Volume 12 Number 63
                       Produced: Fri Apr 15 13:44:25 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Basar B'chalav and Bishul Akum
         [Anthony Fiorino]
         [Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank]
Facing East
         [Merril Weiner]
Hebron & The Jewish Press
         [Louis Rayman]
Is it permissible to make peace with an enemy?
         [Hayim Hendeles]
Jewish Press and Hebron
         [Marc Shapiro]
Yom Tov Sheni
         [Ben Berliant]
Yom Tov sheni in Israel
         [Isaac Balbin]


From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 1994 14:29:50 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Basar B'chalav and Bishul Akum

Regarding my previous posting about eating parve food cooked in a meat
pot with dairy products -- I looked up this inyan in the chochmat adam
last night to make sure I had it right (clal 48 siman 1).  Indeed, he
quotes the shulchan aruch (yoreh deah 95: 1 & 2), with the mechaber
being lenient on "noten taam bar noten taam," a taste that has been
transferred twice, and the Rema being strict.

The statement was made

> the issur of bishul akum (according to the Rama) is stamm a humra.

This is completely untrue.  It is true that Sephardim poskin more
strictly than Ashkenazim, but the concept of bishul akum is normative
halachah for all Jews.  See R. Moshe Bernstein's article on the topic in
the J. Halacha & Contemp. Soc. #7, where he brings the following 2
examples.  The m'chaber is strict on requiring a jew to be significantly
involved in the cooking process, whereas the Rema is lenient.  Thus,
food cooked by a non-Jew on an stove whose pilot light was lit by a Jew
is permissable to an Ashekenazi but not to a Sephardi.  Also, the
m'chaber poskins like the Rashba, that food cooked to maachal ben drosai
(a semi-edible state) by a non-Jew that a Jew finished cooking is
forbidden, while the Rema holds like the Rosh, that such a food is in
fact permitted.

Eitan Fiorino


From: Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank <Alan.Cooper@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 1994 09:17:08 -0400
Subject: Re: Cremation

Freda Birnbaum's question about the historic Jewish aversion to
cremation is an interesting one.  It is much easier to demonstrate
the fact of such an aversion, going back to biblical times, than it
is to explain *why* it arose.  Inhumation was clearly the norm, as
is indicated by both textual and archaeological evidence. (For the
latter, see the excellent book by Elizabeth Bloch-Smith, Judahite
Burial Practices and Beliefs about the Dead.)  And cremation is
presented as humiliating and punitive (Josh 7; Isa 30).  The rabbis'
unwillingness to take the biblical punishment (Lev 20, e.g.) literally 
presumably indicates that by their day, there was even greater abhorrence 
of cremation than in earlier times, probably for theological reasons.
The theological explanations (in relation to idolatrous practice, the
doctrine of bodily resurrection, or both) dominate later discussions
although, frankly, neither one seems to account for the prior
biblical aversion to cremation.

One sidelight, perhaps not of interest to this halakhically-oriented
group.  About a century ago, the CCAR decided that Reform rabbis could
officiate at cremation ceremonies.  Nevertheless, in the post-Shoah era,
many Reform rabbis feel uncomfortable about doing so, and an increasing
number actually refuse to.  Those with whom I have spoken occasionally
evoke halakha as a basis for their decision, but mostly what they say is
that they do not wish to participate in a ceremony that seems to evoke
or even re-enact one of the most heinous atrocities of the Sho'ah.  Does
this reasoning figure in recent halakhically-oriented discussion as

With good wishes,  Alan Cooper       


From: <weiner@...> (Merril Weiner)
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 1994 10:51:52 -0400
Subject: Facing East

Okay, I've decided to share my dilemma with the NET.  From what I've
found, we are supposed to face East during the Sh'moneh `Esrei.  The
Mishnah Brura says as much in TzD.  The source for this halacha is
from the Mishnah Torah, Brachot 4:4-5.  The Gemara in Brachot 31(?)
supports this as does the Rambam in Halakhot T'filah 5:3.  The
importance of facing East is such that when in a community with the
Aron Qodesh facing South and the congregation facing South, the M.B.
says that even though this is wrong, one should stand towards South
and turn one's face towards East.  Other Acharonim argue that one
should stand towards East.

