Volume 18 Number 63
                       Produced: Sun Feb 26 16:13:38 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

2000 Amot on Shabbat
         [Warren Burstein]
Adar..Adar I..Adar II
         [Ed Cohen]
Banter and Lashon Harah
         [Gary Sorock]
Gays and others at YU
         [Seth Gordon]
Kohen marrying divorcee
         [Mike Gerver]
YU and Lawsuits
         [Mordechai Horowitz]
YU and NYC human rights commission
         [Steve Wildstrom]
YU Gay Club Controversy
         [Jeff Stier]


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 1995 10:13:33 GMT
Subject: Re: 2000 Amot on Shabbat

David Charlap writes:
>Yes, but you can't just put the food there.  You actually have to eat
>one of the three Shabbos meals there as well.  So you can't just leave
>food in the middle of nowhere and ignore it for the rest of shabbos.

I don't recall such a requirement, so I just re-read all of the laws
of Eruv Techumin and didn't find it.  Could you tell me where it is?

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


From: Ed Cohen <ELCSG@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 95 00:26:35 EST
Subject: Adar..Adar I..Adar II

Richard Friedman's post in MJ:18#34 seems to imply that I am wrong in my
assertion of Adar birthdays; yet, he has by his own admission not even
looked into the book by A. Spier, given as a reference.  Now I'd like to
get my $2 worth in.

The question of (ordinary) Adar, Adar I, Adar II birthdays and yahrzeits
has always been complicated as Y. Edelstein [MJ:18#38] and M. Kimelman
[MJ:18#41] have shown. I can give references also: e.g., in Rambam,
Mishnah Torah, Hilchot Kiddush HaChodesh, vol. 14, 1993, Moznaim
Publ. Corp., NY/Jerusalem, Rabbi Eliyahu Touger states (page 89,
footnote #3): "Based on Hilchot Nedarim 10:6, it appears that Rambam
considers the first Adar to be the additional month of the leap
year. The Tur and Ramah (Orach Chayim 427:1) differ and consider the
second Adar to be the additional month. In practice, Purim is always
celebrated in the second Adar (Hilchot Megillah 1:12). There is a
difference of opinion with regard to whether to commemorate birthdays,
yahrzeits, and the like that took place in the first or second Adar of a
leap year. The accepted custom in the Ashkenazic community is to
commemorate them in the first Adar of a leap year (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch

Now a word about Arthur Spier [who wrote "The Comprehensive Hebrew
Calendar," Feldheim, 1986].  He received his graduate degree from the
University of Marburg and studied at a Yeshiva and rabbinical seminary
in Germany. He was a mathematician and Jewish philosopher, and ran a
Jewish high school in Germany from 1926-1940. He was lucky enough to
receive permission to leave Germany and come to the US, where he ran
religious schools. In his later years, he taught mathematics and science
at Yeshiva Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. He was an expert on all aspects
of the calendar.

On events taking place in Adar, Spier states (p.7):

Birth or
death                  Anniversary will be
took place

________________IN A COMMON__________IN A LEAP___

In Adar of      On the same day      Birthdays:
common year.    in Adar.             same day in
                                     Adar II.
                                     same day in
                                     Adar I; some
                                     recite Kaddish
                                     also on the
                                     same day in
                                     Adar II.
                                     Nachalah only
                                     in Adar II.

In Adar I of    Same day             Same day
a leap year.    in Adar.             in Adar I.

On 30th         On 30th day of       On 30th day
of Adar I.      Shevat for           of Adar I.
                Yahrzeit; some
                recite Kaddish
                Nisan 1 too.
                always Nisan 1.

In Adar II.     Same day of          Same day of
                Adar.                Adar II.

Now, I assume that Spier was familiar with all the Hebrew literature,
including the ones mentioned in this posting, and chose, maybe as a
compromise, what we see in his page 7. If you have a liking for a
particular rabbi that does not follow what is stated on Spier's page 7,
then, by all means, follow this rabbi's minhag (practice, custom). There
are certainly enough opinions around.

