Volume 28 Number 27
                      Produced: Fri Nov 20  7:41:53 1998

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

3 Shidduchim
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Eruv or Not? (5)
         [Jordan Hirsch, Al Farrell, Reuven Bell, Alexander
Heppenheimer, sabbahillel@juno.com]
Neutering animals
         [Israel Pickholtz]
Some Comments on Interest Prohibitions and Chinese Auctions
         [Russell Hendel]
The Mechanics of Shofar Blowing
         [Aaron Naiman]


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 00:14:06 EST
Subject: 3 Shidduchim

  Akiva Miller responds to my query re: having seven sons and a chalek
in olam habah by saying that having seven sons may be an indication of
the fact that the individual is blessed by Hashem.
  Akiva, while I appreciate your response, I must disagree.  That line
of thinking is very similar to 16th Century Calvinism.  It is decided
that an individual is worthy of Grace before he is born
(predestination).  So why behave?  Because you never know if you are a
chosen one.  However the kind of person who would be chosen would be a
person who would choose to behave (not that his behavior makes any
difference at all).
  In other words, evil people have sevon sons.  And while that is
certainly a bracha from Hashem, to say it speaks to his chalek is an
 Chaim Shapiro


From: <TROMBAEDU@...> (Jordan Hirsch)
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 12:19:56 EST
Subject: Re: Eruv or Not?

> From: <ac672@...> (Rivka Finkelstein)
>  We have an eruv in the city. As in other places some use it and some
> choose not to use it. This is become fairly normal. The unusual part is
> that the one who is not using the eruv, asks someone else to carry for
> them, ie things for children, talit, baby carriage, their baby, anything
> that they might want. What I find disturbing is, 1) if they don't use
> the eruv because they think it is not permitted, how can they ask
> someone else to violate Shabbat. 2) If they don't use the eruv because
> they want to be strict about, who is being strict, on someone else's
> shoulders. As if to say, I don't use it because I am very frum, but can
> ask someone who is not as frum as I.
>  I'd like to hear what you think

In the category of lifnim m'shuras hadin answers, I might respond that
those who are not using the eruv may do so because of a general minhag
not to, but chas v'sholom do not want to imply that the rabonim who
sanctioned the eruv are not qualified to do so, so they ask those who do
carry to participate in using it on their behalf, so as to demonstrate
that the opinions of the rabonim involved are validated.
 On the other hand, they could simply be hypocrites. Although I am
reluctant to give such a simplistic and glib answer.

Jordan Hirsch

From: Al Farrell <alfarrel@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 21:48:13 -0000
Subject: Re: Eruv or Not?

There are other reasons for not holding by an eruv other than strict
halacha.  Sometimes, when an eruv is constructed, there are
uncomfortable feelings based on which Rabbi was involved (or not
involved!) and out of deference to whichever Rabbi each person is
affiliated with, they may not choose to use the eruv.  Another
possibility is that their parents or his Rosh Yeshiva, or her father may
not hold by eruvim anywhere as a rule, but again, because it's not a
strictly halachic issue, they might be allowed to benefit from someone
else's use.  I have seen examples of each of these approaches.  It is
not always a statement on how frum someone perceives themselves (or
others) to be...

From: Reuven Bell <rbell@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 13:26:21 -0500
Subject: Eruv or Not?

While I certainly can't speak for everyone who practices like this, I
have often acted as my father's "Shabbes Goy" carrying things for him
because he prefers not to use the Eruv.

In this case, however, it is not a situation of being more or less
strict.  My father has absolute faith in the kashrus of the Eruv and
would never tell anyone that it is less than acceptable.  However, he
chooses not to use _any_ Eruv for purposes of Chinuch.  He doesn't want
to get into the situation where he is so used to living in an Eruv
environment that he'll assume there's an Eruv everywhere and end up in a
situation where he carries in a non-Eruv community.  That's his own
personal preference because of his worry at his own habits and has no
bearing on anyone else's use of the Eruv.  I choose to use the Eruv.
There's no reason for me not to carry things for him.

From: <Alexander_Heppenheimer@...> (Alexander Heppenheimer)
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 18:45:35 -0500
Subject: Re: Eruv or Not?

