Volume 20 Number 40
                       Produced: Thu Jul  6 23:54:58 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Old Postings
         [Avi Feldblum]
Fasting on Friday
         [Arthur Roth]
Fasts and Friday
         [Richard Friedman]
G-d's name on a screen
         [Joseph Steinberg]
HaGomel after an Airplane Flight
         [Eric Safern]
Hagomel and Bridges
         ["michael lipkin"]
Kitnyot and Allergies
         [Rachel Rosencrantz]
Leprosy & PC
         [Shalom Carmy]
Oat Matzah
         [Bernard F. Kozlovsky M.D.]
pre-marital sex prohibition
         [David Katz]
Shushan Purim
         [Pinchas Roth]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 1995 23:50:43 -0400
Subject: Administrivia - Old Postings

I was excavating in my mbox, and have uncovered a group of messages that
I think I somehow never saw back at the end of March. I'm sending out
one issue full of them tonight. I've gotten to the point where I'm
getting my mbox to shrink, albeit slowly, day by day, rather than grow
without bounds (when it began approaching 1000 messages I was getting a
bit scared, I've wrestled it down to about 720 now :-) ).

As I find more stuff I may have occasional "old post" issues of stuff
that I think is still of interest and relevance.



From: <rotha@...> (Arthur Roth)
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 16:36:50 -0600
Subject: Fasting on Friday

>From Andrew Marc Greene (MJ 19:9):
> Um, I was taught that since we never fast on Erev Shabbat, that the
> fast of the first born was pushed back to Thursday. The "Jewish
> Heritage" calendar on my wall at work says Friday, but I recall last
> year it also said Friday while the Ezras Torah Luach said Thursday.
> (And my minyan had a siyum/seudah on Thursday morning.)

   When the "regular" date for a fast occurs on Friday, we fast on
Friday.  The only two times this can occur are 10 Tevet or Ta'anit
b'chorim (like this year, when Pesach starts on Shabbat and Erev Pesach
is a Friday).
   When the "regular" date for a fast occurs on Shabbat, it is normally
pushed ahead to Sunday (except, of course, Yom Kippur).  If Sunday is
not a day on which it is appropriate to fast, the Shabbat fast is then
moved BACKWARDS.  On such an occasion, we do not MOVE a fast to a Friday
that would not normally have been a fast day on its own, so the fast is
pushed back even further, i.e., to Thursday.  So when Purim is on a
Sunday and Ta'anit Esther falls on Shabbat, we cannot move the fast
forward to Sunday (Purim), so we fast the previous Thursday.  Similarly,
when (like last year) Pesach begins on a Sunday, Ta'anit b'chorim is
moved backwards from Shabbat to Thursday.
   In summary, this year, unlike last year, we fast on Friday because it
is the "real" Erev Pesach.  It appears that Andrew's "Jewish Heritage"
calendar was wrong last year and right this year.

Arthur Roth


From: Richard Friedman <RF@...>
Date: 30 Mar 1995 12:22:12 GMT
Subject: Fasts and Friday

I think there may be an error in the suggestion (MJ 19:9) that there are
no fasts on Friday.  It is true that the calendar is structured so that
Yom Kippur never falls on Friday, or on Sunday.  However, I think other
fasts can and do fall on Friday.  If last year Ta'anit B'chorim was on
Thursday rather than Friday, I assume that was because Pesah began on
Sunday, so the fast could not be held on its "proper" day, since we do
not have fasts (other than Yom Kippur) on Shabbat.  Since the fast had
to be advanced in any case, it was advanced to Thursday rather than the
inconvenient Friday.  But if a fast falls on Friday, we observe it then.

A somewhat similar rule applies to the reading of the Megilla.
According to M.Megilla, when Adar 14 falls on Shabbat (as it could do
when Rosh Hodesh was set by observation and court declaration), the
unwalled cities would advance the date of Megilla reading; however,
instead of doing it on Friday, they would advance it to Thursday in
order to read along with the residents of k'farim (small villages).
Thus, while Friday was a permissible day to have the event, as long as
the event was being advanced from its proper day to avoid holding it on
Shabbat, it was advanced to the most convenient day.

