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Volume 09 : Number 024

Monday, May 6 2002

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 16:49:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Brooklyn eruvim

[We started discussing the LA eiruv on Areivim when I asked that
halachic discussions of eiruvim be forwarded here. -mi]

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
> From: Joseph Mosseri <JMosseri@msn.com>
>: It looks very similar to our Brooklyn situation.
>: Can we get a halakhikly working 'Eroub here in Brooklyn?
> I don't think any emphasis is needed that pesak halacha is not done
> by looking at websites.
> Considering the post by someone about respecting the rabbonim who
> were responsible for previous eruvin when making a new one,  it
> behooves anyone undertaking an eruv in Brooklyn to bear in mind that
> Rav Moshe Feinstein did not permit it.

However, he did not outright forbid it either.  See below.

And later:
> "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM> writes:
>: Is it possible that no one presented to Rav Moshe the possibility of using
>: primarily walls around Brooklyn (instead of tzuras hapesach) because this
>: was too expensive or simply not feasible?
> The Manhattan eruv was predicated on that assumption. I find it hard
> to believe (RYGB, are you there?) that this was NOT presented as an
> option, however, AIUI, Rav Moshe's objections had to do with the
> population of shishim ribo, for which even walls (I'm not sure tzuras
> hapesach qua wall is a problem except leshitas haRambam) would not
> suffice.

Hmm. I picked up a pamphlet by a Rabbi Shia T. Director from Boro Park,
distributed in the Viznitz shtibl on East 13th St. In it he reprints
a bunch of letters he sent to various people & publications, basically
saying that Reb Moshe Feinstein did not forbid an eruv in Brooklyn,
at least not on any sound basis. He made several interesting claims:

1) that there was a proclamation forbidding eruvs in Brooklyn on which
RMF's signature was forged (and he can provide documentation on request);

2) that RMF didn't actually forbid building eruvs in Brooklyn;

3) that RMF's reasoning why eruvs shouldn't be built in Brooklyn was
based on his own chiddush, unprecedented in halachic literature, and
see IM OH 4:87,88.

On Sunday I went and read those teshuvot (RGD: that's what I was reading
after shiur), and sure enough, he doesn't outright say that eruvs are
flat forbidden in Brooklyn. He does say in 4:87 that people had been
going around saying that he permitted the building of the Flatbush eruv,
and that he hadn't actually done so. But he didn't outright say "assur".

In fact, he admits that his understanding of 60 ribu is his own chidush.
Apparently, SA OH 435:7 says that one needs a) an area 12 mil x 12 mil,
in which b) 60 ribu are in the street. Everyone else understands 60 ribu
in the street *at one time*, where RMF's chidush is that 60 ribu is *over
the course of a day*. Which is clearly true: with 3,000,000 residents,
including 1,000,000 commuters in Brooklyn, in an area a bit more than
12x12 mil, it would be assur. But under EVERYONE ELSE's opinion,
apparently, it's not assur.

So he didn't permit building eruvs, but he couldn't flat-out forbid others
from building eruvs based solely on his own chidush, in all honesty.
And R' Director apparently feels that RMF's signature had to have been
forged, in part because of just this instance: that he couldn't honestly
forbid others from building eruvs if they didn't hold by his chidush on
60 ribu.

Interestingly, 4:89 is RMF's letter to R' Leo Jung, rabbi at the Jewish
Center, where he essentially says, "you know my reasons for not allowing
one to build an eruv in Manhattan, but you have the people you rely on
(al ma lismoch), so I can't tell you not to permit using the eruv."
It's not too far a jump to assume that the same went for Brooklyn.

* * * 

I've heard from others that one of the big problems with Brooklyn eruvs
is Ocean Parkway. But again, if we don't take RMF's chidush, there are
never 60 ribu people on OP at one time - can't be, it's a "no commercial
traffic" street, so aside from one or two blocks, there are no buses.

IIRC, the main reason Flatbush Avenue cannot be crossed with an eruv is
that it is "mefulash", that is, it runs straight through the borough,
in one side (Manhattan Bridge) and out the other (Gil Hodges Bridge).
Ocean Parkway is not that way at all: it has two clear termini, the
Gowanus Expressway to Coney Island. And in fact, neither the Park Slope
nor the Flatbush eruvs cross Flatbush Avenue. They both run along the
west side of the street for part of their distance.

