Volume 15 Number 43
                       Produced: Mon Oct  3  0:14:56 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

19-year cycle off by a day
         [Eric W. Mack]
Doctors Leniency on Shabbos
         [Shimon Schwartz]
doctors working on shabbat
         [Seth Ness]
         [Zvi Weiss]
Near Death Experiences
         [Eli Turkel]
Prozbul and Heter Iska
         [Larry Israel]
         [Aryeh Blaut]
Yeshiva Sex Education or Not
         [Aryeh Blaut]


From: <ce157@...> (Eric W. Mack)
Date: Sun, 2 Oct 1994 14:49:36 -0400
Subject: 19-year cycle off by a day

I believe the Jewish & civil birthdays do not coincide where the
original day is shortly before a civil leap day (e.g., early 1956).  My
birthdays coincided in April, 1975, but the birthdays of a friend born
in January, 1956, did not coincide in January, 1975.

Eric Mack    <ce157@...>


From: <schwartz@...> (Shimon Schwartz)
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 1994 13:36:17 +0500
Subject: Re: Doctors Leniency on Shabbos

I hope that I'm not the only one who sees two major issues being bypassed.


> 3.  A frum pediatrician davens in the early (hashkomo) minyan on Shabbos
> EACH WEEK, so he can go into the office where he has Hours every
> Saturday although he never takes an appointment for those hours; he's
> there to see walk-in "emergencies" only.

This man is sacrificing Shabbat with his family and friends
in order to be available for emergency pediatric work every weekend.
And you're complaining about him?!?


There's a running thought that medical work on Shabbat should be left
to Gentiles.  This reflects an underlying galut orientation.
What are Israeli physicians supposed to do?  Delegate medicine on Shabbat
to the non-Jewish domestic population?  It is certainly wrong to delegate
such work to the non-observant Jewish population.  If it needs to be done,
let it be done in accordance with the halacha, by those who follow
the halacha.

Bird's eye view:

I am still bothered by David Phillips' original posting.
He complained about "leniencies" that he had -observed-,
and appears to have paid lip service to the underlying piskei halacha:

  While I am very aware of the famous quotes of "I'm not being lenient in
  the halacha of Shabbos; I'm being strict in piku'ach nefesh (saving
  lives)," and other real psaks allowing doctors to drive home from the
  hospital after an emergency call ("if we don't allow them to come back
  home on Shabbos, they may not go out on the call to begin with"), I
  nevertheless find Orthodox doctors with *options*, not taking them, not
  making sacrifices.

These are not literary quotations.  They are -directives-, presumably
selected by qualified halachic decisors, and given to the people who
are to implement them.  From what I've seen, it is difficult enough
for the posek being asked a sh'eilah to insure that -he- has all relevant
details of a case.  To decide that another individual--expert in a field
(medicine) that I assume David does not practice--is not being sufficiently
machmir for one's own liking, based solely on visual observation,
is at best not being dan l'chaf z'chut [giving benefit of the doubt],
and possibly denigrating someone for following a direct p'sak l'ma'aseh
[practical halachic decision].

One of the primary mitzvot on Shabbat is -oneg-; I am not aware of any
mitzvah to "sacrifice" for Shabbat.  Sometimes we need to sacrifice a
particular personal desire in order to observe an aspect of Shabbat
(e.g. purchase a more moderately-priced car to insure enough money for
Shabbat expenses).  Here, however, we are balancing a community need 
against a personal need.  A p'sak halacha is required; David did not
indicate whether the individuals in any of his cases were acting on 
the basis of an personal p'sak, blanket halachic decision, or
on their own.  Without knowing this, it's nearly impossible to criticize.

	Shimon Schwartz


From: Seth Ness <ness@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Sep 1994 12:26:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: doctors working on shabbat

When considering this issue, one has to take into account what actually
goes on in the hospital on shabbat.

