Volume 65 Number 54 
      Produced: Sun, 10 Jul 22 15:43:02 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Austritt (was Branches of Judaism?) 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Aveil as sheliach tzibur 
    [Orrin Tilevitz]
Bnei Brak Posek: Thousands Of Kesubos In Israel May Be Invalidated 
    [Prof. L. Levine]
High price of housing (was Russian olim) 
    [Haim Snyder]
Jewish World Leaders Demand Concrete Action 
    [Martin Stern]
Mitzvah of Gun Ownership 
    [Immanuel Burton]
Observant Jews 
    [Martin Stern]
Optimism and the zionist paradise 
    [David Tzohar]
Supreme Court Decisions' Impact on Halacha 
    [Frank Silbermann]


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Fri, Jul 8,2022 at 10:17 AM
Subject: Austritt (was Branches of Judaism?)

Mechy Frankel(MJ 65#53) made some comments about the dispute between RSRH and
Rav Bamberger on Austritt.

Please see the Hakirah aritcle: Austritt - A Tale of Two Cities:

> I would like to close with words from a speech by R' Shimon Schwab, the Rav
> of K'hal Adath Jeshurun in Washington Heights, Manhattan, the famous German
> Jewish community that descends from Hirsch's community in Frankfurt. Schwab
> discusses a book that appeared shortly after the death of Bamberger, who
> himself passed away shortly after his dispute on Austritt with Hirsch. The
> anonymous scholarly sefer, entitled Divrei Emes (words of truth), included
> many praises of Bamberger and included the words "All hearts are melting.
> Everyone in klal Yisrael is bound to rend his garments at the death of such a
> sage for the crown of our head has fallen off, and we are bereft of a
> righteous humble gaon and master of Torah." While the book continues to sing
> the praises of Bamberger, its central theme is a refutation of Bamberger's
> argument against Austritt. The author asserts that he was attempting to
> restore Bamberger's reputation by correcting his statements. Says Rav Schwab:
> Who could have written such a sefer? There is one clue: it contains
> the letters "heh kaf mem"  which stand for - "Hareni kaparat mishkavo [I am
> the atonement for his bedstead]". This is what a son should pronounce during
> the first year after his father's passing: "I will atone for any sins my
> father has done." This indicates that the sefer was put out by one of the
> Wurzburger Rav's sons, all of whom were renowned talmidei chachamim. This son
> apparently felt that, although his father was indeed a great gadol, he had
> made one error during his life. He had gone against the psak din of the Rav
> of a community, and had not urged a dissociation from a group of heretics.
> Thus, Rav Hirsch's views were apparently shared by one of Rav Bamberger's own
> progeny.

For more on this please see:


Professor Yitzchok Levine


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 10,2022 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Aveil as sheliach tzibur

The issue is whether, in the eastern-European tradition, an aveil for a parent,
after shiv'a, who (before his aveilut) frequently acted as sheliach tzibur
(Shatz) on Shabbat and holidays,may look for, and take a paid position as, the
shatz for the High Holidays in some shul not his regular shul.

Here is what I have found:

Yoreh Deah 376:5. The Rama states that an aveil should generally be the shatz if
he is able, but while there is no prohibition, this does not extend to Sabbath
and holidays.

Shach ad loc. states that this prohibition [sic] does not apply if there is no
one better than he.

Aruck Hashulchan 376 states that while some earlier authorities hold that the
aveil should continue to daven on Sabbath and holidays, the Rama does not
mention them, so we should follow the Rama unless he is the "shatz kavua".
[permanent shatz? designated shatz? see infra.)

Netivot Meir, whose author was a student of the Baal Shem Tov, in an extended
responsum at 1:80, holds that one who is accustomed (ragil) to act as shatz on
shabbat and holidays may continue to do so as an aveil, and, in fact, that
preventing him from doing so is wrong. That is, it is fine -- a mitzvah -- for
an aveil to daven on shabbat and yom tov so long as his aveilut is not the
reason he is doing so. That responsum, which is cited in Pitchei Teshuva on YD
376:5, is here:


My specific questions are:

1. Would it be permissible, according to Shach, for a person to place himself
deliberately in a position where there is no one better than he (which is de
facto the hired shatz's position, of course)?

2. Does "kavua" mean "permanent", as in, e.g., "all year", or "designated",
meaning that he need only be designated for a specific time?

