Volume 14 Number 85
                       Produced: Thu Aug 18 12:48:50 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Autistic Children
         [Nicolas Rebibo]
Climbing the Fence vs. Stealing a Candy Bar
         [Warren Burstein]
Hakol tzafui vihareshus nisunah
         [David Charlap]
Mezonot Rolls
         [Cheryl Hall]
Pegnant Women and Fasting
         [Michael Broyde]
stern/YU divorce rates
         [Seth Ness]
Talmudic Quotations regarding Tallit
         [Jeffrey A. Freedman]
The MERU foundation and hypergeometry
         [Mitchel Berger]
Women saying kaddish
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]


From: <nre@...> (Nicolas Rebibo)
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 06:30:45 -0400
Subject: Autistic Children

For those of you who can read French, several articles were published in
the orthodox magazine Kountrass.

A first article described the work done in the Ohel Sarah institution in
Bne Brak and several amazing stories were recorded (children learning
complex guemarot, speaking about mashiach ...). Some children could even
attend yechivot a few hours per day.

A second article published a letter from 13th years old autistic
children from France. In this letter the child said that thanks to the
facilitated communication he could now learn guemara and he hoped that
other children could benefit from this method.

The last article was an answer to a reader's letter asking if it was
acceptable to ask these children personnal questions (ie do you think I
should do this, ...). The answer was that rav Shach and rav Karelits
opposed to the use of this method for such goals.

Kountrass no 39 (March-Apr 93)
Kountrass no 40 (May-June 93)
Kountrass no 47 (July-Aug 94)

Nicolas Rebibo


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 06:36:15 GMT
Subject: Re: Climbing the Fence vs. Stealing a Candy Bar

>  1. What is the moral implication for the case where there are no
>     buyers for candy bars, and the stock is sure to go to the trash,
>     will that qualify as "enjoying services without causing monetary
>     loss"?

I don't have an answer, but I'd like to mention some issues on both
sides.  Well I don't have an answer about what the seller should do in
general.  If the seller's loss would be limited to the present
situation, I think the seller should give away the product in order to
avoid waste (bal tashchit).  If the seller doesn't do so would the
principle of "kofin al midat sedom" (forcing someone not to act like
the people of Sodom) apply?  I'm not big on when this is applied, but
as I understand it the principle means that if A wants something of B,
and it is of no cost or bother to B at all, B must do it, and I think
the example is that B is selling land that adjoin's A's, B has to
offer it to A (A of course has to offer a competative price).  Would
it apply here?  I don't know, but I do know that it should be up to a
Beit Din, not to individual shoplifters.

If the seller is afraid that giving a way products today will harm
sales in the future (let's say the seller's fridge is broken, but the
public could easily carry home a month's worth and put it in their
fridge), I don't know.  Also, is the practice of destroying produce to
keep the price up permitted by halacha?  What if the farmers say that
if we don't destroy surplus this year, they won't plant next year?
Perhaps it would be a bigger bal taschit for everyone to be hungry (or
maybe simply have no oranges) next year?

>  2.  What is it about setting up a game that makes the organizer the
>     "owner" of the "game"? A "game" is an intangible.  One can easily
>     relate to the owning of bats, balls, a filed, or even owning the
>     "players", but how does one own a "game" vis-a-vis precluding
>     others from seeing it?

Well in the case of the baseball game, someone owns the statdium
(either the team, or some other group that leases it to the team, or
some group that itself sells tickets) and to be on the grounds without
permission of whoever has posession of the property at that time is
trespassing, lease or not.  But if someone happens to live in a
high-rise building that overlooks the staduim, I don't know what would
prohibit one from looking out the window.

In this case, and also in the cited case about a hotel room, the
problem doesn't seem to be theft of services so much as trespassing
(although payment of the fee makes one no longer a trespasser).  I
suppose that an example of pure theft of services would be watching a
TV signal that contains a notice that one may not watch it without
paying a fee.  I don't know what other than dina demalchuta (the
secular law of the country on resides in) would prohibit that.

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


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 19:06:11 -0400
Subject: Re: Hakol tzafui vihareshus nisunah

<jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum) writes:
>If G-d is omniscient, and knows what you are going to do, how can you
>do otherwise?  If so, what free choice do you have?

Prediction is not the same as causality.

Let's put this in a different light.  Suppose you had some device that
lets you see what will happen in the future (say, an hour.).  You use it
to predict the outcome of a horse race (or the lotto drawing, or
anything else).  It happens as you saw it.  Do you think that you caused
the event to happen in a certain way?  Do you think that things would
have been different if you didn't make the prediction?

It doesn't make sense to me.  I don't see how prediction is the same as

Here's another question for the philosophers:

Suppose you had some way of knowing God's "prediction" in advance.
Could you then do something else?  I think you could.  I also think that
without that extra knowledge, you would not do anything else.  (Mind
you, I said "would" not "could."  You could always do something else,
but you wouldn't want to.)


