Volume 64 Number 09 
      Produced: Thu, 29 Nov 18 08:37:52 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Another Problematic Stress in Kaddish 
    [Susan Buxfield]
Answering kedusha at night time 
    [David Ziants]
Daven or learn first? (2)
    [Joel Rich  David E Cohen]
Modern Orthodoxy? (2)
    [Chaim Casper  David Tzohar]
    [Joel Rich]
Saying Modim Out Loud (3)
    [Yisrael Medad   Haim Snyder  Steven Oppenheimer]
Shouldn't a baal tefillah say the Shema out loud? 
    [Art Sapper]
What did Ashkenazim eat during Pesah 400 to 700 years ago? 
    [Eric Mack]


From: Susan Buxfield <susan.buxfeld@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 29,2018 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Another Problematic Stress in Kaddish

According to the rules of Hebrew Grammar, in Kaddish, there is a Shva Nach under
the second Dalet of DeKuDSha and not a Shva Nah.

However many do pronounce the word as DeKudeSha which as mentioned would appear
to be incorrect.

Any comment? Does incorrect pronunciation affect the meaning?


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 22,2018 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Answering kedusha at night time

In response to my question (MJ 64#07) about fulfilling halachic obligations via
telephone, or more recently via skype etc., Irwin Weiss (MJ 64#08) responded:-

> Issues relating to participating in a minyan via the internet, responding to
> Kaddish, time zone issues, and the issue of electronically transmitted sound,
> are discussed in this 2001 statement from the Conservative movement. The 
> authors conclude that one may not constitute a minyan over the internet, but 
> that some participation is permissible in exigent circumstances. 
> https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/sites/default/files/assets/public/halakhah/
> teshuvot/19912000/reisner_internetminyan.pdf

I personally would be very wary of trying to learn halacha from any 
organization or community that deviates from what is within the realms of
"orthodoxy". (I do not want this thread to delve into the definition of
"orthodox" - but in general we are talking about an organization that does not
necessarily consider the Torah divine and determines halacha according to
convenience - and from some small private correspondence with Irwin, I think we
are in agreement here.)

Irwin feels that the author of this particular paper, is an exception, and when
I glanced through it I saw that the paper quotes a lot of orthodox sources. Foot
note #14 basically sums up the shiur I heard last month, and he quotes Rav
Eliezer Waldenberg who permits the general issue in Tzitz Eliezer 8:11 even more
strongly, than that of Rav Moshe Feinstein who is hesitant in allowing it in
practice despite it, in his opinion, being technically OK.

With respect to the time zone issues, the author(s) of the statement do not
think it is correct to start joining minyanim etc. outside one's timezone - but
I would much prefer to hear this from an orthodox source. I think though that
this is understandable because the people making up the minyan, in any case,
ought to be in the same physical location (and of course at the same physical
time). This does not preclude me from answering "amen" to someone saying a
beracha at another location if this straight after he said the beracha.

My question is, if per chance, one hears kedusha in real time outside one's time
zone and it is night for me, is one *permitted* to respond?



From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 22,2018 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Daven or learn first?

Yisrael Medad wrote (MJ 64#08):

> Joel Rich wrote (MJ 64#07):
>> I'm told the "minhag ha'olam [common practice] is to get up early to learn 
>> and then daven (even if that is not the first minyan available). Assuming the
>> learning starts after the earliest time for davening, shouldn't the "minhag" 
>> be to daven first, then learn?
> a) "Assuming the learning starts after the earliest time for davening" is a
> big assumption.
> b) How could one assume that? The mitzvah of Talmud Torah [learning] is Yomam
> Va'Layla, i.e. 24/7.
> c)  Doesn't one make a Birkat HaTorah first, learn something as the Siddur
> has it and then pray?

a) OK - I agree

b) see S"A  O"C 89:6 - no doubt there are reasons one could learn first, it just
seems to me it shouldn't be our first choice ceteris paribus (which is never the

Joel Rich

From: David E Cohen <ddcohen@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 29,2018 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Daven or learn first?

