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Volume 11 : Number 060

Monday, September 1 2003

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 21:03:10 -0500 (CDT)
From: gil@aishdas.org
Re: Yahrtzeit for a grandparent

See Pischei Teshuvah YD 376:20, although that is only talking about if
there are no sons at the time of the petirah.  FWIW, I say kaddish on my
grandmother's yahrtzeit.

Gil Student

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Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 21:35:20 -0400
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
RE: Everett and bechira

R' Eliezer Portnoy explained: <<< All possible outcomes take place. Thus,
for example, if someone has in front of him treif food, two universes will
be created - one in which he ate it and one in which he didn't. This will
happen 100% of the time, automatically. If you say choice was exercised,
then by whom? >>>

Perhaps this will give us a deeper understanding of those who define
*complete* teshuva as where one's resolve is so complete and sure, that
HaShem can testify that he will not commit this sin again.

Or, to put a Desslerian spin on it, complete teshuva is when a person
has succeeded in raising his "bechirah point" above that particular act,
so that the yetzer hara for it is gone. In such cases, Everett would *not*
have a universe where that sin occured, because there was no possiblity for
it *to* occur.

If the person was *not* successful in raising his bechirah point that high,
then he does have a choice to make. There will indeed be some universes where
he fails and others where he succeeds, and in each case, each of the alternate
"him"s will reap the consequences of that bechirah.

Akiva Miller

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Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 21:41:20 -0400
From: kennethgmiller@juno.com
Re: taf

R' Carl Sherer wrote <<< I think the question is whether the children are
being brought because of chinuch or because of an independent obligation to
bring children. >>>

If the children are brought because of chinuch, why would the pasuk have to
tell me to do it in this particular case?

Is there any other mitzvah where a pasuk says "Not only you have to do this
mitzvah, but your child has to do it too?"

Akiva Miller

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Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 14:06:57 +0300
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: taf

On 28 Aug 2003 at 21:41, kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
> Is there any other mitzvah where a pasuk says "Not only you have to do
> this mitzvah, but your child has to do it too?"

Aliya la'regel. 

But I was wrong about Hakhel anyway - it applies to women (and girls) 

-- Carl

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Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 12:07:27 +0000
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: taf

On Thu, Aug 28, 2003 at 09:41:20PM -0400, kennethgmiller@juno.com wrote:
: Is there any other mitzvah where a pasuk says "Not only you have to do this
: mitzvah, but your child has to do it too?"

It'll come to you tomorrow morning, shortly before you get up to wash for

But to ease the suspense: Shabbos.


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Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 09:31:01 +0200
From: S Goldstein <goldstin@netvision.net.il>

> I think it's axiomatic that Targum does not appear in berachos, and
> rarely in the Mishna.

See the article by Dr Levison, published in the beginning of Mishnayos,
that discusses the Rambam's Peirush on Mishnayos Trumah. Dr L notes
that the texts of gittin, kesuba, prosbul etc. are all in Aramaic.
Previously someone noted Aramaic words in brachos and, of course, kaddish.

Shlomo Goldstein

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Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 07:57:13 -0400
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Re: Aramaic

On Fri, 29 Aug 2003 09:31:01 +0200 S Goldstein <goldstin@netvision.net.il>
> See the article by Dr Levison

Where does one find this article?


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Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 09:04:50 -0400
From: shinname@umdnj.edu
Women and kaddish

WRT to the thread on women and kaddish:

1) One issue raised by some is the issue of the rabbinic stature of those
who are mattir certain behaviors by some in the MO community - whether
kaddish, WTGs, etc, and claiming that they do not have general acceptance
(unlike the CC and bais yaakov) - not that there isn't a psak by a posek,
but that the posek doesn't have sufficiently broad shoulders.
Let me separate this discussion from an argument over who is a gadol.

Let me turn it around. What is the halachic basis for requiring such
broadspread agreement about issues of nusach hatefilla and private
functions? There are certain issues that affect the entire community,
and therefore one can argue that a halachic consensus is required.
Issues affecting personal status may be one, although even there it
is not always followed. However, issues of minhage tefilla are clearly
within the purview of the mara d'atra.

In the haskama by the Seride Esh to Rav Berkovits's book about tnai
benissuin, after arguing about the intrinsich halachic permissibility of
the proposal, he then argues that a change in marriage from unconditional
to conditional affects the entire community, and therefore requires their
consensus. In what way does a woman saying kaddish, or women meeting in
WTGs, impact on the broader haredi community (not their own)? Therefore,
an individual ba'al hora'a may wish to get a broader consensus, but
why does he need to? isn't such a requirement something in the category
itself of hahadash assur min hatora :-)

Lastly with regard to other comments:
1) In America, RYBS, RYEH, and RMF (I know the caveat, but also know
halacha lema'ase he was mattir) allowed it. I (as gabbai in Princeton) had
a psak from Rav Pinchas Teitz) allowing a woman to say kaddish if a man
was saying it. One can argue whether this was lecatchilla (recommending
women do it) or merely permissive. However, it would seem that the major
poskim for the American Orthodox community (with the exception of the
Hungarians and hassidim - but it does cover the yeshivish and MO) allow
it. Those who assur it are the same ones who require broad shoulders -
and are their shoulders broad enough against these?

