mail-jewish Vol.66 #51 Digest

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Sep 6, 2023, 4:28:04 PM9/6/23
Mail.Jewish Mailing List
Volume 66 Number 51
Produced: Wed, 06 Sep 23 16:28:01 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Davening priorities
[Chaim Casper]
[Robert Israel]
[Perets Mett]
Rolling a sefer torah
[Joel Rich]
Rules of Psak
[Joel Rich]
Straws in the wind?
[Joel Rich]
Women Saying Kaddish (2)
[Chana Luntz Deborah Wenger]


From: Chaim Casper <>
Date: Tue, Sep 5,2023 at 07:17 PM
Subject: Davening priorities

Joel Rich (MJ 66#48 and 66#50) and Perets Mett and Carl Singer (MJ 66#69) all
talk about davening (praying) on an airplane.

My first experience in davening in an airplane was on an El Al flight from Miami
to Tel Aviv about 2015-16. 10-12 of us gathered in the back galley of the plane
and had a minyan. A couple of the stewards/stewardesses were sitting around and
talking while we had our minyan. Because it wasn't a makom kavuah l'tefilah (a
regular place for religious services), I allowed myself (rationalized?) to

Then I heard Rav Hershel Schachter, shlit"a, ruled that one should SIT in one's
place (i.e. one's assigned seat) and daven there while on an airplane flight.
One should not stand. The reasons are obvious: Sudden air turbulence could send
you flying (no pun intended), You may be blocking another person from passing,
You keep the airline staff from moving around and doing their jobs, etc. AS Rav
Schachter writes:

"[I]t is highly improper for the chazzan of a minyan on an airplane to shout at
the top of his lungs to enable the other mispalelim [participants in this
"minyan"] to hear him over the airplane noise, and thereby wake up all the
passengers around him. It is true that there is a halachic principle of kofin al
hamitzvos, i.e. that beis din has an obligation to force people to observe the
mitzvos even when they're not interested in doing so, but this only applies when
pressuring an individual will result in his becoming observant. However, when
Orthodox Jews disturb non-observant Jewish passengers with their davening, the
non-observant passengers sill remain non-observant and now just have another
point about which to be upset with the Orthodox."

Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt"l, while not directly addressing whether one should
daven with a minyan on an airplane, suggests that sitting in your seat is just
as much as a l'khathilah (preferred) way of praying on an airplane as is
standing (Iggrot Moshe 4:20 -- see the very end of his t'shuvah/response).

What do I personally do nowadays? I flew out from Ben Gurion Airport last
week. Boarding started at 5:25am and takeoff was at 6:20am. Alot (dawn) was at
4:59am and misheyakir (the earliest time for tallit with a brakhah/blessing) was
5:22am. So I davened in the terminal as there was plenty of room so that I
would not get in anyone's way before I could board. And I had no issues with
airline turbulence! And yes, I know that time wise, I davened b'diavad (not in
the best of circumstances). But given the circumstances, I think we scored some
brownie points for the home team!

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


From: Robert Israel <>
Date: Tue, Sep 5,2023 at 07:17 PM
Subject: Jousting

Irwin Weiss wrote (MJ 66#50):

> Steven Oppenheimer wrote (MJ 66#49):
>> Joel Rich mentions jousting (MJ 66#48) and wonders whether it is really
>> prohibited.
> This was mentioned in two prior posts.
> For the record, jousting is the state sport of Maryland (per state law),
> however I've never seen or heard of it occurring in my 70 years of living
> in Maryland. Could be I'm not paying attention.

It should maybe be mentioned that jousting is not necessarily the same thing as
tilting (i.e. two knights with lances attempting to unhorse each other). The
sport as practised in Maryland nowadays is ring jousting, where the rider tries
to spear rings with his lance: see e.g.

Robert Israel
Department of Mathematics
University of British Columbia (emeritus)


From: Perets Mett <>
Date: Tue, Sep 5,2023 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Psak

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 66#50):

> Let me recount another example: When we first moved into our current home a
> well-meaning caller who had called about something else then asked my wife if we
> had bought our home or were renting. She said "Bought" and he replied "you know
> you have 3 days to put up mezzuzahs". The proper response would have been
> "who asked you?" Nonetheless, my wife replied that "our Posek said that we had
> 30 days". When asked who that was, my wife replied with the name of a Gadol
> haDor who happens to be a family friend. (I had put up mezzuzahs on day one.)

The clearly accepted peak is that on moving into a house which you own (bought),
even in Chuts lo-orets, the mezuza must be affixed immediately (Sde Chemed 40:113)

Would Carl be kind enough to identify the Godol haDor who holds otherwise?

Perets Mett


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Tue, Sep 5,2023 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Rolling a sefer torah

There is an interesting Magen Avraham (OC 144:7) concerning rolling a sefer
torah if one took out the wrong one. Even though kavod (honor) hatzibur would
say to take out the torah which is already at the right spot rather than roll
the one you took out to the right spot, the MA says (my rough translation) in a
beit knesset which has less people (than the beit mikdash on yom kippur mistama
(possibly, likely, apparently?)) they waive their honor. How does one understand
this mistama? Is it a best estimate of what survey would reveal? (if so why not
just ask?), a projection of what chazal assume people would do if they knew what
chazal wanted of them? A descriptive explanation rather than a prescriptive
case? Something else?

