Volume 18 Number 15
                       Produced: Fri Jan 27 11:30:51 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Eruv scenarios
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Israeli food outside Israel
         [Michael J Broyde]
The Validity of Codes in Kiruv
         [Harold Gans]
         [Warren Burstein]
Tzedakah and "schnorrers"
         [R. Shaya Karlinsky]
         [David Lee Makowsky]


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 09:35:19 -0500
Subject: Eruv scenarios 

Warren Burstein (MJ18#11) writes:
>Aliza Esther Berger writes of the Miami Beach Eruv, with a string on
>the inland side of the boardwalk.  Gilad J. Gevaryahu suggests that
>the railing on the other side of the boardwalk includes the boardwalk
>in the eruv.
>But I wonder, if the railing constitutes a valid boundary, why is
>there a string on the other side of the boardwalk?

I have called an frum friend of mine , who has a place in Miami, to ask
him the question. The Miami eruv was built before the boardwalk. The
boardwalk is only about 7 years old. If the boardwalk would have been
there before, indeed no sting was needed for that side.

Shabbat Shalom,
Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 11:52:37 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Israeli food outside Israel

Beating dead horses is always unwise; nonetheless, I shall post again on 
this topic.  Eli Turkel recently wrote:

>     Leah Zakh writes
> >> Also ALL Israeli produce requires Parshat Trumot and Maaserot unless
> >> it has a hechsher that already separated them.
>     Michael Broyde replies
> >> I believe that posting is without any foundation in
> >> halacha, and is simply wrong .
>     Neither of these approaches is quite right. The latest issue of Ohr
> haMizrach has a lengthy article on the requirement of taking terumah from
> Israeli produce intended for outside of Israel. This article is by
> Rabbi Broyde and so I am a little confused why he was so strong
> against Leah Zakh. 

My post was directed against Leah Zakh's assertion that because the 
produce was produced during shemita year, halacha prohibited a jew in 
America from eating the produce unless one relied on the heter mechira.  
While I mentioned issues related to teruma, that issue was clearly 
labeled as "in dispute."  What I labeled as in error was the assertion 
that exported fruit produced bekedushat sheveit was prohibited to be 
eaten.  I stand by that statement and I am unaware of any authority who 
prohibits a Jew in America from eating fruit of Israel produced during 
the shemitta.  of course, one has to treat it bekedushat sheviet, and be 
aware of zman biur issues, but that is a different matter.

Michael Broyde


From: <AishNY@...> (Harold Gans)
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 23:24:42 -0500
Subject: The Validity of Codes in Kiruv

This is a response from Mr. Harold Gans of Aish HaTorah concerning
comments questioning the use of "Codes in the Torah" as a means of
bringing Jews back to Torah.

It is unfortunately true that many people are not influenced by the
classical "proofs" of the validity of Torah because they don't even
listen to the arguments. They are so convinced that divine revelation
did not take place that they do not take the idea seriously. The codes
can sometimes grab the attention of a person like that. They do not
prove anything. But they certainly do provide scientific evidence that
cannot be brushed off casually.  Belief in Torah as a divine
communication should, however, never be based on codes alone. That is
why, for example, the subject of the codes occupies only about 1.5 hours
out of a 45-hour Discovery Seminar. The reasons you give for belief,
along with considerable elaboration and other arguments, occupy the rest
of the time.

One last comment: You say that the codes are a "house of cards." This is
a universal insight: all of science is a "house of cards" since it is
based on accumulation of evidence and can never be "proven" in the
mathematical sense.  Nevertheless, the scientific "house of cards" is
relatively secure; modern technology bears this out. Of course,
depending on the quantity and quality of evidence, some findings are
more secure than others. The work on the codes has been the subject of
about seven years of rigorous peer review and has also been verified and
extended by my own research and further research by Witzdum et al. I
think it is fair to say that it is a fairly secure "house of cards."


