Volume 27 Number 03
                      Produced: Tue Sep 23  6:24:11 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ayin Hora
         [Elozor Preil]
Capital Punishment - When and Why was it abolished?
         [Akiva Miller]
Cheresh getting Married
         [Raizel BenEzra]
Glass top stoves
         [Stuart Richler]
Red String
Respect: Hypocrisy versus Heresy
         [Daniel Eidensohn]
Sheheheyanu on new garment
         [David Kachani]
Sources, Anonymous or Known
         [Benjamin Waxman]
Speed Davenning
         [Yehoshua Kahan]
Torah U'mada and Torah Im Derech Eretz
         [Elana  Fine]
Women learning
         [Rachel Mestetsky]


From: <empreil@...> (Elozor Preil)
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 1997 00:11:04 EDT
Subject: Re: Ayin Hora

Ben Rothke wrote:
> When is comes to a simcha such as a bar mitzvah or chasuna, preperations
> are done months (and years, in the case of nesuin/erusin ( engagement &
> betrothal) in the times of the gemorah) in advance.  No one would
> suggest that perparing for a chausna in advance is an eyin hora.  So
> what is unique about a baby?  Why should the preperations commence only
> after the baby's birth?

> It seems to me that not doing certain preperations shows a lack of
> emunah Why should HaShem cause a bad outcome (via the eyin hora) to
> occur simply because items were purchased in advance of the baby's
> birth?

The difference is that childbirth, unlike the other cases, is
potentially life-threatening, and "haSatan mekatreg bish'at hasakanah"
(loose translation: the prosecutor has more influence during a time or
circumstance of danger).  The concept of ayin hora is that when one
attracts attention to oneself here on earth, there is concomittant added
attention from Heaven to the person and his merits ar lack thereof.
This factor, combined with "haSatan mekatreg...", is why people are
hesitant to make plans before a birth.

Elozor Preil


From: Akiva Miller <kgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 1997 14:42:29 -0500
Subject: Capital Punishment - When and Why was it abolished?

Preface: Discussion of Christian theology and history are clearly
outside the realm of Mail-Jewish, so if you disagree with my premises
below, rather than cluttering up MJ, please write me *privately*, and
I'll issue one public retraction. But the conclusion which I draw from
those premises do relate to Jewish theology and history, so feel free to
debate that part publicly.

Mark Steiner wrote, and I have seen it elsewhere also: <<<The Talmud
states that the death penalty was abolished in Israel 40 years before
the destruction of the temple.>>> Something strikes me as very odd about
this particular date. Forty years before the destruction would be either
28 CE or 30 CE, right about the time when Jesus died. And an important
part of the story of his death is that the Sanhedrin sentenced him to
death, but they were not empowered to perform the execution, so the
Romans did.

Coincidence? Could it be that in addition to other reasons, the
Sanhedrin may have suspended the death penalty as a way of dealing with
the political situation? Could it be that in addition to general
considerations about the efficacy of capital punishment as a deterrent
to crime, it was suspended specifically to avoid executing this
particular individual? Is this a totally crazy theory, or what?

Akiva Miller


From: <NklsNdimes@...> (Raizel BenEzra)
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 15:13:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Cheresh getting Married

Robert Book asks:
 > 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 consent.

Both my husband and I are deaf, and we are non-verbal. American Sign
Language is our primary language. A hearing person's vocal cords are in
his or her throat. Our vocal cords are in our hands, so to speak. Our
chuppah was in an orthodox synagogue.  My husband DID say "Harei
et....." to me with his hands, and when I SAW him do this I HEARD him
with my eyes, and in return I SPOKE with my fingers when I spelled "I
will".  We speak and we hear, we just do it differently than you. And
different does not mean wrong.

Raizel BenEzra


From: Stuart Richler <stuart@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 11:04:50 -0400
Subject: Glass top stoves

Does anyone have any experience with the new glass top stoves? First of all
how does one handle a shaboss/yom tov blech and secondly are they really
glass or some other material. If they are made of some other material is
there a problem with spillovers rendering the stove top milchig or fleishig?

Shmarya Richler


From: <Jerry_Schneider@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 1997 12:34:18 -0400
Subject: Red String

Hi everyone,

Just to go a little farther in Ben Rothke's question on Ayin Harah. 
I've seen people put a red string around a baby wrist to keep away  
Ayin Harah, the evil eye. Where did this custon come from? Why the 
color red?

