Volume 16 Number 11
                       Produced: Wed Oct 26 21:47:51 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Eruv and Handicapped
         [Abraham Lebowitz]
         [Zvi Weiss]
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Modern Orthodox... What is it?
         [Dmitry Khaikin]
         [Andrew Greene]
         [Warren Burstein]
Shalom Carmy and Marc Shapiro on Gedolim & the Opera
         [Marc Shapiro and Shalom Carmy]
Thanksgiving (2)
         [Avi Feldblum, Akiva Miller]
         [Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer]


From: <aileb@...> (Abraham Lebowitz)
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 1994 02:46:46 +0200
Subject: Re: Eruv and Handicapped

There have been recent threads dealing with eruv and with handicapped
people.  I am not sure to which the following belongs.

My grandfather, OBM, was from Ungvar (now Uzhgorod) the city in which
Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried, the author of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch was born
and where he was Av Bet Din.  When I was a small boy my grandfather told
me that when he was a small boy Rabbi Ganzfried was old and infirm and
had to be carried to shul on something (a stretcher, chair, bed).  As
this has to have been more than a century ago the details are not clear.
At the time that my grandfather told me this Idid not know enough to ask
whether there was an eruv in Ungvar or exactly how this was arranged.
Does anyone else have any information on this?  I am fairly sure that
the story did refer to shabbat and that Rabbi Ganzfried was carried on
something, not just helped to walk.  But I did hear this more than 50
years ago, so my memory might not be accurate.
				Abe Lebowitz


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 13:04:19 -0400
Subject: Halloween

Re Cheryl Hall and the others who think that Halloween and trick-or-treat
is an "OK" thing.  I would STRONGLY urge that these people review the para-
meters of "Chukot Hagoyim".  The Torah appears to prohibit copying customs
of the Goyim that are (a) religious in nature/origin or (b) are "chukim" in
the sense that they are arbitrary without any rational reason.  I do not
believe that this posting is suitable for a full-blown discussion of this
matter BUT it is certainly not trivial and certainly a matter that one should 
most absolutely CYLOR rahter than decide for one's self what is clearly a
halachic matter.



From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 10:19:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Haloween

:All Hallows (hallowed or holy) Eve. In Pre-Christian Britain, Oct. 31 
:was the eve of New Year, when the souls of the dead were thought to 
:revisith their homes. After it became a Christian festival[,] supernatural
:        It sounds like a silly holiday to me, but it certainly IS
:(according to my source) a religious holiday.

No. it certainly WAS a religious holiday. 

At some point it was religious; nowadays, it is arguably just a stupidity.
How many Christians in this country go to Church on Haloween -- I mean 
Haloween and not All Saints Day of course. Is throwing eggs and toilet 
paper the 'avodah' of the religious holiday of the Christians?


From: Dmitry Khaikin <dkhaikin@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 1994 00:41:49 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Modern Orthodox... What is it?

I would just like to ask a simple question: What is modern orthodox? I
have heard this term several times and have no idea what that means... Who
would people call "a modern orthodox"? Is this reffering to (as much as I
hate to use these definitions...) "kipah srugah"? Would Yeshiva University
be called modern orthodox?

Thank you,
Yaakov Yisrael Khaikin.


From: <Andrew_Marc_Greene@...> (Andrew Greene)
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 16:02 -0400
Subject: Re: Opera

I don't think the problem with opera is the singing per se, but rather with 
the "loose morals" that one finds in many theatre and dance groups 
(especially those that invlove lots of physical contact with members of the 
opposite sex and quick backstage costume changes (and sometimes even unisex 
changing areas!)), and with acting out pagan rituals (eg Aida, Dido and 
Aeneas, Rite of Spring), deities (eg Wagner's "Ring" cycle, Faust, Orphee), 
or wanton, adulterous, or incestuous sex (eg Carmen, Don Giovanni, or Wagner 

- Andrew


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 06:39:23 GMT
Subject: Re: Racism

Michael Broyde writes:

>I am not convinced -- by any means -- that all abortions acceptable to
>halacha are mandated by it.

