Volume 22 Number 65
                       Produced: Mon Jan  1  9:24:31 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"Green" Laws and Creatures
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Dying for Father' Sins
         [Edwin Frankel]
Employment Segula ?
         [David Hollander]
Eye for an Eye, Ben Sorer U'Moreh, Third or Fourth Generation
         [Carl Sherer]
Jewish View of Nature and Animal Kingdom
         [Menachem A. Bahir]
Tehillim 51
         [Zvi Weiss]
Two Reactions
         [Henya Rachmiel]


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 1995 12:23:31 -0500
Subject: Re:"Green" Laws and Creatures

Shalom, All:
        Aharon Manne <manne@...> asks, regarding respect for and
mercy to, nature and creatures:
<<Another example is the halacha (cited by the Rav of our Regional
Council) which states that one may not arbitrarily kill living things,
such as ants in a field.  Clearly one may deal with pests, but one may
not arbitrarily kill creatures which pose no threat to your health or
livelihood.  Can anyone give me a source for this halacha?  I was not
able to locate it in an hour's rummaging through the index to Yoreh
       Of course, the Torah itself sets THE example regarding
conservation, with the concept of the Shmita, wherein the land rests and
replenishes itself.
        Also, my understanding is that when the Torah says we are not
alllowed to plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together, it is because
the weaker donkey can not pull its weight along with the ox, and will
suffer as more strain falls on it.
           The Talmud is rife with examples of kindness to critters.
Some examples, courtesy of the Sefer HaAgada CD ROM:

    We have been taught that R. Gamaliel Berabbi quoted, "When He
endoweth thee with compassion, He will have compassion upon thee"
(Deut. 13:18), and then said: When a man has compassion on God's
creatures, compassion is shown him from Heaven. But when a man has no
compassion on God's creatures, no compassion is shown him from Heaven.
(B. Shab 151b.)

       Scripture prohibits inflicting pain on dumb creatures.  (B. Shab

       The sufferings of Rabbi [Judah I, the Patriarch] came upon him
because of an [uncompassionate] act and left him because of a
[compassionate] act.
    They came to him because of an [uncompassionate] act: once, a calf
was being taken to be slaughtered. It broke away, hid its head under the
skirts of Rabbi's robe, and lowed pitifully, as though pleading, "Save
me." "Go," said Rabbi, "for this you were created."
    At that, it was declared [in Heaven], "Since he showed no pity, let
sufferings come upon his head."
    And left him because of a [compassionate] act: one day, Rabbi's
maidservant was sweeping the house. [Seeing] some weasel pups lying
there, she was about to sweep them away. "Let them be," he said to her,
"for it is written, 'And His compassion is over all His works' "
(Ps. 145:9).
    At that, it was said [in Heaven], "Since he is compassionate, let us
be compassionate to him."  (B. BM 85a; Gen. R. 33:3.)

       R. Judah said in the name of Rav: A man may eat nothing until he
has fed his animal, as is said, "And I will give grass in thy fields for
thy cattle" (Deut. 11:15), and only after that, "Thou shalt eat and be
satisfied" (ibid.).  (B. Git 62a.)

      A man may not purchase an animal, tame or wild, or a fowl, unless
he has prepared feed for it.  (P. Yev 15:3, 14d.)
      <Chihal@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)


From: <frankele@...> (Edwin Frankel)
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995 08:09:02 -0100
Subject: Re: Dying for Father' Sins

> Yeshaya Halevi asked about the seeming contradiction between the Sifri
> which says that children may die for a father's sin and the verse that
> states that children shall not die for sins of the fathers. There is
> another verse that states that G-d punishes for 3 or 4 generations. So
> it is really an apparent contradiction between two verses. The most
> straightforward answer is that the verse does NOT state that children
> will not die for parents sins. It says they shall not be put to death.
> That verse is instructing the beit din not to exact punishment from
> children. G-d, on the other hand, punishes for several generations and
> may, if he deems it just, cause children to die as a punishment for a
> parent.
> Ari

However, several of the mefarshim, if I remember correctly including
Rashi, teach that it is not that childen die for a father's sin.  They
resolve the issue by teaching that in the home of a sinner the children
are likely to be influenced to be sinners themselves, and therefore,
will be punished for their own actions.

