Volume 12 Number 10
                       Produced: Tue Mar  8  1:33:23 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Mezuza on Office Door --- Psak Din
         [Isaac Balbin]
Responsa on abortion
         [Mayer Freed]
Tachanun on Purim Meshulash
         ["R. Shaya Karlinsky"]
Time Dependent Mizvot
         [Maney Douek]
Women's exemption from "time-windowed" mitzvot
         [Sol Stokar]
Women's roles and time-bound mitzvot
         [Mike Gerver]


From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 94 16:12:15 -0500
Subject: Mezuza on Office Door --- Psak Din

Readers will recall that I raised this question a few weeks ago.

Herewith please find a letter I sent to HaRav Yosef Efrati Shlita the
purpose of which was to ask Rav Elyashiv Shlita.  Please also find the
reply to my letter.

I am translating the letter and the reply `verbatim' from Hebrew.

[Rav Efrati is a Shamash of Rav Elyashiv and a Dayan of Kashrus of the
Machzikei Hadas in Yerusholaim and was my teacher in Kerem B'Yavne]

Shushan Purim in Yerusholaim, 5754

To Harav Efrati Shlita,

I have come with a question of Halacha in regards the Mitzva of
affixing a Mezuza on an office door in the Diaspora in a situation
where permission would be granted. I would appreciate it if the Rav
could ask the Gaon Harav Elyashiv Shlita.

I have been working with tenure in a University here in Australia for
the last six years. As is know, the University gives me an office for
the purposes of my work. In that office I do my work, I eat, I have
books, and every now and again Daven. In winter I am in my office in
the evenings for a few hours from time to time. I have a key to the
office, however, others also have the key. Nevertheless, they will not
enter my office without permission. In general, academics like myself
spend their lifetimes working in a University. Every now and again, we
might change our office.

The Avnei Nezer in his T'shuvos, Yoreh Deah, Shin Peh, went into
details to explain that the Rabbis required that the place upon which a
Mezuza was affixed should be considered `as his'. According to this
general rule, the Avnei Nezer exempted a hospital room from a Mezuza.
The Avnei Nezer went onto explain that *others* need to think of the
room/house as `belonging' to the owner in some sense in order that a
Mezuza should need to be affixed.

I thought that one could use the Avnei Nezer's explanation to the case
at hand. It could be argued that nobody thinks of the office as being
*mine*. It is always thought of as the Universities. Every one knows
that I have just been given permission to *use* the office (like a
hospital?). As is known, I don't, of course, have to pay to use the
office either.

On the other hand, it is possible to argue that because the University
is owned by the Government, and I pay taxes, that that I am like a
partner in the building and therefore have to put up a Mezuza.  Then
again, perhaps the act of giving tax is one where one gives money to
the Government and relinquishes ones hold on that money thereafter.

In respect to the question of partnership with a Goy, it is difficult
in my humble opinion to conclude that there is some danger [in putting
up a Mezuza] and that the Goyim would thing the Mezuza was some sort of
witchcraft as the Be'er Heitev explains in Yoreh Deah Reish Pey Vov in
the name of the Shach explains, and as the Ramo paskens there.

In respect to the usage of the office: most of the usage is day usage
(like a shop?) and there is of course an argument amongst the Achronim
if mainly day usage is considered permanent enough to warrant a
Brocho.  This is especially true if one does not sleep there (see
Choshen Mishpot Kuf Mem, Ches).

I will be brief and ask: Is one exempt from putting up a Mezuza in the
aforementioned case? And, if one is not exempt, does one have to make a

With blessings for a speedy redemption


The reply I received was dated 6th March:

I will  be brief. According to Moron Hagaon Rav Elyashiv, you should
put up a Mezuza because your case isn't worse than a storehouse since
you have permission to put books in your office and eat etc.  However,
because of the doubt (Safek) that perhaps the University has the
authority to move you from that office, it is therefore a good idea
(K'day) that you should put it up without a Brocho.

yours etc ...

Yossi Efrati


From: Mayer Freed <MGFL1F@...>
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 94 13:55:56 -0500
Subject: Responsa on abortion

I am trying to locate English translations of two responsa on abortion. 
The first is by Harav Moshe Feinstein,  regarding prenatal testing of 
the health of the fetus and abortion due to fear of Tay-Sachs;  the 
second by Rav Isser Yehuda Unterman, on "Saving the Life of the 
Fetus" (this concerns a pregnant woman who contracts rubella, which 
is likely to be severely damaging to the fetus).

