Volume 16 Number 35
                       Produced: Mon Nov  7  0:44:58 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Orthodox Rabbi" of a Conservative Shul
         [Hillel Eli Markowitz]
Benefit of Doubt
         [Zvi Weiss]
Candle lighting time
         [Stanley Weinstein]
         [Harry Weiss]
Inductive Proof
         [Sharon J Hollander]
Nuances in Language
         [Mechael Kanovsky]
Ordering of Events in the Torah
         [Aryeh Blaut]
Permited by Torah; Languages
         [Arnie Kuzmack]
Swearing to tell the truth
         [Claire Austin]
Women & Tefillin
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]


From: <HEM@...> (Hillel Eli Markowitz)
Date: Fri, 04 Nov 1994 00:02:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: "Orthodox Rabbi" of a Conservative Shul

>From: <ntuttle@...> (Norman Tuttle)
> position or that doing this was a positive thing.  Whether or not such
> Heterim exist, and I would be loath to follow them had I the erudition/
> experience/Smicha to be called "Rabbi", it is my opinion that any individual
> who wishes to keep the title of "Orthodox Rabbi" cannot consistently preside
> as spiritual leader of any non-Orthodox congregation and maintain that title.

I think I should point out that there have been successful attempts by an 
Orthodox rabbi to lead non-Orthodox institutions "back into the fold".  
One example that comes to mind is Rabbi Riskin and the Lincoln Square 
Synagogue.  However, I have been told that before he took the position, 
Rabbi Riskin was careful to ask a detailed Shaila and set forth precisely 
what he was going to do, what limits he would set, and what time period 
he would allow.

|  Hillel Eli Markowitz    |     Im ain ani li, mi li?      |
|  <H.E.Markowitz@...>   |   V'ahavta L'raiecha kamocha   |


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 1994 12:07:06 -0400
Subject: Benefit of Doubt

I am indebted to Shaul Wallach for his brief summary of the relevant
principles of "Dan L'Kaf Zechut"...  AS I have noted elsewhere, it is
probably most useful for us to review them in regard to some other
threads that have appeared here.

I have only a couple of clarifications:
1. In regard to the woman, I do not see how there could be ANY doubt that the
   remark (That the divorce is the fault of women) could have FAILED to cause
   pain.  No matter how one analyzes the matter (and Shaul did a good job of
   dissecting the case), it seems utterly inconceiveable that such a state-
   ment should not cause pain -- and a LOT of pain.  In that regard, it seems
   that the ONLY valid "benefit of doubt" could be ignorance -- and therefore,
   I was VERY critical when it appeared that Shaul was trying to mitigate the
   action, ITSELF and not just the person who did this stupid thing.  If, in-
   deed, he is not condoning the action, he should have made that crystal
   clear.  I did not understand his original posting that way.
2. I also raised an issue that he warned about the problems and pain that a
   "careless" practitioner can cause -- yet he did not raise a similar warn-
   ing regarding going to Rabbanim -- i.e., that a Rav -- because of lack of
   expertise could also cause pain, harm, etc.  IT was THIS SELECTIVITY on his
   part that I objected to.  Subsequently, he modified / clarified his state-
   ments on this matter.
3. I asked: "where is coming from" as some of his current pronouncements
   have -- to me -- appeared to be out of touch with what is actually going
   on in the world outside of B'nei B'rak.  At the same time, he appears to
   present a "Haredi" view of matters without adequately analyzing the accura-
   cy of the information.  The particular example was his presentation of the
   idea that the IDF was to be usued as a vehicle to strip "religious obser-
   vance" from people.  While this MIGHT have been true (as a side effect) in 
   the case of people who did not have a good religious foundation, and it
   was PROBABLY true in the case of women (for whom the army has presented 
   VERY serious halachic problems), it does not at all follow that it was
   true for Haredi men who have a solid foundation in Torah.  His presentation
   of this matter thus defamed the IDF (when, in fact, the IDF DOES try to be
   a bit more sensitive to the Religious) AND it also belittled Kavod Hatorah
   -- by describing "Learning Torah" as a way to stay out of the army -- and
   nothing more.....



