Volume 63 Number 61 
      Produced: Sun, 22 Oct 17 15:37:35 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A further clash of cultures? 
    [Martin Stern]
A strange order of verses in Hallel Hagadol 
    [Martin Stern]
Driving to visit someone on Shabbat (and Yom Tov) (4)
    [Menashe Elyashiv  Orrin Tilevitz  Carl A. Singer  David Tzohar]
Giving an honor in shul to someone who may possibly not be Jewish 
    [Stu Pilichowski]
Raising the Torah in a Switched-handed Fashion 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Seeking an article 
    [Carl A. Singer]
Simchat Torah on a Friday (3)
    [Menashe Elyashiv  Leah Gordon  Carl A. Singer]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Oct 19,2017 at 05:01 AM
Subject: A further clash of cultures?

The (London) Jewish Chronicle published a report


'A Jewish teacher has claimed she was a victim of discrimination by an
Orthodox nursery which fired her after learning she was living with her
boyfriend ... She said she felt she was being punished for a private and
personal issue that was entirely separate to my work ... But the nursery
said it had received threats by parents to remove their children after the
teachers lifestyle became known ... In its defence, the nursery said
parents sent their children there for its strong religious principles and
respect for the precepts of the faith was expected of members of staff ...
[and] "Jewish law forbids cohabitation prior to marriage ... [It was]
shocked that [she] had disclosed the information she was cohabiting with
her boyfriend and had asked her why she would say anything regarding her
private life in such a public setting ... [to which she responded] My
personal life had no influence on my performance and teaching with the

There is further comment in its columns:


I would have argued that it was her lack of discretion, rather than her
"cohabitation prior to marriage" per se, that called into question whether
she was a suitable person to teach in any Orthodox institution.

Another question that might be asked is whether her action in taking the
nursery to a non-Jewish employment tribunal constituted 'mesirah [handing
over Jews to non-Jewish justice]'.

Any comments?

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 21,2017 at 03:01 PM
Subject: A strange order of verses in Hallel Hagadol

Sometimes one may say something in davenning for over 60 years and suddenly,
it strikes one that something is not quite correct. I had that experience
this morning during Hallel Hagadol in Pesukei Dezimra when I noticed the
apparently 'wrong' order of the pesukim:

> ...
> lemolikh amo bamidbar [Who led His people in the wilderness] ki le'olam chasdo
> lemakeh melakhim gedolim [Who smote great kings] k.l.ch.
> veyaharog melakhim adirim [Who killed mighty kings] k.l.ch.
> leSichon melekh ha'Emori [Sichon, king of the Amorites] k.l.ch.
> ule'Og melekh haBashan [and Og, king of Bashan] k.l.ch.
> venatan atrzam lenachalah [Who gave their land as a heritage] k.l.ch.
> nachalah le'Yisrael avdo [a heritage for His servant Yisrael] k.l.ch.
> ...

AFAIK no "great kings" were smitten before the battles with Sichon and Og so
those two verses, which seem to refer to Yehoshua's defeat of the 31 Kenaani
kings, should have come after the ones referring to them. Then the following
verses refer naturally to the inheritance of the territories in Kenaan.

Have I misunderstood something?

Martin Stern


From: Menashe Elyashiv <menely2@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 18,2017 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Driving to visit someone on Shabbat (and Yom Tov)

Chaim Casper wrote (MJ 63#60):

> So my question is how does the MJ family deal with parents, siblings, children,
> friends and acquaintances who are not shomrei mitzvot (mitzvot observer)?   Do
> you invite them for Shabbat and Yom Tov meals?   What heterim or issurim
> [permissive or forbidden ruling] and sources can they provide? 

We have that problem with one of our sons. We asked the LOR, he said invite him,
say that he has a bed/room, and let him do what ever he wants. Sometimes he
stays, sometimes he goes to a nearby friend, and sometimes he goes home. But you
never know how much the Shabbat meal and family atmosphere influences in the
long run.

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 18,2017 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Driving to visit someone on Shabbat (and Yom Tov)

Chaim Casper asked (MJ 63#60) about MJ members' practice in inviting
non-shomer-shabbat friends and relatives to visit for shabbbat and yom tov, and
quotes contrasting opinions of the Rav and the Lubavitcher Rav.