There are all kinds of legends & mis/dis-information floating around
about the Flatbush eruv: it crosses Flatbush; Ocean Parkway is a problem;
it was built by Conservative rabbis; RMF originally permitted it, then
withdrew permission later; it crosses the Shore Parkway; RMF is the last
word on eruvs.

I'm a bit riled up about it because

a) I read the aforementioned pamphlet;

b) some kook yelled at me for being "mechallel shabbat" in Hebrew on
Shabbat, then ran into me on Sunday and started yelling at me again,
despite responses of "yesh eruv beshchunah hazot, ein atah yode'a
hahalacha", and when he didn't shut up, "atah meshuga, tishtok et hapeh",
and running off. I don't think tochachah includes yelling at random
strangers in the street.

   - jon baker    jjbaker@panix.com     <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker> -

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Date: Wed, 01 May 2002 16:10:30 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
Los Angeles Community Eruv

The Rashba in Avodas Ha'Kodesh holds that walls do not work to contain a 
reshus ho'rabbim - Reb Moshe seems to hold some variation of that theme. 
The CI disagrees. More on this may be found in The Contemporary Eruv.

Kol Tuv,

ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

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Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 18:14:31 +0300
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
Re: Kaddish after Aleinu

On 30 Apr 2002 at 21:34, yosef stern wrote:
> CMarkowitz@scor.com  wrote:
>> Today after minyan someone raised the point that even if there is no
>> yosom in shul, someone should say the Kaddish after Aleinu.....My question
>> is, is this done anywhere and why is this not the prevalent minhag?

> Actually, the lubavitcher rebbe was Makpid that it should be said (his
> letter in this matter is printed in the very back of the lubavitcher
> Tehillim) and that is the prevailing Minhag in chabbad (that someone
> without parents RL should say the Kaddish.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC the Lubavitcher Rebbe was makpid on
saying a *Rabbanan* Kaddish after davening, and in chutz la'aretz in
places where Ktores is not said every day, he instructed his Chassidim
to say "Rabbi Chananya ben Akashya omer..." at the end of davening,
followed by a Rabbanan Kaddish (by yesomim I should add).

Or am I mixing two different issues? 

-- Carl

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Date: Thu, 2 May 2002 11:38:51 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
R' Amital on "Halakha with Spirituality" (fwd)

Sicha of Harav Yehuda Amital shlit"a
Summarized by Dov Karoll
Yeshivat Har Etzion

Halakha with Spirituality

The last verse of this week's parasha (26:2) states, "You shall guard my
Shabbat and be in awe of my Mikdash (sanctuary), for I am G-d." The Ba'al
Ha-turim (based on Yevamot 6a) explains that the Mikdash is juxtaposed
to Shabbat to teach that the construction of the Mikdash does not justify
violation of Shabbat. It is specifically regarding the Mikdash, the center
of spirituality and religious experience, where there is a concern that
people will think that other elements of Halakha can be neglected. When
people are in an environment containing a high level of spirituality,
there is a risk of their stepping beyond the boundaries which can normally
control them. We can expand this concept to all spiritual experiences,
making it relevant even when the Mikdash no longer exists.

Along these lines, Rav Chayyim of Volozhin explains (Nefesh Ha-chayyim,
in chapter 7 of the section between the third and fourth She'arim) that
the evil inclination will often try to mislead a person to believe that
the only thing which is important is a person's intent. Thus, a sin done
with good intentions is considered to be following the proper path. The
evil inclination can even quote various Talmudic sources to "prove"
this point. It will also bring a proof from the way our forefathers used
to act before the Torah was given, since they did merely what they felt
was right, without specific Divine commands.

In response to such an approach (which he felt characterized contemporary
Chasidim), Rav Chayyim explains that it was proper only in the time
before the Torah was given. After the giving of the Torah, it is not
permissible for a person to determine what is and is not the proper way
to serve G-d, since He has set down the specific rules in the Torah. Rav
Chayyim's approach strengthens the idea that a person cannot allow his
desire to come closer to G-d to supersede the guidelines set down by
the Halakha. Rather, a person can come closer to G-d only within the
parameters of Halakha.