P.S. Hope everyone has an easy fast next week.


From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 1997 20:57:29 -0700
Subject: Respect: Hypocrisy versus Heresy

From: Alana Suskin <alanacat@...>

>> Scenario 1: A yeshiva boy isn't really very frum, but he doesn't want
>> people to know it, so he decides to show off the frumkeit he doesn't
>> have by wearing his tzitzit out even though the other guys are not doing
>> it. His Rebbe sees it for what it is, falshe frumnkeit. As you would
>> expect, he ends up a cantor at a Conservative synagogue.

Alana Suskin wrote:
>I want to note that I was highly offended by this comment. Although I
>understand that this is an Orthodox list, it seems unnecessary to me to
>insult other Jews. All the Conservative Jews I know, including the
>rabbis and the cantors, are Conservative out of positive conviction, not
>out of either despair at being made fun of, nor out of falshe frumkeit.
>        I try to be respectful to Orthodoxim who post on our lists, and
>I would hope that those on this list are able to do the same.  While I
>understand that most Orthodoxim are unable to agree that the
>Conservative movement is a halachic movement which works very hard at
>reading and interpreting the halacha, which we are, I see no good reason
>to be outright disrespectful.

Alana has raised an important point. There is a need to acknowledge that
the opposition to the Conservative and Reform Movement is not because
they are hypocrites or nasty people. In fact, a major impetus for the
musar movement was because the maskilim (forerunners of Reform and
Conservative) often were very loveable, sincere people as are many
present day Reform and Conservative Jews. The Gra went so far as to
single out this factor (i.e., that they were good hearted) as to why the
maskilim were so dangerous.
	The opposition to the Conservative and Reform movements stems
from the fact that these movements have been declared as heresy by our
gedolim.  Telushkin [Jewish Literacy page 424] states:"While known for
being liberal when possible in private rulings, Reb Moshe was very
illiberal in many of his public pronoucements. He regarded Reform and
Conservative Judaism as heresies and granted them no religious status
whatsoever."  Roth, a major Conservative scholar [The Halakhic Process
pg 71] notes with dismay that Reb Moshe ruled that the Conservative
Movement is heresy and consequently prohibits praying in a Conservative
synagogue or accepting a teaching position in a Conservative school,
etc.. Roth states [page 73] "Note, however, that the primary grounds for
the possible prohibition is that Conservative Jews are heretics. That
fact is stated [by Reb Moshe] as undisputed and as though it possessed
legal, not merely theological, significance. No note is made [by Reb
Moshe] of the possibility that such a characterization of Conservative
Jews is, at best, a Macchloket, and conceivably a matter of opinion."  I
will provide additional citations on request.

	As Alana has noted this is an Orthodox list and therefore
disputing the rulings of our gedolim is obviously wrong. There is no
basis for respecting the Conservative Movement- in the name of Pluralism
or good manners - when it has the halachic status of heresy. While in
general there must be reasoned and respectful discussion, there can not
be any tolerance of heresy. See the uncompromising comments of the
Mishna Berura in the Biur Halacha Simon 1 at the bottom of page 4b.

					Daniel Eidensohn


From: David Kachani <kachani@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 1997 22:52:13 +0100
Subject: Sheheheyanu on new garment

Saul Mashbaum writes:-

>Regarding the practice of making sheheheyanu when wearing a 
>   new garmant, rather than when purchasing it, I cited, in a
>   previous posting, OH 600 (Hilchot Rosh Hashana). Another 
>   pertinent source which is relevant to this time of year is
>   Hilchot Tisha B'Av, OH 551. The Mechaber cites the custom 
>   of avoiding making a sheheheyanu on a new fruit or garment 
>   during the mourning period preceding Tisha B'Av (the "Three 
>   Weeks" for Ashkenazim). There is a dispute whether this 
>   applies to Shabbat as well. The Mishna Brura says that 
>   according to the opinion which says it does not, one should 
>   delay eating a new fruit *or wearing a new garment* during 
>   this period until Shabbat, when sheheheyanu may be made. 
>   From this we see that the bracha on a new garnment is made 
>   when the garment is worn, rather than purchased.

