Volume 63 Number 30 
      Produced: Sun, 07 May 17 15:38:37 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Duchaning problem (2)
    [Perets Mett  Jack Gross]
Malbish Arumim other than birkat hashachar 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Mixed seating on planes (3)
    [Leah S. R. Gordon  Irwin Weiss  Chaim Casper]
Tefillin on Chol Hamoed 
    [Martin Stern]
The perils of Modern Hebrew 
    [Martin Stern]
Tradition Magazine 
    [Joel Rich]
What is a 'chalalah'? 
    [Martin Stern]


From: Perets Mett <p.mett00@...>
Date: Fri, May 5,2017 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Duchaning problem

Martin Stern (MJ 63#29) wrote:
> Since Rav Mordechal Eliyahu zt"l was a Sefardi and Sefardim, even in Chutz
> la'aretz, duchan every day, this psak is not surprising

Not quite - Some Sfardim in Chuts lo'orets duchan on Shabbos but not on weekdays

Perets Mett

From: Jack Gross <jacobbgross@...>
Date: Fri, May 5,2017 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Duchaning problem

Whether or not the cohen should have come forward, the halacha is clear -- once
he comes forward before Modim, he must follow through (IM ALAH LO YERED).  

That halacha is stated with regard to Mincha of Yom Kippur; this situation is
entirely analogous.


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Fri, May 5,2017 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Malbish Arumim other than birkat hashachar

David Ziants writes (MJ 63#28):

> Sammy Finkelman asks (MJ 63#27):

>> David Ziants wrote (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?

> I doubt that the siddur is in print now.

I meant was this instruction printed, or handwritten by someone?

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

This sounds like some kind of a (German) pronunciation of Hebrew.


From: Leah S. R. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Fri, May 5,2017 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Mixed seating on planes

In MJ 63#29, Martin Stern writes:

> There has been considerable publicity in the non-religious press whenever a visibly chareidi man
> refuses to sit next to a woman on a plane.
> ...
> ...
> On our return from a very pleasant Pesach outside Dubrovnik, my wife and I were allocated two
> window seats, one behind the other, for some reason. The other two seats in each row were allocated
> to two non-Jewish couples. What struck me was that, in both cases, the couples arranged themselves
> to sit so that the male sat next to me and the female next to my wife. It would seem that generally
> people prefer to sit next members of the same sex as themselves so a desire to do so is in no way
> abnormal.
> Does the press reporting of incidents involving chareidim therefore exhibit a certain measure of bias?

No, I do not believe anything unfair is happening in the press.  First of all, two couples is hardly a 
convincing set of evidence (and perhaps your dress or manner indicated that you and your wife were 
religious, so those couples might have been accommodating what they believed to be your

You do not know that they were non-Jewish, for that matter, just that they didn't outwardly appear to 
be Jewish.  You certainly do not know (unless you asked them) their seating motivation.  For example, 
my father always likes to sit in the aisle; my husband prefers not to sit in the aisle; others have their 

More significantly, it happens that I do prefer to sit next to other women on public transportation, if I 
have to sit next to a stranger.  But that in no way permits a man to violate my civil rights by asking me 
to move to be somewhere else lest he sit next to me.

Yes, I believe that reporting about chareidim and their anti-social behavior exhibits a bias against this 
behavior; I share that bias against poor etiquette.  Much greater poskim than we have today, did not 
prohibit sitting next to strangers on public transport (including airplanes).

and Carl Singer (MJ 63#29) writes:

> Professional (ice) hockey has a rule which, roughly speaking, penalizes a third player who gets
> involved with a fight that is going on between two players.
> I had an interesting situation while boarding an El Al flight for Israel last week and would appreciate
> feedback.
> My wife and I were sitting in the center (4 seat across) section of a 747 Jumbo Jet.  I in the aisle, my
> wife next to me.  A  young Chadishe bocher approached from the other aisle - his was to be the third
> seat -- that was next to my wife. He asked if my wife and I would mind switching seats.  (The 4th
> seat, the other aisle seat was still unoccupied.)
> It was a simple request and my wife and I agreed to switch seats with each other.  The reason for my
> inquiry was the "third man in" -- a young man, perhaps late teens / early twenties was walking past
> us at that moment and exclaimed, "You know, you don't have to move on account of him."  I chose to
> ignore him. But it has bothered me, not so much his being the "third man in" -- many people believe
> the world is thirsting for the input / wisdom.  BUT why would someone have such an uncharitable
> attitude re: doing something to help another human being.

I believe you are inappropriately applying the hockey rule.  The passer-by thought that he was standing 
up for your civil rights (particularly your wife's civil rights) to remain in your original seats.  This wasn't 
some dispute over an armrest, in which case the hockey rule might apply.

