Volume 24 Number 48
                       Produced: Sun Jun 23 10:11:31 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Concepts vs Molecules:  Lamdus Vs Metaphors:
         [Russell Hendel]
Cost of being Jewish / observant (2)
         [Jerry B. Altzman, Edwin R Frankel]
Cost of Observance
         [Oren Popper]
Preparing two young women for Seattle
         [David Mescheloff]
sleep disorders
         [Kenneth H. Ryesky]
Weddings and Huge Costs


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 1996 19:24:16 -0400
Subject: Concepts vs Molecules:  Lamdus Vs Metaphors: 

[Schild, Vol 24, #37] raises questions about prohibiting reading faxes
received on Shabbath since, he claims, it it only an anthromorphic
metaphor to see a resemblance between an egg that is lain and fax that
is received.

 From a *molecular* point of view, there is no doubt, that biological
birth is a more complex phenomena than receiving a fax.  However the
metaphor is only a springboard which must be accompanied with proper
tools of analysis and Lamdus.

A proper approach uses constructs vs molecular theory.  Talmudic
learning uses the concept of "entity status" popularly know as "chalus
sham---status of name". To use Chayim's own example, an electric motor
has the "name" (i.e. status) motor whether it is running or not.
Similarly my watch's handles exist eternally and do no become "new"
everytime a second changes.

On the other hand, if at one point in time I see a chicken and then a
second later I see a ` chicken and egg we say that "a new status" or "a
new entity" or "a new name" has arisen.  Similarly if at one moment I
see blank paper and then at the next moment I see a written document
then a "new status" or "new entity" or "new name"---the received fax has
been created.

True, the molecules of the egg did not just pop up and certainly
>>electrons do not modulate themselves into ASCII>> but the new status
or "egg" or "received fax" nevertheless was created.

The purpose of the laws of nolad was to rabinically limit use of "newly
created entities" since they violate the "spirit" of the Shabbath and
Yom Tov which suggests that we already have everything we` need (as in

I hope this clarifies the psak I mentioned which I think is a valid
one. (On a less serious note for those into lamdus, Rambam, Nizkay Mamon
9:1 suggests that an unborn egg, unlike an unborn embryo, is not part of
the mother (in tort law)...and this has always perplexed me when
compared with the perception of the born egg in Nolad laws(In other
words, if according to tort law the egg was separate from the mother
*before* birth how can nolad laws claim that the egg was created when it
was born!?!?)  Any lamdanim who can unscramble this problem?

Russell Hendel, rhendel @ mcs . drexel . edu


From: Jerry B. Altzman <jbaltz@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 10:20:26 -0400
Subject: Re: Cost of being Jewish / observant 

   On Mon, 17 Jun 1996 08:06:18 EDT, Paul Shaviv wrote:

>            Socially, every reader of this list is aware that someone who
>   lives outside the accepted frum areas has their religious credibility
>   immediately questioned. 

This is news to me. (Of course, I live in one of the "accepted frum
areas" but my parents do not.) Would someone explain this to me?

Personally, when I meet someone from someplace which isn't your standard
source of Jews (big city or Israel), I'm pleased to find out that there
are Jews in out-of-the-way places.

Lastly, snide comments about messianism aside, did anyone question the
religious credibility of the Lubavichers who established Chaba"d houses
in out-of-the-way places? What about _shochtim_ [slaughterers] who live
in the middle of the midwest (or the plains of Argentina) to bring us
kosher meat?

jerry b. altzman   Entropy just isn't what it used to be      +1 212 650 5617
<jbaltz@...>   jbaltz@scisun.sci.ccny.cuny.edu                KE3ML

From: <frankele@...> (Edwin R Frankel)
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 16:18:06 -0700
Subject: Cost of being Jewish / observant

From: <shaviv@...> (Paul Shaviv)
> Gad Frankel raises a crucial issue. Leave aside weddings. The everyday
> cost of being an observant Jew (incl observant Jewish family) is so high
> that it is in my view an active deterrent to many people in associating
> with the Jewish community. The first cost is housing. Over the last
> ...
> from Jewish life. Gad is absolutely correct --- the leadership should
> come from community rabbis, roshei yeshiva etc. Where is it?

It would be wise to note efforts taken in several communiteis by the
kehillah to maintain midle class Jewish areas.  Two noteworthy examples are
Baltimore, Md. and Columbus, Oh.  I don't know any of the detalis, but I am
sure that one could contact persons from their Federations.  Of course,
someone with more information may be a mail-jewish reader.

