Volume 30 Number 29
                 Produced: Wed Dec  8  6:23:57 US/Eastern 1999

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Hair Covering after Kiddushin/Yichud (2)
         [Susan Shapiro, Chaim Shapiro]
Negiah (5)
         [Chana Luntz, Daniel Katsman, Gitelle Rapoport, David I. Cohen,
Chaim Mateh]
Women's Hair Covering
         [Shmuel Himelstein]


From: Susan Shapiro <SShap23859@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 09:28:53 EST
Subject: Hair Covering after Kiddushin/Yichud

< Apropos the current discussion of hair covering among the wives of the
 gedolei Lita, has anyone seen any sources justifying the widespread
 practice of the kallah's not covering her hair right after kiddushin (or
 after yichud at the latest), but rather waiting until the next day? >>

I don't have a source for it, but heard that there are three parts to
being married, Kiddushin, Yichud and "the wedding night", and some
opinions hold that a woman is only considered "married" after all three.
In my case, I got married at 10 a.m., and was told that as long as I was
in my wedding dress, I didn't have to cover my hair, but once we got
home in the afternoon, I had to cover my hair.

Happy Chanukah
Susan Shapiro

From: Chaim Shapiro <Dagoobster@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 14:46:42 EST
Subject: Hair Covering after Kiddushin/Yichud

It's funny you mention that.  My wife and I were married at 12:00 ...and
had the entire afternoon free.  After watching the Bulls win in a
championship game, we went out for supper.....my wife wanted to go out
with her hair uncovered one last time!!



From: Chana Luntz <Chana/<Heather@...>
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 1999 19:19:19 +0000
Subject: Negiah

Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...> writes:
><<He then refers to the Beis Yosef you quote above as indicating that the
>Beis Yosef held differently about the Rambam, but (inter alia) suggests
>that those who conclude that way are making the assumption that what was
>done by way of medical care in those days was merely by way of touching.
>However, he suggests that in fact medical care was far more invasive
>(perhaps he is thinking along the lines of the different kinds of medical
>care one would expect today from an ordinary doctor and from a
>This is just a suggestion on Rav Henkin's part.  He brings no support for it.

That is true.  However, IMHO this is extremely logical if not

Why?  Well while we do not know about the medical procedures of the
time, we do know one simple fact.  Prior to the medical advances of this
century, one of the highest, if not the highest, cause of death for
women was in, or from complications that arise from, childbirth.  In
particular, women bleeding to death post partum. (This is the reason for
all the halachos about a woman in childbirth and post childbirth being
in a situation of sakana for significant periods of time eg seven days,
thirty days after).

Take the fact that we are talking, by definition, about a married woman
(the issue concerns a husband and his wife) young enough to be in nida
(otherwise there is no question), and the fact that immediately post
childbirth the same rules apply as for nida.  It would therefore seem
inescapable that *the* classic case when this question would need to be
asked and answered is where the woman is dying as a consequence of

Now I am no doctor, but in the days prior to blood transfusions,  the
only way I can see anybody having a hope of saving such a woman is by
stemming the bloodflow - which would presumably mean, by definition, at
the source of the bleeding.  I should hardly need to point out that any
such actions must have been more invasive than mere touching (hence my
reference to gynacology).  

Shavuah tov

From: Daniel Katsman <hannah@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 23:58:54 +0000
Subject: Re: Negiah

> From: Shlomo Pick <picksh@...>
> in vol. 29, no 97, D Katsman wrote:
> >"A note on terminology:
> >asked Rabbi J. David Bleich a question about "negi'a".  "Talk like a
> >lamdan!" came the reply.  "The term is hibbuk ve-nishuk [hugging and
> >kissing]!"  In fact, the classic halakhic meaning of the term "negi'a"
> >has to do with an interested party to a dispute, such as a witness who
> >is "noge'a ba-davar", and nothing to do with physical contact between
> >the sexes."
> In spite of the above, the following have used the term "negi'a".  The
> earliest that I found is in Terumot haDeshen, I, no.252 and from there
> to Beit Yosef, Y.D. 195 (15-16) s.v. katav adoni.  It's then found in
> Shach, ibid, no. 20 and pitchei teshuva no. 2.  In kizur shulchan
> aruch,153, se'if 14 down to igrot moshe, y.d. II, no. 83.  courtesy of
> bar-ilan responsa cd (and only because i have seen the term used by
> "lamdanim").

