Volume 32 Number 97
                 Produced: Mon Jul 17 21:59:01 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Buying Slaves
         [Zev Sero]
Female Jewish Slave
         [Moshe and davida Nugiel]
Impurity and Non-Jews (3)
         [Zev Sero, Daniel Katsman, Yisrael Medad]
Informing on Your Fellow Jew or Mesira
         [Nosson Tuttle]
Keys on Shabbat
         [Gershon Dubin]
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
         [Yael Levine Katz]
The spirit of the key-belt.
         [Carl Singer]
         [Aharon Fischman]
Why do QUESTION and GRAVE have the same root
         [Russell Hendel]


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 17:15:28 -0400
Subject: Re: Buying Slaves

Warren Burstein <warren@...> wrote:

>Hillel Markowitz wrote in v32n61, regarding having a mamzer marry a
>shifcha c'naanit (non-Jewish maidservant):

>> There are also those that say that the mamzer would have to be
>> arranged to be sold as an eved ivri (Jewish slave) in order to be
>> allowed to marry a nonJewish slave.

>Also, does "there are also those that say" imply that there are also
>those who say otherwise?  Hilchot Issurei Biah 12:11 says that a shifcha
>is forbidden to a freeman by the Torah. 

Actually it says clearly that this is a Rabbinic prohibition.

> Who rules differently?

Issurei Biah 15:4.  The same Rabbis who forbade a slave to ordinary
free men, made an exception for a mamzer.  Bear in mind that in the
Rambam's time, and in the Shulchan Aruch's time, this was not at all
theoretical, it was a practical solution to a male mamzer's problem.

Zev Sero                Any technology distinguishable from magic
<zsero@...>       is insufficiently advanced.
                         - Gregory Benford 


From: Moshe and davida Nugiel <friars@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Jul 2000 09:48:09 +0300
Subject: Re: Female Jewish Slave

   Akiva Miller's reopening of this thread has motivated me to further
refine my original question, since the responses which were received I
found to be unsatisfactory.  (In my original post I had mentioned that I
had done more than a minimal research into the problem, so telling me
that the slaves owner was supposed to marry the girl is not very helpful
(Akiva seems to agree with this point.))

    Permit me to redefine the problem.  We all agree that the truths of
Torah are universal, and that, therefore, halachot which deal with
topics which seem to be not relevant to our present day lives still
deserve to be learned and understood in order to uncover the underlying
truths which these halachot teach.  The most obvious example would be
that of korbanot [offerings] Many of us today have a hard time relating
to and understanding korbanot, but we all must come to some sort of
understanding concerning the significance of this large body of laws as
it defines our overall relationship with The Almighty.  To put the
problem more graphically, we all expect that the Moshiach will come, and
hope that he comes soon.  When he comes, and we are able to rebuild the
Beit Hamikdash, we will be faced with the concrete reality of bringing
offerings to the Temple.  Thus, what are now theoretical hypotheses
concerning the value of korbanot in our lives will soon become real
issues, the truths of which, hopefully, will be apparent. 

Similarly, the institution of slavery, which presents even more
difficult hashkafic problems, will become a reality.  That a man who is
halachically responsible for his own actions has fallen to such an
ignoble state that he needs to sell himself as a slave, well, this has
been the subject of a long and passionate thread here on MJ not too long
ago.  There are ways to find a positive approach.  But how do we find a
positive approach, a moral truth, in a father's right to sell his minor
daughter as a slave, or, for that matter, to force her into a marriage
about which she is too immature to understand?  Anybody out there with a
positive moral truth to be learned from this set of halachot? Or are we
forced to say, like the Rambam says about korbanot, that there is no
universal truth in this body of laws; i.e., that this component of Torah
was relevant only for the normative moral system in effect at the time
of Matan Torah.

Moshe Nugiel


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 17:42:46 -0400
Subject: Re: Impurity and Non-Jews

According to the Rambam, in Tum'at Met 1:15
http://www1.snunit.k12.il/kodesh/mtr/tuma001.html, all corpses, whether
Jewish or not, impart tum'ah by touch or carrying, but only Jewish
corpses impart tum'ah just by being under the same roof.