It's not a question of frumkeit or lack of it. I and my family are, so
far as I know, the only ones in our neighborhood (Toco Hills, Atlanta -
y'all come on down and see us sometime!) who don't use the eiruv, but
there are (Boruch Hashem) many wonderful families here whose frumkeit is
beyond question, who do use it; and never has there been the slightest
insinuation, on either side, that we're "more frum" than them.

The underlying issue here is that there are different halachic opinions
about how to construct a proper eiruv. (In particular, according to the
Baal HaTanya, it would be practically impossible to build a
community-wide eiruv, since the poles would have to be within about
15-20 feet of each other - far less than the width of most streets.) But
- and this is the key point - there is no one Rabbi whose opinion on
this issue is binding on the entire Jewish People; this has been true
since the close of the Talmudic period (6th century), and will be so
until the coming of Moshiach and the reestablishment of the
Sanhedrin. Today, a Rabbi's opinion is binding only on the members of
his community. (Hence, the L of the acronym LOR.)

In other words, in this as in many other halachos, each Rabbi has the
right to his opinion (provided it's based on Torah sources). In turn,
each person follows his or her Rabbi's opinion; and neither of them is
any less frum than the other, since neither one is just making up his or
her own idea of how to observe the mitzvos, but rather follows the view
of a recognized Torah authority.

(There may be an issue here of "Don't divide yourselves into groups
[each performing mitzvos differently]" (Yevamos 13b) - but that's
another matter; I'm not familiar with the sources or the issues involved
in that. In this case, though, where the Rabbi of the community holds
that it's permissible to use the eiruv, then I'm entitled to follow a
different opinion and passively avoid using it. Were the situation
reversed, and the LOR held that this eiruv is not constructed correctly
- then no one would be able to argue that they follow a different
opinion that it is constructed correctly and may be used, since that
would be *active* disobedience against the community Rabbi's opinion.)

So it's not a matter of "I think it is not permitted": it's my Rabbi who
says it's not permitted according to his opinion (which he bases on what
he learned from his teacher, who learned it from his teacher, etc.), but
my neighbor doesn't have to follow what my Rabbi says, since he has the
right to follow the lenient opinion of our community Rabbi, and
therefore for him it's not a violation of the Shabbos. Nor is it a
matter of "I want to be strict about," where I can't "be strict on
someone else's shoulders" - it's my Rabbi who is being strict, but his
strict opinion is not binding on the "someone else" who I ask to carry
something for me.

Kol tuv y'all,

From: <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 23:38:01 -0500
Subject: Re: Eruv or Not?

An example similar to this would be those who accept a chumra
(stricture) on themselves such as not eating gebruchts on peisach but do
not consider that those who do are violating the prohibition of chametz
on Pesach.

The Vilna Gaon (if I remember the story correctly) is reported to have
dipped a piece of matzo in water in order to show that it is a chumra
but not forbidden per se.  If it had been forbidden absolutely, a person
who keeps gebrochts would be unable to use the utensils of someone who
eats it.

The Steipler (according to the Art Scroll biography, if I remember the
story correctly) is reported to have served his family gebruchts while
not eating it himself.

Similarly, one who does not carry in an eruv is not saying that it is
forbidden, but that he wishes to be stricter on himself (perhaps to
avoid making a mistake in a place that does not have an eruv).  Thus, if
someone else carries something for him, he is actually showing that he
is NOT treating the eruv as invalid since one cannot allow a Jew to do
something which is forbidden for both people.

Another example would be the bands in Eretz Yiroel who play music while
people from outside Eretz Yisroel are having hakafos.  Since it is not
Yom Tov in Israel (for residents of Israel) the action is not wrong.

Also consider that in the summer, when Shabbos starts late, Rav Moshe
Feinstein held that it is not forbidden for a wife who has not yet
accepted Shabbos to perform melacha even if her husband has already
accepted Shabbos and finished davening.



From: Israel Pickholtz <p2o5rock@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 14:51:05 +0000
Subject: Neutering animals

> From: <OOrbach560@...> (Ozzie Orbach)
> Subject: Serus
> Does anyone know whether neutering of animals is allowed if it is for
> public health reasons?  Presumably that is the reason given by most
> veterinarians for neutering animals nowadays.  Ozzie Orbach

I knew a rabbi who claimed that is is even forbidden to use a pesticide
which does not kill insects but rather makes them unable to reproduce.
(Killing them is OK...)

