Volume 17 Number 73
                       Produced: Thu Jan  5  0:42:36 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Bat Mitzva
         [Adina B. Sherer]
         [Avigdor Ben-Dov]
         [Finley Shapiro]
         [Rabbi Nahum Spirn]
Marriage in a Shul
         [Richard Schiffmiller]
Microphones (2)
         [Yitzchak Unterman, Zvi Weiss]
Mostly 19-year Cycle
         [Ed Cohen]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 23:09:58 -0500
Subject: Administrivia

Thanks to all who are sending me in comments about how to move this list
forward and improve things for all of us. There are many good comments
coming in, and I will need a few days to pull them all together. Since I
think making the right decisions is more important than starting the
vote on a specific date, I will be pushing the start of voting off by
about a week. I will try and summirize some of the suggestions in a
special mailing early next week. One point about the voting method: I
will be using some form of what is often called "multi-voting". This
means that you will be able to vote for more than one option, with
possible weights for your choices. I'll try to decide by middle of next
week at the latest whether it will be a single multi-vote, or a two
tiered voting, the first with a larger set of alternatives and the vote
will then choose a second smaller set for the second voting round. If we
go in the latter method, there will probably be a parallel vote of the
desired volume of the list.

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


From: <adina@...> (Adina B. Sherer)
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 95 8:05:23 IST
Subject: Bat Mitzva

I have been reading the ongoing debate about Bat Mitzva with great interest
as we have an 11-year old daughter and we have been trying to decide what
sort of simcha is appropriate.

One of the posters stated unequivocally that Rav Moshe zt"l was "opposed"
to Bat Mitzva.  From reading Iggros Moshe (OH 4:36) the impression I get
is that what Rav Moshe was "opposed" to was the American Conservative or
Reform type Bat Mitzva in which the girl would be called to the Tora and
of course all of the attendant chilul Shabbos that would go with it.  

Although Rav Moshe clearly states that the Bat Mitzva is not a seudat
mitzva, he also states that it is permissible to make a Kiddush in honor
of the occasion, and for the Bat Simcha to say a Dvar Tora, although 
she should do so "at the table" and not at the bima.  I suspect that 
much of Rav Moshe's opposition was based on the fact that most of the
Bat Mitzva's a generation ago were an attempt to be "the same" as Bar
Mitzva's - including an aliya to the Tora, and therefore were widely 
condemned by the Orthodox community.  I suspect that Rav Moshe would 
not have opposed a simple seuda (with a mechitza of course) at which
the young lady gives a dvar tora from her seat.

I should add that we were recently at a Bat Mitzva at which we heard
a different explanation given.  During the 1948 War of Independence,
Israelis were given extra rations for special occasions such as a 
brit, a Bar Mitzva and a Bat Mitzva.  Hence the Bat Mitzva was an
"excuse" if you will to get a few more eggs.

Someone also asked about the souce of Bar Mitzva.  I can recall hearing
from my LOR some 30 years ago that he went and davened in a different 
shul where he was not known in order to avoid getting an aliya on his
Bar Mitzva.  Apparently in Europe all that was accepted in many communities
was that the boy was called to the Tora on Shabbat

	Adina and Carl Sherer
		You can reach us both at:


From: AVIGDOR%<ILNCRD@...> (Avigdor Ben-Dov)
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 95 07:47 IST
Subject: Charity

I would like to ask knowledgeable readers about the practice of giving
charity, or rather, the practice of many beggars to enter into the
congregation of shuls and go from person to person, no matter where they
may be holding in their tefilah, and shake a handful of coins in one's
face to attract attention or demand a contribution. I find this objection-
able and disruptive of prayer. I feel guilty by not giving tzedaka, but
what about the violation of kavanah (intent) in davening? I never noticed
this phenomenon as much as I do today in Israel, especially in Jerusalem.
In chicago, where I once resided, the shamash used to take money from the
collection box and give it out to those who came for appeals. The amount
of money is not great, and I wonder if an organized giving wouldn't be
more helpful and avoid the intrusion of these shnorrers and poor people.
What is the halachah on this, or is it simply open season and anyone may
demand tzedakah anytime?

