Volume 17 Number 71
                       Produced: Wed Jan  4 20:37:11 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Being Married in Shul
         [Rabbi Yaakov Shemaria]
Conservative Marriage (v17n70)
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Legal Fiction
         [Zvi Weiss]
Marriage in a shul and Purim Tracker
         [Erwin Katz]
Not getting married in a shul
         [Ben Rothke]
Obsessive-Compulsive Frumkeit (Religiosity)
         [Dr. Sam Juni]
OCD vs. piety
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Time-Space Complimentarity in the Gemarra, Rishonim and Acharonim
         [Daniel Felsenstein]


From: Rabbi Yaakov Shemaria <Yaakov@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 22:55:37 GMT
Subject: Being Married in Shul

In my congregation, Beth Hamidrash Hagadol, a typical Anglo- Orthodox
congregation, in a Northern Provincal City in England, where the vast
majority of my members are Orthodox by affiliation and not by practice,
weddings take place in Shul. In defence of this widespread practice, the
Yad Halevi writes in volume 2 of his responsa 61 suggesting that having
a Chupah in shul does not violate its sanctity. Rav Bension Uziel, a
former chief Sephardi Rabbi, of Israel, defends the practice of weddings
in Shuls,(See Piskei Uziel 49-50.). He argues if the prohibition of
having weddings in shuls is based on the "behukoteihem lo teilechu "
similarly we should not doven in shul, after all they also pray in their
houses of worship! Like Rav Herzog who wrote in his responsa (Heichal
Itzchak Even Haezer Volume 2 paragraph 27) who encountered this custom
when he came to England, and could not change while he was Rav in
Belfast, Ireland, I have to be grateful that at least young couples
choose to be married under Orthodox Jewish Auspices, i.e. the witnesses
are Orthodox members of the clergy, and the wedding ceremony is Kedat
Moshe Ve Israel, according to the law of Moshe and Israel, and do not
expect to have a double ringed ceremony.

Rabbi Yaakov Shemaria


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 17:15:25 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Conservative Marriage (v17n70)

A posting noted that Rav Henkin had a disagreement with Reb Moshe. Reb Moshe
points out several times in the Igros Moshe that that disagreement only
concerned civil marriages (for reasons that require a somewhat detailed
explanation), but that Rav Henkin agreed with him that R/C marriages do not
mandate gittin. Although the poster quoted a Reb Yaakov from hearsay that
paskened allegedly like Rav Henkin in this regard (perhaps there was a mix up.
Another Rabbi from Toronto, Rabbi Price, rules that way), the Tzitz Eliezer
and the Chief Rabbinate in Israel hold like Reb Moshe (even in civil
marriages), as do many American poskim as well.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 12:22:21 -0500
Subject: Legal Fiction

Re Bobby Fogel's posting about call girls and "fiction".
As far as I can recall, the prohibition of "Z'nut" refers to promiscuity
not to prostitution (where the term "Kedesha" is used).  Thus, whether this
lady is getting paid for her amourous efforts or not is totally irrelevant
as she is still in violation of the prohibition associated with Z'nut.
This is not a legal fiction at all.
However, there MAY be a question in terms of the halacha of "Esnan Zona"
-- i.e., the "gift" given to a promiscuous woman is prohibited for use as
a sacrifice.  This may be an interesting area to explore as to whether the
"present" that our modern-day "escort" receives is included under the
prohibition of Esnan.
It may also be interesting to explore whether the specific violation of
"Lo sihye Kadesh...." i.e., that prostitution is explicitly prohibited applies
here or not.  However, if the definition of Kdesha also includes any woman
who is "prepared" to engage in physical relations with men --- whether for
pay or not, she may STILL be considered a K'desha, as well.



