Volume 30 Number 95
                 Produced: Sun Jan 16 11:33:17 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adnei Hasadeh
         [Warren Burstein]
Boro Park Eruv
         [Paul Merling]
Collect Phone calls
         [Avi Feldblum]
Counting Women for a Minyan in Scriptural and Rabbinic law
         [Jay F Shachter]
Ed Psych and Rabbanim
         [Gershon Dubin]
Pidyon shvuyim
Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh
         [Akiva Miller]


From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 13:05:06
Subject: Re: Adnei Hasadeh

But what reason is there to think that Adnei Hasadeh are Neanderthals,
rather than a variety of monkey or ape?


From: Paul Merling <MerlingP@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 10:41:12 -0500
Subject: Boro Park Eruv

   There are some who think that Reb Moshe was the first to write about
Eruvin in big cities. In fact the Berzhaner Ruv, known as the Marsham,
certainly considered one of the greatest Poskim in Poland at the turn of
the last century, allowed an Eruv in the whole East Side (not just the
lower part) of Manhattan based on the then Second Avenue elevated
railroad and the East River. He stated that even a Baal Nefesh/a
scrupulously observant Jew can carry in the East Side Eruv. Many great
Poskim at that time and later allowed Eruvin in big cities, among them
were Rav Shlomo David Kahane of Warsaw and Reb Chaim Ozeir of
Vilna. Closer to our time, Rav Yonasan Shtief, the Viener Rav and Reb
Pesach Tzvee Frank of Jerusalem approved in theory of the full Manhattan
Eruv. Rav Yoel Teitlebaum, the Satmar Rav, was known to hold that an
Eruv could be built in Manhattan and Brookyn. He, in general, did not
support these efforts as he was worried about the supervision of the
Eruvin after they had been established. Rav Eliyashav was consulted
before the establishment of the recent Manhattan West Side
Eruv. Although he did not give an explicit Hechsher as he felt he would
have to see it, he saw no reason why it could not be done. I have heard
that he feels the same way about the Eruv in Boro Park.
    Reb Moshe Zatsal did not force his view upon others as some are
trying to do now in his name. My late brother-in-law, Aaron Palgon, who
was a student of Reb Moshe and remained in close contact with him,
consulted him when the controversy about the Flatbush Eruv began. Reb
Moshe told him that he can rely upon the Psak/decision of the Rav of his
Shul who had permitted using the Eruv. Peace on Israel.


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 05:25:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Collect Phone calls

On Mon, 10 Jan 2000, Ken G. Miller wrote:
> I think these examples are similar to one who purchases an appliance of some
> kind, fully intending on returning it after a few days of use, merely
> pretending to be dissatisfied with it, relying on the store's "No Questions
> Asked" return policy. It is one thing to be genuinely dissatisfied with a
> purchase -- even if only slightly so -- but quite another to take advantage
> of a liberal return policy, with deliberate intent to defraud.

Another interesting parallel that may be worthwhile considering is that
it is my understanding that the following common practice may not be
permitted according to Halacha. You go into a store to look at the
selection of items in the store, but know that you have no intention of
actually buying anything in that store. Your actual purchase will be
elsewhere, but you go here for convienence to see what the items look
like before purchase (in todays world, maybe you want to buy the item
over the Internet, but want to actually see it first). My understanding
of the issue requires that there be a store employee that you would
interact with in the normal course of events, with some/many of todays
department stores where unless you go out of your way, you never
interact with a store employee, that may not be the case.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Jay F Shachter <jay@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 100 16:05:23 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Counting Women for a Minyan in Scriptural and Rabbinic law

Twenty or so issues back, as of the time of this writing, a discussion
thread commenced regarding counting people for a minyan.  Early in the
discussion, someone stated that the concept of minyan is only rabbinic,
whereas being a sensitive, caring, individual is scriptural (words to
that effect).  The discussion thread seems to have died out, and
throughout its lifetime, no one made the pedantic correction that
minyan, in fact, is not rabbinic.  So I guess I have to.

The concept of minyan (i.e., conferring some sort of "communal" status
onto a gathering of ten adults that is lacked by a gathering of nine
adults) is not a rabbinic concept.  It is a Scriptural concept.  The
Scriptural commandment of "Qiddush HaShem" and the Scriptural
prohibition of "Xillul HaShem" both involve this concept.  To
illustrate: If I am told to, e.g., eat pork in private or I will be
killed, then I am permitted (and according to the most convincing
opinions, including Rambam, obliged) to eat the pork.  If I am told to
eat pork in public or I will be killed, then, according to all opinions,
I am forbidden to eat the pork, even if I must suffer death in
consequence.  The distinction between "in private" and "in public" is
that "in public" means in the presence of ten adult Jews and "in public"
means not in the presence of ten adult Jews.

