Volume 63 Number 44 
      Produced: Wed, 02 Aug 17 03:51:01 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A matter of doubt? 
    [Joel Rich]
Birchot hashachar 
    [Ben Katz, M.D.]
Parashat Hatamid on Tisha B'Av morning 
    [Baruch J. Schwartz]
Responsibility to warn of a sakanah  
    [Carl Singer]
The Dweck affair (4)
    [Martin Stern  Martin Stern  Leah S. R. Gordon  Orrin Tilevitz]


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 30,2017 at 05:01 PM
Subject: A matter of doubt?

In "Religion Within Reason" by Steven Cahn wrote: 

"To have faith is to put aside any doubts, and doing so is sometimes beneficial,
because doubt may be counter productive . . . To describe someone as a person of
faith suggests that the individual is strong-willed, fearless, and unwavering." 

Question to all - what percentage of the frum world have no doubts? How many
don't think about it at all?


Joel Rich


From: Ben Katz, M.D.<BKatz@...>
Date: Fri, Jul 28,2017 at 01:01 AM
Subject: Birchot hashachar

In response to Joel Rich and Michael Poppers (MJ 63#43):

The Rambam specifically argues against the "new" custom of saying all of the
birchot hashachar in a row in shul, as opposed to as one gets up in the morning.

Frankly, we don't make any other berachot in that manner - we don't say boray
peri ha-etz in shul after we ate an apple at home in the morning.

When I was saying kaddish for my father ob"m and was asked to daven I would just
say that I davened birchot hashachar at home and would start with Rabbi Yishmael

There is another side benefit to doing the berachot in this manner which is that
nothing in my morning routine makes me want to bless God for not making me a
woman!  When I put on my tallit katan I say a positively formulated blessing,
similar to what the Vilna Gaon recommends. I also don't thank God for rooster's
cunning (unless perhaps I hear birds chirping). I know I will lose my haredi
credentials with this post!


From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 1,2017 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Parashat Hatamid on Tisha B'Av morning

I have been using Rev. Abraham Rosenfelds Seder Kinot HaShalem for Tisha B'Av
(London 1965) since it appeared, and I have always been very appreciative of the
tremendous amount of thought, learning and meticulous care that was invested in
this excellent and oft-reprinted volume.

This morning, for the first time, I noticed that the Parashat Hatamid (Num
28:1-8, with or without Lev 1:11) that we say every morning at the beginning of
the seder korbanot is missing from the Shaharit service in this book. I expected
to see it right after p. 51, but instead the next page begins immediately with
the mishnayot of eyzehu mekoman shel zevahim. (The missing passage does appear
in the korbanot section provided before mincha under some say the following, but
this is not under the rubric of things intentionally omitted at Shaharit but
rather for those who say korbanot at mincha).

>From everything I ever read or learned, I was positive that Parashat Hatamid is
said on Tisha BAv in the morning, and I haven't found anything even remotely
suggesting the contrary. But its hard to imagine that the editor, translator and
annotator of this extremely precise book simply overlooked it. Can anyone
enlighten me?

Baruch Schwartz


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 30,2017 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Responsibility to warn of a sakanah 

My community has many two-family homes some of which have illegal basement
apartments.  These basement apartments are deemed illegal because they have
only a single exit and thus are hazardous.  

Ignoring potential issues of dina demalchusa these apartments are dangerous and
thus a sakanah. What is the obligation to warn of this sakanah if you are:

1. A community leader or Rabbi

2. A landlord seeking to rent out such an apartment 

3. A disinterested third party.  

Carl A. Singer, 


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 27,2017 at 07:01 AM
Subject: The Dweck affair

Michael Rogovin wrote (MJ 63#43):
> It seems axiomatic that any orthodox community (shul or other membership
> organization) can define who can be a member and who, by their practices would
> be excluded. So here is a thought experiment that grew out of an off-line
> discussion about my last post (MJ 63#42):
> Doni and Tal seek to join Congregation Baruchim Haba'im, a modern orthodox
> shul. The relationship between Doni & Tal is _____(see below). What is/are the
> appropriate response(s)?
> 1. The rabbi explains that since the relationship is not one recognized by
> halacha, they cannot be a part of the community and should go elsewhere; they
> are unfortunately not welcome to pray or participate in communal activity or
> join the shul
> 2. The rabbi explains that since the relationship is not one recognized by
> halacha, they are welcome to pray, but should not participate in communal
> activities or join
> 3. They can pray and participate in activities but cannot join
> 4. They can join as separate individuals; if there are children, one can join
> as a family member, the other as a single (with or without financial
> accommodation)
> 5. They can join as a household (family) membership  but will be listed as
> separate individuals in the directory and in any journal ads
> 6. They can join as a family and be listed as such
> 7. They will be fully recognized as a family (both parents honored
> appropriately during semachot)
> 8. Regardless of any of the above, their children will be recognized like
> other children in the community when achieving milestones (b'nei mitzvah,
> graduations, etc)
> 9. something else (fill in the blank)
> Does it matter if the relationship is:
> a. unmarried, cohabiting
> b. civilly married by not halachicly (no chupah, or married non-orthodox)
> c. one or both was previously married and did not give or receive a get
> d. they are in polyamorous relationship(s)
> e. one (or each) is not halachicly Jewish or Jewish at all
> f. they are a same sex couple

As regards a,b,c (and possibly d though I am not clear exactly what it
entails), I would have thought that the couple would not have been asked
whether any apply to them so, using the principle of "kol deparish meirubo
parish [that they are assumed to be part of the majority of couples]",
option 7 would apply. If they voluntarily disclose the information that
would be a completely different matter.