From: ERWIN_KATZ_at_~<7BK-ILN-CHICAGO@...> (Erwin Katz)
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 95 10:59:09 CST
Subject: Re: Marriage in a shul and Purim Tracker

 Re: Marriage in a shul
 My sister was married in my father's shul to a bochur from
Lakewood. The mesader kiddushin was Harav Moshe Feinstein.
 Re: Purim Tracker
 The Hebrew Theological College(Skokie Yeshiva) uses a
Shalach Monos computer system with all the features. Call
Rabbi Isenberg at 708-674-7750


From: Ben Rothke <yafo!<ber@...>
Date: Wed,  4 Jan 95 13:28:32 PST
Subject: Not getting married in a shul

In ref. to Micha Berger's statement that certain Rabonim would not
approve of weddings in shuls due to the issur of "Lo Seleichu", what
about attending an overly ostentatious simcha where the parent had to go
into debt to keep up with the Shwartz's??  If that is not an issur of Lo
Selechu, that I do not know what is

 Ben Rothke   
 e-mail: <ber@...>


From: Dr. Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 95 20:49:16 EST
Subject: Obsessive-Compulsive Frumkeit (Religiosity)

Recent discussants have explored aspects of the obsessive-compulsive
syndrome as it relates to ritual observance. Some references were made
to the Brisker habits (e.g., rechecking locked doors and repeating
some of the words in Shma ad infinitum). My comments follow:

   a. Obsession refers to unwanted thoughts which one feels compelled
      to think.  Compulsion refers to unwanted behaviors which one
      feels compelled to repeat.

   b. Both of the above are ego-alien; i.e., they are usually not
      justified by the victim/patient as being rational.  Thus, the
      compusive gas-range-turner-offer must do so even if s/he
      knows it is shut already.

   c. O-C is part of the Anxiety Neurosis complex. That means that
      the feeling of "being compelled" is policed by the threat of
      anxiety. Thus, should the patient not check the stove for the
      n'th time, anxiety will result.

   d. The anxiety threat which enforces compliance with thoughts/acts,
      is essential for diagnosis of O-C.  Repetitive thoughts or acts
      without this background threat do no qualify. Neither does atten-
      tion to detail (even if it inappropriate).

   e. The limitation in classification of O-C only to cases where there
      is resulting stress or harm is a legal/political/third-party-re-
      imbursement construct/fiction. Companies do not want to pay for
      the treatment of one who is compelled to tie the left shoe each
      time s/he ties the right.  That belies the fact that the dynamics
      are the same here as those of the patient who needs to scrub him/
      herself for 18 hours daily to get clean.

   f. Chana Stillinger suggests that Orthodox Judaism may have a pre-
      disposition toward O-C due to the need for extraordinary atten-
      tion to detail and constant awareness of consequences.  I would
      suggest that this is true only when the Orthodox live in a non-
      Orthodox community.  I dare say there is no such atmosphere in
      Monroe, N.Y.  I am not sure it is reasonable to classify an entire
      subgroup clinically.  From my (urban) perspective, the farmer with
      his constant ritual of plowing, milking times, worry re weather,
      egg schedules, rotting food, should be living in an O-C frenzy.

   g. Clara Silberstein raises the question whether a son who is instruc-
      ted by his O-C father/rabbi to aid and abet aberrant behavior has
      the duty to do so because of the Torah commandment. I have two
      reservations. First: does honoring include following commands? I.e.
      How do I honor my father if I obey his command for me to wear a
      a particular color pants?  Second: Perpetuating pathological beha-
      vior must be exempt somewhere from the commandment.

   h. Mark Steiner sees possible overlap between piety and O-C.  Would he
      see the same overlap between concern for physical safety and O-C?

   i. There is a thin book by Rabbi Greenwald where he produces an
      exchange of letters with Rabbi Kanievsky (brother in law of the
      Chazon Ish) regarding advisable methods to deal with Charedi
      patients who use Hallachic concerns as seeds for O-C pathology.

   j. Dr. Jeremy Schiff suggests the litmus test for O-C vs. religio-
      sity as a judgement whether the behavior is "damaging."  This is
      totally subjective, since damaging to one is perfect for another.
       There is no objective standard for normality, so there is none
       for the converse.

