Volume 29 Number 65
                 Produced: Sat Aug 28 21:51:39 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Alternatives to Kiddushin (3)
         [David Charlap, Ezriel Krumbein, Warren Burstein]
Explaining Yesh Me'Ayin to a 6 year old
         [Richard Wolpoe]
Gentile taking on the yoke of heaven
         [Isaac A Zlochower]
Giving a Non-Observant Guest Food _and_ a Kipa
         [Reuven Miller]
High Priest in Holy of Holies
         [Jonathan Marvin]
Kashrus Agencies
         [Bill Bernstein]
Mikvah and unmarrieds (2)
         [Gitelle Rapoport, Reuven Miller]
Pshat and Drash
         [Joseph Tabory]
         [Ed Norin]
Shomer Shabbat
         [Eric W Mack]


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 11:02:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Alternatives to Kiddushin

Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...> writes:
> A number of people (mostly non-Orthodox, as far as I know) have
> raised the prospect of marrying by something other than kiddushin so
> as not to need a get.
> How viable are these as models for the non-Orthodox to be sort-of
> within the realm of halacha

I don't think it would work.  In the Gemara, Kiddushin may be enacted
through any of three means:

	- through a gift (like a ring)
	- through a document
	- through sexual relations

Even if you do away with the rings and the ketuba, as soon as the couple
decides to sleep together with the intent of doing so as husband and
wife, they have performed Kiddushin.  It is not the preferred way, but
it is done nonetheless.

I assume that the couples considering this have no intention of living
celebate lives, right?

-- David

From: Ezriel Krumbein <ezsurf@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 00:17:56 -0700
Subject: Re: Alternatives to Kiddushin

> From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
> Most of the arguments I've heard are that such marriages would require a
> get anyway, but then today I learned (in a completely different context)
> that R. Feinstein once nullified a whole bunch of non-Orthodox marriages, 
> so as to prevent mamzerim, which made the problem seem less intractible.

As a practical matter I know a case where someone was living with
someone and had a child.  There was never any pretense of mariage as far
as I know.  The couple split up and the woman was now interested in
dating.  It was strongly advised that she recieve a get from the man she
was living with.

To explain: There are 3 ways to create a marital relationship: the man
gives the woman something of monetary value, or a deed to effect the
mariage or through sexual intercourse.  If the man and woman living
together are creating a relationship of marriage ( I believe commiting
to a monogamous reltionship is enough); Then there is only one more
requirement that is witnesses.  According to some oppinions the
neighbors seeing the couple live together as husband and wife may be

Therefore in the best cases, I think they would be required to recieve a
get before remarrying.  What happens if they don't and have child from
the second relationship is where the pesak you refer to needs to be
looked into.

Kol Tov

From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 13:43:29
Subject: Alternatives to Kiddushin

>From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
>Most of the arguments I've heard are that such marriages would require a
>get anyway, but then today I learned (in a completely different context)
>that R. Feinstein once nullified a whole bunch of non-Orthodox
>marriages, so as to prevent mamzerim, which made the problem seem less

Perhaps having at least one of the two designated witnesses be female
would contribute towards the goal of making the non-halachic marriage
not require at get?


From: Richard Wolpoe <richard_wolpoe@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 10:32:56 -0400
Subject: Explaining Yesh Me'Ayin to a 6 year old

From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>

> This is not for the six-year-old, but there is a more cogent and technically 
> solid way to look at G-d v. Time.  
> We have two most significant Names for G-d:  Hashem and Elokim.  
> Hashem implies the nature of G-d that is always in the instantaneous
> moment. Elokim implies the nature of G-d that is eternal, with
> "eternal" in this sense meaning "existent throughout all time." <<

FWIW my Roedelheim Siddur translates Elokim as GOTT and the YKVK as

In fact the YKVK seems to indicate the permanent or Eternal Presence of
G-d, simlar to G-d's Revelation at the burning Bush as EHYEH - I WILL BE
(sometimes translated as I AM) indicating the ever-present nature of

