Volume 66 Number 21 
      Produced: Sun, 11 Dec 22 15:36:59 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

    [Stuart Pilichowski]
Not a homecoming: My mother visits her childhood town in Germany  
    [Prof. L. Levine]
Reliable Source (was Saying Kaddish) 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Saying Kaddish (4)
    [Yisrael Medad   Joel Rich  Martin Stern  Martin Stern]
Saying Kaddish / Davening for the Amud 
    [Orrin Tilevitz]
Shmittah financial considerations 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Women Saying Kaddish 
    [Carl Singer]


From: Stuart Pilichowski <stupillow@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 8,2022 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Kaddish

Is it legitimate to say that all segments of practicing Jews now deem kaddish as
a deeply vital and must item of religious observance?

Stuart Pilichowski

Mevaseret Zion, Israel

Phone 972- 527-222-827


From: Prof. L. Levine <llevine@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 1,2022 at 01:17 PM
Subject: Not a homecoming: My mother visits her childhood town in Germany 

I want to share with you what my oldest granddaughter-in-law, Chaya Levine, sent
to me in response to the email "Kristallnacht: A Historical Perspective" that I
sent out a couple of weeks ago. Chaya wrote:

"My grandmother a"h lived through and witnessed Kristallnacht. Because her
father was a Jewish business owner, their house was ransacked by the Nazis. She
and her family sat trembling in the closet and watched them wreck the house.
After the Nazis left their house, they waited a few hours, then came out to see
the damage. My grandmother recalled that they threw her family's piano out the
window. They also threw every one of her father's seforim out the window. She
bravely went outside and picked up every sefer from the ground and brought them
back inside. Until today, my great grandfather's entire set of Shas is with a
cousin of ours living in Ramot. My grandmother's family escaped from Germany; I
believe they went to Holland for a year, and then eventually got visas to move
to Australia. Until today, we have lots of family in Australia."

In an article on this topic in The Times of Israel


You will see how the woman from "Offenberg, the town that so cruelly expelled my
mother's family back then now couldn't do enough to make us feel welcome, and
yet... " has very mixed emotions about what the Germans did to her and her family.

My experience when talking with Holocaust survivors is that the events of the
Holocaust never really leave them, and even perhaps haunt them.

Professor Yitzchok Levine


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 6,2022 at 04:17 AM
Subject: Reliable Source (was Saying Kaddish)

Responding to Joel Rich, Martin Stern writes (MJ 66#20):

> A shul should keep to the priorities written in, for example, the Kitzur
> Shulchan Arukh

In this day and age and with all available in paper and on screen, and with the
advance in Torah studies, I would suggest, IMHO, the very last source should be
that book.

Yisrael Medad


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 6,2022 at 04:17 AM
Subject: Saying Kaddish

In responding to my post, Martin writes (MJ 66#20):

> 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 so many posts on so many different synagogue and rabbinical customs and
instructions as well as disputes and personal preferences that have been
recorded at Mail Jewish on the subject including idiosyncrasies, quirks and
other nonsensicalities on the matter, that understanding is not needed, nay,
required, is beyond me.

As for writing:

> There is no objection to "observing a grandparent's yahrzeit" as such", I never
> suggested, implied or impugned that.

Yisrael Medad

From: Joel Rich <joelirarich@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 6,2022 at 04:17 AM
Subject: Saying Kaddish

Chana Luntz wrote (MJ 66#20)

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 66#19):

>> 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?

Which is why these are all other things being equal rules.  As long as the rules
are clear to all, each individual can choose to participate or not.  One not
uncommon possibility, that non-members get no precedence over a member for the
amud no matter what the level of "chiyuv" is.

Joel Rich

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 6,2022 at 02:17 PM
Subject: Saying Kaddish

Chana Luntz wrote (MJ 66#20):

> ...
> Martin Stern further writes (MJ 66#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 ...

This is quite true. Perhaps I should have written:

According to halachah, the ONLY person who, ACCORDING TO ALL OPINIONS, can
claim to be a chiyuv to daven is a SON. As she wrote:

> 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.

But, as she notes, most poskim hold that the grandson has a lower degree of
chiyuv than a son (for example he would be allocated only half as many
kaddeishim in those congregations where only one person says each kaddish).

Martin Stern

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 6,2022 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Saying Kaddish

Shayna Kravetz wrote (MJ 66#20):
> 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.

Thank you, Shayna, for putting the equation of chiyuvim with rights by far too
many men in its correct perspective. It proves the truth of Chazal's statement
that women have a greater level of binah [discernment] than men.

Martin Stern


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 6,2022 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Saying Kaddish / Davening for the Amud

Chana Luntz wrote (MJ 66#20):

> 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. . . .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 . . .

Are you saying that, if so, one with yahrzeit for a grandparent should take
precedence in davening for the amud over one in the year for a parent? Do you
have any direct support for that proposition?


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 11,2022 at 01:17 AM
Subject: Shmittah financial considerations

The following is a shortened version of a text I have received from one Shia
Markowitz, CEO Keren Hashviis (that may be found here:

"there are more than 45 vegetable farmers I personally know who have not been
able to return to work. After two consecutive years of no work "the year of
Covid being one of them ... they lack the resources to restart their farming
businesses. They have no money left to purchase the necessary seeds and
seedlings, fix their irrigation systems, the damaged nets of their hothouses and
rehire the farm workers ... We encouraged the farmers to do the impossible and
leave their land. We told them we have their backs. And we did! However, we are
now faced with a crisis we couldn't have anticipated. Rising inflation and
interest rates over the past 8 months have left us short of our projections,
what's needed to cover all of the farmers' financial needs and their ability to
be open again for business when Shmitah ended. We need to raise another $850,000
NOW! We need to get this money to these 45 farmers who are in such desperate
financial shape that they can't restart their farms. Among them are first time
Shmitah Farmers."

I am not relating to the factual truth of the status of the farmers but to the
essence of keeping shmittah in such a situation.

With all the halachic deliberations over whether shmittah applies today as an
obligation, should there be added to those deliberations the financial cost as
well? Or are they to be totally ignored?

Yisrael Medad


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 6,2022 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Women Saying Kaddish

I'm certain that upon seeing the title of this post someone will remind us all
that only the son has a chiyuv to say kaddish for his parents. Nonetheless women
may have a need to observe the passing of a parent as they deem appropriate -
halachically / emotionally. She may choose to do so by attending services and
saying kaddish.

Logistically, the issue comes to a head when no men are saying kaddish and thus
the davening doesn't "pause" for the insertion of kaddish.

If due to the architecture of a shul, a woman is in attendance (say in the
balcony) at our weekday minyan is unnoticed then there is no way to make any
accommodations. However, when we notice that there is a woman in shul or she
communicates her presence before davening, the gabbai designates a man to say
kaddish. Technically, he is saying kaddish on behalf of the niftar.  But also, it
allows the woman to say kaddish (in an undertone?) if she so desires.

A side issue -- should / may a shul hold weekday services in a room without an
Ezras Nashim?


Carl Singer


End of Volume 66 Issue 21