Volume 32 Number 29
                 Produced: Sun May 28  9:51:54 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Erev Pesach on Shabbos
         [Jay Kaplowitz]
Heter Mekhira
         [Shelli and Dov Frimer]
Participating in a secular conference over Shabbat - Urgent
         [Elanit Z. Rothschild]
Pre-Nuptial Agreements (5)
         [Meir Shinnar, Sheldon Meth, Michael Feldstein, Dr. Jeffrey R.
Woolf, Aliza N. Fischman]
pre-Shavuot tikkun: Women and Leadership
         [Freda B Birnbaum]


From: Jay Kaplowitz <iii@...>
Date: Mon, 08 May 2000 17:18:47 -0400
Subject: Erev Pesach on Shabbos

In Volume 32 Number 22, Joshua Hosseinof and Yosef Medad both addressed
issues that arise when Erev Pesach occurs on Shabbos.

Indeed, this will be the case next year, so we have some 50 weeks to deal
with the various possibilities.

So far, the discussion has focused on whether one may use Egg Matzah or
Matzah Ashirah for Lechem Mishnah at the Shabbos meals.  While the
discussion has focused on the second and third meals, the meals eaten
during the day, the issue arises for Friday night as well because virtually
everyone will have a home that's Kosher for Pesach before Shabbos.

Josh Hosseinof presents most of the possibilities for dealing with Lechem
Mishnah during the day.  He says, however, that most Ashkenazim use bread
for Lechem Mishnah and suggests that only Sefardim would use Matzah
Ashirah.  He asks if there are other options.

Rabbi Heshie Billet, Rav of the Young Israel of Woodmere on Long Island,
discussed these issues at the back of one of my favorite Haggadot,
published in the '70s by the Jewish Community Enrichment Press in LA
and, I believe, also known as the SOY (Student Organization of Yeshiva
University) Haggadah.  Rabbi Billet, who was then a RIETS student,
quotes a psak from Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe, Orach Chayim,
section 1, number 155) that egg matzah may be used for the first two
Shabbos meals providing that the second meal is completed before the
time when Chametz becomes prohibited.  While I can't say what "most"
Ashkenazim do, Rav Moshe's psak certainly suggests that the practice of
using egg matzah is acceptable to Ashkenazim.

By the way, I wonder if an enterprising shmurah matzah bakery will
provide "Matza metugenet."

On another issue, Yosef Medad wrote, 

"The other major discomfort (besides the vatikin minyan) is that the
chametz left over is to be hidden and burnt after Chag."

Now wait a minute!  You may not have to daven Vatikin.  You could daven
about 7 a.m., which would be about the time many Hashkamah Minyanim get
underway.  As was the case this year, Erev Pesach next year will falkl
out during Daylight Savings Time, which means that the deadline for
eating Chometz will be about 10:30 a.m.  And you have other options for
disposing of the Chametz!

In the Haggadah cited above, Rabbi Billet described these options:

"Tiny crumbs which remain may be deposited on the floor where people
regularly walk.  It is preferable to place the crums in a gargabe can,
the toilet or outside the door of the house provided there is no problem
of Hotza'ah, removal from one domain to another."

Rabbi Billet also suggests giving larger pieces of bread to a non-Jew.
You can't ask a non-Jew directly to remove Chametz and you can't give
the non-Jew more than one meal's worth of Chametz.

Also, the Chametz may be fed to a dog or flushed down the toilet.

There is also an extensive discussion of these issues in the ArtScroll
sefer on Pesach.

Of course, there is one huge plus to having the first Seder Motzei Shabbos:
  Everyone is rested for the first seder!

Jay Kaplowitz
West Hempstead, NY


From: Shelli and Dov Frimer <greenj94@...>
Date: Mon, 08 May 2000 21:41:01 +0200
Subject: Heter Mekhira

When I was about to come to Israel for law school in 1973, I went in to
see the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, with a series of questions.
One of the issues I discussed with the Rav was whether or not I could
rely on the heter mekhira (5753 was a shemittah year). In response, he
asked me if I sell my hometz before Pessach. When I answered "yes", the
Rav then relied: " Well, if you rely on a heter mekhira for an issur
de-oraitah (hometz), then I quess that you can rely on a heter mekhira
for an issur derabbanan (shemittah in our times)."

Some years later, I had heard that the Rav told some YU student that he
should not rely on the heter mekhira. So in 1979, I went in to ask the
Rav again (prior to the shemittah of 5740), inquiring whether he had
perhaps changed his mind; to which the Rav responded (with a smile):
"Why would I change my mind? I was right then and I am right now!".

Dov I. Frimer


From: Elanit Z. Rothschild <Ezr0th@...>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 11:06:43 EDT
Subject: Participating in a secular conference over Shabbat - Urgent

[Of course, after being pretty good on dropping the ball and having
mail-jewish come out very regularly, I drop off for about 2 weeks just
as this came in. Sorry, Elanit, that I missed on this, but since this
issue is likely to be of interest in the future, I'm putting it in, even
if it can no longer help you. Mod.]

