Volume 25 Number 76
                      Produced: Thu Jan  9 22:08:22 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adoption (2)
         [Steve White, Micha Berger]
Is Free Will Limited
         [Eliyahu Segal]
Sefer Refuot
         [Ari Z. Zivotofsky]
Serious Riddles Anybody?
         [Michael J. Savitz]
Shoes for lefties, my Jewish Web site
         [Scott Alport]
Sistine Chapel
Sources for Learning Aggadata
         [Carl Sherer]
Surrogate Mother & Pilegesh.
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Trup in Tehilim
         [Ovadiah Dubin]
Yad Eliezer - Halachot for Lefties
         [Ruth Nordlicht]
Yeshiva Tuition as Tzedaka (2)
         [Esther Posen, Carl Sherer]


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 09:24:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Adoption

In #73, <davisa@...> (Amy Davis) writes:
>  A friend has asked me a question to which I have no answer, so I thought
>  someone on this list might have some info/knowledge.  Here's the
>  question: If a single jewish woman adopts a jewish child whose father is
>  unknown, how does one determine the FULL hebrew name of the child?
>  E.g. if the child's name is avraham (male or female shouldn't matter),
>  would the child then be "avraham ben [adopted mother's name]"?  Thanks
>  for any info.

I should point out that there are potentially a tremendous number of
halachic questions revolving around such a child.  In particular, can
s/he marry -- who are his/her close relations?  Is s/he a (bat) Kohen or
a (bat) Levi?  In North America, can we depend on rov [majority] are
non-Jews, and assume the father is a gentile?  Or if the mother is
known, do we still today assume that the majority of Jewish women only
have [unforced] relations with Jewish men?  These are some very
important issues, and I'm sure I haven't exhausted the list.

As for name, typical treatments include:

 * Ploni ben [adopted mother's name] for mi-sheberakh [prayer for ill]
or for legal documents
 * Ploni ben [adopted mother's father's name] for aliya (so that the
person should not be embarrassed)
 * Ploni ben [Avraham/Sarah, or the birth parent's(s') names, not
withstanding the adoption] if the child is not adopted at a fairly young

A lot of this depends on the reason for using the name, the age the
child was adopted, the circumstances of the adoption, and so forth.

Steven White

From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997 08:43:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Adoption

If the child was born non-Jewish, there are opinions that the child
should be called up to the Torah as <Whatever> ben Avraham, and when
sick, referred to as <Whatever> ben Sarah. This is the rule for adult
converts, and some feel it should apply here as well.

The majority sides with the other position, ie ben <Adopted_Parent>,
because of the injunction against malvin p'nei chaveiro (causing his
friend to go pale), or that of reminding a convert of his origins. The
adopted child, in most cases, would feel more comfortable not having his
differentness accentuated.

However, in this case I would be very surprised if ben Avraham would not
be used as the patronymic. CYLOR, of course.

In the case where the child was Jewish by birth, it gets stickier. I
would not try to voice an opinion on it.

Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3736 days!
<micha@...>                         (16-Oct-86 - 9-Jan-97)
<a href=news:alt.religion.aishdas>Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed</a>
<a href=http://aishdas.org>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


From: Eliyahu Segal <segaleli@...>
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997 21:00:28 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Is Free Will Limited

> Secondly, a direct answer to Eli's question is provided by Rav Hirsch
> who comments on the talmudic story of a person who sinned with every
> prostitute he heard about until one day upon seeing his Tzitzith while
> undressing he remembered the message of "leaving Egypt" and
> repented. Rav Hirsch explains that this person put on Tztitzith 365
> Russell Jay Hendel, Ph.d, ASA, rhendel @ mcs drexel edu

I belive you have the 2 stories mixed up.  The first one is about Rav
Elazar ben Durdayah who had slept with all the prostitutes in the world
except one.  He was given the title Rav after he died when a bas kol (a
voice from heaven) declared that he will go to olam habah.  It is one of
3 such stories in which Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi(the leader badly translated)
is amazed at the power of teshuva.  The second story could be the one
where a student of an amora is about to have relations with a prostitute
when his tzitzes slap him in the face(not to be taken literally).



