Volume 32 Number 47
                 Produced: Wed Jun  7 19:50:18 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Comforting a Mourner
         [Stuart Wise]
Heter Mechirah
         [Idelle Rudman]
Honesty in prayer
         [Steve McQueen]
Instructions in Sidurim
         [Issie Scarowsky]
Lazman haze vs. Lizman haze
         [David and Toby Curwin]
         [Yisrael Medad]
Napster (2)
         [Eric Jaron Stieglitz, Yossie Abramson]
Need for Apartment in Kew Garden Hills
         [David Neuman]
Obligations and Limits of Questions
         [Chaim Vogt-Moykopf]
Three Stars and Shabbat
         [Alexander Heppenheimer]
Tzitzit and aliya
         [Andrew Klafter]


From: Stuart Wise <swise@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 10:13:12 -0700
Subject: Re: Comforting a Mourner

>>I increasingly see the custom of
>>people lining up at the funeral parlor, before the funeral, before the
>>kriah, actually, to go in, walk by, and say something comforting to the
>>family...Are people experiencing this in other communities? (I live
>>in Manhattan) Is there any justification for it?

I noticed this custom in Philadelphia about 14 years ago.


From: Idelle Rudman <rudmani@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 10:29:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Heter Mechirah

Rav Kook allowed working the land during the sh'mitta year for a number
of reasons.  He felt that there was an immediate and present piku'akh
nefesh.  There was a sizeable community of Teimanim who were farmers.
They were very frum and would not be over on any p'sak.  If there was a
blanket issur on working the land, they would have literally starved.
There was an attempt made to start a fund for farmers in order to enable
them to leave the land fallow, but it amounted to next to nothing.

In addition Rav Kook, ztzvk"l, whose interests lay with Knesset Yisrael,
the whole community no matter what the level of observance of
individuals, wanted to prevent chilul ha-Shem b'farhesia.  He wanted to
promote as much observance of mitzvot as possible.  By issuing this
heter, he included all those who might have been ovrei mitzva into
Knesset Yisrael.  This was an over-riding factor in his thinking.

However, Rav Kook realized the ramifications, and the shortcomings of
his decision.  After all, he was a major halakhist.  He observed that it
would be better to be able to practice sh'mitta in the full Biblical
sense, and wrote that b'atid lavo, when conditions change for the
better, Knesset Yisrael should observe it in the fullest sense.

Therefore, Rav Kook's heter was not a blanket statement, and was
actually hedged in by various conditions.

Idelle Rudman, MLS, MA, Librarian		    tel: 212-213-2230 x119 
Touro College, Women's Division                     fax: 212-689-3515
Graduate School of Jewish Studies	            <rudmani@...>
160 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY  10016


From: Steve McQueen <matnsue@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 14:49:51 BST
Subject: Honesty in prayer

Re: Rabbi Rosenfeld's revised version of the Nahem text in his Tisha
B'Av Compendium.  In the later editions, which are still in print,
either he or someone else re-revised the text to the traditional
wording.  This was clearly a point of some controversy at the time.

While we are on the subject of honesty in prayer, how can those who
support a change to Nahem say "... and bring us up in joy to our land"
in Shabbat Musaf?  Has this also not already happened?


From: Issie Scarowsky <issie.scarowsky@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 11:20:46 -0400
Subject: Instructions in Sidurim

	I looked in three different luachs - books that outline
synagogue procedure - and they all indicate that on the first days of
Sivan (from the 2nd to Shavuot) that although we do not say Tachnun, we
do say Lamenatseach. Most siddurim I have consulted are consistent with
this view. However, I noted that the ashkenaz Tikun Meir siddur states
that on these days we do not recite Lamenatseach.

	My question is how is it that one edition of a siddur can
provide instructions that seem to be contrary to most other sources?
What is known about the Tikun Meir siddur? Are its directions based on a
minority opinion and, if so, whose. Finally, is it possible that the
directions are in error and, if so, how do we come to trust siddur
directions in general?


From: David and Toby Curwin <curwin@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 17:23:17 +0300
Subject: Lazman haze vs. Lizman haze

> a. What is the source for 'bizman,' 'lizman'? Or, put it differently,
> what is the story behind this varied pronunciation?

