Volume 36 Number 29
                 Produced: Thu May  2  7:07:15 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Ben Z. Katz]
Comforting mourners
         [Aliza N. Fischman]
Dishes OK next year?
         [Emmanuel IFRAH]
         [Yisrael Medad]
Holocaust & Children Afterwards
         [Frank Silbermann]
Minor Muktzeh Correction
         [Y. Askotzky]
         [Janice Gelb]
         [Reuben Rudman]
Tefillin shel Rabbeinu Tam (2)
         [Yehuda Landy, Menashe Elyashiv]
Women and keri'at haTorah
         [Rose Landowne]
Women and Torah Reading
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 08:00:22 -0500
Subject: Re: Chanukah

>A similar phenomena occurs in Chanukah. Josephus associates lights and
>torches with Chanukah but says he does not know why and makes up his own
>reason. Hence, it is clear that the general population was not familar
>with the "pach hashemen". Today every kid in first grade knows the
>story. In the days of the end of the second Temple only small circles
>were aware of the origins of Chanukah.

Unfortunately this matter is not as simple as Mr. Turkel states.  There
is no mention of the "pach hashemen" in any contemporaneous source of
Chanukah (e.g. I or II Macabees [and it should be noted that the latter
source does mention miracles associated with the Hasmonean victory]).
It is not mentioned by Josephus as cited by Mr. Turkel (ca. 90 CE) nor
in the Mishna (which hardly mentions Chanukah at all).  Note that in "al
hanissim" which is based on the Tosefta (roughly contemporaneous with
the Mishna, ca. 220 CE) we do not mention the miracle either, just the
Macabean victory.  The first time (chronologically) it is mentioned is
in the Talmud, which is a minimum of 500 years after the events.

The other interesting issue is that Josephus mentions that Chanukah is a
festival of lights, but still does not mention the "pach hashemen".

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: Aliza N. Fischman <fisch.chips@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 19:37:30 -0400
Subject: Re: Comforting mourners

Janet very astutely asked:
> Is there a time limit to comforting mourners?
> It seems like, although someone is a mourner for a full 11 months,
> there is a time after which approaching them and reminding them
> of it by giving your sympathies might be worse than not.  Is this
> reflected at all in the halacha?  Or maybe I'm totally wrong on
> the psychology.

Just today I saw the parent of a former student of mine.  She had come
to school to run her regular after-school club.  I knew that she had
lost her father in the last few weeks and so I approached her and told
her how sorry I was and asked her how she was doing.  She said, "I was
doing okay until everybody here asked me how I was."  She did not say it
in spite, or in a way in which she seemed ungrateful for our questions.
It did, however bring up the question in my mind of 'If it's past shiva
- how soon is too soon?'  My gut feeling after today is this.  If it's
not during shiva, and your not VERY close with the person, wait until
after shloshim (the first 30 days).  Beyond that, I think the first 6
months would definitely be appropriate.  DISCLAIMER: I am not a
psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or posek.  This is just my
cent and a half.

Aliza Fischman


From: Emmanuel IFRAH <eifrah@...>
Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 21:10:57 +0200
Subject: Dishes OK next year?

This issue was dealt with in mail-Jewish not so long ago.

I had posted the following comments:
"A friend of mine witnessed that within some chasidic communities, even
though people do not eat "gebrocht" (matza that came in contact with a
liquid, lest it becomes hametz) during the first days of Pessach, they do
so during the second holiday and then rely on the heter of 12 months to use
their Pessach ustensils again during the next Pessach. The only problem is
that the halacha is based on 12 lunar months as pointed out by Michael
Hoffman (v. Pitchey Teshuva #3 on YD 135:16). Obviously, between the two
last days of Pessach in year N and the first days of Pessach in year N+1,
there is less than 12 full lunar months (except if year N+1 is
"me'uberet"). Does any one have an answer to this problem or a halachic
authority authorizing this practice?"

I had then received an interesting answer from Yitschak Goldberg:
"This is of course only an observation: I have very good friends, from
Chasidic decent, that do not normally eat "gebrocht" on Pessach. The only
exception to the rule is the last day of Pessach, when the following year
will be a leap year and therefor there is a full twelve lunar months till
next "Erev Pessach".  On other years they do not eat "gebrocht" on the last
day, so as not to cause problems with the dishes on the following year."