The only halachically acceptable abortion that I know of is one where
the mother's health is at risk.  Is not one obligated to have an
abortion under such circumstances?

 |warren@         an Anglo-Saxon." -- Stuart Schoffman
/ nysernet.org


From: Marc Shapiro and Shalom Carmy
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 18:00:59 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Shalom Carmy and Marc Shapiro on Gedolim & the Opera

[This posting is put together from a few back and forth email
messages. Mod] 

Shalom writes:

I don't know of any text in which R. Aharon Lichtenstein prohibited 
listening to opera. In an interview published in *Ha-Isha ve-Hinnukhah*, 
he indicates that certain professions are inappropriate for women, and 
refers (as I recall) to various aspects of the arts. As I recall the 
objection was entirely to the social milieu rather than to artistic 
activity itself. I hope that Marc Shapiro, who first raised the issue, 
can clarify it.

R Hutner, who was one of R. Lichtenstein's teachers, was an opera lover. 
This is noted in Hillel Goldberg's *From Berlin to Jerusalem.* (or at 
least in the draft of the R Hutner chapter that I saw).

The above is not meant to indicate that attendance at the opera is 
without halakhic problems (e.g. Kol Isha). This is a separate 
subject. Offhand, however, it is not the singer who transgresses, but the 
men who come to hear her. And since these men would presumably attend the 
opera anyway, the female singer would not be liable for *lifnei ivver* 
(=aiding and abetting a transgression).

Marc replies:

	My quote was from his article in Ha-Peninah. I am not sure
whether or not this is the same as the article you refer to from
Ha-Ishah ve-Hinnukhah, but if the article mentions that he would
discourage women from going into ballet and opera it probably is the
same one. (I never said anything about listening to opera, only re.
going into it as a career) Furthermore,I never said that R. Lichtenstein
forbid men going into the opera. I speculated that presumably he would
discourage it. (Note that he never even says it is forbidden for women
to do this. He uses much more delicate language saying that it should
not be encouraged) The reason I speculated as such was because it is at
least plausible that the social milleu is just as bad for men as for
women. Furthermore, a male opera singer will of necessity be forced to
listen to women singing. Presumably this is a violation of kol isha. I
similarly suggested that R.  Lichtenstein would not encourage men to go
into ballet for the same reason, namely that it could be in possible
violation of certain halakhot (e. g. negiah).


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 94 12:29:51 EDT
Subject: Thanksgiving

Before any people send further submissions on this topic, I would
suggest reading the following:

	Thanksgiving [v5n20, v5n23-v5n24, v5n26, v5n28, v5n36]
	Thanksgiving/Halloween [v5n19]
	Thanksgiving/ Rosh Chodesh [v5n27]
	Thanksgiving and other Celebrations [v5n20]
	Thanksgiving and Tachanun [v5n32]
	Thanksgiving and Turkeys [v5n41]
	Thanksgiving thoughts [v5n27]

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator

From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 12:19:09 -0400
Subject: Thanksgiving

In issue 16:04, Yitzchok Adlerstein <ny000594@...> writes:

>Without opening a whole new can of worms, some readers will
>recall that this is one of the objections (yes, I know there are
>counterarguments, but that's missing my point!)  Rav Moshe zt"l had to
>turkey on Thanksgiving.  He reportedly found both the insistence on
>turkey on the menu, as well as picking one particular day to give thanks
>to G-d for our freedoms in America, as arbitrary enough to be covered by
>this injunction.  And this in spite of R' Moshe's well documented
>feeling that American Jews ought to feel and express much gratitude to
>their host country.  (For more on Thanksgiving, check the old article by
>R Zvi Teichman in the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society.)

