Volume 63 Number 98 
      Produced: Thu, 30 Aug 18 12:03:13 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

An Epistemological Fallacy 
    [Martin Stern]
Another kedusha desidra problem (2)
    [Haim Snyder  Elazar Teitz]
Braying in Shule (2)
    [Dr. Josh Backon  Leah Gordon]
Kohanim / Aliyah 
    [Martin Stern]
Selling chametz on Shabbat 
    [Martin Stern]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 27,2018 at 01:01 PM
Subject: An Epistemological Fallacy

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 63#97):

> Martin Stern wrote (MJ 93#96) in reply to me (MJ 63#95):
> ...
> This is the crux of the the dispute between Martin and me. Martin and I agree
> that:
> (i) God created the world
> (ii) scientists have found no scientific alternative to evolution.
> Where we disagree is that Martin thinks scientists should say that "Hashem did
> it" is such an alternative scientific theory, and that "Hashem did it" is the
> cure for any failings in evolution or the details therein. I disagree on both
> counts, but I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

I fear Orrin has completely missed the point I was trying to make. I did not
wish to claim that scientists should say that "Hashem did [create the
world]" but that they should admit that whatever natruralistic theory they
may come up with must be tentative and, by its very nature, incapable of
definitive proof - that it is basically an epistemological problem [one
based on the nature of how we acquire knowledge].

Martin Stern


From: Haim Snyder <haimsny@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 27,2018 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Another kedusha desidra problem

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 63#97):

> In an earlier posting (MJ 63#94) Haim Shalom Snyder wrote:
>> Why the third verse is changed here from what we say in the actual kedushah
>> is another story.
> This anomaly has also always puzzled me, as well as its omission in the 
> kedusha deyotser (the first berakhah before Shema in the morning). If Haim has 
> an explanation perhaps he could provide it.
In his book "The World of Prayer", Rabbi Munk says that kedusha desidra is
Talmud Torah (learning Torah). As such, the verses quoted are translated into
Aramaic. This is not a problem with the verses from Isaiah and Ezekiel (the
first 2 responses) since the Targum Yonatan provides these translations.
However, Yonatan was apparently told not to translate Sefer Ketuvim which
contains the Psalms. The third response in kedusha is taken from Psalm 146, for
which there is no authorized Aramaic translation. Therefore, the similar in
concept verse from Shirat Hayam was substituted and the translation of Unkelus
follows it.
As to why the kedusha deyotzer omits the third verse, as a result of this
thread, I made a point this morning to pay extra attention to what I was saying
before Shemona Esrai and came to an amazing realization: the last section of the
bracha "Ga'al Yisrael" is self-explanatory in its choice of verses. It says (and
I quote the translation of the Koren Mesoret HaRav siddur), "With a new song,
the redeemed people praised your name at the seashore. Together they all gave
thanks. proclaimed Your kingship, and declared: 'The Lord shall reign for ever
and ever.'"

Haim Shalom Snyder
Petah Tikva

From: Elazar Teitz <emteitz@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 27,2018 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Another kedusha desidra problem

Martin Stern writes (MJ 63#95):

> Since we have the rule that we may not split verses, surely it is incorrect
> for the tzibbur to pause after saying "Vekara zeh el zeh ve'amar", as if it
> were part of the verse "Ve'atah kadosh ..." (implying that it is the Benei
> Yisrael who are calling each other and not the angels), and wait for the
> shatz to say it. Would it not be preferable to pause before it and either say
> it together with the shatz, or not say it at all and rely on shomei'a ke'oneh?

According to his assumptions, why is the question limited to k'dusha d'sidra? 
The same question could be addressed to the k'dusha said in chazan's repetition
of the Amida, where the same verse is said in its entirety, yet is split in two.
 (In our custom, everyone splits it. According to the basic law, where the
introductory paragraph --"N'kadeish" or "Na'aritz'cha" -- is said exclusively by
the shatz, it is only he who splits the pasuk, starting it and then joining the
congregation in completing it.)  Likewise, he could ask the same question about
Hallel, where we split the single verse (T'hillim 118:25), "Ana Hashem Hoshia
na, ana Hashem Hatzlicha na," into two parts.

