Volume 25 Number 49
                      Produced: Sun Dec 22  7:40:22 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Found Paintings
         [Stephanie Mocilan]
Gad Reuvan & 1/2 Menashe
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Halacha for lefties (mail-jewish Vol. 25 #40 Digest)
         [Daniel Eidensohn]
Laws for Lefties
         [Yitzchak Kasdan]
Obsessive Compulsive Behavior (3)
         [Zev Sero, George Max Saiger, Russell Hendel]
Programming the Jewish Calendar
         [Avraham Reiss]
R Simeon b Halafta & the Old Woman
         [David Ferleger]
Respect for Dying People
         [Russell Hendel]
Shnorring on Sabbat
         [Joseph Greenberg]
Wheel Chair Accessable Mikvah
         [Asher Brander]
Wheel Chair Accessible Mikvah
         [Steve Leichman]


From: Stephanie Mocilan <mocilan@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 13:49:31 -0500
Subject: Found Paintings


I didn't know who to ask first about these old paintings that my husband
found in a mansion that was about to be destroyed.  They are three
paintings of one rabbi each.  The artist signed T. Pincus.  Are these
perhaps lost paintings of a famous Jewish Artist?

Please help me find their home if you can.

S. Mocilan


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 08:36:00 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Gad Reuvan & 1/2 Menashe

This is what I heard from R. Meizleis (a lib. user) 
 Yaakov had 4 first born sons - he had 4 wives! Each one wanted a double
portion in Eretz Israel as a "bechur" receives. Gad & Reuvan asked for
that, Dan received two different places (Bet Shemesh area & later on
Leshem in the north) and Menashe as Yosef's oldest on both sides of the

            Menashe Elyashiv    Bar Ilan U. Lib. of Jewish Studies 


From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 11:38:36 -0800
Subject: Halacha for lefties (mail-jewish Vol. 25 #40 Digest)

The major issues concerning left handed people can be found in the
Mishna Berura. This includes Shofar, Tefilin, Sofrus, Leaning on Pesach,

Over 30 citation are in the Yad Yisroel (my English index to the Mishna
Berura) under the heading "Left Handed:Itar".

The conceptual issue is discussed thoroughly in the Igros Moshe 
	Orech Chaim III #2 page 297 (One who trained himself to write
with his right hand)
	Orech Chaim IV #11 page 14-21. (Tefilin)


From: <IKasdan189@...> (Yitzchak Kasdan)
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 1996 02:48:01 -0500
Subject: Laws for Lefties

For those interested, there is a recent publication entitled "Right or
Left -- Laws & Customs relating to the hand one should use when
performing Mitzvos" by Rabbi Dovid Rifkind published by the Chicago
Community Kollel.


From: Zev Sero <zsero@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 10:54:48 -0800
Subject: Re: Obsessive Compulsive Behavior

<Klugerman@...> (Tszvi Klugerman) wrote:

> Does anybody know any sources that "defend " (for lack of a better term)
> Judaism against the Freudian claim that halacha leads to obsessive
> compulsive behavior.

Isn't OCD caused by a chemical imbalance, and treated with drugs?  If
so, how could deliberately following any ritual regimen, no matter how
rigid or irrational (let alone Torah, about which Freud knew nothing),
lead to OCD? 

Zev Sero		Don't blame me, I voted for Harry Browne

From: George Max Saiger <gmsaiger@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 22:58:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Obsessive Compulsive Behavior

Tszvi Klugerman asked about "Freudian" charges that shmirat mitzvot =
obsessive compulsive behavior.  I am a practicing psychiatrist and an
admirer of Sigmund Freud's painstaking efforts to understand suffering
patients.  Part of that system is always to keep questions open: if
someone is truly m'dakdek b'mitzvot, this may be from Yiras Shamayim and
may be because of a neurotic compulsion.  I seem to remember a story on
this discussion group a year or so ago about someone who was always
extraordianrilly careful about his shmurah matzah--until his maid
accidentally made it unusable (don't remember whether the story had her
eat it before seder or dump chometz onto it.)  Anyway, rather than
embarrass the maid, he gladly made seder with Manischewitz matzoh--thus
proving his carefulness not to be obsessively defined, but religiously

As to "Freudians" running around charging the frum as obsessive--most
could care less.  I suspect that as Pogo so well put it, the problem is
US.  We each need to have the courage to know whether our own observance
is a free acceptance of ol mitzvot--or born of a compulsive rigidity we
dare not challenge.  Setting up "Freudians" as a straw man allows us to
duck that task.