From: Stanley Weinstein <stanwein@...>
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 1994 22:52:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Candle lighting time

Is there a place on internet that gives the candle lighting times for all 
cities world wide?
stanley weinstein.


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 94 11:39:12 -0700
Subject: Flood

I found Marc Shapiro's posting about the flood upsetting.  If there was
an legitimate basis to question whether the flood actually happened it
would have been discussed thousands of years ago.  This was the case
regarding the book of Job.

It is not a question of being Modern Orthodox vs. non modern.  Denying
the truth to a part of the Torah is denying the Divinity of the Torah
which is absolute K'firah (heresy).  These views are not Orthodox in any
way.  Being Modern Orthodox means fully accepting 100% of the Torah and
Ol Malchut Shamaim (the reign of Heaven), while living as a part of
modern society.

That fact that Shapiro (or I) cannot fully understand all of the facts
behind the flood does not in any way lessen their accuracy.  It just
indicates our lack of knowledge.

I also question whether denying the Truth of any part of the Torah
belongs on this list.



From: Sharon J Hollander <sjh@...>
Date: Thu, 03 Nov 1994 15:10:00 EST
Subject: Re: Inductive Proof

I would like to clarify what constitutes an inductive proof.
In mathematics one might proove that something is true, -a true
relationship or property of all numbers by demonstrating:
1) it is true for "0", or some initial case.
2) if it is true for "n", some number, that it implies it is true
	for "n+1" -i.e. the next number.
As concerns some halachic issue a similar argument might be used.
Possibly the case of ben sorer u'morer is an example, we show
	1)  that he has acted inappropriately (sp) in the past 
	     (by drinking a certain amount of wine and meat etc.)  
	2)  that these activities are selfpromoting, doing it one time
	    causes one to do it the next -
	therefore he will _always_ be like this.
I hope this clarifies the issue a bit.

Sharon Hollander


From: <KANOVSKY@...> (Mechael Kanovsky)
Date: Thu, 03 Nov 1994 17:40:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Nuances in Language

In response to Sam Junis article about nuances in the language, he stated
that emotional nuances are richer in english. That being the case how do
you translate "gila rina ditza ve'chedva" ?


From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 94 23:58:58 -0800
Subject: Re: Ordering of Events in the Torah

Dr. Lasson wrote:
>My question is simply "why not"?  Wouldn't the Torah be more easily
>followed if the evcents appeared in order.  I'm sure that someone
>discusses this.

There is something to be learned by "Smichas Haparshiyos" (the nearness
of the portions) [meaning that something is to be learned by the fact
that "story" or halacha x is followed by "story" or halacha y.

Aryeh Blaut


From: Arnie Kuzmack <kuzmack@...>
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 1994 22:58:14 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Permited by Torah; Languages

Just a few quick, pedantic points.

(1)  Zvi Weiss wrote (in part):
> it is inappropriate for US to state that something the Torah
> explicitly permits is to be considered INTRINSICALLY harmful and/or
> bad.

What about slavery, or the law permitting soldiers to take female
concubines during wartime?

(2) Sam Juni wrote:

>    a. The dearth of detailed Hebrew words in the entire domain of sexuality.

Modern Israeli Hebrew has a full complement of these words, some borrowed 
from Arabic.  If Sam is referring to Biblical Hebrew, we really do not 
know whether these words existed or not.  Since they were mentioned in 
the Tanach, for obvious reasons, we have no way of knowing what men and 
women said to each other at private moments.  It would be hard to believe 
that they were the only people in the history of humanity who did not 
have words for this essential part of life.

>    b. Congruent with the poor marketibility of the "Famous Jewish Sports
>       Heros", there is a lack of specialized Yiddish language vis a vis
>       body parts.  Very few Yiddish speakers know the word for chin, there
>       are no  words for pinkey or thumb, Yiddish speakers generally will
>       not distinguish arm from hand or leg from foot, and there are no sep-
>       erate words for eyebrow vs. eyelash.

