Volume 17 Number 65
                       Produced: Mon Jan  2  0:57:17 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bat Mitzvah (3)
         [Leah S. Gordon, Avi Feldblum, Abraham Lebowitz]
Conservative Get
         [Sheldon Korn]
Genetic research
         [Akiva Miller]
Hebrew in ancient days
         [Akiva Miller]
Hebrew in ancient times
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Location of "Heaven"
         [Richard Schiffmiller]
         [Michael SB Shoshani]
Rabbi of a later era can't dispute
         [Isaac Balbin]


From: Leah S. Gordon <lsgordon@...>
Date: Sun, 01 Jan 1995 11:28:32 -0800
Subject: Bat Mitzvah

In response to the several posters who claimed that a bar mitzvah must
be more public than a bat mitzvah because of more recognizable Jewish
characteristics of maturity:

At least one of the examples given, i.e. that to lead a mezuman, is
faulty.  This is because women have permission, (and, according to the
Gra, an obligation), to have mezuman if three eat together, and this
does not apply to young (below 12) girls.  (See the Mishna Brura,
in about the fifth benching section or so, on page 204 etc.)

Second, someone mentioned that bat mitzvah comes from "Conservative and
Reform"--this is untrue; the first bat mitzvah celebration was in fact
by the daughter of the founder of Reconstructionism, as far as I know.

Leah S. Gordon

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum>
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 1995 15:56:57 -0500
Subject: Re: Bat Mitzvah

Leah S. Gordon writes:
> Second, someone mentioned that bat mitzvah comes from "Conservative and
> Reform"--this is untrue; the first bat mitzvah celebration was in fact
> by the daughter of the founder of Reconstructionism, as far as I know.

But does anyone know who had the first bar mitzvah ceremony? (Sources
please if you want to answer)

Avi Feldblum
<mljewish@...> or feldblum@cnj.digex.net

From: <aileb@...> (Abraham Lebowitz)
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 1995 02:04:56 +0200
Subject: Bat Mitzvah

	I read with interest Nadine Bonner's posting about her Aishes
Chayil ceremony in Atlanta.  Her Rabbi in Atlanta, Rabbi Emanuel Feldman,
is the son of Rabbi Joseph Feldman of Baltimore.  In Baltimore the Bais
Ya'akov school, under the direction of Rabbis Hirsh Diskin (now of Har Nof)
and Rabbi Benjamin Steinberg, zt"l, had an annual bat mitzvah ceremony for
the 12 year old girls.  This ceremony, complete with divrei torah, etc.,
was an inspiring evening for the girls and their families and, considering
the Rabbanim involved (Rabbi Diskin, for example is the son-in-law of Rabbi
Ya'akov Kamenetzky with whom, I am sure, he discussed things), met all the
requirements of halacha.
					Abe Lebowitz
Abe & Shelley Lebowitz			<aileb@...>


From: Sheldon Korn <rav@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 1995 17:35:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Conservative Get

> >From: <stephenp@...> (Stephen Phillips)
> > >From: Sheldon Korn <rav@...>
> > 2) In reference to an assumption that an Orthodox Beis Din will accept a
> > Conservative Get Bidieved is wishful thinking.  I personally know of a
> > case of a woman who had received a conservative get and later met a
> > Jewish man by whom she became impregnated.  When she and her lover
> > decided to go the Orthodox way, the Orthodox Beis Din insisted on an
> > Orthodox Get and then refused to marry them on grounds of Assur L'baal
> > V'assur l'boel.  Of course she was left with 2 gets and 1 Mamzur.
> I assume, therefore, that the first marriage was in an Orthodox Shul
> and therefore required a proper Get. If, however, the marriage had
> been under Conservative auspices, then Bedieved [after the fact] the
> marriage would have been declared invalid, thus avoiding any question
> of Mamzerus.

