Volume 15 Number 70
                       Produced: Thu Oct 13  5:55:29 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Shaatnez and Women
         [Dave Curwin]
Treif meals after Bar Mitzvahs
         [Sheldon Korn]
Women / Sefer Torah
         [Zvi Weiss]
Women and Misheberachs
         [Chaim Sacknovitz]
Women and Sifrei Torah
         [Anthony Fiorino]
Women and the Study of Torah
         [Brigitte Saffran]
women and the workplace
         [Danny Skaist]
Women and the Workplace
         [Heather Luntz]
Women carrying Sifrei Torah
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Women Dancing with Sefer Torah
         [Shlomo Engelson]
Women, Torah and Tefillin
         [Alan Mizrahi]


From: Dave Curwin <6524dcurw@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 1994 00:04:33 EDT
Subject: Shaatnez and Women

It is clear from the Tora and its commentaries that Shaatnez has a 
very holy significance, and that is probably why it is forbidden.
The best example of this is that Shaatnez was worn by all the
kohanim and was in the mishkan (tabernacle). (See Shmot 26:1, 28:6,
28:36-39, 39:28, Mishna Kelaim 9:1, Tosfot on Devarim 22:11. See also
JPS Bamidbar, Excursus 38, page 413, for a good explanation of the
holiness of Shaatnez and its relation to tzitzit.) 

However, my question about shaatnez comes from another couple
of places in tanach. First, I noticed during Aishet Chayil. Have
you ever noticed that this woman of valor is wearing Shaatnez?
Take a look at Mishlei 31:13, but especially 31:22. It says that
she is wearing linen and purple wool! (As a rule, when ever a
fabric is described by color, it is referring to wool. That is
what they dyed then.) That was strange on its own, and I have
pointed it out many Friday nights, and never got a decent answer.
But then, in the Haftora of Parshat Bamidbar, in Sefer Hoshea.
Look at Hoshea 2:11 - God says, "I will snatch away my wool and
my linen that serve to cover her nakedness." Once again, there
is a woman wearing shaatnez. Perhaps women are considered like
kohanim (in some respect)? Any other ideas?


From: Sheldon Korn <rav@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Oct 1994 15:35:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Treif meals after Bar Mitzvahs

> >From: <ax965@...> (Bob Dale)
> There have been concerns expressed at our synagogue about members
> who hold Bar Mitvahs and other simchas in the synagogue, and
> then hold treif parties afterwards for their guests.  While I think
> this is unacceptable and inappropriate, I find it difficult to adopt
> the solution some people are proposing:  namely, that if we find out
> that a non-kosher celebration has been planned, we tell the family
> they can hold their simcha elsewhere.  Has this issue surfaced in other
> cities?  What has been done?
My synagogue has the following rules in place at the present time:
Weddings are not performed unless the meal afterwards is Kosher and under 
communal supervision.
Bar Mitsvahs: all non members must use our catering facilities.  Members 
have options to do as they wish but they cannot distribute or promote off 
premises receptions through the synagogue.

Rabbi Sheldon Korn
Adath Israel Cong.  Toronto


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 08:44:40 -0400
Subject: Women / Sefer Torah

Just some comments:
1. The Shulchan Aruch rules that -- though women COULD put on Tefillin --
   i.e., the Torah does not prohibit them, the Rama (I think) states that we
   do not allow women to put on Tefillin because of the problem of "guf Naki"
   -- literally "clean body".  As I understand the matter, this is tied in with
   the fact that the vast majority of us [men] do not wear Tefillin the
   entire day -- even though it appears that was the original intent for
   Tefillin (cf. the discussion of a b'racha for one who removes Tefillin at
   the end of the day -- among other sources).  We do not wear Tefillin for
   the entire day because we feel that AS A SOCIETY, we are unable to ensure
   adequate "bodily care" in terms of the halachot of Guf Naki.  A reaction to
   this "problem" was to rule that Tefillin should be worn for a minimum time
   ONLY by those absolutely required to wear them to minimize the issue of
   Guf NAki and Tefffilin.  The effect of this ruling is that MEN only wear
   Tefillin for the minimum time of Tefilla in the A.M. and women (who are
   not obligated) do not wear them at all.
2. Re Tum'ah and a Sefer Torah,  While I do not think that it is directly
   germane to the issue, it should be noted that there IS a difference be-
   tween "tum'ah ha'yotzet migufo" -- Tum'ah that comes out of one's body
   (e.g., Nidda or Zav) vs. Tum'at Maga -- tum'ah that is based upon contact
   (e.g., touching a dead body).  The former is almost always regarded as
   "worse" than the latter.



From: Chaim Sacknovitz <chaim@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 1994 13:01:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Women and Misheberachs 

In ordere to solve the problem of women asking for a Misheberach or the 
issue of Tircha D'tzibua,  the custom is our minyan is for all those who 
need to recite a Misheberach to rise (men and women) amd recite a common 
text, inserting the name of the person who is sick.  This seems most fair 
to both men and women and is also very efficeint.


From: Anthony Fiorino <fiorino@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 13:42:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Women and Sifrei Torah

See R. Avi Weiss' article in Tradition entitled "Women and Sifrei Torah"
or something similar; this article is basically reprinted in his book
(published by Ktav, Hoboken NJ) entitled _Women and Prayer_.  I would
hesitate to say that the custom of not allowing women to dance with
sifei Torah is ceratinly *not* universal in New York City; I know
several large shuls where this is done (KJ and The Jewish Center for

Eitan Fiorino


From: <richa@...> (Brigitte Saffran)
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 94 20:53:37 EET
Subject: Women and the Study of Torah

> From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
> I notice that a number of people take as axiomatic that until the chafetz
> chaim's ruling (based on the negative influence of modern society) there
> was no torah education for women.....
> ....I think also it should be pointed out that although clearly the man's
> learning has always taken precedence which has led to very little
> learning on the part of women in poor communities in wealthy communities
> (historically) it seems clear that women learned - privately - but they
> learned.

