Volume 66 Number 20 
      Produced: Tue, 06 Dec 22 03:47:48 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Davening for the Amud (was Kaddish) (2)
    [Carl Singer  Stuart Pilichowski]
Davening for the Amud (was Who davens for the Amud ...) 
    [Martin Stern]
Saying Kaddish (4)
    [Martin Stern  Martin Stern  Shayna Kravetz  Chana Luntz]
Shidduch Crisis continued 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Use of microphones in shul (on weekdays) 
    [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Sat, Dec 3,2022 at 09:17 PM
Subject: Davening for the Amud (was Kaddish)

If I may quote Rabbi Chaim z. Wasserman, ztl, the beloved former Rav of our shul:

"The death of a parent makes you a chiyuv, not a chazzan."

Carl Singer

From: Stuart Pilichowski <stupillow@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 4,2022 at 03:17 AM
Subject: Davening for the Amud (was Kaddish)

I agree in principle with everything Joseph puts forth (MJ 66#19):

> Having read dozens of posts and comments about kaddish recently here (and
> dozens more here and in other discussion groups over the years), a few things
> have become clear to me. First, saying kaddish is a minhag, custom, with many
> different permutations depending on the community. And second, whether or not
> this is what should have happened in a perfect world, what has happened in
> our imperfect one is that kaddish has become a very important part of the
> mourning process and, indeed, provides many mourners with important
> psychological comfort during an especially difficult time. 
> Accordingly, wouldn't it be best for people to ease up on the questions of 
> what's right halachically, what's the minhag of my shul/community, who has 
> precedence etc. This seems to me to be the perfect situation of letting
> things be, of allowing people to do what makes them comfortable and what they 
> think is the proper way to honor and remember their deceased relative even if 
> it's not exactly your way. 
> No one really knows what happens in heaven when a kaddish is said. Everyone
> is really just guessing. So let me add my guess. If you allow the mourner to
> leave shul feeling at least as good as when he/she entered and feeling that
> s/he's done the right thing for their late relative, then there's smiling in
> heaven. Just a guess, but I daresay as good as any other.

Would that life were so simple!

As in all avenues of life, conflicting needs and desires, honor and
misconceptions thereof, unfortunately rule.

Of course, my kaddish takes precedence over yours.

Rather than continue this line of sociology, I'll leave you with a comment from
my father, z"l, when we were in mourning: (Please simultaneously translate into
the original Yiddish) Hashem didn't make us aveilim, mourners, in order to
become chazanim, leaders of the services.

Stuart P
Mevaseret Zion

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sat, Dec 3,2022 at 02:17 PM
Subject: Davening for the Amud (was Who davens for the Amud ...)

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 66#19):
> ... 
> The only "conflicts" we seem to have -- and these are rare -- is when someone
> who is a stranger to our minyan comes in and thinks that because he has a
> chiyuv that he is in control.  For example, we had such a visitor who parked
> himself at the amud well before davening.
> ...

This sort of behaviour is completely out of order. If he is genuine stranger, it
should be pointed out to him that the gabbai decides who should daven and NOBODY
is allowed to usurp his position. Nobody has a right to the amud in a shul
though he may ask for it if he has a chiyuv. Provided he agrees to follow the
shul's minhagim and daven at an acceptable pace, and there are no members with a
chiyuv present, even at a lower priority, then the gabbai could, at his
discretion, allow him the amud. 

In the unlikely situation that he insists on his 'rights', he should be removed,
preferably with as little force as necessary. Alternatively the whole tzibbur
should relocate to another room and not allow him to join them.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sat, Dec 3,2022 at 02:17 PM
Subject: Saying Kaddish

Yisrael Medad wrote (MJ 66#19):
> Orrin Tilevitz (MJ 66#18) asks about "observing a grandparent's yahrzeit"
> I am unaware of any chiyuv [obligation] to observe such a yahrtzeit.
> If I am correct, his feelings do not override anyone else's proper obligation.

There is no objection to "observing a grandparent's yahrzeit" as such by, for
example, lighting a yahrtzeit light but I think that it is saying kaddish, or
having the amud, that is at issue. In communities where several people say
kaddish together, there can be little objection to his joining them. In those
where only one person says each kaddish, he has no right to take over if there
is a member present who has a genuine chiyuv. The same applies to taking the amud.
> There are some Rabbis who permit a grandson to say the yahrtzeit kaddish if he
> is appointed by a son who does not keep any religious customs (Rav Yaakov
> Ariel)

I don't understand the need for a rabbi to "permit a grandson to say the
yahrtzeit kaddish" except where he would prevent some other chiyuv from doing
so. After all, if nobody present has a chiyuv to say kaddish, anyone can say the
one after Aleinu and it is proper for it to be said, usually by the sheliach

Martin Stern

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sat, Dec 3,2022 at 02:17 PM
Subject: Saying Kaddish

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 66#19):

> The basic rule is that the amud belongs to the shul and they can make any
> reasonable rules they choose (since the priorities were only set as a default
> to keep the peace)

I am not sure that Joel's sweeping statement is completely correct. A shul
should keep to the priorities written in, for example, the Kitzur Shulchan Arukh
unless it has a very strong reason for departing from them.

Martin Stern

From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Sat, Dec 3,2022 at 07:17 PM
Subject: Saying Kaddish

Is anyone else bothered by the tone of these discussions?  Saying kaddish for
the qahal is a privilege, not a 'right'.  Indeed, the whole notion of rights is
- in my understanding - foreign to mitzvot which exist as part of our mutual
relationship with Ha-shem.  Mitzvot exist in the realm of responsibilities and
the idea of someone elbowing aside someone else by claiming a greater 'right' to
do a mitzvah makes me uncomfortable.

