Volume 21 Number 81
                       Produced: Mon Nov  6  0:23:13 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Admin Note - Rabin Assassination
         [Avi Feldblum]
Arnold, etc.
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Bracha on Seeing a Secular Scholar
         [Joel Ehrlich]
Brit Mila
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Divine remembrance
         [Shalom Carmy]
Following Rabin's murder
         [Andy Levy-Stevenson]
Hemp (was: Rabbinically Endorsed Schach)
         [Art Werschulz]
More on Ribit
         [Roger Kingsley]
Motzei Shabbat Maariv
         [Jay Denkberg]
Psak of Rav Soloveitchik
         [Eli Turkel]
Rabin Assassination
         [Chaim Wasserman]
Scholarly articles on Israeli yeshivoth
         [Etan Diamond]
Shabbos lunch supercedes Friday night
         [Sharon First]
The assassination and the census
         [Shmuel Himelstein]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 00:12:32 -0500
Subject: Admin Note - Rabin Assassination

I would like to thank R' Chaim Wasserman for his thoughtful posting in
the hours following this terrible event. Whatever our opinions on the
many difficult issues that face us today, it is very difficult for me to
imagine a Jew raising up in such expression of violence. I pray that the
time ahead will become one of healing as a result of the shock of the
event. I know that there are various special events that will be
occuring, I will post information on those I receive on mj-announce in
as timely a manner as I can.

Avi Feldblum
Shamash Facilitator and mail-jewish Moderator
<mljewish@...> or feldblum@cnj.digex.net


From: Andy Goldfinger <andy_goldfinger@...>
Date: 3 Nov 1995 07:43:56 -0400
Subject: Arnold, etc.

David Riceman writes:

"If Arnold owes money to Bertrand, and Arnold hands the money to
Cleomenes who hands it to Bertrand, there need not be shlichuth involved
even though the debt is paid when Bertrand receives the money."

Thank you for providing (at last) accurate English translations of "Reuven,
Shimon and Levi."  :-)


From: Joel Ehrlich <ehrlich@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 1995 11:23:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Bracha on Seeing a Secular Scholar

Recently I attended a symposium at which four of the speakers hold Nobel
prizes in Medicine, and the others were also highly distinguished
scientists; the occasion brought to mind several questions about the
correct use of the bracha "sh'natan may-chachmato l'basar v'dam" (who
gives of his knowledge to flesh and blood").

1. What is the criterion for a "great secular scholar"?

2. If one sees four consecutive such persons, does one make the bracha
four times, or once for the group, having in mind also those to speak

3. If one works in the same department as such a person, does one make
the bracha every day upon seeing him/her?

Joel Ehrlich                         \           <ehrlich@...>
Department of Biochemistry             \              Home: (718) 792-2334
Albert Einstein College of Medicine      \                 Lab: (718) 430-3095


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Sat, 4 Nov 1995 18:27:36 GMT
Subject: Brit Mila

This morning's Torah reading about Avraham's brit mila reminded me that
years ago I had read somewhere that studies have shown that the
newborn's blood clotting mechanism is not yet truly developed, and only
on the eighth day (!) is it finally so. Would anyone have any more
information on this?

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


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 1995 11:13:36 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Divine remembrance

There is a chapter on G-d remembering in R. Zevin's L'OR HA-HALAKHA.


From: Andy Levy-Stevenson <andyls@...>
Date: 5 Nov 1995 08:51:44 -0600
Subject: Following Rabin's murder

I feel starved for an opportunity to hear other people's response to
yesterday's tragic shooting; especially from those living in Israel.

It's possible that even with events of this magnitude, list members
would prefer not to discuss the assassination in this forum. (?) If this
is the case, would someone be kind enough to point me ASAP at a
mail-list that discusses issues of current Israeli politics? I only have
access to email lists, not newsgroups.

Thanks in advance.

