Volume 26 Number 86
                      Produced: Tue Jul 29 22:53:32 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

25th Anniversary Celebration
         [Andrea Penkower Rosen]
Bicycles on Shabbos
         [Akiva Miller]
Electronic Locks on Shabbat
         [Jordan Lee Wagner]
Getting in to your hotel room on Shabbat
         [Bert L. Kahn]
Getting into your hotel room on Shabbat
         [Seth Gordon]
Getting into your hotel room on shabbat
         [Rachel Rosencrantz]
Key-Cards at Hotels
         [Kenneth H. Ryesky]
Kol isha
         [Daniel Eidensohn]
         [Linda Katz]
odd trops in Parshat Masei
         [Art Werschulz]
Platonic Relationships
         [Elana  Fine]
Shalom Alecheim
         [Benklifa, Michael]


From: Andrea Penkower Rosen <apr@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 09:40:19 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: 25th Anniversary Celebration

In response to Eleanor Pearlman's request about a gift for a 25th
anniversary celebration for people who are strongly Jewish and Zionist
would not find a "silver" commemoration particularly meaningful I have
two suggestions:

1 - All guests be requested to make contributions to their favorite
Jewish/Zionist charities in honor of the celebrants or to make a
contribution to the celebrants favorite Jewish/Zionist charity.  The
children of the celebrants could make a donation to their parents
favorite charity.

2 - The children give their parents a religious object like a seder
plate, kiddush cup, or special art book edition of the Haggadah or Shir
Hashirim.  The choices are endless, only limited by economics.

    For those with great resources: a trip to Israel or the dedication
of a Torah.  Or the creation of a Torah mantle (cover) with an
inscription indicating its donation in honor of the anniversary which
could be seen every shabbat if they are shul-goers.

Happy Anniversary!
Andrea Penkower Rosen


From: Akiva Miller <kgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 1997 13:25:58 -0500
Subject: Bicycles on Shabbos

Just two points I'd like to add to this discussion:

1) If a bicycle is muktza at all, I imagine it would be in the category
of kli she'melachto l'issur (things normally used for prohibited
purpose), and we are allowed to use such items on Shabbos for a
*permissible* purpose if no non-muktza item is available. The classic
example is using a hammer for cracking nuts when no nutcracker is
available. Now, since I cannot imagine any non-muktza item which would
be an effective substitute for a bicycle (with the possible exception of
roller skates) one would not violate muktza by using the bicycle on
Shabbos, even if it *is* muktza.

2) As regards the comments about how frequently one needs to repair the
bicycle nowadays, or how tempting it is to ride the bike past the
2000-amah limit, I'd like to ask whether such statistics are relevant.
Please note that the reason we do not take the lulav on Shabbos of
Sukkos is because of the chance that someone may carry it outside where
there is no eruv. Are there any statistics available as to how
frequently that occured prior to the enactment that we should skip that
mitzva on Shabbos? This is but one example of the many "protective" laws
legislated by Chazal. Are such statistics available for *any* of them?
(I vaguely recall several which were instituted after only one mishap,
but that may have been where the law was to protect the public's life
and limb (such as where the kohanim were racing up the ramp to the
mizbayach), and *perhaps* a more frequent occurence is needed for
legislation which *merely* protects against violations of more serious

Akiva Miller


From: <JordanleeW@...> (Jordan Lee Wagner)
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 00:25:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Electronic Locks on Shabbat

See "Shabbat and Electricity", by Rabbi L. Y. Halperin, chapter 13 entitled
"Electronic Locks on Shabbat", published by Feldheim.  


From: <bilk1@...> (Bert L. Kahn)
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 23:47:48 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Getting in to your hotel room on Shabbat

        In issue 26/83 Jay Rovner states that the only Shabbat problem
with electronic hotel door locks is the small light; that otherwise the
lock was mechanical.  Even if that is so, you still have to deal with
"that small light."

        My solution, though it entails some risk, is to place one of the
hotel door cards or a similar object (even a thickish piece of paper)
over the hole in the door frame.  Then carefully slide tdhe lock bolt
over the card so that the card is caught and does not fall to the
floor. (If it does try again)

     The problems are the door is not locked and secondly if security is
tight they will detect the open door and lock it.

