Volume 17 Number 61
                       Produced: Fri Dec 30  1:38:02 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Anonymity in Psak
         [Ezra Dabbah]
Bat Mitzvah
         [Elad Rosin]
Female Offspring
         [Danny Skaist]
Genetic Crossing
         [Danny Skaist]
Hebrew for secular purposes
         [Stan Tenen]
How Moshe Learned
         [Aryeh Blaut]
Is there a mitzva to marry?
         [Ari Shapiro]
Questions on "Daas Torah"
         [Zvi Weiss]
Shawlom Y'all
         [Michael Lipkin]
Sheirut Leumi
         [Esther R Posen]
YU disclaimer
         [Leah Zakh]


From: <EDABBAH@...> (Ezra Dabbah)
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 1994 21:27:42 -0500
Subject: Anonymity in Psak

I read with much consternation Mark Press's submission in mj v17#54 the

>In this connection I want to cite a tshuva I saw many years ago from a
>Rov universally recognized in all circles as one of the gdolei hador in
>which he permitted an American Rov to use a microphone under specific
>conditions but insisted that his name not be publicly connected with 
>the heter.

What a sad commentary on genuine orthodox research to be veiled in
secrecy.  I now see what was meant as "stifling" da'at torah. Rabbis are
intimidated to follow the herd. At least this forum is open and I enjoy
the exchange on both sides of the religious spectrum. But even in this
forum I have seen intimidation in certain responses. I really enjoyed
the arguments regarding allegory in the Torah between Rabbi Bechhofer
and Rabbi Shamah. However it was really unnecessary for Rabbi Bechhofer
to repond in one submission "who are you to make such a statement" . To
my mind the intimidator loses all intellectual credibility in his
argument when he has to resort to intimidation usually out of
frustration of a weak argument.

I really hope the future of orthodoxy accepts all reasonable
considerations when giving a psak and the fear of intimidation stops.


From: <3QJ5ROSINE@...> (Elad Rosin)
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 1994 23:58:34 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Bat Mitzvah

In response to the posts citing Rav Moshe's opinion that Bat Mitzvah's
are not necessary or to be encouraged Aliza Berger writes.

"In such a climate, girls who wouldn't have some kind of public
commemoration would be faced with a destructive mixed message (e.g. they
are telling me to be active publicly, but they don't really mean it.) "

In light of Rav Moshe's opposition to Bat Mitzvah celebrations it would
seem that if Aliza is worried about mixed messages, perhaps the
appropriate response would be to reinforce the concept of "Kol Kevod Bas
Melech Penima" and be consistent instead of giving into needs created by
false notions of a woman's need to be active in a public manner.
 As a side point, I happen to think this is a very good example of where
regardless of what we may think based on our own decision process we
must bend to the opinion of our Gedolim and muster up all our Emunas

     Elad Rosin
P.S. As usual any responses are appreciated through either a post or
personal reply. 


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 94 14:12 IST
Subject: Female Offspring

>Elad Rosin
>a Braisa that says (this is not an exact translation, see the gemara for
>the full text of the Braisa), "It is impossible for the world to exist
>without both males and females, however lucky is the one who has sons
>and woe is to the one who has females".

"woe is to the one who has females". is a problematic translation.  While
learning this braisa with the neighborhood rabbi he brought out that the
wording is rather wierd.  The  Braisa says  "shebanim n'kayvot".
"Banim" is either "children" when the gender is mixed or "sons" when the
gender is not.  But if you are talking only of female offspring, as most
people learn the braisa, (woe is to the one who has female offspring)  you
must say "banot".  So he taught hat we must learn "woe to him who's sons are



From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 94 14:13 IST
Subject: Genetic Crossing

>Joshua Cappell
>Clearly the transfection of a different animal's genes would present a
>harder problem as far as kilayim goes (possibly falling either under the
>category of cross-breeding or of grafting).  However, the first may be
>problematic as well.  What is the essence of the issur?  If it is
>understood broadly as any interference in the natural biologic endowment
>of living things, ( interfering with the natural divinely established
>order in any way), any genetic alteration should be forbidden.

The issur of cross-breeding diverse animals is to PHYSICALLY force them to
mate.  One is even allowed to pen them together and hope for a

Playing with genes is not physically forcing any animal to do what is "not
in the animals nature".



From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 1994 15:55:08 -0800
Subject: Re: Hebrew for secular purposes

In m-j 17,56 Eli Turkel mentioned that "Obviously in Israel in the days
of the first Temple at least Hebrew was the spoken language for all
purposes."  With all due respect, I find this very hard to believe.  Are
there teachings that specifically confirm this?  This is an important
issue in my work and any clear and explicit references to Torah Hebrew
(or any true Hebrew) as THE spoken language in the period between Moshe
and Solomon would be very helpful.  Thanks in advance.

Good Shabbos,
Stan Tenen
Stan Tenen                     Internet:    <meru1@...>
P.O. Box 1738                  CompuServe:  75015,364
San Anselmo, CA 94979 U.S.A.


From: <AryehBlaut@...> (Aryeh Blaut)
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 1994 22:57:01 -0500
Subject: Re: How Moshe Learned

This is in regard to Fivel Smiles question about how Moshe learned about
the traditions, etc...