Emmanuel Ifrah


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 19:28:46 +0200
Subject: Gri"ch

now that I have reread what I wrote, I presume that the Gri"ch is Gaon
Rav Yosef Chaim?

I wrote:
       The reference is from Responsa Sod Yesharim of the Gri"ch
      (?). [gimmel-reish-yud-chet]


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 09:42:44 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:  Holocaust & Children Afterwards

Aliza Berger <alizadov@...> :
>>       Are there any recommendations by authorities to have many children
>>       because you suspect that one or more will be killed in war?
Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...> : (v36 n28)
> I would doubt that this is a Halachic question but rather one's own
> personal attitude.  Why stop at war?  Traffic accidents; earthquakes;
> deprivation of sustenance due to poverty are other good enough reasons.

I remember reading that it is forbidden to procreate during a famine.
Is that correct?

Frank Silbermann
New Orleans, Louisiana


From: Y. Askotzky <sofer@...>
Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 12:02:43 +0200
Subject: Minor Muktzeh Correction

>Even something totally not muktza like food utensils (which you're
>allowed to fiddle with purposelessly)

This is not accurate. Only kelim that are klei kibul, a utensil that can
that contain things such as a bowl or spoon may be fiddled with
purposelessly on shabbos. Other items that are kli shemelachto l'heter,
a utensil used for a permissible activity should not be fiddled with for
no purpose. To understand this one must know the background for the
issur, prohibition, of muktzeh. Consult your LOR or see the talmudic and
later sources.


Rabbi Yerachmiel Askotzky, certified sofer and examiner
<sofer@...>   www.stam.net   1-888-404-STAM(7826)


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 09:52:03 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Mourning

From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>

<<It seems like, although someone is a mourner for a full 11 months, 
there is a time after which approaching them and reminding them
of it by giving your sympathies might be worse than not.  Is this
reflected at all in the halacha?  Or maybe I'm totally wrong on 
the psychology.>>

Actually, you're a mourner for 12 months -- it's just kaddish that is
stopped at 11 months.

I can't speak for the halacha but many advice columnists have dealt with
this subject. As someone who lost both parents within 18 months of each
other, I can tell you that you haven't forgotten after a couple of
months that you've suffered a loss! Sympathy is always welcome. I
appreciate people wanting to be sensitive, but you're really not
reminding mourners of anything that isn't already in their minds,
especially at services where they're saying kaddish.

-- Janice


From: Reuben Rudman <rudman@...>
Date: Wed, 01 May 2002 11:52:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Probability

In MJ, Volume 36 Number 28, : Eli Turkel wrote:

> Other people have noted similarities between Brisker Torah and Kantian
> philosophy. In both cases it is unlikely that the rabbis heard directly
> of the secular theories. Either the time was ripe for such theories or
> else the secular theories were brought to the bet medrash by people
> knowledgeable in secular studies and slowly were accepted without
> realizing the origin of the ideas.

The fact is that during the 19th century many seforim were written, in
Hebrew, about what we consider secular subjects, including philosophy
and the newly emerging sciences.  There is one sefer in which Kant is
discussed in detail, and criticized.  This sefer also has large sections
devoted to biology and physics.  It was lauded by the Chasam Sofer and
is mentioned in many 19th century Responsa.  There were many seforim
written on mathematics (not only for astronomical calculations), there
was a weekly that appeared, written in Hebrew, devoted to scientific
subjects (including a description of electricity and of the beaver)
which had as a regular feature divrei Torah involving scientific topics.

The Achim Romm, the same ones who published the standard Vilna Shas,
published a series of seforim on physics and chemistry that were
equivalent to the textbooks of the day in English and German.

So to say that  "it is unlikely that the rabbis heard directly of the
secular theories" is probably not correct.  There were many sources
available to them.  I would agree that they probably did not read the
originals or hear university lectures, but the availability of written
material on these subjects is beyond dispute.


