Volume 65 Number 89 
      Produced: Fri, 16 Sep 22 11:32:55 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Another selichot question 
    [Steven Oppenheimer]
Is a psak forever? 
    [Micha Berger]
    [Joel Rich]
What is D'Oraita?   
    [Chana Luntz]


From: Steven Oppenheimer <steven.oppenheimer@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 13,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Another selichot question

Martin Stern writes (MJ 65#88):

> 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.

He asked this question in 2011 and I responded in MJ 60#39 as follows:

> Martin Stern (MJ 60#38) asks about the proper times for saying Selichot.
> It is proper to recite Selichot at a "propitious time" - B'Et Ratzon (Sh. A.
> O. Ch. 581:1 and Mishnah Berurah).  When exactly is this time?  This is
> after halachic midnight and should not be recited under any circumstances
> (except for Yom Kippur) before this time according to the Mishnah Berurah
> (565:12)
> The first night there is concern that Selichot not be said until after
> Chatzot HaLayla (12 hours after the halachic Chatzot Hayom (halachic noon).
>  This is because of Kedushat Shabbat - the sanctity of Shabbat.  (Responsa
> Maharam Zechuta siman 30, the Ariz"l Sha'ar HaKavanot Drush Aleph Shel
> Arvit, dag 52 amud 4, Magen Avrohom 565:5).
> Furtheremore, there are those who hold that even though the time after
> halachic midnight is Et Razon, it is preferable to wait until Ashmoret
> HaBoker, which is two hours later (Igra DePirka, oht 147). (this is a
> stringency)
> In the Sefer Machashavot B'Etzah,(published 110 years ago) Rabbi Ya'akov
> Weissman opines that we go by the time of Chatzot HaLayla  according to
> Jerusalem time.  He brings many proofs.  And this would certainly provide a
> leniency for many who recite Selichot "early". Rav Ovadia Yosef says that
> people in Europe, for example, may rely on this leniency.  He brings this as
> a "yesh omrim" - there are those who say.
> Rav Yosef writes that the proper time for Selichot is either after Chatzot
> HaLayla or after Chatzot HaYom.
> Mishmeret Shalom (siman 41:4) writes that  those who have difficulty staying
> up late may say Selichot 2 hours before Chatzot HaLayla (that is *not* to be
> interpreted as 2 hours before midnight).  So, if halachic midnight is 1 AM,
> then 11 PM would be the earliest time.
> Iggerot Moshe (O. Ch. 2:105) permits this in a case of great need but does
> not sanction this as a normative yearly practice.
> Yechave Da'at (1:46) does not accept this leniency and says it is better to
> recite Selichot before Mincha in a case of need.  He brings as a proof that
> people who daven nusach sefarad say Yud Gimmel Midot at the Mincha prayer
> throughout the year.  Rav Yosef permits individuals to recite selichot  (at
> the proper time which is after chatzot hayom or after chatzot halayla) as
> long as they skip the yud gimmel midot and do not say any of the sections
> that are in Aramaic.  One may recite the yud gimmel midot if ones recites
> them with the cantillation.  This would be better in his opinion than
> reciting Selichot with a minyan at an improper time.
> Responsa Remez (#30) (17th century) strongly condemns the practice of saying
> Sleichot prior to halachic midnight and says the proper time is in the
> morning hours.
> Beseeching HaShem's mercy should be done at the most efficacious and
> propitious time.  Why would we pick a time that is not a favorable period?
> Therefore, it is preferable not to say Selichot prior to halachic midnight
> unless one is too weak to recite Selichot at other more favorable times.
>  Then, after consultation with one's Rav, one may rely on some of
> the leniencies mentioned above, if so advised.

2022 Update:

I remember reading that Rav Soloveichik permitted reciting selichot at 10pm for
people who were too weak to stay up late.  I just can't find the source at the

Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.


From: Micha Berger <micha@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 13,2022 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Is a psak forever?

I wrote (MJ 65#84):

> Joel Rich wrote (MJ 65#71):
>> Is a psak forever? Example- a pulpit rabbi holds a unique lenient position
>> concerning grama on Shabbat. After his retirement, is every future
>> congregant (and Rabbi) "bound" by that leniency? Are members of that
>> congregation bound to inform visitors of their utilization of the leniency?
> I don't have a formal answer to this question. I can only say that in 
> practice, I've seen new LORs respect the ruling of their predecessor for the
> first several years.

A recent Arukh haShulchan Yomi, Orakh Chaim 530:4 


may well be a data point.

R Yechiel Michl Epstein is writing about the need, at times, to shore up
honoring and observing chol hamo'eid.

At the end of the se'if (and siman), he writes:

"And it is appropriate for a Chakham to strengthen the prohibition of melakhah,
if he has the ability. And if one chakham prohibits, another lacks the ability
to permit it for them." 

See Magein Avraham 


Tir'u baTov!



From: Joel Rich <joelirarich@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 13,2022 at 07:17 PM
Subject: Muzinka

When the [Ukrainian] wedding celebrations were coming to the end (after a few
days), wedding guests would put the parents of the bride or groom on a wagon and
take them to the village inn (bar) for the so-called selling of the parents,
which meant the parents had to buy everyone a drink. If the parents married off
their last child (son or daughter) then the guests would make wreaths and place
them on the heads of the parents and thus take them to the village inn. In this
frolicking way the wedding celebrations would come to the end.

She found the information in a Ukrainian magazine published in 1889, which
included an engraving illustrating the event. The magazine article was based on
the works of a Ukrainian ethnographer, folklorist and scholar, Pavlo Chubynsky
(1839-1884), who traveled through Ukrainian villages in the second half of the
nineteenth century, collecting folklore information, which he later published.

In the 1800s, many village inns and taverns in the Ukraine were owned or
operated by Jewish families, she noted. Therefore, every time the parents of the
newlyweds came into the taverns wearing wreaths and treated everyone to a drink,
the Jewish tavern owners saw this. It is very likely that this is how the custom
came to be part of the Jewish wedding.


Joel Rich


From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 13,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: What is D'Oraita?  

Yisrael Medad wrote (MJ 65#88):

> 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.

Can he please provide a source for these "other opinions" that is within the
Mail Jewish guidelines, i.e. consonant with "an environment where the validity
of Halakha and the Halakhic process is accepted"?

For those who do not remember, Mail Jewish was set up to provide an Orthodox
environment away from what were called the "O/C/R wars" that were at that time
prevalent on Soc.culture.Jewish.  The problem of course being that when there is
not a shared set of definitions and understanding, one ends up with a very
different kind of dialog, and it was one that many Orthodox people tired of - or
at least wanted a separate space where they could discuss matters where the
definitions and outlook were shared (maybe others did too, and set up their own
lists, I don't know).  This list was therefore set up as a place for discussion
where the basic Orthodox definitions would be sina qua non.

So while I am very happy to have a discussion about definitions where they are
the subject of a machlokus [disagreement] within the classic Orthodox sources,
this is not the right forum for a discussion of basic terminology that is read
differently by movements outside of Orthodoxy (whether that is Conservative,
Reform or Academia).  




End of Volume 65 Issue 89