Volume 20 Number 33
                       Produced: Tue Jul  4 11:07:35 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Betrothal of Minor Daughter
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]
Bloody mess
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Conditions on Torah Law
         [Eliyahu Teitz]
Kedusha Kittana
         [Jack Stroh]
Kids & mezuza question
         [Shalom Krischer]
Negiah etc.
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Short People and Mezzuzot
         [Jonathan Katz]
Solutions to Child Bride
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Vay'hi Binsoa' and miminal Parashiot
         [Yitz Etshalom]
Wife/Mother Same Name
         [Eliyahu Teitz]


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 1995 12:49:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Betrothal of Minor Daughter

> In v20n2 Joseph Steinberg writes:
> > The laws as found in the Torah regarding child marriages were
> >perfectly normal for the time and place of the Matan Torah. However,
> >time and place has changed.  The issues at hand are in the USA in
> >1995...

to which Moishe Kimmelman responds:
>- I must ask whether the writer of 
> the quote really believes that the modern societal values of the USA should 
> be considered when discussing the validity of a marriage as specified in the 
> Torah....
+ long discussion of the evils of American society of 1995

Not only does the writer of the quote believe this, so did the Israeli
rabbinate (as Moishe Kimmelman mentions himself) and so did the Aruch
haShulkhan earlier in the 20th century discussing kidushei ketana.  Of
course changes in society are a factor in halakhic decisions.

Aliza Berger


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 13:28:59 -0400
Subject: Bloody mess

	I know some people stretch to make a point about emotion-charged
issues, but tying an anti-abortion stance to the Torah's warning
"Shofech Dam Ha'Adam B'Adam Damo Yishshafech" is not just stretching:
it's distorting the fabric of reality.
	Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...> asked if the
"halacha (at least, in theory) forbids Bnei Noach to abort fetuses"
based upon his translation of the above verse as "He who spills the
blood of a man in man, his blood shall be spilled."
	That's easy.  NO!  This is a mistranslation.  Period.  Or, in
this case, comma.
	The correct translation is, "Whoever spills a man's blood, by
man will his blood be spilled."  In easy English: "if you kill a man,
another man -- a court appointee -- will kill you."
	This verse has nothing to do with abortion.


From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 1995 12:52:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Conditions on Torah Law

a recent poster raised an objection to a solution that I wrote
concerning betrothal of minors:

> Tosafot in the fifth perek of masechet Kesubos defines the concept of
> *Masneh al mah shekasuv batora* as meaning that one cannot attach a
> condition to an act, if it will will alter the torahs definition of a
> certain concept. ( much omitted both prior to this snippet and after).

The idea of the argument is that a husband can not relinquish his rights
to marry off his daughters because it goes against the Torah's
definition of father/daughter relationship.

The solution to this problem is to look at the nature of what I
suggested.  I did not suggest that there be any conditions attached to
the marriage - for example, that the husband state that the marriage is
enter into on the condition that he not have a right to marry offhis
daughters. Rather, the marriage is absolute and total.  What I
recommended was that the husband willingly give up his right to marry
off his as yet unborn minor daughters.

As was mentioned in a much earlier posting, Rama on Even HaEzer, in the
appropriate section dealing with these laws, relates a case of a father
giving these rights over to his wife as part of a divorce settlement.
And that the transmission was absolute, to the point that the father
could not object to his wife's choice of husband for his daughter ( and
that he could not marry her off as well, and block the mother's
rabbinically sanctioned marriage - this last point is mine, and is not
explicitly mentioned in Rama, but it seems that this is the logical
extension of the discussion there ).

We see that a husband can give up these rights.  What I recommend is
that it be done right when the marriage is entered into, but not as a
condition of the actual marriage ceremony.