I stand partially corrected.  But all of the sources mentioned above
deal with physical contact between a man and wife while she is a nidda.
These laws are much stricter than those regarding a man and woman who
are not married to each other; because they ban touching even without
"derekh hibba", "negi'a" is occasionally the operative word.  However,
for physical contact between unmarrieds, which was the subject of the
original post, "negi'a" is not the term generally used in the classic
sources, and I think that Rabbi Bleich's formulation is preferable.

Daniel Katsman
Petah Tikva

From: Gitelle Rapoport <giteller@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 15:34:23 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Negiah

Chaim Mateh wrote:
 <<I was a bit surprised that [Rav Henkin]didn't differentiate between
pareve hand-holding (as perhaps shaking hands at a business meeting, or
helping the old lady across the street), and not-so-pareve hand-holding
(as when the boy strolls through the park holding his girlfriends hand,
or even dancing in a circle with many boys/girls).  The latter is indeed
chibah and taavah, and IMHO would be a Torah prohibition even according
to the Rambam.>>

Excuse me, but is "The latter is indeed chibah and taavah" an objective
halachic statement? To many of us who do folk dancing, dancing in a
mixed circle is not "indeed chibah and taavah." The point, and the
pleasure for me, is the movement to music along with other people. I
don't care (and sometimes don't even realize) whose hands I'm holding,
as long as the feet are moving in rhythm with the music and performing
the steps properly. OK, that may not be true for everybody, but please
let's not assume that everybody reacts the same way. (One more reason to
get your p'sak on such matters from a posek who knows you well and to
resist the occasional temptation to rely on Internet mailing lists.)

Gitelle Rapoport

From: David I. Cohen <BDCOHEN613@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 08:42:38 EST
Subject: Negiah

I loved Akiva Miller's story in vol. 30 #26:
    <<There is a famous story which occurred when I was at YU in the mid-70's.
<<Rabbi Heshy Reichman was giving a talk to a number of students about
<<these subjects, and one of them claimed that this sort of hand-holding
<<was indeed "pareve" (to use Chaim Mateh's terminology). The student
>>asked something to the effect of "Do you really think I'm going to have
>>inappropriate thoughts just because I'm holding my girlfriend's hand
>>while we walk down the road?"

>>Rabbi Reichman's response was, "If you can walk down the road with your
>>girlfriend, while you're holding hands, and *not* have inappropriate
>>thoughts, then you need a new girlfriend!"

    However, I do have a small problem with Rabbi Reichman's
response. If two people are truly in love, then they will have (and
should have) "inappropriate" thoughts even when there is no physical
contact. The key is controlling the thoughts and delaying "action" until
the appropriate time.  The question is, will holding hands be a simple
sign of affection, or is it the hole in the wall that bursts open the
dam. I tend toward the former view, but then again, I am way passed my
    Happy Chanukah
    David I. Cohen

From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Tue, 07 Dec 1999 21:51:09 +0200
Subject: Re: Negiah

In vol 30#26, David I. Cohen <BDCOHEN613@...> wrote:

<<In vol 30 #23 Chaim Mateh goes to great length to disparage the tshuva of
Rav Henkin.>>

It's a shame that you think that raising questions about a tshuva is
"disparaging" the tshuva.

<< While I do not know Chaim's status as a posek himself,>>

I am not a posek and never claimed to be.  I suppose most if not all the
participants on this list are also not poskim.  And therefore?  Is this
list only for Poskim?  Or can we express our opinions about Hallachic
issues and tshuvot without getting personally bashed?

<<  language such as <<He made so many hairsplitting distictions, >> is
frankly offensive, especially if one is not on Rav Henkin's level.>>

I personally felt that Rav Henkin indeed made hairsplitting
distinctions.  And I said so, not in a disparaging way, but in a
matter-of-fact way.  I thought it's a commonly used expression for
making very fine distinctions between things.  If the term offended you
(or anyone else), then I apologize.

<<  << The latter is indeed chibah and taavah, and IMHO would be a Torah
prohibition even according to the Rambam.>> Says who?>>

Says my personal opinion, which is what we are all expressing here, no?
I also mentioned a Rav Moshe that seemed to imply this too.  Do you
agree or disagree with the view that boy-girlfriend hand-holding is
chibah and possibly taavah?

