Volume 18 Number 03
                       Produced: Fri Jan 20  0:14:14 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Cohein Marrying a Divorcee
         [Michael J Broyde]
How was Torah given?! (2)
         [Ari Belenkiy, Avi Feldblum]
Moshe as Stenographer
         [Alan Zaitchik]
Need for Tallit
         [Rabbi Joshua Berkowitz]
Posts and Paskening
         [Meshulum Laks]
Rav Moshe's Birthday
         [Michael Shimshoni]
Special Education Funds
         [Aryeh Blaut]
Tzitizit and Techelet
         [Michael J Broyde]
Unmarried Women and The Mikvah
         [Finley Shapiro]


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 23:50:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Cohein Marrying a Divorcee

I would like to place a certain halachic perspective on the issue of a
Cohein marrying a divorcee.  The biblical prohibition is limited to
marrying a woman who is actually properly halachically married and also
properly halachically divorced.  Absent both of those requiements, there
is no biblical prohibition (assuming that the adultery prohibition is
also gone).
	Rama adds that a woman who is divorced because she may need a
get, or because of other situations were there is even a re'ach haget
[the possibility of a divorce] also may not marry a kohein; see EH 6:1.
Many other poskim (sefadim) do not accept this Rama, and allow a kohein
to marry a woman who was married improperly, and divorced properly.
Thus, for example, there are halachic authorities who would permit a
Kohein to marry a women who was civily married and divorce with a proper
get from her husband; ashkenazic rabbis would not generally allow this
	In short, there is a basic dispute about what one looks at.
Rama mandates that one look only to determine if a get was given.  If a
get was given, the woman may not marry a kohein.  Sefardim seem to
require a two part test; was a get given, and was it needed; See Yabia
Omer 6:1.  

Michael Broyde


From: <belenkiy@...> (Ari Belenkiy)
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 95 21:08:09 PST
Subject: How was Torah given?!

I think that the term "inspiration" is one of the legitimite efforts
to understand how Torah was transmitted to us. People who studied
philosophy and psychology probably can explain what "inspiration"
may mean.

People who maintain that Torah is G-d's handiwork should explain
the descrepancies between Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Yemenite Torah
Scrolls. It might be that these people weekly read and kiss 
unkosher Scrolls (unless "1/60" rule is applicable here).

People who invoked Rambam's name did it "lashav" (in vain).  None of the
13 principles states how Torah was given. None.

What is relevant here is to quote another statement of Rambam: "Not only
he is acceptable and welcome to G-d who fasts and prays, but everyone
who knows Him. He who has no knowledge of G-d is the object of His wrath
and displeasure. The pleasure and the displeasure of G-d, the approach
to Him and the withdrawal from Him is proportional to the amount of
man's knowledge or ignorance, concerning the Creator".  (Maimonides,
"The Guide", part 1, ch. 54).

Once more: any attempt to understand what happened on the Summit (and in
the desert, and in the Land) is Halakhicly legitimite.

Ari Belenky

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 00:13:05 -0500
Subject: Re: How was Torah given?!

Ari Belenkiy writes:

> Once more: any attempt to understand what happened on the Summit (and in
> the desert, and in the Land) is Halakhicly legitimite.

While I agree that an attempt to understand what happened on the Summit
(or anywhere else in general) is Halakhicaly legitimate, what I think we
need to remember is that NOT all proposed solutions are necessarily
Halakhicaly legitimate. If you want to propose, for example in the case
under discussion, that Moshe did not receive the Torah word for word
from Hashem, where this is clearly the opinion of at least the majority
of major Halakhic writers on the subject, than the onus is on the
innovator to show on what earlier sources s/he is drawing to reach this
conclusion and defend the halakhic viability of the SOLUTION.

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


From: Alan Zaitchik <ZAITCHIK@...>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 1995 09:28:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Moshe as Stenographer

Eliyahu Teitz agrees with me "as far as the way moshe interpreted the torah
using the 13 principles of drash... but this does not touch on the point
of the written segment of moshe's prophecy, the torah itself.  the torah
differs from all other writings in that moshe wrote it.  therefore,
anything stated in the torah can not be contradicted.  likewise, a
halacha l'moshe mi'sinai ( law given to moshe at sinai ) is not be
contradicted ( there are some arguments as to whether a particular law
was given to moshe at sinai, but once that is agreed to the point can
not be trumped by any logic )."

Two points in reply:
 1. Apart from the integrity of the text itself, which is not at issue
here, there is no such thing as "the Torah itself". Chazal are
constantly contradicting each other as to what any particular verse in
the Torah means.  It is an open question hotly debated by Chazal
themselves and many rishonim and acharonim as to the nature of these
debates, whether (or rather to what extent) they are differing on the
use of the "midot shehatorah nidreshet bahen" (rules of Torah
interpretation, not necessarily the famous "13") and to what extent they
are disagreeing as to the Masoret they received from their teachers, but
there is almost nothing in "the Torah itself" which is above
debate. Once again, in the same way we "trust" Yehoshua or Yiftach or
for that matter your LOR, we have to trust Moshe, angelic or not.
 2. True, the Rambam says that a "halacha l'moshe m'sinai" is above
debate and never argued in the Talmud, but this is a VERY difficult
position to defend since there are many such machlokot on laws which are
called "halacha (lmoshe misinai)" in the Talmud. The attempt to defend
the Rambam's position is well known, but (to put it mildly) fairly

See the recent book "How do we know this?" (SUNY Press, I believe) by Jay 
Harris for an excellant treatment of both the above points. 

