Volume 14 Number 4
                       Produced: Fri Jul  8  6:42:26 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Babalonian Months
         [Aharon Fischman]
Chasidische/Litvische Community
         [Shaul Wallach]
Christian America, Blue Laws, etc
         [Warren Burstein]
Mamzer and punishment
         [Frank Silbermann]
Rabbenu Gershom
         [Avi Witkin]
Restaurants open on Shabbat 13/82
         [Meyer Rafael]
Statement from Ichud Rabbanim L'maan Eretz Yisrael
         [Hillel E. Markowitz]


From: <afischma@...> (Aharon Fischman)
Date: 7 Jul 94 14:05:22 GMT
Subject: Babalonian Months

Prof. Edward Cohen mentions months as they were referred to in Tanach. The 
months that he mentioned in Ester are the months as they are now, since the 
Megilla was written after Galut Bavel (Bablonian Exile), and in the middle of 
the process of Geula (Redemtion) to Israel.

Aharon Fischman


From: Shaul Wallach <F66204@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 1994 01:46:13 -0400
Subject: Chasidische/Litvische Community

     As someone who has lived among the "Chasidische/Litvische" (or
Haredi, as it's called in Israel) community in Benei Beraq for nearly 20
years, I'd like to add a few quick thoughts to the issue Arnold Lustiger
brought up; namely the economic viability of the yeshivot and the
alleged Hillul Hashem involved.

     While I certainly agree with Hayyim Hendeles that it is unfair to
suggest, as Arnold did, that the Haredi yeshivot should not have been
founded, I nevertheless feel that Arnold's premises and proposals are
worthy of serious consideration. In Benei Beraq we have just gone
through the fourth strike by the municipal workers in the last two
years, caused by the inability of the city to pay their salaries. In his
pleading before the government for aid, the mayor has repeatedly pointed
out that Benei Beraq has the highest birth rate and poverty rate of any
city in the country. These facts alone show what economic state we are
in. Professor Menachem Friedmann, here at Bar-Ilan University, has
studied Haredi society in depth, and in his recent book in Hebrew has
come to essential the same appraisal that Arnold presents; namely that
Haredi society is close to a breaking point and is economically unviable
in the long run.

      Moreover, the problem of yeshiva dropouts ("Shababnikim"), which
we discussed last summer in mail-jewish, has attracted more serious
attention on the part of Haredi leaders recently. I have witnessed the
pain of families whose sons do not fit into the conventional style of
yeshiva study, start hanging out on the streets, and end up going out to
bad ways because they find no legitimate alternative within the existing
Haredi educational system.

      I think it is futile to argue whether the Haredi method (Torato
Umanuto, i.e. full time Torah study) or the Mizrahi method (Torah `Im
Derekh Erez, i.e. Torah with secular study) is more legitimate. Both are
mentioned in the Talmud, say, in Berakhot 35 and the end of Qiddushin,
and each has both its merits and its dangers in our modern world.

      Thus, while Hayyim is certainly correct that the yeshivot have
never suffered from wealth, I don't think it is relevant to compare the
situation today with what it was 175 years ago. Back then Haredi society
was well demarcated from the outside secular world. Those who
successfully resisted the pressures of the Haskala were, by definition,
those who pursued the traditional method of learning and were prepared
to make all the necessary sacrifices. Today, on the other hand, we see
the rampant materialism of the outside world making increasing inroads
into even the most conservative Haredi circles. We see ourselves having
no choice but to take advantage of modern technology, and at the same
time find increasing demands being made on ourselves to maintain a
higher material standard of living.

     On the other hand, while the Torah `Im Derekh Erez system could
work successfully 150 years in Germany under the visionary leadership of
R. Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, the experience of the Mizrahi movement here
in Israel has been less than satisfying, against the background of
increasing assimilation pressures of the general Israeli secular

     It follows, therefore, that both Arnold and Hayyim are right in a
way. Today Yissachar needs Zevulun just as Zevulun needs Yissachar, and
the religious need unity today more than ever before.

     The most logical program in my mind, therefore, would be to create
a new fusion among the religious, in which both methods would be given
equal legitimacy. Thus the same leaders who today support either the
Haredi or the Mizrahi yeshivot would give their blessing to yeshivot of
the other kind as well. That way, for example, a student who is not
satisfied learning only Torah would feel just as legimate in society's
eyes by learning secular subjects as well, with the all-important
difference that he would still be within the confines of the same
religious environment. At the same time, those students from Mizrahi
schools who wish to dedicate themselves wholly to Torah study would be
free to enroll in Haredi yeshivot, and would not be looked at as a
"loss" to the Mizrahi system.

     The benefits of such an arrangement would be obvious. Haredi
institutions would enjoy the economic support of those Jews who go out
to work, and Mizrahi Jews would enjoy the spiritual reinforcement of
Haredi scholars. In short, the forging of a new Yissachar-Zevulun
alliance among all the factions of Torah Jewry would create a new,
stronger, independent and self-sufficient religious society, and lead to
an immense Qiddush Hashem among all of Jewry.