This article quotes sources on both sides: 

Shabbos Invitations to the Non-Observant | Torah Musings 

I was familiar with R. S.Z. Auerbach's opinion and our family have discussed
following it, but in practice when we've invited halachically Jewish guests it's
always been understood that they would observe the rules on our premises and
stay until shabbat and yom tov was over, simply because we felt more comfortable
with that.

From: Carl A. Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 18,2017 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Driving to visit someone on Shabbat (and Yom Tov)

In response to Chaim Casper (MJ 63#60):

Although we don't run a bed-and-breakfast for strangers -- because we are "empty
nesters" we have on occasion been able accommodate neighbor's guests. Usually
it's easier to house observant guests, leaving the host / neighbor to deal with
the not-yet-observant.

This brings to mind another, to me serious, issue and that is how to properly
deal with to those who attend Shabbos services but drive to and from.  Growing
up in Cleveland, I remember that one synagogue put a chain across the driveway
just before z'man - leaving it in place until after Havdalah.   It was known
that there were those who parked behind a nearby store, etc., and discretely
drove home after Friday night services, etc.

Carl A. Singer, Ph.D., Colonel, U.S. Army Retired
70 Howard Avenue
Passaic NJ

From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 20,2017 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Driving to visit someone on Shabbat (and Yom Tov)

In response to Chaim Casper (MJ 63#60):

I have this same problem since one of my daughters went OTD and her only
connection to yiddishkeit is our family. My wife suggested that we invite
them for Shabbat and make sure they have a place to stay over. This is even
though we know they will definitely drive home on friday night. I said we
couldnt do that.

I asked Rav Avraham Rubin, a Slonim chassid, posek and community
leader about this. He looked at me and said "kol ma she omeret Sarah
ishtecha taaseh" A quote from Breishit "whatever your wife Sarah says, that
you shall do" To make sure I understood him I asked "Do you mean that we
should invite them even though it will cause them to be mechalel shabbat?"
He said yes, let them come to your shulchan shabbat- what they do afterwords
is their decision (aveira) and does not relate to you. I was very surprised
that this was the psak of this chassidishe and very ultra orthodox rav. But
there it is.

David Tzohar


From: Stu Pilichowski <cshmuel@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 22,2017 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Giving an honor in shul to someone who may possibly not be Jewish

Yom Kippur brings many people into shul that don't attend all year. For the most
part they're strangers to the ushers and gabbayim.

This Yom Kippur I noticed a young teenage neighbor attending Mincha. I asked the
gabbai to honor him with Gelilah - dressing the Torah. He was very appreciative.

Later, as I thought about it, I questioned in my mind whether he was even Jewish.

What? Why would he be in shul if he wasn't Jewish? Well, he may not know he's
not Jewish. His family doesn't even have a mezuzah on their doorpost. Yes,
they're Russian.

Is this a problem? I would guess getting an aliyah, making a bracha, is
problematic. But Hagbah, gelilah, opening the ark? What's the big deal?

Stuart P

Mevaseret Zion


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 18,2017 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Raising the Torah in a Switched-handed Fashion

I grew up with the Simchat Torah custom of raising up the Sefer Torah (Hagba'ah)
which is at the parsha of B'reisheet with the lifter grabbing the etz chayim of
the left side (the heavier side) in his right and the right side with his left.

It seems that now many congregations are lifting up both Torah scrolls, that of
V'Zot as well, in that fashion.

Since I protested that that is unnecessary and when asked why, explained that
the custom, to my mind, rose out of utility in that the left side is heavier and
usually the right hand is the stronger. The counter-argument was, if that is the
case, why not continue the cross-handed lift until most of sefer Breisheet is read?

So, my query to the list members:

a. does anyone know the true origin of the custom and why it was instigated?

b. do others also experience both sifrei torah raised in a switch-handed fashion
in other synagogues?

c. do others experience the continuing of the switch-handed fashion into other
portions of Sefer Breisheet?

