mail-jewish Vol.66 #64 Digest

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Dec 2, 2023, 12:28:34 PM12/2/23
Mail.Jewish Mailing List
Volume 66 Number 64
Produced: Sat, 02 Dec 23 12:28:30 -0500

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Birchat Cohanim
[Micha Berger]
Kiddush in Shule on Friday night - bracha l'vatalla?
[Avraham Friedenberg]
Not going back to normal
[Joel Rich]
Observer effect
[Joel Rich]
Saying Tehillim verse by verse
[David Olivestone]
Techeilet (2)
[Michael Poppers David Tzohar]


From: Micha Berger <>
Date: Wed, Nov 22,2023 at 10:17 AM
Subject: Birchat Cohanim

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 66#63):

> He thus explains a report of a practice in Italy that when the Cohanim went
> up to the duchen, only one would say the birchat cohanim (either the
> greatest of them or with the one with the best voice.) While this practice
> seems to be inconsistent with the Talmud, he posits that it's an ancient
> practice ...

Remember that the Jewish community in Italy were more connected with the
Yerushalmi, whether because they came from that community or were in the same
empire and had better communication.

We could expect they (and many believe Ashkenazim as well) would have minhagim
that better fit the Y-mi or the Midrashei Halakhah than the Bavli.

So I went to the Y-mi to see if their basis was there, rather than saying it
doesn't work with the Bavli. No help. On Berakhos 5:4 (vilna 41a) we find both R
Yudah (sic) b Pazi and R Elazar, who are both kohanim, both hold that every
kohein must go up. With stories about how they each handled the problem when
they got older and couldn't. (RYbP would lean on a pillar, to avoid mar'is ayin
-- people would see he had problems just standing. And R Elazar would leave the

If the minhag continued, I assume posqim along the way found a basis for not
saying it's a minhag ta'us. But my search failed.

Sources for not duchaning daily in chu"l:

(And if you don't know about check it out.
Ignore the formatting -- the content is wonderful!)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger


From: Avraham Friedenberg <>
Date: Sun, Nov 26,2023 at 12:17 AM
Subject: Kiddush in Shule on Friday night - bracha l'vatalla?

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?

Alan Friedenberg


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Tue, Nov 28,2023 at 11:17 PM
Subject: Not going back to normal

In response to a blog post: There's a certain irony of categorizing flights from
eretz to chu"l as rescue flights.

Another irony is that all the divrei chizuk I've heard stress not going back to
normal (sadly my perception is that we heard the same thing when covid was
devastating our communities (I'm not sure how much has changed)

Hashem Oz Lamo Yiten Hashem Yvarech Et Amo Bashalom

Bsorot tovot

Joel Rich


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Tue, Nov 28,2023 at 11:17 PM
Subject: Observer effect

Anyone think about the relationship between the observer effect and the leidat
hasafeik in the 10 store cases (kavua vs kol dparish mruba)?

The term observer effect in quantum physics means that the act of observing
something will influence the thing being observed and by the observation, waves
turn into particles. The observer effect was validated with the double-slit
experiment which revealed that particles are in the state of potential until
they are observed. The outcome of the double-slit experiment depends on what the
physicists try to measure: If they set up detectors beside the slits, the
photons act like ordinary particles, always traversing one route or the other,
not both at the same time. However, if the physicists remove the detectors, each
photon seems to travel both routes simultaneously like a tiny wave, producing
the striped pattern. This is the observer effect. A single outcome is realized
out of many possibilities.

Hashem Oz Lamo Yiten Hashem Yvarech Et Amo Bashalom

Bsorot tovot

Joel Rich


From: David Olivestone <>
Date: Tue, Nov 28,2023 at 01:17 PM
Subject: Saying Tehillim verse by verse

Because of the war with Hamas, we are saying tehillim (chapters of Psalms) verse
by verse, i.e. we repeat the verse said by the chazan (leader), following every
davening. However, I recall very clearly from my youth (in England) that when we
said tehillim, the chazan and the kahal said alternate verses. Does anyone else
recall this and, if so, when and why did it change to verse by verse?

David Olivestone


From: Michael Poppers <>
Date: Sun, Nov 26,2023 at 12:17 PM
Subject: Techeilet

Martin Stern responded (MJ 66#63) to R' David Tzohar (MJ 66#62):

> I hate to contradict David but my understanding of the sugya in the fourth
> perek of Menachot is precisely the contrary - that using a blue dye that is
> not techeilet DOES make the tzitzit pasul - otherwise how does he explain the
> opposition to the use of kala ilan [a blue dye of vegetable origin, possibly
> indigo] which was much cheaper.

Assuming Martin is referring to BT M'nachos 41b,

please see pp. 69-72 of a PDF called L'vush ha'Aron (so named based on a dictum
in Mishnas R'Eliezer Parasha 14) by R' Meir Hellman, available at

His "bottom line" logical conclusion is "The issue of 'min k'naf' [that the
tzitzis be made from "the same kind" as the garment] according to all opinions
is not applicable to the strings that are in place of t'cheilet".


From: David Tzohar <>
Date: Tue, Nov 28,2023 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Techeilet

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 66#63) that the opposition to the use of kela ilan
instead of tcheilet mentioned in the sugiya in Menachot proves that the use of
inauthentic tcheilet makes the tzitzit pasul.

The Chazon Ish ZTZL(OH 3:25) disagrees and explains the sugiya differently - "If
one holds that when there is no tcheilet all strings are considered like "white
strings" then this clearly permits the use of varying colored strings including
kela ilan to fulfill the requirement of tzitzit only that they be a different
color from the tchilet string. From this analysis it is clear that if one
unwittingly tied a string of tcheilet which turned out to be inauthentic he
would nonetheless be fulfilling the mitzvah of tzitzit lehchatchila ".

Therefore IMHO since there is no problem with the mitzvah of tzitzit and the
mitzvah of tcheilet is d'oreita one should tie the ptil tcheilet on the strength
of the rule "sfeika d'oreita lechumra".

David Tzohar


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