Volume 26 Number 89
                      Produced: Wed Jul 30 23:19:15 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chairesh and shoteh
         [Ranon and/or Yocheved Barenholtz]
Charesh and shoteh (2)
         [Sarah Watson, Robert A. Book]
Cheresh (deaf & non-communicating)
         [Hannah Gershon]
Mixed Seating at Weddings (2)
         [Nahum Spirn, Joseph Kaplan]
Openning Hotel Room on Shabbat
         [Raquel Adler]
Platonic Relationships/Rabbi Orlafsky tapes
         [Daniel Eidensohn]
Rabbi Rakefet Speech
         [Frank Smiles]
Unique Trop in Parshat Masei
         [Joseph Geretz]
Unusual trops
         [Barry Best]


From: <babybarons@...> (Ranon and/or Yocheved Barenholtz)
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 20:36:14 -0400
Subject: Chairesh and shoteh

 Chaim shapiro inquired as to the status of modern day "charoshim" who
are fully capable of communucating. This is discussed in many seforim and
I will just mention a couple. The Tziz Eliezer and Yechaveh Daas both
conclude that they have a din of a "Bar-Daas" although if I remember
correctly the Y.D. says you should take into account those who argue( he
was discussing counting him for a Minyan). In the new volume of Igros
Moshe on the oter hand he rules that they have the din of Charoshim. Your
idea that the reason they are considered like Shotim is because they are
"out of the loop" is used by the Ohr Sameach and Mishnas R' Ahron on
Gittin. The Chasom Sofer has a very interesting Tshuva in Even Haezer
Siman 2 about Charoshim where it is clear that this was not his
understanding. If you want the locations of the other sources I mentioned
I could find them for you.
Ranon Barenholtz


From: Sarah Watson <sarah_watson@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 13:18:00 -0400
Subject: RE: Charesh and shoteh

Chaim Shapiro wrote:

>Think of it this way, Is one allowed to use sign language during tekias
>shofar, or after having washed?  I would think so

Disclaimer: this information is food for thought only.    I am not a
rabbi, nor have I consulted my rabbi specifically on this issue.

Growing up, I spent many shabbatot at my rabbi's home, along with one of
his granddaughters, who is deaf and mute.  Sign language was certainly
not permitted between washing and motzi.  When I later spent shabbatot
on campus during college, I was very surprised to see that the few
students who knew sign used it to communicate during that time (which
can get pretty lengthy with 50 people and 2 sinks).

If speech "from a halchick perspective is based on sounds that come from
the mouth" then what about humming or grunting (to stop a child from
speaking, for example)?

I have much enjoyed this list since I began lurking.  Thank you to all.

Sarah Watson

From: Robert A. Book <rbook@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 14:25:51 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Charesh and shoteh

Chaim Shapiro <ucshapir@...> writes:
>   The gomrah often talks about three categories of people that are pator
> from certain obligations , a charesh (deaf mute) shoteh (insane) and a
> katan (child).
>   All three groups of people certainly exist today.  But, there are some
> differences.  What of a deaf mute who speaks fluently in sign language?
> Is he considered a halachick cheresh?

Could such of person fulfill the obligation of praying, in which the
words need to be actually said, by praying in sign language?  This is
the crucial issue, since it determines whether sign language counts as
halachic speech.  (In a related vein, how could a cheresh get married?
A male needs to say "Harei at ..." and a female needs to hear it and

--Robert Book    <rbook@...>
  University of Chicago


From: <GERSHON@...> (Hannah Gershon)
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 15:19:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Cheresh (deaf & non-communicating)

Chaim Shapiro recently raised a question about the halachic status of a
"cheresh."  A secondary question concerns the halachic status of sign

