Volume 12 Number 77
                       Produced: Sat Apr 23 23:46:15 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Electronic Keys and Shabbos
         [David Louis Zimbalist]
Jewish Mothers and Prayer
         [Mark Steiner]
ki gerim hayitem...
         [Michael Rosenberg]
Korban Pesach Today
         [Uri Meth]
Primers on Judaism
         [Shirley Gee]
rejoice with wine
         [Susan Sterngold]
         [Yechiel Pisem]
Sutures on Shabbat
         [Mitch Berger]
Targum to Iyyov
         [Steven Friedell]
Teaching Torah to non-Jews
         [Freda Birnbaum]


From: David Louis Zimbalist <dzimbal@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 1994 22:25:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Electronic Keys and Shabbos

Someone recently posted a very strong statement that getting a non-Jew
to unlock an electronic key lock for you on Shabbos was indesputably
forbidden.  I would like to mention a psak I received from an LOR in
Philadelphia regarding this question.  In the case of a commercial
venture (hotel, hospital, etc.) many modern, electronic "conveniences"
have been built into the buildings.  Sometimes security measures eg.
written passes are also part of the rules and procedures.

In such cases there are grounds for certain ways of getting a non-Jew to
perform what would otherwise be a violation of Shabbos.  The principle
is known as "d'nafshei ka'avid" or the non-Jew is doing the act for
his/her own benefit.  For example, a nice, modern hotel with super
secure electronic locks on the door has those locks to attract
customers.  If you explain the restrictions you have, due to Shabbos,
and explain further that you cannot frequent a hotel that cannot
accomodate your needs, they are usually more than willing to attend to
those needs.  They are not doing it just to do you a favor, but because
it is good for business.

Granted, if they will not accomodate you, finding a random Gentile to
help raises Amira L'Akum questions.

David Zimbalist


From: Mark Steiner <MARKSA@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 07:07:43 -0400
Subject: Re: Jewish Mothers and Prayer

	On the question of "Jewish mommies" davening, the Chofetz Chaim
told his wife that she is exempt from davening as long as she has small
children, since ha-osek be-mitzvah patur min hamitzvah.  (Related by the
son of the Chofetz Chaim; sorry, don't have the reference available.)
Translation: whoever is occupied in doing a mitzvah is exempt from doing
another one.  Of course, this means that the Chofetz Chaim held that the
mitzvah of rearing children in their infancy belongs to the woman (like
the mitzvah of lighting Shabbos candles).  Perhaps a more illuminating
way of putting it is that the Chofetz Chaim held that rearing children
is a mitzvah.  I mention this because the Mishna Berura is quite
emphatic about the obligation of women to daven shacharith and mincha
and obligates the community to exhort women to do so.  I can think of a
number of reasons why the Chofetz Chaim did not publish the psak he gave
his wife in the Mishna Berura, but it would be unfair to speculate.


From: <Michael.Rosenberg@...> (Michael Rosenberg)
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 94 05:07:22 PDT
Subject: ki gerim hayitem...

I have noticed that a number of the mail jewish readers are gerim and
wanted to ask a question: I know a family that has recently gone through
conversion.  They are very serious about accepting torah and mitzvot,
but because they have no large religious community where they could
observe and adapt through observation (I think that's why anyway) they
often do or say things that don't feel right (or sound or feel
"goyish"...I don't know how to express it any better).  My question is
one of derech eretz: should one discreetly let them know, or should one
leave them alone and trust that eventually they will pick up on the
"vibe"?  My fear is that by mentioning it to them, they might become so
self conscious that they could feel apart from the community.  On the
other hand, if people perceive that they haven't caught on to certain
social or cultural nuances, then the community will by itself pull back
in a subtle way and they might perceive that as a lack of willingness to
accept them as one of the shevet [tribe].  I would be interested in
hearing from people on either side of this question if you have
experienced this yourselves and how you have dealt with it and how you
felt about it.

