Volume 13 Number 83
                       Produced: Fri Jul  1 13:35:26 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Baby Toys
         [David Kaufmann ]
Brain Death Exam
         [Manny Lehman for Rabbi Jakobovits]
Conversion celebration.
         [Michael Lipkin]
Ending fast days
         [Engineer Ed]
Mamzer and punishment
         [Eli Turkel]
Microphones and Gedolim / 165 Years
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Oztar Haposkim Software
         [Michael Broyde]
Starting/Ending Times of Shabboth
         [Percy Mett]
Suffering Consequences
         [Harry Weiss]
Swimming Pool Mikva
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
         [Percy Mett]
Wearing tallit over the head
         [Daniel N Weber]


From: David Kaufmann  <david@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 1994 11:00:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Baby Toys

>From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
>Please!  Don't say that unless it's qualified as being a Chabad
>practice.  People in my community have no problem with pigskin shoes,
>pet cats and dogs, or teddy bears.  Chabad does.  I have no problem
>with that so long as no one allows it to be thought that I ought to
>have a problem with that, too.

To clarify: The issue is not with pet cats or dogs, seeing animals in a
zoo, using them for work (horses, donkeys) or halachichally acceptable
items made from animals (types of clothing). The Rebbe said that since
an infant learns from and is influenced by everything in his/her
environment (a point with which those aware of infant/child development
fully agree), the environment itself should be as kosher as possible,
meaning that non-real items - things that stimulate the imagination but
are "artificial" - should be kosher.

(bli neder, I will try to get the exact wording and translate.)


From: <mml@...> (Manny Lehman for Rabbi Jakobovits)
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 1994 11:22:48 +0000
Subject: Brain Death Exam

At the suggestion of my son Benny n'y I showed Sheryl Haut's posting in mj
v. 13, no. 76 to the Chief Rabbi Emeritus Lord Jakobovits shlita who is
himself an eminent authority on Jewish Medical Ethics and author of a book
by that name. He dictated the following response:-

Consult your LOR.

Halachik determination of brain death is still moot.. Some leading
rabbinical authorities in Israel (eg. The Chief Rabbinate and the former
Chief Rabbi Rabbi Shlomo Goren shlita) and in the USA (Rabbi Dr Moshe
Tendler shlita) have given permissive rulings whereas others in Israel
((eg. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach shlitta) and in the USA (eg. Rabbis D J
Bleich shlita and Aaron Soloveitchik shlita) strongly object. You should
therefore refer any such problem to your LOR.

The matter is not entirely resolved in the medical fraternity either.
There are leading specialists who resigned from the transplant team in
Cambridge, England because they were unwilling to accept brain death as

You will find extensive discussion with sources in works on Jewish
Medical Ethics by Dr Abraham Steinberg n'y, Rabbi Dr Moshe Tendler
shlita, Dr Fred Rosner n'y and Dr Abraham Abraham n'y. All have
published books on the subject.

There is, of course, a good deal to be found in periodicals such as
Tradition (Rabbinical Council of America), Torah Umadda (Yeshiva
University) and LaEylah (Office of the Chief Rabbi, London)

End of Rabbi Jacobovits's shlita response. Hope it helps. Sheryl, come
back to me via mj or directly if you need more info.


Prof. M M (Manny) Lehman, Department of Computing
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
180 Queen's Gate, London SW7 2BZ, UK.
phone: +44 (0)71 594 8214,  fax +44 (0)71 594 8215
Central +44 (0)71 589 5111, fax +44 (0)71 581 8024
email: <mml@...>


From: <msl@...> (Michael Lipkin)
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 1994 10:21:39 -0400
Subject: Conversion celebration.

I have a friend who about to complete his conversion process.  I'd like
to know if it's appropriate to have some type of celebration for him.



From: <EngineerEd@...> (Engineer Ed)
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 23:13:30 -0400
Subject: Ending fast days

Does any subscriber know the formula that Rav Soloveitchik used to end fast
days.  I know it is somewhat earlier than the time that shabboth ends.
Wishing every one an easy fast.

Engineer Ed


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 94 10:44:49 +0300
Subject: Mamzer and punishment

     Ezra Dabbah writes:

>> Susan, please read Ezekiel/Yehezkel chapter 18: 2-4. It says "our fathers
>> have eaten sour grapes and the childrens teeth are set on edge?... the
>> soul that sins shall die." The meaning is that the children shall no
>> longer bear the inequities of their parents and grandparents.

   One minor point, according to most commentaries the first verse
should not have a question mark after it. Rather it is a statement that
the childredn's teeth are set on edge (see e.g. Rashi).
   However, Ezra's point is well taken as most of that chapter in
Ezekial stresses that each indivdual is punished only for his sins and
not that of his parents or children. The Gemara in sanhedrin and Makkot
already asks that this contradicts the Torah that children are punished
for the sins of their parents and vice-versa.
    There are sevral ways to interpret the answers (see, for example,
introduction to Daat Mikrah - Mossah harav Kook on Yecheshkel). One is
that after the destruction of the first Temple the Torah law is no
longer applicable and each person is punished only for his own sin.
Another approach is that the Torah law applies to minor children who are
punished for their parents sins. A third approach is that idolatry is
different and that only for this sin are children punished.

