Volume 17 Number 55
                       Produced: Tue Dec 27 23:37:16 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Can a Reform Rabbi get an Aliya?
         [Jeff Korbman]
Chanuka and Yom Ha'atzmaut
         [Michael Lipkin]
Chanukah and Purim
         [elie rosenfeld]
Is there a mitzva to marry?
         [Ben Yudkin]
legal fictions
         [Eli Turkel]
         [Stuart Einbinder]
         [Erwin Katz]
Sherut Leumi again...
         [Zvi Weiss]
Washing of feet in TaNAch
         [Leah Zakh]
Women singing or How not to ask a Question
         [Yisrael Medad]


From: <JEKORBMAN@...> (Jeff Korbman)
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 1994 09:52:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Can a Reform Rabbi get an Aliya?

I'm going to a bar mitzvah shortly.  One of the guests (friend of the 
family) is a prominent and outspoken Reform Rabbi who will be in 
The family might want HIM (it's a male - I wouldn't ask otherwise) to 
receive an honor on Shabbos morning  i.e. Aliya.  Could he receive one?
Food for thought:  
	Sukkah 41B  "You can't honor the wicked/sinners in this world
			as you might deceive others into thinking that 
			what this person does is acceptable.
			[Lifnei Iver]
	R' Moshe	see Orach Chayim Part 2 #51 where he discusses
			honoring a physician who is openly not observant

	Chatam Sofer	Orach Chayim #15

(For you Late Night fans, the question should read: Can a man in a bear 
suit get an Aliya?) 


From: <msl@...> (Michael Lipkin)
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 1994 14:21:23 +0500
Subject: Chanuka and Yom Ha'atzmaut

I know it's a little early for this one, but something Danny Skaist said
in MJ 17:2 triggered this question.  While discussing the miracles of
Chanuka Danny said:

>The miracle of the oil is incidental to the real miracle of hanukah and
>was just to indicate to us that this military victory should be
>celebrated even after destruction of the temple and of the Jewish state.

Would those who hold than one should celebrate Yom Ha'aztmaut as a true
Chag, i.e. Hallel with a bracha, no Tachanun, added Tefilot in Pesukei
Dezimra, etc., still hold that way if C"V Hashem decided that we no
longer merited having Eretz Yisroel in Jewish hands and thus caused the
Jewish State to be destroyed?



From: <er@...> (elie rosenfeld)
Date: 22 Dec 1994  14:35 EST
Subject: Chanukah and Purim

This is either somewhat late for Chanukah, or quite early for Purim!
Anyway, it relates to the postings a couple of weeks ago on the dual
miracles of Chanukah and comparing Chanukah with Purim.

Several questions can be asked:

1) What is Chanukah celebrated for; the oil miracle, the victory in the
   war, or both?

2) In a related question, why does the "Al Hanissim" prayer mention
   _only_ the war and not the oil miracle?

3) Why is Hallel said on Chanukah but not on Purim?

4) Why is "Al Hanissim" said only on Chanukah and Purim, but not on all
   the other holidays on which miracles took place (e.g., Pesach)?

A drasha I heard several years ago addressed all of these questions with
the following theory.  Briefly, the key distinction is between a "Nes
Nigleh", an open, supernatural miracle, and a "Nes Nistar", a "hidden"
miracle, where all events appear to have happened through natural means.
The theory is that Hallel was mandated for occasions associated with a Nes
Nigleh, and Al Hanissim for occasions associated with a Nes Nistar.  Al
Hanissim is appropriate for the latter type of miracles since they can
easily be denied by doubters - thus, there is a need to openly proclaim
that they were, in fact, "Nissim", miracles.

All the above questions can now be answered.  The miracle of Purim is
the textbook case "Nes Nistar" - Hashem's name is not even used in the
Megillah.  Thus, Al Hanissim is said.  The Hasmonean victory on Chanukah
was also through natural means, so Al Hanissim is said on Chanukah but
mentions _only_ that particular miracle.  However, Chanukah also had a Nes
Nigleh - the miracle of the oil.  Therefore, Hallel is said on Chanukah too.

As for the Yom Tovim - Pesach, Shavuos, and Succos - all can be associated
with very supernatural, open miracles (for Succos, the "Annaney HaKavod",
clouds of glory), and thus Hallel is said but not Al Hanissim.  Incidently,
this also helps explain why Hallel is not said on Rosh Hashanah, even though
it is a Yom Tov like the other three.  Simply because there was no Nes
associated with it!

Elie Rosenfeld


From: <oujac@...> (Ben Yudkin)
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 1994 14:10:50 +0000
Subject: Is there a mitzva to marry?