Israel Pickholtz 


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 19:46:32 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Some Comments on Interest Prohibitions and Chinese Auctions

A number of posters--Yossie Abramson, Arie Weiss, Leve Gordon--have
dealt with the question of paying less in advance at a chinese auction
or buying many tickets for less money---the question being as to whether
it is a violation of RIBITH--the Biblical Prohibition(s) against taking
interest on loans.

Rather than give a technical talmudic discourse let me cite a few
examples showing the rich complexity of the issue. A summary will try
and address the issues in the question:

EXAMPLE 1:(Rambam, Loans, 7:8)
========== It is permissable to charge rent for advances in renting.
>>How so? If you rent a courtyard and state: "If you pay me in advance
>>the courtyard is 10 per year while if you pay me monthly it is 12
>>per year (1 per month)" this is permissable.

COMMENT: (Apparently the owner has "paid" two hidden units of currency
in order to avoid the possible risk of advertising for renters later.

EXAMPLE 2:(Rambam, Loans, 6:8)
========= If Abe loans Bob $100 and Bob gives a field for collateral.
>>It is permissable to initially stipulate that Abe deducts 10% per year
>>from the loan in exchange for "rights" on the fields fruits (even if 
>>the field yields $1000 per year

COMMENT: The reason is explicitly given that LOAN INTEREST is prohibited
>>but all "stiulations in RENTING" are valid (and not considered interest)

EXAMPLE 3:(Loans, 5:14)
==========It is permissable to "buy" an IOU at a lower price 
COMMENT: Because the seller liquidates his liability

EXAMPLE 4:(Loans, 5:12) (A stringent example)
========= If Abe loaned Bob it is prohibited (rabinically) for Bob
>>to say "Hello" to Abe if he didn't formerly greet him (since the "greeting
>>of hello" is interest -- something extra on the loan.

Interest laws are very complicted. While it is considered blashphemous
to take interest (Loans Loans 4:7) and while numerous prohibtions are
involved (Loans 4:1) and while the interest prohibition extends even to
words---nevertheless to properly understand the law one must distinguish
between INTEREST and PERMISABLE activities such as exorbitant renting,
buying liabilities or saving the seller extra work down the road. 

I hope this increases peoples appreciation of this complicated prohibition

Russell Jay Hendel; PHd ASA RHendel @ mcs drexel edu


From: <naiman@...> (Aaron Naiman)
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 03:34:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: The Mechanics of Shofar Blowing

Dear Fellow Physicists, Mechanical Engineers, Shofar-Blowers, and
          Blowers of other Musical Instruments,

     Hi.  I am a somewhat seasoned shofar blower, and I always felt
quite fortunate that I had my "lucky, trusty" shofar from my father,
a"h, which pretty much blew by itself, with few (if any) false starts,
breaks in tones, etc.

     Well, about a week before R"H, my shofar gave out.  I say that, not
really knowing whether it was the shofar or me, but I started not being
able to finish 100 kolot, and then fewer and fewer.  (B"H, my brother
supplied me with another one of my father's shofarot, and I really blew
it! ;-) ) This brings me to my basic question: What is going on in the
mechanics of shofar blowing, that all of a sudden (or slowly) it stops

     So, I am looking for information regarding the questions/issues
below, from people who understand the physics of what is going on,
and/or from personal experience.  I think this kind of information could
really help baalei tekia in times of need.  Please forward the responses
to me, and bli neder I will collect and collate the responses, and post
my report.

the shofar:
*) what's going on
*) size of the hole
*) bends (one direction, two, more)
*) shape of the hole
*) what to look/listen for when purchasing
*) other?

the lips: (fortunately, these do not have to be purchased as well)
*) dry/wet
*) muscles (tighten, too tight, etc.)
*) hole size
*) rough (from practicing!)

troubleshooting: (make sure shofar is connected to outlet, etc.)
*) air coming out with tone
*) air coming out without tone
*) break in tone
*) are there resonant frequencies being hit?
*) what to do?
*) move the shofar?
*) wet lips?
*) tighten lips?
*) decrease hole?
*) more explosive start?
*) bad shofar?
*) dirty shofar?
*) how to clean it?

Toda merosh!

Aaron ("Aharon") Naiman | Jerusalem College of Technology--Machon Lev
  <naiman@...> | http://hobbes.jct.ac.il/~naiman


End of Volume 28 Issue 27