Volume 20 Number 38
                       Produced: Wed Jul  5 22:29:31 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Abortion Mess
         [Yaakov Menken]
Avot and Marriage
         [Stephen Phillips]
         [Zvi Weiss  ]
Calendar "off" by 17 days
         [Andrew Marc Greene]
Electricity on Shabbat in Israel
         [Eli Turkel]
Haftarah from scroll
         [Aleeza Esther Berger]
Halachic wills
         [Marc Meisler]
Handicappers/Short People/Children and Mezuzos
         [Gedaliah Friedenberg]
Male violence
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Question about the Haftorah
         [Stephen Phillips]
Saying Kiddush or being 'yotze'
         [Dave Curwin]


From: <menken@...> (Yaakov Menken)
Date: Wed, 05 Jul 1995 05:49:45 -0400
Subject: Re: Abortion Mess

>From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
>	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."
>	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.

Chihal accuses Joseph of "distorting the fabric of reality," and
confidently declares that "this verse has nothing to do with abortion."

Before condemning Joseph for misinterpreting Torah, Chihal will need to
take this issue up with the Amoraim (authors of the Talmud) in
Gem. Sanhedrin 57b - if not the Tannaim (authors of the Mishna).
Although I missed Joseph's post, I wonder if it was a question, or a
statement: the quote from him above quite accurately portrays the gemara
there.  Rebbe Yishmael stated the Halacha that killing a fetus is a
capital crime for Bnei Noach, and the Gemara says that this verse
(Gen. 9:6) is his source. The Halacha is stated as such in the Rambam,
Hilchos Melachim 9:4.

Last time I checked, the Sefer Torah contained no punctuation.  The
Ramban and others (based upon Gemaras like this one) tell us that the
possibility of alternate punctuations is by no means accidental.

Yaakov Menken

[Similar posts were received from:
	Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
	Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
	Melech Press <PRESS%<SNYBKSAC.BITNET@...>

A word of advice: If you are going to make a catagorical statement, you
better be sure that you can support it, because there are a lot of
people reading what you write and if it is wrong, people will know. If
you say something like "I think that" or "in my opinion", then some people
will likely disagree (with over 1500 Jews on the lists, you know someone
will disagree with almost anything you are going to say), but will also
do so in a calm manner. If you say that "This is the only truth!" or
some other catagorical type statement, expect to find sources thrown
back at you.



From: <stephenp@...> (Stephen Phillips)
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 95 18:10 BST-1
Subject: Avot and Marriage

>From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
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... 

Chas VeSholom that one should think that our righteous ancestors acted
in the manner you suggest.

First of all, marriage as we know it (with a proper ceremony etc.) did
not exist before the Torah was given. A couple merely had to express the
wish to live together for them to be considered as married [this, I
believe, is what the Rambam says is the law regarding marriages between
non-Jews, even nowadays]. So I think it is clear that Avraham was
actually married to Hagar.  If this were not the case, how could all the
sons of Yaakov/Bilhah and Yaakov/Zilpah be the founders of Tribes of

As to Yehudah and Tamar, I believe Rashi says that he did actually marry
her [the gifts were part of the marriage "ceremony" as it were] before
they had relations.

I heard on one of the tapes of Rabbi Isaac Bernstein z"tzl a beautiful
explanation as to how Avraham could have allowed Sarah to go with
Avimelech if they were married and how he considered that they would be
allowed to continue living with her afterwards. Basing himself on the
Rambam I mentioned above, it seems that Avraham, by stating that Sarah
was his sister and not his wife, had actually divorced her, divorce
being brought about by their agreeing to live apart.

Stephen Phillips.


From: Zvi Weiss		 <weissz@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 1995 16:26:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Boys....

I do not know what sort of "family-life" the poster who described his 
school days had... However, I can tell you that in MY school, it was 
never like that and -- I suspect -- that at MOST yeshivot, it was not 
like that either.  To attribute the basis for wild, uncivilized conduct 
to "confinement" is nothing more than a cop-out.  In many yeshivot, there 
are STILL "long days" and I know of no places where the sort of obnoxious 
behaviour would EVER be tolerated -- even if it meant expelling the 
entire school.
"Trashing a school" because one does not like the principal is nothing 
less than a violation of several different halachot -- for which NO 
excuse is acceptable (if the poster will find a known Posek who will 
contradict this statement, I will retract it).  Acting in a behaviour 
that causes a classic Chillul Hashem is NEVER excusable AND I do not know 
of ONE citation that states that one must not spend a long time in 
Yeshiva studying because that may later cause the boys to act in a manner 
ill-befitting B'nei Torah.
It seems to me that if the boys were NOT thrown out and if the parentsd 
did NOT have to pay extra monies to repair the damages,then it is more 
indicative of the background that these boys came from.  "Refined" or not 
-- if the parents would impose appropriate discipline from a YOUNG age, 
this would not ever have happened.



From: Andrew Marc Greene <amgreene@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 1995 12:02:41 -0400
Subject: Re: Calendar "off" by 17 days

How do Chazal's calculations of the equinoxes (which, as we've been
discussing, affect "Tal u'Matar" and the sanctification of the Sun)
compare with the Julian calendar, which was codified around the same
time and is inaccurate by about the same rate?