From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 1994 08:51:16 GMT
Subject: Re: Christian America, Blue Laws, etc

Moshe Linzer writes:

>The blue laws basically protect small shopowners from competition.  It
>gives them a day off when they won't lose business to the shopping
>malls, which can remain open 7 days a week.  Many Jews who own small
>businesses or supply private shops rely on the blue laws to help them
>take a day off and still stay in business.  Besides, the roads are
>emptier, and you can always drive to Wayne! :-)

Do the Bergen County blue laws allow shopowners to choose their day to
close, or do they force them to close on Sunday?  If the latter, the
Jews who vote for the blue laws are making it much harder to observe
Shabbat - not only does the shopowner have to compete with stores open
in Wayne on Sunday but also with nearby stores open on Shabbat, without
the option to open on Sunday to make up for it.

I can't see any way in which the blue laws (as I understand them) are
to the benifit of Shomrei Shabbat.

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


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 1994 15:19:25 -0400
Subject: Mamzer and punishment

Eli Turkel:		Vol13 #83

> 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.

What is the religious basis for the current custom of not looking too
deeply into each others' geneology for evidence of Mamzurkeit?  I've
even heard that if one knows of a Mamzur hiding his status in another
town, one is not to reveal his defect.  Is this true?

If so, then it would seem that the laws are not so much aimed at
quarantining those with a spiritual disease, but rather enforced as a
means of discouraging immorality.

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>


From: Avi Witkin <msavi@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 1994 13:04:41 +0300 (WET)
Subject: Rabbenu Gershom

>From: <Robert_A._Light@...> (Robert A. Light)

>I understand that Rabeinu Gershom instituted a herem womw3f*(ban) on a)
>multiple wives and (b) that a wife must consent to accept a Get.  I have
>heard recently that the decree was instituted in the year 992 or 993 and
>that it was declared to be in force for 1000 years.  Can anyone shed
>some light on this information?  Can anyone offer me source material?
>If my calculation is right, then the Herem should no longer be in force.
>Not to say that I'm rushing off to marry a second wife but since I'm in
>the middle of trying to avoid becoming a male agunah, I figured that I
>better get all the information on the subject I could find.

 From what I know I think Rabbenu Gershom' Takana against multiple wives
was suppose to be in force for 400 years.  Thus the takana should have
ended around the year 1350.  But the jewish people have decided to
continue this takana. Although there are some jews among the Yemenites
and others who nver accepted it and till this day there are husbands
with more than one wife.

There was also the takana of forcing the wife to accept a get. I do not
think this takana had a time frame.

I think my knowledge of this came from "A HISTORY OF THE JEW", BY

Avi Witkin


From: Meyer Rafael <mrafael@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 1994 22:04:17 
Subject: Re: Restaurants open on Shabbat 13/82

I would expected that the problem with the Jewish restaurant that is
open (for regular business) on Shabbot is the opening is 'beparhesia'.
This category of hillul Shabbat has the effect of invalidating the
owner's credability (pasul l'edut) in all matters. Therefore it would
follow that the owner's credability with respect to Kashrus is fatally
damaged by his own actions. I would suggest that the effectiveness of a
(Shomer Shabbat) Mashgiach would be greatly reduced by the ideology and
actions of the owner.

   Meyer Rafael                  
   Melbourne, Australia          voice +613-525-9204
   <mrafael@...>       fax +613-525-9109


From: Hillel E. Markowitz <HEM@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Jul 1994 22:11:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Statement from Ichud Rabbanim L'maan Eretz Yisrael

[Yes, I know this is what I would normally return as a political
posting. However, as this is a statement of R' Shapira, Yisraeli, and
Neriyah, I feel it has its place in a Halakhic based mailing list. Mod.]

I have been asked to post the following statement.
Shalom, Israel Silverberg

                  Ichud Rabbanim L'maan Eretz Yisrael

Rabbinic Presidium: HaRav HaGaon Avraham Shapira (former Chief Rabbi)
                    HaRav HaGaon Shaul  Yisraeli
                    HaRav HaGaon Moshe Tzvi Neriyah

1. We vigorously protest the decision of the government of Israel to
permit the arch murderer, Yassir Arafat (Yimach Sh'mo) to set foot in
the Land of Israel. This atrocious murderer is responsible for the
butchering of our innocent brothers and sisters: men, women, and
children, whose only crime was being Jews. This is the same murderer
who promises to continue a re-invigerated "Jihad" (religious war of
extermination) after he settles in the Land of Israel.

2. We vigorously protest that by supressing the truth, by aiding the 
murderer, and by granting his cohorts the "right of return," the
government has increased the danger to the status of the Holy City of
Jerusalem and to all of Israel.

3. We vigorously protest the Israeli government's mass desecration of
Shabbat in forcing security forces to violate the Shabbat because of
this visit.




May it be His wil that we see the fulfillment of the verse:
"Awaken awaken, put on your stength o'Zion, put on the garments of
your beauty Jerusalem, the Holy City, for no longer shall the
uncircumcised or the unclean continue to enter" (Isaiah 52).


End of Volume 14 Issue 4