Volume 12 Number 81
                       Produced: Mon Apr 25 18:03:55 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Beilinson Hospital Contact
         ["Bob Klein"]
Ki Gerim Hayitem (5)
         [Elisheva Schwartz, Sue Zakar, David Charlap, Uri Meth, Aryeh
Mommies praying
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]
Mothers and Tefillah
         [Mitchell J. Schoen]
Paul and Shelo Asani Berachot
         [Rabbi Freundel]


From: "Bob Klein" <KL2@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994  09:32:03 EDT
Subject: Beilinson Hospital Contact

Does anyone have a contact at Beilinson Hospital?  The reason I
am asking is that there was an article in the 4/16 international
edition of the Jerusalem Post about a 16 month girl being treated
there for a syndrome called precocious puberty.  The Jerusalem
Post article quoted the girl's doctor as saying that only 18 such
cases have been reported in medical journals.  About 10 years ago
I collaborated in a study at the National Institutes of Health
dealing with a new treatment for precociuos puberty.  There were
about 100 subjects in the study.  The treatment causes the
pituitary gland to stop producing the hormone which causes
gonadal development.  I just want to make sure that the doctor at
Beilinson Hospital is aware of this treatment.

Robert P. Klein                          NIH Computer Center
<KL2@...> (Internet)                KL2@NIHCU (BITNET)
Phone: 301-496-7400                      Fax: 301-402-0537
Mail:  National Institutes of Health, Bg 12A/Rm 1033,
       Bethesda, MD 20892


From: Elisheva Schwartz <es63@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 09:47:34 -0400
Subject: Re: Ki Gerim Hayitem

Michael asks about whether and  how to correct gerim who do or say
things that appear "goyish."  

Michael, it is clear from your post that you are asking this question
out a sincere desire to help this family's integration into the
community. As a former goya myself, however, I would caution you
strongly to be very careful about pointing anything out to these
people. (I have been the unwilling recipient of some of this kind of
advice--and it can be quite off-putting, especially when it is of a
completely non-halakhic nature--like the time someone told me not to
give my kids glasses of milk with their [milchig] meals, because it
was goyish! ) I would, however, try to subtly (how DO you spell that?!)
let them know that you are available to social/cultural consultation. 
The other area where you might be able to make a difference is with
other Jews surrounding this family.  Encourage them to befriend them,
cut off lashon ha-ra before it gets going (while we certainly hope
there isn't any, if it happens it may be a good way to point out to
others that cultural icons are NOT the definition of Jewish-ness or
Judaism--if they were, then Sefardim wouldn't be Jewish either! ;-)),
offer to learn with the husband a couple of hours a week, etc.  If one
is around observant Jews long enough, one picks up what one needs--and
on the other side, maybe there are halakhically neutral cultural
practices that are worth picking up from them!

Kol tuv-

From: <sue.zakar@...> (Sue Zakar)
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 11:33:07
Subject: Ki Gerim Hayitem

Michael Rosenberg asked, regarding gerim who do things that seem "goyish":
"....should one discreetly let them know, or should one
leave them alone and trust that eventually they will pick up on the
"vibe"? ..."

1.  It depends on your relationship to me.  If you are a friend, then by
all means bring up the issue (gently) with me.  Most of us want to fit
in, or have the chance to talk over areas where we can't seem to get
comfortable with Yiddishkeit .  We depend our our friends for this.  If
you don't know the me, then procede with caution.  I don't want to
misinterpret your intent.  Perhaps you can direct your comments to my
rabbi and let him take it from there.

There are some intermediate situations--You offer your hospitality to me
when our family stays in your religious community for Yom Tov or
Shabbat.  If I let you know that I am a "beginner", then it is safe to
assume that I am asking for your help in learning.

2.  Remember that gerim, and BT's are often advised by our rabbis to go
slowly.  What might seem to you like a goyish thing to do, might just be
an area of Yididishkeith that I haven't "arrived at" yet, possibly under
the rabbi's guidance.

3.  Keep in mind that I might be aware of the "problem", too, but am
having difficulty resolving it.  Help me out.  For instance, if it
involves style of dress, offer to go with me to look a more fitting
style.  If you are of the opposite gender, then introduce me to an
appropriate acquaintance.

4.  Remember that we sometimes feel awkward adopting frum mannerisms,
because we are afraid of coming off as appearing to "play-act".  Telling
me, as a friend, that you would be happy to see me take on that aspect,
gives me a place to start comfortably.

5.  Whatever you do, do it privately. 

From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 94 10:54:54 -0400
Subject: Ki Gerim Hayitem

How well do you know them?  And do you think they'll get offended?

Unless you think they'll take offense, I think it would be incumbent on
you to inform them - once.  Since they are serious about Torah and
Mitzvot, they will probably appreciate the correction, if you're
discrete about it.

This is like someone stumbling around in a dark room looking for the
lights.  Would you turn on the light, or wait for him to find it?
Wouldn't he be more embarrassed to find it himself, and then realize
that you were watching all along, not saying anything?

From: <umeth@...> (Uri Meth)
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 11:57:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Ki Gerim Hayitem

In v12n77 Michael Rosenber asks how to inform a ger that he is doing
something wrong.  My personal experience is not with geriim, but with
ba'alei teshuva, but I beleive the same method can be applied.

