Volume 66 Number 27 
      Produced: Fri, 23 Dec 22 07:06:21 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Aliyah minhag question (3)
    [Yaakov Shachter  Alexander Seinfeld  Avraham Friedenberg]
Another aliyah question 
    [Steven White]
Ezrat Nashim 
    [Mischa Gelman]
    [Martin Stern]
The Grandchild Clause In The Law Of Return 
    [David Tzohar]
Torah intuition  
    [Joel Rich]


From: Yaakov Shachter <jay@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 18,2022 at 02:17 PM
Subject: Aliyah minhag question

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 66#24):

> Also, I keep the Torah "closed" -- that is rolled up.  There are
> others who[m] I see roll it open.

Pursuant to Orax Xayyim 139:4, you must open it before reciting the 1st brakha
and close it before reciting the 2nd brakha.

> Similarly, some look away (to their right) while reciting the brochas.

Looking away while reciting the 1st brakha is obligatory pursuant to the Rm"a on
Orax Xayyim 139:4; he says that one should look to one's left, not to one's right.

Someone [Haim Snyder - MOD] responded (MJ 66#25):

> People who turn their head, in my opinion, do so in order to show that they 
> know the brachot and don't have to read them.

This opinion originated in someone who not only does not know the Rm"a on Orax
Xayyim 139:4, but also -- and far more seriously -- disobeys the Scriptural
commandment in Leviticus 19:15, b'tzedeq tishpot `amithekha.  Ignorance of a
Rm'a is an intellectual failing, not a moral one.  Failure to judge one's fellow
favorably, believing that he is acting out of y'hiruth and not in obedience to
the halakha, is a moral failing, not an intellectual one, and a grievous one.

Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
6424 North Whipple Street
Chicago IL  60645-4111
(1-773)7613784   landline
(1-410)9964737   GoogleVoice

From: Alexander Seinfeld <seinfeld@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 19,2022 at 12:17 PM
Subject: Aliyah minhag question

> People who turn their head, in my opinion, do so in order to show that they know
> the brachot and don't have to read them.

Chas vshalom!!!! They do that in order to fulfill the ruling of the Shulchan
Arukh (Rema), Orach Chayim 139:4

From: Avraham Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 20,2022 at 05:17 AM
Subject: Aliyah minhag question

Halavei we should be zoche to have as many questions and comments about minhagim
for making aliyah as getting an aliyah.

Avraham (Alan) Friedenberg
Beersheva, Israel


From: Steven White <stevenj81@...>
Date: Tue, Dec 20,2022 at 07:17 PM
Subject: Another aliyah question

In response to the various comments in MJ 66#26):

I've been a member of the group since vol. 1, but have been quiet recently. But
I had to respond on the question of "where to touch the Torah" during an aliyah.
 I have been managing the Sifrei Torah in my shul for over 20 years.  And one
time someone ran his tallis down the middle of a column of the writing and
absolutely devastated that column, making the Sefer Torah posul [invalid], and
requiring a non-trivial repair.  I personally don't think people should ever
actually touch the script itself -- remember, the ink mostly sits on the
parchment, rather than soaking into the parchment.  But of a certainty, you
should never, ever run a tallis (or gartel or whatever) down the script. If you
insist you should touch the script, dab it very lightly and then lift the tallis

Steven White
Highland Park, NJ
(speaking only for myself)


From: Mischa Gelman <mischagelman@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 19,2022 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Ezrat Nashim

In response to Chaim Casper's question (MJ 66#25) about men using the Ezrat
Nashim, I've seen three different phenomena at the shuls I've davened at
regularly on weekday mornings in Pittsburgh:

1) The weekday minyan met in a small room which was pretty packed with 10 guys
so there was usually no mekhitza up. When a lady came to daven, we had a
portable mekhitza we could set up pretty quickly and the displaced guys would
then relocate to the other section of the room without a fuss.

2) A shul where men routinely stationed themselves in the Ezrat Nashim. I only
attended this minyan for about a year and never saw any women come, perhaps
because their space had been taken away from them by the men.

