Volume 13 Number 48
                       Produced: Sun Jun  5  8:48:51 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Christian Legal Holidays
         [Jules Reichel]
Coming millenium
         [Warren Burstein]
Computer programs for schedule writing
         [Aryeh Blaut]
Days of for Christmas
         [Barry Freundel]
Glatt and other Chumros: theory vs reality
         [Janice Gelb]
Legal Holidays
         [Daniel Barenholtz]
Machlokes in Talmud
         [Mark Steiner]
Rishonim on Hava Aminas
         [Jeff Mandin]
         [Danny Skaist]
Shabbos, Kashrus, and Taharas Hamishpokhe
         [Yoseff Francus]
Sources on Women and Talmud Torah
         [Maidi Katz]


From: <JPREICHEL@...> (Jules Reichel)
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 11:28:56 -0400
Subject: Christian Legal Holidays

I largely agree with Ira Rosen's analysis and his conclusion that it's
really not a bad place to be a Jew. However, in listing public-religious
activities he says, "I-sadly- could go on." My view is, "No sadness
needed".  In my life, whenever I've tried to get calendars shifted:
Public Schools, Colleges, Organizations, Business Meetings, etc. liberal
Jews adamantly oppose, religious Christians help and carry the day. If
not for our religious Christian friends this would be a lot worse place
to be a Jew.  I favor the national Christmas tree. Let Christians
rejoice in their hearts over their view of peace and the brotherhood of
man. Let there also be Menorah, and even a museum to the Shoah. Of
course, there is. Isn't it incredible that this zone in D.C. which is
set aside for U.S. history contains the Holocaust museum? My Jewish
heart says, may there be even more Christian Legal Holidays, as many as
they need and want. And, may Christians find in them an awareness of
God's love and a warm acceptance of the special character and role of
the Jewish people.  


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 09:01:37 GMT
Subject: Re: Coming millenium

BenZion Berliant writes:

>	As our LOR has mentioned several times, our existing calendar is
>based on calculations performed by and sanctified by the Bes Din of
>Hillel the Second, in the Talmudic period.  This santification (kiddush
>ha-chodesh) is valid only to the year 6000.  Perhaps Hillel II also
>assumed that Moshiach would come by the year 6000, so that was a natural
>place to stop.  

Is the problem that Hillel II explicitly said, "this algorithm can
only be used up to the year 6000" (if so, where?), or that something
breaks down in (or around?) that year?  I've heard that Pesach will be
too early, but I don't know what the numerical meaning of "too early"
is.  And precisely in what year will it happen under the current
system for calculating the calendar?

 |warren@         an Anglo-Saxon."
/ nysernet.org                       Stuart Schoffman


From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 1994 03:04:26 -0400
Subject: Computer programs for schedule writing

I have been blessed/cursed with the job of writing the teacher/student
schedules for the next school year.

I am in search for a way to keep my sanity while doing this.  Does
anyone know of a computer program (IBM compatable) for scheduling?

Please let me know ASAP.  I had to start work on this last Tuesday!



From: <Dialectic@...> (Barry Freundel)
Date: Wed, 1 Jun 1994 12:42:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Days of for Christmas

To Sam Juni
the argument for Christmas is
1. that it has secular elements
2. that no one would show up and if they did they would be nonproductive and
Before you start up with this remember that many schools and offices close on
Rosh Hashannah/Yom Kippur for reason 2 and I wouldnt want to lose that
Finally closing businesses does not establish a state religion as no
affirmative action has been taken


From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 14:35:59 +0800
Subject: Glatt and other Chumros: theory vs reality

In #42, Bruce Krulwich discusses the "theory vs. reality" 
of glatt vs. non-glatt meat standards and availability, saying:

> Again this is a confusion between theory and reality.  Yes, in theory a
> non-Glatt bodek [person who checks the lungs etc) has to know more, but
> the reality nowadays is that this is not the case.  Supervision of Glatt
> meat is more reliable "soup-to-nuts" -- from the overseeing Rav to the
> people in the plants.  When an individual makes a decision about what to
> eat, the primary issues have to be the "reality" ones: which meat in
> fact is handled reliably.  The fact is that despite the theory that
> non-Glatt bodkim should need to know more, they don't, to the point that
> the three midwest Kashrus councils recently went against precedent and
> made the decision that they did.
> I think that this theory vs reality issue comes up often in discussing
> "chumros."  TV theory is very different from TV reality (BTW I do own
> one).  Big shul davening theory is often different from big shul
> davening reality.  Tfillin from the corner bookstore theory is often
> different from tfillin from the corner bookstore reality (although less
> and less).  Same with food supervision symbols, same with religious
> schools, same with ethical behavior by religious institutions, etc etc
> etc.
> So say what you want about the theory.  But decisions of practice have
> to be made based on reality.

First of all, this viewpoint (and others like it that I've seen) don't
seem to address the real problem in this area: that reliable non-glatt
meat doesn't seem to be readily available. The solution proposed by many
people doesn't seem to be to try to promote stricter supervision of
non-glatt butchers or training of non-glatt shochtim, but rather buying
glatt meat.

More importantly, though, I'd like to introduce another piece of
"reality vs. theory": because of the prevalence of people buying glatt
meat to be extra careful, the term itself has become a substitute for
"super-kosher." Thus, I am sure I am not the only one who has seen signs
for "glatt chicken" even though there is no such animal (pun intended).

Do we really prefer this "reality" to one in which both acceptable glatt
and non-glatt meat are available and the community at large is
knowledgeable about the distinction?

Janice Gelb                  | (415) 336-7075     
<janiceg@...>   | "A silly message but mine own" (not Sun's!) 


From: <dbaren@...> (Daniel Barenholtz)
Date: Thu, 02 Jun 94 16:42:51 EST
Subject: Legal Holidays

Having off on Christmas is no more a state sponsoring of religion than
is having off on Saturday. Does the original poster find this
objectionable as well?

Basically, anything that has a purpose other than purely religous, as a
day-off certainly does, does not infringe the Constitution's
"Establishment of a state religion" clause.  See Lemon v. Kurtz, which
is the paradigm precedent in this area.


From: Mark Steiner <MARKSA@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 1994 06:45:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Machlokes in Talmud

     On the question of an halakhic dispute over factual matters (e.g.
whether something has or has not a taste), the impermissibility of which
allegedly was invented by the "Lithuanian strain" of Talmudists, cf.
Rashba to Hullin 92b, s.v.  ha de-amar rav yitzhak, from which I now
     "...this is astonishing [i.e. absurd]; did [these rabbis] dispute
matters which the palate can testify to?  Let a cook taste it and tell
us whether it has a taste or not!--THIS IS NOT THE WAY OF THE SAGES."


From: Jeff Mandin <jeff@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 18:59:12 -0400
Subject: Rishonim on Hava Aminas

Sam Juni raises some interesting questions about "hava amina"s (initial
positions in the Gemara.  The one work I'm aware of that explicitly
addresses issues like this is R. Zevin's "Ishim v'shitot", which
consists of essays on major late achronim including the Netziv and R.
Chaim Brisker.

My impression is that rishonim(and the Gemara itself) feel it necessary
to render a rejected hava amina tenable when it was offered in an autho-
ritative way, eg.  Pesachim 4a, where the students ask R. Nachman b.
Yitzchak a question, and he answers them with an argument that the
gemara later rejects.  Rashi and Tosefot both explain at length to
justify R. Nachman's hava amina.

But when an answer is offered tentatively, especially anonymously, it
seems that rishonim see no such need to make the hava amina stand up eg.
Bava Metzia 24a, where the anonymous gemara suggests that a baraita that
permits keeping found money is speaking of a case where the coins were
loose.  The gemara then dismisses the explanation because it contradicts
the end of the baraita.

Of course, a rejected hava amina (or the phrasing of a question) can
offer much information as to the background assumptions of the person
making the statement - these assumptions may remain even after the hava
amina itself is rejected.

Jeff Mandin


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 07:31:52 -0400
Subject: s'faikos

>From: Bruce Krulwich
>Subject: Glatt and other Chumros: theory vs reality
>            Secondly, eating glatt removes sfaikos [doubts] about the
>meat, which (regardless of the theoretical concerns discussed above) is
>always a good thing for someone to do.

