Volume 24 Number 75
                       Produced: Tue Aug  6  0:00:22 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bar Mitzvah for Boy who could not speak unaided
         [Chana Luntz]
Businesses to Support Yeshivot
         [Asher Samuels]
Davening errors
         [Neil Parks]
Labor Strikes
         [Kenneth H. Ryesky]
Pikuah Nefesh & Milhemet Mitzva
         [Israel Rosenfeld]
Science and the Sages---Some Additional Insights
         [Russell Hendel]
Scientific Statements of Chazal
         [Eli Clark]
Tish'a B'Av as a Yom Tov
         [Elliot D. Lasson]
Tisha B'Av:  "MeEin Yoshev"  in Nachem
         [Adam Schwartz]


From: Chana Luntz <heather@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 1996 21:48:50 +0100
Subject: Bar Mitzvah for Boy who could not speak unaided

>(a) The Orthodox Rabbi said there was no way around the boy's inability
>to say the brochos.
>(b) The parents felt the Rabbi was insensitive.
>(c) The boy was keen to have a BarMitzvah, for which he had worked hard,
>and was happy with the solution to go to a Reform Temple.
>(d) The family, as mentioned previously, is non-observant, and so they
>understand what Brochos are in terms of being non-observant Jews in

I don't know on what basis it was done - but I do know that at Mizrachi
in Melbourne, Australia, exactly this situation occurred (with a boy who
could not speak unaided, and needed some sort of electronic device), and
they had the barmitzvah on a Thursday (and it was carried in the
national newspaper as well).




From: Asher Samuels <Asher_Samuels@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 96 23:28:42 UT
Subject: RE: Businesses to Support Yeshivot

If there are any yeshivot interested in setting up such a business, I may be 
able to help.  Please contact me at either <Asher_Samuels@...>, or at:
Asher Samuels
5735 Post Road
Bronx, NY 10471

While it would be easier for me to work with a yeshiva in the greater New York 
area, I'll se what I can do for other locations.

Asher Samuels


From: Neil Parks <nparks@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 96 23:39:28 EDT
Subject: Re: Davening errors

When the gabbai recites the paragraph to call up a kohain for the first
aliyah, he should stop after saying "ve-nomar omain" so the congregation
can say "omain".  But I have never heard one actually stop at that

In the Shacharis, the prayer Yishtabach ends with the words, "melech,
kail, chey ha-olamim (king, G-d, life of the worlds)".  But all too
often, the shliach tzibbur will say something that sounds like "melech,
elchey, ha-olamim".

....This msg brought to you by NEIL PARKS      Beachwood, Ohio    
 mailto:<nparks@...>       http://www.en.com/users/neparks/


From: <KHRESQ@...> (Kenneth H. Ryesky)
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 1996 23:11:16 -0400
Subject: Labor Strikes

Re Rafi Stern's query about labor strikes in Issue 24:67:

An article entitled "Physicians' Strikes and Jewish Law" by Fred Rosner, M.D.
appeared  on page 37 of the Journal of Halacha & Contemporary Society, No. 25
(Pesach 5753/Spring 1993).  Dr. Rosner's focus is on physicians and health
care, but the article does have some citations which might be helpful.

 -- Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.


From: <iir@...> (Israel Rosenfeld)
Date: Sun,  21 Jul 96 15:33 +0200
Subject: Re: Pikuah Nefesh & Milhemet Mitzva

>From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
>Israel Pickholtz writes:
> * I seem to recall learning that in a true milhemet mitzva no one is supposed
> * to die so there is no issue of pikuah nefesh.
> * The source for that logic was the reaction of the people to the unexpected
> * loss of life in the first battle for HaAi.  the very fact that anyone was
> * killed meant that something was amiss.  Ergo under normal circumstances no
> * one gets hurt so there is no pikuah nefesh.
>Though I certainly believe that this could be true (according to some
>source) it is my recollection that Yehoshua's wars were the exception - not
>the rule. Hashem promised Yehoshua that he would be treated as Moshe had
>been treated (hence the splitting of the yarden etc)... and it was this
>that made the battle of Ai so disturbing.
>In general however a milchemes mitzva would carry with it some risk.

