Volume 64 Number 43 
      Produced: Mon, 16 Dec 19 04:05:46 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A problem arising from Niddah 33a 
    [Martin Stern]
    [Joel Rich]
Halachic living will? 
    [Joel Rich]
Kaddish Tempo (was Mourners Kaddish: Should We Be Saying It So Often) 
    [Carl Singer]
    [Joel Rich]
Mourners Kaddish: Should We Be Saying It So Often (2)
    [Yisrael Medad   Martin Stern]
Reward for mitzvot 
    [Joel Rich]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 8,2019 at 09:01 AM
Subject: A problem arising from Niddah 33a

In Niddah 33a, a Beraita is quoted concerning the tumah of a bo'eil niddah [a
man who has sexual relations with a woman who is in a state of niddah].

It is referring to the Torah definition of a niddah, as opposed to current
usage, where a distinction is made between a niddah and a zavah. Since not
everyone is familiar with these, I shall first summarise them.

Basically a woman becomes a niddah when, for the first time in her life, she
sees a discharge of blood, however little, from her womb and she remains a
niddah for seven days, whether the flow continues or not. Having checked that it
has stopped, she can then immerse in a mikvah that night and is tahorah. If she
does not immerse, she remains a niddah indefinitely (as is the case for girls
before marriage nowadays).

If she has a discharge of blood in the next eleven days, the din is slightly
different. On the first such occurrence she becomes a shomeret yom keneged yom
and must check it has stopped the following day, in which case she can immerse
that day and becomes tehorah that night. If she has a further discharge on the
second day, the procedure is the same but if she has a discharge on three
consecutive days she becomes a zavah (gedolah) and must count shiva neki'im
[seven consecutive days on which she has no discharge] after which she can
immerse by day and becomes tehorah as far as marital relations are concerned. On
the eighth day she brings a korban and can then enter the Beit Hamikdash and
consume terumah and kodshim kalim.

After having become tehorah, the next uterine discharge renders her a niddah
once again and the 7/11 day cycle is repeated.

Nowadays - in fact since Talmudic times - women have conflated the two and
count shiva neki'im before immersing in both situations.

This does not have any practical significance at present since we consider
ourselves all to be tamei'im all the time, but when the Beit Hamikdash is
rebuilt, bimhera veyameinu, and we have again the opportunity to bring, and
consume, korbanot, purification from tumah will once again be necessary.

According to the Artscroll elucidated translation of the Beraita:

"When the verse states regarding one who has sexual relations with a niddah:
AND HER STATE OF NIDDAH WILL BE UPON HIM (Lev. 15:24) - it might have been
thought that he will ascend from his tumah with the end of her tumah [for
example, if they cohabited on the seventh day of her niddah state and she were
due to immerse that night - MDS]. The Torah therefore states further AND HE WILL
BE CONTAMINATED FOR SEVEN DAYS, thus teaching that even if his tumah thereby
outlasts his partner's, it persists for seven days..."

My problem is that the procedures for the tumah of a zavah - or a shomeret
yom keneged yom or a yoledet, for that matter - are different, so one would
expect the rules for a bo'eil zavah would also differ, yet I am not aware of
any discussion of what he should do, Does he become tamei for seven days as well
or does his tumah last as long as hers but starting from the time of
cohabitation - one day for a shomeret yom keneged yom, seven days for a yoledet
zachar or fourteen days for a yoledet nekeivah. Obviously he cannot count shiva
neki'im if she had been a zavah gedolah!

Can anyone throw light on these situations?

Martin Stern


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 23,2019 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Blessings

Just a thought - the gemara tells us that any berachah given to us should be
taken seriously. Is that because we might undervalue it or because berachot
don't work unless we believe in them? (or something else?)

Joel Rich


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 18,2019 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Halachic living will?

Is there an Israeli (law) equivalent to the Agudah/RCA halachic living will?

Joel Rich


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 12,2019 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Kaddish Tempo (was Mourners Kaddish: Should We Be Saying It So Often)

Kaddish is perhaps the only part of davening where several individuals try
to recite in unison without an established leader setting the pace.

>From time to time we may have someone saying kaddish who is not all that fluent.
As a courtesy upon realizing this those who are more facile/faster slow down a
bit. At times, even pausing briefly for others to catch up. Recently, someone
complained and stated that slowing or pausing is (halachically?) improper.

Also what does one do when someone replies "Y'haysh may rabba ..." very slowly or
late. Should those saying kaddish wait for the last response or continue after a
normal interval?

Wishing everyone a Freilechen Chanukah

Carl Singer


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, Nov 6,2019 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Mechilah

An old question of mine - Why is the minhag haolam (common practice) to ask for
mechilah (forgiveness) during asseret yemai teshuvah (10 days of repentance)
rather than before Rosh Hashanah (when the initial judgment is written down)?

Joel Rich


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 8,2019 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Mourners Kaddish: Should We Be Saying It So Often

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 64#42):

> I occasionally daven in a nusach ashkenaz shul with a German heritage. During
> Elul, kaddish is said only after LeDavid HaShem Ori, not after Aleinu.

There is a prevalent practice that LeDavid Hashem Ori is simply said immediately
after Aleinu as if in a continuum and similarly with Borchi Nafshi and this way
the "extra" kaddish need is eliminated. In our minyan in Shiloh, when a
Sfard/Nusach Edot HaMizrach baal tefillah leads, we combine Shir LaMaalot in the
evening with Aleinu to "save" an additional kaddish.

Yisrael Medad

Yisrael Medad

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 8,2019 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Mourners Kaddish: Should We Be Saying It So Often

In response to Orrin Tilevitz (MJ 64#42):

I am surprised that the shul with a German heritage where he occasionally davens
only said kaddish during Elul after LeDavid HaShem Ori, and not after Aleinu.

The minhag in many German Jewish communities was not to say LeDavid HaShem Ori
at all and, in any case, the kaddish after Aleinu was said even when there were
no aveilim present (as per the Rema).

The shul, not of German heritage, where I currently daven on weekday mornings
does, however, not say any kaddish between the shir shel yom and LeDavid HaShem
Ori (or, on Chanukah, Mizmor shir chanukat habayit) so that the number of
kaddeishim said is no more than the rest of the year. I suppose the rationale is
that no kaddish is said on Rosh Chodesh before Barechi Nafshi - but the analogy
is slightly tenuous since the latter is also a shir shel yom and it is
questionable which should be said (ta'u levi'im beshir).

Another minhag in shuls of German heritage is that no Aleinu, and consequently
no subsequent kaddish, is said after Minchah when it is followed immediately by
Ma'ariv. In order to avoid this, the custom arose in many communities for a
short shiur to be given between them, in which case Aleinu is said.

Martin Stern


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 28,2019 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Reward for mitzvot

The Derashot Haran (Drasha 6) posits that while HKB"H set varying "gemulim
[rewards]" for the 613 mitzvot, he didn't tell us which (positive ones - me) had
greater reward in order that we not focus only on those mitzvot but rather try
to do all in hopes that we include the high value targets.

It would be interesting to see what alternative rewards system a compensation
consultant might come up with to support the same desired results. Of course a
good consultant would tell you compensation is only a part, and often not the
key driver, in the market/employee value proposition!

Joel Rich


End of Volume 64 Issue 43