Volume 36 Number 61
                 Produced: Mon Jul  1 22:54:10 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Cynthia Ozick quote correction
         [Boruch Merzel]
Exception that proves the rule
         [Shlomo Godick]
groom/bride = melech/malkah
         [Dov Teichman]
Is being a nida required?
         [Seth Lebowitz]
Kadish 50+
         [Carl Singer]
Modesty and the Ari's comments
         [Gershon Dubin]
Modesty by Avraham and Sara
         [Ben Katz]
pshat and drash (shir hashirim)
         [Binyomin Segal]
Nusach Art Scroll
         [Sam Saal]
Relocation to Delaware
         [Frank Reiss]
Seudat Hodaah
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Sharing a Hotel Room
         [Akiva Atwood]
Tevilas Keilim in Restaurants/Hotels
         [Susan Shapiro]
Request: Bringing medical equipment from New York to London
         [Stephen Coleman]


From: <BoJoM@...> (Boruch Merzel)
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 14:42:16 EDT
Subject: re: Cynthia Ozick quote correction

 Sam Saal inquires:
<< Cynthia Ozick quotes (paraphrases?) a line from the Talmud: "Whoever is
 merciful to the cruel will end by being indifferent to the innocent."

 Can someone post the exact quote (Aramaic/Hebrew and accurate
 translation, but most important, the reference (sugya, perek, daf)? >>

The original quote is: " Amar R. Elazar, Kol she-na'sah rachaman al
ach-zari, l'sof na'sah ach-zar al ha-rachamanim" " Rabbi Elazar said: He
who shows compassion toward the cruel, will eventually act cruelly with
those who deserve compassion." This is found in Midrash Tanchuma,
Parshat M"tzorah, Alef.

This was said in reference to King Saul who showed mercy toward Agag, King of 
Amalek, and yet later destroyed Nob, city of Kohanim and killed tts 
Boruch Merzel


From: Shlomo Godick <Shlomog@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 21:16:45 +0200
Subject: Re: Exception that proves the rule

A colleague at work pointed out to me that interestingly enough, the
Hebrew l'hokhiah also has a dual meaning:

1. to prove
2. to reprove

Similar, but not quite, to the prove/test (prove/probe) dual meaning in

Shlomo Godick


From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 15:09:33 EDT
Subject: groom/bride = melech/malkah

Chaya Valier <cvalier@...> writes:

      I am trying to find explanations as to why traditionally in Jewish
      weddings the bride and groom are considered to be queen and king

The source is a Medrash called Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer Chapter 16, where
a Groom is compared to a King because of 5 similarities. (1. Both are
praised by others, 2. Both wear honorable clothing, 3. Both have parties
and happiness every day, 4. Both do not walk in the street alone,
5. Both of their faces radiate like the sun).  Later sources bring more
similarities as well as many customs that originate from this
statement. However, I have not found any mention of the Bride being a
Queen anywhere. I suppose being the wife of a King makes her a Queen.

Dov Teichman


From: Seth Lebowitz <SLebowitz@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 11:52:08 -0400
Subject: Is being a nida required?

I recently read in the paper that some physicians are recommending to
female patients that they use certain medical methods to cause them to
menstruate less frequently (such as a few times a year or even
indefinite suspension of menstruation).  These methods also prevent a
woman from getting pregnant.  I thought that this raised an interesting
halachic issue.

Assume for the sake of argument there is a married woman who is
halachically required to use birth control indefinitely (say that
becoming pregnant would definitely endanger her life).  Is this woman
permitted to do what was discussed in the newspaper article --i.e. use
birth control pills in such a way that prevents her from menstruating at
all?  In other words, is there any requirement that a married woman
become a nida so that all the associated laws restricting contact with
her husband will apply, or do these laws just apply if a woman does
become a nida?  Has this been addressed by any halachic authorities?

Please remember that the assumption here is that the woman is required
halachically to use birth control, so there is no need to discuss
whether or under what circumstances the use of birth control is allowed.