Without taking sides, I quote Rambam, Laws of Kings, 7:15.
"And one who wars with all his heart, without fear, and his sole purpose
is to make holy Hashem's name, he is guarenteed to find no harm,
no evil will befall him, he will build a sturdy house in Israel,
and he and his children forever will merit Olam Haba."

Behatzlacha rabba,



From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 1996 18:33:10 -0400
Subject: Science and the Sages---Some Additional Insights

I am responding to [Gross Vol 24 #70] who raises the question on how to
proceed in a science halachah conflict using three specific examples.

While I have a general answer I once heard I also question whether the
conflicts he sites in fact exist! I now give details.

COMMENT: I once heard from Rabbi Professor Shlomo Sternberg (Prof at Tel
Aviv (formerly Harvard) and a Moosmach of Ner Yisrael in Baltimore) that

1) In cases like laws of Terayfah (an animal was properly slaughtered
but examination found it had a disease from which it would definitely
die (like certain lung punctures)) Chazal *explicitly* layed down that
only those cases they listed are Terayfah but no further ones

2) In cases like "danger to life" on Shabbath we rely on *current*
scientific opinion.

Thus to answer Steve's question, guidelines do exist (I don't know what
they would say in the cases he poses).

EXPLANATION: (Of three cases cited by Steve Gross)

1) The Rambam does say that the stars are living beings who have
consciousness and serve God.  However the Rambam also says that the
study of "life forms and how they serve God (Maasay Berashith)" is a
highly classified esoteric doctrine that is not given to the public.

It therefore seems reasonable that the Rambam is speaking in coded
symbolic language to "hide" the topic.  It also appears reasonable that
the Rambam used the science of his day as a *vehicle* for the
metaphor. Rabbi Shraga Sherman recently showed me that the translator of
the Rambam series for Lubavitch makes identical comments in his
introduction to the English edition.

2) SPONTANEOUS GENERATION (of maggots): First consider the well known
Biblical metaphors "The sun rose on the earth" the "sun came to the west
(to set)" etc. I make 3 points: (a) Clearly it is the earth that
revolves around the sun; (b) clearly it "appears" that the sun comes up,
revolves, and then comes home and sets, (c) clearly it is permissable
for a language to use APPEARANCE to name things even if in REALITY it is
different.  In a similar vein we refer to death as "his soul left him"
when in reality all that may have happened is that his heart (and or
brain waves) stopped. Another way to say this is that the purpose of
language is to communicate, it uses catchy appearances to do so, and
there is no reason to infer any science from language.

Returning to spontaneous generation, since these maggots come from
microscopic organisms and are not e.g. hatched from eggs it thus
"apears" that they are spontaneously generated. It thus becomes
admissable to talk this way even if it is not true.

As far as the ruling it may be the case that "microscopic parents" do
not have official status (cf the many Midrashim on microscopic creatures
in relation to the 3rd plague (Ex 8, 15)).

3) CHEESE AND MEAT: I am unfamiliar with this particular matter but
since *changed taste* renders an object Unkosher it would follow that in
any situation where meat and cheese came in contact in such a way that
the taste is transferred that we have produced something Unkosher.  A
reference from Steve might however help us resolve this dilemna also.

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


From: Eli Clark <ECLARK@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 1996 10:26:28 -0400
Subject: Scientific Statements of Chazal

 In Volume 24 Number 70, Steve Gross <sg@...>
>   1) Do we recognize that the sages may have had a faulty
>understanding or lack of knowledge of science?
>   2) Are we bound by the sages' faulty understanding?
>   3) If we agree that we may have new knowledge not possessed by
>the sages, can we or should we alter halacha accordingly?
>   4) My understanding is that the medical recipes of the sages are not
>      followed today. If this is the case, does it add fuel to the
>      argument that things can change?
>   and for fun
>   5) If Maimonides were alive and writing the Mishneh Torah today,
>      do you think he would have started it off by describing quantum
>      physics and black holes?