Next week, I will be in the Kansas City area for a week-long conference,
that goes from Sunday to Sunday, meaning, I will have to be there over
Shabbat.  My role in this conference is very active, and there will be
seminars and activities all week.  I've been in contact with some of the
organizers of the conference, discussing with them my religious
obligations, and I was told that they will support me 100%, and won't
make me participate in any activity that would be otherwise prohibited
on Shabbat.  It seems obvious to me that this is the first time that
they have to deal with a situation like this.  It is also my first time
dealing with a situation like this.

I've already sorted out the food issue, more or less.  Right now I'm
just wondering if anyone can give me any good pointers, tips, or
anything you have learned when and if you had to do the same thing.  I'm
pretty sure there has been a business conferences, etc, over Shabbat
that someone was forced to go to.

(To save time, since I am leaving this Sunday, May 21, please CC my email 
address [<ezr0th@...>] in your response to Mail.Jewish so that I can read 
the response before I leave and that others on Mail.Jewish can benefit from 
your response.)

Thank you!

Elanit Z. Rothschild


From: Meir Shinnar <Chidekel@...>
Date: Fri, 5 May 2000 10:36:22 EDT
Subject: Pre-Nuptial Agreements

With regard to the prenup, a poster made two claims:
1) Any solution requires the consenus of all the gdolim.
2) Why wasn't it done before?

The first point is, I believe, profoundly antihalachic.  It was always
considered that to be mattir an aguna (find a way for her to marry) was
something desirable, and a posek would try hard to find a way to be
mattir anaguna, even if meant going against some rabbinic opinions.
Given the kulot required in some psakim, some tshuvot about agunot asked
for the agreement of other poskim.  However, we have never required
universal consensus of the poskim on any issue, and agunot have always
been an issue which halachically required one to try to find ways to be
mattir (even if the success was not guaranteed).  Suggesting that
requiring universal consensus is required is actually a betrayal of

2) With regard to why there is now a need, the nature of the aguna
problem has profoundly changed.  In the past, most agunot were women
whose husbands disappeared.  Today, most agunot are women whose husbands
are around, but refuse to give them a get.  New social problems require
new halachic answers, not that halacha changes.

Meir Shinnar

From: Sheldon Meth <SHELDON.Z.METH@...>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 08:24:10 -0400
Subject: Pre-Nuptial Agreements

In order not to belabor the point, which is that a Prenup is NOT a
"common practice among American Orthodox Jews," this will, BL"N, be my
last posting on the subject.

I have been told that Rav Dovid Feinstein, Shlita, disapproves of the
Prenup.  AFAIK, the Chassidish and Yeshivish world also do not use it.


From: Michael Feldstein <MIKE38CT@...>
Date: Mon, 8 May 2000 08:58:37 EDT
Subject: Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Thank you, Michael Broyde, for thoughtfully articulating the purpose
behind the pre-nuptial agreement, and clearing up the misinformation
about the agreement that several people who post on this board seem to

Yesterday I attended a Yom Iyun, sponsored by Yeshiva University, at
which Rabbi Mordechai Willig (the author of the pre-nuptial agreement)
spoke about the subject.  While Rabbi Willig gave an excellent
presentation on the pre-nuptial agreement, he did say that when he
personally is asked to be a m'sader kiddushin at a wedding, he does not
require the couple to sign the pre-nuptial agreement.

This is very distressing.  It seems to me that in order for the
pre-nuptial agreement to be effective in helping to alleviate the agunah
problem, we need to better publicize the document, clear up
misinformation about its purpose, and get as many Orthodox rabbis as
possible to utilize it.  If the author of the document is not requiring
its use at weddings that he performs, how can we expect other Orthodox
rabbis to put this document to use?

In order to be effective, we need many, many more rabbis to utilize this
document.  To their credit, there are several Orthodox rabbis (Rabbi
Haskel Lookstein is one) who do require a couple to sign a pre-nuptial
agreement before agreeing to perform kiddushin, but they are a very
small minority at this time.

I implore Rabbi Willig--with the utmost respect that I have for his
halachic knowledge and reputation as a rabbi--to take the lead and
require that any couple who he marries sign the pre-nuptial agreement.
Hopefully, this will convince the other roshei yeshiva at YU and members
of the RCA to follow--so we can begin to make a dent in solving the
thorny issue of agunah.

It's one thing to say that a document is halachically valid.  But if
it's not being used, then it simply becomes a piece of paper.