There is no one single answer to this question.  Every situation must be
handeled differently.  It really depends on what type of people you are
dealing with and how their feelings would be affected.

If by correcting the person in front of everybody it will cause the
person a great deal of embarrasment, this will be counterproductive no
matter how strong the person's desire to fulfill the mitzvot are.  If
the person is ready and willing to learn this way, then you can correct
in this situation in front of everybody.  However, this is rarely (at
least in my experience) the case.  What I do is at the time when the
person does the incorrect action, I keep my mouth shut.  I then go and
look in some sefer (preferable english, as you will see why) and bring
it to the person at a time when no one else is around and suggest to
him that he read the following paragraphs outlining that what he did was
wrong and why.  This way the person is not emabarrased, he has learned
what is correct to do, and is also grateful to you for informing him of
the correct practice without embarrasing him in front of everyone.  If
no english source is available, you have to bring the appropriate sefer
and read the rules and translate as you go along.  Don't just synopsize
the information you are reading.  A person is much more ready to accept
something as being authoritative if you read the hebrew and translate as
you go along.  This way the person knows where the info is coming from
and not your own ideas.

If these people are serious about accepting torah and mitzvot, you have
an obligation to let them know (usually discreetly) that they have done
something wrong and what is the correct way continue.  As a matter of
fact, I have seen that if the person is not informed and finds out on
his own later on, that the person becomes upset that no one had the
decency to let him know he was doing something wrong.

I hope this helps.

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

From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 02:54:36 -0400
Subject: Re: Ki Gerim Hayitem

My thoughts are that it would be the same guidelines as speaking to a
ba'al tshuvah or within the guidelines of giving tochacha (rebuke) to
anyone.  If they will listen to you, then you need to correct them.  If
they won't listen to you, but will to someone else, have the someone
else tell them.

We had a situation in which we were at someone's house for Shabbas and
saw some things that we do not do.  Some of the things were okay by
Sephardim, but not by Ashkenazim.  A couple of days after Shabbas, my
wife spoke to the woman of the house about her (my wife's) observations.
She told her that she may want to check with her LOR about x,y and z.
After being offended, she called her posek and, sure enough, was told
x,y & z were incorrect.  When she and my wife spoke again, she
apologized for being upset.  She has fixed up those things as well.

I think that a ger would be the same way.  If s/he/they won't change or 
will become offended, then speak to the person who preformed the gerus.

Aryeh Blaut


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 1994 22:10:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Mommies praying

>From: Mark Steiner <MARKSA@...>
>	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

Maybe that was just the way it worked in his house.  I would hesitate to
extrapolate that he would say a man who was occupied with child care
*would* be required to pray.  Is the story about him, or someone else,
who came late to shul for Kol Nidre because he stopped to take care of a
baby who was crying?  I don't know if it's the same story or another
one: He was asked why he came late to shul, and answered that he stopped
to help a woman with her children.  Who was the woman? His wife.
(Granted, coming late to shul isn't the same thing as not praying at

>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.

I'll speculate anyway, very sorry.
Perhaps because what he meant to his wife was not a general exemption 
from praying, but an exemption for exceptional circumstances (e.g. sick 
baby, terrible awful child care days).  IMHO, these exceptions apply to 
men as well.  In normal circumstances, praying could be considered 
*part* of child rearing, since it involves setting a good role model, and
showing children how to daven (if they are old enough to know what is 
going on).  They can "play" davening way before they can read the words.

Aliza Berger


From: Mitchell J. Schoen <72277.715@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 1994 13:14:23 -0400
Subject: Mothers and Tefillah

Mark Steiner wrote:

>...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

Of course the corollary is then that the woman without children--or
whose children are grown--is no longer potur from the chiyuv of tefillah


From: <dialectic@...> (Rabbi Freundel)
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 94 02:11:02 EDT
Subject: Re: Paul and Shelo Asani Berachot

> Just as a matter of comment to my friend Rabbi Freundel's
> comments...There is no doubt that there is an echo of the three
> blessings in Paul (IMHO), however I'm afraid that a second century
> citation by R Meir does not clinch the argument for a late dating. As a
> recent Masters thesis done in Jerusalem recently on the topic of Birchot
> HaShachar shows, there are early form of these blessings in the
> Apocrypha and the Dead Seas Scrolls. R Meir may be reflecting earlier
> traditions and hence is not a full proof of Rabbi Freundel's contention

In response to R. Jeff Woolf's above comment: The three berachaot are
not historically speaking part of Birchot Hashachar though we recite
them as such. Birchot Hashacher appear in Berachot 60 while these
berachot appear in Menachot as apparently a later Takannah of R. Meir. I
remember Doc Herskowitz at YU describing R. Meir (so too R. Judah the
alternate reading) as being particularly involved in anti- Christian
polemics. In any case my undestanding is that the parallels in the
earlier material are to the Berachot 60 blessings and not to these three
unless the thesis you mention has new and difefrent information in which
case please let me know.  How is the Aliyah going? Regards


End of Volume 12 Issue 81