Volume 15 Number 14
                       Produced: Wed Aug 31  0:30:53 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Fair" Halokhoh?
         [Amos Wittenberg]
Ba'al haKriah by Michael Bar-Lev
         [Art Werschulz]
Mi Sheberach for the Sick on Shabbat
Religion and Science
         [David Charlap]
Shofar care
         [Joe Wetstein]
         [Mordechai E Lando]
Smitas Kesafim
         [Ari Shapiro]
Tay Sachs Testing by Dor Yeshorim
         [Yitty Rimmer]
Woman teaching men
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]
Women and Kaddish
         [David Kramer]


From: <awittenberg@...> (Amos Wittenberg)
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 1994 13:06:50 -0400
Subject: "Fair" Halokhoh?

Dr Sam Juni brought up the question of his daughter's pants.  I think
this is typically a question for a qualified ba`al horo'oh [halakhic
decisor].  Fairness is halakhically defined, IMHO, and if Dr Juni's
daughter would disagree with the rabbi's decision as to what is fair
`al-pi halokhoh, either way, then wouldn't that be a marvellous
opportunity for her to learn that Torah values sometimes are not what we
instinctively feel to be "fair"?

Amos Wittenberg
 ... <awittenberg@...> ...


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 1994 12:56:24 -0400
Subject: Ba'al haKriah by Michael Bar-Lev


The book "Ba'al haKriah" (by Michael Bar-Lev) was mentioned as a good
source of information for things such as shva na vs. nach, kamatz
katan vs. gadol, etc.  I was able to look at a copy of same, in the
JTS Library here in New York.  However, I have not been able to
purchase a copy.  I have tried a bunch of Jewish bookstores in NYC,
without success.

Does anybody know from where I might be able to obtain same?

Thanks, and gmar tov.

   Art Werschulz (8-{)}  "You can't make an ondelette without breaking waves."
   InterNet:  <agw@...>
   ATTnet:    Columbia University (212) 939-7061
              Fordham University  (212) 636-6325


From: Yechiel_Pisem <ypisem@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 1994 16:40:05 -0400
Subject: Mi Sheberach for the Sick on Shabbat

In response to Aliza Berger's message about the Mi Sheberach:

In truth, this Tefilah is not said appropriately in many Shuls anyway.  
If you look at the text for Shabbos, you will see an added sentence.  
This sentence "apologizes" for our saying this on Shabbos.  Should we 
really be saying it if the person is not really in a bad condition?  If 
that problem were dealt with, there would be less Hefsek and less 
problems to the Tzibur.

Kol Tuv and K'siva VaChasima Tova,
Yechiel Pisem


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 1994 12:14:21 -0400
Subject: Religion and Science

Eli Turkel <turkel@...> writes:
>I cannot prove to anyone that Moshe rabbenu existed while jesus was
>just an ordinary person in second Temple days.

Actually, this particular item can be proven.  Yetziat Mitzraim (the
Exodus from Egypt) has been confirmed from many archaelogical records.
When the Hittites' remains were discovered, they contained documents
warning about the "Hebiru" nation that escaped from Egypt.  I believe
there are also Egyptian records of Moshe, since he was Egyptian

As for the existance of Jesus, there is a complete lack of evidence.
All sources are either parts of the Christian bible, or cite
references from it as sources.  There is a file explaining all of this
in great detail.  ("Refuting Missionaries: The Myth of the Historical
Jesus", by Hayyim Ben Yehoshua) I think this file is on nysernet

In general, people, places, and major events in the Torah have been
verified archaeologically.  Miracles, less so, but there are some
pieces of evidence.  (For instance, I saw on a PBS special how one
group of scientists used the Torah to try and locate Mt. Sinai - it
led them to a mountain whose top is completely burned, and nobody
knows why.)

WRT articles of faith (like Moshiach, existance of God, etc.), you're
right.  They can't be proven or disproven, and must be accepted or
rejected on faith alone.  Trying to argue these subjects always boils
down to an "it's your word against mine" argument.