The Aseret hadibrot (Ten Comndments) seems to be providing a warning
that a person's actions cause ramifictions and consequences far beyond
the individual, even generations into the future.

Ed Frankel


From: <David_Hollander@...> (David Hollander)
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 95 12:13:48 EST
Subject: Employment Segula ?

Someone told me a story last night that when he was a principal in a
Yeshiva the neighborhood changed and he lost his job.  He needed a new
position.  Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky told him to get a chavrusa (Torah study
partner).  The former principal arranged it to start Monday.  The next
day he got a call offering a new position.

Sounds to me like a good segula for those seeking employment - worth
passing on to the unemployed.


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 95 20:06:09 IST
Subject: Eye for an Eye, Ben Sorer U'Moreh, Third or Fourth Generation

One poster wrote:
> It is interesting to read the apologetics. Chas vechalila that any
> thought present in Christianity could also be found in Judaism. On the
> other hand, why not just acknowledge that they did not get this from a
> stranger either? The idea of original sin is present also in the
> midrash.  Generally it is refuted, but why the need to refute it if it
> was not present as an idea? The difference is that in Judaism this idea
> did not become an accepted teaching, while in Christianity it became a
> basic doctrine (even if that is being questioned by many Christians
> these days).  The pasuk in the psalm just shows that the idea was there;
> what is wrong with that. There are many ideas that were present and
> which were not accepted later, such as "an eye for an eye", "ben sorer
> omoreh", "until the third and fourth generation."

I don't think anyone was saying that *no* thought which is part of
Christianity could also be part of Judaism.  But to take a basic concept
such as "original sin" which Chazal have clearly rejected and to say
that while it didn't become "accepted teaching" the idea was "there" and
thereby to grant it validity strikes me as bordering on apikorses
(heresy).  Lots of things are raised as Hava Aminas (possibilities) in
the Gemara.  The fact that they are quickly rejected usually shows that
they are not valid halachic concepts.

The three examples that the poster gives of "ideas that were present and
which were not accepted later" shows a clear misunderstanding of how the
Halacha works.  All three of those Halachos exist today, in precisely
the manner that Torah SheBal Peh (the oral law) has interpreted them
straight from Sinai.  "An eye for an eye" was *never* meant to be taken
literally and the concept of the Beis Din (court) setting damages for
injuries exists to this very day.  The Gemara says that "Ben Sorer
U'Moreh" never happened because it learns from the Psukim (verses) that
the requirements were virtually impossible to fulfill.  But that Halacha
still exists today and when there is a Sanhedrin it will IY"H be able to
enforce that law if chas v'shalom such a child is born.  As to the
"third or fourth generation", I assume that the poster was referring to
marrying an Egyptian or Edomite (since if he is referring to marrying a
Moabite, an Amonite or a bastard he has his numbers wrong).  This
Halacha still exists today as well in exactly the same form as always,
but since Sanherev mixed the populations of the various nations we no
longer know who is an Egyptian or an Edomite (the fact that there are
people today known as "Egyptians" notwithstanding).

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


From: <tjvmab@...> (Menachem A. Bahir)
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995 12:27:55 -0700
Subject: Jewish View of Nature and Animal Kingdom

>Menachem A. Bahir writes:
>> I agree that any step must be taken to save a live,even to use a pig
>> value.  However,we must also keep in mind at all times that all of
>> HASHEM's creations are of value and must be respected. Therefore it would
>> be wise on our parts to stress a healthly lifestyle so we can take care
>> of ourselves without the use of one of HASHEM's creation's life. A well
>> balanced diet, exersise,freash air,pure water,sunshine,rest,and ofcourse
>> the one ingredient that should be at the top of the list love of HASHEM
>> and the following of his laws"where all true health comes from".

Avi Feldblum writes:
>While I fully agree that one should "stress a healthly lifestyle" and
>that "all of HASHEM's creations are of value", I have great doubts as
>to whether the ideas above are consistant with what I see as the
>approach Chazal and the Reshonim take to the animal kingdom. From what
>I see, the fully acceptable purpose of an animal would be to in some
>way support/enhance a person's life and in particular, a Jew's ability
>to continue to do mitzvot.