What makes this example of scriptural minyan interesting is that the ten
adults Jews are either men, or women, or any combination of men and
women.  This is because both men and women are required to perform
Qiddush HaShem, and to avoid Xillul HaShem, when applicable.
Consequently, both men and women are counted for the minyan that these
two mitzvot require.  One often hears uneducated people assert that a
minyan means "ten adult Jewish males".  This is only true when the
minyan is needed for a mitzva that is applicable only to adult Jewish
males.  Under those circumstances, only adult Jewish males can be
counted.  When the minyan is needed for a mitzva that is equally
applicable to men and women, then both men and women are counted for the

An example of a rabbinic mitzva for which both men and women count in a
minyan would be the recitation of Birkat HaGomel, the benediction that
one must recite after escaping great danger.  This benediction should be
recited in public.  Women are obliged to recite Birkat HaGomel just as
men are.  Consequently, when a woman recites this benediction, she may
do so in the presence of ten Jewish men, or any combination of Jewish
men and women, or (according to the most convincing opinions) ten Jewish
women.  I realize that the Mishna Brura states that this last
possibility should not be chosen, that there should be at least one
Jewish man in the minyan; I will leave an explanation of the Mishna
Brura's opinion for some reader who understands the reasoning behind it.

If the "public" implicit in the "publicizing the miracle" which we
perform by reading the Scroll of Esther on (or within a few days of)
Purim also denotes a minyan, then the same would apply to a woman
reading or listening to the Scroll of Esther (if this woman is obliged
to "publicize the miracle").  It would be better for this woman to hear
the scroll read among ten Jewish men or women than among fewer than ten
Jewish men or women.  As I have indicated, though, there are several
antecedent conditions which must be met, many of which are disputed,
before this conclusion can be drawn.  You may want to read an article in
the current volume (Volume 8) of The Torah U-Madda Journal entitled
"Women and the Reading of the Megilla", pages 295 to 317 of the volume,
which discusses this and other questions.  There may be other articles
elsewhere which discuss the question better, I just happened to have
this copy of the Torah U-Madda Journal in my house, so I mentioned it.

We may get some objections to my example (I always like to anticipate
these things before they happen) from people who claim that women should
not recite Birkat Hagomel at all nowadays.  Even though the codes of law
clearly state that women are not only permitted, but also obliged, to
recite this benediction, such people would argue that in modern society
such a public act on the part of a woman would be taken as a political
statement and would strengthen the feminist movement, an undesirable
consequence which must be prevented by sending the woman's husband into
the community to recite the benediction on her behalf.  I have heard
people offer the same reason why, nowadays, women should not recite
Qaddish in synagog.  These must be the people who are called "Modern
Orthodox" (I have never been entirely sure what that term meant) --
people who assert that the changed circumstances which characterize
modern times are reason to abrogate or modify certain halakhot.

			Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
			6424 N Whipple St , Chicago IL  60645-4111


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 13:49:48 -0500
Subject: Ed Psych and Rabbanim

> From: Chaim Shapiro <Dagoobster@...>
<<Many Yeshivas try and encourage personal relationships between the
Rabbanim and their Talmidim, in order to discuss personal issues.  I have
spoken to children who tell me how  this Rebbe and that Rebbe destroyed a
young person's life>>

While I do not deny that there are troubled children, nor that Rebbeim
can ruin children's lives, much of this claim that so and so ruined so
and so's life is, of course, blaming someone else for your own

<<It is time that we demand that all Yeshiva Rabbanim take, at the very
least, Ed Psych courses.  I don't care if they do so in College
classrooms, or by bringing professionals into the Yeshivas  themselves>>

This must be done with extreme caution.  When you deal with "Education"
professionals (I use the quotes and capital letter advisedly) the refuah
is often if not usually worse than the makka.  Frum mental health
professionals, maybe.  Will they get the respect required for this
endeavor?  Very doubtful IMHO.


<<Only on the recommendation of the dorm counselor is an audience with
the Rebbe arranged.  I cannot describe how dangerous a policy like that

Agreed!! A disaster waiting to happen.

Allow me to highly recommend a tape from Rabbi Reisman's Motzoei Shabbos
Novi shiur,  from about two weeks ago,  in which he spoke about the
importance of developing a relationship with a Rebbe.