The non-sacred term Elohim refers to a Court, E.G. Elohim Lo sekallel
(translated by Korein as: Thou shalt not revile the judges) Exodus

I would lean towards YKVK as G-d forever, and Elokim as judge, ruler, 

Rich Wolpoe  


From: Isaac A Zlochower <zlochoia@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 00:16:56 -0400
Subject: Gentile taking on the yoke of heaven

Freda (m-j 29:60) asked for an elaboration of a statement that I made at
the end of a recent post on slavery and a higher morality.  I see that
the statement is subject to misunderstanding and does not add
substantially to my argument, and I would have been better advised to
have omitted it.  Let me try to explain how I understood Rav Weinberg's
aphorism about a Jew who observes only the letter of halacha being in
the same category as a Gentile who has accepted the yoke of heaven.  All
peoples have an obligation to observe some basic laws that govern
religious worship and human relations.  Jews, as people of the Covenant,
have additional obligations.  If they (Jew or Gentile) observe only
those laws as obligations without trying to understand and follow the
principles behind them, then their status and reward is limited.  If
they go beyond the letter of the laws applicable to them and try to
become true followers of G-D, then their status and reward is
immeasureably great.

Yitzchok Zlochower


From: Reuven Miller <millerr@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 05:47:34 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Giving a Non-Observant Guest Food _and_ a Kipa

> However, this conclusion seems to ignore the ground-breaking p'sak of
> Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach that one is permitted to give food and
> drink to a guest of whom it is known that he will not make a
> bracha.The concern of lefnei iver here is mitigated by the fact that
> not giving food/drink will probably engender in the guest an
> antagonism towards the Way of Torah, and that is deemed the greater
> evil to be avoided.Therefore, we learn that we have to weigh the
> definite transgression of lefnei iver against the possible harmful
> consequences.

Its certainly a very important psak but... my personal experience has
been- on numerous occasions- that if I offer a guest or a worker food
together with a kipa with the _suggestion_ "it's a mezonos" or "make a
bracha" the bracha is made with Jewish pride (with or without help) my
conclusion -as long as it is a suggestion or a request and not a demand
we need not automatically "mavater" (give up on) the bracha.



From: Jonathan Marvin <jonx@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 13:15:47 -0700
Subject: High Priest in Holy of Holies

Does anyone know the source for the oft-repeated dictum that as the
office of high priest became more corrupt / sadducidic, a rope would be
tied around the high priest before he entered the kodesh hakodashim on
Yom Kippur so he could be pulled out if he died during the avodah?

Jon Marvin
Seattle, Washington


From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 10:46:12 -0500
Subject: Kashrus Agencies

Stirring things a bit more: here in the Southeast there is a product (it
might be available other places too) called Edwards Pies, a line of
frozen pies.  Looking closely at the label one can see it carries the
"hashgacha" of the Southern Baptists (the fish).  At one time the
product also carried the OU.  I was told on good authority that the pie
packaging contains exhortations to believe in "That Guy" or else etc.
The OU reconsidered their hashgacha and removed it simply because they
felt it was incompatible with what the OU represents.  Obviously such
decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.  I know another product
where the owner of the company is a fundamentalist Christian and runs a
ministry out of his office, but since none of that is reflected in the
product it has hashgasha.


From: Gitelle Rapoport <giteller@...>
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 12:37:49 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Mikvah and unmarrieds

>Gershon Dubin asked about the origin of the custom that unmarried women
do not go to the mikva? -- it is based on a Teshuva of the Rivash who
indicates that the custom started after the Churban when Taharot were no
longer relevant.  The desire was to upgrade the prohibition of
premarital sex from a Lav (thou Shalt not) to a Issur karet.>