If you look in the Mishna Brura on OH 551 (6) he makes a distinction
between one who buys a new garment with no need for alteration, in which
case he makes Sheheheyanu at the time of buying the garment, and one who
buys it with a need for alteration, in which he says the bracha at the
time the garment is first worn. He backs this up from the comment of the
Rema who says that a new garment may not be worn from Rosh Hodesh Av as
oppose to 17th Tammuz (i.e. Sheheheyanu must have already been said
before 17th Tammuz).


From: Benjamin Waxman <benjaminw@...>
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 1997 09:28:53 +0300
Subject: Sources, Anonymous or Known

"I would like to extend this to the dangers of anonymous authorities in
our postings." Any souce quoted, anonymous or known, written or oral can
be dangerous.  Rabbi Soliveitich in paticular is an often misued source.
People quote Rabbi Soliveitich as having said all kinds of things.  And
to be fair, he may have said them - to that person.  He did not give
that answer to me, Why? I didn't ask him.  Therefore, I really don't
know if it would be fair for me to take things that I heard in the Rav's
and use to as a source for halacha le'maaseh.  Rabbi Schater in his book
on the Rav went futher and said in the Rav's name that: if some who is
not a talmid hacham said something in the Rav's name it is to be
disregarded.  That sounds entirely reasonable to me.  In any psok,
individual circumstances may have take part in the answer.  If so, the
answer may or may not be relevant to anyone else.  In addition, the Rav
may have had numerous sources in his mind when he gave the psok.
Hopefully the talmid chaham would understand exactly what was and wasn't
meant.  The rest of us cannot be so certain.

Ben Waxman, Project Manager
email: <BenjaminW@...>
Telephone: +972-2-6528274 ext. 112 - Fax: +972-2-6528356
LiveLink Systems Ltd.  http://www.livelink.com


From: <orotzfat@...> (Yehoshua Kahan)
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 05:25:12 +0200
Subject: Speed Davenning

Many years ago, while learning Sefer Hasidim (R. Yehudah Hechasid), I
came across two separate ma'amarim which came down quite hard on speed
davenners, one of which, if I'm recalling correctly, seemed to indicate
that such individuals cannot be counted for a minyan.  Can anyone help
me located that ma'amar, or correct me if I'm recalling incorrectly
something similar?  Thanks in advance!


From: Elana  Fine <ef91@...>
Date: Sat, 9 Aug 1997 21:33:39 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Torah U'mada and Torah Im Derech Eretz

The motto of YU is Torah U'Mada. The motto of the Breuers Kehila is Torah
Im Derech Eretz. What exactly are the difference between these two
phrases? Don't they both mean that you should incorporate secular
knowledge into your Torah studies? In terms of Hashkafa, how exactly do
these two Washington Heights community differ?
Elana Fine


From: <mestetsr@...> (Rachel Mestetsky)
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 1997 09:47:58 -0400
Subject: Women learning

>	Jack asked for sources delineating what women are allowed to
>study (Torah subjects).  Let's start with a bold statement.  There is no
>basis in Halacha for preventing a woman from studying either the written
>or oral Torah. This is the phrasing of the Rambam (Maimonides) in Mishne
>Torah, Talmud Torah 1:13, "A woman who learns Torah has a reward which
>is not as great as that of a man, since she is not commanded to study
>Torah."  <snip>
>	The real question, then, is what may a woman be taught.  This
>issue is also addressed in the same halacha by the Rambam and his
>successors.  They phrase the issue along the lines of the Mishne in
>Talmud Sota:20a.  "The sages (Rabbe Eliezer) have commanded that a man
>should not teach his daughter Torah, because most women are not prepared
>for serious study.  This impoverished intellect will result in a
>frivolous attitude to Torah learning."  Note the phrasing used by that

I was given a slightly different explanation towards women learning Torah.
Women are responsible for offspring.  Any stay at home mom will tell you
that it's not a full-time job, it's a 24/7 job.  Men work 40 hours a week,
get 40 hours a week to themselves, and then Shabbat and Sunday off.  Women
don't.  A baby needs to be fed and clothed and changed on Shabbat, in the
evenings, in the middle of the night, etc.  This means that any mother
would not be able to dedicate a set amount of time to intense study, and
thus it would be forced to take a "back seat" to raising children.  Torah
study is extremely important, and so are raising children.  So the
compromise is the man has the obligation to study Torah, and the woman has
the obligation of bearing children.  This is why as the Rambam said "women
are not prepared for serious study" - it's impossible to put Torah study
ahead of raising children.

My 2 cents.



End of Volume 27 Issue 3