Ed Frankel


From: Oren Popper <opopper@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 02:32:11 -0400 (edt)
Subject: Re: Cost of Observance

Paul Shaviv wrote:
> Gad Frankel raises a crucial issue. Leave aside weddings. The everyday
> cost of being an observant Jew (incl observant Jewish family) is so high
> that it is in my view an active deterrent to many people in associating
> with the Jewish community. The first cost is housing. Over the last
> thirty years a very significant movement has taken place which
> concentrates religious Jewish life into a small number of suburbs (in
> some cities, streets), all of which tend to be the highest price suburbs
> in town. 

It is the simple law of supply and demand that causes these high prices. 
If demand would be weaker, prices will drop. This has been demonstrated 
in communities where various regulations were made for purchasing houses 
from [non-Jews].

> Socially, every reader of this list is aware that someone who
> lives outside the accepted frum areas has their religious credibility
> immediately questioned. 

I find this statement questionable!

> The spread of otherwise laudable standards in food, arba minim etc has
> placed impossible financial burdens on ordinary salaried people, many
> of whom vote with their feet and qietly move away from Jewish life.

I find it very hard, if not impossible, to believe that anyone would walk 
away from Jewish life because of a 'financial burden'. At most, this 
might be used as an excuse to cover up on the real reason.  From my 
discussions with other people, it seems obvious to me that a Torah way of 
life is no more of a financial burden than any other way of life. It is 
only the priorities that are different. A torah Jew would rather spend 
his money on mitzvos such as proper education for children (the most costly 
ingredient of Torah Jewish life), Kosher food, Mehudar'dike Mezuzos, 
Tefillin etc.

> Gad is absolutely correct --- the leadership should
> come from community rabbis, roshei yeshiva etc. Where is it?

I fully agree, that where priorities have gone adrift, the leadership 
should step in. There is absolutely no torah-justifyable reason in the 
world to spend thousands of dollars on extravagant bar-mitzvahs, 
weddings, etc. There are several communities where leadership has stepped 
in to make limitations in the size and extravagance that people may make 
their simcha, and while it might be limiting for a few people who have 
nothing better to do with their money, the community in general does 
greatly benefit from this. This a similar concept to the one mentioned in 
the Gemorah about the 15th day of Av, when jewish girls would all wear 
plain white clothes so that the poor ones would not have to be shy.

Oren Popper


From: David Mescheloff <meschd@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jun 1996 15:08:43 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Preparing two young women for Seattle

Two of the finest Israeli religious Zionist young women I know have just
been assigned by Bnei Akiva to work in Seattle next year (and the year
after?).  One has done her second year of Sherut Leumi this year here,
in Kibbutz Be'erot Yitzhak, where I am finishing my seventh year as
rabbi of the kibbutz.  She has worked with the new olim in our Hebrew
Ulpan, helping them learn and appreciated religious Zionist living in
modern Israel.  She has had frequent occasion to meet with me and to ask
intelligent and sensitive questions - reflecting her own sensitive,
intelligent, and modest self.  She is determined to make a mark on the
Seattle Jewish community, in spite of my best attempts to convince her
not to set foot out of Israel, and to discourage her from undertaking
the immense challenge presented by a diaspora community.
 The second is a young woman, the daughter of neighbors of mine in
Moshav Hemed, to which my family and I are returning in two months after
seven years in kibbutz.  The young woman's mother hails from Seattle
herself, and I can not imagine a young woman matching the above
description of her partner in shlichut as closely as this one does.  The
two of them are among the finest products that Israeli religious Zionist
high school education can produce.
 You can surely understand from the above how dear these shluchot are to
me, and how much I would like to help them succeed.  Is there anyone out
there who can: a) give a good introductory description of the Seattle
Jewish community, so the women can begin orienting themselves to the
challenges ahead of them as realistically as possible before they set
out from here; b) volunteer to be another source of support and
encouragement for them, in addition to whatever Bnei Akiva has planned
for them.

Please contact me at my e-mail address - or any way that's convenient to
you - as soon as possible.

David Mescheloff


From: <KHRESQ@...> (Kenneth H. Ryesky)
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 1996 17:09:38 -0400
Subject: sleep disorders


I am wondering about the halachic implications of sleep disorders [N.B.
I have already written about certain secular legal aspects -- see
K. H. Ryesky, "Awakening to the ADA: Sleep Disorders from the
Perspective of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Journal
of Individual Employment Rights 3:285-305 (1995).  I also have been
doing a column in the American Sleep Disorders Assn. Newsletter on Sleep
and the Law.]

There obviously are halachic aspects, including, but surely not limited
to, the following:

1.  Sleep as a property interest.  If you steal my money, you can make
me whole by giving the money back to me.  If, however, you deprive me of
my sleep, how can you give that back to me?

