Volume 11 Number 99
                       Produced: Fri Feb 25 11:17:21 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
         [Anthony Fiorino]
non-Jewish Parents
         [Stephen Phillips]
Pesach and Shabat menu planning
         [Jospeh Bachman]
Pesach edition
         [Avi Bloch]
Women and time related mizvot
         [Isaac Sutton]
Women and time-bound commandments
         [Jeremy Nussbaum]


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 94 11:16:47 -0500
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

I hope you are enjoying your Purim, as I quickly jot this off. I enjoyed
the Purim issues and hope you all did as well. We now turn our attention
to Pesach, and I'm looking forward to some interesting Pesach issues
this year.

A Happy Purim to all!

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 94 02:53:28 -0500
Subject: Converts

A few quick points on converts:

R. Ovadia Yosef explicitly permits a convert to say kadish for his
parents and calls such a practice "nachon."  This teshuva has been
discussed several times on mail-jewish; I can provide the exact
reference for it if needed (I think it is in Yabia Omer).

The continuing discussion on parents escorting a convert down the isle
has prompted me to look further into this issue.  I just received a psak
from Rav David Feinstein (R. Moshe's son) that al pi halacha, it is
mutar for a convert's parents to escort him or her.  However, he
continued, it is not considered "mazel-dige."  He said whatever I decide
to do would be fine.

Finally, there is no halachic relationship between a Jewish father and
his son born of a Gentile mother.  The gamara rules that a ger is like a
newborn child, and the halachic ramifications of this are carried to
their logical ends.  Thus, if a kohen and a gentile woman have a son who
later converts, he is not a kohen.  The one interesting possibility is
that the circumcision perfomed on the non-Jewish male offspring , if one
was performed as the mitzvah of brit milah, may not need to be "redone."

Eitan Fiorino


From: Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 94 10:45:09 -0500
Subject: Re: non-Jewish Parents

> From: Finley Shapiro <Finley_Shapiro@...>
> Perhaps a more complicated issue is that most of the people I know who
> have converted have Jewish fathers.  Some were raised to think of
> themselves as Jewish, even if they did not convert until adulthood.
> (Others were converted as children.)  Links to the father and his
> family, which are likely to include attending Jewish rituals with those
> relatives, can play an important role in the path that leads someone to
> convert.  What are the issues regarding the family links of a convert to
> a father who has always been Jewish (although he is intermarried)?  This
> is far from a hypothetical question!

Ofcourse, from the Halachik point of view there is no actual legal
relationship of father and son between the Jewish father and his
converted son. This is because of the principal "Ger Shenisgayer Kekoton
Shenolad Domi" [one who converts is like a new born baby].

That, however, is not the end of the story. He is after all the father
of the Ger and is due (even if only Miderabbonon) the respect owed to
any father. Further, the Ger may certainly say Kaddish if his father
[Rachmono Litzlon] dies. The Rov of our Shul insists that I daven from
the Omud on my father's A"H Yahrzeit, EVEN when there are other Chiyuvim
[mourners obligated to daven] in Shul at the time.

One point, of course, is that a Ger does not take on the status of the
father if say (as I believe may have been the case with my father) the
father was a Levi. All Gerim have the status of a Yisroel.

One final point is regarding the name given to a Ger (usually Yisroel
ben Avrohom Ovinu). Should a Ger who has a Jewish father be called to
the Torah by Yisroel ben [father's name] or Yisroel ben Avrohom (not ben
Avrohom Ovinu - A Rosh Yeshivah in London instructed me that one need
not publicise one's Gerus by using the "Avrohom Ovinu")? I don't think
that there is any question that in documents such as a Kesubah it should
be Yisroel ben Avrohom Ovinu. Has anyone had any experiences in this
regard that they might be prepared to share with us?

Purim Same'ach.

Stephen Phillips.



From: Jospeh Bachman <jbachman@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 1994 08:33:46 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Pesach and Shabat menu planning

I know Purim hasn't yet come and gone, but I have a culinary dilemma
regarding Pesach, and I'd like to start a discussion about it. This will
not only help me with my problem, but maybe others will find it
enlightening and helpful, too.  Anyway, you can never have too many
Pesach recipes.

Our problem is this: We have decided to only eat milchig this Pesach.
We just kashered our kitchen earlier this winter, and thought of dealing
with it all again boggles our minds.  If we eat only milchig, we only
have to get one set of Pesach dishes and kasher only one set of pots and
pans.  The problem is menu planning for Shabbat, the first seder, and
the yom tov meal the following Saturday night.  We have a few kosher for
Pesach vegetarian/milchig/pescatarian recipes on hand, but not enough
for the six meals in question:

Shabbat Dinner the day before Pesach
Shabbat Lunch the day before Pesach
The first Seder
Shabbat Pesach Dinner
Shabbat Pesach lunch
Yom Tov Dinner for the seventh day

"Pescatarian" is a word I coined to indicate that we will eat dishes
containing fish.

