Volume 12 Number 06
                       Produced: Thu Mar  3  7:05:35 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Beth Hamikdash
         [Dana-Picard Noah]
Disobeying parents
         [Bob Kosovsky]
Synagogue Design
         [Aaron Rincover]
Women and Mitzvot
         [Elise Braverman]
Women and time-dependent Mitzvot
         [Gavrie Philipson]
Yeshivot in Israel
         [Harry Weiss]


From: <dana@...> (Dana-Picard Noah)
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 94 14:48:18 +0200
Subject: Beth Hamikdash

In addition to Uri Meth's posting (v12#01) about the Temple Mount: there
are two very interesting sources to read.

1) Yr Hakodesh ve-Hamikdash, by Rav M. Tikutsinsky (no spelling
warranty); a complete encyclopedy on Yerushalaim, in particular the Beth
Hamikdash. There he deals with the two kinds of kedusha, that of the
place, and that of the walls. Even when the Temple is destroyed, the
kedusha of the place remains. "et mikdashi tira-u = even when

2) Har Habayit, by Rav Shlomo Goren. An historic chapter on what
happened on the Mount, since his liberation by Tsahal on June '67, and
the first prayers there on 9 Av and Yom Kippur. And a large study of the
various opinions on the places and their kedusha. With maps, including
those of Hel Handassa ('67). There are some places where we could be
allowed to go nowadays, with suitable preparation (mikwe). Of course
these do not include the Dome of the Rock, which seems to be on the
Kodesh Hakodashim.  This book was released last year, I think.

Anyway, the israeli law (not the Torah in this issue!) forbids Jews to
pray on the Temple Mount.

May G.g help us rebuild His House soon.

Thierry Dana-Picard


From: Bob Kosovsky <kos@...>
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 94 00:42:18 -0500
Subject: Disobeying parents

The basis for this posting is what I have read in the newspapers about
the case of Shai Fhima.

For those who don't know about the Fhima case: The Fhima family
consisted of a pre-bar mitzvah age son, Shai (there may be other
siblings but I don't know), his divorced parents - the father living in
Israel, the mother in Brooklyn with a man (I'm sorry I'm not sure if the
mother's companion is married to her or just living with her).  The
family was not religious.

Around 1991, the boy was taken to a Rabbi Helbrans for bar mitzvah
lessons.  Apparently he became very enamoured of orthodox Judaism and
chassidism.  Mrs. Fhima, sensing this, wanted to discontinue lessons
because she felt her son was being brainwashed.  She agreed to let her
son meet another rabbi - a Rabbi Weisz - and that was the last she saw
or heard of her son until Monday, Feb. 28, 1994.  In the meantime, the
Fhima family - both parents and the mother's companion - sued Rabbi
Helbrans in Federal court for kidnapping their son.  According to the NY
Times, Shai Fhima showed up in court because he didn't want Rabbi
Helbrans to be charged with a crime he didn't commit.  Shai said that he
willingly left his parents, and has been living in Monsey under an
alias.  He said he doesn't want to return to his parents, accusing them
of beating him on at least one occasion.  Currently, Shai Fhima is 14
years old.

It's very difficult to know what's going on here, not only because I am
skeptical of news reporting in general (esp. for the NY Times), but also
because I'm sure the various rabbis involved feel no need to be truthful
to civil courts (too bad the Fhima family didn't try to go through a
beis din).

Based on my knowledge of halachah, the only circumstance under which one
can disobey a parent is when the parent asks the child to do an act
which is contrary to halachah.  To my mind, it seems that Shai Fhima is
showing gross dishonor to his parents by not contacting them for over 2
years.  But there were individuals who were helping him survive, feeding
him, etc.  Are these "accomplices" free from culpability in this case?
I invite a halachic perspective on this case.

