mail-jewish Vol.65 #71 Digest

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Aug 17, 2022, 4:24:01 AMAug 17
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Volume 65 Number 71
Produced: Wed, 17 Aug 22 04:23:59 -0400


Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Child Convert
[Joel Rich]
Is a psak forever?
[Joel Rich]
Psalm 145:7 zaycher or zecher
[Joseph Kaplan]
Shabbat Candles and the Blessing (2)
[Gilad J. Gevaryahu Menashe Elyashiv]
Tainted money
[Joel Rich]
Why do people think it's okay to take any empty seat in shul? (6)
[Carl Singer David Ziants Yisrael Medad Sholom Parnes Ari Trachtenberg David I. Cohen]



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From: Joel Rich <joeli...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 16,2022 at 10:17 AM
Subject: Child Convert

A non-Jewish baby boy is adopted by Jewish parents and converted by the beit
din. As per halacha when he reaches 13 he is asked whether he wants to be
Jewish. If he responds I"m not sure, what is his status at that time? When he
later makes up his mind, what is his status at that later time? Does it depend
whether he decides to be Jewish or not? is there any retroactive impact?

Kt
Joel Rich

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From: Joel Rich <joeli...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 16,2022 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Is a psak forever?

Is a psak forever?

Example - a pulpit rabbi holds a unique lenient position concerning grama on
Shabbat. After his retirement, is every future congregant (and Rabbi) bound by
that leniency? Are members of that congregation bound to inform visitors of
their utilization of the leniency?

Kt

Joel Rich

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From: Joseph Kaplan <pen...@panix.com>
Date: Mon, Aug 15,2022 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Psalm 145:7 zaycher or zecher

There's been some discussion about the proper pronunciation of zeycher in ashrei
and Parshat Zachor, and several posts about what various leading rabbis said and
did. I posted (MJ 65#68) an email from my brother-in-law, Prof Jordan Penkower
of Bar Ilan, one of the worlds leading experts on this issue, explaining that
the only appropriate pronunciation is zeycher. He noted that he wrote an
extensive academic article in Hebrew proving that zeycher is the only correct
pronunciation and suggested anyone interested in the issue could read the article.

But there's more to the story. After he wrote the article, he asked me to ask
the baal koreh in my shul, also a well-known major Bible scholar and a friend of
Jordan's (and me)

(a) if he had read the article,

(b) what he thinks of it, and

(c) how will he layn Parshat Zachor the next year.

The second scholar's answers were as follows:

(a) Yes.

(b) Jordan is absolutely right, and his scholarship has settled the question
once and for all.

(c) He will read it with both pronunciations because, he asked rhetorically,
what does truth have to do with shul minhag? And that's exactly what he did.

Joseph

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From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <geva...@aol.com>
Date: Mon, Aug 15,2022 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Shabbat Candles and the Blessing

Immanuel Burton (MJ 65#70) wrote:

> ...
> With regards to Irwin's example of the blessing on washing hands, I don't think
> the blessing is actually recited after the action. The literal translation of
> "netilat yadaim" is "the lifting up of the hands" - the same verb is used in the
> blessing for the Lulav, but no-one would suggest that this means that one has to
> wash one's lulav!
> ...

Netilat Yadayim comes from the washing cup named natalah in Hebrew (Chullin
107a, Rashi Shabbat 48a) whereas Netilat lulav comes from the Shoresh N-T-L.

The lifting of the hands is related to the passuk: S'u yedeikhem kodesh
uvarekhu et Hashem [Lift you hands and bless God] (Ps.134:2).

GILAD J. GEVARYAHU

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From: Menashe Elyashiv <men...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 16,2022 at 01:17 AM
Subject: Shabbat Candles and the Blessing

As mentioned in previous posts (MJ 65#70), women say the bracha after tevila,
and the father after the mohel has performed the milah.

However, there are other options. R.O. Yosef ruled that women say the bracha in
the dressing room before tevila. The Sephardic minhag, excepting Sefad, is that
the father says lehachniso before the mohel says al ha'mila, and then the father
says shehehiyanu.



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From: Joel Rich <joeli...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 16,2022 at 05:17 PM
Subject: Tainted money

I wonder what is the din in the case of inheriting a non-kosher steakhouse. If
the parent's income is only from that steakhouse and they are giving money to
the next generation now, is it allowed to take those funds given that they know
that they are coming from the sale of forbidden items?

KT
Joel Rich

----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Carl Singer <carl....@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Aug 15,2022 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Why do people think it's okay to take any empty seat in shul?

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 65#70):

> A letter appeared on VINnews which I thought might merit some discussion:
> ...
>> There is an issue that arises every week in many shuls that I believe should
>> be addressed.
>>
>> When I visit a shul as a guest, Im faced with a dilemma. I dont want to take
>> someone elses seat,
>> ...
>> Sometimes a shul member will approach me and tell me which seat is open.
>> However this is not always the case, and even if they try to help, they dont
>> always know which congregants are away that Shabbos, or if theyre just late
>> for shul.
>>
>> In my experience, some people feel like they can walk into shul as a guest
>> and take any vacant seat they find.
>> ...
> Personally, I always ask when visiting a shul (even on a weekday) whether
> there are any vacant seats and usually the person I approach either directs
> me to one or to someone else who can do so.
> ...
> What do others on Mail Jewish think is the correct protocol?

