Volume 64 Number 29 
      Produced: Thu, 06 Jun 19 08:42:47 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A system problem 
    [The Moderating team]
Bechukotai problem (3)
    [Michael Poppers  Yisroel Israel  Ben Katz, M.D.]
Megilat Esther (2)
    [Ben Katz, M.D. Dr. William Gewirtz]
Only One Person Says Mourner's Kaddish? 
    [Martin Stern]


From: The Moderating team
Date: Sun, Jun 2,2019 at 01:01 PM
Subject: A system problem

We have noticed recently that if a submission has any attachments it spooks
our system, which acknowledges receipt, so the submitter thinks it is in
line for publication, but gives it an MID 0 so that it does not appear in
the submission list and we are unaware of its arrival. This only comes to
light when the submitter contacts one of us off-line to complain! So please bear
this in mind.

Wishing everyone a chag samei'ach

The Moderating team


From: Michael Poppers <the65pops@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 2,2019 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Bechukotai problem

Martin Stern asks (MJ 64#28):

> I have always been puzzled by the conclusion of Bechukotai.
> ...
> Why is specifically the parashah of Arachin (Lev. 27), which might more
> logically have fitted in better earlier, 'tagged on' after it?

An answer was given by R'Alport in the name of the Kotzker Rebbe:


Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgenstern, known as the Kotzker Rebbe (1787-1859),
explains that after reading the terrifying curses contained earlier in the
*parsha* and seeing how they have tragically been fulfilled throughout history,
Jews may begin to lose belief in their value and self-worth.  As a nation, we
have been persecuted more than any other people throughout the ages.  Such
intense national suffering could easily cause a person to give up hope.

In order to counter this mistaken conclusion, the section outlining the painful
times which will befall the Jewish people is immediately followed by the section
dealing with the laws of Arachin.  This section details how much a person is
required to donate if he chooses to dedicate the value of himself or of another
Jew to the Temple.  This juxtaposition comes to remind us that even in the
darkest times, after enduring the most inhumane suffering fathomable, although
we may not be accorded respect by our oppressors, our intrinsic worth in G-d's
eyes is eternal and unchanging.

From: Yisroel Israel <arzei@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 2,2019 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Bechukotai problem

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 64#28):

Last year an older man came to speak in the shul I daven at. He said that
shortly after the war he saw a sign that Reb Moishe was speaking in a shul
on the Lower East Side Of New York to give chizuk to holocaust survivors who
had recently immigrated to New York.
Reb Moishe asked: 
Why is the Parsha of Eiruchin right after the Toichocho? What does Eiruchin
have to do with the Toichocho.
Reb Moishe Zatzal Answered:
"Oib Mir Vill Shatzen Op A Yid Darf Min zen vu er halt noch er geit durch a
toichecho [If you want to see the greatness of yid- see how he is after he
went through a Toichocho].


From: Ben Katz, M.D.<BKatz@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 3,2019 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Bechukotai problem

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 64#28):

I think there is a chassidishe answer (to which I am not usually partial) which
is nice - to show that we all have worth.


From: Ben Katz, M.D.<BKatz@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 3,2019 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Megilat Esther

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 64#28):

> Any thoughts on why the Talmud places the request for Megilat Esther to be
> part of Tanach in the mouth of Esther rather than that of Mordechai or Chazal?

Maybe because she is the main character in the Megillah.

From: Dr. William Gewirtz <wgewirtz@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 4,2019 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Megilat Esther

In response to Joel Rich (MJ 64#28):

In every sense, Esther is the heroine of the story. Furthermore,since Chazal
include Mordechai as a member of the Anshei Knesset haGedolah, it would appear
more natural that she, not he, appeal for their support; given his role as a
member, he might not want to place the group in the awkward positionof having to
decide on his request.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 2,2019 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Only One Person Says Mourner's Kaddish?

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 64#28):

> Thank you to all of you who responded to my query in MJ 64#25:
> I wrote:
>>> The practice set down in the Shulchan Arukh is for a single person to say
>>> the mourner's kaddish, and a hierarchy (with rotation) among those obligated
>>> to say it if there is more than one.
> Martin Stern responded (MJ 64#26):
>> This hierarchy is not in the Shulchan Arukh itself since Rav Yosef Karo was a
>> Sefardi whose practice had always been for all mourners to say kaddish
>> together while only among Ashkenazim was the practice as Orrin describes. A
>> full listing of the hierarchy in allocating kaddeishim is to be found in the
>> Kitzur Shulchan Arukh (26) - I presume that Orrin is referring to that.
> The primary source for allocating kaddishim, with one person saying it at a
> time, is in the ReMa to Shulchan Arukh Yoreh Deah 376 and the commentaries
> thereon. The Kitzur Shulchan Arukh, is not a primary source; the Hagaot
> HaReMa are found in nearly every edition of the Shulchan Arukh, and it was to
> that which I was referring. The Shulchan Arukh itself doesn't even mention
> kaddish, at least not there.
> The other primary source is the ReMa's commentary on Shulchan Arukh Orach
> Chaim 132 and the various commentaries thereon.