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 64#07):

> I'm told the "minhag ha'olam" [common practice] is to get up early to learn and
> then daven...

This custom is very old.  See the teshuva of Rav Natronai Gaon, brought in
Teshuvot haGeonim (Mussafia) siman 87 and in Otzar haGeonim (Levin) on Berachot
- teshuvot siman 41.

-- D.C.


From: Chaim Casper <info@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 22,2018 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Modern Orthodoxy?

Joseph Kaplan wrote (MJ 64#08):

> Joel Rich wrote (MJ 64#06):
>> Two "M.O." (Modern Orthodox) community members on different occasions 
>> recently articulated to me that M.O. means picking and choosing what one 
>> observes (e.g., the classic "I don't hold of not putting on makeup on
>> Shabbat").
> Unlike others, I do not interpret these comments as saying that MO means
> sometimes picking not to observe that which must be observed or doing things
> that are prohibited.  Rather, I understand it to be a reflection on autonomy 
> and asking for psak; that is, they know that there are different opinions 
> about the permissibility of putting on makeup on Shabbat and rather than  
> asking for a psak they choose between two known acceptable psakim. Whatever 
> one may think aboutacting in such a manner, it shows a commitment to 
> observance rather than the opposite.

Joe chooses to judge someone favorably ("dan l'khaf z'khut") someone who to me
chooses to pick and choose what halakhot they observe.   To me, Orthodoxy means
doing it by the book.  Thus, picking and choosing which halakhot to observe puts
that person outside the definition of being Orthodox.

If that is so, then what is "Modern Orthodox?"  Joe's and my teacher, Rabbi
Shlomo Riskin, once said to me that everyone in the Orthodox community agrees
there are chiyuvim (obligations such as Shabbat, holidays, tefilah, et al) and
there are issurim (forbidden rulings such as eating non-kosher, idolatry,
cooking and driving on Shabbat et al).   The question is, How do we view
everything else?

I would offer that those who say if it isn't specifically forbidden by the
halakhah, then MO says we can halakhically allow it.   Thus, many of us have
gone to college, we observe Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S., we go to movies
and plays, etc.  Of course, there are those (i.e. haredim) who say if the
halakhah doesn't specifically require it, then it must be forbidden.  To each
his/her own and, of course, there are gradations in between.   It is not black
and white.  But the one unifying aspect of both views is that the obligations
must be done and the prohibitions are avoided.  We just disagree about
everything else.   

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

From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Sat, Nov 24,2018 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Modern Orthodoxy?

I feel that the term "modern orthodox" is meaningless and, in reality, oxymoronic.
The dictionary definition of orthodoxy is "behavior (in this case religious)
according to an accepted defined standard". Modern is defined as "relating to
the present time, not ancient or antiquarian". Therefore if we describe
ourselves as Jews who believe in Maimonodean 13 principles of faith and live by
the laws of the Shulchan Aruch, both ancient, we cannot define ourselves as
"modern" because even present day halachic decisors base their rulings on these
ancient standards.

Here in Israel we have those who call themselves "dati lite". Basically they
observe shabbat and kashrut but are lax in the realm of tzniyut, gender
separation, limud torah and even ritual purity. These are not "Conservatives"
- they would be offended to be regarded as such - but they don't call themselves
"Modern Orthodox" either.
David Tzohar


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 25,2018 at 01:01 AM
Subject: Reward?

The beginning of the Aruch Hashulchan states (I think he may be quoting the Smak): 

"Malachim (angels?) have no yetzer hara (evil inclination?), animals have a
yetzer hara but no daat (knowledge?). Thus malachim get no schar (reward?) and
animals no onesh (punishment?)"

Does this knowledge mean knowledge of HKB"H? 

What does it mean to have a yetzer hara - Is it equivalent of free will? What
does it mean to have free will without consequence? 

How then do we understand the medrash in Breishit that the trees were punished
for not following HKB"H's direction? The dogs being rewarded for not barking?