From: Jack Stroh <jackst@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 1995 15:52:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kedusha Kittana

A full page Psak din from the av bet-din of Miami Beach, Rabbi Shmuel 
Tuvia Stern, was published in Hebrew last week in the Jewish Press, 
nullifying the betrothal of the minor daughter by her father in the case 
being discussed. I will translate parts of the psak- 

"To our great pain, a dastardly deed was wrought on the House of Israel,
and there are doers of evil who have put their minor daughters together
with "Mochei Shchin" (ie. people who the girls would not wish to marry),
making them into living widows and agunot. A time has come for Hashem's
name to remove this impediment from Israel and to uproot this evil from

He goes on to quote Rashi in Ketuvot that we only believe the father who
claims that he betrothed his daughter if he states explicitly to whom he
has betrothed her. Only if he says "I have given her in kiddushin to
Ploni (ie. a named individual)" do we believe him. He can not just say
"I have betrothed her to someone." The reason for this is that the
father has the power to do this not as a shliach (messenger) of the
girl, but rather, to quote a mishna in Ketuvot "The father has the Zchut
to arrange the marriage of his daughter...". If he betrothes her to a
Cohen, she may eat terumah, and there are other zchuyot which come odf
this match. But if we do not know, and the girl does not know to whom
she is betrothed, then the Kiddushin is a "chov" (obligation) instead of
a zchut (benefit) and a man can not obligate another because he causes
his daughter to pass from his "possession" to nobody else's
"possession".  As long as there are benefits and obligations coming to
the minor from the arrangement (if the man is known) it is binding upon
her, but if she receives no benefit from the arrangement (she "belongs"
nowhere), this we do not allow.
	Rabbi Stern goes on to say that "we are nohagim (of a custom) to
prohibit Kiddushin of a minor, but in certain generations it was allowed
due to the tortures of Exile, therefore we can say this is a minhag
which changes with the times. Any custom which is dependant on a reason,
if the reason disappears, so does the custom." He goes on to quote the
Rambam in Hilchot Ishut that it is a mitzvat Chachamim not to marry off
a minor daughter, meaning that the it is incumbent upon the Chachamim of
each generation to monitor. This is why a general ruling is not needed
with a gathering of masses of sages to agree to disregard these
Kiddushin. "Therefore, if the father refuses to come before a Bet Din to
reveal the names of the witnesses and the husband... we should put him
and the witnesses in Cherem (excommunication)... and to void the
betrothal. The father and witnesses are called Rishaim
(evildoers)...Each instance can be judged separately by a court of
experts, and a general Gezera (legal ruling) is not needed."
	Hopefully this and other similar rulings (note the recently
announced ruling by Rabbi Auerbach z"l) will put this shameful episode
to rest for good.


From: Shalom Krischer <PGMSRK@...>
Date: Mon, 03 Jul 95 12:10:56 EDT
Subject: Kids & mezuza question

>>From: Constance Stillinger <cas@...>
> Is it permissible to put up a second one on his bedroom door down at
> about 3', low enough for him to kiss?  Or to move the one that's there
> down to that height?  What about doing this on one of the other doors,
> not his bedroom?

Chana, my personal feeling is that it should be OK becuase of CHINUCH
(teaching <children>).  (To all those who would immediatly flame me,
note that I supply no sources for this, since a) it is my own personal
feeling b) and not a Halachic statement, and c) I did not look it up.)
However, since certainly a (real) Mezuza is supposed to be hung 1/3 of
the way from the ceiling (not the floor), why not just hang a Mezuza
case without the Klaph (parchement) for your little one?


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 1995 10:29:52 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Negiah etc.

Someone posted:
:to transgress--a situation of "lifnei iver") It is a prohibition from
:generating any type of sexual excitement (except in the obviously
:permitted situation in private with ones spouse). Although this
:prohibition is a Torah prohibition it does not carry with it the
:obligation to martyrdom. 

