Volume 23 Number 63
                       Produced: Mon Apr 15 20:11:00 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Michael J Broyde]
Best's Kosher
         [Josh Wise]
         [Shmuel Jablon]
         [Alan and Sharon Silver]
         [David Riceman]
Forced "Get"
         [Steve White]
Forcing a Get
         [Heather O. Benjamin]
Mazel Tov Announcement
         [Robert Schoenfeld]
More Books
         [David Hollander]
New Book on Giyur (conversion)
         [Josh Rapps]
Paskening from the Rav


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 1996 12:59:14 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Agunah

One writer states:

> it is my humble opinion that the whole agunah business is getting blown
> out of proportion.  a true blue agunah is a woman who turns to the bais
> din with good grounds for divorce and the husband then runs away or
> refuses to give a get.  in any other case, especially where the secular
> court system gets invloved, it all becomes a matter of negotiation, as
> the court system is clearly stacked in favor of mothers. 

This approach is mistaken, in my opinion, in that it confuses who may be 
coereced into giving a get with who is chained to a dead marriage which 
ought to be ended.  Rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin writes:
	If the Husband and wife separate and he no longer desires to be 
	married to her and she desires to be divorced from him, in such
	a case divorce is a mitzvah....  One who withholds a "get" in such
	a case because he desires money for no just reason is a thief
Kol Kitvie Rav Henkin 1:115.

Of course, even Rav Henkin agrees that a divorce may not be compelled 
through force in such circumstances.  THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHETHER 
	As Rav Moshe notes (Iggrot Moshe EH 3:44) it is ethically proper 
to give a get in any situation where "chaya ishut" (maritail life) is 
truly over (Rav Moshe advances an even bigger chidush there, but that is 
beyond the scope or this discussion.)  Even when one should give a get to 
end a "dead" marriage, force may not be used to compell the giving of a 
	Indeed, the talmudic agunah had nothing at all to do with divorce, and 
was limited to the situation where the husband had disappeared, leaving 
the wife chained to a dead marriage.  Such a situation is bad, and should 
bee discouraged.  When the marriage is over, one should give a get, and 
husbands or wives who do not, are doing something that is 
inconsistent with the proper conduct of people who fear Heaven and keep 
commadments.  The victim of that conduct is called an agunah, and is 
worthy of our sympathy.  (However, absent a kefiaya order from a beit 
din, force may not be used force the issuing of a get.)

	In sum, a woman who turns to beit din for a get, and receives an 
order from beit din mandating that she recieve a get (which is not 
given) is not only an agunah, but is allowed to use remediees that include 
coercion to FORCE the giving of a get.  Others, who do not turn to beit 
din, may NOT use coercion and if they do, such produces a get me'useh, a 
void coerced get and is also behaving improperly.
	However, a wealth of halachic sources can be put forward 
to support the proposition that any time the marriage is over and the 
couple has no interest in remaining married, a get should be written and 
the couple divorced.  One who withholds a get when they have no hope of 
reconcilation is behaving improperly.

Rabbi Michael Broyde


From: Josh Wise <jdwise@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 1996 11:00:34 EDT
Subject: Best's Kosher

I'll try to keep this posting within M-J's guidelines of Kashrut

Best's Kosher used to be very reliable. It was not glatt, but it was
accepted. However, in the past year or two, things began to change. From
what I understand, the problems occur at the slaughtering houses, having
something to do with the shochtim.
	In any event, the bottom line is that the CRC (Chicago), the
Va'ad of St. Louis, and the Va'ad of Memphis no longer allow Best's
products to be sold in a store that is under their hashgacha.

Josh Wise

p.s.: The Best conglomerate includes Sinai and Shofar as well.


From: <ShmuelAJ@...> (Shmuel Jablon)
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 1996 10:53:16 -0500
Subject: Re: Best-Sinai

I do know that the Chicago Rabbinical Council (Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz
shlit"a, Av Beis Din), Vaad Ha-ir of St. Louis (Rabbi Sholom Rivkin shlit"a,
rav ha'ir), and a Beis Din of Memphis were the original ones saying that
these products were "not recommended."  


