Volume 23 Number 34
                       Produced: Fri Mar  8 10:41:45 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Biblical Names
         [Yehudah Prero]
By Goral or Chance
         [Elanit Z. Rothschild]
Hearing Aids: clarification
         [Hannah Gershon]
In Memory Of Sara Duker
         [David Brotsky for Nora Selengut]
Mikveh Ladies and Battering
         [Alana Suskin]
Pre- ad POST-nuptial agreements
         [Bernard Horowitz]
Thoughts on MIsc. Questions
         [Micha Berger]


From: <DaPr@...> (Yehudah Prero)
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 1996 20:13:34 -0500
Subject: Biblical Names

In MJ 23:28, E. Frankel wrote:
>I have no idea of the halacha on this matter, if there is one.  However,
>having studied the Mishna and Talmud, one discovers a plethora of Hebrew
>names that are non-biblical among the names of our Chazal.  Given this, I
>would doubt that the use of biblical names is more than a matter of

In Igros Moshe (Orech Chayim IV : 66), R' Moshe Feinstein zt"l discusses the
use of names which are not "Jewish" in origin (like certain Yiddish, Ladino
names). After discussing this issue, he says "If one has no reason to give
any specific name, one should definitely choose the name of one of the
Prophets or the Tzadikim found in Tanach, or one who is reconized in this
generation as a Tzadik and a Ga'on, even if he's alive.

As far as the non-Biblical names of Sages, R' Moshe discusses them as
well.  He basically says that Aramaic names aren't as bad as other
"foreign" names, because Aramaic is on a different level due to its use
in the Gemora, Targum, etc..

For further info., I suggest one try and look up the original. However,
Biblical names appear to be high ranking on the totem pole of name
choice (right after naming for the deceased).

A Freilichin Purim to all, 

Yehudah Prero


From: <Ezr0th@...> (Elanit Z. Rothschild)
Date: Sat, 2 Mar 1996 19:55:07 -0500
Subject: By Goral or Chance

During the past week, I have been involved in many discussions if deaths by
murder or freak accidents, like the bus bombings or the deadly NJ Transit
train accident just 3 weeks ago that killed David Stern, alov hashalom, are
by goral, the will of Hashem, or bechira chofshee, free will, of the murderer
or person responsible for the death.  One Rabbi commented that these types of
deaths are not pre-determined by Hashem, that it wasn't nessesarily that
person's time to die because the one responsible exercised his free will and
Hashem has no control over it.  Another responded that it was by the will of
Hashem that this person died.  Any ideas or sources from the Torah that
proves or disproves any one of these positions?

Elanit Z. Rothschild


From: <GERSHON@...> (Hannah Gershon)
Date: Sun, 03 Mar 1996 15:21:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Hearing Aids: clarification

  In M-L vol 23 #27, Michael Broyde responds to my previous post
regarding hearing aids on Shabbos by saying that I am seriously
mistaken.  I need to clarify what I said, because I do not believe I am
mistaken at all.  Rather, what I wrote has been misconstrued.
  I originally wrote: "*Many* poskim do not allow the use of many
*types* of digital hearing aids (on Shabbos) because of the fear that
adujusting the volume cuases 'active' changes in the circuitry."
  The repsonder says that this statement is "seriously mistaken" because
the responder knows of no published t'shuvos to this effect.  The
responder further implies that I have been incautious in how I have
presented "norm- ative halacha."
  I believe my qualifications were sufficient to indicate that I was NOT
intending to present "normative halacha."  I also did not claim that the
position I was presenting WAS "normative halacha."  I said, "*many*
poskim", and the qualifying asteriks appeared in the original.  This is
a true statement, and I stand by this statement.  I personally know many
poskim that in fact do NOT allow the use of digital hearing aids on
Shabbos for the reason I gave.  I did NOT, however, state that this was
"normative halacha."  It is entirely possible -- and even likely -- that
the poskim who hold this way have not published t'shuvos to this effect.
Still, the fact that the responder could find no published t'shuvos by
these poskim does not mean that there are no poskim who hold this way.
I repeat: I know for a fact that there ARE.
   In fact, I was personally given this p'sak by my rav.  I have 2 sets
of hearing aids, one analog and one digital, presicely because I was
given this p'sak for the reason I stated.  But it also true that my rav,
who is considered a posek in the Boston frum community, did not publish
the p'sak which he gave me.  THAT is true, and THAT is what I stated.
   Again, what I wrote was not mistaken.  There ARE poskim (aside from my
own rav) who hold as I described.  I did NOT claim this was "normative,"
but merely one aspect which must be considered.  The responder seems to
have read too much into my words.
 -- Hannah Gershon   <gershon@...>


