Volume 26 Number 93
                      Produced: Sun Aug  3 19:05:29 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Joseph Geretz]
Brachot on Shofar
         [Thierry Dana-Picard]
Capital Punishment:Chazon Ish
         [Daniel Eidensohn]
         [Elozor Preil]
Mezonot/Motzi (originally pizza)
         [Sarah Watson]
Paternity testing and mamzerut
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Religious Holidays policy
         [Chana Luntz]
Shechechianu on the second day of Rosh Hashana
         [Daniel Israel]
Siyum HaShas
         [Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer]
Tashlomin and a minyan
         [Tzadik and Sheva Vanderhoof]
Women Learning
         [Carl Singer]


From: Joseph Geretz <JGeretz@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 1997 17:25:40 -0400
Subject: Bedeken

Dear Jonathan,

> Is anyone aware of the origin of the word "Badekin"? ("Badekin" is the
> ritual at a wedding where the groom lifts the veil of the bride to "check"
> that he is in fact marrying the correct person).

Actually, at the weddings which I have attended, my own included, the
Badeken consists of the Chosson actually placing the veil over the face
of the Kallah, as opposed to the way you state it that the Kallah is
already be-decked and the chosson lifts up the veil to check that this
is the right Kallah. Have you actually seen the custom perfomed this

Anyway, according to the way I have done it and seen it done, the word
Badeken describes exactly what is taking place, the chosson is
'be-decking' his Kallah in the veil which she will wear to the
chuppa. The fact that it is the Chosson's responsibility to Badeck his
Kallah may stem from the fact that it is the Chosson's duty and
perogative to ensure that he will meet the right girl at the end of the
aisle, as opposed to the way Yaakov Avinu was tricked by Lavan.

(In certain communities, some Yekkes for example, the Chosson does not
Badeck the Kallah himself. Perhaps someone who has more knowledge of
alternative Badeken customs can shed more light.)

Kol Tuv,
Joseph Geretz


From: Thierry Dana-Picard <dana@...>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 1997 09:26:21 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Brachot on Shofar

I must thank Akiva Miller who pointed out my awful mistake, and apologize
for my previous posting: there are only two brachot before shofar on the
first day of R"H, and for Sefardim only one on the second day. If the
first day is a Shabat, then two brachot are said on the second day before
shofar. My previous figures were false.

I should apply to myself :"'Hakhamim, hizaaru bedivrekhem".

Thierry Dana-Picard                                  tel: 972-2-675-12-78
Department of Applied Mathematics                    fax: 972-642-20-75
Jerusalem College of Technology
Havaad Haleumi Street, 21
POB 16031
Jerusalem 91160      Israel


From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@...>
Date: Fri, 01 Aug 1997 00:05:17 -0700
Subject: Capital Punishment:Chazon Ish

>From: Mark Steiner <ms151@...>

>On the issue of capital punishment, the opinion of the Hazon Ish is very
>instructive.  The Talmud states that the death penalty was abolished in
>Israel 40 years before the destruction of the temple.  The Hazon Ish
>comments that the reason for this was the drastic increase in the murder
>rate in Israel.  In a violent society, he says, the death penalty can
>have no educational effect, but only increases the violence.  The death
>penalty can have an effect only in a society where violence is rare.  An
>extremely profound comment worthy of its author.

Dear Mark,

	I would appreciate your source for the Chazon Ish. There are a
number of Torah Scholars who felt that capital punishment has an effect
even in lawless times. The presumption that capital punishment is a
deterrent - especially in times when murder is common is cited by the
Igros Moshe (Choshen Mishpat II #68) . It might be the position of Rabbi
Shimon Ben Gamliel in the Mishna (Makkos 7a) in response to the position
of Rabbi Akiva that he would have prevented the Torah punishment of
beheadings by use of technicalities. There are a number of commentaries
who hold that the dispute between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Shimon Ben
Gamliel was not whether capital punishment should be prevented. The
question is whether the Torah punishment of beheading was more effective
than the alternative execution used to deter murder.[Otzair Meforshei
HaTalmud Makkos page 278]

The Rambam (Hilchos Rotzeah 2 5) states (as translated by Rabbi Bleich)
"If the king does not kill them [those who would not be punished
normally], and the needs of the time do not demand their death as a
preventive measure, the Beis Din is nevertheless obligated to flog them
almost to the point of death, to imprison them in a fortress or a prison
for may years, and to afflict them with all manner of affliction in
order to frighten and terrify other wicked persons, lest such a case
become a pitfall and a snare, enticing one to say, "I will arrange to
kill my enemy as did So- and So and I will be acquitted."

