Volume 26 Number 61
                      Produced: Thu May 22  0:24:09 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

A Succinct Explanation Of Toomah VS Niddah
         [Russell Hendel]
Academic Caps and Gowns
         [Ranon Katzoff]
Caps and Gowns
         [Shlomo Godick]
Davka Judaic Classics for DOS
         [Yosef Bechhofer]
Hagbah - Further Query
         [Jerry Schneider]
Knowledge, of self
         [Shalom Carmy]
Lit Tablecloths
         [Binyomin Segal]
Megan's Law (2)
         [Ben Rothke, Michael & Bonnie Rogovin]
More on Tallis for Mincha
         [Samson Bechhofer]
Pattern of Jewish Observance
         [Mike Engel]
Pointing To The Torah With A Finger: A Possible Reason
         [Russell Hendel]
Shabos laws and Common sense
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Shomrei Adamah
         [Shamir Caplan]
         [Susan E Slusky]


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 20:24:52 -0400
Subject: A Succinct Explanation Of Toomah VS Niddah

In response to recent discussion on Toomah-Taharah laws allow me to
point out that what we don't have today is the "ability to fully remove
Toomah and become Tahor." However both the laws and statuses of Toomah
and taharah are in effect.

As an application of this we see that
	* I can't bring sacrifices because only tahor people can & I
can't become tahor 
	* A priest cannot defile himself on a dead person since both the
status of of becoming defiled and the prohibition still exist
	* Similarly relations with a Niddah are still prohibited
	* While the full Taharah process for say women who give birth
requires bringing sacrifices nevertheless the intermediate taharah stage
of going to mikvah after appropriate counting of Tahor days does exist

I hope this distinction--becoming tahor vs status and
prohibitions--clarifies the matter

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


From: Ranon Katzoff <katzoff@...>
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 08:36:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Academic Caps and Gowns

The matter of academic caps and gowns as an issue of "chukot hagoy"
(gentile practice) was addressed directly by the Maharik (R. Joseph
Colon, d. 1480) in his Responsum 88, and permitted. He is followed by
the Rema at Yoreh De'ah 178.1. In an exceptionally long and sharp
dissent, concluding "v'divrei Maharik einan nir'in k'lal," the GRA
forbids (note 7). (Who is the LOR who thinks he can tip the scales
between these authorities?)

Ranon Katzoff


From: Shlomo Godick <shlomog@...>
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 12:39:54 -0700
Subject: re: Caps and Gowns

Saul Mashbaum wrote:
> The gowns provided by rental companies or the school or university may
> be contain shaatnez, and must be determined to be shaatnez-free before
> being worn.

This reminds me of a fascinating news story I saw a couple of days ago.
An orthodox Jew by the name of Joe Loebenstein became the first orthodox
Jewish mayor of a diaspora city when he was recently elected mayor of
Hackney, England.  Prior to the inauguration ceremony he had the
ceremonial mayor's gown checked for shatnez, and the results were
positive (shatnez was detected).  So he went through the inauguration
without wearing the ceremonial gown!

Kol tuv,
Shlomo Godick


From: Yosef Bechhofer <sbechhof@...>
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 09:02:47 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Davka Judaic Classics for DOS 

I had the CD Rom of Davka Judaic Classics for DOS Version 4, but little
hands seem to have conspired to consign it to some unkown location. I
need this version, not the Windows version, because it has the seforim
of Reb Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin on the CD, which are not on the latest
(Windows) version. Davka itself no longer sells or supports the DOS
Version 4. If anyone has it and would be willing to sell it to me, I
would appreciate it very much. Thank you.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer 


From: <Jerry_Schneider@...> (Jerry Schneider)
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 11:02:57 -0400
Subject: Hagbah - Further Query

I have also been told by my uncle, z"l, that when the Torah is raised
you take a corner of your talis and with the Tzitzis you touch both eyes
and kiss the Tzitzis. He said that this shows that the Torah is the
light to our eyes.