Bob Kosovsky
Student, PhD Program in Music			Librarian
Graduate Center					Music Division
City University of New York			The New York Public Library
<kos@...>			kosovsky@nyplgate.nypl.org
-------My opinions do not necessarily represent those of my institutions-------


From: Aaron Rincover <i6902589@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 1994 01:03:16 -31802 (PST)
Subject: Synagogue Design

Dear MJ readers,

	I am a Jewish student at Washington State University studying
architecture.  For my thesis project I am designing a synagogue.  I
have a few questions to ask you relating to my project.  Some of the
questions may be personal and don't have to be answered.  Everything
is strictly confidential.  I need your answers as soon as possible.
Please send your answers and questions to me directly at:


				Thank you - Aaron Rincover

1. What is your favorite time of day and why?

2. What is your favorite season and why?

3. What is your favorite sense and why?  Explain how you prefer to use this

4. What is your favorite activity?  Where is your favorite place to do this?

5. Describe your ideal, imagined place to sit.  What do you smell, see, hear,
   do, etc.?

6. Describe your favorite place as a child (please be specific).  Explain its
   significance.  What did you do there?

7. Of the four, Earth, Sky, Water, and Vegetation, which is your favorite and
   why?  How do you perceive your relationship to it?  How do you perceive
   its relationship with the other three?

8. How important are the experiences, enjoyment, and/or presence of other
   people in your enjoyment of a synagogue?

9. What is your favorite quality of a synagogue?

10. Describe your ideal environment for a gathering.  What do you most
    enjoy about your experience there?  What does it involve?

11. How do you perceive your relationship to the natural environment?
    The man-made environment?  How do you see them in relation to each

12. What is your favorite thing to do in a synagogue?

	Thank you again for taking the time to read and answer my questions.

	Aaron Rincover (<i6902589@...>)


From: <elbraverman@...> (Elise Braverman)
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 94 00:44:44 -0500
Subject: re: Women and Mitzvot

Regarding the discussion that has been taking place regarding women and
their exemption from positive time-bound commandements, I wanted to
clarify a few points.

1. The Mishnaic statement that "All affirmative presepts limited as to
time, men are liable and women are exempt. But all affirmative presepts
not limited as to time, are binding upom both men and women."
(kiddushin 1:7) is discussed in the Talmud and found to be inadequate as
a general principle. In fact, the Gemarah finds that there are positive
time bound commandments which women are obligated to and there are
positive non-time bound commandments which women are exempt from.
Therefore the clall ( general principle) has limited use (at best!).

2. Rambam lists 14 positive commandments which women are exempt from -
only 8 are limited by time (Shema, Tefillan al Rosh, Tefillan al Yad ,
Tzitzit, counting the Omer, dwelling in the Sukkah, Taking the Lulav,
and hearing the Shofar). He finds that 6 are not limitd by time (study
of Torah , for a King to write himself a Torah, Kohanim blessing,
procreation, for a groom to celebrate for a year with his wife, and

3. The Talmud finds at least 6 more positive time bound commandments
which women are obligated in (Kiddush on Shabbat - Brachot 20a; fasting
on Yom Kippur - Sukkah 28a; Matzah on Pesach - Kiddushin 34a; Rejoicing
on Festivals - Kiddushin 34a; Hakel - Kiddushin 34a; sacraficing and
eating from the Pascal lamb - Peshacim 91b.)

4. The Talmud adds 4 Rabbinic positive time bound commandments which
women are also obligated in (lighting the Hannakah lights - Shabbat 23a;
reading Megillat Esther - Megillah 4a; drinking 4 cups of wine on Pesach
- Pesachim 108a; Hallel on the night of Pesach - Sukkah 38a).

Therefore, it seems that women are obligated to fulfill as many positive
time bound commandments as they (we!) are exempted from fulfilling.
Therefore, it seems to me that to say that women are exempt for positive
time bound commandments is not only not accurate, the Gemarah itself has
problems with the use of that phrase. Though it would be interesting to
examine why this phrase continues to get used even today.

Also, I have to take offense at the idea that women are so exempted from
SOME positive time bound commandents for reasons such as women not being
masters of their own time, or because women have an internal time
structure or live with a higher understanding etc. I see these reasons
to be apologetic in nature and find them insulting to my intelligence.

