Volume 20 Number 74
                       Produced: Thu Jul 27 20:49:40 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aliyot - addendum
         [S.H. Schwartz]
Following Orders
         [Robert A. Book]
Israeli Chief Rabbinate
         [Carl Sherer]
Kosher Cleaning Products
         [Meyer Rafael]
Lo sa'amod
         [Kenneth Posy]
Making peace
         [Arnie Kuzmack]
More on Army bases
         [Kenneth Posy]
Old Hebrew books
         [Jack Stroh]
R Amital's critique
         [Jonathan Katz]
Rav Shlom Zalman Auerbach Article question
         [Michael J Broyde]


From: <shimmy@...> (S.H. Schwartz)
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 1995 22:18:25 -0700
Subject: Re: Aliyot - addendum

Manny Lehman writes:
2. I can't think of any reason why one should not switch in the middle of a
parasha though I would suggest that no single individual should read less
than 3 p'sukim. I would think that where the ba'alei kria change over the
break time should be minimised so that it does not represent a hefsek
(break) usually defined as the time it takes to say "shalom alechem rebi

This last sentence is the measurement of "toch k'dei dibbur," the maximum
separation between events which are considered to have occurred
-simultaneously-.  This is the maximum break during which one could, e.g.,
correct a b'racha rishona (food blessing): "Baruch ata...borei p'ri ha'etz
[T.K.D.] ha'adama."  (Yeshivat Har Eztion's Electronic Bet Midrash published
an in-depth analysis of "toch k'dei dibbur" recently.)  I would think that
the maximum break here (switching ba'alei k'ria) is longer, specifically the
length of the aliyah reading itself -without- a break.  This would be the
maximum interruption in a -sequence- of events (here, p'sukim) which are to
be said as a unit.

        Shimon Schwartz


From: Robert A. Book <rbook@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 12:53:06 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Following Orders

<warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
> Does the IDF patrol the roads on Shabbat?  Who is on the road to
> protect other than Shabbat violators?  Is it the practice of religious
> soldiers to refuse to perform road patrols on Shabbat?

Perhaps they have to patrol the roads the protect Jews from non-Jewish
(and therefore non-Shabbos-observing) terrorists, who use the roads to
commit terrorist acts.

--Robert Book    <rbook@...>
  University of Chicago


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 95 22:03:00 IDT
Subject: Israeli Chief Rabbinate

In his post of Friday July 21, Shmuel Himelstein argues that the some
members of the National Religious Party were in effect "pask shopping"
by not waiting for a ruling of the Chief Rabbis on the question of
whether or not it is permitted to abandon army camps and settlements in
Yehuda and Shomron.  After watching Rav Lau shlita loooking very
uncomfortable on Mabat (the nightly newscast) last week, I wonder
whether he really believes that as a matter of Halacha the psak is

After much prodding, Rav Lau said that he would not have issued such a
psak, that it may harm the unity of the nation, that he did not believe
that the Rabbis who issued it were actually advocating soldiers refusing
to follow orders (or deciding on their own whether they should follow
orders) but rather were trying to point out to the government how deeply
opposed much of the country is to its policies, and he made a reference
to "if chas v'shalom such an order is given" he is sure that the army
will carry it out.  This does not strike this observer as a total
rejection of the psak.

The other thing one has to realize is that, unfortunately, the Chief
Rabbi here is a *political* position.  He is elected by an "electoral
college" of sorts which includes Members of Knesset of all political
persuasions (inclduing many with whom people on this list would have
serious Hashkafa problems) and various other people who are not exactly
Talmidei Chachamim.  The governing coalition generally manages to
control who is elected.  Thus in the last election for Ashkenazi Chief
Rabbi there were three candidates - the coalition's (Rav Lau shlita),
Rav Schach shlita's candidate (Rav Simcha Kook, shlita) and the Mafdal's
candidate (Rav Shaar Yashuv Cohen shlita).  All of this makes it very
difficult for the Chief Rabbi to speak out on what may be perceived as
political issues.  Many of Rav Goren zt"l's statements on these matters
came after his term of office as Chief Rabbi.

