Volume 26 Number 42
                      Produced: Thu May  8  6:46:03 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Corporations in Halacha
         [Michael Broyde]
Gerim as Rabbis - any restrictions?
         [Daniel Eidensohn]
Hallel etc.
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Indian wigs
         [Ari Z. Zivotofsky]
Kos-masculine or feminine
         [Martin Lockshin]
Mourning during Sefirah
         [Micha Berger]
Wigs made from hair from India... a problem?
         [Michael Hoffman]


From: Michael Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 10:08:21 -0600 (EDT)
Subject: Corporations in Halacha

A recent series of posts discuss the status of corporations in halacha.  In
fact, the literature on the relation of corporate ownership to Jewish law
reflects five principal positions: 

          1.   The  Jewish law (halakhic) entity  approach:  This view
               maintains that Jewish law deems a corporation to  be an
               independent entity  that owns  its assets and  conducts
               its business.  According  to this view, shareholders do
               not  own title to the  corporate assets and  are not in
               violation of Jewish law  when the corporation commits a
               forbidden act.

          2.   The  halakhic partnership  approach:    There are three
               versions of this view.  The  first contends that Jewish
               law  recognizes   a  corporation  as   a   partnership 
               (shutfut).   The shareholders are regarded  as partners
               who own a percentage  interest of the corporate assets.
               A second version maintains that Jewish shareholders are
               partners only if  the corporation has  primarily Jewish
               shareholders.    A third  alternative  describes Jewish
               shareholders  as  partners  only  if  they  own  voting

          3.   The  halakhic creditor  approach:  Some authorities who
               espouse the  second or  third versions of  the halakhic
               partnership theory believe that Jewish shareholders who
               are  not  partners  are,  instead, creditors  who  have
               loaned money to the corporation or to the corporation s
               managers.  As creditors, such shareholders would not be
               responsible  under  Jewish  law for  the  corporation s

          4.   The  purchaser of entitlements  approach:  At least one
               authority  suggests  that in  many  instances  a Jewish
               shareholder is  merely a purchaser of certain financial
               benefits vis-a-vis the corporation s future profits.  

          5.   The  relationship   approach:  Some  authorities do not
               use   a  single   label   to   describe  the   abstract
               relationship  between Jewish  shareholders, on  the one
               hand,  and  corporate  assets  and activities,  on  the
               other.   Instead, they  examine diverse aspects  of the
               relationship  and   ask   whether,  as   a  whole,   it
               constitutes ownership such  as to implicate  particular
               Jewish  law  problems.    Exponents  of  this  approach
               consider,  for example,  the shareholders   ability and
               intention to control corporate  conduct and use or sell
               corporate assets.

One one foot, possition one is taken by many teshuvot from the piskai dina
rabaniyim, Rav Shaul Weingart Rav Regensberg and others.  Possition two is
taken by Rav Moshe Sternbuch and others. Possition three by Dayan Weiss and
others.  Possition four by Rav Moshe Feinstein and others. Position 
five by Rav Hoffman and others. 

Although I do not normally write without providing mar'eh makomot, this
topic is one that I and Rabbi Shlomo Resnicoff have a manuscript in
preparation on, which we would be happy to share with anyone who wishes
to read 150 pages on this topic.  (Anyone have any suggestions for a
book publisher?)

Michael Broyde


From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@...>
Date: Wed, 07 May 1997 17:30:29 -0700
Subject: Gerim as Rabbis - any restrictions?

>From: Ari Kahn <kahnar@...>
>The Rambam mentions that there is a problem of "Srarah" occupying a
>position of power, by a Ger see Rambam Melachim 1:4. Dayan Grossnass
>(formally from London) has a Teshuva of a ger being a principle in a
>school, an assumed position of power (Lev Aryeh chelek bet siman
>21). The logic he utilizes is similar to that of Rav Moshe Feinstein in
>his teshuva where he allows a woman to be a "Mashgiach Kasherut"

1) The implication that Rav Moshe Feinstein simply permits women and
gerim to have serara is not consistent with what he actually said.

