Volume 64 Number 78 
      Produced: Fri, 14 Aug 20 05:21:19 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A matter of names 
    [Martin Stern]
Attitudinal Halacha 
    [Yisrael Medad]
G-D's existence 
    [Joel Rich]
Induction stoves and bishul akkum 
    [Yisroel Israel]
Kosher as a 'trademark' 
    [Martin Stern]
Stresses in kaddish 
    [Orrin Tilevitz]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 29,2020 at 06:01 AM
Subject: A matter of names

Perets Mett (MJ 64#77) wrote:

> Martin Stern (MJ 64#76) wrote:

>> An interesting problem occurred on Rosh Chodesh. The gentleman who sits next
>> to me in shul ... has the name David ben Avraham but he is at present in
>> hospital .... The gabbai wanted to call me for shelishi but got us confused
>> and called 'me' up by his name in error.
>> As it happens, there was another David ben Avraham in the shul. Actually the
>> latter's father had been given the Chaver title so he should, strictly
>> speaking, have been called up as David ben Hechaver Avraham but that 'slip'
>> should not have been significant, at least bedi'eved.
>> Had he not been there then the usual procedure when someone not present is
>> given an aliyah should have been followed and an alternative would have gone
>> up without a formal call by name.

> I do not agree. Yes, when a Cohen or Levi is called up in error, his
> replacement is oleh without being called formally; to avoid any suggestion
> that the original Cohen was not really a Cohen. But, when a Yisroel is called
> up in error, the replacement Yisroel can be called by name.

Of course Perets os correct but that was not the main pont I was querying, which
was whether the other David ben Hechaver Avraham had the right to the aliyah
rather than me, as is clear from my final paragraph:

>> So, when nobody moved, the gabbai sent his deputy to tell me I had been
>> called. I said I hadn't because the other David ben Avraham had precedence
>> (despite the 'slight' to his father in omitting his title) and he should have
>> gone since the gabbai's unverbalised intentions should have had no
>> significance (devarim shebelev einan devarim) - which he did and kriat
>> hatorah proceeded as normal

Martin Stern


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 12,2020 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Attitudinal Halacha

When there are two Kohanim present on a day the Torah is being read, but no
Levi, the halacha (OH 135:8) is that the Kohen who received the first aliyah
also will receive that intended for the Levi. The second (or any other Kohen
present) will not be called and the reason is in order that it not be assumed
that the first Kohen was of suspect lineage.

The obvious question, I would think, is: why is not the other Kohen then
suspected of possessing a cancelling lineage (son of a divorced mother, et al.)?
Shouldn't it work both ways? Statistically, any suspicion that would apply to
the first should apply to the second as a reason for not calling him up instead.

A second question I have is: if this entire matter originates with the mindset
of the congregation (another would be a female receiving an aliyah (kavod
hatzibbur), is there anyway to do away with such an attitudinal element in halacha?

Yisrael Medad


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 29,2020 at 11:01 AM
Subject: G-D's existence

David Tzohar wrote (MJ 64#77):

> Joel Rich wrote (MJ 64#76):
>> I just wanted to bounce an idea off of you all. I'm doing an ongoing class in
>> Rambam's Hilchot Yesodei Hatorah. We compared the Rambam's concept of 
>> "knowing" (cognitively) of God's existence with Rav Lichtenstein's Source of 
>> Faith piece which focuses on "knowing" as experience.
>> It seems to me that there was a fundamental paradigm shift (as defined by 
>> Thomas Kuhn), probably as a result of the enlightenment and scientific  
>> revolution et al.
>> ...
> I'm not sure I fully understand Joel's point concerning a "paradigm shift"
> between the cognitive knowledge of the RaMBaM and the experiential knowledge of
> Rav Lichtenstein ZTZ'L. Perhaps he could expand on that.

The Rambam posited that one could cognitively prove existence (as in 1+1=2), R'
Lichtenstein spoke of experience and tradition.

Joel Rich


From: Yisroel Israel <arzei@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 29,2020 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Induction stoves and bishul akkum

Further to the discussion of the problem of induction stoves with regard to
bishul akum, there is an interesting article in the latest issue of Aspaklaria
(Menachem Av 5780) published by the Machon Mada'i Technologi Lehalachah which,
after considering various aspects comes to the conclusion that those who follow
the opinion of the Rema (Ashkenazim) can be lenient, and eat food cooked on such
a stove if it was originally turned on by a Jew, even though it turns itself off
when the pot is removed and on again when the non-Jew replaces it. Those who
follow the Mechaber, R Yosef Karo, however cannot.