Many thanks for correcting me - I should have looked in Yoreh Deah but forgot to
do so, for which I apologise. Of course, the Kitzur Shulchan Arukh, is not a
primary source but it is a useful readily available reference.

> I continued:
>>> How is a person who is not technically obligated in kaddish handled? The
>>> most common example is someone saying kaddish for a close relative other
>>> than a parent who had left no children whose aveilut terminated after
>>> sheloshim [30 days of mourning].  Is he (we won't even address women saying
>>> kaddish) out of luck?
> The answer seems to be yes. That seems to me to be the wrong answer if, as
> various sources explain the reason for kaddish is to keep the deceased soul
> out of gehinom, which I deliberately don't translate. Why should a deceased
> who leaves a living son (or perhaps grandson) be better off in this regard
> than one who doesn't? (I am not happy with Martin's answer that any
> requirement is fulfilled by the would-be kaddish sayer not saying kaddish.)
> ...

I think Orrin is misinterpreting the idea that "kaddish is to keep the deceased
soul out of gehinom" and asking why someone should be disadvantaged for not
leaving a living son. There are two reasons why the deceased is in this position:

1. He did not make sufficient effort to have a son, in which case his situation
is his own fault

2. It happened through no lack of such effort (oneis gamur [force majeure]), in
which case one must presume that he does not need anyone to say kaddish to keep
him (or perhaps better release him) from Gehennom - whatever that means.

Which of these is the case is kelapei shemaya galya [known to the Almighty] and,
as far as we are concerned, ein anu mitasekim benistarot [none of our business].

Basically saying kaddish is a duty for the son (and no one else, not even a
grandson) and any 'benefit' for the deceased is a side issue which we really
cannot understand. I must admit that I have little knowledge of such esoteric
matters which should, in any case, not be allowed to distort halachah. It might
be argued that trying to say innumerable kaddeishim might reflect a measure of
disrespect on behalf of the son by implying that his father is so mired in
Gehennom that it requires extreme measures to release him or, at least, raise
him to a somewhat higher level.

As I wrote previously (MJ 64#26):

>> There is a lot of superstition surrounding kaddish which even led to people
>> coming to blows over who had the right to say it - this was one of the
>> reasons why the current (originally Sefardi) practice of everyone saying it
>> together was adopted.
>> One kaddish per day fulfils a person's minimum duty, especially as regards
>> someone who has 'taken on' to do so for someone who had no sons to say it.

> Solution 1. In a shul (historically German) I attend periodically the gabbai
> invariably says kaddish while staring at a loose-leaf notebook. I'm sure it's
> a list of this very old shul's members whose yahrzeit is on that day. In shuls
> that follow the old Ashkenaz minhag, is the designated kaddish sayer (or,
> better better yet, the shatz) given, or could he be given, a list of all those
> for whom kaddish is to be said?

This is based on a fundamental misconception: there is no such thing as people
"for whom kaddish is to be said" - only the presence of people who have a duty
to say kaddish and, then, this duty is contingent on such an opportunity being

As Rabbi Elazar Teitz wrote (MJ 64#27):

>> It is a common misconception that mourners other than for a parent are
>> obligated to recite kaddish until the end of shloshim.  There is no such
>> obligation, and even as a custom it is, to the best of my knowledge and
>> experience, of very recent origin and far from universal.

> Solution 2. Assume that Yaakov is saying kaddish either for
> (a) his mother-in-law because his wife, Leah, has no brothers, or
> (b) for Leah herself because he and Leah's only child is a daughter, Dinah.

This is purely voluntary - Yaakov has no obligation to say kaddish and certainly
cannot usurp the right of a son saying it for a parent.

> Women have the same obligation to say kaddish for their parents as men
> although they generally are discouraged, or are to be discouraged, from doing
> so. (Havot Yair, quoted in one of the commentaries on YD 376)

This does not appear to be the halachic concensus. If daughters had a true
obligation, then they would not be discouraged from fulfilling it. Perhaps the
nearest analogous situation is tefillin which, strictly speaking, women are not
prohibited from donning but, for various reasons, are discouraged from so doing.

> Is Yaakov saying kaddish for
> (a) his mother-in-law/wife (in which case he has no obligation beyond 7 or
> 30 days for his wife, if that long) or
> (b) in place of his daughter, as her representative?
> Would it help if his wife/daughter paid him to say kaddish? According to the
> Shaarei Teshuva on OC 132, a paid kaddish sayer has the same status as a
> close relative obligated to say it.

If the wife/daughter do not have a halachic obligation, then they cannot appoint
an agent to act on their behalf, so paying Yaakov will make no difference.

Martin Stern


End of Volume 64 Issue 29