    At our Pesach hotel last year it was announced by the acting Rabbi
that the door card was not muktza and if the hotel person who was
supposed to be on each floor did not offer to open the door (as they
 were supposed to do ) you could ask them to.

    This approach was like using hotel Shabbas elevators;fine in theory 
only.  So, with a little risk...

From: Seth Gordon <sethg@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 97 18:36:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Getting into your hotel room on Shabbat

In January, I was at a science-fiction convention at a hotel that used
such key cards.  I dealt with the problem by taping the latch on my room
door open (with a few layers of masking tape), using the dead-bolt to
lock my door when I was sleeping inside, and leaving all my valuables in
the hotel safe over Shabbat.

// seth gordon // <sethg@...> // bu deaf ed program // standard disclaimer //

From: Rachel Rosencrantz <rachelr@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 12:42:14 -0400
Subject: Getting into your hotel room on shabbat

>>From: <jarovner@...> (Jay Rovner)
>	Query. In travelling, we have been finding that hotels use key
>cards.  I guess that the mechanism works mechanically, but there is
>usually a small light that goes on or changes color when the card is
>inserted in the lock.  (One can leave the key card at the desk before
>going out, but getting back in is a problem, especially where ID must be
>shown to get the card.) As far as the lock goes,
>1. How does one unlock the door without violating shabbat prohibitions?
>(I understand that one could always ask a staff member to open the door,
>but that is not always practical since there may not be someone who is
>free to help, and it is not always clear that they are not jewish.)

Some doors can be made to use a manual key as well as the card key.  I
would recommend calling ahead to check this option out.  The card key
often is not at all manual, but does a lookup to a computer downstairs,
so it is more than just disabling a light.

>2. Should one take anything other than the light into consideration in
>terms of shabbat prohibitions?

Often hotels have electric (automatic) doors which you will have to
navigate around. Call ahead.  It may take a lot of figuring out to do so
it is best to let them have a chance to work out the problem first.

Automatic lights and cameras may be a problem too depending on how you
hold RE: security cameras and if the hotel has them where you may be



From: <KHRESQ@...> (Kenneth H. Ryesky)
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 1997 02:31:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Key-Cards at Hotels

Re:  Jay Rovner's query regarding key-cards at hotels (mail-jewish 26:83) and
shabbat prohibitions:

Directly asking a goy to do work for you on Shabbat is prohibited.  One can,
however, hint (remez) that one would like a given task to be performed.

I had an experience regarding this matter.  Some time ago, I was
compelled to be out of town on Shabbat, and in fact stayed at the
Clarion Hotel in Edison, New Jersey.  I realized that the hotel used
plastic "punch-card" type keys.
 Prior to Shabbat, I explained my situation to the clerk at the desk,
who called her manager.  I explained the situation to the manager, who
assured me that someone would facilitate the opening of the door for me.

When I returned on Shabbat, I recounted to desk clerk then on duty my
prior discussions with the manager.  The desk clerk, as it turned out,
had been apprised of my situation, was prepared for me, and cheerfully
sent an assistant to help me open the door to my room using a "master"
key card.  The whole process was quite problem-free.

In my case, the person who helped me was obviously not Jewish, but there
always remains the possible problem of asking a Jew to do work for you.
I do not know of an ironclad way to get around it in all cases.  One
must assess one's situation and take the appropriate measures.

There seem to be three types of keys for hotel rooms, listed below in
order from least problematic to most problematic::

  1.  Conventional metal keys.
  2.  Plastic "punch card" keys which have holes punched according to a
certain code.
  3.  Paper "card" keys with a magnetic strip, upon which is encoded the code
to open the door.

It is obvious that the electric apparatus in the lock can cause problems
for key types 2 and 3 above.  I am not entirely sure about key type
Number 3 with regard to whether it is muktzeh.  Perhaps someone else is
knowledgeable in that regard.

