Volume 15 Number 74
                       Produced: Sun Oct 16 10:09:59 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Eruv and Checking
         [Michael Broyde]
         [David Steinberg]
Eruvim and Watches (3)
         [Stephen Phillips, David Steinberg, Shimon Schwartz]
Jewish law on privacy
         [Ellis Weinberger]
New-Fangled Locks
         [Seth Ness]
Not Wearing a Watch on Shabbat
         [Alan Stadtmauer]
Religious Discrimination
         [David Lee Makowsky]
Silver Cord, Golden Bowl
         [Barry Friedman]
Watch wearing on shabas
         [Bobby Fogel]


From: Michael Broyde <RELMB@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 94 13:52:50 EDT
Subject: Eruv and Checking

There has been some discussion as to whether an eruv is considered "up"
or "down" when it has not been checked.  This divides into two issues.
The first is a case where the eruv has been checked, but merely you do
not know the correct answer.  Since in almost all cases this is
something which can be readily checked with ease (by calling the eruv
number) it is prohibited to rely on the presumption, sice a general rule
of halacha is that one may not rely on a presumption if one can easily
check.  In the case of the eruv that has not been checked for whatever
reason, it appears to me that this depends on the eruv.  if every week
the eruv needs some repair, absent checking and repair, it may not be
assumed "up." If this is an eruv that normally requires no repair so
that for the last three weeks it has been "up" without repair, one could
carry in the eruv.  This is a general application of the rules of
chazaka and for more on this, see the excellent Encyclopedia Talmudit
article on chazaka.


From: David Steinberg <dave@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 1994 10:46:13 +0100
Subject: Eruvim

In mj 15#66 Ezra quotes a Chasam Sofer that strongly vaildates public Eruvim.
I personally hold by such eruvim.  And I am not familiar with that 
teshuva.  Nevertheless, I'd like to raise certain points.

1.  In small communities in Europe, eruvim were neccessities.  Food was 
kept hot at the bakery; people took their own seforim to shul etc.  Not 
to disparage the validity of women getting out with their children, but 
today having an eruv is nice -- maybe even very nice -- but not necessary.

2.  In certain places there are real questions of Reshus HaRabim D'Oraiso 
- biblically prohibited Public Spaces.  Those issues just didn't exist 
two hundred years ago.

3.  While introducing a kosher eruv certainly has a salutary effect on 
families, I can't help but notice the post-bar-mitzvah boys playing 
football in the streets on shabbos.  

4.  Does the Chasam Sofer urge towns to build an eruv or people to carry 
where an eruv exists.  I suspect that he urges towns to have an eruv.  
Individuals thaen have latitude as to how to behave.  You don't have to 
do something because its Mutar - permissable.  Certainly, taking a 
position that one only carries, in reliance of an public eruv, when it is 
urgent is understandable.

I also understand that certain contemporary poskim have taken positions 
that public eruvim are problematic because we don't have classic 
Chatzerim - courtyards.  I don't understand how the US differs from 
prewar Europe but I wouldn't dismiss the position out-of-hand.

Dave Steinberg


From: <stephenp@...> (Stephen Phillips)
Subject: Eruvim and Watches

> >From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
> Some other comments, though -- Dave Steinberg writes:
> > I have also routinized myself 
> > to wearing a watch on shabbos.  And I've forgotten to take off the watch 
> > when visiting a non-eruv community.
> Perhaps I'm wrong, but it was my impression that not wearing a watch 
> on Shabbat had to do with the spirit of the day itself, not with a 
> prohibition against carrying. I believe jewelry can be worn without 
> it being considered carrying.

I happened to deal with this very topic in my weekly Shabbos Halachah
Shiur, using as my text the Sefer "Shemiras Shabbos KeHilchoso". The
author of this Sefer seems to be of the opinion that it is better not
to wear a watch in the street on Shabbos unless it is the type of
watch (eg. gold) which one would continue wearing even if it stopped
working (then it would indeed be considered to be a piece of
jewellery). But he goes on to say that one should not object to those
who do wear a watch in the street (even an ordinary watch with a
strap not made of gold) as they have opinions on which to rely, in
particular that of Reb Moshe Feinstein z'tzl in Igros Moshe Orach
Chaim I Siman 111. Reb Moshe states that wearing a wrist watch (NOT a
pocket or other type of watch) is permissable, but that a God fearing
person should refrain from doing so and indeed this is what he
instructed his students.

Stephen Phillips

From: David Steinberg <dave@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 09:33:44 +0100
Subject: Eruvim and Watches

Janice Gelb in mj 15#56 questioned the reason why some do not wear a 
watch on Shabbos and posited that the reason might be because wearing a 
watch is not consistent with the spirit of the day.

I believe that it is in fact a question of carrying on shabbos. 

The question of wearing jewelry on shabbos is addressed in the Gemara 
which concludes that Choshuv - high status - women may wear such pieces 
as they would not take the jewelry off to show to others and thereby 
inadvertently come to carry.

Subsequently, poskim allowed all women to wear jewelry under the 
assumption that all contemporary women are chashuv.

The question regarding a watch is extended because conceivably one would 
remove the watch if the watch stopped working.

There is a good analysis of this in Shemiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa 18:27. 
He posits possible differences between gold watches and everyday 
watches but concludes that one may be lenient and wear an 
everyday watch.  (The notes in the Hebrew edition give a good set 
of references)  Rav Moshe also permitted wearing a watch though 
advising that it was worth being machmir (Igros Moshe AH 111)

Note also that poskim are more machmir - stringent - in general about men 
wearing jewelry on shabbos.

