Volume 12 Number 91
                       Produced: Fri Apr 29  8:56:11 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Cathleen Greenberg]
early candle lighting in summer
         [Hillel Markowitz]
Jewish Physician for Abortion
         [Mitchell J. Schoen]
         [Danny Skaist]
Layning for a mixed audience
         [David Sherman]
Row Away from the Rocks (2)
         [Sam Gamoran, David Charlap]
Shabbosdik and Electricity on Yom tov
         [Fred Dweck]


From: Cathleen Greenberg <CGREENBE@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 21:23:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Abortion

Froma Abraham's book again:

"An abortion sanctioned by Halacha should preferably be performed by a 
Jewish gynecologist."

Again, my hebrew is a problem in giving you the source.  I will try to get 
someone to help me identify this source as well as the source for stitches.

Chaya Greenberg


From: hem%<melech@...> (Hillel Markowitz)
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 08:21:01 -0400
Subject: Re: early candle lighting in summer

Rav Moshe Feinstein Z"TZL in Igros Moshe discusses this issue and states
that if it is done for "convenience" one is not required to make Shabbos
with the rest of the community and can change from week to week.  Thus,
if one is running late, one can light candles up to the zman (time)
specified for the latest allowable candle lighting.

In fact, a woman can continue working even if her husband has already
accepted Shabbos and even returned home from Maariv.  There is a minhag
that the husband doesn't enter the house until she has accepted shabbos
by lighting the candles, but, as I recall, it is not required.  In fact,
he can point out that a room has not had the light turned on and she (or
the children who have not gone to shul) can turn them on (though of
course he may not).

Rav Moshe states that "for convenience" means any case where the
community has not specified an earlier time for Shabbos which is
applicable *all year round*, such as in Jerusalem where the candle
lighting time is, I believe, a half hour instead of 18 minutes before
sunset.  In the case of the specific community minhag, one must accept
Shabbos with the rest of the community.

Thus, early summer lighting is "for convenience"

| Hillel Markowitz    |  Said the fox to the fish, join me ashore  |
| <H_Markowitz@...> |  The fish are the Jews, Torah is the water |


From: Mitchell J. Schoen <72277.715@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 00:48:59 -0400
Subject: Jewish Physician for Abortion

Regarding the issue of why a Jewish physician is preferable for an
abortion if one needs to be performed (this was of interest to both Ari
Kurtz and our moderator Avi):

This arises from the posuk in Breishit (9:6) "shofech dam adam ba'adam
damo yishafech" and is discussed in Sanhedrin 57b.  The p'shat would
parse it slightly differently, but R' Yishmael asks and answers: "What
is an adam that is ba'adam (literally a life within a life)?  Zeh ubar
be'meyei imo."  (a fetus in its mother's womb).  It is discussed in the
context of the number of eidim required for a capital sentence on a
B'nei Noach.

The upshot is that it appears that the issur of abortion for a B'nei
Noach is definitely part of the "sheva mitzvos B'nei Noach" and it is
commanded bi'feirush for him, and for the few things for which a B'nei
Noach is responsible, when they are over, they're chayav mittah.  For a
Jew, the same issur does not carry mittah as the penalty.

A second shittah on this issue would have it that while it is murder for
BOTH a Jew and a B'nei Noach, for the Jew there is the heter of pikuach
nefesh.  The B'nei Noach does not have such a heter.

Hope this helps.  I thank Rav Nochum Sauer, Rosh Kollel of the Yeshiva
of Los Angeles, for teaching this in his medical halacha shiurim.  If
I've inadequately misrepresented his teaching in any way, it's my fault
and not his.


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 1994 08:57:57 -0400
Subject: kitnyot-makor

>Mitchell J. Schoen
>I'm wondering if someone could do me a favor and be a "mar'eh m'komot"
>for me so that I could find an halachik definition of kitniyot.  It

Kitniyot is defined in hilchat kilyaim [forbidden mixings]. In the
Rambam and also (though I have not seen it) in the Tosaphot Yom-Tov.