Michael Feldstein
Stamford, CT 

From: Dr. Jeffrey R. Woolf <woolfj@...>
Date: Mon, 08 May 2000 13:36:46 +0200
Subject: Pre-Nuptial Agreements

    There are a number of reasons why agreements such as these were not
'plentiful' in previous periods (though as Rabbi Jachter points out such
instruments are certainly not unprecedented either).
    First, enforcement of court orders to issue gittin was easier in the
pre-modern era when Jews (even recalcitrant Jews) were subject to the
jurisdiction of the local kehilla. Part of the contemporary problem is the
essentially voluntary nature of Jewish affiliation.
    Second, a review of the responsa dealing with the parameters of
kefia shows that there were not a few places (Morocco for example. see
the responsa of R. Shalom Massas, Sefardic Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem)
where kefia was defined quite narrowly with expected results. The nature
of contemporary halakhic discourse discourages (at best), this type of
position (as a survey of the history of 'kim li' by poskim will also
    Third, and related to both of the above, the twentieth century has
witnessed a radical decline in the respect and deference accorded Bate
    I would, however, disagree with Rabbi Jachter concerning the Jewish
Divorce rate in past eras. While his contention that the divoirce rate
was low may be true of the past two centuries, in the late middle ages
(for example), divorce was so frequent that taqqanot were offered to
restrict the number of gittin issued in an area on an annual basis.

                                            Jeffrey Woolf

From: Aliza N. Fischman <fisch.chips@...>
Date: Mon, 08 May 2000 09:13:56 -0400
Subject: Re: Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Joseph Tabory wrote:
>I suggest that rabbis who use a prenuptial agreement and have them
>signed before the wedding, announce, at the huppah, that the couple has
>signed such an agreement. This would help increase the public acceptance
>of these agreements. An appropriate time for this would be before or
>after reading the ketubah. The rabbi could say that the ketubah was
>ordained by the rabbis to enhance the woman's status and, in our times,
>additional steps are necessary, the couple have signed an agreement.

I was married in 1995.  Prior to the wedding my husband and I took
"Chattan and Kallah classes", classes that teach the laws of family
purity, at the Lincoln Square Synagogue with the esteemed Rabbi Yaakov
and Rebetzin Peshi Neuberger.  One of the final sessions was combined,
the men with the women.  The topic of the entire evening was prenuptial
agreements.  Imagine!  An entire roomful of engaged couples talking
about signing a document which basically provides for in case R"L the
marriage that they are so looking forward to does not work out.  Now of
course none of us were planning on divorcing, otherwise we wouldn't be
marrying (one hopes!).  But one argument that was given for having a
prenup was to protect those brides and grooms who were not as confident
in the future marriages as we are of ours.

 In other words, if more people do it, it will be less of a stigma, and
those who think that they might NEED it, can get one without being
embarrassed.  This means that making it more common, makes it less
embarrassing.  I agree with that argument wholeheartedly.  There can be
no harm in getting a prenup, it can only help in case of future need--
yours, or someone else's.

A friend of ours went so far as to have the prenup read under the
chuppah, right after the ketubah.  Joseph Tabory suggested mentioning
it, but they actually read the entire text out loud.  As to be expected
there were mixed reactions but they mentioned, at the time of the
reading, that the purpose of reading it was basically what I mentioned

While I think that just having it (as I did) may not go far enough in
erasing any possible stigmas, and reading it in full under the chuppah
may be a little too much (it made some people uncomfortable/upset), I
think that Joseph Tabory's idea of mentioning it is a wonderful
compromise that still gets the message out.

Kol HaKavod to you, Joseph Tabory.

Aliza (Novogroder) Fischman


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 07:35:03 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: pre-Shavuot tikkun: Women and Leadership

I have been asked by Drisha Institute to publicize what I know from
previous experience is an excellent learning opportunity.  (They did
this last year and it was outstanding.)

I've included the list of topics so you can think ahead about which
sessions you're interested in.

Sunday, June 4, 3:00-9:00 p.m. 
Pre-Shavuot Tikkun: A Holiday Learn-in

Co-Sponsored by Drisha and Ma'yan. "Women and Leadership in Jewish Text
Throughout the Ages." Choose one class in each of four
sessions. Admission $18. Men and women are welcome. Refreshments will be
served. At Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, 131 West 86th Street
(between Amsterdam and Columbus), New York City. To pre-register or for
further information, phone (212) 595-0307.

3:00-3:30 - Welcome

3:30-4:40 - Devorah and Yael: What if they had been men? - Tamar
Kamionkowski, Ma'yan

3:30-6:00 - Yocheved to Ruth: Creating Sacred Coalitions and Collages -
Gila Gevirtz, Ma'yan (NOTE: This sessions runs from 3:30-6:00 p.m.)

4:50-6:00 - Rachel's Cry: An Exploration of Lament and Leadership in the
Midrash - Tammy Jacobowitz, Drisha

4:50-6:00 - Women's Role in Ancient Synagogues - Lisa Schlaff, Drisha

6:00-6:20 - Mincha

6:20-7:30 - Serach Bat Asher: A Female Messiah? - Karen Miller, Drisha

6:20-7:30 - Moving Through the Text: Translating Stories into Dance -
Sasha Soreff, Ma'yan

7:40-8:40 - Finding our Voices in Prayer - Ilana Fodiman, Drisha

7:40-8:40 - Using Ancient Texts as Feminist Resource: The Case of Yalta
- Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses, Ma'yan

8:40-9:00 - Closing

Judith Tenzer
Drisha Institute for Jewish Education
131 West 86th Street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 595-0307


End of Volume 32 Issue 29