It is NOT a good thing to second guess p'sak halacha, and turn it back
into safek.  How can there be a safek if the meat has undergone b'dika
and psak ?

[I understand that you are refering to the sfaikos resulting from the
very existance of the membrane which makes the meat non-glatt.]

Doesn't this contradict the concept of "CYLOR" ? There was a question
(is this meat kosher), then there was a p'sak (yes, it is kosher), and
now after all this there remains a "safek" ??

Shouldn't there always remain a similar safek after any and all
questions of hallacha asked a rabbi ? If you take your t'fillen in to be
checked and the sofer says that they are fine and kosher, are you then
still left with a safek, and go buy a new pair ?



From: Yoseff Francus <francus@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Jun 94 13:06:20 -0400
Subject: Shabbos, Kashrus, and Taharas Hamishpokhe

Meylekh Viswanath writes:
	Similarly, if I  know that reuven and his wife keep 
	taharas ha mishpokhe, I can marry his offspring  

Careful there.
If I am not mistaken there is a debate as to whether a person who is
born to parents who do not practice taharas ha mishpokhe (ben Nidah) is
considered to be like a mamzer [ that is a child who is the progeny of a
woman who is married and to someone other than her husband]. A mamzer
can only marry another mamzer.  The conclusion is that a ben Nidah is
not treated like a mamzer and can marry without restriction.
yossi francus


From: Maidi Katz <Katz+atwain%DEBEVOISE_&<_PLIMPTON@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 94 09:36 EST
Subject: Sources on Women and Talmud Torah

Aryeh Blaut asked for sources on women learning (or not) torah
she'beal pe (oral law).  Here are some for starters--

  Re women's exemption: Kiddushin 29a (mishnah; braita quoted in
the gemara 8 lines down); Kiddushin 29b (s.v. l'lamdo torah
minalan);  See also R. Yohanan's comment "ein lemaidin min
hachlallot" on Kiddushin 34a, which is tangentially relevant (it
goes to the issue of whether women are exempt because of some
general principle, or because of some particular aspect of the
mitzvah)  See also Sifrei, Dvarim, piska 46.
  Tosefta Brachot 2:12
  Source for prohibition: Sotah 20a (second half of mishnah)
  Yerushalmi Sotah 3:4 (14b)
  Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:13; But see
Rambam, Hilchot Yeshodei HaTorah 4:13 (end).
  Tur and Shulhan Arukh, Yoreh Deah 246:19 (with commentaries,
especially Bach, Beit Yosef, Prisha on Tur and Taz on Shulhan
  Sefer Hasidim, siman 313
  Meiri, Sotah 20a
  Responsa Maharil 45:b
  Arukh HaShulhan, Yoreh Deah 246:19
  Likutei Halakhot, Hafetz Hayyim, Sotah 21b
  Hirsch, Siddur, commentary on Shema
  Responsa Sridei Eish, 3:93
  Responsa Mikveh Mayyim, 3:Yoreh Deah 21
  Moznaim LaMishpart 1:42
  Responsa Igrot Moshe, Yoreh Deah 3:87
  Va'yoel Moshe 447 (I think)

Of course, there are always more sources.  A lot of the ones
listed above are brought down in HaIsha VeHamitzvot (Elinson); 
There have been lots of articles written about the issue as well. 
For example, Rav Lichtenstein wrote one in a book called HaIsha
VeChinucha;  R. Moshe Meiselman I believe discusses the issue in
his book, Jewish Women and Jewish Law.  There's also an article in
Noam Vol. 12.  There are plenty more, but I can't think of them
off hand.
   If you want my two cents, the issue is a striking example of
the interface betweeen sociology/cultural norms and halakha. 
You'll probably notice that there is nothing startling at all
about any of the various poskim's opinions, given their social
milieus and their views of women, more generally.  (Dare I say
that even their personal experiences with women might be playing a
role?) If I'm not mistaken, even the mahloket in Sota between Ben
Azai and R. Elazar has been attributed to their very different
attitudes towards women, generally.  (I'd like to hear more about
this if anyone has any sources about it.)

Maidi Katz


End of Volume 13 Issue 48