Volume 32 Number 80
                 Produced: Mon Jul  3 21:13:56 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Mazal Tov: It's a girl
         [Michael, Bonnie and Ora Rogovin]
Bnei Banim
         [Rabbi Y. H. Henkin]
Burial on Yom Tov
         [I. Harvey Poch]
Essay on Mitzvoh Gedola Lihiyos Bisimcha Tomid
Halakhically Legitimate Heterim --- Why Not?
         [Eliezer Kwass]
Kiddush for Girls
         [Shlomo Pick]
Tikun Sofrim
         [Ben Z. Katz]
Tzitzit Question
         [Rabbi Yisroel Finman]
Whatever Happened to Derech Eretz (32:71)
         [Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.]


From: Michael, Bonnie and Ora Rogovin <rogovin@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jul 2000 08:34:16 -0400
Subject: Mazal Tov: It's a girl

B"H With thanks and praise to God for all the abundant blessings
bestowed upon us, we announce with great simcha (joy) the birth of our
daughter and sister Adina Shira bat Moshe Yisrael HaCohen v'Bluma

Adina was born on Friday 27 Sivan (June 30) at 12:13 pm at Long Island
Jewish Hospital. She weighed in at 7 lbs 10 oz (3.47kg) and is 20.25 in
(51.44 cm) long. Mother and baby are doing fine and are expected home on
Tuesday; Bonnie's phone # at LIJ is 718-470-5524.

Y'gadla l'torah u'mitzvot , l'chupa, u'l'ma'asim tovim May she grow to a
life of Torah and mitzvot, to be wed and raise a Jewish family and
perform many good deeds throughout her life.

Adina=noble, delicate, gracious
Shira=poetry, song, music

We hope to post pictures within a week or so at

Michael, Bonnie and Ora Rogovin
76-40 173rd Street
Fresh Meadows, New York 11366


From: Rabbi Y. H. Henkin <henkin@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 15:17:48 +0300
Subject: Bnei Banim


I am pleased to report that vol. 1 of Shu"t Bnei Banim has been
reprinted, after having been unavailable for a number of years. A
limited number of sets of vols. 1-3 should be available in sefarim
stores in a few months, or they can be gotten through me.

Cost of the set is $50, including sea mail. For air mail, add $10 US.

Individual volumes 1, 2, or 3 are $20 each, including sea mail. For air
mail, add $5 per volume.

With Torah blessings, Rabbi Yehuda Henkin
1/11 Nurock Street
96109 Jerusalem, Israel

P.S. "Equality Lost: Essays in Torah Commentary, Halacha, and Jewish
Thought (Urim Publishers, 1999) should be available now in the stores ,
or from me for $22 including air mail.

A New Form of Plagiarism

This consists of writing an article or a book and citing a teshuva or
ma'amar, but only in reference to some specific point, while not
mentioning that the teshuvah is in fact the source of many of the
writer's references and arguments. For instance, Bnei Banim I, 35 on
mixed or separate seating at weddings is closely paralleled by an
article in a recent annual. The writer does cites some of my
conclusions, but only on page 169. On page 164, on the other hand, he
quotes a certain gaonic work at length, and writes: "This Gaonic
response is not discussed by the rishonim, and not mentioned by the
poskim." It is discussed at length in Bnei Banim. Another central
observation, that the Bach in commenting on a certain minhag in Cracow
did so only to explain the minhag but did not make it into a general
prohibition, is also in Bnei Banim. I have seen similar very partial
attributions in articles and books on women's issues such as women's
megillah readings.

No one would attempt this with, say, the Igrot Moshe, it being too
widely known. It is my hope that the re-availability of Bnei Banim will
help minimize it here as well.

[In addition, I have placed on the web site a translation of an
unpublished teshuva by Rabbi Y. H. Henkin on Women and Birkat Hagomel.
It can be found at: http://mail-jewish.org/New_Articles.htm#Gomel
Iy"h it will appear next year in a volume of translations. It was
written after the third volume of shut Bnei Banim. Mod.]


From: I. Harvey Poch <harvpoch@...>
Date: Mon, 03 Jul 2000 11:14:45 -0400
Subject: Burial on Yom Tov

I am just now catching up on a couple of weeks of postings, and have
followed this thread with great interest. I live a few doors away from a
Jewish cemetery, and have once been asked to attend a kevuroh on the
second day of a Yom Tov - an event which had not occurred here for
twenty years previously.

