Volume 13 Number 56
                       Produced: Mon Jun 13 12:17:39 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Eli Turkel]
Child of a Niddah
         [Saul Djanogly]
Christian Observence in U.S. Law
         [Sam Juni]
Halacha & Chumros/Chumrot
         [Shalom Krischer]
Physicians fees
         [Hayim Hendeles]
Shabbos, Kashrus, and Taharas Hamishpokhe
         [Meylekh Viswanath]
Taharat HaMishpacha
         ["Yaakov Menken"]
Taharat Hamishpacha (2)
         [Deborah J. Stepelman, Jeffrey Woolf]
What do "the big three" determine
         [Mitchel Berger]


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 94 00:27:27 +0300
Subject: Ben-Niddah

     Several people mentioned that the offspring of a niddah is not a
mamzer. Thus is true but still such a person is called "pagum"
(blemished). The implication being that it is less desirable to marry
such a person. Modern day poskim struggle with the problem and I am
aware of two approaches. Rav Moshe claims that possibly the mother took
a swim in the ocean beforehand and so she was not a niddah even though
the mother did not keep mitzvot. hence, we never know if any individual
is truly the offspring of a niddah (I find this a litlle stretched).
Another approach is that attributed to the Steipler Rav. He claimed that
"pagum" meant that most probably such an offspring is not a proper
person. However, if in practice we see that the offspring is indeed a
religious person than it presents no difficulties.
     It is no secret that in some circles, in spite of these two
responsa, that Baale teshuvot and their offsprings are not considered
"good" shiduchim no matter how religious the individuals may be.



From: <saul@...> (Saul Djanogly)
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 1994 19:59:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Child of a Niddah

A child conceived by a woman when she is a Niddah is considered 'Pagum'
tainted.The Beis Shmuel in Even Haezer 4.13 quotes the Darchei Moshe who
advises against marrying such an individual.  I am sure though that Rav
Ovadiah Yosef has written that this does not apply in our generation to
Baalei Teshuva(I can't find the ref.)  Dayan Kaplin also told me that
the Chazon Ish stated that this 'taint' could be removed by learning

saul djanogly


From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 15:44:43 -0400
Subject: Christian Observence in U.S. Law

Regarding the previous posting re the official designation of Christmas
as as Holiday, I have been reminded that the Blue Laws extant in many
states (especially regarding liquor sales) also show a clear listing
toward the benign assumption of the legitimacy of Christian Holiday
designation.  It would seem that the Blue Laws prejudice non-Christians.

Does anyone know of legal challenges in this area?

P.S. Thanks to Rena re the info. regarding Christmas and the School


From: Shalom Krischer <PGMSRK@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 1994 19:59:16 -0400
Subject: Re: Halacha & Chumros/Chumrot

On Thu, 2 Jun 1994 00:58:31 -0400 Aryeh Blaut said:
>In the second case, the family got very insulted that I shoud ask.  I
>don't understand.  Am I the only one who thinks that it is good to be
>questioned by someone who cares about what s/he eats?  I am not offeded
>if I invite someone to my home or someone invites him/herself to my home
>asks me about my kosher/Shabbas knowledge or level of observance .

While I would not (and could not, even if I wanted) try to explain some
of people's reactions to "insults", I have also noticed/experienced the
same behavior (and, not just dealing with kashrut, or other religious
observances), as have we all.  The way we handle it (and, this is NOT to
be taken as a Psak...AYLOR) is (a) when we have company over, all the
bags/ boxes/packages stay on the kitchen table (obviously for putting
leftovers away, but anyone who is concerned may look!) and (b) when we
go out, if it is to someone whom we "trust" (kashrut-wise), we do not
"look".  Again, Ask Your Local Rabbi!


