Volume 64 Number 72 
      Produced: Thu, 09 Jul 20 14:36:02 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Bible criticism (3)
    [Ben Katz, M.D. Joseph Kaplan  Martin Stern]
Ktuba and change of name 
    [David Ziants]
    [Joel Rich]
Saying Uva L'Zion in yehidut (2)
    [Haim Snyder  Jack Gross]
Which children? 
    [Martin Stern]


From: Ben Katz, M.D.<BKatz@...>
Date: Fri, Jul 3,2020 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Bible criticism

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 64#71):

> Incidentally, when we talk of Torah min Hashamayim, we are specifically
> referring to the Torah in the sense of the Chumash. We do not ascribe the same
> level of Divine revelation to the rest of Nach so any findings that appear to
> contradict the accounts in it are not relevant to the argument (though they
> still have to be considered and hopefully rebutted).
> This is, unfortunately, a common 'red herring' used by those who wish to
> dispute this fundamental doctrine. A typical example of this is the argument
> that one can find evidence, on stylistic grounds, that the book of Isaiah
> contains writings by at least two distinct authors. Even if that were true, it
> would be irrelevant to the authorship of the Torah.

Just one comment: The argument re the book of Isaiah is based on more than just
"stylistic grounds".  In fact, stylistically there are some similarities between
chapters 1-39 vs 40-66.  The major arguments for a Second Isaiah are that the
setting of chapters 40-66 is about 150 years after that of chapters 1-39 and the
name Isaiah does not appear in the last half of the book.  Hertz in his chumash
had no problem arguing for a Deutero-Isaiah, and Ibn Ezra seems to say the same

Ben Katz

From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Fri, Jul 3,2020 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Bible criticism

There has been a great deal of discussion over the last several issues about
biblical criticism. And perhaps I"m missing something, and, if so, I"d love to
know what, but part of that discussion is a criticism of those who accept the
documentary hypothesis (DH) because they go into any studies and analysis of the
Bible thinking that it was written by humans. And that leads them astray. That
much I understand. 

But those who accept the traditional Jewish belief that the Torah was written by
God also go into it its study with that very assumption; one that is opposite from
that of the DH but similar in style and process. Both, it seems to me, make an
assumption (each 180 degrees different from the other) and go on from there. So
why should the criticism that has been hurled here at supporters of the DH not be
likewise hurled at those who believe in Torah min hashamayim?

Joseph Kaplan

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 5,2020 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Bible criticism

One argument put forward by modern Bible scholars that the Torah must have been
written much later than the events described is that it contains anachronisms. A
favourite is that several stories regarding Avraham Avinu refer to camels - but
it is claimed that they were not domesticated at the time he was supposed to
have lived.

Does anyone know what evidence there is to support this claim or is it based
only on the fact that no reference to domesticated camels has been found?

Martin Stern


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 5,2020 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Ktuba and change of name

Though this subject was brought up on this forum (MJ 28#59) more than 20 years
ago, I am not sure whether it was a new thread or not, but it could quite easily
be a question that I had wanted to ask. Since I could not find any responses, I
want to ask a related question now.

> From: Robert Werman <rwerman@...>
> Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 19:36:34 
> While the issue of change of name as related to a get is discussed thoroughly
> in S.A. and commentaries on E.ha-E in Paragraph 129, the appropriate
> paragraph dealing with Ketubas, para 66, has nothing to help.
> The case in mind involves a sick woman who has a name added during her
> illness.  The question is -- does her ketuba have to be altered to protect her
> rights?

My problem concerns a man's name on his wife's ketuba, and the patronymic on his
daughter's ketuba more than twenty years later, none of whom are any longer
alive. Almost all sources of his name are from civil (non-Jewish) records,
except for one which I will mention later. This man officially changed
his first name (and family name), through deed poll (i.e under civil law) just
before he married but, apart, possibly, from his wife to be and siblings, who
obviously had to know, he did not tell his daughters nor his grandchildren, who
were left to find this out for themselves many years later. So his name on the
ketubot in both cases was his new name. The case involved directly equivalent
civil and Hebrew names.