From: <jpw@...> (Joe Wetstein)
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 1994 13:22:07 -0400
Subject: Shofar care


Does anyone have any suggestions for how to treat a shofar (which is
rather old) that is getting quite 'dry' and I am afraid that it may
be getting brittle.

Yossi Wetstein


From: Mordechai E Lando <landom1@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 1994 10:55:42 -0400
Subject: Slichos

There has been a thread concerning saying the first Slichos after
chatzos on motzoei Shabbos, with the implication that it wasn't done
this way in "Europe". "Der Haim" or "Europe" had many different kehillos
and numerous minhagim.  Seforim indicate, and those who were there have
confirmed it, that Polisher Chassidim said after chatzos.  Others may
have had other minhagim.

What may be American is the custom of having the Yomim No'raw'im baal
musaf say the first slichos.  Many years ago this was explained to me as
follows: Since the Chazan is paid, and one doesn't want to pay for
something done on yomtov, he says slichos and is paid for that.  The
remainder then becomes a payment "B'hav'law'ah"; i.e. indirect.

A disturbing and increasing American minhag is that of showing movies or
having other social activities before the slichot.  Its hard to see how
these functions put the congregants in the proper mood for tshuvah or

Josh Rapps in m-j 15-1 discussed the need to understand the tfilos on
Rosh Hashona and Yom Kippur.  For those readers who don't need an
english machzor, I would strongly recommend the Machzor
M'Pho'rosh. Excellent introductory material, translation sources,
halachos, minhagim etc.  The late Ponovitzer mashgiach, Reb Chayim
Friedlander zt'l, in his sefer Sifsei Chayim has over 140 pages of
interpreting the tfilos of R.H. & Y.K.;in addition to essays on these
yomtovim as well.  Rabbi Friedlander was a talmid muv'hauk of Reb
Eliyohu Dessler and edited Rav Dessler's musar classic, Michtav

My 17 year old son is very enthusiatic about "Kuntres Avodas Hat'fila"
by Reb Meyer Birnbaum, a native Baltimorean who is now mashgiach in the
Bayonne Yeshiva. There are, I believe, more than one volume on the yomim

B'virchas k'siva v'chasima tova, shnas g'ulah,shnas refuah, shas 
baw'nai, cha'yay, oom'zoh'nay.

Mordechai Elyokim Lando ham'chuna Yukum 


From: <m-as4153@...> (Ari Shapiro)
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 94 20:14:23 -0400
Subject: Re: Smitas Kesafim

Amos Wittenberg writes:
<2. Sh'mittas k'sofim renders me unable to enforce a debt.  It does not
 < *cancel* the debt.
This is not so simple.  It  is very possible that shmitas kesafim cancels
the loan.  This in fact may be the dispute between the Rambam and the 
Raavad whether you can write a Prusbul when shmitas kesafim is 
d'oraytha (Torah obligation), whether the loan is cancelled or you just
are not allowed to collect the loan.    This is a well known chakira 
(question) whether shmitas kesafim cancels the loan or just cancels
your ability to collect.  See the gemara Gittin 36a-b and the Rishonim
and Acharonim there.  If you want further information please contact

Ari Shapiro


From: <ny000544@...> (Yitty Rimmer)
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 94 14:54:38 -0400
Subject: Tay Sachs Testing by Dor Yeshorim

Response to Rena Whiteson Concerning Dor Yeshorim and Gaucher's Disease:

	From my understanding the reason people are questioning the
genetic testing is because of the risk of not drawing the line between
helping people and playing G-d. We are not in the position to "create"
perfect individuals.  The original reason behind the creation of Dor
Yeshorim was to prevent unneccessary "Agmat Nefesh" to carriers.
	Imagine marrying the man of your dreams and about a year or two
later giving birth to your first child who in all appearances is normal,
but then dies about two years later, blind and mentally retarded. Now
imagine having three or four children like that, the impact this has on
a family and a marriage is terrible.
	I personally know of a family who had three out of ELEVEN
children turn out normal, the other three children have alot of
emotional problems from the whole family situation, and the couple has
gone to numerous psychologists for counseling. The situation is very
tough. Do you tell people not to have children when the risk of having a
tay sachs baby is one out of four? This is obviously a very extreme case
and although it is one, one is more than enough!! That is why Dor
Yeshorim had started to test for tay sachs, to avoid this kind of a
situation! They wanted to insure people who were carriers would not go
through the situation described above.
	Dor Yeshorim in New York is as far as I know the only area where
the results are kept secret. (I could be mistaken as I am not an expert
in their procedures, please do not misquote me!) My father who is
originally from Denver was told by friends who live there that they test
for Tay Sachs in the Bais Yaakov and in the Yeshivah and the results are
given out. Whoever is a carrier is aware that they have to be careful.
	The reasoning behind Dor Yeshorim keeping the results secret is
for as follows. In certain communities in New York, the knowledge that a
person is a carrier may affect their "Shidduch" in a negative way due to
a lack of knowledge regarding exactly what being a carrier for Tay Sachs
means.  Therefore to avoid such adverse reactions, the results are kept
secret! This is so families of carriers are not stigmatized.
	As a side note, the only negative thing I have to say about Dor
Yeshorim is the fact that they do not test as extensively as they claim
to. I had taken the Tay Sachs test in the 12th grade in High School as
part of a program with Dor Yeshorim. When it came time for me to go out
on dates, my parents discovered that a couple of Yeshivahs are not
tested by Dor Yeshorim and therefore these boys if they did not test
themselves, were not given a Tay Sachs number. Dor Yeshorim will not
give out test results, even to my doctor, so my parents were placed in a
bind on occasion. To solve this problem my parents with my doctor
decided on their own to have me tested privately again, and to know the
results. This way the only time they would have a problem was if I was a
Yitty Rimmer


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 1994 12:05:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Woman teaching men

Brocha Epstein wrote to mail-jewish that she inquired about teaching
engineering at at an all-male school which runs a full yeshiva program
and a full science program.  She got one very enthusiastic response from
a person in authority there, who asked her all about her research
interests, and one negative response from another person in authority
who told her that while it would be fine with him, unfortunately when
the "yeshiva side" was asked once about a similar situation, they vetoed
it, and he assumed the same thing would happen again.  She posed the
question to mail-jewish: what is the halakhic problem with this? If
there is no problem, it amounts to sex discrimination. (Sorry if I am
paraphrasing; I lost the original post; all misrepresentations are

Brocha also noted that the policy seems inconsistent; there is a female
secretary at the school.

It seems to me that there is no technical halakhic problem. The school
is merely trying to maintain a "yeshiva atmosphere" even in their
secular studies department.  This is unlike Yeshiva University(men's
undergraduate) where women do teach men in the secular studies even
though the students are all male.  The question is, does a "yeshiva
atmosphere" of no distractions by the opposite sex (the argument for
separating *students* of opposite sexes) extend to teachers?  I think
not, and to some extent YU thinks the same as demonstrated by their
policy.  The positive value of having the best teacher possible, and,
yes, the positive value of demonstrating to these students early on that
women are good engineers, teachers, etc., not just "distractors", far
outweigh any such negative impact.

Aliza Berger  


From: David Kramer <davidk@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 1994 09:06:59 -0400
Subject: Re: Women and Kaddish

Melvyn Chernick in m.j v14.96 writes:
> b) May women recite the Kaddish in shule? I once asked a great *gadol,
> zatzal* about this and he told me that in the shule of the Vilna Gaon
> (in Vilna, of course) women DID recite Kaddish. That should be
> sufficient authority for anyone.

A second hand anecdote from an anonymous gadol should not be sufficient 
authority for anyone.

[And mail-jewish should not be viewed as an authoritative decisor of
anything. It is a forum for discussion and learning. Mod.]

David Kramer                       |  INTERNET: <davidk@...>  ]
Motorola Communications Israel Ltd. |  Phone (972-3) 565-8638 Fax 565-9507 ]


End of Volume 15 Issue 14