Joel Rich


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Tue, Sep 5,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Rules of Psak

Chana Luntz wrote (MJ 66#49):

> I think the Mechaber is pretty explicit about why in his introduction.
> Originally he was going to sort through all the proofs of all the Rishonim
> (and he includes so very many in the Beit Yosef) and decide who was right,
> but he then realised that was impossible:

Yes but this was a complete change in the derech hapsak - the rishonim could've
also said that about their predecessors (as could R' Moshe about earlier
achronim). What convinced R' Y Karo that this was the time?

> So he says explicitly that if his three pillars do not all comment on an issue,
> he will bring in other opinions as a tie breaker, or if they simply do not
> address the issue, he will dip into the wider pool to quote those who do.

I would hesitate a guess that a research paper on whether this matches the
actual psakim would show an interesting result (also are all the yesh omrims
where there was no 2/3 position? and when the accepted practice did not follow
the 2/3 rule was any reason unpacked or just accepted as divine intervention?)

> And it then also makes sense to take the primary authorities in each of these
> areas and use them as the basis for his unificatory code.

Nahar nahar upashtei [Each river goes according to its flow]

Joel Rich


From: Joel Rich <>
Date: Tue, Sep 5,2023 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Straws in the wind?

The Wall Street Journal had an article concerning Americans not going back to
houses of worship post-covid even though they still felt connected to religion. It
occurs to me that had covid not occurred, these folks would still be attending
(think Newton's law). My anecdotal observation of the Jewish community is that
there was more of a snapback to pre-covid material standards (e.g. smachot) than
to spiritual standards (e.g. synagogue attendance). Thoughts?

Joel Rich


From: Chana Luntz <>
Date: Tue, Sep 5,2023 at 08:17 PM
Subject: Women Saying Kaddish

Carl Singer writes (MJ 66#50):

> One issue with women saying kaddish is simply mechanical: If no men are
> saying kaddish the tzibur may not pause to allow the woman to say each
> kaddish.

This isn't a statement of mechanics - it is clearly physically possible for a
tzibur to pause to allow a woman to say kaddish, just as they are able to pause
for a man to say kaddish. Rather, this is statement of halacha, i.e. that the
halacha is that the tzibur may not [halachically] pause to allow women to say
kaddish. As a statement of halacha, it would be appreciated if halachic sources
could be provided.

As I may have mentioned previously, I have a shiur I give regularly on women
saying kaddish, where I bring a total of seven different reasons given by
various Achronim as to why women should not say kaddish at all, but none of them
mention problems in a congregation pausing. I then bring four further Achronim
who hold that women should not say kaddish in the synagogue, but can say at a
privately collected minyan at home, but again, the impermissibility of a
congregation to pause is not one of the reasons given there. I then bring seven
plus more Achronim that permit women to say kaddish in synagogue. Of those,
some only allow it to be said when there is also a man saying it, some allow a
woman to say it on her own but only if it happens occasionally, and some have no
problem with a woman saying it regularly in the absence of any man saying
kaddish. Of those I bring who hold that a woman should only say kaddish when a
man is also saying it, none of reasons given have anything to do with it being
problematic for the congregation to pause - and indeed, were that the reason,
the same would logically apply to pausing for a child under barmitzvah (for whom
the orphan kaddish was originally instituted). So I am surprised that this is
the given reason, but presumably, to make this halachic statement, Carl has
found some authority that I have not, so a halachic source to add to my list
would be appreciated.




From: Deborah Wenger <>
Date: Tue, Sep 5,2023 at 10:17 PM
Subject: Women Saying Kaddish

In response to Carl Singer (MJ 66#50):

What is the source for this? Is it just kavod ha-tzibbur (loosely translated as
"the honor of the congregation")? In my MO shul, if there are women saying
kaddish but no men, the tzibbur DOES stop to let the women say it. Occasionally
a man who isn't a mourner will join in with the women, but it's not a
requirement in this shul.

> Last week a woman wisely came in before davening and let us know that she
> wanted to say kaddish and asked if any men were saying kaddish. There was a
> man saying kaddish -- if there hadn't been, someone would have said kaddish.
> A worst case scenario is the woman wanting to say kaddish not informing
> anyone and no men saying kaddish.

I think that's a good middle ground - but if a woman starts to say kaddish in
such a shul, wouldn't a man join in right away? In many shuls, there's no way
for a woman to approach any men who are already in the shul (e.g., if women sit
in a balcony).

> In contrast, I know another shul in our town where women are discouraged
> from saying kaddish.

I know that MJ has discussed this many times before, but it's a shame that any
shul would deprive a woman from participating in this mourning ritual, when it
is permitted according to many poskim. And before anyone attacks me, I know it's
not a chiyuv (requirement), but it's a comfort to many people who are going
through the mourning process and it's cruel to keep a woman who wants to
participate from doing so.

Deborah Wenger


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