	Rav Moshe's psak permitting a woman to be a moshgiach was under
the assumption that she would be working for someone else who would have
the actual authority to enforce the halacha. See Igros Moshe (YorehDeah
II 44 page 60). He says (Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah II, 45 page 63) that the
appointment of a woman to a position other than that of king is a
dispute among the rishonim. He says it is appropriate to be strict and
follow the position of the Rambam not to appoint her. However, in a case
of great need it might be possible to rely on those who permit it. Rav
Moshe suggested, however, making the woman an employee of someone else
in order for her to be a moshgiach according to all opinions. "Therefore
in a case of great need for the sustaining of the widow and her children
it is relevant to rely on those who disagree with the Rambam as in all
disputes of our Rabbis however I have found a way to fulfill the words
of the Rambam and therefore it is required to follow this way since
there is no longer a need to rely on the dissenting opinions."

2) The issue of gerim revolves around this issue of srarah [authority]
which is not clearly defined. The basic problem revolves around the
acceptance of the Rambam's position which is all encompassing in
rejecting the ablity of a ger to be in a position of authority

	There is a good review article by Rabbi Bakshi Doron (page 66-72
published by Mosad Rav Kook of the 20th Kinus for Torah SheBal Peh

The following are some of his points:

	The Rambam states "A king is not appointed from gerim...unless
his mother is Jewish...And not only a king but any position of srarah
(authority) not a general of the army, not a leader of 50 or 10 even the
supervisor of a pond of water. And surely [not] a judge or political

	The gemora Kedushin 76b states that a Ger can not be appointed
to any position of authority. The gemora Yevamos 102 states also that a
Ger can not be a judge except for the case of another Ger but not for a
person whose mother is Jewish. The rishonim point out that this
exclusion of a Ger from being a Judge apparently contradicts the gemora
Sanhedrin 36b which specifically says that a Ger can be a judge.

	One resolution is that a Ger can judge as long as it doesn't
involve imposing his views against the wishes of the litigants. This is
the accepted view. Therefore if he is accepted because of his expertise
rather than his status there is no problem. There is the further
question if the community accepts the Ger as a judge even if the
specific litigants have not accepted him. This is possibly related to
the fact that Shmaya and Avtalyon were the heads of the Sanhedrin even
though they were Gerim (according to most opinions). Some say that a Ger
can be appointed to authority if there is no one superior.

3) Rav Moshe Sternbuch in Volume III #305 addresses the question of a
Ger being a Rav or to be a Magid Shiur.
	 He says that there is no problem for him to say a shiur in
yeshiva (being a Rosh Yeshiva is problematic). However as far as being a
rav he says it is appropriate not to take a Ger as a Rav if there is
another person who is just as qualified. This is related to the point
that today the status of Rav is considered an inherited position and is
thus similar to that of king. A Ger however can be the community posek
and even be called Moreh Tzedek since this is not a position of central
authority and honor.

4) Rav Moshe Feinstein in the new volume (Yoreh Deah IV #26 page 213)
addresses the question of appointing a Ger as Rosh Yeshiva or Mashgiach.

	He states that it is prohibited to appoint a Ger to any position
of authority. As far as Shmaya and Avtalyon he notes they were so
superior to everyone else it can be viewed perhaps as an emergency
measure for that specific time they were head of the Sanhedrin and
therefore we can not learn from their status.

	As far as being a Rosh Yeshiva or Magid Shiur or Mashgiach they
should not be viewed as positions as authority but rather as services to
willing students. Whatever power they have is not viewed as Serarah and
is therefore permitted. He specifically says this is not comparable to
his psak concerning appointing a woman as mashgiach (which he says is
genuine Serarah).

In sum, If one follows the position of the Rambam - any position of
dominion over others is prohibited for a Ger. If there is voluntary
acceptance of the authority by the involved litigants there is no
problem according to most authorities. Being accepted by the community
is problematic especially if there are non gerim who are equally
qualified. In certain cases it might be be permitted. Finally, if the
job is viewed as being an employee rather than a leader than there is
also a clear basis for being lenient.

			Daniel Eidensohn


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 20:36:55 +0300 (WET)
Subject: Hallel etc.