[Just to clarify how I read the above, Elise personally takes offense at
the above described explanations. Insofar as these explanations are
brought down, as I understand things, in several respected traditional
sources, I see no problem with discussing these reasons on the list. I
also have no problem with people discussing what sociological
conclusions they would draw from the situation. I think it is clear that
we do not know what REASON (to the exclusion of all other reasons) drive
this Halakha. Mod.]

Rather - I think that looking at which specific commandments women
either are obligated in, or are exempt from has the potential to lead us
to interesting sociological conclusions, which I don't have the energy
to flush out at the moment.

Elise Braverman


From: Gavrie Philipson <GAVRIE@...>
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 94 23:25:59 -0500
Subject: Re: Women and time-dependent Mitzvot

I just wanted to make some remarks about this subject. First of all, 
the widely accepted reason for women being free of the obligated to 
keep these mitzvot, is that they don't have the time for it. Although 
this is an explanation, it's certainly not the full *reason* that 
women don't have to keep these mitzvot. It's just a way to explain 
it, and make it sound logical. 
Accordingly, all these questions about widowers with children 
possibly sharing the women's status are IMHO not backed by any logic.
A much deeper reason for the women being free of these mitzvot lies 
more in the field of kabalah. A very interesting explanation (I don't 
remember where I read it) is, that we have the mitzvot in order to 
purify ourselves - bring our souls to a higher spiritual level.
It it found throughout Chaza"l, that a women's neshamah is of much 
higher origin than a man's, one reason for that being that the man 
was created from earth, but the woman from the man - the 'Nezer 
habri'ah'. This mainly explains why men have the obligation to study 
Torah and women don't - at least not to the same extention. Men need 
the Torah study in order to raise their spiritual level, something 
the woman's spirit doesn't need.
As for the time-dependent mitzvot - men are obliged to keep this 
mitzvot in order to keep their inner clock/calendar running. When a 
man lays tefillin in the morning, prays three times a day etc., this 
keeps him time- and date-aware. Because a woman maintains an internal 
calendar - the menstrual cycle, she doesn't need these time-dependent 
mitzvot in order to keep her 'biological calendar' running.

I quoted this explanation just to shed more light on the issue, and 
show that the halachic ruling can't be based on logic alone if we 
don't know the *full* reason why something was put a certain way.
I didn't try to solve this discussion - just to show it from another 

BTW - if someone can give the credits for this explanation and cause 
redemption to be brought to the world, I'd be grateful.

Gavrie Philipson

Jerusalem College of Technology


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Wed, 02 Mar 94 23:00:54 
Subject: Yeshivot in Israel

There have been a number of discussion is recent issues of MJ about
Yeshivot in Israel, in particular relating to the one year program. 
I had the same concern that was raised last year when my older son
was deciding which Yeshiva he would attend this year.  I was very
concerned when I saw a number of students who spent several years
at Yeshiva in Israel, but could not speak a word of Hebrew.

His Rosh Yeshiva, (Rabbi Avrohom Stullberger) originally
recommended several American Yeshivot in Isarel. I said that I
would like him to go to an Israeli Yeshiva where he would be more
involved with Israelis and  was very insistent that he go to
Zionist Yeshivah.  

Rabbi Stullberger explained that my son's level of Hebrew was not
at a level that he could survive in most Israeli Yeshivot.  He then
recommended the American program at a Bnei Akiva Yeshiva.  After
receiving unsatisfactory reports from various VTHS alumni at that
Yeshiva he suggested my son go to Yeshivat Shaare Mevaseret Zion. 
Though the Yeshiva is an American Yeshiva it has both a Hebrew and
English Tract for classes depending on the Hebrew knowledge of the
individual.  All students have a Chavruta from the Meretz Kolel
which is always an Israeli.

My son is very happy there, but is not learning sufficient spoken
Hebrew.  The school is definitely Zionist and the students are
visiting the country and are definitely not isolated in a "Boro
Park" of the Middle East.


End of Volume 12 Issue 6