Doros HaRishonim (the most widely accepted religious historian)
questioned why the Sanhedrin stopped execution in the lawless period
prior to the Destruction of the Temple - since logically it is then more
relevant to use capital punishment. He answer that because of the
governments protection of many of the criminals - the Sanhedrin's
jurisdiction was severely limited to only a fraction of the criminals.
This inability to apply the law equally to all elements of the
population caused them to stop. (Page 146 in the posthumously published
volume (Part I volume IV)

	In sum, there is clearly a legitimate Torah position - that
capital punishment is a deterrent - especially in times of
lawlessness. I would appreciate the citation for the Chazon Ish.

				Daniel Eidensohn


From: <empreil@...> (Elozor Preil)
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 22:08:35 EDT
Subject: Re: Maaser

Eric Stieglitz wrote:

> As I've read the discussion about whether or not Ma'aser should be
> deducted before or after income tax, I'm curious how this could apply to
> non-cash benefits. For my benefits package, I'm given health insurance,
> life insurance, etc. as well as up to 45 free course credits per year.

> 1) This past year I used 12 credits of course benefits. If this had not
> been part of my benefits package, I would have needed to pay over $7000.
> Is this considered income for purposes of Ma'aser? "  

First of all, according to most poskim, giving 1/10 of one's earnings is
not obligated by the Torah or the Rabbis, but falls under the category
of minhag (custom) - see Taz and Pischei Teshuva at the end of YD:331.

Secondly, benefits never received as income, IMHO, do not qualify as
"revach" (lit., profit) for purposes of maaser.

Finally, there are (admittedly minority) opinions that hold that
"revach" means what remains *after* basic living expenses are covered -
true "profit".  I believe the Debritziner Rebbe took this approach.  I
apologize for being unable to provide sources for this.

Kol tuv,
Elozor Preil


From: Sarah Watson <sarah_watson@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 13:25:00 -0400
Subject: RE: Mezonot/Motzi (originally pizza)

Yehuda and Rebecca Poch  wrote:

"He mentioned that if the dough is kneaded in such a way that if you
take the total amount of liquid (including eggs) and figure that less
than half the liquid is water, then the bracha is mezonos.  If half or
more is water, then the bracha is hamotzi."

Does this apply in general, or only to pizza (which the original post
concerned?)    Many challah recipes I have seen, contain less than half
the liquid as water--especially the more "eggy" ones.  Should one be
careful to include at least half water?  I am not even sure how much
water I use.  The general "recipe" is two or three eggs, ~1/4c oil,
1/2c I used to proof the yeast).

Sarah Watson


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 15:54:19 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Paternity testing and mamzerut

Chaim Shapiro (mail-jewish Vol. 26 #88) is raising the following question:

>Halchickly if a woman is chas vasholom raped when her husband is in
>town, and has a child nine months later ....
>Two questions.  In such a case, should the father utilize the testing
>to determine if indeed the child is his?  And, second, if the testing
>was done, and it is determined that the child could not belong to the
>father, does that child gain the status of a mamzer?

Throughout history batei-din made great effort not to declare new
mamzerim.  Nothing good would come out of finding the 99% truth in this
case, and therefore I would suggest not to use modern technology to
creat more mamzerim. Follow the halacha as you have it. If the husband
is in town; the child is his. [However, what would we do if the wife of
a white couple was raped by a black person and the son/dtr is black? --

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Chana Luntz <heather@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 1997 18:49:38 +0100
Subject: Religious Holidays policy

In message <199707270340.XAA11132@...>, Etan Diamond
<ediamond@...> writes
>The research center that I work for is trying to develop a Religious
>Holiday policy that incorporates "Other Religious Holidays."  As the
>only current employee for whom this applies, I have been charged with
>writing the language of this policy.  I was wondering, therefore, if any
>of you work in places that have defined policies regarding religious
>holidays.  How are you allowed to make up the time?  Is it charged
>against your vacation time?  Any input would be appreciated.  