- Andrew Greene


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 1995 15:34:05 -0400
Subject: Electricity on Shabbat in Israel

    I would like to add one though to the comments of Shmuel Himelstein.
I was told that Rav Auerbach stressed that if one knows that the power
went out and was restored on shabbat the heter to continue using it that
shabbat is based on the probability of having sick people e.g. babies,
elderly people etc. who need the electricity. Hospitals usually have
their own generators. Thus Rav Auerbach paskened that if one knew that
only a local generator blew and that there were no very sick people in
the neighborhood then indeed one would not be permitted to use the
electricity that shabbat. However, under ordinary circumstances it is
permitted as Himelstein brought down.

    He also mentions the problem of Mar'it Ayin when driving a car on
shabbat.  There is a psak attributed to Chazon Ish that if one needs to
drive to a hospital on shabbat then the man should wear a tallit to
avoid the problem of mar'it ayin. In practice I don't think this is

Eli Turkel


From: Aleeza Esther Berger <aeb21@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 1995 17:23:13 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Haftarah from scroll

This was discussed about a year ago - check the archives.  One
interesting aspect that came out was that, barring purchase of scrolls
(which is a great expense), one easy improvement over, say, reading from
the back of the tikun or from the (e.g.) Hertz humash is to read from an
entire book - e.g. from a full tanakh or from a full sefer Samuel or
wherever the week's haftarah is from).  Haftarah scrolls, when they are
used, do not contain of all the haftarot in a row (as I somehow
expected, don't ask me why, before I saw one!) but rather are a series
of different scrolls, each containing one (I think) book of Prophets.

Aliza Berger


From: Marc Meisler <mmeisler@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 1995 13:38:27 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Halachic wills

I don't recall ever seeing this discussed on MJ, but if it has please
let me know.  I am interessted in what is and is not allowed,
halachicly, in a will.  What means do people use to write a will that
allows a wife or daughter to inherit without contradicting the plain
halacha as it is brought down in Bamidbar in regards to Bnos Tzelafchad?
How about the issue of a living will where one requests not to be put on
life support?  I am interested in specific sources.

 From a diferent perspective, I am a lawyer and have been asked to write
a will that may be in violation of halacha.  Are there any lawyers out
there who have had such a problem?  Can I write the will if it is for a
frum person who knows the halacha but wants to have the will written
anway?  What if the person is not frum and does not know the halacha but
would not care even if they did?  Is there any problem whatsoever with
my preparing any such document for a goy?  I have been in touch with a
few rabbis here in Baltimore and the initial reaction appears to be that
I should not write it for the frum person.  I am not trying to look for
a different answer, just a discussion of the issue.

Marc Meisler                   6503E Sanzo Road   
<mmeisler@...>         Baltimore, Maryland  21209


From: Gedaliah Friedenberg <gedaliah@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 1995 13:07:25 -0400
Subject: Handicappers/Short People/Children and Mezuzos
Newsgroups: shamash.mail-jewish

I once saw a mezuzah that was over 3 feet long on the doorpost of a
building.  The claf (parchament) was at the top of the 3' case
(within the top third of the doorpost, according to halacha), yet the
mezuzah case extended down the entire middle portion of the door
frame.  I asked why the mezuzah case was so long, and it was explained
to me that this building (the dining hall of a summer camp) was used
by people bound to wheelchairs, and they made the long casing in order
to allow these people to "kiss" the mezuzah.

I told my Rav about this (I was curious if this was "kosher"), and not
only did he agree that there was nothing wrong with such a system, but
that he rather liked the idea.

This "long mezuzah" would allow short people, children, and
handicappers to kiss mezuzos.



From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 1995 13:51:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Male violence

In m-j V20N35, M.Linetsky treated us to a description of violence in
boys-only schools.  My exposure to this subculture is (probably blessedly)
limited, but I wonder... if these are the people who are going to grow up 
to be rabbis, teachers, etc., then I would say we are all in DEEP DEEP 
trouble, especially women relying on the halachic system to come up with 
some reasonable solutions to the problems of agunot, etc.  WHERE the 
bleep were these boys' parents when all this disgusting behavior was 
going on?  And where is some realistic assessment of the need for gym 
programs to work off some of this excess energy?

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>


From: <stephenp@...> (Stephen Phillips)
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 95 18:39 BST-1
Subject: Question about the Haftorah

Jonathan Katz mentions hearing the haftorah from a scroll at the Kotel.

I believe that this is the Minhag Yerushalmi [Jerusalem Custom]. In
Yeshivah in Yerushalayim when I read from the Torah I also had to
prepare the Haftorah and read it from Klaf [a parchment scroll].

Stephen Phillips.


From: Dave Curwin <6524dcurw@...>
Date: Tue, 04 Jul 1995 15:00:35 EDT
Subject: Saying Kiddush or being 'yotze'

Does anyone know the halachic sources that discuss whether it is
preferable for a guest to say his own kiddush or have the host say it
for him? Does it depend on whether the host has a different nusach, or
if there are doubts as to whether the host will have the proper
intention? Does it depend on whether the guest is married, in the
presence of his wife, or children? Or is this just a personal

David Curwin		With wife Toby, Shaliach to Boston, MA
904 Centre St.          List Owner of B-AKIVA on Jerusalem One
Newton, MA 02159                   <6524dcurw@...>
617 527 0977          Why are we here? "L'hafitz Tora V'Avoda"


End of Volume 20 Issue 38