Volume 65 Number 88 
      Produced: Tue, 13 Sep 22 14:25:21 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Another selichot question 
    [Martin Stern]
Haftarah problem 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Is Geirus deOraisa? 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Tefillin for selichot? (3)
    [David Ziants  Sammy Finkelman  Perets Mett]
What is D'Oraita?  (was Is Geirus deOraisa?) 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Why is there a Written Torah? (was Is Geirus deOraisa?) 
    [Sammy Finkelman]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 13,2022 at 12:17 PM
Subject: Another selichot question

In his Weekly Halacha Discussion, Rabbi Doniel Neustadt this week asks:

> May the Selichos prayer be recited at night before going to sleep or must it
> be recited only upon awakening in the morning?

and writes in answer:

> Ideally, Selichos should be said at the end of the night, (O.C. 581:1 and
> Mishnah Berurah) since that is an eis ratzon, a time of appeasement. But it
> is permitted to recite Selichos anytime from midnight on. It is also
> permitted to begin the Selichos before midnight as long as the Thirteen
> Middos are said after midnight (Halichos Shelomo 2:1, Devar Halachah 4).
> Before midnight it is prohibited to recite Selichos.(Mishnah Berurah 565:12).
> One who finds himself in a shul where Selichos are being recited before
> midnight should not recite the Thirteen Middos along with the congregation
> (Sha’arei Teshuvah 581:1 quoting Birkei Yosef). Under extenuating
> circumstances  if one cannot recite Selichos at any other time, Selichos
> (without nefilas apayim (O.C. 131:3) may be recited once a third of the night
> has passed. But this leniency should not be relied upon on a regular
> basis (Igros Moshe, O.C. 2:105).

There is a widespread custom to recite selichot on the first night (this
coming motsa'ei Shabbat) at midnight with an introductory sermon and choral

I had noticed in previous years that many shuls scheduled these midnight
mass gatherings to start at 11:30 p.m. with an address from a rav, and
assumed that they had simply forgotten that DST was in operation (so midnight is
about 1 a.m.). I was surprised this year when I saw several were advertised as
commencing at 10:30 p.m., at least two and a half hours before midnight!

Can anyone be melamed zechut [find a justification] for this apparently
incorrect procedure.

Martin Stern


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2022 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Haftarah problem

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 67#87):

> At my shul, they also announced that we would be reading the haftarah of Re'eh
> in addition to that of Ki Teitzei but DID NOT mention that the combined
> haftarah is the same as that for NOACH which was the point I was raising. Did
> they do so in Hillel's shul?

At our small shul they did mention both, but it was a little like using the
Haftorah for No'ach was a second choice although it was recommended.

The only possible difference would be in the commentary and in the Artscroll
Stone edition there is virtually none. (not so sometimes when a different
haftorah is used in two places like Chanukah and B'haalosecha.


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2022 at 02:17 PM
Subject: Is Geirus deOraisa?

Yisrael Medad wrote (MJ 65#84):

> Sammy Finkelman writes on the subject (MJ 65#83):
>> it wasn't important to determine in advance who was and who was not Jewish,
>> for use by third parties, until the first exile.
> Okay, I am flummoxed by that.

I meant that the question of who was a Jew (or who was permitted to do something
only came up when a non-Jew wanted to do something that only a Jew could do and
it was decided only then. But later on they needed something that other people
could rely on later.

We learn that there were only two different categories of gerim.  One is a ger
toshav, and one is a ger tzedek, which we now just call a ger.

But there seem to have been a multiplicity of different categories, at the time
of the beginning of the Second temple - and before - we had some other
classifications which kept themselves separate, maybe because of doubts (Ezra
2:59 deals with some which they did not solve with giyur lechumra)  Another
one of the classifications is a mamzer, by the way.

And there was entering the congregation, - which I mentioned before, which meant
able to participate, particularly in marriage ceremonies, at least as later
understood. It may not have been understood as having such a specific limited
meaning originally.

The Artscroll Stone edition says to Devorim 23:4 that a Moabite or Ammonite
could convert, but couldn't marry a Jew. It gives no source but that Pasuk is
quoted in Berachos 28a - which is itself a quote of the Mishnah Yadaim 4:4,
however the background is more fully explained in Berachos 28a


A person called Yehuda who was a Ger Amoni (a Ger took the name Yehuda? Or was
that his name from his parents?)  asked a question if he could enter the kahal
(assembly, congregation). I don't know if he was mainly asking if he could
participate in the study.

