Volume 13 Number 32
                       Produced: Thu May 26  8:09:56 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Abaye & Rava
         [Harry Weiss]
Abaye and Rava
         [Moishe Kimelman]
Ashkenazic vs. Sephardic
         [Aryeh Blaut]
Child Custody and Halacha
         [Jeff Korbman]
Kohens & Medicine (2)
         [Adam Aptowitzer, Avi Feldblum]
Labriut after sneezing (2)
         [Moishe Kimelman, Nachum Chernofsky]
Lashon Hara
Obeying orders in the Israeli Army
         [Yisroel Rotman]
Troubling Submissions on m-j
         [Lou Steinberg]


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 18:21:49 -0400
Subject: Aadministrivia

This is just to let you know that you may have a chance over the next
few days to catch up on mail-jewish. I'll be taking off a few days and
going to visit my sister in Washington DC (I'll try and make it to the
Georgetown minyan if the weather is OK, is that the only ortho shul in
DC itself? and see some of the mail-jewish crowd there), so there may
not be any issues going out friday through monday. Even if I get a few
out, it will probably not be the usuall volume. Of course that means
that I will be deluged with email when I get back.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Wed, 25 May 94 10:41:57 
Subject: Abaye & Rava

There has been some discussion regarding R. Yochanan Ben Zakkai
(RYBZ) knowing the arguments of Abaye and Rava despite preceding
them chronologically.  (Incidentally this also appears in Bava
Batra 134a)

The explanation I heard was that though obviously RYBZ could not
know about the individuals Abaye and Rava, his knowledge was such
that he knew the questions on the issues and the different
possibilities to answer them.  Thus RYBZ understood the rulings
that would later be given by Abaye and Rava and the basis for those
rulings.  Rashbam says that this is referring to their ability to
ask good questions on Mishnahs and Braithas and to answer them.
This is quite an amazing breadth of knowledge considering that RYBZ
was referred to as the lowest of Hillel's mediocre students.


[Similar response from:
<mberger@...> (Mitch Berger)

From: Moishe Kimelman <kimel@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 13:32:30 +1000 (EST)
Subject: Abaye and Rava

Gedalyah Berger suggested that when the gemara (Sukkah 28a) says that R' 
Yochanan ben Zakkai knew the "havayot d'Abaye v'Rava" it meant only that 
he knew all of Torah sh'b'al peh.

Rashi is a lot clearer in his understanding.  He explains that all the 
questions raised by Abaye and Rava (havayot -questions) were discussed 
and resolved by R' Yochanan ben Zakkai.  It was only later generations 
that forgot the resolutions.



From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Mon, 23 May 1994 23:08:05 -0400
Subject: Re: Ashkenazic vs. Sephardic

>2) When stating a halacha which applies only to Ashkenazim, or only to
>Sepharadim, the writer should mention it.

I agree with you regarding the differences.  I teach in a school that is
43% Sephardic (and I am Ashkenazic).  I (and the other Rabbanim
(Chamamim?))  have to be very sensitive to all customs.  To add to what
you said, not all Sephardim hold the same way in Halacha either
(depending on origin).  Anyway, is it wise for anyone to take as Halacha
L'ma'asay (practical law) any postings on mail-Jewish?  I thought that
this was a diaglogue only, not for p'sak halacha (legal decisions).

[You thought correctly. I write that quite clearly in the welcome
message, which I barrage all of you with every other volume or so, as
well as state it in the list from time to time. Mod.]

Aryeh Blaut


From: Jeff Korbman <KORBMANJ%<UJAFED@...>
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 16:29:56 -0400
Subject: Re: Child Custody and Halacha

Recently, there was a posting regarding Child Custody and Halacha.
Rabbi Basil Hering addresses this topic at great length in his work on
Jewish Law and Ethics in Volume II (Ktav).  Regarding the dilema of the
tribe of Yehuda being the lead tribe of Clal Yisroel on the east side of
the Mishkan, I'm not sure I see the point - were not they travelling
eastward from Egypt?


From: Adam Aptowitzer <aaptowit@...>
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 23:37:44 -0400
Subject: Kohens & Medicine

Some friends and I were recently discussing going into medicine
like every Jewish Mother would like. A big problem is constituted
by the fact that one of us is a Cohen. We were wondering if
anyone could help us find sources for halachic information  and
guidance for a young anxious Jewish student in the 1990's.

Adam Aptowitzer
Felix Soibelman
Rabbi M. Matusof

From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 18:18:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Kohens & Medicine

As a fellow Kohen, I would suggest that you give serious thought to
choosing a different profession. While it is true that there are various
decisions that may allow a frum kohen who is not trained in the field to
enter it, you are clearly (IMHO) putting yourself in a situation which
is halakhacally sub-optimal. So why do it?

Avi Feldblum


From: Moishe Kimelman <kimel@...>
Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 14:39:49 +1000 (EST)
Subject: Labriut after sneezing

To update my earlier mail about saying "labriut".

Dave Curwin asked if saying "labriut" or "gesundheit" after hearing
someone sneeze is based on pagan customs.

In the eighth chapter of Tosefta on mesechet Shabbat the Tanna Kamma
(first anonymous opinion) states that saying "marpe" (lit.  healing)
after hearing someone sneeze is "midarkei haEmori'im" (pagan custom).

The opinion of R' Elazar b'R' Tzaddok is that it should not be said when
one hears someone sneeze in the Bet Midrash (Sudy Hall) as it interrupts

This latter opinion is quoted in gemara b'rachot 53a in the name of "the
House of Rabban Gamliel" (this is also the version that the Gr"a prefers
in the Tosefta).

