Volume 20 Number 43
                       Produced: Thu Jul 13 23:41:06 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

2 Days Yom Tov
         [Warren Burstein]
         [Avi Feldblum]
Halachic Wills (2)
         [Alana Suskin, Avy Weberman]
Mixed Seating at Weddings
         [Chaim Wasserman]
Otzar Haposkim's Dial in Service
         [Michael J Broyde]
Rambam and Zohar
         [Yisroel Rotman]
Tracing a family
         [Isaiah Karlinsky]
Zohar authorship
         [Shalom Carmy]


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 1995 16:13:39 GMT
Subject: Re: 2 Days Yom Tov

Stephen Phillips writes:

>I believe that in Eilat one would have to keep two days Yom Tov as it was 
>never part of Eretz Yisroel.

As there is a Jewish community in Eilat, I am sure that the question
has an accepted answer.

 |warren@         an Anglo-Saxon." -- Stuart Schoffman
/ nysernet.org


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995 23:33:25 -0400
Subject: Administrivia

I go away for just a few days, and all sorts of interesting and strange
email comes my way! OK, sorry for the unscheduled week of no activity, I
will try and make up for that over the next few days. In addition, it
appears that #40 never made it out, so I will resend that one out. 

There has been an extensive discussion (if one can call it that) between
one Givon Zinkind, who is defending the actions of Mr Goldstein (of the
Kedushei Ketana fame) and one of the members of our list, which I have
read through today as simply a spectator. I do not think at this point,
based on my reading of the posts, that they need to be broadcast to the
list as a whole. There is a 200+ line letter that Givon writes he has
sent to Rav Svei and Rav Pam, with copies to Rabbi Klein of Ungvar,
Rabbi Saaulson, editor of Panim Chadoshot, Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz,
editor of Yated Neeman and Julie Fax, reporter for The Jewish Week. I am
tempted to publish his letter, but at the same time I cannot imagine how
this letter would do anything but drag down into the gutter the rather
positive discussion on the topic we have been having. 

OK, lets get a few out tonight and see what we can do to work on the
backlog over the weekend.



From: Alana Suskin <alanacat@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 1995 09:34:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Halachic Wills

It should be noted that there is in fact a way to bequeath one's wife
and daughters property over what they are permitted. There are, I
believe, two ways to do it (for a more detailed discussion e-mail me
personally and I will give you what I got from the O. rabbi who told me
this). The first is that one tells one's heirs that one is leaving
e.g. a million dollars (the idea being that this is equal to or more
than you actually have) to the synagogue unless they agree to give up
their rights to the property. Since donating to the synagogue takes
precedence over one's heirs, if they don't give up their rights they get
nothing. On the other hand, you say, if you do give up your rights to my
property, I'll give you such and such amount and the rest will go to in
thus and such amount to your sisters/ mother. So unless they're
completely spiteful people, their option is to give up everything or to
give up their rights as heirs and redistribute the property more
equally. The other way is more difficult, because it requires being
aware of the general time of one's demise. This way is simply to give as
a gift one's property. THe flaw with this is that if one acquires more
property between the time of the gift and the time of one's death, that
cannot be given, because future acquisitions are not yours to
give. There is a way to write upa frum will that does not leave everyone
but the sons out in the cold. If you write to me personally, I will try
to find a copy to mail you displaying the general wording for this.


From: <avy.weberman@...> (Avy Weberman)
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 1995 21:27:06 GMT
Subject: Halachic Wills

