Volume 19 Number 60
                       Produced: Sun May 14 10:08:03 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Ben Yudkin]
Chesed for Yonatan Pollard
         [Israel Medad - Knesset]
         [Eli Turkel]
Gambling and Halacha
         [Michael J Broyde]
Life after Death
         [Akiva Miller]
Meat and Dairy Together
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Messianic Jews
         [Yaacov Kopeliovich]
Spotted sheep
         [Micha Berger]
Two Long Psukim
         [Merril Weiner]
         [Uri Meth]
University Council vote on gay group.
         ["George S. Schneiderman"]


From: <oujac@...> (Ben Yudkin)
Date: Thu, 11 May 1995 16:46:27 +0100
Subject: Abortion

Joe Goldstein (v.19 #51) writes:
> And he SPOKE about the issur of Goyim doing abortions. He tied it to
> Parshas SHEMOS, when PHAROH told the Mid-wives to kill the children.
> Another Rebbi in Ner Yisroel also disccussed the topic and if I
> remmeber correctly he said the issur for a GOY was pure Murder. There
> is no Heter of Killing the the child because the mother is in danger.
> The Heter of RODEF appplies to yidden only.

The implication of this is IMH understanding that in cases where
pregnancy is endangering the mother's life r"l, we may consider the
foetus as a rodef [pursuer, whom we are permitted to kill
pre-emptively].  Therefore a Jew, who must kill a rodef to save life,
may be allowed to carry out an abortion in such a case, while a Gentile
could not.  For a Gentile, killing the child would be like killing
anyone else: murder.  (As an aside, I'm not clear when it stops being
merely permissible to carry out an abortion for this reason and becomes
mandatory; but this does not affect my question below).

What I did not understand about this is that it seems to regard the
foetus as halachically equivalent to a person.  Hence, killing it would
be murder, and the only way one may kill it is when a) it is a rodef,
i.e. endangering life r"l and b) one is Jewish.  But surely the foetus
does not have the din of a person in this respect.  As far as I know,
the status of the foetus changes forty days after conception; but IMH
understanding, even up to the moment of birth, the foetus does not have
all the legal rights of a person.  I was under the impression that the
sin involved in killing a foetus, even after 40 days, is not in the
category of murder.

Is this simply wrong?

Ben Yudkin


From: Israel Medad - Knesset <imedad@...>
Date: Thu, 11 May 1995 13:28:59 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Chesed for Yonatan Pollard

	If anyone is interested in doing an act of chesed and what some
two dozen Rashei Yeshivot termed "Pidyon Shvu'yim" [ransoming of
prisoners], you can write to the US Parole Board and express your
interest in seeing Jonathan Pollard released when he comes before the
Board prior to November this year (his 10th year behind bars).

	The address is:
Hon. John R. Simpson
U.S. Parole Commission
5550 Friendship Blvd.
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Yisrael Medad
(aka Coordinator of the Knesset Bi-partisan Caucus on behalf of Jonathan


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 14 May 1995 11:26:56 +0300
Subject: Gambling

   David Charlap writes
>> Gambling is considered "Bitul Z'man" - a waste of time.  Wasting
>> time is prohibited.  (This is the same reason that some rabbis prohibit
>> televisions and other modern-day entertainment devices.)

    Whenever poskim bring down the reason of "bitul zman" I consider
that a cop out. If the question is should I go over the weekly sedra or
play cards the answer is obvious. However, the more usual question is a
few couples getting together in the evening. They can play cards, watch
tv or the movies, discuss politics, etc. all unproductive
activities. Between them the question is gambling prohibited?