There are several answers to these questions. One is that the rule applies only
to the Torah, and not to N'viim and K'suvim, as would seem indicated by its
formulation in the Talmud: "Any verse which Moshe did not divide, we do not
divide."  While this is a decidedly minority opinion, there are many who say
that though it applies to Nevi'im as well as Torah, it does not apply to
K'suvim, which would explain Hallel, but not k'dusha, which is in Nevi'im.

The proper answer, however, is that the law against splitting does not apply to
prayer, which is replete with quotes of parts of verses. Nor does it apply when
used to encourage observance, as in a sermon.  If it did, how could we ever
invoke the rule of "V'ahavta l'reiacha kamocha," which is a fragment of a verse?
 The rule only applies to learning, and even then only when learning the verse
itself, as opposed to quoting it while learning -- witness all the quotation of
partial verses in the Talmud.

Incidentally, reference was made in the post to which Martin was responding that
the third verse of k'dusha d'sidra is different than in other places. In truth,
however, there are only two verses; "Hashem yimloch l'olam va'ed" is not part of
k'dusha, and was not meant for responsive reading.  It can't be, because it has
no introductory phrase informing the congregation when to say it.  It certainly
can't be the words which immediately precede it ("Brich y'kara . . ."), since it
is prohibited to say aloud the Aramaic translations of "Kadosh Kadosh" and
"Baruch k'vod" when davening in public. (See RM"A in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim
132:1, and the Mishna B'rura there, par. 4).



From: Dr. Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 27,2018 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Braying in Shule

Irwin Weiss wrote (MJ 63#97):

> Carl Singer (MJ 63#96) asks what to do about a person who davens loudly and
> off-key in shule.
> I am anxious to hear some responses as my shule has the identical issue. Its
> very disconcerting. (I guess that is a pun). I am hesitant to ask people not to
> daven aloud, or to insult them.  I am contemplating ear plugs (for me, not
> them).

There is an explicit halacha (Orach Chaim 101:2) that prohibits loud praying
that bothers others.


Perhaps the gabbaim could print out this section of OC 101:2 and hang it on the

Josh Backon

From: Leah Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 27,2018 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Braying in Shule

In response to Carl Singer (MJ 63#96) and Irwin Weiss (63#97):

My husband and I are blessed with some musical talent.  Nevertheless, one of our
sons can't "carry a tune in a bucket".  But he has great kavana in shul.

At home, it's true that the rest of us sometimes change key in the middle of
shalom aleichem to accommodate his difficulty.

I once heard that the "unpleasant" ingredient [chelbenah - probably asa foeteda
- MOD] added into the Temple's incense is an analog for Hashem including even
sinners in Klal Yisrael. But I've always thought of that recipe as an analog for
shul daveners, including those who don't sound very good.

I actually prefer the sound of shul singing that has human error, as opposed to
a perfect choir.

Nevertheless, I am sympathetic to those who are sitting on the other side of the
mechitza, much closer to brayers (who, it seems, are more often male).  Perhaps
a small seat rearrangement would work?  (Also, perhaps count yourself lucky -
I'd much rather sit next to a brayer than someone who hasn't showered recently :) )

Leah S. R. Gordon


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 27,2018 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Kohanim / Aliyah

Stuart Pilichowski wrote (MJ 63#97):

> Perets Mett wrote (MJ 63#96):
>> In response to Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 63#95):
>> Self-esteem? Dignity? What on earth is he talking about. There is nothing
>> embarrassing about a person who is ill not fasting. If the kohen (or anyone
>> else) is in poor health he is NOT ALLOWED to fast. There is nothing to be
>> embarrassed about doing the correct thing.
> I'm talking about taking into account the feelings of an individual who for
> 60+ years has been recognized as a kohen and thus received the first aliyah.
> Now, because of failing health he's denied the aliyah and the members of the
> minyan, as few as they may be, understand what's happening but take pity on
> this poor soul.