Chin: di nombe
Pinky: di mizinik
Thumb: der grober finger
Arm: der orem
Hand: di hant
Eyebrow: di brem
Eyelash: di vie

Leg and foot *are* the same: der fus

>    c. Expressions of different emotions are far richer in English, say, than
>       in Yiddish or Hebrew (I'm not sure about Hebrew, though).  It is
>       worthwhile speculating that these entail cultural implications.  Perhaps
>       living under the gun does not give one the luxury of experiencing
>       nuances of affect.

It's hard to give a brief discussion of this.  Let me simply note that 
Yiddish is generally considered an extremely expressive language.

Arnie Kuzmack


From: Claire Austin <CZCA@...>
Date: Sun, 06 Nov 94 09:47:52 EST
Subject: Swearing to tell the truth

I have been called to testify in court as an expert-witness.  This is a
civil case in a Quebec court (civil code) in Canada where I assume the
situation is similar to that found in other Canadian Provinces (common
law) and in the United States.  I expect that in the jurisdiction in
question it would be uncommon for an observant Jew to be testifying in

When called to testify in court we are asked to place our hand on the
Bible and to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
the truth, so help me G-d.

Why is this not acceptable?  - sources please.

Some people take a Jewish Bible to court for this purpose.  Why is/isn't
this acceptable?

What do the courts allow in the place of the standard oath?

What procedure is used by the lawyer in court to satisfy both the court
and the person who must testify but who will not "swear"?  How is this
done in order to be minimally disruptive of court proceedings.

Claire Austin


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 1994 00:21:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Women & Tefillin

I stated that "the clean body argument lost its force" in the early 20th 
century.  All I meant by this was that people started keeping their 
bodies cleaner.  Thus, to argue that women shouldn't wear tefillin 
because they were physically unclean became less tenable. (Rabbi Berman 
was not shy and mentioned the word Kotex in his talk.)

Disclaimer: The following is all opinion, conjecture,etc.

The idea of guf naki doesn't appear to have started out as a halakhic
concept at all, rather as a midrashic/spiritual thing, in the gemara's
story about Elisha ba'al Kenafayim, to whom a miracle happened because
he had guf naki.  Therefore, the gemara says a, anyone who doesn't have
guf naki like EBK can't wear tefillin. Clearly, however, tefillin is a
Torah requirement. So the gemara allows for tefillin wearing by defining
guf naki in a physical, as opposed to spiritual way, which to my mind is
not warranted by the original story (I think it was just metaphoric to
begin with.)  They define it as 2 particular physical things neither of
which have to do with tumah, nor with spirituality.  What would be a
justification of defining guf naki differently for women, once the
gemara made their extremely limited definition? None.

However, there might be a justification for women not wearing tefillin
if we (similar to what Rabbi Berman did in seeing *why* the Maharam said
what he did, and *why* the Rama said what he did - i.e. looking not at
just the bottom line, but for the sources/reasons behind them.  Of
course that is always a debate in halakha about when and when not to do
that) look back at the original Elisha BK story and how the gemara
defined guf naki, for the sole purpose of allowing people to wear
tefillin.  Perhaps one could then argue that for women, who don't *have*
to wear tefillin, there's no justification for "physicalizing" the
spiritual punch line of the EBK story.  But I don't know; I see the
whole story as metaphoric to begin with.  The rabbi who told it probably
put on tefillin the morning he told it.  Another good question is, why
is this line of reasoning never raised in discussions of why women
shouldn't wear tefillin?

If it hasn't been raised, is it my (our) duty to raise it? Once I raise
it, will someone say (as Zvi Weiss said about "minimum time " argument
first raised by the Arukh hashulchan in the early 20th century) that
(paraphrase of Zvi) although the specific argument hasn't been raised
before, surely the idea was there.  Presumably the corollary is that we
must assign a halakhic argument which was raised recently great weight,
because really it is old? How old? from the rishonim, or the gemara, or
Sinai? I am not trying to be facetious; I simply have no idea what
halakhic rule/concept this is based on, therefore I have no idea how to
put it into objective practice. It is new to me. Perhaps you could



End of Volume 16 Issue 35