In my current firm, we just have to take it out of our holidays.  In my
firm in Australia, the policy was that one could choose to take
religious holidays either of one's holidays or as unpaid leave (so that
on good years, we tended to take the couple of days out of our holidays,
and on bad years, some of it was taken unpaid so as to have a bit of a

But I am changing jobs, and in interviewing, I wanted to pass on to you
the religious holiday's policy of one of the firms i interviewed at.
Their policy is this: - if you take three days out of your holiday for
religious reasons - the firm matches it with an extra three days for
religious reasons on top.  (I don't know who designed this policy, but
it has rather amazing consequences - think about it, - if your three day
a year Jews take their three days, then they get "free" days to spend on
pesach or succas or shavuos as well!).


PS when the firm I *am* going to heard about this deal, and how
impressed I was by it, they offered me an additional three days for
religious holiday reasons as well, to match the offer (although they
don't formally have a religious holidays policy).



From: Daniel Israel <daniel@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 16:51:46 -0700
Subject: Shechechianu on the second day of Rosh Hashana

Regarding wearing a new garment to avoid the problem of a safek [doubt]
on saying Shechechianu on the second day of RH: wouldn't the obligation
on the garment be immediately upon putting it on?  The time between
putting on the garment and benching licht seems to be a significant
hefsik [interuption].  (And kol v'chomer for a ba'al tokeah.)

Daniel M. Israel		I am not the sort of person that goes to bed
<daniel@...>	at night thinking, "Gee, I wonder what I can
University of Arizona		do to make life difficult for systems
Tucson, AZ			administrators." -Eric Allman, author:sendmail


From: <sbechhof@...> (Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer)
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 1997 03:22:48 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Siyum HaShas

I realize this may fall into the category of idle curiosity, but

The Siyum HaShas of the 10th daf Yomi cycle has reached epic proportions
here in the U.S., selling out the 'Garden & the 'Colisseum, and involving
thousands others throughout the country and Canada. I am therefore somewhat
bewildered at not having heard or read of any massuve events planned for
Israel. Is anything in the works there? If so, is it on a similar or
different scale?

	BTW, most of my shiur (and I) will be at the Garden.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer


From: Tzadik and Sheva Vanderhoof <stvhoof@...>
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 1997 22:27:47 +0300
Subject: Re: Tashlomin and a minyan

> From: Chaim Shapiro <ucshapir@...>
> 	Let's suppose that a minyan for mariv has 4 people who have
> already davened, 5 who have not, and one individual who had davened, but
> missed mincha and had not yet said his tashlomin, may he count as the
> tenth man?

Since the person did not say his tashlumin *immediately* after he
davened the amidah of maariv, he can no longer say the tashlumin at all.
So the question would be moot.


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 97 21:11:28 UT
Subject: Women Learning

B"H today's young women are learning much more than even their mothers.
I spent Shabbos with fine balabtim "out of town" as they say.  His
daughter and three of her friends from Israel were also visiting.  These
young ladies are serious about learning -- witness when the father was
giving a dvar Torah at the Shabbos tish, he borrowed his DAUGHTER'S
Mikros Gedolos (her name was inscribed on the cover) Tell me, did your
(or your wife's) generation see a girl with much more than a chumash?
And our parents generation -- if more so (or less so) Re: women's
tifillah groups -- there seemed to be no interest.

On a lighter note, I mentioned that I had recently learned a new acronym
(Thanks to the Kashruth Newsletter) YE-FFB (Yeshiva Educated, Frum From
Birth) -- I'm not quite sure if this supports or negates the importance
of midos learned at home -- in any case, one young lady piped up that
she was IB-YE-FFB.  Israeli Born, Yeshiva Educated Frum From Birth.  I
wonder how that compares with BPB-YE-FFB Boro Park Born ....

Alas, I was born on a freight train along the Polish-Ukrainian border (I
felt it important to be near my dear Mother at the time -- but the
acronym is too complicated.

Carl Singer


End of Volume 26 Issue 93