mail-jewish Vol.66 #49 Digest

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Sep 4, 2023, 4:54:53 PM9/4/23
Mail.Jewish Mailing List
Volume 66 Number 49
Produced: Mon, 04 Sep 23 16:54:50 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Davening priorities (2)
[Carl Singer Perets Mett]
[Steven Oppenheimer]
Megilot not read from a klaf
[Steven Oppenheimer]
Minyan Man? (2)
[Micha Berger David Ziants]
Nisyonot (2)
[Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer Micha Berger]
[Yaakov Shachter]
Rules of Psak
[Chana Luntz]
The mitzvah of making a bride and groom happy
[Chana Luntz]
Women saying Kaddish
[Chana Luntz]


From: Carl Singer <>
Date: Sun, Sep 3,2023 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Davening priorities

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 66#48):

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

I believe the answer is to daven at the earliest legal zman / opportunity. In
a dynamic situation such as airport/airplane one never knows what interruptions
may occur that might make davening difficult or impossible.

Carl Singer


From: Perets Mett <>
Date: Mon, Sep 4,2023 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Davening priorities

In response to Joel Rich(MJ 66#48):

What difference does it make whether you daven on a parked plane or a flying plane?

Perets Mett


From: Steven Oppenheimer <>
Date: Sun, Sep 3,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Jousting

Joel Rich mentions jousting (MJ 66#48) and wonders whether it is really prohibited.

Don't Tosafos write that Rabbeinu Tam had jousting at his simcha?

Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.


From: Steven Oppenheimer <>
Date: Sun, Sep 3,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Megilot not read from a klaf

Joel Rich asks (MJ 66#48) about one's practice when the haftarah is not read
from a klaf.

The Chasam Sofer, responding to a question regarding the chasidishe custom for
everyone to read the haftarah out loud, points out that one is not yotzei
hearing the haftarah if it is not read from a klaf. Therefore, people should
read the haftarah for themselves, because they will not be yotzei from the
person reading the haftarah. This is in contradistinction to the Torah reading
which is always from a klaf.

The Chasam Sofer writes that his Rebbe, Rav Nosson Adler, lained the haftarah
every week and did not read it from a klaf. The Chasam Sofer wondered how
people were yotzei, but he never had a chance to ask Rav Adler about this.

Many poskim agree with the Chasam Sofer and advise that after listening to the
initial beracha, one should read the haftarah to himself, quietly, making sure
to finish before the ba'al maftir begins the final berachos.

If one accepts the pesak of the Chasam Sofer, then there is no reason for people
to correct perceived errors on the part of the person reading the haftarah. He
is not being motzi you anyway.

There is an additional question. Rama paskens that we are yotzei the Torah
reading because the ba'al koreh is reading from a klaf, but that it isn't
appropriate for someone to get maftir and then have someone else read the
haftarah, because the person who received the maftir aliyah is incapable of
reading the haftarah. The question is, why do shuls allow this?

I asked Rav H Schachter this question, and he said the person getting the
maftir aliyah should lain the haftarah, and it is a sad commentary on our
times that in some shuls they don't.

Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.


From: Micha Berger <>
Date: Mon, Aug 28,2023 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Minyan Man?

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 66#48):

> 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?

Not that it helps him, but you don't need a minyan for Qaddish.

Qaddish is said after a section of tefillah, or after learning, by a minyan,
e.g. as long as you had a minyan for part of Pesuqei deZimra, you can say
Qaddish afterwards.

Which sounds to me like having a minyan of people willing to answer Yehei
Shemeih Rabba and Amein from whereever they are up to wouldn't matter. After
all, they aren't all saying the section of tefillah the Qaddish closes.

That said, this line of reasoning would have an aveil be very careful when
saying a Qaddish after Qorbanos that there was a minyan that indeed said
Qorbanos together and are finishing just then. My shul on Shabbos is pretty
yeshivish, no Chazan until Shochein Ad. It is quite likely nowhere near a minyan
finished when the aveil just says Qaddish out loud. Same thing comes up when
people are coming late, and he says Qaddish as soon as the 10th arrives. (Maybe
9 who finished and a 10th is okay, though.)

Tir'u baTov!



From: David Ziants <>
Date: Mon, Sep 4,2023 at 06:17 AM
Subject: Minyan Man?

In response to Joel Rich (MJ 66#48):

I assume he is talking about shacharit (the S'phardim say a chatzi kaddish
before bar'chu at arvit, but his scenario is more likely to be shacharit).

It can can often be like this at the airport (and also at a central bus station)
shul. People are in a hurry to catch their flights (or buses) but have just
enough time to daven. Also often people have just come off a flight and don't
want to keep their families waiting too long, etc.