Jerry Schneider


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 19:52:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Knowledge, of self

Merling, Paul writes:
> those days. To be sure we prayed for forgiveness of sins, but a Yeshiva
> student's Aveirus(transgressions) are usually small potatoes and they
> know it.

Would that we could all be so confident in our righteousness? 


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 22:56:01 -0500
Subject: Lit Tablecloths

Joel asked about lit tablecloths on shabbos.

assuming there is no threat to life (eg everyone can leave) so we are
only concerned with great financial loss, the mishna brura points out
that soaking the tablecloth in places not yet on fire is permissable in
this case. (that is - indirectly putting out the flame) In the intro to
hilchos shabbos where he brings the example he mentions using water, but
i believe that within the text itself he says that one should use some
other liquid, as wetting a tablecloth with water is assur because of
kibus (washing)

PERHAPS (i aint no posek) one might be able to pick up the tablecloth,
fire and all and put it in a safe place - like a bathtub where it will
eventually burn itself out.

hope this helps


From: Ben Rothke <BRothke@...>
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 23:03:44 -0400
Subject: Re: Megan's Law

<JordanleeW@...> (Jordan Lee Wagner) wrote in mail-jewish Vol. 26 #56
Digest re: Megan's Law "And what about the requirement of welcoming
penitent sinners, and the mitzvah to "judge favorably".  How are these
balanced in practice by poskim?".  If the sinner is indeed penitent,
having great regret and remorse, then they would be accepted.

As for the statement about being "dan lecaf zechus", judging favorably;
the sefer Halichos Olam, by Avroham Ehrman (pulished in 1989 ) states in
Siman 23 the halachos of Dinei Mitzvas ledan et chavero lecaf zechus
(the laws of judging another Jew favorably).

He writes that when one has a safek (doubt) about another Jew within
hilchos midos (Laws of General Behavior), he should be dan lecaf zechus
(judge to the side of the benefit of the doubt) until he is able to
clarify the safek.

But if there is a no doubt about the person, such as a non-remorseful
child molester, they one is obligated to be dan lecaf chov (judge to the
side of guilt), to judge him unfavorably.

From: Michael & Bonnie Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 20:13:44 +0000
Subject: Megan's Law

Ben Rothke writes:
> While one might think that such an act of informing the community of
> this person's past might be loshon hora, the reality is that the
> individual at hand is a rodef and there is a definate tachlis (purpose)
> in informing the community that he is to be considered a danger.

On what basis can one assue that the individual is a rodef.  It seems to
me that this is a dangerous assupmtion. Rodef, as I understand the term,
refers to a person who is actively about to commit a crime.  We are
permitted to take any action, including if necessary killing, such a
person because it is the only way to save the soon-to-be-victim.  The
key assumption is that the crime WILL occur without intervention.  While
I sympathize with the strong feelings child molestation arouses, the
former convict is NOT a rodef unless and until he (usually a he) is
definitely about to engage in new criminal acts.  Given what happened
not that long ago in Israel with some people (mistakenly) stating that
Prime Minister Rabin was a rodef, we must be very careful about our
language, lest someone believe that it is permissible to take action
against such a person.

Michael Rogovin


From: Samson Bechhofer <"Samson Bechhofer at WFGNYHUB%WFGNYHUB"@mcimail.com>
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 14:54:26 -0500 (EST)
Subject: More on Tallis for Mincha

Further to Jordan Wagner's and Neil Parks' observations about Tallis for
Mincha on Shabbos afternoon, the minhag in K'hal Adath Jeshurun
("Breuer's") and those who follow Minhag Frankfurt is that all who
receive kibbudim (even Hagbo and Gelilo) wear a Tallis and remove the
Tallis only after Kedusha, thus effectively wearing a Tallis for the
Tefilloh, not just for the kibbud.  If wearing one's own Tallis (and if
davening before Sh'kiyoh), one makes a brocho on the Tallis as well.


From: <Mike11210@...> (Mike Engel)
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 23:39:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Pattern of Jewish Observance

In a message dated 97-05-07 07:21:41 EDT, you write:
>Do you have any alternate/additional explanations which could account
>for the major changes which have occurred in the pattern of jewish
>observance in the last generation? Anybody else who has read the article
>- in the Tradition of Spring 1993, I believe- who has something to add?