I cannot recall who was Mesader Kiddushin.  Had it been under 
Conservative auspices then the Beis Din either refused to use Rav 
Moshe's Z"l's psak and thus were reluctant to invalidate the Kiddushin.  
Had it been an Orthodox Rabbi who was Mesadar Kiddushin there was no 
bedieved (after the fact) possibility on the part of the Beis Din that the 
Conservative Get would be used in this extaordinary case.> 

> >From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
> I believe somone misread my posting on Conservative Kiduushin. Since my
> premise was that Conservative Rabbis acoording to Reb Moshe are all
> pasul l'edus, of course their Gittin are invalid. I was referring to
> their siddur kiddushin, which are also invalid, thereby removing the
> problem of mamzeirus at its origin.

Then if they are Pasul L'edus ( invalid witnesses)  why would a Beis Din 
require a get?  Furthermore, there is no Baal (husband) as there was no 
Kiddushin and thereforre the concept of Assur L'baal and Assur L'Boel 
(she is forbidden to her husband and to her lover) would not apply.
Sheldon Korn


From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 1995 18:58:53 -0500
Subject: Re: Genetic research

Danny Skaist wrote in MJ 17:61:

>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

Do you have a source for this? I have not studied the laws of kilayim
(cross-breeding) in the animal world at all. But if I understand correctly,
kilayim is indeed violated in the plant world simply by planting diverse
seeds too close too each other. Perhaps this is also considered a forced
mating (on account of the two seeds growing in the 'same' soil) but I'd like
to see something in print that adresses this.

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

If the prohibition is forcing the diverse species to mate sexually, then this
is a logical conclusion from the prior point. But if the prohibition is in
forcing the genes to mix, then I would think that it would apply to the lab
technician who forcibly mixes the genes, just as much as to the farmer who
forcibly mates the animals.


From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 1995 22:13:11 -0500
Subject: Re: Hebrew in ancient days

Eli Turkel writes in MJ 17:63
>     Tenen asks about speaking Hebrew during first Temple days. I am a 
>little confused by the question. If we don't assume this then all the books 
>of the prophets are translations from their original words. Similarly, we 
>would have to assume that David sang his songs in some other language and 
>what we have in Samuel and in tehillim are translations.

It could well have been that the holy works were done in Hebrew instead
of the vernacular. Do you find it difficult to believe that King David
spoke in Aramaic (or some other language) but wrote the Tehillim in

Your response might refer to the works of the prophets: If a person
spoke another language, yet the prophet quoted that individual by
writing the Hebrew translation of what he said, this would seem to
bother you. Yet this is undeniably done by the Torah itself, in the
story of Joseph and his brothers in Egypt: Joseph spoke to his servants
in the vernacular, yet the Torah translates it into Hebrew for our
benefit, while the brothers (who did understand Hebrew) had no idea what
Joseph was saying. (Genesis 42:23 mentions the interpreter who
translated for them.)


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 1995 12:30:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Hebrew in ancient times

I do not know about during Tekufat Bayit Rishon -- but during the Tekufat
HaAvot my guess would be that Aramit was spoken (that was Avraham's mother
tounge, and was the mother language of the mothers Sara, Rivkah, Leah, and
Rachel who raised ther children Yitzchak and Ya'akov.) We know for sure
that the Avot spoke Aramit in conversations which the Troah records in
Ivrit -- as they had dealings with their relatives back in Aram (whom we
can rightfully assume did not speak Ivrit). Apparently, Ivrit was used 
for 'formal' matters by them (naming a place, etc.) and for conversations 
with G-d while dreaming. Anyone else have any ideas on the matter?

    | | ___  ___  ___ _ __ | |__      Joseph Steinberg
 _  | |/ _ \/ __|/ _ \ '_ \| '_ \     <steinber@...>
| |_| | (_) \__ \  __/ |_) | | | |    http://iia.org/~steinbj/steinber.html
 \___/ \___/|___/\___| .__/|_| |_|    +1-201-833-9674


From: Richard Schiffmiller <moe@...>
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 1995 17:52:12 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Location of "Heaven"

