Volume 20 Number 07
                       Produced: Fri Jun 16  0:05:10 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bnei Noach and Abortion
         [Micha Berger]
Bnei Noach and stealing less than a pruta
         [Steven F. Friedell]
Child Marriages. Eureka!
         [Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer]
Civil Marriage in Halacha
         [Jerome Parness]
Female Sophrim
         [Stephen White]
Fowl as Fleishig
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Harav Soloveitchik
         [Erwin Katz]
Number 40
         [Andy Amen]
Reb Shlomo Zalman on Kiddushei Ketana
         [Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer]
Russian immigrants
         [Eli Turkel]
Russian Jews
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Yom H. and Purim
         [Zvi Weiss]


From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 07:59:18 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Bnei Noach and Abortion

In v20n3, Chana Luntz writes:
> However the gemorra finds this surprising (see Sanhedrin 59a) seeing as
> we have a general principle that there is nothing permitted to a Jew
> that is forbidden to a non Jew (ie the standards on ourselves are always
> stricter)...

I'm sure a number of people are asking this one:
What about abortion, which is prohibited to non-Jews in more contexts than
for Jews?


From: <friedell@...> (Steven F. Friedell)
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 10:05:11 -0400
Subject: Bnei Noach and stealing less than a pruta

In v.20 no. 3 Chana Luntz raises the interesting question about whether
British Australian or American courts fail in their responsibility to
enforce matters of less than a pruta's worth because of the idea that
the law does not deal with trifles.  Or as the Roman jurist would have
said, de minimis non curat lex.  We need to keep in might that these
maxims (they might be called minims for the degree of information they
provide ;-)) are not rules of law and do not limit a court's power or
jurisdiction.  They may have been used in particular cases arising in
the Equity courts when a court refuses to grant an injunction, but that
is not something that would likely run afoul of the Noahide commandment.
In the law of trespass, for example, nomimal damages are all that is
required to support a cause of action, and nominal damages are presumed
in the most intentional tort cases.  I think in America the small claims
courts do a good job.  In New Jersey, for example, there is *no minimum*
for any controversy required to file a suit in a small claims court.

It may be worth while to consider the words of Rabbenu Nissim (14th
century, Barcelona) in his Derashot, #11, translated in part in an
article by Prof.  Aaron Kirschenbaum in 9 Jewish Law Annual:

        "[The Torah's] laws and commandments do not have as their purpose
the maintenace of society but rather the descent of the Divine effulgence
upon our nation and its communion with us.  ... It is in this respect that
our holy Torah is unique, differing from the normative systems of the
nations of the world, for they have no relationship to it [the Effulgence]
but only to the maintenance of their society. ... Indeed it is possible that
the civil laws of the Torah are directed more to that elevated purpose than
to the maintenance of society, for this latter purpose could be achieved by
the king whom we shall appoint over us. ...  Because this is so, it is
possible to find in some of the laws and ordinances of the nations measures
more effective for the establishment and maintenance of law and order than
in the laws of the Torah.  This is not to our detriment, for whatever is
lacking with regard to law and order may be filled by the king."

Of course, Rabbenu Nissim does not get the last word on the matter.
Others have disagreed with his assertion that the (Jewish) King's court
had such power or that the rabbinical courts lacked the independent
power to devise laws for the social order.  And of course, respect for
the gentile court's success at maintaining the social order does not
mean that Jews may therefore neglect the Jewish courts in favor of
resolving their disputes in a gentile court.  But Rabbenu Nissim
demonstrated remarkable tolerance and acceptance of the place of gentile
law and in the process highlighted the unique importance of Jewish law
as a religious legal system.


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer)
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 09:36:06 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Child Marriages. Eureka!

Yehoshua Kohl's quote of Reb Shlomo Zalman's psak in a case in
"Montreal" may indeed have been issued for this case, as the daughter
lives in Montreal. The challenge to the father's credibility rings true,
and seems consistent with Reb Shlomo Zalman zt"l's methodology (i.e.,
brilliant common sense).

Can one of our fellow MJer's connected with Machon Lev (JCT) ask Reb
Shlomo Zalman's son in law (and great posek in his own right) Rabbi
Zalman Nechemia Goldberg for confirmation?

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: Jerome Parness <parness@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 14:29:49 EDT
Subject: Civil Marriage in Halacha

In Vol. 20 #5, June 15, 1995, Mottel Gutnick wrote:

"It should be noted that, in general, Halacha recognises civil marriages
as legally binding because "chazaka ein adam osei beilato beilat
zenut". (This is a reasoning which serves to validate such a marriage
halachically by assuming that the consumation of the marriage
constitutes a Biblically valid means of effecting a marriage.)"

[The following is from my memory of a shiur recently given in Edison,
NJ, by Rabbi Yaakov Luban.  I am in my office right now and can't give
you the exact T'shuvot referred to in the discussion below.  If any one
wants them... email me and I'll send them to you.]