From: Hayim Hendeles <hayim@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 94 04:40:19 -0700
Subject: Re: Physicians fees

I recently quoted a halacha that a physician is prohibited to charge
for his services. In a recent post, one reader challenged me to find
the source for this halacha; and even went so far to quote a Halacha
in Shulchan Oruch from which he wished to prove otherwise.

However, I stand by my original post. The Halacha is brought down in
Yore Deah 336:2, and I quote [translation mine]:

"It is forbidden for a physician to take a payment for his knowledge;
however payment for his trouble or batala is permitted". (Consult
your LOR for the details of batala.)

The commentaries (Taz and Shach, also Bes Hillel) all compare this to a
lost object, where there is a mitzvah to return it. The rule by
mitzvos, is that one cannot charge for them.  However, payment for batala
is permissible.

The Halacha in verse 3, which the reader quoted, is a totally separate
Halacha. There it states that if one promises to pay an exbortant price
for rare medicines, he need only pay the actual price; however,
if he promises to pay a physician a high price, he must do so.

Rabbi Akiva Eiger refers the reader to the Sh"t Binyamin Zev, where he
sides with the physician in the following case: if one promises a
physician 50 whatevers to heal his son, and the boy was cured; the man
refuses to pay the physician more than the reasonable charges - the
Binyamin Zev rules he must pay the physician what he promised, and
he cannot say "I was only joking".

Thus, it would seem the Halacha in verse 3 cannot be used as the
basis for a physician charging. Here the halacha is dealing with
the case where the *patient promised* to pay a high price. This
does not justify the physician charging.

Any other interpretation of this halacha would contradict the
Halacha in the 1st paragrpah.

Again, as I mentioned in my previous post, Rabbi Frand has a tape
where he discusses the heter for a physician to charge. I highly
recommend this tape.

Hayim Hendeles


From: Meylekh Viswanath <pviswana@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 1994 11:57:31 EST5EDT
Subject: Shabbos, Kashrus, and Taharas Hamishpokhe

Recently, I wrote that shabbos, kashrus and taharas hamishpokhe might
have beyn adam lekhaveyro (the jew-jew relationship) ramifications, even
though they are primarily mitsves beyn adam lamakom (mitsves that have
to do with the man-God relationship).  I wrote:

>if I know that reuven keeps kosher, I can eat at his house.  Similarly,
>if I know that reuven and his wife keep taharas ha mishpokhe, I can
>marry his offspring.

And I went on to consider how even shabes might have beyn adam
lekhaveyro ramifications.  My post seemed to imply that a jew was not
permitted to marry an offspring conceived through intercourse with a
niddah, which as Yoseff Francus and Ezra Rosenfeld pointed out, is not
true.  Gedalyah Berger further took me to task for 'glibly mentioning
halachot about weighty issues.'

I apologise for having given people the wrong impression.  My own
understanding, when I wrote my posting, was that there was some problem
with marrying a person conceived through intercourse with a niddah, not
necessarily at the halachic level, but I did not know just what that
was.  Therefore, I avoided writing '...unless I know that Reuven and his
wife keep taharas ha mishpokhe I cannot marry their offspring,' and I
instead wrote the less assertive sentence '...if I know that Reuven and
his wife keep taharas ha mishpokhe, I can marry his offspring.'
However, it seems that my posting was still too assertive.

Please note, however, that my objective was merely to provide some
understanding of why the three-fold 'doctrine' seems to have achieved
currency (since it seems clear that it does not proceed directly from a
Talmudic dictum); it was not to justify or prove the doctrine.  From
that point of view, my explanation may still be valid.  According to the
Rambam, the offspring of such forbidden intercourse, while not a mamzer,
is 'pogum.'  I could not find out, with my restricted Hebrew skills what
exactly this entails.  However, given that 'arayos' is a weighty matter,
and most arayos violations lead to mamzerus, popular feeling may have
lumped 'taharas hamishpokhe' violations along with the others (at least
in the days when yidn lived in close communities).