Avigdor Ben-Dov


From: Finley Shapiro <Finley_Shapiro@...>
Date: 4 Jan 1995 17:25:20 U
Subject: Hair

I read recently that in some foods which are fortified with vitamin D,
the vitamin comes from animal hair.  This brings up the interesting
question of whether hair is milk, meat or parve.

For the purposes of this discussion, let's assume 1) the hair is from a
kosher animal, 2) it is cut from a live animal in an acceptable manner,
just as one cuts wool from a sheep, and 3) it is not refined to the
point of being a chemical before it is added to the food.  I assume that
that wild dogs eat some hair of the animals they kill, so dogs are
willing to eat hair.

1) There is an intuitive tendency to link hair with meat, since it grows
on the flesh of an animal rather than coming out of the mammary glands.
This might suggest that hair is meat.

2) Hair can be removed from an animal without killing it, while taking a
piece of flesh from a live animal is forbidden.  This might suggest that
hair is parve, but is anything else from a mammal ever parve?

3) Biologically hair is a lot like milk, except that it is not white and
not a liquid.  Both have a lot of protein, are produced by all species
of mammals and only by mammals (by definition of a mammal), and are
excreted from glands leading out of the skin.  Should we say that hair
is dairy?

Public or private responses are welcome.

Finley Shapiro


From: <NOURANIFAR@...> (Rabbi Nahum Spirn)
Date: Thu, 05 Jan 1995 00:08:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Marriage

  	I'd like to add a few sources to Ari Shapiro's (mj 17:61) in
response to Ben Yudkin's question of MJ 17:56, Is there a mitzvah to
marry.  As Ari said, the Rosh (Kesuvos 7b) holds no, one may fulfill the
mitzvah of pru u'rvu through a concubine and there is no independent
mitzvah of getting married.  However, the Ritva there quotes from R.
Yechiel MiParis who says there is an independent mitzvah to get married,
notwithstanding the apparently non-obligatory sound of the language of
the posuk, "When a man take a woman."  From the Rambam (Sefer HaMitzvos
213, Hilchos Ishus 1:1) it would seem it is a mitzvah kiyumis, i.e. you
get a mitzvah if you get married, but it is not an obligation.

	As far as the permissibility of fulfilling pru u'rvu through a
concubine, most Rishonim would indeed prohibit this, see for example
Magid Mishnah (Ishus 1:4) that the Torah insists on a man "taking" a
woman (the above posuk), and it would violate this positive commandment
(issur aseh) to live with a woman without marriage. [Note: Most Rishonim
define a pilegesh, concubine, as a woman one lives with without benefit
of kiddushin, see Sanhedrin 21a.] This is also the position of the
Rambam, according to the Minchas Chinuch 570.

	But the Rosh quoted above disagrees.  And Rav Aharon
Lichtenstein pointed out in his shiurim on Kiddushin (Gruss '88) that
this also seems to be the position of the Ramban (Sefer Hamitzvos,
Shoresh 5), who says the prohibition of premarital relations is based on
the posuk "u'mal'ah ha'aretz zima", "and the world will be full of
immorality"; this would presumably not apply when one designates one
particular woman to live with, such as a concubine.  See also Rema, Even
HaEzer 26:1.

Rabbi Nahum Spirn


From: Richard Schiffmiller <moe@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 22:23:37 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Marriage in a Shul

	I had the privilege of being a talmid of R. Dovid Lifshitz z"l 
for two years and he was M'sader Kiddushin for me and for my two 
brothers.  His policy of not performing a wedding ceremony in a Shul is 
based on a Teshuvah of the Chasam Sofer.  The Chasam Sofer was educated 
in Frankfurt-on-Main, and served as a Rov in communities in central 
Europe (Czech-Hungary area).  He was in a constant battle against the 
inroads made by Maskilim and Reformers into Yiddishkeit in the early part 
of the 19th century.  The Reformers imitated the goyim in many ways, and 
the Chasam Sofer wanted to make a clear demarcation between the practises 
of Torah Jews and those of the Reformers.  Thus, although there is nothing 
inherently wrong with getting married in a Shul, it was a gezeirah to 
stem the tide of assimilation. 