That relates back to my own practice of wearing a watch in a community 
that has a good eruv and preferring not to wear one  when I'm without an 

Dave Steinberg

From: <schwartz@...> (Shimon Schwartz)
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 12:28:03 +0500
Subject: Eruvim and Watches

I remember reading an opinion (Sh"Shabbat keHilcheta?) that an issue arises
if the watch malfunctions: one might come to take it off and carry it.
The consequence is that, absent an eruv, one should only wear a watch that 
is so beautiful that one would wear it even if it were to stop working.


From: <eaw94@...> (Ellis Weinberger)
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 20:26:41 +0100
Subject: Jewish law on privacy

Hello, my name is Ellis Weinberger, and I am a Jewish Msc. student at the 
University of Wales, Aberystwyth. I am looking for sources on the Jewish 
laws relating to privacy, since my dissertation will be on the tension 
between the individuals wish for privacy, and the groups wish for 
information on the individual, either to help the group manage itself or to 
help the group protect itself. I am looking for actual decisions of Batei 
Din, or other accepted rulings, halacha lema'aseh.
Thank you.
or <eweinberger@...>


From: Seth Ness <ness@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 1994 13:46:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: New-Fangled Locks

When columbia university wanted to install a new locking system in all the
dorms, they checked with the rabbi there. Instead of an electrical system
which they had been planning, they went with a completely mechanical one,
using the swiss cheese credit card type of key, where the pins slide into
the holes. there is no problem on shabbat with that kind of key and lock.

Seth L. Ness                         Ness Gadol Hayah Sham


From: Alan Stadtmauer <stadt@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 22:19:19 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Not Wearing a Watch on Shabbat

Jerrald Landau recently wondered what not wearing a watch has to do with 
the spirit of Shabbat:
> How can not wearing a watch have help the spirit of the day.
> One can be out on a walk and miss mincha, a shiur, etc., if one is not
> wearing a watch. 

Such has been my personal practice for a number of years and I
find that not wearing a watch enhances my Shabbat significantly. My
weekday experience is strongly controlled by the clock. My work, teaching,
means living in 42 minute slots of existence.  Even during free time, I
meet people and do things at specific times. My watch is absolutely

A few years ago I decided that Shabbat should be different so I stopped
wearing my watch. The result has been pleasant Shabbat meals which can go
on for however long the conversation lasts. I don't (can't) watch the
minutes during the Rabbi's drasha nor get concerned about lunchtime. My
Shabbat time is measured mainly by subjective experience. This, of course,
has meant too many Friday night dinners which ended very late and plenty
of naps curtailed due to lack of time before mincha.  But, then again,
maybe that was the point. Shiurim or minyan occassionally present
problems, but one's intuitions usually suffice for this. (To be honest,
even during the week I'm always late, so it's not a function of the
missing watch.)

Finally, one can leave one's watch on the dresser without it taking on
halakhic proportions or the status of a neder (vow): When time _is_
critical, as when I'm running a Shabbaton and people depend on me or 
simply out on a walk, it's easy enough to put the watch back on. 

In retrospect, I find that the biggest enhancement to Shabbat spirit is
removing the watch.  And if anyone tries it and finds it difficult to do
-- that's probably the best argument _for_ the practice :-)

Alan Stadtmauer


From: <dlm@...> (David Lee Makowsky)
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 1994 00:07:16 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Religious Discrimination

	I want to relate something that just happened to me.  The other
day, I went for a job interview at Motorola.  The interview seemed to go
well.  Today (two days after the interview) the headhunter told me that
I was "shot down" because of my inability to work on shabbos.

	The head hunter told me he had informed the people involved of
my need to have the Jewish holidays off before the interview was ever
even scheduled, and he told me that seemed ok with them, but I guess
they never realized that I would need every Saturday off.

	This surprised me for three reasons.  One, that a company such
as Motorola would allow this sort of thing to happen.  Two, I know some
religious Jews who work for Motorola (in other division).  And lastly,
how could they not know an Orthodox Jew would need Saturdays off?

	Anyways, I would like some suggestions if at all possibe.  A
lawsuit is not an option, nor is any thing that is likely to trigger
publicity, since my current employer would almost certainly fire me.
And I do not want to cause a fuss at Motorola, since I would like to
work for them one day (albeit in a different division).  Also, I do not
want to work for this particular division anyways.  They have already
told me they do not want me.

	I also have some questions.  Should I have handled things
differently?  Were my expectations unreasonable?  Should I not have ever
mentioned my religious needs?

	Any help would be appreciated.



From: Barry Friedman <friedman@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 1994 23:23:18 -0400 
Subject: Silver Cord, Golden Bowl 

A phrase in Koheles (Ecclesiastes) which was recently read caught
my eye and I wondered if anyone had some explanation of the meaning.

The Stone chumash translates it as follows:

12    So remember your Creator in the days of your youth, ...

12.6  Before the silver cord snaps, and the golden bowl is shattered,
and the pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel is smashed at
the pit.  Thus the dust returns to the ground, as it was, and the spirit
returns to G-d Who gave it.  

Barry Friedman                          


From: <bobby@...> (Bobby Fogel)
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 13:18:31 +0000
Subject: Watch wearing on shabas 

On the issue of wearing watches on shabat, I for one, do not wear
a watch since, For Me, it helps keep the spirit of shabat.  All
week long, i am running and keeping to schedules and so on.  The
only schedule i want to keep on shabas is Maariv,
Shacharis, Mincha-Maariv + the various shiurim my Rav gives.
These are important enough that I don't need to rely
on a watch to keep on schedule.  I came to do so, not from observing
others, but from my own needs.  It helps me.  Try it!



End of Volume 15 Issue 74