Volume 66 Number 22 
      Produced: Mon, 12 Dec 22 08:35:19 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Aliyah minhag question 
    [Irwin Weiss]
    [Martin Stern]
Prayer room with an Ezrat Nashim (was Women Saying Kaddish) (2)
    [Martin Stern  Yisrael Medad]
Saying Kaddish / Davening for the Amud 
    [Chana Luntz]
Women Saying Kaddish (3)
    [Joseph Kaplan  Deborah Wenger]


From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 11,2022 at 10:17 PM
Subject: Aliyah minhag question

I see guys who have aliyot grasp the two atzei Chaim while reciting the
berachot, and then, as they recite the last few words they lift up the atzei
chaim an inch or two and then replace them on the reading table.

Who sees this also? Is there a source for this minhag (custom)?

Irwin Weiss 
Baltimore Maryland


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 11,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Kaddish

Stuart Pilichowski wrote (MJ 66#21):
> Is it legitimate to say that all segments of practicing Jews now deem kaddish
> as a deeply vital and must item of religious observance?

I am not sure whether 'legitimate' is the correct word - perhaps 'accurate'
would be better. If so, I fear it may be true, at least for the majority of
'practicing Jews' which IMHO is very sad. For far too many, Judaism has become
reduced to a form of ancestor worship, perhaps best illustrated by the
(hopefully fictitious) story told of someone who turned up in a shul for a
weekday minchah and, after saying kaddish, walked out before ma'ariv saying "see
you again next year"!

Obviously such behaviour is not legitimate.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 11,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Prayer room with an Ezrat Nashim (was Women Saying Kaddish)

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 66#21):

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

Ideally one should be available but that might just not be practical since it is
extremely rare for any women to come on weekdays. However, where one is, it
should be clearly marked as out of bound to men so that any woman who does come
should be able to use it.

Martin Stern

From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 12,2022 at 01:17 AM
Subject: Prayer room with an Ezrat Nashim (was Women Saying Kaddish)

Carl Singer (MJ 66#21) introduced a "side issue" (pun intended?) and asked for

> should / may a shul hold weekday services in a room without an Ezras Nashim?

I would presume that unless it is the shul's official policy not to allow women
to pray, as soon as a woman enters, a mechitza is rolled out or set up

If the room in question is one which is small and normally has its door closed
(semi-shtebil situation), if a woman arrives, the door should be left open so
she may participate.

Yisrael Medad


From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 6,2022 at 01:17 PM
Subject: Saying Kaddish / Davening for the Amud

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 66#21):

> 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 kaddeishim 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?

No direct support which is why I said "I can't see ..." rather than X rules in
such a case. 

My logic is as follows: 

a. The Rema (Rav Moshe Isserles, the author of the Mapa on the Shulchan Aruch)
holds specifically  (I have now found the teshuva that the Magen Avraham etc.
quote " it is Shut Rema Siman 118) that a grandson (and he was writing
specifically in the case of the son of a daughter) is able to say kaddish even
in a place where other mourners are saying on their father's or on their
mother's - that there is to him a portion, and that is regardless of custom.  In
the case in question, the grandfather had asked the Rema while he was still
alive if his grandson (his daughter's son) could say kaddish for him, and the
Rema said yes.  The grandfather then asked for the Rema to write this down so
the grandson could carry it around with him and show anybody when he got up to
say kaddish. Hence the teshuva.  One of the underlying aspects is a statement in
the gemara that the sons of sons are like sons (bnei banim k'banim). 
Additionally that we learn from Yaakov Avinu that he was obligated in the honour
of his grandfather, although he was MORE obligated in the honour of his father
which is the basis on which the Rema suggests to divide the kaddeishim so that a
grandson only gets half what a son gets. 

b. The same Rema says in Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah siman 376, siif 4 that on
weekdays one who knows how to pray [i.e. lead services] should pray as this is
more meritorious than the orphan kaddish which was not instituted except for
minors. And further up he sets out the basis for who gets kaddish (which
includes mixed into all of this about leading the prayer) as follows:

"And we are accustomed that, on the day on which a man's father or mother died,
he says the orphan kaddish forever, but one who know to pray all the prayers,
should pray, and if there are other mourners, we are accustomed that in the
midst of their seven days of mourning, they go in priority, and he does not get
any kaddish at all.  During their shloshim, he gets one kaddish, and after their
shloshim all the kaddeishim of that day are his." 

