Volume 25 Number 62
                      Produced: Tue Dec 31  7:07:08 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bone Marrow Transplant and Halacha
         [Esther Posen]
Civil Penalties for Get
         [Russell Hendel]
El-Al and Animals
         [Sue Kahana]
Get and Civil Divorce
         [Carl Sherer]
Kohanim Flying to Eretz Yisrael
         [Chaim Sukenik]
Programming the Hebrew Calender
         [Avraham Reiss]
Sarah's Age
         [Hillel E. Markowitz]
         [Akiva Miller]
v25 # 56  Cheese
         [Gershon Klavan]


From: <eposen@...> (Esther Posen)
Subject: Bone Marrow Transplant and Halacha 

Unfortunately, my family has had personal experience looking for (and
boruch hashem finding) a bone marrow donor.  The "family" ran drives all
over the United States and Canada.  We do not know where the match came
from but we do not believe it was through one of our drives.

In going through this process we stumbled upon this halachic issue.  The
bone marrow registries are not allowed to release confidential
information (like the religion of the bone marrow recipient) and they
usually stick to their policy.  They are also "anti-frum" by now because
they recognize "frum" addresses and claim that the majority of frum
people do not respond when they are contacted for further testing.
Besides causing a chilul hashem, it also causes a tremendous expense for
the frum community because these people are automatically removed from
these registeries when they don't respond and bone marrow tests are
expensive.  Frum people tend to run and finance private drives and
people need to be restested because they don't stay in the registry.

As far as the halachic issues are concerned, there seems to be great
confusion.  Most jews match other jews.  The chances that you match
another jew vary depending on the bone marrow types.  We are pretty sure
that jews have died waiting for non-responding frum matches.  Many
gedolim were misquoted to us.  I.e. someone said "rav so-and-so said"
you should not respond and when we called "rav so and so" he said "I
can't tell anyone they are m'chuyav" to respond".

There also are a number of rabbonim misquoting other rabonim (I hope it
is not sacreligous to say this).  I know there are a number of people,
including the pediatrician who worked with our family, who are working
to try to get a "das torah" position on this publicized.  Bottom line is
your not mchuyuv to but you should.  You will most likely save a jewish
life and if you save a non-jewish life - cest la vi.  (this is not my
bottom line.  this is the bottom line we heard from many rabbonim)



From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 14:16:33 -0500
Subject: Civil Penalties for Get

I would like to (re) bring up the subject of civil penalties for those
who refuse to give gets.  I realize that this is a controversial topic
but in light of-- (a) Ely Klagsbrun's posting [V25n45] about his mother
who was not given a religious divorce even though her husband has
remarried, (b) Chana Luntz's case posted during the summer of her young
friend whose husband died and her brother in law refused to give her
Chalitzah---it seems worthwhile to review the issue possibly from a new

First: I would like to bring the precedent of Kashruth laws. If a
restaurant or Katerer has false certificates of Kashruth or true
certificates of Kashruth and gives non kosher food than they will
receive a civil fine and possibly other penalties.  The point to
emphasize here is that religious authorities encourage having such laws
even though they are asking the state to intervene in religious
matters. The reason for this is that the civil laws enable enforcability
of the Kashruth laws which is desirable.

Second: There are people who sign a prenuptial agreement thru witnesses
obligating them to pay fines if they break up and don't give a divorce.

Third: I cite the Rambam, Laws of Wounds and Damages, 7:1-2, which lists
in effect 3 types of damages: By substance, by form and by value: I can
e.g.  corrode a silver spoon by placing it in acid (damage to substance)
even though it can be used as a spoon; I can break the spoon in half
(even though the two halves can be melted and the metal recovered) or I
can use the spoon at an idolatrous ceremony prohibiting its use to a
partner in its ownership even though the spoon still looks the same and
is usable.

