Volume 24 Number 04
                       Produced: Thu May 16  6:40:43 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Deposits on Pop Bottles
         [Warren Burstein]
Guests who MIGHT drive o Shabbos
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Nature of Responsa Teshuva
         [Steve White]
Post Menopausal Visit to the Mikva
         [Jerrold Landau]
         [Yeshaya Halevi]
Yom Haatmauth Additions
         [Russell Hendel]


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Thu, 16 May 1996 06:06:37 GMT
Subject: Re: Deposits on Pop Bottles

Jonathan Katz writes:

>As for whether it is unethical/anti-halacha, I think that comes down to a
>basic question regarding the purpose of the 5-cent refund. There are two

>1) The state is willing to pay 5 cents for the aluminum can in and of
>itself (I can think of 2 reasons off the top of my head - either it is
>worth 5 cents to the government to prevent pollution, or the scrap metal
>itself is worth 5 cents). The extra 5 cents the consumer pays when buying a
>soda goes toward supporting this activity.

>2) The government has no interest, a priori, in your aluminum can. However,
>the government is willing to support a program which encourages recycling
>by taking a 5 cent deposit from the consumer and then repaying this money
>when the can is turned in.

>In case #1, it would be allowed to buy a can in one state and return it in
>the other; in case #2 it would not be allowed.

So far I agree.

>Personally, it is my feeling that #1 is the case. There are also a number
>of "proofs" in support of this:
>If #2 were the case, it would be illegal for someone to return a can for a
>refund which they themselves had not purchased. But this is not the case
>(both in practice and according to American law).

I fail to see why this is the case.  The government doesn't care if
the can gets recycled by the purchaser or by someone else, either way
it's off the streets and not taking up landfill space.  But it isn't
one state's job to clean up a different state.

>Furthermore, if #2 were the case, then it should be possible for me to
>refuse to pay the 5 cent deposit if I agree that I forfeit my right to the
>5 cent refund - this is not the case either.

No, as there wouldn't be any incentive to recycle if you did this, as
well as the difficulty of stopping people from forfieting their right
to the refund and collecting it anyway.  Even if such a policy would
be feasable, governments are not in the habit of allowing individuals
to decide if laws should apply to them, and I am not aware of any
halachic objection to this.

>Aside from the above ruminations, let's look at it practically. The fact
>is, any state with a 5 cent refund bordering a state with a 10 cent refund
>must know that some people are going to drive over to the other state -
>obviously, the first state is not worried, or else it would change its
>policy (similarly, the second state is not worried that a mob of people is
>going to run over and demand 10-cent refunds on thousands of cans).

That they don't take steps to prevent it is not the same as they don't
mind.  If they prohibit it, I don't see what grounds one has to think
it's permitted.  I'm not watching my mailbox right now, and I'm not
worried that someone is taking my mail, but I assure you that I would
mind if someone did.  (While I've heard that it's against federal law
to steal mail in the US, I haven't heard of a similar law here in


From: Chaim Shapiro <ucshapir@...>
Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 12:57:01 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Guests who MIGHT drive o Shabbos

	I have a close friend, who unfortunatly, went from Yeshiva full
time to eating at McDonalds, working on Yom Kippur and living with his
girlfriend in less than 6 months.
	Recently, he mentioned that he had not been to a Shabbos meal in
over three years.  I, of course, told him he was invited anytime.  I
firmly believe that a Shabbos meal would have a positive effect on him.
	The problem is this, he might drive.  I say might because I am
really not sure.  I told him that if he would like to come over he would
have to walk, (about a 15 min walk) and that I would be glad to stop by
after Shul and walk with him.  He did not respond, and I dropped the
	One of the most interesting things I noticed about his quick
fall from the derech, is how much he enjoys showing off his newfound
"freedom".  He loves hearing the "tsk" from his friends when he
approaches them with a Big Mac, or tells of his latest exploits on the
club scene.  A dissaproving glance makes him smile from ear to ear ( I
have learned not to provide him with such).  And that is why I am
afraid.  He would just love to pull into my mostly Orthodox neighborhood
in his car and Yarmulke, just to get the response he so enjoys.
	My question is this; if he tells me that he will not drive, and
that he would rather I not pick him up (which is where we left off after
subsequent conversations), can I believe him?  Or, must I demand he walk
with me or not be invited.  (He has already offered a "comprimise",
he'll drive to the 7-11, a few blocks from my house and then walk,
claiming that then he did not in fact drive to my house... he drove to
get a pop.  I refused) 

