mail-jewish Vol.66 #43 Digest

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Jun 14, 2023, 6:25:46 AM6/14/23
Mail.Jewish Mailing List
Volume 66 Number 43
Produced: Wed, 14 Jun 23 06:25:44 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

[Joel Rich]
Financial future?
[Joel Rich]
Shavuot Second Day on Shabbat in Chutz La'Aretz
[Ari Trachtenberg]
The location of a Dvar Torah on Shabbat morning (7)
[Keith Bierman Ari Trachtenberg David Ziants Joseph Kaplan Joel Rich Martin Stern Michael Frankel]
Women saying Kaddish
[Carl Singer]


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Tue, Jun 13,2023 at 11:17 PM
Subject: Awe

When we studied The Rambam's Sefer Hamitzvot and Hilchot Yesodei Hatora we found
that one of the first mitzvot was yirat shamayim which is often translated as
fear of HKBH but we found it was better translated as awe of HKBH.

I came across an interesting new book, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder
and How It Can Transform Your Life, which is reviewed below. From an orthodox
standpoint, I think we would say that HKBH created the world, and at the highest
level, commanded us to maintain a constant state of awe. (Yirah is a mitzva
tmidit [constant mitzva] - there are six mitzvot which the Sefer Hachinuch calls
constant mitzvot which are perpetual and constant, applicable at all times, all
the days of our lives. This commanded state of awe will intrinsically have
positive effects on us in a number of aspects of our lives. Worthwhile to
consider in my humble opinion.

Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life
Hardcover " January 3, 2023 by Dacher Keltner

Awe is mysterious. How do we begin to quantify the goose bumps we feel when we
see the Grand Canyon, or the utter amazement when we watch a child walk for the
first time? How do you put into words the collective effervescence of standing
in a crowd and singing in unison, or the wonder you feel while gazing at
centuries-old works of art? Up until fifteen years ago, there was no science of
awe, the feeling we experience when we encounter vast mysteries that transcend
our understanding of the world. Scientists were studying emotions like fear and
disgust, emotions that seemed essential to human survival. Revolutionary
thinking, though, has brought into focus how, through the span of evolution,
we've met our most basic needs socially. We've survived thanks to our capacities
to cooperate, form communities, and create culture that strengthens our sense of
shared identity, actions that are sparked and spurred by awe.

In Awe, Dacher Keltner presents a radical investigation and deeply personal
inquiry into this elusive emotion. Revealing new research into how awe
transforms our brains and bodies, alongside an examination of awe across
history, culture, and within his own life during a period of grief, Keltner
shows us how cultivating awe in our everyday life leads us to appreciate what is
most humane in our human nature. And during a moment in which our world feels
more divided than ever before, and more imperiled by crises of different kinds,
we are greatly in need of awe. If we open our minds, it is awe that sharpens our
reasoning and orients us toward big ideas and new insights, that cools our
immune system's inflammation response and strengthens our bodies. It is awe that
activates our inclination to share and create strong networks, to take actions
that are good for the natural and social world around us. It is awe that
transforms who we are, that inspires the creation of art, music, and religion.
At turns radical and profound, brimming with enlightening and practical
insights, Awe is our field guide, from not only one of the leading voices on the
subject but a fellow seeker of awe in his own right, for how to place awe as a
vital force within our lives.

Joel Rich


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Wed, Jun 14,2023 at 02:17 AM
Subject: Financial future?

I found this worth thinking about and, perhaps, starting a conversation:

Does the Jewish Community have a FINANCIAL FUTURE? featuring Rabbi Jeremy Wieder

My short summary:

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark (hat tip to William Shakespeare)

Rabbi Wieder notes that as a community we need to look at how we relate to our
possessions (we are trustees and commanded to live a life of tzniut).

Our tuition model is not sustainable and Rabbi Wieder suggests a community-based

Any comments?

Joel Rich


From: Ari Trachtenberg <>
Date: Mon, Jun 12,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Shavuot Second Day on Shabbat in Chutz La'Aretz

Stephen Phillips writes (MJ 66#42):

> I believe that what the Hatam Sofer meant was that Hazal, due to the principle
> of "lo plug", made a gezerah d'Rabbanan that there should be a second day of
> Shavuot.

