Volume 33 Number 62
                 Produced: Sun Sep 24 12:23:34 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Eretz-Zayt Shemen
         [Mike Gerver]
Free Trials with no intent to purchase.
         [Yossie Abramson]
Halachikly pregnant
         [Rachel Smith]
Not Mentioning Pregnancy
         [Michael Appel]
The one time that Love is Bad
         [Russell Hendel]
Parents Walking Down at Weddings
         [Gershon Dubin]
Rabbits and Camels
         [Alan Rubin]
Saving a life on Shabbat
         [Perry Dane]
Schools -- Vol. 33 #7
         [Catherine S. Perel]
Shadchanim, Sparing Feelings, and (lack of?) Suitability for Marriage
         [Rise Goldstein]
         [Leona Kroll]


From: Mike Gerver <Mike.Gerver@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 09:05:06 +0200
Subject: Eretz-Zayt Shemen

>From Russell Hendel in v33n55,
> The question has arisen as to the hyphenation in Dt08-08. I believe all
> postings till now have assumed that ZaYTH is a construct state of the
> word ZaYiTh (Olive). Thus they translate the verse as "A land of
> olive-oils and honey" which as RDK says in his book ROOTS means that
> "olives of Israel produce oil--wheras many varieties of olives do not
> produce oil".
> (In passing I have various objections to the original-construct-state
> interpretation: 1) If it is a construct then the hyphen should be
> between ZaYTh and SheMeN; 2) if so it would be preferable to write
> "shemen-tayith" --that is "A land of oil-olives and honey".

If, as most people have assumed, "zayt" is a construct form, then "zayt
shemen" should be translated as "oil olives", i.e. oily olives or
oil-producing olives, not "olive-oils."  In English, adjectives (and
adjectival nouns) come before the noun they are modifying, whereas in
the Hebrew construct form, the second noun acts as an adjective,
modifying the first noun (the one in construct form).  "Shemen zayit",
by the same token, should be translated as "olive oil."

And in the phrase "eretz-zayt shemen," as usually understood, eretz is
in construct form, as well as zayt.  That is to say, "eretz" is a
construct form on the whole noun phrase "zayt shemen," and within the
noun phrase "zayt shemen", "zayt" is in construct form on the noun
"shemen".  The whole phrase would mean "Land of {olive of {oil}}," or
"land of oily olives," or "Oily olive land," with "oily" modifying
"olive", not "land."  If the hyphen is there to show that it is a
construct form, or to show that it means "land of oily olives" rather
than "oily land of olives," should the hyphen go between "eretz" and
"zayt" (the outer pair) or between "zayt" and "shemen" (the inner pair)?
It's not obvious, it depends on what the convention is (assuming that
this is the purpose of the hyphen, and that there is a convention
governing this). So you can't use the position of the hyphen to argue
that "zayt" is not in construct form, unless you can bring several other
examples of construct forms with outer and inner pairs, and show that
the hyphen always occurs in the inner pair.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Yossie Abramson <yossie@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 20:08:36 -0400
Subject: Free Trials with no intent to purchase.

Every day we are bombarded with new and inticing ways to get us to
purchase a product or service. One of these ways is a free 30 day trial.
Whether it's a product, or giving you use of a service, you can use it
free for 30 days. Before the 30 days are up, you can either cancel or
continue. This is a great way to try out something you may be interested
in purchasing. What if you have no interest at all? You are merely
taking advantage of 30 days of free service. Is this misleading? Or do
we assume that every company knows that this occurs?

I have 28 days left to get an answer. :) Just kidding.



From: Rachel Smith <rachelms@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 10:14:06 -0700
Subject: Re:  Halachikly pregnant

 Louise Miller wrote:

>So the simplest explanation I can think of for >the three month waiting
>period, is that it takes three months to set a >new reality, that of the
>non-appearance of menstruation.  After that, >there is no requirement to
>abstain barring any other complications.

