Volume 17 Number 70
                       Produced: Wed Jan  4  8:46:10 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Conservative Judaism Discussions
         [Avi Feldblum]
Being married in a shul (2)
         [Micha Berger, Avi Feldblum]
Conservative and Orthodox
         [Finley Shapiro]
Conservative Marrige-Kosher Get?
         [Selig Lover]
Purim tracker
         [Sam Saal]
         [Yitzchok Adlerstein]
Research Help
         [Moshe Kahan]
Security Camera on Shabbat
         [Rabbi Yaakov Shemaria]
Split hooves/chews cud
         [Alan Mizrahi]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 08:32:13 -0500
Subject: Administrivia - Conservative Judaism Discussions

We have a thread going on currently that clearly has it's place as a
discussion here on mail-jewish. At the same time it has easy potential
to escalate into a discussion that I will not be able to allow to
continue. The Great OCR Wars (Orthodox Conservative Reform) that waged
in the past on net.religion.jewish and soc.culture.jewish (and probably
still do, I no longer moniter that group at all) WILL NOT be replayed
out here on mail-jewish. However, at the same time for many of us we do
not live is a closed purely orthodox world, so how do we relate to
issues such as marriage and divorce performed by non-orthodox clergy,
family simchas in non-orthodox environments and many other similar
issues are ones that we must deal with.

I strongly second Finley's posting where he reminds us all that while
the list is Orthodoxly oriented, there are many Conservative and Reform
affliated Jews on the list as well. To the extent halakhically possible,
we should keep the statement "derakheha darkhei noam" - "her (Torah)
ways are ways of pleasantness" formost in our minds as we write on any
topic, but with even more care in this area.

At the same time, we must take to heart Rabbi Adlerstein's words to
us. The bottom line here remain Halakha. As much as one may wish to
accept all Jews and not make divisions, there are halakhot related to
reliability of witnesses, there may be issues of beit din, there are
halachot of what is and is not proper honor to both individual and to
the community.

With these words in mind, let us now continue the discussions.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator
<mljewish@...> or feldblum@cnj.digex.net


From: Micha Berger <berger@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 95 08:29:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Being married in a shul

I can confirm R. Eliyahu Teitz's rumor.

R. Dovid Lifshitz, zt"l, agreed to be my mesader kiddushin only under
the condition that the wedding not take place in a shul. When I asked
him why, he said "bechukoseihem loi seileichu -- don't walk in their
laws" (the verse prohibiting adoption of gentile practice).

He also wanted, although relented, that I not use friends for eidim, but
rather rabbanim. Not because of issues of kavod for the rabbanim, since
today people expect the groom to choose friends as eidim, but because he
didn't want to worry about having invalid eidim. (Such as gamblers,
people who aren't carefull about shabbos, etc...)


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 08:44:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Being married in a shul

Micha Berger writes:
> He also wanted, although relented, that I not use friends for eidim, but
> rather rabbanim. Not because of issues of kavod for the rabbanim, since
> today people expect the groom to choose friends as eidim, but because he
> didn't want to worry about having invalid eidim. (Such as gamblers,
> people who aren't carefull about shabbos, etc...)

I can at least partially confirm Micha's statement about Reb Dovid's
concern about the witnesses - eidim. At my first marriage, My
grandfather was the mesader for the ketuvah, and Rav Soloveichek and Rav
Lifshitz were the eidim. When my grandfather made the kinyan (act of
acquisition) with me, Reb Dovid did not realize that he was one of the
eidim. As soon as he realized that he was one of the eidim, he told my
grandfather that he would have to make the kinyan again, because if he
was the eid, he needed to do tsuvah first. He covered his eyes with his
hand as was quite for about 3-5 minutes and then told my grandfather to
repeat the kinyan. If Reb Dovid felt that he needed to do tsuvah before
he would be fitting to be an eid, we can all take lesson from this that
it applies much more so to most of us.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator
<mljewish@...> or feldblum@cnj.digex.net


From: Finley Shapiro <Finley_Shapiro@...>
Date: 2 Jan 1995 19:49:05 U
Subject: Conservative and Orthodox

I'd like to add my two cents to recent comments by Dov Lerner, Esther
Posen, and Meylekh Viswanath, whose remarks in part seem to involve the
question of who is a Conservative Jew and who is an Orthodox Jew.

My own opinion is that only a synagogue or community can be Orthodox,
Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, etc.  In general such a
labeling is established because it is a member of a group of such
synagogues or communities, or it has other clear ties.  When I say
informally that a person is Orthodox, Conservative, or whatever, I only
mean that the person is affiliated with such a community.  While it
sometimes is difficult to define "affiliated," certainly a dues paying
member or family counts as such.  People who are members of a synagogue
which is not linked to any group I would simply call members of an
independent synagogue.

For better or for worse, I can't find a better definition.  There are
members of Conservative synagogues who (for example) do not drive, ride
in a car, or carry things on Shabbat, and there are members of Orthodox
synagogues who do all of these things on Shabbat.

While we're on the subject, I'd like to remind people that there are
many readers who are members of Conservative communities, and I'm sure
there are also some who are members of Reform or Reconstructionist
communities.  We all know that this is an Orthodox list, and it is
certainly acceptable to disagree with or disapprove of non-Orthodox
opinions and practices, but one should never be disrespectful to people
(readers of mail.jewish or not) who have chosen to be members of such
communities.  There have been some postings recently which have
approached, if not crossed into, the range of what is inappropriate.
Let's try to be a community, even though we're linked by e-mail rather
than a neighborhood or a place of worship.