/A Zaitchik


From: <RYehoshua@...> (Rabbi Joshua Berkowitz)
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 23:19:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Need for Tallit

If a single man (in a community where single men do not don a tallit)
receives an *aliya* on Monday or Thursday, does he need to put on a tallit,
if he is wearing his tephillin?  I am curious to see how other shuls are
*noheg* and if anyone has any sources supporting any postion. Rabbi Joshua


From: Meshulum Laks <mpl@...>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 00:37:24 -0500
Subject: Posts and Paskening

I have some comments on recent postings.

Leah Zakh wrote recently a brief posting relating the two subjects of
Shmittah and Tu BiShevat. She brought up the issue of Kedushat Sheviit
and Terumah and Maaser on Peirot Eretz Yisrael and the Heter Mechirah.

I read her posting as a typical posting relating issues and giving her
own understanding of the matter.

I don't believe that she was attempting to pasken - rather to bring up
the topics. She did this appropriately, showing a more than casual
knowledge. I don't know her, but I am sure she doesn't profess to be an
expert, any more than most posters on MJ.

However, on this net there are experts. Not only experts in such arcana
as torus knots as applied to motives in Breshis and hidden codes
throughout tanach and torah attitudes towards intergalactic life and
Universal Transpermia, or whatever.

But people who are actually experts in the Codes of Jewish Law.  Roshei
yeshivos and professors and other knowledgeable people.

I take issue with the posting of Rabbi Broyde

"More generally, there is something wrong with posting of this type that
take very complex halachik issues, simplify them into rules that are
very debateable, and post them on a list of this type with a simple
warning that THESE are the rules used by halacha, and halachik Jews
should comply. Once again, I urge people to investigate halachik issues
and provide sources for assertions. A little bit of research makes
posting much more worth while."

It is the free interchange at the common level of discussion we have
achieved that makes our network interesting. The experts elevate the
level of everyone else by their writing. It is only because Leah wrote
her piece that Dr. Schiff and Rabbi Broyde wrote theirs.

MJ is not a professional mailing list of Roshei Yeshivah, or a refereed
professional journal, where people who do research projects routinely
submit their postings for analysis and criticism at their own
institutions, by other professors, before submission.

There is room for that kind of list too, but to enforce that level of
rigor for a general audience such as this is counterproductive in the
search for Torah and truth. Lo Habayshan Lomed (One easily embarrassed
can't progress in learning).

Most people I know enjoy MJ precisely because of the occasional erudite
discussion prompted by some comment. We put up with alot of other less
interesting things just to get this.

When people write submissions that are not fully researched, that is
their right, because that is what our net is about. I think that Leah's
posting more than met our standard.

Additionally, some of the things we say can hurt the feelings of those
who are the target, inadvertently. As happened in this case.

Additionally Rabbi Broyde mentioned that the Minchat Shlomo was written
by Rav Auerbach. However he doesn't identify the author of Beit Avi, (a
reference that escapes me.).

Meshulum Laks


From: Michael Shimshoni <MASH@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 95 15:34:10 +0200
Subject: Rav Moshe's Birthday

Joseph Steinberg correctly remarked on:
>:I spoke to Reb Dovid Feinstein and in 1885 there was only one adar.
>That is very nice -- but Rav Moshe was not born in 1885!

And equally "nice" is that in 1885 (5645) there were *two* adars.
 Michael Shimshoni

[All right, I think we have now covered all the possible
permutations. NO! please do not send me what permutations are really
left. Mod.]


From: <AryehBlaut@...> (Aryeh Blaut)
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 01:49:30 -0500
Subject: Special Education Funds

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this question.  I'm sure
someone will let me know if it is.

I am helping research the various possibilities of funding for a special
education program for our community.

Does anyone out there in computer-land know of any funding for such programs?
 We are looking to supply all of our children, not just the main stream
children, with a Secular and Jewish Education.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know.  We would like to create
this program for the next school year.


R' Aryeh Blaut


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 23:38:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Tzitizit and Techelet

One of the writers indicated that the normative opinion was that
tzitizit without techelet is only a rabbinic obligation.  To the best of
my knowledge, this is by no means correct.  As implied by the gerama
menachot 44a and quoted by shulchan aruch 9:1-2, if the garment is four
cornered, and made from certain fabrics, there is a biblical obligation
to have tzitizit on it before one wears it.  While there might be
rishonim who disagreed (perhaps Rambam), this is not the normative
posture taken by halacha in the last 500 years.
	Techelet is generally considered a separate fulfillment of a 
biblical commandment.
Michael Broyde


From: Finley Shapiro <Finley_Shapiro@...>
Date: 19 Jan 1995 22:33:42 U
Subject: Unmarried Women and The Mikvah

According to my mother (I'm sorry this is second hand, but it's from a
reliable source), a prominent Conservative rabbi told her that he was
once asked whether, when a couple is living together, the woman should
be following the laws of going to the mikvah.  He responded that yes she
should, and that by Jewish law they were actually married already.

Finley Shapiro


End of Volume 18 Issue 3