Monday, June 30, 2008

a ruling from the son of R' Yakov Emden

Chacham Tzvi, the son of R. Yakov Emden, ruled that Jews who do not reside in the land of Israel and stay there even temporarily should keep 1 day of a holiday. I heard that Chabad follow this psak.

Early Passover notes

a discussion on kneidlach is in Mishno Beruroh, Shaarey Teshuvoh 453 results in a ruling: the eating of Shmuro Matzoh is not yehuroh (a religious showoff).

there in MB 461, and also in Emeq Tzadikim, R. Yakov Emden, ob"m, reproached someone for abstaining from sugar and coffee because Toiroh commands us with vsamachtoh b'chagechoh (you should enjoy your holidays).

Thursday, June 26, 2008


In our Toiroh, Vayiqroh 19:11, we are taught about the grape shapes. A cluster that has no shoulder and no definite pendant, goes to the poor (as further discussed in Peoh 7:3).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rainbow-colored Tzitzis are OK

Menachos 38a - only one string has to be t'cheiles, d'oraisso--the rest can be any color!!!
According to Hillel, only 3 string tzitsis are sufficient; our tzitzis are 8 stranded because we poiskin according to B. Shammai--we use 4 strings.

Good idea to check a new grave

According to Shulchan Oruch Y. D. 394:3, a grave must be checked for signs of life for three days following the burial.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

R. Moshe Feinstein Saves Jews From Crying In Vain

It's WWII (the war, not the Web Ware Information Index). Prez F. D. Roosevelt dies. The entire USofA is in tears, the prezz who saved the land from the Depression, and was so gentlemanly to the common good, is dead.

Jewish communities naturally felt the grief, to the point that R. Feinstein's community declared a giant helped for the Prezz. The Rov heard that its hazan is preparing a teary dirge, the one that bewails a loss of an average poor Jew. The Rov asked the hazan and the rabbinical authority to do one thing. He asked them to at least refrain from using "Kadosh", Holy, in the dirge for the Prezz, the same person that cheated on his wife, DID NOT save the Jews, ignored and shut the doors to the rabbis' delegation coming to draw the attention to the extermination of European Jewry and SENT away the ship St. Louis.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Respect thy forefathers' accent

Sure, it feels good to speak Israeli Hebrew. To read Maqor Rishon, or Maqor Chayyim. To pronounce Tav without a dagesh as Tav. To go from L'hoidois to L'hodot. Maybe it feels better to daven the local Sephardi pronunciation as well.

Sure, all other languages are not holy and mundane. We are living in Geula (not Geula the part of Jerusalem).
Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the author of the modern Hebrew grammar, was so happy to be here that he, paradoxically, severely beat his family members when they slipped and spoke a word of Yiddish!

The pronunciation is not worth family violence here. There is no holiness in changing one's accent just to comply with the politically correct trends.

The straight and honest holocho menayseh is that ashkenoizim must keep their pronunciation. The saintly and revered, the Israeli R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach said so, V'olehu Lo Ibul, Part 1, Opinion 44.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Bar Mitzvoh Unison

Shulchan Oruch.-O.H. 141:2 Mogen Avrohom forbids more than one person to recite brochos simultaneously outloud, in order to ensure that every word of the brocho is heard clearly.

In one fo the rare rulings, R. Moshe Feinstein also ruled that two Bar Mitzvoh boys cannot read the maftir and haftoroh sections in unison (Igrois Moishe, O.H. I-102).

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Small Tallis not worn on Shabbos.

According to Menachos 43a, in R. Tam and Rosh, only garments worn during daytime need tzitzis.

At the Chofetz Chayim Yeshiva (during R. Y. Fogelman's years), they did not wear the small tallis when they went out on Shabbass, for fear of being oiver on carrying!


Unrelated question: Why is there no Rosh and Rif to Kiddushin?
In Masechet Suko we find out that R. Uzziel learned so intensively that birds flying overhead burned up.
The pedantic terutz would examine the possibility if the great rabbi was responsible for the birds that were killed.


and a releated story:

The Rabbi of Zurich always valued Torah learning as well as his students learning time. When he realized that his taxi was travelling too slow for him to arrive at the lesson in time, he jumped out of the cab and got killed.

Someone later raised a question whether it the rabbi paid the taxi driver.


R. Kalmanovich, who saved the Mir yeshiva by moving it to the US. One day he had to finalize a grant from a rich man, and for that he went down to a beach in Miami, and succeeded in securing the financial aid.

Later they asked him whether it was OK to go among the semi-naked women. He answered. "Di fenster doygen." The most beautiful translation - "all worries fly out the window."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

he beat his kid for speaking mama loshn

Eliezer Ben‑Yehuda must have snapped during his years at the Dennenberg (shouldn't this be the Novardok?) yeshiva and became a fanatic of Hebrew. According to Wikipedia, he once reprimanded his wife, after he caught her singing a Russian lullaby to their child.

It might be an underreporting. He used to beat his child for speaking Yiddish, the world's gentlest and most sentimental language.

After all, R. Shlomo Zalman Oyerbach, ob'm, ruled that one should not change the pronunciation and mama loshn of his father, (Part 1, Question 44, the R. Guttel's question, in ועילהו לא יבול)

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Shabtai Tzvi legacy

We all almost automatically say Boruch Hu boruch Shmoy (when hearing the first part of a brocho). This is a rarely discussed minhag. We are supposed to learn and understand every minhag that we follow. Yiddishkeit is a faith based on thinking.

Jews in Europe had one good reason for not responding this to brochos they heard.

Beside the fact that this expression is never mentioned in Gemoro, and Rosh mentions this by a way of learning that if someone is being yotzey on a brocho, responding Boruch Hu is a problematic interruption of the brocho .

Turns out that in Makor Boruch (Toroh Tmimoh, R. Epshtein of Pinsk, lehavdil, the shtetl of Shimon Peres), that the fanatics of the Shabtai Tzvi movement loved to say Boruch Hu Boruch Shmo because its full gematria is equal to the gematria of his name, 814.

Whoever is bothered by this fact is naturally free from the obligation to keep saying the response to blessings.

As Mesillas Yoshorim teaches in the Cleanliness chapter that one should be free of dubious practices.