Volume 25 Number 18
                       Produced: Fri Nov 15 10:16:16 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bein Adam L'chaveiro
         [Reb Klugerman]
Beracoth: Between Man and Man
         [Russell Hendel]
Brachot for Doctors
         [Israel Rosenfeld]
         [Sam Gamoran]
Calling a priest father
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Challah from a Breadmaker
         [Stuart Cohnen @212-327-7509]
Help with Mechitzah
         [Chana Luntz]
One-way glass
         [Joshua W. Burton]
One-way mechitza
         [Nahum Spirn]
Switched coats
         [Chaim Shapiro]


From: Reb Klugerman <KLUGERMANR@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 05:31:33 EST
Subject: Bein Adam L'chaveiro

Lisa Halpern queried about mitzvot among mankind regarding the absence
of brechot for these mitzvot.  She then proceeded to list the mitzvot of
marriage, torah reading, shabbat cadles, with the understanding that
they are under the category of bein adam l'chaveiro. Although these
mitzvot are in reality consecration of time and place, and therefore
bein adam laMakom, they have an additional benefit in the realm of bein
adam l'chaveiro .

A "pure" mitzvah beim adam lchaveiro cannot by its very definition be
constrained by a bracha. To explain allow me to illustrate with a
passage from parshat Vayeira, and a passage from the Talmud Babli.

As the parsha of Vayeira opens, we find Abraham sitting by the opening
of his tent being visited by God. Rashi informs us that this episode
tkes place just days after Abraham enters the covenant with God through
circumcision. At this point in the narrative we find a
peculiarity. Abraham abruptly interrupts this divine visit to care for
passing strangers. Whether Abraham actually excuses himself from the
presence of God is discussed by the classical commentaries. The real
question is not whether Abraham excused himself, but rather how dare he
take the initiative to interrupt a dialogue with God.  The answer I
belive lies within the story in Masechet Taanit (21a) of Nachum Ish
Gamzu. In this gemorah, Nachum is granted the assumption that he is a
Tzadik Gamur(a true righteous person), and yet lives the last days of
his life destitute, blind, without the use of his limbs and beset with
illness. When Nachum is asked by his students to explain this mystery,
he relates an incident that occurred many years ago. Nachum was
traveling, and crosses paths with a poor person who asks for
food. Nachum tells the poor man to wait until he just gets off the
donkey, but before he can get down, the man dies. Nachum, at that point
beset with guilt and anguish, curses his own limbs which had no mercy
upon this poor man.

Why is the gemorah relating this to us? What did Nachum Ish Gamzu do
that was so wrong? It only takes a few seconds to tell somebody "wait a
few seconds until I get down". I believe that this gemorah is teaching
us an important insight to an interesting anomaly in Halacha. The
mitzvot of BeinAdam L'chaveiro, which are in the realm of social
welfare, have no blessings assigned to them. We do not say a bracha
before giving tzedaka, helping another, honoring parents, and elders,
etc. I believe the story of Nachum Ish Gamzu and the actions of Abraham
lend us a tremendous insight into this anomaly. If someone is in need or
deserving of proper behavior, which is the concept of Kavod ( honor) ,
how dare we take the time to say even a few words! Any delay can be
fatal as we see from Nachum Ish Gamzu, and a delay can be fatal to a
relationship as in relationships perception is the reality.

Abraham understood this fundamental truth. For Abraham,the question of
interrupting God in order to welcome guests into his tent didn't
exist. He had to. This was the essence of his covenat with God.

In light of this, I believe that a true Mitzvah Bein Adam L'chaveiro, by
its very essence cannot have a bracha.

I hope this has been of some help. Thanks for your patience.

Tszvi Klugerman


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 20:37:03 -0500
Subject: Beracoth: Between Man and Man

Lisa Halpern (Vol 25 #14) raises the specific question of whether there
are Blessings on Mitzvoth between man and man.

Rabbi Hirsch answers this on the verse (Deut, Ki tasay) "Make a fence
around roofs to prevent fallers from falling..." where he gives his
theory of "...for which mitzvoth are beracoth said and for which
mitzvoth are ...beracoth not said..." (This is a beautiful little
explanation, which is not quoted often enough).