I would appreciate any information on these responsa, as well as any 
other abortion-related responsa in English.
Mayer Freed
Professor of Law and Associate Dean
   for Academic Affairs
Northwestern University School of Law
357 E. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
TEL: 312-503-8434     FAX: 312-503-2035


From: "R. Shaya Karlinsky" <msbillk@...>
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 94 15:32:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Tachanun on Purim Meshulash

Tachanun is not said on the 16th of Adar in Yerushalaim, nor is
Lamnatzeach said when it is the day that the Mitzvot of Seudat Purim and
Mishloach Manot are fulfilled (i.e. Purim Meshulash).  See Sefer Eretz
Yisrael by Rav Y. M. Tukechinsky z"l.


From: <MDOUEK@...> (Maney Douek)
Date: Sat, 05 Mar 1994 20:13:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RE: Time Dependent Mizvot

The question that is not being asked,but should is how do the women
today perceive their exemption from time relate mitzvot.Many of the
women I have spoken to over the years feel left out of the formal
ritualistic process.  If that is the case,then should we find a Halachic
approach to encorage them to fulfill these mitzvot.

I would like to hear what the women have to say.


From: <sol@...> (Sol Stokar)
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 94 13:55:32 -0500
Subject: Women's exemption from "time-windowed" mitzvot 

	A number of readers have recently discussed the fact that
according to the halacha women are exempt from performance of positive
"time-windowed" mitzvot. (I am using the term "time-windowed" although I
know that it does not adequately translate the Hebrew "z'man grama"). In
particular, the motive cited by Abudraham was discussed, viz:

	 "the reason women were exempted from "time-windowed" mitzvot
  is that a women is "under a previous lien" ("meshuabedet") to provide for
  her husband's needs and if she were required to perform "time-windowed"
  mitzvot a case might arise where during the performance of such a mitzva
  her husband would require her services, and if she were to perform G-d's
  mitzva and ignore her husband, woe to her from her husband, while if she
  were to perform her husband's bidding and ignore abandon G-d's mitzva, woe
  to her from G-d! Therefore, the Creator exempted her from the performance of
  His commandments, in order to support domestic peace. We have even a
  greater example (of G-d's sacrifice for the sake of domestic harmony) in that
  the holy Divine Name is erased (in the "bitter waters") for the sake of 
  bringing peace between man and wife." (Abudarham on the daily prayer book,
  gate no. 3)

 	I apologoize for not quoting the names of the previous respondents who
discussed this subject, but I have already expunged those issues of m-j from 
my Mail. I would like to bring to the m-j readers' attention an interesting 
reference on this subject. Rav Yisrael Ze'ev Guttman, a Jerusalem (Nezakh 
Yisrael ?) Rosh Yeshiva (and former Brooklyn Rosh Yeshiva) has produced a 
number of extraordinary volumes of shiurim (lectures) on various masechtot of 
Shas (tractates of the Talmud), entitled "Kuntrusei Shi'urim" (Lecture 
Notebooks). These volumes are very difficult to obtain but are well worth any 
effort. One of the volumes contains Rav Gustman's shi'urim on tractate 
"Kiddushin". The nineteenth lecture (pp. 228-242) is on the subject of "time-
windowed mitzvot". Rav Gustman covers a myriad of issues related to the 
subject at hand, including the issue discussed by the m-j respondents. In 
section four, he discusses the argument between Tosaphot Kiddushin and 
Sefer HaKhinuch whether women are also exempt from "serious" time-windowed 
mitzvot i.e. mitzvot covered by BOTH positive and negative commandments, such 
as resting on the Holiday ("Shvitat Yom Tov"). After this, Rav Gustman raises 
the khaqira ("inquiry") whether the "time-window" is the CAUSE of the women's 
exemption or merely an indicator. That is, are women exempt from time-windowed
mitzvot BECAUSE of the fact that they (i.e. the mitzvot) are "time-windowed" 
(perhaps because of Abudraham's "svara" (hypothesis) or for some other reason)
or is the "time-window" just a coincidental "flag" that indicates women are 
exempt from the mitzva, but there is an independent reason for women's 
exemption from each particular mitzva? In modern parlance, we would rephrase 
this as follows. The characteristic of a mitzva being being "time-windowed" is
clearly associated with women being exempt from the performance of that 
mitzva. Is this association causal or not?