 Andy Levy-Stevenson                           Email: <andyls@...>
 Publications Specialist                                            
 Public Radio International                                         
 100 North Sixth Street, #900A                 Voice:   612-330-9269
 Minneapolis, MN 55403                         Fax:     612-330-9222


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 1995 19:00:21 -0500
Subject: Re: Hemp (was: Rabbinically Endorsed Schach)


Micha Berger (<AishDas@...>) asked whether hemp was known in
the days of the mishnah.

The word "qanabus" appears three places in the Mishna tractate Kilayim
(2:5, 5:8, 9:7).  Blackman translates the word as "hemp".  He has an
entry in the "Glossary of the Plants Enumerated in the Order Zeraim":

  Hemp, an annual herbaceous plant (genus cannabis sativa, family
  cannabinaceae), native of India; its cortical fibre is made into
  rope and stout fabric.

Interestingly enough, he doesn't mention any of its other uses ...

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   Internet: <agw@...> 
<a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>


From: Roger Kingsley <rogerk@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Nov 95 02:58:06 +0200 (IST)
Subject: More on Ribit

Jeff Mandin wrote:
> In the original question there is a problem that precedes the problem
> of estimation: lending a commodity in order to be paid back with the
> same amount of the commodity is called "s'eah b'seah"; the second last
> mishnah in Bava Metzia ch. 5 states that "s'eah b'seah" is prohibited
> unless you have the commodity in your possession, in which case the
> loan is viewed as an exchange.

  Indeed.  The fundamental problem of "seah b'seah" was the seasonal
fluctuation in commodity prices, so that lending a seah of wheat at
harvest time to be paid back in the same quantity six months later would
be a very profitable way of avoiding ribit.  The archetypal way of
avoiding this would be to express every transaction into a monetary loan
when it occurs, but the R'ema permits lending a loaf of bread for a loaf
of bread, on the grounds that people aren't makpid on small
amounts. (YD, 162, 1)
   A source for using k'rov l'schar / k'rov l'hefsed in loans and
such-like business transactions is in BM 70a.  It seems to be used there
as a general term to categorise the uncertainty in a transaction aa a
basis for applying hilchot ribit.

Roger Kingsley


From: Jay Denkberg <73472.2162@...>
Date: 04 Nov 95 16:21:56 EST
Subject: Motzei Shabbat Maariv

I know you can not prepare on Shabbat for after Shabbat.  However, is
one allowed to carry (within an eruv, of course) a siddur to shul for
the sole pupose of davening Motzei Shabbat Maariv only.  Mincha was
already said earlier in the day.

To add to the problem (perhaps) this is an "early" minyan that davens
exactly as shabbat ends, so you have to get to shul before shabbat
ends. The shul does not have it's own siddurim. (actually its not even a
shul it's a street corner, but that's another story)

Thank you.

Jay Denkberg


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 1995 14:19:32 +0200
Subject: Psak of Rav Soloveitchik

    Since I have received numerous private mail about Rav Soloveitchik's
psak about returning food to the stove on shabbat I shall attempt to
clarify myself once more.

    The psak of Rav Soloveitchik is that one is allowed to return food
onto of the stove or inside the oven under three conditions

1. The food is completely dry
2. The food is completely cooked
3. The food is on the stove at the beginning of shabbat.
   I understood this to mean at least from candle lighting until after sunset.

   In our question to Rav Soloveitchik I think the answer was clear that
he meant this le-maaseh, to be practiced and not just in theory. I
understand from others that there exists a written, unpublished, teshuva
of Rav Soloveitchik stating the same points.

   Nevertheless, I agree with Isaac Balbin that one cannot, in general,
make rulings based on stories about what gedolim do. The Hazon Ish once
said that if he denied every untrue story attributed to him then he
would not have time for anything else in his life. I fully concur with
the psak of Rav Schacter that one cannot pick and choose among decisions
of gedolim.  Choose to eat Kraft cheeses and return food on shabbat to
the stove according to Rav Soloveitchik, turn down the flame on yomtov
according to Rav Moshe Feinstein etc. Instead one has to either receive
a personal psak, or ask one's LOR or else decide that one can
investigate the issue on one's own and make a reasoned decision based on
the responsa of Rav Moshe Feinstein etc. (which is in essence what the
local rabbi does). This last option , of course, demands that one has
the qualifications to make such a decision. It is not simply I will
accept every leniency that exists from every source.

