Volume 63 Number 28 
      Produced: Tue, 25 Apr 17 05:00:58 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Airbrushing women out of news photographs 
    [Keith Bierman]
Creating a Talmud-page Format 
    [Daniel Geretz]
Duchaning problem (2)
    [Yisrael Medad   Daniel Geretz]
Malbish Arumim other than birkat hashachar 
    [David Ziants]
Synagogues in the Second Temple Period 
    [Robert Schoenfeld]
Transgender Individuals and Mechitza 
    [Martin Stern]


From: Keith Bierman <khbkhb@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 23,2017 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Airbrushing women out of news photographs

Barak Greenfield wrote (MJ 63#27):

> 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: 
> https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#105
> and comports with the stated policy of the US Governmenthttps:
> //www.usa.gov/government-works. 

As one might expect, it's not all that simple. See, for example, also


specifically the passage:

"The United States became a member of the Berne Convention on March 1,
1989. It has been a member of the UCC since September 16, 1955. Generally,
the works of an author who is a national or domiciliary of a country that
is a member of these treaties or works first published in a member country
or published within 30 days of first publication in a Berne Convention
country can claim protection under the treaties. There are no formal
requirements in the Berne Convention."

Since, under the Berne Convention, simple publication (without any special claim
or filing) suffices to establish copyright, the details of the US system may be
less significant than prior to 1989. The copyright holder can certainly expect
some control over "performance, publication, ... etc".

As for how news organizations are allowed to publish such photos at all -
presumably the White House (or other government agency) is providing the
pictures with some *other* set of stipulations than those provided to
individuals. I have not seen such a list of stipulations; but that doesn't mean
it doesn't exist ;>

Keith Bierman
303 997 2749


From: Daniel Geretz <danny@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 23,2017 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Creating a Talmud-page Format

Yisrael Medad asked (MJ 63#27) about how to create a Talmud-page Format.

Microsoft Publisher (and I am sure other DTP packages as well, for example,
Scribus, which is open source) provides a means to link text boxes from page to
page to allow an article to flow across multiple pages (or even to a "jump page"
in the back of a publication.) There is no reason a text box cannot be linked in
a similar manner to a text box elsewhere on the same page.

If it were me, I'd set it up as two short and wide text boxes side by side at
the top, three tall and narrower text boxes side by side in the middle, and
again two short and wide text boxes side by side at the bottom.  You'd then link
the three left hand boxes and the three right hand boxes, and leave the center
one unlinked. You could even get fancy if the "Tosafot" has more material than
the "Rashi" and put another page wide text box at the very bottom linked to the
"Tosafot" side (left or right depending on whether it's amud alef or bet.

Make up the text in some other word processing program, and then paste it into
the top box, and it will flow to fill all of the boxes.

The fussiest part of the enterprise is setting the text box margins so that the
spacing between the bottom line in an upper box and the top line in a lower box
is the same as the intra-box spacing, so it looks professional.

Rabbi Daniel Geretz


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 23,2017 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Duchaning problem

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 63#27):

> 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
> manner. 
> 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) ...

I encountered this situation when I accompanied a Yeshivah High School class to

Of course, I did not object publicly but asked the Rav in charge who informed me
that Rav Mordechal Eliyahu zt"l had paskened that due, in this case, to the
"congregation" being school pupils, he insisted that no practice be changed so
as not to disrupt their custom which I understood as "don't mix them up". And of
course, I countered that to learn of the minhag not to duchan is also
educational but that got me nowhere.

Yisrael Medad

From: Daniel Geretz <danny@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 23,2017 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Duchaning problem

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 63#27):

Sefardim take Maran pretty seriously, and Maran is explicit in SA OC 128:2 about
the gravity of neglecting the d'oraita mitzvat aseh of birkat kohanim (he says
it is actually neglecting three mitzvot aseh.)  The Shaliach Tzibbur did say the
birkat kohanim that is recited when kohanim are not going to duchan, including
"ha'amurah mipi Aharon u'vanav, kohanim..." out loud, so what was the poor
Sefardi supposed to do?

Especially since I doubt the kohen sang at the end of each of the three
berakhot, his duchening must have slowed down the tzibbur by maybe 10 seconds.
Unless you posit that people were in a hurry to leave because they had important
things to do, or sat down for a learning seder immediately at the end of
davening, I'd deem this as a case of "zeh mistaker v'zeh lo hifsid."

I will note inter alia, that in the US, in Ashkenazi congregations, I have
observed birkat kohanim recited at "non-standard" times, so "allowing" a Sefardi
to follow his minhag is hardly unprecedented.

Perhaps a slightly similar situation arises when a Sefardi who is obligated to
say kaddish davens at an Ashkenaz minyan which does not say V'Yatzmach Purkanay
Viykarev Meshichay." In that situation, would one advise them to use their own
nusach, or use the Ashkenaz nusach to avoid machloket? IIRC, the generally
accepted advice is the former.

Rabbi Daniel Geretz


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 23,2017 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Malbish Arumim other than birkat hashachar

Immanuel Burton asks (MJ 63#27) in response to my question (MJ 63#26) on an old
early 20th century ashkenazi siddur with English translation that has the bracha
"Malbish Arumim"  in addition to other berachot said on special  occasions and
gives instruction "on cleading news south":-

> Where was this Siddur published?

The siddur was published by Jos. (Yoseph in Hebrew side) Schlesinger, 
Vienna in 5672 (This is 1911 after Rosh Hashannah or 1912 before the next Rosh

Because the above publisher (who eventually became Sinai publishers) printed 
lots of siddurim of different types, answering this alone probably does not give
too much information, so I will present more data:-

(1)  The English cover page says:-





"YEWS" is the spelling there and not my typo.