Richard Friedman


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 11:46:33 -0500 (EST)
Subject: G-d's name on a screen

When the name of G-d is not written in order for it to be sanctifies it 
has NO kedushah. (Or at least so I have been told). So, for example, when 
the NY Times reprints copies of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the name Y-H-W-H 
appears on the front page of the paper -- you can still throw it out. As 
the NY Times did not print it for any 'holy' purpose...
Anyone hear differently...

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


From: <esafern@...> (Eric Safern)
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 95 15:28:08 EST
Subject: Re: HaGomel after an Airplane Flight

In V 19 # 6, Akiva Miller writes:
>Several posters, quoting either their own feeling or authoritative
>rabbis, seem to feel that short flights are less dangerous and therefore
>would not require this blessing of thanks afterward.

First of all, a small clarification - the only person I am aware of who
considers short flights less dangerous is the Tzitz Eliezer.

>This part is my interpretation of what Rav Moshe wrote: The statistical
>dangers of air or sea travel are irrelevant to this question. Rav Moshe seems
>to focus on the fact that if one was in the middle of the sea - or of the air
>- without one's vehicle, he would be in immediate and serious danger. 
>why does he mention "since the boat
>gets damaged occasionally" and "since the airplane gets damaged
>occasionally"? I suggest that he writes this in order to distinguish these
>vehicles from a bridge. One could argue, after all, that when one crosses a
>bridge, he is suspended high in mid-air (analogous to a plane), or slightly
>above the river (analogous to a boat) and would be in danger were it not for
>the bridge which rescues him. But a bridge is affixed to the ground. A car
>might run off a bridge, or the bridge might be damaged by an earthquake, but
>how often are people hurt by a mechanical defect in the bridge itself? It is
>not merely safer than a plane or boat - it is in an entirely different class,
>and one does not say HaGomel after crossing a bridge.

This is still a statistical argument - a bridge is much less likely to
fail.  It can happen, however - has anyone heard of the Tacoma Narrows
Bridge?  It actually shook itself to pieces in a stiff wind due to an
unavoidable (at that time) design defect. There's some amazing film of
the actual event.

In any event, what about an elevator? Certainly, elevator accidents can
kill people - anyone see _Speed_? :-) Granted, it is attached by a cable
- but the cable failing is not that different than the hull of a boat
failing - both are extremely unlikely, catastrophic failures which will
leave the would-be passenger 'hanging.'

Finally, what about a ferry ride?  Even a ten minute trip from NYC to
NJ, in the dead of winter, could lead to death (r'l) if the boat sinks
halfway across.

We need a model which excludes both elevators and ferrys, but includes
the QE2 and a 747.  I think a little statistics would round out the
model nicely. :-)

				Eric Safern


From: "michael lipkin" <michael_lipkin@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 95 09:36:59 EST
Subject: Hagomel and Bridges

I think Akiva Miller's post on Birchas Hagomel, translating and
explaining Rav Moshe's teshuva, was excellent.  I just question Akiva's
conclusion that the reason why Rav Moshe mentioned that boats and planes
get damaged occasionally was to exclude bridges.

Akiva says, regarding bridges:

>A car might run off a bridge, or the bridge might be damaged by an 
>earthquake, but how often are people hurt by a mechanical defect in the 
>bridge itself? It is not merely safer than a plane or boat - it is in an 
>entirely different class, and one does not say HaGomel after crossing a 

In my high school physics class I saw the amazing footage of the Tacoma
Narrows Bridge (a large suspension bridge in Washington) being blown to
bits by a moderate wind. (It had something to do with the wind causing
the bridge to vibrate at its resonant frequency, like when an opera
singer breaks a glass with his voice.)  There was also the Mianis River
bridge in Connecticut.  A few years ago a section of this highway bridge
suddenly fell to the river below taking with it some cars and trucks and
killing several people.  I'm sure there are many other examples.

