Volume 13 Number 55
                       Produced: Mon Jun 13  8:51:31 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Birka$h Kohanim
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Changing the past vs. changing the future
         [Sam Juni]
Chumros at Weddings
         [Moishe Friederwitzer]
doctors payment
         [Eli Turkel]
Explaining Shabbat to potential employers
         [Yisrael Sundick]
Halakhic Dispute over Factual Matters
         [Jeffrey Woolf]
Histapchut Hadorot
         [Daniel Levy Est.MLC]
Israeli customs
         [Eli Turkel]
On Smoking
         [Jeffrey Woolf]
Rabbi Freundel re ruach hakodesh and horaah
         [Melech Press]
Recitation of Yizchor
thou shalt not make any graven images
         [Jerrold Landau]


From: eisenbrg%<milcse@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Sun, 12 Jun 1994 01:49:58 -0400
Subject: Birka$h Kohanim

Transliteration used: ' b g d h w z x t y k l m n s ` p c q r sh $
(If any of b,g,d,k,f,$ has no daghesh, it is followd by 'h')

This past Shabba$h, I noticed that a guest Kohen (clearly a member of
`edo$h hamizrax) did something I've never seen before: Instead of moving
his hands at the appropriate times, he held them still and moved his
head (as we do when we say "no") at those times.  Does anyone know
anything about this?


From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 16:27:14 -0400
Subject: Changing the past vs. changing the future

Rabbi Freundel (5/30/94) cites Dina's sex change in utero (in response
to Leah's prayer as an example of changing the past.

Technically, it would appear that the change may have been effected only
from the point in time Leah prayed (i.e., the fetus' gender changed from
male to female from that point in time on).  The idea of "changing the
past" referred to in the postings posits the option of changing the past
retroactively.  Finding empirical evidence for such a change is hard to
conceive, since there would only be one past.

     Dr. Sam Juni                  Fax (718) 338-6774
     New York University           Tel (212) 998-5548
     400 East
     New York, N.Y.  10003


From: <martin.friederwitzer@...> (Moishe Friederwitzer)
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 09:03:37 -0400
Subject: Chumros at Weddings

I have been reading with interest the discussion of Chumros. Cholov
Yisroel,Glatt and Television. I would like to discuss the Chumros
pertaining to weddings. When we were married, 30 years ago, most
weddings the parents accompanied their children to the Chupah
(ceremony).  Mixed seating for the families and married couples and
separate seating fro friends and singles. There wasn't any mixed dancing
but there were very few Mechizot (partitions). The Kallah (bride) always
came into the men's side so that the men could dance in front of the
couple and be Misameach (entertain) them. Things have changed radically
since. Now I realize so has society at large changed and we must protect
ourselves from the outside world where everything goes. These Chumros
unfortunately lead to some friction if both families do not agree to



From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 94 00:27:34 +0300
Subject: doctors payment

      I just came from from a shiur of Rav Zilberstein (rav of Ramat
Elchanan in Bnei Brak) for doctors. He was very insistent that doctors
have a right to charge based both on their accumulated knowledge and on
their signature for prescriptions. If I recall, he has paskened in the
past they can even charge for services performed on shabbat (when
permitted). I know of several rabbis that insist on paying the doctor
even when the doctor says it is free based on the gemara in Baba Kamma.



From: Yisrael Sundick <sas34@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 1994 23:28:16 -0400
Subject: Explaining Shabbat to potential employers

I was wondering if anyone had advice regarding explaining the
requirements of Shabbat, such as leaving early every week ect, to
potential employers.  Specifically, when and what you told a potential
employer ( I am assuming a non-jewish or non-observant/knowledgable
employer) about the requirments of the jewish holidays. In today's tight
job market I really don't want to make myself unemployable but I also
wish to avoid a an unpleasant surprise for the employer when the
holidays aproach.  Thanks in advance.