From: <DaveTrek@...> (David Brotsky for Nora Selengut)
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 1996 00:52:45 -0500
Subject: In Memory Of Sara Duker

The following item was written by a friend of mine who is currently in
Israel. It was recently published in the Jerusalem Post.

David Brotsky

In memory of Sara Duker

Two years ago, on Purim, Sara Duker and I painted our faces with flowers 
and rainbows for the holiday.  This year Sara will not celebrate Purim.  
She and her boyfriend Matt were killed on Sunday morning in a terrorist 
bus bombing in downtown Jerusalem.  I mourn for my friend  I mourn the 
holidays she will not celebrate.  I mourn the environmental concerns that 
won't be raised, the research tht won't be done and the places she wont 
visit.  I mourn for the children who won;t be born, for the community 
that won't have Matt and Sara as Rabbi and Rabanit, and for the millions 
of people who can't mourn because they don't know what they have lost.  I 
write about my friend because I knew her and I feel the ache so 
strongly.  I can only hope to reflect the collective ache we all feel for 
the 25 dead and many wounded on Sunday and the countless victims of 
similar needless tragedies.  

They were on their way to the central bus station to catch a bus to
Jordan for a visit.  Sara assured me that she would be back for Purim.
I applauded her adventurous spirit as she stood at the entrance to the
laboratory in which I work, waving a rack of test tubes as she spoke
with animation about her upcoming vacation.  Sara was always
experimenting, in the lab and in the world.  Last summer she did
research in Siberia.  This summer we had plans to visit the town in
eastern europe where her great grandfather was once rabbi.  Even dinner
at Sara's was a learning experience, the food from exotic places like
Ethiopia, Japan and India.  Yet of all the places she had visited, in
body and mind, she chose to spend her time in Israel, working and
contributing to her people and land.  We celebrated Purim with gusto in
the US.  After all, it is the loliday of the Diaspora, a recognition of
Jewish survival in foreign lands.  This year Sara was looking forward to
Passover, the festival of redempton, which she intended to celebrate as
an Israeli, abandoning the extra day of Passover kept by Jews living
outside Israel.

Sara was new to this country.  The fragments of her life are scattered
from the United States to Sarei Israel Street where she died, in all the
places she went and the lives she touched.  Who will gather the pieces
and restore a vision of Sara as she was in life: achingly kind, deeply
religious and unbelievably opinionated?

I feared for her memory in the immediate aftermath of the attack.  When I 
returned to work, the lab had not changed.  Everone was still there, 
except for Sara.  As I place a flask in the spectrophotometer, I am 
certain that Sara will glide into the room with a littl bounce at the end 
of each step as she always has done.  I see her in the green knit hat she 
wore regardless of changing fashions, her long light brown hair framing 
her face.  She is explaining the detaied process by which she has adapted 
a protocol for the purification of pond scum to a water sample from 
Eilat.  I turn around.  Sara is not there.  I fel an ache inthe center of 
my chest.  She is gone.  The realization hits me again.  

On monday evening I finally visited the site of the terrorist attack. 
Israelis of every age, sex, and denomination sang songs, lit candles and 
argued.  Newspaper clippings and photos of the victims hung from the 
twisted metal skeleton of the bombed out bus.  My collegues tell me that 
this is Israel.  I belong now that I have lost and cried with the nation.  
It is good to know that we are capable of such things, but I know that 
Sara wanted more.  Her chance was torn from ler by a murderer.  She 
wanted to see people come togehter in happiness and strength, not in 
death.  She wanted to celebate Purim and Passover.