I am not looking for a p'sak halacha, because I have already received one. Since
there was never a reason to invalidate any of these ketubot, it was ruled that
the name on the ketuba is what counts and any other name is "m'shaker" - i.e.
not considered his true name. 

I accepted this p'sak, but it might stretch the truth with respect to his birth 
name. I did not have to detail the details of the scenario when asking for this
psak, but I am interested in finding out the status of a name change when there
is no official ceremony in shul as was possibly the case here, as I will
explain. (I understand that when someone takes on a new name, for example adding
the name Chaim for someone who is critically ill, this is done through "a mi
shebarach" in shul.)

The man had married under Orthodox auspices but then decided to join a Reform
congregation in the UK (Reform in England is something half way between
Conservative and Reform in the USA - the UK full equivalent of US Reform is
called Liberal). His daughter also had married under Orthodox auspices and then
became a member of an Orthodox shul.

Only when this man passed away many years later and a family member enquired
from his Reform congregation, they gave the name from their records which was
the name given at birth, i.e. oblivious to the civil name change and the names
on the ketubot. It seems that another phone call or two got this "fixed" on their
records so the name on his gravestone is the one by which he was known publicly.

I have no idea whether he ever received an Aliya l'Torah after he changed his
name and, if so, how he was called him up. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. With
an Aliya l'Torah, would his old name also need to be mentioned with his new name
on the first time (like on the civil deed poll)?

I emphasise the words "known publicly", because I understand that this is a
halachic concept ("yadu'a b'tzibur"). So my question is: is the new name that is
known publicly - even if there was no formal mention of it (yet) in shul -
enough to make all ketubot and other official documents with that name valid?
How long must that name be known publiclly? The flip side - if one day there
would (chas v'shalom) have been a need to find a reason to invalidate a ketuba
(e.g. to avoid mamzerut, as can happen when a divorce of a halachicly valid
marriage has taken place under Reform auspices and the wife then remarried),
would a scenario like above be enough to do so?

David Ziants


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Tue, Jul 7,2020 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Risk/reward 

Further to my posting (MJ 64#69), this is a note I wrote recently to a pulpit rabbi:

I strongly support a recent discussion concerning returning to synagogues. I do
have to say that there's one point that I deeply disagree on though maybe it's a
matter of nuance that cannot be communicated in trying times to the general public.

I don't believe that flattening the curve has no halachic import. In fact, as a
community, we are always making this kind of trade off. If not why wouldn't we
spend every dollar we have on improving public health. The answer per R'
Schachter and R' Weiss is that's the way the world operates.

Bottom line risk/reward tradeoffs are often very difficult. Personally I'd
prefer we be more open and honest about them and have public discussion but
realize that may not be practical.

So what is the halachic philosophy of risk/reward? Perhaps, as a starting point,
we might consider the cohain gadol and the alternates set up for himself or wife
on Yom Kippur.

Any comments?


Joel Rich


From: Haim Snyder <haimsny@...>
Date: Fri, Jul 3,2020 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Saying Uva L'Zion in yehidut

Both Martin Stern and Len Moskowitz (MJ 64#71) ask why I don't mention the
k'dusha said in the b'racha "Yotzair Or".
There are two reasons: 

1. Since that is said prior to Hazarat HaShatz, there is no reason to think that
it is being said in order to be yotzei on k'dusha.

2. What is said is description of what was said by the angels. In no way,
therefore, should it require a minyan.

Haim Shalom Snyder

From: Jack Gross <jacobbgross@...>
Date: Sat, Jul 4,2020 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Saying Uva L'Zion in yehidut

Regarding whether Kedusha D'Yotzer can be said when praying without a minyan:

Most Rishonim regard it is a Davar Shebikdusha, just like Kedusha in the amida. 

