Volume 9 Number 9
                       Produced: Mon Sep  6  8:10:51 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Galut and Geulah (2)
         [Sam Goldish, Hillel A. Meyers]
Kashering Wedgewood China
         [David Kay]
Kosher Mezuzah and Disaster
         [Frank Silbermann]
Mechitza styles (2)
         [Jonathan Baker, Neil Parks]
Prayer for the State of Israel
         [Morris Podalak]


From: Sam Goldish <0005891269@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 93 08:21:19 -0400
Subject: Galut and Geulah

Bruce Krulwich, in Vol. 9-1, writes:

>I have seen other similar variations attributed to other 
non-religious-zionist poskim.

I wish Bruce would clarify whether he said what he meant in
that sentence.  "Non-religious...poskim" sounds like an oxymoron.

[I'm pretty sure that it means non-(religious-zionist) poskim. While I
did notice it was ambigues, the alternate (non-religious)-zionist poskim
was sufficiently absurd (to my mind at least) to figure everyone would
parse this correctly. Mod.]

BTW, Rabbi Shubert Spero, shlit"a, while the rabbi of Young Israel 
of Cleveland, summed up his view many years ago during a Pesach 
"drosh" as follows (quoting from memory):  "Galus is ended.  Anyone, 
today, can make aliyah.  All we're waiting for now is the Geulah Shelemah."

Kol tuv.
Sam Goldish

From: hillelm%<dublin@...> (Hillel A. Meyers)
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 93 10:24:31 -0400
Subject: Re: Galut and Geulah

   Just a note in reference to the phrase in the Tefila LeShalom
HaMedina, "Prayer for the State of Israel".  Rav Avraham Yitzchak
Kook was niftar, (passed away) in the 1930's, a number of years prior
to the establishment of the State.  Rav Kook could not have called
the state, "reshit tsmikhat geulateinu" since it was not in
existence.  His son Rav Tzvi Yehuda may have used that Lashon.

   I believe what many are attributing to him is that he saw the
Techiya LeUmit", the national revitalization, as a sign of a
"reshit tsmikhat geulateinu".  The general return of the masses to
Eretz Yisrael as well as the interest by Jews of all different
backgrounds in the rebuilding of a national Jewish Nation, all
contributed to the Techiya LeUmit.

   I would also be interested in any written sources to the quote by Rav
Moshe to use the lashon of she'tehei reshit ...  Many shuls who object
to the tefila because of the lashon, could find a suitable compromise in
Rav Moshe's addendum to the Tefila.  Did Rav Moshe say to say it but add
that one word?

[My memory of my discussion with the person from the shul in
Philadelphia who asked the question (I can't remember his name right
now, it is from the shul in the Overbrook Park area, they did not have
an official Rabbi, but acted in that capacity) was that the question
asked was along the lines of "is it permitted to say the tefila lishlom
hamadina as part of the Shabbat services". In other words, the shul had
decided to say the tefilah, and wanted to know if it was permissible. To
this Rav Moshe replied that while in the standard form it was not proper
(I do not know if he said it was not allowed) because it was not in the
form of a bakasha + hodoah (request plus praise), if you add the word
she'tehei it is then in the proper form of a tefilah. I do not think we
can draw from this situation, at least, an answer to what I think Hillel
is asking, i.e. even if the tefilah is permitted, is it something that
"should" be said by the congregation. In the above case, that was not
asked of R. Moshe and he did not respond to that, as far as I know.

Hillel - <hillelm@...>


From: David Kay <kay_d@...>
Date: Sun, 05 Sep 93 07:38:01 -0400
Subject: Kashering Wedgewood China

Does anyone know of any Halachik responses (i.e. T'shuvot) regarding the 
kashering of fine china (particularly Wedgewood china which literally has 
not been used in over twenty years)? 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

[There are halakhic responsa on this topic, but they revolve around the
concept of "hefsid merubah" - major (monetary) loss. Thus, there can be
no abstract answer to this question. It is one that needs to be answered
on an individual basis by a Rav for each person's situation. I went
through these halachot with a Rav local to you, David, and I would
suggest contacting him. His name is Rabbi Levine, and he is the Rav in
the Bala-Cynwood area. If you do speak to him, please send him regards
from me. The other person to contact in the Philadelphia area is Rabbi
Felder, who is Rav of a shul in the Northeast portion of the city and a
well known posek. Mod.]

-- David J. Kay


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 93 17:13:56 -0400
Subject: Re: Kosher Mezuzah and Disaster

In the discussion of Kosher Mezuzah and Disaster, subscribers gave their
reactions to a Haredi Knesset minister (Rv. Peretz) blaming a tragic
railroad accident on some specific lack of piety in the community (a
movie theater opening on Friday nights, or perhaps invalid mezuzahs).
Most of the m.j. opinions seemed uncomfortable with this kind of

Michael Kramer suggests that:
> Believing in skhar va'onesh (reward and punishment) does not necessarily
> translate into the simplisitic formulations that underlay Perets' remarks.