I am currently saying kaddish and, although I as a woman do not face the kind of
conflicts that this thread has been addressing, I would never dream of
'claiming' a kaddish or the 'right' to daven for the qahal.  How does this idea
reconcile with the truly beautiful description in Hineni he-'ani mi-ma'as of
what a shliach tzibur is supposed to be?

This discussion reminds me of the threads about maqom qavu'a.  If I find someone
sitting in 'my' seat in shul, you know what I say?  Shabbat shalom and Bruchah
ha-ba'ah. Period. My kavod is not worth someone else's embarrassment. That is my
halachah le-maaseh.

Shavua' tov.

Shayna Kravetz

From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 5,2022 at 08:17 PM
Subject: Saying Kaddish

Joseph Kaplan writes (MJ 66#19):

> Accordingly, wouldn't it be best for people to ease up on the questions of
> what's right halachically, what's the minhag of my shul/community, who has
> precedence etc. This seems to me to be the perfect situation of letting things
> be, of allowing people to do what makes them comfortable and what they think 
> is the proper way to honor and remember their deceased relative even if it's 
> not exactly your way. 

The problem you are faced with is that mourning is a very emotional subject and,
in any communal activity, one person's comfort can sometimes tread on another's.
Certainly when one has seen situations where there has been a tragedy in the
community, and the teenage (or smaller) boys have got up to say kaddish for
their parent, there has not been a dry eye, and having a bunch of other people
drowning them out for what feels like their mother's friend's hamster (I am
obviously exaggerating - but people can feel the need to grieve a hamster) can
mean that a lot of people leave the shul, including, but not limited to, the
real mourners, feeling like something went wrong and they were battling to keep
up and be heard against a well-oiled machine.  That the shul is not actually
able to offer the comfort that it would otherwise offer.  That has nothing to do
with what may or may not happen in heaven.  You do risk cheapening an experience
if you offer it too widely, especially when you stand it up against real grief.

Martin Stern further writes (MJ66#19):

> According to halachah, the ONLY person who can claim to be a chiyuv to daven
> is a SON.

As I mentioned last time, there are definitely poskim who treat a grandson as
having a chiyuv - including the Magen Avraham (bringing the teshuva of the
Rama), the Machzit HaShekel, the Be'er Heitev and the Mishna Brura (in the Biur
Halacha) - all in Orech Chaim siman 132.  Some limit this to when there is no
son (e.g. the son has himself died), some limit it to the son of a son, but many
include the son of a daughter. These were all said in the context of the old
Ashkenazi custom of only one mourner saying kaddish (where the ratio is
sometimes specified as being two kaddishim to a son mourner versus one to a
grandson).  I can't see why the division regarding davening would be any
different to that regarding kaddish under the old minhag (noting that, as you
say, somebody who cannot daven suitably may be a problem whether or not they
have a chiyuv).  I would assume that from these poskim you could work out the
appropriate precedence for davening - looking at where the grandson is in the
cycle in the same way as you would for a son.  So you would treat a grandson
with a yartzeit like a son with a yartzeit (but halve the  number of kaddeishim)
versus where the son mourner is in the cycle - whether in shiva, shloshim or his

> There are various rules of precedence as listed in the Kitzur Shulchan Arukh: 

Or alternatively in the Mishna Brura (Biur Halacha siman 132).  Interesting that
you follow the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch over the Mishna Brura - who I thought had
written the definitive text on how to juggle the various chiyuvim when you are
dealing with those following the old Ashkenazi custom of only having one mourner
say kaddish - including a comprehensive round up of the achronim.  Is that
generally the case?  I.e. would your minyan generally follow the Kitzur over the
Mishna Brura?




From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sat, Dec 3,2022 at 02:17 PM
Subject: Shidduch Crisis continued

Chaim Casper (MJ 69#19), quoting statistics that by the age of 40 years old, 98%
of Haredi girls are married, asks:

> Can one call a 2% group participants in a "shidduch crisis"?

Can one ask why 40 was chosen?

Can one ask why 30 was not chosen?

Can one ask how many Haredi women leave the community by the time they are 39?
Yisrael Medad


From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <gevaryahu@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 4,2022 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Use of microphones in shul (on weekdays)

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 66#19) about the use of a microphone in the shul not on

> There is a problem with answering amein to a berakhah heard over an
> amplification system. It depends on how we view the sound heard. R. Moshe
> Feinstein considered it as not being the words of the person saying the
> berakhah, but more akin to an echo, and so ruled that one may not respond.
> Others considered what was heard to be basically his words, albeit amplified,
> and allowed responding.

I do not think that there is a problem to say amen for a kadish based on the
Tosefta Succah 4:6 and Bavli Succah 51b:

"It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda says: One who did not see the great
synagogue [deyofloston] of Alexandria of Egypt never saw the glory of Israel.
They said that its structure was like a large basilica [basileki], with a
colonnade within a colonnade. At times there were six hundred thousand men and
another six hundred thousand men in it, twice the number of those who left
Egypt. In it there were seventy-one golden chairs [katedraot], corresponding to
the seventy-one members of the Great Sanhedrin, each of which consisted of no
less than twenty-one thousand talents of gold. And there was a wooden platform
at the center. The sexton of the synagogue would stand on it, with the scarves
in his hand. And because the synagogue was so large and the people could not
hear the communal prayer, when the prayer leader reached the conclusion of a
blessing requiring the people to answer amen, the sexton waved the scarf and all
the people would answer amen."

Rabbi Feinstein, in my view, was worried the "shome'ah ke'oneh" but this concern
might not apply in the case of saying Amen on a Kaddish. Though the Alexandria
story suggest that even saying Amen on a berakhah has a precedent. 


End of Volume 66 Issue 20