Spier also tackles the problem of Cheshvan 30 and Kislev 30. [Buy his
book; this will answer almost all questions on the Hebrew calendar. I
have a paper in the works (8 pages) called "The Hebrew Calendar
Simplified" in the 1994 Proceedings of the Canadian Society for the
History and Philosophy of Mathematics--out soon; and I believe there is
a paper on "pi" and Jewish scholars in the 1993 Proceedings of the


From: <SOROCK@...> (Gary Sorock)
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 1995 15:37:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Banter and Lashon Harah

Andy Golfinger raises an important issues re: to Lashon Harah said in
jest.  Rabbi Pliskin in his book Guard Your Tongue does include this
category of speech as Lashon Harah.  But I guess the intensity of the
sarcasm is relevant here.  I have hears men do this a lot and I wonder
if it is a male way of "being intimate" sort of like why my brother and
I used to punch each other out of play or love or whatever.  Whatever
the reason men do this, I have always found it annoying and childish.
It is so much more helpful if we could praise each other's works (e.g.,
"You rerally wrote some very neat code in this program.  Great work.")

I appreciated Andy's conversation scenario, as I am putting together
something like this as role playing exercises for children (ages 9-11)
with puppets and a separate scenario or two for adults.  This will
include examples of Lashon Hara and how to avoid or to minimize it.  Any
other ideas for this people have out there would be welcome.  I am
particularly interested in Pliskin's examples of when it may be a
mitzvah to listen to Lashon Hara, especially if the subject mentioned
can be exonerated.  Thanks Andy for bringing up this subject.


From: <sethg@...> (Seth Gordon)
Date: Tue, 07 Feb 1995 18:55:41 EST
Subject: Re: Gays and others at YU

/ From: George Max Saiger <gmsaiger@...>
/ Are liberal Jews there (I assume there must be SOME) allowed to organize 
/ for social or educational purposes?

More questions along the same lines:

(1) Suppose YU had an Asian Culture Club for students interested in
learning more about the Far East, and it was widely known that the
vast majority of members of this club went to a trayf Chinese
Restaurant together on a regular basis.  Would prominent rabbis and
other Orthodox leaders demand that YU shut the ACC down, in the same
way that they are protesting against YU's gay students' organization?

(2) If my foggy memory is correct, R. Norman Lamm's _The Jewish Way
in Love and Marriage_ mentions, in passing, that some rishonim did not
consider lesbian sex (or at least, certain behaviors between two women
that many American lesbians today would label as "sex") to be a sin.
If this is so: would a YU student organization devoted solely to the
interests of lesbians get the same angry response that the gay-and-lesbian
organization is getting?

.....Seth Gordon <sethg@...> standard disclaimer


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 2:41:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Kohen marrying divorcee

    In v18n11, Michael Lipkin says

> I know of a similar type of case where Rav Moshe paskened such that
> the man is no longer a Kohen.

I heard of a case-- I don't know if it is the same one, or even if it
was decided by Rav Moshe-- where a kohen wanted to marry a woman whose
mother was a convert, and it was not known if the conversion was
halachic or not.  The mother was no longer alive, the rabbi who
converted her was no longer alive, and there was no way to find out. The
decision was that the marriage could take place, because there was also
a doubt as to whether the man was really a kohen or not. This may have
been due to the fact that no kohen can really be sure if he is a kohen,
unless he can trace his ancestry back to an accepted family of kohanim
(according to the Vilna Gaon, only the Rappoport family falls into that
category). Other kohanim may in fact be the descendents of freed slaves
of kohanim, who claimed to be kohanim because they wanted to continue to
eat trumah, which they felt entitled to do. Or maybe it was because this
particular kohen came from a non-observant background and it was felt
that a relatively recent ancestor of his may have pretended to be a
kohen just for fun.

    In order for this couple to get married, the man had to stop
considering himself a kohen. But this only worked because there was also
a doubt about whether the woman was forbidden to marry a kohen in the
first place.

