Volume 25 Number 80
                      Produced: Sun Jan 12 23:48:38 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Earliest Sources
         [Sam Saal]
Evah -- Compromise with Non-Religious Jews -- continued
         [Eli Clark]
         [Steven Edell]
         [Kenneth H. Ryesky]
         [Saul Mashbaum]
Tefilla for health
         [David Steinberg]
Tfillas Shov
         [Carl Sherer]


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 23:41:11 -0500
Subject: Administrivia

Hello all,

I've got a bit of travel this week, so you may have a short interruption
in maill-jewish. I'll get out a few issues tonight, but then I'm on a
place to Birmingham in the morning, and from there to Columbus. I expect
to be back in New Jersey by Wednesday evening, and will also try and log
in while on the road.



From: Sam Saal <saal@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 08:57:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Earliest Sources

My understanding of the reason that the Mishna (Oral Torah) was written
was that there was a risk of it being forgotten. What was written were
those topics/discussion of the things that were most at risk of being
forgotten.  My understanding of the Talmud was that it contains further
disucussion of things (Halachot) in the Mishna as well as additional
things that were most at risk of being forgotten.  Thus, something so
well known and well accepted may well have not been written in _either_.

If this is the case, it seems to me to explain why there was no
discussion of Mechitza till as late as the 9th Century (either women
generally didn't go to shul or when they did, a mechitza was - of course
- in place).

A few questions:

Does this thesis make sense? If something was so well accepted, would it
not "show up" in Halachic writings till a question arose?

Does Mechitza truly follow this paradigm? Or was it an innovation in the
9th century (or so).

Are there any other topics or issues in Halacha that do fit this

Sam Saal      <saal@...>
Vayiphtach HaShem et Pea haAtone


From: Eli Clark <ECLARK@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 13:21:12 -0500
Subject: Evah -- Compromise with Non-Religious Jews -- continued

A short time ago, in response to a posting by Eli Turkel regarding the
permissibility of making halakhic compromises with non-observant Jews, I
tentatively suggested that the principle of preventing "evah" (hatred)
might be applicable to the contemporary situation in Israel between the
religious and nonreligious.  Many important halakhic issues regulating
the relationship of the Jewish community with non-Jews -- such as the
prohibition against stealing and the obligation to save a non-Jewish
life on Shabbat -- are founded on the principle of preventing evah.

It seemed to me that this principle might also justify concessions on
the part of the religious commmunity in Israel when negotiating such
contentious issues as the closing of Bar Ilan street in Jerusalem.  But
I had no source or authority for this theory.

Since the date of that posting, I came across a teshuvah (responsum) of
the Shevut Yaakov (Yoreh Deah, siman 74), which invokes the principle of
evah in the context of internal Jewish relations.  The question involved
the right of amei ha-aretz (ignorant Jews) to vote on matters of Jewish
communal affairs.  In his answer, the Shevut Yaakov (R. Yaakov Reischer,
late 17-early 18th c., Prague) states that absolute denial of voting
rights to amei ha-aretz is improper because "vadai ika evah," this would
clearly result in evah.

R. Reischer also cites a teshuvah of the Tzemah Tzedek, siman 2 (R.
Menahem Mendel of Krokhmal), who supports the extension of voting rights
to amei ha-aretz lest they withdraw from the community.  But the Tzemah
Tzedek does not use the term evah; instead he cites the Gemara in
Hagigah, in which R. Yosi rules that we accept the testimony of amei
ha-aretz, so that they not withdraw from the community.

It should be obvious that neither of these sources affirms that fear of
evah within the Jewish community justifies the abrogation of Shabbat.
But there is a clear sense that evah can grow between Jews and that
posekim (halakhic decisors) take that possibility into consideration
when issuing pesak (halakhic rulings).




