Volume 16 Number 86
                       Produced: Fri Nov 25 12:18:25 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Daas Torah
         [Frank Silbermann]
Innovative Psak
         [Isaac Balbin]
Isaac vs. Jacob
         [Shaul Wallach]
Mazal Tov Announcement
         [Benjamin Boaz Berlin]
Price of Kosher Food
         ["Moshe E. Rappoport   tel +41 1 7248 424"]
Rambam on spousal liability
         [David Kaufmann]
To Mourn or Not to Mourn
         [Aryeh Blaut]
Torah and Science
         [Yaacov Haber]
Washed meat
         [Akiva Miller]


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 1994 09:21:59 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Daas Torah

In Vol.16 #84 Binyomin Segal says
> now certainly - in public life & in private life - there are many issues
> that while they may seem removed from halacha, clearly they are not.
> now i wonder what good it is asking for insight and advice from Gedolim
> if you plan not to listen to them

When I have a decision to make in an area outside my competency, I find
it useful to ask people I respect for their opinions.  Hearing their
opinions and their justifications gives me the background I need to make
a good decision.  But unless all my friends were in perfect agreement,
some advice will invariably not be followed.  But I did _listen_ to
their advice, even when I did not follow it.

Does Das Torah forbid me from obtaining this sort of help from Gedolim?
If I ask a Gadol what brand of automobile he prefers, and he says, "I
like Chryslers -- they're dealers give the best service" then I am
halachicly obligated to buy a Chrysler (even if I do my own repairs)?

Or is the assumption that any question put to a Gadol will be Halachic,
because their time is too valuable to waste dealing with nonHalachic

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>


From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 1994 15:02:51 +1100
Subject: Re: Innovative Psak

Moishe Kimelman wrote:
>Furthermore, even in the field of psak, if I were to 
>reject Shulchan Aruch and other poskim on the basis of my own innovative 
>understanding of Gemara, my psak could no longer be considered 
>"Torah-correct", even if my interpretation of the section of Gemara resolves 
>all previously unresolved problems there.

I would readily agree if the *I* above was Moishe Kimelman :-)
Seriously, there is ample precedent for innovative psak [decision] 
based on a new understanding of a Gemora which goes against Shulchan Aruch 
(I assume you mean against the Mechaber [R' Caro]  for Sfardim and against 
the Ramoh [R' Isserles] for Ashkenazim).
How does a Da'as Yochid [lone opinion] ever emerge? 
What about an Acharon [latter day Rabbi]  who rejects the
majority view and paskens [decides] like a Da'as Yochid because he has a new
interpretation of a Gemora which answers all the questions.

Reb Moshe paskened almost out of the Gemorah!

Are you a subscriber to the (non-grain) dictum of Chodosh Assur Min HaTorah
[anything new is forbotten]?


From: Shaul Wallach <F66204@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 94 11:23:08 IST
Subject: Isaac vs. Jacob

     In a separate post we have pointed out the contrast between the
marriage of Ya`aqov with Rachel and his marriage with Leah. It is
also worthwhile to go back and compare his marriage with Rachel with
his father Yizhaq's marriage with Rivqa.

     We have already seen that Ya`aqov's love for Rachel preceded their
marriage. The Torah emphasizes that Rachel was attractive (Gen. 29:17)
and gives no other reason why Ya`aqov chose her over Leah. We also note
that after their marriage, Rachel is barren and pleads with Ya`aqov
(30:1): "... and Rachel said to Ya`aqov, 'Give me sons, and if not, then
I die.'" At this Ya`aqov gets angry and answers her rudely (30:2). Our
Rabbis took Ya`aqov up on this and said "That is how we answer women
in distress??" Such was the fate of his love for her that lasted for
7 years until their marriage.

     Now look back at Yizhaq and Rivqa. The Torah devotes almost a
whole Parasha to tell us how Rivqa was selected as Yizhaq'a wife
(Gen. 24). True, she was beautiful, but she was chosen not for this
but for her kindness. And Yizhaq did not even see her until Eliezer
brought her after she had consented first. We don't hear a single
word about Yizhaq himself having any choice in the matter. He simply
took her and she became his wife and after that he loved her (24:67).

     It can be asked on this verse, "Why should his love for Rivqa
be a reason for him to be comforted after the loss of his mother?
Wouldn't it be more logical the other way around, that Rivqa loved
Yizhaq and comforted him?" The Ramban on this verse explains as
follows: After the departure of Sara Immeinu, Yizhaq refused to be
consoled and said that no other woman would come into her tent. Only
after he heard from Eliezer that Rivqa had the virtues of his mother
did he realize that it is possible to love another woman for her
quality of kindness and treat her kindly in return. Thus our Rabbis
said that after Rivqa came to Yizhaq, the blessings that had left
with Sara's departure returned to the tent.

     And Yizhaq's behavior with Rivqa shows that he appreciated
her good qualities. Thus, when she was barren Yizhaq, far from
rebuking her, simply prays on her behalf and his prayers are
answered (25:11). We also see later on that Yizhaq is silent with
Rivqa over the way she helped Ya`aqov deceive him. We also see how
careful she is not to suggest to Yizhaq openly that he send Ya`aqov
away to Lavan, as she herself told Ya`aqov to do. Instead, she only
drops a hint to Yizhaq, who himself tells Ya`aqov to go (28:1). This
very tactful way of dealing with the crisis well befitted Rivqa's
qualities of kindness, and as her reward Yizhaq listened to her and
followed her advice without question.