   Although the original post connected the status of cheresh to the
status of sign language, I believe the issues are more independant of
each other.  There are really 2 seperate issues: What *is* a cheresh?,
and What *is* sign language (more specifically, is sign language a form
of "speech")?
   As I understand it (I've already packed the relevent sefarim in
preparation of moving, sorry!), the term cheresh applies to an
individual who is pre-lingually deaf AND unable to communicate
coherently in any way, i.e., a person who has no *language.* This would
be comparable to what sociologists call a "wild child,"which refers to
the tragic situation of a child locked away by abusive parents (or,
possibly, orphaned and abandoned).  Such a child grows up utterly
removed from any human contact, and therefore does not learn language or
other forms of social interaction.  Sadly, deaf infants were (and
sometimes still are) socially "abandoned" to the extent that they never
learned language.
    This is different from being mute, for one thing.  An individual may
not be able to produce recognizable speech sounds -- or any vocal sounds
at all -- for reasons other than deafness.  It is really a misnomer to
call non-speaking deaf people "mute," since most of us have functioning
vocal chords!  That is why I first wanted to make a distinction between
being mute and not knowing language, i.e., symbolic communication.  The
halachic cheresh does not know what symbolic communication is.
    Sign language is every bit as much symbolic communication as verbal
speech.  Therefore, those of us who use a signed language may not "talk"
during any of the ritual moments in which verbal speech is forbidden,
and we are forbidden to sign for the same reason for which verbal speech
is forbidden: It constitutes a hefsek da'as, an interruption of intent.
Thus, I may not carry on a conversation about quantum mechanics during
the time between hand washing and making the blessing over bread simply
because I use a signed language and not a vocal language.
    I may, however, make the blessing over bread by using a signed
language.  But the brachah is also valid if one uses any language!
(Naturally, lashon hakodesh, Hebrew, is prefered.)  Still, though, does
this mean that a signed language is the same as a vocalized language?
Or, really, there might be two questions here: Can a signed language
function halachically in the same way as a vocalized language *other
than* Hebrew?, and, Is there any signed language which can function
halachically as vocalized Hebrew?
    Here is where I have to bow out of the discussion, since I don't
have access to my sources at the moment.  But, if I remember correctly,
the use of a signed language does pose halachic problems during certain
ritual moments, especially when a tzibbur (community, or, congregation)
is involved.  There is a need for symbolic communication to be vocalized
during some spiritual endeavors, such as reading from a Sefer Torah.  I
don't know how the use of vocalized languages other than Hebrew compares
to the use of a signed language in such cases.
    (In case anyone is wondering, there is no signed form of Hebrew.
There is an Israeli sign language, but it is related to British sign
language, not spoken Hebrew.  And, by the way, British sign language is
quite different from American sign language!)
    "Speaking" as a so-called deaf-mute, I am as curious as the
oringinal poster to learn more about this from people who have wisdom
and understanding in the ways of halacha.

Hannah Gershon    <gershon@...>


From: Nahum Spirn <spirn@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 14:18:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Mixed Seating at Weddings

        Though I am sympathetic to R. Rakeffet's views on mixed seating
at weddings, the truth is there *is* a difference between the Shabbos
table and a wedding - namely, the dancing.  Many frum women feel
uncomfortable dancing in the presence of men, and the argument goes that
if men are seated near the women's side of the dance floor (as will
happen in mixed seating), the men who don't get up to dance will watch
the women dancing.  Rav Schachter recommends separate seating in our day
because of the "leibedig" nature of women's dancing which is perhaps
less tzniusdik than the more "tame" dancing of yesteryear.

Nahum Spirn

From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 20:06:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Mixed Seating at Weddings

Both the Chafetz Chaim and Rav Yeruchum Gorelick have been cited about
mixed seating at weddings, so let me tell a story that unites the
two. My father once asked Rabbi Gorelick (who was a close family
friend): "Reb Yeruchum, you were a bochur (student) in Radin when the
Chafetz Chaim's daughter married Rav Mendel Zaks (who later became the
bochain at YU).  Tell me, how did they sit at the wedding, separate or
mixed?" Rav Gorelick answered: "Families sat together, husbands and
wives and children, brothers and sisters and cousins. It was the normal
thing to do."  That's how the Chafetz Chaim made his daughter's wedding;
not a bad model to follow.