Seth Lebowitz


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 17:13:10 EDT
Subject: Re: Kadish 50+

      From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>

      I found a book entitled HaKadish by Rav David Assaf, first
      published in 1945 and second edition in 1999.  Former Rav in
      Haifa.  While not directly addressing the question of 50+ years to
      stop or not to stop, he does mention (p. kuf-pey) that there is no
      4th generation in saying Kaddish.  In other words, a
      great-grandson does not say Kaddish for a great-grandfather even
      if he has permission to do so.

Most interesting -- I wonder if there's any presumption re: whether the
great-grandson would have met / known the great-grandfather?  My wife,
for example, knew three of her great-grandparents -- and was 16 years
old when the last one was nifter, so she has what I might call
"non-childhood" memories.

I'm also concerned re: permission -- and perhaps a more general question
-- saying kaddish for at the request of someone else -- for example, my
wife's grandmother, now age 101, is in a nursing home -- under what
circumstances may someone say kaddish as her "agent"

Kol Tuv

Carl Singer


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 13:06:07 GMT
Subject: Modesty and the Ari's comments

From: 	"Turkel, Elihu" <turkel@...>

> Thank you for the prompt response. Are you referring to the Rema in
> Even Ha'Ezer (21:5)?

I was indeed referring to that Rema.

> BTW, I came across a previous posting by Moshe Feldman (Vol 29, Number
> 99),which recorded a tshuva by Rav YH Henkin in Bnei Banim  (vol 1
> #37) 

Two observations, without requoting the entire teshuva.  While Rav
Henkin is certainly a bar hachi to say what he says, the simple meaning
of the Rema is that it is forbidden.  Granted, the Nimukei Yosef used
the lashon etza tova, but why then did the Rema change it?

Second, Rav Henkin recently had an exchange in the pages of Tradition
concerning whether habituation to less than proper tzenius standards has
any role in halacha.  Rav Henkin's position was that it was; I don't
recall the ba'al pelugta, although I think it was Rav Emanuel Feldman.
However, the fact is that the lenient position is far from unopposed.



From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 12:38:44 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Modesty by Avraham and Sara

>From: Chaim Mateh <chaim-m@...>
>Daf Yomi-ers should remember the story from Bava Basra 58a (about 1.5
>months ago). It was Rav Bena'a who entered Meoras Hamachpela and saw
>Avraham Avinu in Sara's arms.  The Gemoro says that it was OK for Rav
>Bena'a to see them that way because there isn't any Yetzer in that "world".
> The implication from this of course is that since there _is_ the Yetzer in
>_this_ world, it is improper for people to see a (even married) couple

     From a logic point of view alone, the above "implication" is
incorrect, being a classic example of reasoning from the converse (or
inverse).  IF there is no yetzer hara THEN it is okay to see Abraham and
Sarah embrace does NOT imply that if there is yetzer hara then it is not
ok to see them embrace (just as if all beautiful women use lux soap does
not imply that if you are not beautiful you do not use lux soap).  The
only logically derivable statement in all situations (known as the
contrapositive) is that IF it is not ok to see them embrace, THEN there
is yetzer hara, but that is the big IF.

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, Voicemail and Pager: 3034
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 13:15:29 -0500
Subject: Re: pshat and drash (shir hashirim)

Shayna Kravetz asks an important question that really gets to the heart of
the shir hashirim issue.

> Pshat means the plain, literal meaning of the text, yes?

The answer to this question is not as obvious or as straight forward as it
seems. Ignoring issues of translation, what is the "simple, literal meaning
of the text."

To use Shayna's example, "letting a cat out of a bag" does not require
owning a cat or a bag. On a standardized test, if you were asked "which of
the following is most related to its meaning?" you would be marked wrong for
"pet care" and marked right for "break of trust"

Even among the mefarshim who explicitly limit their commentaries to the
pshat (rashi, rashbam), they do not always agree about what the pshat is.
Sometimes they disagree about the "meaning" but often they disagree about
what is the most "simple, literal" meaning of the text given things like
context and word choice.