On the other hand, I would have expected the shul to enquire regarding their
being Jewish and, where one or both are not, the non-Jewish person would be
excluded from membership.

Case f would be self-evident and option 4 would seem most appropriate.

Martin Stern

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 27,2017 at 07:01 AM
Subject: The Dweck affair

Keith Bierman wrote (MJ 63#43):

> Whether the adults in such a family membership are simply platonic room-mates,
> biological or step siblings, or have an intimate relationship shouldn't be the
> subject of gossip within the community. And questions of whether the parties
> are, or are not observing the strictures of halacha in their bedroom shouldn't
> be a fit topic for discussion. Most public displays of affection (PDAs) aren't
> fit for schul anyway (tsniyut!), so such couples shouldn't feel discriminated
> against because such behavior isn't acceptable in schul ... it isn't for them,
> nor for heterosexual couples, unmarried couples, etc.

This should be the course of action taken so long as LBGQT members maintain
a discrete public position. If, on the other hand,

> they militate for "lifestyle choices", we should all observe tsniyut [modesty]
> and just as we wouldn't tolerate cheeseburger eaters to exhort the glory of
> one vendor over another (within the community), we shouldn't expect lectures
> on sexual techniques from our fellow members.

they should be expelled.

Martin Stern

From: Leah S. R. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 27,2017 at 11:01 AM
Subject: The Dweck affair

I maintain that people on MJ are trying to use Judaism to back up their own
personal distaste for various sexual orientations.

(I take issue with the use of the word "lifestyle" or "alternative lifestyle,"
as lifestyle would be, does Ploni go to the Opera or to ball games.  Sexual
orientation is an inborn inclination, according to our scientific understanding.)

First, Susan Buxfield says (MJ 63#43):

> Since most of the medical world consider sexual deviance as usually being a
> psychological aberration, the usual practical suggestion to those who wish
> to vanquish those inclinations is to get involved in projects far removed from
> sexuality, and far removed from those groups that purport to legitimise
> immoral behavior.

This sentence is full of inaccuracy:

1. The medical world certainly does not consider homosexuality as a
"psychological aberration" - if she think it does, can she please provide a
scientific peer-reviewed source.  Trans-sexualism has some amount of
professional disagreement, but that too, is under review.  Her use of the word
"deviance" is inappropriate.

2. I don't know whose "usual" suggestion she thinks it is, but that sounds more
like the debunked "reparation therapy" to me.

3. If she would not only keep gay Jews out of our Jewish community, but ALSO
prohibit them from finding solace in the gay community, don't be surprised if
that leads to, as others have said, really bad effects like suicide.

To take a less emotive analogy, let's take herring.  I detest herring - the
smell, sight, taste, everything.  Those who eat herring are participating in
what I consider to be an abomination.  Some of those on MJ might participate in
this lifestyle, and I don't like to think about it.

Suppose I could find a 5000-year-old text that says not to eat herring, in my
own wacky religion.  Well, that still doesn't mean that the secular law should
be imposed to make that illegal.  Since none exists on Earth, I assume that no
MJ members live in a Jewish theocracy.  Therefore, it is incumbent on all of us
to keep religion and its views on herring, or of sex, OUT of secular law and

Also, suppose I don't even like hearing someone say, "I went to kiddush" if I
know they're a herring-eater, because it makes me think about the fact that they
might have eaten herring.  That is exactly analogous to Martin's objection to
hearing about "lifestyles" e.g. a photo of a gay couple or a reference to "my

The onus is on the person hearing it to think, "Oh, well, that pushes my buttons
or my religion's buttons about what is inappropriate, but really it's no
different than other people discussing their relatives."

And regarding shul membership for families - we have discussed this ad nauseam
on MJ, but last time I did point out that all kinds of "non-recognized-in-Torah"
families are accepted in Orthodox shuls, most notably adopted-children families.

I would add to the previous suggestion ("two adults plus children") that we
be sensitive to single-parent families, and not require two adults. Certainly
even in my shul, we have unfortunately widows and widowers with children.

Leah S. R. Gordon

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 27,2017 at 02:01 PM
Subject: The Dweck affair

Michael Rogovin asks (MJ 63#43) whether, in various factual scenarios, a
homosexual couple may be offered "family membership" in a shul. In a prior
discussion (see e.g., MJ 49#39), which as I recall resulted in, shall we say,
fireworks, I took the position that a shul may not acknowledge such a
relationship and therefore cannot grant family membership unless it does to all
roommate groups, although I noted that I was aware of a Young Israel that had
done just that.


End of Volume 63 Issue 44