Volume 63 Number 35 
      Produced: Mon, 05 Jun 17 01:29:19 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A strange arrangement of korbanot 
    [Martin Stern]
A tragic agunah case 
    [Robert Schoenfeld]
Are blemished offerings permitted? 
    [Martin Stern]
Forbidden Relationships 
    [Martin Stern]
Frequent and/or Deceitful charity solicitations 
    [Carl A. Singer]
Hilcheta demeshicha 
    [Martin Stern]
Is Mincha Different? 
    [Joel Rich]
Malbish Arumim other than birkat hashachar 
    [David Ziants]
Misplaced pasuk? 
    [Shayna Kravetz]
Shoftim-Mesorah Chain 
    [Joel Rich]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 2,2017 at 12:01 PM
Subject: A strange arrangement of korbanot

This year I was in a shul on Shavuot which sang a piyut as an introduction to
Ashrei. What struck me was that the refrain "Vetodah vela'olah velaminchah
velachatat vela'asham velashelamim velamiluim, kol korbanekha" seemed to have
the various offerings in a rather random order.

In particular it is strange that the list begins with the Todah [thanksgiving
offering] which cannot be brought on Shabbat or Yom Tov (perhaps this may be the
reason why, unlike the others, it is not prefixed by the preposition la-, but
why this should be the allusion completely escapes me). It would seem more
logical to include it either before or after the Shelamim, of which it is, in
reality, a subcategory.

Another odd point is the way the Minchah [flour offering] is inserted in the
list in between various animal offerings.

Finally why does the author include the Miluim [inauguration offerings] which
were one-off offerings brought to inaugurate the Mishkan, unlike the remainder
which were bought on a regular basis when the Beit Hamikdash stood and,
according to most authorities, will again be brought when it is reestablished,
bimhera veyameinu.

Can anyone explain why the author should have arranged them in this particular way?

Martin Stern


From: Robert Schoenfeld <frank_james@...>
Date: Sun, May 28,2017 at 11:01 PM
Subject: A tragic agunah case

Further to Rabbi Meir Wise's posting (MJ 63#34), I heard of a procedure that
some chasidisher sect did of using a beth din of 500(?) rabbis to nullify a
marriage. Might this be a solution to the agunah problem?

Hag Shavuos Sameach



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 2,2017 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Are blemished offerings permitted?

In every tefillat mussaf, we quote the mussaf offerings of the day from
Pinchas (Num. 28-29).

I noticed that the olot (bull, ram and lambs completely burnt on the
mizbei'ach [altar]) are always described as temimim [unblemished] except on
Shavuot (Num. 28:27). While in the Torah, the Shavuot paragraph does
admittedly conclude "Milvad olat hatamid uminchato ta'asu, temimim yihyu
lakhem veniskeihem" (Num. 28:31), this is not included in the extract quoted
in the tefillah. 

Chazal explain the latter as being intended to teach that not only the
animal sacrifices must be unblemished but that the flour and wine must also
not be defective, but this does not really explain why the word temimim is
omitted earlier. If anything having it in both pesukim would seem to make
this point even more clear.

Can anyone clarify this point?

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, May 28,2017 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Forbidden Relationships

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 63#34):

> Do the laws of arayot [forbidden sexual relations] fundamentally fall into the
> category of mitzvot bein adam laMakom [laws between a person and his Creator]
> or mitzvot bein adam lachavero [laws between two people] -- or, perhaps, both?
> I have in mind consensual sexual relations where this is no posibility of
> illegitimate offspring such as, for example, between two males.

It would seem that Orrin has answered his own question with his example. The
Gemara (San. 9b) discusses this very case where two men are brought before
Rav Yoseph and the one states "Peloni rav'o le'onso [the other one sodomised
him against his will i.e. raped him] - hu ve'acher miztarfin lehorgo [he can
be combined with a second witness to form the pair of witnesses necessary to
put the rapist to death]. [If, on the contrary, he says] lirtzono [the act
was done with his consent], rasha' [he is a wicked person and he is thereby
disqualified from being a witness]".

Though the Gemara then brings Rava's opinion "Adam karov etzel atzmo [a person
is considered to be a relative of himself] ve'ein adam meisim atzmo rasha' [and
a person cannot render himself a wicked person through his own evidence]", this
shows that he is still considered to be wicked but his edut [evidence] is not
acceptable to establish this on this technical point - much as murderer has to
be acquitted if the witnesses happened to be two brothers (or even if a larger
group of witnesses happened to include two brothers!) even though all other
evidential requirements were met. 

If the laws of arayot [forbidden sexual relations] are basicly mitzvot bein
adam lachavero [laws between two people], the Gemara would have invoked the
principle of mechilah [forgiveness - that a person can forego damages to which
he is legally entitled] to exempt the rovei'a [sodomiser] from punishment,
rather than Rava's technicality, so they must be basicly mitzvot bein adam
laMakom [laws between a person and his Creator].

Martin Stern


From: Carl A. Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Tue, May 30,2017 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Frequent and/or Deceitful charity solicitations

Like most of us I take giving tzedukah seriously.

Today 3 of the solicitation letters that came in the mail were from charities
that I recently gave to -- one not even 3 months ago, and 2 that I gave to
around Yom Tov. These I can deal with because I have a separate charity checking
and my software keeps accurate records.