Let us use this Rambam: If I spill (enough) milk in a meat pot I have
damaged the VALUE of the meat since religious people will not eat it. We
encourage civil penalties. Suppose by analogy I refuse to give a get to
a woman: She, if she wishes to remain religious, has been damaged and is
not allow to remarry. Why not legislate laws allowing civil penalties
for the lack of giving a get similar to the civil laws penalizing those
who intefer with Kashruth? Why not impose these laws even if the couple
hasn't explicitly consented? Why not at the very least apply this to
cases like those of Luntz and Klugerman?

Why not? Any lawyers (or rabbis) out there know of a good reason?

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


From: Sue Kahana <sue@...>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 12:20:43 +0300
Subject: re: El-Al and Animals

I just got a phone call from Larry Herman, who ran into the same 
problem with El-Al, but got a totally different explanation. They 
told him that if they carry a body, they can't heat the hold, and 
they can't carry a live animal in an unheated cargo hold. So, after 
some running around, they called him back, and said that they could 
take the dog after all, in a seperate hold. No Halachic explanation, 
a very simple and logical technical explanation.  He said I could 
post this reply.

Sue Kahana, Systems Administrator
Hadassah University Hospital


From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 01:35:32 +0000
Subject: Get and Civil Divorce

Susan M. Chambre asks:

> A related instance, with different implications, is the case of the
> woman who has gotten a get but not a civil divorce and has a
> (Jewishly) remarried husband. What is the status of this situation?
> Should it be condoned?

I think that the answer to that is obvious - in nearly all cases it
should not be condoned.  But I think it is important to point out that
there sometimes *is* a solution to this problem.  Three years ago I got
involved in such a case at the request of one of the Rabbonim in my
former community in the States, and as a result of that Rav's efforts we
were able to obtain a civil divorce in the States for that woman.

The couple had originally been married in Eretz Yisroel and the wife at
least was then residing in New Jersey.  The husband gave her a get in
front of a Beis Din in New York, but then disappeared before giving her
a civil divorce.  I was able to take the get to the Rabbanut in Tel Aviv
(which apparently handles all foreign divorces), and after a lot of
persuasion, I was able to convince them to issue a letter saying that
the get constituted a dissolution of a civil marriage in Israel (since
there is no civil marriage in Israel, a get is the *only* legal way for
a Jew to dissolve a marriage in Israel).  Armed with this letter, the
Rav was then able to go to the court in New Jersey, which issued the
civil divorce ex parte (without the husband being present) on the
grounds that the jurisdiction in which the marriage was consummated
(Israel) now recognized the marriage as dissolved.

I realize that this has very limited applicability for most people in an
agunah situation, but I thought it important that people be aware that
in some cases this remedy is available.

-- Carl Sherer

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

Carl and Adina Sherer


From: Chaim Sukenik <sukenc@...>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 05:25:22 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Re: Kohanim Flying to Eretz Yisrael

> From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
> At the end of the Dial a Daf on Chulin 125, the Maggid Shiur, Rabbi Zev
> Cohen, talked a bit about the laws of Kohanim flying on an airplane on
> which a dead person R"L is being transported, a significant problem for
> Kohanim flying to Eretz Yisrael.....

 Rather then address Carl's question about current statistics or the
logistics of dealing with ElAl, allow me to share part of a recent
conversation I had with the head of a Yerushalayim Chevra Kaddishah (the
Chevra Kaddishah Harashit Ve'haklalit, that of the "perushim", generally
well regarded for its degree of religious care (dikduk be'mitzvot)):
 I was told that a system has been developed with ElAl wherein a very
precisely designed outer packing is placed around coffins and that this
packing provides halachically acceptable isolation of the deceased in
terms of transmission of tumah to any passengers. He confirmed that the
percentage of flights transporting coffins was substantial but was
adamant that this wrapping technique was a lechatchila (up front
acceptable) solution to the probelem. He conceeded that since the
implementation requires very particular packing materials and
techniques, this solution was vulnerable. However, while he felt that
implementation on flights originating from Europe was not reliable and
while imitations that neglected critical halachic details were being
used by other airlines, the application of this solution specifically on
ElAl and specifically on flights originating from the US was highly

I think that the take home message is clearly that Cohanim should
consult their LORs and a) not discount flying ElAl and b) not assume
that other airlines are better.