3. Is there any other authority out there?


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Sat, Jul 9,2022 at 11:17 PM
Subject: Bnei Brak Posek: Thousands Of Kesubos In Israel May Be Invalidated

VINnews reports:


> A dramatic halachic controversy emerged during a shiur given by a prominent
> Dayan from Bnei Brak. The Dayan, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Cohen, noticed that a
> kesubah printed by a chareidi bookstore chain did not contain the word
> "V'eizon" (And I will feed), a critical aspect of the husband's obligations
> as delineated in the kesubah. The implication is that with such a kesubah a
> husband would not be obligated to provide sustenance for his wife, which is
> contrary to the halachic requirement in marriage.
> Since the erroneous kesubah has been mass-printed by the popular bookstore
> chain, it is assumed that there may be thousands of invalid kesubos which
> contain the mistaken version.

This reminds me of a story that my friend Reb Motel Twerski, A"H, told me years
ago. (Motel was a son of the Milwaukee Rebbe.)  Motel had a son who had a
chavrusa who was getting married. This chavrusa had connections to the 
Washington Heights community  and went to Rav Yosef Breuer, ZT"L for a Bracha.
Rav Breuer asked him what he planned to do after he married. He replied that he
was going to learn in Kollel. Rav Breuer then asked him how he was going to
support his wife and himself. The fellow replied that his wife was going to work
and would support them. Rav Breuer then asked him if he had the Kesuba with him
that was going to be used at the Chasuna. The fellow replied that he did not.
Rav Breuer then asked him to return the next day with the Kesuba.

The young man was totally perplexed but returned the next day with the Kesuba.
Rav Breuer asked him to give him the Kesuba, looked at it and said,  "Here it
says you are going to support your wife, not the other way around. Auf a falsha
zach kein Bracha!"

Yitzchok Levine


From: Haim Snyder <haimsny@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 10,2022 at 03:17 AM
Subject: High price of housing (was Russian olim)

Prof. Levine (MJ 65#53) continues to blame the non-halachically Jews for the
high price of housing in Israel and gives a link to an article which he thinks
explains the issue.

I read that item and I found an important issue missing from it. A major
contributor to the problem is the Jews who live in the Diaspora but want to own
a residence in Israel. Their effect is two-fold. First, they are willing to pay
outrageous prices for the property with the resulting effect on the cost for
others and, secondly, because they want it to be available to them whenever they
want to visit Israel, they don't rent it and it sits empty for long periods of
time. Here, those apartments are called "ghost apartments".

As to why I am somewhat optimistic about reducing the problem, there are 2
regulations that assist in areas where there isn't an abundance of unoccupied
land. One allows the heirs to a single family home to apply to have the plot
rezoned for a multistory building. Assuming the plot is large enough to qualify,
the heirs then sell the plot to a contractor who pays them with their choice of
apartments in the new building. The second is for buildings built before they
had to comply with structures that are earthquake-proof. The current residents
find a contractor who will make the appropriate structural changes in return for
being able to add additional apartments which he can sell. Both of these
enable expedited approvals.

Haim Shalom Snyder

Petah Tikva


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 7,2022 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Jewish World Leaders Demand Concrete Action

Prof. L. Levine wrote (MJ 65#53):

> In Ha'aretz on 6 July there appeared an article which commenced:
>> 'Words of support are not enough,' Jewish leaders write after dozens of
>> ultra- Orthodox boys were filmed attacking Conservative families celebrating
>> at the Western Wall last week
> ...
> I am what most would categorize as a right-wing Orthodox Jew. However,
> hooliganism is not part of Torah Judaism. Supposedly observant Jews who attack
> those whom they do not agree with and/or destroy their property are not living
> their lives according to Halacha. There is absolutely no justification for
> acts like these that create a huge Chillul HaShem!

Unfortunately hooliganism is becoming ever more common and should be
publicly condemned by our leaders.

The Times of Israel did carry a report (July 7):


> The rabbi of the Western Wall speaks out against violence at the holy site 
> after extremists overran the egalitarian section of the Western Wall last 
> week.
> In his statement, which was issued in English, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz does 
> not only denounce the youths who disrupted prayer services in the egalitarian 
> section but also appears to condemn the Women of the Wall, a feminist group 
> that holds female-led prayer services at the Western Wall.
> “The verbal and occasional physical violence that erupts among those coming  
> to pray at the Western Wall, stemming from various extremist groups,  
> desecrates G-d’s name, creates chasms between people, and harms the holiness 
> of the site that unites the Jewish nation and world Jewry,” Rabinowitz says.
> “I call upon all sides to remove disputes and demonstrations from this sacred 
> site and preserve the Western Wall as a holy and unifying site in the spirit 
> of Jewish heritage and tradition,” he says.
However I think that Ha'aretz, and the sort of people who agree with its
Weltanschauung, exploit such behaviour by suggesting that its perpetrators are
typical of main stream chareidim. So, I am not sure that any such condemnation
would be given much prominence in its columns.