From: Steven Edell <sdede@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 01:20:44 +2.00
Subject: Re: Plagerism

> From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
> Catherine Perel writes:
> > I am not from a yeshiva circle.  In fact I'm still learning Hebrew
> > and I find myself lost on this list from time to time.  Nonetheless,
> > I remember reading, I think in *Pirket Avot*, that it is a sin to
> > use someone's scholarship without attributing its source.  I believe
> > there was something about it was like killing a world, but I'm not
> > sure.  
> I think you're referring to Avos 6:6 although it is slightly 
> different from the way you cite it.  The Mishna there says that one 
> who says something in the name of the person who originally said it 
> brings redemption to the World.  The Mishna cites the verse in Esther 
> 2:22, where Esther tells Ahashverosh of the plot to kill him, in the 
> name of Mordechai.  As a result, Ahashverosh refuses to hang 
> Mordechai later in the Megilla, and Esther is able (with Hashem's 
> help) to save the Jews from Haman's scheme.

"The Coat of the Unicorn", by Nathan Merel, has the quote Catherine 
Perel is looking for: Megillah Raba 15, first amud, it says "Whoever 
reports a saying in the name of its originator, brings redemption to 
the World".

Steven Edell, Computer Manager, Shatil / New Israel Fund (Israel)
<sdede@...>, steven@shatil.nif.org.il  OR  shatil@actcom.co.il
All views are private, personal & do not reflect ANYONE's opinion!


From: <KHRESQ@...> (Kenneth H. Ryesky)
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997 22:10:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Plagiarism

Re Tova Taragin's postings re plagiarism in term papers, etc. on the part of
"frum" college students:

I do not claim to be an expert on just what the "mindset" of the
students might be.  I suspect, however, that it is part of an unhealthy
cynicism [I can only claim expertise on my own cynicism] which has come
about from world observations.  Might it perchance be that yeshiva
people see that many of the big donor honorees at the head table and on
the bima are the same ones who are stealing from widows and orphans,
while the ones who have not amassed such wealth are treated like dirt.
They see the rabbanim "cover" for the bad people who happen to wear
black hats by pleading with their victims to "make a deal" with them
(including but not limited to the agunah situation), thus allowing
themselves to give rabbinical blessing to improper behavior.  They
perceive that the whole world looks at the grades on the transcript
(and, after graduation, at the "bottom line" dollars) instead of the
midos.  They hear rumors, unfounded or otherwise, that the Roshei
Yeshiva said to only marry a girl who can give you two apartments (so
that one can be rented out).  They get the impression which is out on
the street (with or without foundation) that a given kashrut supervisory
agency plays favorites among the merchants on Main Street (or whatever
the name of the thoroughfare).  They see that if Agency X won't give
hashgacha, then perhaps Agency Y might.

Is it any wonder that cynicism has been brought to the academic campus?
As adjunct faculty at a secular college with a significant frum
population, I see yeshivishe students who disrupt the class with sidebar
conversations in numbers which confer no honor to anyone.  Though the
one case of plagiarism which I personally caught did not involve a
Jewish student, I will not be so naive to think that no Jewish student
participates in it.

I don't know what the mindset is, but I suspect that desire to obtain
more time to learn Torah does not adequately explain it.

-- Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.


From: <mshalom@...> (Saul Mashbaum)
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 10:59:54 EST
Subject: RE: Pronunciation

Reuven Miller wrote

> Regarding the issue of the correct pronunciation of the cholem, there is
> a chapter about this in a sefer "Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz" which is a
> sefer that discusses variances among ashkenazic customs. (I'm not sure
> who the author is.)

I believe the author of this work is Dr. Yitzchak Zimmer, of the history
department of Bar Ilan University. Dr. Zimmer is both a distiguished
historian and a Talmid Chacham; I was privileged to learn Shmot with him
in Yeshiva University about 30 years ago.  Anything written by
Dr. Zimmer can be assumed to be according to the highest standards of
historical accuracy and halachic authenticity

Saul Mashbaum


From: David Steinberg <dave@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 16:35:46 -0500
Subject: Tefilla for health

Carl Sherer raises the interesting question about praying for something
which 'objectively' has already occurred -- In his case the success of a
surgery -- where it will take months for the outcome to be known.

Medrashically, we know of an analgous prayer: Leah prays that Dina, then
in utero, should be a girl.  This would appear to be a classic case of a
Tefillas Shav (false prayer).  Nevertheless the purity of her intent
ensures the success of her prayer.

