Volume 64 Number 13 
      Produced: Tue, 08 Jan 19 06:32:10 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Amoraic statements  
    [Joel Rich]
Modern Orthodoxy? (2)
    [Joel Rich  Martin Stern]
Peelers and hilchot borer 
    [Joel Rich]
Saying Modim Out Loud 
    [Menashe Elyashiv]
Shema mina telat 
    [Martin Stern]
The challenge to Torah chinuch 
    [Martin Stern]
Woman Saying the Sheva Brachot 
    [Martin Stern]


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Sat, Dec 29,2018 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Amoraic statements 

Anyone know of any writings on how to think about Amoraic statements that are
not sourced but very basic (i.e., why weren't they recorded earlier)? Two quick

1.) Shmuel: Dina dmalchuta dina [the law of the land controls], 

2.) Rav: Tisha achlu dagan vechad achal yerek - mitztarphin [9 who ate grain and
1 who ate greens combine (for a zimmun of 10)]

Joel Rich


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Fri, Dec 21,2018 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Modern Orthodoxy?

Ari Trachtenberg wrote (MJ 64#12):

> Chaim Casper (MJ 64#11) wrote:
>> By the way, I think a better example of problematic Orthodox behavior that 
>> is outside the system are those who use "half-Shabbat" as a rationalization 
>> to send texts and photos on Shabbat.   I know of no source that permits  
>> that. Does that mean we write them out of the community? No, it means we use 
>> our resources to bring them back into the fold.
> What exactly are the halachic prohibitions with sending texts and photos on 
> Shabbat?
> If you accept Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach's assessment of electricity, then
> there does not appear to be an issue of touching the device buttons (assuming 
> no noise) or possibly even recording the picture on a solid-state device
> (and, if there were, then we have other serious problems with traveling  
> around areas that have continuous camera monitoring, like London).

I believe  that R'SZA would not allow the use of electronics lechatchila as he
sees it as rabbinically prohibited but only in a case of need (e.g. hearing aid,
security camera) and only with possible other safeguards.

Joel Rich

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Jan 8,2019 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Modern Orthodoxy?

Carl A. Singer wrote (MJ 64#12):

> The several discussions of late make an assumption that I believe defies
> reality: that is that lay practitioners (possibly even clergy) focus on the
> tenets of their brand in deep, scholarly, reflective thoughts as opposed to
> simply going with the flow.
> Same goes for most [pick any classification] Jews.

This is almost certainly correct but I think there does exist a slightly
different underlying mindset between "modern' and "strictly" Orthodox Jews.
While it is a gross simplification, this seems to be that the former work on
the principle that "if there is leniency, even bedieved [ex post facto], one
can rely on it" whereas the latter follow the principle that "if there is
even a minority opinion to be stringent, even if the vast majority of poskim
reject it, one should be so".

Martin Stern


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Sat, Dec 22,2018 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Peelers and hilchot borer

I saw this in a write-up on peelers vis-a-vis hilchot borer [laws of sorting on

> peelers for peels that are generally eaten with the fruit are viewed as a
> sophisticated knife

This would seem to me to imply that using them does not involve the malachah of
borer, which raises several questions:

1. How do we determine the scope of "generally", is it us, Essex County, the
whole world or ...?

2. Does this reasoning also imply that a sieve a sophisticated fork? 

3. No doubt that minhag yisrael includes many who accept this but it's just not
clear to me how that developed - despite a priori first principles seeming to
lead to a prohibition - or is it perhaps a good example of mimetic tradition?

Joel Rich


From: Menashe Elyashiv <menely2@...>
Date: Fri, Dec 21,2018 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Saying Modim Out Loud

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 64#12):

> Gilad J. Gevaryahu writes (MJ 64#11):
>> After the tefilah Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach called me aside and asked me 
>> why I did not say "Modim" aloud, and I told him that I thought that the way I  
>> did it was the standard way to say it. His answer was that those people who do 
>> not say the entire "modim" aloud simply do not know the halacha, and that 
>> chazarat hashatz must include the entire "Modim" aloud.
> All the other responses to my post have also quoted or cited just Ashkenazi
> poskim. I am wondering: my recent experience was at a hard-core Sepharadi 
> shul. Does anyone know if the Sepharadi poskim hold differently?  

