Volume 26 Number 67
                      Produced: Mon May 26 16:04:03 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

At the old ball game
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Burning Table Cloths on Shabbos
         [Moshe Rayman]
Burning Tablecloths on Shabbat
         [Eliyahu Shiffman]
Daytime Tevillah
         [Ranon Barenholtz]
         [Jay L. Cohen]
Hands on Learning
         [Carl Singer]
Lit Tablecloths
         [Michael & Bonnie Rogovin]
         [Tzadik and Sheva Vanderhoof]
Shavuot Flowers
         [Ranon Katzoff]
Textual Vs Hands On Learning
         [Stan Tenen]
Why the Heart-Nudity Separation for Prayer
         [Russell Hendel]


From: Chaim Shapiro <ucshapir@...>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 11:45:59 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: At the old ball game

	I went to my first baseball game of the season the other day.  I
hoped to cheer my floundering Cubbie on to victory.  Well, its a nice
day, lets lose two.
	Anyway, four  questions came to mind.
 1) If you are at a ball game and a woman sings the nat'l anthem, must
you leave, or is simply turning your head and looking at the flag
sufficient (assuming you do not know what the singer looks like).
 2) The Cubs almost always sell out, and I couldn't get any good seats.
However, given the teams record and the time of year, the stands were
almost completly empty, so I moved down.  The park is certainly makpid
on not allowing anyone to move down.  But still, am I really stealing
anything?  I payed to see the game, and I am doing nothing more than
that, albiet from a little closer. Furthemore, no one is losing anything
by my new seating location.  The ballpark is not losing its ability to
sell those seats because of where I am sitting.  If somone comes by with
the tickets, I would be forced to move.  The purchaser of those seats,
if indeed they were sold, chose not to atttend.  It doesn't harm him if
I sit in his empty seat.  What then is the issur?
 3) Scalping.  All teams warn fans that scalped tickets need not be
honored.  However, it is my understanding that they do not have the
legal right to tell me that I cannot sell tickets that belong to me.  I
checked my ticket.  There was no mention of the illegality of scalping.
However, for whatever reason, I have witnessed on several occasions,
city police forcibly removing scalpers from the area around the ball
park.  Anyone have any more information?
 4) Can one attend a baseball game during sefira?


From: <mrayman@...> (Moshe Rayman)
Date: Thu, 22 May 97 10:25:57 EDT
Subject: Burning Table Cloths on Shabbos

In response to Binyomin Segal's comments about burning table cloths on
shabbos (volume 26 #61):

>assuming there is no threat to life (eg everyone can leave) so we are

In our time, all fires should be regarded as pikuach nefesh.  We have
seen to many cases where fires are allowed to spread, and tragedy
results.  So even if everyone can leave the house where there is a fire,
everyone should leave, and then someone must be mechallel shabbos, as
quikly as posssible to call the fire department.

Any other approach, is tantamount to "shefichas domim" (spilling blood).

We must remember that the rule in pikuach nefesh cases is to "shoot
first" and ask questions later.

>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.

Such ideas are literally playing with fire, and anyone who entertains
them must "extinguish" them immediately.

There is a sefer called "toras hayoledes" (it is available in both
hebrew and english), which recommends that women in labor on shabbos
should try to avoid chilul shabbos when going to hospital.  Amongst
other things, the authors recommend:

1) The woman in labor should ride a bicycle to the hospital!
2) Ride a horse!
3) And if they must drive, they should minimize the use of lights and breaks!


In an addendum to the sefer, they published comments from Rav Moshe
Sternboch.  He criticized the authors for advocating "chmoros" (strict
rulings) in areas where lives are at stake.

The same is true here.  Whenever discussing matters of pikuach nefesh,
one must always emphasize that in a true dangerous situation, one should
not hesitate, rather one should do all that is needed.

Moshe Rayman


From: Eliyahu Shiffman <sarash1@...>
Date: Thu, 22 May 97 23:55:21 PDT
Subject: Burning Tablecloths on Shabbat

Binyomin Segal wrote:
>assuming there is no threat to life (eg everyone can leave) so we are
>only concerned with great financial loss

IMHO, when it comes to fire, especially a burning tablecloth, there is
ALWAYS a threat to life, and a pikuach nefesh situation must be
assumed. Leaving the place where the fire is burning may eliminate the
risk for those involved, but what about the risk to people living in
adjoining dwellings?