It is clear that virtually everyone needs some sort of spiritual
experience. People need some spiritual fulfillment beyond intellectual
areas. However, it is important that this search for fulfillment be
channeled properly. Far too often, I see that this is not the case. A
few weeks ago, I noticed a sign advertising a course in "the hidden
secrets of Judaism" -- a Kabbalistic institute, exposing people with no
Jewish background, observance or commitment, to the esoteric elements
of Judaism. This should not be a person's primary exposure to Jewish
sources! The impression people can get from these groups is that all
Judaism asks of a person is that he strive to come closer to G-d,
without any commitment to His commandments. People claim that such
projects succeed in bringing people closer to Judaism, but I question
what kind of Judaism they are being brought close to!

This is not a phenomenon specific to Judaism. In the newspapers, I
read all the time about mathematicians, physicists and people involved
in other quantitative fields in America who find themselves joining
cults or other fringe groups, out of a need for some sort of spiritual
experience. There are countless people who travel to India to take part
in eastern spirituality, in addition to the groups within Judaism which
seek primarily the experiential side of religion. Since these groups
usually claim to offer "quick-fix" solutions to all of your problems,
they are very enticing to many people. Many of these groups suggest
spiritual activity supplemented by limited action. The idea that some
amulet or magic formula can solve all of one's problems is much less
demanding than leading a life according to the Torah. As a result, the
Kabbala is enjoying popularity today beyond what it ever had in the past,
and people feel that Kabbala alone is the guiding principle for their
spiritual lives. However, what has to be the guiding principle of a
person's life is really the Halakha.

Since its inception, this yeshiva has always recited both "Ba-meh
Madlikin" (in accordance with Nusach Ashkenaz) and "Ke-gavna" (in
accordance with Nusach Sefarad) between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv in
the Friday night services, even though the Yeshiva generally follows
Nusach Sefarad. I am aware that most Siddurim do not have the text
of both tefillot in them (which is why I always have two siddurim on
Friday night). While I do not recall the reason why I decided that
the Yeshiva should say both, I think that in retrospect it was based
upon the principle which I just mentioned. The text of "Ke-gavna"
is taken from the Zohar (Parashat Teruma 163:2). It deals with the
spiritual nature of Shabbat, explaining at length how one can come
closer to G-d through Shabbat. "Ba-meh Madlikin," on the other hand,
contains the mishnayot of the second chapter of Massekhet Shabbat,
delineating the laws of candlelighting. I believe that it is crucial
to have the element of Shabbat outlined in "Ke-gavna" -- the spiritual,
esoteric nature of Shabbat. However, it cannot be seen as the exclusive
defining factor of Shabbat. Here in the Yeshiva, we cannot focus on
"Ke-gavna" without also focusing upon the halakhot governing Shabbat,
"Ba-meh Madlikin." The spiritual experience of Shabbat cannot break
through the bounds set down by the Halakha for proper Shabbat conduct.

The Nefesh Ha-chayyim (4:7) cites a beraita of the school of Rabbi
Yishma'el, originally appearing in Massekhet Shabbat (31a). It states
that a person is allowed to place one bushel of "chometin," a sand-like
preservative, into a heap of grain. Rav Chayyim explains that this
statement teaches an important principle. A person is allowed to throw
this bushel of sand into his grain, even though it would seem to be
harmful, since in the end, the sand will help preserve the grain. The
application of this principle, according to Rav Chayyim, is that a person
is allowed to spend some of his time just thinking about his relationship
with G-d. Even though this takes away time from his learning, it is done
in order to maintain the sanctity of his learning. Of course, if a person
has no depth to his relationship with G-d, there is no real use in his
thinking about it. Such contemplation would be comparable to having a
preservative with no grain.

Along these same lines, the Nefesh Ha-chayyim (in Article 19 at the end
of the book) states that Torah is the essence of one's relationship with
G-d, and that Yir'at Hashem, the awe of G-d, is the storehouse which
guards it. He estimates that according to the measurements provided
by the gemara above (a bushel of "chometin" in a heap of grain), the
"preservative" should take up only about five minutes of one's day. The
rest of one's time, according to the Nefesh Ha-chayyim, should be spent
gathering grain -- learning Torah. In our day, perhaps we need a little
bit more "preservative" than Rav Chayyim recommended. Maybe ten minutes,
or even half an hour, out of a day filled with Torah should be spent
learning books of machshava (Jewish thought) and mussar (ethical works).

