Volume 29 Number 37
                 Produced: Wed Aug  4  6:57:25 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Administrivia: Rav Aaron Soleveichik
         [Bob Werman]
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya
         [Carl M. Sherer]
Kol Isha (Re: mail-jewish Vol. 29 #23)
         [Chaim Mateh]
Lifnei Ivair & Glatt Yacht (2)
         [Binyomin Segal, Avi Feldblum]
Mixed Dancing and Earlier Generations
         [Carl M. Sherer]
Yehareg v'al Ya'avor
         [Zvi Weiss]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 1999 06:19:19 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

Just a quick note to you all. First point, I will be restarting the
mj-announce mailing list next week. I meant to restart it this past week,
but life has just been too hectic. Initially, everyone on mail-jewish will
be subscribed to mj-announce, once the first message goes out, it will
contain information on what I plan to put on mj-announce and what on
mail-jewish. It will also contain directions on how to sign-off if you so

There have been a number of postings over the last few weeks where people
have not been translating their Hebrew terms. Please do so, I will start
returning submissions if they have too much untranslated Hebrew in them.

Lastly, the batch of issues you get today will be the last ones till after
Shabbat. So you'll have a few days of respite from mail-jewish, and get a
chance to put me further behind (right now, there are about 2-3 days of
queued material, and about 100 messages in my Inbox that I need to respond
to personally, i.e. not currently in queue).

A good Shabbat to all!!

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Bob Werman <RWERMAN@...>
Date: Wed,  4 Aug 1999 11:46 +0200
Subject: Administrivia: Rav Aaron Soleveichik

Rav Aaron is currently hospitalized in Israel.  Misheberachs for Reb
Aaron ben Pesha, please.


__Bob Werman


From: Carl M. Sherer <csherer@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 21:22:19 +0300
Subject: Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya

I'm sure a lot of you have noticed my (and our) signature line over the
past three years. Several people have written me privately to tell me
that they daven for Baruch Yosef and to ask how he is doing. I am sure
that others have wanted to ask and were afraid of what the response
might be. So.... without getting into a lot of details, I just want to
let you know briefly how my son Baruch Yosef is doing.

This past Thursday, Tisha b'Av, was three years since Baruch Yosef's
diagnosis. I am pleased to tell you that Baruch Hashem he is doing quite
well. His last set of scans, last month, showed almost no signs of
disease. While none of the doctors will use the word "cure" just yet,
and therefore we continue to ask people to continue to daven for him,
Baruch Yosef is doing all the things a normal boy his age (almost 11 bli
ayin hara) should be doing, and then some. Considering that a year ago
at this time we feared that we could be looking at progressive disease,
R"L, we are truly thankful to Hashem for Baruch Yosef's miraculous
(albeit b'derech hateva - natural) recovery. If anyone wants to hear a
shpiel about how much Hashgacha Pratis (private care) we have been
privileged to see from the Ribbono Shel Olam surrounding Baruch Yosef,
please ask :-)

We hope and pray that IY"H Baruch Yosef will continue to do well, and
thank all of you out there who have been davening for him.  Your tfillos
have made the difference.

-- Carl M. Sherer
Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son, 
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel. 
Thank you very much.


From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 12:36:39 +0300
Subject: Kol Isha (Re: mail-jewish Vol. 29 #23)

Yossie Abramson <yossie@...> wrote:

<<I remember learning in Bais Medrash that there is a "halachic opinion"
concerning kol isha (ladies singing) if the ladies are in a group. The
reason that the singing of a group of ladies would be permitted in front of
men, is that you can't diffrentiate the voices in a large group.  I
really don't remember who said this, but I do know it was a mid 18-19th
century acharon. >>

I think what you are referring to is the solution for the situation
wherein a woman or group of women are singing Zmiros Shabbos and there
are men there.  The solution is to have the men sing also, so that it'll
be "2 voices can't be heard (discerned)".  See Sridei Eish, chelek 2,
siman 8; Chatan Sofer, shaar Taharas haYadaim, siman 14; and others.

Needless to say that other (more than those who permit it) Poskim forbid
the above.  See Mishna Brura, Siman 506, seif katan 13; Kaf hachaim,
siman 506, seif katan 29; Tzitz Eliezer, chelek 7, siman 28, oss 3; and

I have never come across any responsa that says that a man is permitted
to hear a group of women only, sing.  Not regular singing and not
zmiros.  If anyone has, I'd appreciate the source.