Eliyahu Shiffman
Beit Shemesh, Israel 


From: <babybarons@...> (Ranon Barenholtz)
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 17:05:09 -0400
Subject: Daytime Tevillah

 Rabbi M. Shamah wrote that b'dieved one may go to the Mikvah on the
seventh day before sunset. Although this is true for practical purposes, 
I believe it is technically inaccurate.  A Niddah can only become Tahor
on the night following the seventh day from when she became a Niddah.  A
Zavah can become Tahor during the seventh day, the only problem being, as
Rabbi Shamah said, that if she were to bleed that day after her Tevilah
she would be Tamei retroactively.  For practical purposes, this is not
very  relevant because a Niddah only has to count seven days not seven
"clean" days (that is only for a zavah) and being as we only start
counting after five days, by the time someone goes to the mikvah it is
already at least the twelfth day. 

Ranon Barenholtz


From: Jay L. Cohen <jlcohen@...>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 03:45:10 -0700
Subject: Re: Hagbe

Tzvi Roszler asked:

>Speaking of various minhagim for Hagbe, Gelileh, I was wondering whether
>the same rules apply to the above as not to give a father and son Hagbeh
>Gelilah together as is the minhag of not giving consecutive Aliyahs the
>reason which is Ayin Horah?

In the shull I grew up in, fathers and sons could never have hagbah and
gelilah together. In fact, fathers and sons could not physically be on
the bimah together for ANY reason -- except for one.

The only time that I ever stood on the bimah with my father was to
duchan.  In fact, I (fondly) remember three years when I stood with my
father and my grandfather.  Other than that, Ayin Horah (or old "Morris"
Ayin as we used to quip) reigned supreme.

Jay Cohen


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Fri, 23 May 97 10:27:25 UT
Subject: Hands on Learning

I recall perhaps 20 years ago in a discussion with Rabbi Abraham Levene
of Lower Merion Synagogue when he noted with his characteristic good
natured smile that as after many years of learning about Schehita and
Kasruth, he finally saw the insides of a chicken and relate to the
concepts learned.

Carl Singer

>1) A beautiful textual support for Stan's thesis that "textual learning
>without hands on experience is of inferior quality" is in fact one of
>the themes of Rambams introduction to his mishnaic commentary on the
>order of "Holy Things(ie Sacrifices)".


From: Michael & Bonnie Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 00:08:53 +0000
Subject: Lit Tablecloths

Benyomin Segal wrote:
> 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.

I am not a posek either, but I would submit that such actions are not
halachicly permissible.

First, carrying an object which is on fire to another location is
generally assur (eg, you cannot move lit candles).  Second, it is
probably assur also because doing so creates a serious danger to the
person carrying the object. Third, it also creates a danger of igniting
other objects, possibly leading to the spreading of fire and putting
other people and households in danger.

Messing around with fire is not for us amateurs.  The consequences of
moving a flame cannot be predicted.  The safest thing to do is to put it
out immediately.  Given the Torah's concern with safety, and its
aversion to putting lives at risk, it follows that putting out a fire
under such circumstances is not only permissible, it is probably
mandatory. [Note, if it is permissible, according to some, to extinguish
a fire to allow a sick person to sleep; kal v'chomer to save lives]



From: Tzadik and Sheva Vanderhoof <stvhoof@...>
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 00:02:35 +0300
Subject: Mikve

Recently there have been several postings about the mikve on Friday
night.  This reminded me of a certain mikve I know of in France, where
the mikve is always closed on Friday nights and Yom Tov nights.  This
was done intentionally by the rabbi who built the mikve to avoid the
possibility of Shabbos violations by women who would have driven to (or
from) the Mikve on Shabbos and Yom Tov.  As a result, the
Shabbos-observant women are, in effect, punished, for the sake of the
non-observant.  Keep in mind that this could theoretically cause a delay
of up to 3 days of the immersion and that a delay of even 1 day is
considered extremely undesirable halachically.  I was quite surprised to
hear of this (from the rabbi himself who set up the mikve), but the
rabbi said it was fairly common in Europe these days and that, according
to his opinion, preventing Sabbath violations is more important than
immersing on time.  Anyone else hear of this issue?