<< Other authorities? Fine, but doesn't Rav henkin have the right to

Of course he does.  Did I say otherwise?  BTW, Rav Henkin didn't even
make the distinction between hand holding of boyfriend-girlfriend and of
business hand-shaking, so we can't really know if and how he makes this

<< and who says your statement is THE halacha.??>>

NOBODY!!  Did I ever claim to be the final (or any) Hallachic
authority?!  Is ANYONE on this list an Hallachic authority?  Or is
everyone expressing their views on the issues?

Me:  << I don't quite understand the distinction that Rav Henkin makes
between concentric circles and separate circles, vis-a-vis men looking at
the women.>>

You:  << I could very easily come up with a distinction.  The men are
facing inward to their own circle and are hopefully caught up in the ruach
created by their own dancing. I'm not sure that that's what rav henkin had
in mind, but at least I'm open to the possibility.>>

I don't think that your distinction addresses the point I made, which
was that in both situations (concentric and separate circles), the men
(not only the men who are dancing but also the men who are standing or
sitting around the dance hall) can and probably would look at the nice
dancing of the women.  Also, not everyone dances all of the time that
dancing is going on, so that not everyone is always "caught up in the
ruach created by their own dancing".

<< If you start with your own assumptions as to what is "correct", you
never see the other possibilities.>>

Everyone's expression of his opinion could be misconstrued as "starting
with his own assumptions."  I expressed my opinion after reading the
entire tshuva.  I raised some questions, without making any assumptions.
If you disagree with my views, feel free to express your views, without
making any assumptions, not about the tshuva or its author, nor about
someone expressing his opinions about the tshuva.

Kol Tuv,


From: Shmuel Himelstein <shmuelh@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 08:06:01 +0200
Subject: Women's Hair Covering

For those who can access the two volumes (XXX and XXXI) of the Journal
of Halachah and Contemporary Society, one will find an excellent article
by Rabbi Mayer Schiller and an equally excellent response by Rabbi
Michael J. Broyde (and Rabbi Schiller's response to that) on women's
hair covering.

I have gleaned the following from the two (all direct quotes):

(from Rabbi Schiller): It is fairly well known that among Lithuanian
Jews after World War I many married women uncovered their hair. This was
common even among rabbinic families. Indeed, when large numbers of
Lithuanian Jews and their leaders came to America in the twenties and
thirties they largely ceased to observe this law" ...

"As far as I have been able to uncover there are only three rabbinic
works (all of twentieth century origin) written by Orthodox authors that
permit married women to completely uncover their hair in public."

To this, Rabbi Schiller adds the following footnote: "Rabbi Isaac S.
Hurewitz, Yad ha-Levi, pp. 143a-b; Rabbi Yosef Masas, Mayim Chaim
(2:110) and Otzar Michtavim (1884); Rabbi Ephraim Zalman Slutzki, Etz
Ephraim, Orach Chaim (12)."

(Rabbi Broyde): "It is quite clear from both the halachic and historical
literature that this uncovering was the practice of the community in
Lithuania 100 years before World War I, when Orthodox observance and
culture was at its strongest. For proof of this, one need only examine
the fact that many poskim noted this uncovering in the 1870s as already
being well-established; see e.g., Rabbi Yosef Chaim (Ben Ish Chai)
Parshat Bo (writing about 1870). Rabbi Yechiel Epstein's remarks on the
commonness of this practice (Aruch HaShulchan OC 75:7) were published in
1903, and Mishnah Berurah OC 75:2 in 1881; both of them are clearly
referring to what was then already a well-established practice" ...

"One must also note the well-known school of thought which rules that
the Torah obligation for women's hair is limited to disheveled, not
uncovered hair (see Shevut Yaakov 1:103)" ...

"The custom of Lithuanian Orthodoxy is not unique either. At least one
other devout Orthodox community also accepted that halacha does not
require married women to cover their hair when modest Gentile women do
not; this was the practice of the Algerian (and Moroccan) Orthodox
community from well before 1900 also. The poskim of this community
explicitly defended its custom in this matter, and one can find a number
of teshuvot on this topic from leaders of their community sanctioning
this practice. Indeed, to this day, the halachic leadership of this
North African community in Israel maintains that hair covering is not
required; see Rabbi Moshe Malka, VaHashiv Moshe 1:34 and 35 and Rabbi
Yosef Massas, Mayim Chaim 2:110."

Shmuel Himelstein


End of Volume 30 Issue 29