To summarize, it is important for a person to have spiritual elements
in his relationship with G-d. However, it is crucial for those spiritual
elements to be based firmly in objective Halakhic action, and a Torah true
life. To use the example I gave before, you need to have the "Ke-gavna"
element to your Shabbat, but it is meaningless without the hard-core
observance symbolized by "Ba-meh Madlikin."

(Originally delivered at seuda shelishit, Shabbat Parashat Behar 5757.)

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Date: Wed, 01 May 2002 18:46:57 +0000
From: "Seth Mandel" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Re: (ndk@hakotel.edu): HaRav Steinberger's Shiur #5762-9

R. Micha wrote: <R' Steinberger's e-Shiur on the Rambam, sent by R'
Nehemiah Klein. Touches on the subject of the age of the Zohar. But
I think he entirely misses the Rambam's point WRT sod. The Rambam
acknowledges the concept of "pardes", but that doesn't mean that he
identifies "sod" with what we now call qabbalah. To him, it refers to
philosophical hashqafah, and could be purely rationalist and skeptic. Sod
is what you study to be impressed with Chochmas haBorei and make your
way to ahavas Hashem.>

Bimchilas k'vodo, he misses more than that. If he really read
the Moreh and understood it, he would see that although the Rambam
accepts mysticism, sod, and pardes, it has nothing to do -- it is even
diametrically opposed -- to the mysticism of the Zohar and the Ari.
To say that the Rambam knew of it, agreed with it, and is hiding it,
shows a basic misunderstanding of the Rambam's position.

He says <if the "Zohar" would have been antique, there would have been
no way to hide its existence. It had to appear and be mentioned in other
sources. Hence, Sholem decided that it was a forgery. Being an irreligious
Jew, who never stepped a foot in a Yeshiva, the professor of Kabbalah
could not understand the existence of a quiet secretive tradition. Indeed,
such phenomenon is unheard of in other disciplines, certainly not in
academia.> Forget Sholem. We are arguing about the facts, and he sets
up a ridiculous straw man for a reason that he proceeds to shoot down.
The fact is that the story of the discovery of the Zohar as told by
R. Moshe de Leon to his contemporaries is impossible to believe (as it
was to most m'qubbalim of his time), and the story minneh uveh contradicts
R. Steinberg's whole thesis about the need for masorah in qabbolo.

He says: <We belive in the authenticity of the Zohar because of the
firm trust in the Mesorah of it starting with the likes of the Ar"I Z"l,
continuing with the Maharal, the Ramchal, HaGr"a, Baal Shem Tov, Rav Kook,
and almost everybody> He should be careful with his arguments. All of
these g'dolim believed in the mysticism of the Ari, not the Zohar alone
(of which there were other shittos, besides the Ari). The Ari said the
Zohar contained divine mysticism, but he did not speak to the historical
facts of its composition.

R. Steinberg also does not apparently recognize the other streams in
Jewish mysticism, such as chasidei Ashk'naz, which have nothing to do
with the Ari's mysticism.

Finally, he ignores R. Yaakov Emden, who was a follower of qabbolo,
who nevertheless writes that much of the Zohar must be of late origin,
although some of it may be very early.

He ignores multiple other reasons for concluding that the Zohar never
could have existed before the 13th century, instead insisting that
anybody who doubts it (including the m'qubbalim of R. de Leon's own
time!!!) must be following a posul nonreligious Sholem.

Finally he ignores the argument I have made many times: what difference
does it make if we say that R Moshe de Leon composed the Zohar? After
all, he was one of the rishonim, and an unquestioned godol in qabbolo.
Why do we have to pin it on R. Shimon ben Yohai (whose opinion does
not prevail in arguments with other tanoim)? Let us just say that it
represents a shita of some of the rishonim, and recognize the obvious:
that other rishonim had their own shittos.

Seth Mandel

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Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 23:49:23 +0200
From: "Shoshana L. Boublil" <toramada@zahav.net.il>
Re: (ndk@hakotel.edu): HaRav Steinberger's Shiur #5762-9

From: "Seth Mandel" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
> Bimchilas k'vodo, he misses more than that.  If he really read the Moreh and
> understood it, he would see that although the Rambam accepts mysticism, sod,
> and pardes, it has nothing to do -- it is even diametrically opposed -- to
> the mysticism of the Zohar and the Ari.