It sounds to me like Rabbi Adlerstein is prepared for "counterarguments"
from other poskim and other sources, while he is confident that R Moshe
Feinstein objected to " picking one particular day to give thanks".

Rather than quote what R Moshe zt'l "reportedly" said, let's read and
learn what he actually published, in the Igros Moshe, volume 2 of Even
Haezer, Siman 13, Paragraph 3. I will give the entire paragraph. It is
not being taken out of context - all four paragraphs of this particular
responsa are on different subjects, all adressed to a single
individual. Please feel free to comment if you object to the translation

"Regarding making some kind of simcha on non-Jewish religious holidays
(b'ymei ayd [alef-yud-daled] shel hanochrim im hu mitzad emunasam), if
it is deliberately because it's a holiday, then it is totally forbidden
(assur midina), and if it is not deliberately so, then it should be
forbidden (yesh le'esor) because of appearances (maaris haayin). A
mitzva celebration (seudas mitzva) such as a bris or a pidyon haben
should be made even on their holidays, because maaris haayin is not
grounds to forbid an obligatory celebration (seuda ha'mchuyeves). But it
would be good to delay a bar mitzva celebration (seuda) to another
day. And even a wedding should preferably (l'chatchila) be set for
another date. The first day of their year, and similarly (v'chen)
Thanksgiving (R Moshe transliterated it; there can be no argument which
day he means), are not totally forbidden (ayn le'esor midina) but those
who are careful (baalei nefesh) should be strict."

I see four different situations described here, and a halacha for each one:
A) Making a holiday meal, specifically in honor of the holiday --- this is
totally forbidden
B) Making a fancy meal, but not specifically in honor of the holiday --- this
is forbidden because of maaris haayin
C) Making a seudas mitzva (mitzvah meal), for a mitzva which cannot be
rescheduled --- make it on the proper day; this cannot be forbidden on
grounds of maaris haayin
D) Making a seudas mitzva, for a mitzva which can be rescheduled ---
preferable to schedule it for a different day

Regarding New Year's and Thanksgiving, however, "they are not totally
forbidden, but a baal nefesh should be strict". Which one(s) of these
four cases is Rav Moshe modifying? Clearly, he holds these two holidays
to be less objectionable than other holidays.

Is he modifying situation D? I doubt it. If a Bar Mitzva were to fall on
Easter, it is preferable but not required to celebrate it some other
day.  That's same halacha as he is giving for Thanksgiving, so where is
the extra leniency?

Is he modifying situation C? Not possible. If a bris comes out on
Easter, then that's when it must be held. R Moshe would not tell a baal
nefesh to be strict if it fell on Thanksgiving instead.

Let's now compare A and B. The only difference I see is that A is
totally forbidden because it constitutes active participation in a
non-Jewish religion, while B constitutes the *appearance* of active
participation in a non-Jewish religion. Both of those are pretty severe
violations. Now, why in the world would R Moshe single out New Years and
Thanksgiving for a special leniency, unless it is because he felt that
they are NOT religious holidays?

"The first day of their year, and similarly Thanksgiving, are not
totally forbidden but those who are careful should be strict."

This is now clear. By saying "they are not totally forbidden", he is
contrasting Thanksgiving to those situations which *are* totally
forbidden, namely case A. Further, by saying that a baal nefesh should
be strict, he implies that ordinary people do *not* have to be strict,
and allowed to make a dinner specifically in honor of
Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a non-Jewish secular holiday, not a
religious one. A secular holiday cannot be prohibited to an ordinary
person, but is inappropriate for a baal nefesh.


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer)
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 18:54:08 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Wifebeating

Joseph Greenberg asks what is more important, the honor of the Terumas
HaDeshen or stopping wife-beating. I fail to see why the reletive
importance is meaningful here!

Of course we must be involved in both Hatzalas Nefashos (saving lives)
and Kavod HaTorah (the glory of our religion).

Are these values mutually exclusive?

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


End of Volume 16 Issue 11