From: <silver@...> (Alan and Sharon Silver)
Date: Sun, 7 Apr 96 21:56:59 BST
Subject: Cloning

In MJ V23 #55, Debbie Klein asked about the halachic point of view on
cloning. Although the following comments are not actually an answer to
her question, they are somewhat mind-blowing (IMO) and have some
relevenace to the subject. Please note that I am summarising his words
from memory and so may not be quoting completely accurately. Please
accept my apologies for this and go and read the book as it is amazing.

In "Immortality, Resurrection and the Age Of The Universe" (a stunningly
good if expensive book published by Ktav) Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan ZT"L
discusses (amongst other things) the issue of techeias hamaisim
(resurrection of the dead). He notes a dispute in the gemorah between
beis Hillel and Beis Shammai as to the exact nature of the process by
which the bodies will be reconstructed. Beis Shammai quote the famous
"dry bones" episode of Yechezkeil and use it to support their view that
the resurrection will start of with bones, which will then have sinews
grown on them and end up with flesh and skin being added at the
end. Beis Hillel say that the process will follow the (currently
observed) "natural" order and will start with flesh and skin, with the
bones and sinews coming later.

He then quotes the Rambam who lays down an undisputed rule that overt
miracles never leave a permanent effect (hence, no archeological
evidence).  Thus, for techeias hamaisim to be permanent (itself the
subject of a dispute), Beis Shammai (as viewed by the Rambam) have a
problem as the reconstruction of the bodies is clearly not in order with
the normal working of the world and so appears to require an overt
miracle. This implies that it cannot be permanent.

Rabbi Kaplan offers a novel conjecture that solves this problem. He
brings several sources including the Zohar and shows how these could
very easily be understood to be describing the process of cloning. As
technology is nearing the stage where a human body could be cloned, it
could then be possible for techeias hamaisim to take place in the manner
described by Beis Shammai, in accordance with the Rambam and *still* be

Whilst this does not answer the original question, it should be pointed
out that Rabbi Kaplan knew halocha and if he thought it fit to suggest
(even as a conjecture) that cloning could be used as part of techeias
hamaisim, then he would *seem* to accept the halachic validity of it (IN
MY OWN OPINION - I have no proof of that last claim)

I have not done this subject justice, but without quoting long chunks of
his book it would be difficult. I strongly urge anyone who is interested
(and believe me *anyone* would be interested after reading a few pages)
to get hold of a copy of the book and read it for yourself.

Sorry this has been a long one, but I think the information is sufficiently 
interesting to justify it.

| This e-mail was a product of the ...              |
|            Prestwich Smile Gemach                 |
| and was brought to you by Alan and Sharon Silver  |
|            <silver@...>                |


From: <dr@...> (David Riceman)
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 1996 10:56:51 +0400
Subject: Discipleship

  There are examples in Judaism of disciples who viewed their task as to
reproduce precisely their teacher's opinions (e.g. the talmud's praise
of R. Eliezer as never having said anything that was not a direct
quotation from his teachers, apparently referring only to halachic
decisions, R. Chaim Vital's introduction to Etz Chaim).  There are also
examples of disciples who expand upon their teachers ideas (e.g. Rashi
saying what he thought his late teacher might have responded to a

1.  Are there any historical studies of how Jews behaved as disciples,
or of how they considered disciples ought to behave?
2.  Are there halachic norms for disciples?
3.  Are there cross-cultural studies of whether Jews borrowed attitudes
towards discipleship from their neighbors?
4.  Are any of you disciples who can quote (or expand upon) your teacher's
suggestions about how to be a disciple?

David Riceman


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 1996 11:12:28 -0500
Subject: Forced "Get"

I particularly appreciated Rabbi Broyde's posting on this subject in
#56.  But this whole discussion has brought up a question in my mind.

I heard it quoted in the name of Rav Soloveitchik zt''l, though I don't
remember when or whence, that the problem with excessive use of chumrot
(stringencies) often leads to excessive use of kulot (leniencies), or
even violations of halacha.

So here's my question with respect to gittin. While to be sure it is
very important that a get not be invalidated through coercion (i.e.,
meuseh), it seems to me that when a court isn't suitably firm in
convincing a husband to give his wife a get, then frequently this drives
her to seek a solution in the civil courts, or worse, to leave
observance and/or remarry in a non-halachic marriage ceremony.