	This halachic klal (general statement) is not necessarily the
halachically binding one and is the subject of a mahloket between Rav
Moshe Feinstein zt"l, and Rav Henkin zt"l.  The subject of their
argument dealt with the halachic status of children of a Jewish woman
married and divorced under civil law to and from a Jewish man, who then
remarries and has children by the second husband.  Are the children of
the second marriage mamzerim (halachic bastards) because the mother
needed a get from the first husband and didn't receive one, or did she
not need one in the first place because she was not halachically
married.  HaRav Henkin held that the halachic principle of "ain adam
oseh et be'iluto be'ilat znut" holds even in the case of nonreligious
Jews who might never have known of the need of halachic marriage and
could have cared less.  This argument would render the children of such
marriages as mamzerim (and, I presume, a large number of the Jewish
population of the United States and possibly other Western countries
with high rates of divorce and remarriage, in this category).  Rav
Moshe, on the other hand, held that the klal of "ain adam oseh et
beiluto beilat znut" does not hold if one does not know or care about
halachic necessities in marriage.  Hence, a civil marriage is not a
halachic marriage, and one does not, therefore, require a get along with
the civil divorce.  Children born of a second union, whether halachic or
not, are therefore not mamzerim.


From: <WHITE0202@...> (Stephen White)
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 14:57:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Female Sophrim

We have seen a lot recently in mailjewish about marriage of minor
daughters which is distressing. This request is on a different note.

My twenty year old daughter shows a real flair for decoration and is
particularly interested in Hebrew Documents. Could someone please advise
on the following:

1. Is there Halacha about decorating appropriate documents such as Ketubot? 
2. Can such documents be written by a woman?
3. Can they be decorated by a woman if they were written by a man?

Stephen White, Bournemouth UK.


From: Andy Goldfinger <andy_goldfinger@...>
Date: 15 Jun 1995 10:19:51 +0200
Subject: Fowl as Fleishig

To the best of my knowlege, the treatment of fowl as meat (fleishig) is
a Rabbinic enactment (i.e. it would be parve on a d'oraisa (Torah)
level).  Yet, it this week's Torah portion, we find G-d giving the
Jewish people quail in response to their demand for "basar" (meat).
Certainly, the chumash is "d'oraisa."  How can these be reconciled?


From: ERWIN_KATZ_at_~<7BK-ILN-CHICAGO@...> (Erwin Katz)
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 95 09:19:28 CST
Subject: Harav Soloveitchik

I have been following the discussion about "ranking" gedolim with
amusement. The Gedolim themselves never ranked each other. The problems
have always been brought about by their followers. I learned under Harav
Soloveitchik, Harav Aaron Kotler and Harav Moshe Feinstein. All of them
had nothing but the utmost respect for each other. They disagreed on a
number of issues but that did not affect their approach. Don't forget
that each was a tremendous baal midot. We can all take a lesson.


From: <arice@...> (Andy Amen)
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 09:55:21 -0400 (edt)
Subject: Re: Number 40

See Aryeh Kaplan, Waters of Eadon and Rabbi Meir Kahane, 40 Years.


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer)
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 15:23:02 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Reb Shlomo Zalman on Kiddushei Ketana

	I sent in a posting this morning praising (excitedly) the alleged psak
by Reb Shlomo Zalman based on a Teshuvos Rabbi Akiva Eiger. Well, I looked
through the Yeshiva's CD_ROM (Bar Ilan) and couldn't find anything that
resembled this heter, so I would like to see a little more detailed
corroboration of this logic.

	BTW, I  understand tha the Yated Ne'eman said that a Rav Elyashiv -
approved solution will be issued imminently.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 19:57:16 -0400
Subject: Russian immigrants

   Eliyahu Teitz states:

>> The number of non-Jews entering Israel from Russia ( and the other 
>> countries ) is over 50%.  This information is from reputable government 
>> sources

   I don't know what sources he is using. The last statement I heard
from a government minister was 8% of the immigrants were non-Jewish
almost all of those were spouses of Jews. I am not sure how these
figures are compiled and every group has their interest to exaggerate
the figures in one direction or the other. However, the figure of over
50% sounds unbelievable. That would require large amounts of immigrants
of which neither partner is Jewish.



From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 23:53:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Russian Jews

Unfortunately, you are simply wrong. I am not sure which government you
are refeering to, but the Israeli government recently changed its
estimate as to the number of non-Jews who came in during the aliya of
'Russian Jews' to approx. 10% (down from 20%) making the number about
50,000 out of 500,000...

Besides, my point was that many thousands of Jewish lives have been
saved by the State. If the number would be 200,000 and not 500,000 the
claim would still be true. But I once again allege that at least 400,000
of the olim were Jewish.


Rabbi Eliyahu Teitz wrote:

A claim was made that 500,000 people from the former Soviet Union have
come to Israel and that at least 400,000 of them are Jewish.

This is unfortunately not the case.  The number of non-Jews entering
Israel from Russia ( and the other countries ) is over 50%.  This
information is from reputable government sources.


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 11:05:34 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Yom H. and Purim

Re the poster who cited the variable dates of Purim and wanted that as a 
basis for moving the dates of Yom Ha'Atzmaut to avoid Shabbat.
1. The gemara only talks about changing the date of reading the Megilla.  
Purim is still on the same date.  For example, in J-m when Shushan Purim 
comes out on Shabbat, even though the Megilla is read on Friday, I am 
fairly sure that Al Hanissim is recited on Shabbat.  In this case, the 
entire "day" of Yom Ha'Atzma'ut is being moved around -- not just some 
specific celebrations.

2. The fact that the gemara strictly slimits the above Takana (which 
covered MUCH more than simply SHabbat issues) implies to -- to me -- that 
even when the "authority" exists for such changes, the authority is 
exercised VERY "gingerly".



End of Volume 20 Issue 7