I read it somewhat differently. Interestingly enough, although some
later authorities use the Rivash's teshuvah (#425) as authority for
their statements that unmarried women may not go to the mikvah, he does
not say anywhere in the teshuvah that the rabbis prohibited such
immersion. He does say that the rabbis did not establish a takanah
(decree) mandating post-menstrual immersion by unmarried women because
of the danger that people would advantage of the woman's non-niddah
status and not take seriously the separate prohibition of sexual
relations between unmarried persons (which is either a "Lav d'oraita"
[biblical prohibition which, if violated, requires lashes] or an "issur
d'rabbanan" [rabbinic prohibition], depending on which view of the
rishonim you accept. Thus, the absence of a takanah re unmarried women
seems to have been a desire to not "downgrade" what in most cases would
involve an Issur Karet (since single women were generally presumed to be
niddah) to a lesser prohibition.

The Rivash does indicate that the separate tevilah for tehorot was
performed by "early generations" but not by "later generations" but he
does not specify when those times were. (Although, since he mentions the
story in Shabbat 13a-b of the sinning Torah scholar and his wife, which
apparently took place during the talmudic period, it's conceivable that
at least some women performed this immersion for non-sexual purposes as
late as that time).

Gitelle Rapoport

From: Reuven Miller <millerr@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 05:33:10 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Mikvah and unmarrieds

> Does anyone know the origin of the custom that unmarried women do not go
> to the mikva?Did it begin immediately upon the destruction of the Bais
> Hamikdash (and attendant lack of sacrificial meat for which one had to
> be tahor)?Was it a formal decree, or did it evolve gradually?

We see that in the Mishne Brura's time single women were tovel on erev
Yom Hakiporim (see M.B. Orach Chayim 606:4 siman katan 17 ).

When and why was this discontinued?



From: Joseph Tabory <taborj@...>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 17:19:09 +0000
Subject: Re: Pshat and Drash

I would like to publicize an example of pshat based on context which I
heard from N. Leibowitz and I am sure that others heard it from her. She
portrayed two people waiting for a bus in a desolate place on a hot day.
Tired of waiting, one turns to the other and says "it's hot today". the
simple meaning of the text is that this is a comment on the weather. the
pshat is "I am tired of waiting for the bus and I am getting bored so maybe
you would be willing to enter in a conversation with me to help pass the
time?". I would add my own example which is more relevant to an eye for an
eye. If you heard somebody say "i am going to kill you" it would obviously
mean something very different if said by a gangster to a witness who had
just testified against or if it was said by a mother whose son had just
tracked up her kitchen.

The true test of pshat has to take into consideration not only the biblical
context but also the total civilization into which the Torah was given.

Joseph Tabory
Department of Talmud, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, 59200
tel. at home: (972) 2-6519575
email: <taborj@...>


From: Ed Norin <EngineerEd@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 21:57:16 EDT
Subject: Shaymus

My son told me that he remembers reading an article (possibly in
Tradition) that suggests that Shaymus (unwanted papers with HaShem's
name in Hebrew on the page) could be disposed of by recycling.  That
would be a great help to me and others who do any learning from
reproduced text.  It appears that this is a respectable method of
disposal similar to burial.  Does anybody remember the exact source. Is
this one person's view or does anybody else hold by this?


From: Eric W Mack <ewm44118@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 08:43:42 -0400
Subject: Shomer Shabbat

Many shuls require selected officiants to be shomer [observant of]

1) To what does this requirement apply?  Davening only on Shabbat? On
Yom Tov?  Weekdays?  What about reading the Torah?  Getting an aliya?
Blowing shofar on Rosh HaShana?

2) How is 'shomer Shabbat' defined? (For instance, does one who carries
outside without an eruv but otherwise is shomer Shabbat qualify?)

3) Should it be more appropriately termed 'shomer mitzvot'?  Does one
who speaks lashon hara [certain types of gossip] qualify as shomer
mitzvot?  One who doesn't give ma'aser?  A kohen who is married to a
grusha [divorcee]?

4) Does "dan l'chaf zchut" [judge everyone favorably] enter into the
determination at all?


End of Volume 29 Issue 65