This issue is the basis of the split in the Yeminite world.

The Yeminites are divided (for the most part) into 2 groups: DorDe'im
and I'kShim. In our terms: those that follow Rambam and those that
follow Zohar.

The split reminds me a lot of the Chasidim/Mitnagdim split in the
Ashkenazi world.

Shoshana L. Boublil

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Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 22:18:04 +0000
From: D & E-H Bannett <dbnet@zahav.net.il>
Re: Shaimos

Re: my posting on R' Moshe's teshuva that permits putting all divrei
Torah including worn out gemoros (except Chama"s, i.e., humash, machzor,
siddur, and Na"kh, books with shem Hashem) into the recycling bin
someone requested that I or someone cite the site of said teshuva.

With eight volumes of Igrot Moshe to search through, I didn't think
there was any chance.

Today I wanted to look up something altogether different that I thought
was in a later volume. I picked up Vol. 6 and opened it. The page,
in O"Ch, had no paragraph heading so I turned one page back and, behold,
there was the recycling teshuva. Vol 6, page 59, Siman 39.

So the posters on nissim, segulos, and hashgocha protis have something
on which to comment.

BTW, I didn't find what I as looking for. But I succeeded with the
citation and deserve a citation.


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Date: Thu, 2 May 2002 3:33 +0200
Re: Shaimos

See the Machaneh Efraim (his hagaoht on Yoreh Deah Hilchot Sefer Torah):
there is NO kedusha in a shem hashem written without kavana "u'mutar


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Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 21:17:54 -0400
From: "yosef stern" <avrahamyaakov@hotmail.com>
Kaddish after Aleinu

Markowitz, Chaim asked:
> is the minhag that only someone without parents should say kaddish. or
> is the minhag that even if everyone in the minyan has both parents,
> one person should say the kaddish?

Generally speaking the former, but to note that in many Chabad minyanim
were everyone in the minyan has both parents the Chazzan will say all
Kaddish D'rabbonon (i.e. after R. Yishmoel and after Omar R. Elozor)

Carl M. Sherer asked:
> Correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC the Lubavitcher Rebbe was makpid
> on saying a *Rabbanan* Kaddish after davening, and in chutz la'aretz in
> places where Ktores is not said every day, he instructed his Chassidim
> to say "Rabbi Chananya ben Akashya omer..." at the end of davening,
> followed by a Rabbanan Kaddish (by yesomim I should add). Or am I mixing
> two different issues?

There is something wrong with the second issue because Chabad says Ktores in
chutz la'aretz everyday. And the first issue is actually attributed to the
previous lubavitcher Rebbe which the Rebbe quotes in the letter (at the end
of  the Chabbad Tehilim)

kol tuv
yosef stern

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Date: Thu, 2 May 2002 11:28:32 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Kaddish after Aleinu

In a message dated 5/1/02 5:08:29pm EDT, cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il writes:
> Correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC the Lubavitcher Rebbe was makpid on
> saying a *Rabbanan* Kaddish after davening, and in chutz la'aretz in
> places where Ktores is not said every day, he instructed his Chassidim
> to say "Rabbi Chananya ben Akashya omer..." at the end of davening,
> followed by a Rabbanan Kaddish (by yesomim I should add).
> Or am I mixing two different issues? 

To see the L. Rebbe's letter on Kadish after Oleinu, please point your 
browser to: <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/faxes/qaddish.pdf>

WRT the issue "Rabbi Chananya ben Akashya omer..." I didn't hear of
this Hora'ah.

Kol Tuv, 
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Thu, 2 May 2002 16:18:32 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Minhag, oats, kitniyos, and haircuts during omer

On Tue, Apr 30, 2002 at 01:19:59PM -0400, RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com wrote:
: EG Rema himself does not ratify all minhaggim...

You have to first address RSM's argument (first posted as my own guess)
that the Rama was out to ratify Ashkenazi *pesaq*, not minhag.