Kol Tuv,


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 08:14:07 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Lifnei Ivair & Glatt Yacht

Rav Moshe Feinstein has a tshuva that has much to say about this
discussion. He was asked by the owner of a kosher catering hall if it
was allowed to rent the hall in a situation where there would be mixed

Rav Moshe permits it for two independent reasons both however are based
on the fact that since they could dance elsewhere, it is "mesayah"
rather than "lifnei iver" (it violates the rabbinic prohibition of
helping someone sin, rather than the torah prohibition of enabling
someone to sin)

1. some achronim (i believe he quotes the magen avrahom) hold that the
prohibition of mesayeh only applies if the person normally would not
violate the prohibition. if the prohibition is one they violate
consistently there is no prohibition of mesayeh.

2. further, and perhaps more crucially, he suggests (i believe here he
quotes r. akiva eiger) that one can/should use a cost benefit analysis
in regard to mesayah (though this analysis would be, it seems invalid if
the prohibition were really the torah prohibition of lifnei iver). that
is, since this group would otherwise use a non-kosher hall, the benefit
of having them at least eat kosher food, outweigh the problem of helping
them sin by dancing.

to me this suggests the following rules in regard to the caterer:

1. first, should a situation of true lifnei iver present itself, it
seems clear that it would be forbidden for the caterer to enable a
prohibition of any kind.

2. second, if this group does not normally violate this prohibition, it
would be forbidden to aid them. (this is suggested by both 1 and 2
above.  1 because mesayah would now apply, or as in 2 the cost benefit
analysis would no longer suggest that they would just do this elsewhere
in a non-kosher setting. rather since this is something they do not
normally do, they would just not do it.)

this suggests that the mixed dancing issue may very well depend on the
clientel. for a generally non religious group it would be permitted
while for a religious group that will in this environment relax their
normal practice it would be forbidden.

as for the kosher supervision agency - i imagine that one could perform
a similar analysis there. though it would encompass two steps - first,
is it permitted or forbidden for the owner to do this. if it is
forbidden for the owner, is the supervision agency allowed to aid or
enable in this prohibition. this second step would presumably be related
to how the owner would react to the agency saying no - would s/he drop
superivision, or just drop this client. but i admit that this
application is less clear.

finally, while we have all sort of accepted that kosher supervision is
primarily about food, need that be the case? after all, kosher
supervision for the most part are organizations that were formed (to
make money and ) to serve a perceived community need. lets say an
organization says they supervise the torah quality of the whole
event/resturant/whatever. they will only give their "good jew seal of
approval" if every aspect is acceptable to their standards. this
provides a service for those of us that may not want to hear women
singing - nor do we want to be forced to walk out of a resturant in the
middle of our dinner. if we see the "good jew seal of approval" we know
that it is "safe". it seems to me that this is not unfair as long as the
organization is clear about its standards in advance. if you as the
resturant owner dont feel comfortable with that, then don't get a "good
jew" hashgacha, just go to an agency that only looks at the food. after
all this is (for the vast majority of us) not a govt run monopoly. if we
dont like the "good jew" standards, we can open another
organization. this does not seem to me much different than a "good
housekeeping" or a "consumer reports" evaluation. we are free to
accept/reject it. (this btw is more or less my understanding of the
badatz in Jerusalems perspective. at least i was when i was there in
yeshiva far too long ago. and they were - at least then - pretty
articulate about it.)


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 04:56:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: re: Lifnei Ivair & Glatt Yacht

On Wed, 28 Jul 1999, Shlomo Godick wrote:

> Surely a kashrus supervisory agency has a similar right to withdraw 
> its supervision from an affair which it regards as ethico-morally
> offensive, even if the objections do not impinge directly on the
> matter of kashrus itself.    A Jew should be at least as idealistic
> and self-sacrificing in matters of halacha as the Gentile world is
> in preserving its set of universal values. 
> Moreover, if the kashrus supervisory agency had gone ahead with
> the supervision, they could have been accused of compromising their
> principles for pecuniary advantage.  People would quite rationally
> conclude that such an unscrupulous organization could not be
> relied upon in its kashrus.