It is interesting, I brought the following topic up at our Shabbas table
last week:
When Hashem told Moshe that he was the Hashem of Avraham, Yitzchak &
Ya'akov, I asked how did he know who these people were?

My wife remembers learning that Amram was his teacher.

If time permits, I'll try to find out a makor (source) for this.

Aryeh Blaut


From: <m-as4153@...> (Ari Shapiro)
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 94 20:25:57 -0500
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?

This point is a machlokes(dispute) of rishonim.  The Rambam in Hilchos
Ishus and in the sefer hamitzvos clearly states there is a mitzvah to
get married.  However the Rosh in Kesubos says that there is no mitzvah
to get married the whole mitzvah is Pru Urvu, marraige is a hechsher
mitvah(enables the mitzvah to be performed).  This is brought out in the
discussion about the brachos that we make under the chupah.  The bircas
a'yrusin is not a classic bircas hamitzvah and Tosafos and the Rosh
explain because marraige is not a mitzvah.  Also there is a dispute
should you make the bracha before or after which is based on this.
R. Shachter has a great article on this topic in the Beis Yitzchak from
I think 1987.

Ari Shapiro


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 1994 15:10:49 -0500
Subject: Questions on "Daas Torah"

I found Binyomin Segal's comments on Daas Torah (15 Dec 1994) to be a bit
1. Rav Hirsch was opposed to a school that (according to some) was to be
  set up by a group that -- in essence -- was opposed to "Orthodoxy".  A
  similar issue came up in Russia when the Maskilim wished to have all Jews
  go to Secular Schools of some sort in order to be better able to "mix in".
  I do not know if that can be compared to people who wished to open a frum
  school and were -- themselves -- quite frum yet were opposed so vigorously
  -- basically because [it seems] their hashkafa differed from the current
  "right wing".  Hebrew U is not an appropriate example... This was a school
  targeted for the frum so that they could learn secular knowledge within a
  Torah-true framework.
2. The "prominent women's seminary" appears to actually be an EXCELLENT
  case of "stifling".  After all, did this school consult its OWN posek
  for a guideline on what to teach?  If the school did (and there is no
  reason to beleive that they did not), then the school was put into
  cherem for following its p'sak and not following someone else's
  p'sak...  The issues are indeed halachic BUT nobody should be able to
  dictate to me or anyone else who I must go to consult when I have a
  shaila.  If you disagree with the p'sak that I receive, fine -- but
  that is STILL no basis for a cherem.
3. There has been, indeed, a concept raised in the past that in Europe
  before the war, there were the poskim for communities and there were
  Roshei Yeshiva. And, the two were different groups.  It appears that
  most *poskim* (e.g., Rav M. Zemba HY"D) were killed in the
  Sho'ah. While I do not personally subscribe to this view, I have heard
  it said that the roshei yeshiva who survived were NOT "experts" in
  p'sak and that this has strongly influenced the development of p'sak
  since.  Any comments on this?



From: <msl@...> (Michael Lipkin)
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 1994 08:40:02 +0500
Subject: Shawlom Y'all

>From: <iis@...> (Allen Elias)
>There is no pressure on Britishers and Yankees because they can easily
>be understood. 

Oh really! Did you ever try to have a conversation with someone with a
thick Southern accent?  About 13 years ago I was attending the wedding of
one of my wife's old roommates in Dallas, Texas.  The mother of the Chasan
(or Chatan) was from Memphis, Tennessee, with a Southern accent (obviously 
from my perspective) so thick she could have been speaking Greek for all 
I knew.  During a conversation I attempted to have with her she asked me,
"Where ya gonna park ya slaw?".  After I asked her to repeat the phrase 
several times I assumed, being that I was newly married and just beginning 
law school, that this was some sort of Southern expression meaning,
"Where are you going to settle down?".  It wasn't until several years later,
while recounting this story, that I suddenly realized what she had actually
said.  She was asking me, "Where are you going to practice law?"!! 



From: <eposen@...> (Esther R Posen)
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 1994 10:02:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Sheirut Leumi

Re Zvi Weiss's post about understanding that "sheltered" frum girls
would not be good candidates for Sheirut Leumi...

As someone who would consider themselves "chareidi" by American
standards, it has been my experience and understanding that "chareidi"
Israeli girls live by much "stricter" guidelines.  They do not work or
mix with men.  In fact I believe they don't even take the "bagrut" exams
which disqualifies them from teaching in anything but the most
"chareidi" of schools.  Although there are many chareidi (black hat,
yeshivish, call it what you will) who would not allow their daughters to
attend college or pursue any type of secular education or employment,
there are certainly many that pursue both an education and/or a career.
I imagine there are exceptions to the norm in Israel as well but it is
my understanding that they are few and far between.

Anybody out there with additional information.  These are just my
impressions and I am not sure they are correct.



From: Leah Zakh <zakh@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 1994 11:55:10 -0500 (EST)
Subject: YU disclaimer

Because of a number of posts that I recived re University for yeshiva 
bochur, i am posting the following disclaimer.
	1)I have only possitive things to say about Penn Jewish 
community. I simply stated the fact that there both men and women living 
in the dorms.
	2)I did not pass ajudgement regarding the quality of education in 
YU over any other school, nor did I imply YU's supperiority over any other 
	3)It is advisable to read posts on mj without one's preconsived 
notions and not to look for something that is not there.

Leah Zakh


End of Volume 17 Issue 61