Joel Rich


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 22,2018 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Saying Modim Out Loud

Orrin Tilevitz (MJ 64#08) returns to the question we once discussed here
at least a decade or more ago: reciting Modim outloud.

I follow this minhag which I found here:


"Rabbi Soloveitchik (as cited in *Nefesh Harav* by Rabbi Herschel Schachter, p.
128-129) notes that the congregation should say *Modim DRabbanan* and also
listen to the entire *Modim* of the *chazzan*. This position is similar to that
of several *Amoraim* who maintain that congregants should recite *pesukim*
during *Birkat Kohanim* in addition to listening to the *kohanim*.

Not all sages, however, agree with this position. In Sotah 39b-40a, R. Chanina
b. R. Pappa asks, Is it possible that a servant is being blessed and he does not
listen? The Tur (*Orach Chayim* 128) adopts this standpoint and states that
congregants should not say any *pesukim* while the *kohanim* are blessing them
because, if they do, they will be unable to concentrate fully on *Birkat Kohanim*.

Rabbi Soloveitchick reasons that the same logic applies to the recitation of
*Modim DRabbanan*. Even if the *chazzan* says his *Modim* very loudly,
congregants will still find it impossible to both listen to the *chazzan* and
concentrate on their own recitation of *Modim DRabbanan*. Therefore, in his
synagogue in Boston as well as at Yeshiva University, Rabbi Soloveitchick
instituted that the *chazzan* recite the beginning of *Modim* in a loud voice
and then pause somewhat to allow the congregation time to recite *Modim
DRabbanan*. The *chazzan* would then continue with his *Modim* out loud.

Yisrael Medad

From: Haim Snyder <haimsny@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 22,2018 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Saying Modim Out Loud

In response to Orrin Tilevitz (MJ 64#08):

With regard to this custom, the Mishnah Berurah states in OH 224, subpara. 41 as
follows (translation mine):

...whereas there are some hazanim have the custom to say the beginning of
"Modim" softly, one [someone who did not not say the silent prayer] cannot
fulfill his obligation for his prayer from this sheliach tzibur. I have no idea
where this custom came from, but despite that the congregation is then saying
Modim d'Rabbanan, his [the sheliach tzibur's] prayer was planned to allow a  
non-knowledgeable person to fulfill his obligation, and, therefore it must be
said in at a level that ten people near the sheliach tzibur can hear every word.
Rabbi Soloveitchik, in "Nefesh HaRav" p.129, held that the sheliach tzibur
should say the first three words with the congregation (in order that he would
be saying it with them, as is custom) and then wait until they finished Modim
d'Rabbanan and continue with the words "She-ata hu" at the same volume that he 
used for the rest of the prayer.
Haim Shalom Snyder
Petah Tikva

From: Steven Oppenheimer <steven.oppenheimer@...>
Date: Thu, Nov 22,2018 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Saying Modim Out Loud

In response to Orrin Tilevitz (MJ 64#08):

The shat"z should recite the whole modim prayer out loud and does not need to
wait for the tzibbur to finish saying modim derabanan according to the Mishna
Berura (127:3) and Aruch Hasulchan (127:3).  Mekor Chaim (127:1) writes that it
is better for the shat"z to stretch out the words "modim anachnu Lach" until the
tzibbur has finished reciting the modim derabanan so that they will be able to
hear the whole recitation of chazarat hashat"z.  Elya Rabba (127:1) brings this
in the name of the Rosh and this is brought down in the Tur (57).  Ma'amar
Mordechai (137:1), however, disagrees and interprets the Rosh as just requiring
the shat"z to recite modim outloud slowly, giving the tzibbur sufficient time to
recite modim derabanan.

In Orchot Rabbeinu (vol.3 page 211), in the name of the Chazon Ish, the shat"z
should recite the words of modim out loud until "leolam va'ed" and then wait
until the tzibbur finishes saying modim derabanan.  The shat"z should then
complete the rest of modim out loud.  This was also the custom of Rav Shlomo
Zalman Auerbach (Sefer Chiku Mamtakim, Vol. 2, page 349) who, as shaliach
tzibbur, would recite, modim anachnu lach and then wait for the tzibbur to
finish modim derabanan before continuing. Rav Yosef Shalom Eliashiv also
paskened that the shatz should recite modim anachnu lach out loud and then wait
for the tzibbur to conclude modim derabanan before continuing the recitation of
modem out loud (Rivevot Ephraim, Vol. 5, siman 76).