   However, I feel that this discussion is irrelevant to the problem of
the mamzer. I don't think that anyone claims that a mamzer is being
punished by not being allowing to marry into the Jewish community. There
is the known statement that a mamzer scholar is greater than the High
Priest who is an ignoramus. The reward in the world to come for such a
mamzer is great, nevertheless he cannot marry a "regular" Jew.
Furthermore, the gemara describes in great detail which communities in
Babylonia were reliable, in terms of family purity, and which towns were
off limits for marriages.  I again return to my analogy that a mamzer
has a spiritual disease that is passed down by his parents. He is no
more at fault than if he got a physical disease from them. If somone
receives AIDS from his parents I would not say that he is being punished
for his parents sins. Nevertheless, he must suffer with it.



From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 1994 02:33:22 -0400
Subject: Microphones and Gedolim / 165 Years

a) Rabbi Adlerstein in this past week's posting in MJ om Mic's &
Gedolim succintly and accurately describes the issues I felt were
involved in this area. Thanks! (and therefore I will conitnue to speak
to him :-) ).

b) Have we not spoken at length here on MJ in the past about Rabbi
Schwab, Jewish Action, et al and the 165 year discrepancy?


From: Michael Broyde <RELMB@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 23:13:24 -0400
Subject: Oztar Haposkim Software

I recently received software from Oztar Haposkim in Tel Aviv to be used
to access a data base.  It is a Hebrew Based DOS program, and it is
givin g me great difficulty.  I cannot get it to run with Hebrew fonts
(ASCII 128 et all comses up not as Hebrew).  That is just the beginning
of my problems.  Is there anyone out there who has experiance using the
program and Otzar Haposkim?  I would very much appreciate the help, in
any way, shape and form.  Thank you very much.
                Rabbi Michael Broyde; voice 404 727-7546;
               fax 404 727-7597


From: <P.Mett@...> (Percy Mett)
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 23:13:28 -0400
Subject: Starting/Ending Times of Shabboth

Starting times for shabbos vary - in Yerusholayim it is 40 minutes
before sunset (defined as the time when the top of the sun goes below
the horizon). There is no such simple algorithm for motsaei shabbos
except for Rabbeinu Tam zman (72 mins after sunset). The usual
calculation is based on the sun being a specified number of degrees
below the horizon.

But why reinvent the wheel? There are many good calendar programs for

Perets Mett


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 94 23:02:34 
Subject: Suffering Consequences

There has been a considerable amount of discussion children being
punished for their parents deeds (mamzerim etc.).  Though there may not
be a practical difference in some cases there is a tremendous
philosophic difference between being punished for one's parents deeds
and suffering the consequences.  The child is similar to a victim of a
crime who is not punished for being the victim, but obviously suffers
the consequences.  Though we may not be at a level to recognize
spiritual defects, these defects are still there.

A similar explanation is given to the statement in the thirteen
attributes Poked Avon Avot Al banim (the iniquity of fathers upon the
children) and similar statements is that sins of fathers often continue
to the children, not that the children will be punished for their
parent's deeds.  Usually children of non observant Jews are non
Observant.  (Perhaps the fact that is it now four generations for many
people since their ancestors left Europe and/or religiosity is the
reason for the surge in the Baal Tshuva movement.)



From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 1994 02:50:38 -0400
Subject: Swimming Pool Mikva

Perhaps I am missing something here, but i believe that when Reb Moshe
was trying to be melamed zechus on a Ben Nidda by hypothesizing that the
mother went swimming before conceiving what he meant is that such an
immersion would be sufficient on a D'Oraysa level according to those
Rishonim who hold that Mayim She'uvim (water that has entered vessels)
is only a rabbinic prohibition in Mikva'os. We are machmir in this
matter because other Rishonim hold that Mayim She'uvim is a Torah level
problem, but I assume Reb Moshe felt that for the "quasi-halachic"
"pgam" of Ben Nidda one could rely on the lenient view.


From: <P.Mett@...> (Percy Mett)
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 23:13:19 -0400
Subject: Tahara

I hope I have understood Michael.Rosenberg correctly in writing this reply. 

Minhogim of Chevra Kadishas differ the world over. (I belong to two
Chevras in NW London and their minhogim are not identical.) This should
not be too surprising. Minhogim of Jewish kehillas were never identical.
However modern communications have engendered convergence in areas such
as nusach hatefiloh.

Chevra kadishas have little reason to be in touch with each other, and
many (most) members of a C K never have contact with another C K. So
minhogim might be expected to differ.

We do wash 3 times beserugin (r l r l r l) and this is stated in Gesher
Hachayim (standard work for Chevra kadisha). I have not conducted a
survey to know whether this is universal.

Perets Mett


From: Daniel N Weber <dweber@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 1994 11:00:06 -0400
Subject: Wearing tallit over the head

For years I used only the tallit provided by the shul.  A few years ago
I, with the help of my rabbi and son, made my own tallit.  Since then I
have become much more aware of those who place the tallit over their
head, especially during the amidah.  What is the basis for this?  I
understand the reasoning for doing this during the recitation of Ma
Yakir after the bracha for the tallit but I am unsure of the reasoning
for the practice during the amidah.

Dan Weber


End of Volume 13 Issue 83