Volume 15 Number 79
                       Produced: Tue Oct 18  0:32:35 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Courtyards etc.
         [Danny Skaist]
More on non-observant-friendly appliances
         [Arthur Roth]
Repeating word/phrases
         [David Kohl]
Sex Education
         [Adina Sherer]
Stoves & strolls
         [Elliott Hershkowitz]
The handicapped
         [Zvi Weiss]
Torah and the Disabled
         [Jeremy Nussbaum]


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 94 14:12 IST
Subject: Courtyards etc.

>Shaul Wallach
>     In another posting I have tried to show that the Shabbat peace the
>Netzi"v wrote about was one that is celebrated within the confines of
>one's house or courtyard, and does not involve compromising the modest
>woman's virtue of staying at home. In this posting I would like to

I have never seen a "courtyard" in Bnei Brak.  I have seen some in
Jerusalem and they are exactly as Rashi describes them (Baba Basra,
third parek). The courtyard permits a woman to get out of the house,
without going out into the street, and engage in some adult
conversation, while at the same time keeping an eye on her front door,
and listening to hear if the baby wakes up, if the kids are fighting or
if the phone rings.  It is not a restriction on women but a right. How
is one permitted to live an a house that does not have a courtyard, and
thereby deny his wife this right ?  The only substitute for the
"courtyard" in the apartment houses in Bnei Brak is the stairway.

>*  Women should not not walk or stand together in such a way that
>   men cannot pass by without passing between two women. In
>   particular, women should not stand and talk in stairways.

You may not push aside a custom that Jewish women have engaged in,
without any complaints from religous authorities, since the time of the
gemorrah, just to make it a bit more comfortable for some men to walk in
and out of buildings.  This is wrong.

>water) during Sukkot. Today, however, it is an almost universally
>accepted custom that women attend services on Shabbat and holidays. But
>this does not mean that we can grant these altered customs any power in
>halacha to mandate further changes or leniencies that our Rabbis did not

Universal acceptance by women of halachic obligations and chumros are
all over the shulchan orach.  From hearing shofar on rosh hashana to
mustard size blood stains.  We have always respected them and accepted
them into halacha.



From: <rotha@...> (Arthur Roth)
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 10:34:09 -0500
Subject: More on non-observant-friendly appliances

>From Paul Rodbell (<prodbell@...>) MJ15:63:

> There is a solution to one of the previously mentioned
> problems. Sub-Zero refrigerators and freezers do have a fan switch which
> activates when the door is opened or closed. What actually happens is
> that switch prevents the fan from coming on while the door is open. The
> fan itself does not operate unless the temperature inside the
> refrigerator or freezer calls for cooling.  One may open or close the
> door several times and never cause the fan to come on at all. But if the
> fan does try to come on, and one is opening the door, it will stop the
> fan at that time while the door is open.
> The solution: (assuming one is handy, and is willing to possibly waive
> the warranty) is to by-pass the fan permanently so that it may operate
> at any time (even with the door open), or install a switch which one
> must remember to use before Shabbos or Yom Tov. This switch would only
> temporarily bypass the fan switch. Since the only damage done by
> permanently bypassing the switch is a minute amount of wasted energy,
> that is the better solution of the two. By the way, many Sub-Zero

  1. The Subzero technical person I spoke to told me that the defrost
cycle is activated by a timer on the compressor, i.e., it defrosts once
every so many hours (72, I think, but not sure) of compressor operation.
This is based on tests that show what the range is for a "normal" rate
of ice build-up.  He was worried that if I bypassed the fan switch
(especially on a humid day), the fan would bring in lots of moisture
from outside the frig, causing ice build-up around the coils to occur
much more quickly than usual.  Thus, there would be much more ice
build-up between defrostings than the engineers who designed the
appliance anticipated, causing the compressor to work harder and less
efficiently, thereby shortening the overall life the appliance (major
problem for such an expensive machine) and using more energy (much less
worrisome).  He didn't think that the defrost cycle, once activated,
would be too short to completely eliminate the larger than anticipated
volume of ice, but he also couldn't guarantee me that this wouldn't be a
problem as well.
  2. You don't need to install a switch to temporarily bypass the fan
switch.  Except for the difficulties mentioned above, taping the fan
switch each week would suffice.
  3. I don't believe it is correct that the fan runs only during periods
of cooling (i.e., compressor operation).  If this were true, many poskim
would permit ignoring the whole problem on the grounds that the
compressor operates less than half the time, so that MOST times you open
the door, you will NOT be turning off the fan.  Unfortunately, unless I
am badly misinformed, the only time the fans (in both the frig and
freezer) stop running, other than when the door is opened, is during the
defrost cycle, which is only a very small percentage of the time.


From: David Kohl <DKOHL@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 1994 07:11:47 PDT
Subject: Repeating word/phrases

A discussion has broken out in our Young Israel synagogue regarding 
the baal tefeillah repeating words or phrases during the davening.  
Some in the congregation say that words may never be repeated 
(particularly in the repetition of the Amidah) and others say that 
such is allowed.  What is the background for the ruling one way or 
the other?     Thank you.

David Kohl


From: <adina@...> (Adina Sherer)
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 94 23:57:54 IDT
Subject: Sex Education

This might be out of date because I'm very behind in my mail, but -

In reply to Jerry Altzman:
> I am indeed surprised, given the number of children our children (our
> collective children) see coming (i.e. pregnant women) that they (the
> existing children) do not start asking *earlier* about "where babies
> come from" etc.
> Why are we waiting until 10 to start this? Is there a compelling Torah
> reason of which I am not aware (I am serious here)? Do none of our
> children see our wives pregnant?