Martin Stern


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Fri, Jul 8,2022 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Mitzvah of Gun Ownership

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 65#53):

> Frank Silberman wrote (MJ 65#52):
>> Buying a gun, learning how to use it, and getting a permit, in contrast, all
>> fall under the category of being ready to do a mitzvah [of pursuing a rodef]
> And that is precisely why we Orthodox Jews should support eliminating
> restrictions on gun ownership, so that anyone in America may readily observe
> what they think their personal mitzvah is, such as shooting Black people,
> immigrants, Jews, a motorist who cuts them up, etc.

Taking this at face value, it reminds me of the story (which may be a Wise Men
of Chelm story) of a village that had a high cliff nearby that people kept
falling off and hurting themselves. So they built a hospital at the bottom.

Is it really a mitzvah to actively seek out a rodef?

The Mishnah in Sanhedrin (8:7) lists categories of people who are saved even at
the cost of their lives, one category of which is a person who is pursuing
another to kill that person. Rashi explains that the people in these categories
are saved from sinning even at the cost of their lives. Does this mean that a
rodef is killed not so much as to protect the person they are pursuing, but to
save their own souls from sin?

Immanuel Burton.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 7,2022 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Observant Jews

Michael Perl wrote (MJ 65#53):

> I have been a member of MJ for 27 years only posting or commenting on the rare
> occasion. I am thrilled to see how much life has been breathed into the group,
> ironically due to the topic of abortion, but with other matters being debated
> much more fully too.
> B"H, we have many members of different ages, living in different places as
> well as different communities with a wide array of hashkafos (worldviews).
> ...

At least someone appreciates MJ! I had almost given up hope and assumed everyone
only complained!

He wrote  "To quibble further ..." so I will follow his lead. His final
paragraph reads:

> To end lightly, it reminds me of the old quip about the Litvak vs the
> Galicianer. The Litvak says "Vehu yimshol bach" whereas the poor Galicianer
> says "Vehi yimshol bach".

As a Yekke, I would suggest the pasuk should then be "Vehi timshol bach".

Martin Stern


From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 10,2022 at 12:17 PM
Subject: Optimism and the zionist paradise

Prof Levine (MJ 65#48) quoted R'David Krohnglass saying that since Israel is
holy one must be of a higher spiritual level to live there and any aveira
committed there is more serious. This is a major chiddush, the strangest excuse
for not making aliya that I have ever encountered. He then goes on to accuse
those of us who live in Israel with hubris.

No Prof Levine, we are not all tzaddikim. We are a tzibbur, tzaddikim, beinoniim
and reshayim. I myself do not consider myself a tzaddik. I strive to reach the
level of beinoni (of the Tanya). Only you know the real reason that you have'nt
yet made aliya, but to say that it is because you are not at the proper
spiritual level is patently ridiculous.

David Tzohar


From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 10,2022 at 04:17 AM
Subject: Supreme Court Decisions' Impact on Halacha

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 65#52) - "Mitzvah of Gun Ownership":

Frank Silbermann notes (MJ 65#52):

>> Buying a gun, learning how to use it, and getting a permit, in contrast, all
>> fall under the category of BEING READY to do a mitzvah.

> I'm not sure how this sudden CHANGE OF SUBJECT comes about

(emphases added)

I also do not understand the change of subject heading to "mitzvah of gun
ownership". Do the editors choose the subject captions? [Sometimes – MOD]

MJ had discussions of the Halachic impact of the recent Supreme Court decision
on abortion.  I brought up the other recent decision and its halachic impact.

But nowhere did I say anything about gun OWNERSHIP being a mitzvah. Rather, I
referred to the mitzvah of rising up quickly to kill the pursuer.

As may be seen in the quote above from my previous post, I quite explicitly
described gun ownership (along with training and licensing) NOT as a mitzvah but
merely as PREPARATION for doing a mitzvah.

I think it's generally understood that, in comparison with the degree of
consensus on details of the mitzvot, there is less consensus as to required and
desirable preparations for doing mitzvot.

Carl Singer then gave his opinion on pragmatic aspects of American firearms law
(aspects not even directly addressed by the recent Supreme Court decisions).
That seems to me off-topic for a mailing list about halacha, as would be my comments

Frank Silbermann
Memphis, Tennessee


End of Volume 65 Issue 54