Said out loud. Every Shaliah Sibor in the Sepharadi minyanim knows that. It is
so simple that the Poskim do not mention it. I checked Yalkut Yosef, Halacha
Brura & Kaf Hahaim.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 7,2019 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Shema mina telat

The other (weekday) morning, a visitor sat near me in shul, and his davening
brought to mind a ruling in the Kitzur Shulchan Arukh in hilchot kriat shema (17:5):

"Veyashmia le'oznav mah hu motzi mipiv - [one should say kriat shema (especially
the first pasuk) loud enough so that] one's ears can hear what comes out of
one's mouth"

As the Gemara often says "shema mina telat - [we can] learn three [implications]
from this statement":

1. 'le'oznav' - velo le'oznei chaverav - HIS ears and NOT his neighbours' ears.

2. 'kriat shema' - velo kol she'ar hatefillah - 'kriat shema' and NOT ALL the
rest of davenning.

3. if one is unaware that one is not heedful of the first two, one might need to
have one's hearing tested as its acuity diminishes with age (of which I am
unfortunately aware)

However there is no need to shout for HKBH to hear us since "the Guardian of
Yisrael neither dozes nor sleeps" (Teh. 121:4) unlike the pagan deity Ba'al
whose prophets Eliyahu Hanavi mocked on Har Carmel when their prayers were
unanswered "Cry louder for he is a god ... perhaps he is asleep and will soon
wake up!" (I Mel. 18:27).

Perhaps the gentleman would do well to remember "kol demamah dakah yishama - a
gentle whisper will be heard" and temper his obviously enthusiastic davening so
as not to disturb others or am I being slightly oversensitive?

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 7,2019 at 04:01 AM
Subject: The challenge to Torah chinuch

The current  challenge to Torah chinuch is obviously a result of the not so
subtle machinations of militantly secular groups to force their anti-Torah
viewpoints on us. However, a recent incident made me wonder whether HKBH may be
hinting to us that there is a certain aspect of chinuch in our own personal
lifestyles that needs improvement.

One Friday morning on my way to shul I met a group of boys (presumably in
Manchester for the Pirchim siyum) who asked me where the nearest 7 a.m. minyan
was. As I had left my house at 7:05, I told them that it was long gone 7 but
they could come with me to my shul which davenned at 7:20.

They were simply not interested! Obviously they considered that to get to shul
on time, let alone before davening was well under way, was not appropriate. They
must have learned this attitude from someone, probably their fathers, or from
the ethos of 'frum' society at large.

While there may well be good reasons why any particular individual is late
for shul on occasion (especially visitors from out of town who cannot always
judge how long it takes to get there), seeing how empty shuls are at the
official starting time, and how they fill up over the next 15 minutes, seems to
suggest that, to most people, coming on time, let alone being ready with one's
tallit and tefillin on before davening starts, is considered, at best, middat
chasidut not suitable for normal people, or even, chas vechalila, mechzeh
keyuhara. Perhaps they think that the praises heaped on the 'asarah rishonim'
apply to the first ten to finish their quiet shemoneh esrei rather than the
firdt ten to arrive in shul!

Our chachamim throughout the ages have told us that whatever happens should
make us consider whether we have something to learn and improve our
behaviour. If we all make a greater effort in this matter of chinuch, by
setting a good example to our children, perhaps HKBH will annul the gezerah
ra'ah [evil decree] threatening our communities from Ofsted in the UK and other
groups elsewhere.

What do other mail-jewish members think?

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Jan 8,2019 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Woman Saying the Sheva Brachot

Yisrael Medad  wrote (MJ 64#12):
> An article by Rabi Tzvi Reisman in Issue 122 of Emuna Itecha suggests that the
> blessings that are recited at a wedding, the Sheva Brachot or Birchot
> Chatanim, are not a d'var sh'b'kedusha, possessing holiness, and as a result,
> the minyan required to say them only requires "rabbim", not a "tzibur", and if
> that is the case, women could also say them.
> Does anyone think that having wine at the ceremony turns that into a d'var
> sh'b'kedusha?

Since, for example, kiddush and havdalah do not require a minyan, it seems
clear that having wine is certainly not a criterion for a ceremony to be a
davar shebekedushah.

Martin Stern


End of Volume 64 Issue 13