    Joe Goldstein then states
>> Gambling is definitely prohibited| At the very least it is a form of
>> theft. The halacha is ASMACHTA LO KANYA,

   At the least this is misleading. Instead of generalizations one should
quote the shulchan arukh. In Choshen Mishpat 207:3 there is a discussion.
Rav Yosef Karo does not allow gambling. However, the Ramah has a long
discussion on different definitions of Asmachtah. Bottom line he holds that
if the money is on the table then there is no prohibition. Only if the bets
are based on credit is it considered stealing (even then only rabbinically).
Thus ashkenazim are allowed to gamble if it is not their only profession
(again there is an argument between rashi and Rambam what the definition
of "Yishuvo shel olam" means. See also Shulchan Arukh CM 370:2,3,
Sma and Gra 203:44, Kesef Mishneh Hil. Edut 10:3.

    I have seen "psaks" that buying lottery tickets is permitted even
according to Rav Karo (i.e. for sefardim). The buyers put out the money
ahead of time and the organization knows it has to pay out a certain
amount of money. It is no different than buying speculative stocks which
everyone allows. According to this betting at a racetrack should also be
permitted.  Of course, all poskim stress that there is a great danger of
it becoming habitual and it seems that it has been a major social
problem in various communties. I am not sure that going to the race
track would be an appropriate activity for a shul fundraiser but I see
no specific prohibition.



From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Thu, 11 May 1995 13:45:39 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Gambling and Halacha

A number of posters concerning gambling have come to contrary
conclusions about whether halacha prohibts or permits gambling.  Few
sources were cited.  As I understand the halacha, there is a fundamental
dispute amoung the rishonim as to whether halacha prohibits gambling for
fun and small profit by a person who is otherwise gainfully employed.
	This dispute is reveiwed by many different authorties when
discussing CM 370 and to a lesser extent CM 34:17.  Essentially, some
authorties (Rambam and Mechaber) rule that gambling is rabbinically
prohibited based on the theft prohibition, and even if one is doing the
gambling just for fun, a rabbinic prohibition is violated.  Others
accept Rabbenu Tam's ruling that when the technical kinyan problems
disappear (most commonly by placing one's money down before one gambles,
but by other mechanisms also), there is no general prohibition against
small recreational gambling, so long as one has another form of income;
Sema commenting on CM 370:1-3.  Thus, according to this approach
gambling on horse racing is permitted for fun.  Rama cites yet other
authorties who modify Rabbenu Tam's rule and permit gambling with
Gentiles only; this appraoch is based on the fact that the rules of
kinyan are different for Genetiles, and thus the technical problmes are
not present.
	For a review of the oppinions of the contemporary authorities of
the various modern types of gambling, Rav Ezra Bartzri in Dinnai
Mammonut discusses this issue at some legnth, as does Rav Blua in the
most recently published volume of Pitchai Choshen.

Rabbi Michael Broyde


From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 1995 15:40:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Life after Death

There is a serious typo in the very end of my posting to MJ 19:34.

I wrote:

>A return to health does *not* prove that the patient had not been
>dead. Rather, certain criteria to be defined elsewhere give a person
>the status of dead, and even if the technology exists to revive that
>person, such treatment may not be in violation of Shabbos.

I should have written that:

A return to health does *not* prove that the patient had not been dead.
Rather, certain criteria to be defined elsewhere give a person the status of
dead, and IF SOMEONE MEETS THOSE CRITERIA, THEN even if the technology exists
to revive that person, such treatment MIGHT ACTUALLY be in violation of

Sorry for the misunderstanding.


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Thu, 11 May 1995 15:09:05 +0000
Subject: Meat and Dairy Together

Gedaliah Friedenberg <gedaliah@...> asks about eating dairy,
waiting 30 min., and treating it all as one meal (saying "grace" just

First, I don't think there is any requirement to even wait 30 min. (can
anyone show me a source requiring this?).  What is required is to rinse
one's mouth between (how about drinking some water?).  I would also
claim that "mayim emza`im" (rinsing your fingers) is also desirable (it
is REQUIRED between fish and meat).

It seems fine to consider this all one meal.