	Rav Gustman suggests that this "khaqira" may be coupled to the varying
explanations of the logic under which women were exempted from the performance
of "time-windowed" mitzvot. One view is that we use the precedent of 
"tefillin" (phyllacteries) or "re'iah" (the mitzva to physically appear and 
offer a burnt offering in the Temple on Festivals) to establish women's ex-
emption from other "time-windowed" mitzvot. Another view is that the exemption
follows from the fact that the Torah explicitly commands women to perform the 
mitzvot of "matza" and "haqhel" (gathering in the Temple courtyard on "Succot" 
(Tabernacles) every seventh year). The argument goes that since the Torah 
specifically mentioned only these mitzvot, it follows that women are exempt 
from all other similar (i.e. "time-windowed") mitzvot. Rav Gustman 
suggests that we can make a case to connect the above argument with the
afformentioned "khaqira". If the source of the exemption is the precedent of
"tefillin" and/or "re'iah", then this implies that "time-windowing" is the 
CAUSE of the exemption i.e. that is why women are likewise exempt from every 
other "time-windowed" mitzva. However, if the source of women's exemption
is from the fact that the Torah only mentions two specific cases where women 
are required to perform the mitzva, and these two are "time-windowed",
then we are only justified in concluding that "time-windowing" is ASSOCIATED
with women's exemption, but not that it is the CAUSE. Rav Gustman points out,
however, that the argument for a connection between the two points is not
overly strong and counter-arguments can be found.

	Rav Gustman then suggests that the Tospahot-Khinuch argument over
whether women are also exempt from "serious" time-windowed mitzvot is connected
to his "khaqira". Sefer HaKhinuch agrees with Abudarham that the "time-
windowing" is the CAUSE of women's exemption, and since our only precedent for
an exemption for women is in a case of a "simple" positive command, we have no
reason to think that "time-windowing" is a sufficiently strong cause to 
provide women with an exemption from "serious' time-windowed mitzvot. On the
other hand, Tosaphot follow the second approach, viewing the "time-window"
merely as a "siman" (indicator), while the REASON for the exemption is
different (generally unknown to us). According to this view, we have no
reason to distinguish between "serious" and "simple" positive mitzvot;
where ever we see the "flag" of a mitzva being time-windowed, women are

	I hope I have adequately conveyed the "flavor" of this small part
of Rav Gustman's lecture and I hope this will spur some readers to study
the lecture in its entirety (and perhaps convince someone to make the material
more widely and easily available!).

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


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 1994 2:58:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Women's roles and time-bound mitzvot

In the recent discussion on this topic, many people seem to be making the
assumptions that:

1) Far fewer women worked outside the home in the traditional Jewish world
of Europe than in the modern world.

2) Housework takes much less time now, with all of our modern
conveniences, than it did in the past.

I'm not sure that either of these assumptions is true. While it is true
that relatively fewer women worked outside the home in the 1950s than in
the 1990s, this was not necessarily true in Russia in the 1890s. My
family stories from that period include many women who worked outside
the home, in order to support their families so that their husbands
could spend most of their time learning, or because their husbands had
died, or because their husbands had gone to America and were trying to
save enough money to bring the rest of the family over. The jobs held by
these women included managing a small factory that made cotton batting,
running an import-export business (selling eggs to Austria and importing
oranges), buying dairy products from the surrounding countryside and
selling them in town, and teaching Hebrew to children. Maybe things were
different much earlier, at the time of the gemara and matan torah, I
don't know. Some of the lines in "Eishet Chayil" suggest not.

As for housework taking less time, I read of a study a few years ago
that showed that housework took about the same amount of time 100 years
ago as it does now. What has changed is the distribution of time spent
at different jobs. For example, less time is spent now on food
preparation, which is much more convenient with a microwave oven, or
even an ordinary range, compared to a wood stove or fireplace. But more
time is spent doing laundry.  Even though it takes much less time to do
a load of laundry with an automatic washer and dryer than with a
washboard, tub, and clothesline, people have responded to this by
washing their clothes more often, rather than by using the time saved
for leisure activities.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


End of Volume 12 Issue 10