With respect to the person who went to the amud (probably Ashkenazi otherwise he
would have gone to the bima), I see two possibilities here:-

A) His chatzi kaddish and bar'chu, and possibly he also made a cheicha k'dusha,
were similar to those done for latecomers - and he was not shali'ach tzibbur
(sha"tz) in the normal way.

B) He did try and take up the position of shat"tz and he might have been a
chiyuv or possibly an airport worker - so he did not have to ask anyone else's
permission to do this.

In both possibilities A or B, I feel that before starting he should have
checked that there were enough people who were able to interrupt to
answer to kaddish and bar'chu - and maybe he did.

I have now looked up the halacha,

and see that there is actually more leeway with respect to responding during the
b'rachot of kriat sh'ma (and not just between the b'rachot). So, possibly, he
was justified in not checking.

If possibility B, it then becomes the responsibility for:-

1) Those in the middle of p'sukay d'zimra to skip and just say ashrai (if not
already said) and then yishtabach and continue together with the
sha"tz and the tzibur.

2) Those in the middle of the b'rachot of k'riat sh'ma to wait and continue with
the sha"tz. (There might be the issue of those who were at a point that they
could not or did not want to answer to kaddish and bar'chu, see above.)

3) Before starting silent amida, should try and ensure at least 9 people
starting together.

4) Often, at such a minyan, because a lot of men might need to run off, the
shat"z might do a haicha k'dusha (i.e. say k'dusha as part of his silent amida
and there is no repetition). At shacharit the tzibur needs to start saying their
silent amida with the sha"tz so they can answer k'dusha during this - because
one cannot interrupt at all between "ga'al
yisrael" and the amida.

5) If there is a repetition, then ideally he needs to wait for nine others
before starting. and

David Ziants


From: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer <>
Date: Tue, Aug 22,2023 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Nisyonot

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 66#48):

> 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)

Tzidkas HaTzaddik #43


From: Micha Berger <>
Date: Wed, Aug 23,2023 at 12:17 AM
Subject: Nisyonot

In reply to Joel Rich (MJ 66#48):

Tzidkas HaTzaddik #43.


From: Yaakov Shachter <>
Date: Sun, Sep 3,2023 at 10:17 PM
Subject: Psak

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 66#48):

> 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!"

Respectfully, it seems that he and his wife misunderstand the requirements of
Leviticus 19:17, which requires us (among other things) to reprove our fellow
Jew, when he or she is transgressing. This is on everyone's list of the 613
Scriptural commandments, and according to everyone's list of the 613 Scriptural
commandments, it does not matter whether anyone asked you.

A reason for your misunderstanding, may be a misunderstanding of the nature of
this obligation. The Torah does not require you to try to do impossible things.
Thus, if you become aware that Scarlett Johansson, or the late Madeleine
Allbright, is wearing sha`atnez underwear, then you must tell her to remove her
underwear, and if she does not, then you must remove it yourself, forcibly.

(I swear I am not making this up. This is true, according to Rambam, who, in
Hilkoth Kil`ayyim 10:29 -- you can look it up -- changes the example of the
Talmud, which spoke only of removing your own clothes. I love this stuff.)

However, if you are certain that you will be prevented from forcibly removing
her underwear, then you are not obliged to leap on her and try, because the
Torah commands us to do things, but does not command us to try to do impossible

The commandment to admonish your fellow Jew, though, is not a commandment to get
your fellow Jew to stop transgressing. It is a commandment to admonish your
fellow Jew. That is how it is expressed, and that is how it is understood. It
makes no mention of whether you will succeed in getting your fellow Jew to
change his or her behavior. That's not part of the mitzvah. The mitzvah is that
when your fellow Jew transgresses, you must admonish him or her (unless, of
course, your doing so would violate some other positive Torah commandment,
although not if it would violate a negative Torah commandment, since a positive
commandment overrides a negative one).

Of course, the Scriptural obligation to admonish your fellow Jew when he or she
is transgressing, only applies when your fellow Jew is violating a Scriptural
commandment; if your fellow Jew is violating a Rabbinic obligation, but not a
Scriptural one, then there is no Scriptural obligation to admonish. There is a
Rabbinic obligation to admonish, but this Rabbinic obligation has many
qualifications that the Scriptural obligation does not have (such as, it is
better that they transgress unknowingly, than that they transgress knowingly).
This, too, may have been a source of your confusion.

Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
6424 North Whipple Street
Chicago IL 60645-4111
(1-773)7613784 landline
(1-410)9964737 GoogleVoice


From: Chana Luntz <>
Date: Sun, Sep 3,2023 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Rules of Psak

Joel Rich writes (MJ 66#47):

> I was wondering if anyone has had any thoughts on why the mechaber said he was
> going to give psak based on the majority of the 3 poskim - Rif, Rambam and
> Rosh (which in my mind was a huge chiddush for which I was never sure of the
> basis)

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:

"But I saw that if we came to say that one should determine the halacha between
the poskim by their arguments and Talmudic proofs behold the Tosaphot and the
Chiddushei HaRamban and the Rashba and the Ran are filled with arguments and
proofs for every one of their opinions, and who is this whose heart would allow
him to stick his head between the mountains, mountains of G-d, to decide between
them through arguments and proofs to contradict that which they determined or to
decide that which they did not decide? Because, for our many sins, our intellect
is too limited to understand their words, and all the more so to make ourselves
wiser than they. And further that even if it were possible for us to take this
road we would not be fitting to cling to it because it is a very long road."
(Introduction to the Beit Yosef)

He therefore goes on to say:

"And therefore I determined in my opinion that there are three pillars of
halacha that the entire house of Israel relies upon in their ruling, and these
are the Rif, Rambam, and the Rosh. I said in my heart that in a place where two
of them agree on one opinion, we will decide halacha like them, except for a few
places where all the Sages of Israel or the majority disagree with that opinion
and thus the custom became the opposite."

He chose these three because in practice, geographically, these were the poskim
that Jews most looked to for practical psak. In the Middle East it was the
Rambam, in Italy and north Africa (ie around the Mediterranean) it was the Rif
and in Ashkenaz it was the Rosh/Tur. So in an attempt to unite the Jewish world
(which was fundamentally what he was trying to do), it seemed sensible to pick
those three.

> but it seems to me if one were actually to read his work without knowing that
> algorithm, that one would ever come up with it given all the alternative
> opinions he quotes, etc.

He then goes on to say:

"And in a place where one of the three aforementioned pillars did not reveal his
opinion in this halacha, and the two remaining pillars disagreed in the matter,
behold the Ramban and the Rashba and the Ran and the Morderchai and the SMaG go
in front of us to the place where is the holy spirit of G-d; that we will go
according to the opinion of the majority and so we will rule the halacha.

"And in a place where there is not revealed the opinion of any one of the three
pillars that I have referred to, we will rule like the words of the famous Sages
that have written their opinion on this halacha. And this way is the correct way
to arrive at the opinion to prevent stumbling. "

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.

> Wondering if you have any thoughts on that.

Well the Rema has his own thoughts on this. His introduction is also very worth
reading as to why he felt he needed to write his gloss, and what he was
concerned about (if there is interest I can post on this too, but to avoid too
much length I will not do so here). But the logic of the Mechaber makes a lot
of sense, if you agree with him that the three parts of the Jewish world were
veering off in different directions and they needed to be pulled together for
unity reasons. 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.




From: Chana Luntz <>
Date: Sun, Sep 3,2023 at 07:17 PM
Subject: The mitzvah of making a bride and groom happy

Ari Trachtenberg writes (MJ 66#44):

> The obligation to make a (new) bride and groom happy is typically derived from
> the Torah obligation to love your friend as your self (v'ahavta l'reacha
> kamocha), but there seems to be some division of opinion on whether the making
> happy obligation is from the Torah or a rabbinical decree.
> Could anyone point me to sources that argue for either position?

I assume he is looking for more than the obvious - Rambam Hilchot Avel perek 14
halacha 1:

"It is a positive mitzvah from the Rabbis to visit the sick, to make happy the
bride and the groom and even though these mitzvot are rabbinic behold they are
in the category of v'ahavta l'reacha kamocha"

But isn't the place to start to look at the commentaries there? Also at the
various teshuvot on whether a talmid chacham has to stop learning to do these
mitzvot (including visiting the sick, accompanying the dead etc, not just being
mesameach chatan v'kala) - as that gives a sense of relative priorities.

But to be fair, I think there is relatively little on it - most people just say
it is a mitzvah gedola (eg language of the Tur in Even HaEzer siman 65) and
leave it at that.




From: Chana Luntz <>
Date: Sun, Sep 3,2023 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Women saying Kaddish

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 66#44):

> IMHO too much emphasis is placed on saying kaddish, as opposed to
> leading a Jewishly fully observant life, which is equally available to
> women and men, and brings more zechut to the departed parent, as
> pointed out by the Kitzur Shulchan Arukh. But rattling off innumerable
> kaddeishim without really knowing what they mean is a lot easier!

Or you could approach it from the perspective of Rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin (Sefer
Teshuvot Ibra (New York: Ezrat Torah, 1989), "the saying of kaddish by an orphan
girl" no.4, p.6):

"And know that even the kaddish of men, if they are not suitable to be prayer
leader there is much to ask on this since all who say kaddish in the
congregation are in the place of the prayer leader and the shatz needs to be
suitable. And for all this they established the matter of kaddish as an
appropriate thing, as it is known that were it not for kaddish many would
refrain from teaching prayer to their sons and would not come to synagogue.
When they come because of kaddish they also come a bit closer to Judaism the
rest of the year and for this reason itself one should not rebuff the girls
either since it fosters closeness to Judaism"




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