2) Someone cited RH Schachter at the recent RCA. bmkvt two issues
a) His teacher is well known to have mattired women saying kaddish -
not the first time that RHS is in conflict with RYBS,as he may.
b) The issue of women standing behind the mechitza not being part of
the zibbur is dealt with extensively with RYehuda Herzl Henkin in his
tshuva, who argues that the reason some earlier poskim were against it
because they had a wall to ceiling mechitza - unlike the current one in
most MO (and non Hungarian /hassidish)shuls. I do'nt have it handy, and
don't remember whether RYHH discusses it, but the issue of women being a
separate part of the shul behind the mechitza, and not part of tefilla
betzibbur is something most people do not hold of in other cases - eg,
in many shuls during the week, men stand in the (empty) women's section
behind the mechitza without a peep. RH Schechter, in his article be'ikve
hatzon (this is from memory), argued against WTGs in part that if women
wanted tefilla betzibbur, they should come to shul and participate in
the zibbur - and here he is arguing that they are not even part of the
tefilla betzibbur...)

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 12:26:15 EDT
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Yahrtzeit for a grandparent

In a message dated 8/28/03 10:50:58 AM EDT, djhavin@alphalink.com.au writes:
> Does anyone know of any sources dealing with the observance of a
> yahrtzeit for a grandparent in circumstances where the niftar no longer
> has children?

Enclosed is a copy of the Nitei Gavriel on this topic, please point to:

Gut Shabbos v'Kol Tuv,
Yitzchok Zirkind

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Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2003 22:14:26 +0200
From: "Rabbi Y. H. Henkin" <henkin@012.net.il>
women and kaddish (for posting)

Some comments on recent postings regarding women and kaddish:

(Vol. 11 no. 56) The list of opinions is unsatisfactory not only because
of the wild disparity between the listings in terms of authority, primary
vs. derivative status, etc, but more important, because it does not
distinguish between objections in principle to women saying kaddish and
secondary or technical objections. The classic example is R. Bachrach,
whose Chavot Yair is the first and foremost authority cited as opposing
women saying kaddish. He explicitly wrote that there is nothing wrong
with it in principle but that in practice it would lead to a breakdown of
minhagim. My grandfather, R.YE Henkin z"l, thus argued convincingly (in
my opinion) that with the change of custom from only one person saying
Kaddish at any given time to today's practice that many mourners say
kaddish all at once, R. Bachrach's position would change accordingly. If
my grandfather would make such a list, he would list R. Bachrach (and
R. Katzenelbogen and=85) together with him as permitting women to say
kaddish today, or at least as not opposing it. The current list, then,
is not merely worthless but is actively misleading.

The above type of analysis is a good example of what separates gedolim
from journeymen such as Yachel Yisrael, which got onto the Bar-Ilan
Responsa CD, and presumably from there to the above list, for other than
scholarly reasons=97he was Israel's official Chief Rabbi at the time.

(vol. 11 no. 57) R. YE Henkin z'l also wrote that for a man's kaddish
to be of much value he has to have Torah and Maassim tovim, but did
not make permission to say kaddish contingent on this, for either men
or women. While he mentioned "na'arot" as such was generally the case,
he permitted adult women to say kaddish, subject to the provisions hat
they be in the Ezrat Nashim and recite it along with the men.

Igrot Moshe's "needs further study" refers to the question of whether
there has to be a mechitza which she stands behind, not to whether the
woman is allowed to say kaddish at all.

Those interested in the topic in depth are invited to see "Equality
Lost: Essays in Torah Commentary, Halacha and Jewish Thought" (Urim),
chapters 5 and 6. On the question of being part of a minyan when in the
women's section, see Bnei Banim vol. 2, no, 7.

            With Torah blessings,
            Rabbi Yehuda Henkin

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Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2003 22:54:46 +0200
From: S Goldstein <goldstin@netvision.net.il>
Re: Aramaic

From: "Gershon Dubin" <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
> On Fri, 29 Aug 2003 09:31:01 +0200 S Goldstein <goldstin@netvision.net.il>
> writes:
>> See the article by Dr Levison

> Where does one find this article?

beginning of standard Vilna Mishnayos

shavua tov,

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Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2003 19:11:57 -0400
From: David E Cohen <ddcohen@verizon.net>
Re: Minhag Ashkenaz

R' Eli Turkel wrote:
>>So I would presume to say that Dr. Agus v'sayyasom were/are probably
>>happy that Tosafos preserved oral and mimetic traditions but probably
>>squirmed when he did so using Pilpulistic methods instead of stating
>>more clearly what he was doing.

