Volume 21 Number 46
                       Produced: Sun Sep 10 23:54:41 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Dina Demalchuta Dina
         [Eli Turkel]
Eiphah Vaeiphah (mj Vol. 21 #44)
         [Andrew Marc Greene]
Numbers in the Census
         [Jay & Dena-Landowne Bailey]
Rav Bakshi-Doron and the Agunah problem
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Reference for Rav Schachter's Article on Leining
         [Arthur Roth]
Request for Source Material
         [Joel Wein]
When Were The Mishnayos Written
         [Israel Botnick]
Yeshiva Library Classification & Catalog Assistance
         [Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer]


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 09:46:45 -0400
Subject: Dina Demalchuta Dina

     Rabbi Bleich recently came out with his fourth volume on
Contemporary Halakhic problems. In this he has a section on the
Intafada, the Gulf War, defying government orders and Dina Demalchuta.

     I have a few problems with the opinions of Rishonim on Dina
Demalchuta and am looking for solutions. Ramban and others claim that
Dina demalchuta applies only to ancient laws but that a king has no
right to issue new laws. First, I am not sure what old laws means, last
year, hundred years old? Second, the old laws were new laws at one time.
More basically does that mean that America must follow the laws as
understood in colonial terms, In particular there were no income tax
laws in those days. The English should follow the Magna Carta? Obviously
any government has to respond to changed circumstances and change laws
including tax laws.

     Shmuel Himelstein says
>> Ran categorically rejects it in regard to a Jewish government inside 
>> Eretz Israel 

   Many recent authorities claim it isn't so. The opinion of the Ran is
based on the fact that every Jew has a right to live in Israel and so
cannot be evicted by a king (which for the Ran is the basis of Dina
demalchuta).  This obviously cannot mean that a government can't tax for
roads, an army or any provide other services. This government need not
be elected and is not based on community rules. What the Ran means is
that a gentile king in Israel cannot pass legislation which is purely
for his own benefit. Other government rules are completely legitimate
even according to Ran. The alternative is chaos.



From: Andrew Marc Greene <amgreene@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 10:58:13 -0400
Subject: Re: Eiphah Vaeiphah (mj Vol. 21 #44)

In m-j 21:44, Micha Berger writes:
   Halachah prohibits not just using two sets of weights, but even owning
   them.  In Bava Basra 89a, R. Yehudah of Sura makes the uncontested
   statement that even unused, the ownership itself is a violation.

I never thought of it this way before, but what implications does this
have for the kosher butcher who uses several scales, all carrying the
seal of the Massachusetts Dept. of Weights and Measures?

Andrew M. Greene   <amgreene@...>   http://www.mit.edu:8001/people/amgreene


From: <jaydena@...> (Jay & Dena-Landowne Bailey)
Date: Wed,  6 Sep 95 22:40:48 PDT
Subject: Numbers in the Census

Sandy Lefkowitz wonders how most of the numbers in the censuses (sounds 
like it should be censi! ;) ) are rounded to the hundred or thousand. I 
don't think the numbers here are literal (God did not make sure people 
had precise numbers of children to make it easy to add them up), but 
rather typological. They represent the large numbers conceptually, and 
there is no real reason for anything more specific - after all, the only 
practical, functional use of these numbers was for military tally, and 
between all the people planting vineyards, building houses and marrying 
wives (oh- and being scared!), the numbers would change anyway. This was 
like saying "half a million Russian soldiers were killed in WWII". (I 
have no idea if that's even close to true). The big picture is important, 
so the numbers are figured only up to a point...

Jay & Dena-Landowne Bailey
E-mail: <jaydena@...>


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 11:10:38 GMT
Subject: Rav Bakshi-Doron and the Agunah problem

The latest issue (No. 5) of the Meimad magazine carries an article by
the Sefardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rav Bakshi-Doron, about the a
possible solution to the problem of enforcing a *Get* (Jewish
divorce). It is indeed welcome news that creative thinking is going on
in this area.

Rav Bakshi-Doron does not offer a final solution to all Agunah problems
and his proposal here is, as he admits, tentative, and would be most
applicable to the Israeli scene.