All of these meals are characterized by 1) the need for them to be
kosher for Pesach and milchig, and 2) the need for dishes that can be
prepared hours or days ahead of time, sit in the oven for hours, and
still be tasty and edible.  Also, it would be nice if the dishes were
nutritous, and the fat content was kept, on average, to less than 30 per
cent of total calories.

Well, thanks & B'te'avon (Bon Apetit!)
Chag Purim Sameach!
Joe Bachman


From: <avi@...> (Avi Bloch)
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 94 13:37:40 IST
Subject: Pesach edition

Hello MJ'ers,

I hope everyone is having a joyful Purim and will return to the state in
which they can differentiate between 'Arur Haman' [cursed is Haman] and
'Baruch Mordochai' [Blessed is Mordochai]. With Purim upon us that means
that it's 30 days to Pesach and since it is customary to deal with the
topics of a holiday 30 days before the holiday, it's time to get started
on the MJ Hagadah issue.

My name is Avi Bloch and I'll be editing this issue. The issue will contain
both customs and explanations about the Hagadah. It will be organized in the
order of the Hagadah so that you can just run through it while reading the
Hagadah at the seder.

Since Pesach is also called Chag Hageula [the holiday of redemption] and
since anyone who quotes another and mentions his name brings redemption
to the world, I think it would be most appropriate if anyone sending in
a contribution could quote his/her sources.

If you have a question about the Hagadah you can also send them to me. I
will collect them and post them to the list so that people can try to
answer them and add to the contributions.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Avi Bloch


From: <ISUTTON@...> (Isaac Sutton)
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 94 06:42:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Women and time related mizvot

I agree with what Seth Magot and Aliza Berger wrote on this topic. The
situation I have always posed (and rarely received a satisfactory
answer) is as follows:

A widower with small children, one being a new born infant, what would
be his obligation to time related mizvot? One rabbi told me that the
reason of household obligations is not the official reason, it is merely
a nice added reason. furthermore, i was told there is no reason. If that
be the case then the origins of this prohibition on women must be
explored ( not in this response- I won't bore you that much). I have been
able to gleam a few interesting hints from the few people that are
willing to discuss this subject with an open mind and have the academic
background to do so as well.

As to Aliza's suggestion of rethinking minyan for women, I say why stop
there. THere are many more that can be added, and I may should be added.
The problem lies in the 20th century's halachic breakdown. For more than
one reason the process of halacha has broken down in the last few
centuries, up to the point of crises in our century.

It is clearly seen that the Tanaim and the Amoraim had no problem making
takanot on Biblical injuctions and ordances that were not apropo for
their time (a quick example is: levying interest on a fellow Jew and the
subsequant heter 'iska). It can be further added that even Aharonim have
ruled in accordance to sociological realities. Unfortunatly today many
poskim, although not all, have no relation to sociological realities in
there pesakim. The fact that we have women today who are doctors,
lawyers, etc...  and we still have poskim that quote a prohabition on
women learning Talmud, is a clear testimony to this problem.  I think a
more detailed discussion of this and related topics can only enhance our
understanding and fullfilment of Torat Moshe.

Isaac Sutton (<isutton@...>)


From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 94 17:19:29 -0500
Subject: Women and time-bound commandments

There are 2 issues here that I want to note.  Women are not obligated in
certain mitzvot which have a dependence on time, not that they take up a
great deal of time.  Thus women are not obligated in the reading of
shma, whose time of fulfilment is a fairly narrow window in the morning,
and are obligated in tefilah, whose time of fulfilment is sometime
during the day.

It is not that they don't have time.  It is that they cannot guarantee
that they will have the time now, or in a certain window of time.

Taking care of a household of kids solo, without backup, can make it
very difficult to always get to e.g. putting on tfilin and praying in
the appropriate time window.  This is especially difficult before modern
conveniences (e.g. first draw the water, gather firewood, build the fire
and so on and soon the morning is gone)

The other issue is that in general, no distinction is made for unusual
cases.  IMHO, the reasoning went: since almost all women are busy
raising children and must be able to focus on that, during that phase
they will not be obligated in mitzvot that will compete with their
(young) children for their focus.  E.g. she should not go through the
calculation, "my 2 year old son is hungry, but the time for kriat shma
is almost gone, so I will let him be hungry and fulfil my obligation in
the shma."

Once women were exempted from these mitzvot for at least some period in
their lives, they were exempted from them for all of their lives.
Perhaps the motivation is that it is difficult to put a boundary on when
they should be exempt and when they should be obligated, or perhaps it
would be a distraction even if they were once obligated and now that
they are taking care of their children some are still "in to" the
mitzvot that they used to do, and that is a sufficient distratction.

In our day of less rigid social and familial roles, issues can be raised
in individual cases.  It is still difficult to change the general rule.
With regard to men as primary caregivers, IMHO with the modern
conveniences we have it is still generally possible to fulfil the
weekday mitzvot in the proper time.

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)


End of Volume 11 Issue 99