Volume 65 Number 37 
      Produced: Fri, 20 May 22 12:29:55 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

After Extremists Tear Down Meron Safety Barriers, Police Shut Meron 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Diaspora psychology? 
    [Joel Rich]
Hespedim (2)
    [Irwin Weiss  Joseph Kaplan]
    [Abraham Lebowitz]
Libi Omer Li 
    [Rose Landowne]
Tzohar's wine certification 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Zevadyah - why, who, what is this angel? 
    [Alex Heppenheimer]


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Thu, May 19,2022 at 09:17 PM
Subject: After Extremists Tear Down Meron Safety Barriers, Police Shut Meron

According to VINnews:


> On Thursday afternoon, hundreds of Charedi extremist rioters broke into the
> Tomb of the RASHBI on Mount Meron, forcing police to shut down the entire
> celebration. According to officials, extremists tore down the mechitzos
> dividing the men's and women's sections, and they hurled fences to the
> ground.
> As a result, police determined that the safety of those inside the compound
> was threatened. In response to the violence and upheaval, police halted the
> bussing of people to the site, and celebrations have been halted.
> Officials say that the destruction of safety infrastructure made it impossible
> to ensure public safety.
> Police rescued women and children who were apparently trapped the tomb.

I ask you, "Is this behavior consistent with Torah true Judaism?"  Clearly it is
not!  Yet those who act like this think thay are observant Jews. IMO, they are
not. What do others think?



From: Joel Rich <joelirarich@...>
Date: Wed, May 18,2022 at 03:17 AM
Subject: Diaspora psychology?

In a publication of the Ami Museum (formerly Beit Hatfutzot), it stated:

> The Jews of Babylonia did not regard themselves as exiles and made attempts to
> locate sites of Jewish historical importance in their vicinity that would
> actually testify to their local roots. That explains how they discovered the
> furnace in which Abraham burned the idols, the gravesite of Daniel the Prophet
> and other places. Babylonia received a renewed geographical legal definition.
> Against that backdrop various traditions also evolved in Babylonia such as the
> claim that the synagogue in Nehardea was built out of stones taken from the
> Temple in Jerusalem. There was even a widespread belief that in the
> future after the coming of Messiach, all the Jews of the world would suffer 
> the birth pangs of the Messiah and only the Jews of Babylon would be exempt
> from them.

This is an interesting assertion, I wonder what is its source. Is there any
parallel with the current diaspora?

Joel Rich


From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Sun, May 15,2022 at 10:17 AM
Subject: Hespedim

Martin Stern's comments about Hespedim (MJ 65#36) remind me of two things:

1) A lawyer I knew passed away.  He had started to be close to the local
Lubavitch community, and the local Lubavitch Rabbi presided over the levayah. 
He said something like this: "In the tradition of Lubavitch, we do not do
hespedim."  I was surprised at this, because I had never heard of this.  I posed
a question online to a Lubavitch Rabbi who answers questions, and I asked why
this was so. I said, "After all, did not Avraham Avinu do a Hesped for Sarah?"
He said, "The first Rebbe said not to do hespedim, so we don't."   I am still
wrestling with this issue.

2) A different lawyer I knew of passed away.  He was not a well-liked
individual. He had few friends.  He had two sons with whom he did not get along.
The local funeral home broadcasts the funerals on the computer, and I
listened in.  I didn't know the guy well, but I also didn't care for him

The Rabbi who did the Hesped said, "Joe liked to eat out at various restaurants,
and he changed tables frequently."  (What? That's the best you can say about the
guy?)  The Rabbi continued, "He liked to go shopping for clothes."  (What? That
perhaps was true, but it is really a shame that this is the best you could say.)"

I hope that something nicer can be said for me when the time comes.

Irwin Weiss

Baltimore, MD  USA

From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Sun, May 15,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Hespedim

Further to the submissions on hespedim (MJ 65#35/36):

There is , as is true in so many things, a shvil hazahav (a golden mean), in
this case one between no hespedim and overly long/hagiographic ones. Sadly, I"ve
been to too many funerals lately, but at many of those where I knew the mourners
but not the deceased, I often learned a great deal about the deceased which I
found very informative and worthwhile. The rule to follow is not to eliminate
hespedim nor to turn every funeral into one for a gadol hador. It's simply to
use seichel, the common sense that most of us have if we just stop for a moment
to think carefully about what were doing.
Joseph Kaplan


From: Abraham Lebowitz <asaac76@...>
Date: Sun, May 15,2022 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Kaddish

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 65#36):

I once came across a novel called "Murder in the Minyan" by Shulamit E.
Kustanowitz which deals with someone in a Conservative shul who becomes obsessed
with saying kaddish for his mother. As he needs a minyan, which often is not
present, he decides to murder older members of the congregation. He assumes that
their children, also needing to say kaddish, will flock to the shul guaranteeing
a minyan for him.