In vol.20 #38, Marc Meisler raised some important questions regarding
the apparent 'conflict' between the laws of 'yerusha'(inheritance) as
mandated by the Torah and civil law in the US.
I hope I can shed some light on this issue, and point out sources for
further study. Please be advised that while I may be conversant with
some of the halachik and legal issues of estate planning, I claim no
expertise and competent Rabbinic and legal advisors should be consulted
Some years back, Judah Dick ( an attorney with s'micha from Yeshiva
Torah Va'das) wrote an excellent article entitled "Halacha and the
Conventional last Will and Testament" which appeared in the Spring
1982/Pesach 5742 issue of the "Journal of Halacha and Contemporary
Society". In this article, Mr Dick raises many potential areas of
conflict and provides solutions to these issues. I would further look
to Rabbi Mordechai Willig, a Rosh Yeshiva at REITS (Yeshiva University)
who has researched this matter. Addditionally, one might wish to speak
with Danniel Mann, an estate and trusts lawyer in NY who has semicha
from YU. In march of this year,he gave a lecture/shiur on "Halacha and
Estate Planning, In Conflict or In Harmony " in Boston. The following is
a brief recap of his lecture.
 Without a will,state and federal laws will govern the disposition of
one's assets upon one's death(may it not be before 120 years) and not(I
repeat not)the preferences or religious beliefs of the individual or
one's family.
 Thus, for both halachic and financial reasons, one needs to be involved
in some sort of estate and finacial planning.  One of the basic premisis
of estate planning is to provide for one's retirement, one's family and
loved ones and the minimization of taxes.  Don't think for a minute that
your estate is too small to be liable for estate taxes, what about life
insurance proceeds and your retirement plan benefits , all could be
includable in your taxable estate. Secondly, while there is an unlimited
marital deduction and all of your assets can be transfered to your
spouse, what will happen after the death of the surviving spouse?
Instead of the children receiving their rightfull Yerusha, Uncle Sam
will step in, unless some advance planning is done.
 To begin with, The Torah does not recognize testamentary (after death)
transfers of property with the exception of "s'chiv Meira" ( deathbed
gifts). All ownership rights terminate upon one's demise. Secondly, as
outlined in the Torah, males and specifically first born males (a
b'chor) have preferential rights.  How does one provide for one's
complete family while remaining faithfull to the halacha. One of the
solutions proposed is the establishment of a "hitchaiyivut"(obligation)
prior to one's death. An individual can obligate himself to his wife or
other family members for a sum greater than his total assets. This
obligation or debt become effective when the document is drafted and
accepted by a" Kinyan Sudar" in a bais Din Chosuv(a proper means of
transaction in an important Jewish court). However, this debt is not
payable until a minute before one's death. The heirs can in lieu of
paying this debt, carry out the terms of the will and thus fullfill this
obligation. in doing so they will have to be able to provide for their
family and take advantage of sound estate planning techniques with being
in full compliance with the Torah. The concept of creditors having
preference over heirs with regards to the assests of an estate is a well
established principle in civil law, thus there should not be any legal
challenge in civil court to the legality or enforcment of the
"hitchayivut" that is created in the bais din.
 A fall back position that some poskim rely on is the utilization of the
"dina d'malchuta dina"( the civil law of the land is binding as the
halacha) maxim. please do not take any of the above as absolute . You
are urged to consult both your rabbinic and legal advisors for guidance
and further study.  I hope I have been somewhat helpful. In case you are
wondering, I am a fundraising professional and been involved with
"planned giving programs.

Avy Weberman


From: <Chaimwass@...> (Chaim Wasserman)
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 1995 14:53:14 -0400
Subject: Mixed Seating at Weddings

Mark Meisler wrote: 
>Jeffrey Woolf in v20n27 stated there there is no halachic obligation to
>have separate seating at weddings. First, I think that people should
>refrain from such absolute statements unless they can be sure that no
>one makes such a requirement. He may have gotten such a psak from his
>Rav, but this by no means makes it an absolute statement...

Fact is that Rabbi Dr Jeffrey Woolf represented Rav Soloveichick's
position authentically.

Let me append to this an incident which occured with my
soon-to-be-musmach son about to get married in the summer 1987. He
wanted, as is expected of this generation, separate seating and a
mechitah at the wedding. When the parent generation told him that they
saw no necessity for even it "In Lithuania in Telshe they didn't have
such an arrangement" he stridently rejected that assertion spouting all
sorts of (worthy) Torah information.