Recently, a friend told me of a discussion he had had with his chavruta
[learning partner].  They had wondered whether there was any specific
obligation on a Jewish man to marry.  There is of course the mitzva of "p'ru
ur'vu" [having children], but could this not theoretically be accomplished
equally well through a concubine?  In other words, though such an arrangement
would undoubtedly be frowned on, perhaps especially for an unmarried man, is
there any specific halacha that demands marriage instead?
I found myself at a loss - and not a little disquieted!  Any comments?
Ben Yudkin


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 94 12:50:29 +0200
Subject: legal fictions

Ralph Zwier writes

>> With regard to Avodat Hashem lehavdil there is every reason
>> to try and achieve exactly what the legislation first intended
>> without resorting to a loophole.

    The rub is that we don't know the "real intention". Halachah
works according to rules and not intentions. Hence as long as the
workaround is legal it is perfectly permissible - lechatchila.
Rabbi Wein points out that in the middle ages the church insisted on
the full force of the usury laws and so Jews were used to circumvent
the problems. They knew of no loopholes. When modern banking arose
the result was that the whole set of laws disappeared. Gentiles today
are not concerned with religious usury laws. Because halachah was
flexible it remained. By the way if it is legal it works just as well
for Torah laws as for Rabbinic legislation. Some examples:

1. Heter Iska for avoiding laws on ribit. The Talmud itself comes
   up with many examples similar to a heter iska. In some case the
   the Talmud rules against some devices because it is sort of like
   ribit (avak ribit) or looks like interest (mechzeh ke-ribbit).
   However, when it passes these rules no one outlaws it because it
   is against the spirit of the Torah.
2. Prozbul was instituted by Hillel to encourage loans (sheviit 10:1).
   I recently saw a theory that this was necessary because of the
   economic reforms introduced by Herod.
   Rav Schecter ponts out (Nefesh haRav in the name of Rav
   Soloveitchik) that there is nothing wrong in explaining the
   necessity for some laws based on  economic reasons. This explains
   why  the law was introduced. Halachah explains the legal basis of
   the law and one needs both. The falacy of reform is that they
   showed (possible) need without showing a halachic basis for the
   change. The justification for Prozbul is that loans given over to
   the court are not affected by shemitta (Tosaphot Gittin 36a). So
   Hillel merely used an existing law to construct a "legal loophole"
3. Havla-ah (swallowing up) applies not only to work on shabbat but
   also to buying an etrog after shemitta.
4. With regard to "Mechirat Chametz" everyone agrees that it is
   perfectly okay if it is was really sold to a gentile no matter what
   the reason was. The arguments about present day sales is whether
   they are "real" sales or not.

Zilbarg (was on the supreme court in israel) has a nice book
entitled (Kach Darko shel Talmud) in which he has a chapter on
legal fictions (Haaramah al hachok). He brings several other examples

5. Rabbi Tarfon (a rich Cohen) married 300 women during a famine so
   that he could feed them Terumah (Yerushalmi Yevamot 4:12).
   The point is that these marriages were completely valid and
   Rav Tarfon's motives are irrelevant.
6. The Talmud suggests giving Maaser Sheni to one's children and
   have them convert it to money to avoid paying an extra fifth
   fine (Maaser Sheni 4:4)
7. Someone who vowed not to get benefit from his father and then
   made a wedding. He then gave the hall and all the food to a friend
   (so his father wouldn't benefit from him) and then his friend
   dedicated it all to the Temple. There is a discussion what the
   halachah is, however, the whole discussion revolves around the
   effectiveness of the gift, not whether it was proper (Yerusalmi
He brings a story of a couple without children where the husband was
dying. The husband had a brother in New Zealand and the wife had a
sister in New Zealand. To avoid difficulties with chalitzah over
great distances the rabbis advised the two in New Zealand to get
married and then immediately divorced so that there would be no need
for chalitzah (sister of an "ervah")
These are all Torah Laws.

In summary the attitude of all these sources is that the only thing
that counts is the legality of the "subversion". As long as it is
within Halachah we view the legal fiction as valid as the original
halachah. The source (either Torah or rabbinic) that gave the
original halachah gave the loophole. The difficulties arise when the 
loophole is not taken seriously with its consequences.



From: <stuart.einbinder@...> (Stuart Einbinder)
Date: Fri,  9 Dec 94 12:33:00 -0500
Subject: Pareve

I was told many years ago that the etymology of the word pareve was from
the spanish verse "PARa todo los VEces" ("for all times"), meaning that
the food could be eaten at all times.