The funeral home is not far away (10-15 minutes walk). A non-Jew drove
the hearse, and the Chevra Kadisha forbade anyone from handling the
shovels who had not participated in the Taharoh, even though we
'minyan-men' are also Chevra Kadisha members. Except for one grandson of
the niftar, who had walked up on behalf of the family, the family did
not attend the burial.

In fact, the Chevra Kadisha is allowed to be driven to *and from* the
kevuroh (as one poster mentioned re: the Breuers' CK). The reason is
that, if they could not be driven back, they would decline to go in the
first place, and the kevuroh could not take place. Once they are allowed
to drive, they can go any distance - it is not necessary to go to the
nearest cemetery (the niftar may not have burial rights there) - so
going from NYC to Upstate was not unreasonable (although it was
unnecessary - they could have waited another day).

In the case I referred to before, the Rov whose father was niftar told
me during the shiva that he would never have permitted the Yom Tov
activity if he hadn't been convinced that there would be no chilul Yom
Tov. I didn't have the heart to tell him what had really happened - it
is almost impossible to perform the necessary work in our technological
society without chilul Yom Tov (and I speak as a professional funeral
director), unless there is a person standing by as a referee who knows
both the customs of the funeral process (rechitzoh, taharoh, halboshoh,
levoyoh, kevuroh) as well as the halochos of Yom Tov in depth. With one
Yom Tov burial in 20 years, it's unlikely to find such a person. If
Satmar does this on a regular basis, they would be much more familiar
with the do's and don'ts.

Meanwhile, our two Jewish funeral homes are (officially, anyway) closed
on Yom Tov.


From: <Mhayehudi@...>
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2000 12:34:37 EDT
Subject: Essay on Mitzvoh Gedola Lihiyos Bisimcha Tomid

BS"D I have watched with interest as the saying (and concept) 'mitzvoh
gedola lihiyos bisimcha tomid' (it is a great mitzvoh to be happy
constantly) has spread and surged in popularity in recent years (in part
due to it being [part of] the lyrics to popular songs and perhaps also
because of the increased focus on inner thoughts and emotions with the
increased dispersion of psychological terms and concepts among the
population at large).

Many people seem to have taken it as axiomatic that there is a mitzvah
(commandment) to be constantly bisimcha (to be happy) in Judaism.
Interestingly however, the saying 'mitzvoh gedola lihiyos bisimcha
tomid' seems to be actually of recent origin (approximately 200 years
old) and not stated in older sources such as the Talmud or halachic
codes, to my knowledge.

I have given the matter much thought and recorded some of my thoughts
and research on the subject, as I attempted to ascertain whether this
is, in fact, as some might have it, an indisputable fact accepted by all
Torah authorities / sources.

I hope people will enjoy it as food for thought and perhaps it will
bring happiness to people as well (as Torah has the power to do).

Thanks to the moderator for providing the forum for this exploration.

I would be interested to hear if readers can shed additional light on
the matter.


[Article is on the mail-jewish web page and can be found at:
http://mail-jewish.org/New_Articles.htm#Simcha Mod.]


From: Eliezer Kwass <kwass@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 14:21:21 +0200
Subject: Halakhically Legitimate Heterim --- Why Not?

Shalom -- concerning the recent string about chumrot and legitimate
heteirim: An article by Rav Shaya Karlinsky (building on an piece by Rav
Wolbe) helps put the issue of chumrot into perspective. The key issue
with chumrot is how they become part of our avodat (= service of)
Hashem.  While clearly valuing the role of chumrot, he encourages us to
question our motives:

We must question our motives. Why do we want to avoid relying on
(possibly lenient) opinions that served the Jewish community well for
decades? Is it because we want to be "frummer" than our grandparents? Or
is it because we realize that G-d has given us greater resources than in
generations past, and as such the level of our ability and
responsibility to serve Him have also increased? If it is truly the
latter (as I would like to hope) then how hard are we working to
identify, to clarify, to understand the scope of those responsibilities?
How careful are we about discharging all of them, not just the
relatively easy or highly visible ones? Is there a consistency in our
level of chumrot? Inconsistent chumrot can leave us with an artificial
feeling of piety. Rav Volbe makes the point very sharply: Chumrot,
stringencies, are not a "risk free" endeavor. A chumra in one area of
our observance has the very strong potential to enable us to rationalize
laxity in another area. That is not true service.