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 15:17:50 GMT
Subject: Re: Tzedaka

When I lived in Tel Aviv, there was a man who would come to my shul
every Purim morning at the same time to collect tzedaka.  During the
reading of the Megilah.

 |warren@         bein hashmashot, in which state are the survivors
/ nysernet.org    buried?


From: R. Shaya Karlinsky <msbillk@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 19:20:04 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Tzedakah and "schnorrers"

	In his posting on "Tzedakah and 'Scnorring'," (V18, No.2) Avi Teitz 
raises an often overlooked point.
>However upon reflection, one can see that it is exactly the opposite,
>for while we are rich monetarily, we are poor with respect to mitzvot.
>Thus, the ani asking us for tzedakah is really offering us, the
>mitzvah-poor, schar mitzvah. 
>In the tzedakah transaction, who should be more
>grateful, the one receiving money, or the one recieving schar mitzvah (a
>rarer and infinitely more valuable commodity)?

	The Gemara in Bava Bathra (10a) makes the point even stronger,
and the Or HaChaim Hakadosh and the Kli Yakar, on this week's Parsha,
Mishpatim, expand on it.  I would like to present a summary of their
words, hopefully providing food for thought on an issue that doesn't
always get the attention to detail and "chumra" that so many other areas
of our Torah life get these days.

	(Shemoth, 22:24) If/when you loan money to my nation, [to] the
poor person who is with you, do not be as a "nosheh" (lit: one who
squeezes) to him...

	The Or HaChaim Hakadosh is troubled by the word "Im" that opens
this section (especially in light of the Mechilta which says that "im"
usually means "if" but here means "when").
	A person could (should?) wonder what purpose there is in the
great wealth that some people have, wealth which is never actually used
by them.  This person shouldn't merit more than Yakov Avinu asked :
Bread (food) to eat and clothes to wear (Breishith 28:20), and it should
suffice for G-d to provide this person with everything that he could
possibly need, but not MORE.
	One could find a reason for a person receiving LESS than all
their needs, possibly as a punishment for some sins that they committed.
But what reason could there be for someone to receive MORE than they
	The answer lies in the way G-d wants to provide for the needs of
those who don't merit to recieve their needs (for whatever reason)
directly from His hand.  Normally G-d provides generously the (real)
needs of each of person.  When there is a person who does not merit this
direct generosity, G-d doesn't withdraw this person's provisions from
the world.  Rather he "deposits" them with someone else, requiring the
poor person to obtain his needs in a less dignified way, from the person
holding those resources.
	G-d follows this system to benefit people in two complimentary
ways. The poor person's difficulty atones for sins he may have, and/or
elevates him to a higher level in the World To Come by overcoming
difficulties in this physical world.  The rich person is provided with
an opportunity to do charity and kindenss (tzedakah and chesed, which
are two separate activities - SK), enabling him to imitate G-d, the
ultimate accomplishment in this world.
	So the verse is understood in the following way, according to
the Or HaChaim.  If you see that you have more money than you need
(hmm..), and you loan some of it to others ("ami") realize that it is
not your portion that you are giving him.  Rather it belongs to others,
the poor people who are "with you," and you are giving him what is
basically his.  There is a further hint about the proper attitude to
adopt.  Do not be a "nosheh" warns you against arrogance and a feeling
of elevation above him, from the word "nesiut" since you are really a
conduit through which he is getting what G-d has provided for him.  (The
Ramchal in Derech HaShem, Section II, Chapter 3 expands on this theme.)

	The Kli Yakar asks about the double language of "loaning money
to my nation" followed by "loaning to the poor person." This indicates
two perspectives, leading to two commandments relating to "tzedakah."
	First, the Jew to whom you loan money is part of "ami," G-d's
nation.  If an employee or messenger of a king was on a mission, and he
found himself short of food or other needed resources to complete the
mission, one who lent him what he needed would not really be loaning to
the individual but rather loaning to the king.  And the loan would be
guaranteed by and collectible from the king.  "Malve Hashem chonein
dal."  (Mishlei 19:17) One who bestows upon a needy person is providing
a loan to G-d.  (The Gemara in Bava Bathra 10a discusses the astounding
nature of this statement.)  When we give money to a poor person, we are
really advancing money to G-d, who is assuring us that it will be repaid
to us.
	Therefore, the Torah commands us "lo tihyeh lo kinoshe," do not
squeeze him if he is having trouble paying you back, since you have
really loaned the money to G-d, and it is He who ultimately responsible
to pay you back if the debtor "defaults."