Many shuls, including Yeshiva University (so I am told) face
directions other than East.  

Here are some of my questions:

1) How have Rabbis allowed the construction of shuls with the Aron
Qodesh in the wrong diretions?

2) Why do Rabbis and their congregations face the wrong direction?  I
know of the importance of the Torah, to stand when it is moving, not
turn your back on it, etc, but facing East usually does not require
turning your back towards the Aron Qodesh.

3)  What is the reasoning behind not turning your back on the Aron

4)  Am I missing something here? :>

Thank you for your time and effort.

-Merril Weiner


From: ccorp!mbr21!<lrayman@...> (Louis Rayman)
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 1994 20:18:27 -0400
Subject: Hebron & The Jewish Press

Harry Weiss writes:

>  I am not one to defend the editorial policies or the writing quality of
>  the Jewish Press.  However, the Jewish Press strongly condemned the
>  Hebron massacre as did all of the editorial columnist in the paper.  The
>  only praise of Goldstein was an advertisement by Kach and a letter to
>  the Editor.  The editor reiterated his condemnation of the massacre.

While the JP went through the motions of condemning the massacre, it also
ran, on the front page, a thoroughly disgusting story giving all sorts of
justifications for Goldstien's act:  many of the people killed had the same
last names as the Arabs of Hebron who participated in the pogrom of 1929
(what did they expect?); the people who were killed were planning all sorts
of terrorist act againt Jews; the Israeli government had driven Goldstein
to madness because of its policies in the territories; and other reasons 
that I dont not remember.

So, while the JP did "cover" itself, its overall coverage had a tone of,
"Its a pity that he killed them, but they all deserved it anyway."

A related plea: I would love to find a Jewish newspaper with a (for the
lack of a better word) "frum" outlook, that would try to act like a real
newspaper, without the screaming headline of doom every week, with writing
that isn't painful to read, that treats its readers like adults, seperating
the news from the editorializing and preaching (I happen to enjoy thinking
for myself sometimes).  I've seen decent papers in other cities (the London 
Jewish Chronicle comes to mind).  Does such an animal exist in the NY area?

Louis Rayman


From: Hayim Hendeles <hayim@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 94 11:25:46 -0700
Subject: Is it permissible to make peace with an enemy?

> The answer, i suggest, is in the enlightened self-interest of the
> parties.  In the final analysis peace is in the best interests of Jews
> and Arabs in Eretz. Peace will be attained ONLY with the help of G-D,
> Rabbi Irwin H. Haut

To make an extremely complex issue more complicated, one should not
forget a critical Chazal (found in the Talmud): "One who shows
compassion on the cruel, will ultimately show cruelty on the
compassionate." The proof is from King Saul. He did not kill the single
remaining member of the Amaleki people when he had the opportunity. We
are still paying for his mistake today.

(I have heard it said, although I don't remember where, that Nazi
Germany is Amalek. If this is true, then 6 million of our people died
because of this error in being compassionate to the cruel.)

How far must one apply this Talmudic dictum?

Does this apply to the Hamas? How about to Palistinians whose primary
objective is to kill Jews? How about to Palistinians whose sole intent
is to throw the Jews out of Israel? Can this rule be applied to an
entire nation, for which its leader, as well as a significant fraction
of its people, have killed or have plans to kill Jews? Where do you draw
the line?

I don't know the answers to these questions. 

But, for those who advocate compassion and "turning the other cheek", I
remind you that the Talmud is warning us, that while compassion may be a
woderful trait, that if applied *erroneously*, might result in the
deaths of another 3 million people.

Only one thing is certain: If we fail to heed the words of our Sages, we
are guaranteed *NOT* to have peace.