To me it is a waste of printing and postage on their part.   I'm wondering if
others are having the same experience and if they're doing anything proactive
about it.

But it is a deceitful telephone solicitation that caused this post:

I got a telephone call from a noted Brooklyn yeshiva, the typical -- "Last year
 you gave us $X -- can we mark you down for $2X this year?" This yeshiva rang a
bell in my memory -- over 20 years ago when our eldest son was looking for a
yeshiva this one told us that they don't take "out of town children."  (Yes,
they have dorms.)  At that time my wife and I agreed that they wouldn't get our
"out of town" money.   I was sitting at my computer when the call came and I double
checked -- I did not give them money last year -- or EVER.

I don't like tilting at windmills -- but I'm wondering what others would do?   
Drop the subject, or contact the Yeshiva's leadership.



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 4,2017 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Hilcheta demeshicha

On the first day Shavuot, I wondered how the Torah reading (Ex, 19:1-20:23)
would be split if it had fallen on Shabbat, as, as the Gemara records, Matan
Torah itself fell. 

Of course on our fixed calendar, this cannot happen since this would imply
that the first day of Pesach fell on a Friday which is precluded by the way
it is constructed (Lo BaDU Pesach). However, when Mashiach comes and the
Sanhedrin is re-established, bimhera veyameinu, we will revert to fixing
Rosh Chodesh by observing the new moon and this will once again be possible.

He problem is that the Torah reading is relatively short and there are few
'natural' breaks which leave the minimum of three pesukim for each of the
seven men called up and not come within three pesukim of a paragraph break.

As far as I can see, the only way to do it is to split Levi after three
pesukim and the current chamishi after four pesukim.

Can anyone suggest a better way of accomplishing it?

Martin Stern


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Fri, May 26,2017 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Is Mincha Different?

In Shulchan Aruch 90:9 the following statement appears:

"V'hu hadin bnai adam hadarim b'yshuvim v'ein lahem minyan mikol makom yitpallu
shacharit v'arvit bizman shehatzibur mitpallim (Sma"g). [Similarly one who lives
in a settled area that doesn't have a minyan should pray shacharit and maariv at
the same time the [nearby] congregation prays.]

Question - why isn't mincha mentioned?

Joel Rich


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sat, Jun 3,2017 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Malbish Arumim other than birkat hashachar

I thank Susan Kane (MJ 63#34) for her response and quote that included
references to Yerushalmi Berachot 9:3 and  Shulchan Aruch OC 224:4 (and Mishna
Berura ad loc.) that gives weight to "Malbish Arumim" blessing rather than (or
maybe in additional to) shehechiyanu, when not worn first thing in the morning
and so not exempted by this having been said as part of the morning blessings.

Although I originally discovered this is my grandfather's antique siddur, I
since then looked through some of my more "modern" siddurim and discovered Koren
(Pomerantz edition - all instructions in Hebrew) has this also in Berachot
section (p. 515). There he starts off the relevant sub-section with:-

a) Shehechiyanu (my translation of instruction): "on new utensils and (or ?) on
new clothes bless:"

b) Malbish Arumim (my translation of instruction): "someone who wears a new
piece of clothing blesses:"

The notes at the back of the siddur (pp. 732-733) give background to the morning
blessings and note 32 quotes the Rambam Mishneh Torah (Tephilla - 77:7) which
instructs that saying each morning beracha should only be done if relevant and
the note gives an example that if one sleeps in ones clothes one does not say
"Malbish Arumim". The note then mentions the (accepted for most of us - DZ) 
custom to say the berachot even if not relevant quoting Tur (46) which brings
Rav Natronai Gaon's responsum and the customs of saying at home individually and
the sha"tz saying it in shul for everyone to be included (as I remember being
done in England - DZ) - what the Rambam claims is a mistake (no doubt he also
saw it being done that way).

For instruction for Shehechiyanu in the siddur, the Hebrew is (my transliteration):-

"Al keilm v'al begadim chadashim m'varech:"

I think in English it is better to use "or" in translation as using "and" is the
Hebrew idiom and am sure it does not mean you need both new clothes and new
utensils. If I am wrong, is someone able to correct me?

A point of interest with respect to the general layout structure of the Koren
siddur is that it has all these berachot towards the end of the siddur rather
than after shacharit as in most siddurim I see nowadays. This is a similar
structure to my grandfather's siddur and the later Singers' Siddur in England.

Could there be a correlation, with regards to place and custom, between
including "Malbish Arumim" in the berachot section and the general layout
structure of the siddur?

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Fri, May 26,2017 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Misplaced pasuk?

William Gewirtz (MJ 63#34) recommends a shiur on parshat Kedoshim by R. Aaron
Soleveitchik ZTz"L, called "Aspiring to Kedusha."  Unfortunately, the link
he posted doesn't take you there. Here is the correct link:


[The incorrect link was added by the moderator who takes full reponsibility and
apologises for the error - MOD]

Best wishes for a cheesy and studious Shavu'ot.

Shayna Kravetz, Toronto


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Fri, May 26,2017 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Shoftim-Mesorah Chain

I read a fascinating article on the mesorah chain:


However it raises the question as to whether the shoftim were really part of it. 

It also doesn't deal with broader question of why we don't see the Sanhedrin
etc. mentioned in Nach.

Joel Rich


End of Volume 63 Issue 35