(2) In Hebrew, the official name is "Atirat Yitschak" and adds that this 
includes prayers for whole of year, and is reviewed and well edited (mugah
um'duyak haitev) by the Rav Avrahamsohn. It also mentions on Hebrew cover page
that it is the "hotza'a rishona [first edition]".

(3) The Kaddish Yatom at the end of the siddur is transliterated, but I 
don't know what English regional pronunciation is assumed. The Ashkenazi 
pronunciation of the transliteration, read by someone of the assumed English
pronunciation,  should indicate how the person was expected to pronounce his
Hebrew. So I transcribe the last line exactly as written for our own information:-

"Ousay sholom bimroumov hoo yah'say sholoum olinu vio'l kol Yisroile vi'-mroo
omine. "

(I don't think last word "amen" is meant to be "oh mine", but this is 
good for Purim <smile>).

(4) The "Prayer for the Royal Family" uses the traditional part-verse 
"Hapotzeh et David Avdo maycherev Ra'ah" and does not mention any royalty of any
country by name, but has generic placeholder "adonainu pl'oni" [our lord <his
name>] assuming a male monarch.

Immanuel Burton continues:

> 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

Thank you for this information. See my note below. Maybe "news" is a misprint as
you suggest and is supposed to be "new". The instruction in the beracha before
this includes the word "news", so something might have "jumped" during printing.

Sammy Finkelman asks (MJ 63#27):

> Is that in print?

I doubt that the siddur is in print now.

> 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.

See now above response from Immanuel Burton that "cleading" can also be used for
"clothing" humans.

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

With regards to instructions of other berachot, I am sure most siddurim today
would have modernized their English, even if just a little bit. There seemed to
be a policy in England at that time (and even up to the beginning of the 1970s
when I was a child) within the establishment that Judaism should not be made too
relevant because this might lead to the slippery slope of reform.  Slowly,
innovations were made (within halacha of course), for example in my childhood
shul in London, a decision was made on Friday night that every other Shabbat,
l'cha dodi would be sang to a relatively joyous tune (always the same one),
rather than previously there was always solo chazzanut for the verses, with the 
words being said and not sang by the congregation. I see nowadays, they even
print yedid nephesh in the Ashkenazi siddurim. In my day, this was something
acceptable in Bnei Akiva (youth movement) but not in shul.

When I visited my parents (who were then living in a provincial city in England)
during the 1990s and 2000s, they had special handouts for "yedid nephesh". They
even had a monthly Carlebach style Friday night kabbalat shabbat.

So back to this old siddur, actually there are a few anomalies in the last pages
which include the berachot section:-

There are numbered 16 berachot, and most of these are printed in other siddurim.
Malbish Arumim is the exception. Shechiyanu, though is absent there. This is
what I learned should be on new clothes. So is absent beracha "M'shaneh
Hab'riot" said when seeing a deformed person, and there might be other absent
berachot. I do see a blatant typo and that is "boray atzei bhesamim" is
preceeded by instruction on what should be the text for next page: "Prayers
before retiring to rest at night". Missing are the other berachot on fragrance
types. Also beracha on blossom in month of Nissan, which I have seen in other 
chutz la'aretz siddurim, is missing. I am not sure whether "Thunder Sturm" is a
typo or old English spelling. "Mezonot" is referred to as "corn" in the "Al 
Hamichiya" instruction, and also there is instruction "On the the New 
Mon (not "Moon" or "Month") say":.

None of these berachot pages are translated. (Going to sleep prayers are 
translated, and followed by yizkor - deceased sometimes spelled "decaused" or

The "on cleading news south" instruction really sticks out.

As I mentioned above to resonate with Immanuel's suggestion, maybe "news" was
supposed to be "new", but the "news" printing plate came from the previous
instruction which also mentioned "news".

Can Malbish Arumim halachikly be the correct/ideal beracha for new clothes?
What if one bought and wore a whole new suit/set of clothes?



From: Robert Schoenfeld <frank_james@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 23,2017 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Synagogues in the Second Temple Period

Israel Medad wrote (MJ 63#27):

> 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 ..."

As I remember the ark in those synagogues were small rooms with like an ell
entrance to the main room. There was probobly a Parochet [curtain] at the
entrance. This seemed to be a standard pattern



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Apr 23,2017 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Transgender Individuals and Mechitza

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 63#27):

> 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?

I am not sure whether such surgical intervention is effective but it is
certainly forbidden, min haTorah at least, for males as castration. Whether
it is forbidden min haTorah, or 'only' miderabbanan, for females is a matter
of dispute.

> Let's say a woman identifies as a man and, moreover, looks and dresses like
> one;

and therefore transgresses the ban on cross-dressing.

> 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.

This is the crucial point.

> Would it be permissible (or, perhaps, even required) for that individual to
> sit on the men's side of the mechitza?

Personally, I think that this is a case of "the dayan rules according to
what his eyes see" and that that person appears to be a male and should,
therefore, be treated as such in practice. This might be analogous to our
practice not to examine bar mitzvah boys for physical signs of puberty.

> What about the opposite case, the man who identifies, and looks like, a woman
> (and is, again, unknown in the shul)?

All the above applies equally to this case.

If the person is known in the community, this will inevitably give rise to
machloket [controversy], something to be avoided wherever possible. Perhaps
it would be best for such individuals to move to some other town and not
reveal their former gender. If former acquaintances chance to meet them
subsequently they would probably not recognise them but, should they do so,
it would be best simply to keep quiet rather than stir up problems.

Martin Stern


End of Volume 63 Issue 28