>It seems that the category spans botanically very different
>species--everything from peanuts to corn to beans to rice to mustard

Jewish Halachic definitions are not consistent with scientific
definitions and we usually pick an English word which closely resembles
the Halachic catagory.  Under halacha, "fish" includes Whales, "birds"
includes bats, but dairy does not include eggs.

>What do these things (halachikly speaking) have in common?

They are all PLANTED IN FIELDS like grains. are are meant for people
food.  Is wild rice ever planted? I am under the impression that it is
never planted only gathered.

In any case see your LOR.


From: <dave@...> (David Sherman)
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 09:18:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Layning for a mixed audience

Eitan Fiorino writes:
> > From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...>
> > 1) Is it allowed for a male to read Torah for a mixed seating minyan?
> According to the psak of Rav Soloveitchik, it is preferable to daven at
> home alone on Rosh Hashana that to daven in a mechitza-less shul.

But that wasn't the question!  I ran into this issue last year as well.
We attended a week-long program put on by the National Yiddish Book
Center at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.  The NYBC has gone to
the trouble of kashering the college kitchen for their program each
year, buying dishes and getting hashgacha from the Va'ad of Springfield,
MA.  So we went (and the program was excellent).  The minyan on Shabbos
was "egalitarian", so I didn't attend and davened separately with the
others who weren't comfortable with mixed seating (we didn't manage a
minyan though).  But the organizers also asked me if I could layn for
their service, even if I wasn't davening with them.  I declined, but I
wonder: might it not be better, or at least permissible, to both hear/do
the layning and allow those who are there to hear the layning, rather
than have no layning for oneself?  What if my declining to layn meant
that the participants would hear, instead, layning done by a female?
What if those called up for aliyos include women?

David Sherman


From: gamoran%<milcse@...> (Sam Gamoran)
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 01:16:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Row Away from the Rocks

Art Kamlet writes:
> So my difficulty, which I ask for help to resolve, is that I truly
> believe Freda's "Call on God, but row away from the rocks"  but
> cannot align that with the treatment of Joseph or Uzah or Eve.

IMHO, we must row away from the rocks but we must still row in a
halachically fitting manner.

Joseph was punished, not for trying to take matters into his own hands,
but because of a wrong attitude of putting his trust in the butler
rather than in Hashem.  Had he beleived that the butler was the agent of
hashem (e.g. like beleiving that hashem sent the boat, helicopter to
save the drowning man) then he might have been spared the two years.

It appears that the two extra years in prison taught the appropriate
lesson to Joseph because when he was hauled out of prison to interpret
Pharoah's dreams he ex-plains that "Elokim ya'aneh shlom Paraoh"  God,
not Joseph alone will interpret the dreams.

As to Uzah - he violated the laws forbidding a non-Cohen from touching
the Ark.  David was culpable in Uzah's death to the extent that he
should have arranged for the Ark to be properly transported (carried by
Cohanim) (as he did when the second attempt to move it was undertaken).
Note that the Ark falling is *NOT* pikuach nefesh.  Had it been a
life-threatening situation, touching it should have been permitted.

Eve, was tripped up by the serpent.  When the serpent showed her that
touching the Etz HaDaat (Tree of Knowledge) caused no harm, she violated
the divine precept of not eating.  The serpent tripped her up but she
was still responsible for the violation.  (I wonder how this might be
tied into the recent discussion about people who take on additional

The bottom line - row away from the rocks in a halachically-correct

From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 94 19:49:55 -0400
Subject: Row Away from the Rocks

<ask@...> (Art Kamlet) writes:
>>Freda Birnbaum <fbbirnbaum@...> writes:
>>"Call on God, but row away from the rocks"

[story omitted]

>The lesson I get from this is we should trust in G-d but should
>take matters into our own hands.
>We cannot say G-d will cure a sick child  so we need do nothing; we
>must take into our own hands the responsibility to find doctors and
>medicine. ...