     It is no wonder, then, that the marriage of Yizhaq and Rivqa
is worthy of being chosen as an ideal Torah model of marriage.




From: Benjamin Boaz Berlin <bberlin@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 1994 23:21:12 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mazal Tov Announcement

Well, its official.  Rachel Schneider of Houston Texas, and I became 
engaged this afternoon.  Thank you to all those who recently shared 
thoughts on marriage within the Jewish Tradition.

We plan to be married in Houston in early June.  

	A special thanks to all those who gave support to my family 
during this year of AVEILUS, may we share many joyous occasions.  

	If you plan to be in Houston at that time please let us know.

Benjy Berlin and Rachel Schneider


From: "Moshe E. Rappoport   tel +41 1 7248 424" <mer@...>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 94 08:54:53 WET
Subject: Price of Kosher Food

Jules Reichel wrote that he doesn't think that the price of a Big Mac is
a good yardstick for comparing prices.

I happened to peruse a study that the Union Bank of Switzerland does
every 4 years or so which compares the cost of living in major cities
around the world. This study is considered authoritative in adjusting
the salaries of multinational expatriate employees. The newest study was
just published.

They compare a basket of about 130 items which they don't enumerate in
detail.  The only food item for which they specifically show the
comaparative prices is the Big Mac!  So maybe the idea is not so

Moshe Rappoport


From: David Kaufmann <kaufmann@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 94 8:14:18 CST
Subject: Rambam on spousal liability

I don't know if the following passages were brought in the continuing
discussion on Rambam's view of wife-beating (even that sounds
strange), but I thought it might be germane:

In Sefer Nezikin, Hilchos Hovel u'Mazek [Laws of injuries and damages]
chapter 4, halacha 16:

.... A husband who injures his wife is obligated to pay her immediately
all damages, embarrassment and pain; it all belongs to her and the
husband has none of the fruits [profit]. If she wishes to give the
value to others, she can give, and thus our Geonim have taught. The husband
must heal her as he heals all her other sicknesses.

Halacha 17:

One who injures his wife during conjugal intercourse is liable for her
injuries. [This includes, according to the Tur, injury, pain,
incapacity and healing, but not embarrasment.]

This seems to me at least a kol v'chomer against wife-beating. Perhaps
this passage should be cited more often in Rachel Haut's work. If
nothing else, it shows the husband must bear responsibility for his

David Kaufmann INTERNET:	<kaufmann@...>


From: Aryeh Blaut <ny000592@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 94 00:05:59 -0800
Subject: Re: To Mourn or Not to Mourn

>>From: <JEKORBMAN@...> (Jeff Korbman)
>Jacob, in this week's parahsa, is said to "...mourn for his son [Joseph]" 
>Gen. 37:34
>Rashi, on 37:35, writes "And his father wept...but did not mourn for he 
>knew Joseph was alive".
>Does anyone care to explain?

I teach this Parsha to 4th graders and they asked me the following question:

When Ya'akov started mourning for Yosef (because he thought that a wild
animal killed him), did Yosef's brothers mourn also?  I started
researching the question and someone pointed out this Rashi to me.

He explained that Yitzchok hadn't died as of this time (even though we 
were told about the death in last week's parsha). Yitzchok was not 
convinced that Yosef was dead and if one has the slightest feeling 
that the person is still alive, one couldn't mourn.  Ya'akov, however, 
could not be convinced of this.

Aryeh Blaut


From: Yaacov Haber <haber@...>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 1994 15:37:45 +1100 (EST)
Subject: Re: Torah and Science

> M Shamash writes:
> >Sad to say, I have met more than one rosh yeshiva
> >who sincerely thinks and teaches that the sun moves upward and away from
> >the earth after setting, traverses from west to east above the firmament
> >during the night, descending in the morning, based on a Talmudic
> >passage.

Which Rosh Yeshiva believes this? I have had personal discussion about this
with Rav S.Z. Oerbach, Rav Sheinberg, and I heard a shiur when I was in 
Brisk from Reb Berel A"H in which he explained the mistake. If I recall
correctly the Steipler in Chaya Olam also agrees that the Earth goes around 
the Sun.

I recently heard a tape of Rav Y. Weinberg, Rosh Yeshiva Ner Yisroel, in his
tapes on Rambam, (I presume this is available to anyone through the Yeshiva)
in which he said the following: The Rambam (and Gemoro) are not commenting, 
and seldom comment, on the Astronomical fact, but rather on how it relates
to us on Earth. To our eye the sun rises in the East and sets in the west.
Even scientists speak of sunrise and sunset, not Earth rise! The Torah
is more interested in the reality of our perception then in the scientific

From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 1994 11:47:14 -0500
Subject: Washed meat

In MJ 16:78, David Steinberg <dave@...> wrote:

>Apparently, some hechsherim allow meat to be washed
>within three days then salted within an additional three
>days.  This is the Psak.....
>Nevertheless, certain hashgochos including Breuers and
>Satmar do not accept that position and require that the
>meat actually be salted within the three days.  
>Can anyone shed additional light on this topic?

My understanding is that everyone agrees that the halacha does allow this
practice, IN THEORY. In practice, however, meat is often slaughtered a great
distance from where it is kashered, and some hechsherim allow the non-jewish
truck driver to wash the meat. Other hechsherim do not want to rely on that,
nor can they send a mashgiach to accompany the truck, so they simply insist
that the kashering be done before the first three days are up.


End of Volume 16 Issue 86