-- Carl Sherer
	Adina and Carl Sherer
		You can reach us both at:


From: Meyer Rafael <mrafael@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 1995 08:46:30 
Subject: Kosher Cleaning Products

> >From: Alan Cooper and Tamar Frank <Alan.Cooper@...>
> It is not sufficient to state that there is no halakhic reason for
> cleaning products to carry a hekhsher.  The interesting question is why
> people are so ignorant or insecure that they will buy nothing at all
> without that precious certification, whether it is required or not.

I have often wondered whether I should take a cynical attitude towards
the cleaning products with a heksher. I have been under the impression
that halachic principles determine that if a substance is unfit for a
dog to eat then it is *not* food and by definition not classifable
either 'kosher' or 'non-kosher' any more than a stone can be kosher or

Detergent and cleaning products exemplify this category. Dishwater
detergent is inedible to the point that accidental consumption requires
medical attention. Would the combination of inedible Sodium silicate,
sodium tripolyphosphate (etc) with the addition of an animal derived
product become deemable as food and thus actually require a heksher? Is
it reasonable to conclude that seeking a heksher on items is simply a
misunderstanding of the principles of halacha? Naturally I am not
speaking about chametz on Pessach which is clearly a special case.

Yisrael-Meyer Rafael
   Meyer Rafael                             VOICE +613-525-9204
   East St Kilda, VIC, Australia            FAX   +613-525-9109


From: Kenneth Posy <kpposy@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 1995 12:14:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Lo sa'amod

Mr. Sherer writes, in response to my question about lo sa'amod:
     "As to the issur of lo sa'amod, the post refers to the issur
as applying only to not taking action that could save someone from
a dangerous situation and not applying to taking action that would
put them into a dangerous situation.  It strikes me that if one is
required to save someone who is in a dangerous situation when he is
able to do so, then kal vachomer it is not permitted to *put* him
into a dangerous situation."

I have three objections to this formulation:
 1) Although I agree that this point has validity, can we extend the
specific torah prohibition of "lo sa'amod" to this situation?  I know
that we say, "ain onshin min hadin" (we do not punish based on logic)
but I do not remember if we say "ain mazhirin min hadin" (we don't
forbid based on logic, at least at the torah level) While it is true
that the isur of "lo sa'amod" is a "lav sh'ein bo maaseh" and therefore
is not liable to corporal punishment, I still think the general
principle will apply.
 2) Even assuming that you can use a kal v'chomer, IMHO, we could take a
different perspective.  Rather than saying that if you do an action that
causes a situation to arise, you are liable as if the situation already
arose, would it not be proper to look at this action as "g'ramah"
(causal action)? In general we learn g'ramah is on a lower level than
actual action. It is true that, in monetary issues, it is possible to be
liable for causal actions, in Issurim we generaly say that, while
forbidden, there is no criminal liability. (I do not know how to
appropriatly translate the distinction between mamonos and issurim --
monetary and religious prohibitions? But momonos are religious also!)
See Tosphose in the second perek of Bava Basra. (26a ?) Thus even
assuming that there is pikuach nefesh afterwards, would not g'ramah
lower the level of the issur, perhaps to the point of saying that the
rambams dictum of violating a king's orders (as quoted in the p'sak)
does not apply.
     Furthermore, as Mr. Sherer pointed out, it is g'rama for SAFEK
pikuach nefesh. Of course, it could be that g'ramah is a concept
specific to narrowly defined issues, and that it does not apply by "Lo
sa'amod". I don't have the expertise to know that. And I understand,
that if you say that the issur of "lo sa'amod" applies at all to safeck
pikuach nefesh, it might not make a difference how far the pikuach
nefesh is removed from the action, as long as the chance remains.
 3) However, my impression is that the issur is distinct, even without
needing the g'ramah reasoning. "Lo sa'amod" is a lav which has no
action. If someone commits an action that causes a dangerous situation
to arise, then they appear not to have violated lo sa'amod, but a
different prohibition, of "mazik" (damaging), for example. Would a
murderer (L'havdil) be violating lo sa'amod in addition to murder? I am
almost sure that this is not the case.