To conclude: Two stories:

   1. We had a classmate in Yeshiva who was the "zaddik", and meti-
      culous in his observances, but somehow it seemed artificial.
      This guy NEVER missed morning Minyan.  One day, his alarm clock
      died, and he missed Minyan.  From then on, he rarely came to
      Minyan again.  Apparently, he was motivated by the record, not by
      the desire to attend Minyan.

   2. A friend from my adolescence rebelled against his Yeshiva education
      and became an irreligious angry person who is very introspective.
      He described to me how he has "no problem" violating any of the
      Hallachos, but that, for the life of him, he cannot leave the bath-
      without washing his hands.


From: Andy Goldfinger <andy_goldfinger@...>
Date: 4 Jan 1995 12:24:59 U
Subject: OCD vs. piety

    There has been some discussion of how to distinguish obsessive
compulsive behavior from true piety.  Perhaps the following case history
will help.

   The Bostoner Rebbe told a story about his father.  His father was
very particular about which matzos he used for his Pesach seder.  For a
long period before Pesach, he would begin examining individual matzos,
looking carefully for properties that had to do with special halachic or
kabbalistic considerations.  Eventually, after many hours, he would
select the three matzos he wanted, and they were put in a basket in the
closet.  The Rebbe said that it was clear to everyone that "you did not
go near that closet" for fear of breaking the matzos.  Finally, at the
seder the closet would be opened and the matzos brought to the table.

One year, when the closet was opened, only a few crumbs remained in the
basket.  There was a tense hush in the room as his father asked what had
become of the matzos.  A maid who had been engaged to watch the children
said that the children had been hungry, and she found the matzos in the
closet and so fed them.  She asked if she had done anything wrong.

The Rebbe's father replied: no, she had not done anything wrong.  He was
happy that she had fed the children.  Then he asked for three more
matzos to be brought to the table, and three (picked quite at random)
were brought and the seder proceeded.

Now -- was the Rebbe's father engaged in compulsive behavior when he
spent many long hours looking over matzos for minute defects or details?
It could certainly seem so.  But -- why did he do this?  Clearly, it was
to fulfill a spiritual goal and thus when the Torah required him to
instead spare the feelings and prevent the embarassment of an innocent
young woman, he did not hesitate to choose any three matzos that were at
hand.  If this had been compulsive behavior, he would not have been able
to do this.  So perhaps the answer lies in the reason for doing the act
rather than in the act itself.


From: Daniel Felsenstein <msdfels@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 16:16:18 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Time-Space Complimentarity in the Gemarra, Rishonim and Acharonim

I'm looking for examples of Time-Space complimentarity in the Gemara, 
Rishonim and Acharonim and wonder whether anyone out there could help.

'Time-space complimentarity' refers to the way in which the Gemara and 
Rishonim translate physical distance into time. I am interested in 
knowing whether there is any consistency in this across different 
examples in Shass and across the various Rishonim. For example, a 
discusssion on this can be found in Pesachim (93a) over the issue of how 
to define 'derech rechoka' (a long distance) with respect to the 
obligation for observing Pessach Sheni. The Mishna there gives a 
maximum radius outside Yerushalayim and a discussion then ensues as to 
whether this distance is what counts or whether its' time equivalent.

The Rishonim and Achronim then pick this up and the result is different 
calculations as to how to convert distance into time (or how many minutes 
it takes to cover one Mil -  see for example, the Rambam, the Terumot 
HaDeshen and the Vilna Gaon).

Does anyone have any other examples of this kind of 'space-time 
complimentarity' and is there any discussion of this issue in contemporary 
Halachik sources or journals ?

Thanks for any assistance,

Daniel Felsenstein                                        Tel; 972-2-883343 
Department of Geography,                                  Fax; 972-2-820549
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, ISRAEL
Email; <msdfels@...>


End of Volume 17 Issue 71