I, too, found the article stimulating. I believe, however, the general
shift to the right is a direct response to the degradation of the
surrounding secular culture. We send our children to "frummer"
yeshivahs, Bais Yakovs, etc. to build up their defenses against the
"street". We ourselves became more observant for the same reason (that
is, for the sake of the children).  Perhaps this is simplistic but
sometimes the simple answer is the correct one.


From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 20:38:08 -0400
Subject: Pointing To The Torah With A Finger: A Possible Reason

In V26n56, Nachum Kosofsky cites the Yalkut MeAm Lo'ez concerning the
custom of pointing towards the sefer Torah during Hagbah. Nachum does
not know of any reason and the Meam Loez does not bring one.

Although I do not remember the source I was once told the following

The midrash (homiletic literature) states that in the future world the
righteous will form a circle around the Divine Presence (who will be in
the center) and dance and point and say the verse: "..This is My G-d and
I will make pleasant with Him(Ex15:2)"

The pointing of the finger is derived from the use of the word

It would follow that the Hagbah is an acting out of this reward in the
future world: The Torah symbolizes the Divine Presence and the
congregants symbolize the righteous.

In a different but related matter I heard from the Rav, Rabbi
Soloveitchick that the reason some people stand during the reading of
the Torah is because the reading is an acting out of the relevation on
Mount Sinai: The Bimah on which the Torah is read symbolizes the
mountain, the Torah symbolizes G-ds word and the reading symbolizes the
prophetic revelation (and e.g. The two gabais correspond to Aharon and
Chur). Since people stood during the revelation we must stand also.

These are two examples which possibly are supported by regarding the
Torah reading as an acting out. I am curious if anyone knows sources for
the above thoughts. I am also curious if there are other examples of
"acting" outs in either the Torah reading or prayer.

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


From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 22:42:07 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re:  Shabos laws and Common sense

in Vol26 #37 there was a missive about letting someone light candles even 
though Shabos had already started due to emotional distress and duress.
There are actually two ways to not have this situation be a `michalel` 
situation at this or at other times when one is running very,very late.
	1: One actually has a few minutes after posted times of sunset.
The Navy (& halachic) people use a very conservative variable when computing
sunsets in regards to elevation levels. Unless you are at or below sea levels 
you have about 7 minutes usually, with as much as 20 minutes (BoroPark and 
Washington Heights times of actual sunset are an excellent example.)
	2: Go according to `Rabbeinu Tam` that day.

In both cases you must be consistent and not end Shabos that week before the
corresponding time on Saturday night.



From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 08:12:57 +0300 (WET)
Subject: Shavout

I think that praying Arvit (Maariv) before nightfall should not be a
problem. One should try to wait for Kiddush until it is dark. This is R.
O. Yosef's pesak for Israel. However outside Israel were the night is very
short & there is not enougth time to finish the Tikkun Lel Shavout he
holds that even Kiddush can be said early.
Menashe Elyashiv (no relation to R. Elyashiv) 


From: Shamir Caplan <caplan@...>
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 15:22:28 -0400
Subject: Shomrei Adamah

I wanted to know if anyone had any experience working with Shomrei
Adamah or with any of their resources.  Is the Jewish content


From: <sslusky@...> (Susan E Slusky)
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 13:17:45 -0400
Subject: Yibum

With respect to the question about whether Yibum has been practiced in
modern times,

There was a lovely film from Israel that came out in the 70s and was set 
at the turn of the nineteenth to twentieth century in Palestine called
"I Love You, Rosa." The plot centered around yibum, specifically a boy,
who over the course of the film grows to manhood, and who
persists in his desire to perform yibum. As I vaguely remember, he
gradually wins the heart and consent of his brother's widow. 

I suppose what this shows is that there was some Israeli filmmaker who
thought that yibum had been practiced in Palestine at that time.
(Either that or it shows that I don't remember the plot of the film.)

Susan Slusky


End of Volume 26 Issue 61