Seek the peace of Jerusalem
Abe Lebowitz


From: Rose Landowne <Roselandow@...>
Date: Mon, May 16,2022 at 05:17 AM
Subject: Libi Omer Li

In response to the various analyses of Libi Omer Li (MJ 65#34):

For Chazal, the heart was the seat of intellect, not emotion. Perhaps Rav Asher
Weiss, as quoted by Joel Rich (MJ 65#33), is using it in this way too. 


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Mon, May 16,2022 at 05:17 AM
Subject: Tzohar's wine certification

Ari Zivotofsky wrote an opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post (15 May '22)
entitled "Tzohar needs to be more honest about its wine kashrut certification -


in which he wrote:

> Tzohar has been more lenient in its wine kashrut certification than usually
> accepted but hasn't stated so on the bottles.
> Recent revelations about Tzohar’s kashrut certification of wine are the latest
> talking points in the ongoing debate regarding Tzohar’s kashrut supervision.
> They raise questions far beyond just the kashrut of the wine.
> ...
> They further assert that their kashrut will be of the highest standards and
> that they will have full transparency and thus everyone should be comfortable
> relying on them. They assert this numerous times on the home page of their
> kashrut website.
> ...
> As an independent kashrut organization, Tzohar is entitled to establish and
> use whatever standards they choose. But they should not mislead the public as
> to what those standards are. As Tzohar clearly recognizes, the public wants
> transparency, and their standards should be clear and known to the consumer
> and to other kashrut organizations who must decide whether to accept products
> that Tzohar certifies.
> And if Tzohar chooses to utilize leniency that may not be accepted by the
> wider public, it should be noted on the label, as the rabbinate does
> regarding “unsupervised milk powder” and did regarding gelatin (when that was
> relevant). Yet recent revelations show that Tzohar was using leniencies not
> previously used in the kashrut world but with no indication as such on the
> label or on their website.
> ...
> Tzohar, in what can only be described as the opposite of transparency,
> introduced two radical, novel leniencies in their supervision of wine. Yet,
> not only was there no indication on the labels to indicate "post-facto
> certification" or "non-Shabbat observant workers participated", but Tzohar
> seems to have hidden their radical standards until others revealed them, at
> which point Tzohar tried to present these deviations from accepted halachic
> norms in a positive, sympathetic light.
> There may be halachic justifications for these practices, but to any kosher
> consumer paying attention these revelations should raise serious red flags
> about Tzohar certification due to the manner in which they were introduced.
> The public wants a kashrut agency that is honest, transparent, and adheres
> to accepted norms and if it deviates from such norms it should alert the
> consumer. It pains me to suggest that these recent revelations raise serious
> concerns about the kashrut of products under Tzohar's certification and about
> the integrity of the organization.

Caveat emptor!

Yisrael Medad


From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Sun, May 15,2022 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Zevadyah - why, who, what is this angel?

Shlomo Di Veroli asked (MJ 65#35):

> In the Chabad nusach haAri after the completion of Hallel for Rosh Chodesh is
> written that one ought to read "May Zevadyah protect me and grant me life". 
> I asked the rabbi of the kehilla what it meant. He had no idea. After Yom
> Tov, I looked into it somewhat and found very little information except that
> it is an angel and also the personal name of some biblical individuals.
> According to the Chabad tradition you merely read it and not utter it. When
> did this originate? Who introduced it? Why is the request directed to an
> angel and not Hashem?

See sources cited in Dayan Raskin's edition of the Baal Hatanya's siddur 


and following page. 

To summarize:

1. It's not necessarily an angel. The Kabbalistic sources from which it
originates seem to imply that it's a Divine name, in which case it's similar to
other prayers in which we ask Hashem to act towards us in the mode represented
by a particular Name.

2. It's also not necessarily unpronounced. Dayan Raskin suggests that since,
based on Kabbalah, it ought to be vocalized with a kamatz under the veis
(Zevawdyah), while as a name in Tanach (twice in Ezra, 8:8 and 10:20, and
several times in Divrei Hayamim) it's with a patach (Zevadyah), the Baal Hatanya
left it unvocalized so that the Kabbalistically adept could use the first
vocalization and everyone else the second.

3. It's found in Mishnas Chassidim (Amsterdam 1740) and several other early
Kabbalistically inclined siddurim.

4. Even if it's the name of an angel (contra point 1), we have any number of
other examples of such requests that are accepted as valid by many halachic
authorities and are widely used, such as the paragraph Machnisei Rachamim at the
end of Selichos, Midas Harachamim Aleinu Hisgalgeli in Neilah [actually it is
the pizmon for the day before Erev Yom Kippur (often brought forward to a day of
krias hatorah) - MOD], etc.

Kol tuv,


End of Volume 65 Issue 37