*     Yisrael Sundick       *        Libi beMizrach VeAni                   * 
*   <sas34@...>    *             beColumbia                        *


From: Jeffrey Woolf <F12043@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 08:45:30 -0400
Subject: Re: Halakhic Dispute over Factual Matters

The issue of Halakhic dispute over factual matters is much more subtle
and complex than Mark Steiner implies. The same Rashba in a responsum
states that since the Talmud states that an animal suffering from a
defect (terefah) will not live out the year of 12 months then reports to
the contrary are to be ignored or explained as miraculous. I really
think alot of bibliographic work is needed before we can discuss this
                                        Jeffrey Woolf
                                      Dept of Talmud, Bar Ilan University


From: <daniel@...> (Daniel Levy Est.MLC)
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 94 14:21:21 -0500
Subject: Histapchut Hadorot

I am amazed at Eliyahu Zukierman's statement thet "there is a Klal (rule)
that the further away from the Relevation at Sinai the scope of
knowledge is less" in reference to scientific knowledge.  This seems to
imply that the development of mathematics, advances in physics, and
discoveries in biology are all oxymoronic because "knowledge is less."
According to this theory, the Tannaim knew enough physics to build a
nuclear reactor.  

Daniel Levy
Mexico City, Mexico


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 94 14:14:14 +0300
Subject: Israeli customs

     Anthony Waller asks about differences between Israeli and
non-Israeli customs. There is a wonderful small book called "Eretz
Yisrael" by Rav Tuchinsky that gives all sorts of information about
Israeli customs.  There is way to much there to list and so I will just
give some selections (with my comments in parenthesis). I apologize for
the large amounts of Hebrew words which are unavoidable.
     Israeli customs come from the early sefard (i.e. from arab
counties) population that influenced the later ashknezai immigration. It
is also influenced by the students of the Vilna Gaon (perushim) and also
early chassidic immigrations. because of the small Jewish population in
Israel in the 1700s each wave of immigration made a large impact. What
is called the Jerusalem customs are usually about 100 years old.  Some
selections not in Waller's list:

1.  A second Barchu at the end of Maariv and before alenu in Shacharit.
2.  One puts on the talit in the morning up to 1 hour before sunrise
    thats one usual hour not adjusted for the seasons.
3.  special prayers for droughts
4.  In Jerusalem Tachanun is said even without a sefer Torah and without 
    a regular shul.
5.  All the mourners say kaddish together not just one mourner (most places
    in the diaspora have adopted this custom).
6.  During Birkhat Kohanim the congregation does not say any prayers.
7.  Birkhat Kohanim also on Simhat Torah for Musaf and Neilah Yom Kippur
    (in my experience some do and some don't).
8.  In Jerusalem a Cohen Chazzan also participates in Birkhat Cohanim
    (I have seen this in many places both in and out Israel).
9.  In "beracha me-ayn shalosh" the ending is  gafna (not gefen),
    pero-teha (not perot) and michyata (not michya).
    Actually this applies to Israeli produce wherever they are eaten.
10. The father recites Shehechyanu at a Brit Milah
11. Recitation of the blessing for trees during Nissan.
12. Burial procedures are very different (e.g. no coffin).
13. In Jersualem candle lighting is 40 minutes before sunset.
14. In Jerusalem "bercha me-ayn sheva" on friday night is also said
    in a house without a sefer Torah and without a regular minyan.
15. No kiddushes in shul (not in the shuls I go to).
16. Persushim read the haftora from a klaf.
17. Perushim have different stops for the Torah reading on Rosh Chodesh.

    The general rule is that follows the congregation for all public
prayers and ones private custom for private prayers. Exactly what is
public and private is subject to debate among Acharonim. For example,
when I visit the US I do not say baruch hashem le-olam before the
shemoneh esreh of maariv. When I am chazzan I try aand wait for others
to say it and go straight into Kaddish. I know of others that object to
this.  I know of an israeli who was in the US for a sabbatical and was
told not to say "shecheyanu" at his sons brit milah.