A few examples of complex pshat:

"An eye for an eye" rashi says it means "the cost of an eye for an eye"
while ibn Ezra seems to take the literal meaning as a moral statement,
someone who takes an eye deserves that his eye be taken (see ramban).

"Do not put a stumbling block before a blind person" Rashi does not allow
the seemingly simple explanation (putting a stone on the road) to stand. He
explains it to be an expression meaning to give bad advice. Some would
suggest that the reason rashi does this is the context - the rest of the
pasuk says "I am God" an expression which rashi understands means that this
describes an action which is generally done in private where only God knows
of your sin.

It seems to me therefore, that the discussion about shir hashirim we have
been having is effected by the very translation issues we are discussing.
that is to say, it is clear to me that "pshat" is NOT the same thing as
"literal" the way we use it today. It is more complex and dynamic. In
describing "pshat" meforshim struggled with not only the simple word choice,
but other things we would generally think of as interprative. It seems that
pshat is something like "the simplest understanding that is true."

As a result, it seems that an argument might be made (not that artscroll did
this, in fact my recollection is that they are extremely up front in this
case about what they did) that the metaphorical interpretation of shir
hashirim IS the pshat! Not sure I want to make that argument personally, but
I do think its worth thinking about.

Contact me via my NEW address


From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 10:55:56 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re Nusach Art Scroll

I grew up using Birnbaum and other siddurim. I like that Art Scroll is
more explicit than Birnbaum about responsive parts of the Rosh Hashanah
and Yom Kippur davening. I laso make a point of reviewing rabbi Scroll's
linear vidui every year.

OTOH, I can't get used to the assumption the chazzan says so much more
at the end of each paragraph.

Sam Saal         <ssaal@...>
Vayiphtach HaShem et Pea haAtone


From: Frank Reiss <freiss47@...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 08:33:55 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Relocation to Delaware

Hi If someone is familiar with the frum communities commutable to
Delaware, please let me know.

Thanks in advance,


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 20:24:46 +0200
Subject: Seudat Hodaah

A few years ago after "just missing" a terror attack that resulted in a
fatality, the driver of the car asked a rav (the local Rosh Yeshiva) if
we needed to "bench hagomel" or do a seudat hodayah.  He paskened that
since we weren't in any direct danger we were not to "bench hagomel" but
since she suddenly realized what danger she was in daily, we should make
an immediate (that night) seudat hodayah.  In addition we sponsored
either a kiddush or seudat shlishit for the entire yishuv.  (Sorry I
can't remember which was for which attack.)



From: Akiva Atwood <atwood@...>
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 19:47:52 +0300
Subject: Re: Sharing a Hotel Room

> But either way it's problematic -- I recall that there are issues
> about two adult males sleeping together in a room -- or am I heating
> up the "frummometer".

That's two adult males sharing a blanket.



From: <SShap23859@...> (Susan Shapiro)
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 12:31:42 EDT
Subject: Tevilas Keilim in Restaurants/Hotels

> Rav Moshe Feinstein, however, in LeTorah Ve'Hora'ah vol 2 no 2 rules
> that utensils purchased by a Jew for use with food, or to rent to
> others who will use them for food, may not be used without tevillah. 
> According to this, one should not eat from a hotel's or caterer's
> utensils if they haven't had tevillah. 

With this answer, what if the hotel owner is NOT Jewish, and they have
bought, or put aside Keilim especially for Kosher functions (where there
is a reliable Orthhodox mashgiach)>??

Susan Shapiro, S. Diego


From: <StephenColman2@...> (Stephen Coleman)
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 04:49:59 EDT
Subject: Request: Bringing medical equipment from New York to London

Can anybody help bring over a suitcase of medical equipment from New
York to London in the next few weeks ? The equipment is basic with no
restrictions on bringing it to the UK . We just need somebody with spare
capacity. If you think you can help, please email me. Thanks in
advance. SC



End of Volume 36 Issue 61