mail-jewish Vol.66 #48 Digest

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Sep 3, 2023, 4:24:49 PM9/3/23
Mail.Jewish Mailing List
Volume 66 Number 48
Produced: Sun, 03 Sep 23 16:24:47 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Articles from the Rav on Survival of Orthodoxy in America
[Josh Rapps]
Davening priorities
[Joel Rich]
Megilot not read from a klaf
[Joel Rich]
Minyan Man?
[Joel Rich]
Monetary Damages?
[Joel Rich]
Musical instruments in shul on a weekday.
[David Ziants]
[Joel Rich]
[Carl Singer]
Vayidom Aharon
[David Tzohar]
Wish list
[Joseph Kaplan]


From: Josh Rapps <>
Date: Sun, Sep 3,2023 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Articles from the Rav on Survival of Orthodoxy in America

Between 1954 and 1955, the Daily Morning Journal, or Der Tag, a yiddish paper,
printed a series of articles containing questions posed to the Rav, Rabbi Joseph
Soloveichik ZT"L, on the future of Orthodoxy in America and his written answers.
I have translated these articles and posted them to my online repo containing my
work on the Rav. These articles are available in markdown and pdf formats and
can be found under the *Articles on Orthodoxy hyperlink* at:

Please contact me at if you have any questions.

Best wishes for a Ksiva V'Chasima Tova.

Josh Rapps


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Wed, Aug 16,2023 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Davening priorities

Which would you choose "davening Shacharit on a parked plane after misheyakir
but before hanetz" or on a flying plane after hanetz? Why?

Joel Rich


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Tue, Aug 22,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Megilot not read from a klaf

If you attend a minyan where the haftara (or any of the megilot) are not read
from a klaf, what is the kahal's practice (and has the shul rav directed this)
during the haftara reading?

1. listen intently to each word

2. read along word for word with the one reading from the bima

3. read by oneself at their own pace

4. other ________.

Joel Rich


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Wed, Aug 16,2023 at 07:17 PM
Subject: Minyan Man?

I davened in the bet Knesset in Ben Gurion airport (NATBAG). There were about 15
men at various points in their private tfilot. One individual walked up to the
amud and proceeded to daven out loud the entire tfila (kaddish, barchu etc) as
if he were a shaliach tzibur. People (including new arrivals) answered even
though they were at different points (if at all) of davening. There were
possibly two people davening at his pace. Analysis?

Joel Rich


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Tue, Aug 29,2023 at 07:17 PM
Subject: Monetary Damages?

R A Lichtenstein wrote:

> Thus, they have also said: He who chops down his plants, even though he is not
> permitted etc? Also, the entire discourse about one who tells another "Tear my
> cloak, break my vessel or my hand or my leg" (BK 92a) deals only with the
> liability to pay or the lack of it. However, it is certainly prohibited and
> the permission of one's fellow is of no avail with regard to this.

IIRC there's a tshuva concerning jousting (Purim?) that holds one not liable for
damages due to implied consent. Does this imply that the jousting itself is
really prohibited?

Joel Rich


From: David Ziants <>
Date: Mon, Aug 21,2023 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Musical instruments in shul on a weekday.

Please see the following article (in Hebrew):-

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, haRav David Lau wrote a p'sak concerning
musical instruments in shul on a weekday - in this case using a guitar to
accompany selichot. He does not think it is ideal, but he sees no reason to
forbid this for those congregations where this enhances the prayers. He mentions
a p'sak of Rav David Tzvi Hoffman and also the shul in Prague that had a musical
kabbalat Shabbat on erev shabbat - and the bet din there allowed this, but ruled
that they had to stop half hour before barechu (I was thinking that he did not
say sunset because I assume in the summer they brought in Shabbat just after
p'lag minhag and substantially before sunset - as is common practice in Europe).

The reason why previous generations did not like this, is because the reform
movement adopted this with also chilul shabbat and the primary issue with the
reform movement is that they made changes to the tephilla not in accordance to
Jewish law. Also having a non-Jewish musician on Shabbat and Yom Tov is

He states the issue of chukat haGoy (following non-Jewish practice) if an organ
is used because this is what is done in churches. So he would not allow an organ
because this is too much like a church. (I am now thinking of the orthodox
choral shuls in England and other communities in Europe that do have an organ -
primarily used for weddings etc.)

Any thoughts?

David Ziants


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Tue, Aug 22,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Nisyonot

I was comforted to hear that R H Schachter believes that some people are given
nisyonot that they can't overcome and thus are held blameless (it took me
decades to come to believe that after being constantly told the opposite).

Your thoughts?

Joel Rich


From: Carl Singer <>
Date: Wed, Aug 16,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Psak

I may be over-simplifying - but an important structural element of a psak
is that it is in response to an inquiry.

I've related this story many times -- approximately 45 years ago we lived in a
community without an eruv. Some men had their house keys fashioned into
tie-tacks. My wife had a key added to her charm bracelet. When someone told her
that this was carrying, her response was, "I didn't ask you!"

Carl Singer


From: David Tzohar <>
Date: Wed, Aug 9,2023 at 09:17 PM
Subject: Vayidom Aharon

I think it unlikely that Aharon was comforted by "bekrovai akadesh". This reminds
me of the hespedim that were said for my daughter Esther Dina A"H by myself and
Rav Asher Weiss. We say "Boruch dayyan ha'emet" But why did the HKBH decide to
pluck this isha tzadeket from his garden? The answer is "assur leharher" -
Vayidom Aharon.

Harav Kook ZTZL said that death is the greatest conundrum facing modern man. We
can only be comforted by the unshakable belief that while the gashmiyut is no
longer with us the ruchniyut of the eternal soul is just breaching the portal to
the World To Come.The answer to the question "WHY" is two words - Vayidom Aharon.
David Tzohar <>


From: Joseph Kaplan <>
Date: Wed, Aug 9,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Wish list

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 66#47)

> If there were one thing you wished they had taught you before you finished your
> formal Jewish education, what would it be?

That there are differences of opinion about many of the things I was taught.



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