Volume 12 Number 07
                       Produced: Thu Mar  3 12:57:32 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bailey's_Irish Cream
         [Ellen Hexter]
Logic and Halacha
         [Harry Weiss]
Prayers at Kotel
         [Eva David]
         [Malcolm Isaacs]
Sutures on Shabbos
         [Yitzchok Adlerstein]
Syngogue decorum
         [Sol Stokar]


From: Ellen Hexter <VUELLEN@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 94 09:22:47 +0200
Subject: Bailey's_Irish Cream

Among other alcoholic beverages, we served Bailey's Irish Cream liquor
and Southern Comfort on Purim.  One of our guests said that neither
is kosher.  Can anyone confirm (or preferably deny!) this.
                                    Ellen Hexter
[Southern Comfort was recently discussed on the list. Mod.]


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Wed, 02 Mar 94 23:06:03 
Subject: Logic and Halacha

In MJ 11 #98 Barak Moore continues Micha Berger's discussion of
logic and Halacha.  I have a problem with the use of the term
"legal fiction"  in connection with items that are permitted
through various means such as selling of Chametz.  To call such a
thing a legal fiction is to say it is fictional and not true.

To say that a corporation is a human for all purposes is fictional,
even though it can legally carry out business.  The various heterim
(leniencies) given are based on a different premise.  There is
nothing inherently wrong with Chametz on Pesach.  The only reason
we cannot derive benefit from Chametz is because Hashem said we can
not.  The same source that prohibited Chametz gave us the rules
that allowed for the sale of Chametz.

Things such as the above are not loopholes, but are totally
permitted since they were not part of the prohibition.  The Gemarra
in Chulin says that for each item that was prohibited by the Torah
a similar item that is permitted was given to us.

There are various types of laws given by the Torah.  Some are to
help us become close to G-D, others have no reason and others are
obvious by themselves.  The last group includes laws of morality
and relationships between people.   Chazal have not found
leniencies in these matters.  On the contrary, in such matters
numerous fences have been placed to assure that Jewish people
operate at a high level of morality.  Thus there are prohibition of
items that appear like interest (Mechze K'Ribit), but to enable
commerce there are leniencies such as Heter Iska (permissibility of
what appears like interest when it is an investment).

Orthodox Judaism is not hypocritic.  On the contrary, it follows a
well defined legal system to insure the highest level of morality
and servitude to Hashem and yet not over burden the people.



From: Eva David <ny000550@...>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 94 18:35:57 -0400
Subject: Prayers at Kotel

There is an organization called Refuah/Yeshuah.  They have a hotline
which accepts requests 24 hours a day.  You can reach them at:

You will need to give the hebrew name and mother's hebrew name of
the sick person.  They in turn transmit this info to their
"hotline to Jerusalem" where prayers and tehillim are said at the
kotel with a minyan.  A letter will be sent to you (they will
also ask for your address) to let you know prayers were said for
your friend.  

Its the next best thing to putting prayers in the kotel.

May your friend have a quick and full refuah shleima. 


From: <M.Isaacs@...> (Malcolm Isaacs)
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 94 11:57:53 -0500
Subject: RE: Strangers

I seem to have upset some people in my post regarding unknown persons
and minyan.  Just to restate my problem - we had someone who wished to
use the shul for a private ceremony on Shabat.  They had to become
members for 6 months in order to do this.  ALL shuls that I know (only
Orthodox) require proof of Jewish identity, usually a ketubah in order
to become members.

I wanted to know if we should require proof of Jewish identity in order
to perform certain activities which require a minyan.  I did not say
whether we should or not.  If I had an opinion on the issue, I would not
have submitted a query to this forum.

Is it a chillul Hashem to require that a potential member of a Shul
prove that s/he is Jewish?  I don't think so!  Why should it then be a
chillul Hashem to ask someone about whom nothing is known whether they
are Jewish, if they are essential to the minyan?  Of course, I don't
think that one should inquire if that person is not essential ie. if
there are 10 others at least.

To give an example: Some weeks ago, a man came to shul wearing a Kippah.
There were 9 others there, and I counted him in the minyan.  Just as we
were about to begin, someone pointed out that he is a Christadelphian
(sp?), and came for the shiur after Ma'ariv.  This man has a beard, and
with apologies for stereotyping, looks Jewish.  Had we talked to him
beforehand, we may have determined that he wasn't Jewish, but we were
running very late.

Why should he come up to us and say "Excuse me, I'm not Jewish, don't
include me in the Minyan"?  He isn't Jewish!  He doesn't know about

Saul Djanogly writes:

>A stranger is believed if he STATES that he/she is Jewish.
>See Tosaphot re.the non-Jew who passed himself off as a Jew to 
>bring the Korban Pesach(Pesachim 3b).

Why should a stranger state that s/he is Jewish if he isn't asked?  Our
Christadelphian didn't!  I also know of a case under investigation of a
son of a Reform-converted mother who has been included in the minyan.
His mothers background only came to light after he applied for
membership to the Shul.  Same situation.

I certainly don't think it is rude to ask someone whether they are
Jewish.  I've been a member of clubs in the past and present, and I
don't get offended when I'm asked if I'm a member.  I don't even get
offended when I have to show my membership card!  Why do we feel that we
will offend if we ask if people are members of the Jewish club?