    In a case where there is only a single doubt, I think that such
marriages are not allowed, and if they take place then the couple must
get divorced.  I know personally of two cases in which a non-observant
kohen married a convert, and they later became observant. In both cases
they had to get divorced. In at least one of these cases, I was told
specfically by one of the people involved that this was the only reason
they had been divorced, and that they had tried hard to find some heter
that would allow them to remain married.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: Mordechai Horowitz <BR00318@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Feb 95 01:02:43 ECT
Subject: YU and Lawsuits

  Question there have been at least one lawsuit against YU for its
discriminatory practice of not allowing women in it Rabbinic ordination
program, if a lawsuit of this type were to suceed would the people who
support gay groups at YU agree to a coed Rabbinic program.

To go on further, if a female, or male student, were to sue and win
a lawsuit against the discriminatory practice of not allowing women in
YC and/or men in Stern would you support making the undergraduate divisions

Just to go on, what is the halachic justification for allowing
organizations that blatently violate halacha at YU.  IE Chillul H-shem
etc.  It seems to me we would do better to follow the example of
Yeshivot like Ner Israel that allow their Yeshiva students to go to
college but don't try to establish one.  If the law does call on us to
go against Torah maybe its time to give up on YU, and have RIETS go on
its own.

By the way on the secular law, the loans are Federal in origen so I
can't see how YU could lose them for banning Gay groups when it is legal
to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation on the Federal level.

As far as banning gays and local ordinances how about the St. Patricks
Day parade being allowed to ban gay groups.  How was that case different
from the Catholic services group.  Also has anyone asked if the new
attorney general would support YU if it banned gay groups?  Lastly I
don't think Georgetown is relevant because if I remember correctly that
was based on a local Washington D.C. ordinance.

Hope its not too many questions, interested in your answers.


From: Steve Wildstrom <swild@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Feb 95 11:28:06 EST
Subject: YU and NYC human rights commission

In MJ 18/26  Mordechai Horowitz 
<BR00318@...> writes:

According to the Forward article on the issue the threat against YU came 
from the NYC human rights commission.  They claimed that they could take 
away YU tax exempt status if they banned pro homosexual organizations.  The 
problem with their logic is that the tax exempt status is Federal in
origin and the city of New York has no power over the Federal 

     There are two separate tax exemptions at issue here. Under Section 501 
     of the Internal Revenue Code, educational, religious, and charitable 
     institutions pay no federal taxes. There are non-discrimination 
     requirements for the all-important 501(c)(3) status, which allows 
     organizations to accept tax-deductible gifts. But, as noted by several 
     posters, there is no federal nondiscrimination requirement regarding 
     "sexual orientation."

     The second tax exemption frees organizations from property, sales, and 
     other state and local taxes. Religious institutions, per se, are 
     exempt from taxation under the 1st and 14th amendments, but YU 
     probably would not be considered a religious institution in this 
     sense. As a result, its exemption ffrom New York City and State taxes 
     is at the mercy of those governments and could conceivably be revoked 
     if the institution were in violation of state or city 
     antidiscrimination laws. Such pressure was used to end discriminatory 
     membership practices by private clubs and though the quasi-religious 
     nature of YU makes this a stickier issue, you can see why the school 
     regards defying the government as a major risk. (Whether this decision 
     is halachically valid I leave to others).


From: Jeff Stier <jstier@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 1995 14:29:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject: YU Gay Club Controversy

On friday morning, Sheldon Socol, Yeshiva University's law firm, Weil, 
Gatshil and Mengas (sp?) and the Editors of Yeshiva University's student 
newspapers will meet to discuss the Gay and Lesbian club controversy.
I have been asked to attend the meeting in both my role as an Editor in 
Chief of the Cardozo student newspaper - and - as an activist.
I have assigned my news editor to cover the event, and I will be there 
only as an activist- or as I prefer, a concerned student.

Until now, YU's position has been "there is nothing we can do, legally."
that makes it sound as if they would do something if they could.
According to Memorandums of law submitted to me, and research I have done 
myself, YU CAN discriminate against gays.  The issue is whether they want to.
I contend, that as long as there is  a legitimate chance of winning in  
YU should ban the club. And if they don't ban the club, they should stop 
representing themselves as a Jewish institution.

I will report back after the meeting.
Jeff Stier


End of Volume 18 Issue 63