Volume 9 Number 42
                       Produced: Mon Oct  4 12:52:21 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Amareinu Haazinah
         [Shlomo H. Pick]
Force of Tradition (2)
         [Michael Allen, Hayim Hendeles]
Kosher in Washington
         [George Adler]
Phonetic Prayerbook
         [Howard Joseph]
Prayer for rain
         [L. Joseph Bachman]
Saving a Life (4)
         [Frank Silbermann, Raichik, Anthony Fiorino, allen elias]


From: Shlomo H. Pick <F12013@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 93 05:15:51 -0400
Subject: Amareinu Haazinah

 shalom ve-chag sameiach
 i recall that a shul of german extraction (adat Yeshurun) on
 rechov hagra in bnei brak said slichot according to nusach poland
 and the chazzan said that verse (amareinu haazina hashem...) and
 the congregation then repeated it.  The source of that is up to
 speculation - it could very well be a misadapted custom.  certainly
 those who don't say may be influence (on the other hand) by nusah
 lita (lithuania) which does not have it in the shma koleinu.


From: Michael Allen <allen@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 93 10:25:42 -0400
Subject: Force of Tradition

>> <bob@...> (Ezra Bob Tanenbaum) writes:
>> "[...] Only tradition stops us. [...]"

Then the Torah stops us, for "minhag avoteinu torah hi" (the traditions
and customs accepted by the observant community in any generation
becomes binding on subsequent generations).  Why should this be so?  It
needs to be taken to heart that our connection to Torah at all is rooted
in the acceptance of the generation that stood under Har Sinai and
proclaimed "Na'aseh v'Nishma" -- we will do (and/so that) we will

From: Hayim Hendeles <hayim@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 93 09:53:37 -0700
Subject: Re: Force of Tradition

	... since there is nothing in halacha which
	prevents a woman from teaching, lecturing, and advising, so
	aside from being a signatory or judge at legal events
	(marriage, divorce, conversion) or leading services a woman
	could halachically fulfil all the duties of a rabbi. Only
	tradition stops us. 

I will not comment on the first part of this quote, since this is
already the subject of much controversy here. Therefore, please do not
interpret my silence as tacit admission (shtika kehodaa). But I am
quoting it here only to say that the argument contained herein is
suspect. In particular:

I object to the statement "only tradition ..."

I heard recently from Rabbi Frand (who quoted someone else ...) that
the Hebrew word for "minhag" consists of the identical letters as
the word for "Gehinom". My understanding of that, is one who tampers
with "minhag" runs the risk of "gehinom".

So, there may or may not ever be a valid reason with changing tradition,
but even if there is, it cannot be taken lightly.

Hayim Hendeles


From: <ah723@...> (George Adler)
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 93 09:06:16 -0400
Subject: Kosher in Washington

I often have occasion to visit Washington D.C. on business. Last time I
was the I was dissappointed to find that the only place to eat in the
downtown area the Hunan Deli had closed. I understood that a kosher
establishment was planning to reopen in the same location. Any current
information on the status of kosher eating options in downtown
Washington would be appreciated.


From: Howard Joseph <NOJO@...>
Date: Sun, 03 Oct 1993 19:57:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Phonetic Prayerbook

A very good siddur is available from France called "Siddour Maor Libi."
It is a complete daily and Sabbath and many holidays prayerbook. There
is no Hebrew at all. It is in the Sephardi pronunciation, french style,
as you see from the word Siddour. I find it very helpful for members of 
my congregation who need this aid. ALso available from Paris are 2 volumes 
that contain parts of the Yom Kippur service. Maor Libi is published
by LA MAISON DU TALETH, 5 Rue de la Presentation, 75011 Paris. It is
probably available from the COLBO Book Store in Paris. From time to
time it appears here in Montreal.
Howard Joseph


From: <ag849@...> (L. Joseph Bachman)
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 93 11:23:02 -0600
Subject: Prayer for rain

I'll be presenting a few words to our congregation on Shemini Atzeret,
and I was considering focusing on T'filat Geshem (the prayer for rain).
I'm interested in obtaining insights from members of the group or
suggestions for further reading on the folowing topics (or anything else
relating to T'filat Geshem or water that comes to mind):

What is the origin of the prayer we see in today's siddur?

Are we only asking G-d for rain at the appropriate times in the land of
 Israel, or do we also asking for appropriate rain wherever we may be?
 (for example, in the Eastern U.S., it's appropriate for moderate
 amounts of rain to fall evenly through the year.)

What's the connection between sufficient rain at the appropriate season
 and our spiritual well-being? (Aside from the obvious connection that
 one's spritual well-being is enhanced if one is not flooded out and
 isn't worried about crop damage and the food supply.)

What's our responsibility in controlling or protecting our physical

The Talmud says that Sukkot the time of judgement on water, that is
 G-d will decide the meteorlogic and hydrologic character of the
 coming year.  On what basis is this judegemnt made?  Does it
 have to do with how well the Jews are keeping the Torah, whether
 or not people are managing their physical resources
 adequately, or is there some other criteria for judgement?

It's not too early to start thinking about rain.  I read that
although Sukkot is the time for the judgement on water, we
refrain from T'filat Geshem until Shemini Atzeret so that
we won't get rained on in the Sukkah, and thus be prevented
from performing a mitzvah (of sitting in the sukkah.)