Finley Shapiro


From: <SLover123@...> (Selig Lover)
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 21:17:41 -0500
Subject: Conservative Marrige-Kosher Get?

It's true that R' Moshe was matir a woman, that was married by Conservatives,
without a Get.  However there was a psak from  Rav Henkin, the famed Rav of
Ezras Torah, in his responsas, that disagreed.  Rav Henkin held that by
living together where observant jews will see them living together - acting
like husband and wife - would obligate a Get.  That would probably even apply
to someone that moved in together- i.e. common law marrige.  Hence even if a
couple were not married according to halacha a Get would be needed.  

Alhtough I have no proof, I've heard it said in the name of Rav Ya'akov
Kaminetsky zt"l that he held practical halachah was in fact like Rav Henkin.

I'll try to verify R' Ya'akov's p'sak

Selig Lover


From: <saal@...> (Sam Saal)
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 1994 13:47:41 -0500
Subject: Purim tracker

A friend without Internet access asked me to post the following request.
 She is looking for software to track communal Shalach Manot. The software
must run on a PC (Windows preferred) and should be able to track who is
giving to whom and all the reciprocity stuff (if A isn't signed up to give
to B but B gives to A then A wants to give to B after all).

If there is an FTP site, please send the name and directory.


Sam Saal
Vayiphtach HaShem et Peah HaAtone


From: <yitzchok.adlerstein@...> (Yitzchok Adlerstein)
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 95 23:41:55 -0800
Subject: Reliability

In the recent thread concerning the reliability of Conservative clergy
regarding kosher food, it seems to me that an important ingredient
(sorry for the bad pun!) has been largely overlooked.

Trusting the reliability of another is not just left to the discretion
and judgment of each individual.  There are objective criteria set by
halacha, as there are in virtually all areas of Torah life.  Some people
are statutorily dismissed by halacha as unreliable, regardless of our
subjective assesment of their credibility.

Many of these laws are gathered in Yoreh Deah 119.  Among other
criteria, we find that non-observance of a particular area of halacha
(even in regard to a detail that is "only" a rabbinic infraction) strips
the person statutorily of reliability in that area.  In other words,
lack of Shabbos observance is not the only criterion.  If someone takes
liberties with any of the laws of kashrut (e.g. bishul akum, gevinas
akum, or eating fish in a non- kosher restaurant), he loses all
reliability in matters of kashrus.  (On the other hand, someone who
ignored the laws of shatnez could not be a public shatnez tester -
regardless of how honest you perceived him - but could still certify the
kashrus of food.)

(Before you go ballistic, yes, there are exceptions to this rule.  Rav
Moshe, zt"l, ruled that non-religious relatives could be relied upon
the kind of people who would respect their relatives' religious needs
"religiously" and never attempt to circumvent their requirements behind
their backs.)

In addition, one "who does not believe in the words of the Sages" is
stripped of reliability in any and all matters.  While the laws of
courtroom testimony are not completely congruent with those of
reliability about forbidden substances, the dismissal of the apikorus
[heretic] (Choshen Mishpat 34:22) would seem to apply here as well.  One
who rejects the Divine authorship of even a single word of the Torah is
considered an apikorus by the Talmud.  My personal experience with
Conservative clergy, especially the younger generation, is that you will
find very few who believe that the Torah was actually dictated (not just
inspired!) by G-d.


From: Moshe Kahan <kahan@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 03:31:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Research Help

Someone asked me to submit this to mail-jewish:

rabbotai n'y-
i am currently writing a paper on the debates between R' Yehoshua and 
the Savvei d'vei Atuna in Bekhorot 8. Anyone aware of any literature on 
this Gemara, particularly on its historical/philosophical signifincance, 
OTHER than the Juggler and the King, PLEASE contact me as soon as possible.
bvirkat hatorah vhamitzvot,
daniel a halevi yolkut


From: Rabbi Yaakov Shemaria <Yaakov@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 10:21:06 GMT
Subject: Security Camera on Shabbat

Rabbi Y. Liebles, in his important work, Shelot Ve Teshuvot, Bet Avi
Volume 3, responds to a similar question. He responds that since this we
live in a time when unfortunately, we have a need for such security
measures, one can enter into a building where such a camera is
on. However where possible he advises to avoid such camera.Rabbi Shraga
Meir Schnellebag comes to a similar conclusion in the latest volume of
his responsa,Shraga Hameir Volume volume 7 siman 89.  With regards to
electric lights that have motion sensors that people place by their
doorway,Rabbi Hanoch Padwa in volume 3 of his responsa Hashev Ephod
siman 83, writes that since this for sure this is an action that a
person has no benefit from,in a situation where one cannot avoid passing
such sensors, one can be lenient.

Rabbi Yaakov Shemaria
Rav of Beth Hamidrash Hagadol
Leeds England


From: Alan Mizrahi <amizrahi@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 1995 23:44:12 EST
Subject: Split hooves/chews cud

In mj 17:64, Meylekh Viswanath says:

> four examples of animals are given, which are non-kosher: the camel, the pig,
> the arnevet and the shafan, three of which are split-hooved, but do not chew
> the cud, and one that chews the cud and is not split-hooved.

I believe this is backwards.  The camel, arnevet and shafan chew the cud but
are not split-hooved.  The pig is split-hooved but does not chew the cud.
See Devarim 14:7-8.

Alan Mizrahi


End of Volume 17 Issue 70