Volume 17 Number 21
                       Produced: Tue Dec 13 22:53:44 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Australia et al(was: Direction to Face during Prayer)
         [Heather Luntz]
Chanukah and Pirsumei Nisa
         [Meylekh Viswanath]
Fundamentals of Yahadus
         [Stan Tenen]
Payment for Work on Shabas
         [Bobby Fogel]
Washing Feet in Chumash
         [Gedaliah Friedenberg]
Women Singing at the Shabbat Table
         [Janice Gelb]


From: Heather Luntz <luntz@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 1994 22:00:57 -40975532 (EST)
Subject: Australia et al(was: Direction to Face during Prayer)

> >From: Mervyn Doobov <mdoobov@...>
> > A few years ago I was talking to a LOR about Shabbat in Hong
> > Kong.  He told me that some people claim that Shabbat can not
> > start any earlier than 6 hours before it does in Jerusalem,
> > and that in places like Japan, Eastern Australia, Hong Kong,
> > etc, Shabbat should actually occur on Sunday.

> I have never heard this suggestion before.  I believe that no-one 
> here in Australia observes Shabbat on Sunday.  I don't think 
> even the Reform ever did that here.

As I understand the issue, the reason nobody keeps Shabbas as Sunday in
mainland Australia, is that those authorities (the Chazon Ish I believe)
who hold that the dateline should go through Eastern Australia, also hold
that one shuld not divide a landmass (can you imagine standing with one
leg on side of the line and one on another - "Oh I'm just dashing into
chol to do a spot of melacha") and since the major part of the landmass of
Australia is on the other side of the line, we all keep Shabbas on Saturday.

BUT there is a question about Tasmania, New Zealand, and even Phillip
Island (little Island just out of Melbourne). When one of the Roshe Yeshiva
of Beis HaTalmud (the Lakewood Kollel here in Melbourne) went to New
Zealand, apparently he kept Shabbas on Saturday but did not did not do any
d'orita melachos on Sunday. On the other hand, I understand that he
permitted the Rabbi in New Zealand to do melachos for him, on the
principle that the community needed to fix a day, and posken that way, and
that it was different if you lived there. After all, if you have to keep
two days Shabbas, you have to keep two days Yom Kippur as well (and
presumably each day requires a seudah prior to it, which makes it rather
tricky). Basically what seems to have happened is that the communities in
these places have chosen not to posken like the Chazon Ish -  but I am not
sure we are going to see kollelim relocating to New Zealand in a hurry.




From: Meylekh Viswanath <PVISWANA@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 1994 09:41:03 EST5EDT
Subject: Re: Chanukah and Pirsumei Nisa

While we all learn that the purpose of the khanuka candles is pirsumei 
nisa, I would like to know if the lack of pirsumei nisa is meakev(prevents 
the efficacy of) the mitsva or not.

Assume that it's the first day of khanuka, and it's shabes.  You light the 
candle early (when it is light out, and so the candle does not carry out 
its intended function of pirsumei nisa), and soon after that the candle 
goes out.  Do you have to light it again?  If the lack of pirsumei nisa is 
meakev the mitsva, you must light it again; if not, not.  I understand that 
there are rishonim who hold that you do not have to light it again, under 
these circumstances.  Do these rishonim hold, then, that pirsumei nisa is 
not essential to the mitsva? 

Meylekh Viswanath


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 1994 14:15:55 -0800
Subject: Re: Fundamentals of Yahadus

Dave Steinberg says of my work: "We may not know it because it is not 
Torah."  This is obviously a logically correct and grammatical 
statement.  So, let me say once again.  This work has been examined by 
persons who are experts.  They include rabbis and rebbes, linguists and 
scientists.  I can provide a packet of evaluation letters and other 
information to those who ask.  (Some early packets we sent out to 
members of m-j may have inadvertently omitted the evaluation letters.  
If you received an early package and did not get these, please ask.)