I have an article by Rav Menachem Kasher (author of the Torah Shleimah),
about the bracha "she'asa nisim l'avotaynu bayamim hahem - U'vzman
hazeh". He doesn't discuss the difference between bizman and bazman, but
he does say that we should specifically say "u'vzman" instead of
"bzman", as per the version of the Rambam and the Levush. He writes that
by doing that we "fulfill a mitzva d'oraita of praise", and we
commemorate how God saved us "in our times", particularly during the Six
Day War.

He quotes the "Seder HaYom" (anyone know who this is), as saying that
anyone who does not give significant consideration to miracles done
through nature (as in Channuka) is guilty in three ways: a) he denies
the good granted by God, b) he shows that he is not happy in the joy of
Israel, and c) he is not concerned about their (Israel's) redemption and
well being.

I think the article was later printed in Rav Kasher's commentary on the
Shulchan Aruch.

David Curwin
Kvutzat Yavne, Israel


From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 19:59:20 +0300
Subject: Names

Gilad J. Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...> wrote:
>The Mishna Berura (Chafetz Chaim), the Aruch Hashulchan (R. Epstein),

if the author's name was provided in the second instance, we should then
be informed that the author of the Mishnah B'rura was Rav Yisrael Kagan.


From: Eric Jaron Stieglitz <ephraim@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 14:07:37 -0400
Subject: Re: Napster

Michael Lipkin <msl@...> wrote on mail-jewish:

  > I would be interested to see a halachically based discussion on the
  > ethics of using this software.
  < [...]
  > According to this week's cover story in Newsweek there are over 1
  > million songs in the database.  Napster is causing a major ethics debate
  > in the secular world.  (They are being sued by a recording industry
  > association group and 2 artists).  Also, as more books go digital this
  > type of "problem" will expand to books as well.

This actually brings up a larger issue which I had been meaning to ask
on mail-jewish, but apparently you've beaten me to it:

How does halakhic Judaism view the issue of intellectual property?

Our secular legal system has crafted specific categories of intellectual
property. Patents, copyright, and trademark each have a specific set of
laws that define when use of such material is equivalent to theft and
when it is permitted under "fair use" guidelines. Thus, one may not sell
entire copies of the latest set of Gmarahs by artscroll without paying a
royalty fee, but one could excerpt some short passages in order to print
a review in a magazine or in an essay that explains the appropriate

On the one hand, we are most likely required to follow these rules given
dinah d'malkhutah dinah (the law of the land is the law). Unfortunately,
I've never seen a discussion about how halakha believes that these laws
*should* apply. Under halakha, what is it possible to own and what
limitations should exist for that ownership? Recently the US legislature
extended copyright ownership from 75 to 95 years. Is there any halakhic
basis in the idea that ownership can "expire" after a specific period of
time? (sort of like Yoveil, the "Jubilee" year)

This is currently an enormous debate in the US courts regarding the
definitions of these issues (i.e. MPAA vs. the DVD DeCSS, etc.).  Does
our own tradition have anything to add to this, or does it simply boil
down to dinah d'malkhutah dinah?


From: Yossie Abramson <yossie@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 23:07:34 -0400
Subject: Re: Napster

> From: Michael Lipkin <msl@...>
> I would be interested to see a halachically based discussion on the
> ethics of using this software.
> For those who aren't familiar with it, Napster allows individuals to
> exchange music files (mp3 format) via the internet.  Napster 
> maintains a database of the users who have signed up and allowed
> access to their 
> PC. Using the software one enters an artist or song title and few 
> seconds later is presented with a listing of all the matches (there are
> already lots of hits under "Carlebach", "Miami Boys Choir", etc.).

According to Jewish law, there are two distinct arguments. One is on the
user of Napster and one is on Napster itself.

 I don't see any reason why anybody would allow a user to exchange music
on Napster. It is in clear violation of copyright laws, and therefore is
illegal. It should be noted that a growing number of Jewish music is
sold Mechira B'Tnai, (selling with conditions). It specifies that this
music is sold to you on the condition that you don't distribute or
reproduce.  According to this it is even more clear cut that you are
stealing.  As for Napster.com, they clearly are being Chotai Machte es
Harabim, (A sinner who causes others to sin). By allowing users to have
access to their system for the sole purpose of illegal activities is
most definitely assur. I don't even see a "It's technically mutar but we
don't do it" issue.

