Volume 63 Number 65 
      Produced: Sat, 25 Nov 17 15:02:39 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

For a sick gentile friend 
    [Chaim Casper]
Giving an honor in shul to someone who may possibly not be Jewish 
    [David Ziants]
Giving an honor in shul to someone who may possibly not be Jewish (3) 
    [Stu Pilichowski]
Minhag question 
    [Irwin Weiss]
Pointing Out A Typo (was A strange order of verses in Hallel Hagadol) 
    [Yaakov Shachter]
Simchat Torah on a Friday (2)
    [Susan Buxfield  Chuck Elnekave]


From: Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 6,2017 at 10:01 AM
Subject: For a sick gentile friend

Carl Singer asked (MJ 63#64):

> May one add 'John son of Jane', for example, to a tehillim list or for a mi
> shebairach?"

First, we must answer the question can Jews pray for better health for a
gentile?  Rav Moshe, tz"l, was asked if American Jewry could pray for a refuah
(healing) for President Dwight Eisenhower (aka "Ike") when that President became
ill during his presidency.  Rav Moshe said yes with the caveat that that prayer
should not refer to the Jewish tradition and our relationship with God. Thus,
during the mi shebayrakh prayer for sick people that is usually recited at the
Torah reading or after the saying of T'hillim, one should not include, "Mi
shebayrakh avoteinu, Avraham, Yizhak v'Ya'akov (may He who blessed our
forefathers, Avraham, Yizhak and Ya'akov)" as that refers to the Jewish
community.   But to say (or pray), "Please heal President Ike" would be

The Muncacz Rebbe, also known as the Minchas Elazar, purportedly prayed on
behalf Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands to have a child who would be a

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks when he was Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, composed a
prayer on behalf of the victims of the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami, the overwhelming
number of which were gentiles.

The Rabbinical Council of Connecticut, in consultation with Rav Joseph B.
Soloveitchik ztz"l, issued a prayer for recitation during the illness of the
Governor of Connecticut at that time, Ella Grasso.

The Rome Rabbinate asked world Jewry to pray on behalf of Pope John Paul 2 as a
makir tov (an expression of gratitude) for the many positive things he did to
the Jewish community in Rome and around the world.  

So there would appear to be a Jewish tradition of praying for gentiles though
the masses don't accept this as I found out when I made a mi shebayrakh in shul
for John Paul.   

So to go back to Carl's question, what name would one use?   I believe one would
say, "John Smith" as that is his name.   To say, "John the son of Jane" might be
construed as using our tradition to define a gentile.  

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


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 5,2017 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Giving an honor in shul to someone who may possibly not be Jewish

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 63#64):

> Martin Stern writes (MJ 63#63): 
>> IMHO one can assume that anyone who comes to shul is Jewish unless one has
>> reason to suspect otherwise and it is not usually necessary to make any
>> enquiries.
> My rav, Rabbi Jacob Kret, Zt'l of the Old Broadway Synagogue in New York City,
> famously used to give aliyot, not just gelila, to all visitors to his shul. 
> I once asked him, "how do you know they're Jewish?" 
> He responded "You ask them: 'are you Jewish?'"

I think a more tactful way of going about this (and I have been asked this
question sometimes when I am away from home) is asking:- "Are you a Kohen, Levi
or Yisrael?"

If he doesn't know what to answer, then we have an issue - so give him peticha
[opening the ark]. I think that gellila [rolling the scroll] is too close in
proximity to hagba'a [lifting the scroll so that everyone can see the writing]
and I was taught at a very early age that hagba'a is considered an important job
(more important than maphtir).

I saw a situation where a non-jewish parent was once asked in a big shul
(outside Israel) whether they can give him an honour like peticha. His reply was
that he just prefers to be a spectator. It was a type of shul where two people
were given peticha, one for each door - I don't know whether they would have
allowed him to do the hotza'a - i.e to take the sepher torah out to hand to the
sha"tz [prayer leader] if he had agreed to the honour.