From: <nzion@...> (Yehuda Landy)
Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 02:30:25 +0300
Subject: Re: Tefillin shel Rabbeinu Tam

As one who has researched the subject of the Tefillin found in the Dead
Sea area more than the average person, I wish to make the following

Many sources quote Yadin as saying that both types of tefillin were
found. This is not accurate. A tefillin shel yad was found written in
the order of Rashi. Others had the first two parshiot in order, while
shemah and v'hayah im shamoah began side by side. This is not rabbeinu
Tam who has v'hayah im shamoah before Shemah. One shel Yad contained
Kadesh, v'hayah ki yeviacho and v'hayah im shamoah on one piece of
parchment, and Shema on another piece (it is currently on exhibit in the
Shrine of the Book). However the form these two pieces were in while in
the box, is unclear. Were Shema and v'hayah im shamoah next to each
other (as was the case in tefillin found there, or was Shema placed
after v'hayah im shamoah? As well known, the original scholars (Millik
in this case) who worked and published the finds were not Jewish and
didn't always realize the significance of the "small" details.

	A few words of caution about halachic conclusions from the
Qumron finds. 1) It is clear today that many scrolls found there contain
Tzadokie theology. 2) According to Gemoroh in Eiruvin (96b, 97a) people
used to wear amulets, which resembled tefillin, hence many of the finds
may be amulets. This may also explain why some parshiot contained
additional pesukim. This may have also caused confusion as to which is
the proper order for Tefillin, resulting in the different
opinions. Interestingly, Millik identified some small rolled up pieces
of parchment as "Mezuzot". The Pesukim they contain have no connection
to Mezuzot, and the possibility that they too served as amulets is more

	Israel Rosenfeld mentioned that the difference of opinion is
based on a dispute between Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi. I would like to
know the source for that. I should mention that when the forged edition
of the Talmud Yerushalmi was printed (approx a century ago) it had
Rabbienu Tam's order for Tefillin. The Chofetz Chayim who felt that the
Yerushalmi was authentic (long after many other gedolim delared it a
forgery), began wearing Rabbienu Tam tefillin.

					Yehuda Landy

P.S. The catalogue of all the Dead Sea Scroll finds has recently been
published, so it is quite easy to get all the information on the various
types of tefillin found in the different caves. I'll be glad to of help
to anyone needing assistance on the matter.

From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 09:40:01 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Tefillin shel Rabbeinu Tam

Does the Yerushalmi hold like R"T? In an article in ha'modia a few weeks
ago, the author wrote that in his last years, the Mishna Brura put on
RTT, because of the Yerushalmi - someone answered that the Yerushalmi
Kodashim was a forgery....(he probably put on RTT because during WW1 he
was in exile with Hassidim)

BTW - does anyone know Askenazim that put 2 sets together? Other than R.
Ishak from Kamarna (b.1806)


From: <ROSELANDOW@...> (Rose Landowne)
Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 22:38:57 EDT
Subject: Re: Women and keri'at haTorah

I get the point, but I think I also remember hearing that kriat hatorah is a 
chiuv for the tzibor, not the  gavra, meaning that an individual man  is not 
obligated either. Don't remember the source for this, though.  
Rose Landowne

<< From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Any attempt to suggest that women are obligated in keriat haTorah based
on the minority view of the Magen Avraham, O.H. sec. 282, no. 6  (See
also R. Masud Hai Rokei'ah, Ma'ase Rokei'ah, Hilkhot Tefilla 12:17;
Mishna Berura, sec. 282, no. 12; Birkei Yosef, sec. 282, no. 7; R. Jacob
Meshullam Ornstein, Yeshu'ot Ya'akov, sec. 282,  >>


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 19:44:21 +0200
Subject: Women and Torah Reading

To be fair, Janet should have quoted the whole text there:
"All ascend [to the Torah] to complete the seven portions [on the
Shabbat] even a woman as well as a minor who knows for whom one makes
the blessing but our Sages have said that a woman should not read
because it is not respectful to the congregation".

Presumably, then, they don't.   
By the way, a Mamzer can also have an Aliyah (see the comments
of R' Isreles at the end where he brings the Mahara of Prague

      From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
      OC 282:3 says that women can have aliyot, and presumably this
      would extend to reading.

Yisrael Medad


End of Volume 36 Issue 29