Leaving the issue of non-jews alone, Its obvious that if someones life is
in danger you are required to treat them on shabbat. This is extended to
all sorts of severe illnesses and treatmeants. Nevertheless, this is not
a carte blanche. when all is done, there are things that one is required to
do on shabbat and there are things that remain assur to do on shabbat, even
for jews. I'm a medical student and many of my friends are doctors and none
of us has ever seen how it is possible for someone to work in a hospital on
shabbat and do only those things that are allowed under the laws of pikuach
nefesh. (this is in th united states). Examples of assur activities would
be taking notes, doing routine blood drawings, treating completely
innocuous cases etc.

About the heter of getting the best possible training even if it means
working on shabbat. The Rav who i have heard that said in the name of is
rabbi tendler. I have heard it personnally from him, that you are not allowed
to violate shabbat for this sake. You ARE allowed to work on shabbat, but
only to do those things which are permissible from the laws of saving a life,
not anything that comes up, such as what i mentioned above. Rav tendler's
son worked on shabbat, but he hired a physicians aide to follow him around
the hospital and do all the stuff that remains assur for a jew. This is
not an option for most of us.

Finally, for myself, I can't imagine losing shabbat and yom tov for 3 or 4
years. Even if there were no problems I would have no desire to work on
shabbat and would take a shomer shabbat residency if available.


Seth L. Ness                         Ness Gadol Hayah Sham


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 1994 11:32:53 -0400
Subject: Doctors/Shabbos

Just a couple of comments...

Before commenting about the habits of Doctors in how they choose/run
their practices, find out if said Doctors have consulted their LOR... If
they are operating upon the basis of a p'sak, it is probably NOT
appropriate for Mr. Philips to critique their operation (pardon the

that said:
1. Jeremy asks what we will gain by restricting kohanim from Dentistry?
   My answer would be: (a) the same as by restricting Kohanim from Medicine,
   in general -- why ask the question only about Dentistry? (b) more to the
   point, we "gain" by being in a situation where there are more people who
   are properly being Shomer Mitzvot.  While there are legit. and important
   Pikuach Nefesh issues for TRAINED DOCTORS (and dentists), those issues
   are [normally] NOT considered to be operative for people wishing to TRAIN
   as Doctors... I.e., *if* a kohen violated halacha and trained as a Doctor
   [or Dentist], then one can cite Pikuach Nefesh as a basis for allowing that
   Kohen to stay in practice -- on the grounds that such a person may be
   able to save one's life.  However, I do not recall ANY serious Teshuvot
   that permit one to ENTER training on the grounds that one may -- at a later
   date -- be able to save one's life.  Certainly not when there are plenty of
   Doctors (Jewish and Non-Jewish) being trained.

2. Re David Philips' issue of the Pediatrician open fro "walk-in"
   emergencies.  I know too little about the situation BUT I could
   actually see this as a very positive thing for the community.  If
   this doctor has lots of frum patients, having this walk-in situation
   means that these parents can take theri children in -- minimizing
   THEIR Chillul Shabbat.  We have had cases of needing to have children
   get throat cultures and being unhappy at either delaying the
   treatment or trying to figure out how to get everything taken care of
   in a non-obtrusive way on Shabbat (given that there is a question
   whether a "throat culture situation" is really sufficient to justify
   Chillul Shabbat at all)...  similarly, perhaps this doctor does not
   get beeped as often as people know that he is "in".  what is he doing
   while waiting for people to come in?  Is he learning?  AS I noted
   above, there are so many other factors that I do not see how this can
   be criticized based upon the minimal info provided.

3. Of course there is a "moral heter" for [non-kohanim] to get involved
   with medicine.  As the gemara states "Lav min hakol adam misrapeh" --
   not all are able to cure a given person....  There is no question of
   the Mitzva involved in healing.  The only caveat is [and this is true
   for virtually ALL activities] one must follow the guidance of a
   knowledgeable OR *and* one must always present the facts carefully
   and FAIRLY... avoiding the temptation to "shade" matters to attempt
   to "bias" the matter such that the decision will be more to the
   Asker's liking.



