Volume 29 Number 81
                 Produced: Fri Sep 10  6:39:31 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Shana Tova - Happy New Year!
         [Avi Feldblum]
A Tax for Day School Tuition
         [Elie Rosenfeld]
Alternatives to Kiddushin (2)
         [Carl M. Sherer, Feldman, Mark]
Daf Yomi Shiur Sought
         [Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer]
Giving a name to oneself
         [Ray Well]
Hatarat Nedarim
         [Yisrael Dubitsky]
         [Micha Berger]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 1999 06:28:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia - Shana Tova - Happy New Year!

Just a quick message to everyone on the list wishing them a Ketiva
Ve'Chatima Tova, May we all be inscribed for a good year, for each of us
individually as well as for Klal Yisrael as a whole. 

I'm happy that I have been able to get back to mail-jewish this last half
year, and I welcome all the good discussions that we have had. I am
looking forward to a great year ahead with all of you!

Avi Feldblum 
mail-jewish Moderator 


From: Elie Rosenfeld <erosenfe@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 1999 10:47:31 -0400
Subject: A Tax for Day School Tuition

Thanks to Nina Butler for her wonderful article about the 5% estate tax
program to subsidize day school tuitions, which apparently was launched
in the Chicago Jewish community somewhat over a year ago.  One key fact
was not mentioned and is of great interest: What, if any, were the
impacts of this new program on 1999-2000 school year tuitions?  I.e.,
what is the average tuition this year vs.  last?

Nina's article was especially welcome because most of the submissions on
this topic have focused on whether there is different treatment of
students on financial aid vs. not.  While a worthy topic in its own
right, it is tangential to the fundamental problem. In the words of a
good friend of our family, the majority of those whose children attend
day schools are "too poor to be rich and too rich to be poor".  I.e., we
earn far too much to qualify for financial aid (which is generally based
on the government definition of poverty), but far too little to not be
put at serious financial risk by tuitions of US$ 6-8 thousand per kid
for *elementary* school.  And given that day schools are not exactly
profit centers, heavy cost cutting is not the answer.  The problem must
be addressed on a macroeconomic basis.

With that in mind, here are two other suggestions:

1) A non-profit thrift shop or grocery co-op run by the school.  Such
places, especially the former, are often major sources of income for
Jewish Family Services and the like.  As school fund-raisers, they would
earn far more than today's Chinese Auctions and Bikeathons, and - more
importantly - on a regular basis as opposed to being one-time events.

2) This one needs significant research, but let me just throw out the
basic idea for comment: Charter Schools.  Specifically, a Charter School
that caters to our specific, Halachic-based needs for scheduling around
the Jewish calendar, Kosher food, school activities, dress code, and
even separation of the sexes (in fact, the latter rule has met with
success in Charter schools in African-American communities).  General
studies would be held in the morning, and limudei kodesh [Jewish
studies] - of the same scope as in Day Schools/Yeshivas today - in the
afternoon, as optional for those who wish it.

As a Charter School, the government would thus pay for the building and
all staff and teachers' salaries, and the general studies part of the
day would be tuition-free.  The kids who attend the afternoon studies
would pay a tuition, comparable to today's Hebrew School fees (i.e., a
fraction of Day School tuition), to cover the added costs: i.e., Judaic
studies teachers/Rebbis' salaries, and (if required) rental of the
building in the afternoon.  Of course, the Charter School would be open
to all students regardless of religion, but in practice this school
would mostly attract those interested in the afternoon limudei kodesh.

As I stated, this idea needs further research and fleshing out, but I
believe it could really be made workable.  What's key is that it
directly addresses the fundamental cause of the current problem; namely,
that public schools are free (and paid for by everyone's taxes) but are
not an option for those interested in a serious Torah education for
their kids.

Thoughts, comments?

Elie Rosenfeld


From: Carl M. Sherer <csherer@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1999 11:22:17 +0300
Subject: Alternatives to Kiddushin

Joseph Tabory writes:

> It is not totally analagous, but very few people will argue that a
> reform wedding creates a halakhic relationship or that such a
> relationship is created due to the couple living together after the
> ceremony.

There was a dispute about this between R. Moshe zt"l and R. 
Eliyahu Henkin zt"l, but I do not recall the exact details. Perhaps 
someone else does.