From: Ranon Katzoff <katzoff@...>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 08:33:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Shavuot Flowers

Y. Barenholtz asks why, in light of Orach Chayim 494.3, people buy
flowers for Shavuot, rather than grasses.

In fact the earlier sources speak of roses. Sefer Maharil, Hilchot
Shavuot 2. Later the Bnai Yisaschar (R. Zvi Elimelech of Dinov,
d. Munkacz 1841), Ma'amarei Chodesh Sivan 4, associated it with a drasha
on the verse "k'shoshana bein hachochim," Vayikra Rabba 23.3. Eliyahu
Ki-Tov in Sefer Hatoda'ah, associates it with the verse "v'hadat nitna
b'Shushan", read "b'shoshan." Italians to this day refer to Pentacost
(their adaptation of our Shavuot) as Pasqua di Rosa, Pesach of
Roses. Flowers, then, may come under the same strictures of the GRA,
cited in Mishna Brura there, as do tree branches.

All this and much more is found in a chapter devoted to Shavuot
decoration in Sperber, Minhagei Yisrael, volume I.

Ranon Katzoff


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 10:55:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Textual Vs Hands On Learning

I appreciate Russel Hendel's kind response, and would like to add one
additional comment.  I agree with (Prof.?) Hendel about the importance of
conceptual learning.  In my experience, conceptual learning is learned by a
combination of text learning and apprenticiship.  The underlying concepts
can be learned through experience, based on textual learning.  The text
provides the outline, and the action provides the experience.  Together,
they reinforce the underlying concept and provide an example of it that can
be built on and used in other similar circumstances.  

For example:  I have read a lot about countries in the developing world.
They are not all the same, but having visited Cairo, and based on what I've
read about the differences between Egyptian and Mexican culture, I have a
better understanding of the concepts underlying life in Cairo AND in Mexico
City, even though I've never personally visited Mexico City.  Experience and
text work together to teach and reinforce conceptual learning.  Conceptual
learning enables us to extend textual learning and past experience in new



From: <rhendel@...> (Russell Hendel)
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 21:12:08 -0400
Subject: Why the Heart-Nudity Separation for Prayer

Rothke and Goldberg [Vol 26n55-58] bring up the issue of why "ones
heart" and "nakedness" have to be separated as a prerequisite for saying
th Shemah. One verse cited in "..your camp shall be holy.."(Dt
23:15). There seems to be the possibility that verse is the "source" for
prohibiting saying the Shema in the presence of either nakedness or

I would like to bring another possibility and reopen the question. [Dt
6:4] clearly states: "Hear Israel...". The word "Hear" is used to derive
the requirement of "concentration and understanding". Anything which
intefers with my concentration is prohibited and may require my saying
the Shemah over again. It would appear to me that this derivation
emanates from the fact that the usual Biblical word to be used in a
commandment to know something is either "say" (e.g. Dt 26:5) or
"know"(e.g. Dt 11:2 or 4:39).  The word "hear" is rather rare (check a
Konkordance or CD rom). Thus it is interpreted to mean that one must
"concentrate and understand".

This law (the requirement of concentration) introduces Rambam: Laws of
Shemah 2:1 and seems to be a theme of the chapter. Although most of the
nudity laws are in Chapter 3 nevertheless at least one nudity law occurs
in chapter 2:7.

My real point however is that the concentration theme seems to dominate
the laws of Shemah: Compare the following:

	* No Shemah on wedding nights with a virgin since
	"ones mind is confused (and you can't concentrate)"(4:1-2)

	* One must stop for the shemah if one is walking or working
	in order to concentrate on the first verse/chapter(2:3-4).

	* There is a prohibition of reading in a non primary manner
	e.g. by communicating with gestures while one is reading(2:8).

In light of all this maybe the prohibitions of saying the shemah in the
presence of foul odors, the nudity of others and even ones own nudity is
simply a law on concentration.

I'd be curious as to other people's opinions on what the real
prohibition is

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


End of Volume 26 Issue 67