Kenneth H. Ryesky
P.O. Box 200
East Northport, NY  11731


From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@...>
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 1997 01:41:25 -0700
Subject: Kol isha

>From: Ben Rothke <BRothke@...>
>Does anyone have a source as to at what age the issur of kol isha
>(listening to a womens singing voice) commences?

Look at the Igros Moshe Orech Chaim I #26 page 68. This is a discussion
concerning a school event in which the parents insist on attending. The
question is what is the age of the issue of kol isha?

Reb Moshe concludes, "The questioner states he can not be doing anything
other than the [absolute minimum] requirments of the law rather than
what is appropriate because it will cause a serious dispute. In such a
case it is possible to permit girls not more than 11 years
old....However without absolute need it is not permitted at all because
in these matters the strict path is that of holiness."

The Mishna Berura 75 (17) also discusses this issue. He mentions that
the question of Kol Isha is primarily related to the state of Niddah.
But if there is any possibility of someone being physically attracted to
the girl - than any age is prohibited. Reb Moshe also discusses the
Mishna Berura.

Bottom line:According to both sources, it is not desirable for girls of
any age to sing before men. The actual prohibition is related to the
nature of the audience and to the possibility of the girl being a Nidah.


From: <MSGraphics@...> (Linda Katz)
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 1997 00:03:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Mikva

To add to what Rachel says- there's also the huge issue of a woman
missing the days she is most likely to be fertile- and the issue of the
couple missing out on the special mitzva of being together (when
possible) on Lail Shabbos. I learned from my taharas hamishpacha teacher
that it is a very special thing for mikva night to coinside with
Shabbos- and that it's worth it to put in extra effort to get there.

And if the level of mitzva observance (in regards to Shabbos) of these
women is a concern here- all the more reason to preclude possible
violations of the niddah laws as well! Why make it any more difficult?

With all due respect, I can't see any halachic justification for closing
up a mikva on Shabbos and Yom Tov in anticipation of people desecrating
those days- and I have to hope that if a Rav actually paskened this that
there's some other extenuating circumstance we haven't heard about

A possible compromise might be suspending regular mikva hours on
Shabbos/YT and instead, making special accomodations- like having a key
available- for the women who don't mind going to a little extra trouble
to do this most important mitzva on time.
 Linda Katz


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 09:25:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: odd trops in Parshat Masei


In Bamidbar 35:5 we have, the phrase "alpayim ba-amah". The ta-amim on
these words are "yareach ben yomo" and "karnei farah", respectively.

This is the only place where these trop occur in Chumash.  They also
appear in Megillat Esther.  AFAIK, they don't appear in any other
segment that is leyned in shul.

(1) What is the significance of using these trop at these particular
    locations in Bamdibar and in Megillat Esther?

(2) The name "karnei farah" is understandable, since the trop symbol
    does look somewhat like a pair of cow's horns.  (OK, I know, cows
    don't have horns.)  But, why the name "yareach ben yomo"?  It
    sounds something like "month, son of its day".

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
Internet: <agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7061, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: Elana  Fine <ef91@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 1997 20:50:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Platonic Relationships

Two years ago Rabbi Orlafsky, from Ohr David (?) gave a speech at
Sharfmans titled Platonic Friendships. This tape has become really
popular in the post high school age group. Recently I heard that he also
gave a shiur on this to guys. My question is if anybody knows where I can
get a copy of that version, which is supposedly much different than the
one given to girls.
Thank you.
Elana Fine


From: Benklifa, Michael <Michael.Benklifa@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 15:38:33 +0200
Subject: Shalom Alecheim

I've read that we sing Shalom Alecheim on Shabbot because of the angels
that accompany us.  I've been asking around and noone seems to know why
we say Shalom Alecheim in the plural when we greet one another.  The
good and bad angels that accompany us on Shabbot have to do specifically
with the mitzvoth surrounding Shabbot.  Even if there were angels
accompanying us on a regular basis, what purpose do they serve and why
do they do it?  Or is there another unrelated reason we say Shalom
Alecheim in the plural to individuals?

Shalom Alecheim,
Michael Benklifa


End of Volume 26 Issue 86