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: Feldman, Mark <MFeldman@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 10:00:55 -0400 
Subject: RE: Alternatives to Kiddushin

Joseph Tabory wrote:
> very few people will argue that a reform wedding creates a halakhic
> relationship or that such a relationship is created due to the couple
> living together after the ceremony.

R. Moshe Feinstein did indeed agree with you.  However, it is my
understanding (and Rav Aharon Lichtenstein stated this at a Shabbaton at
YU around 1989) that R. Moshe was in the minority on this issue.  Rav
Lichtenstein (as I recall) believes that so long as there is an intent
to be a common law marriage, the couple is considered married
halachically because it is generally presumed ("anan sa'hadei"-- public
knowledge has the equivalence of witnesses [edut]) that they have sexual
relations (bi'ah) and such relations constitute one of the three
possible ways to get married.

Janet Rosenbaum's question still stands.  Janet wrote:
> I just meant to ask
> whether the intents of the parties that this relationship was pilegesh
> and not kiddushin would be sufficient not to require a get.

Presumably, Rav Lichtenstein would agree that there is no anan sa'hadei
if there is no intent for marriage.  In order for there to be kiddushin
[acquisition of marriage], the husband and wife must have intent for the
acquisition (da'at koneh and da'at makneh, respectively).  Clearly at
the time in Jewish history (i.e., that of Tanach) where concubines
[pilagshim] were prevalent, the anan sa'hadei of sexual relations did
not cause the pilagshim to become married; otherwise, there would be no
such thing as pilegesh!

I question though whether it would be sufficient for rabbis to declare
to the marriage participants that all that is happening is pilagshut,
not kiddushin.  If the participants believe that they are getting
married (not necessarily a Jewish marriage, but married nonetheless) and
will be so treated under state law, this probably would be treated as a
marriage for halachic purposes.

Janet's original question was:
> 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

It would seem to me that instituting pilagshut for all non-Orthodox
would be problematic.  First, according to the Rambam Hilchot Ishut 1:4
(other than as interpreted by Ramban quoted by the Kesef Mishneh) any
non-marital relationship violates the prohibition of harlotry [lo
tih'yeh k'deishah]; in Hilchot Melachim the Rambam says that a pilegesh
is permitted only to a king.  Rava'ad (hil. Ishut 1:4) disagrees with
Rambama and permits a pilegesh to a commoner; the forbidden k'deishah
according to the Ra'avad is one who is available to anyone for sexual
relations, unlike a pilegesh who has a relationship with only one man.
Ramo in Shulchan Arukh Even Ha'ezer 26:1 cites both opinions (and
attributes the Rambam's opinion to the Rosh & Tur, even though that is
not the plain meaning of the Rosh; if the Rosh does hold like the Rambam
then the Rambam is no longer a shitat yachid [lone opinion]).  In fact,
the only achron I know who approves of pilegesh nowadays is R. Yaakov
Emden in She'elat Ya'avetz 2:15.

Second, it would seem that Kiddushin is the desired type of relationship
between man & woman.  See the bircat eirusin which we make under the

Third, from a public policy perspective, while this could solve one
problem with regard to the non-Orthodox, it would create another--single
men & women who are dating might be "moreh heter" [justify it as
permissible] and decide to live together before marriage (like the
majority of American couples do) to "try it out."  This would be a
deterioration in the moral fibre of Orthodox Judaism, and this sort of
thing has been denounced by Gedolim.

Kol tuv,


From: Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer <sbechhof@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 1999 09:45:59 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Daf Yomi Shiur Sought

One of the chaverim in my Daf Yomi shiur here in Chicago will be in the
Rechavia/Sha'arei Chesed area on and around Succos time. He would like
to attend a shiur, preferably in English, but Hebrew is OK (not

Really tough: Some days Chol Ha'Moed he will be in Teveriah. Same

Any help greatly appreciated!

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
<ygb@...>, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila


From: Ray Well <harhas@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 1999 10:11:07 -0400
Subject: Giving a name to oneself

Someone jewish, who grew up without having been given any jewish name,
upon growing up and becoming acquainted with Judaism, gave himself a
jewish name.  His secular name is Tom, and gave himself the name of
Moshe, because it appealed to him.