My rebbe, R. Aharon Lichtenstein, addressed these issues.  He stated
that Hazal (the Sages) did not know everything, and never claimed to.
On the issue of changing Halakhah to reflect the modern scientific
understanding of biology and physics, R. Aharon said that he saw no
problem forbidding something that was permitted by the Sages, on the
basis of modern science -- e.g. the fact that maggots do not
spontaneously generate.  However, for reasons that have everything to do
with Halakhah and nothing to do with science, we cannot permit what
Hazal prohibited.

Question number 5 highlights another issue entirely: the premodern
notion that philosophy and science were two sides of the same coin.
Classical philosophers all assumed that the world of metaphysics could
be described with the same precision as the world of physics.

Eli D. Clark


From: <elasson@...> (Elliot D. Lasson)
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 1996 22:56:30 EDT
Subject: Tish'a B'Av as a Yom Tov

Someone told me that there was a time (or year) in Jewish history when
Tish'a B'Av was a Yom Tov.  This would have been after the destruction
of the First Beis HaMikdash.  Can anyone verify this, or offer a source.

[I believe that there is a Gemara that in the future Tish'a B'Av will
become a Yom Tov, not that it was in the past. I'm sure that other
members of the list will let us know the proper sources. Mod.]

Elliot D. Lasson, Ph.D.
Division of Applied Psychology
University of Baltimore
Baltimore, MD


From: Adam Schwartz <adams@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 1996 12:45:28 +0300
Subject: Tisha B'Av:  "MeEin Yoshev"  in Nachem

I was curious how others handle davening mincha on Tisha B'Av.
Nachem.. to me seems pretty problomatic due to its inherent skekker
[Falsehood - Mod.].  Describing Yerushalayim as "Shomemah meein yoshev"
is pretty much a lie.  More people/jews live in Yerushalayim now than at
any time in history.

I try to distort the simple meaning of this phrase and read this
allegorically.  something to the effect of 'not enough jews live in
Israel as a whole'.  I basically, from a kavanah perspective, just skip
over this part and think of yerushalayim being depopulated in the past.
i alter the tense in my mind from present to past.

i must be missing something pretty fundamental here.  Why doesn't
'midvar shekker tirchak' come into play?  What is this phrase in Nachem
supposed to mean???  what if you live in yerushalayim?  Is the whole
phrase referring to the lack of Jews in Silwan (=ancient ir david)???

do some people really use the alternate nusach written by kibbutz

granted this is a minor issue and only comes up once a year, but i'd
like to know how thoughtful people handle it



From: <Sheldon_Rothman@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 96 09:59:16 EST
Subject: Tuitions

    After having lurked on this mailing list for over a year, I finally
have decided to join the fray in a discussion that is near and dear to
my heart - tuitions.
    I too, like Harry Maryles have spent a number of years working on
tuition committees, and trying to help a local yeshiva meet its budget
through fund raising and other means. It can be a very frustrating
experience. There are a number of ideas I would like to mention, but
first I must take exception to an idea proposed by Mr. Maryles.
    He wrote "It is my suggestion here to have as a goal in modern
yeshiva chinuch, to combine the two staffs into one; to eliminate if
possible entirely the need for a seperate secular staff.  In other words
to have the rabbeim, mechanichim, and mechanachot educated in secular
studies in all fields so that they could teach both limudei kodesh and
limudei chol."
   First,I don't understand how that would help meet the yeshiva's
budget.  Wouldn't the rebbeim need to be paid for their work in the
afternoon anyway. Why Would they be paid less than the current secular
teachers? Secondly, many of them currently do work in the afternoons,
either teaching at day schools that have Hebrew studies then, or in
Talmud Torahs, or teaching secular studies in "Cassidishe" yeshivas who
prefer rebbeim teaching secular studies even though (or especially!)
since they have not gone on to college.
    For while we no longer paid "starvation" waged to Rebbeim, we don't
pay wages that most of our parents would deem adequate for their own
lives. How many parents expect $40,000 (at an upper range) to make due
for a family of 6 - 8 children (the average in a "yeshivishe" family
today). Therefore most Rebbeim are working two jobs already to
supplement their income.
  I will save my own ideas in how to work toward solving the yeshiva 
budget gap problem for a later posting.

     Sholom Dov Rothman


End of Volume 24 Issue 75