I apologize for tooting my own horn, but here is (in its entirety) what 
one internationally famous expert Orthodox Kabbalist, author, and 
teacher, and former colleague of R. Aryeh Kaplan, has said about this 
work.  (The letter quoted below is based on a five-year working 
relationship.  It is not an endorsement of any particular statement I 
have made, and is not a response to postings on m-j.  He did give 
permission to post his name.)

						"26 Tevet 5754
"To whom it may concern:
     "I am greatly impressed with the work of Mr. Stan Tenen.  What he 
is doing is consistent with Talmudic and Kabbalistic assumptions 
concerning the relevance of Torah to the nature of reality.
     "In particular, there is a rabbinic tradition concerning the 
letters of the Hebrew alphabet: their structure and form, and the order 
in which they appear, which is said to mirror the process through which 
G-d brought the universe into existence; and it is expected that man, as 
he evolves and matures in terms of his physical and spiritual 
preceptions, will become aware of this process and its all-encompassing 
embodiment in the model of Torah.  Indeed, the work done by Mr. Tenen 
seems to represent the beginning of a major breakthrough along these 
lines, one which could conceivably bring into harmonious prespective not 
only many yet-unexplained scientific phenomena, but hopefully as well 
the unjustified causes that pit men of various cultures and religions 
against one another.  It could well be that Mr. Tenen's discoveries may 
prove to represent part of the humble beginnings of the revelatory 
process of universal messianic consciousness."
     "It is my opinion that his work deserves the respect and support of 
the Jewish community in particular, for as "a kingdom of priests and a 
holy nation," it would seem their function to prepetuate an effort which 
is bound to give the world a greater appreciation of our Torah and 
traditions.  I do, however, feel that Mr. Tenen needs to devote more 
time and energy toward the acquistion of those proper teachers who can 
give him a better understanding of the traditional texts and source 
materials.  This would diminish the possibility of error on his part, 
and the all too human temptation to create a system that is not in full 
accord with the ideal premises from which his project began."
                               [Signed] Rabbi Gedaliah Fleer



From: <bobby@...> (Bobby Fogel)
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 1994 11:50:20 +0000
Subject: Payment for Work on Shabas

[While some of the language here may be viewed by some as extreme, I
think the question of properly understanding what is valid Halakhic
"legal fiction" and why it is fundamentally different from the actions
of the (possibly) Conservative movement and clearly the Reform movement
is an important and worthwhile discussion, as long as we can keep it
relatively emotion-free and concentrate on the issues being raised and
discussed. Mod.]

On the question I posed about work on shabat being a legal
fiction, Jonathan Katz counters that indeed it is a legal fiction but it is
needed since:

>.......... in today's world, this would lead to a shortage of Rabbis willing
>to work, which is clearly not a desired effect. So, to strike  a balance,
>the letter of the law is upheld even though the spirit may not be 100%.

This in no way answers the question. "Legal Fiction" i.e. something that
is set up legaly but FACTUALLY is untrue. Can someone please tell me on
what TORAH authority do we institute such a contortion of the Torah's
laws because it is expedient.  If this is the case, what problem do we
have with half of the Conservative and Reform compromises with regard to
expediency.  If you counter that their compromises violate Torah Law,
well so did payment for work on shabas until we found the proper
rationalization.  So .....all that is required is to find the proper
rationalization for their compromises too.

I also do not think that one can invoke "Ays la-a-sot la'hashem hay-fay-ru
torah-te-cha " or loosley translated in order to preserve Hashems Torah
there are times that it must be broken.  An example of which was the
writing of the torah shebaal peh (oral torah) by Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi

But in a more fundamental way, I dont think that my point is quite
understood.  Jonathan states

> 2) Bobby Fogel asks: "If the Baal Koray did not show up, that would be
>the end of his layning career..." True enough. However, I would think
>that the shul would legally have to pay him for the time he spent
>learning the parsha for that week. Then, they could decide to fire him
>before the next week, ratioanlizing it by saying "he obviously didn't
>prepare well if he didn't come in to shul...". Whether or not he would
>accept the money for his study time is irrelevant; legally, he would be
>entitled to it. So, the contract he signs is legally binding, and not
>"just" legal fiction...