Our Rav (a musmach of R. Moshe Feinstein z'tl) quoted R. Moshe that a
pregnancy test (e.g. over-the-counter >90% accuracy type, or a blood
test) is halachically sufficient to confirm pregnancy and to allow
relations.  The number of halachically possible days to expect the
period (which of course won't come during pregnancy) based on past
periods grows unwieldy very fast in those 3 months, and preventing
husband and wife from sleeping in the same bed (even without relations)
on all those halachically-possible nights would be unwieldy as well.


From: Michael Appel <mjappel@...>
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000 10:01:07 -0700
Subject: Not Mentioning Pregnancy

I heard from Rav Shalom Kamenetsky (son of Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky) that
even at a very early stage of pregnancy (perhaps picked up only by
pregnancy test), a woman is not required to fast on minor fast
days. Although, now that I think about it, this came up in connection to
taanit esther which is the most lenient of all public fasts, so I don't
know if this principle extends.


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2000 00:00:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: The one time that Love is Bad

Jay F Shachter in v33n55 wrote a rather beautiful defense of the VALUE
of falling in love.

Notwithstanding the eloquence of this posting it **is** halachically wrong.
It is so wrong that Jay himself must admit he made a (tiny) omission.

Love is strong (as Jay said). It does make people aware of God (As Jay
said). It does lead to a rich understanding of life (As Jay Said). But
certainly Jay is aware that there are certain types of physical-emotional
relationship which superficially resemble love but are really physical
and escapist. Surely we all know this.

Surely we also know that the ONE time when we should NOT be thinking of
love is when an unbearable, irreversible and catastrophic event happens
in a persons life. Is not death of a close loved one such an unbearable
irreversible and catastrophic event. Would not love at such a time be merely
a drunkedness to wash away the pain---a physical escape which would override
the very love that Jay so eloquently praised.

THEREFORE, Jay should not be surprised when Jewish law states that
>>A person whose dead relative stands before him before the funeral
>>has the status of an ONAYN and besides the customary laws of mourning
>>is even exempt from saying the shma and all other prayers. Indeed a person
>>in such a state could not really have intentions much less love.

But then Jay **must** agree that since on Tisha Beav we have the status
not of mourners but of ONAYN that it is prohibited to 'escape'. Certainly
Jay must grant this is the one time during the year when love and flirting
should NOT take place.

Perhaps Jay is surprised at Chazal's harshness in classifying Tisha Beav
as ONAYNUS. But we visibly see that we are not in Jerusalem; we visibly
see that we wish a temple and sacrifices but cannot offer them--indeed we
visibly see death itself and immediately enter that irreversible shock
state called ONAYN.

Certainly then Jay must join in condemning flirting and all other 'escapes'
on Tisha Beav. Our goals should be to sit down and cry that we have no
temple, no sacrifices, no priests we can trust, no great sages, no
prophets to ask questions to, no full fulfillment of Biblical promises.

Respectfully submitted
Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA
Dept of Math Towson University
Moderator Rashi is Simple


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sat, 16 Sep 2000 23:44:47 -0400
Subject: Parents Walking Down at Weddings

From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>

<<I may eat my words as my children get married, etc. -- but I'm caught
between the concept attributed in a recent Mail Jewish to Reb Yaakov ztl
-- essentially, it's not worth fighting over; and the principle of not
being a doormat due to someone's assertiveness, etc.>>

        Please explain what type of principle this is-is it strictly a
tenet of Dear Abby philosophy or is there some Torah source for "not
being a doormat"?

        I assure you that Rav Yaakov zt"l and other great people who
were known for their modesty (Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l comes to mind)
were fierce in going to battle for those things which ARE important.
They simply did not consider their own kavod, or, as you put it, not
being a doormat, as being one of those things.

        As to eating your words when you marry off children, I wish you
mechutanim with whom this will not be an issue (I mean each other's
kavod, not simply who walks the choson and kalla to the chupa).



From: Alan Rubin <arubin@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 20:26 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Re: Rabbits and Camels

Mike Gerver said

> I don't think peccaries are a good counter-example to the claim that
> no other species have split hooves and don't chew their cud.

That may well be and I think that would be an adequate explanation for
why the Torah mentions pigs but not peccaries.  However the very fact
that we can have this discussion demonstrates the danger of using this
passage as a 'proof' that Torah is 'min hashamayim'.