Chag Sameach to everyone, and a dry and not-to-cold Sukkot to
 all.  May the rains fall, but on Oct. 11 or later (so that we
 can all take down and store our sukkot in dry weather on Oct. 10.)


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 93 11:54:47 -0400
Subject: Re: Saving a Life

In Vol9 #38 David A. Guberman asks:
>      In _A People Divided:  Judaism In Contemporary America_
>	Jack Wertheimer claims "leading Orthodox rabbinic decisors
>	of _both_ the right-wing Haredi sector and the more
>	moderate faction rul[ing] that `in principle it is forbidden to
>	save the life of a Reform or Conservative Jew on Shabbat
>	on the same basis that one is not allowed to desecrate
>	the Sabbath to save a gentile's life.'"
>      Are these two rulings accurately reported?  What is their basis?
>      If the rulings have been accurately reported, why are they acceptable?

My understanding is that the priniciple by which we can violate Shabbat
to save a Shomer Shabbat Jew (so that he will be able to observe many
Shabbatot in the future) does not apply to gentiles and Jews who don't
keep the Sabbath.  However, _other principles_ do give us this
permission (i.e. that if we didn't save them, the resulting hatred would
ultimately cost the lives of other Jews later).

The initial ruling is reasonable only because it is strictly
theoretical, Of course, if gentiles knew how important is is for Jews to
perform the Mitzvot they might actually forbid us from breaking Shabbat
even to save gentiles, etc.  However, it seems to me that any gentile
with this level of appreciation for Halacha might already have converted
to Judaism.  Perhaps with the coming of Moshiach gentile governments
will assign a Shabbas goy to follow after each Jew and perform whatever
lifesaving measures the Jew would otherwise be tempted to do.  :-)

This brings up an interesting point.  I have heard some Jews criticize
Christian ethics as being insufficiently grounded in law -- relying only
on feelings of good will towards others and/or self-interest.  Yet, many
of our ethical halachot apply only to fellow (religious?) Jews.  When
dealing with others, the Halacha must not bind us so tightly (lest
clever gentiles take advantage of the imbalance in mutual
responsibilities and enslave us thereby).  However, this means that in
our relationships with gentiles our ethics, too, are primarily grounded
by self-interest (i.e. concern for its effect on Jews) and/or feelings
of good will.  Therefore, we should not feel too much contempt for other
religions and ethical systems.

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

From: <raichik@...> (Raichik)
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 93 11:54:23 -0400
Subject: Saving a Life

This is in response to the letter regarding saving a "conservative" or
"reform" Jew's life. There is no such a thing in Halacha as a Jew with a
adjective attached. You are either Jewish (born of a Jewish mother or
converted halachically) or a member of the 70 nations. These names such
as 'orthodox', 'conservative', 'reform', 'agnostic', 'humanistic',
'cardiac', 'ultra-orthodox', etc. have no basis in Jewish law and were
created by the reform movement to legitimize their way of thinking.

From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 93 19:55:06 -0400
Subject: Saving a Life

David/Jayne Guberman asked about the following quote from a book:

> "leading Orthodox rabbinic decisors of _both_ the right-wing _Haredi_
> sector and the more moderate faction rul[ing] that 'in principle it is
> forbidden to save the life of a Reform or Conservative Jew on Shabbat on
> the same basis that one is not allowed to desecrate the Sabbath to save a
> gentile's life.'"

The rabbi here at Einstein (who is quite familiar with medical/halachic
issues given his position as the rav at YU's medical school) has stated
numerous times that it is permissable to desecrate the sabbath to save the
life of a non-Jew "mipnei eiva." Meaning that if one were not to do so, it
would cause hatred against Jews.  (this may not be the "politically
correct" reason, but it gets the job done).  He has *never* applied this
reasoning to non-religious Jews -- it is simply a given that one must
desecrate the sabbath to save the life of a Jew. 

There may have been a time, when non-observant Jews carried the din of
"idol-worshipper," that it was not permitted to desecrate the sabbath to
save such a person's life.  But today, based on the Chazon Ish's
understanding of the Rambam's classification of Karaites as "tinuk
shenishba" (raised in captivity), we do not consider non-observant Jews as
idol-worshppers and are thus commanded to love them and forbidden to hate
them.  (This was discussed on the mail-jewish regarding the quesiotn of
homosexuality, somewhere in vol 7 I think).  See "Loving and Hating Jews
as Halakhic Categories" by R. N. Lamm, in _Jewish Tradition and the
Non-Traditional Jew_ (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1991).

Eitan Fiorino

From: allen elias <100274.346@...>
Date: 29 Sep 93 10:36:55 EDT
Subject: Saving a Life

I don't know if the rulings are accurately reported or not but they have
no basis in halacha. The Shulachan Aruch Hilchot Shabat 330 says one
should mechalel shabat only for someone required to observe shabat.
There is no exemption for Reform or Conservative Jews from observing
Shabat. Though they do not observe Shabat they are still required to
observe it.

The only problem is with a gentile. If a gentile doctor is available
then the Jewish doctor is not required to desecrate the Shabat. However
if this will cause hatred to the Jews then the Jewish doctor is allowed
to be mechalel shabes. But the halacha does not exempt saving a life.


End of Volume 9 Issue 42