How do you explain the actions of so many of our ancestors -- mentioned in
Tanach -- who were with prostitutes (Yehuda, etc.) or with numerous
concubines (Avraham, etc.). When Yehuda went to Tamar -- his intentions
were clearly not to have children, or for marriage... 

    | | ___  ___  ___ _ __ | |__      Joseph Steinberg
 _  | |/ _ \/ __|/ _ \ '_ \| '_ \     <steinber@...>
| |_| | (_) \__ \  __/ |_) | | | |    http://haven.ios.com/~likud/steinber/
 \___/ \___/|___/\___| .__/|_| |_|    +1-201-833-9674


From: Jonathan Katz <jkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 03 Jul 95 15:01:05 +0300
Subject: Short People and Mezzuzot 

The whole question of whether or not it is permitted to place a mezuzah
lower on a dorpost so that a child will be able to kiss it upon walking
through the door raises up another question:

On what level is the practice of kissing the mezuzah when walking
through a door?

To me, it seems unlikely that it is a law that one must kiss the
mezuzah.  Perhaps, it is a law insofar as it is meant to show respect to
the mezuzah and the (part of the) Torah contained in it. It is also
possible that it is just custom and a "nice idea" but certainly not a

Any thoughts would be appreciated. 


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 1995 13:06:16 -0400
Subject: Solutions to Child Bride

1.  Israel Goldstein of Borough Park is a criminal who has not been
Describe his action on that wanted poster.
        2.  The NY Times reporter who publicized this case is Carey
Goldberg.  It's been a month since this story broke and generated
worldwide attention.  Has the reporter followed up on this story since
then?  Is he/she or any other reporter willing to issue weekly, if not
daily, updates on this cause celebre?  As a journalist, I guarantee
there is wide readership for this, and potentially a Pulitzer.
          Write to and/or call Carey Goldberg at the Times regarding
continual updates.
        3.  Israel Goldstein, the father of the 11-year-old girl, is a
Borough Park resident.  Find out where he works and post that info here.
Find out his home address and post that info here.
         4.  There are many people of all denominations who are
concerned about this case.  Let's declare a two week hiatus on name
calling, and give Orthodox Jews a chance to work alongside Conservative
and Reform Jews in organizing DAILY mass demonstrations in four places:
outside the house, synagogue and employer of Israel Goldstein, and at
the office of the NY Board of Rabbis (or whatever name is used for the
umbrella organization which encompasses various branches of Judaism).
Do not ask Orthodox Jews to change halacha.  Just demand a halachic
solution NOW.  Do this daily, publicly, and it will happen.


From: Yitz Etshalom <rebyitz@...>
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 1995 09:12:25 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Vay'hi Binsoa' and miminal Parashiot

Two weeks ago, we read the "mini-sefer" (see BT Shabbat ch. 16) of
"Vay'hi Binsoa'" - which defines the smallest "Sefer" of Torah in
regards to at least one area of Halakha (i.e. if a Sefer Torah's ink has
eroded, such that there are only 85 letters left - as many as there are
in these two verses - we still save it from a fire via some level of
Hillul Shabbat (desecration of the Sabbath)).  This "mini-sefer" is only
comprised of two verses.  How is it that we demand a minimum of three
verses for most areas of K'riat haTorah (public Torah reading) -such as
the minimal Aliyah, that we must not end a reading with less than three
verses to go in that Parasha (paragraph) etc.? How can we need three
verses to define a reading etc., when an entire "sefer" is made up of
only two verses?


From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 1995 12:49:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Wife/Mother Same Name

A question was raised about a man marrying a woman with the same name as
his mother:

The source for this is R. Yehuda HaChassid, in Sefer Chassidim.  The
worry is that one husband might call to his wife at night and the wrong
woman will enter the bed.

There is discussion in general about how Sefer Chassidim should be view
halachically.  Many feel that the rules were meant only for R. Yehuda
HaChassid's followers, and not at all for the general public.  Most of
his rules are not followed.

If one does want to abide by his decisions, there is still room for
leniency.  It seems that some texts have a reading of Sefer Chassidim
only prohibiting 3 generations of women with the same name, which seems
to imply a different reason than the one metioned above.

Another angle to be taken is as follows: If the two women have the same
name but are called differently.  For example, both have the name
Shoshana, but one is called Shani.  This way no mistake could be made
since the women are identified by different names.  Likewise if one had
a single name and the other a compound name - Sarah, and Sarah Rivka for
example, the problem would be alleviated.



End of Volume 20 Issue 33