It is offensive to many people, including me, to be viewed as such an over-sexualized object that even 
to sit fully-clothed (and annoyed) next to such a person, could be considered lewd in some way.  I can 
easily imagine a situation in which some man requests me to move, and I'm momentarily shocked / 
uncomfortable and silent, and where I would welcome a neutral observer to come to my rescue.  I hope 
your "third man" shows up if something like that happens to me!

It is also offensive on airplanes in particular, and by religious people in particular, to have expectations 
that "everyone will adapt to accommodate ME".  Note that even what I consider to be FAR more 
reasonable requests ("please seat that cat farther from me because of allergies") and ("please don't 
recline so far; you are squashing me") are typically viewed with the jadedness of travelers who are not 
interested in indulging other people's whims.  There is a long list of "charitable" attitudes that I would 
request before honoring misogynistic requests.

I was once on an El Al flight sitting next to my husband on one side and a secular man on the other 
side.  The stranger was asked by a flight attendant if he would go switch with a woman, at the request 
of the woman's neighbor, a male chareidi complainer.  He refused to do so, and I fully supported that 
choice.  Maybe if everyone refuses to dance to that tune, then chareidim will get the picture and stop 
asking for unreasonable accommodations to their narishkeit.

--Leah S. R. Gordon

From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Fri, May 5,2017 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Mixed seating on planes

Martin Stern (MJ 63#29) writes:

> On our return from a very pleasant Pesach outside Dubrovnik, my wife and I
> were allocated two window seats, one behind the other, for some reason. The
> other two seats in each row were allocated to two non-Jewish couples. What
> struck me was that, in both cases, the couples arranged themselves to sit so
> that the male sat next to me and the female next to my wife. It would seem
> that generally people prefer to sit next members of the same sex as
> themselves so a desire to do so is in no way abnormal.

1) How does Martin know that the other passengers were non-Jews?

2) Could it be that they sat the way they sat because they thought he preferred
this arrangement for some reason?

I am a lawyer.  I had a case where the opposing side wanted to take the
deposition in my office of a local Satmar Rav, who had some knowledge relevant
to the case. The lawyer on the other side was a non-Jewish female attorney.  For
the deposition, she sent her Jewish male law partner (a Reform Jew).  Why? She
thought that my Satmar Rav witness would not agree to answer questions in a
deposition when posed to him by a woman.

It was a pretty funny deposition, actually.  The Rav answered questions in his
heavily European accented English.  But, he was asked, Did you speak to Mr.
Weiss before the deposition? He said, Yes. The other lawyer said, What did he
say?  The Rav said, He gave me Chizzuk.  The lawyer and court reporter looked at
me for a translation.  I translated (loosely).. A pep talk.

Irwin E. Weiss
Baltimore, MD

From: Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...>
Date: Sun, May 7,2017 at 12:01 AM
Subject: Mixed seating on planes

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 63#28):

I see a difference between Martin's case and what is reported in the press when
a haredi man makes a scene if he has to sit next to a woman on a plane.  The
haredi man throws a temper tantrum in public because he doesn't get his way.  
That is the source of the hillul ha-Shem [the desecration of God's name].  I will
admit I do not know in how many such instances did the haredi man politely ask
for someone to move.  But does that excuse the haredi man for loosing his cool
because he doesn't get his way?   In Martin's case, the gentile woman chose on
her own to sit next to Martin's wife while the gentile man chose to sit next to
Martin.  No screaming, No tantrum.  No scene.  The same thing could be said
about Carl Singer's similar experience in the same issue.   A haredi bahur
(young student) asked Carl to switch seats with his wife so that the haredi
bahur would be sitting next to Carl instead of sitting next to Carl's wife.  
Again,  No screaming, No tantrum. No scene.  

B'virkat Torah,
Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 26,2017 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Tefillin on Chol Hamoed

There are varying customs regarding wearing tefillin on Chol Hamoed. Though
the Mechaber,  R. Yosef Karo, acknowledged that in earlier generations, Jews
in Spain did wear tefillin, he was of the opinion that this was because they
were unaware of the Zohar's strong opposition since it had not been widely
publicised. In consequence, he ruled that tefillin should not be worn on
Chol Hamoed and this is the custom of the Sefardim. The Gra also was of this
opinion and so Ashkenazim in Eretz Yisrael also do not wear them on Chol

However the Rema rules otherwise and, since "Benei Ashkenaz yotze'im beyad
Rema", they put them on in Chutz la'aretz on Chol Hamoed (some without a

Everyone agrees that they be removed before Mussaf, like on Rosh Chodesh,
but there are several variant customs as to precisely when. The general
custom seems to be for the tzibbur to remove the tefillin during chazarat
hashatz except on the third day of Pesach when the Keriat Hatorah consists
of Kadesh and Vehaya ki yevi'cha which are included in the tefillin
themselves. (This is really quite problematric since one is supposed to give
one's undivided attention to the chazarat hashatz and not do anythging else at
durin it - how people can take off their Rashi tefillin and put on their
Rabbeinu Tam ones then has always been a mystery to me!) The shatz keeps them on
until Keriat Hatorah to avoid tircha detzibbura [delay by holding up the
davenning unnecessarily].