From: Jeffrey Woolf <F12043@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 09:03:34 -0400
Subject: On Smoking

On Smoking...The RCA rule cited by Rabbi Freundel was based upon a paper
on the subject co-authored by Rabbis Saul Berman, Daniel Landes , Reuven
Bulka and yours truly. It was issued by the Orthodox Roundtable (then
the RCA Roundtable) and is available by contacting me by E-Mail....In
that paper we point out that in light of present research neither the
statistical nor the 'Go-d Protects the Simple' arguments are valid.


From: Melech Press <PRESS@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Jun 94 11:08:03 EST
Subject: Rabbi Freundel re ruach hakodesh and horaah

The discussion of the possible role of ruach hakodesh in horaah requires
a more plausible explanation than Rabbi Freundel offers.  To talk of a
more accurate "intuition" on the part of a gadol requires no need for
any divine intervention; such an intuition flows from the greater
knowledge of Torah, both overt and covert, of any individual we regard
as a gadol.  This is akin to what Polanyi discusses in his elaboration
of "tacit knowledge" in all areas of human knowledge.  A superior
scholar grasps the underlying principles of his area even when he may
not elaborate them explicitly or be able to describe his/her decision
processes.  If we introduce the notion of 'ruach hakodesh" into the
discussion it clearly requires a phenomenon that goes beyond the
universal.  I subscribe to the Rambam's notion of variable hashgacha
pratis based on one's religious status.  If so, then the gadol merits
greater divine assistance, on average, in all areas of life, including
the avoidance of halachic error. I would think this especially likely if
the decision were to mislead others or cause them to sin.  Greater
hashgacha means only a greater probability of correctness, not a
guarantee of infallibility. (My thoughtful friend Mark Steiner has
indicated to me that he finds my position problematic but we have not
discussed it in detail).  In any event, it is a distortion of the
position of those who assign a role, however understood, to ruach
hakodesh in the guidance of the klal to assume that they are unaware of
the limitations of the part prophecy plays in current Halachic
discourse.  Enough for now; any debate that has gone on for centuries
will not be solved in m-j.


From: <RoseleB@...>
Date: Sat, 11 Jun 1994 15:31:55 -0400
Subject: Recitation of Yizchor

I attended The Spanish Portuguese Synagogue in New York City on the
second day of Shavuot, and the congregation did not say Yizchor.  Is
Yizchor just an Ashkenazic tradition or do Sephardic Jews say Yizchor on
other occations?


From: <LANDAU@...> (Jerrold Landau)
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 94 15:03:42 EDT
Subject: thou shalt not make any graven images

I have recently been involved in a discussion regarding the issur
(prohibition) of "lo taaseh lecha kol pesel vekol temuna ..."  (thou
shalt not make any graven images).  It seems pretty clear that this
issur applies only to 3 dimensional images rather than two dimensional
paintings (see gemara as brought down by Torah Temima on the pasuk in
Yitro).  However, does the issur apply only to making such images, or
does it also apply to owning such images?  If so, what type of images
would one be prohibited from owning (only human forms, or any animal
form as well -- and if a human form, what about only a face).  I.e.  if
one were given a piece of eskimo art in the form of a human face as a
gift, would one be required to throw it in the garbage?  It seems pretty
mekubal (accepted) that one is allowed to own coins with heads on them
-- would there be a problem in minting such coins?  There are some
people who refrain from allowing their picture to be taken, or from
having any pictures in their house.  Is this a chumra (i.e. being
machmir on 2 dimensional lest one come to transgress with 3
dimensional), or is there a basis in halacha for this?  I realize that
these questions could be paskened (decided) by a LOR; however, I suspect
that there would be a wide variety of opinions on these questions, and I
would like to know what opinion mjewishers have on this subject.

Jerrold Landau


End of Volume 13 Issue 55