From: <azz@...> (Ari Z. Zivotofsky)
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 97 10:03:06 EST
Subject: Sefer Refuot

	Can anyone provide information or sourcss on the Sefer Refuot
that King Chizkiyahu buried, other than the Rambam in Perush haMishnayos
and Kahati on the mishna?


From: Michael J. Savitz <MSAVITZ@...>
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 1997 12:18:38 -0500
Subject: Serious Riddles Anybody?

In Vol. 25, #69 Russell Hendel asked whether there are any examples in
the chumash of 2 or more munachs occurring before a pazer, without a
pasayk (vertical line).

See Parshat Kedoshim, Vayikra 20:17 (which I leyned last year):

V'ish (munach) asher-yikach (munach) et-achoto (pazer) . . .


From: Scott Alport <salport@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 1997 23:19:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Shoes for lefties, my Jewish Web site

>  I recently heard that the halacha about how to put on shoes has
> something to do with tefillin, or something. Does anyone know if there
> is a difference for left-handed people, considering that they put
> tefillin on the other hand?

I quote here from Rabbi Paysach Krohn's "Yad Eliezer," a collection of
Halachos for lefties, p. 15-16:
  "The Torah extends more prominence to the right hand than it does to
the left hand (MB 2:5). However with regard to the act of tying, the
prominence shifts to the left hand because tefillin are usually tied on
the left arm. Therefore although both right-handers and left-handers put
on their right shoe first (because of prominence to the right side),
there is a difference with regard to tying their laces. The right-hander
should tie his left shoe first (because it is on that side that he wears
his tefillin) whereas the left-hander ties his right shoe first (see OC
2:4 and MB 6).
   When one removes his shoes, he first unties and removes the one with
less distinction. The right-hander thus unties his right shoe first
(less distinction with regard to tying), and then unties his left
shoe. However he takes off his left shoe (less distinction in general)
first, and then removes his right shoe.
   The left-hander unties his left shoe first (less distinction for him
with regard to tying tefillin) and then unties his right shoe. However
he removes his left shoe first (less distinction in general) and then
removes his right one (see OC 2:5 and MB 8 and Be'er Moshe 2:3).
   The Gemora (Chullin 88b-89a) teaches that as a reward for Avrohom's
refusing to accept even a thread or a shoestrap from the King of Sodom
(B'reishis 14:23), Avrohom's children received 2 mitzvos: the thread of
blue (techeiles in tzitzis) and the strap of tefillin.
   Rebbi Akiva Eiger comments (on Taz in OC 2:3) that since the Jews
merited to get the mitzvah of tefillin because of the shoestrap, the
tying of shoes became linked to tefillin and priority is given to the
tying of the shoe on whose side one puts on his tefillin."

Also, as long as I'm posting for the first time, I'd like to plug my
large collection of Jewish links which I call the "Frum Side of the Web"
which received over 2500 hits last month alone and which many people
have written to tell me is very useful for them. Please check it out and
send me your comments or suggestions for additional links. It's located
at http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~salport/jewlinks.html Thanks!

Kol tuv,


From: Chips <chips@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 10:46:17 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Sistine Chapel

I know that one is not allowed to go to the Sistine Chapel. But what
about buying a coffee table book or downloading pictures of the frescos?


From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 21:48:31 +0000
Subject: Sources for Learning Aggadata

Avi Lerner asks:

> I am giving a weekly Gemara shiur and we will soon be approaching the
> chapter of Helek in Sanhedrin. I would appreciate suggestions for
> seforim as source books for understanding the aggadot. I mean somethings
> BEYOND Maharsha and Maharal.

Based on the sources that were regularly cited in the Dial a Daf shiurim
when the Daf Yomi learned Chelek, I would suggest the Ben Yehoyada and
the Margoliyos HaYam (recently reprinted by Mossad HaRav Kook).
Although many other sources were cited, these were the two other than
the Maharsha and the Maharal which were cited most frequently.

-- 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: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 16:01:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Surrogate Mother & Pilegesh.

<FriedmanJ@...> asks (MJ#73)

 >Would a surrogate mother impregnated by artificial insemination be
 >considered a pilegesh?

There are two questions here: 1. Who can be a surrogate mother?, and
2. What is a Pilegesh?