You've cast things into an Ashkenazi-mimetic vs Sephardi-textual
dichotomy. Aside from wondering if this really is Ashkenazi norm
(e.g. Chassidei Ashkenaz), even if true it's "only" tendencies, not


Micha Berger                 Today is the 35th day, which is
micha@aishdas.org            5 weeks in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org       Malchus sheb'Hod: What is soul-like about
Fax: (413) 403-9905                      submission, and how is it glorious?

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Date: Fri, 3 May 2002 15:56:53 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@iprimus.com.au>
Re: Kaddish after Aleinu

CMarkowitz@scor.com writes:
> Today afetr minyan someone raised the point that even if there is no
> yosom in shul, someone should say the Kaddish after Aleinu.

From: RabbiRichWolpoe@aol.com
> AISI, there must be ONE Kaddish after daveninbg and that this is one of the
> requisiste 10 daily Kadddeishim BUT
> It might be eihter after Aleinu or the Yom

> While the Halachah/Minhag is not so clear,

Seems pretty clear to me Hilchos Tefilo 132:2 in the Remo - to be said
after Oleinu.


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Date: Fri, 3 May 2002 13:03:18 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Creation: Guided or controlled

In v9n22, Yitzchok A Zlochower <zlochoia@bellatlantic.net> wrote:
: Micha has effectively come out in favor of the Rambam's approach.
: I strongly second this position. If everything was "personally"
: controlled by G-D...

There is actually a strong qushya on the Rambam from Chullin 7b. "No
person bruises his finger down below unless they decree it about him
up above." This wasn't an idea the Ba'al Shem Tov introduced to the
mesorah ex nihilo.

Of course, there's the whole "hakol biydei Shamayim chutz meyir'as
Shamayim" vs "...chutz mitzinim upachim" problem.

Leshitas haRambam, it's resolvable. Being subject to teva is a consequence
of cheit, it in itself is an onesh. So, once one fails on "yir'as Shamayim",
"tzinim upachim" become entirely up to him. Or, to make that less absolutist:
to the extent that one lacks yir'as Shamayim, which is entirely in his hands,
he also assumes manual control of tzinim upachim.

Starting to sound much like the REED's betachon + hishtadlus formula...


Micha Berger                 Today is the 36th day, which is
micha@aishdas.org            5 weeks and 1 day in/toward the omer.
http://www.aishdas.org       Chesed sheb'Yesod: What is the kindness in
Fax: (413) 403-9905                     being a stable and reliable partner?

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Date: Wed, 01 May 2002 16:29:58 -0400
From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <sbechhof@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>
New Israeli Stamps

A halachic discussion spawned by Areivim.... -mi]

From The Jerusalem Post:
>May. 1, 2002
>Stamp found to violate Halacha

>The Postal Authority’s Philatelic Services did not expect a man with a 
>magnifying glass to catch it – Sherlock Holmes-like – with its pants down. 
>But Alan Silver, a South African immigrant and owner of the hardware store 
>in Telz Stone outside Jerusalem, did just that.

>Silver noticed that the Elul stamp in the series of 12 marking the Hebrew 
>months has God’s name in Hebrew several times, and that instead of having 
>text from the pre-Rosh Hashana Slihot prayers (as promised in the first 
>line), it offers much of the text of the Grace After Meals.

>He showed it to the leading rabbi of Telz Stone, Arye Shulman, who ruled 
>that it is forbidden under Jewish law to use the Elul stamp. One also may 
>not buy it, he said, and if you have any, you have to put them in the 
>collection of holy texts that are taken for burial, instead of being 
>thrown in the garbage can.

>Silver said the series of colorful NIS 1.20 stamps is beautiful. But when 
>he saw the title Slihot, he recalled an incident in South Africa about 15 
>years ago when the postal service issued a stamp with the word for God in 
>many languages. When the local Jewish religious court found out, it asked 
>the authorities to stop selling the stamp – and they did.

>Using a magnifying glass, Silver saw the Elul stamp had several instances 
>of God’s name, which by Jewish law cannot be used except for holy 
>purposes. He brought it to his rabbi, who examined it with the magnifying 
>glass he uses for examining the etrog for imperfections each Succot. When 
>he saw what was there, he made his ruling.

>Postal Authority spokesman Yitzhak Rabihiya said it was news to him and to 
>Philatelic Services director Yinon Beilin, but declined to comment until 
>the matter is investigated.