From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 1996 11:55:02 -0500
Subject: Obsessive Compulsive Behavior

Tszvi Klugerman (V25n44) asks for defenses against
>>..the Freudian claim that halacha leads to obsessive compulsive behavior.>>

I cite two such sources:

1) The Rav, Rabbi Soloveitchick, once said in Shiur that a psychiatrist
asked him, "Why do you Jews continually encourage fear of God. Surely
the encouragement of fear of any type is unhealthy." The Rav responded:
"On the contrary: Without the fear of God people would be continuously
afraid of the consequences of their passions and sins and this fear
would be focused towards a large variety of people and
institutions. Halacha," he continued, "Tried to substitute ONE
fear---fear of God---for these MANY fears."

To continue the Rav's thoughts: No one really thinks "fear" (in contrast
to e.g. "love") is a high spiritual state. However if this one fear of
Someone Spiritual replaces many other fears it has redemptive merit.  In
a similar vein even if halachah leads (with certain people) to
compulsive behavior an evaluation of this compulsiveness must be made
against a background of "the alternatives". After all, if this person is
compulsive even with God imagine what they would be like otherwise.

2) However, the most powerful defense against Judaism encouraging
compulsive behavior occurs in The Rambams great introduction to the
Tractate Avoth---"The Eight Chapters"--where he discusses the
"foundations" of Jewish psychology.  Similar thoughts are echoed in the
Laws of Personality in the Mishneh Torah.

Briefly, the Rambam explicitly distinguishes between "compulsion" and
"habit" For example, consider Shabboth vs Weekdays: "Compulsion" would
be a tendency ONLY to work or ONLY to rest while "habit" acquisition
signifies a balanced personality that feels equally comfortable doing
either of the two extremes or anything inbetween. The Rambam explicitly
states that the goal of halachah is to enable people to acquire balance
in all areas: e.g. ownership vs charity, learning vs mitzvoth, marital
intimacy vs family purity laws, working the land vs the shmitah resting
of the land.

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


From: Avraham Reiss <areiss@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 10:14:41 +0200
Subject: Programming the Jewish Calendar

As Russell Hendel has stated, the algorithm for the Jewish calendar can
be learned easily from Rambam.

I used it some 15 years ago to write the official program still used by
the Israeli Ministry of the Interior, for translating dates between
Hebrew and Gregorian, since the computer stores only Gregorian dates
(another 5 million or so Hebrew dates would take up more disk space).

What I did at the time was to build a table of Gregorian dates on which
Rosh Hashana falls, then counting-forward in parallel the number of days
in the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars until the required 'target'
date. This program has run scores of millions of times, with never a

There is, however, a more 'scientific' approach (which I discovered only
some years later): the GAUSS formula, created by a gentile for
calculating the English date on which the first day of Pesach falls. I
once wrote a basic routine in Pascal which utilizes GAUSS, and found it
reliable. If asked for it, I will publish it here.

Avraham Reiss,


From: David Ferleger <david@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 03:07:49 +0000
Subject: R Simeon b Halafta & the Old Woman

I'm posting this for Rabbi Dayle Friedman who needs help finding
a source for the following story about R Simeon b Halafta. Rabbi
Friedman does not have internet access yet. Email to me or this
list, or both. Thanks for your help! (This is for book chapter being
written on aging in traditional Judaism).

In an encounter between R Simeon b Halafta and an old woman: The 
woman, who had 'aged greatly,' says, 'Rabbi, I have aged too much 
and now my life is worthless, for I cannot taste food or drink,
and I want to die.' The rabbi asks what mitzvah has been part of
her daily practice. She answers that she goes to the synagogue
early each morning. The rabbi advises her to refrain from attending
the synagogue for three consecutive days. She follows his counsel,
and, on the third day, she becomes ill and dies.


David Ferleger, Esq.,               37 S. 20th Street, Suite 601
Philadelphia, PA 19103, 215 567 2828, 215 567 4037 fax
<david@...>                      http://www.ferleger.com
(web site for disability law, general legal, & Jewish links)


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Sun, 8 Dec 1996 20:06:38 -0500
Subject: Respect for Dying People

In Vol 25 #37 we have the case of a woman dying of cancer who has a few
months to live. She can no longer walk 1.5 miles to shule so she rides
on Shabbath.  Her best friend (and the community joined in) slandered
her Kashruth and people stopped eating by her.