2.  Suppose my sleep cycle is out of sync with the davening schedule?
What if I work lobster shift or swing shift and go to bed at 4:00 AM? (I
said work lobster shift, not eat lobster shift) May I say Shema or daven
Shemona Esrai after the time fixed for it?  If not, then what?

3.  What about my Shabbos nap?

4.  What about sleep and safety issues?

5.  Suppose I am too tired to effectively learn Torah?  May I go to
sleep?  May I sleep late if I know that I will be too sleep deprived to
effectively learn?

6.  [N.B.  The halachic implications of dreams and dreaming have already
been explored.  See Avraham Steinberg, MD, "Dreams," Journal of Halacha
& Contemporary Society 23:101-121 (Pesach 5752/Spring 1992)]

The field of sleep disorders is now receiving greater attention than
ever before.  Perhaps the halachic aspects should also be explored.

Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.


From: Alana <alanacat@...>
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 10:49:14 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Weddings and Huge Costs

> with in the orthodox community.  However, the extravagance is not only
> in the size of a wedding (as perhaps implied in the wonderful story of
> the Rebbi of Ger, which Gad relates), but also in an opulent setting.
> These two elements should be dealt with separately.

I think Ms. Sandoval's suggestions are excellent ones. If I might, here
are some of the things that we did at my wedding to keep costs down
(where it was matter of my mother wanting to invite many,many people,
and my wanting not to invite many, many people but have it at a nicer
place).  One: don't invite everyone you know.  We finally agreed that
many workplace acquaintances and the like did not need to be
invited. Not everyone will appreciate a Jewish wedding particularly if
they are neither Jewish nor know either the bride or groom or most of
the community or families.

two: Have a sit-down meal and make it vegetarian. Vegetarian is MUCH
less expensive than with meat, and sit down is much less expensive than

three: make the choices limited. One wedding cake, one side dish, one
soup, one salad, maybe a choice of entree: try to check out problems in
advance with food allergies and the like rather than having everyone
able to make a choice (we had one entree, no choices, but asked in
advance about food allergies, that we didn't have to pay for twice the
amount of food, and BTW caterers will NOT donate food to kitchens
afterwards apparently. They're afraid of being sued if the food isn't
handled properly after it leaves their hands.)

four: have a local klezmer band do the music. This isn't possible
everywhere, but the band was our one big expense in our wedding. The
more local, the less expensive, and think, you're doing a mitzva to give
them some exposure.

five: no flowers. I didn't have any, not even a bouquet. The advantage:
people don't expect you to do silly things like throw it at them. Let
the [non-Jews] have their own customs. This also leaves more time to talk to

six: no MC. Just a band. We dispensed with introduction of the bridal
party, assuming that everyone at the wedding either knew them or would
be with someone who did.

seven: don't get a professional photographer. Instead get a throwaway
camera for each table and appoint a guest to go around encouraging
people to take pictures. We got phenomenal pictures this way, and they
were far more interesting than those you usually get with a professinal
photographer. To be fair, I did have a friend who is a newspaper
photojournalist come and take two or three rolls of film. They were nice
pictures (he was here anyway and didn;t object) but I think I would have
been just as okay if we'd let him come and be a straight-up guest and
not gotten any posed pictures from him. Don't forget to have your
appointed guest to go around and collect up the cameras after the

Eight: have the wedding in the burbs. Have it at a low cost hotel, if
you can. If they don't have their own restaurant they'll let you bring
you r own caterer. Or have it at a space run by the local park and
planning commission. If I had been able to get agreement to cut the
number of guest down, I would have had the wedding at a beautiful
historic mill which is maintained by the park and planning
commission. It rented for VERY cheap, but unfortunately we couldn't
compromise for a smaller number.

nine: don't have an open bar. We had enough wine for the kiddush only.
After that we served soda, coffee and tea. This also enables you to
guess about how many drinks per person there would be. We were told two
cans per person is usual: we provided three and had many left over. They
were stacked on a table and people served themselves, coffee and tea
came with the meal. For people really desperate for alcohol, there was a
bar in the hotel, and some people went and used it. Most didn't.

I'm sure there are other things one can do as well, but we had the
wedding with almost three hundred people, and the total cost came in
under five thousand, including the hand-calligraphed and decorated
ketuba (not a standard bought-at-the-bookstore one) but not the rings,
which, of course, the groom bought.

 An added note on my cheap-o wedding. We had many people tell my parents 
that it was the most fun of weddings they'd attended. Several of my 
friends said as much also: one intends to model hers on it. I suspect 
this largely was due to the band, our one splurge. I would highly 
recommend that if you want to cut corners do it everywhere but the band: 
it makes a difference.



End of Volume 24 Issue 48