David Ziants

From: Stu Pilichowski <cshmuel@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 16,2017 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Giving an honor in shul to someone who may possibly not be Jewish (3)

I appreciate the responses to my query about honoring non-Jews in shul with
various non-spoken honors. Many cited the responsa of R' M Feinstein. I don't
know the date of the responsa in question, but certainly at least about 40 years
old. Correct?

The situation today in Israel with as many as tens of thousands (if not more,
depending on whose statistics you want to follow) with questionable halachik
lineage makes the circumstances quite different from that of R' Moshe's teshuva.
I'll be bold and say the teshuva is outdated and doesn't apply to today's reality.


Stuart P
Mevaseret Zion


From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Fri, Nov 10,2017 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Minhag question

What is the source for the minhag that a kallah and chatan  do not see each
other for a day or a few days immediately prior to the wedding? Is this an
unnecessary and made up minhag?

Irwin Weiss
Baltimore, MD


From: Yaakov Shachter <jay@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 5,2017 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Pointing Out A Typo (was A strange order of verses in Hallel Hagadol)

Ira L. Jacobson wrote (MJ 63#64):

> Just to point out what I hope was a typo: the moon and stars take a 
> plural verb--lememshalot.

Lememshaloth is a verb?  In what language?

> And at the same time to wonder why Hallel does not take the definite 
> article in "Hallel Hagadol," as it does in the blessing before Hallel 
> Hagadol. >:-}

Do you wonder why Hallel does not take the definite article in Hallel Haggadol?
 "Hallel", which at one point in our history was a common noun, became, over the
years, a proper noun (e.g., "We say Hallel on major festivals, but we don't say
Hallel on Purim").  

The benedictions were composed before that change occurred, and we recite
benedictions in the form in which they were composed.  We also say "meshanneh
habriyyoth" even though Jews everywhere have reverted to Biblical
Hebrew and now say "bri'oth".

Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
6424 N Whipple St
Chicago IL  60645-4111


From: Susan Buxfield <susan.buxfeld@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 5,2017 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Simchat Torah on a Friday

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 63#64):

> In any case, when Mashiach comes, bimhera veyameinu, the Sanhedrin will be
> re-established and we will revert to fixing Rosh Chodesh by observing the New
> Moon so it may still be possible for Simchat Torah to fall on a Friday even in
> Israel.

Its obvious from the following that Sanhedrin would not allow witnesses that
would cause RH to be declared on Sun, Wed, and Friday (ie that there would not
be a Shabbat the day before or the day after Yom Kippur and that Hoshanna Rabba
will not fall on Shabbat)


(SUMMARY: Tosfos cites Rashi's Kashya [question] as to why according to both R.
Yehudah and R. Yossi, the Gemara cannot ask 've'Le'abruhah la'Adar [like it asks
later regarding Ellul]. Rashi answers that this would involve Yom Tov falling on
'Adu', which we generally try to avoid, and he explains why the Gemara is not
concerned about the same thing, when it asks later 've'Le'abruhah le'Nisan'. And
he also establishes the latter Kashya specifically according to Acherim - by
Tekufas Nisan, but not according to the other Tana'im, by Tekufas Tishrei.)

Rashi asks why the Gemara cannot ask that, seeing as it is discussing a case
where according to both R. Yehudah and R. Yossi, Tekufas Tishri falls only day
late, why not simply declare Ellul a full month?

He answers that if they did, Rosh Hashanah would fall on Sunday, Wednesday or
Friday (something which they would try and avoid at all costs, as the Gemara
explains in first Perek of the Rosh Hashanah).

From: Chuck Elnekave <chuck.elnekave@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 5,2017 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Simchat Torah on a Friday

In reponse to Martin Stern (MJ 63#64):

Even when the Sanhedrin will be established (G-d willing, soon), 22 Tishrei
(Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah) would still not be on a Friday - the Sanhedrin
would not accept testimony which would place Rosh Chodesh Tishrei on a Sunday,
Wednesday, or Friday, so as not to have Yom Kippur immediately preceded or
followed by Shabbat, or Hashana Rabbah on Shabbat. 

Chuck Elnekave


End of Volume 63 Issue 65