Of course they do.  If anything, I would guess that children in the
religious world have MUCH more exposure to 'the facts of life' than in
the standard middle class secular world.  The story of finding a baby
under a cabbage leaf would not sell around here.  And I think that's a
strong advantage.  It makes having babies, and discussing them, a much
more natural part of life and conversation, as opposed to this big
silent mystery that one day must be covered in one massive, awkward
lecture.  But it's one thing to simply answer questions as they come up,
and something else to cover the complete subject, from beginning to end,
fitting all the pieces together.  You yourself said that you didn't
really 'get' the original anatomy lesson.  I've been honestly answering
all my kids' questions as they come up, and we use the correct terms for
everything ( I was raised that way too ).  But I think that it's
reasonable to wait for 8 or 9 or 10 (depending on the kid) to have a
quiet little talk with pictures or whatever to tie it all together.  And
then the kids are better able to understand some of the attitude, in
terms of 'tznius' and discretion and why I wouldn;t want them sitting
around telling dirty jokes with their classmates.



From: <eeh@...> (Elliott Hershkowitz)
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 94 11:18:09 EDT
Subject: Stoves & strolls


A quick scan of our 1992 Sweet's Catalogues finds a Hotpoint RGB524PN
listed as a suitably low tech stove.  No electric anything including
pilot lights.  Seems that this is the model we have at home.  The oven
has a Robertshaw thermostat -sealed capillary- I know because I had to
replace it eruv Pesach after a too vigorous cleaning.


The past week's Der Yid, Oct. 7, '994, had an interesting story in the
parsha of the week column by A. B. Mandel.  Your local library may not
have Der Yid so, here is a rough translation.

A misnagdish rabbi once came to the Belzer Rov, R. Yissachar Dov Rokach
A'H, complaining that the Belzer chassidim in his town were not very
respectful towards him.  R. Yissachar asked if he new why.  The misnagid
said, "Yes, they sieze on the fact that I walk with my wife.  I "have
looked in many sources and can't find any prohibition of this."

The Belzer Rov saw the problem at once and explained to the misnagid:

In parshas Noach (VI, 13) Noach is told to enter the ark 'you, your
children and your wife.'

After the waters recede he is given permission to exit the ark 'you,
your wife and your children (VIII, 16).'

Remembering the past, he actually leaves 'himself, his children and his
wife (VIII, 18).'

This is related as having happened before WW I but, I have heard the
"Shabbos afternoon stroll when you should be in shul listening to the
Rebbe" argument raised on several occasions as a sign of bad practices.



From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 1994 12:13:21 -0400
Subject: The handicapped

If Shaul Wallach does not have any idea about "need for access", I would
suggest that he reconsider what Mikva must be like for a handicapped
woman....  I also fail to understand how he equates Me'ah Shearim and
Boro Park in terms of Tech. advancement... While I do not know about
Me'ah She'arim, I see no reason to assume that Boro Park is not
Tech. advanced...  Not long ago the community in East Brunswick, NJ
completed a Mikva which has "handicapped access"... East Brunswick is
not THAT far away from BP....

In general, I think that there is another issue.  I believe that the
Torah is, indeed, sensitive to ALL... but I also suspect that we tend to
become "dulled" in certain areas -- and it takes a "kick in the pants"
from the outside to "remind" us that we must be sensitive and caring....
For example, my sister in Har Nof pointed out a few years ago that when
some much needed legislation to help parents of "exceptional children"
(and the children, themselves) was introduced in K'nesset -- there were
NO Agudah/Degel/Shas co-sponsors...  Apparently, because some Meretznik
thought up the bill, the frum parties would not/could not "be a party"
to this measure NO MATTER HOW GOOD and proper it was.....  It is
incidents like the above that cause others to say that we need the
influence of an outside ethic... I do not believe that we need such an
influence -- BUT as long as we forget to absorb ALL the lessons of the
Torah, Hashem will continue to provide us with those "outside ethics" to
remind us of what the Torah, itself teaches us -- whcih we sometimes



From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 94 11:04:48 EDT
Subject: Torah and the Disabled

> >From: Shaul Wallach <F66204@...>
>      I find it hard to understand you here. By "outside ethic" here,
> do you have in mind the idea that a "need for access" is a legitimate
> right that should be provided to the disabled? What "accomodations"
> and "access-providing leniencies" do you have in mind? And aren't the
> accomodations dependent on the availability of technology? Surely
> Boro Park and Mea She`arim are not the most technologically advanced
> places in the world. I would be indebted for a concrete example that
> illustrates the "influence of an outside ethic on halacha" as you say.

How about wheelchair ramps to and in Shul?  That does not require

>  While I am unfamiliar with the attitude of halacha
> towards the disabled - save for the Mishna in Shabbat (6:8) which
> has both stringencies and leniencies - I would like to stress that,
> in general, Jewry has always excelled in caring for its poor and the
> ill far better than the surrounding cultures. Just look, for
> example, at the number of Jewish doctors in any country. Or at the
> proliferation of free loan societies and organizations like Hatzala,
> Ezer Mizion, Ezra Lamarpe, Yad Sara, and so on. I'm not talking
> about the level of the technology, but rather about the importance
> of providing social services, like Gemilat Hasadim (acts of
> kindness), Biqqur Holim (visiting the ill), etc. that are recognized
> as great mizwot in our culture.  Shalom, Shaul

An excellent point.  However, there is indeed very little in
traditional sources about enabling physically and mentally handicapped
people to participate in Jewish life, and in general the observant Jewish
community in America has lagged behind the general community in e.g.
providing special education to students who need it, or special access
to community facilities for those who need it.  This is not meant to
take away from the point made above, that Jews have traditionally valued
taking very good care of the sick and poor.

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)


End of Volume 15 Issue 79