At the moment, any woman can volunteer to be a surrogate mother, but
most institutions will look for some qualifications. I do not know the
details, and they vary based on institutional policies, but they will
include questions of health (physical & mental), age, martial status
etc. The rules also differs from country to country.

Pilegesh is translated by many as 'concubine'. In Hebrew a pilegesh is a
woman who cohabits with a man to whom she is not legally married
(without Ketuba and without Kiddushin). Therefore to be a pilegesh one
needs two components: a. lack of marriage, and b. sexual relationship.

There are combination which will create a conflict or problems in Jewish
Law.  For example, if the surrogate woman is married to someone else. Is
this a case of Eshet Ish? Are the born children mamzerim? If the
childless couple is Jewish and the surrogate mother a Gentile -- is the
child Jewish? If the couple are gentiles and the surrogate mother Jewish
- is the child Jewish? (Should we rethink the matrilineal descent?) If
the surrogate woman had several children - are they brothers/sisters?
And if the couple had several children from one or more surrogate women
-- are they brothers/sisters?  The issue of who are the parents, those
with the genes or those who were pregnant are complex; and never
addressed before. This is so complex, that many rabbanim discourage the
use of surrogate motherhood; and we can see why. Eventually, I am sure
that Jewish law will be developed to address some (limited) permitted
cases - but this is my personal view, and I am far from being a posek.

As to the specific question - can we consider a surrogate woman a
 As my definition above suggest, one required component of pilegesh is
the sexual relationship which categorize a woman as a pilegesh. In
surrogate case there are no sexual relationships. To the best of my
knowledge surgical insertion of fertilized egg is not considered a
sexual act. Or, should we broaden the definition to include fertlization
without intercourse?

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: <ovad@...> (Ovadiah Dubin)
Date: Mon, 06 Jan 1997 22:12:33 EST
Subject: Re: Trup in Tehilim

  A very good and available reference would be Breuer's introduction to
the Daas Mikra edition of Tehilim.
                                               Ovadiah Dubin


From: <Sewenjoy@...> (Ruth Nordlicht)
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 1997 10:30:29 -0500
Subject: Yad Eliezer - Halachot for Lefties

In case anyone is interested Rabbi Paysach Krohn's book entitled "Yad
Eliezer" is all about the halachot of lefties.  His mailing address is
117-09 85th Avenue, Kew Gardens, NY 11415.  We have the sefer as my
husband is a lefty and find it very informative.



From: <eposen@...> (Esther Posen)
Subject: Re: Yeshiva Tuition as Tzedaka

I hate to bring this up, but I recall hearing that tuition for a girl
can be considered tzedaka since one is not obligated to teach his
daughter torah.  (I know this thought may offend some people, but can
someone recall where I may have heard this?)

Also, in regard to money spent on shabbos and tuition, I understood that
to be slightly relative.  In other words, it does not mean that a pauper
should be extravagant when shabbos comes the way a truly rich man would
be, rather, that a person could spend a "bit above" their means and not


From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 1997 22:32:02 +0000
Subject: Yeshiva Tuition as Tzedaka

Lewis Reich writes:

> Carl Sherer asked, in response to a post by Eli Turkel:
> > Eli Turkel writes:
> > > 2. Dr. Twersky says that the "problem" of the high yeshiva
> > > tuition bills is 
> > >    not a real problem because it is charity and we are
> > >    guaranteed that G-d will repay whatever we spend on charity. 
> > >    With that attitude we should raise the tuition at most
> > >    yeshivas and pay the rebbes a salary they can really live on.
> > Is this correct? I always understood that the only part of Yeshiva
> > tuition that could be "deducted" as Tzedaka (charity) is the
> > difference between what one actually pays in tuition and the
> > lowest amount that anyone else is being charged
> I think that the Internal Revenue Code's provisions on deductibility
> of charitable contributions (l'havdil) may not be identical the
> halakhic definition of tzedakah. Lewis Reich <lbr@...>

I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear enough.  I was referring to
deductability for Maaser Ksafim (tithing the money one earns for
charity) purposes.  I am well aware that tuition is not deductible for
purposes of the Internal Revenue Code.

-- 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


End of Volume 25 Issue 76