Joseph C. Kaplan


From: Raquel Adler <raquel@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 09:14:43 +0300
Subject: Re: Openning Hotel Room on Shabbat

When recently staying over Shabbat in a hotel in Prague, we also had a
problem with opening the room with a magnetic card. We were advised by
the leader of an orthodox group, staying at that hotel for the second
time on Shabbat, to do the following:

1) Lock *all* your valuables in the safe in your room (or a safty
deposit box at the main desk).
2) Get your hands on some heavy duty masking tape (or scotch tape) and
tape closed the holes where the lock (or the toungue)goes into the

This way, your door doesn't lock at all, and you just have to push the
door in order for it to open. It works.

When staying in Israel, request (upon arrival) a room with a *key* - and
avoid the problem. The better hotels have this arrangement for Shomrei

Raquel Sadwin Adler
Hoshaya, Israel


From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 19:53:02 -0700
Subject: Platonic Relationships/Rabbi Orlafsky tapes

>From: Elana  Fine <ef91@...>
>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.

Rabbi Orlafsky asked me to respond. He is happy to hear that his words
are so valued. But he also would appreciate that those who were not at
the actual shiur - should purchase legitimate copies of his tapes. The
tapes are an important source of income for him. There are two places at
present where these tapes can be purchased. Here in Har Nof Jerusalem -
you can purchase them directly from him (phone 02 - 651 4724). In
America - the Long Island NCSY sells them (phone 518- 868 0500)

I will be glad to relay messages to him since at present he does not
have an e-mail address.

				Daniel Eidensohn


From: <fsmiles@...> (Frank Smiles)
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 01:59:00 -0700
Subject: Rabbi Rakefet Speech

Jacob L.  said
"To fully appreciate Rabbi Rakeffet as a melamed I
encourage the reader to attend his shiurim. If this is not possible, I
encourage the reader to at least listen to his many tapes."

Well thanks to real audio and the Orthodox Union , you can on the net!
If you already have real audio , go to
and hear Rabbi Rakeffet speak about the Rav ( Soloveichik )'s
Philosopy of Religious Zionism
or go to the page at the OU at http://www.ou.org/torah/tdyerushalayim.html

If you have no idea how to listen to real audio and want to learn, email
me at <fsmiles@...> or read http://www.613.org/help.html
If you like the tape , remember to write the OU webmaster at
<oupr@...> . He spent a lot of time incoding those tapes.
You can also buy this tape from the OU .see the above web page for details. 
fivel smiles 

Smiles Torah Project
The first Worldwide Jewish Torah Audio Network since Mount Sinai!!


From: Joseph Geretz <JGeretz@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 16:47:12 -0400
Subject: Unique Trop in Parshat Masei

Dear Art,

The phrase, Yareach Ben Yomo, or Yerach Ben Yomo as I have heard it
called, means literally "a one day old moon", refering to a moon on the
first day of it's cycle which appears as a thin slivered crescent. If
you take a look at the symbol for the Yerach Ben Yomo, you will see that
it indeed is similar to the appearance of the new crescent moon.

The use of an upside down Esnachtah ('wishbone type symbol) may simply
be a convenient printer's device, after all the symbol is not used very
often!  Even if this is the legitemate symbol, it is still close enough
to the appearance of the crescent moon to deserve the name.

Kol Tuv,

Joseph Geretz


From: Barry Best <bb01019@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 13:12:00 -0400
Subject: Unusual trops

There has been some discussion about unusual trops (specifically Karnay
Farah and Yareach Ben Yomo) in this week's parsha.  I would like to ask
posters what sounds/tunes they use with these trops and also with the
Merchah Ch'fulah (which also appears in this week's parsha as well as
elsewhere in the Torah).

Someone mentioned that the Karnay Farah is sung as a T'lishah G'dolah
and a T'lishah K'tanah.  I was taught that it is sung as three Pazers.

I was also taught that a Merchah Ch'hulah is sung as two T'virs but have
heard recently from a good authority that it has a unique sound (not a
composite of conventional trops).  That good authority did not actually
sing for me his version of a Merchah Ch'fulah, though.


End of Volume 26 Issue 89