In Pirkei d'R' Eliezer (PDRE) chapter 52 (as quoted by the Gilyon Hashas
in B'rachot 53a) it tells how in early times perfectly healthy people
would die suddenly by "sneezing out their soul".  Ya'acov Avinu prayed
to Hashem that he not die suddenly so that he would have time to
instruct his family before his death, and Hashem acceded to this
request.  "Therefore," continues PDRE, "a person must say 'Chaim' (life)
when he sneezes..."

 From PDRE it would seem that the one who sneezes should say "Chaim",
however Rashi in B'rachot 53a says that it is customary to say "Assuta"
(healing) to one who sneezes.  This custom is also mentioned by the
magen Avraham at the end of Orach Chaim siman 230.

"Bless you" all


[Other, less complete responses received from:
<harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
<david@...> (David Charlap)

From: <F5E017@...> (Nachum Chernofsky)
Date: Wed, 25 May 94 11:57 O
Subject: Labriut after sneezing

Please note:
In tractates Sanhedrin (107b), Bava Me'tziya (87a) and Bava Batra (16b)
we are told that "Until the time of Jacob, there was no weakness".
Rabbenu Tam (brought in Tosfot in Bava Batra) explains that until the
time of Jacob, there was no sickness of death.

In a lecture I once heard from Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein (Rabbi of
the Bnei Brak community of Ramat Elchanan and an expert on medical
halacha), he explained that until the time of Jacob, people simply
sneezed and died. They were never sick. We know that Jacob was the first
one in the Bible to be sick from the verse in Va'yechi that tells about
how Joseph was informed "and behold your father is sick". Rav Yitzchak
explained that when someone sneezes, HE should say the verse
"Li'shu'atcha Kiviti Hashem" (inserting the name of G-d for the word
Hashem - it's a whole verse -NC) in thanks to Hashem that he sneezed
and did not die.

The above does not answer the question about "Livriyut" but it is a
sneeze related issue.

Reference to "Li'shu'atcha" can be found in the Responsa of Rabbi
Ovadia Yosef, "Shoot Ye'chaveh Da'at" Part I, Section 51.

Nachum Chernofsky


From: Anonymous
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 18:51:42 -0400 (edt)
Subject: Lashon Hara

I feel that there is too much Lashon Hara circulating on MJ about such 
issues as the Artscroll Siddur and Israeli politics.  Given the 
destructive nature of Lashon Hara, I feel all should review their 
postings before posting.

[While this poster requested anonymity, I'll put my name on the same
request, which in one form or another I seem to make every few months.
Thanks in advance to all. Avi Feldblum, your friendly (and sometimes
tired) moderator]


From: Yisroel Rotman <SROTMAN@...>
Date: Tue,  24 May 94 6:46 0200
Subject: Obeying orders in the Israeli Army

In my previous submission, I argued that the Israeli Government may have
the right to order the removal of settlements due to the extralegal
powers of a king.  Lon Eizenberg asked whether the present government is
equivalent to a king since it is not religious.

The article I quoted previously discusses this point.  The Rambam says
"The Jewish Heads of Babylon are in place of kings".  (These heads are
often quoted as being somewhat antagonistic to halachic rulings.  Rav
Kook says on this Rambam, "It is obvious that leaders who are agreed
upon in by the nation when it is sovereign and in its land...such as the
Hashmonaite kings and princes, are no worse than the Heads of
Babylon.....  When a leader is appointed with full ceremony, by general
and legal consent, he definitely replaces the king, for all the laws of
the kingship......

Ezra Rozenfeld states that conscientious objectors have existed
previously and hence there should be no outcry in the secular Jewish
press over the issue.  I agree in the secular context.  However,
conscientious objection is not viable for a religious jew if obeying the
government is halachically mandated.  As far as I know, halacha does not
allow conscientious objection against a government - either you must
obey or you must disobey.  The question which this issue brings up is
both whether, in the face of a command for the removal of a settlement,
a religious jew 1. can obey and 2. must obey.

Yisroel (Stanley) Rotman  <SROTMAN@...>


From: <lou@...> (Lou Steinberg)
Date: Mon, 23 May 1994 23:47:08 -0400
Subject: Troubling Submissions on m-j

I am troubled.  A couple of times recently m.j has included rather
extreme statements regarding certain non-religious Jews, things on the
order of accusing an Israeli politician of being motivated by a desire
to destroy Israel, or accusing a large, amorphous group of Israeli
leaders of attempting to violate the Torah in any way they can.

I know some small part of the history that brings people to make such
claims, and I understand the anger that may lead one to make extreme
statements, but I still think that this kind of language should be
beyond the pale for m.j, or indeed for any forum that takes halachah
seriously.  How can something on the order of "Those people running the
Israeli Oil Well Authority all eat pork every week just to anger
HaShem." not be lashon harah?  (Even assuming it is literally true,
which seems impossible given the vagueness of the group referred to and
the extreme nature of the claim.)

[If there really is an "Israeli Oil Well Authority" I beg forgivness of
it's leaders for using them in this example!]

[I add my endorsement to Lou's statement/request. Even after sending
stuff back for rewrite, I often get back things that I find troubling. I
really plead with you all, there is enough for us to discuss without
having to attack other Jews. Try and put yourself in the other persons
shoes before sending it out to me. Mod.


End of Volume 13 Issue 32