From: <CHERYLHALL@...> (Cheryl Hall)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 19:06:14 -0400
Subject: Re: Mezonot Rolls

As has been stated mezzonot or not washing and HaMotzi are required if
these rolls are eaten with a full meal. Many years ago (I fly almost
weekly.)  Wilton stopped marking rolls as mezonot. Sometime last Summer
or Fall Jewish Action the OU magazine had an indepth article dealing
with the halakhah in these circumstances.

I request from the flight attendent a separate glass of water without
ice for washing, because of the issues of moving around during meal
service and using the lav to wash.

What I find very interesting is that on Delta International flights out
of Paris ( to Tel Aviv and New York in my limited experience ) the
catered kosher meal contains a container of spring water. I have assumed
this was for the purpose of washing, and use it as such.

Maybe this is the answer on domestic flights as well. 

Cheryl Hall
Long Beach CA USA


From: Michael Broyde <RELMB@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 10:11:12 -0400
Subject: Pegnant Women and Fasting

One of the writers quoted a Rabbi as instructing pregnant women not
to fast.  While, each woman and her medical condition is unique,
that rabbi's statement should not be taken as the norm applicable to all
pregnant women.  The rule is clearly codified in Orach Chaim 617:1 based
on Pesachim 54b that as a general rule pregnant women should fast on yom
kippur.  Of course, there are some woman to whom this is inapplicable
for; pregnancy alone is not however a dispensation -- like for example,
giving birth within three days of yom kippur is a clear dispensation
not to fast.


From: Seth Ness <ness@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 19:02:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: stern/YU divorce rates

yaakov menken wrote...
    And <ahem> the stats for a Stern girl
who dated her YU husband for a year before getting engaged fall
somewhere in the middle.

i'm not sure where this stat comes from, but 5 or 6 years ago someone came
up with a 50% figure. It turns out that this was completely fabricated and
to the best of my knowledge, no data exist on which to base the above

Seth L. Ness                         Ness Gadol Hayah Sham


From: Jeffrey A. Freedman <jfreedmn@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 20:13:13 -0400
Subject: Talmudic Quotations regarding Tallit

I am seeking some scholarly advice on Talmudic quotations regarding
Tallit.  I realize the subject may have been overly used, however, I
would like to present our son with his Bar Mitzvah tallit with just a
little more than a "here's your tallit son."

We used the "tallit as a ray of light" theme in our older son's Bar

Any assistance you can provide would be appreciated.

Todah Rabah.

Jeff Freedman       Tacoma, Washington       <jfreedmn@...>


From: Mitchel Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 19:51:12 -0400
Subject: The MERU foundation and hypergeometry

I know Stan Tennon and the Meru foundation. I've been following them
about 8 years now.

The man claims to have found the inner meaning of many Qabbalistic
texts, and brags that he can't even read Hebrew. His knowledge of
Qabbalah is mostly from New-age sources (more about this next), and some
exposure to R. Aryeh Kaplan.

His new age connections may have died down, or, he may have learnt
enough about me to know not to bring them up. Originally, his system
worked for all the "sacred alphabets", Hebrew, Arabic, Sanscrit, Greek,
Latin. He gives lectures, and quotes material from organizations such as
"The Center for Consciousness Studies". He used to quote Hinu mythos.

The constraints under which he made his mathematical models are
loose. The primary one, a spiral he calls "the flame", has been adjusted
a number of times without affecting theory. It feels like the
topological equivalent of numerology: if you hunt far enough, you can
always find mysterious connections.

On the plus side. Some prestigious Rabbinic people, most notably R.
Shteinzalytz, but also some other names that I didn't recognize believe
that something's there. As do a number of topologists.

Most promicing, everyone involved has increased their Torah observance.
Nothing argues like success.


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 12:28:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Women saying kaddish

A short responsum by Rabbi Henkin allowing women to say kaddish appeared
in *Hapardes*, March 1963. In *Hadarom 54*, 1985 his grandson, also
Rabbi Henkin, amplifies his grandfather's responsum.  He explains that
the reason previous rabbis might not have allowed women to say kaddish
is that the custom at that time in shul was for *one* person only to say
kaddish; they wouldn't have wanted a woman to be the only one.  Now that
the *synagogue custom has changed* and many recite kaddish together,
it's o.k. for a woman to do so.  A letter to *Hadarom* ssome time in
1988 by Dr. Joel Wolowelsky (mail-jewish reader and one of the editors
of Tradition) had many references to*oral* rulings by Lithuinian rabbis
that women can say kaddish; Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik allowed it even if
the woman is the only one saying it. (The question was asked to him by a
youth group where this was a practical concern.)

My mother, as a teenager in Chicago in the 1950's, said kaddish in shul
(Her family was staunch Litvaks.)

The books about halachot of mourning which still rule that women can't
say kaddish are following a ruling in the Chavat Yair #222, which
discusses a rather unusual case of a father putting in his will to hire
10 men to come to his house and learn so that his daughter could say
kaddish.  Chavat Yair objects to this on the grounds that we cannot
create new customs.  It is my feeling that Rabbi Henkin (the younger) is
implying that since the syngagogue custom has changed anyway with
respect to kaddish, we no longer have to follow the Chavat Yair's

aliza berger


End of Volume 14 Issue 85