[Yisrael says the same thing below, used this as it has a direct link to
the Rambam if someone want to take a look. Mod]

Zev Sero                Any technology distinguishable from magic
<zsero@...>       is insufficiently advanced.
                         - Gregory Benford 

From: Daniel Katsman <hannah@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 01:13:00 +0200
Subject: Re: Impurity and Non-Jews

Yisrael Medad wrote:
>c) a further halachic reference is Rambam, Hilchot Tum'at Met, 1:13, who
>states that non-Jews do not at all impart tum'ah (see end of the din
>there: "b'chol hatum'ot kulon ein ha-akum v'lo habeheima mit'tamin
>b'hen".  See also Rambam, Hilchot Evel, 3:3 and Yoreh Deiah 372:2.

There is some confusion here; the above quotation means that neither a
non-Jew nor an animal can *become* tamei.

The desired source is a couple of lines earlier in the Rambam:

Tum'at Met 1:12 : "The corpse of both a Jew and a non-Jew imparts tum'ah
through touching or carrying" (even if no direct contact takes place while

Tum'at Met 1:13 : "But a non-Jew does not impart tum'ah in a tent ('ohel'),
and this law is a tradition, and [further] the Torah says regarding the the
war with Midian, 'All who have touched a corpse,' and does not mention a
tent in this matter" (i.e. a soldier would have been rendered tamei only by
contact with a corpse, but not by being under a common roof with one).

Daniel Katsman
Petah Tikva

From: Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Jul 2000 01:07:47 +0300
Subject: Impurity and Non-Jews

Following private correspondence and reviewing material, let me
backtrack a bit on my previous submissions:

a)  a non-Jew, while alive, imparts a tumah on the level of zav
b)  a non-Jew, once dead, imparts tumah as a Tamei Met through
	touch and carrying only
c)  a deceased non-Jew does not impart impurity through ohel.
d)  it is permitted even to step on the grave of a non-Jew as no impurity
is imparted.
e)  as for the original question raised - entering a church where a non-Jew
may be buried in a crypt - it would seem to be permissible from the
standpoint of whether or not one can become impure.


From: Nosson Tuttle <TUTTLE@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 09:50:01 -0400
Subject: Informing on Your Fellow Jew or Mesira

>From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
>Subject: Re: Some Leads on Sources to Difficult Issues
>If the mugger is a Jew, and if you live under a gentile government, the
>mugger's warning about going to the police is irrelevant, since you are
>forbidden to inform on a fellow Jew to gentile authorities.  Since you
>wouldn't report the mugger, anyway, his threat of what he'll do if you
>inform is beside the point.

>>From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
>>Frank Silbermann writes that the problem could not apply if the mugger
>>is Jewish because one may not report him to the police.  One could turn
>>to a Beit Din, who may have remedies (I have no idea if they would
>>include permission to go to the police, but I'd like to hear if they do)
>>which the mugger might object to.

I'm not quite sure the above scenario Halachically falls until the
category of "Mesira".

While it may be true in other countries that anti-Semitism and the
perversion of justice are such that if the authorities are called in to
take away a Jewish "problem", you might never see his face again, the
use of the US's criminal system is not likely to fall under the category
of Mesira.  As a matter of fact, our Batei Din are likely to be
powerless in these situations, and in situations where police should be
called to alleviate the problem, if they are not called, they may
denigrate into cases where there is loss of life!  The prinicple of
Hatzolas Nefashos ("the saving of lives") takes precedence when dealing
with serious criminal situations, even when the criminal is your fellow
Jew.  The ultimate answer is to consult with one's LOR on the proper
Halachic and safe way to deal with these situations should they occur.

I would also be concerned that where the appropriate authorities are not
called in to deal with a problem, possibly because of issues with
"Lashon Hara" or "Mesira", the net effect is to save the face of the
individuals (possibly only temporarily) while the problem with the
individuals still exists; note the case of Rabbi Lanner, formerly with

Of course, in a case where two Jews have a legal issue with each other,
which they desire to be settled in a court of law, they should
adjudicate it only in a Beis Din, not in a secular court of law.

On a personal note, we called MASK (Mothers Aligned Saving Kids) once
about a domestic situation involving a teenager which was getting out of
hand, and they recommended we call the police.  Reluctantly (now, who
calls cops to report on one's family?), we did so, and the situation was
resolved, if only because the individual involved was embarrassed that
things had progressed to the stage where the police were brought in!