They had just deposed Rabban Gamliel and he had refused to allow a lot of people
to be at his lectures - but Rabbi Elazer ben Azariah admitted a lot of other
people - maybe 400 or 700 - because Rabban Gamliel had wanted to exclude anyone
whose inside was not like his outside. Now non-Jews were probably also excluded.
So I think the question might possibly have been just about that

In Yadaiim this is not the first nater brought up but in Berachos the Gemorah
skips to that question, which fits with the idea that the question might have
been about attending the lectures. Except that maybe it is quoted only to show
that Rabban Gamliel did not leave the study hall one day. Except that maybe it
was originally cited for one purpose (the question of being allowed to learn
oral Torah) and then again thr whole known fragment is quoted for another
purpose (that Rabban Gamliel did not leave after being deposed)

But the commentators seem to assume he was asking about marrying a Jew, although
he may have known or should have known what the standard answer was.

But the two things anyway might have been covered by the same ruling.


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 11,2022 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Tefillin for selichot?

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 65#86):
> Next week, Ashkenazim mashkimim lislichot [get up early to say selichot].
> Because they were originally said before misheyakir, the earliest time for
> putting on tallit and tefillin, it was customary to say them without tallit and
> tefillin - except for the shatz who put on a tallit (without a berachah) out of
> respect for the tzibbur.
> Due to our being much weaker than previous generations, the custom nowadays is
> to say selichot much later so as to finish them just before the regular time of
> shacharit, which may well be long after dawn (and in some cases even long 
> after sunrise!).
> My question is: Why do we not all put on tallit and tefillin before selichot,
> especially as usually not sufficient time is allowed after finishing them before
> somebody rushes up to start birchot hashachar?

It seems that the prevalent custom in Israel is to put on tallit and tephillin
before selichot for those who make it to shul in time to do this (also when no
selichot - there are some men who put these on at home and come to shul wearing

Those who arrive a bit later, would possibly just put on tallit (as this can be
done quickly), and put on tephillin afterwards, as it is more important to say
the selichot (or at least the 13 middot) with the congregation.

Also the prevalent custom in Israel (except some chareidi chassidic communities)
is to say birchot hashachar and korbanot at home, before coming to shul.

David Ziants

From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 11,2022 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Tefillin for selichot?

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 65#86):

We don't put on tefillin because we are not used to it, and Selichos do not require
them; it is a separate prayer, and people can start as soon as they get to the
shul. It can be earlier than the z'man in some places and that would mean people
would have to check if they can.

A better question would be why do they not give people enough time in places
where they don't. An answer could be that it is the chazan anyway who says
berachos and he takes whatever time he needs.

From: Perets Mett <pmett99@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2022 at 02:17 AM
Subject: Tefillin for selichot?

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 65#86):

I have an even better question:

If the tsibur gathers for selichos at a time when one may daven Shachris, how do
they justify delaying Shachris until after selichos?

Not only because todir kodem (the more frequent mitsvah takes precedence) but
also because Shachris is obligatory whereas selichos is a custom.

Perets Mett


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: What is D'Oraita?  (was Is Geirus deOraisa?)

Chana Luntz (MJ 65#87) insists that

> d'oraisa is ...
> a) a term derived from the Rabbinic literature; and 
> b) it is used to mean, across Rabbinic literature, something sourced in either
> the Oral Torah or the Written Torah (or both).

There are other opinions.

One is that a d'oraita ordinance is written in the Torah whereas a d'rabbanan
ordinance is provided by rabbinical sages based on their understanding of a
Torah source, whether explicit, or halacha Moshe mi-Sinai or otherwise (sevara).
The source is always the Written Torah (and in a few cases, in Nevi'im) but one
is very explicit and the other is derived by Talmudic sages or others.

A possible fuzziness could be from the terms 'issur min haTorah' and 'issur
mid'Rabbanan' which are similar but not how I originally thought I had intended
them to be understood.

Yisrael Medad


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2022 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Why is there a Written Torah? (was Is Geirus deOraisa?)

Chana Luntz wrote (MJ 65#87):

> My answer to the question is therefore not based on this, but is really
> answering a question with a question:
> Why is ANY of the Oral Torah not included in the written Torah (not just this
> bit about conversion)?   Why is there an Oral Torah at all?  Why didn't HaShem
> write ALL of it down?

The question really should be the other way: Why is there a Written Torah?

An oral Torah is a living Torah. The written Torah, is actually intended to be
read out loud by one person and heard by many.

You could say:

There is a written Torah to serve as evidence and to prevent the oral Torah from
going off track.


End of Volume 65 Issue 88