From: Yitzchak Unterman <Yitzchak.Unterman@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 95 17:30:15
Subject: Microphones

I have just rejoined mj after a few months absence.  Jim Phillips
requested sources, in vol17 no68, regarding microphones on shabbes.
There is a teshuva of my grandfather, Hagaon R. Isser Yehuda Unterman
z"l, which is printed in a recently published sefer of mainly short
teshuvos collected posthumously by Mossad Harav Kook - Shevet Mi Yehuda
vol. 2 - which relates to microphones, if I am not mistaken.

From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 12:15:09 -0500
Subject: Microphones

I believe that Rabbi M. Willig can provide more info on the "air-driven"
microphones.  I think that he was actively involved in investigating this
matter.  The basis was because the DoD wanted to develop a shipboard
"communication system" which was NOT electrically driven.  This would 
supposedly serve to maintain communiactions aboard ship even if power
was lost.
Also, I recall reading articles written inthe early and mid-50's re the
question of microphone.  The Primary Rav who permitted this was a very fine
and scholarly Rav who was [I believe] in Baltimore.  AS a senior Rav in the
city, he issued a p'sak permitting the use of microphone.  If that is so, it is
perfectly proper fro frum Shules in Baltimore who received such a p'sak to 
continue to use microphones unless a later Mara D'asra in that city later 
explicitly prohibited their use.  I do not know if Rav Heinemann (who is
probably considered the Mara D'Asra for Baltimore) actually did such a thing.

I do not recall the name of the Rav who was Matir this... I *think* that his
name was "Polyeff" but I am not at all sure as it has been MANY years since
I last saw those articles.



From: Ed Cohen <ELCSG@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 95 00:14:12 EST
Subject: Mostly 19-year Cycle

     I have been on leave and am just catching up on the mj news. I
would like to give responses (not necessarily answers) to 3 of the

     (1) Eli Turkel in v14,#25 on the destruction of the second temple:
Look at the book by Edgar Frank, Talmudic & Rabbinical Chronology, 1956,
1977, Feldheim, New York, Jerusalem.

     (2) Alan Mizrahi (and numerous others), starting, I believe, about
v15,#37: His question was about the 19-year cycle and why the Jewish
birthday does or does not coincide with the regular
birthday. Unfortunately, the Jewish calendar and the secular or
Gregorian calendar have very little to do eith each other. The Gregorian
calendar can have in its 19 years 6938 (take the year 1700), 6939 or
6940 days.  The Jewish calendar from the 298 cycle to the 309 cycle has
had 3 x 6941 days, 4 x 6940 days, 5 x 6939 days. In this period 2 days
have been gained over the Gregorian calendar, and in only 4 of these
cycles have there been no gain or loss.  If one picks any year not
beginning with one of these cycles, one might have better luck at
matching the birthday after 19 years. One of the problems is that the
duration of the 19 solar years is equal to the length of 235 lunar
months, where the lunar month is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 min., 3 1/3 sec.;
19 years make 6939 days, 16 hours, 33 min., 3 1/3 sec. (Rabbi Nathan

     (3) Michael Broyde in v16,#22 on Canadian Thanksgiving: Bob Harvey
the (non-jewish) editor of "The Ottawa Citizen" writes: "Thanksgiving
Day was originally proclaimed as a religious holiday.  In 1879
Parliament declared a 'day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for
the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.' In the United
States Abraham Lincoln struck a similar theme in 1863, when he issued a
proclamation calling for 'a day of thanksgiving and praise to our
beneficent Father.'" I doubt that either day has religious significance
any more.

Prof. Edward L. Cohen, Dept of Math & Stats
University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, CANADA
K1N 6N5


End of Volume 17 Issue 73