I'm a little behind reading the e-mail because of reserve duty last month
but I would like to comment:

Hallel on Pesah night - there is a differance between the Talmud and the
Tosefta about when to say Hallel. Both agree to 18 days - 1 day of Pesah,
1 day Shavuot, 8 days of Succot & 8 days of Hanuka. The Tosefta adds the
first night of Pesah ("half Hallel" is a different story). The Bet Yosef
holds like the Tosefta and so does the Gra so in Israel almost every place
says Hallel on Pesah night. R. O. Yosef holds that because women are
oblicated to do all the night's mitsvot so too they should say Hallal with
a Beracha (this is the only Hallel women say a beracha on according to the
Sefardi minhag).

Counting the Omer after the Seder was started by Kabbalists because they
did not want to mix up the Kavanot of the seder (which belongs to the 1st
night but must be used again because of Yom Tov Sheni) and the Kavanot of
the Omer (which belongs to Hol HaMoad and further).

Haftarot of Aharei and Kedoshim - See R. S. Sofer in Moriah 2 (1970) and
R. S. Devlisky in HaNeeman 9 (1970). They explain the problems of the 2
Haftarot. In any case the Minhag Sefaradi & also Habad is to read
Hatishpot for Aharei & Halidrosh for Kedoshim. This Friday's Hasofe had an
article on this & so did I in the Bar Ilan U. Parashat Hashavua page


From: <azz@...> (Ari Z. Zivotofsky)
Date: Wed, 7 May 97 10:58:38 EDT
Subject: Indian wigs

	Rabbi Moshe sterbach in tshuvot v'hanhagot 2:414 discusses the
issue of Indian wigs and concludes that it is indeed a problem to use
them. He goes so far as to state that it is even a problem buying
anything from stores that sell them because the money that they receive
from them becomes prohibited.


From: Martin Lockshin <lockshin@...>
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 12:33:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kos-masculine or feminine

It is unusual for me to have something to add to a discussion of Hebrew
grammar after a contribution from my learned friend, Peretz Rodman, but
here goes anyways:
	In Abba Bendavid's monumental work, _Leshon miqra uleshon
hakhamim_, there is a discussion of the gender of the noun _kos_.  In
volume one of that work, on pages 128 and 129, Bendavid argues that the
gender of _kos_ changed from feminine (in biblical Hebrew) to masculine
(in rabbinic Hebrew) due to the influence of Aramaic.  In volume two of
Bendavid's work, at the bottom of p. 447, there is a list of many other
nouns that underwent gender changes between the days of biblical Hebrew
and the days of rabbinic Hebrew.

Marty Lockshin


From: <micha@...> (Micha Berger)
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 07:51:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Mourning during Sefirah

In v26n39, Gershon Dubin writes:
> 	This is also the reason, I am told, that we say "Av Harachamim"
> before Ashrei on Shabbos morning even during the month of Nisan and even
> when blessing the new month.  The content of Av Harachamim is
> appropriate to this reasoning.

More than just the content, Av HaRachamim was written in response to the
Crusades. To not say it during this time -- even for Nisan or mevorchim --
would be odd.

Along similar lines... I find it hard when we don't say Av HaRachamim in
a week when Jews were actualy killed for being Jewish. For example, the
week seven girls were killed in Jordan ended in Shabbos Mevorchim. It's
a product of minhag over sevara that makes me wonder if the kehilla is
thinking about what they say.

Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3791 days!
<micha@...>                         (16-Oct-86 - 7-May-97)
For a mitzvah is a candle, and the Torah its light.
http://aishdas.org -- Orthodox Judaism: Torah, Avodah, Chessed


From: Michael Hoffman <hoffmanm@...>
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 18:20:09 +0200
Subject: Re: Wigs made from hair from India... a problem? 

 A number of contemporary poskim in Israel have addressed this question,
and the consensus seems to be that wigs produced from human hair
originating from India would be prohibited by the din of "tikroves
avodah zarah".  There is a t'shuva in "miBeis Levi" (from Rav Wozner's
kollel) by Rabbi Mordechai Gross (posek in Bnei Brak) discussing a food
ingredient - L-Cysteine - that can be produced from human hair (could
also be produced from other sources). He wrote that if the source is
hair from India, it would be prohibited and that the laws of "bitul"
wouldn't apply, as there is no "bitul" of avodah zarah.
 For further details - please look up Rav Sternbuch's "T'shuvos
vehanhogos" vol. 2 siman 414.



End of Volume 26 Issue 42