R' Rich Wolpoe responded:
> I am very dubious as to Tosaffo's precise knowledge of history. EG,
> one of Agu's proofs involves the Kalir connection. IE since Kalir's
> nusach was prserved in Ashkenaz ha rayo that ashkenaz was connected to
> minhag eretzy yisrael as opposed to Spharad and Minhag Bavel, etc. etc.
> However, Tosfaos himself thinks that Kallir might be the Tanna R. Elzar
> ber. Shimon. This tips me off that Tosafos did not really know Kallir
> ofr this connection very clearly.

It would seem to me that this issue is at the core of the issue of
whether or not it is appropriate to reject (as the Gra often did)
aspects of Minhag Ashkenaz when they seem to go against the Bavli.

Let's say that the Agus/Ta-Shma thesis is correct, and Minhag Ashkenaz
developed from a tradition that is just as old as the Bavli, and thus,
obviously could not have regarded the Bavli as a final authority. In the
12th century, in a nutshell, the idea of the Bavli as the final authority
became accepted in Ashkenaz, and the Tosafists set out to reconcile the
accepted custom with the Bavli.

As RRW points out, though, the Tosafists did not necessarily have the
historical perspective that we do. After all, it can often be difficult
to identify a historical trend when you're right in the middle of it.
They did not necessarily realize that the Minhag Ashkenaz that they grew
up practicing had its roots in a tradition that developed in parallel
to the Bavli, and was considered to be equally authoritative until
relatively recently. They may very well have assumed that the Bavli was
always accorded the same authoritative status that it had in their time.
Thus, the reason that they were not "more up front about what they were
doing" may be that they honestly believed that since their minhag must
be correct, and of course the Bavli has always been the authority, their
"pilpulistic methods" must be arriving at the honest peshat in the Bavli.

We, however, who have this historical perspective, may have good reason
to "squirm" at this, as to us, it may seem that the more accurate way to
justify Minhag Ashkenaz where it differs from the Bavli would be simply
to say straight out that it stems from an alternate tradition. Because
we don't see the exercise in which Tosafos are engaging as necessary,
we view their peshat a being somewhat "dachuk," for lack of a better word.

This leaves us, I believe, with three choices.

1. Accept that the Bavli is the ultimate authority, but assume also,
like Tosafos did, that Minhag Ashkenaz must be correct -- thus, it must
be reconcilable with the Bavli, and Tosafos, when they engaged in their
"pilpulistic methods," were arriving at an accurate understanding of
the intent of the Bavli.

2. Accept that the Bavli is the ultimate authority. When Minhag Ashkenaz
appears to go against the Bavli, acknowledge that this may very well be
the case, since its roots are in the Eretz Yisrael tradition, and we
need not make any assumption that it can or should be reconciled with
the Bavli. Since we accept the Bavli as authoritative, we must reject
the Minhag Ashkenaz in such cases.

3. Acknowledge that Minhag Ashkenaz often stems from a non-Bavli
tradition, but say that we Ashkenazim have the legitimate mesorah to
accept this tradition as equally authoritative, rather than regarding the
Bavli as always having the last word. If a minhag contradicts the Bavli,
that's fine -- our minhag is not like that of the Bavli in this case.

In a nutshell, Tosafos, quite possibly, assumed that both the Bavli and
Minhag are correct since they reflect the same one, accurate mesorah.
If we say that they actually reflect different traditions, then we are
forced to pick which one is authoritative. This would seem to be the
crux of the dispute between those like the Gra and RYBS who would reject
aspects of Minhag Ashkenaz when they went against the simple peshat
of the Bavli (approach #2), and those would would oppose such a stance
(approach #3).

I'm aware that this is an oversimplification, and that the dispute already
existed to some extent among the Tosafists themselves -- particularly
between Rabbeinu Meshulam (approach #2) and Rabbeinu Tam (approach #3).
But in general, it does seem that the general approach taken by the
Tosafos to this issue is approach #1, and that both sides of this dispute
may be less comfortable relying on this approach today. I recognize that
it is no small matter to suggest that Tosafos were working on a mistaken
premise, but those far greater than I, on both sides of this dispute, have
already implied as such by even having to use approach #2 and approach #3.


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Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2003 09:31:57 EDT
From: Joelirich@aol.com
who gets kibbudim

I recently posted a question with regard to the custom of having a
separate individual take out the sefer torah. The Maharsham discusses
this issue in 1;198. in the course of his discussion he he makes the
following statement: "urayah ldavar sheharei haglilah he shel harav
hagadol bair dgadol shebchulan gollel, afilu hachi nahagu lknot haglila
afilu bdica harav bbet haknesset" It seems to imply (although one could
argue otherwise) that originally kibbudim were given based on gdulah.
Does anyone know when/how this changed? How could a minhag develop
against the halacha(or perhaps both were allowable)?

A somewhat unrelated question - if someone came to a posek and said -I'm
going to give the same $ to this charity in any event- should I put my
name on the building or give it anonymously? What would be the response
all other things being equal?

Joel Rich

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