Unfortunately the gentleman in question appears not to understand the
halachah and as Stuart is, I believe, the gabbai of this minyan he should
find some way of talking to him privately and explain the situation and
assure him that it in no way is meant as a personal slight on him or a
suggestion that there may be some question regarding his ancestral status.

If he still feels unhappy at being passed over, possibly a way to make this
less obvious would be for him to find the 'need' to go the toilet just
before the Sefer Torah is taken out so that he should not be present when a
Yisrael is called "bimkom kohen [in the absence of a kohen]" (of course he
can return immediately afterwards and hear the keriah).

As I wrote also in response to Stuart (MJ 63#95):

>> I always understood that one assumes everyone is fasting at shacharit unless
>> they inform us otherwise but that one should always ask anyone before giving
>> them an aliyah at minchah.
>> BTW, I believe a kohen who is not fasting should not duchan at minchah but I
>> may be wrong (we in chutz la'aretz do not duchan anyway except on Yom Tov at
>> mussaf so I have never met the problem in practice). Perhaps others can
>> confirm this or let us know that I am mistaken.

Therefore the problem only occurs at minchah and he can be called up as
kohen and duchan in the morning.
> Rather than focus everyone's attention on Mr. Kohen by denying him the aliyah
> I say let him have it. I believe this is found in the fifth chelek of shulchan
> aruch.

No person is "denying him the aliyah" - he just happens not to be one of
those who can be given one at minchah. While one should do everything
possible to avoid causing him distress, the 'fifth chelek of shulchan aruch'
cannot be allowed to override the first four, only to make use of a
legitimate opinion that will make everyone happy (derakheha darkhei no'am
vekhol netivoteha shalom).

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 27,2018 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Selling chametz on Shabbat

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 63#97):

> Reuvain awakes in the middle of the night and, forgetting that it was Shabbat,
> states, "Please sell my chametz." Then, realizing that it's Shabbat, he makes
> a mental note to take care of it after Shabbat. He then forgets about it until
> after Pesach has already started.
> However, Alexa heard his pronouncement, made a complete list of his chameitz,
> found the website that he used the previous year to sell his chameitz and
> transmitted the fully filled out forms with the password. The sale was
> completed by the Rabbi running the website.

In these circumstances, it is unlikely that Reuvain was sufficiently conscious
to legally appoint a sheliach [agent] to carry out his wishes nor, probably, had
he even had in mind to appoint one.

I presume Alexa was Reuvain's wife (though that may not be relevant here) and
one might be tempted to apply "ishto kegufo [one's wife is considered as part of
oneself]" but this would be an incorrect application of that dictum.

> Would it make a difference if Alexa had waited until after Shabbat to transmit
> the instructions?

Alexa most probably be considered as acting on her own initiative rather than as
Reuvain's agent.

One might be tempted to invoke the principle of "zakhin adam shelo befanav [one
can benefit a person in his absence]" but this might not apply here if it were
to involve chillul shabbat "mitzvah haba'ah be'aveirah [where the performance of
the mitzvah is contingent on a transgression]". In Joel's situation this would
not necessarily be the case so it might be argued that the chillul shabbat may
not be an insurmountable problem.

> Is Reuvain's chametz usable by him after Pesach?

Tzarikh iyun [the matter requires much deeper probing] and would have to be
considered by an exceptionally learned posek [rabbinic decisor]. Joel's scenario
sounds like the sort of questions that Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein discusses in his
works "Veha'rev Na" and "What if ..." so he might be the appropriate person to

Martin Stern


End of Volume 63 Issue 98