Volume 66 Number 54 
      Produced: Mon, 11 Sep 23 15:25:52 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Psak - Mezuzah (2)
    [Leah Gordon  Yisrael Medad]
Straws in the wind? 
    [Leah Gordon]
Women Saying Kaddish (4)
    [Joel Rich  Carl Singer  Joseph Kaplan  Chana Luntz]


From: Leah Gordon <leahgordonmobile@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 7,2023 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Psak - Mezuzah

Various posters have mentioned the faster turnaround time required to affix a
mezuzah on one's house in Israel.  I was under the impression that if you move
out, and a Jew will move in, you are supposed to leave the mezuzah up (at least
the klaf; you may replace your fancy wedding present case with a plainer one). 
Wouldn't this cover most moves in Israel except into new construction?

Leah (whose favorite mezuzah is a test-tube mezuzah used at MIT)

From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 7,2023 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Psak - Mezuzah

>From what I see, not only is there a difference between purchasing and renting in
Chutz La'Aretz but also the amount of time rented. If one rents for a period of
more than 30 days, it is recommended to affix a mezuzah immediately or, at
least, as soon as possible.

see Peninei HaHalacha


Yisrael Medad


From: Leah Gordon <leahgordonmobile@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 7,2023 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Straws in the wind?

In response to Joel Rich (MJ 66#51) who mentioned the Wall Street Journal
article about returning (or not) to houses of worship in the waning days of
[that round of] COVID-19, Chaim Casper (MJ 66#52) replied:

> I have trouble understanding and accepting the premise of this article. For
> years, the 5.5 million American Jews who are not Orthodox have drifted in
> and out of synagogue participation only when they need a rabbi to preside
> over a life cycle event: brit milah, bar/bat mitzvah, weddings and funerals.
> They can talk all they want about spirituality but the reality is they have
> no need for the synagogue nor have they for the last 100+ years, long before
> the advent of Covid. So what is the impetus, if any, that encourages them to
> go back to shul or the bet medrash? Where do they express and experience 
> Jewish spirituality?

I'd like to know on what evidence Chaim bases this claim?!

I hold membership (at least to the extent of receiving emails and minyan
announcements) in half a dozen shuls locally, including some Conservative and
one Reconstructionist shul.  ALL have active davening, and actually, some have
more active davening times since 2020, because they have moved some services to
Zoom (weekday and in some cases, shabbat/chag).

Sure, there are some congregants in every shul who don't attend that often. 
Maybe there are more in non-Orthodox shuls.  But Chaim's statement is an
astounding exaggeration.

Not only are there regular davenings, but my shuls regularly announce Shabbat
dinners, family programs, educational programs including both traditional
shiurim and also Jewish lecture series, parties (e.g. in the sukkah), Purim
carnivals, etc. etc.

Leah S. R. Gordon


From: Joel Rich <joelirarich@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 7,2023 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Women Saying Kaddish

Aryeh Frimer wrote (MJ 66#52):

> Carl Singer (MJ 66#50) posits that when a woman says the Mourner's Kaddish a 
> man needs to say the Kaddish with her .  While this seems to be the view of R. 
> Yosef Eliyahu Henkin ZT"L, R. Yosef Dov Soloveitchik ZT"L (The Rov) disagreed. 
> There is a wonderful treatment of Women and Kaddish in R. Joel Wolowelsky's 
> Book, "Jewish Law and Modernity," pp. 88-90.  Therein he cites a conversation  
> R. Ezra Bick had with the Rov in the early 1970's in which the Rov was asked 
> this question head on Halakha le-ma'aseh.  The Rov responded that he could see 
> no objections to a woman saying the Kaddish either alone or with a man.  R. Bick
> and then R. Wolowelsky quote other sources that concur.
> Here in Rehovot,  we have discovered that there are often women who would say
> Kaddish, but will not do so alone.  Hence, if there is no male mourner, the
> Gabbai will say kaddish along with her.

Can Aryeh explain the reasons why the women would not do so alone?

Joel Rich

From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 7,2023 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Women Saying Kaddish

In response to Dr. Frimer (MJ 66#52) regarding my statement which dealt with the
mechanics / logistics of a woman saying kaddish since she is separated from the
tzibur by a mechitza, or is in the balcony, depending on the layout of the shul.

I am not wrestling with the halacha. Not my paygrade.