					Nora Selengut


From: Alana Suskin <alanacat@...>
Date: Sat, 2 Mar 1996 15:50:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Mikveh Ladies and Battering

One thing I have noticed in this thread is the mistaken notion that the 
person who should have the option of making the decision about whether to 
leave a battering situation is the woman being battered, and that it is a 
private issue. This is an astonishing position for anyone to take this 
far into this century and after all that feminism has taught us. 
Battering is *not* a private issue. It is not a matter for an individual 
and the blame rests upon the community for not doing something about it. 
The usual problem for women who are battered is not being dragged away 
from their husbands when they don't want to be, but 1. being made to feel 
ashamed or guilty for wanting to leave or when they do leave
2. Not being supported through the use of community funds to assist women 
who are trying to leave or who have left abusers
3. Not being protected by the community from stalking abusers after they 
have succeeded in leaving, either they themselves -or  by being put in a 
position where their children are available to their father to be used as 
a levering tool -often by having a court assign the father custody or 
substantial visiting rights, so that the woman must have continued 
contact with the criminal behavior of the batterer. (And if you think 
that even if a man might do this to a woman without doing this to their 
child/ren: a. Remember the kedushei katana fiasco, and b. Check the 
statistics. They say that if a woman is being abused, abuse likely 
started around her first pregnancy, and is being committed upon the 
children -a very large percentage of wife batterers are child 
batterers. Not that this should matter. A woman is worth as much as a 
4. Not being listened to when they tell someone that they 
are being abused: either by well-meaning folks who think this is not a 
life-threatening problem and so think it some easy decision that the 
battered woman has a choice about making or by well-meaning folks who 
think that the problem is the woman's because if she would behave 
properly she wouldn't be abused.
I work for a women's shlter, and let me say this again: Abuse is not an 
individual problem. It is caused by a society that says women are not 
equal to men, it is about power and control, and it is the problem of the 
society that allows it by not taking it seriously enough. Absolutely, 
without question, mikveh women should be trained to report abuse. The 
tendency of this thread is to essentially treat abuse as an academic 
problem. Well, let's train everyone to spot abuse, so that no one knows 
that mikveh women can do it too. That's a non-solution. It won't be that 
everyone is going to get trained. But there are few enough mikveh women, 
that they might. Yes, if you suspect abuse, report it. Absolutely. No 
matter who you are. Set up shelters in your community. Set up protection 
programs, and make sure that all the men in the community understand that 
striking or threatening to strike a woman will not be tolerated in your 
community.  That cherem will be imposed. My God, people! Why hasn't this 
been done yet? But mikveh woman are in a unique position to aid battered 
women. They should be required to use it.

Alana Suskin,
Mitnaggedet Mama


From: Bernard Horowitz <horowitz@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 1996 10:39:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Pre- ad POST-nuptial agreements

It has been estimated that there are currently approximately 7000 agunot 
in the US because of recalcitrant husbands who refuse to give their wives 
a get.  (There is also a small number of recalcitrant wives who refuse to 
accept a get.)  The most powerful tool devised to date to alleviate this 
tragic situation is the signing of a pre-nuptial agreement by bride and 
groom.  The agreement is signed and notarized and is deemed a 
contract between them.  The provisions are then enforcible in civil court 
which is otherwise powerless to intervene.  The pre-nuptial agreement 
written by the respected Rav Mordechai Willig of the Young Israel of 
Riverdale and Rosh Yeshivah at YU has been widely endorsed for use.  
Indeed there are many rabbanim who will not perform weddings for couples 
who refuse to sign such an agreement.

On Saturday night, March 2, approximately 75 married couples came 
together to sign post-nuptial agreements.  The signing was led by Rabbi 
Willig, Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt (Riverdale Jewish Center) and Rabbi Avi 
Weiss (Hebrew Institute of Riverdale) and their wives, with many of the 
leading ba'al habatim of the three shuls participating.  The message is 
that the problem of agunot is a community problem and a recognition that 
leadership is often exercised by example.  If we ask young couples to 
sign such an agreement, should not already-married couples be asked to 
make the same commitment to eachother?