Internet:  <stuart.einbinder@...>


From: ERWIN_KATZ_at_~<7BK-ILN-CHICAGO@...> (Erwin Katz)
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 94 12:03:21 CST
Subject: Prozbol

I refer you to a simple but excellent discussion of Prozbol in Volume
II, p.511 of "Jewish Law, History, Sources, Principles" by Justice
Menachem Elon which came out in the english edition(4 Volumes) in 1993
or so. The hebrew edition has been out for a while already and is 3
volumes. It's generally an excellent text.


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 1994 14:41:45 -0500
Subject: Sherut Leumi again...

I fell behind here so I went over several different postings from Yaakov
Menken's material on Sherut Leumi.  After complaining that everyine ELSE
is unable to think and using similarly insulting terminology, he finally
begins to "backpedal"... First, he posits that the issue is based upon
the co-ed environment associated with Sherut Leumi and presents this as
a "simple point" that -- presumably we should all just fall in line
with.  Later, he states that since poskim state that this matter (i.e.,
Sherut Leumi) is risky, therefore we must be "concerned for the few"...

Now, if he is referring to women who will only attend seminaries, never
go to college, never take a job in a co-ed environment, and -- in
general -- maintain the most limited contact with men, then I must also
agree that Sherut Leumi is not for such people -- neither is college nor
most other forms of social interaction.  In fact, I fail to understand
his acceptance of a frum girl attending Princeton as long as she does
not dorm there.

However, if we are referring to a large segment of frum women who intend
to continue their secular education and work in the general society,
then I am at a loss to understand the specific "attack" on sherut leumi.

In general, I have found his analysis of sherut leumi to be defective in
the following areas:

1. He does not differentiate between the women who enter Sherut Leumi --
  i.e., he does not take note of the fact that not all women entering
  Sherut Leumi are from frum backgrounds.  *Any* girl can apply to enter
  S.L. and a Rav will probably be more than happy to facilitate her
  gaining entry to S.L. -- especially in light of the rather poor moral
  situation in the IDF, itself in the area of male-female interaction.
2. He does not consider whether women *before* entering S.L. already
  have "religious defects" and are at risk of "messing up" regardless of
  what they choose to do.  I believe that the point of posters was not
  simply to point out that their daughters/nieces/etc. were all
  uncorrupted.  Rather, that women from solid frum backgrounds can/do
  enter Sherut Leumi and it is not only not harmful, it is actually a
  positive experience -- leading to a major Kiddush Hashem.
3. He does not take into account the overall politics involved.. I.e.,
  even if the program is acceptable in fact [meaning that a women could
  always get into a religiously sensitive environment], there will still
  be elements who will seek to define a separate arrangement simply to
  be able to assert the political independence desired.
4. He cites anecdotal evidence to support his position and then reacts
  very negatively when others do the same to support THEIR position.

In terms of "stifling", the issue here is just that: Nobody questions if
a family receives a p'sak that their daughter should not go into Sherut
Leumi -- regardlss of the reason.  *That* is what p'sak is all about.
BUT, if (a) I do not ask for a p'sak and am told that I must accept this
p'sak -- regardless of what MY rabbis say or (b) I am looked down on or
[worse] a women is regarded as possibly being "corrupted" because I do
not wish to accept a p'sak that I did not request from a decisor who is
not my authority THEN we have a problem of "stifling".  As long as
people recognize that there can be lots of "flavors" to Da'as Torah, I
do not believe that we have any serious issues.  It is when I (or
others) are delegitimized because we follow a different p'sak that we
start to have major problems.

In "Sherut Leumi Terms" : Daas Torah is stifling if you impose upon me
the prohibition of Sherut Leumi against my will from a decisor who is
not *my* posek.



From: Leah Zakh <zakh@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 1994 17:26:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Washing of feet in TaNAch

Someone was teaching me a sicha of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZT"L on a certain 
Rashi. It was explained to me that The Rebbe held that once Rashi 
explains something he does not repeat himself later on. Thus if Rashi 
commented on the washing of feet by Avraham and ignores the washing of 
feet by Yosef it's possibly b/c the reason is the same.

You can reach me at <zakh@...> or


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 94 09:28 IST
Subject: Women singing or How not to ask a Question

Re a spinoff on the posting of Aryeh Blaut Vol 17 No 13:

without relating specifically to Aryeh, his friend or anyone else, the
info that a Rabbi was asked about Kol Isha, and I do not know whether
they wanted to hear he supported the prohibition or was lenient,
nevertheless, I was always taught by Rabbis that the best answers from
Rabbis on Halachic questions are from persons who best know how to ask.
 Yisrael Medad


End of Volume 17 Issue 55