Volume 63 Number 27 
      Produced: Sun, 23 Apr 17 05:25:56 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Airbrushing women out of news photographs (2)
    [Barak Greenfield  Keith Bierman]
Are we right to move to the right? 
    [Martin Stern]
Bas ploni leploni (was No pictures of women) 
    [Gershon Dubin]
Creating a Talmud-page Format 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Duchaning problem 
    [Martin Stern]
Malbish Arumim other than birkat hashachar (2)
    [Immanuel Burton  Sammy Finkelman]
Press bias  
    [Joel Rich]
Second Temple Period Synagogues 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Transgender Individuals and Mechitza 
    [Orrin Tilevitz]


From: Barak Greenfield <docbjg@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 6,2017 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Airbrushing women out of news photographs

Carl A. Singer wrote (MJ 63#26):

> (2)... https://www.flickr.com/gp/whitehousephoto/xxxx

> These photographs are provided by THE WHITE HOUSE as a courtesy and may be
> printed by the subject(s) in the photograph for personal use only. *These
> photographs may not be manipulated in any way* and may not otherwise be
> reproduced, disseminated or broadcast, without the written permission of
> the White House Photo Office. These photographs may not be used in any
> commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products,
> promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the
> President, the First Family, or the White House.

If the airbrushed photo in question was subject to this limitation, how could
any magazine have published it at all, even unaltered? After all, the
restriction cited says it can only be printed by the subjects in the photograph.
So obviously that's not the applicable rule.

Further, there are many references online to the Obama Administration's having
instituted a policy of claiming some sort of copyright to White House photos,
and that statements such as the one above are requests but not law. The law is
the following: 


and comports with the stated policy of the US Governmenthttps:


The President (or former President) may want to limit dissemination of photos
but that is clearly not the law. Of interest is images on Wikipedia such


where Wikipedia notes that, as a government document, there is no copyright, but
there's a blurb from the White House at the bottom with the invented restrictions.

In any case, Carl's question was about the critique of the airbrushed photo. It
seems the magazine was following the law, if not the White House's preference on
how the photo should be used. So the answer to the original question, "Does law
matter to some actors?" is "yes", as they were following stated law.

Now, could Carl elaborate on what you meant by "some actors?"

Barak Greenfield

From: Keith Bierman <khbkhb+<h@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 10,2017 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Airbrushing women out of news photographs

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 63#26):

> Barak Greenfield wrote (MJ 63#25):
>> Carl A. Singer wrote (MJ 63#24):
>>> Many government photos, for example those from the White House, are
>>> shared with the legal stipulation that they not be altered.
>> Does Carl have a source for this? I was unable to find any such stipulation
>> online, and, since the images are in the public domain, I don't see how there
>> could be any limitation on their use. In fact, if they were sufficiently
>> altered, one might even be able to copyright the altered version as a
>> derivative work.
> ...
> I am not an attorney and I don't play one on television (or radio) but I took
> a business law course in 1966 (I think it was that year). I'll let attorneys 
> add their expertise, but basically photographs are owned by the individuals or
> organizations which took them. They can be distributed with a usage license
> which may stipulate restrictions such as further distribution or altering.
> Additionally, Barak states that the images are in the public domain -- that
> is often not the case.

I too am not a lawyer; but the general briefing one typically gets regarding the
Berne Convention on copyrights is that copyright protection is automatic (at
least for works or citizens of the convention countries). So virtually nothing
is in the Public Domain anymore (at least not without the rights holder
specifically putting it there).


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 23,2017 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Are we right to move to the right?

Carl A. Singer wrote (MJ 63#26):
> Many recent posts bring me to this point:
> More appropriately (but less catchy) is it appropriate to gravitate toward
> more restrictive behavior?*
> * Note, I've specifically chosen the word behavior rather than halachic
> interpretations.
> I'll stay off of my soapbox -- BUT put forward a few observations:
> (1) Torah observant Jewry is, within its set of boundaries, quite diverse
> (2) We live in a complex, highly interconnected world
> ...

Unfortunately, this is a consequence of the coming together of individuals from
differening backgrounds. Observing others' behaviour can lead to one of two

1. "Perhaps the other groups' stringencies have a basis" and should therefore be
adopted out of a fear of possible transgression.

2. "Perhaps the other groups' leniencies have a basis" and should therefore be
adopted as a way to"make life easier.

> Let me posit a simple question:
> Which is better?   For Reb Moishe to sit next to his wife at a dinner, or for
> Reb Plony to sit at an all men's table while his wife sits at an all women's
> table.

Possible with an opaque mechitzah or even in separate rooms!

> "Better" -- is the crucial word here.