Comments?  Request for further information can be directed to any of the 
three rabbis listed above.

Bernard Horowitz


From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 08:02:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Thoughts on MIsc. Questions

In v23n28, Mark Farzan asks:
> 1) Why at the end of Haftarah for Parsha Mishpatim the name of Itzhak is
> spelled with a "seen" instead of "tzadi".

Rabbiner Hirsch comments that the difference between litzchok and lischok
is that with a tzadi it means to laugh or to ridicule, and with a sin it
means to be happy with. In short, tzadi - laugh at, sin - laugh with.

Currently, we are the target of the world's ridicule. As such, our
forefather is refered to as Yitzchak. To show that in the future, when
"the Torah will come forth from Zion" to the rest of the world, the
nations will take joy in us, the Navi writes Yischak, with a sin.

> 2) What is considered a "Hebrew" name when naming a baby boy at his brit
> mila. Are biblical names (as found in Tanach) the only halachically
> permitted ones ?.

Yiddish names were common in Europe, and still are in many communities
today. (This seems to be more true for girls' names, probably because
the Tanach offers parents so few female names to choose from.)

As far as I know, the only difference between a biblical and non-biblical
name (in any language) is that non-biblical names must be spelled in full,
i.e. with all the vowels indicated by aleph, ayin, yud or vuv, on any
contracts (eg a kesuvah or ch"v a get).

My wife's name is Ya'akovah, named after a Ya'akov. Because the name was
not thought to be Biblical, R. Dovid Lifshitz zt"l, our mesader kiddushin
(Rabbi who performed the wedding ceremony) required two kesubos. One had her
name spelled Yud-ayin-quph-vet-hei, ie Yaakov with a final hei, and the other
has it as Yad aleph aleph quphn vuv bet aleph, ie Y-a-a-k-o-v-a.

>        What are allowable situations to change a person's name. ?

I later found a ben Ya'akovah in my concordance. I guess that means that it
is really a male name. My wife, who was never too thrilled with her name,
wanted to have it changed.

So, we went to our LOR. He said that any situation is allowable, technically,
but usually it just isn't done unless there is a fatal illness ch"v, or
a woman has the same name as her future mother-in-law. In both cases names
are usually added. More often appended to the end, but sometimes in the case
of illness, prepended before the old name.

About a month after that (and 7 kids ago) my parents went to a Kabbalist,
a mezuzah reader (and a whole different thread). Among the problems they
asked him about was our recent diagnosis of infertility. The Kabbalist
recommended changing my wife's name.

Armed with this new excuse, we went back to our LOR. He wasn't thrilled
with the idea of mezuzah readers, but since there was no technical
problem with adding a name, he okayed it.

> 3) I'd like to get some opinions on the use of MJ (or similar mailing
> lists) on company time and resources.

In the days of the Gemara, the work ethic was much stricter than today.
For harvesters to leave the trees to daven was considered unexpected
wastage, and the Gemara discusses how to daven while in a tree, how much
to say, etc..

Today, since coffee breaks are the norm, and mincha is no longer than a
coffee break, no such heter to a minimal tefillah apply.

I would say the same thing applies to learning on the net. As long as
your internet, time, computer, electricity, consumption are within what
your employer expects geeks to use for recreation, I would assume it's

In my case (as is probably true for many of us), my hours aren't counted
as long as I make my deadlines. (If they did count the hours, even
omitting coffee, bathroom, internet, etc... most programmers still put
in far more than the 40 hrs per week the contract obligates.) In
addition most firms have service contracts, so wear-and-tear is the same
cost whether you use the machine for playing or not. The computer is
never shut off, so difference in electricity consumption is negligable.

The only thing I do feel concerned about is the paper I use to print
things up to show others or to read while commuting.

Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3255 days!
<AishDas@...>                     (16-Oct-86 -  5-Oct-95)
<a href=news:alt.religion.aishdas>Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed</a>
<a href=http://haven.ios.com/~aishdas>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


End of Volume 23 Issue 34