So, it seems to me, if you had a grandson on the yortzeit of his grandfather and
a son during his year, the logic of the system would say that if the grandson
was a son, he would push aside the other son during his year entirely, and that
would apply to all the davening on the yortzeit as it does to all the
kaddeishim. But since the Rema said that a grandson only gets half of what a son
gets, then the logical thing to do would be to split the davening between them.
 Subject to the qualification that he knows how to pray, which means knows how
to pray in a way that is acceptable to the community and can be heard by the
community and properly fulfils the obligation of Shatz. And of course we are
only talking about weekdays, as the Rema also says "And the mourners say kaddish
even on Shabbas and on Yom Tov  but it is not customary [for them] to pray [lead
the services] on Shabbas and Yom Tov".

But, I don't know anybody who has made the leap from

(a) dividing up the kaddishim between a son and a grandson as per the Rema,

(b) dividing up the davening between two sons who are each mourning a parent

to get (a) plus (b) = (c) dividing up the davening between a son and a grandson.




From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 11,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Women Saying Kaddish

Im my MO shul, our previous rabbi had been asked once what the men should do if
there was only a woman saying kaddish and no male saying it. His answer was be
quiet and answer amen and yehey shemey rabbah. Our new  rabbi added that in such
a case, no man who is otherwise not saying kaddish should say it with her unless
the women asks him to. As for women being in an ezrat nashim [womens section]
where they can't be heard, all it takes is one sensitive male to help make sure
the shatz [prayer leader] waits so she can say kaddish. And if you really can't
hear her, then you have a serious architectural problem that you should attend to. 


From: Deborah Wenger <debwenger@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 11,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Women Saying Kaddish

Carl Singer Wrote (MJ 66#21):

> 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?

I admit that I'm usually a lurker, but I have to speak out on this one. 

I have the great zechut of davening in an Orthodox shul that actually
acknowledges the existence of women and permits us to say kaddish - even if no
man is present to say it as well. Our rabbis have said that women have the same
right as men to do so. During the aveilut for my father z"l, there were a number
of times that I was the only one in shul saying kaddish, so I did (I will admit
that one man tried to drown me out, and when that didn't work he just walked out
during kaddish). In fact, at one point during my aveilut, there were five women
who were saying kaddish. No problem.

And since part of the point of saying kaddish is to have people respond, saying
it "in an undertone" is pretty pointless.

As for holding a weekday minyan in a place without an ezrat nashim, this is
essentially saying "women are not welcome in this shul during the week." Why
would a shul want to do that? There have been many times - for example, when
visiting another community - that I have wanted to daven in a local shul during
the week, kaddish or not. And yes, there have been times when I was told to
stand in a coatroom or a hallway (including at a niece's wedding, where the
kallah wanted to daven maariv, along with her friends and family). Shouldn't we
be encouraging everyone, not just men, to make going to shul a regular practice?

Deborah Wenger


From: Meir Shinnar <chidekel@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 11,2022 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Women saying Kaddish

In response to Carl Singer (MJ 66#21):

WRT women saying kaddish, this may not be feasible in shuls where only 1 person
says each kaddish. However, in other shuls:

1) Hagaon RYE Henkin ruled that women may say kaddish if there is also one male
saying it

2) When I was in Princeton mid 1970s, Rav Pinchas Teitz, who was the posek for
Princeton Yavneh, also ruled that way.  However, that was quite a severe
limitation - no one was saying kaddish.  He ruled that someone who had said
kaddish for a parent could say kaddish to allow the woman to say.  However,
someone whose parents were alive was not allowed to say kaddish unless he got
permission from his parents - and he recommended against such permission.  (This
is relevant to the grandchild thread - he would not have permitted the
grandchild with live parents to say Kaddish unless he got permission from his

3) Rav Moshe Feinstein also permitted it.  When I was in Columbia in the early
70s, there was a Barnard student who was saying kaddish.  She had a letter from
Rav Moshe asking the local shuls to allow her to say kaddish.  When she went to
a new shul, she would try to meet with the rav beforehand to show him the letter.

4) Rav Soloveitchik allowed (encouraged) women to say kaddish - and he did NOT
require a man to say it along her.

Therefore, at least in most American (non hassidisch) shuls, where more than one
person saying kaddish is the norm, it is difficult to think of something that
Rav Henkin, Rav Moshe, and  Rav Soloveitchik all allowed - and the community
does not follow.  It suggests that the reason those shuls do not allow this is
not halachic - and potentially is even a rejection of Halacha

Meir Shinnar


End of Volume 66 Issue 22