So is being strict about *not coercing* a get really preferable to being
lenient in driving a woman to civil court, and possibly to a
non-halachic subsequent marriage?

I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts on this.


From: Heather O. Benjamin <BENJAMIN@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 1996 9:56:49 -500
Subject: Forcing a Get

This is in response to Avraham Husarsky's comments stating that "the
whole agunah business is getting blown out of proportion."

What? What exactly does this mean? Let me tell you all something, and
this is something the MEN involved in this discussion seem always to
forget. Domestic violence or impotence are not the only characteristics
of a bad marriage. Has anyone out there heard of emotional abuse? This
is not a joke, you know. I am so tired of righteous people, but mostly
men, trying to tell women who are living in unbearable situations to
grin and bear it.  Women have come to far to be told that their will
means absolutely nothing when it comes to marriage.

The fact that domestic violence and impotence are the only grounds
mentioned for the forcing of a get by a beit din only shows me that the
men making these decisions need to make a reality check. And that's not
the point either.

The point about the agunah issue is that gets are so often held over
women's heads when divorce has been secularly agreed upon, whether it's
to force her to settle for a smaller settlement than she is entitled to
- despite the years and years that the wife has serviced her husband,
provided for his well being at home, produced and reared his
children. The fact that at the end of a marriage, the husband has this
power over the woman, and she has nothing with which to defend against
it, leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. "But," I already hear the men
argue back "she can refuse to accept a get!" But you know what, folks?
That does not turn HIS future children into mumzarim, as it does
her's. So please don't tell me it's the same thing.

Anyway, I'll step off my soap box with one final word. Where are all the
women out there? Don't you have a say here? Isn't it your life that is
being debated here? Please, speak out. Let me here you. Let me know that
I'm not the only Orthodox Jewish Woman out here who cares what happens
to my sisters!

Heather Okoskin Benjamin
NYU, Department of Sociology


From: Robert Schoenfeld <roberts@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 1996 15:42:13 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Mazel Tov Announcement

I wish to announce the engagement of my son Howard (Tvei Adiel) (a
lurker on this list) to Shoshana Lyn Kaufman daughter of Susan and
Lester Kaufman. May they have Mazel and sholom Bais til Maschiach

				73 de Bob
+            e-mail:<roberts@...>                   _____              +
+            HomePage:http://www.liii.com/~roberts     \   /              +
+            WA2AQQ                                      |                +
+            Home repeater LIMARC 146.85                                  +


From: <David_Hollander@...> (David Hollander)
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 96 11:51:53 EST
Subject: More Books

In MJ 23:62 Moise Haor <pp002129@...> wrote:

>Talking about hard to find books, i am trying to 
>reach a copy of:
>"The Unauthorized Bible"
>Any ideas? I had no luck at the Library of congress ;)

Do you mean "The Bible Unauthorized" by A. H. Moose ?
This was reprinted about 15 years ago and was widely available in Brooklyn 
Jewish book stores.  I think I bought mine at Zundel Berman.


From: <jr@...> (Josh Rapps)
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 1996 10:41:26 -0400
Subject: New Book on Giyur (conversion)

My father-in-law, Rabbi Dr. Chaim Zev Bomzer, has written a book
detailing his experiences in the area of Giyur K'halacha, called The
Chosen Path. He is an internationally recognized expert in this area and
has been consulted on many challenging cases.  The book may be ordered
directly from the author by calling 1-718-375-2220, or you can send me
e-mail and I will forward.

-josh rapps


From: <Michael_Lipkin@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 96 10:02:47 EST
Subject: Paskening from the Rav

This past Chol Hamoed I noticed that a friend was clean shaven.  I know
that he does not need to shave for work.  He indicated to me that the
Rav of his shul paskened, based on his understanding from Rav
Soloveichek, that it is actually preferable to shave on chol hamoed.

- Does anyone know the source from the Rav that would generate such a  

- If this was truly the intent of the Rav then why have I not observed 
  more of his talmidim adopting this practice? 

- In a more general sense, it appears to me that since the Rav passed  
  away some have become willing to pasken from his teachings where the 
  Rav himself never paskened.

  Is this a valid observation?  If so, is it an appropriate process?



End of Volume 23 Issue 63