I believe the correct protocol is to *ASK*: Cordially introduce yourself as a
guest / visitor and ask where you might sit. Although the tradition of some
congregations may be that no one has a makom kevuah -- it's still nice to ask.

Our synagogue has beautiful Israeli-made furniture with built in shtenders
/ bins at each seat. So if someone sits in someone else's traditional seat,
that "someone else" must retrieve his tallis, etc. A bit awkward.

Along the same lines, what is the appropriate response to someone who is about
to sit in someone else's seat?

Should one suggest gently that the individual might wish to move over 1 seat
because that seat is usually taken and feel like a fool if the usual occupant
doesn't show up

or ignore it because it is "not my job"

Carl Singer

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From: David Ziants <dzi...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Aug 15,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Why do people think it's okay to take any empty seat in shul?

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 65#70):

At least in the generation of when I grew up in the UK in the 1960s and 1970s, I
have felt that many youngsters stopped keeping mitzvot, or among those who were
not from particularly observant families - stopped coming to shul, because they
were put off when they saw the type of behaviour among congregants turfing
someone out of their seat.

So, now belonging to a shul (in Israel) that has fixed named seats, I have made
a point of not letting someone move out of my seat if I come later than him,
although if he is not in the middle of the amida, I sometimes might gently take
out my personal siddur from my box (which is under the book rest) - but still
insist that he stays there. This is, more-or-less part of the official shul
policy, but I don't have to insist he stays there if he wants to move. It has
happened, that for a period I started coming to my own shul regularly for
weekday shacharit and there was often an older generation non-member fellow (who
I knew personally) always sitting there - so I eventually took an opportunity at
a time not in tephilla to work out that he adopt another seat for himself.

Often, during the week for shacharit, I go to another neighbourhood shul which
has named seats - but more-or-less only every other seat is named (I assume the
primary reason is the unnamed seat is for a son of the member and so this is
really only relevant on Shabbat), so I try and sit in an unnamed seat that is
next to a seat of someone I know is not usually there. Occasionally, I might
find myself in this shul on Friday night and in the winter (when there is only
one minyan as no early shabbat option, so full to the top), it does become an
issue that I don't take someone's seat - so I tend to hover at the back until
someone points out to me a spare seat. (As suggested in the article, that shul
does have for Shabbat morning a nominated member to help non-members with this
but it seems not for Kabbalat Shabbat and Arvit). Weekdays Arvit is the easiest,
because for this tephilla, I generally go to a corona street-minyan that is
still going strong.

David Ziants
dzi...@gmail.com

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From: Yisrael Medad <yisrae...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Aug 15,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Why do people think it's okay to take any empty seat in shul?

Martin Stern (MJ 65#70) asks an open-ended question regarding sitting in a seat
that is not yours in synagogue, to wit: "What do others on Mail Jewish think is
the correct protocol?"

And the answer is ... it depends on the shul.

In Ofra, for example, their communal decision was no one complains about taken
seats. Someone is in it, find another.

--
Yisrael Medad
Shiloh
Israel

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From: Sholom Parnes <sholom...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Aug 15,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Why do people think it's okay to take any empty seat in shul?

Martin Stern's suggestions (MJ 65#70) are perfect:

> Personally, I always ask when visiting a shul (even on a weekday) whether
> there are any vacant seats and usually the person I approach either directs me
> to one or to someone else who can do so. Often their reaction is that I can sit
> anywhere as they do not have fixed seats but I insist that should the person
> who normally sits where I am placed come he should ask me to move. Similarly, if
> someone comes while I am in a seat and sits near me, I ask if I am occupying
> his seat and offer to move.

I would add: Try to get to shul a few minutes before the service starts.

Certainly, it is not acceptable for a guest to arrive at "Oz Yashir" and start
looking for help in finding a seat.

Sholom J Parnes
Hamelech David 65/3
Efrat 90435 ISRAEL
972-2-993-2227


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From: Ari Trachtenberg <trac...@bu.edu>
Date: Mon, Aug 15,2022 at 11:17 PM
Subject: Why do people think it's okay to take any empty seat in shul?

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 65#70), I have two responses:

1. Someone who would kick a guest out of a seat is wasting their breath
davening. In your own shul, you have a better chance finding an alternate seat
than the guest, and anyone who would stoop to embarrassing a guest is exhibiting
the antithesis of chessed.

2. Shuls should have an active mechanism for warmly welcome guests, much
like Avraham Avinu *interrupted* his davening to run out and greet the visiting
angels. We have a clear example from the Torah on the proper behavior in such
circumstances and, in my view, one who transgresses this example is
transgressing the Torah itself.

Best,
-Ari

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From: David I. Cohen <bdcoh...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 16,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Why do people think it's okay to take any empty seat in shul?

In our congregation (Nitzanim in Baka) there is a firm policy that no one has a
reserved seat (except Yamim Noraim). Although the regulars tend to sit in the
same seats every day, if someone else is sitting there, they simply sit
somewhere else that day. This way no one is embarrassed or asked to move.

David I Cohen
Jerusalem

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