Chaim Shapiro


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 12:29:38 -0400
Subject: Nature of Responsa Teshuva

In #98, Zvi Weiss writes:

>Again, one should keep in mind that a responsa [sic] is
>often specific to the particular situation that was in effect when the
>question was posed.

That is very true, and is something that I think gets forgotten an awful
lot of the time.

Similarly, I think that there is a tendency to publish strict opinions
more often than lenient opinions, probably because it's safer, or
because if one is misconstrued there is less of a risk of a halachic
violation, or some reason like that.  But then strict, published
opinions become normative halacha for a wider set of cases than may
really have been intended in the first place.  The result is that
"lesser decisors," if I can use that phrase, reject perfectly reasonable
lenient rulings because of the stricter, published opinions available --
even if the circumstances surrounding the published opinion are not the

Moral of the story: If you need or want a more lenient ruling, p'sak
shopping is wrong, but pushing your own posek to explore the matter more
thoroughly is not.

Steve White


From: <landau@...> (Jerrold Landau)
Date: Wed, 15 May 96 09:27:28 EDT
Subject: Post Menopausal Visit to the Mikva

There has been some discussion on this list recently about the benefits
of a one time visit to the Mikva after menopause to remove a woman from
the status of Nidda.  I was under the impression that a visit to the
Mikva alone does not remove the Nidda status, unless preceded a week
earlier by the hefsek tahara (an internal examination done to prove that
there is no flow of blood), and the passing of seven 'clean' days before
the Mikva visit.  During these seven 'clean' days, internal examinations
should be done twice daily, but as I understand, if skipped, they do not
invalidate the 'clean' days.  Although, most people would agree that an
examination on the last day is vital as well.  In any case, I was under
the impression that if one simply immerses in a Mikva without having
done this procedure beforehand, one remains in the Nidda state.  Or
perhaps, bedieved (post factum), or bisheat hadchak (in times of great
need -- such as wanting to inadvertently remove a Nidda status from
someone who would otherwise remain a Nidda) we can rely on the visit to
the Mikva alone.  Without coming to this, I do not see how the
assumption that a woman has gone swimming in a lake or river at one
point could ever remove her from the status of Nidda.  As has been
discussed, Rav Moshe indicates that we can use the assumption that a
woman may have gone swimming to remove the status of 'ben-nidda'
(product of a Nidda relationship) from her children.

 From the Torah, all that is necessary is the passing of seven days from
the onset of the menstrual flow.  We count the seven 'clean' days
nowadays because we assume that all woman are potentially in the status
of 'zavah' (a woman who has experienced a non-menstrual flow).  The laws
of 'zavah' from the Torah require seven 'clean' days, and nowadays we
are not expert in differentiating between a 'zavah' and 'nidda' flow.
But in any case, I would think that even in the Nidda situation, where
seven clean days are not required according to the Torah, one would
still have to do a 'hefsek tahara' to prove that there was no blood
flow, prior to immersing in the Mikva.

I would appreciate it if someone could elucidate the halachic status of
a woman who has immersed purposefully in a Mikva, or inadvertantely in
another body of water, without having performed the 'hefsek tahara'

Jerrold Landau


From: <CHIHAL@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)
Date: Tue, 14 May 1996 16:47:13 -0400
Subject: Separtism