Betzalel Posy


From: Arnie Kuzmack <kuzmack@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 1995 00:35:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Making peace

Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund writes:
> Shulchan Orech states that a border town, when under attack, threat of
> attack, or even stam minor harrasment (not even physical harrasment) -
> and the enemy says that it will stop this harrasment, and all the enemy
> asks for is a verbal peace agreement, not even any physical concessions
> - even in such a case it is ossur to make an agreement with that enemy.

I don't understand this.  There must be something assumed or unstated.
This would seem to imply that one is forbidden to ever make peace with
an enemy.  That can't be right.

Arnie Kuzmack


From: Kenneth Posy <kpposy@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 1995 10:19:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: More on Army bases

     I thank Mr. Sherer for responding to my question on the psak of
abandoning bases, but I still have some further issues that could use
further elucidation.
     Mr. Sherer replied to my question for a source on the rambam about
abandoning bases by detailing the apparent disagreement between the
Rambam and Ramban on the mitzva of settling Eretz Yisrael. However, I
was not asking where the Rambam discussed yishuv eretz yisrael, but the
technical details quoted by the psak.  The p'sak quotes the Rambam
saying "to conquer and not to relinquish to the hands of gentiles." I
was merely wondering where he said that. (I read the p'sak in
translation on mail jewish. I assume that the original in hebrew had a
reference, and I was hoping that someone who had access to it could
provide the source).  Also, in regards to the rabinic standard that
apply to syria, would that same prohibition apply on a rabinic level?
(The p'sak says specifically that it is a torah
prohibition/nullification), or would it not apply at all?

Mr. Sherer also writes:
 "but until there is a clear indication that taking action *would* save
lives (something which I, as someone living in Israel for the last four
years, have yet to see) I would submit that the proper halachic course
of action is not to do anything beyadayim (with our own hands) to change
the situation."
 Excuse me, but I do not understand which course he is advocating.  What
is the status quo? Is it the political situation, or the general dictum
that soldiers must mantain military discipline? I could see the argument
on one hand, that abandoning bases is consider a "Kum v'aseh" but I also
see on the other hand, that once the government has made the decision,
that is the status quo, and violating orders is a "kum v'aseh"(active
     I have a further, more lengthy responce to the issue of "lo
sa'amod" that he discussed, which I will save for a seperate post.

Betzalel Posy


From: Jack Stroh <jackst@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 1995 19:32:25 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Old Hebrew books

Does anyone know where I can find old Hebrew Books? In particular, I am 
interested in Hebrew Seforim Chitzonim and Yosipon.Thanks.


From: Jonathan Katz <jkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 95 14:11:31 +0300
Subject: R Amital's critique 

Yechezkal-Shimon Gutfreund writes:
>Shulchan Orech states that a border town, when under attack, threat of
>attack, or even stam minor harrasment (not even physical harrasment) -
>and the enemy says that it will stop this harrasment, and all the enemy
>asks for is a verbal peace agreement, not even any physical concessions
>- even in such a case it is ossur to make an agreement with that enemy.

I'm sorry, but this is too much. This makes no sense to me. The logical
extension of this is that if an enemy harrasses us, then says: "We
apologize. We will refrain from harrassing you in the future." we
_still_ cannot accept this, because it will be "making a verbal peace

Since that was my immediate reaction, I asked Mr. Gutfreund, via
personal email, to supply a source for this. He responded with a bunch
of sources which mention the special rules of border towns, etc.,
including cases where it is permissable to violate Shabbat,
etc. However, not ONE of the sources he sent me dealt with the issue of
"making verbal peace agreements".

I am assuming that this was an honest mistake. Therefore, I am asking
again for sources which state under what circumstances it is "forbidden"
to make a verbal peace agreement. If in fact no source exists, please
let us know.  

-Jonathan Katz


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 14:09:50 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Rav Shlom Zalman Auerbach Article question

There is supposed to be an article somewhere where Rav Shlom Zalman 
Auerbach discusses whether a Jewish child who is a "bar-dat" 
(knowledgable) is obligated in the 7 noachide laws according to torah 
law.  My vague recollection is that it is in Moriah; a complete set of 
which is not available in Atlanta.
Any help on this would be most deeply appreicated.
Thank you very much.
Michael Broyde


End of Volume 20 Issue 74