For example, the Siddur of Rav Saadya Gaon presents two versions of shaharit one
when a minyan is present and one for praying in private. The latter has a
very abbreviated beracha of Yotzer HaMeorot which entirely omits the Kedusha
and all mention of angelic beings. 

The Ritva has something of a compromise "the full nusach may be recited in
private, except the two phrases from Isaiah and Ezekiel are reduced to just the
initial word (Kadosh; Baruch), so that one 'refers' to what they recite but does
not imitate their recital. 

The Rosh goes further "allowing one to include the full quotation", because the
passage only describes what the celestial beings do. But I believe he agrees
with his predecessors that it constitutes a davar shebikdusha when said
responsively. The opinion of the Rosh is the practice adopted in Shulhan Aruch,
and in all Siddurim of the various Edot, AFAIK. 

This duality that I believe is espoused by the Rosh (that the identical wording
has different nature when recited in private vs. responsively in public) leads
me to suggest two halachot lemaaseh. 

1.  If you attend a minyan which moves at a faster clip than you can or wish to
maintain, it is more important to synchronize with them at Kedusha of Yotzer
than at start of the amida.  [So instead of starting Yotzer Ohr before them in
order to reach amida simultaneously with them, better to pace yourself so as to
say Kedusha of Yotzer with them, even though you will then start amida later
than they do.]

2.  If a group is davening together, but without a quorum of ten men, the leader
should avoid responsive recitation of the Kedusha of Yotzer. 



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 8,2020 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Which children?

In Eizehu mekoman (Zev. ch.5), which we read every morning, it rules, regarding
the korban todah (mishnah 6) and shelamim (mishnah 7), that "... hamuram meihem
kayotzei vahem ela shehamuram ne'echal lakohanim, linsheihem, velivneihem
ule'avdeihem [... the (priestly portions) taken from them are subject to the
same (time restrictions) as them but they may only be eaten by the kohanim,
their wives, their children and their slaves]".

A point that occurred to me was that the term 'beneihem' seemed to be
superfluous if it is translated 'their sons' since generally they will also be
kohanim in their own right. So, in this context, one has to translate it as
'their children' to include their daughters.

But then the question arises as to why the mishnayot write 'beneihem' and not
'benoteihem'. Possibly this might be because the daughters would lose this right
should they marry a non-kohen but, then, so does his wife if he dies and she
does not have any sons from him.

So there must be some other 'sons' that have to be included as well.

>From the way the mishnayot are phrased, it would appear that the household
members are only allowed to eat the priestly portions because of their
connection to the kohen who can eat them. Where a kohen who is barred from them,
for example one who is married to a woman forbidden to him as a kohen, he cannot
confer this privilege on them. So his disqualified children from her (chalalim)
cannot be included, just like their mother, even though she is his wife.

Similarly 'avadim [slaves]' can only include an 'eved kena'ani' who is his
personal property [kinyan haguf] and not an 'eved ivri' who does not belong to
the kohen but is obliged to work for him temporarily [kinyan peirot].

One suggestion is that 'beneihem' comes to include minor children who cannot
perform the avodah [sacrificial service] but, again, this seems unlikely since a
kohen ba'al mum [blemished kohen] is specifically allowed to eat these portions
despite also not being able to do perform the avodah.

Someone made a rather novel suggestion based on the fact that Pinchas did not
become a kohen at the same time as Aharon and his sons (Lev.8), since the
conferring of kohen status was restricted at the time to them and their
SUBSEQUENT descendants. He only became a kohen later after his killing of Zimri
and Kozbi (Num. 25:7-15). Similarly any sons Pinchas may have had at that time
may not have become kohanim with him and the mishnayot may be referring to them
(and possibly THEIR descendants) but I find this difficult.

Can anyone suggest a better explanation?

Martin Stern


End of Volume 64 Issue 72