>Religious personalities and issues on stamps can sometimes be a headache. 
>When the Philatelic Services suggested a stamp memorializing the 
>Lubavitcher Rebbe, messianic hassidim opposed the idea because they 
>maintained that Rabbi Menahem Mendel Schneerson had “not died.” The 
>majority group, who accept the fact of his death 10 years ago, said it was 
>improper for the back of a stamp showing their rebbe to be licked or the 
>front to be canceled. Although a design had been prepared, it was never 

>Meanwhile, the Philatelic Services yesterday issued a stamp to mark the 
>centennial of Jerusalem’s Institute for the Blind. Communications Minister 
>Reuven Rivlin presented the NIS 5 stamp, designed by Yigal Gabai with the 
>word “Israel” in braille, to institute director-general Haim Raschelbach, 
>former Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek, Postal Authority acting 
>director-general Avraham Mantsouri and Beilin.

>Rivlin also appointed a new Postal Authority chairman after his 
>predecessor resigned. Yossi Sheli, 44, served previously as city manager 
>of Beersheba and board chairman of Issta Lines.

I am not sure the psak is 100% definite - as noted here on the list,
printers proofs and other material meant to be discarded does not
necessarily possess the requisite level of permanence to require genizah.
Perhaps these are collectible, and therefore are ta'un genizah. OTOH,
if you are really collecting them, then what issur is there to own
them? Why can't you buy them - there is no issur hano'oh on Sheimos?

Perhaps the problem is that in cancelling the stamp one is over mechikah,
and that by mailing the letter you are being over lifnei iver - but I
am not sure of that either - if you need a magnifying glass to read the
text, I am not sure that is really considered text, and it certainly is
not a pesik reisha that you will hit the stamp when you cancel it in
precisely the right spot, nor do I think most cancellation is done by
hand at this point.

Interesting issues.

Kol Tuv,
ygb@aishdas.org      http://www.aishdas.org/rygb

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Date: Fri, 03 May 2002 12:05:59 -0500
From: yidubitsky@JTSA.EDU
gerut and names

Common minhag (or is it halakhah? if so, whats the cite?) is that a
ger change his first name to a shem yisrael for purposes of aliyot
la-Torah etc.

What about the surname? One assumes that a ger whose given name was,
for instance, Jesus or Christopher etc, would have no problem changing it
to <whatever else> ben Avraham (at least for aliyot purposes if not for
everyday use). But if his surname [which for many is much more "personal"
than a first name] is, again for instance, Christof or "sonofJesus"
[this is not merely theoretical; I know of a variation of this latter
name] etc, is there a hiyuv/reason to change it? I would think it
would sound rather amusing to meet a, for instance, Yehudah SonofJesus.
Or that name spelled on a talit/tefillin bag. Comments?

 Yisrael Dubitsky

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Date: Fri, 03 May 2002 12:12:58 -0400
From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
Re: Israeli Postage Stamp

Yosef Lichter wrote on Areivim:
>after R' Kaye's shiur I asked him about this and this is what he said:
>"Look at the Shut. Even Yekara from the Rav of Chernozwitz, Mahadura 
>tinyana 33 where he discusses the issue of a Tanach that was prinited and 
>bound so small that to read it required a magnifying glass. He cogently 
>demononstrates that there is no writing/sheimos etc, al pi halacha and this 
>Tanach may be brought into the bathroom.... See also Shut. Maharsham 3:357."

The Maharsham's teshuvah is fascinating.  His main discussion is whether 
printing and photography can create something with kedushas kesav.  He 
concludes that regarding bizyon kisvei kodesh one should be machmir not to 
enter a bathroom unless the printed/photographed work is covered.  This 
would imply that there is a problem with the printed stamps, assuming that 
microscopic writing is writing (he does not go into that).

Gil Student

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Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 07:07:57 -0400
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Night before day, or after day?

My recollection is that originally, our calendar placed the night *after*
the day, and it was at Matan Torah that we switched to a "night *before*
day" calendar.

Thus, for example, that the first Korban Pesach was shechted on the
afternoon of 14 Nisan, eaten that night, still the *14th* of Nisan,
and Yetzias Mitzrayim was on the following morning, 15 Nisan.

But I have been unable to find sources for any of the above. I'd
appreciate if anyone can offer sources which either support or go against
this idea.

Akiva Miller

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