(For those of you who use Napster just because you only like one song on
a CD, you should visit emusic.com. There you can purchase MP3 songs for
immediate download. Unfortunately, it's mostly rock and roll, but they do
have some soundtracks and easy listening.)



From: David Neuman <dav-el-svc@...>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 20:46:28 -0400
Subject: Need for Apartment in Kew Garden Hills

Our recently married son, Heshy,  is looking for an apartment in Kew
Garden Hills.  He will begin medical school this August at NYCOM in Long
Island.  If you have any leads, you may reach him at 410-358-3658 or
e-mail me at <DAV-EL-SVC@...>  Your help is greatly appreciated.

Dovid Neuman


From: Chaim Vogt-Moykopf <chaimoy@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 20:45:54 -0400
Subject: Obligations and Limits of Questions

Shalom rav,

could anybody help me with my following questions: I am breaking my head
about a possible answer why she'elah and she'ola have the same shoresh?
(At least I believe so. The only difference I see is the cholam
chaser). The word she'ola (as Shin, Alef, Lamed, Heh) is used 5 times in
the Chumash and only in the sense of 'grave'. She'elah as 'question'
doesn't exist at all (It's interesting that I couldn't find a
counterpart for 'question'). Rashi and Rav Hirsch don't comment it and I
couldn't find any explanation in other commentaries. I should ask: since
the Chumash is shalem and mushlam it doesn't ask questions but only
causes questions to those who study it? Under which circumstances could
a question become a "grave"? What are we allowed and what are we not
allowed to question? It's interesting that the first question since
creation was asked by the nachash, the first question of Hashem was
'Ayeika' to Adam after the latter had sinned and the first question of a
human being was a counter question. Hashem asked: Where is Abel your
brother and got the answer: Am I my brothers keeper? We know how
important it is to be curious in Judaism, to ask questions, to doubt, to
be critical. But where are the limits according to Halacha? I was amazed
that asking questions from a superficial view into the chumash has such
a negative connotation. Where is the challenge? Any taker?

please send your answer to the following accounts:

<chaimoy@...> or chaimoy@yahoo.com

Chaim Vogt-Moykopf
6294, avenue De Vimy - Montréal, Québec - H3S 2R3 Canada
Tel (514) 737-7949 - Fax (514) 737-8224


From: Alexander Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: 5 Jun 2000 12:39:12 -0700
Subject: Re: Three Stars and Shabbat

In MJ 32:43, Shalom Kohn <skohn@...> asked:

> Does anyone on the m-j list have a contact with an astronomer (or
> interested layman) who might assist in observations as to when 3 "stars"
> are visible around sunset?

Prof. Leo Levi, in his book Jewish Chrononomy (New York, 1967),
pp. 35-39 of the Hebrew section, has a discussion of his observations of
star visibility at the latitude of Yerushalayim during various seasons
of the year. This might be a good starting resource.

Kol tuv y'all,


From: Andrew Klafter <andrew.klafter@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 00:21:17 -0400
Subject: Re: Tzitzit and aliya

> Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...> wrote:
> > Rav Moshe Feinstein in his Igros Moshe (Even Hoezer 1, end of #102) says
> > exactly that, i.e., that moving to Israel is not a Mitzvah chiyuvis but
> > rather a Mitzvah kiyumis.  He compares it to the Mitzvah of Tzizis; if I
> > am not wearing a 4 cornered garment, then I am not obligated to wear
> > Tzizis.  But if I purposely (or not) put on a 4 cornered garment with
> > the required Tzizis, then I've done the Mitzvah.
> One thing that has always bothered me about that argument:
> How many Jews who don't make aliya because it is "only" a mitzva kiyumit
> (according to Rav Feinstein) take the same approach and go their whole
> lives without wearing a talit katan or gadol? And to take the example
> further, how could those who wouldn't wear tallitot explain themselves
> if they were being handed out for free?
> David Curwin

The difference is that Chazal decreed that we MUST wear a tallis.
Biblically it is a mitzva kiyyumis, but rabbinically it is a mitzva
chiyyuvis.  Some authorities have forbidden walking 4 amos without a
tallis koton.  On the other hand, Chazal did not decree that we must
fulfill the mitzva of yishuv eretz yisrael immediately, no matter what.

-Nachum Klafter


End of Volume 32 Issue 47