Yes, they would pay him, but FIRING him for not showing up on shabas
proves that being there on Shabas and layning on shabas is an INTEGRAL
part of his job.  If the two are not linked then not showing up should
not get him fired.  Moreover, not showing up on shabat says nothing
whatsoever about how well he studied.  Maybe this shabas he wanted to go
to a different shul.  Thus, linking shabat in anyway to his preperation
work makes shabat appearance and performance part of his job.  Even the
Legagl Fiction does not get one out of this conclusion; and that was
really my question to begin with!

I maintain, also, that legal fictions like this are quite detrimental to
orthodoxy being accepted by many of our secular Jews.  They see it as
silly, a violation of something we ourselves espouse and ethically
untenable.  Not to mention many yeshiva students who have left the fold
over things like this that they view as obvious violations of the spirit
of that which they thought Hashem wanted from them.  Any comments.


From: Gedaliah Friedenberg <gedaliah@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 1994 20:33:14 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Washing Feet in Chumash

As far as I can recall, there are only 2 references to washing feet in
Chumash.  One is in Pasrshas Vayera, and the other is in Parshas Miketz.

In the first reference (in Vayera), Avraham invites guests into his home
(the Angels), and offers water for them to wash their feet (Vayera
18:4).  On this posuk (verse) Rashi says that Avraham thought that the
guests were Arabs, who worship the dust of their feet.  In order to 
avoid any Avoda Zara (Idol Worship) to enter his home (the dust), he 
wanted them to wash off their feet.  This is also stated in Bereshis 
Rabba 50, 4.

In Miketz, the head of Yosef's house meets the brothers, brings them
into Yosef's house, and gives them water, and the brothers wash their
feet (43:24).  Rashi says nothing regarding washing of the feet
washing here.

What is the significance of washing feet in Miketz that warranted its

If you will say that it is simply ha'knesses orchim (providing for
guests), and that it was common to offer guests to wash their feet,
then why does is it mentioned explicitly in Miketz, and not mentioned
in all others cases (of guests entering a host's home) in Chumash.
Surely there must be a reason for its inclusion:

Just as the case in Vayera has a reason for its inclusion (avoiding
Avoda Zara), then the case in Miketz must have a reason too (or else
it would have excluded like all other cases of guests in Chumash).

Gedaliah Friedenberg
         -=-  Graduate Student- City University of New York  -=-
            -=-  Ohr Somayach Yeshiva - Monsey, New York  -=-


From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 1994 09:34:02 +0800
Subject: Women Singing at the Shabbat Table

Gad Frenkel says:

> The posek however corrected my assumption that this meant any group
> singing was OK, rather that group singing of Shabbos Z'meiros, with
> the inherent Kedusha of them and the setting, offer a special instance
> where Kol Isha does not apply.
> Obviously not everyone holds this opinion, and I would imagine that for
> the most part those who don't, would also refrain from having the women
> of the household sing when a female non-family member is present, so as
> not to cause her discomfort or lead her to believe that she would be
> allowed to sing.

I'd like to emphasize Gad's point that not causing discomfort should be
as much (if not more) of a value than kol isha. I was once spending
Shabbat at the home of friends who have become Lubavitch. I had always
thought kol isha was only applicable to women singing on the radio, in
concert, etc. and was not used to not singing zmirot at the table, so I
joined in. One of their guests turned to me and fiercely shouted
"SHA!!!" very loudly, scaring me quite a bit and embarrassing me even
more. If you or your guests *do* hold by kol isha referring even to
Shabbat zmirot singing, I'd like to suggest that you perhaps announce
this ahead of time when you know you have guests who might not realize
this, to make sure someone does not correct them more firmly on the spot!

Janice Gelb                  | The only connection Sun has with this      
<janiceg@...>   | message is the return address. 


End of Volume 17 Issue 21