Volume 21 Number 55
                       Produced: Thu Sep 28  7:17:05 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Bar Mitzvah Custom
         [Ira Robinson]
Book on Noachide Laws
         [Jeff Mandin]
Consitutional Rights and Halachic Observance (2)
         [Tara Cazaubon, David Charlap]
DMV and hair coverings.
         [Steve White]
         [Nadine  Bonner]
Lulav Boxes
         [Akiva Miller]
Married women not covering hair and Dina deMalekhuta Dinah
         [S.H. Schwartz]
Numbers in Census
         [Moishe Kimelman]
Science, Halacha and Judaism
         [L. Joseph Bachman]
Shofar Orchestra
         [Tara Cazaubon]
Sources regarding Elder Abuse/Neglect
         [Yitz Etshalom]
Sunshine cookies
         [Shmuel Himelstein]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 1995 07:09:29 -0400
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

I hope you all have had a very good Rosh Hashana. Hopefully, I am now
fully back on line until at least the end of Succot, so with the
expected breaks during Yom Tov, I hope to get the issues out on a
regular basis between Yom Tov now. I decided to send the annual Teshuva
Drasha posting out as a special mailing. It is long, about 700 lines, so
if you mailer destroys it, I will also put it up on the archive server
in the Rav area later this evening. I also have some other material for
the archive area that I will get to during this month and announce here
in this spot. I am still in the middle of going through my email, so the
messages that go out today are not in any particular order, i.e., if you
sent something in a week ago and you do not see it go out this morning,
and you do see something posted yesterday going out, it is just a
function of how I am reading my huge email mbox. I'll give some update
on things tonight, but I want to get a few messages out this morning
before I head to work.



From: <ROBINSO@...> (Ira Robinson)
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 1995 08:53:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Bar Mitzvah Custom

In many synagogues it is customary to give Bar Mitzvah boys a siddur,
chumash or something similar.  When this last happened, a friend of mine
asked me whether this was proper.  Is it proper to acquire an object,
such as a book, on shabbat?  What about a certificate?

I would like to wish the entire list a happy and healthy new year.

Ira Robinson


From: Jeff Mandin <jeff@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 1995 09:50:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Book on Noachide Laws

> I don't have the book, but I once read a book by Rabbi Aharon
> Lichtenstein on the subject of Bnei Noach which cited a source saying
> that the court has the option to sentence a violator to death, but may
> impose a lesser penalty if it sees fit.
>  |warren@         bein hashmashot, in which state are the survivors
> / nysernet.org    buried?

Just a clarification:

The book you're referring to("Seven Laws of Noah" or something to that
effect) is by Rabbi Aaron Lichtenstein of Boro Park, not R. Aharon
Lichtenstein of Yeshivat Har Etzion. 


From: <tarac@...> (Tara Cazaubon)
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 1995 09:18:06 -0700
Subject: Consitutional Rights and Halachic Observance

Mr. London raises an interesting point.  This is a  problem, mostly with
Islamic faiths, such as the Sikhs who want to carry their ceremonial swords
on public buses (a case that came up in Toronto - it was forbidden) and
Muslim girls who want to wear their veils/headcoverings to public schools
in France (so far it is forbidden but dialogue is continuing).  I can see
both sides of the question and haven't yet decided how I feel about it,
since it doesn't affect me personally.  I can see in the examples of the
military chaplain and alcohol prohibition: where acceptable alternatives
exist they are to be utilized.  But is there truly an alternative for
Muslim girls and Sikhs in the abovementioned situations, and should they be
accomodated by public institutions such as the schools/military?  I realize
this is not a specifically Jewish question, but rather a religion/state
issue which affects many religions, including us - such as the (chas
v'shalom) possibility of an Orthodox Jew with beard and peyas being sent to
prison and being forced to shave.  I would be interested to know how others
feel about this.

-Tara Arielle Cazaubon

From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 95 12:52:22 EDT
Subject: Consitutional Rights and Halachic Observance

Joseph Brian London <jlondon1@...> writes:
>...  The Court did not allow polyogomy for Mormen men even though their 
>religion at the time allowed it.

Which court?  The Supreme Court neither forbade nor permitted polygamy.