From: Perry Dane <dane@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 13:27:01 -0400
Subject: Saving a life on Shabbat

>In 33:52 Joseph Kaplan writes:
> > What, however, should
> > a Jew who follows halacha do in a situation where eivah does not apply;
> > e.g., where no one else is around and the Jew could walk away from the
> > situation and no one would ever know that it was the Jew's failure to
> > save his fellow human being, also created b'tzelem elokim (in God's
> > image), that resulted in the death of the non-Jew?  Does halacha demand
> > that the Jew, in such a situation, must allow the non-Jew to die?  I
> > wonder if there is anyone on this list who, placed in such a situation,
> > would do nothing. I simply cannot believe that halacha requires such a
> > result.

         I think we need to notice something important here: There are
lots of things that halakhah requires Jews to do (or not do) that might
instill hatred or resentment in non-Jews.  Some Roman authors, for
example, thought that the very notion of casing to work on Shabbat was

         But as to certain behaviors, such as refusing to save a life,
the halakhah concludes, not only that non-Jews would hate or resent us,
or think less of the halakhic system (raising the related issue of
hillul Hashem), but that they would __justified__ in doing so.  That, it
seems to me, is the key.  The halakhah often takes general morality into
account, and incorporates it through such tools as the doctrine of



From: Catherine S. Perel <perel@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000 00:00:19 -0500
Subject: Re: Schools -- Vol. 33 #7

Carl Singer wrote:

> Re: Catherine S. Perel's postings -- and I'm sure she knows better
> than I, from the other side of the experience -- I would agree that
> any group characterization (Yeshiva vs. public school, etc.) is
> probably flawed anectdotal "insight."

This may be true in some cases, however, in my case this is what I do
for a living.  I've worked with parents and schools across the country,
and the attitude and behaviors persist.

> ... with the issues re: Shidduchin, etc., Yeshiva society is likes to
> hide (those hideable) disabilities because they fear it may impact the
> marriageability of the person in question -- or EVEN OF SIBLINGS.

I have seen this with my, Baruch HaShem, behrsheit, but it is not beyond
the pale in the secular world either.

Catherine S. Perel


From: Rise Goldstein <Rbg29861@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 07:07:43 EDT
Subject: Shadchanim, Sparing Feelings, and (lack of?) Suitability for Marriage

In last week's (Friday, 8 September 2000/8 Elul 5760) _Jewish Press_,
R. Jeff Forsythe notes the following in describing how shadchanim
("matchmakers") should conduct themselves with singles seeking their

    "If you don't have a match for the person, or if the person is not
suitable marriage, say that you can't think of anyone suitable or that
people you set up tend to be in a given category (age group, religious
tpye, etc.)  which does not apply to the requirements of that person."
(p. 63, col. 2, third full paragraph)

With all due respect to R. Forsythe, isn't it likely that, once a truly
"unsuitable" single hears this message sufficiently often from
sufficiently many shadchanim, s/he will realize what they're all trying
to tell her/him?  Or, even if this _isn't_ the intended message, might
not a single who hears the assertions that shadchanim don't have anyone
suitable, often enough, might erroneously conclude that s/he has been
deemed unsuitable for marriage?

At least as I understand it, and please correct me if I'm wrong, there
is a clear hiyyuv (requirement) on men to marry; on women, the hiyyuv,
if it exists, may be less clear.  Therefore, by what criteria
may/should/must one deem an individual _unsuitable_ for marriage (as
opposed, for example, to saying that the person must _disclose_ certain
personal or family characteristics to a potential spouse at some point
before marriage)?

Pointers to appropriate meqorot will be very much appreciated.

Shabbat shalom--

Rise Goldstein (<Rbg29861@...>)
Silver Spring, MD


From: Leona Kroll <leona_kroll@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 10:51:44 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Shmittah

There was an article in the NY Times recently about heter mechira
causing a controversy this year in Israel. Can anyone shed some light on
this? What are the origins of heter mechira? Why is it becoming
controversial now? What are some other halachic ways of handling


End of Volume 33 Issue 62