Yisroel Israel


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 29,2020 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Kosher as a 'trademark'

Michael Rogovin wrote (MJ 64#77):
> Yisrael Medad (MJ 64#75) wrote:
>> I presume that Michael Rogovin meant Orthodox Rabbis when he wrote (MJ
>> 64#74):
>>> The word kosher should not be the property of one set of rabbis.
>> I point this out not because I doubt he intended any other 'stream' of
>> Judaism but because in Israel, with the makeup of its High Court for Justice
>> and Justice Ministry, altering the system as he suggests would most probably
>> have to include all kashrut 'standards' of all 'streams' of Judaism.
> I was not really thinking about the distinction in Israel, but giving it some
> thought, I am not so sure. Mostly because I do not know where to draw the line
> between denominations.

The concept of 'streams' or 'denominations' is, really, a peculiarly Protestant
one and has no relevance in Judaism. Either a group accepts the fundamental
concepts and practices of Torah Judaism or it does not. The problem is defining
what are these minimal requirements. On the one hand, differing regional
customs, such as between Ashkenazim and Sephardim, are not relevant. On the
other hand, I expect everyone (except themselves of course) would agree that the
so-called Messianic Jews are beyond the pale.

> Who decides whether someone (or their affiliation) is Orthodox enough?

There is no such thing as 'Orthodox enough' - only, perhaps, sufficiently
careful in their observances of mitzvot. However, careful observance alone may
not be sufficient to define Orthodoxy. It is conceivable that someone might be
absolutely meticulous in practice while holding clearly non-Jewish opinions
(Some Christian missionaries were notorious in doing just that in order to
ensnare naive Jews - but they used the same technique when targetting any group
they were attempting to evangelise).

This was the whole problem with the crypto-Sabbatians in the eighteenth century
who believed in 'chazarat hasha"tz' - that Shabetai Tzvi (Sha"Tz) would return
from the heavens to redeem the world - who were apparently fully observant even
though they may have committed aveirot that were chayav kareit in private, as
some sort of sacramental rite, to redeem the nitzotzot hakedushah that had been
lost in the olam hatum'ah at the time of the primordial shevirat hakeilim (I am
deliberately not translating these kabbalistic terms). 

Probably much of the opposition to the early chassidic movement was based on a
suspicion that it was a recrudescence of this 'heresy', something that has even
come up more recently regarding certain of its branches.

> There are some Conservative rabbis who are stricter about kashrut than some
> Orthodox rabbis. 

I suspect that the former are, in reality, only Conservative by affiliation (or
employment) rather than by conviction regarding those underlying matters which
differentiate Conservatism from Orthodoxy.

> There are Orthodox seminaries on the left that are rejected by the RCA.

They may call themselves Orthodox but obviously the RCA has serious misgivings
regarding their bona fides - after all there is no way to prevent anyone
claiming to be Orthodox even if it is done deliberately to mislead the uninformed.

> There are Orthodox certification agencies on the right that ought to be 
> rejected but are not.

The latter might well include rogues who may have had Orthodox semichah at some
stage but are only in kashrut supervision to make money and don't really care
whether they are feeding the Jewish public neveilot utreifot [non-kosher

> Perhaps before someone can sign a teudah or provide supervision, they ought to
> pass an objective test, and they should have in a public record some
> indication of where they learned and obtained smicha. Organizations can be
> required to publish their standards and provide information about their
> staff/members. Public disclosure may be a better system than empowering a
> self-selected group, especially when the current system is known to be less
> than reliable.

I am very loath to allow a secular government to have any role in religious
matters as Yisrael notes "in Israel, with the makeup of its High Court for
Justice and Justice Ministry ... would most probably have to include all kashrut
'standards' of all 'streams' of Judaism" even those who patently do not really
care about kashrut and were founded on principles that considered it obsolete.
However, some sort of registration might well be helpful, especially if it
required the granter of supervision to specify in detail the policies he or she
followed - so long as the secular authorities are  clearly only certifying that
the information provided by the 'rav hamachshir' is accurate, rather than
indicating its own 'approval'. At present, it is difficult for those not living
in a particular place to work out what level of kashrut a particular hechsher
was guaranteeing.

Martin Stern


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 5,2020 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Stresses in kaddish

About two years ago there was some back-and-forth on this list about whether the
stress in Aramaic is correctly on the ultimate or penultimate syllable, the
latter being the prevailing practice in non-Sephardic shuls. In response to, I
think, R. Teitz's comment that is is pretty clear from the Tanach that the
stress is on the ultimate syllable (MJ 64#06), I ventured that language changes,
and if the point of tefilah is to talk to Hashem, perhaps we should find out
where the stress is today, among those who speak Aramaic. It took me two years,
but I finally got to my Lebanese Christian grocer. Stress is on the the ultimate
syllable. I concede.


End of Volume 64 Issue 78