Bob Werman reports:
> I would hope that only few of us claim to know the EXACT equation
> of what good acts would prevent which tragedy before the fact.

Elhanan Adler notes:
> Yes, we believe that disasters are a sign of divine displeasure - however,
> it always amazes me how some people claim to know the cause.

Nevertheless, it is apparent that many people believe it is indeed
possible to determine the specific sins that cause any given tragedy.
For instance, Elhanan Adler quotes an earlier posting saying:

> We asked an Aguda friend of ours what she thought of the comment,
> and she said that most of their community agreed with the M.K.
> but everyone thought he was stupid for saying it to the press...

Also, I have been told that Rv. Shach (leader of the non-Hassidic Haredi
world) claims to have determined the sins for which G-d brought forth
the Holocaust.  Another has claimed that women were brought to the gas
chambers naked and with shaven heads as punishment for Shneus

What is the Torah basis for making such connections?  What principles
are applied in determining such a causation?  I suppose "measure for
measure" is one of them.  Elhanan Adler mentioned another principle:
"It's always the other guy's fault."  Are there any others?

Frank Silbermann        <fs@...>
Tulane University       New Orleans, Louisiana  USA


From: <baker@...> (Jonathan Baker)
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 93 13:16:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Mechitza styles

Steve Prensky asks about mechitza styles.  From what I've heard (sorry,
no source cites, although I'll try to find an Igros Moshe), Rav Moshe
Feinstein's mechitza criteria hinge on a physical separation, rather
than complete invisibility.  Thus, the mechitza in the Spanish and
Portuguese Synagogue's "Little Synagogue," a reproduction of their first
(1720) building, which consists of a raised (6") platform and a 3-foot
railing in front of it (a single row of chairs) is sufficient.

Others apparently have stricter standards, so strict, in fact, that they
effectively remove the women from the tsibbur (davening community); they
cannot hear the baal tefilla or baal koreh (prayer leader or torah
reader) through the barrier, nor can they see the Torah and point to it,
saying "vezot haTorah" [and this is the Torah].  I'm thinking particu-
larly of the mechitzah at Yeshiva Migdal Torah, the synagogue of our M-J
correspondent (and my cousin) Dov Krulwich.

	Jonathan Baker

From: <aa640@...> (Neil Parks)
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 93 02:08:04 -0400
Subject: Mechitza styles

>From: Susan Slusky <segs@...>
>I'm particularly intrigued by the use of plexiglass. Plexiglass
>doesn't block sight at all and does a lousy job at blocking sound if
>it's not floor to ceiling. So it only blocks people from physically
>touching or maybe from breathing on one another. If the mechitza is
>mainly to keep men from seeing women, and maybe a little to keep them
>from hearing women's voices, what does an extra couple of feet of
>plexiglass do (halachically) for a mechitza?

One of the sins which we confess on Yom Kippur is "kallut rosh", which
is variously translated as "frivolity", "levity", or even "riotous

According to the book "Blessed Are You" by Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen, the
purpose of mechitza is not to prevent men from seeing or hearing women,
but only to prevent close communication that would lead to kallut rosh.

"While it is admitted that gazing at women, even in a gallery, may be a
distraction for males--and the halakhah certainly condemns gazing at
women sensuously--the institution of the gallery or mechitzah was not
directed at that aspect of the problem.  It was not intended as a means
of furthering male concentration during worship, but exclusively, as we
have seen, to prevent kallut rosh.  That type of levity will not develop
from seeing women at a distance, but only from the ability to
communicate at close proximity."

NEIL EDWARD PARKS       >INTERNET: <aa640@...>  OR


From: Morris Podalak <morris@...>
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 93 04:52:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Prayer for the State of Israel

With regard to the text of the prayer for the state of Israel, I noted
that Rav A. H. Lapin ztz"l would leave out the phrase "reshit tzmichat
geulateinu" [the first "sprouting" of our redemption].  He once
explained that he talked to Rav Herzog, the Chief Rabbi of Israel at the
time the prayer was composed, and Rav Herzog told him that he had
nothing to do with that phrase.  As I later learned in an article in
"Shana be Shana" (a publication of the Israel Chief Rabbinate) the
phrase was actually composed by S. Agnon, the famous writer.  Apparently
the phraseology is Agnon's, and not Rav Herzog's, but it was included
with the approval of the Chief Rabbinate.  Moshe


End of Volume 9 Issue 9