According to Rav Hirsch, some mizvoth are done to SYMBOLICALLY REMIND me
of something else: e.g. I put on Tzitzith IN ORDER TO REMEMBER GODS
OTHER COMMANDMENTS (See Nu end of Shlach). Similarly, I take the Lulav
to SYMOBLICALLY remind me of whatever the lulav is suppose to remind me
(according to most commentators, it is suppose to symoblically affirm
the unity of all forms of Jews..the hard worker, the pleasant person,
the tramp, and the highly distinguished respected person).

On the other hand, some mitzvoth are done SOLELY FOR THEMSELVES. e.g I
give charity not to remind me of some other mitzvah but simply to give
charity. Similarly I respect my parents in order to respect them.

Rav Hirsch says that when I do a mitzvah to remind me of something else
I first say a Beracha (to emphasize the fact that God gave it to me to
remind me of something else).  On the other hand if I do a mitzvah for
its own purpose then I do not say a Berachah.

The only possible exception to this rule is as Rav Hirsch notes, the law
of Maakeh. However, last year, Rabbi Shalom Kaminetsky gave a shiur on
Maakeh after which it was clear that the fence can be perceived
symbolically (thus making it consistent with Rav Hirsch's
explanations--it would require to much detail to repeat Rav Kaminetsky's

Anyway: To answer Lisa's question: All man to man commandments do NOT
require a blessing except for Maakeh which does (and Maakeh is between
man and man since I put the fence up to protect others from falling )

Russell Jay Hendel, ph.d. asa rhendel @ mcs drexel. edu


From: <iir@...> (Israel Rosenfeld)
Date: Wed,  13 Nov 96 16:14 +0200
Subject: Re: Brachot for Doctors

>From: <ohayonlm@...> (Lisa Halpern)
>Are there any brachot that medical professionals make before performing
>medical procedures (e.g., surgery)?

Avi, may I tell a story?

My mother z"l was admitted unconscious to Shaarei Tzedek Hospital
    in Jerusalem a few years ago and the doctors decided a spinal tap
    was called for.
A little while later, I met a young doctor in the elevator and I noticed he was
    tense and deeply in thought. He had pressed 7 (Geriatrics), changed
    his mind, and got off with me on 8 (the Shul).
I daavened Maariv and he said Tehillim for a few minutes. When I got
    back to my mother's bed, I found him doing the spinal tap.  My
    sister complained to me why they sent a young doctor, I told her we
    can rely on his Tehillim.
B"H the tap was successful and they found the bacteria in her spinal
    fluid that caused the problem. She was out in 2 weeks.

Happy Chanuka.

Behatzlacha rabba,



From: Sam Gamoran <gamoran@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 10:12:00 +0000
Subject: Breadmakers

Lisa Halpern wrote:
"My husband and I are wondering what opinions exist about
whether one may set a breadmaker to make fresh challah on
the 2nd day of yom tov."

Bill Page answered:
"This idea is not practical, even apart from the halachah, because the
raw eggs would almost certainly spoil during the delay.  It's unwise to
use a timer when you're using a bread machine to bake challah.  The
machine's main advantage is that it makes the dough quickly (for me,
usually on Friday morning) with no mess."

Two questions - assuming the breadmaker was plugged in, and timer set
before Yom Tov and assuming that the bread is intended to be eaten the
same day it is made.

1) Why should it make a difference whether it is 1st day Yom Tov or
second day Yom Tov?  If it is "ochel nefesh" (food needed for that day)
either should be permitted.

2) How about adding the ingredients (or at least the perishable ones)
the same day the breadmaker is to be used before the timer trips it on?
Again it is "ochel nefesh" and baking (without getting into problems of
lighting the oven, stove, breadmaker, etc. - solved by using a timer) is

Sam Gamoran
Motorola Israel Ltd. Cellular Software Engineering (MILCSE)


From: Chaim Shapiro <ucshapir@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 12:48:18 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Calling a priest father

	A few months ago I asked about the permissibility of calling a
priest prof father.  After consulting my LOR I decided to do so, and
have become quite used to it.  Last thursday night I was discussing my
Prof's lecture after class when i realized that I had two minuted to run
a couple blocks to catch my shuttle.  Not wanting to appear rude in
suddenly cutting short our converstation, I said, "Forgive me father but
I have a shuttle to catch."  I froze, and we both laughed as I said,
"Let me rephrase that!"  