Carl Singer

From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 7,2023 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Women Saying Kaddish

There's been discussion about different approaches various  poskim and shuls
take about the question of women saying kaddish alone. In my community of
Teaneck, that specific questions was asked of two congregational rabbis, i.e.
they were asked what the kahal should do if a woman started saying kaddish and
there was no man saying it at the same time. Interestingly, both gave the same
answer in almost the same words: Be quiet, listen, and answer amen/yehey shmey


From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 7,2023 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Women Saying Kaddish

In response to Aryeh Frimer (MJ 66#52):

I at first thought that Carl Singer might be following the view of R' Yosef
Eliyahu Henkin ztl, but concluded that could not be the case.  What R' YE Henkin
wrote was:

"In the time of the Achronim who discussed this, the custom was that one person
would say kaddish, and if so it was not for a girl to stand before the ark and
say kaddish because this was the way of the early ones that a person saying
kaddish would say it before the ark and indeed it is not proper for a girl to go
before the ark in the place of the prayer leader to say kaddish alone.  But now
that everybody says in his place, and there are many who say it, you should not
push away with two hands and I have already written that it is correct that she
should stand behind the mechitza." (Sefer Teshuvot Ibra (New York: Ezrat Torah,
1989), "The saying of kaddish by an orphan girl" no. 4, p. 6.)  

Whereas Carl identified the problem as "mechanical" and that it had to do with
the congregation pausing, so he must be basing himself on something else and not
R' YE Henkin's psak.

Rav Yehuda Hertzl Henkin ztl, the grandson of Rav Yosef Eliyahu, suggested that
a requirement for a woman to only say it with a man might be in response to
those who object to a woman saying it at all:

"the objection that listening to her may violate the prohibition of kol beishah
ervah [the voice of a woman is lewd] (Mateh Efraim, Elef laMateh) and that her
presence would be immodest and distract the men (Aseh Lecha Rav and others). 
When she recites kaddish simultaneously with the men the principle trei kalei lo
mishtamei [two voices are not heard at once] applies, and if she is inaudible
there is of course no kol isha to start with.  Nor is there immodesty or visual
distraction when she remains behind the mechitza. "(Equality Lost Urim
Publications 1999 Chapter 5 p.45)

Note that in Shut Bnei Banim Chelek 3 Siman 27 in the note on pp. 97-98  Rav
Yehuda Hertzl Henkin himself ruled:

"And from here there is to rule that a female mourner in the women's section if
she is regularly saying kaddish together with the mourners like I have said, and
one day it should happen that there are no [male] mourners, that she is able to
say kaddish by herself since this is only by happenstance."

And were there an absolute requirement by his grandfather for a woman to always
say it with a man, then it is extremely unlikely that his grandson would have
ruled differently, as he was exceptionally close to his grandfather.  

Rather, it seems that if in the regular case a woman is just one of a number of
mourners, is saying it from the woman's section, and could not be confused with
the Shatz, she can on occasion, even according to the Henkins, say it alone, and
the need to have a man say it with the woman is only needed to satisfy all
opinions, including those of the Mateh Ephraim and the Aseh L'cha Rav.

For the record, the opinions holding that women should not say kaddish that I
was able to identify are as follows:

a) It will cause the customs of Israel to be weakened (Chavvot Yair);

b) Kol Isha is even for a speaking voice like with the recitation of kaddish
(Mateh Ephraim/Elef L'Mateh);

c) It will cause people to think she can count in a minyan (Yahel Yisrael,
quoting the Mishnat Benaymin/Sde Chemed);

d) it might cause a woman to say the kaddeishim in the midst of prayer (i.e. the
ones that are said by the Shatz and not by mourners) (Yahel Yisrael);

e) the women's section is not actually in the presence of a minyan (Shut Torah

f) sons are the physical forms of their fathers, daughters are not (Mishpatei
Uzziel); and

g) women should not be in synagogue anyway, much less saying kaddish (Teshuva

In addition, those who only allow at home (Be'er Hetev, Shut Shvut Ya'akov, Aseh
L'cha Rav, Chazon Ovadiah) and in some cases, only if the minyan at home is made
up of the family circle, do so because of the perceived immodesty of a woman
making her presence known or felt within a synagogue.  They object in the
synagogue whether the woman is saying it with a man or not.

But nobody I have found seems to mention anything problematic about a
congregational pause at the end of the service (in an Ashkenazi service this is
after Aleinu!).  So I was trying to understand where this objection came from.




End of Volume 66 Issue 54