The state of Utah passed a law forbidding polygamy.  The Supreme Court
upheld Utah's right to pass such a law.  There is a difference.


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 1995 13:54:01 -0400
Subject: DMV and hair coverings.

At least in NJ, a married woman -- or any man -- can have driver's
license pictures taken with their head covered provided s/he brings a
letter from her/his clergyman.


From: Nadine  Bonner <102560.1102@...>
Date: 22 Sep 95 12:57:12 EDT
Subject: Eruv

  Here in Milwaukee, we are in the final stages of erecting an eruv. The
biggest obstacle has been the demand of Wisconsin Electric for $10,000
to allow us to use their electric poles.
  I know that in Philadelphia and other cities, electric poles are
used. Does anyone know in those electric companies also charge for the
use of the poles?  I believe that the $10,000 comes to something like
$100 per pole (I'm not sure, but I know that the final figure was a per
pole computation). Do other cities also pay the electric companies on
this basis?


From: <Keeves@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Sun, 17 Sep 1995 05:53:39 -0400
Subject: Lulav Boxes

For years I was dissatisfied with the physical protection offered by
most of the lulav bags and boxes I saw. I looked for a way to place the
lulav in a box in a *flat* manner (as opposed to vertically), so that it
could be put in gently but securely, similar to how a violin or rifle
would be placed in its case. I've seen bags like that, with a zipper on
the side, but a bag is still a bag, and I wanted a box. The perfect
solution came to me a few years back, as I looked at a Federal Express
mailing tube: It is long, sturdy, and cheap.  Just fold it together, and
the lulav fits nicely inside.

How much does it cost? Here is the conversation which took place at my local
post office:
"I need a few Express Mail tubes, please. How much are they?"
"They are free. How many do you want?"
"I'm not mailing anything. I need them for an arts and crafts project. How
much do they cost?"
"I do understand, but they are still free. How many?"
"Three, thank you."
"Here you go... have a nice day!"
(If anyone thinks I violated any Torah, rabbinic, or civil laws in this case,
please make sure to include your sources when commenting. I did this at my
U.S. Post Office; your post office or FedEx employee may respond

Then I brought them home, and THIS PART IS IMPORTANT FOR PARENTS AND
TEACHERS: follow the directions carefully, but put it together INSIDE
OUT.  This leaves a fantastic plain cardboard surface where children
(including those in the 20-120 age bracket!) can draw all sorts of
pictures to beautify it in the spirit of the holiday. My kids had a ball
doing this, and they love showing them off to everyone at shul.

A couple more notes: Make sure to get a lulav shorter than 36 inches, or
you'll have to poke a hole in the base end of the box. Make sure not to
hold the box upside down; the drawings can help you remember which way
is up.  Consider tying a string through a hole at the top end, and you
can hang it on a peg when you get home. Find the absolute cheapest door
handle your hardware store carries, use a hole puncher or awl to put
holes in the side, and you can screw the handle on to the box.

Chag Sameach!


From: <shimmy@...> (S.H. Schwartz)
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 1995 20:15:14 -0700
Subject: Married women not covering hair and Dina deMalekhuta Dinah

> From: <TorahDept@...> (Moshe Sokolow)
> I am reminded of a visit to the New York State
> Motor Vehicles Dept. to renew a driver's license, in the company of a
> married neighbor.  When she asked to be photographed with her hat on she
> was told that it is against policy since the license is a form of ID.

There is clearly a problem with a married woman being seen live with her
hair uncovered.  What about a -picture- of her?  I know of no woman who
hides her pre-marriage photos that show her hair.  If a post-marriage
photo of her hair is similarly not problematic, she could presumably
have her license photo taken in the presence of women.

S. H. Schwartz
NYNEX Science & Technology, Inc., White Plains NY:  <schwartz@...>
The home front, New York City:  <shimmy@...>
If all else fails:  <s.h.schwartz@...>


From: <kimel@...> (Moishe Kimelman)
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 1995 17:28:00 +1000
Subject: Numbers in Census

A week or so ago I posted that there was a Rosh somewhere that talks
about the rounding off of numbers in the Torah.  Rabbi Dovid Super
yesterday showed me the Rosh I was looking for.  It is in the last perek
of Pesachim (siman 40) and it deals with the apparent anomaly of the
Torah telling us to count fifty days during sefirah, yet we only count
forty-nine days.  The Rosh there says that the Torah often rounds up a
nine to a ten, such as in the passuk "arbaim yakenu" - "they will give
him forty lashes" - which is the source of thirty-nine lashes.  This
Rosh would not necessarily answer the question as to why all the numbers
in censuses end in zero.