Michael Rosenberg  Portland, OR
uucp: uunet!m2xenix!dawggon!31.9!Michael.Rosenberg..Portland,
Internet: Michael.Rosenberg..Portland,@p9.f31.n105.z1.fidonet.org


From: <umeth@...> (Uri Meth)
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 09:19:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Korban Pesach Today

In v12n74 Sean Philip Engelson comments:

>Actually, there are those that hold that the korban pesach could be brought
>now, even without the Temple, as an altar could be built on the non-qodesh
>part of the mount, and if everyone is tamei (ritually impure), the korban can
>be brought without worrying about tahara.  Has anyone else heard this opinion
>and have more information?

Yes and no.  Building an alter in a non-qodesh part of the Temple Mount
would not suffice.  In order to bring the Korban Pesach no Temple is required.
The Korban Pesach may be brought by Tamei people when most of the nation
is in this state, which we classify today since most of the Jews in the
world live in the Diaspora which by definition makes them tamei.
A Korban brought when most of the nation is tamei would still be brought
in the qodeh part of the mountain.  Furthermore, any korban which is
brought not on the holy part of the Temple Mount, specifically in the
Azara, is nullified and not worth anything.  There is a prohibition from
bringing the blood of this offering into the Azara to pour the blood on
the Alter (I forget the pasuk at the moment).

HOWEVER, the Korban Pesach, just like any other Korban can only be
brought when the place Mizbayach (alter) which was in the courtyard of the
Temple is known.  As a matter of fact, for approximately 50 years (I believe)
after the destruction of the Second Temple the Korban Pesach was still
brought because the place of the Mizbayach was known.  However, after
the revolt of Bar Kochba, Turnus Rufus (a Roman general) to show his
displeasure over the Jewish insabourdinates (spelling?), plowed over the 
Temple Mount.  When he did this, he removed all indications of where the
Mizbayach stood, thereby invalidating the continual bringing of the
Korban Pesach.  The Mishna in Mesechet Midot when it describes the
location of the Mizbayach is vague, so we cannot determine its exact
location (beyond any shadow of a doubt).  I know that there are Rabanim
and others who based on archeological evidence have speculated as to
where everything on the Temple Mount was, but this is only a speculation
and not a certainty.

Uri Meth                (215) 674-0200 (voice)
SEMCOR, Inc.            (215) 443-0474 (fax)
65 West Street Road     <umeth@...>
Suite C-100
Warminster, PA 18974


From: <gee@...> (Shirley Gee)
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 94 07:59:50 PDT
Subject: Re: Primers on Judaism

	There's a volume called "The Encyclopedia of Judaism" (or
something to that effect" by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin. It is not too
simplistic and is very good in that it summarizes everything from
Biblical history to the history of modern-day Israel to theology and
practice. There are plentiful footnotes and references for those who are
interested in getting a deeper understanding of the topic. Rabbi
Telushkin makes a commendable effort at trying to offer an unbiased
explanation of religious issues, so that the book does not end up
sounding like it trumpets the perspective of any particular

Shirley J Gee


From: Susan Sterngold <ss117@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 03:45:11 -0400
Subject: rejoice with wine

rejoicing only with wine-is it OK for alcoholics to use grape juice or
some kind of non alcoholic substitute? (yes there ARE Jewish alcoholics!)
thanks susan

[In general, where wine is required, e.g. for Kiddush, we hold that
grape juice is an acceptable alternative. In the case of an alcoholic,
it would probably be the preferred approach. While there is strong
source material for rejoicing with wine during Yom Tov, I would strongly
suspect that this would not be required/allowed for an alcoholic. I
would not think, however, that there would be a requirement to drink
extra grape juice on Yom Tov to satisfy the requirement of Simchat Yom
Tov - rejoicing on the holiday. Mod.]