From: "Stuart A. Cohnen (Stuart Cohnen @212-327-7509)"
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 12:25:05 EST5EDT4,M4.1.0,M10.5.0
Subject: Challah from a Breadmaker

>Lisa Halpern wrote:
>"My husband and I are wondering what opinions exist about
>whether one may set a breadmaker to make fresh challah on
>the 2nd day of yom tov."

I have a different question. How does one take Challah? Can you stop the
mechanism (on a weekday) and remove the challah to be burnt separately?

Stuart Cohnen.... <cohnen@...>


From: Chana Luntz <heather@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 11:37:27 +0000
Subject: Help with Mechitzah

In message <199611121145.GAA13666@...>, Shlomo-Zalman Jessel
<mss@...> writes
>  Our shule here in Israel wants to build a new mechitzah.  We want a
>certain kind of one-way plexiglass, and so far haven't been able to
>locate it in Israel.  Most manufacturers offer a kind of one-way glass
>whose transparency depends on the lighting, angle and reflections in the
>room.  We want something that is only one-way, regardless of lighting

In my experience - having davened on the other side of a number of
these, is that you are looking for the impossible. That is they *always*
under certain lighting conditions turn into mirrors (on the women's
side) - and I assume that that means they become one way from the men's
side. In particular, I can verify that the one way glass in Kollel Beis
HaTalmud in Melbourne, Australia does this - and I know that in the
Lakewood Yeshiva (ie Lakewood, New Jersey), they have taken the
precaution of having *both* a one way glass, *and* a curtain. The
curtain being drawn when the amida is being said, so there is no
question of the women davening to a mirror - which is halachically
assur. (In both the places cited above, the women's gallery is very high
up, and the one way glass only goes from waist up, so there is probably
no way for the men to see in regardless of what the glass does).  My one
time davening in the Bostoner Rebbe's place in Boston makes me think
also that they had some problems with the one way glass.  It may well be
that the only way to get this glass to work as desired is to put
powerful lights on the men's side and ensure that the women's side has
limited natural light.




From: Joshua W. Burton <jburton@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 96 01:14:39 -0600
Subject: One-way glass

Shlomo-Zalman Jessel <mss@...> writes:

> Our shule here in Israel wants to build a new mechitzah.  We want a
> certain kind of one-way plexiglass, and so far haven't been able to
> locate it in Israel.  Most manufacturers offer a kind of one-way glass
> whose transparency depends on the lighting, angle and reflections in the
> room.  We want something that is only one-way, regardless of lighting
> conditions.

If you find such a material, I will gladly explain how to use it to
build a perpetual motion machine, which will save substantially on
heating and electric bills for the shul.  Seriously, there are many
tricks for making an object _look_ transparent in one direction and not
the other, including color, differential lighting levels, and specular
versus diffuse reflectivity.  But a true one-way mirror is a physical
impossibility, whether ba'Aretz or in galut.

Amman's reach should |=========================================================
exceed its grasp, or |   Joshua W. Burton     (847)677-3902     <jburton@...>
what's a Hebron for? |=========================================================


From: Nahum Spirn <spirn@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 18:35:33 -0600
Subject: Re: One-way mechitza

        My shul in Milwaukee, the Lake Park Synagogue, was looking into
the idea of a one-way mechitza as well, and I spoke to Rabbi Safran in
Baltimore who uses the black/white screen material our moderator
described.  I got a sample from the supplier, too.  I decided that it
wasn't what we were looking for.  First of all, it too depends on
lighting, and is nowhere near as efficient as real one-way glass (which,
BTW, they use, I am told, in 770).  Second, it isn't pretty or elegant
at all.
                                               Rabbi Nahum Spirn


From: Chaim Shapiro <ucshapir@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 19:59:39 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Switched coats

	Here's a common occurence.  You're at Shul on shabbos when you
realize that somone accidentaly took your coat instead of his.  Its a
cold day, and your first thought is to borrow the others guy coat that
was left in lieu of yours.  But, can you?  Your coat was taken by
accident, No genaiveh involved.  But, if you take his coat, you are in
effect knowingly borrowing a coat that is not yours without permission.
Is the fact that he accidentaly took your coat any excuse??


End of Volume 25 Issue 18