We are a generation raised to venerate medicine and science.  But as a
people, we are exist M'Chutz L'Derach Hateva -- beyond the bounds of
nature.  And it is precisely there, Mchutz Lateva, that prayer is

May the torah learning and prayer initiated by the Sherers lead to a
Refuah Shelama for Boruch Yosef ben Adina, Btoch Shaar Cholei Yisroel

David Steinberg


From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 23:50:06 +0000
Subject: Tfillas Shov

I'd like to answer a couple of points that were brought out in this 
discussion.  First, I'd like to thank everyone who has been sending 
us (both on and off the list) tfillos for Baruch Yosef.  We hope that 
HKB"H will answer "yes" to all of our tfillos for Baruch Yosef and 
for all of the cholim in Israel.

Saul Mashbaum writes:

> Sometimes a person undergoes a operation to correct a serious
> condition, and it will not be known for several months whether the
> operation was successful (although the person has recovered from the
> operation itself).  Do people continue to pray for the person until
> it is determined that the operation was successful, or only until
> the danger of the operation has passed?

We actually asked this question of a competent posek (whose name I do
not have permission to use) and were told that we should continue to ask
people to pray for Baruch Yosef at least until the first post-op test
(which is the one I wrote about in my earlier post).  Beyond that will
depend on the test results.  Obviously we hope that Baruch Yosef is now
healthy and will no longer need people to daven specially for him.  This
is a separate issue from what Adina wrote below:

> >When BY was first diagnosed, all the people working with my
> >employer got together and split up sefer tehillim to have it said
> >in full each day for BY.  This is a MASSIVE time commitment and
> >tircha, and we are very very very appreciatIve and grateful. The
> >original commitment was for 3 months, which ended right after BY
> >recovered from his last surgery. At the time they asked what I
> >wanted, and, with a great deal of trepidation, I said they could
> >stop saying the Tehillim. 

We considered that such a big imposition on the time of others, that
since Baruch Yosef's situation Baruch Hashem no longer seemed critical,
we did not ask that they continue to say that many Tehillim.

Zvi Weiss asks:

> (and, if we know when this happens, we will tell the other people here
> to say Tehillim, as well....)

The morning of January 30 local time (I hesitate to write down a
specific time because of the hour that it comes out in the States, and
because the last time Baruch Yosef had this test it was delayed anyway).

There's one other issue I'd like to raise here, partly because it came
up over Shabbos and partly because it ties in with some other
discussions we've had in the last couple of weeks.  I don't know what
response I'm expecting (if any), but I suspect that posting it might
help others in R"L (Hashem should save us) similar situations.

We had a Shabbos guest this week who has made a video for an
organization which helps people to obtain medical care.  She told us
that she was asked by the organization's founder (a *very* prominent
Rav) to update the video, but of the hundreds of families that this
organization has helped only two are willing to participate in the
video.  The reason (to us at least) is obvious - fear of ruining
shidduchim in the future.

When Baruch Yosef became ill, one of our hardest decisions was what to
tell people.  For the first week or so we kept it quiet (not having a
phone helped :-), but after that we got to the point where we had to say
*something* to *some* people, and a decision had to be made.  We wrote a
letter to a few close friends, asking that they arrange to have Tehillim
said for Baruch Yosef, without people knowing who he was.  One of them
wrote back to us and said (and this is a direct quote),

     " My third comment regards your request for
     privacy, which I, of course, will honor, but which you may want
     to reconsider. My personal feeling is that people daven harder if
     they know who their Tefilos are for. However, until - or if - I
     hear from you otherwise, I am spreading the word without any

We thought long and hard about this comment.  I recalled a Gemara (which
I believe is in Erachin but I don't have a cite) to the effect that if
one is sick, one should tell no one the first day, only his closest
friends on the second day (in each case out of fears of what one's
enemies might do) and should scream to everyone on the third day.  Based
on the above comment, and on that Gemara, we decided to go quite public
with Baruch Yosef's illness.  The counterbalance for this has been that
along with praying for a Refuah Shleima for him, we have specifically
prayed that he should be zocheh to children and grandchildren who keep
Torah and Mitzvos, and have specifically asked that Rabbanim who have
given him brachos (there have been several) keep that in mind.  Since we
have had anonymous phone calls from people with family members who are
ill, I thought it was important to present the other side of the coin.

-- 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 80