Let me preface by noting that the vast majority of Israeli couples own
their own apartments and that renting is a relatively rare thing. When a
couple buys an apartment, the mortgage lenders will generally insist
that the apartment be bought as joint property of the husband and wife.
As Rav Bakshi-Doron points out, one of the biggest problems in settling
a *Get* is the argument over the division of property, especially the
apartment - normally the couple's biggest single asset.

Rav Bakshi-Doron proposes the following: from now on, whenever a couple
buys any apartment (even if it already owns another or others), the
husband give an irrevocable power of attorney which will state that,
should the Bet Din (Jewish court of law) determine that he must grant
his wife a *Get*, he must do so within 12 months of that decree. Should
he fail to do so, he will forfeit his half of the apartment in favor of
his wife. This will thus put pressure on the husband to give his wife a
*Get* or forfeit his half of the apartment. Halachically, the advantage
of this is that (a) it can be done at any time in the marriage, and (b)
it eliminates the Halachic problem associated with many prenuptial

         Shmuel Himelstein
22 Shear Yashuv Street, Jerusalem, Israel
Phone: 972-2-864712; Fax: 972-2-862041
NEW ADDRESS: <himelstein@...>


From: <rotha@...> (Arthur Roth)
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 15:50:25 -0500
Subject: Reference for Rav Schachter's Article on Leining

About a month ago, I posted the following (MJ 20:67):
>     Avrom Forman (MJ 20:62) asks about the custom of finishing a pasuk
> before going back to correct an error if Hashem's name has already been
> said in this pasuk.  Avrom argues that logically this doesn't make any
> sense.  Well, it seems that Avrom's logic has support from Rav Herschel
> Schachter (not sure of spelling) of YU, who pubished an article about 10
> years ago, I believe in a journal whose main focus was on musical
>    [... stuff deleted ...]
> remember the source for this particular item.  It may take me a few days
> to find my copy of this article.  When I do, I will post the exact
> reference to it, as well as the source Rav Schachter relies on for his
> very strong statement on this matter.  By the way, my own logic agrees

Later (MJ 20:85), I referred to the same article again:
> From Gedaliah Friedenberg:
> > According to Rabbi Cohen, the person who received the aliyah which
> > concludes with "Chazak" does NOT say these three words.  These words are
> > directed to the oleh [the person who received the aliyah] as a bracha.
>     In a recent (MJ 20:67) posting on correcting leining errors, I
> referred to an article by Rav Herschel Schachter on little known laws
> regarding leining (and still owe the MJ readership the exact reference).
> Rav Schachter brings down the same halachah that Gedaliah quotes from
> Rabbi Cohen, but for a different reason.  Specifically, Rav Schachter

I finally tracked down a copy of this reference.  I apologize that "a
few days" has turned into over a month, but I misplaced my copy of the
article and had to obtain another one from a friend that I had given a
copy to at an earlier time.  At any rate, the reference is as follows:

"Lesser-Known Laws of Torah Reading" by Rav Hershel Schachter, appeared
in the Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy.  My copy of the article has
no date on it, but my recollection places it in the mid 1980's (say,
1985 plus or minus two years).  I know this is not ideal, but it should
be sufficient for anybody to track it down without a great deal of

Rav Schachter's sources for the above two items are as follows:
  1. (about error in pasuk with Hashem's name) Hayei Adam.  See Sha'arei
Rahamim to Sha'arei Efraim (chap. 3, no. 18).
  2. (about oleh not saying "Chazak") Shulhan Hakriah to O.H. (end of
139), Mishne Halakhot vol. 7, no. 22.  In the luah printed by Kollel
Chabad of Jerusalem, the Lubavicher minhag is recorded, allowing the
oleh to recite Hazak Hazak along with the Tzibbur, assuming that it does
not constitute a Hefsek.