From: Mordechai <Phyllostac@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 06:07:44 EST
Subject: Pidyon shvuyim

In response to Chaim Shapiro's query re pidyon shvuyim- 

There seems to be a dangerous and widespread misunderstanding /
distortion of the concept / mitzvah of pidyon shevuyim (redeeming of
captives) among some of our brethren. It is classically a great mitzvah,
praised highly by the Rabbis. Some people today, however, are applying
this powerful and evocative term to any case in which a Jew is in
trouble - without differentiating between situations that differ widely
- e.g. if the Jew has been captured by lawless bandits, imprisoned
capriciously by a tyrant who seized power without being elected by his
people, or by a virulently anti - semitic government with no real due
process / equal protection for Jews (a case like that in a middle
eastern country where a number of Jews are imprisoned and stand accused
of very serious crimes at the moment comes to mind) (when the term
should seemingly apply) - as opposed to other cases where a Jew
committed a clear crime against the law of a legitimate government
(e.g. the USA - a country which Rav Moshe Feinstein z"l referred to as a
'malchus shel chesed' [government of kindness]) and has been imprisoned
- when the Jew clearly brought his unpleasant predicament upon himself
through misdeeds of his own and where the term seems out of place.

The term shvuyim means captives - as in in people captured by lawless
forces, G-d forbid (as in the famous term 'tinok shenishba' [a child
that was captured by gentiles and raised among them]) - referring to
people who are confined through extrajudicial power (not through a
legitimate court process). The term for people who did wrong and were
jailed after a proper, fair trial by a legitimate court would be, I
believe, 'asirim' (prisoners) (as is used in the Torah in sefer
Bireishis) - not shvuyim.

People who are so distorting the meaning of pidyon shvuyim as to apply
it to any case when a Jew is imprisoned, regardless of his guilt, are,
IMHO, in danger of being in the category of 'migaleh panim baTorah shelo
kaHalachah' (preaching an incorrect / distorted version of the
Torah). In addition to possibly being a dangerous chilul Hashem of great
magnitude to the world at large if we try to 'redeem' people who are
clearly guilty of crimes as if they were fine, upstanding citizens, it
is also sending a very dangerous message to our fellow Jews - namely,
don't worry too much if you are engaging in illegal activity...if you
happen to get caught, we will be at your side to help you and to
advocate for you no matter what odious crime you commmitted.  Not only
that, but you will be portrayed as a poor victim and captive [shavuy]
(rather than a crook as in reality).

A story I once heard in the name of Rav Shimon Schwab z"l of KAJ (Khal
Adas Jeshurun of Washington Heights, New York) comes to mind. When he
was once approached to try to help a Jew who had committed serious
illegal activity get out of jail, he supposedly said something like 'let
him rot in jail - he committed such a crime, that is what he
deserves...' (If anyone has more info on this story, please submit it -
I hope I am portraying it accurately).

Jews who engage in illegal activity and then come crying to their fellow
Jews for assistance when they are caught must learn that they have
forfeited the status of innocent shvuyim by engaging in their nefarious
activities. These people actually, IMHO, are more like 'rodfim'
(pursuers). They, by their evil deeds, blacken the holy name of Israel
and bring enmity upon their innocent brethren and are the cause of much
anti - semitism and chilul Hashem. The safe and tranquil existence of
Jewish communities in various lands is threatened if they are seen as a
communities that produce, tolerate, harbor and assist (G-d forbid!)
swindlers and criminals. Perhaps if criminals need help to get kosher
food in prison we should attempt to assist them - but to act as if a
known criminal was wrongly imprisoned is not what the Torah wants.

It's about time that people stand up and make clear that we will not
stand for this crookedness. Are we a nation of crookedness, G-d forbid?
On the contrary - the nation of Israel is called 'Yeshurun' - for the
straightness that it is supposed to embody.



From: Akiva Miller <kgmiller@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 09:50:53 -0500
Subject: Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh

In MJ 30:85, Arieh Kadosh mentioned the interesting case of when Rosh
Chodesh falls after Shabbos, and one eats Shalosh Seudos in the evening,
after sunset, meaning that Rosh Chodesh has already begun, yet Shabbos
has not yet ended. The question is whether to include Retzeh or Yaaleh
V'yavo -- or both -- when bentching.

Many seforim discuss what to do in that situation, but I have often
wondered what to do in the opposite case: What happens when Rosh Chodesh
is EREV Shabbos in the summer, and one begins Shabbos early. He will eat
his Shabbos dinner before Rosh Chodesh has ended! Bentching may occur
before dark, or even before sundown. In any case, the meal will have
begun during Rosh Chodesh, and I would think that he would have to say
Yaaleh V'yavo for that reason, even if the bentching is after dark, just
as we say Al Hanisim even when the bentching is after dark, because the
Purim meal began while it was still day.

This situation could easily have occurred in the Southern Hemisphere a
few weeks ago, when Rosh Chodesh Teves occurred on Thursday and Friday,
December 9-10. (On that Erev Shabbos in Melbourne, sunset was at 7:34,
and plag hamincha at 6:02, according to http://www.kashrut.com/zemanim/)

Has anyone seen any sefer discuss this?

Akiva Miller


End of Volume 30 Issue 95