Most people have the notion that Heaven is in the "sky", or certainly 
somewhere in an upward direction from the surface of the earth.  This 
idea is certainly supported in multiple Biblical texts, starting with P. 
B'reishit (e.g., Hashem put the M'orot (luminaries) in the Shamayim 
(Heaven)).  Any modern person knows that outer space does not have any 
significance from a religious point of view.  It is interesting therefore 
that the Halacha is that there is no K'dushat Mikdash (holiness of the 
Temple sanctuary) in the space above the building levels (so there is no 
problem with airplanes flying over the area).  On the other hand, the 
Kedusha of Mikdash does extend downward to the center of the earth (T'hom 
- see Zevachim 24).  The Kohein must stand on the floor of the Mikdash 
with no separation (such as standing on shoes, another person's foot, or 
even a loose stone) since then there is no connection to the Kedusha of 
the mountain.  See discussion of R. Chaim Soloveitchik on Rambam, H. Beit 
HaBechira, Ch. 1, Halacha 10.  Furthermore, the last Mishna in M. Midot 
states that the phrase "Baruch HaMakom" refers to the Kohanim thanking 
the Sanhedrin who sit in "the Place" for allowing them to serve (in case 
a question arose as to their validity).  Thus Makom is the place of the 
Mikdash.  Of course, the phrase is used with respect to Hashem in the 
famous verse in Yechezkiel (Baruch ... Mimkomo).  One might therefore 
conclude that the reference to Heaven as the place of Hashem is the 
Mikdash, notwithstanding the text in B'reishit.  I would appreciate comments.


From: <shoshani@...> (Michael SB Shoshani)
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 1995 11:23:35 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re:  Pronunciations

> >From: <ainspan@...> (Herschel Ainspan)
> Sorry for the late entry, I was away from email for a while.  2 points:
> 	1.  Is the modern Israeli pronounciation close enough to real
> Sefaradit to serve as a valid pronounciation for Kriat Shema?  e.g. the
> Israeli pronounciation lacks a distinction between aleph and ayin.  Do
> the teshuvot allowing conversion from Ashkenazis to Sefaradit also allow
> conversion from Ashkenazis to Israeli?

I have heard Ashkenazic positions to the effect that the Israeli 
pronunciation is NOT valid.  I myself am Sephardic, and throughout 
history Sephardic Rabbanim have stressed the importance of using the 
correct full Sephardic pronunciation.  Rav Ovadia Yosef is matir using 
Israeli *if that is the Hebrew pronunciation you were born into*, but he 
himself uses the full Sephardic even in plain conversation. (I wish I 
could do his "teth" :) )

> 	2.  I also learned to speak with the Israeli pronounciation, but
> changed to Ashkenazis for davening/layning, since my father, his father,
> etc. all pronounced Ashkenazis.  My rav said my change didn't even need
> hatarat nedarim; apparently he held my previous Israeli pronounciation
> was a minhag ta'ut (erroneous custom).

Many feel that way, both Ashkenazic and Sephardic.  There is a wonderful 
new Sephardic Siddur in Israel (currently--and regrettably--not available 
here in the USA) calld "`Odh Yoseif Hai".  It has a section in the back 
giving a drasha on the proper Sephardic pronunciation for each letter, 
and for each nekud.  There is a big movement in the Sephardic community 
today to try to educate their people toward abandoning the Israeli 
pronunciation, which basically combines the WORST features of Ashkenazic 
and Sephardic systems, IMO.

(Rav Yosef Haim is extremely stringent that one should lengthen the 'ayin
in "Shema`" and the dhaleth in "Echadh", which is pronounced as "th" in 
"this".  This is brought down as something extremely important, yet the 
Israeli pronunciation system does not support is.  [neither does the 
Ashkenazic system, actually, come to think of it... :) ])


From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Mon, 02 Jan 1995 13:54:34 +1100
Subject: Re: Rabbi of a later era can't dispute

  | Subject: Re: Rabbi of a later era can't dispute
  | Rabbi Moshe Feinstein zt'l also paskined (ruled) in ways which
  | 'overturned' his predecessors.  A sefer entitled Ligeres Iggeres (out of
  | print) compiles all of the opinions of R' Moshe that contradict earlier
  | Rabbis.

I haven't heard of the Sefer Gedaliah refers to. I think he actually
meant `Ma'ane Leigros' which is and will stay out of print because of
its widespread condemnation as a work which insulted Kavod HaTora in its
attacks on Rav Moshe.


End of Volume 17 Issue 65