My impression regarding this thread has all along been that we were
looking for an explanation (from a positivistic viewpoint, rather than a
normative viewpoint).  Hence I am surprised at the heat generated in
some quarters.

P.V. Viswanath, Rutgers University
Graduate School of Management, 92 New St, Newark NJ 07102
Tel: (201) 648-5899  Fax: (201) 648-1459  email: <pviswana@...>


From: "Yaakov Menken" <ny000548@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 22:22:28 -0400
Subject: Taharat HaMishpacha

An additional note to Ezra Rosenfeld's comments on Taharat HaMishpacha:

It is true that the Gemara tells us that the offspring of a niddah (a
woman who conceived without going first to a mikvah) is "pagum" (is
there another translation than 'defective'?). However, this does not
guarantee that every ba'al tshuva falls into this category.

One of my Rebbeim (Rabbi Asher Rubenstein shlit"a of Jerusalem) was
speaking on the subject of shidduchim (to bochurim, i.e. men), and
included this topic because it is relevant when deciding to date ba'alos
Tshuva (women from non-observant background) or only "FFB"s.

He said that Reb Moshe was asked about this p'gam, and said that if we
see a woman who has exemplary middos and Yiras Shamayim (personal
character and fear of heaven), that she must not be pagum!  How can this
be?  Before conceiving, her mother went to the swimming pool.  The
various rules about what water is permissible are all Rabbinic
ordinances.  A loose swimsuit allows water to reach the body (no
chatzitzah).  So, she was _not_ a niddah.  Only Reb Moshe could say such
a thing, but apparently he did.  All of us who are BT's can breathe

However, that Talmudic passage definitely says something about the
importance of _keeping_ taharat hamishpacha.  While someone who does not
keep this may be "on the way" to full observance, the Gemara tells us
that failing to do so can affect one's children.  The observed reality
is that it affects the health of marriages.  And above all, it's an
Issur Kareis - punishable by excision from G-d's nation.  Can we
honestly say that someone who does not keep this, is "observant"?

Yaakov Menken

From: <stepelma@...> (Deborah J. Stepelman)
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 1994 15:01:25 -0400
Subject: Taharat Hamishpacha

	Although this will not contribute to the halachic argument that
has been raging about the 'big three', it is a comment on the logic used
in one of the postings.
	Ezra Rosenfeld wrote, concerning M.Viswanath, "If I know that
Reuven and his wife keep taharas hamishpoke I can marry his offspring...
M.  Viswanath seems to think that the converse is true..."
	For the record, the *converse* would be: If I can marry his
offspring, then I know that Reuven & his wife keep T. H."  I think Ezra
might have been referring to the *inverse* of the statement, which would
be: If R. & his wife don not keep T.H., then I can not marry his

Deborah J. Stepelman
Bronx HS of Science ... <stepelma@...>

From: Jeffrey Woolf <F12043@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 09:03:26 -0400
Subject: Taharat Hamishpacha

Let's be careful before placing too much stress on the damage done by
not observing TM. True, the Talmuyd and Codes assert that the child of a
Niddah is damaged and therefore should be avoided. One may, however,
still marry her or him (just as one may marry the child of a couple who
were divorced and remarried after the wife was married to a second man
in the interim. Furthermor, Rav Aharon Kotler in a famous ruling and Rav
Moshe Feinstein in a responsum, state that if the person in question has
demonstrated their devotion to Torah and Mitzvot then clearly the damage
was either avoided or cancelled.


From: Mitchel Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 19:34:12 -0400
Subject: What do "the big three" determine

"The big three" (Shabbos, Kashrus, and Taharas Hamishpachah) don't
really measure religiosity. That was the whole point of my previous
post. What they really measure is which sociological group someone
belongs to.

It's a pity, because by labeling people in this way we discourage people
who don't keep these three mitzvos from keeping the rest of them. It
means that someone who thinks himself conservative has sociological
pressure keeping him from further observance.


End of Volume 13 Issue 56