From: Yechiel Pisem <ypisem@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 1994 19:59:47 -0400
Subject: Re: Shavers

In response to the posting in issue 12/72 about shavers:

The issur regarding this is the "Bal Tashchis" as it is mentioned in the 
Torah -- the phrase finishes "pe'as zekonecha" (SP?) It means that you 
are not allowed to destroy.  A conventional electric shaver is just a 
pair of scissors that cuts close; the Lift - n - Cut type pulls your 
hair, therefore destroying hair below the skin that might be in one of 
the "7 corners".  Hope this helps.

Yechiel Pisem


From: <mberger@...> (Mitch Berger)
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 94 10:45:22 EDT
Subject: Sutures on Shabbat

Some anecdotal evidence against getting sutures on Shabbos.

When I attended camp, I was dumb enough to jump off a large boulder, land
on me knee and deeply cut it on Shabbos. (Ruined the suit.)
R. David Cohen shlit"a, of Gevul Ya'avetz in Flatbush, teaches at that camp.
He did not permit going into town to have stitches put in. I don't know if the
problem was the stitches, or the possible need to drive to a doctor.

I have a scar, and in some petty way, I like the mark of self-sacrifice for
a mitzvah.

| Micha Berger       | (201) 916-0287 | On Torah, on worship, and |    |  |   |
| <mberger@...> |<- new address  |   on supporting kindness  |    |  |   |


From: Steven Friedell <friedell@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 94 9:31:15 EDT
Subject: Targum to Iyyov

Mention was made of the Targum to Iyyov in one of the postings on the
blessing concerning the "sekhvi."  My understanding from something I learned
many years ago was that the Targum that we have today dates from the 6th or
7th century with maybe a few later additions (there is mention of Muhammed's
wife's name I believe).  It contains a  lot of Agaddic material often in
conflict with the p'shat and usually aimed at reducing or eliminating the
harshness of the original which Rabbinic theology found difficult.  Compare
for example the Hebrew for chapter 3:15-19 (a bitter complaint that it is
better to be dead than be alive--in death prisoners  are wholly at ease, the
small and the great are there alike etc.) with the Aramaic (beautiful
description of Olam Habah--the prisoners are the yeshiva students, the small
and the great are the patriarchs, etc.).  The Talmud refers to an earlier
Aramaic translation which had been banned and which was lost apparently.  Our
Aramaic translation is not as free with the text as the Septuagint, but I
think one has to be very careful about working backwards from it to determine
what the Hebrew meant--it tells us more how the rabbis of that time
understood or interpreted the text to avoid many of the difficulties in it.

                         Steven F. Friedell 
      Rutgers Law School, Fifth & Penn Streets, Camden, NJ 08102
  Tel: 609-225-6366    fax: 609-225-6516     <friedell@...>


From: Freda Birnbaum <FBBIRNBA@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 00:36:13 -0400
Subject: Teaching Torah to non-Jews

In V12N65, Eric  Leibowitz asks:

>Is anyone familiar with the Halachos concerning teaching Torah to
>Gentiles(non-Christian)? What are the parameters? What if they ask
>questions on why we do certain things (eg. Mezuzah, Yarmulke)?

There is a range of views on this subject, very ably summarized by
Rabbi J. David Bleich in a LONG article in the second (I think, it's
the one with the yellow cover) volume of his (so far) 3-volume set on
Contemporary Halachic Problems, published by Ktav.

In V12N72, mention is made of

>R. J. D. Bleich devoted his "Survey of Recent Halakhic Periodical
>Literature" column to this topic in the Summer 1980 _Tradition_, vol 18
>#2, pp192-211.

I'm pretty sure that the article in the book is the same (or an updated
version of) the article in _Tradition_, and might be more easily accessible.
I think the books are now available in paperback, also.

>From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
>I assume you mean non-Jew, and not non-Christian here.

Would a response to Christian non-Jews be different from a response to
non-Christian non-Jews?

Rabbi Bleich brings a wealth of material, pro and con, for various
scenarios, but in the end is more lenient that one might have expected.

Freda Birnbaum, <fbbirnbaum@...>


End of Volume 12 Issue 77