It took strenuous urging to get him to call Rav Gifter whose opinion I
personally heard years before directly from him of the halachic irony
that has developed as a result of the mechitzah at a wedding. He told me
in my car on the way to a wedding in the Catskills his estimation of the
mechitzah and that in the original Telshe they didn't have such

It was a motza'ay Shabbos, when he called R. Gifter at his home and
spoke from my study behind closed doors. After about 10-12 minutes he
emerged from my study sullen, even defeated.
 I asked him "Nu?' He replied in an barely audible undertone: "He said
that R. Moshe holds that a mechitzah is a din in bais hamikdash only."

Now, I am an old man, in the words of Pirke Avot, soon, soon approaching
sixty. I began singing professionally at weddings since the age of 5
which is when I started in professional choirs. No, not the squeeking
zmiros ditties of today's boys' choirs but real professional ones who
even sang live on the radio every Sunday. And often there were big
rabbonim and chazzonim in attendace who officiated. THERE WERE NO
MECHITZOS. Men sat on one side of the table and their wives on the
other. The tables were round and everyone saw one another and conversed
freely. Granted, chassidim from Austria-Hungary had not arrived as yet
in the country. And when they did they didn't have choirs. But there
were great Jews and formidable talmiday chachamim in America before
Lubavitch, Satmar, Klausenberg, Viznitz et al. True, there was an even
greater assemblage of amay ha-aretz. But mechitzos and separate seating
was almost-nonexistent.

Is there anyone who has a grandparent or older who derives from
Frankfort-am-Main who could reliably report what was done in the
tradition of SR Hirsch, R. Ezriel Hildesheimer and R. Dovid Zvi

Chaim Wasserman  


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 1995 21:00:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Otzar Haposkim's Dial in Service

Does anyone have any experiance using otzar haposkim's dial in service 
and particularly their modem program called "doors."  I NEED HELP!!!
Michael Broyde


From: <SROTMAN@...> (Yisroel Rotman)
Date: Sun,  9 Jul 95 10:22 0200
Subject: Rambam and Zohar

A quick scientific note on the Rambam's knowing the Zohar and using it
in the first three chapters of "sefer Mada":

It is not adequate to show that there are phrases common to the two
sources to prove that the author of one knew the second.  One must show
(in this case) that the phrases used by the Rambam were not common ones
from Aristolian philosophy and thus could "only" have come from the

Does anyone have any examples of this?

Yisroel Rotman  		<srotman@...>


From: Isaiah Karlinsky <msbillk@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 1995 20:59:36 +0300 (WET)
Subject: Tracing a family

A student of ours is trying to trace the roots of his family, and
clarify the assumption of the family being Kohanim.  Anyone out in
Mail.Jewish-land who can help, can reply to me at the above address.
Thanks in advance.

I am looking for information on the Jewish community of Krotoszyn, in
the Polish province of Posen.  Mainly, I need to find out to what
frequency the name "Cohn" meant that you were a Kohen if you lived in
that town during the early to late 1800s.  Secondly, does anyone know a
man by the name of Berthold Cohn?  He was an attorney and businessman in
Berlin (b. 1894, immigrated to N.Y. in 1936).  He graduated the
University of Greifswald in 1919, was married to Erna Unger, and lived
in Charlottenburg.

Rabbi Shaya Karlinsky              Darche Noam Institutions
Yeshivat Darche Noam/ Shapell's    PO Box 35209
Midreshet Rachel for Women         Jerusalem, ISRAEL
Tel: 972-2-651-1178                Fax: 972-2-652-0801


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Sat, 8 Jul 1995 22:53:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Zohar authorship

In one of his commonplace books Agnon records an encounter between the
famous Lithuanian-German historian Isaac Halevy and R. Hayyim
Soloveichik of Brisk.

Halevy was willing to take an oath on a "Yom Kippur that falls on
Shabbes" that R. Shimon bar Yohai did not write the Zohar.

R. Hayyim replied: "It is not necessary for you to swear."

That's the story.


End of Volume 20 Issue 43