the Greeks derived their notation was Ktav Ivri, not the Ktav Ashuri
we use nowadays for Hebrew.

I cannot, however, quite agree with his suggestion that our letter s does not
derive from shin/sin but from samekh.  (We both agree that the s can be traced
to the Greek letter sigma.)  Although the matter is not free from doubt, and
there are some who support his view, there others who do not.  The ancient
shin/sin looked like \/\/.  Turn it on its side (as the Greeks were wont to do)
and you get the ancient Greek letter sigma.

To support his suggestion, Mr. Stern argues that the name samekh became sigma
through metathesis (i.e., interchange of the consonants in "samekh") and that
shin/sin instead gave rise to the Greek letter san, which later dropped out of
use.  There are scholars who disagree, however.  At least one thinks that the
name sigma represents a conflation of the Semitic names samekh and sin/shin. 
Another thinks that the Greek san sounded like ts rather than s and was derived
from the Semitic tzade, which brings us back full circle.

Art Sapper


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Mar 14,2016 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Saying an extra kaddish unnecessarily

Steven Gold wrote (MJ 62#66):

> Martin Stern states (MJ 62#65):
>> According to strict halachah, one kaddish a day, let alone per tefillah,is
>> sufficient.
> Please provide the source for this "strict halachah."

Though I remembered seeing this I could not remember where, so I emailed a
query to the Eretz Hemdah Institute <http://www.eretzhemdah.org/>, who
replied as follows:

"The source referred to is a teshuva in the Igros Moshe (YD 1:254), based on
the fact that in the past the aveilim used to divide the kaddishim and often
each avel would say just one kaddish a day."

This is still the minhag among those Jews from Germany who preserve their
original mesorah. Probably the large number of kaddeishim, especially in the
morning, were introduced to allow all aveilim the chance to say at least one
kaddish. In those communities where they all say kaddish together this is no
longer necessary and so it would seem sensible to 'abolish' the supernumerary
ones to avoid tircha detzibbura.

Martin Stern


From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Wed, Mar 9,2016 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Tircha d'Tzibbura

Yisrael Meidad (MJ 62#66) complained about Bratzlevers in his shul who clap during dovining. He should 
consider himself lucky. The Bratzlevers in our shul do not clap. They hop! on one foot or two feet. It is very 
disconcerting to their neighbors but they claim that there is a seif in Likutei Moharan that says there is an 
"inyan" to jump up and down during dovining. Shteit geschrieben!

David Tzohar


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 8,2016 at 01:01 AM
Subject: Transgendering (was Can a woman become a man and get an aliyah?)

A few recent posts (MJ 62#67, 62#65) have touched on the issue of male-to-female
and female-to-male transitions, and their halachic implications.

For those seeking insight into what those who alter gender think, a recent blog
is The Second Transition which introduces itself as follows:

> The struggles and transitions of a girl, assigned male at birth, raised in an
> Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Hasidic family in New York City. Follow my "Second 
> Transition" after successfully transitioning out of the UO community, it is
> time to fulfill the second part, escape from prison that is my body, and live as
> the woman I always was. Learn about the struggles and adventures, the pain and
> the happiness of a two fold transition."

URL is http://thesecondtransition.blogspot.co.il/

Yisrael Medad
Post Office Box 9407
Mobile Post Efraim 4483000


End of Volume 62 Issue 68