Shalom, All:
             Regarding the question of whether one should support
non-Orthodox charities, and in reference to a posting by <Keeves@...>
(Akiva Miller) quoting Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt'l, I noted that << While my
intellect and knowledge are far less than Rav Moshe's, I see what appears to
be a serious flaw in this statement.  Aside from the question of "al teefrosh
meen hatzeeboor" (don't  separate yourself from the community), if Orthodox
people adopt this attitude of not donating to a charity not run by Torah
observant Jews, the people who run Jewish Federations and other charities
will retaliate by not giving Orthodox institutions one penny.  And who could
blame them?>>
            In response to my posting I have seen some "interesting"
thoughts.  One person suggested that the amount given by the Orthodox
community exceeds the amount given back to it by non-Orthodox charities, so
maybe it's OK to flip off the non-Orthodox charities.  (That thought, BTW,
ignores the fact that non-Orthodox _individuals_ donate to Orthodox
institutions, in addition to the  non-Orthodox institutions such as
            Another person ignored my admittedly brief caution about "al
teefrosh meen hatzeeboor" (don't separate yourself from the community)
and chastised one and all for << the damage done by seperatism.
Withdrawing too much from exposure to people outside our own camp, be
they Reform Jews, Presbyterians, or African-Americans, leaves us
vulnerable to xenophobia, racism, and cruelty to other human beings.>> I
agree with this now and agreed with it when I warned against separating
from the community.  I chose to concentrate on the practical aspects
because, IMHO, many people focus on theory at the expense of the
            Now another person has responded, asking <<Does the poster
honestly think that R. Moshe ZT"L was unaware of this principle?  As the
original poseter noted, the Teshuva should be read IN THE ORIGINAL
before questioning it.  Imho, I would add that it is *possible* that
R. Moshe *may* have had a different opinion regarding some of the
Federations currently operating (as opposed to the situaiton at the time
of the Teshuva).>>
            OK, chaver, save the sarcasm for someone who's impressed.
Firstly, I made it quite clear that I'm not in Rav Moshe's league when I
said << my intellect and knowledge are far less than Rav Moshe's>>.
             Secondly, I went out of my way to quote Keeves as saying of
Rav Moshe's words, <<You should go through it yourself if you want to
make sure you get a clear picture of how strongly he feels that way.>>
However, since all of Rav Moshe's exact words were not posted, it is
fair to respectfully comment on those parts which were posted.
           Thirdly, I'd like to go on record that back in the 1970s I
played a small role in getting a major Jewish Federation to support a
yeshiva it had previously not supported; a yeshiva whose then-main
contributor, by the way, was NOT Orthodox.  One of the problems this
yeshiva faced was precisely that some Federation people felt that
Orthodox Jews didn't donate enough to the Federation.
            Eventually we got the Federation to consider this yeshiva as
part of the overall Jewish community.  We would have had ZERO chance of
getting the Federation to help this yeshiva if it had been known then
that it was the policy of Orthodox Jews to refuse to support
non-Orthodox charities.
    <Chihal@...> (Yeshaya Halevi)


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 12:56:49 -0400
Subject: Yom Haatmauth Additions

I am responding to [White, V23 #86 who quotes Shiffman] concerning
adding a prayer of thanks on Yom Haatmauth.

A glance at Laws of Prayer, Chapter 1, Rambam will easily show that 
   **Additions in the middle blessings are allowed (?encouraged?)
   **Additions in the first or last 3 are not allowed.

Thus quite simply, I would suggest that any person (and certainly the
community) can add a prayer say in "VLirushalayim Irchah..." thanking
God for the obvious fact that we have now returned (at least physcially)
to Jerusalem. True, the Aruch Hashulchan it a bit hesitant to allow
rampant use of this "addition heter" but certainly for the sake of the
community and for something of such national importance even he might OK

Incidentally, returning to White's other question --- do Rabbis give
issurim to contradict conservative/reform opinions--- it appears to me
that such a question *should* only be asked in cases where there is no
other legitimate way to accomplish what is desired.  But in this case,
as shown above, one can add a blessing in VLiyrushalayim.  In fact the
best way to contradict the conservative movement is precisely to take
their prayer and place it in the middle of the shmoneh esray instead of
at the end.

Russell Jay Hendel, Ph.d. ASA , rhendel @ mcs . drexel . edu


End of Volume 24 Issue 4