What would be his legal jewish name, for example, in a get, would it be
Tom or Moshe or both. If both, which one is the main one, how would the
name be written.

Is there any formal, custom, or halachic way one would/should go about
this, in choosing a Hebrew name for oneself? Can one do this by
themselves, or is this to be done by someone else, and if so who would
that be? What would or should be the criteria for choosing a name?

Is there an obligation to do so, or can one continue living a halachic
life without having a jewish name?

Since we are talking about names, may one change their given Hebrew name
if they feel so? And if they may not, what is if they did so any way,
which is their true name.

Does anyone know where these topics are discussed, or maybe a special
sefer, or section of a sefer that might discuss this?



From: Yisrael Dubitsky <yidubitsky@...>
Date: Tue, 07 Sep 1999 12:27:00 -0400
Subject: Hatarat Nedarim

Can anyone suggest reasons for the difference in versions of the *hatarat
nedarim* [= nullification of vows], wherein some have: [I hereby call null
and void all vows,...] va-afilu nezirut Shimshon [= even (vows regarding)
Samson's nazirism]; whereas others have: ... chutz mi-nezirut Shimshon [=
except for (vows regarding) the nazirism of Samson]; still other versions
have the last in parenthesis, apparently taking no sides on the issue.
This is probably not *merely* a difference among, say, Ashkenazim and
Sephardim, because, for whatever it's worth, the Artscroll *siddur* nusah
Ashkenaz has it one way (and the Sephardic nusah has it the other way) but
the Artscroll *mahzor* (for Rosh haShanah) nusah Ashekanz has it the other
way. I haven't had the oppurtunity to do any further research regarding
nus'ha'ot, but one wonders if the same confusion (?) is not reflected in
other siddurim. (I do know of a suggestion that posits the difference
arose from a printer's error: it should have read "im lo nezirut Shimshon"
but was mistakenly printed once and forever after as "va-afilu..." Is
there any value to this suggestion?)

In light of Rambam Hil Nezirut ch 3 (esp para 14), how does one justify
annulling a nezirut Shimshon? Just what are the contours of a nezirut
Shimshon (besides lasting a lifetime)?
Why bother mentioning "chutz..." if indeed we may not nullify such a vow?
Many thanks to any suggestions in advance, Shanah tovah and
Ketivah va-hatimah tovah to all!

Yisrael Dubitsky


From: Micha Berger <micha@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 1999 14:10:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kinyan

I heard R' YB Soloveitchik (RIETS, Spring 1985) explain kinyan to very
specifically mean ownership. He started with a history of the concept of
property. In short, people own the things they make or the plants they
tended. When this proved unwieldly, people bartered items they made for
items they needed. Money allowed people to separate the giving and
recieving halves of barter to two separate transactions. However,
possession, even of money, still derives from manufacture.

The Rav zt"l understands the key definition of the /knn/ root to be "to
make".  The same root is also used for purchasing because by purchasing
we are trading manufactures. Buying an item therefore ties you to the
object from the time it was manufactured -- not just from the point of
purchase. You are really trading your effort for the effort made in
making the item.

To contrast, see R' Aharon Soloveitchik's description of possession
through chazakah [construction and tending] vs. possession through
kibbush [conquring and mastering] in Logic of the Mind, Logic of the
Heart. (He finds in this contrast a key to understanding diferences
between the two Batei Mikdash, why J'lem, Chevron, Shechem are bought,
and even something about gender roles in halachah.)

The Rav suggests the use of the word nikneis for marrying a woman
because of this retroactive effect. The couple were truly created for
eachother. We therefore use the *form* of purchasing even though
purchasing is not involved.

BTW, a simple proof that marriage is not intended to be an acquisition:
you don't need a gentile slave's consent in order to buy
him. Purchasing's two parties are owner and buyer, not buyer and item
bought. The fact that the wedding can not occur against her will shows
that it isn't a purchase.

Micha Berger (973) 916-0287     MMG"H for  1-Sep-99: Revi'i, Nitzavim-Vayeilech
<micha@...>                                    A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                               Pisachim 31b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.    Melachim-I 15


End of Volume 29 Issue 81