Hayim Hendeles


From: Marc Shapiro <mshapiro@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 1994 20:18:05 -0400
Subject: Re: Jewish Press and Hebron

Harry Weiss says I am mistaken about the Jewish Press and Hebron. I am 
not. Not only did the Jewish Press in its editorial refer to the Arabs as 
"innocent" but it published a number of articles (not advertisements) 
praising Goldstein, including one which said that it was the greatest act 
of kiddush hashem since Entebbe. This is not a matter for debate as 
anyone can pick up the paper and see for themself. Furthermore, although 
the Jewish Press editor said that we do not condone the attack (he never 
said he condemned it) the entire slant of their editorials has been to do 
just that. For obvious reasons he has to say that he does not condone it 
but what else is he doing when he published articles in support and 
refers to "innocent" Arabs. This is so obvious that it is shocking that 
anyone doubts what I wrote. Just read the paper -- or better yet don't 
read it.
					Marc Shapiro


From: Ben Berliant <C14BZB@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 1994 9:58:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Yom Tov Sheni

<VTFRST@...> (Josh Klein) wrote:

>As a side note, it's accepted that Israelites (I won't say Israelis in this 
>case) who are in hutz la'aretz keep one day. 

	It may be common practice, but not necessarily universally
accepted.  My LOR emphatically insists (quoting numerous sources) that
it is "universally accepted" that an Israeli who finds himself in hutz
la'aretz on Yom Tov Sheni is forbidden to do melacha even privately.
Regarding Tefila and Tefilin it is to be observed as a weekday, although
Tefilin are worn only privately.

				BenZion Berliant


From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 1994 00:52:22 -0400
Subject: Re: Yom Tov sheni in Israel

  | From: <VTFRST@...> (Josh Klein)

  | The student further complicated matters by saying that his rabbi had
  | asked him "Did you keep two days YT on Sukkot (in Israel)?" On
  | hearing 'yes', the rav paskened that the student had to hold
  | similarly for the other regalim.     The implication 
  | is that one can't correct a mistake, which I find hard to believe.

One has to work out *why* the student did it. If he did it because of Safek,
then one would guess that even with a Psak saying he didn't need to, he
would need Haforo (anulment) with a Beis Din---unless his situation also
changed (eg. He became an Oleh)

  | 4) Keep 1 day.  Practice #4 makes most sense to me. I find it hard
  | to believe that olei regel in the time of the Beis Hamikdash kept
  | two days YT, if they came from Bave

The Gemora mentions keeping two days Yom Tov in Israel. A good summary
of all this can be found in the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary
Society. I don't remember the author though since it is a while that I
read it.

  | As a side note, it's accepted that Israelites (I won't say Israelis
  | in this case) who are in hutz la'aretz keep one day.

No it is NOT. According to Shulchan Aruch they are really in the 1.5 day 
situation you described above. Indeed, I read a Tshuva from the Tzitz 
Eliezer on this on Achron Shel Pesach, and he argues that if the wife 
accompanies the husband, then they should keep the two days.

  | On the other hand, the current chief rabbi of Eilat is a chabadnik
  | who holds that in chutz la'aretz you keep two days, regardless.

Unless there is some Halachic significance to the fact that he is a
Chabadnik, why would that be relevant? I know they have a view on
Shovuous and the dateline. Is there a Chabad *specific* view on Yom Tov
Sheni? My experience and reading of Yom Tov Sheni (I am not addressing
Eilat) is that the literature across the board is quite adamant and that
people generally are relying on a daas yochid (Shlichim have a psak from
Rav Goren I believe). I am not questioning their right to follow a Daas
Yochid, but I am questioning the apparent underlying feeling that this
related to how Zionist one is!  The Tzitz Eliezer is a good yardstick
for me in most matters ... I find him exceedingly balanced.

As an aside, Rabbi Altshul once told me that Rav Soloveitchik held
you keep 2 days in Chutz Laaretz as an Israeli, but keep 1 in 
Israel. Can anyone confirm/deny?


End of Volume 12 Issue 63