While I fully understand such arguements, I'm personally not sure how to
balance that ethical concern with the arguement that by focusing purely on
the issues related to the permissability of the food to be eaten, it is
likely that many people who otherwise would eat non-kosher, as a result of
this establishment would now eat kosher. This is somewhat related to (but
different) from the issue of being permitted (maybe) to take additional
stringencies upon oneself (which appears to be assumed these days as a
matter of course, but which I think is not so easily valid when carefully
looking at the sources), but not having the right to try and impose these
stringencies on others. 

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Carl M. Sherer <csherer@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 11:42:02 +0300
Subject: Mixed Dancing and Earlier Generations

On 28 Jul 99, at 15:00, I wrote:

> My recollection of a Hilchos Nida class I heard not too long ago is 
> that mixed dancing may be yehareg v'al ya'avor, at least according 
> to one opinion, if one assumes that it includes affectionate physical 
> contact between a husband and wife when the wife is a nida. I may 
> be fuzzy on some of the details (and have no sforim in my office to 
> check), but what I recall is that there is a (Tshuvos ha?) Rashba 
> ((Responsum of?) R. Shlomo ben Adereth) that is brought by the 
> Mechaber (R. Yosef Caro) in Hilchos Nida that says that if the wife 
> is a Nida (menstruating woman) and is R"L dying, and the husband 
> is the only doctor in town, he may not touch her to save her life. I 
> should hasten to add that Ashkenazim do not pasken that way (the 
> Rema doesn't hold from it), and my impression from the shiur was 
> that normative Sphardi halacha today does not pasken that way 
> either. But to dismiss mixed dancing as minor or unimportant as a 
> halachic issue does not strike me as correct.

I looked these things up in sforim at home this morning. 

The Shulchan Aruch alludes to the Rashba in Yoreh Deah 195:17. 
The Rashba is in Toras HaBayis and is brought in full in the Beer 
HaGola in S"K 29. The Shach in S"K 20 says that we do not hold 
like the Rashba. 

BTW - The Shach also says there that the Rambam holds that 
touching an erva in an affectionate manner is prohibited by the 
Torah. I think he is referring to the Rambam in Isurei Bia 21:1.

-- Carl M. Sherer
Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son, 
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel. 
Thank you very much.


From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 22:02:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Yehareg v'al Ya'avor

> From: Michael and Abby Pitkowsky <pitab@...>
> >While we need to keep some perspective i.e. that mixed dancing may well
> >be yehoreg ve'al yaavor...

 If "mixed dancing" is considered "abizraihu d'arayot" -- a "spinoff" of
the prohibitions of immorality, then it is quite possible that this
could be included under yehareg v'al ya'avor.  Note the Gemara in
Sanhedrin talks of a man who became ill (out of "love" for a woman) and
the Chachamim ruled that even if the "cure could be effected by this
woman *talking* to him, he should die, instead....

> As far as I know the gemara says that the only cases which are yehareg
> ve'al yaavor are idol worship, bloodshed and gilui arayot, sexual
> transgressions of a very specific nature (Sanhedrin 74a).  Not only do I
> see no way that mixed dancing can be categorized as gilui arayot but
> there didn't seem to be any persecution happening on the Glatt Yacht
> which would warrant even the use of this terminology.  Now a little

 Yehareg v'al ya'avor refers to the SEVERITY of the sin -- even in the
absence of persecution.  Stating that this is yehareg v'al ya'avor means
that this sin is SO severe that one should die rather than [un]willingly
transgress it.

> political commentary, if hashgahot are going to be the moral authority
> of kosher establishments then how about they start with the cash
> register, i.e. are the books legally in order, do they pay taxes
> properly, treat employees properly-i.e. on the books and on time with
> Soc. Security,etc. Often people can be very selective as to what is a
> transgression, and more often than not (IMHO) real transgressions which
> not even open to differing interpretations are often somehow overlooked.

 As appealing as it might sound to discuss accoutning practices, it
appears that the posters (a) did not seriously address the issue of
lifnei ivair -- which may very well be WHY the hashgacha agency "cracked
down" and they did not stop to consider how this relates to the
HAshgacha agency tracking "monetary practices".



End of Volume 29 Issue 37