mail-jewish Vol.66 #41 Digest

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Jun 8, 2023, 4:37:54 PM6/8/23
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Volume 66 Number 41
Produced: Thu, 08 Jun 23 16:37:49 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Bishul Nokhri -- Retraction (2)
[Joseph Kaplan Meir Shinnar]
Nusach hatfila reversed (4)
[Orrin Tilevitz Carl Singer Joel Rich Haim Snyder]
Shavuot Second Day on Shabbat in Chutz La'Aretz
[Ari Trachtenberg]
Shoa (3)
[Joseph Kaplan Chaim Casper Joseph Kaplan]
[Carl Singer]
[Joel Rich]


From: Joseph Kaplan <>
Date: Wed, Jun 7,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Bishul Nokhri -- Retraction

The discussion of bishul nochri morphed into a discussion of the need to be
careful in describing which laws apply to all non-Jews and which laws apply only
to idolaters. In this discussion, we were first told that a Jew is not allowed
to keep extra change mistakenly given to him by a non-Jewish shopkeeper who is
not an idolater. Rather, the Jew is obliged to return the extra money. The
poster then retracted that statement, told us that a Jew is allowed to keep the
extra change even if the non-Jew is not an idolater, and apologized for the error.

As I read this, I thought of Hillel's dictum that what is hateful to you do not
do to your fellow. This is the whole Torah, the rest is explanation. Go and
learn. Am I to learn from the retraction that it is not hateful to Jewish
shopkeepers when customers knowingly keep extra change accidentally given to
them? Or am I to learn that in this type of economic exchange, we do not
consider non-Jewish non-idolaters our fellows and its okay to do hateful things
to them? Or, since both of those alternatives make me uneasy, am I missing



From: Meir Shinnar <>
Date: Wed, Jun 7,2023 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Bishul Nokhri -- Retraction

Yaakov Schachter wrote (MJ 66#40):

> The example I gave of a xillul haShem that can result from the confusion
> between din nokhri and din `aku"m was when a Jew, who is recognizably a Jew,
> allows himself to keep extra change mistakenly given to him by a non-Jewish
> shopkeeper, thinking that such a thing is permitted, whereas our law only
> permits such a thing if the shopkeeper is an idolater, but if the shopkeeper
> is a non-Jew who is not an idolater, we are obliged to return the extra money.
> The example I gave was wrong, and I must retract it. The larger point remains
> valid, inasmuch as other examples can be given; but the example that was given
> in the original article, was wrong, and must be retracted. Rabbi Elazar
> Teitz, may he live and be well, sent me an e-mail telling me that it is
> permissible for a Jew to benefit from the mistake of any non-Jew, not just an
> idolater.

It is technically correct that it is permitted to keep excess change. However,
there is the famous story of Shimon ben Shetach returning the pearl that was
mistakenly included in a sale to the nochri (who was also probably an akum)
(Yerushalmi BM 2:5). The story concludes with:

"But did not Rav Huna, Bevay bar Gozlan, in the name of Rav say, they objected
before Rebbi: Even according to he who says that an object robbed from a Gentile
is forbidden, everybody agrees that what he lost is permitted. Do you think that
Simeon ben Shetach was a barbarian? Simeon ben Shetach wanted to hear: Praised
be the God of the Jews, more than any gain in this world."

The question is not merely whether it is muttar, but whether we want to be
barbarians (within Halacha)

I remember being told (a long time ago) that when Rav Riskin shlita was starting
his boys' high school in America, when they were recruiting rabbanim, they asked
them questions - one of them what to do if when they ordered something, they
received by mistake something far more valuable. 9/10 would keep it and justify
it. Yes, halachically muttar, but one thinks of yesh naval bireshut hatorah.