Menachem writes:
"to do charity and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice."R.
Eleazer of blessed memory,Prov.21:3.

To me the point is not if we have domain over the animal kingdom, which
we do, but, are we useing HASHEM'S creations in the best possible way.
When a medical problem comes up that is a emergency of course every
avalible resource should be used to save the life,at the same time we
should only use what is necessary. And after the procedure,what ever it
may be, it is the duty of the Physician to bring the patient back to He
said."If you listen to the voice of God your Lord,do what is upright in
His eyes,listen carefully to His Commandments,and keep all His decrees,
then every sickness that I have brought upon Egypt, I will not bring
upon you,for I am God,your Healer." from the TORAH,Exodus 15:26.  This
should include a well balanced diet,exersize,fresh air,pure
water,sunshine,rest and love of HASHEM and the following of His
laws"where all true health comes from".

Founder, The Jewish Vegan Lifestyle;e-mail: <tjvmab@...>
        mail address:5515 N. 7 Street,ste.5-442 Phoenix,Arizona 85014
North American Coordinator(Canada,USA,Mexico,andCentral America)
      Vegans International (VI) same e-mail and address


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 1995 08:57:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Tehillim 51

> John Bell, A.S.Kamlet, and Baruch J. Schwartz have written about Psalm
> 51:7 and the Christian doctrine of original sin as purportedly reflected
> in Psalm 51:7 "Indeed I was born in iniquity, and in sin did my mother
> conceive me."
> It is interesting to read the apologetics. Chas vechalila that any
> ... [See above quote - Mod.]

==> There is a MAJOR distinction between saying that there was a thread 
in Jewish Thought about "original sin" and stating that this was what 
Dovid Hamelech believed.  To assert that the "pasuk shows that the idea 
was there" is a serious matter as it appears to state (in effect) that 
this was a view of Dovid!  Similarly, the citations of "an eye for an 
eye" and "Ben sorer" appear to indicate a misunderstanding of the 
relationship between the Oral Torah and Written Torah (where the Oral 
Torah *tells* us what the Written Torah "means") and NOT that there was 
necessarily a "school of thought".  I use "necessarily here because the 
matter is actually a bit more complicated (I recall that Prof. Feldblum 
once spoke about THAT, as well at YU many many years ago [and MAYBE Avi 
will somehow get his father back on to share some of that great stuff 
with us! [sigh...]).  Perhopas the poster can clarify what he meant above.



From: <RACHMIEL@...> (Henya Rachmiel)
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995 15:16:56 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Two Reactions

two things I want to comment on. 
first of all, about mohel/circumcision and communicable diseases:  

>The mohel I used did m'tziza b'peh (squeezing/sucking the blood by
>mouth) directly with no straws etc. He told me saliva has some natural
>antibodies or other protective elements in it. 

This is exactly the kind of dangerous misinformation which proves the
necessity of education.  it is precisely through mucous membranes
(including the inside of the mouth) which are most vulnerable to
transmission of viruses.  And less likely but possible that a child
could be infected by the contact of infected saliva with the open wound
on the penis.  Certainly the mitzvah of pikuach nefesh demands full
precautions for the prevention of disease.  It would be both ironic and
tragic if even one case of disease were transmitted as a side effect of
a mitzvah.

Secondly, about tehillim 51:7.  Isn't there a distinction between
"yetzer hara" the "evil inclination" and "nefesh" (as in nefesh, ruach,
neshama, chaya, yechida), the "animal soul" which animates our bodies.
Hunger and other natural physical desires (as I understand it) come from
the nefesh, and it is only their mis-application and distortion which
come from the yetzer hara.  If it is a mitzvah to eat meat and drink
wine for kiddush on shabbat, and a mitzvah to give one's wife pleasure,
then physical things in themselves are not "sinful"; it is the misuse
and excesses which can become sinful.

Henya Rachmiel 


End of Volume 22 Issue 65