While we were discussing this someone quoted a suggestion he had heard
that the tallies were arrived to by counting the sarei asarot (the unit
commanders) who were each in charge of ten men, and then by multiplying
the result by ten.  Thus the final tally would always end in a zero even
if some of the sarei asarot were actually in charge of eleven men since
the men of the "remainder" would not form a unit of their own, but would
be divided amongst existing units.  It seems that this solution would
not work for the Leviim as they were included in the census from the age
of thirty days, and would therefore not be included in an army unit.
Furthermore Rashi makes it clear that they were counted individually.
Perhaps it was just "coincidental" that the Leviim population was evenly
divisible by ten.


From: L. Joseph Bachman <jbachman@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 1995 12:09:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Science, Halacha and Judaism

In V21 N 52, Micha Berger( <aishdas@...>) wrote:
> Rabbiner SR Hirsch has this cute line in "19 Letters" ridiculing Geiger's
> "Wissenschaft der Judentums" (The Science of Judaism, a contender for one
> of the most damaging books of Jewish history). In it Hirsch points out that
> true science is when the data is explored, and based upon the data one
> forms theories. Alchemy is the creation of experiments to fit a pre-existing
> theory.
> In Judaism, halachah is the experimental data. True Judaism is based on a
> study of halachah and creating a world-view to fit. Reform, R. Hirsch writes,
> is alchemy -- the world-view pre-exists, and you rewrite halachah to fit.

R. Hirsch's definition of "true science" is incomplete as far as it
goes.  As a scientist, it's true that I often explore masses of data in
order to form hypotheses based on the data.  But I also design
experiments and collect data in order to see whether it fits my
pre-existing hypothesis or theory.  The problem with alchemists was not
that they created "experiments to fit a pre-existing thoery," but rather
that they disregarded results from the experiment that didn't fit the
pre-existing theory. And on the basis of techniques and some empirical
reports, the alchemists actually made some useful contributions to
science, even if their theory was off the wall.

Halacha does not appear to me to be "experimental data" of any sort, but
rather more like the reports of the poskim on their analysis of the
source texts.  More like an interpretive scientific paper than a data
report.  However, IMO, the analogy is pretty weak, as those formulating
halacha use as their source "data" the interpretive works of their
predecessors.  Also, I don't think that Reform Judaism is alone in
having a world view to which practices are made to fit.  Halachic
Judaism also has a world view (e.g., G-d made a covenant with Israel,
gave us the Torah, oral and written to be the basis for our halacha,
etc.), and from that halacha is formulated to fit into that world view.
Otherwise halachic Judaism makes no sense.

Joe Bachman


From: <tarac@...> (Tara Cazaubon)
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 1995 09:53:27 -0700
Subject: Shofar Orchestra

This doesn't make any sense to me.  Mr. Wise compares the sounding of
multiple shofarim to the echo of one shofar in a cave.  The two situations
are completely different: the sound of a second shofar is not the echo of
the first.  Could we have a rabbi's response on this one?

-Tara Arielle Cazaubon


From: Yitz Etshalom <rebyitz@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 1995 08:59:03 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Sources regarding Elder Abuse/Neglect

A colleague has requested sources (Talmudic, Rishonim) regarding the 
issues of elder abuse and elder neglect.  Any help?


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 1995 14:04:50 GMT
Subject: Sunshine cookies

Since my last posting about the OU symbol on the Hebrew Israeli labels 
of Sunshine cookies, I've been in contact with members of the OU. It 
would appear that the importer in Israel might have made unauthorized 
use of the OU symbol. The fact that the original label does not carry 
the OU would indeed seem to bear this out.

           Shmuel Himelstein
22 Shear Yashuv Street, Jerusalem 97280, Israel
    Phone: 972-2-864712: Fax: 972-2-862041
   EMail address: <himelstein@...>


End of Volume 21 Issue 55