I am aware of rabbinical decrees precluding us from completing a positive
biblical commandment (e.g., as a friend noted, the rabbis precluded us from
blowing a shofar or shaking a lulav when the holiday falls on shabbat).

Are there any examples where a rabbinical decree requires one to transgress a
negative biblical commandment (as in the putative case of adding a day to
Shavuot and thereby transgressing the biblical prohibition of adding to the

The closest I could find is the case of a pidyon haben (redemption) for an
infant who does not survive to the minimum 30 days required by biblical law, on
which there appears to be some disagreement.


From: Keith Bierman <>
Date: Mon, Jun 12,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: The location of a Dvar Torah on Shabbat morning

Avi Feldblum wrote (MJ 66#42):

> ... I would be interested in any shul / kehilla that currently has the Dvar
> Torah / Rabbi's Sermon after Musaf instead of between returning the Sefer Torah
> to the Aron and starting Musaf. Any relevant sources or discussion on this
> topic would be appreciated...

I used to daven at a synagogue which, having multiple concurrent minyanim (for
various reasons) moved the "sermon" to the end, so folks from "the other
minyan(im)" could attend. I found this problematic as coordinating the stop
times seldom worked out well.


From: Ari Trachtenberg <>
Date: Mon, Jun 12,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: The location of a Dvar Torah on Shabbat morning

In response to Avi Feldblum, Founder and Original Moderator of this list from
1986 [after a very long hiatus] (MJ 66#42):

I'm afraid I don't have any sources on hand ... but I can report that, at my shul:

* The hashkama minyan always has the d'var torah after davening (and typically
during kiddush).

* The main minyan typically has the d'var torah before musaf, but sometimes it
is after musaf. The latter is always the case if the speaker is a woman,
presumably so that there is no confusion that d'var torah is part of the davening.



From: David Ziants <>
Date: Mon, Jun 12,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: The location of a Dvar Torah on Shabbat morning

In response to Avi Feldblum (MJ 66#42):

I remember that in England in the big shuls, similar to what Avi's shul does
now, the d'rasha was after putting the Sepher Tora away and before Chatzi
Kaddish (Half Kaddish) before Musaph. I do remember people saying that this was
not ideal because it was really a Kaddish d'Rabannan that belonged after the
d'rasha and the Chatzi Kaddish is then said in isolation rather than after the
pesukim said when putting the sepher away. So, I have seen congregations who
repeat, before this kaddish, the pesukim - hashivainu, etc.

Where I live in Israel, my shul and at least one other shul in another
neighbourhood (my previous shul) have the d'rasha immediately after the Haphtara
is finished and is immediately followed by Yekum Purkan. In my previous shul, I
originally thought it was done because it was the city rav who often gave the
d'rasha and he wanted to get it in early so he can run off to another shul to
give a d'rasha there as well. I have seen shuls in Israel in other towns, who
also have a roaming rav and do it this way. This reason though, does not apply
to my shul where I live now because it is the rav of the shul who gives the
d'rasha and is with us the whole time, but we adopted the custom to do it this
way as I already mentioned.

It might have been on MJ, that someone gave a reference to a manuscript from the
period of the Ga'onim that stated that the practice then, was having the d'rasha
at this point. I am afraid I do not have the URL of this manuscript or the
transcription thereof, but maybe the person who originally posted, is reading
this and can dig it up. The rationale is that the Reish Galuta (Head of the
Babylonian Community) would give a d'rasha and then the people would bless him
(our first Yekum) and the heads of the congregation, and then he would respond
and bless the people (our second Yekum) - all in Aramaic of course - and this is
instead of Kaddish d'Rabbanan. These days, after the Aramaic prayers we also
have a Hebrew version of the prayer for the congregation and then other prayers
before Ashray.

David Ziants


From: Joseph Kaplan <>
Date: Mon, Jun 12,2023 at 06:17 PM
Subject: The location of a Dvar Torah on Shabbat morning

In response to Avi Feldblum (MJ 66#42):

In my shul, the rabbi originally delivered his sermon before laining. He moved
it to before musaf because many people, who were unable to come to shul by the
time laining began, usually because of child care obligations, but were able to
be there by musaf, asked for that change so they could hear the sermon. Expanding
on that idea, I can see reasons to push it off until after musaf.