3) The shul I daven at now, where the Ezrat Nashim has a sign up saying that the
area is reserved for women's davening. As a result, no men use this space,
leaving it free for women as needed. This seems like an ideal solution to me.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 19,2022 at 10:17 AM
Subject: Kaddish

Deborah Wenger wrote (MJ 66#26):

> Martin Stern wrote (MJ 66#25):
>> Stuart Pilichowski wrote (MJ 66#23):
>>> ...
>>> Nowadays, people observing rituals get gold stars in my book. If for
>>> whatever personal reasons one decides, to your chagrin, not to observe I
>>> don't label them negatively, by using terminology such as not legitimate.
>>> ...
>> In almost all shuls, where several say [kaddish] together, there is no need
>> for the extra kaddeishim at the beginning of shacharit to give more aveilim
>> an opportunity to say at least one kaddish, so they could well be dropped.
>> However I suspect that this would raise howls of protest from those who only
>> come to shul to say it.
> Martin, I'm sorry you feel that way. But as Stuart wrote, for some people this
> is their only connection to "that old-time religion" and it's what's keeping
> them in the fold - and more power to them.
> A number of years ago I was visiting a cousin who was proudly "off the derech"
> but quietly admitted to me that during aveilut for his parents (who, sadly,
> died within two weeks of each other) he went to shul to say kaddish for them
> every day, and he continued to say kaddish on their yahrzeits until he died.
> And I wonder how you'd feel about something I encountered one day last week -
> there's a developmentally disabled man who's a regular in our shul who had
> yahrzeit for his mother, and wanted to say kaddish at ma'ariv. He can read
> Hebrew and did get through all the recitations, slowly and occasionally
> assisted by another man, but he did it. I was saying kaddish for a yahrzeit
> that night, and the other aveilim and I went slowly to accommodate him. I
> thought this was a tremendous kiddush Hashem.

I think Deborah has misunderstood what I wrote. I have no wish to stop people
saying kaddish. As she and Stuart quite correctly point out, this recital is
often the only connection some Jews have with Jewish practice. However, I don't
think cutting their number would make any difference to this connection. At
minchah and ma'ariv, there is only one kaddish yatom after Aleinu, right at the
end, which does not present any problems. My only problem is at shacharit,
especially with the kaddeishim at the beginning, before pesukei dezimra. If
these could be skipped, I probably would not have any problems with the pace of
davenning. Also, any extras at the end would not cause any disturbance (though I
feel this excessive repetition is counterproductive - "familiarity breeds

Martin Stern


From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 22,2022 at 01:17 AM
Subject: The Grandchild Clause In The Law Of Return

The new government is considering legislation which would cancel the grandchild
clause under which anyone with one jewish paternal grandfather is included in
the law of return and is eligible for automatic Israeli citizenship. This means
that such a grandchild can bring with him three grandparents two parents and his
spouse, only one of whom is Jewish. This reflects the statistic from the Israeli
office of statistics that of the 40,000 immigrants from Russia and Ukraine in
the last two years only 20% were halachically Jewish.

This is an acute problem since it is estimated that up to 10,000,000 worldwide
are included in the present law. Opponents of the new legislation claim that it
will cause a rift with diaspora Jewry especially Reform who accept patrilineal
descent and Conservative whose conversions are not accepted in Israel. But the
fact is that out of 20,000 immigrants from North America in the last decade less
than 100 were patrilineal grandchildren and their families.

IMHO this legislation is crucial along with reforming the conversion system to
attract more non-Jewish Israelis to convert.

KT and Channukah sameach to all

R'David Yizchak Tzohar-Yerushalayim


From: Joel Rich <joelirarich@...>
Date: Wed, Dec 21,2022 at 02:17 AM
Subject: Torah intuition 

A poster said:

> While Torah intuition may lie beneath their rulings, the vast majority of
> rabbinic decisions are supported by source-based evidence. And if a refutation
> is brought to light, the theory is abandoned with no source left unexplained.

IMHO this is a bit of an oversimplification - It seems to me that if a
refutation is brought to light but no other theory suggests itself which better
fits the data, the approach is to minimize the offending source or read it
somewhat tortuously. The interesting question to me then is why does one data
point offend one of the disputants more than the other (and vice versa). Thoughts?


Joel Rich


End of Volume 66 Issue 27