This all depends on whether one follows the first or second approach. A similar,
perhaps converse, situation to Carl's case regards kitniot on Pesach where some
argue that Ashkenazim should abandon this custom in order not to create barriers
between them and Sefardim.

I fear that there is no answer to Carl's problem - each individual should follow
his or her rav's ruling in each individual case as this is the only way to avoid
machloket [quarreling] within a community. As between communities it is best to
adopt the principle of "eilu ve'eilu divrei Elokim chaim [all valid practices
should be allowed to co-exist without squabling]. Unfortunately this may be
hilchata demeshicha [something reserved for the Messianic era]!

Martin Stern


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 6,2017 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Bas ploni leploni (was No pictures of women)

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 63#26):

> There is a local weekly simchah sheet here in Manchester which only mentions
> the kallah (in engagement and wedding announcements) as 'bat ploni [the
> daughter of so-and-so]'. I suppose this is derived from the wedding
> invitations sent out by Lavan who did not want to disclose which of his
> daughters was to marry Ya'kov Avinu!

Maybe they're quoting the prenatal bas kol?



From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Fri, Apr 14,2017 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Creating a Talmud-page Format

I would like to write up something that would appear in the format of a page of
the Talmud, i.e. main text in center and commentary surrounding. I have seen the
various Purim-themed productions. Anyone on the list know how to do it?

Yisrael Medad


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 23,2017 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Duchaning problem

Having spent a very pleasant Pesach outside Dubrovnik with Jews from the US,
Europe and Israel, I noticed some problems that could arise because of
differing minhagim.

The most serious one regarded duchaning - Sefardim duchan every day (as do
Ashkenazim in Israel) but Ashkenazim in Chutz la'aretz (who were probably
the majority present) only duchan at Mussaf on Yamim Tovim.

Among our group, there was an Israeli Sefardi cohen who probably had never
encountered the Chutz la'aretz Ashkenazi custom and, naturally went to
duchan at shacharit on erev Shabbat Hagadol (the first tefillah there in
which he could). I presume he assumed he was the only cohen present since
nobody else went up with him and was, therefore, not disturbed that the
shatz did not call out "Cohanim!". After Modim he started to say the
berachah and the shatz then proceeded with the duchaning in the usual

Unfortunately one of the congregants objected that one does not duchan on
weekdays. Whatever the rights or wrongs of the matter, I feel that this was
not correct once the cohen has begun (bedi'eved) but there are other factors
that merit discussion as to what to do in the first place (lechatchilah).

Firstly, though the Rema rules that Ashkenazim in Chutz la'aretz only duchan
at Mussaf on Yamim Tovim, it is not clear what is his source. Several
attempts were made in the past to reintroduce the original minhag of
duchaning every day but, for various reasons, they were unsuccessful.
Furthermore, it is also not clear whether this is a positive minhag "not to
duchan" or merely a negative one that the cohanim simply do not go up.

Secondly, essentially the mitzvah is incumbent on the cohen to bless the
congregation (chiyuv gavra) rather than for birkhat cohanim to be said. So
it could be argued that Ashkenazi cohanim should follow their minhag and not
go up, whereas Sefardi cohanim should follow theirs - and the views of the
individual congregants is irrelevant.

Though the Dubrovnik Jewish community is of Sefardi origin, the hotel was
not in the town itself and therefore there was, probably, no minhag hamakom
(local custom) applicable. In any case the Dubrovnik community is virtually
defunct and its synagogue is, to all intents and purposes, a museum.

In the end, the programme rav, asked the cohen not to duchan to avoid
machloket (dispute) on the principle of "shev ve'al ta'aseh adif [in cases
of dispute, inaction is preferable]". While this is a valid argument, I
wonder whether it might not have been preferable for him to have spoken to
the dissenting congregants and tried to convince them to withdraw their
objections. What do other members of mail-jewish think?

Martin Stern


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 6,2017 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Malbish Arumim other than birkat hashachar

In MJ 63#26, David Ziants wrote:

> As I was dusting my shelves, I was glancing through an old siddur with English
> language translation (bar mitzva present to my grandfather in 1920), and there
> is the instruction "on cleading news south" for this b'racha in the b'rachot
> section towards the back. Even google cannot find this cryptic phrase at time of
> writing this posting. So what does it mean?

Where was this Siddur published?  According to an online Dictionary of the Scots
Language, cleading is another word for clothing, and one of the meanings of the
word "suthe" (which has an alternative spelling of 'south') means to say.  

I wonder then if "news" here is a plural form of the adjective "new", and the
phrase means "on new clothes say".  Mind you, using Scots is somewhat obscure,
hence my asking where the Siddur was published.

