mail-jewish Vol.66 #68 Digest

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Dec 20, 2023, 1:44:23 PM12/20/23
Mail.Jewish Mailing List
Volume 66 Number 68
Produced: Wed, 20 Dec 23 13:44:21 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Haftarat Mikeitz (3)
[Menashe Elyashiv Michael Poppers Perets Mett]
Kiddush in Shule on Friday night - bracha l'vatalla?
[Meir Shinnar]
Milchemet mitzvah
[Yisrael Medad]
Talmud Torah is pushed off by another mitzva
[Joel Rich]
Tzedakah collectors (2)
[Ari Trachtenberg Martin Stern]


From: Menashe Elyashiv <>
Date: Thu, Dec 14,2023 at 06:17 AM
Subject: Haftarat Mikeitz

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 66#676):

> I heard this explaned once that these two women were a mother-in-law and her
> daughter-in-law and the latter's husband (the former's son) had also died
> after the births of the two boys. If it were her boy who died, she would fall
> for yibbum to her newborn brother-in-law, essentially an agunah for 13 years,
> whereas if it were the other boy who had died she would be free of any ties.
> This was meant to illustrate the depth of ill-feeling generally supposedly
> felt by a mother-in-law for her daughter-in-law.
> Is anyone else aware of this explanation and, if so, can they provide its
> source.

The source is Meiri to Yevamot 17b, see R. Dikmen, the editor, in his note
there, that the Meiri's source is Yalkut Shimoni pt. 2 #175.


From: Michael Poppers <>
Date: Fri, Dec 15,2023 at 12:17 PM
Subject: Haftarat Mikeitz

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 66#67):

I just heard R'Y. Frand quote RaDVaZ -- URL, starts at around 09:50.


From: Perets Mett <>
Date: Tue, Dec 19,2023 at 08:17 AM
Subject: Haftarat Mikeitz

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 66#67):

The source is Meiri on Yevamos 17b

I don't think it has any relevance to a mother in law hating her daughter in law.

The daughter in law lost her child (under 30 days old, and therefore a nefel
[non-viable birth]) and was now going have to wait 13 years without a husband
(neither woman had any other children) so she lied about whose baby had died,
leaving herself free to remarry. Her mother in law had no need to lie - her son
was the live one!

The daughter-in-law wanted to be allowed to remarry, although she herself knew
that her right to remarry was a sham.

When King Shlomo suggested killing the baby she jumped at the opportunity now
presented to allow herself to remarry legally.

Perets Mett


From: Meir Shinnar <>
Date: Thu, Dec 14,2023 at 08:17 PM
Subject: Kiddush in Shule on Friday night - bracha l'vatalla?

Deborah Wenger wrote (MJ 66#65):

> Avraham Friedenberg (MJ 66#64) wrote:
>> After observing the shat"z saying Kiddush as part of the Friday night
>> davening, I began wondering why this minhag is not a bracha l'vatalla.
>> Yes, I'm aware that the Gemara says that Kiddush was recited in shule in
>> those days for the benefit of those eating their meals and staying in the
>> shule. However, that doesn't happen any more. Currently, the shat"z, or the
>> Gabbai, say Kiddush, and either the person saying it or the youngsters drink
>> the wine.
>> However, nobody is yotzei by hearing this during davening - it's not in the
>> makom se'uda, there's no meal included, and the person saying the Kiddush
>> still has say Kiddush again - the full version - when he returns home.
>> How does this minhag survive today?
> IMHO. I have spent many Shabbatot in small communities in the US where they
> were lucky to get a minyan Friday night - but many men who went to these
> minyanim were either not 100% observant or did not know enough to say kiddush
> on their own. Therefore, kiddush was made in shul so they'd at least hear it
> somewhere. Just my 2 perutot.

It's been a while, but I recall seeing that Ovadia Yosef, when he was Chief Rabbi
of Egypt early in his career, tried to stop them saying kiddush Friday night in
shul, but then allowed it for the reason Deborah Wenger gives - many people in
shul would otherwise not hear kiddush at all.

Meir Shinnar


From: Yisrael Medad <>
Date: Thu, Dec 14,2023 at 06:17 AM
Subject: Milchemet mitzvah

Joel Rich asks (MJ 66#67):

> Is the duty to join in a milchemet mitzva limited to those dwelling in Eretz-
> Yisrael?"

I presume one answer could be: a Jew is a Jew wherever he is. A Jew commanded to
participate in a mitzva does so no matter where, unless the mitzva is restricted
geographically. Therefore, one need not be a resident of Eretz-Yisrael to engage
in such a war.

May I add an observation? As Rav Goren has highlighted, actually a Milchemet
Mitzva derives from two sources: a Torah command and a King's command. That is,
a sovereign governmental authority must be the initiator of the fighting. So, in
a spin-off to Joel's question, a Jew cannot, as an individual or a band of jolly
good fellows, simple engage in this mitzva

Yisrael Medad


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Wed, Dec 20,2023 at 12:17 AM
Subject: Talmud Torah is pushed off by another mitzva

The Rambam (Talmud Torah 3:4) states that mitzvat Talmud Torah is pushed
off by another mitzva if the other mitzvah can't be done by someone else.
What are the halachic considerations taken into account (by an individual
or community leadership) to determine the application to mitzvot that
require group effort? (eg protests, home front support efforts)

Bsorot tovot

Joel Rich


From: Ari Trachtenberg <>
Date: Thu, Dec 14,2023 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Tzedakah collectors

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 66#67):

> Joel Rich wrote (MJ 66#66):

>> What is the best practice if you've started the amida and a tzedakah collector
>> comes in front of you to collect?
> He should be completely ignored unless it is a clear case of pikuach nefesh,

Much as I appreciate the sentiment, I'm not sure that it is halachically correct.
The precedent was set with Abraham, who left his davening in his tent in order
to greet three strangers.



From: Martin Stern <>
Date: Tue, Dec 19,2023 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Tzedakah collectors

Further to my posting (MJ 66#67):

There is another custom I find irritating: sending a child round with a tzedakah
pushke [charity box] during chazarat hashatz. While there is a venerable custom
to collect tzedakah during Vayevarekh David in Pesukei dezimra or after Kriat
Hatorah, I feel chazarat hashatz is not an appropriate time since one should be
concentrating on the shatz's words and answering amein on each berachah. That
they shake the pushke noisily as they go round is just an added distraction.

It is even suggested that if 9 adult males are not doing so, his repetition
consists of berakhot levatalah [useless blessings] which may even be prohibited
under the third of the ten commandments uttered at Sinai for which Hashem will
not hold one guiltless! To avoid this, each person is recommended to consider
himself personally to be one of the necessary 9 adult males.

Also, it teaches the children that chazarat hashatz is not so terribly
important which may be why so many adults are of this opinion and do not pay
it proper attention, even conversing with their neighbours during it,
rachmana litzlan.

Martin Stern


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Dec 20, 2023, 1:50:00 PM12/20/23
Mail.Jewish Mailing List
Volume 66 Number 68
Produced: Wed, 20 Dec 23 13:49:58 -0500

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