It is interesting that the Chabad minhag is given in the footnotes with
the sources rather than in the text of the article.  From this, I get
the (possibly erroneous) impression that Rav Schachter feels that this
Chabad ruling, though of course binding on Lubavichers, is not one that
the rest of us should follow.
    With regard to an error in a pasuk containing Hashem's name, note
Rav Schachter's strong unequivocal language (not typical of most items
in the article):
    "There is a common misconception that in the event that the Ba'al
Keriah made an error, and has already read God's name in the verse, he
should first complete the reading of the verse, and then reread it
correctly.  The poskim write explicitly that such an approach is highly
illogical.  Rather, the Ba'al Keriah should stop immediately upon
realizing his mistake, and reread the verse correctly, starting from the
phrase containing the error."
    The use of the word "phrase" here needs clarification.  In the
article, immediately preceding the above item, it is noted that there
are three views for what needs to be repeated in the event of an error:
the entire pasuk, the phrase, or just the word.  Though all three views
are valid, it is stated that the middle view, which is that of the Ba'al
Hatanya, is the most commonly followed.  Thus, it is clear that the word
"phrase" is inserted in this context to adhere to the most commonly
followed view, and should not be taken literally by those shuls which
follow one of the other two views.  The important point is that Hashem's
name in this context has no bearing, and an error in a pasuk with
Hashem's name should be treated the same way as any other error.


From: <wein@...> (Joel Wein)
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 95 13:18:17 -0400
Subject: Request for Source Material

I am looking for source material on the following (broad) topics, and
would appreciate a few pointers from the members of this list.

(1) Responses of Orthodox Leaders to Zionism from the late 19th and
early 20th century (--> WW2). I am interested in primary and seondary
sources, both of those who were for and those against.

(2) History of Sefad, 13th --> 20th century.

(3) Information on the aliya of the students of the Gra.

(4) History of religious life in Jerusalem 1800 to World War 2.

The goal is to aid members of our Congregation who will be giving talks
on various aspects of these topics in the Spring.  If people mail me
their responses directly, I'd be happy to post a summary to the list.

Thank You,

Joel Wein


From: <icb@...> (Israel Botnick)
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 95 10:25:13 EDT
Subject: When Were The Mishnayos Written

In a previous issue Yosef Bechoffer wrote
< For all you Daf Yomi Learners out there: To utterly shatter your
< preconceived notions on who wrote the Mishnayos, see the first Rashash
< on Shavuos 4a.

For anyone who did not look this up, The opinion of this Rashash (which is
based on Rashi) is that the mishnayos were not written down until a few
generations after Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi. This opinion agrees that
Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi compiled and organized the mishnayos, just that they
were not officially written down until much later.

A book called the Origin of the Oral Law, which I read recently, points
out that this is the opinion of Rashi in a few places. Most explicit is
Rashi to Eruvin 62a which says that in the time of Abbaye (which was 3-4
generations after Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi), the only oral teaching which was
as yet written down, was the Megillas Taanis [A listing of days which were
forbidden to fast]. The Rashash to Eruvin there comments that Rashi must
assume that the Mishnayos were not yet committed to writing.

The opinion which is more well known is that of the Rambam in his intro
to the Yad HaChazaka, that Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi both organized and wrote
down the mishnayos.

Israel Botnick


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer)
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 18:33:02 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Yeshiva Library Classification & Catalog Assistance

Our yeshiva, Beis HaMidrash LaTorah, Hebrew Theological College in
Skokie Il is about to overhaul its archaic classification and cataloging
system and move from card catalog to computer access. The present system
is counter-intuitive, as everything within categories (such as Derashos,
or Acharonim on Shas) is classified in alphabetical order, with total
disregard for period, region, and methodology of the sefer in
question. This makes serious and comprehensive research very difficult.

Unless I can come up with a good alternative, the Library will simply
convert to the Dewey decimal system. I have a feeling that may be even

I remember with particular fondness the classification system in use at
Sha'alvim when I learnt there ('78-'81). If someone has information
about how to contact them by e-mail, or any other yeshiva or institution
that has a particularly good system, I would appreciate the information,
which I can then pass on to the Librarian.

We also need software to catalog our seforim in Hebrew. If someone has
information about such software, please let me know about that as well.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


End of Volume 21 Issue 46