There is actually a related Talmudic precendent:

"People would ask (taunt) King David: "Does a person who commits
adultery (referring to his sin with Bath Shevah) have a share in the
next world?"  "Yes", replied King David, "if he repents;", "but" he
continued, "those who publicly embarrass people (referring to his
deriders) to not have such a share."

The conclusion: Whatever the seriousness of riding on Shabbath, it would
seem to me that social ostracization of a sick person is also very

If I can say something constructive, there seems to be a simple solution
to this problem:

1) Let the dying woman stop driving on Shabbath ; 2) Let the Rabbi of
the community organize some type of Bikkur Cholim group to visit her
after shule Shabbath or on Friday night (by using rotation methods you
can insure along visit every week without any one person giving up too
much time 3) Let her friends accept her dinner invitations (after she
stops driving) and bring over food to her.

I must add that I find it odd that there has been recent concern about
"tirchah Desibburah" ,troubling the community, in reciting MiShebayrachs
on Shabbath this has occupied several MJ postings. I would suggest that
cutting out all Mi Shebayrach and using the gained time to visit a few
sick people would be halachically acceptable to everyone!!

I cannot say that I am unaware of why parents with little children might
want to ostracize people who are mechallel shabbos in order not to
expose children to this (I of course don't agree with it) but in this
case even the "other side" must agree that the motivations of this
person are clear and therefore mercy should be exercised.

Finally just as sins are reversible thru teshuva, so too, illnesses,
even \ cancer, are frequently reversible. Let us pray for a refuah
shelaymah for this woman.  If this posting even remotely increases her
sense of well being because someone cares than I think I have been
Mekayam bikur cholim(via email!)

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


From: Joseph Greenberg <jjg@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 13:05:00
Subject: Shnorring on Sabbat

  An issue came up at a recent shul board meeting, and I was curious
what other shuls "out there" do in this area.

Our shul has recently instituted the practice of sending a card
(soliciting money) to members that receive an aliyah on Shabbat, that
add on a mishebayrach (we are a suburban Young Israel in the Detroit
area) for their family and friends. Many members (though clearly not
all) consider this tacky, and in no circumstance is a card sent to non
-members. The card is fairly low-key, it says something like "Recently
you received an aliyah in shul and made a mishabayrach at which time you
pledged to give tzedakah."  It may also say something about sending a
check into our office. The card is not supposed to be sent until at
least a month after the aliyah, to allow those that are "punklischt"
about such things the opportunity to do so without reminder. There have
been cases of the cards going out the following week, although mistakes
happen and this isn't considered a grave problem.

This isn't a question as to whether or not a mishabayrach is a "tircha"
(an interruption or bothersome event), nor is it a question as to
whether or not someone who gets an aliyah _should_ give money, and it
isn't an invitation to debate the merits of various services elongation
mechanisms (more "chazzanish" davening, additional teffilot for Israel,
etc.). The question is, should a shul be soliciting funds outright from
it's own members who have pledged to give money _somewhere_ (not
necessarily to the shul)?

Do many other shul's out there request money from members after having
an aliyah? After motioning to the gabbai to say the mishabayrach? How do
shul's collect this money, or don't they?

I should point out that our shul is about 30 years old, and we recently
merged with another Young Israel that was over 40 years old, so things
don't change quickly in our shul. Any insight into unique ways of
dealing with this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Joseph J. Greenberg
Human Synergistics, Inc.
Plymouth, MI


From: Asher Brander <jam@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 1996 21:32:43 -0800
Subject: Re: Wheel Chair Accessable Mikvah

I believe the new Far Rockaway, NY Mikvah has full handicapped
accessability.  Call A local shul, like the Young Israel of Far Rockaway
for address and phone number.  



From: <SteveL59@...> (Steve Leichman)
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 09:03:51 -0500
Subject: Wheel Chair Accessible Mikvah

From: Steve Leichman
Re: Wheel chair accessible mikvah.

My wife has seen women in wheelchairs using the mikvah in Teaneck,
NJ. To confirm this you can call the mikvah at 201-837-8220.


End of Volume 25 Issue 49