If anyone is interested in reading an *exceptional* book on women and Torah
study from an historical and halachic point of view, I highly recommend 
'And All Your children Shall be Learned' by Shoshana Pantel Zolty, (Aaronson
Press, 1993). 					-Brigitte Saffran


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 94 11:20 IST
Subject: women and the workplace

>not bring ourselves into yihud - men being alone with women. Thus,
>for example, a single man is not allowed to teach even boys, lest he
>come into contact with the mothers who bring them to school (Qiddushin
>82a, Rambam H. Issurei Bi'a 22:13). It is noteworthy how that Rambam

>Similarly the Torah discourages a man from doing business with women,
>unless his wife is with him (ibid., ibid. 22:8). According to Rashi on

The examples brought are restrictions on the man, not on the woman.  A MAN
should not work where he comes in contact with women.  There is no
restriction on the woman whatsoever.

Why would a mother bring her son to school ?  The mitzva of teaching a son
torah is on the father and not on the mother.  Shouldn't the mother remain
at home, inside the house and not go out to where she might meet the married
man who teaches her son ?  Obviously there is no problem whatsoever with
the possibilities of mothers meeting a MARRIED teacher.


From: Heather Luntz <luntz@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 1994 19:46:13 -40975532 (EST)
Subject: Women and the Workplace

> >From: Shaul Wallach <F66204@...>

> Or because we feel discontent staying home and seek status in
> professional careers? I think the message of the Torah is quite clear
> - that even "professional interaction" between men and women is
> something that should be avoided in the first place. Note again that
> I'm not telling all the women to quit their jobs and run right home. I
> I do think, though, that we should be more imaginative in exploiting
> modern technology to allow a woman who must pursue a career to do so in
> such a way as to minimize the risks involved. And last, but not least,
> men should show their wives more affection and appreciation for their
> home roles so that discontent should not become a motive for seeking
> satisfaction outside the home at the expense of their modesty.

I note in this passage that in order to avoid professional
interaction, Shaul is suggesting that women should be the
one's that quit their job, or work from home.  But one of the differences
between the time of Chazal (or really any time before the last 30 odd
years) an now is that in previous times, it was relatively rare for a
woman to go out, and one who did so was unusual. However, take, for
example, the law firm I work in in Melbourne, Australia. It is a large,
non-Jewish city law firm, and I would venture to say not untypical of a
professional environment. Of the people who work for the firm, roughly 60%
are women and only 40% men. The reason for this is  - although 2/3 of the
lawyers are male and only 1/3 female, 100% of the secretarial staff,
librarians, human resources etc are women. The projections for the firm
are that, if anything, it is likely to become more female over the next
few years, as many of the senior lawyers were hired at a time when a firm
like this didn't take women (the firm got its first female partner 7 years
ago, now there are 7). On the other hand there are no plans, as far as I
know to find a male secretary. So reasonable predictions would estimate
that the firm will have a 75% female staffing within the next few years. If
all the frum women were to stay home, it is unlikely to change the ratio
very much, a frum man in a professional career will still encounter
significant numbers of women, requiring angelic standards. On the other
hand, given the feminisation of the workforce, it is far easier for a
frum woman to limit contact with men in a situation like this (for example, in
the little area where I work, there are 8 women and 2 men located - 4
female lawyers, 2 male ones, and 4 secretaries). Maybe in the light of
modern patterns, in order to minimise mingling of the sexes, it would be
more appropriate for men to stay home than to go into professional careers
like law and medicine (where I imagine similar ratios would apply -
increasing female doctors, mostly female nurses and more female patients
given numbers, life expectency and the greater willingness of women to
consult doctors) or avail themselves of modern technology.




From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Oct 1994 09:46:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Women carrying Sifrei Torah

I have been told in the name of Rav Yosef Dov Soloveichik A"H -- from the 
person who heard it directly from him -- that there is nothing wrong with 
a woman carrying a Sefer Torah -- HOWEVER -- he (The Rav) does not 
recommend starting a whole issue by giving women Sifrei Torah to carry.



From: <engelson@...> (Shlomo Engelson)
Date: Sun, 9 Oct 1994 17:54:01 +0300
Subject: Re: Women Dancing with Sefer Torah

>  >From: <eisen@...> (Mark Eisen)
>  I have 2 questions:
>     (1) Are women permitted to dance with a SEFER TORAH?

According to R. Whitman, Rav of the Young Israel of New Haven and a
musmach of Ner Yisroel, the answer is an unequivocal yes.  However,
whether or not this is done in any individual synagogue must be left
up to the members.



From: Alan Mizrahi <amizrahi@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 06:12:17 EDT
Subject: Women, Torah and Tefillin

Some questions were asked recently about women wearing tefillin and carrying
the Torah.  As far as tefillin go, I understand that women should be 
discouraged from wearing tefillin, but should be allowed if they want to.  
Rashi's daughters wore tefillin.  Thinking about this made me think of some 
more questions:

1) If a woman decides to wear tefillin, does it become a chiyuv (obligation)
   for her to wear them every day?  Would she need a hatarat nedarim 
   (annulment of vows) to stop?

2) Would she wear them during nidah?

Women carrying the Torah would IMHO, in theory, depend on whether a Torah is
mekabel tumaa.  I heard this question brought up recently and no one present
knew the answer.  I say "in theory" because since men are not tahor (pure)
nowadays, tumaa (impurity) from women should not be an issue.

- -Alan Mizrahi 

------- End of Forwarded Message


End of Volume 15 Issue 70