Yisrael Medad


From: Carl A. Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 18,2017 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Seeking an article

Someone recommended to me an article by the Rav regarding why it seems that
observant Jews have shifted towards being more "machmir".

I have been unable to find said article given the limited information and
my limited knowledge.

I would appreciate a link.

Thanks in advance,

Carl A. Singer, Ph.D., Colonel, U.S. Army Retired
70 Howard Avenue
Passaic NJ


From: Menashe Elyashiv <menely2@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 18,2017 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Simchat Torah on a Friday

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 63#60):

> Since Simchat Torah fell (in chutz la'aretz) on a Friday, I would have hoped
> that the davenning would have finished a bit earlier than in other years to
> allow time for people to have their Yom Tov se'udah and still have
> sufficient appetite for their Friday night one. However I noticed that many
> shuls seem not to have finished much before 3 p.m. (Shabbat came in at about
> 6 p.m.) which struck me as not being particularly sensible (I went to an early
> minyan which finished at about 11 but that would not have suited many people).

Of course no Simhat Torah cannot fall on a Friday in Israel, but we can have it
on Shabbat. Shofar does not push out Shabbat, 4 minim do not push out Shabbat,
but hakafot and endless aliyot do push out the Shabbat day meals.  How many eat
the Shabbat morning meal on Simhat Tora? Kiddush with junk food and without
bread is not a Shabbat meal. My minyan (vatikin) ends around 11-11:30.
Additional aliyot are spread out in 3-4 places, without any mi shebairachs. We
have our hakafot after musaf and a very modest kiddush. But I assume that the
men and kids really enjoy the no ending Simhat Torah. Their wives don"t...

From: Leah Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 18,2017 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Simchat Torah on a Friday

Regarding Martin Stern's comments (MJ 63#60):

I had to giggle, because I was actually in shul on ST, being annoyed by the
excessive hakafot and foolishness, and immediately I thought of Martin Stern and
how we would have this feeling in common!  I fully admit to being a yekke by
character (and by 1/4 ancestry).  While I was planning to mention this to
Martin, I didn't realize that he had an ending-early option to exercise, so I'm
a bit jealous of that.

We daven at a Partnership minyan and women do have aliyot (I read for many of
them).  I would rather not be the subject of attacks regarding this point, but
I feel it's relevant to mention in the larger context, both because of numbers
for aliyot counting/time, and also because I do speak from experience as
one of the lainers [no such attacks will be published - MOD].

This year, we had three Torah "laining stations" - and to conflate slightly with
the other thread about young adults leading davening, at one station, all the
readers were teenagers (including my middle son) and I thought that was really

I like the idea of everyone getting an aliya, and that wasn't what took too much
time at our shul - with the stations, it proceeded rapidly.  This took a lot of
advance planning, gabbais and "runners" (to assign aliyot in real time) etc. to
carry out.

I've been in shuls that had the "and all the cohanim" aliyot and I found those a
bit unsatisfying and not an "authentic" feeling to me in the davening. I've also
seen multiples called up for aliyot at simchas (usually in non-O shuls, though)
- and it also feels inauthentic to me in that context.

I have always found long ST davening to be annoying verging on intolerable. 
I've tried arriving early and leaving early; I've tried arriving late; it's
always painful.  I also can't stand it when the guy leading musaf and his
buddies standing nearby, have often become inebriated and do not give proper
kavod to the repetition of the amida - in many Orthodox shuls I've attended,
from many branches of Orthodoxy!  (Squirt guns during the prayer for rain??)

My hope and belief is that in fact I do have a sense of humor and levity when
appropriate, but all I can say is, I'm in total agreement with those on the
side of curtailing the ST excesses.  And not just on a Friday!

Leah S. R. Gordon

From: Carl A. Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 18,2017 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Simchat Torah on a Friday

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 63#60):

I believe another factor which MUST be considered is preparation for Shabbos.
(As the risk of stereotyping --  much of this falls on the wife.)  

Is it proper to put undue time pressures by extending or not curtailing
davening.  After all, the Eruv Tavshilin doesn't impact the clock.

*Carl A. Singer, Ph.D., Colonel, U.S. Army Retired
70 Howard Avenue
Passaic NJ


End of Volume 63 Issue 61