The custom that some shelichei tzibbur have to recite part of modim silently is
an ill-conceived custom according to the Mishna Berura (124:41).

Rav Yisroel Ya'akov Fisher (Shu"t Even Yisroel 9:63) opines that the tefilah of
modim derabanan was designed from the start that the tzibbur need not hear the
whole modim from the shat"z, only the last part of the beracha.  Since the
tzibbur is not hearing the beginning of the beracha from the shat"z, chazal
never required the shat"z to recite modim out loud, giving the shat"z a slight
break.  A similar approach may be seen in Badei Hashulchan (Tefilah Belail
Shabbat, page 26).

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Halichot Shlomo, Tefilah, page 111) explained that
the reason the Mishna Berura allows the shat"z to continue reciting modim out
loud without waiting for the tzibbur to complete modim derabanan is because both
prayers, modim and modim derabanan, are essentially the same (inyan echad haim).
 Therefore, we say that the tzibbur is able to hear the words of the shat"z when
he recites modim, even while the tzibbur recites modim derabanan to themselves.
 This is in addition to the point that in the chazarat hashat"z, the tzibbur
does not need to hear every word from the shat"z.

There is a famous story told about Rav Eliashiv.  A number of years ago he was
unwell and needed the attention of a medical specialist who came all the way
from the United States to perform a complicated procedure on him. After
finishing, the Rav Eliashiv called over his shamash and asked him how to
properly say thank you in English. After he was told how to say thank you, the
Rav Eliashiv went to the doctor and expressed his thanks. The shamash asked, Why
did you not just send me to say thank you on your behalf?

Rav Eliashiv answered, When you want to say thank you it has to be done by the
person himself, you cannot send an emissary to show your gratitude to someone
who has done you a good deed.

In the words of the Avudraham, a rishon who lived in the late 13th century, just
as a servant cannot praise his master through an emissary, so too, each member
of the congregation must personally praise, thank and accept upon themselves
God's kingship. To do this through an emissary would not be proper.

Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.


From: Art Sapper  <asherben@...>
Date: Sun, Nov 25,2018 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Shouldn't a baal tefillah say the Shema out loud?

When I was a boy, the professional hazan in my shul would, during Kriath Shema,
say the Shema out loud, in a stentorian voice.  It was very impressive and
meaningful.  But I have noticed that in Orthodox shuls today, that is not done.
One either cannot hear the Shema recited out loud, or it is recited in a normal

This appears to be contrary to the Shulchan Aruch (Orech Chaim 62:5), which
states:  "Tzorich sheliach tzibbur l'hashmiah qolo b'Shema Yisroel, k'day
sh'yishm'u ha'qawhal v'yamleechu sheym shemayim b'yahad [The congregational
prayer leader must make his voice heard when reciting Shema Yisroel so that the
congregation will hear and accept on themselves the yoke of the Kingdom of
Heaven together]". I pointed this out to a shul rabbi once but he did nothing
about it.

I would be interested in the views of the others on Mail Jewish.

Art Sapper


From: Eric Mack <ewm44118@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 27,2018 at 04:01 AM
Subject: What did Ashkenazim eat during Pesah 400 to 700 years ago?

I understand that Ashkenazi poskim [rabbinic decisors] issued a takana
[regulation] against eating kitniyot [legumes and certain other grains or
vegetables] sometime prior to 1300 C.E.  (Or is it only a minhag [custom]?)

However, potatoes were not introduced to Europe until almost 1600 C.E.

What did Ashkenazim eat, besides matza, dairy products, fish, eggs, meat
and chicken, during Pesah during those 300 or so years?

Eric Mack


End of Volume 64 Issue 9