From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 94 15:37:14+020
Subject: Near Death Experiences

       People have given scientific justification for the experiences
of near death patients. All spiritual experiences in life can be
pseudo-explained by science otherwise there would be no freedom of choice.
There have been several theories to explain the ten plagues in Eygpt
based on natural phenomena. My personal opinion is that even if the
plagues occurred naturally that does take away from the miraculous aspects
that they appeared when Moshe Rabbenu ordered them. However, the actual
events occurred by God causing a wind to blow and bringing the various
plagues. It was not done completely in contradiction to science.

     Given that it is shabbat Bereshit, I would strongly urge the
readers of this list to read "The Lonely Man of Faith" by Rav
Soloveitchik Zt'l.  He describes the first two chapters of Genesis in
terms of Adam I, scientific man and Adam II, the man of faith. He points
out that religion is not the same as faith. Many people are religious
because of the cultural and social aspects of religion and not that of
faith. He describes the two ways of looking at the world and combining
the two. A few quotes:

    Adam I feels triumphant and self-sufficient when things go well. His
world yields to his demands. In moments of insecurity and fright,
however he is hopelessly adrift and depressed.

     Though he is often regarded as an irrevelance in the modern world,
the man of faith keeps his rendevous with eternity and persists
tenaciously in bringing the message of faith to the majestic world.  In
this historical mission, the lonely man of faith meets the Lonely One
who resides in the recesses of transendental solitude. This is the
sacrificial but priveleged role of the man of faith.



From: Larry Israel <VSLARRY@...>
Date: Sat, 01 Oct 94 23:21:36 +0200
Subject: Prozbul and Heter Iska

Someone in our shul asked why we need to make a prozbul if all our loans
(basically to the bank, as deposits) are made subject to a heter iska. In
that case they are not loans, but investments in a partnership, and would
not be subject to the nullification of loans in the shmitta year.


From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 94 20:27:41 -0800
Subject: Re: Weddings

>>From: David Ben-Chaim <DAVIDBC@...>
>1) As we're geting ready for our second son's wedding after Simchat
>Torah, I would like to know if in any community they have an alternate
>to the IMHO (and pls. don't kill me for it) utter tasteless Orthodox
>Jewish wedding ceremony.  I'm refering to the fact that the centre of
>the ceremonoy is the reading of the Ketuba which is simply a legal
>contract. What about some "to love and cherish till death do us
>part"...if I remember the words correctly from Bride for a Day.  True,
>some Rabbis do put in a few good words, but still the ketuba is the
>central (monetary) transaction of the ceremony.

Why should we be looking to change a legal ceremony to be anything else 
(especially to model after non-Jewish traditions).

If you say this, then may be we should look into how we "celebrate" the New 
Year, etc.

Aryeh Blaut


From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 94 20:38:46 -0800
Subject: Re: Yeshiva Sex Education or Not

>>From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
>This topic just came up for me.  My older daughter is almost 10, and
>starting to approach the age of puberty.  What, if anything, is
>offered by Yeshivot, synagogues, hebrew schools for girls and boys
>approaching puberty?

I teach 4th grade Torah Studies and a couple of years ago, I approached
the headmaster of my school and asked him if he wanted me to teach a
particular mishna (in brachos) or not (it had to do with a chasan
(groom) on his wedding night - if he has to say Shma).  He told me that
"sex ed" was a topic at a recent Torah Umesora convention.  The Roshei
Yeshiva were in favor of teaching it.

My headmaster told me that there was one Rebbe (I think from Chicago) 
who was approached by a student with a question.  There was a billboard 
with a condomn & a pair of pants.  The caption read something to the 
effect "open this before this".  The student wanted to know what it meant.

That year, he (the headmaster of our school) taught the boys (grades 4-8) a
"Health & Halacha" class and my wife taught the 4-8 grade girls.

Aryeh Blaut


End of Volume 15 Issue 43