We had another discussion years later about this issue in a different context.
We were having a female scholar in residence and some congregants (not including
the rabbi interestingly enough) did not want her to speak during Tefillah and
thus argued that she should speak after the conclusion of davening. The decision
at that time (I don't think it's still in effect but I'm not sure) was to reserve
the pre musaf spot for only the shul rabbi. All other speakers, male or female,
rabbi or not, spoke after the conclusion of davening.



From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Mon, Jun 12,2023 at 11:17 PM
Subject: The location of a Dvar Torah on Shabbat morning

In response to Avi Feldblum (MJ 66#42):

See S"A 155:1 for the concept of having set learning immediately following
davening. Best reason not to move IMHO - you lose the captive audience.

Joel Rich


From: Martin Stern <>
Date: Tue, Jun 13,2023 at 01:17 PM
Subject: The location of a Dvar Torah on Shabbat morning

Avi Feldblum wrote (MJ 66#42):

> ...
> The current place where we have the Dvar Torah is following returning the
> Sefer Torah to the Aaron / Ark and before the Chazan saying the Chatzi (Half)
> kadish before starting Musaf.
> The proposal is to move the Dvar Torah to after the Kaddish Shalem (Full
> Kaddish) after the Chazan completed the Mussaf repetition of the Amidah,
> before we start Ein Kelokainu
> ...

First may I welcome Avi back to MJ which he founded and ran for many years. We
all hope he will be able to contribute many more thoughtful submissions in the

There are some problems with the current place before chatzi kaddish in that
one does not say chatzi kaddish after a derashah but, rather, kaddish derabbanan
- on the contrary, it is said after pesukim. For this reason some shuls of
German provenance delay saying Ashrei until after the derashah.

Avi's suggested change would also get round this problem though it might lead
over-zealous kaddish reciters to say two kaddeishim derabbanan, one after the
derashah and a second one after pitum haketoret, in defiance of the principle of
ein marbin bakaddeishim [one may not say unnecessary extra kaddeishim]. Perhaps
this could be prevented if the ba'al mussaf started Ein Kelokainu immediately
without giving them time to start.

> The current location of having the Dvar Torah / Sermon in the middle of the
> tefilah was an innovation of the German Reform movement, as one of many
> actions to make synagogue practice look more like classic Church practice
> in Germany. A number of Orthodox shuls have the Dvar Torah / Sermon following
> Musaf, when the core Tefilah is completed.

I am not familiar with classic Church practice but I doubt if it includes
something analogous to mussaf so the practice of having the derashah between
shacharit and mussaf would not seem to be copying it. Actually the original
Jewish practice was to have the derashah after minchah but very few people come
back in the afternoon so it was shifted to the morning when attendance was better.

Martin Stern


From: Michael Frankel <>
Date: Tue, Jun 13,2023 at 06:17 PM
Subject: The location of a Dvar Torah on Shabbat morning

In response to Avi Feldblum (MJ 66#42):

At KMS - Kemp Mill Synagogue - in Kemp Mill section of Silver Spring, MD, the
dvar torah at all miyonim is after the conclusion of service. i.e. after adone
olom, exceptions for bar/bas mitzvohs in main minyon. (we run six minyonim on
shabbos AM. the late minyon offers a "hashqomoh-like" davening (fast), start
time pegged to finish so participants can finish along with the main minyon and,
if so inclined, attend their dvar torah.)

Mechy Frankel


From: Carl Singer <>
Date: Mon, Jun 12,2023 at 08:17 PM
Subject: Women saying Kaddish

We may have discussed this before.

Having lived in multiple communities I've seen many different approaches -- if I
may summarize:

1 - Women may not say kaddish

2 - Someone is assigned to say kaddish on behalf of whomever the woman
wants a kaddish said for.

3 - Women may say kaddish in an undertone when men are saying kaddish. If no
man is saying kaddish then one is assigned to say kaddish - so the woman may say
(quietly?) -- otherwise there would be no pause for kaddish to be recited.

4 - Women say kaddish aloud.

I am curious as to what other various local practices are.

Carl Singer

70 Howard Avenue
Passaic, NJ


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