Lon Eisenberg   Motorola Israel, Ltd.  Phone:+972 3 5659578 Fax:+972 3 5658205


From: <ykopelio@...> (Yaacov Kopeliovich)
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 95 17:35:44 PDT
Subject: Messianic Jews

Hi everybody

We have a small shul at Irvine University of California which is
intended for students.
Once in 2 weeks we have aa service .
There is a messainic guy that comes to our shul and he is definitely
Jewish.  He believes in all that stuff in Yashke however he never tried
to preach in front of other jews.
We were wondering if somebody could tell us if he can be counted for an
orthodox minyan. We applied to diffrent people and got contradictory
answers.  I would appreciate any information and if possible discussion
of similiar problems in our sources ( We are a very small shul that's
why the question of counting is so critical )

Best Yaacov


From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Thu, 11 May 1995 07:50:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Spotted sheep

I can think of two resolutions for the problem of how Yaakov's sheep
produced spotted children by looking at spotted sticks while drinking:

1- By having spots around during feeding, he created a positive mental
association to spots. So, the sheep tended to mate with spotted sheep,
yeilding a growing number of spotted offspring.

2- It was a neis. Why then did Yaakov need to put up the sticks?
    a- Yaakov thought it would work. Hashem wanted to help Yaakov, so
       He changed teva on his behalf.
    b- Yaakov knew it would only work by neis. However, Lavan was not in
       a position where he should witness a neis; it would short-cut
       his free willfor choosing monotheism. Therefor, the sticks were
       to provide a "natural" explanation for the skeptic.

Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3119 days!
<aishdas@...>                     (16-Oct-86 - 11-May-95)


From: Merril Weiner <weiner@...>
Date: Thu, 11 May 1995 17:01:48 -0400
Subject: Two Long Psukim

I wonder if the reason for this ruling is the following:

1)  If the aliya could have consisted of 3 psukim, then adding another
    aliya would cause somebody to make two Brachot l'vatah
    (blessings in vain).  In addition, if it were not Shabbat, then
    we would not be permitted to add an aliya (d'rabbanan).

2)  If the aliya only consisted of 2 psukim, then the number of aliyot
    will be wrong.

Considering that in case (1) halacha d'orayta is violated and in (2)
only d'rabbanan, it seems as if it would be better not to re-read the
aliyah when two long psukim were read.

-Menachem Weiner


From: <umeth@...> (Uri Meth)
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1995 13:33:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Universities/Hillels

A few months ago I floated a request for Universities with Orthodox
communities.  I want to thank those who personally responded to me.  I
spoke to the person who I am requesting the information for and can now
float a better request than the open ended one from before.

I am trying to compose a list of Universities in the Continental US
which have the following characteristics:
  - an Orthodox Jewish Community, approximate size, if known, would
    be helpful
  - Kosher meal plan, either via hillel or some other organization,
    please name organization
  - a Hillel house
    o number of students (total, all affiliations) associated with the
      Hillel house
    o size of Orthodox participation in Hillel house
    o accomodations for Orthodox groups in Hillel house
    o meal plan, as requested above
  - any other Jewish organization on campus, e.g. Chabad

This request is not limitted to Ivy League type schools, but please
include them as well.  Please respond to me directly.  Thank you.

Uri Meth                (215) 674-0200 (voice)
SEMCOR, Inc.            (215) 443-0474 (fax)
65 West Street Road     <umeth@...>
Suite C-100
Warminster, PA 18974


From: "George S. Schneiderman" <schneid@...>
Date: Fri, 12 May 1995 03:44:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: University Council vote on gay group.

> I believe he has a third option--he can vote "no".  If "university policy" 
> dictates how its council members are supposed to vote, then why bother to 
> have a vote at all?  If I were in such a position, I'd vote my conscience.

Presumably university policy dictates what sorts of organizations do and 
do not qualify for recognition.  The responsibility of the council 
members would then be to determine whether or not a prospective new group 
qualifies, according to the university rules--not whether or not they 
personally think the group should or should not be recognized.  The 
council members INTERPRET and APPLY the rules--they don't make them up, or 
make decisions based upon their own whim or conscious.  If this is not the 
case, I don't see why there would have been an issue in the first place.

---George S. Schneiderman  <schneid@...>


End of Volume 19 Issue 60