Meir Shinnar


From: Orrin Tilevitz <>
Date: Wed, Jun 7,2023 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Nusach hatfila reversed

David E. Cohen writes (MJ 66#40):

> I also wanted to propose a discussion regarding what you wrote about when
> you're saying kaddish together with others who use a longer nusach:
>> I stand and wait until they finish, then join in for the end.
> Indeed, this seems to be the common practice when people with different nusachim
> are saying kaddish together, and I see it every day. I never really thought
> about it too much until a Sefardi neighbor who is currently saying kaddish
> remarked on how strange it seems to him. He said something along the lines of
> "I don't understand these Ashkenazim who just stand there quietly, like they're
> protesting something, while we're saying 'chayim vesava viyshua, etc.' It's not
> like this is a list of curses that we're reading!" It seems to me that he has a
> valid point. It's one thing to use a shorter nusach of kaddish if you're saying
> it alone or with others who share that minhag, but if there's already going to
> be time allotted for others to say "veyatzmach purkaneih, etc." or "chayim
> vesava, etc." is our minhag as "nusach Ashkenaz people" (a category to which I
> myself belong) to not include these phrases in kaddish so strong that it
> requires awkwardly standing there quietly while others say them, as if these are
> not things that we want as well?

I just finished saying kaddish for my mom. My nusach Ashkenaz shul shares space
with a Bukharan minyan, and sometimes we borrow their members or we simply daven
together, so I have lots of experience listening to the extended Sepharadi
"yehei shelama rabba". It is invariably said at a speed that if I were to
attempt to keep up I'd risk losing my teeth and tongue.


From: Carl Singer <>
Date: Wed, Jun 7,2023 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Nusach hatfila reversed

It seems to me that one should say kaddish in the format of the synagogue where
they are davening.

If one is uncomfortable or incapable of saying kaddish accordingly, then one
should try to do so quietly. Clearly, if one is the only one saying kaddish,
this can be challenging.

Not as big an issue (?) but I recall davening for the amud (I had a chiyuv) in a
shul where there was signage re: pronouncing "Yiska*dale*" -- whereas I'm used
to "Yiska*doll*". So I said "Yiska*dale*" when davening for the amud -- but at
the end when several of us were saying kaddish, I said "Yiska*doll*" (quietly).

Carl Singer
70 Howard Avenue
Passaic, NJ


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Thu, Jun 8,2023 at 02:17 AM
Subject: Nusach hatfila reversed

David E Cohen wrote (MJ 66#40):

> Araham Friedenberg asked (MJ 66#39):
>> Suppose I show up for minyan one afternoon, and I'm the only one saying
>> kaddish. Am I obligated to take an Eidot Hamizrach siddur and say the
>> extra parts, or can I just say it the way I'm used to saying?
> This may be overthinking it, but perhaps it depends on whether that kaddish is
> said at that minyan even in the absence of any mourners.

Maybe I'm overthinking, but I think it has more to do with a general shift in
thinking away from communal obligations to personal "rights"

Joel Rich


From: Haim Snyder <>
Date: Thu, Jun 8,2023 at 02:17 PM
Subject: Nusach hatfila reversed

In response to David E Cohen (MJ 66#40):

I follow nusach Ashkenaz but my minyan is whatever the baal tefila wants. Rarely
do we have people saying Kaddish who are Mizrachim, but we frequently have both
nusach Ashkenaz and nusach Sfard people who are saying Kaddish. Those of us who
use nusach Ashkenaz pause when we get to "vayatzmach perkunei" and continue when
the nusach Sfard people get to "bechaiyeichon".

In the days when I belonged to a synagogue which was nusach Sfard, I did the
same thing if there was someone else saying Kaddish. When I was the only one, I
added their words.

Haim Shalom Snyder


From: Ari Trachtenberg <>
Date: Wed, Jun 7,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Shavuot Second Day on Shabbat in Chutz La'Aretz

Menashe Elyashiv wrote (MJ 66#40):

> Rambam wrote that even Shavuot is two days because Hazal did not make
> differences between holidays [meshum lo plug]. Hatam Sofer wrote that therefore
> Shavuot is not a sefeka deyoma, but is like 2 days Rosh Hashana, which are like
> one long day [yama arikhta] ...

This is very interesting ... but how does it not run afoul of:

(i) "lo tosiph" - the prohibition of adding to the mitzvot

(ii) the Torah obligation of week days that are obviated



From: Joseph Kaplan <>
Date: Wed, Jun 7,2023 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Shoa

Joel Rich asks (MJ 66#40):

> A recent article made the case that the shoa was sui generis in Jewish history.
> Would you agree or disagree? (more of interest to me "why?")