Maybe Rav Moshe just mentioned the occasional damage to boats and planes
to show that such occurrences are POSSIBLE.  If that's the case then I
think Rav Moshe's Teshuva should INCLUDE bridges.



From: <rachelr@...> (Rachel Rosencrantz)
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 15:25:46 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Kitnyot and Allergies

I have 2 questions for you all.  (And of course I will CMLOR)

1) Are Flax Seeds considered Kitnyot.  You see, my husband is allergic
 to eggs (among other things) and flax seeds can be used as a binding
 agent in place of eggs.  (And of course, if anyone know of any Kosher
 l'pesach egg substitutes (that DON'T use egg white or egg yolk) I'd
 love to hear about them.)

2) My husband is allergic to wheat, spelt, rye, and oats.  At this point
 we are planning on eating the minimum amount of wheat matzah to fufill
 the mitzvah. However, out of curiosity I was wondering if there is such
 a thing as barley matzah?  (Barley is the fifth of the 5 species if I
 recall rightly.)



From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 11:45:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Leprosy & PC

There is no reason to identify the tsaraat of Tanakh with the modern
leprosy. There is nothing to indicate that Biblical "leprosy" is
contagious. The identification is based on the LXX who translated
tsaraat as "lepra."

See commentaries of R. SR Hirsch and RDZ Hoffmann for detailed evidence
on this point.

Contemporary lepers refer to their affliction as Hansen's Disease.
Hansen's is infectious, but can be transmitted only after prolonged
contact with sufferers, not by casual contact. It is one of the least
contagious of maladies.

Some years ago I received several complementary copies of the Journal of
Hansen's Disease (courtesy of a medical talmid). They are very makpid on
correct nomenclature and dedicated to eradicating any confusion between
their afflicction and the loathsome Biblical disease. There are times
when political correctnesss is condescending and foolish. This is not
one of them, it seems to me.


From: Bernard F. Kozlovsky M.D. <BFK@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 95 08:00:35 
Subject: Oat Matzah

Michael Broyde states:
>I would strongly advise such a person to eat white matzoh soaked in 
>water, if needed. In my opinion that is preferable to using oats as one 
>of the five grains.

I believe the original question involved a person who could become
seriously ill eating wheat products. Suggesting soaking wheat matzah in
water would be of no use. My understanding was that these individuals
could fulfill the mitzvah with oat matzah, but I am not familiar with
the sources. I would appreciate any information regarding this topic

					Bernie Kozlovsky.


From: David Katz <dkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 21:21:47 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: pre-marital sex prohibition

Assuming that the issue of Nida has been removed (and we are ignoring
the issues of K'doshim tihiyu, there is still a major disagreement
btween the Rambam and the Raavad (as well as a discussion of the Maggid
Mishna and Kessef Mishna).  Their debate can be found in Rambam Hilchot
Ishut 1:4.  According to the Rambam, the boy (and girl) in question
would violate a Torah prohibition of Kdeisha - as defined by the Rambam
- sex for non-marriage purposes (without kiddushin or Ketuba).

The Raavad is more leniant and says that Kdeisha means a woman who makes
herself available to all (I assume not the case to which Joshua Pollak
was refering).

Therefore, the 'act itself' is the subject of a major Machloket
Rishonim.  Since we don't send single girls to the Mikva, this is one
argument that doesn't need to be Paskinned!

David Katz, Director - Nitzotz Student Volunteer Program  011-972-2-384206
                       NCSY Israel Summer Programs        P.O. Box 37015
                                                          Jerusalem  ISRAEL


From: Pinchas Roth <roth@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 95 22:22:00 PST
Subject: Shushan Purim

On our recent tiyul shnati to the Golan, Rav Mordechai Elon told me that
Gamla was a walled city. The residents of Keshet have a picnic there on
Shushan Purim.  Also, on the subject of women and meggilah, the last
tshuvah in Shu"t Nishal David Orach Chaim deals with the kashrut of a
meggilah written by a woman.  Shabbat Shalom, Pinchas Roth


End of Volume 20 Issue 40