If they say they are Jewish for the purposes of say, a minyan, we accept
their testimony, as per Sauls posting.  We don't need to see a
'membership card', or Ketubah.  But why do people feel we can't even

Purim Sameach


         PS.  Just because I'm writing this on Ta'anit Esther, it doesn't 
         mean I've got my tongue in my cheek.  It's an important issue to 
         me, living in a small community where everyone counts.


From: Yitzchok Adlerstein <ny000594@...>
Date: Wed, 02 Mar 94 19:03:38 -0800
Subject: Sutures on Shabbos

A very common halachic question has long plagued both physicians and 
those of us who teach halacha.  A patient comes in with a 
laceration that must be closed in order to preclude infection.  There is 
otherwise no threat to life.  A butterfly will do the job - but will 
leave a pronounced scar.  Sutures will also do the job, and are 
cosmetically much preferred.  However, using them involves several 
issurei derabbanan [rabbinic prohibitions], and a likely issur d'oraysa [Torah 
prohibition] in tying the knot after each suture.  (Tefirah [sewing] is 
certainly not a d'oraysa on human flesh; the loss of blood is a melacha 
she-ayno tzricha legufa [I'd LOVE to see how the moderator is going to 
translate this!]; mechatech [cutting to specific size] can be avoided.)

Does anyone have any pesakim regarding using the sutures where the 
butterfly could just as well address the threat of infection?


From: <sol@...> (Sol Stokar)
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 94 03:15:06 -0500
Subject: Syngogue decorum

	In m-j v11,no.66, Alan Shapiro raised the question of whether
one is permitted to talk during those parts of the davening (prayer
services) where there is no specific mention of a prohibition. I would
like to quote a few sources on the question of talking in shul
(synagogue). The translations are all my own and I tried to translate
quite literally. (Square brackets are in the source; round brackets are
my own interpolations and/or explanations).

Shulkhan Arukh, Orakh Haim, sec. 151 subsec. 1

	"In Houses of Worship and Houses of Study it is forbidden to
engage in frivolous behavior such as levity, jesting and idle talk"

Magen Avraham's gloss, ibid.

" "levity": and it is as a result of this sin that synagogues are transformed
into temples of idol worship, G-d forbid [Sefer Mitzvot Qatzar]"

Pri M'gadim's gloss, ibid:

"He who speaks "secular" talk ("sihat hullin") in the syngogue should be 
reprimanded, even if it is not "idle" talk ("siha b'taila"), which
is forbidden in any case (i.e. even outside the synagogue)"

Misha B'rura's gloss (note no. 2, ibid):

" "idle talk": i.e. even "secular" talk ("sihat hullin"), for the purpose of 
one's livlihood, which is permitted outside the synagogue, is forbidden
inside the synagogue, and certainly "idle" talk ("siha b'taila"), which
is completely forbidden, and which one must always refrain from engaging in.
[Pri M'gadim]. The holy Zohar, in the section for Parshat vaYaqhel, 
emphasizes greatly the enormity of this sin. It goes without saying that one
must guard against other sins related to talking in the syngogue and the
Houses of Study, such as slander, gossip, quarrels and squabbling, since, in
addition to these being serious sins, the sin is even greater when commited
in a holy place, since the sinner is showing scorn for the honor of the
Shekhina. One cannot compare he who sins privately to he who sins in the 
King's palace in full view of the King. The evil is made even greater when
he (i.e. the speaker) causes other's to "stumble" over these serious sins, 
since "a quarel is like a bursting dam" (see T.B. Sanhedrin 7a), for the
sin begins amoung a few people and then more and more groups of people join 
in the fray, each squabbling with his neighbor, until the entire synagogue
becomes like a giant bonfire. Through our many sins, such quarrrels lead to
disgraceful language, cursing, public insults [and many times this is done
in the presence of the Torah scroll, which is itself a serious sin, since
he who insults his fellow man in the presence of a Torah scholar is
said by the Sages [Sanhedrein, chaper "Helek"] to be an "apikoras" and to have
forfitted his portion in the World to Come, so much more so he who insults his
fellow Jew in the presence of the Torah scroll and the honor of the Shekhina.
This idea is presented in the responsum of R.Y. Weill, sec. 152], and physical
blows, informing (i.e. informing the anti-Semitic authorities), and the 
enormous sin of debasing the name of Heaven in public. Who caused all this ?
Is it not he who began the first sin? Without a doubt, in the Days to Come,
he shall receive the punishment for all of this. Therfore, he who is pious
and G-d fearing must always keep in his heart and his mind not to speak any
idle talk in the synagogue or the House of Study, and these places should be
reserved solely for Torah and prayer."

Final comment by the poster: 

If we, the orthodox community, were to invest as much effort into being
"strict" ("machmir") in these laws as we invest in other areas of ritual 
law, our synagogues would be quite different places than they are today.

Dr. Saul Stokar
Phone: (972)-4-579-217			Phone: (972)-9-914-637
Fax: (972)-4-575-593
e-mail: <sol@...>


End of Volume 12 Issue 7