Volume 64 Number 18 
      Produced: Sun, 24 Mar 19 11:02:55 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Another tachnun question 
    [Menashe Elyashiv]
Implicit mechila post mortem 
    [Joel Rich]
Machatzis Hashekel 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Omitting tachanun for a bris 
    [Martin Stern]
Tachanun after sunset 
    [Martin Stern]
Vayikra problems 
    [Martin Stern]
Walking in front of someone during davenning 
    [Martin Stern]


From: Menashe Elyashiv <menely2@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 10,2019 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Another tachnun question

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 64#14):

> We know, of course, that one does not say tachnun if a Chusan is in shul.
> What if a kallah is present?

One of our Rabbis heard from Rabbi Y. Zilberstein, that if the kallah is
present, Tahanun is not said.


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 19,2019 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Implicit mechila post mortem

We generally hold that mechila (waiver) granted by an individual (e.g., parent
for child honor issue) continues unless specifically revoked. We also have a
concept of it being a mitzvah to listen to the command of the niftar. 

Question: What if, in retrospect, one believes the niftar would have changed his
mind had he fully understood the implications of his waiver. Should one still
honor the waiver/request? Even prior to ptirah, if the individual cannot make
his own decisions, do we follow his last wish in a similar case?

Joel Rich


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Fri, Mar 22,2019 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Machatzis Hashekel

Does anyone know what is the reason we do Machtsis HaShekel on Purim or right
before it?

Ideas I have are:

1. The half shekel for the Bais Hamikdosh was collected starting at the
beginning of Adar and that's why we read something from the Torah about it at
the beginning of Adar or the Shabbos before.

This "Machatzis HaShekel" is a sort of memory of that

2. Since we have Matanos L'Evyonim on Purim, it is something similar to give
Tzedakah on on Purim, - everyone should give something at least once a year.
(Another opportunity is Kapores on Erev Yom Kippur [Yom KePurim - MOD])


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 10,2019 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Omitting tachanun for a bris

Yisrael Medad  wrote (MJ 64#17):

> Perets Mett summarizes (MJ 64#16) "some situations when tachanun is omitted."
> ...
> I think there are additional instances:
> If the ba'alei brit, that is the father, mohel or sandak, pray in a
> synagogue even other than where the brit milah is to take place ..., still
> no tachanun is said.
> ... 
> If a father is not even in the same town as the brit due to whatever reason
> (trip, business, incarceration), he still does not say Tachanun.

This actually happened to me some 40 years ago when we had twin boys just before
Tisha be'Av (completely unanticipated - the first we knew was when the midwife
told my wife after the birth of the first one "I think there is another one in
there"!). Their britot were delayed as might have been expected, especially in
Manchester where a brit bizmano on the eighth day is the exception - the local
mohalim are very particular about pikuach nefesh after an incident that occurred
many years ago.

As my parents-in-law were there to look after them, I took the older children to
the Yarchei Kallah holiday scheme in Gateshead, as we had previously planned,
and phoned back each evening to find out the mohel's verdict, so as to be able
to return for the brit the next day.

On the Wednesday evening, my wife said that the mohel had just been and was
almost certain that one brit could take place on the Thursday subject to a final
check in the morning.

Before davenning on Thursday morning, I spoke with Rav Mosheh Schwab z"l, and
explained the position and he decided that the minyan should omit tachanun.
Unfortunately, when I rang home after davenning, I was told that the mohel had
decided that the brit would have to be postponed until Sunday after all.

When I phoned after Shabbat, my wife said that the mohel was almost certain that
the brit could take place but I should phone back in the morning to confirm.
When I told this to Rav Mosheh Schwab z"l on Sunday, he decided not to skip
tachanun, just in case of a repeat of the previous Thursday's fiasco.

As it happened, the mohel decided that the brit could take place and I went home
for the day. I suppose HKBH arranged that we should say tachanun as tashlumin
[replacement] for the one we had missed previously!

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 12,2019 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Tachanun after sunset

I have noticed there seems to be a strong aversion to saying tachanun in certain
(mainly chassidic) circles and any excuse is used to omit it.

One of these is that they claim that it is forbidden to say tachanun after
sunset - something unheard of in earlier generations in Central Europe. Can
anyone supply a halachic (as opposed to chassidic) source for this practice?

Since tachanun is intrinsically linked to shemoneh esrei, does this custom apply
at minchah, according to those who follow it, even if the shemoneh esrei (or at
least the chazarat hashatz) was started before sunset though it was not
concluded until after it?

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sat, Mar 16,2019 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Vayikra problems

I wrote under the title "Pekudei problem" (MJ 64#17):

> The chapter divisions in Tenakh are not of Jewish origin ...
> There are, however, subdivisions of the Massoretic text called parshiyot, ...
> each of which is usually a self-contained text ...
> These should not be confused with the divisions for the aliyot, mainly of much
> later origin, which we also call parshiyot.

This week I noticed that the way the latter - which I shall refer to as aliyot
to avoid confusion - are divided in Vayikra seems somewhat strange.

The first aliyah (1:1-13) deals with the various types of olat behemah
[freewill animal offerings] and presents no problem.

However the second (1:14-2:6) deals with the olat ha'of [freewill bird
offering] (1:14-17) and continues some forms of the korban minchah [meal
offering] (2:1-6), the remaining forms (2:7-16) forming the third aliyah.
The splitting of the menachot between the two aliyot strikes me as odd. Either
the olat ha'of should be the second aliyah on its own or it should be added to
the first aliyah and, either way, all the menachot should be combined into one
aliyah. In the latter case we would need to 'manufacture' another split later,
perhaps by making the asham into the seventh one.

The fourth aliyah (3:1-17) deals with the various types of shelamim [peace
offerings] and, like the first, presents no problem.

The fifth (4:1-26), sixth (4:27-5:10) and seventh (5:11-26), however, also
seem to be split strangely.

I would have expected that the divisions to have been made between the
chata'ot hapenimiot [sin offerings whose blood is sprinkled on the parochet
[curtain] inside the heichal [Temple building]] (4:1-21) - chamishi - the
chata'ot hachitzonot [sin offerings whose blood is sprinkled on the outer
altar] (4:22-35) - shishi - and the remainder, the korban oleh veyored
[means tested sin offering] (5:1-16) and the asham [guilt offering]
(5:17-26) - shevi'i.

Incidentally, reverting to my previous problem with the Massoretic
parshiyot, I noticed that the first two levels of means tested sin offering
are in one parashah while the third, for the most indigent, is separate. Why
are they not all in one parashah or each in a separate one?

An alternative way of dividing these last three aliyot that also makes sense
would be to combine all the chata'ot (4:1-35) as chamishi, the korban oleh
veyored (5:1-16) as shishi and the asham (5:17-26) as shevi'i.

Can anyone suggest the reason for the way we actually split the aliyot?

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 17,2019 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Walking in front of someone during davenning

The Shulchan Arukh (Orach Chaim 102:4) rules that one may not walk in front
of someone davening shemoneh esrei until he has finished, mainly because it
will distract him from his concentration (Mishnah Berurah s.k.15). Many
people are unfortunately unaware of this halachah.

However, I have noticed recently that some people seem to have extended this
prohibition to passing in front of someone who has finished davening, and
taken three steps back, who is waiting for the shatz to begin his
repetition. They ask him to step forward so that they can go behind him
rather than pass in front of him.

Does anyone know any source for this stringency?

Martin Stern


End of Volume 64 Issue 18