	The second point is based on an earlier section of the Gemara in
Bava Bathra 10a.  Rabbi Meir used to teach how to respond to the
following "attack" on G-d's compassion.  "If G-d loves poor people, why
doesn't he take care of them?!"  The answer is "In order for us to have
the opportunity to be saved from the judgement of Gehinom (by our
supporting the poor person)."  Chazal teach us (Ruth Rabbah 5:9) that
the poor person does more for the rich person than vice versa, quoting
the verse where Ruth, who was the poor person, came to Naomi to tell her
"what I did for Boaz (the wealthy person) today."  The rich person gives
from his temporal, material wealth, but gets back "eternity."  (Yes,
this sounds a little too romantic for our Western ears.  Our difficulty
is how we are tangibly able to transcend our social acculturation that
is built on immediate gratification, while Judaism is built on delayed
	So when the Torah writes "the poor person with you" it means
that he is really "WITH you," suffering poverty in order for you to
benefit.  (See Derech HaShem of the Ramchal, Section II, Chapter 3 for a
further elaboration of this.)  Receiving the benefit of eternity should
be more than enough compensation for the loan you are giving him, and
charging interest on top of that, to also make a little money on your
loan, is absolutely prohibited.  Do you minimize the difficulty the poor
person is going through?!  Do you minimize the fact that you are the
beneficiary of so much benefit when you utilize the opportunity to
provide him with needed support?!  This, says the Kli Yakar, is why
Judaism views charging interest on a loan so negatively.
	(My colleague, Rabbi Hirshfeld, once went to Rav Shlomo Zalman,
shlit'a, to discuss the details of a heter iska for a loan we had to
take, where we were willing to pay interest.  Opening the conversation
with our need to pay interest, Rav Shlomo Zalman went almost white.
"Interest is the same as eating pork!" he said.)

	Since Avi Teitz's original post, a number of people have
commented on the difficulty of knowing how authentic are the needs of
the solicitor, how much of the money is going to the real needs, etc.
But is it not also difficult to ascertain whether an investment is a
sound one or not, whether a house is well constructed, a car well made,
or a piece of electronic equipment suitable for our needs and fairly
priced?  When confrotnted with any of these decisions, we do research.
We spend lots of time and energy checking things out, reading
literature, asking questions, trying out the merchandise, comparison
shopping.  Investing or spending our money wisely is important to us.
We should take our tzedakah at least as seriously.  In light of the
ideas presented by the Or Hachim and the Kli Yakar, it behooves each of
us who has been put in a position of being able to distribute some of
G-d's resources for Him, to do the job professionally and
conscientiously.  It is certainly one of the most important investments
we can make.

Rabbi Shaya Karlinsky                   Darche Noam Institutions
Shapell's/Yeshivat Darche Noam          POB 35209
Midreshet Rachel for Women              Jerusalem, ISRAEL
Tel: 972-2-511178                       Fax: 972-2-520801


From: <dlm@...> (David Lee Makowsky)
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 1995 17:30:52 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Volunteering

	I have a question that I was wondering if anyone reading this
could possibly help me with.  Like (I assume) most of the people
reading this, I am in the computer field.  I have some talents that I
believe I could use to help out some Jewish organization.  I very
much want to contribute my time and computer knowledge to some worthwile
Jewish organization.  However, I do not know of any organizations that
currently could use me and I feel a little awkward (perhaps I should
not?) about just making "random" phone calls.

	Does anyone know of any services (or anyone else) that
could help me here?  I live in the Chicago area.  Does anyone have any
experience in setting up such a service?  There must be others
reading this who would like any information on this kind of service.

	Thanx in advance.



End of Volume 18 Issue 15