While on holiday over Pesach I noticed a bachur who took off his tefillin on
Chol Hamoed only after Keriat Hatorah on every day of Chol Hamoed. I asked
him whether he had a source for this but he could only say that it was his
long standing custom for which he knew no reason.

On reflection, I came to the conclusion that, perhaps, his was the correct
custom and the more general one may have arisen through an error. Probably
the latter first have arose on Succot because people were afraid that the
retsuot [straps] might be chatzitzah [interposition] between the hand and
the arba minim. 

In fact, all that would have been necessary would have been to unwrap them
from the hand itself and wrap them around the wrist (as one who has hagba'ah
does) like the shatz but perhaps some people were still worried about a
possible chatzitzah problem.

>From this I would suggest that the custom spread to Chol Hamoed Pesach,
except for the day Kadesh and Vehaya ki yevi'cha are read, when the original
custom was retained.

This line of reasoning is purely speculative, since I have not come across
it in the halachic literature. If anyone can provide a source I would be
most grateful.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, May 7,2017 at 06:01 AM
Subject: The perils of Modern Hebrew

In Parashat Emor (21:7) we read that a kohein may not marry  a 'zonah'
(deliberately left untranslated).

In modern parlance the former means a 'prostitute', i.e. a woman who engages
in sexual relations for payment, but it had a variety of other meanings in
Biblical times, and using this translation can therefore be misleading.

It could be derived from the root z-u-n meaning sustain as in birchat
hamazon, the blessing of Him who sustains us. Rashi comments that when Rahav
is called a zonah (Josh. 2:1), it comes from this root and means she was
an innkeeper, i.e. a woman who provides sustenance to travellers.

Alternatively it could derive from the root z-n-h meaning engage in
extra-marital sexual activity' as in the noun zenut - the general term
for this. However financial payment is not necessarily implied, though it
may be as in the case of Yehudah and Tamar (Gen. 38:15).

Parenthetically, the alternative word for prostitute 'kedeishah' is often
considered by modern Bible scholars to refer specifically to women who
prostitute themselves as part of some pagan rite. They derive it from the
root q-d-sh which they claim means 'sanctify' as in 'kedushah' but in
reality its basic meaning is only 'set aside for some special purpose'.
Since Yehudah, when he wishes to make payment to the woman he had thought to
be a 'zonah', refers to her as a 'kedeishah' (Gen. 38:21), this is clearly
not the case.

In Lev. 21:7 zonah is a technical term restricted to a female convert or a
woman who has had sexual relations with a man whom she cannot marry [nivelet
lepasul lah], for example incest or adultery. Nobody would suggest that
every non-Jewish woman is a prostitute, which clearly indicates this is a
misleading translation.

Furthermore, a woman becomes a zonah even if she is raped by such a man,
so there cannot be any implication of immorality on her part. On the other
hand, she does not become one if she has relations with men whom she could
theoretically marry, even if she were a professional prostitute, provided
none of her clients were barred from marrying her - highly unlikely though
this might be in practice.

This is but one example that illustrates the perils of reliance on modern
Hebrew usage when reading ancient texts.

Martin Stern


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Sun, May 7,2017 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Tradition Magazine

I have quite a stack of back issues of Tradition Magazine (RCA). Before I
dispose of them (in a halachically appropriate manner) I wanted to see if anyone
had any interest in them. They are located in West Orange,NJ.

Joel Rich


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, May 7,2017 at 06:01 AM
Subject: What is a 'chalalah'?

In Parashat Emor (21:7) we read that a kohein may not marry  a 'chalalah'.
One such case is a woman who has had sexual relations with a chalal [the son
of a kohein by a woman prohibited to him SOLELY because of his priestly
status] or was the daughter of either a chalal or chalalah.

Another case is where she married a kohein despite being barred from doing
so because of HIS priestly status.

What is not clear to me is whether, in the latter case, it is the fact that
she married him that is crucial or would this apply if she had had sexual
relations with him outside formal marriage. One practical difference might be
the possible chalal status of any children resulting from such a union outside

Can anyone shed light on this?

Martin Stern


End of Volume 63 Issue 30