[Joseph stayed in jail for 2 years for taking action for himself]
[Uzah died to stop the Ark from falling]
[Eve was pubnished for putting a fence around the law]

>So my difficulty, which I ask for help to resolve, is that I truly
>believe Freda's "Call on God, but row away from the rocks"  but
>cannot align that with the treatment of Joseph or Uzah or Eve.

I think these can be treated as individual cases, that don't even
change the principle of helping yourself.  I'll address them in
reverse order, since it makes more sense that way.

1) Adam and Eve weren't punished for putting a fence around the law.
   They were punished for violating it.  They confused a chumra with
   the law.  So, when the serpent convinced Eve to touch the fruit and
   nothing happened, she assumed that the rest of the law was also
   wrong.  Had they made it clear to themselves that the law was only
   not-eating, and that not-touching is a man-made extension, Eve
   wouldn't have been conned into eating it after touching it.

   I think the lesson here is that when we put a fence around the
   Torah, we must be clear what is Torah, and what is fence.  This is
   why we distinguish between Halacha d'oraita and Halacha d'rabanan.

2) Uzah violated a direct commandment - not to touch the Ark.  The
   Torah does not permit violating Halacha, even for the best of
   intentions.  Only if one's life is in danger.  Had the ark fallen,
   nobody would have died.  Therefore, Uzah had no right doing what he

   Again, here the lesson is that we may not change the Torah.  Even
   for the most noble of purposes.

3) As for Joseph, I don't recall the action he took in enough detail
   to comment on it.

In general, it is important not to rely on faith alone.  But one
should be very careful not to violate the letter of the Torah when
trying to observe the spirit of it.  (from Uzah)  And one should be
careful to know what the Torah requires of you, what the Rabbis
require of you, what the community requires, and what you require -
and not to get them confused with each other.  (from Adam and Eve)


From: Fred Dweck <71214.3575@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 1994 05:03:31 -0400
Subject: Shabbosdik and Electricity on Yom tov

In response to Yosef Bechhofer. In v12 #59 he writes:

<<<In MJ 11:45 Fred Dweck cites the Poskim that Rav Ovadia brings down that
allowed the use of electricity on Yom Tov, but neglects to say that Rav Ovadia
Yosef himself solidly rejects their position as incorrect.>>>

This was brought in response to Rabbi Adlersteins contention that the Aruch
Hashulhan was the ONLY one who allowed electricity on yom tov, and not as a
proof of halacha.

<<<He mentions that the majority of Poskim do not allow the use of
incandascent light for Havdala. So far as I know, the opposite is true.>>>

See "Yehave Da'at" (R. Ovadia Yosef) V2 #39. Besides his own pesak
against using electric light for havdalah, he brings MANY, MANY others.
Also "Yaslkut Yosef" halachot havdalah. I can site many others if there
is still a need. ACM"L (This is not the place to be lengthy)

<<<Finally, Mr. Dweck mentions that the concept of "Shabbosdik" is
emotional, and, hence non halachic. So far as I know, oneg Shabbos and
Simchas Yom Tov are some very Halachic emotional issues.>>>

I agree that oneg Shabbos and Simchas Yom Tov are some very Halachic
emotional issues, as are many others such as tefilah, teshuvah, etc.
However, the halachot *behind* them are NOT emotional. They are factual,
objective and completely non-emotional. The laws of oneg Shabbat are not
emotional, only the observance of those halachot involve emotions!!!

<<<Furthermore, the Chazon Ish, in a chapter I've previously cited on MJ
concerning umbrellas, says that the leaders of every generation are
charged with maintaining the public sanctity and spirit of Shabbos.>>>

Let us not discuss here who does and who does not agree with the Hazon
Ish.  Suffice it to say that he nowhere said that those leaders should
use *emotional criteria* in determining how to maintain the public
sanctity and spirit of Shabbat. I'm sure, if he could be asked, he would
agree that halachic decisions should never be based on emotional

Fred E. Dweck 


End of Volume 12 Issue 91