Eli Turkel    <turkel@...>


From: <Chaimwass@...> (Chaim Wasserman)
Date: Sat, 4 Nov 1995 19:41:43 -0500
Subject: Rabin Assassination

It's just moments after Shabbat Parshat Lech Lecha, moments after the
unspeakable news about Rabin was announced in shul.

This incredulous "parasha" brings to mind several questions which
rightly must be ponders by all, but most of all by those who abide by a
Torah way of life.

[1] Are the "yadayim y'day Esav" ever to be used against a Jew no matter
how misguided he may be?

[2] The repurcussions from secularist and anti-religious segments of all
Jewish society will be seen for the next half a century if not
more. What responsibility does that place upon those who are true to
Torah observance so to act to demonstrate and reinforce the message that
"deracheha darchay noam" and not unspeakable self-defeating terrorism
turned against our own selves.

[3] We finally learned how to protect ourselves from a world who has
been killing and plundering Jews for millenia? What will it take to
protect the Jew from his own self now that he/she is expert in firing
deadly weapons?

[4] Can Jews be trusted with political action? Can "frum" Jews be
trusted with political activities? Are "frum" Jews suited for political
action or are they sitting-ducks for extremism by dint of their very

If politics would be defined for argument's sake as the "art of the the
possible" and not stiving for the ideal at all costs, can "frum" Jews,
at least according to this definition, ever be trusted with any kind of
political action?

[5] There have been other notorious political assassinations in the last
century. Rav Kook was around and very much involved when the infamous
Arlozoroff assassination tragically took place. I wonder what Rav Kook,
zatzal, would be saying today to the media?  Is there anyone who could
brave extrapolating what he might have said?

[6] Can Jewish history withstand another G'dalya ben Achikam scene at
this very tenuos point in our history? How will we heal from this one?
Surely, another fast date with Selichos can't do it for 90 percent of
the Jews throughout the world don't hold from fast days and don't begin
to know what Seilchos are all about!

I ask all of these questions with a sense of deep confusion, a feeling
of numbness and paralysis with every passing moment. These are questions
I pose to myself without any ax to grind and surely not a
political/ideological one.  These thoughts are the sole product of
mournful introspection. I wonder how others feel at this time?

Chaim Wasserman


From: Etan Diamond <aa725@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 1995 14:52:06 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Scholarly articles on Israeli yeshivoth

	Does anyone know of any scholarly articles on the contemporary 
trend of spending a year in an Israeli yeshiva after high school?  I am 
referring specficially to the North American (and I suppose 
other non-Israeli) practice of a high school graduate going to Yeshiva 
for a year before college.  Does anyone have an idea as to how far back 
this trend goes?  I'd assume it began in the post-Six Day War euphoria, 
and probably began in B'nei Akiva circles, but does anyone have more 
concrete evidence?  

Etan Diamond
Department of History
Carnegie Mellon University


From: <SharnF@...> (Sharon First)
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 1995 12:19:21 -0500
Subject: Shabbos lunch supercedes Friday night

I heard a shiur by Rav Avraham Blumencranz on giving kovod to Shabbat.
He mentioned that it's important that the lunch meal be given more
"kovod" than Friday night, citing the Shulchan Aruch which says your
largest challah should be for Shabbos lunch, the medium sized one for
Friday night and the smallest for Seudah 3.  He also said that we have
cholent at lunch for this reason -- so there is something special and
hot at lunch which makes it distinct from Friday night.

Does anyone know the source of this idea?  Is there a philosophical
reason behind it?


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 1995 15:04:42 GMT
Subject: The assassination and the census

We in Israel are all in a deep state of shock, after the assassination
of Prime Minister Rabin za"l. At a time of much soul-searching, etc., I
would like to point out that the Yesha Council has suspended all
anti-government demonstrations and abandoned its demonstrative call for
people not to hand in their census forms, as a form of protest against
the government.

           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 81