The article is at:

kol tuv
Eliezer Kwass


From: Shlomo Pick <picksh@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jul 2000 13:31:18 +0200
Subject: Kiddush for Girls

shalom, Sorry to be late with this, but I have been involved in the
simcha of marrying off my daughter and so this is a bit late.  Recently
I wrote concerning a kiddush for a daughter:

<<The "rebbe" in question re: kiddush for a daughter, was R. Ya'akov
Yisrael Kanyevsky, the Steipler, zt"l.  Lema'aseh, the question arose
concerning one of my daughters if I had to make a kiddush (she was a
preemie and it was after a ceasarian) and I heard the story in Bnei
Brak. So I asked, the Steipler's grand-nephew, who said the story "lo
hayah ve-lo nivra1" (never was nor ever created).  and that's that!>>

to that the following reply was sent:

>I heard the story from Rabbi Elchonon Halpern Shlita from London, who
>heard it first hand from the person who had the story with the Steipler!!
>How can one say that it NEVER happened just because HE didn't think it
>did! Does he know for a SURE? It doesn't matter if he is the Steipler's

i took up the challenge and and went back to the nephew, who re-reported
that he had personally asked the steipler's son - rav chayim kanyevski -
about the story. Rav Chayim dismissed it as "narishkeit" - foolishness.
not to be taken lightly, i then went to Rav Chayim's son, Rav Shlomo
Kanyevski, Rosh Yeshiva of Tiferet Zion in Bnei Brak.  He confirmed that
there was no family tradition to this. moreover, he reminded that he had
not made a single kiddush for any daughter who had been born - afilu
pa'am achat! again he dismissed the story as narishkeit and suggested
that his family tradition is the emesdic (truthful) one!

respectively yours
shlomo pick


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jul 2000 23:49:58 -0500
Subject: Re: Tikun Sofrim

>From: Barry Best <barry.h.best@...>
>There was some talk recently about the hypothetical case of unearthing
>an ancient sefer torah.  In a similar vein, but more practical, with all
>of the manuscripts that are being recovered and printed in our
>generation, have there been instances where we have found halachic
>decisions of Rishonim that were previously unknown and contradict
>accepted rulings of Acharonim?  Is there an accepted way of handling
>such a circumstance?

I will ask a better question - what about responsa that were misprinted
from the original manuscripts, or that were censored when they were
printed?  There are many such examples.  One is dealt with in an article
I cited in a previous posting by SZ Lieman.  A second that I am aware of
deals with the Rambam's characterization of the messiah.  In manuscripts
of the Yad Hachazakah the Rambam states that if the purported messiah
dies, he cannot have been the messiah.  Because of the obvious reference
to jesus, when the Yad was printed in Christian countries, this was left

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph 773-880-4187
Fax 773-880-8226


From: Rabbi Yisroel Finman <NISHMAT@...>
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2000 19:25:48 EDT
Subject: Re: Tzitzit Question

<< From: <EngineerEd@...>

The fact that this Parsha covers the Mitzvah of Tzitzit gets me thinking
about a problem that I had this year.  Does a vinyl rain poncho that has
four corners need fringes?  I know that while cloth items need fringes,
leather does not.  So what is the halacha on plastic clothing items?  >>

Halacha asks concerning whether or not a leather poncho type of covering
requires tzitzis. The conclusion is that in order to be required to have
tzitzis attached, the material used in fabricating the garment must be
woven, A garment made of solid pieces of leather does not require
tzitzis. If the leather were cut into strips and woven or interlaced,
then it would require tzitzts.

The same criteria would hold true for other materials, like plastics.
Rabbi Yisroel Finman


From: Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq. <khresq@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 13:29:32 -0400
Subject: Whatever Happened to Derech Eretz (32:71)

The anonymous posting "Whatever Happened to Derech Eretz" in Issue 32:71
elicits the broader issue of accountability of tax-exempt charitable
organizations, Jewish-oriented and otherwise.  Spurred to action by
certain well-publicized improprieties by various tax-exempts from across
the entire spectrum, Congress and the Internal Revenue Service are
stepping up their regulations and scrutinies of the non-profits.  New
York State and other states have likewise paid increasing attention to
their non-profits.

Without going into the intricacies of the Internal Revenue Code (I am a
former IRS attorney), most tax-exempt organizations are required to
provide certain information regarding their operations to the public.
In my humble opinion, if more would-be donors would exercise their
rights to know, then we would have less improprieties in the tax-exempt

Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.
P.O. Box 926, East Northport, NY  11731, USA
631/266-5854 (vox), 631/266-3198 (fax)
E-mail:  <khresq@...>


End of Volume 32 Issue 80