The URLs of the definitions that I found are:

Cleading:  http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/cleedin
Suthe:  http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/suthe_n

Immanuel Burton.

From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Fri, Apr 7,2017 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Malbish Arumim other than birkat hashachar

David Ziants writes (MJ 63#26):

> As I was dusting my shelves, I was glancing through an old siddur with English
> language translation (bar mitzva present to my grandfather in 1920), and there
> is the instruction "on cleading news south" for this b'racha in the b'rachot
> section towards the back.

Is that in print? It sounds like somebody misheard something.

Cleading is a Scottish word for covering boards and things, like the Bigdei
Serad, and not the Bigdei Kehunah. It is usually used for the coverings of
boilers to keep heat in.

But the whole phrase makes no sense. Printers make mistakes. Is there anything
else peculiar in the list of Berachahs?


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 6,2017 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Press bias 

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 63#26):

> Whether the rule of dina dmalchuta dina only applies to a non-Jewish state
> or also one set up by Jews but not run on halachic principles is a matter of
> halachic dispute - I suppose some chareidim in Israel must hold that it does
> not.
> Even if it does apply, its scope is somewhat limited to matters of taxation
> and public safety (obviously sex crimes come under the latter). 

Without commenting on the rest of the post, the halachic dispute referred to in
the first paragraph is one between a very minority opinion (that dina doesn't
apply in Israel) and a generally accepted majority opinion (it does). The
limitation mentioned in the second paragraph is also subject to debate.  All
this stems from the fact that while Shmuel states the principle in the Talmud,
no source is stated and early commentaries provide (guess?) a number of reasons
which have differing implications for the cases at hand.


Joel Rich


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 17,2017 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Second Temple Period Synagogues

I seem to recall several years ago a discussion on synagogues just prior to
and after the destruction of the Second Temple and I bring this excerpt
from a book review of Rachel Hachlili's "Ancient Synagogues - Archaeology
and Art: New Discoveries and Current Research". Handbook of Oriental
Studies. Section 1 The Near and Middle East, 105. Leiden: Brill, 2013,
xxxiv + 738 pp. 218.00:-

"Chapter II focuses on Second Temple Period synagogues, which Hachlili defines
as inherently problematic in terms of identification, since they lacked
distinctive architectural features and symbols, making classification difficult
(p.23). Nevertheless, the evidence as presented from Jericho, Masada, Herodium,
Qiryat Sefer, Gamla and Modi`in does seem to show a kind of standard model of
a rectangular space with columns in the central area, and stone benches around
the walls, even without a Torah shrine. In fact, Hachlili notes, that the most
important and distinctive element of these Second Temple period communal
synagogue structures are the benches lining the walls, which must have been
specifically added for the congregants to sit upon when congregating and
worshiping, the focus being the center of the hall (p. 46). Perhaps what
complicates the picture most during the Second Temple period (through to 135 CE)
is that synagogues at this time could be private. Indeed, Hachlili presents the
evidence that they have been found within or adjacent to private palatial
complexes at Jericho (pp. 28-30), in the First Revolt occupation of Masada (pp.
30-33) and in the Bar Kokhba period occupation of the palace-fortress of
Herodion (pp. 28-29). Critics of the identification of the Jericho structure as a
synagogue can assume it had to have a public use to be so designated, and, as
Hachlili (p. 30) states: the Jericho synagogue is more reminiscent of
Hellenistic Roman villas and may have been part of one. From the evidence as
shown, though Hachlili does not state this definitively, it is obvious that
people with sufficient resources could construct an enclosure they utilised for
Sabbath assemblies within their personal precincts. However, Hachlili shies away
from a sure identification of some private structures as synagogues. The
1st-century BCE benched structure adjacent to miqvaot, identified in Shuafat
(Khirbet a-Ras) within an agricultural complex, may then also be a synagogue,
but here she is sceptical: the building complex is no longer identified as a
synagogue (p.39)."
Yisrael Medad
Post Office Box 9407
Mobile Post Efraim 4483000


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Thu, Apr 6,2017 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Transgender Individuals and Mechitza

Does the halacha view a would-be transgender individual -- that is, someone who
identifies with the opposite sex but has had no reassignment medical treatment -
for all purposes as unchanged? Let's say a woman identifies as a man and,
moreover, looks and dresses like one; and also that individual is unknown in a
particular shul -- so that more questions would be asked if this person davens
in the women's section. Would it be permissible (or, perhaps, even required) for
that individual to sit on the men's side of the mechitza? What about the
opposite case, the man who identifies, and looks like, a woman (and is, again,
unknown in the shul)?


End of Volume 63 Issue 27