-Nosson Tuttle


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 07:59:31 -0400
Subject: Keys on Shabbat

From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
> My objection is to the loophole spirit of the thing. Belts do not come 
> with keys as fasteners. The only reason one is substituting the key for
> the original fastener is in order to carry it.

	True, but the halacha supports this way of doing it.  I don't
see the reason to look for other, less halachically acceptable solutions
if this one is halachically acceptable to all authorities.

	If the spirit of the heter bothers you, install a combination lock!



From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 17:20:30 EDT
Subject: Le/Be-Artzeinu

Michael and Abby Pitkowsky( MJv32n91) discusses the issue of the two
traditions; whether one should say "vetolicheinu meherah kommemiyut
Beartzeinu" with a bet, or "Leartzeinu" with a lamed. This is especially
important for people who live in Israel; they are already
there. Generally "le" is in the direction of whereas "be" indicates that
someone is already there.

This argument might be related to the issue of "lech Leshalom" vs. "lech
Beshalom." The Talmud in Berachot 64a says that one should bless a
departing live person with "lech leshalom" and a departing dead person
(either already dead or one wishes him to get there) with "lech
beshalom." Since we have the stem 'lech' in 'vetolicheinu,' some might
think it a bad omen to have the combination 'lech be...' which might
have influenced the outcome to say "vetolicheinu meherah kommemiyut
Leartzeinu"even in Israel.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Yael Levine Katz <ylkpk@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 18:24:26 +0200
Subject: Nachem

Sheri and Seth Kadish listed four seemingly alternative versions of
Nachem.  However, these appear to be, in actuality, only two. According
to a recent posting on H-Judaic by Zvi Grumet, an early edition of the
Rosenfeld Kinnot offered Rav Goren's version of the tefillah as an
alternative to the accepted one. Hence, the first item Kadish listed and
the fourth are really one and the same. Similarly, the version by the
late Prof. Urbach is that which appears in the Kinnot book published by
Kevuzat Yavneh. So the second and third versions are likewise duplicate.

Yael Levine Katz


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 08:17:40 EDT
Subject: The spirit of the key-belt.

<< If the purpose is a reminder, that could simply be served by a
 shinui. My objection to making a key into a belt fastener is not
 halachic -- as has been pointed out, it is technically permissible. My
 objection is to the loophole spirit of the thing. Belts do not come with
 keys as fasteners. The only reason one is substituting the key for the
 original fastener is in order to carry it.

 -- Janice >>

What is "the spirit of the thing"  -- 

Is it to not go out on Shabbos because we've no eruv and can't lock our

Is it to go out on Shabbos (presumably to daven with a minyan) yet still have 
the comfort of knowing that our home is secure?

Taken a step further, if what's the "spirit" of the thing called an
eruv?  Is it to get around G-d's Torah, or to live within it?

Does anyone imply that there's some hiddur mitzvah when circumstances
require it to not use this belt-key and leave one's home unlocked -- or
to simply not go or not go to shule on Shabbos.

Does anyone dare imply that not using it makes one a frummer or a better

And again, is it any of my business, if you choose to use this key-belt,
key-tieclip, key-bracelet, key-earing?

Carl Singer

(We have a combination lock on our door and an eruv in our community.) 


From: Aharon Fischman <afischman@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 08:25:31 +0000
Subject: Upsherin

I know that some people use an 'Upsherin' as an opportunity to have a
child start to wear a kippah and Tzizit as a sign of 'maturity' and a
way to actively begin to perform 'mitzvot'.  Does anyone know of similar
Mitzvot that a girl can start doing at or around her 3rd birthday as a
sign of her 'maturity'?  Not neccesarily as a way of having a ceremony,
but rather as a way to allow her to actively participate in Mitzvot?

H (201) 833-0801
F (208) 330-1402


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2000 23:38:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Why do QUESTION and GRAVE have the same root

Chaim Vogt-Moykopf v32n47 asks why the word for QUESTION and GRAVE both
come from the same root Sh-A-L

First I believe that the proper translation of ShOLAH is HELL.

Then it is simple---HELL is that state where you constantly ASK for
things--it is an emotional state of total anxiety.

In passing similar etymologies occur in eg POOR comes from the same
rootas ANSWER (The poor person has to ANSWER to everybody) (Also cf POOR
and ACQUIESE from A-V-H---the poor person has to acquiesce to everybody)

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA <RHendel@...>
Moderator Rashi is SImple


End of Volume 32 Issue 97