I would agree. My reason is scale. Take the Kishinev pogrom which resulted in
convulsions throughout the Jewish world and beyond. Total killed 49.
Horrifying; terrifying; unacceptable doesn't begin to describe it.

Now imagine if you can having one Kishinev a day for about 335 years. That's the
Shoa. (A similar calculation can be done with the Crusades and other horrifying
events. The numbers will be somewhat different, but not appreciably so.)



From: Chaim Casper <>
Date: Wed, Jun 7,2023 at 07:17 PM
Subject: Shoa

In response to Joel Rich (MJ 66#40):

A late teacher of mine, David Hartman, z"l, used to say that while the Shoah
(Holocaust) was important, it is not the defining moment of being a Jew. We have
had numerous tragedies in our history: the Roman persecution, numerous blood
libels, the Crusades, Chelminski massacre, 19th century pogroms, et al ad
nauseum. For a brief list of Jewish tragedies, see the Wikipedia article on the

Each of these events was the ultimate in tragedies for the Jewish community of
that time. To say the Shoah was in a class by itself minimizes the tragedy and
the horror of all our previous negative historical events.

Being a Jew according to Rav Hartman means being part of and perpetuating the
3,500-year Jewish Tradition and community (going back to Moses and the Exodus).
On the other hand, Reform teacher and theologian Emil Fackenheim, a"h, (of U of
Toronto and Hebrew U), used to teach that the Shoah was the defining moment of
being a Jew today and that we "shouldn't give the Nazis a posthumous victory".
(I would also add that my late mother-in-law while being Orthodox used to look
at her grandchildren and say they were her victory over Hitler and the Nazis.)

B'virkat Torah,
Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL
Neve Mikhael, Israel


From: Joseph Kaplan <>
Date: Wed, Jun 7,2023 at 08:17 PM
Subject: Shoa

In response to Joel Rich (MJ 66#40):

Let me add one other point why I think the Shoa was sui generis. In none of the
other tragedies perpetrated against the Jews did a government seek to annihilate
the Jewish people. Spain wanted to expel the Jews (who could stay if they
converted). The Crusaders were not the government (which often, if only for
practical reasons) tried to save Jews. The Romans were putting down a rebellion
(and took lots of Jews as slaves). But the Nazi government had only one goal:
complete annihilation. Period. That was their goal with no recourse other than
the Allies defeating that government as, thank God, they did.

Don't misunderstand me. What all these events had in common is that the
perpetrators were evil people. I'm not justifying or defending them one iota.
But the Shoa was different in scale (off the page different) as well as intent.
It never happened before and, please God, it will never happen again.



From: Carl Singer <>
Date: Wed, Jun 7,2023 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Weddings

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 66#40)

> Shidduchim crisis? Chulin 83a has a statement that the Mishna teaches us that
> it is orach ara [normal practice] for the groom's family to put in more
> effort than the bride's family for the wedding festivities. It doesn't seem
> to say this is halachically required; only that it's common practice. Any
> thoughts on why that was, and what it is now and why?

I believe that today there are many "rules of thumb" re: who pays for what --
but I believe most parents reach a workable agreement based on their means, etc.

I can speak about my own children's weddings - my wife and I are blessed to
have wonderful machatonim in each case.

In a several cases we hardly knew the machatonim as we lived in different
communities. We agreed to split all joint costs (band, photographer, etc.)
50/50, and pay per capita for guests depending on how many were invited from
either side.

In one case, however, the "other side" was financially poor -- we essentially
picked up the entire tab - quietly, of course.

Again, different circumstances require different approaches.


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Thu, Jun 8,2023 at 02:17 AM
Subject: Yuhara

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 66#40):

> ...
> One thing that might qualify as yuhara proper is a shliach tzibbur who prolongs
> his quiet shemoneh esrei longer than the rav and thereby inconveniences the
> tzibbur.
> Any thoughts?

I don't know if it's yuhara but I do think it's a lack of kavod hatzibbur and
may well be stealing time from the tzibbur. For example, halacha requires one
who is called up for an aliyah must go up immediately so as not to waste the
tzibbur's time.

Joel Rich


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