From: Avraham Reiss <areiss@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 13:40:07 +0200
Subject: Programming the Hebrew Calender

In response to my mentioning the GAUSS formula I received 7 or 8
requests to publish it here. Unfortunately I can't, since it appears in
a cramped style that takes of most of a large page, most of the writing
being explanations.

The formula was taken from an amazing book which is both a work of love
and a work of art, named 'Shaarim Leluach Hivri' by Rachamin Sar-Shalom
who lives AFAIK in Natanya.  The book is devoted to the Hebrew calender,
and contains scores of pages (I don't have it with me at the moment) all
hand-written! which makes the book unusual form the visual point of

Should any reader here be in the publishing business, I could get the
author's address with a view to arranging sales in the USA.

I sent 2 Pascal program sources to a few inquirers, but recommend that
you ask for it only if you really want to spend a lot of time learning
it. (the time would advisably be better spent with the Rambam).

Avraham Reiss.


From: Hillel E. Markowitz <hem@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 22:41:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Sarah's Age

>            I'm puzzled.  Yeetzhak got his name (root: laugh) because laughter
> greeted the thought that an old couple such as Avraham and Sara would give
> birth to a son.  But when Yeeshamel was born, Avraham was 86 and Sara was 76;
> rather an advanced age.  (Even Avraham thought this was old, as evidenced by
> the fact that later he was to say that his being 100 and Sarah's being 90 was
> old.)
>            So why do we only discuss old age when talking about Yeetzhak?
>         Yeshaya Halevi (<Chihal@...>)

Based on the age at which people had children, it was possible for
a man to have children.  Even nowadays it has happened (consider Strom
Thurmond - I believe he fathered a child when he was in his seventies).
However, a woman becomes incapable of bearing children when she has passed
through menopause which is much earlier.  Thus, for Avraham to father a
child at 76 was not a miracle, to father one at 99 with a woman who had
been proven to be barren was.

|  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz |     Im ain ani li, mi li?      |
|   <H.E.Markowitz@...>   |   V'ahavta L'raiecha kamocha   |


From: Akiva Miller <kgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 1996 11:29:48 -0500
Subject: Re: Shidduchim

In MJ 25:26, Carl Sherer wrote: <<< A friend ...  told us ...  about
being at a wedding and hearing his son's Roshei Yeshiva advising boys
not to date anyone who could not provide *two* apartments (one to live
in and one to rent out for income). >>>

As I understand it, the laws of Lashon Hara allow a person to repeat
what he has heard, so that others will be aware of the dangers of the
situation. Yes, there are additional restrictions too. Carl, I think you
would do the world a great service if you could get that friend to
research this a bit more. I certainly would not want to send my son to
that yeshiva. If your friend heard that directly from the mouths of
these so-called "Roshei Yeshiva", then perhaps he could tell us the name
of those people or that yeshiva, and submit an exact quote to the list?

I do realize that even if we could work through all the Lashon Hara
issues, there is still a possibility of being sued for libel (or
defamation of character, or something) in a civil court, and this scares
a lot of us away from protecting the public in this kind of thing. Is
there anyone out there who has personal experience with publicly
exposing these frauds? (Ditto for exposing frauds in the kashrus world.)

Or, perhaps, if they really and truly feel that two apartments is an
important criteria, maybe they'd even consent to going on the record
with it. (Yeah, right...)

Akiva Miller
(now at both <Keeves@...> and at KGMiller@DatacorInc.com)


From: Gershon Klavan <klavan@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 10:34:05 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re:v25 # 56  Cheese

When I was learning Yoreh Deah in Israel, I was told that in Israel today,
(or at least a few years ago) that all cheese made in Israel used
synthetic (non animal) rennet except for during the Pesach season.  I
would assume (probably for cost reasons) that the same is true in the USA
but a kashrus organization would be able to give a better answer for that.

Gershon Klavan


End of Volume 25 Issue 62